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and then to compare with each other these different stages of . Thus." Its object is to carry the history of trinitarianism back of its later its Christian form of development. is The and field as a whole vast in extent and complex intricate in its character. its histor- and trace primary sources as well as ical evolution through the various Ethnic its trinities until it enters Christian stage. it may regarded as a companion of my previous book: " A Critical and History of the Evolution of Trinitaits rianism. while the present volume fresh is an entirely properly be and independent work.PEEFACE The latest comparative history of religions field of is the and most productive investigation and discovery that historical science has opened. finding as I did that Christian trinitarianism — is only a part of a world-wide historical evolution that goes back to the very origins of religion itself. Outcome in the New Christology. it. This book deals with a single chapter of of the Ethnic trinities I was led to the study previous studies in by my the historical evolution of the Christian trinity.

is absolutely essential to the under- standing of Christian mediaeval philosophy and theology.7i PREFACE and draw from such comparison a point of criticism by some of religious thought its historical conclusions. and of the modern ideas that have been Scholars are coming to reallittle evolved from them. pantheistic In fact. and con- . the Plotinian monism is increasingly regnant in mod- ern philosophy. While I have restricted myself to a single phase it of the general history of religions. and above all of Plotinus. It may be made my readers that I have entered so deeply and fully trin- into the philosophical development of itarian thought . and that his influence to-day has eclipsed that of his great masters. not to say in Christian theology. should be borne in mind that the evolution of the idea of God is central to all religious thought. ize ciated — what — until recently has been appre- that Plotinus was the most original and acute philosophical thinker since Plato and Aristotle. It may be said that not a few of the historical and metaphysical blunders that have had vogue in past histories of Christian doctrine have arisen later transformations of from ignorance of those Platonism which are so clearly set forth in the speculations of Plotinus. Greek but rate knowledge of my apology is that an accuNew Platonism.

: adopted as a motto on the title-page criticism of " The true dogma is its history. new volume They will..'* LEVI April. earlier Like the critical. I believe. illustration of the truth of Strauss's words. PAINE. unless indeed their minds are proof against . and new sense of their profound meaning Browning's lines: — " The earth is And Banoob. and it wiU. resting entirely on the scientific inductive method . I cannot doubt that the perusal of this one will overcome such indisposition. bring new will learn more fully perhaps than ever before that the world as a whole. volume it is purely historical and not dogmatic." If there are any who have been indisposed to accept the statements and conclusions of my previ- ous book. furnish a new . is and of the proofs of a divine moveso will be able to read with a ment of love. not only in the reahn of nature and natural law. every crammed with heaven common bush afire with GJod.PREFACE be found to include more or vu sequently that the subject-matter of this book will less directly many of the fundamental problems of theology. . all purely historical evidence while to those who are ready to accept the divine revelations that are given in nature and history this satisfaction. 1901. I am sure. but also in the history of full of divinity man as a religious being. L. Me.


31 Trinitarianism ~ VIIL The Greek Plotinian Trinity . V.. VII. 191 219 270 281 fillment OF ITS Mission Perils of Organized Christianity Ignorance VII. V. I. ... rV. General Character and Relations of the Ethnic Trinities ^ VI.... ""^ ^ m.. 306 The New Problem of Theology tieth Century the Twen340 371 Index . III. Two Perils of Organized Christianity Two . ... 299 II.. — — in 291 I.CONTENTS PART Chap.. I THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Preliminaky Survey Special Causes of the Rise of the Ethnic Trinities Pacw 3 14 II. 37 64 92 124 162 PART II THE RELATIONS OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES TO THE CHRISTIAN TRINITY I. VI. The External or Historical Relations The Internal Relations — Resemblances The Internal Relations — Differences The Providential Mission of Christianity as A World-Religion The Unreadiness of Christendom for the Ful. . 1^. Insincerity VIII. II. IV. . The The The The Hindoo Brahmanic Trinity Persian Zoroastrian Trinitarianism Greek Homeric Trinity Evolution of the Greek Philosophical .



to keep a narrow bridge of licensing where the challenger should pass. when as we are exhorted by the wise man to use diligence " to seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures" early and late. framed and f abricked already to our hands. . is but weakness and cowardice . though it be valor enough in soldiership. drawn forth his reasons as it were a battle ranged.— " Though all the -winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon to field. Let her and falsehood grapple who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter ? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. that another order shall enjoin us to know nothing but by statute ? When a man hath been laboring the hardest labor in the deep mines of knowledge. calls out his adversary into the plain. hath furnished out his findings in all their equipage. What a collusion is this. if it come not first in at their casements. Yet when the new light which we beg for shines in upon us. only that he may try the matter by dint of argument for his opponents then to skulk. He who hears what praying there is for light and clear knowledge to be sent down among us would think of other matters to be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva. there be who envy and oppose. so truth be in the and prohibiting ." John Milton. we do injuriously by licensing misdoubt her strength. in the wars of truth. the earth. to lay ambushments. scattered and defeated all objections in his way. offers him the advantage of wind and sun. if he please.

torical studies This change has been brought about In the first place. of the universality of law. and of the evolution of aU things along the lines of natural and moral causes. however. and has been adopted as a cardinal axiom of science but it has been proved to be equally a fundamental force in aU. A historical evois lution according to fixed historical laws as surely working in human is affairs as a natural evolution of the material working in all the movements universe. of the Recent investigahave given a new- tions in the history of religions aspect to this subject. An essential difference. historical events. God and those of other and especially of the trinitarian doctrine of God as existing in a trinity of persons or of per- sonal forms.. This principle of evolution first became evident in the processes of the physical world. is to . in two ways. scientific and his- have developed new conceptions of the unity that imderlies phenomena and events. aud have entirely changed the view to be taken of the historical relation of the Christian ideas of religions. CHAPTER I PRELIMINARY SURVEY This book proposes a comparative study Ethnic and Christian trinities.

and Newton. namely. involving the element of hu- be noted between physical and The former is under strict and so fixed and invariable. The universe is one living organic whole. under the guidance of one active force or combination of forces. from Copernicus. Kepler. and these laws work in harmony with all the laws of the imiverse. down to the principles that latest discoveries of the present day. But the moral kingdom is as truly one of law and evolution The power of free will is not a as the natural. The old Platonic idea that is this cosmos in which man has his place an ani- mal with a world-soul contains an element of scientific truth. at once that all recent scientific discoveries tend towards a single result. and movement includes every form of and produces one system of things which we call the universe. 4 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES historical evolution.. in the very nature of things. have brought once to to light. can allow no exception. mere erratic and unaccountable form of activity it has its own mysterious laws. and things are held within its all individual living eternal sway. latter is moral. while the man free of human agency. action. What is called the law of natural evolution is simply the last word and summary of all the scientific laws and aU recent investigations. with its consequent variability physical law. and dissolve the order of the . To break it is break it up forever. That law. and play their proper part in the grand evolution For it must be recognized of the world's history. that one ultimate law of life existence.

Christian creed cal evolution. 5 life. or in personal trinity. as To this law a system of religious beliefs and dogmas. and the possession of a few favored men — gives conclusive proof of the fact that all f the religions of mankind have been the result of a plow and wide development under a law of evolu/tion that is universal in its range. Evolution is a process. the The dogma of the Whatever be the truth as to mode of the Divine Being. whether he really exists in personal unity. is Man mysteriously included in this great world system. "Christianity. forms no exception. is Every article of the the full flower of a long historitrinity is a con- spicuous example. and which to revolutionize theology is destined and philosophy in many points. Comparative religion — almost the youngest of the sciences. shedding new light as it does on the origin and wide prevalence of ideas and beliefs supposed to be unique. and so we must expect that the law of evolution wiU reveal itself in human history as well as in physical science. or is pluralized in aU the gods of heathen polytheism.PRELIMINARY SURVEY world. and hence it is that what is called the scientific and inductive method of study and investigation rian. and so long as there so long will its it work in a according to the divine laws of own nature ceaseless progress towards its highest ends. . the result of is life. is also the method of the true histo- This universal evolutionary finds special illustration law or principle in the history of the world's religions.

however. then moving on from a lower inchoate trinitarian stage to one higher and more complete. xhey reveal triaities of varied forms and developments in almost all the Ethnic religions. religions^ as together form- ing a siQgle chapter in the comparative history of This new scientific view of the historical relation and Christian trinities has been amply sustained and illustrated by the recent hisof the Ethnic torical discoveries in the field of the Ethnic reli- gions. go much farther. and a scientific and critical study of the trinitarian elements and an estimate of their relation to the Christian trinity had never been attempted. passing from unity to duality. that the Christian trinitarian dogma as set forth in the Nicene Creed was the slow growth of centuries. starting belief. until out of controversy and schism tt^^ full Nicene homoousian doctrine was reached. with the other trinities of the Ethnic and should be studied with them. but its real significance was not appreciated.6 it is THE ETHNIC TRINITIES a historical fact which caanot be gainsaid. That some of these religions contained divine triads had been a recognized isuct of long standing . / Thus the Christian dogma of the trinity as a historical evolution is to be classed religions. and from duality to truiity. Such trinities are found in the theogonies of the . from a and unfolding single new point of religious itself step by step through successive accretions of religious thought gathered from various historical sources. The new researches.

the Chaldaeans. the Phrygians. was supposed to be a part of that primeval revelation. the Greeks and Romans. brought about by and depravity which darkened the understanding and corrupted the will.PRELIMINARY SURVEY syrians. partic- ularly in the field of historical evolution. certainly a fact and a historical trinities should yield some fruitful study of these religious and theological lessons. Hawaiians. supernatural revelation of himself of his mode of existence to the first progeni- tors of the race. He was a true Jew. perversion of the original faith. That trinities should be so widely spread among is the different peoples and races of the world of great religious significance. or the doctrine of Polytheism was regarded as a one God. the Persians. and accepted the traditional Rabbinical theory of human sin the plenary inspiration of the Old Testament .X. Polynesians. the AsGaulish-Celts. the 7 Egyptians. Monotheism. the Teu- tonic-Scandinavians. the Hindoos. the Ameri- can tribes. Paul became the most influential expounder of it. This doctrine of the fall and original sinfulness of the race was based on the acceptance of the account in Genesis of the temptation of Adam and Eve by the serpent as historical truth. Such a study is is especially needful in view of the fact that Christian traditional theology founded upon assump- tions that are entirely at variance with the results of the new science of comparative religion. the Chinese. the Babylonians. These assumptions are centred in the idea that God made a and special.

" ancient to us. is a late development of human thought. with his polytheistic creation . of nature was a flight of reflective thought to which those unequal. when seen in its The writer of that sentence had true historical place in the long evolution of man's ideas of God. —a statement that seems so — is in we read it in the first chapter of reality modem. of nature was unperceived. so far from being the earliest doctrine of God. that sinful and fallen to retain men " did not like God But in their knowledge. The idea of a first cause behind aU the original activities only particular phenomena. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Hence his philosophy of heathenism. which have been so influential with later Christian theologians. It is a piece of Jewish convert. him into the Christian church. have no historical carried with basis. these views of Paul. first children of the race were utterly Polytheism was the natural and spon- taneous religion of the primeval world. MonoIt theism. involves a long process of analysis in the observation and synthesis experience and investigation of the external world. and behind the Hebrew thought Hebrew was his Chaldaean ancestor. namely. as Genesis. traditionalism which the Jewish Paul. behind him many centuries of oldest and faith." so that God gave them over to the delusions of polytheism and idolatry. In the beginnings of human man saw The unity The world was filled with separate causalities and agencies.8 Scriptures. The sentence. " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The trinitarian in to help. and sea with multitudinous divine beings. the idea of a first god among the three. Zeus among the Greeks. It . Then followed the tendency to among the various divinities of the Here the trinitarian vast polytheistic pantheon. and filled sky. was more easily accepted. air. namely. of the earliest I have spoken members of our race as children. like Brahma in the Hindoo trimurti.PRELIMINARY SURVEY myth left 9 on record for us. idea. The world's extreme o'er . But monotheism was not easily made congenial to the polytheistic mind. to read in nature the signs of order. came and unity. in the re- surrected clay tablets of Nineveh. With the development of the reflective and rational faculties man began law. Such indeed they were. find a headship became the superior gods. became a half-way house to another. Their gaze upon the outer world around them was like that of the rustic in Pollock's " Course of Time " who — " Thought the visual line that girt him round. Trinities and this step conception. earth. and remained the idea of the cultured and philosophic few." In that primeval time the imagination was the chief interpreter to man of nature and its powers. It was man's religious imagination that turned the sun into a god. That nightly him led her virgin host. fortunately. which so many analogies and indications of tripleness in nature and man had suggested. No broader than his father's shield. and Jupiter among the Komans. however. and thought the silver moon.

and have remained as the traditional abiding-place of Ethnic religions. was a theistic or pantheistic unitarianism reached. on the other.10 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and also It satisfied the sense of plurality. is seen to be most natural. — a form of doctrine which seems to me utterly self-destructive. So astute and accomplished a theologian as Henry B. met in a was at this in several trinitarian stage of polytheistic limitation that the Ethnic religions mostly stopped. while not uni-personal but tri-personal. Smith declares that the old Biblical and Platonic theistic doctrine of God as a uni-personal being for it is in fact a form of deism. namely. as they should be rather called in distinction from the popular religions that were based upon them. and a stark Jewish monotheism. that God exists as an absolute uni-personality. when we note how were led to use this easily Christian theologians device as a support of their trine. That such a trinitarian half-way house should have been erected between the most unrestricted polytheism and the most abstract unitarianism. degree the need of a higher unity. The trinitarian idea has a similar relation to the pantheistic philosophies which were developed . and he substitutes a trinitarian theism of his own. modern apologists have employed the same device. and is a strange theism indeed. of the Only Ethnic philosophies. own trinitarian doc- The Christian trinity was held up in early Christian apologies as the golden mean between a Even crude heathen polytheism. on the one hand.

is the of beliefs end of an ascending series concerning God. all All individual gods were single mere emanations from a monad. except as a tran- scendental background for the trinitarian stage to which it moved at once. with the tases.PRELIMINARY SURVEY out of the original polytheistic religions. and stiU more clearly trinities. rather than scientific evolution entific basis — — This logical it for had no sci- started but made no further use of from a speculative unity. cally considered. Brahma. rj eVf ^v\y. and which was made the real ttov o-tw or centre of the whole system. 11 These philosophies sought to bring the popular polythe- ism into harmonious relation with the metaphysical conception of a divine unity." New TO Platonic or Plotinian " three hypos6 vovs. ginning of a descending and that history inverts the traditional view. This is the case with the Hindoo trinity. This was accom- plished by an evolution theory according to which one primal being became the original cause of multiform existence. histori- We have thus seen that monotheism. Civa. Why it the triads should have had so prominent a place in this pantheistic theory is not very clear. Vishnu. — different modifications of one divine Being. rather than the beseries. it. since was only a single step in a descending series. I . Yet in fact the trinities of the pantheistic philosophies are the most definite and fixed of all the Ethnic and in them the line of division is sharply drawn between the gods who form these trinities and the other numerous gods who complete the evolution.

when viewed from the though ancient when looked from the standpoint of later historical times. This dogma has also been It traditionally held to be a part of the original revelation of God to the race.12 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES The same result is reached in that modification is of monotheism which found in the Christian dogma of the trinity. to the As grew about the person of Jesus though it obtained the materials from which it was formed from earlier Greek philosophical thought. to have taught the elements of was supposed to be Christ was believed it in his interpreta- tions of the Scriptures concerning himself. found in the Old Testament. in consequence whole. it contains the and radical reaction from the Ethnic polytheism to monotheism. The Ethnic trin- ities are a comparatively late development in the history of religious thought side of the remote past. is This idea likewise without historical foundation. The Christian trinity was historically a new development out of Jewish monotheism. to be remembered that the prehistoric ages It cover by far the longest period in the vast process at is of the life of the world. and its strong insistence on the doctrine of one God made the development of the trinitarian dogma impossible. All authentic history is but a modern chapter of the earth's annals as a history of a vigorous Old Testament. It is also to be noted that the Ethnic trinities as well as the Christian exhibit of the doctrine that Christ. . Au- gustine held that the first verses of Genesis con- tained a trinitarian reference.

belongs to the third century A. the most perfect trin- a speculative metaphysical theory that has ever been conceived. The The till Hindoo trimurti did not reach origin dates tinian ity as its final stage the fifth or sixth century of our era. D. . So the Christian trinity required four cen- turies for its complete development in the Nicene and pseudo-Athanasian creeds.PRELIMINARY SURVEY long and definite stages in their evolution. The PloPlatonic trinity. though its New from pre-Christian times. 13 most complete trinities are of late date.

Thus an investigation of the causes that led to their devel- opment must be conducted with such side lights as are afforded us from early man's religious nature and environment and from the forms into which The radical questhese trinities were moulded. and Ea) This is to the very beginning of history. tion is. book i on the Babyloit is nian religion and mythology. 1899." equally true of the Egyptian and the Hindoo trinities. or a triune god. Certainly there is vol. or a duo-une or quadrune god? 1 See Books on Egypt and Chaldea^ King. Their origin hid in the obscurity of the prehistoric ages.CHAPTER TRINITIES II SPECIAL CAUSES OF THE RISE OF THE ETHNIC From this preliminary survey the we pass to a closer investigation of historical origin and is character of the Ethnic trinities. triad of gods stated that " we can thus trace back the existence of this great (Anu. and the trinitarian feature is In the latest authoritative more or less fully developed. Bel. iv. rather than a duad or a quaternity of gods. by Budge and . why a trinity of gods. of the British Museum. the Ethnic religions first When his- appear under clear torical light they are already polytheistic.

Such were seven. and Bishop Westcott's avowal in his book on " The Symbolism of Numbers " is substantially of triads. Professor Rawlinson finds a quatemity of gods in some districts. also duplicates and in the Egyptian religion there are counted eleven triads. That certain numbers have peculiar sacredness was a very early tradition. ten. should three have become the sacred number of deity? The question might here be raised whether after all trinity was so eminent in the Ethnic religions. It is true that lati- the Ethnic polytheism allowed a considerable tude to its trinitarianism. triads whether in fact too much has not been made of the that have been found. " It is impossible to study any system of true worship throughout the world without being struck : with the peculiar persistence of the triple number in regard to Divinity. and as such especially held early races of among the appropriate to deity." Three. There were changes from one triad of gods to another. . was some- how mankind to be a peculiarly sacred number. Pythagoras. built his whole system as well as three. the most famous and venerated name in early Greek philosophy. then. then. It was an ancient idea that numbers had a deep and fundamental significance. A triangle no more remarkable as a geometrical figure than a square or a pentagon.THE RISE OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES nothing peculiar in the number tinguish is it 15 dis- three to from the other numerals. Why. But these exceptional cases only prove and emphasize the rule.

The peculiar sacredness of seven was emphasized in Hebrew tradition and especially recognized by the Mosaic laws." Virgil. seven mortal sins. sacraments. it " Since body has magnitude in has magnitude in all. But Plutarch tells us that "The Eomans were very careful in their curses to repeat them three three being with them a mystic numtimes. but was by no means limited to that people. three directions. ber. as having and body magnitude in one." There Ccelo. sings " God takes delight in odd numbers. Christianity ac- cepted the Old Testament idea. : hence three equals fect or is the complete or per- number. and all directions three directions. the middle. in one of his Eclogues." is a remarkable passage in Aristotle (" De 1) in which he distinguishes line. two. How far this explains the early sacredness attached to three cannot be known. in its seven It was a Py- thagorean idea that odd numbers are more pro- and this superstition has taken deep hold on men. pitious than even numbers. The elder Pliny " Odd numbers have more power than declares : even ones. plane. and the Koman it Cathohc Church has perpetuated etc. and the beginning have .: : 16 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES of the origin of the universe on numbers." The Eo- mans were very superstitious about unlucky even days of the months." He quotes the Pythagoreans to is the eifect that everything marked off by threes "The end. finding in them the first principles of order and beauty and law. — i.

except so far as may be drawn from the general principles of Platonism. There no trinitarian element in Aristotle's philoit sophy." Hence " Therefore. ' For we ' call the two. but plainly he started a line of speculative thought which would have logically led him to a trinitarian conception of is God himself.' ' both. we apply predicates of common term terms in the same manner. we also em- ploy this gods. ently acter of nature itself. were laws of the triad). It is is based on the principle of " the triad.' or ' ' the two. But plainly Aristotle must have nature been struck with the evidences which seemed to afford of a triadal character in the con- .' we first herself thus leads the way.' but But concerning use this expression (all). Aristotle does not pursue this point farther. we follow because nature them all. as we shall see farther on.." interesting to note how Aristotle connected the laws of nature with those of religion and the The rites of religion in his day had apparsome trinitarian features which he regarded as somehow connected with the trinitarian chargods. number (three) for the holy rites of the Moreover.' we do not style the three. a trinitarian principle lurks. as has been said. having received from nature it (^. THE RISE OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the 17 number : he adds as it of the whole and are a triad.^^ This curious passage plainly indicates that Aristotle found or thought he found the number three to contain a unique feature or principle of nature. and these forms of language. e. which he accepted where. The universe. he conceived.

whether theistically or pantheistiHis testimony. which expresses the law of mental processes. He held to the unity of God. but in a treatise of physics. therefore. which occurs. soul is Yet the way. consists of three parts the major premise. be made of this passage. should not stitution of things. The indications of a natural and divine constitution triple characterisin the which Aristotle discerned in the tics of external things may also be found hu- man soul and in its laws of thought and reasoning. antithesis. indeed. but they show that Aristotle's idea of a triad as a part of the constitution of nature and as somehow symbol- .18 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Too much. Augustine made use of such analogies drawn from the composite nature of the soul and in his its activities work on the a very Trinity. and the will are quite diverse. one. with a single self-consciousness. the logical reason works in a threefold AU thought in its development involves thesis. cannot be counted as in any sense a religious trinitarian. on the whole. is the more remarkable. Aristotle. These tripartite dis- tinctions which he finds in the scientific faculties of man are not of character. lect. So. not in a philosophical work. the minor premise. distin- Psychology finds a tripartite division clearly guishable in the soul. and synthesis. cally is not quite clear. also. The Aristotelian all logical : syllogism. The functions of the intel- the sensibilities. and helps us to understand how the ancient world should have singled out tTiree as a number of peculiar sacredness. and the conclusion.

as triime or tri-personal. and that such a personal that it is trinitarian of existence is essential to the full expression of the life of moral and The point to be noted is an argument for the dogma of the trinity God. One form of this argument is seen in the so-called " social trinity " recently set forth by Shedd. be assumed that a person must be put into social relations with some other person or persons in order to the exercise of self-consciousness. has been adopted by many later theo- logians. Self-consciousness.THE RISE OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES izing the divine existence 19 was a fertile thought. if not contradictory. and others. . This theory is simply another three- speculative effort to explain and defend the ness of God. drawn from the triune distinctions found in nature and in man. character of God. The position has been taken that in the very nature of things God must mode exist in trinity. — a view which It seems to seems to have a singular popularity. is A considerdevoted to able portion of Augustine's treatise God as existing in trinity man as having a trinity of faculties and and modes of thought and action. which is the condition of personality. does not require the actual existence of any individual non-ego in order to its activity. Fairbairn. The same line of defense of the mysterious. but it is psychologically unsound. and found reception the comparison of in other minds. and as before creation God was alone he must have had an interior triple personality as the basis of con- scious existence.

certainly. —a story so artfully told that historical has all the verisimilitude of a autobiography. keeps a diary of his long solitude. And must we regard the Divine personality as deficient in those qualities of persistent self-consciousness which are so plainly inherent in human persons ? . it moral instincts ? The simple suggestion of carries on its face its utter absurdity. Did it ever occur to any one that Crusoe was in danger of losing his mind or capacity of seK-conus sciousness during those twelve years of complete isolation ? Rather. and how he sighed and wept over his lonely lot. Man certainly is not a "social trinity. to life is What makes way the story so true the natural in which Robinson lives tells alone. in fact. was it necessary that his nature should be trinitarianized in order to the continued exercise of his social. the impression made by it the story. mystery of personality that the subject of self-conscious. in the realistic story of Foe. necessity. seems to have been very sociable with himself before Eve was When De created to be a helpmeet Robinson Crusoe. was cast on a desert island with- out human companionship." yet the first man Adam to him. and needs no trinity of persons in order to the exercise of his social nature. is has self-communion. were not his faculties of personality quickened into ity more vigorous activis by his lonely experience ? Such. God as a person a social unit.20 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES postulates its The Ego own subjective non-ego It is the it is by a psychological that is.

since natural analogies God as may take to fa- seem vor it. antithesis. logical. is a more concrete form trinity as init is of the metaphysical conception of volved in thesis. But whatever view be taken of such speculative arguments for a trinity in God. and a " social trinity " is is not tri-personal. but equally fallacious. antithesis. for God's self-consciousness uni-personal. from psychological. as is that of every moral being. The Pythagorean doctrine that is numafter- bers form the substance of things an . though it prestige of many distinguished advocates. there is no evidence that they ever arose in ancient times. or social analogies. it As an explanation of the divine tri-unity. Schaff confesses that the distinction of thesis. Dr. and synthesis. and synthesis gives only a Sabellian trinity. refer to these examples of later theorizing I on the question of the necessity of a trinity in showing how easily speculative thought this direction. They be- long to a highly reflective and philosophical age. the most illogical and fatuous.THE EISE OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Of all 21 the metaphysical or logical theories that effort to have originated in the make rational and comprehensible God. this to faith the traditional dogma has the is of the Christian trinity as three persons in one one of a social trinity. I am even inclined to doubt whether the Ethnic trinities owe their origin and growth in any way to such refinements of thought as are connected with attaching a sacred and mystical character to numbers.

Generation was equally the cause of the foundation of the All the early cosmogonies and cosmologies are built on this theory. thought of a quite fully developed The Etlinic trinities were a spontaneous evolu- tion of the mythopoeic imagination of uncivilized man. the god of water. namely.22 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES civilization. — these form the social trinity that lies behind all human made world. Ea. a son. Such is the picture given of the beginnings of social order in Genesis. and it accords with the latest results of histor- ical criticism. which are personified as male and female. mother. But this early interpreta- tion of things did not stop there. life and society. and Damkina. the Heaven and Earth of Hesiod. This feminine elements — the required the masculine two uniting to produce Father. in the Chaldaeo-Babylonian religion. son. or. and their real causes must be sought in other directions. rather than a product of the speculative reason. but also of all the gods of . for Two original principles — example. It is but a step further to introduce a triad of gods as the generative source not only of the world and man. as. Recent ily based anthropological investigations have brought out into foundation of full light the fact that \hQ fam- on the union of the sexes is the original human society. goddess of earth — unite to produce through successive generations the world. his wife. a third. The most conspicuous and potent principle of all life in the view of early man was and generation.




in fact this generative idea, with

its triad of Father, Mother,

and Son, gives us the

keynote of the Ethnic trinities. Professor Sayce, " The only in his " Hibbert Lectures," declares

genuine trinity that can be discovered in the
ligious faith of early Chaldsea


was that old Accadian system which conceived of a divine father and mother by the side of their son, the sun god " and he further adds " The keystone of Semitic belief was the generative character of the deity. A language which divided nouns into masculine and feminine found it difficult to conceive of a deity

which was not masculine and feminine
divine hierarchy was
family, at the head of which stood



necessarily regarded as

father Bel.'

The study
the same

of the other Ethnic religions discloses

With many

variations of


the generative triad

the principle that binds


these religions together

and gives us one key

to the

explanation of their trinitarian character.




the explanation of the origin of the term
so frequent a


of the first

and hightradiis

god in

the Ethnic religions.


tional idea that the fatherhood of


a part

of the


revelation of the Christian gospel
It pervades

a historical error.
lies at

the Ethnic


the foundations of the Ethnic

Homer's title of Zeus, " father of gods and men," was a part of the religious inheritance of the Aryan race; and behind the Hebrew Semitic belief in Jehovah as the creator and father of


earlier ChaldaBO-Babylonian faith

mankind was the

in " the sovereign father Ea."

Plato showed his

reUgious conservatism in calling the creator of the

world and man, in his " Timaeus," " the great father
of the gods."


Plotinus, pantheist as he was,

continually styles his
ther," paying so

hypostasis, to


" Fa-


of deference to tradition.

pray, "

Jesus of Nazareth taught his disciples to




art in heaven,"

he was

only following, though with new insight and clearer
apprehension, the well-nigh universal religious consciousness of the race.

The feminine

element, which was fundamental

in the generative theory, kept
tion in the Ethnic trinities.

place and func-



of a triad are usually

first and second husband and wife,

thus preparing the


for the son, or third per-


often becomes the chief object of faith
for a reason

and worship,

which wlQ soon appear.

The prominence

of the female goddess



In the Homeric
closely connected

Olympus, Here and Athene are

with Zeus in power and function.



So in the Juno and Minerva form with

In the Egyptian and Horus, Isis, the wife and mother, was the most popular member, and Isis temples and rites became the fashion at Rome in the Imperial times. Ashtaroth, whose name appears in the Old Testament, was, under the name of Istar, a member of the Babylonian triad, and
Jupiter the
Capitoline triad.
trinity of Osiris, Isis,

had a Chaldsean



It is to
is less




that the feminine element

prominent in later

and in the


and most


developed examples, namely, the Hindoo and Plotinian, it quite disappears,

and a masculine memof wife of the

But while the aspects its place. and mother faded out of view in many
ber takes



the aspect of son, as the third


of the triad, grew continually in imporsupplanting often and conspicuousness, in popular favor and worthe first god or father Thus Marduk, the great god of the Babyship.

lonians, is


Among his

a god-son of " the sovereign father titles are " first-born son," " only-

begotten," " holy son."


naturalistic character of the Ethnic trini-

here comes into distinct view.




most remarkable, and widespread forms
that of the sun or sun-god.


human worship was

Traces of

are found in almost every



and Never was

popularity grew from age to age.
greater than in the latest Graeco-



Constantine, before his conversion

to Christianity,

was a devoted worshiper of He-

or Apollo, the sun-god, and Julian his nephew,

the last pagan emperor,
centre of his

made sun worship



Platonic religion.

Thus, in

the Greek world Father Zeus had given place in

popular belief to his son, the sun-god Apollo.

The same was

true in the Egyptian world, where

sun-god Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris,



became the popular

It is interesting to


easily the third


of the Ethnic

became metamorphosed into the The Babylonian Marduk was the sunsun-god. god, like the Greek Apollo and the Egyptian Horus, and thus the deep hold of sun worship on men was transferred to the son of the generative triad and increased his greatness and power. So that it may be said that when Christianity began to spread in the world, its most powerful competitor and rival was that member of the Ethnic triads which represented the product of the generative principle and which also represented the
latest relic of the

primeval nature worship, the

sun-god, the god of light, heat,
to the world.

and blessing




another distinct line of causation
part in the Ethnic trinitarian deearliest religious attitude of

that played





toward the powers of nature, which they mythologized into supernatural divine beings, was one of



But how could they reach

the ears of the sovereign Father of the gods,

of a

dwelt in the highest heavens?

The need

mediating and intercessory being between

and God



point which Plato

so central

in his dualistic philosophy,

and which was borrowed from Platonism and developed more fully by Philo, Paul, the author of the Fourth Gospel, and finally has been echoed by Plotinus in New Platonism





from the beginning of time.

effort to explain


Ancient philosophy was largely employed in the


the deity


related to the

world and man, and how the bridge between them

can be crossed, and a basis be established for hu-


prayer and worship and communion.


mediation doctrine, which has so deeply affected
later thought,

was anticipated in the Ethnic triniHere came in the special function of the

son, the third


of the triad, or second


ber, as

he sometimes became.

Merodach, the Baby-

lonian sun-god, " the son of Ea, the first-born of



was " intercessor between god and

man," " interpreter of the will of his father Ea," " the redeemer." So Agni, one of the most remarkable and popular of the ancient deities of

— himself

triune, also a


namely, Dyaus,




of a trin-

son of
as "the


described in the Vedic


best friend of
off," as "

man among

the gods," as " not far

house priest and friend," " chief

cial priest,"



link between earth

and heaven," " man's guest."
it is

In a








he bring the gods here to us."



a father to his son be easy of access to us."


was these mediating

who were brought
closer relations


their functions into nearer


with man, that became the great objects of popular
veneration and worship.
It is to

be noticed in this connection that the
itself requires

mediative idea by

but two divine

beings, not a trinity.

But even the mediating god,


so distant as to

the son of the father, might easily be regarded as




need another mediating being some further measure, the void. It was
Platonism introduced the doctrine of

thus that

subordinate gods or daemons to
stage between

the middle

So we find in one of the Babylonian trinities Merodach raised to the second place in the triad, and a second mediator introduced as the third member. This helps us to understand the later growth and greater indefiniteness of development of the third
several Ethnic trinities.

God and man.



The same

fact occurs in

the history of the Christian trinity, and will be
noticed later.

we compare

the generative idea with that of

mediation as causes producing the Ethnic

both are found united in
very early in their history.


of them,
fact, the

and that

two ideas run naturally together and form parts of one general view. Sonship and mediatorship are closely


can so well represent the father


our race as his

own son?

Christianity laid

hold of this natural

affiliation in its doctrine that

God sent his only begotten Son into the world to be his messenger of love and mercy and to be a mediator between him and his human creatures.
to the production of the Ethnic trinities

In considering the causes that have contributed we might

stop at this point, for

we think

the two great

causes have been brought to light.

Generation as

the original force in the formation of the world

of gods


and men, and mediatorship as the great principle by which aU moral beings are brought into relations of amity and fellowship with God,

these afford a satisfactory historical explanation





and we need look no


But the survey

not quite complete

without considering a point or two more.


have seen that in the Ethnic religions there was a In historical evolution from multiplicity to unity.

movement the Ethnic trinities were a sort of it was natural that some of them should stop there, while others moved on to It may be dualism, and others still to monism.
half-way house, and

even said of several Ethnic religions that they are
trinitarian, dualistic,



This is especially true of the Persian Zoroastrianism, one of the purest and noblest of
ticipating in







doctrines those of Chris-

The Ethnic


were also a natural




counter-evolution from

unity to multiplicity, which was an outgrowth of

thought, and





dooism and Plotinian



to the tri-

from unity in Brahm, proceeds

murti, Brahma, Vishnu, and Civa, and thence on

down through the whole pantheon

of divine beings

man and


lowest forms of existence.




his starting-point

a pure abstrac-

tion, TO €v (the one), out of

which he drew his
all things.

"three hypostases," which became the fountain-

head of an evolution that embraced



a curious fact that the most recent
effort of

Christian trinitarian theologians to set forth the
triple nature of

the speculative reason in

God, as most completely satisfying its efforts to harmonize

the conflicting categories of unity and multiplicity,
or of sameness and difference,
precisely that

which marks the philosophic trinitarianism of the

Surely speculative philosophies

in their attempts to solve the mysteries of the uni-

verse often find themselves in strange company,

and the moral



some mysteries which must

be accepted as facts can never be

It is the old. story, so continually reits

hearsed, of the captive bird uselessly chafing

wings against the network of the cage that holds

with a relentless grasp.

The common pantheall


tendency that lurks in

these vain attempts

strikingly apparent.

after a summary general statement. such as is proposed. I shall give a of several of the Ethnic trinities that were more minute account more present interesting highly developed. but it is completely overthrown by the . to any adequate comparison of the Ethnic trinities with the Christian trinitarian dogma. thing more than a cursory survey. and that points of comparison to the Christian trinity. A comparative examination of ties reveals the Ethnic trini- and form and development. however. that this part of the subject should be carefuUy examined.CHAPTER in GENEEAL CHAKACTER AND RELATIONS OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES We pass now from the causes that united to develop the Ethnic trinities to a more direct consideration of their interior characteristics. That there was such a common root in the form of a points of clear resemblance also considerable variety of many primitive revelation to the first parents of the race has been the traditional view of Christian theologians . The resemblances suggest the question whether they do not all spring from a common root. The facts at the basis of such a consideration cover so vast a field that it is impossible to attempt anyIt is essential. and.

men were and essentially Gradually populating spreading over the vast wilds of the earth. Meanwhile diverse languages. indicate diverse and independent origins. grew up everywhere. resist- ing all intrusions from without. Africa. customs. Such a thing as a general widespread social order was utterly unknown. which are quite radical and appear in the earliest historical times. and philoso- by the plainest historical facts. and the There is only one rational islands of the Pacific. At first sight it seems strange that so many . in Asia. SmaU tribes lived in isolation or in frequent war. Europe. for they are found at the same time in all parts of the world. ecclesiastical. is contradicted Such unity is the still far-off goal of human civilization and progress. until the nomadic state gave place to the agricultural and stationary. The old unscientific theory of an original unity of the race. To had their earliest beginthem by intercommunication and borrowing of religious ideas is impossible. way the to account for them. still a political. The pre-Adamite. life It was in such a condition of religions human explain that the different Ethnic and trinities nings. differences. They are the result of common religious instincts and needs of human nature. pre-historical savages. they roved in small clans whither they would.32 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES The very- whole trend of historical investigation. traditions. cestral abode. with a single an- and religion. language. ideas. modes of social and political life. not a fact of man's beginnings. America. — phical ideal.

of idolatrous worship. and. The Ethnic ates trinities are simply developments of such religious impulses and cravings. aspirations. Man cre- God in his own image. are a natural and spontaneous are not peculiar outgrowth of the common conditions and yearnings of man's religious nature. and he builds a theogony of deity in which Fatherhood and Motherhood and Sonship play their parts. the living God. to They any one people or God. dwelling in sun. sacredness. of a universal character. condi- These causes deal mainly with tions. customs.RELATIONS OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES spontaneously already their 33 independent trinitarian religions should have arisen among men. of calendars of holy and secular days. class of peoples. and stars. moon. facts. The same true of a doctrine of The religious instincts of man cry out for " God. some conception of God has taken shape iQ some form of religious faith and worship. even among the most degraded tribes. He looks upon God as far distant in the heavens. fearing his . All these ideas. and especially of a seventh day of peculiar rites. ligions of the In truth. the prevalence of divine triads in the reworld is to be explained in the same general way as the wide prevalence of sacrificial cults. He sees the genera- tive force operative in all nature. of rites such as cir- cumcision and baptism. laws. but are the is common inheritance of the race. institutions." and every- where throughout the world. But of the study we have made the causes that worked toward formation goes far to solve the mystery. needs.

"La Religion des Gaulois. and Egyptians. Babylonians. for inthat stance. triads of ^ods were a common and notable feature of their It is. philosophically cultured peoples of the ancient trinities are world that the most highly developed found. The French archaeologist. He the sees or fancies he sees a triple character or principle at work in the world. among the three most theogonies. as. A. of them it is loosely and hesitatingly set forth. and the . But while common religious instincts and wants produced a common trinitarianism among numerous separated tribes and nations. in the tricephalous or three-faced heads of divinities found on altars and vases. Bertrand.34 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES his power. This in others much more rigidly and definitely. the Persians. but such ideas assumed the crudest and most iUusive shapes. however. usually depends upon the degree of intellectual and philosophical advancement of the people. namely." proves beyond question from archaeological discoveries the existence of triads and trinitarian ideas among the Gauls. among the more highly civilized Chaldaeans. he builds a triad in whicli a son-mediator may be a daysman between him and Maker. in his recent most instructive work. there are wide divergences among them in the strictness and comIn some pleteness of the trinitarian development. On the other hand. the Hindoos. Assyrians. and so he invests number three with a peculiar sacredness and reduces his divine pantheon to a trinity of beings somehow represents or includes the whole.

trinitarian cults. The fam- or generative idea that was so fundamental to . and the Babylonian trinity in turn is amended by the Assyrians. offices of the three members of the The earlier Accadian trinity becomes reorganized among the Babylonians. reminding one of the subtle theological speculations of the Nicene age on which were built the wonderful metaphysical superstructure of the homoousian trinity. invaded or significance extended. another at Thebes. ily and even a further triplicity. Akin to this class of facts is the noticeable ease re- with which the Ethnic trinities are modified or adjusted to meet new circumstances or influences. 35 The Zoroastrian. the case in Egypt especially. another at Abydos. that there should be triple combinations of triads. at least so far as cerned. Egypt had numerous local The names and triad are subject to change. where the trinitarian element was wholly subject to the universal polytheism. names and functions were conThe number three itself was sometimes its In some Egyptian localities a fourth god was added.RELATIONS OF THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Greeks. There was one triad at its local triad. the Brahmanistic. though It was also usually of a subordinate character. while still preserving their trinitarian character. and New Platonic trinities are not only quite fully de- veloped along the line of the trinitarian evolution. Memin phis. but form component parts of highly elaborated philosophical systems. and almost every district had Even the same locality a triad had a fluxive character.

. As we have triad of gods is a natural stage in or monotheistic evolution. and wives were common in many Ethnic the number. that. the idea of a trinity should have form of relihad such prominence or persistency. Each of the gods in the Babylonian triad had his wife.36 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES all almost the Ethnic trinities also tended to give elasticity to the triads. It helps one to realize how deep must have been the ancient world and of made on by those phenomena of nature man that led them to place generation and the impression mediatorship at the very basis of their religious ideas of God and of his relations with themselves. thus in a sense it is duplicating though doubtful whether the wives were thought of as separate from These peculiarities of the their male companions. common polytheism that underlies them though this polytheistic feature is less obtrusive in some cases than in others. Ethnic the trinities are of course to be explained by all. a any polytheistic is remarkable is any thoroughly polytheistic gion. in What seen. trinities.

which finally in later completely over the earlier polytheism. Thus the earlier sky gods give way to the atmospheric gods. who bethe whole Hindoo poly- triune god. The earliest worship made the sky gods most prominent. since they were supposed to be in closer relations with men. atmosphere. namely. This chapter will be de- voted to the Hindoo. and the Greek. Hindoo philosophy triumphs Of Agni . the gods of the sky. and of the earth. the Zoroastrian. typical of earth. but the tendency was towards the prominence of the lower divinities. The Hindoo religion appears in the Vedas in full polytheistic form. of the lower atmosphere. —a Varuna is supplanted by Agni." in turn comes the central deity of pantheon. Here already the pantheistic strain begins to appear. as a deification of the phe- nomena and powers of nature. and Indra theistic ity. by Indra. the Hindoo. " the first trial- comprehending in himself the threefold unity. and heaven.CHAPTER IV THE HINDOO BEAHMANIC TRINITY From this general survey I pass to a particular description of the three great representatives of the Ethnic trinities. and they in turn to the earth gods. There were three classes of divinities.

which may be called the Vedic trinity. and Civa. that invests him with the mediatorial functions of which I have already spoken. thrice led about the sacrifice given Meanwhile the trinitarian idea is emerging already in the Vedic period. his places of sojourn. thrice a day. fluctuating. the third member Vedic priest trinity. concerning is the Christian " Threefold my light. This feature of Hindooism is the historical pre- cursor of a similar development in the history of the Christian trinitarian dogma. until to the practical substitution of the third for the first member and of the and second in the popular faith worship. and Agni. including also the higher orders of divinities. Vishnu. in the names of the triad as the tendency and worship passes from the it takes a more pronounced shape in Dyaus." however. his births. Indra. " in Mm are all the gods. three are his tongues. This triune feature of Agni expressions is described in language that reminds one forcibly of modern is Sabellian trinity. where the earlier subordination element in the case of the second and third persons is at length wholly obliterated by ." " He aU threefold." It is this peculiar character of earth god. This Vedic trinity illustrates the tendency from the primitive subordination of the lower deities to their equality with the higher and of popular thought higher to the lower gods. and highand mediator and guest and friend of man.38 it THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is said. as compared with the later Brahmanic trinity of Brahma. who is creator of the world. It is Agni.

of the most remarkable movements in the world's religious history. or earnest seeker after personal salvation. but . It is at this point that the idea of the God-Father rises into notice. " the enlightened. Philosophically he was an Buddhism as a religion became atheistic.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY 39 Augustine and the Western Churcli. ment which is to be noted in the triune character of Agni grows more and more pronounced in later Vedic times. The similarity between the teachings of Buddha and agnostic. which prepares the way for the com- plete pantheism of the Brahmanic period. that he was not a dogmatist but a moral teacher." as he came to be called. but whose figurative or allegorical method of interpretation reduces it all to the honored with the lips. in a way that is suggestive of Platonism. Gautama sought by purity and love. While it Brahmanism sought the heavenly life through knowledge or asceticism. baldest pantheism. Buddhism. and a com- The pantheistic eleplete equality is established. The language of the priests and philosophers reminds us of the Stoic writers by still whom the old gods are and the polytheistic language is retained. There is a tendency to a unification of divinities. Gautama or Buddha. acknowledging neither god nor personal immortality. He opened a new " way " to heaven. Gautama resembled Jesus in this. — one stage in the evolution of Hindooism is was not a radical reformer of the Vedic but a saint. faith. especially in its New Platonic The next form.

lection of the reputed sayings of of the canoni- which contains a colBuddha." as realistic as the Sermon on the Mount or the parable of the sower. or ceremonies. has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back. declaring against all castes or priesthoods or aristocracy of know- ledge. Let me give a few selections from Buddha's sayings in illustration " All that : we are is the result of what we have thought." . and it breathes a spirit of religion "pure and undefiled.40 those of THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Christ is certainly striking. was " within. How impossible to say. How strange in an age when the : religion of the many was so radically different of the few to hear such words as these from that " I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine." him like a shadow that never leaves " Hatred does not cease by hatred at any : time ." full of If one would realize how spirit. in whole tenor and him read the Dhammapada. but of inward character. happiness follows him. hatred ceases by love this is an old rule. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought." Righteousness was not a it matter of outward works. Avander. for in respect of truth. He pro- claimed a free gospel for aU men. one cal books of the Buddhists. like Christ's. The " kingdom of God " for Buddha. let reminders Buddha's teaching was of the its sayings of Christ. authentic this collection is it is but certainly was believed to be such by Buddhists of a later generation. your master.

" Surely. then only can he instruct others. not be surprised jar. ourselves are easy to do what is beneficial and good. the salvation." give steps overcome anger by love . do not yield to anger. out of compassion for the world. for joy to many people." goodness. let him overcome evil by " Speak the truth. Buddha has come were sayings said." is of men is he who has eyes to see. to happiness. the wise if find who hear the truth. and by these three " The best " thou wilt go near the gods. these pas- sages were incorporated bodily in Christ's Sermon rather shall on the Mount. the joy of gods and men. let " He who is permeated by him turn deep to the land of peace." rock man establish himself in the good. wise people falter " First of all let a not amidst blame and praise. The earliest accounts or logia placed in a historical setting of narrative to explain the occasion of what was very much as the Memorabilia of Socrates by Xeno- . that is difficult to do." No down authentic biography of to us.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY " If a 41 man conquer himself he is the greatest of conquerors." like that of the sea." " Let a man good. if thou art asked for little. We now to find that all a gospel that was for Buddha taught mankind." "Bad very deeds and deeds hurtful to . " A rest calm and clear." As a solid not shaken by the wind. for the blessing. " The Exalted One appears in the world for salvation. there would be no moral a complete rhythmic spiritual harmony. where transientness finds an end.

these legends is One of the most remarkable of by form of the tradition was that Buddha. later lives. before setting out on his that of Buddha's temptation Mara the Evil One. Such legendary accounts began to gather around the not many years after his death.42 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES gospels. pantheon This brings . His birth was also deity. or the Synoptic The which bear so close a likeness in many ways to the gospel accounts of Christ. are wholly legendary. but its divine as well as sort of exile from leaven remained. incarnating himself made miraculous. fasted for twenty-eight days. Buddhism finally became a India. the notion of an influence exerted by Buddhist traditions on Christian cannot be entertained. The temptation was a later addition." Neither can the opposite idea of a coun- ter influence be considered . phon were constructed. and later trinitarian its Hindooism introduced Buddha into as one of the incarnations of Vishnu. The earliest public career. became deified and finally life of Buddha Buddha himseK was made the supreme from time to time in one and another human being. for the Buddhist tra- dition is certainly the earlier. Oldenberg well " It seems scarcely necessary says on this point : to observe that in both cases the same obvious motives have given rise to the corresponding narrative. in the gospels of Christ's fasting Of course the marvelous similarity of the account to that given and temptation by the devil strikes every reader. involving a human element.

Civa. in which the distinctly personal character of the members of the trinity is emphasized." "the productive cause of the entire universe. while the old Vedic creations of divinities Brahma. The earlier epical definition of deity as " one form. In this epic the pantheistic character of the trinity is clearly visible.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY ism. ." Everywhere the real identity of the three gods is implied. Vishnu. the middle. the hero of the epic. Vishnu. gives us the intermediate stage between pletely developed Brahmanism and the more comHindooism of There or later times. deity. who is represented as an in- carnation of Vishnu. absolute god of pantheistic Brahmanism. Krishna. were retained as forms or The Maha-bharata. The Hindoo trimurti grew out of the Brahmanic pantheism. Brahma. which was itself based on Vedic Brahma became the polytheism with its triads. and Civa. declares himself to be " the supreme being. and the end of beings. and also its destroyer. but he appears in three personal manifestations. namely. Brahma is one absolute form of Brahm. this strongly pantheistic reaction was followed by an evolution towards a more systematized trinitarianism." " the beginning." thus identifying himself with Brahma and Civa as well as with Vishnu. one of the two great Indian epics. three gods. having no beginning. " one form. the great sectarian trinity of 43 us to the last stage of the development of Hindoo- Brahma. and But uniting in himseK the functions of aU three.

44 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is three gods " inverted into " three gods. it reli- able as we study was a direct historical development of is Vedic gious thought. not a theistic unity. First. thus representing a stage in this respect differfrom multiplicity to unity ing from the Christian trinitarian evolution. its Several points are noticeinternal character. and rooted in polytheistic." iarity of the sectarian orthodoxy of later Hindoodifferent sects could unite. The question among the sects came to be which person of the three is the true Brahma. — each Under cover of it calling itself trinitarian. and not in monotheistic ideas. within the limits . This is the peculform. which moved from unity to multiplicity. but claiming that the trinity of Vishnu. the Hin- doo trimurti represents a movement on philosophical lines towards a pantheistic. mono- It is impossible. Secondly. or of the Brahmanical books. ism. pantheistic trinitarianism " was eventually repre- sented under the symbol of a body with three heads " a mode of setting forth triunity which — was anticipated by the Celtic Gauls in their crude altars and tombs called tricephales. one Such is the fully developed Hindoo trimurtL But it must not be supposed that the sectarian trinity of later Puranic Hindooism is any less pantheistic in fact than the older trinity of the Epic. and Brahma was This really contained in one or other of the three. Such in brief is the history of the evolution of the Hmdoo trimurti. Civa. and agreeing — with all the Ethnic trinities.

The Hindoo tarian aspects of nature. one of the oldest Vedic sun gods. but as created and dependent. things. who was raised to a higher rank as the second person of the triad. the Creator. Originally these three gods were not regarded as forming three absolute independent Beings. As the Vedic religion starts with physical phenomena and its gods are personifications of natural forces. To Brahma. under the form of fire god. 45 of this survey. was added Vishnu. This principle of imity became a subject of philosophic study. preservation. de- struction and reproduction. as the destroyer and regenerator. also an ancient divinity. the masculine of existence. the preserver. impersonal form of deity subsequently became Brahm. so the Hindoo philosophical AU trinity followed the same materialistic lines. while on an equality with each other. to follow all the successive stages The old Vedic triads gradually gave way to new ones. and formed the First Person of the Hindoo trinBrahma was the Creator and Father of all ity. and to a more complete poljrtheism. the Then Civa. generation or creation. and these forces are in triad laid hold of these trini- constant operation through succession and interaction. and in pletely pantheistic form. Rudra.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY of development. Brahmanism took a comBrahm was at first the This term for mere eternal absolute existence. became the third person. being com- . phenomena involve three laws or conditions of personalized in Brahma. with a dim background of monotheism.

lution of the Christian trinitarianism.46 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES emanations from the Absolute One. the relations of the three triad were changed. As more complete trinitarian form became de- veloped. theism is complete. who originally was first in rank and authority. unless treated as a rival of Vishnu. thus polytheistic in- mon dicating their background. while Brahma. and Civa ceased to be equal gods or forms of one god. Vishnu. Civa is second. a process which we shall see again and — again occurring in the history of the Ethnic trini- and which forms a curious chapter in the evoIn the final stage of Hindoo trinitarian development its panties. In the Purana period Vishnu is the highest and supreme god. true of Civa for the Civaite. Hindoo trinitarianism becomes sec- and it is such a sectarian trinity within whose pantheistic folds the two great Hindoo sects have managed to live together down to the present day. In other words. falls to the third place. though the pantheistic element still ruled it and merged the lying pantheism of three together in one this common divine existence. and became a trinity in co-relation and subordination. the absolute god. members of the and also the order of subordination. is The same tarian. . Brahma. But as the evolution moved on the relation of the three became more pronounced and close. and the other two the triad For the Vishnuite Vishnu is members of are merely forms or names of Vishnu. The underaU Indian philosophy became the uniting element in the new Hindoo triad.

THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY the evolution of the 47 But. in the Odyssey. brute. in the descent of the gods to companionship with men. But the Vishnu-Krishna incarnation doctrine has one was not a temporary manifestation of a god to men in a human form. the god-man. who was born. fundamental element of aU mythologies. Gods are continually appearing as human beings. Hebrew thought shows traces in the Old Testament of the same anthropomorphizing tendency. The theory of transmigration which is so embedded in Indian thought has a clear affinity a with that of incarnation. and died like other men. as. or even for the time personating some actual man or woman. as they are to-day. There was nothing extraordinary to the Indian thinker any more than to the Greek. were not sharply drawn in those early unscientific times. Athene assumed the form of Mentor. between the natural and the supernatural. Abra- ham is represented as entertaining divine beings. the most remarkable chapter in Hindoo trimurti is the in- carnation of Vishnu in the form of Krishna. and lived. thirdly. the The lines between the human. assuming the form of man or woman. and the divine worlds. not The idea of a divine incarnation was It is a new in Indian thought. and went with Telemachus as his companion to the court of Nestor. It was a permanent incarnation of the Absolute Deity in a It divine man. as who appeared peculiarity. and in the assumption of human guise. These incarnations of Vishnu were . men and ate at his table.

or " Great Epic.48 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES human needs. is not borrowed from Some Christian scholars have . then do I create myself. : O Arjuna. and irresistibly force on the Christian historical student the question whether the Hindoo Vishnu- Krishna incarnation doctrine Christianity itself." which is included iu the " Great Epic. knoweth of creatures. be gracious unto me. " I bow to thee." These passages surely remind one of the Christian doctrine. and finally as any other mortal. after hav- ing been allowed a vision of Vishnu in his divine glory. though I still." And Arjuna replying. Bhagavat-Gita." after age^ represents Krishna as " born of a woman. Yet in the " Divine Song." Krishna again and again speaks in the life person of Vishnu. or " Divine Song. describing himself as the " Su- preme Being. I take birth by my own powers of illusion. the For righteous^ for the destruction of evil-doers^ of the for sake of establishing piety." living an active human suffering death like among men. but thou hast not known them. Whensoever the 'protection loss of piety occurreth and the rise of wickedness. chief of O the gods ." to his friend Arjuna " Many births of mine have passed away. I desire to know thee that art the primeval one. of essence that am the lord relying on my own nature. but indeed repeated according to each incarnation was a true birth into a true hu- man Krishna thus describes it in the nature. addresses him. I am horn age The Maha-bharata. Though I am unborn and no deterioration.

like Old Testament as it now appears in Jewish literature. history.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY held to this view. are the The Indian sacred books not exceptional. Whether it contains any real historical matit is ter is doubtful. These traditions extend back into the origins of Indian history. all Interpolation ancient and mediaeval This is especially true of the so-called sacred books of the world. What may Epic " as be called the first edition of the " Great a written work tinued to be may be to it dated certainly as early as the third or fourth century B. philosophy. mainly a com- pendium of legendary traditions. legend. but all 49 recent investigations have tended more and more strongly to the opposite side. c. The " Great Epic " is. or make addiof new inter- pretation of the old. the New Some of these are drawn from Testament gospels. and to my mind there can be no historical fact. the stronger the temptation to tions in the form of new matter. and others are copies . the result of many recensions involving growth and enlargement. doubt as to the main lines of has played a part in literature. gathered around the golden age of Hindoo tradition. The more sacred the writing. and these bor- rowings can be easily discovered by plain marks of internal evidence. Of course there were opportunities for later borrowings from the growing Christian traditions . but additions con- made down to the Christian era. It is a vast compound of myth. and afterwards on to the sixth century. and poetry. Like Homer. and are filled with the true Indian spirit.

In other words. differences between it and the Christian dogma. just as surely pre-Christian substance of the Vishnu-Krishna incarnation and of native Indian Hindoo Triad itself. On its divine supernatural side the Krishna doctrine quite agrees with the Christian. and has no element of historical fact to bring relation with actual it into closer human life. whether Ethnic or Chris- tian. It bears the The clear marks of Hindoo genius and thought. which are radical and essential. the Christian it doctrine of the divine incarnation. One general point of difan independent origin as the — — ference may be properly mentioned here. whereas the Indian doctrine whoUy a growth of Indian speculative thought. a matter that wiU be dealt with clearly indicate more fully in a later chapter. while Krishna was a purely mythical being. but it utterly fails on the human side. Jesus of Nazareth. Thus these two . The most notable and fundamental ence between the divine incarnation of Krishna and that of Jesus consists in the fact that Jesus was a real man with a veritable human life. origin. as in the early church. though startling at first sight.60 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES But the nucleus and is in spirit if not in the exact letter of the legendary' apocryphal lives of Christ. as all other like compared with differ- dogmas. namely. since it has to do with the radical character of the Hindoo trinitarian incarnation doctrine. had its starting-point was evolved and is centre in a historical personage. while the resemblances are more superficial.

" etc. into a god and wortradition Then followed the . and be taken. others. and was afterwards divinized shiped. this case "A Critical History. duces deity to humanity. KJrishna is an illustration of the first class. the Avestan scholar. a real man was God In and then a docto account for trine of incarnation was developed in the flesh if the presence of among men. AU purely mythological incarnations are of this class. Zoroaster class would belong to the same Krishna. plainly best accords Avestan texts. that naturally with the most ancient of Zoroaster is be regarded as a Persian sage and prophet. starts with a real the rank of deity. The view which to same Mills. divinized. and by an incarnation re(2) the class which human being and raises him to and then accounts for his human Vishnu- nature by an incarnation of his deity. but a mythological creation who became this incarnate in the Persian theology. — the the view of West.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY different 51 modes of conception illustrate the two general classes of incarnation theory into which all such theories may be divided: (1) the class which starts with deity. with Vishnu- The second class is represented by the Christ of Christian orthodoxy. — namely. Zoroaster was not a real historical man who was afterwards divinized by his later disciples. If were true. who appeared as a reformer and founded a new religion. is true of Zoroaster. the result of a historical evolution. which has been unfolded in my previous volume. According to Darmesteter.

of whom the historical Gautama. ator. life To the same class religion. and name a All incarnation theories are based on the mediation principle. in Platonic philosophy. for example. of Gautama so that into a myth have became Ideal- ized as that life in the it is difficult to separate fact growth of tradition. from legend. critical the outlines of a true historical person stand out too distinctly to give any foothold for The historical Buddha was a real man with a human biography. and ple in fact it Ethnic the religions. " the enlightened one. as I have already skepticism. was one." or Buddha. mediation doctrine never reached any theory of . belongs Buddlia in the later Buddhist All efforts to turn the signally failed. using the and gave to the Logos the name of mediword /xco-rny? which afterwards went But the Greek into the Christian vocabulary.62 of THE ETHNIC TRINITIES his miraculous birth and divine incarnation. Philo developed out of Plato his Logos doctrine. described his life it . but a fuU mediation trinitarian doctrine does not necessarily involve the incarnation of a god into humanity. as. was not included in most even where the mediation of the princi- was quite fully developed. Plato introduced the mediation element into his dualistic transcendentalism. A clear distinction should be drawn here between all incarnation theories and those mediation ideas which we have found so characteristic of the various Ethnic trinities. but after ages developed series of divine around Buddhas or incarnations of deity.

as he would have termed it. enter- ing is life and leaving in a true human way. refused to borrow such a material- istic doctrine. and it is this fact that gives the and introduced no element either system was completely Vishnu-Krishna doctrine such significance in the history of the Ethnic trinities. This It the simple meaning of the Krishna myth.? Philo always remained supernatural divine beings. that human moral necessities and cravings for a moral salvation were aU met and satisfied in a divine movement of God towards his creatures which involved. from mythology In this respect Christianity and Hinor history. was the last and highest word of Indian religious philosophy on the mystery of the moral relation between God and man. so that they could see him somehow as he is. It taught that the Absolute Deity was in closest intimacy with humanity. and . 53 of The Sot/xwi/ of Plato and the /Aco-trr. carried out to completest Divine condescension could go no further than to lead a god to enter the to live a real human condition and human life it from birth to death. in the interest of its human limit. Even Plotinus Christianity. dooism including Buddhism stand apart from all other religions. This doctrine is essentially the principle of a divine mediatorship acting between God and men. a real incarnation of God in the flesh. when the situation demanded. from His profoundly trinitarian mediation idealistic and speculative.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY incarnation. well-being. bringing him into the closest possible nearness to the objects of his love.

The Vedas were written before Homer sang. single passage from the " Divine Song " well illustrates A the spirit of Hindooism in its purest form. is for thy bene- come to me as the sole refuge I will deliver thee from all sins. and have been repeated again and again in the history of religion. as we shall see. Exceedingly dear art thou to me. perhaps. Even Greek philosophy seems superficial and crude when put into close critical comparison with the philosophy of India. and also the clear indication that the Indian civilization and literature are much the older of the two. Nor is it so wonderful that this lofty speculation should have been reached by Indian sages. and the Brahman pliilosophers discussed the nature It . Krishna thus discloses to his friend Arjuna the ef&cacy of faith in himself : " Fix thy heart on me alone. . No historical people in the world. But. place thy understanding on me. They are the deep spiritual utterances of a common humanity. such sentiments are not peculiar to the " Divine Song " or the Fourth Gospel.64 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES believe on him to the saving of the soul. must be remembered that recent philological science has discovered the clear bond of tribal and linguistic relationship between India and Greece. Forsaking all religious duties. Hereafter then shalt thou dwell in me. therefore I wiU declare what fit. when we realize the conditions under which they wrought. can be compared with the Hindoos in the region of abstract religious thought." How strongly like this is to the Fourth Gospel I need not say.

that a redemptive incarnation theory should have arisen in Indian theology. From what has been said it is plain that the Tnediation idea rules above all others in the Hin- doo trinitarianism. to Plotinus Not till we come in Greek thought do we find and the later New Platonists a development of philosophical speculation that in metaphysical acuteness and profundity rivals the sectarian schools of the Hindoo trinitarianism. Buddha. Their literature illustrates There no his- tory or science therein in the all modem sense. and culminates in the divine incarnation of Vishnu in the form of Krishna. and he remains to-day one of the most striking religious figures in the calendar of the world's noblest loftiest spirits. . The people of India have been from the earliest historical times on the whole the most intensely religious in the is and religiously thoughtful people this. world. There is good ground for believing that Pythagoras and Heracleitus owed some of their philosophical ideas to India. all mixed phenomena there must be something unmixed and or Anaxagoras suggested that behind self-moved which he called the soul of things. It belongs to the sphere of ethics and religion. the consummate flower of Indian thought and life. and such It is not so strange. who appears as the divine-human friend and helper of man. then. was a religious reformer and saint.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY of 65 God and the soul before Thales developed his all crude theory that nature originated from water. The precursor of this phase of doctrine.

or rather it might better be said. but of the religious intuitions. and the Hin- doo Brahman reached this conclusion by the same road as Athanasias.66 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES we have seen. when he wrote : " God must man in order that man may be made God. and the theological movement from Agni to VishnuKrishna was along the lines not only of speculaVaruna. as was Agni. One step only remained to be taken to exhaust this whole cycle of religious be made thought. so that . But mythology and history do not easily mix. was scarcely possible from the Hindoo point of view. a member of an early Hindoo trinity. in Indian religious tradition. If God and man are morally ing. The Vishnu-Krishna doctrine and its trinitarian accompaniment had their historical source in the Vedic polytheistic mythology. that the subject of incarnation should be an actual historical human personage. related. tive logic. But Agni was never His mediatorship never reached the point of his humbling himself and submitting to a human birth and even to a human death. namely. the truest union and yet are meta- physically separated in two diverse spheres of be- between them can be brought about only by an incarnation of the higher being into the fleshly nature of the lower. and Agni. Indra. may be brought into completest spiritual unity with him. But this further step in the mediatorial office was natural and historically involved. they mix so easily that the this But mythological carries the historical with it. incarnate as a human being." that is. namely.

The myth was in their eyes In short. A reversal of this process must spring from the opposite quarter. Myth or legend has become history for all practical purposes. as much fact as any event of history. is I refer to the case of Buddha and Bud- What makes this case the more remarkable Buddhism is the fact that volt is not a dogmatic reBrahmanic ideas. It simply a chapter in the history of the Hindoo from earlier Yedistic or religion. — a new effort life along old lines to solve the salvation. dhism. or Adam to the Hebrew. where a mythological and philosophic idealism so thoroughly rules. from a real human person who from sainthood is evolved into divinity and then is raised into a preexistent heavenly condition to become incarnate. The new religion gath- ered around the man Gautama. and character made vital. a signal illustration should be furnished of historical back- an incarnation doctrine based on a ground. It is certainly remarkable that in Indian history. be found the true and easy explanation of what seems at sonal first sight The vital force of life Buddhism lay in the person and per- of its founder. there is no need of a historical incarnation of an actual man from the mythological or ideal standpoint. The first and easy step of religious evolution was to make itself .THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY to the torical character as 57 Hindoo thinker Krishna was as truly a hisKomiilus was to the Koman. But just here is to so difficult of solution. indeed. a wholly ethi- mystery of human cal reform. namely. by the holy life and of Buddha himself.

and an incarnation of the Absolute God. however distinguishable in other ating principle by which Every religious faith. rests at last on a medi- man may climb to God. so that if there was any bor- must have been on the Christian side. closely analogous to the Christian dogma. or Athene. lacks one radical point it of resemblance. It is in India. is no proof. there versal as the in human race. yet chronologically anterior hundreds of years. Such historical starting-point in the evolution of its was the dogmatic Buddhism and divine incarnations in It is doctrine of numerous men like Gautama. or Zoroaster. The Vishnu-Krishna rests we have seen.68 this saint finally THE ETHNIC TRINITIES among men a superhuman being. as a rule. or . then. as Christianity. or Agni. interesting here to note that in the history of the clear Buddha doctrine and cult we have the only and complete historical counterpart to that of dogmatic doctrine. It is this need so deep human nature of some mediator or mediating that unites all movement between God and man religions together. that we find a thoroughly de- veloped dogma of a historical incarnation of in a real God by human nature. respects. however. whether Ethnic or Christian. and there are Of differences. both in historical origin and in internal evolution and character. be it Marduk. which stamp both as wholly distinct and independent types of that common mediation idea which is as old and unirowing it this. But this lack is supplied on no historical by Buddhism. in that footing.

first in the tabernacle and afterwards in the temple. The Mosaic law and nature. and having the same original charagree acter. declared that the Jews received the law from God at the hands of a /tco-mys or mediator. was made itseK was regarded as of divine origin the medium and of communication between the wor- shipers Jehovah. It is true that these — — in rejecting all distinctly trinitarian forms of divinity. referring to Moses. or Buddha. and the Temple cultus with the system. Mohammed only proclaimed himself a prophet like Moses. away from his The case is much the same with Moham- medanism. The stark monotheism of these religions it prevents any such tendency. but his Law. of the Fourth Gospel. and the Temple. It is true that Moses himself was never deified. or Krishna. while aU the heathen were disowned and cast favor. and the worship therein enjoined. and his followers have never . as reactions from polytheistic beliefs to this rule. or Sosiosh. It was on the basis of their relation to the Law and the Temple that they regarded themselves as the chosen people of God. himself a Jew. or the "Word" Plotinus.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY 69 Mithra. but is far from Juda- true that they lack all mediational features. or the "tpvxn" of The ish question might be raised whether the Jewreligions are not exceptions and Mohammedan two religions both Semitic. sacrificial became veritable mediators between the people and God. Paul. ism made much of the mediatorship of Moses.

which they regard as a verbally inspired communication given Mohammed directly from God. and so the chief means of obtaining the divine favor. from those of other but the mediation principle.60 treated THE ETHNIC TRINITIES him as more than man. sharpest form what who first promulgated in may be historically called the Protestant doctrine. is found equally in them. at Mecca. that no eternal mediation is required between man and his Maker. The Koran has become the great Mohammedan fetich. not through outward mediational forms. when he of any sort said this : " The hour cometh." that is. It was Christ. and they that worship him must worship him ticular place. or to temple. when ye shall neither in mountain. or in any parbut directly anywhere and every- where. Yet a principle of mediation between them and Allah was established in the view taken of the Koran. with no bar between that needs to be re- . as if God would hear and answer his worshipers only from that sacred spot. and that every human being may directly approach God and commune with him face to face. worship the Father. if the testimony of the Fourth Gospel its may be accepted. in spirit. though some account must also be made of the Caaba. as a way of satisfying the religious needs of men." " God is a spirit. The forms of mediation in these religions certainly differ considerably religions. such as the directing of aU prayer toward Mecca. with its legendary traditions and consequent superstitions. nor yet at Jerusalem.

But this fact lies behind them. namely. he is better heard. as if we could then be you. caught sight of and left it to shine a lone star in literature. Such was Seneca when he wrote " It is not necessary to raise the hands to heaven. Paul. and remained for ages the far off Holy Grail of himian search and hope. Only now and then it has some single solitary thinker. 61 Christ taught the same doctrine more authentically in his parable of the prodigal son. ad Lucil. nor to ask the temple : keeper to admit us to the ears of a divinity. It is needless to say that the so-caUed " Letters of Paul and Seneca " are whoUy spurious.THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY moved by any human or divine mediator. that man's moral con- .). and is not far from any one of us. had recognized. even within you its yes. I may " say that the Holy Spirit has seat within us — words (Sacer intra nos spiritus sedet. None of the Ethnic religions quite reached it. though perhaps ples less clearly." But so he declared that " spiritual a vision was not easily discoverable by men. is near to with you." " for we are also his offspring. too. God . Mars HiU and make less surprising the tradition that these two men met and afterwards had a correspondence which has come down to us. Ep. 41. that remind us at once of Paul's in the passage just quoted from his address on in Athens. in some inspired moment of religious meditation. where the erring penitent returns on his homeward way and meets same royal his father face to face. truth. the God dwelleth not in temwhen made with hands.

have been rare. described as " a " O that I might man of God " yet he prayed know where I could find him. world's great altar stairs that slope through darkness up to God. comprehension those fuller revealings of in science God in and history Surely the writer of the Hebrews builded better than he knew. history of — " The of. who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto Epistle to the : . to us. and which Paul and Seneca had glimpses the wonderful discoveries of the last fifty years. are the divine given in the successive stages of the religion. That men may rise on stepping stones Of their dead selves to higher things." indeed. Job face. beyond others the religious aspirations and acquisitions of our mod- ern world." : Plato was the perfect flower of Greek philosophy. perhaps. is difficult to make known to others. him near .62 sciousness itself to THE ETHNIC TRINITIES may anywhere and at any time so open the divine incoming and presence that no vail shall remain to hide God's ator be needed to bring foregleams of truth. is and no mediSuch however. and when found nyson." That vision of spiritual truth which Christ caught needed for its fuller with such wonderful clearness. when he wrote " God. yet he wrote : " God is hard to find." all Ten- who voiced. was a true prophet and seer when he sang : — " I hold it true with him who sings To one clear harp in divers tones.^' Such " stepping revelations stones.

the Comparing the the messianic the prophets with teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. as seen in the light of later his- come ? " end of days " was near at hand. that they without us should not he made tory.'' How far short of the real truth. plainly. did this writer perfect.. he was fully as- sured that the the new dispensation was ushering in of grand little consummation mundane events. dispensation of For him. How did he realize that the gospel which itself Christ had proclaimed was only a seed which nineteen long centuries would quicken and unfold. itself revela- in turn to be succeeded " at sundry times and in divers manners " by still wider and more splendid displays of the Divine beneficence for even " we " in these far ojff last times have not yet been " made perfect." "hath provided some better thing for us. until in another " end of days " a new epoch would be reached of higher and grander tions. THE HINDOO BRAHMANIC TRINITY the 63 fathers by the prophets." .

theory of the origin of the universe. as on the whole seems the best supported view. from which resulted two distinct nations. In the dim prehistoric backgTound of Zoroastrianism there are traces of a polytheism which bears plain marks of affinity with the Vedic polytheism if of India. eternal. the other evil and There is a single short passage in the Gathas which seems to teach this . namely. its and as representing in an extreme form the dualistic that the present system of things. but their historical traditions indicate a common migration from their original home. as if Zoroastrianism has usually been treated based on a thorough philosophical dualism. he was a historical and not a mythical character.CHAPTER V THE PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM The Persian religion is closely connected with the Indian in origin and early character. was a reformer of the ancient religion in the direction of monotheism. one good and the author of the author of all good. original. with of good mixture and evil. and independent all evil. Zoroaster himself. These peoples not only had a common Aryan ancestry. and a subse- quent division into two bodies in their movement southward. is the result of the action of two principles.

especially in the form of the worship of evil spirits. from the first. Mills regards the interpolations in the Gathas as "the work of Zoroaster's earliest disciples. which borrowed its dualistic principle from Zoroastrian sources. the one eternal good god. H. — a statement which seems somewhat all a priori. as . and it became fuUy developed in the later Zoroastrianism but it never reached the point of extreme dualism. in the Zoroastrian re- ligion towards a dualistic doctrine. scholar." The Gathas in Avestan sacred writings correspond to the Synoptic gospels of the New Mr. that all existing composiand must have been interpostart- but which historical investigators must accept as substantially true. 65 interpolation. says " We may tions of antiquity are lated. Mills.: PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM view. was the case in Christian Gnosticism. not a speculator. But even the Gathas were not free from Mr. This seems to have led him to the assertion of a monotheistic doctrine. surrounded by subordinate good beings. Such evil cannot be imputed to Ormuzd's . and his reform was directed mainly against polytheism." ling. L. undoubtedly. Zoroaster was a practical reformer. Mr. the Avestan say. but converted it into something quite differ- ent from the doctrine of Zoroaster himself or even of his true followers. Mills adds that the there are " less interpolations in the Gathas than is usual. good god cannot be responsible for the existence of Ormuzd was A evil. in his introduction to the Gathas." There was a decided tendency Testament.

beset at diffi- once with If the critic's task is it cult in the case of Buddha. ever at war with Ormuzd and his kingdom of good. In this way arose the dual character of the world and of man. is much more so in the case of Zoroaster. Here as everywhere in historical research the aid. not to speak of the Jews after the exile. Such a monotheistic dualism seems to have been the basis of Zoroaster's reform. When one seeks to scan more closely the details of Zoro- and to gain a clear picture of his is the path of the historical scholar difficulties. While I am ready on the whole to agree with Mills and West against the brilliant and trenchant criticism of Darmesteter. at least the rough outlines of his life are plainly discernible through all the mists and shadows of legendary tradition. aster's career. and not far from the doctrine of Christ and of Paul. then. it agency or permission.66 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Whence. who had drawn much of their new theology from their Persian neighbors. it must be avowed that the effort to separate even a few grains of historical truth from the mass of legendary additions is well-nigh ineffectual. life. comes evil? The Zoroastrian imperfection things. consistent with a A dualism of this kind is is monotheistic doctrine." treated is as connected with " the in the nature of that inherent Out of this inherent imperfection sprang the kingdom of evil beings with Ahriman at their head. But if a full picture of Zoroaster cannot be portrayed. law of evolution comes to our The canonical .

is The date of Zoroaster himself tural. and the Yahsts. which are our chief authorities for what can be known of Zoroaster. the latest of earliest of the them. — the estimates c." Whatever view be taken as to the correctness of these dates. — too short than too long. the later Yasna to the eighth." We have seen how Darmesaster teter himself decided it. c. the Vendidad to the tenth.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM 67 Avestan books. What opportunity was offered dur- ing so long a stretch of years for interpolations now and legendary growth is easily seen. to the seventh century b. or a god converted into a man. This estimate allows about hundred years for the completion of the a period which Haug regards as " rather Avesta. He regarded the Zoro- . is But the evolution did not stop continued a half millennium later in the great the Pahlavi translations and commentaries Zoroastrian revival under the Sassanian dynasty. to the twelfth century B. to the eight fifth. Avesta. c. Haug ascribes the Gathas. The question arises What was the law of evolution in the : course of these twelve to fifteen centuries ? Darmes" The question is whether Zoroteter puts it thus : was a man converted into a god. they go to illustrate the fact of the length of the historical evolution which was involved in the growth final collection of the writings and It known as the Zendhere. were written at various periods. when were published. the Avestan scriptures. wholly conjec- of Avestan scholars ranging from the fifteenth century b. The exact dates cannot be given.

becomes a preacher in of a purer faith God to his countrymen. and a supernatural atmosphere more and more surrounds him. miraculous. the Gathas. Instead of being a human reformer. Zoroaster is No miracles are dies a natural death. The scene soon changes as we pro- ceed to the later books. and finally is raised to the rank of a demi-god. The religious proclama- tions of Zoroaster are declared to be prophetic and his He is a true priest of God. religion. Thus we are prepared for subsequent legendary additions. and thus founds a new reformed wrought. converts many. the picture of Zoroaster there given. that a historical man became the subject of a legendary evolution which finally invested divine attributes and functions. In this work no super- natural agencies are employed. words are divinely revealed and authoritative. with no suggestion of divine functions. born in the natural way and There is. and inspired. If him with semiwe begin with the oldest Avestan book. to his doctrines. includ- ing the king. He first appears as a reformer and prophet. a single hint of what is to come.68 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES But the more conthe course of develfit aster story as purely mythical. This corruption of the original tradition marks a return to the . though only in incidental touches. is thoroughly human. however. namely. servative view seems to best opment as given in the Avesta itself. Zoroaster's birth becomes Zoroaster himself becomes a miracle- worker. he appears as a divinely sent messiah and mediator armed with divine power.

and the doctrine of evil spirits resumed its old The so-called dualism of the later Avestan sway. he had preached yielded to polytheistic tendencies. And if this is clearly true in the case of Buddha. But such borrowing cannot account for those features of likeness which are after all most radical and con- spicuous. much more is it true beyond all doubt and controversy in the case of Zoroaster. and Christ are explainable in the same . No doubt some of the more superficially striking resemblances are due to a post-Christian borrowing in scholars. though the whole doctrine is redeemed from utter dualistic pessimism by its eschatology. and post-Avestan Zoroastrian books is really a polytheism of the most rigid sort. The Avestan writings were completed some centuries before the Christian era. and the evolution of the Zoroastrian tradition was original and independent of foreign influences. colored to a deeper dye by the dualistic principle.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM earlier polytheism against 69 had protested. The most remarkable coincidences in the lives of Zoroaster. as we have seen. Buddha. which Zoroaster himself The new ethical monotheism which The remarkable resemblances between events the life of in Zoroaster and similar events in the Hfe of Christ have attracted the attention of Christian Like resemblances have already been noted by us in the account of Buddha. which proclaims the final triumph of good and the everlasting destruction of evil. the later stages of historical evolution.

The hves of the early Christian monks were filled with such accounts. both cases. In Take. in legend. The superficial incidents in the three accounts vary. and the tempter is the same wicked spirit of evil. Demonology has played an immense part in legendary history. Legend works in the same way in Buddha. three cases this temptation occurs at the most critical period in their careers. I might illustrate this point by other be found in other like coincidences in the lives of these three who became the founders of three religions. and all Christ. one of the most striking incidents in the lives of Zoroaster. What need of resorting to the theory of is borrowing when the evidence whoUy against it ? Human same nature and human Hfe are essentially the in their exhibitions in all is mankind. The case is the same with individual lives as with whole peoples. where the theory of borrowing either direct or indirect is absolutely impossible. part of a great character and Similar temptations by the Devil are to lives. and in folk-lore are explained. A great temptation inherent in the very nature of things as a component career. men One . — the temptation by the evil spirit. for example.70 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES that so way many coincidences of every kind in history. but the radical elements of the transaction are the same. the character of is the temptation essentially the same. Our same present studies are seeking to explain by the critical historical process the remarkable coof so incidences in the trinitarian ideas many ancient peoples.

was endowed with the special It is natural to invest and hence the name of her great temple. it does appear in the that post-apostolic apocryphal legends quickly grew up around Jesus and and the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. the patron goddess of Athens. the Parthenon. did not escape the fate of genius. not only became an article of his mother. Plato. special First he becomes a messenger or prophet of God. Athene. of makes the birth of the mother Zoroaster immaculate and miraculous. and. his father. to impute to his message a divine . virginity of the mothers of the religion is repeated again and its again in legendary history. in the golden age of Athenian culture. Legend Even mythology has its gift of virginity.. as weU as of her son. made Apollo virgins. but remains a lic dogma of is the Catho- church to this day. noted. rela- especially in an uncritical age. The next step is easy. 71 All these traditions contain a miraculous birth through a divine par- entage or power. be Christianity. not peculiar to founders of The a new . but the Zoroastrian account goes a step further. any great religious reformer. It this though development of tradition does not ap- pear in the New Testament. with peculiar tions to the heavenly world. Christian faith.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM example more must suffice. viz. partially deified Illustrious men have been by ascribing them a divine fatherhood. Buddhism and the to list might thus be lengthened. it The doctrine and cultus of the Virgin Mary. virgin mother so Zoroastrianism has .

if we may judge from the Gathas. of Zoroaster himself. man is the logical result. which purport to record many of his sayspirituality and ings. the spiritual and immortal character of the soul.72 inspiration. then. will. and final judgment. Naturally reform was laid on the lines of a redemptive movement of God for the healing and saving of mankind from the miserable condition into which they had fallen through the evils inherent in their natural condition. Righteousness. with its everlasting issues. to believe that his birth was not ia the ordinary way! is Human motherhood explains the reality of his humanity. Incarna- an obvious coroUary. so easily developed credulous and superstitious have been re- peated again and agaiu in the history of religion. free its moral law and sanction. — such radical truths of the moral consciousness seem to have been cardinal in Zoroaster's his own religious faith. involving pun- ishment and reward. namely. but one feature of the developed Zoroastrian doc- was preparing the way for a trinitarian tend- ency. No trine trinity had yet appeared in Zoroastrianism. Divine fatherhood explains what supernatural and miraculous tion is in his life and charaxjter. sin. moral agency. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES How natural. the raising of Zoroaster from the rank of a human reformer to that of a divine The religion messiah and mediatorial demi-god. was one of remarkable purity. A demi-god or godin the times of a faith. These stages of legendary evolution. The key-note of his gospel was .

" the benefactor " or savior. But here occurred a peA new actor ap- pears on the scene in the person of Sosiosh. The book of Daniel is post- The doctrines of the immortality of the soul. . of the resurrection. of heaven and hell.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM redemption. especially of Satan the arch fiend. It 73 was a divine offer of help and close salvation through a human instrument. It is in the second stage of Zoroastrian evolution that the element of mediation and redemption through a divinely commissioned savior becomes more marked. that one cannot help surmising some historical connection between the two . Let it be noted in passing that this term " savior. of evil spirits. This is quite surely the case with the Jewish eschatology. which appear in later Judaism. exilic. tian trinitarian As in the evolution of the Chris- dogma. so with the way to a semi-divine Zoroastrian movement." in a religious sense. are quite clearly of Zoroastrian origin. post-exilic. The Zend word Sosiosh clearly corresponds in meaning to the Greek word o-o)T^p (savior). and when we remember that the Jewish messianism in as it its fully developed form. appeared in the two centuries before Christ. a human messiahship gave mediatorship. the inference was becomes not at all improbable that the Jews of the Captivity gathered many of their later messianic ideas from Zoroas- trianism. is So the analogy between the Zoroastrian prophetism and messianism and that of the later Jews. culiar chapter in this evolution. is not original in the New Testament.

it down the probability the whole Zoroastrian though I do not even yet give up the Mills. and annihilating the whole This account of Sosiosh. ^sculapius. when the his saving measure of its miseries is full. Then will work as a messenger of Ormuzd be completed. writing about the time of the reducChrist's life tion of the oral traditions of and or Pla- gospel to written form. and friends of men. is one of Darmesteter's strongest well-nigh breaks of points against the historicity of Zoroaster himseK. the healing. yet so closely connected with Zoroaster's life. his worshipers as 'O that is. view of West and But in either case it is clear that in the later parts of the Avesta we have passed completely out of authentic history into the region of legend. so plainly mythical. kingdom of the wicked." In the Zoroastrian tradition pears under the title this person. is who ap- of Sosiosh. cult. but only in a general way. in raising the dead. god of medicine and became the centre of a special religious and came to be conmionly designated among o-corrjp.74 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Plutarch. and I confess that historical tradition. rewarding the righteous with everlasting happiness. So. is well illustrated The part played by the by the Sosiosh is In the earlier Avesta Sosiosh mentioned. but to be supernaturally born from a wife of Zoroaster at the very end of the world. " The Savior. He he is is represented to be a son of Zoroaster. in the New tonic school. law of evolution myth. purely mythical. styles the gods saviors o-wrijpcs. The later writings .

beginning with the second coming of Christ. — the name Sosiosh of whom is to reign a thousand being given especially to the last. These Zoroastrian millenniums have an interesting historical connection with the millennium of Jewish expectation and hope which passed over into Christianity.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM grow more and more is fully set forth." Darmesteter believes this to be a nature or solar myth. His supernatural character and mission from It is Ormuzd " will come from the region of the the him that he dawn to free world from death and decay. The third and last millennium. Already in the Zend-Avesta Sosiosh a son of Zoroaster. became the great rallying point of Zoroastrian faith. Sosiosh becomes the last of three prophets. but. The Christian eschatology." " when the declared of shall dead arise and immortality commence. judgment. or divine messengers of Ormuzd. which Sosiosh will inaugurate and conclude with the resurrection. and destruction of death and heU. followed by the resurrection of the dead and the general judgment. and conclud- . We have already referred to the connection be- tween the Jewish messianism and millennium and the Zoroastrian ideas. the coincidences trine of "last Quite as remarkable are the between Zoroastrian doc- things" and the Christian. to be supernaturally born at the end of Time. and suggests that Zoroaster was originally a storm god. each years. 75 explicit and particular. when we pass from the is Avesta to the Pahlavi Bundahish.

" that a borrowing from one side or the other seems almost a fact to be accepted at once. and these same ideas and expressions reappear in the sayings of Christ and the letters of Paul. and are made familiar to us in But the doctrine of a bodily Plato and Plutarch. The Jewish post-exilic and pre-Chrisand tian writings are full of eschatological ideas language plainly suggestive of Persian sources. as for example the dogmas of personal immortality. so completely a repetition of the Zoroastrian " last things. " enemy that shall be destroyed is death. It is my own growing ref- conviction that much of the eschatological language New Testament can best be explained by erence to the Zoroastrian Persian messianism and eschatology.76 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is ing with the eternal rewards of heaven and the eternal punishments of heU. What a Zoroastrian ring there is in Paul's words in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. clearly set forth in the resurrection through the instrumentality of a divinely sent mediator is surely unique in religions. aU Ethnic and the direct historical connection that can be clearly traced through Judaism between the Christian and the Zoroastrian dogmas seems to re- move of the all ground for doubt. which are Greek mythology and later Greek philosophy. were no historical relation directly traceable. up the Zoroas- and Christian figurative language in ." all The last The book of Revelation simply gathers trian. Certain similar escha- tological elements indeed are to be found in other Ethnic religions. of heaven and heU. Jewish.

while the fire of the Zoroastrian the- ory involves annihilation. We may well here ask the reasons why close at hand. Zoroastrian theory of the except that. though the allusions to the Devil and his kingdom in the Fourth Gospel and Johannine Epistles are apparently Gnostic acter. I will only add that is the Devil or Satan of the Bible the Ahriman of we cannot doubt. but the movement here paused and in fact was never so fully completed as in other Ethnic trinities. is It to be noted that no full triaity has yet emerged. The description in the Sec- ond Epistle of Peter of the final conflagration. We now come to the third stage in the trinitarian development of the Zoroastrian doctrine. in which " the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. The prominence of fire all through the New Testament as the element of destruction and punishment is a pecuharly Zoroage in which astrian reminiscence. in char- But Gnosticism is distinctly Zoroastrian in origin and is directly based on the Persian dualism." is an exact transcript of the this present world. forever. and was. without annihilating. PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM its 77 vivid portrayal of the eschatological faith of the it was written. ori- ginal Zoroastrianism was a monotheistic reaction . a direct im- portation from Persia. mode of the ending of The apocalyptic lake of fire into which death and Hades are cast is also Zoroastrian.. the Avesta. and they are To begin with. The doctrine of Sosiosh as a semi-divine mediator and savior has indeed prepared the way for such a result. the apocalyptic fire burns.

There is another reason for the incompleteness its fullest of the Zoroastrian trinitarianism even in development.78 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES it from the polytheism out of which sprang. as polytheistic sources. Persia at its highest point of civil- . which is a direct step backwards towards the ground once left behind. It is not. also the kindred idea concerning the earliest doc- trine of the Hebrew people. It of conservative scholars such as . with its strong leaning to a monotheistic-dualistic rather than polytheistic view of deity. The monotheism first of the Old Testament beginning with the of Genesis theistic is chapter a reformed version of an older polyslabs laid myth which the Chaldaeo-Babylonian library in of the resurrected Nineveh have open before our eyes. then. The natural soil of a trinity of gods is polytheism rather than monotheism. like the Hebraism of the Old Testament. shoidd stop short of a full trinity. surprising that Zoroastrianism. Such a step could be taken only when a religious cor- ruption and decline had set in. as we have seen in the history of the Ethnic trinities. and which cuneiform scholars are already learning to read. all of which sprang from was once a favorite idea Hardwick and Rawlinson that the Persian dualism was the offspring of an original monotheism but recent investigations in philology and comparative rehgion have shown it to be utterly without foundation. The history of Judaism shows how little ground there is in such a monotheism for a trinitarian development.

and became central and reg- nant in Zoroastrian belief. icle. the evolution of trinity. a complete theological find it. a step was taken which went a long way toward such a conclusion. The idea of a mediator between God and man trinitarian is a fundamental element in every it dogma. as would be idle to ex- under such circumstances. and we shall not we have seen. Thus the Persian religion was never subjected to a metaphysical and scholastic treatment. and but never reached the higher school sphere of abstract speculative thought. Just such a counter idea was in the believer. The Avesta itself clearly discloses .PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM ization never rose to the 79 same rank with India or still Greece. but. Its culture included poetry. system was theosophic rather than philosophic. This doctrine of a trinity as divine mediator does not philosophical necessity. but demand a it a it naturally leads to unless counter ideas are in the way. chronethics. art. Its religious — a work pect. This step was its Sosiosh me- diation doctrine. and a trinitarian shadow was cast which will finally give us a mythological triad. namely. his way to the Zoroastrian deep prejudice against the Only when this prejudice was suffered to decline and die out could the trinitarian evolution have free way. precisely the historical course which the Persian religion took. of the imagination rather than of the It pure speculative reason. This was old animistic polytheism. if not a philosophical trinity. of pure philosophy ever flourished No there.

Mithra. —a were the outgrowth of historical character. they at least started from his- torical ground. Its very hisand out of tory became more and more obscure. as we have seen. first appeal's . and the Zoroastrian monotheism gave way rapidly to the polytheism which reigned around it. scriptures ceased to be read by the people. The overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander introduced Greek influences and Parthian kingdom with sian religious faith.80 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES a revolutionary polytheistic tendency. Though they quickly passed from history to legend. in ideas. was a new chapter added. and a new movement given to the mediating principle which had characterized it from the beginning. it emerged the new Persian dialect Thus the Zoroastrian sacred called Pahlavi. It was mythological from the beginning. and gathered around one of the most ancient of the Aryan divinities. and then to myth. But the significance of this new chapter lies in the fact that it leaves the original Zoroastrian starting- point and line of evolution and reverts back to the Madzean polytheism out self arose. the mission of Zoroaster. of which Zoroaster him- The two earliest stages of Zoroastrian trinitarian evolution. Mithra. Not so with the third stage. or Mitra. Not till the new Persian empire of the Sassanidae in the third century A. D. The rise of the still its semi-barbarism further disorganized and demoralized the old Per- The ancient Zend language which the Avesta was written grew corrupt.

but Ormuzd himself." He is also the "most victorious " servant of Ormuzd against the Kingdo. The history of this curious evolution. But through the Avestan period Mithra remains in the background. his semi-divine son. He is a creature of Ormuzd." all-seeing and all-powerful. " the giver. It is in a similar form and function that Mithra appears in the Avestan writings. as " holy." that is.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM as a sun god in the Indian 81 Vedas in close associa- tion with Varuna. First Zoroaster himseK. the most beautiful of creatures. As such he is " a servant and organ " a sun-god. in He is thus de- scribed. and He is already his mediatorial function is visible. not only Zoroaster and Sosiosh. the great heavenly sky-god. Especially is he " the protector and patron of truth-loving men " and "the dispenser of blessings. the prayer called Mihir Yahst. mediating between him and man. and next carries Sosiosh." " the generous one. involving entirely on new it lines. is obscure. without in the latest Yahsts of the Avesta rising any apparent opposition. at even supplanting. Not till the decline of the ori- ginal Zoroastrianism has fairly set in does Mithra last appear as the great mediating divinity. " the created light. are the chief instru- ments through which Ormuzd salvation of on his be- nevolent designs for the amelioration and final man. of Ormuzd. . new cyclic movements Enough here to say that gathered force as the original Zoroastrianism declined. Even Mithra is plainly into greater prominence." of man." " the friend.

May Ormuzd. 46) between the two (Ormuzd and Ahri- man)." Thus Zoroastrianism proper gave way to the new Mithraism. Artaxerxes One of the Mnemon. ating god is coming to the front." It is remarktects the poor able that in this very period. solemnly declared : muzd I have here established Anhita and Mithra. He " pro- and oppressed." This new trinity plays no great part in the later Mithra becomes the central figure absorbing more and more the functions of Sosiosh " the savior. Plutarch says is " Mithra ' (Isis and Osiris. when a new mediitself. Zoroastrianism. and leads them toward immortality." and " defends the faithful against evil spirits.82 Evil. patronized by emperors. was very popular and widespread in the Eoman world." as is seen in the application to him of the term " mediator. for which reason the Persians call Mithra the Mediator (/xetrtnys). Anhita. D. of it. first century Describing the Zoroastrian : dualism. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Ahriman trembles before him. rededicating a Zoroastrian temple which Darius his ancestor had " By the grace of Orbuilt. who wrote in the of the Christian era. the first sign of a divine triad should display Persian kings. against death. and with special temples in Rome itself. and Mithra protect me. It was the mediatorial character of Mithra that gave his worship its popularity ' — a popularity so great that at one time it threat- ." Such is the tes- timony of Plutarch. Mithra as " Mediator " became the centre of a new cult which in the second and third centuries A.

and was in harmony with the pessimism and it is religious reac- tion of the age. It is a suggestive proof of the terrible sin power of a soul. Mithra himseK became the great high priest in these sacrifices. its own Mithra. sacrificial The tauriholium was the most solemn rite of Mithraic worship. in virtue of his atoning function. cult should not wonderful that the Mithra have assumed a strongly sacrificial and bloody character. in the eyes was the "living and abiding link between the visible and the invisible." He was " the secondary principle of good. He was represented as slaying a bull. The subject of it was placed naked imder the altar of sacrifice.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM ened to rival and even eclipse Christianity 83 itself. It was indeed a baptism by blood. and of its remorseful workings upon . A strange transaction indeed. when we consider the character of the period in which it . and strangely like to the doctrine of the Epistle to the Hebrews " Without the shedding of blood there is no remission " Strange. symbolizing and efficiently it procuring for the suppliant for was performed remission of sins and regeneration to a new spiritual and heavenly life. so that the blood of the victim might be shed directly upon him. which was also making rapid strides with Christian mediation doctrine. As the dualistic doctrine of evil in all its forms had a primary place in Mithraism. of his worshipers. I say." " the conductor of departed souls " to the narrow bridge which must be crossed to reach the heavenly world. ! whom occurred.

that the Father.. should become and nearest in the thoughts. namely. originally who was subordinate to Ormuzd. by which the mediating member of the special friend first trinity. my earlier work. sun-god. as the and savior of men. or rather were reduced to personal unity manifesting — a view which a plural form. and sup- even reduced to the third place in the triad. or rather he was quietly disThe triad was practically placed and forgotten. trine of the early by which the original subordination docGreek church was transformed which the three were itself in into a theory of triunity in made absolutely equal. who." for a complete account of the remarkable evolution of the Christian trinity in the same direction. usurps the place of Ea. I must refer to etc. his The same was true of Vishnu-Krishna in the Hindoo trinity. and hopes of men. the mediating father. . " A Critical History. and affections. planting Ormuzd himself. in his capacity of god- man and shadow. subsequently rose practically to the first place. Thus in the Babylonian triad Marduk. reduced Brahma to almost a So Mithraism pushed Ormuzd back into a place of inferiority. and hence in time first in the divine order of the gods.84 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES I have already referred to the fact that Mithra. mediator. and we have already found it a marked feature of the historical evolution of most of the Ethnic trinities. is most natural. at last reached a result curiously similar to the Mithraic. reduced to unity in the Mithraic faith. Such a process.

and this thoroughly materialistic view became the traditional church doctrine for nearly a thousand years. and both views were founded in the Old Testament sacrificial system. beginning with Adam the head of the . complete the it only needed that Zoroaster himself. though essentially differing in other respects. agreed in this. Mithra was a mediator between Ormuzd and Ahriman. founder of the reformed Madzean religion. and made much of God's holy law and of man's viola- thority carried tion of it. the incarnate Jesus of Nazareth. has and most exalted person of the Patristic become practically swallowed up and Second Son. Augustine accepted it without any questioning. its should have remained the central figure in lution as he evo- was at first. It is true that Origen taught that Christ paid a ransom to Satan and so released mankind from his power. But the doctrine of Paul and of the Epistle to the Hebrews. and his au- it on into the Middle Ages. which knew nothing of Satan as a party to the transaction. Anselm and Abelard seem to have been the first to question it. while the Christian scheme made Christ a mediator between God and mankind.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM the first 85 Trinity. known on earth as To make the analogy more lost in the absoluteness of the deity of the Person. that the mediation wrought by Christ was between God and sinful men. One radical difference between the Mithraic and the Christian conception of mediatorship is clearly discernible.

It was characteristic of the Zoroastrian dualism that it viewed Ormuzd as the representative of All badness and goodness. It is Zoroastrian and Persian. intellectual. including the eschatology of which it forms a part. It was in this very period in the history of Christianity that the doctrine of Satan and his Kingdom of Evil became especially prominent in the faith of the church. though perhaps indirectly. and joy. and thus might easily have been influenced toward a view which quite harmonized with the tendencies around him. darkness. which started from a strongly dualistic conception of its the world. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Anselm. in earlier history is full of illus- trations of this view of Satan as sharing this world with God. was in harmony on this point with the Old Testament and PauL Whence Origen derived his theory of mediatortional theory of ship between God and the Devil is not clear.86 race. from this source. or moral. the true founder of the substituatonement. not only in its creed but also in its life. and in the legendary lives of the more famous monks the Devil and his demons and the powers of good contend on almost equal terms. Monasticism. I have already stated my opinion as to the historical background of this whole phase of Christian thought. and light. and I am prepared to believe that Origen's theory of a ransom paid by Christ to Satan was somehow drawn. physical. all the . in the But he was weU acquainted with the Gnostic dualistic ideas of his day and found them even Fourth Gospel.

and revealed his beneficence through mediating instruments such as Zoroaster. spiritual character. be- tween man and his arch enemy Ahriman. including sickness and death. great mediating power between good and evil. and coming from the . The conception tiate of a mediator who should propi- such a being by offerings of appeasement was wholly foreign to Zoroastrian thought. should have arrested and seekers after truth. and Mithra. pure. so materialistic in form. raic cult illustrates the evil The Mith- growing sense of the moral and misery in the world. Ormuzd was always the beneficent friend of man. One cannot and study deeply the Zoroastrian Mithraic faith without a growing sense of It is its lofty. behind it of Mithra's slaying a buU with his own hand was based on the conception of Mithra as the evil of Ahriman and his allies. the sole regenerator and savior from sin and death. Sosiosh.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM miseries 87 and sorrow of this world. were the work of Ahriman. drawn the hearts of many even rivaled that other religion. in an age when the moral nature and instincts of light men were being aroused to a new eagerness for religious and truth to heal the moral maladies of the declining empire. behind which was the dim but attractive figure of one of the world's saints. that this Oriental reformed cult. He was. no wonder. all in the eyes of his worshipers. and moral evil. and of the power for The tauroholium^ was a means tothough ward a moral regeneration and new spiritual life The myth which lay in this world and the next.

I have alluded to Origen's conception of the work of Christ in the atonement. was his theory of the final restoration of his view Even Satan in might be restored to holiness. so strangely sugIt is interestiug gestive of the Mithraic doctrine.— 88 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES offers same Oriental quarter. and of free will by which all such beings could be recovered from sin if so disposed. Irenseus recounts about a hundred different Gnostic sects. whose teachings and of spiritual good were in such general harmony. to note that in another direction he was led toward a similar Mithraic conclusion. This idea was based on his doctrine of God as good and desiring the salvation of all moral beings. which aU souls. I wiU only add that Origen's influence . Jean ReviUe. Now both these ideas are logy." The Gnostics forget in were in fact widespread essentially dualistic Zoroastrians in Christian disguise. both working for the regeneration and salvation of men. One of his speculations. M. Origen himseK was inclined to a free and and his Alexandrian school tolerant speculation. afterward was used to his discredit. and we must not Gnostic how the were the heresies Christian church in this period. in his " La Religion sous les Severes." has weU said that " the cult of Mithra offers very great analogies to the cult of the Gnostics. in complete accord with This is Zoroastrian theo- not the place to discuss the matter further. Origen formed a sort of mediating position between the church and the Gnostic parties.

^ The subsequent triumph tinction of of Christianity its and ex- Zoroastrianism in later Mithraic form used to be regarded by Christian historians as evidence of the superiority of the former. concludes a review of the leading creeds of the world by expressing his own decided preference for the dualistic Zoroastrian. with the exception of decisive — Julian the New Platonist and perhaps that also of Valentinian. I may add that the French histo- rian Michelet. S. regarded dualism as the most satisfactory and probattraction for philosophical thinkers. able of all the theories in vogue. according to linus. and the of its miraculous and divine origin. Mill. in a little book. J.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM 89 was great and pervasive in the early development of Christian theology. and it is my own belief that the Zoroastrian religion explains not only the widespread Gnostic heresies. and when Theodo^ sius in 1 394 entered Rome a conqueror he issued Outside of distinctively Christian ideas the dualistic explanation of the world and its moral mysteries has of late had a strong James Mill. blow was struck by Christian emperors. agnostic as he was on the whole subject. Ammianus Marcel- though a Christian. but also the dualistic element which entered so deeply into Christian soteriology and eschatology. who. In fact. — was directed Ethnic religions and In 377 the prefect of Rome ordered the temples of Mithra to be closed . according to the statement of his son. and which has contin- ued to leaven Christian theological thought even to the present day. . stood evenly balanced between the two religious parties to the suppression of all the rites. Bible de VHumanite. from the time of the politic Their whole policy and tolerant Constantine.

with its statues of vestals . fortunately. Whether Christianity itself in this period of its prosperity and growing power could have endured such treatment and outlived since. no imperial pagan reaction But Gibbon's remark seems historically just. the world might have been Mithraistic. " One might say that if Christianity had been arrested in its career by some mortal malady. whose cult had come down from the very origin of Rome itself. that had been sacred from for intrusion its a thousand scattered. our own ancestors. and manyfanes made sacred by ancient tradition were ruthPerhaps the most violent act was lessly violated. The acts of Theodosius were repeated by Charlemagne in the conversion of the Saxons. was broken up. years. the sacking of the House and Temple of Vesta in the Forum. was ransacked. Every temple was shut. only with increased wantonness and barbarity. The worship of the goddess The vestal virgins were driven all Their House. And as one gazes to-day on the ruins of the Temple and House of Vesta which the spade of the archaeologist has opened to our view.go THE ETHNIC TRINITIES an edict commanding the entire suppression of aU pagan worship." Force and violence have played a great part in the out warrant : religious conquests of the world. and was held in the highest veneration. that no religion can long survive when its outward worship is completely suppressed and the conjecture of Kenan in this connection is not withcame. . it cannot be told. treasures and the doors barred. out.

roastrian religion and with its this thought in mind " I cannot better close this chapter than by quoting a single passage from at sacred books : We wor- ship the souls of the holy men and women^ horn struggle^ or will struggle^ or have struggled the good. and always must be. against good nation. morals to " do evil that good may come." and the .. one like statues of is 91 reminded irresistibly of similar ruins of beautiful English abbeys. that were suppressed and dismantled by the strong. tyran- hand of Henry VIII. their inmates driven out and suffered to wander and die in penury.^^ any time and in any place^ whose consciences for . and their very names given over to calumny and renical proach. until at last a new revision of history has done them too tardy justice.PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN TRINITARIANISM once famous in history. and I confess to a high satisfaction in being able to contribute my mite to such a result in this study of the Zo. with famous abbots and monks. verdict of the Apostle against all such iU-doers re- mains unchallenged : " whose damnation its is just. The forcible over- throw of Zoroastrian Mithraism and of English monasticism may have been for the providential good of the world but the manner in which it was done is no less abominable and worthy of condemIt is." But again history has revenges.

that recent and archaeological studies have done much toward setting the matter in a new light. philological But. — Aryan chapter of in some respects the most special interest to the its remarkable of all. and of Christian scholar in view of direct historical relation to the evolution of the Christian trinity. and love of the beautiful in nature and which so distinguished the Greek people. is polytheism. Greek mythology to all . Plato prohibited Homer in his ideal republic because of its immoral stories. from the hterary and the superiority of the artistic point of view. especially with the On Indian or Zoroastrian the reading of divinities. The Greek instinct religion first appears in Homer and The Hesiod as a fully developed in art. well illustrated in their polytheistic mythology. cussed. the ethical side the Greek gods and goddesses do not appear to advantage when compared with those of other Ethnic religions. however. How far this charge may be explained away by considerations drawn from the naturalistic origin and symbolical character of the Greek mythology cannot here be fully dis- There is no doubt.CHAPTER VI THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY We now pass to the third trinitarian evolution.

the question is not they originated. so tal much one of morals as it is one of artistic men- development. key Such symbolism equally characteristic of aU mythologies. The grotesqueness. which remains even had its and it continued to throughout of draw its its inspiration from this source golden age. built in the days of Peri- was a miracle in stone of the religious genius of Greece. The Parthenon. cles. It has not been clearly under- . The and the Odyssey are filled with narratives and pictures in which the Greek gods and goddesses are the chief figures that are unrivaled in ancient literature. its most perfect statues were of the patron its lost art divinities of these temples. and of coloring was lavished on their deco- ration. In comparing the different Ethnic mythologies. of ness. in its Greek art. and even hideoustaste. like gods. to our refined some mythological comparatively incidents and sculptures connected with the Ethnic mythologies seem to indicate the barbarous character of the people among whom Like men. I have aUuded to the symbolism which characterizes the is it Greek mythology. The artistic superiority of Greek mythology simply proves the keener artistic sensitiveness and creative power of the Greek mind. and is in part the to a correct interpretation of them. birth in the Greek religion. The sublimest forms Greek ar- chitecture were temples. ruins to-day the wonder of the world.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITf others Iliad 93 known to history is unquestionable.

which with its four arms worn by Koman Popes on the breast. Language which is the great vehicle of all communicar tion among men. how fundamental human thought and language. Every This religion is full of symbolism. is The Greek or Maltese of equal length. however they may be. origin is hidden in prehistoric times. and how deeply imbedded traditions of the race. appears on the breasts of Assyrian kings nine or ten centuries before the birth of . is essentially a system of symbols. symbol of the cross its is Indeed. or that the uncouth descriptions and images of divinities. if they are only expressions is of some truth that itself. which in Christian times has been made It so es- pecially significant of Christian truth. held in reverence. may be a surprise to some of this my readers to be told that as old as history itself. and even grown more and more grotesque as Hindoo culture advanced but it must be retheistic literature . membered that nothing is so tenacious in its grasp on tradition or popular artistic faith as the use of symbols in- which have become venerable by time. cross.94 stood. weU illustrated in the sign of the cross. not only in its its forms of worship. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES until is quite in symbolism recently. should have held their ground. such as are found even in Indian poly- and art. certain symbols are in the It the immoral stories in may seem strange that Homer should not have long course of years in been sifted out in the which those poems were being gathered and edited. but also in is dogmas.

The circle and the wheel are illustrations. was the most universally venerated theon. but when we learn that evidence which cannot be gainsaid and which has come to us from every quarter of the is at hand in marvelous abundance. according to the aspect of the god represented. aU doubt becomes unavailing. It is divinity in the whole panno wonder.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY Christ. that symbols of the sun should be found to be the most ancient and all. then. in the different languages or mythologies of nations. representing human conceptions of the mysteries of nature and life and divinity. The wheel suggests motion. as is 95 witnessed to by Assyrio-Babylonian cylinders in the British tablets were unaccompanied genuineness might well Museum. archaeoworld which has and the deepseated character of their influence on mankind from the beginning of human life on this earth. by whatever name he was called. and its spokes suggest . representing the form of the sun and his course through the heavens. These symbols are almost entirely of a religious and sacred character. universal of These symbols were varied in form. If these clay by vouchers their be suspected. We have seen how prominent in all the early Ethnic religions was the worship of the sun as the logical line of recent discovery than that dealt with the subject of symbols great representative in the visible world of divine power and life and blessing to men. and surely no more wonderful. The sun-god. and also his vitalizing power. Perhaps there is no more important.

— but is tunic of also Greek Athene and on tombs and If its its altars in Gaul. prehistoric Schliemann found Troy. and in both hemispheres. kind. The old idea that is this sign is original with sig- Christianity of course exploded. on the vestments of gods and goddesses. all these symbols the its cross stands out as supreme in dignity and in the universality of It is to be found in all parts of the world. A whole may sug- theology and philosophy might be symbolized by the circle and wheel. and hence the eternal divine power and goodness and benevolence? But among its use. beyond is exact significance cannot always be ascertained. gest eternal How its easily they motion and eternal source. The conclusion forced upon us that the cross. it The new in nificance that it was given to and the way which was developed after the time of Constantine in . belonged to the earliest traditions and represented religious ideas which formed the original credo of the ancestors of manof the race. from Iceland to the Ganges. and Scandinavia. on the breast of — on the Apollo. It has it in the ruins of been figured not only on the breasts of Babylonian kings.96 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES life the sun's rays which penetrate everywhere. Spain. impart- ing heat and and light in every form. Anti- quarian excavations have revealed it everywhere. as a sacred symbol. These religious ideas were the nuclei of others. Historical investiga- tions have wholly failed to trace its origin. general character clear dispute.

for the two figures on which the symbolism was based were at first quite unlike. was a much later Western form while the crucidistinguished : fix in which Christ is represented as hanging on into use as a symbol until the cross did not come . I original attached to it in Christian tradition. he was impaled was cruciform Whether the wood on which is uncertain. such as was used in crucifixion. The so-called Latin cross. however. 97 the fourth century are matters of Christian his- For the sake of those. who are not critically ac- quainted with the historical origins of Christian- wiU say that the symbol of the cross in its and ancient significance is to be entirely distinguished from the meaning that came to be ity. day seems to have been a T. even with the added cross-piece at the top. A The more common cross-piece was not essential. which was by the lengthening of the lower arm. The new Christian symbolism was connected with the man- ner of Christ's death. The Greek word a-Tavp6<s means an upright stake. This ignominious instrument of punishment came it form of in Christ's by Christian believers into a sign and triumph. Whether there was at first any direct historical connection between the old Ethnic symbol and the new Christian sign to be idealized of glorification is quite obscure. There was little resem- blance between the equal-armed cross which was the usual religious symbol of the Ethnic religions and the cn-avpds or upright stake.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY tory into which I cannot go at length. Probability is against it.

in its various forms. One common forms. These two symbols of the cross and the wheel are closely related and are often found together. and with not a little is probability. forms of the Ethnic and Christian crosses suggest a whoUy different origin. deriving its significance from the method of Christ's death. like that of the wheel.98 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Thus the very- as late as the seventh century. name from the bending of It has been suggested. The pre-Christian cross. fact that the Christian church But when we take into view the grew largely out of pagan soil and that many ancestral pagan ideas and customs were merely transformed and adopted into the new faith. that the curving of these ends intended to represent the idea of motion or gyration. No doubt the Christian symbol was at first whoUy independent of the pagan. Certainly the original difference between the significance of the Ethnic symbolism and that of the Christian was radical. my own impression that the original idea beis hind both symbols point of all life that of motion as the startingitself. cross the so-called swastika or gammated its —a is Hindoo word taking the four ends. has it: it nothing to do with death or any mode of rather symbolizes of its most life. and of the world The idea . material and spiritual. and sometimes were united into one composite it is emblem and . it ceases to be surprising that its the Ethnic symbol of the cross and even forms should gradually become blended with those of the new Christian religion. found everywhere.

but of the cross with the hand appears as Tertullian describes common the use of material crosses is considerably later. in his view that the eternal movement plied an eternal mover and that such a principle of motion could be none other than God. mon expression for They cross. also distinguish this term from the pagan themselves acquainted. — with which they show expressly denying that they are chargeable with any superstitious use of the cross as an image or symbolical figure. As the Ethnic religions grad- . which was thus expressed by the imaginative faculties of early in symbolic forms.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY of 99 God as the divine mover is not far off. be- came confounded with the Christian Christ's redeeming death. The early Christian Fathers frequently allude to the form of Christ's death. and the term cross becomes a comit. I have referred to the obscurity attaching to the way in which the Ethnic life. and also by putting crosses on churches and From Constantine's day the cross bepalaces. in his day. and Deity. the world. — the instrument of death being thus transfigured into the sign of a redeemed and glorified life. which was a sacred cross as a symbol of symbol of motion. Constantine set this by affixing a cross to his laharum or banner. the great symbol of Christianity as a power came fashion of life through death. cross. This view of the origin of things. practice of The it making the sign quite early. man was adopted by Aristotle and of the world necessarily im- made the key to his philosophy.

It is interesting to examine the remains of Christian art in the catacombs or early Christian burial-places. In the catacomb of Saint Calixtus the pagan Orpheus is painted as captivating the wild beasts with his lyre directly under the Virgin Jesus is Mary and the Child and the pagan myth of Cupid and Psyche found pictured on Christian sarcophagi. Such amalgamations are not isolated cases. is a mosaic of Christ represented as the Good Shepherd. a purely Ethnic symbol and which tended This four ends bent as to disappear in subsequent Christian times. or it Christian view took its may rather be said that the two conceptions were gradually and unconsciously blended together. For example. there figured on a Christian monument together with the mono- gram which of Christ the swastilca or is gammated cross. and in early churches. These paintings show that the artist had either confounded or consciously blended are together Ethnic and Christian ideas. and there note is the curious mixture of pagan and Christian symbols of the cross. These . is found again and again in the catacombs but the most remarkable example. on whose cross is gammated twice pictured.100 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and finally ually decayed in the became well-nigh extinct Roman world. examples only illustrate the persistence of ancient . peculiar form of the cross. the Ethnic conception of the cross as a sacred sign or symbol faded out and the place. . with if its to symbolize motion. they common in early Christian art. tunic the perhaps.

We should . Abraham " The Hebrew. of wearing cross. saintliness or divinity in the fifth or sixth cen- had become common as a sign of dignity on Its origin is hid in antiit it the heads of emperors and empresses. the direct historical connecting link between the Assyrian king and the ^ Roman Pope. It is not a far cry that they should be transferred to Christian symbolism as signs of the " Sun of righteousness. Both seem to be connected with the sun. no doubt. a similar transfer of a pagan symbol to which began to be used as a Christian sign of tury. continued to this day. c. form of religious symPerhaps the most curious of them all is seen in the custom of the Popes of Rome. where encircled the heads of the Hindoo mythological gods. and represent different aspects of it. especially in the 101 bolism. expect a the Roman Pope cross. and subsequently it became a perquisite of all specially holy There is. to wear a Latin cross the yet Greek cross is a direct historical survival of the Assyrian of Christianity was its off- spring of Judaism. as Judaism was in offshoot turn the the Assyrio-Babylonian Chaldaeism. —a on their breasts the Greek close imitation of the cross worn by As- syrian kings in the ninth century B. Christ's divine nature. Seme regard as derived from India. literature the nimbus represented the glory that inThus Virg^ describes Juno as " nimbo Later Christian art made it a special symbol of The Virgin Mary soon received the same sign. who holds a LcUin cross lustration of the . quity." curious ilpersonages. where the Emperor Justinian is painted with a nimbus around his head. Near him stands the Archbishop Maximianua.^ A good example of Before this it Cliristian use is the nimbus or aureole.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY survivals. In Ethnic Greek and Latin succincta" vested a divine being. A amalgamation of the two signs and of their common derivation from Ethnic sources is given in a mosaic of the sixth century in a Christian church at Ravenna. a close relation between the Ethnic cross and the nimbus as sacred symbols." through is his descendants.

In fact the Ethnic theogonies and cosmogonies are mythological stories which are the work of the imagination of early man. true of the This was preeminently Aryan rehgions. and. but only changed in its symbolical character with the lapse of time. further. sig^nificant still is the opposite mosaic of the Empress Theodora. here are brought together in a single series of Christian mosaics But more . Whether consciously or not. 102 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES its interest it I trust that this digression has not been with- out and instruction. Their divinities were largely im- personations of natural forces and and in this phenomena personifying process the Greek genius all found f uU play. the Greek cross. . which were forms of nature worship. Paris. symbols of most diverse origin in form and meaning the wheel. gammated swastika. while a soldier near by grasps a wheel-shaped shield on which the is figured the clearly monogram of Christ. with many illustrations. using for material the natural phenomena in the The only difference midst of which he lived. and a curtain has for its chief ornament fig^ures of the swastika or cross with bent arms. the decussated cross or — the circle. all is It is another historical link between the Ethnic As- syrian kings and the Christian Popes. par Alexandre Bertrand. see La Bdigion des Gaidois.. She also has a nimbus around her head. For a full account of the history of the cross as a mystical symbol and of the persistency of such symbolical survivals. in his hands. the Latin monogram of Christ. 1897. I have been led to introduce in order to enforce the fact that the Ethnic polytheistic mythology was essentially a system of symbolism. — the six limbs of monogram representing the spokes of the wheel. the cross. giving further evidence that the tradition of the Ethnic cross as a sacred religious symbol was never broken. Perhaps the the Greek cross on the breast of most interesting feature of Theodora. two Greek crosses distinctly marked on her breast while the garments of one of her attendants are covered with small Greek crosses.

and who divided Hades were brothers among themselves the common inher- . Hence the first Poseidon. The generative. and of all and conditions from the highest to the lowest. of the sky. are inextricably mingled with demi-gods and heroes and human beings. the answer to which must depend on a deeper study of Certainly the the Greek character and religion. and Hades. water. But ere long a principle of division among them appears. Poseidon. — Zeus being the great god god of the sea. Opening the sight its Iliad with the view of seeking the trinitarian elements which may be to found. also appears in this first triad. than Whether his religious consciousness is was more fully developed another question. two great poems known as the Homeric belong to a class of literature that immensely out-distances all the products of the other Ethnic religions in the mythological age. as it appeared to unscientific minds. and make us wonder whence they came. or family idea. The oldest Greek trinitarianism seems to have arisen from the trinal whole scene.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY or Semitic or 103 between the Greek myth-maker and his Aryan Turanian neighbor was that his imaginative fancy was somehow of a finer mould theirs. nature-trinity. at first polytheism seems overshadow the Gods without number. consisting of Zeus. with its three regions of land. and what was the real source of their inspiration. sorts character of nature. and sky. Zeus. Poseidon the and Hades the god of the earth and of the underworld.

THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Such is as given more fuUy in But though it is plainly found in the background of the Homeric mythology. and has installed himself at the head of the whole pantheon. is. being doubly generative or family idea. The connection between Here and Athene is visible all through the Iliad . Here. But the subordination . Athene also is the daughter of Zeus." and supreme over all things.104 itance. Zeus is henceforth the "father of gods and men. which means that the Olympian brother. that the sky-god. since she is. Of the older triad only Zeus remains. of the very common myth or legend. and hence shares with him his regal supremacy and honors. related to him. Athene. namely. it is already supplanted by a later trinitarian evolution. and their common subordination to Zeus is clearly defined. has reduced his rival brothers to a sort of subjection." which means that she was bom directly through her father's agency without a is " dvSpoOia. the trinity of Zeus. and are united together by the closest family relationship. and the myth the Theogony of Hesiod. Here or Hera is both the sister and the wife of Zeus. In this second stage of trinitarian movement trinity are the naturalistic principle yields to the The members of the new aU sky-gods." that mother. a " man-goddess. of a parentage from the mother without a father except in some unnatural way. illustrated in many close cases. This rather startling myth its only the opposite side. carried to extreme. — the legend being that she sprang from is the head of Zeus.

" And so Odysseus "Harken. Zeus remains still at the head of the Homeric trinity. " With thy She is gentle words restrain thou every man. In the Iliad.: THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY 105 principle is also carried to the third person of this Homeric trinity." Turning next to the Odyssey. becomes from the outset the central divine figure of the epic. who was so subordinate in the Iliad. . Plainly it is a work of later date than the Iliad. goddess. Prayers are offered to her by Greek heroes on the eve of battle. will we caU for aid. and here in this relation of subordination comes already to view the mediative principle of the Ethnic trinitarianism. and represents a later stage of trinitarian evolution. Thus Here sends her to the Grecian host on an embassy of peace. who in the Iliad twice. but Here retires into the background. being mentioned but and Athene." often made a mediator between men and : Zeus. at once we perceive a notable change. Thus Diomede prays " Rejoice. O goddess. It is noticeable also that ApoUo. come thou a good helper of my feet. Athene is as much subordinate to Here as Here is to Zeus. first of aU the inunortals in Olympus. and remains such to the very end. Once she is compared to " a mother. which we have found so characteristic and which will have of a remarkable development in the further progress Greek thought. Athene is usually the messenger sent by Zeus or Here on errands of help and mercy. for to thee." The helpful and gracious character of Athene is thus made conspicuous.

Person of the Christian son in so when we find the same mediating function joined to the second Per- MarVishnu in the Hindoo. and Athene in the Greek Homeric." The we note is also changed. This chapter in the Greek trinitarianism suggestive and important that it is so what closer study. light It sheds a new and interesting on the mediatorial character of the second trinity.106 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES held the fourth place in the order of the heavenly gods. when Telemachus He is a son of addressed his mother. Thus her very position in the trinity seems to fit her for the mediating mission which she assumes and sustains throughout |the poem. many Ethnic duk in the Babylonian triad. for example. Four several times Apollo is united with Zeus and Athene as forming a sort of trinity in adjurations and prayers. much human interest. as. Penelope. enacted on a wide a grand superhuman machinery at stage. and Apollo that the wooers in our haUs were even order of the triad now thus vanquished. with work to carry out the counsels of Zeus. which she always held in the Iliad. for example. The Iliad is a true martial epic. to the second. and she holds this rank in every adjuration. in the midst of the plottings and coimter-plottings of . and Athene. triads. " Would to Father Zeus. in the Odyssey rises to the place of Here. is demands a someThe Odyssey. as compared fuller of with the Iliad. Athene has risen from the third place. and especially favored by him. Zeus. Mithra in the Zoroastrian.

simple human is The face and attitude of Penelope one that haunts the specta- tor ever after. The Odyssey is no less an epic. made himseM known Disguised as a beggar. the the long-lost husband. The great theme is the adventures of this Greek hero in his efforts to return to his waves. but it revolves around is a single person. in colors as fresh as yesterday. whose sad fortunes.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY divine. as he was. Yet the true is central personage of the Odyssey are but for its neither Ulysses nor Penelope. cing in its It is a scene that is entranrealism. the ruins of Pompeii there stiQ the walls of a room. and gives of the whole action it its the true hero of name. she plainly struggles in her thoughts and feelings between despair and doubt and growing hope. patiently waiting wife of No wonder is her story has to be seen. grow- ing more and more pathetic to the last. Odysseus. He has not to her. a picture of Ulysses painted they yet first met after his and Penelope when return home. But this human element is made still more powerfid by the entrance of another person. who the poem. if touched the hearts of men as few others have. They counters in the divine game which has source of interest and meaning the active agency . form one of the sweetest idyls of all literature — the noble In on and lovely Penelope. 107 superhuman and human agencies. the ruler of the Thus a personal human interest gathers around the story from the start. home in spite of the machinations of Poseidon.

and happiness. to force and significance but I will try . I have spoken of Pe- nelope as perhaps the most attractive woman in Greek literature. harsh fate. crowned at last with triumphant success. Odysseus's son.108 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES of the goddess Athene. Ulysses has been a wanderer for ten years. but her human picture fades be- fore the sublime form of the "man-goddess" as she plays her part of a divine mediator and mes- senger and friend of men. this mission she assumes " the sem- blance of a stranger. the captain of the . mediating between heaven and earth. who far from his friends this long while suffereth affliction isle. to be given in feel its real Such a story ought not any abstract. and restore him to home. and representing the divine compassion and love in her efforts. view from which I have approached When the action of the epic begins. to set forth its pith. at her wit's Penelope is nearly end in her devices to postpone a deci- sion concerning the wooers who are wasting her substance and daily becoming more imperious in their wooing. but read in full. son. to attempt to find his father. Menus. The poem opens with a council of the Olympian gods. keeping in mind the point of it. to save a sorely tried man from the toils of wife. in which Athene intercedes with Zeus for Odysseus: "My heart is rent for Odysseus the hapless one." on a sea-girt The heart Athene In of Zeus is touched and he con- sents to assist his daughter in her mission of rescue. at once descends to Ithaca to stir up Telemachus.

accompanying Telemachus to Pycontact with the object of her care. while was fulfilling the prayer J^ Or anything more touching than what soon follows. los. form she accompanies Telemachus as and friend. anon as a bird. an old friend of Odysseus. and in that his adviser illustrate and the directness of Athene's mediatorial She does not remain " in the heavenly places. as a now woman. She next appears as Telemachus himself. the home of Nestor. in the form of Mentor. These incarnations are repeated continually in various ways throughout the poem. Could the completeness of the divine condescension be more vividly disclosed ? One of the most suggestive touches of the Homeric realism is where Athene. indulging in reminiscences when the aged ." and herself prays to Poseidon that " Tele- machus and I may return when we have accomplished that for which we came hither with our swift black ship. going around among the citizens and inciting them to assist in the him in his quest. it to take " the cup of honied wine " and offer in prayer " since all men stand in need of the gods. Nestor. in his search among his father's comrades for some knowledge of his whereabouts." Jierself the is "Now as she prayed on this wise. as if a mortal man. Her third appearance is form of Mentor. now as a man.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY Taphians. or divine incarnations." but breaks the veil between heaven and earth and comes into visible agency in her relations with men." tions of 109 This is the first of several assumpa human form. is invited.



of the Trojan war, and striving to comfort the young Telemachus concerning the wooers that were

" planning mischief within the

halls," uttered these

words in the very presence of Athene herself: "Ah, if but gray-eyed Athene herself were inclined to love thee, as once she cared exceedingly

renowned Odysseus in the land of the Trofor we Achaeans were sore afflicted, never yet have I seen the gods show forth such love as then did Pallas Athene standing manifest if she would be pleased so to love thee by him, and to care for thee, then might certain of them clean forget their marriage," aU unconsciously
for the

jans where

declaring what was already true, and soon to be

manifested in the wooers' doom.

But now the scene changes. Meanwhile the wooers are becoming more and more clamorous, and the heart of Penelope is growing sadder and more despairing. She prays to Athene, who " hears her prayer," and rushes to her help. This time
she " fashions a phantom, after the likeness of a

woman," who comes into Penelope's sleepless chamber and cheers her with the assurance that "a friend who hath power, even PaUas Athene, pitieth thee in thy sorrow, and hath sent me forth
to speak these words unto thee."

And now


the scene changes to

Odysseus, himseK,

been detained for eight years by the lypso, and is vainly sighing to be permitted to
continue his voyage home.

who has nymph Ca-

Zeus to interfere again in

Athene has instigated Odysseus his behalf.

once more resumes


homeward and his way to the city of Alcinoiis the king, Athene meets him in the guise of " a young maiden carrying a pitcher," and offers to conduct him to her father's palace. As

reaches the shore of Phaeacia.


they walked through the midst of the Phaeacian

the goddess

"shed a wondrous mist

about him, for the favor that she bore him in her

The king




and the

long story of his ten years' adventures follows.

way and he is Here the last great act may be said to begin. To attempt to describe it would only mar its thrilling beauty and charm. Enough to say that Athene now comes into the foreground more completely
Alcinoiis sends


him on

landed on the shores of his own country.

than ever and becomes the inspiring mover and
conductor of the whole final line of action by

which Odysseus is made known to his son and friends, the wooers are vanquished and slaughtered, and Penelope, the constant wife, is restored

arms and to the old life and Not a single step is taken, not a deed is done, but " by the grace of Athene." The closing is full of the divine aspect of mercy. scene The
to her husband's

Ithacans determine to revenge the death of the



Odysseus and



but through strength given by Athene in answer
to the prayer of the

aged Laertes the attack



and all the attacking party would have been slain had not Athene, once more in the



form of Mentor, called aloud " Hold your hands from fierce fighting, ye men of Ithaca, that ye may
be parted quickly without bloodshed."

Thus the

was stayed. The Odyssey closes with these words: "Thereafter Athene set a covenant between them with sacrifice, she, the daughter of
Zeus, lord of the

in the likeness of


both in fashion and in voice."

It cannot be lost

sight of in this sweet cantata of " Peace on earth,


men," that Athene, who has wrought peaceful result and sealed it with a covenant,
will to

leaves the scene " in fashion as a









affect others,

but for
with the

myself, as I lay


the Odyssey, I do

clear conviction that as a religious



unrivaled in Ethnic literature.



of the divine character, as revealed in the
trinity, especially in its


two foremost members, is one of marvelous dignity and power, shading continually into an ineffable lovableness

and grace.


the creator of this wonderful

poem was

not be known.

comes to us out of the shadows

of the prehistoric world. in

But the

creation itself,

three chief characters of Odysseus, Penelope,

and above



my view par


the supreme vision of


The Homeric
-^schylus and

conception of Athene reaches the highest water




religious thought,


may have

struck a few deeper and

higher notes, but

the Odyssey remains the true

Greek Bhagavat-Gita, the " Divine Song."

I cannot leave this great religious
alluding to


poem without

one other instructive feature of
trinity, is

namely, that Athene, the second mediating person
of the


a woman, thus repre-

senting the

feminine element in








place of mediator in the triad
evolution in the

a new step of

Ethnic trinitarianism.


appear later in the Egyptian triad of Osiris,

and Horns, where
Osiris, will


the sister and wife of

assume a

sort of mediatorial role,



become one of the most popular of the foreign

divinities in later




Isis is

a faded image of Athene.

In the Greek " manof

" the

womanly "


Faust finds

highest expression.

If Christ, ac-

cording to Paul's description of him, apparently

drawn from Philo, is "the man from heaven," Athene is "the woman from heaven" as truly.

When we

seek for the completest expression of

form of mediatorship which manifests itself most clearly and attractively to satisfy our human needs, is it not the form of motherhood?
Scripture itself bears us out in this affirmation.

The prophet makes God to say that he will comfort us as "one whom his mother comforteth."


figure surely


fuller of the divine love


compassion than this one.

One cannot read

Odyssey without




motherly character of Athene. rectly compared to " a mother."

Once she







she broods over Odysseus in all his misfortunes

And she acts the as if he were her own child same part in her relations with Telemachus and

the same


through the poem she



sweet, gracious, dearly loving,

woman, playing the mother's



I cannot help regarding this conception of

mediatorship in

feminine form as the highest

touch of rehgious faith and feeling, even in the Odyssey itself. There is but one other figure in

history or

literature that

can compare

is it


that of


the 'mother of Jesus.


not remarkable that both Athene and

should have received, as a unique cognomen, the

same term " irapOevo^ " or virgin. Athene was the virgin queen, as Mary became the virgin mother. And, from this point of view, is it any wonder that Mary the mother of Jesus, in after times when her son had been elevated in the faith of his followers to a divine rank, should have been transfigured into a hallowed virginity, and even raised to that place of mediatorship and intercessory power and grace which her son had once held ? How natural, from a human point of view, it was
that as the masculine element of mediation in the

second Person of the trinitarian

dogma was more

and more confounded with that of absolute and supreme deity, the feminine element should be pushed forward in the person of Mary the virgin mother
until finally she has

the real

become to all Catholic hearts mediator between man and God, and the

immediate object of intercessory prayer.


Nay, the

wonder ceases that in the old

historic Catholic

Church, represented to-day in the

Roman Com-

munion, the mother of Jesus is being recognized as true queen of heaven, enthroned by the side of
Christ himself, and that already Catholic theologians are seeking to add a fourth person to the In that new dogma, Goethe's " eterdivine trinity

nal womanly," imaged in far off ancient times in

the Homeric Athene, will have found
place to all Catholic souls.



Nor can the


be avoided what the Protestant position must be.
If a divine mediation through a masculine

incarnation be accepted as a revealed truth,

human why

not also a feminine incarnation as well?

not the one

suggest and logically include



true moral

mediation in


experience has a double form, based on the

duality that exists in




and brotherhood are not enough. Motherhood and sisterhood must be added to complete the ties which bind all human society. Must not the same be true of the highest form of moral influence and union, namely, that between man and God. Why, then, should not a divine mediatorfashion like a
ship appear in fashion as a woman as weU as " in man ? " As a matter of fact the

dogmas of the divine Christ and the divinized Mary sprang from the same historical source and rest on the same fundamental moral grounds.
Protestants have long since laid aside the



it was developed in Christian tradiand classed it among the superstitions of the

of Mary, as

dark ages

but they do not

all see

that the same

process which overthrows the faith in


as the virgin mother and queen of heaven must overthrow the kindred dogma of Christ's

Before leaving the Greek mythological
itarianism of the


rianism and passing to the development of the trin-

should be devoted to what

in the


Greek philosophy, some space may be fitly called an the Greek mythological chapter,

namely, some account of the trinitarian elements



common Aryan



behind the historical accounts of both

Greek and Eoman religious ideas, and there are some plain indications of a direct influence exercised by Hellenism upon that remarkable prehistoric chapter of



both in art

and in religion, which in its turn seems to have had much to do in the moulding of the primitive Roman forms of religious faith. In later historic times, when Eome had extended her dominion over the Greek world, and had deeply imbibed the Greek culture, there resulted an amalgamation of the Eoman and Greek mythology and polytheism, so that there was a heterogeneous fusion of Latin and Hellenic divinities both in character and in name, and the term Graeco-Eoman properly covered the whole religious as well as political

But while

all this is true, it is

equally true, and to

be distinctly and carefuUy noted, that the
religion as




appears in history was a com-

pletely original

and indigenous evolution out of

Italian soil.

This religion was as characteristically

polytheistic as the Greek, but

the result of the poetical imagination.

more abstract and Roor even Hesiod to

man mythology had no Homer
record in imperishable verse

its religious flights

Such genius was clearly wanting to the Roman character. So complete was its polytheis" The tic tendency that, as Mommsen weU says number of gods became as great as the incidents The Roman was practical rather of earthly life." than idealistic, and his religion became " shriveled


a dreary round of ceremonies."

It is not

surprising, then, that in place of a Hesiodic Theo-

gony, or a Homeric Epic,
Calendar, with

we should have a Roman

meagre record of sacred and secular days and their accompanying festivals, as
our chief historical guide to a closer acquaintance
with the





we study


calendar and

history concerning the chief

gious festivals that filled the


year, while

the completely and widely polytheistic character


religious faith


vividly brought out,



emerges with



head of the whole polytheistic pantheon there was a triad of gods, Jupiter, Jimo, and Minerva, to whom a special
namely, that at the

worship was accorded.
religious faith


fact, the





was centred

one spot,

" val day. These three divinities " conthree altars and stituted the official triad of the Roman religion.118 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES its with temple and and rite. The origin of this unique reli- gious custom and of the trinitarian feature which chiefly distinguishes it is obscure. placed on couches and carried about the city. and in one great day That spot was the Capitoline Hill. Juno. ritual. truly complete in which three gates were not dedi- and also as many temples and Minerva." it was popularly called. from the most striking scene in the pageant." as — feasted together. and then or " Lectisternium." Special " prayers were addressed to them for the public prosperity. supports this conjecture wise in the Etruscan discipline say that " Those the among Etruscan builders cated. Fergusson. Juno." They were by eminence the " Dii populi Romani. The architectural division of the Capitoline temple into three parts. seems to be Etruscan. their who brought to Rome own religious ideas and worship as well as civilization. the images of the three Capitoline divinities were brought out of their several cells. a commentator on Virgil of the fourth century. with its images of Jupiter CapitoHnus. with three special cells. — the Especially on one great festi- " Dies natalis templi Capitolini. in his " History of Ar- 282). on which was built the three-celled temple. gives a plan of an Etruscan ." chitecture " (i. its Scholars trace source to the Etruscan kings. cities were not considered as of Jupiter. and Minerva. A : curious passage in Servius.

table. A thus opened of peculiar significance into that tendency of the primitive Aryan man to recognize a trini- tarian character in all things. and is Christian religious architecture from prehistoric side view times to the present day. and . is 119 divided into three parts. a central aisles. THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY temple which doors. with its final development It is indeed a curious into the Gothic cathedral. well established that the Roman Capitoline trinity reli- was of Etruscan origin. namely. and to give it exIt is quite pression in public and sacred buildings. nally Jovina. Juno. Here. with and the Etruscan temple. and that the Etruscan gious and artistic ideas were derived from Greece. nave and two with three corresponding divinities. while Juno. — feminine counterpart of Jupiter. and Athene for Jupiter is the equivalent of Zeus Pater or Father Zeus. and noteworthy inference which appears inevidivision. as there plainly is between the Roman basilica and the early Christian church.. the feminine of Jove — being — represents origi- in character and function the Greek Here. Roman. if these premises are well founded. though in name merely a line trinity — Jupiter. and three ceUs for the There is no doubt a direct historical connection between the its three- Roman fold basilica of Imperial times. that the trinitarian idea reaUy lies behind that threefold principle of division which has been the ruling feature of Graeco-Etruscan. This explains the correspondence of the Capito- and Minerva with the Homeric trinity of Zeus.

but he lacks the . showing that the old Latin ideas persistently held their ground. that very early in true. and Minerva has taken on more completely the various attributes of Athene. In Virgil the Capitoline triad has become more fully identified with the Greek. Jupiter. and Athene. Juno has become the sister-wife of Jupiter. Yet there are marked differences of character. Homer. as inventress of the arts and as the friend of mankind. perhaps. It is a question. history. the amalgamation of the two religions went on apace. or had such fuUy But such a question This at least is need not concern us here. Roman Virgil well represents the Roman religion at and Minerva in the ^neid are everywhere recognized as the Latin equivalents of Zeus. as was Here that of Zeus. and remained ever after the point around which the whole religious system of Roman rites and festivals revolved. it was never quite complete. however. the goddess of wisdom. c. the Capitoline Greece directly triad and its cult was fuUy established on that hill which became the hearthstone and religious centre of the Roman commonwealth. Greek counterparts. After the political union of Rome and Greece was consummated in the second century b.120 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Minerva is a Latinized Athene. the beginning of the empire. and long before influenced Rome. than the Zeus of The Jupiter of Virgil is more just. Still. Juno. Here. whether in the original Italian religion these divinities corresponded so closely to their later developed personal qualities.

its fatal Jupiter himself being under — — but power. The ^neid and represents a higher conception of moral law its predestined consequences. religious is ambiguous. This is especially true of Minerva as compared with Athene. When what use of valor can be made. the larger moral freedom of the Greek Homeric moral activity and more than compensates for its allowance of aberrations from the stricter fatalism of the Virgilian dogma. In the introduction to the translation of the ^neid by Messrs.' THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY nearer to 121 humanness of Zeus which brings him so much human hearts. In the ^neid she is a wise counselor and helper of men. is then it is quite true that the ^neid the epic of destiny. Virgil the most religious of the poets of heathenism. but she somehow lacks that gracious and tender bearing which makes the Athene of Homer so lovable in the eyes of all whom she approaches to succor and save. The diffi- and it would be if cult to agree with this opinion." But if the ^ueid " the . if the is taken in its usual sense. next to Sophocles. But word reliby religion meant a belief in fate. heaven's propitious powers refuse their aid ? No Stoic dissertation can set forth the power of is fate more determinately. it We might take as a motto for by Dryden * : — Virgil's own line thus rendered But ah. Lonsdale and Lee a statement is made with which theology elevates it to a plane of responsibility that certainly I quite agree : " The author of the ' Christian is Year word gious is ' has said that.

They belong two utterly different spheres of religious thought. But after aU and the ^neid wiU ever remain the pathetic vision of a dying To attempt to compare such a poem with faith. He painted the mythological polytheism of early Italy.122 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is epic of destiny. the Odyssey the Virgil was a true poet of its the Augustan era. the Odyssey is reaUy unjust to both. A sympathetic critic speaks of "his majestic sadness. in whose bright- ness and richness time cannot dim. In a sense the in its later effort was a splendid colors success. his grace and pity. The Eoman world of his day had lost the simple faith of youth." . been educated under Epicurean influences. His epic poem religion is among an effort to reinstate the ancient the " doubting Pilates " of his day. HeUenized form. but in later life his religious sympathies tended toward the conservative reaction set on foot by Augustus. they were the colors of the sunset. and had fallen into that state of cold doubt and and skepticism which may be seen in its best form in the writings of Cicero." quite as truly epic of moral freedom. with its lofty but cheerless Virgil had ethics of unconditional resignation. It was out of such a fatalistic reaction that the Stoic pantheistic philosophy arose. of such an age is The last religious refuge the doctrine of fate. pessimistic and melancholy temper of the Augustan age is reflected in Virgil himseK and in to The his profoundly sad verse. His great poem is its noblest epitaph. But Virgil was a child of his age. with aU splendid civilization culture.

with its evergreen isles and bright many-voiced waves of ocean. and in its place are the melancholy autumnal days of an age that is disillusioned and waits hopelessly for what may come. If the Odyssey is the Bhagavat-Gita or " Divine nic Bible. . has" gone forever. the ^neid is its Song " of the EthBook of Ecclesiastes.THE GREEK HOMERIC TRINITY Such is 123 in truth is the impression which the JEneid leaves on the reader. The joyous springtime of the Homeric world. From beginning to end it bathed with the sober hues of a fatalism that broods darkling over aU skies.

It was by these great thinkers. Sophocles. literary. ^schylus. It was the age of Herodotus. that the educated Greek world was carried over from the old mythological and polytheistic conception of divinity to that new ground of philosophical theism which became the ration foundation of all later theologies. These wars were followed by a rapid upward movement of Greek ization civil- which quickly culminated in its famous golden age.). Pericles. artistic. in which with the most exquisite irony he politely bows out . and religious development that the world had yet seen.CHAPTER VII THE EVOLUTION OF THE GREEK PHILOSOPHIC AL TRINITARIANISM The Greek mythological age may be said to have ended with the Persian wars at the beginning of the fifth century B. Xenophon. Phidias. A single para- graph from Plato's Timaeus (40 Steph. producing the most wonderful outburst of social. What makes it especially noteworthy for us in our present study is the fact that it prepared the way for that remarkable evolution of metaphysical thought which resulted in the philosophical idealism of Plato and Aristotle. c. and Polygnotus. who borrowed their inspi- from Socrates. Socrates. Thucydides.

It was essential in his view philosophy. to subject this suggestive hint of Anaxagoras to critical dialectic treatment. It tinction in fact as weU as in thought between the ideal or spiritual sphere material. spiritual philosophy.GKEEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM of existence the old polytheistic 125 gods. Heracleitus indeed started out on a reactionary dualistic path. may be truly said to mark the epoch-making transition hitherto characterized from that theory of divine multiplicity which had more or less completely aU Ethnic thought. out of which came the idealistic dualism of Plato and his school. to the defense of all real spiritual existence that a drawn between and matter. The earlier Greek philosophers from Thales to Anaxagoras had built their systems on the assumption of an original material monism. but failed to foUow his own lead. which was henceforth to rule in But while Plato was a philosophical he left a way open for the admission of a multiplicity of divine and semi-divine beings in the ideal sphere by his dualistic mediational Dualism lay at the basis of Plato's doctrines. radical line of division should be spirit Anaxagoras took a step further. but left his pregnant suggestion with- was reserved for Socrates and Plato. to the new conception of God's essential unity. This dualistic view and the phenomenal or is modified by an- . theist or monist. declaring that behind motion in the phenomenal world there must be a mover. his great disciple. This doctrine rests on the assumption that there is a radical and eternal disout critical analysis.

ideal being. How can God be brought into moral relation with men? For Plato believes in the divine personal goodness and disposition to care for his human creatures. This system begins in the very process of creation itself by which the material world is brought into being. Now appears the ground for Plato's mediation ideas. eternal ideas and infinite space or matter. or between the eternal and the temporal. In the 1. phenomena or the created is world. The generated imitation or copy of is." by the union of the first and third is principles. It is noticeable here that the radical between spirit and matter. namely. namely. three principles or classes of natures are described Intelligible or ideal being : which is uncreated and eternal. that the phenomenal world generated or pro- . Matter.126 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is is other assumption. that 3. God himself " cannot mix with men. and the pattern and cause of . aU temporal and phenomenal things is so that duality but a development in time of an original unity above time. which contains Plato's cosmogony." is But Thus a mediative system needed. that the ideal world the truly real. as a creature with a body. 2. Timaeus. belongs to the material and line of cleavage is temporal. Hence he is naturally separated from God and the heavenly realm. which with Plato without positive qualities. Man. and means simply space viewed It is as the receptacle or "nurse of generation. and such a system of mediating instrumentalities forms a leading feature of Plato's philosophy.

neces- sity of the mediating element This prinis ciple of mediation on which all creation depends is itself called by Plato soul (t/^x^). Through them prayers are carried up to God. This curious piece of pure speculation shows to shifts Plato was driven by is his dualistic theory. Soid a pre- liminary creation of God. He has a system of demonology which forms a sort of mediating bridge between heaven and earth. in which he seems to have implicitly believed. or good angels. Mediation its necessary corollary. a foundation for a trinitarian development. Here. was founded upon the mediative principle. inspired by vapors issuing where priestesses were from a cave. and divine responses are given to men. In fact. These demons. and this principle of union and communication between is the upper and lower worlds steadily employed throughout his metaphysical writings. are the bearers of communications from one side to the other. or rather perhaps an emanation from the divine mind (vovi) which under spatial or material conditions becomes personalized into a mediating being who thus is made what the agent in the production of the world. Even nature is introduced into this mediating system. in the very nature of the Platonic philosophy. . which Plato conceives as a sort of mixture of idea and space. Plato's doctrine of divine inspiration. Hence 5uch oracles as that at Delphi. was laid no such development was clearly visible in Plato himself. then.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM duced. 127 How can this be done ? is Here the seen.

to bring to light. in order that one may fuUy understand the historical background of the later New Platonic trinity of which Plotinus was the great expounder. word or speech. But a germ lay concealed there which later Platonists were sure Plato was no trinitarian in the fuU sense of the word he had no trinity of gods he was a strict monotheist. was . Out of it came at last the famous logos (Xoyos) doctrine which has played so prominent a part in Christian theology. to a trinitarian result. namely. so fundamental in his dualism. . and also for the expression of reason and thought in lanThe first is its guage. I have already briefly discussed this logos doctrine in its rise and evolution in pre-Christian thought. and such It was an is its significance in the logos doctrine. have found. " but it is now necessary that it should in receive a my more extended treatment. and should have been translated by the Latin equivalent ratio. The term Xoyos was ordinarily employed in classic Greek in the sense of reason or the faculty of intelligence. as we have seen so often in other Ethnic religions. constant meaning in Greek philosophy. which was plainly used in its philosophical sense. was a direct pointer. unfortunate error in the Vulgate Latin version of the New Testament that the Greek term Aoyo? in the proem of the Fourth Gospel. 128 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES signs of it The which some Christian writers. like Cudworth. But his mediation theory. belong to dialogues that are now known to be spurious. previous volume on the " Evolution of Trinitarianism ..

GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM translated to give its 129 by the term verhum. and by Greek philosomeaning phers before and after him. whicli fails wholly This blunder was per- petuated in the King James English version. and a strange spirit of reverence has led recent scholars new revised version. With this meaning it came to be employed for such forms or fruits of to adhere to this error in the The true translation is: intelligence as law. only an attribute of personality. voOs. or of a reason of God. especially the divine law or order of things. school the two terms In the later Platonic came to be used synonymously. order. frequently used the term Xoyos (reason) as the equivalent of vov^ (mind). however. principle of the Divine Being." as used by Plato. Such was its use by Heraclei- who may be said to have introduced the word into philosophical language. tus. Heracleitus scarcely rose to any full philosophical conception of a personal God. "In the beginning was Such was its the reason or intelligence of God. usual term for the divine intelligence is vovs since the divine intelligence is the essential interior Plato. real meaning. My own impression is against it. (Ao'yos) By he meant the principle of eternal reason order and law which he found behind all the changes and movements of the material world. Whether Heracleitus is ever gave to Aoyos a personal meaning not clear.. ^€os. and finally the three terms. Even it is Plato's use of it is not personal as a rule His more (mind). were . Xdyos. which he sometimes substitutes for Oeoq (God).

oyo9. then. went into Christian theology. or. and his world soul Qlrvxv) was not an eternal divine being. vors. — This change appears prominently in the famous Jew of Alexandria. came the logos doctrine of later be traced to Plato Greek philosophy with its trinitarian appendix to The answer to this must be ? found in one of those common evolutions of lan- guage by which words gather new meanings and even change places with other words. the world soul. but a created mediating being whom God made to be the connecting link between himseK and created things. between idea How. it . and A. but namely. which became the author of aU other individual souls and mediated between them and God. in and ifrvxn but what has been said shows that Plato had no such idea in his mind. The evolution began in the gradual substi- tution of Xoyos for vovs as the divine reason or intelligence. . never voOs or Aoyos.130 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES to aU employed sential eternal character. mean the Divine Being in Ms esThe term in Plato for is the mediating principle ilrvxn. trinity A sort of semblance of might be suggested as existing in Plato. He made no personal distinction between his use of ^€os. and phenomena. voOs. in more philosophical language. ^€os. a lin- — guistic process due attention to which would have saved Christian theologians from not a few mistakes. especiaQy the Gnostics channels this and through such . Philo. It is in form that it appears in the Fourth Gospel. — and also in the early Christian Alexandrian philoso- phers.

"^vxrj was his philo- In his sophical word always for such mediation. as has been said. was never used by Plato to represent the mediation element. drawn from the mythological vocabulary Here. it may be the historical founder of the Aoyos theology. Aoyos. It can now be easily seen how the Aoyos mediation doc- trine can be traced through the evolution of the Platonic dualistic philosophy back to Plato himself. Philo for is of his age. the substitution of \6yos for as the great Platonic principle of mediation. In kayo's fact. said that Philo is On the whole. if/vxy. of the of Plato. . ilruxv^ although he did not use the term Aoyos. but these personificar the principal times. but be explained by the fact that Philo has left the strict theistic position of Plato and anticipates the monistic evolution which will culminate in the pantheism of Plotinus. On an- other side a clear difference this difference is to is to be observed.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM Along with this hnguistic evolution 131 went another. medium of evolution between Plato xlruxrj and later Philo substituted Xoyos as the central principle of mediation between God. /xco-mys and introduced the word (mediator) into theological language. the transcen- dent ineffable One. and his creatures. the of Philo is the strict counterpart. more popular dialogues he sometimes substitutes such terms as tions are Sat/xwv or epo?. on the ifruxn mediational side. but for his mediating principle. namely. He placed the Aoyos as the great principle of divine mediation in the forefront of his philosophical system. again.

true Jew as he was." prayer of senger. The Aoyos has become the mesheaven. the high priest. (fiea-Lrrjs) Yet his Xoyo^ as mediator has already assumed a prominence that threatens to make his old throne as the direct God abdicate Father and Savior of his chosen people. gather his mediation ideas and foist them into his interpretation of the Old Testament The answer has been already given. still is religiously a true holds to one personal God. its and history shows that is this doctrine has source in. But even Jew.132 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the Philonic school Paul plainly To owed his own use of this term. then. which became the keynote of his mediating system.oyos cen- mediation doctrine. and directly evolved out of. Whence. " the man from medium the " first begotten son. The remarkable proem of the Fourth Gospel ceases to be so remarkable when its historical source is thus discovered. the friend of man." the and is offering. directly approaches himself men and There God deals with them as their own heavenly Father and Redeemer. writings ? A Jew in . did Philo. No such doctrine to be found in the Old Testament. The same is true of the un- known author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. in How the dogma afterwards took shape Christian theological thought and finally re- sulted in the complete trinitarianism of the Nicene tre Creed my previous book unfolds. and heart of that creed is its The very A. the Platonic philosophy. and in Philo we have not Philo yet reached a philosophical trinity.

the author of the Fourth Gospel. the later the doctrine of a third Holy Spirit. were easily led to regard it as denoting a personal mediis ating being. the writer to the Hebrews. or from the personal to the impersonal view of divinity. 2. Philo was educated in Greek where he had drunk deeply of the Platonic philosophy. began to grow in the was not difficult to find the germs of it in Philo himself as weU as in the Old Testament. two things only are wanting to bring about such a result. half-impersonal use of " rea- son" (Xoyos) is and hesitancy that appears throughout ings. sonal " reason. 133 faith. If Philo was in a sense the founder of the Xoyos . But if no trinity yet emerges in Philo. Thus the foundation already laid in the Platonic Philo for a second person in the Godhead. among scholars as to which view should be To me this question has no special interest. so strongly personal at times is But his language in re- ference to the mediator that Christian writers such as Paul. That his " reason " (Xoyos) or " media" (fieo-tTiys) should become a strict person and tor . that a third being should be added." so that there is great diversity of opinion taken. As to the already in Philo himself there is a remarkable wavering between a personal and imperfirst point.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM religious schools. it Christian church. and when person. 1. Origen and his school. indicating the half-unconscious drift of his thought from theism to pantheism. simply an evidence of the wavering his writ- Philo's half-personal.

With Plutarch we evolution side line Platonism. as remaining shreds of his traditional faith. This character which was given to Platostart nism at the was preserved to the end. and paved the way for the Christian trinity. Plato eliminated from his metaphysical scheme all fabulous materials. rectly taking di- up this last chapter of the it Greek its philosophical trinity. it was Plutarch who more truly formed the historical bridge between planted for the final evolution the older and newer Platonism. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES into which by a curious fate became transChristian theology. basis.134 "doctrine. but these were mostly a mere literary garniture and if he seemed to accept them as containing something of truth. — Philo reenter the direct line of representing a its which has become famous because of Before unique influence upon Christianity. not as constituent elements of his metaphysical speculations. he held them loosely illustrated his doctrines . and prepares us which will give us the full- fledged New of Platonic trinity of Plotinus. It is owing to Greek philosophical trinity as finally set forth by Plotinus will be the most logically consistent and this cardinal fact that the later completely speculative piece of metaphysical con- . He sometimes by myths and polytheistic traditions. and allows no strictly mythological element to al- enter in to qualify or corrupt As we have ready seen. which consists in the fact that it rests entirely on a speculative it. will be well to notice peculiar character in general.

its triune and the very names of members are those of mythological gods in the earlier polytheistic cult. He called himself a Platonist. who had done duty But this fact wiU I refer to it analysis I shall give of the Plotinian trinity and now that it may be kept clearly in view as we pass on to trace the historical evolution which culminated in Plotinus. while opposing the Stoics at different points." was a complete myth. find its best illustration in the . It is hardly known whether Zoroaster himself was a historical Sosiosh. compared with the two other Aryan difference from this point of view wiH trinities. in the earlier mythology. the be readily seen. This movement had its chief philosophical exponent in Stoicism. shows how much he was influenced . and Plutarch. but he represents the philosophic current of his age which was moving strongly towards a monistic view of the world. Zoroastrianism from beginning to it When is end is full of mythological elements. " savior. the Zoroastrian or a mythical character. and Mithra. The only is philoso- phical rival of the Plotinian trinity the Hindoo TrimurtL plainly But though its this trinity becomes as laid metaphysical and pantheistic as that of whole historical basis is Plotinus himseK.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM struction that has ever appeared in 135 the world. first century of the Chrishis writings of There is no evidence in any acquaintance with Christianity. the " mediator. Plutarch lived in the tian era." was originally a mythological divinity of the prehistoric polytheism.

come monism. is evolution. adopted to its fullest extent the associated tion. evolution. while a philosophy. as well as Plutarch. used The creation in also by the Stoics. is its by the The medifor ruling feature of Plutarch's Platonism ation system. Plato had in- troduced mediating elements to bridge over partially the great chasm that existed between his two orders of being. With Plutarch the real chasm no longer exists. are idealism. But the chasm still remained. time of Plato has given place to an evolution from eternity. for the new evolution principle led to a magnify- . The mediating Dualism has be- powers have completely filled it. with Plutarch. the ideal and the phenomenal. of course. This change was radical. called himself a follower of Plato. what we call New Platonism. and its path is straight henceforth to its extreme result in Ploti- nus. principle is original But his treatment of this and peculiar. The new philosophic key. principle of media- The first is three test words of New Platonism. is to the lowest form of matter. mediation.136 THE ETHNC TRINITIES pantheistic atmosphere around him. diation principle It was this me- Plato's dualism that made Plutarch a Platonist. The into two the belong to Plato the third new note which changed Platonism New Platonism. because starting with Plato's idealism he. Mediation in is his one solvent every philosophical dilemma. and this evolution has no gaps in its progress from the original first principle of existence This. Yet Plotinus. as himself.

But how ? one may well It ask. whether genuine or not. He gives But work entitled " Isis of a trinity. which metamor- phosed the dualism that Hes at the foundation of theism to a monism which pantheism. from the philosophic point of view. is the direct road to How his far Plutarch was aware of this no and Osiris " ^ is interesting as showing how ready he was to accept a trinity. such as he found in the Egyptian religion of his day. The " Isis and Osiris " gives evidence that Plutarch found in Platonism a sort tell. thus forming a convenient bridge between the original Plato. if not from the hand of Plutarch himself." entitled " The Three Hypostases " (*0t rpcts vTroorao-cts). .GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM 137 ing of the mediation principle. profound change one cannot sign. it harmonizes with the general tone and character of Plutarch's genuine writings. as a stage in the evolution of Greek trinitarian ideas. I can conceive of but one answer. must be the work of a disciple. that it demands further notice. was the new evolution keynote that enabled Plutarch to accept so easily the idea of a trinity of gods. One^ the Father of and the many mediational divine and semidivine beings which filled the chasm between the two worlds of eternity and time. This work is an attempt from the media^ I assume the genuineness of this production for. We shall find this very bridge employed by Plotinus in the remarkable chapter of the " Enneads. . and. from the standpoint of the Platonic dualism. The " Isis and Osiris " of Plutarch is so curious and suggestive.

This eclectic liberalism and philosophy of drawn from the inquisitive and but it grew more critical method of Socrates. and that a conunon truth underlies all the diversified forms of religious faith. principle of judgment and and more into a vital had its Plato. and undying charm. instituted between the triple and Horus. —a root in the original spirit spirit — conduct with the evolution of Platonism into New Platonism. — a the secret of their charm that sheds a halo around the writings of Plutarch himself.138 tional THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and eclectic point of view to explain the Egyptian polytheism. As a Platonist Plutarch seeks to find the esoteric truth which this exoteric The warp and woof is a comparison which of Osiris. Thus the basis is laid for a philosophical triad. inclined in Plu- tarch's day to accept foreign province. tolerant element characterized is the New Platonic writings. and among the Komans who were cults. Plutarch assumed that all religions are essentially one in spirit and aim. of agreement and harmony for This later the divergent religious systems in the world. — Egypt being of the essay is now a Roman myth myth contains. and has placed him in the calendar of pre-Christian saints. Isis. which Plutarch discovers under the disguise of the Egyptian poly- . and the three fundamental principles of Platonism. which sought to find in philosophy a common ground irenic. The subject-matter of the " Isis and Osiris " is become popular also a myth concerning three Egyptian gods which had in the later religion of Egypt.

be- cause they liken it He He and proceeds to call three the " perfect " number. It is interesting 139 to observe how ready- Plutarch is to accept a " The better and more divine nature. Plutarch built The Egyptian myth included a fourth god. Plato. Thus Plutarch brings Hesiod. Wealth. — suggests that it lies behind the trinitarian rites in the worship of the gods. suggests that in Hesiod's Theogony " the first three. figure. and Love." he says. " " and we may conjecture trinitarian view of things. and the same philosophical assumptions. Such a key is for him the bridge from unity to multiplicity and vice here say. Plutarch was thus pre- pared from his own philosophic background to employ a trinitarian key in the interpretation of the best Egyptian polytheism. that the Egyptians reverence the most to the nature of the universe. " is made up of three principles . and the Egyptian myth into philosophical harmony by means of a trinity which he finds in the very nature a passage which reminds one of the from Aristotle previously quoted. ^YQ elements of creation " are reducible to this recalls to him " the fable of Plato's which Socrates has related in the Symposium. this bridge as behind aU the philoso- phical trinities of history. Ty- ." beautiful kind of triangle (the right-angled).GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM theism." in which three persons. Poverty. and of things. in which extract he describes a principle of threeness in nature. Let me now describe it. which induced Plutarch to build lie versa. I may such a trinitarian bridge.

who represented the evil principle. which made him an active agent But in explaining the rest of the myth for evil. as given in the Egyptian myth. which the spring of whatIt is to be ever is defective evil in the world. one good. noted. For him there is only one positive principle of life and being." Whether Plato actually borrowed from the Egyptians or not. that Plutarch goes beyond Plato. the good. Plato's matter was wholly negative in character. and accordingly regarded his own trinitarian interpretation of the Osiris myth as a genuine product of Platonic principles. It is not necessary to our purpose to go at length into Plutarch's curious adaptation of the Platonic philosophy to the Egyp- . the Egyptian tarch here applies the Platonic dualism. — becoming almost if not quite a Zoroastrian. the and refers to Zoroaster as holding the same view." Plutarch plainly supposed himself to be simply following out Plato's own principles. however. Plutarch returns to thoroughly Platonic ground. But Plutarch seems to hold to two eternal active principles. Isis. In this Plutarch leaves the track of Probably the explanation is to be his master. ter of " the and Horus represent the trinal characbetter and more divine nature. and treats Typhon and as equivalent to the Platonic is principle of matter. namely. found in the character of Typhon. other evil. Plutarch plainly thought so. Osiris.140 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Plu- phon. for he speaks of Plato in this connection as " adopting into his system chiefly the religious notions of the Egyptians.

by the mediation of the world soul. the fountain head of aU intelligence in aU things. the sensible image of the intelligible being or idea In this view Horus represents Plato's phenomenal world. son of the Aoyo?. efficient cause of evil. sents the result of the united action of the first and second gods." made to correspond to the Platonic principle of matter as a purely passive." Hence Plutarch calls Osiris " the first god. and that the root self. As such Osiris corresponds to Plato's Zeus or Father. Hence she is called the wife of Osiris. which was created or generated from the divine or eternal reason. receptive. and the final as well as efficient cause of the world. He is thus the son of Osiris and made in his Father's image." the " intelligible One. the eternal reason or intelligence (Xoyos). that reason (vovs. and Here Isis is so termed " nurse " and " mother. being passive. It can be seen at once . and Horus reprenot a direct. being the medium of the active agency of the first god or Xoyos." Isis is made the sec- ond or female principle.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM tian mythology. the mediating instrument of generation. negative element. Isis. " idea of the good." al^o " the benefactor. which was a prior creation of of good. Xoyos). 141 A simple statement of it will be enough to show how far advanced already we are on the philosophical trinitarian road towards the complete New Platonism of Plotinus. and seed of it all is traceable to Plato him- Plutarch makes Osiris the superior principle of good.

and. into apparent harmony with these three mythical beings. who is made to represent Plato's matter. He seeks to cover these gaps by his doctrine of Isis. which plays so large a part in Plato's system. Phenomena or indi- vidual things. and Horus. Matter or space as the receptacle or nurse of generation.142 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES world that Plutarch leaves out of his comparison of the Platonic and Egyptian trinitarianism the soul or mediating principle. the active agent of evil in the Egyptian myth. Osiris. 2. the passive nurse of generation. is in essential philoso- phical accord with the Egyptian triad as philoso- As to the character of this trinity which Plu- tarch finds in the Platonic Egyptian religion. Intelligible being or idea. further. The result of this skill- ful manipulation is that he is able to bring the three principles of existence of Plato. the active soul Qpvxn) ^-s well as medium and " nurse " of the generating activity of the first god (vovs." or active mediating principle. Isis is thus has an active as well as passive aspect. interest How is far he was successful : in his inter- pretation does not here concern us the point of that in his interpretation Plutarch gives us his construction of Platonism. and phically explained. mother as well as wife. it is to be philosophy and the remarked that it diftriads of fers considerably from the mythological . namely. confounds the negative material element of Plato with Typhon. \6yo%). Isis. and also his " world soul. 3. which in his view has a trinitarian basis. 1.

myth a spurious development of the Platonic dualism. in the air. Plato was no trinitarian. If his God any question could dualism did not it would be whether in- volve pantheism. Isis. and is equally of Osiris. construction of deity was tinge of real tritheism. he would have found many interesting points of relationship between it and the mythological triads of his Graeco-Roman ancestors. not whether led to tritheism. and Osiris " that it so clearly shows which way the theological winds around him were blowing. whoUy theistic without His a His philosophical dualism left his theistic doc- led him to his doctrine of three ultimate principles . the 143 Had Plutarch treated and Horus in a historical and critical way. So Isis closely corresponds in some of her attributes to Athene. The Osiris of Egypt is the Zeus of Homer in one aspect. and the Egyptian myth just suits to is He . It failed to do justice to either Plutarch's triad has no real affinity with side. The historical significance of Plutarch's " Isis is. But Plutarch did not approach the subject as a critical historian. His standpoint was that of a philosophical eclectic.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM the earlier Ethnic religions. A trinitarian theory of the universe is and also of deity somehow it. of existence trine of arise. it but his duaKsm untouched. and Plutarch takes kindly ready to mould his Platonism into a trinitarian form. the Egyptian mythological trinity. and his consequent effort to harmonize an Egyptian myth with a Greek speculation must be accounted a failure. As I have said.

which were only partially hidden under the veil of irony in which he so often indulged. on purpose.144 his purpose. Thus it became the great aim of Plato's disciples to systematize the fruitful but unadjusted speculations of their master. His dialogues contain other more easily since similar speculative inconsistencies. has radically sort is the and a trinity of some very bridge he needs as a passageway from the unity of original being to the multiplicity of the phenomenal world. to afford a suitable hiding-place whenever he needed it. which Plato hesitated to enter. has admitted a new evolution principle which transformed it. philosophy. employing the philosophical materials fur- nished by Plato himself. He to pantheism. In the history of Greek phiopened the path from theism losophy Plutarch stands midway between Plato and Plotinus. dualistic was conscious of the contradiction which existed he gives no hint of any such consciousness. It does not come within the scope of this survey to trace this . but which Plotinus carried through to its logical result. He could leave this hiatus the he made no pretense of forming a philosophical system. THE ETHNIC TRINITIES But why is he so ready to turn his ? own philosophy into a trinitarian direction Be- cause his Platonism. If he Plato had never ad- justed his theistic faith to his idealistic. apparently. as I have shown. It was the New Platonic evois From Plato to Plotinus this effort sovereign note everywhere visible. this motive that developed the lution.

logical formula. the abstraction of simple existence — a purely . Two steps especially are to be noted in this pantheistic advance. First. Plato treated God as a personal being. which it is a pure abstraction. representing him. and possessing nothing but a subjective for how can an abstract idea exist except reality .GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM evolution trinitarian factor 145 any further than is required by the which so essentially belongs to Enough to note here that only one of two it. be a person or a seK-conscious agent ? Plato the knot as he foimd . while his theism gradually dwindled to a mythological metaphor. courses was open to Plato's disciples. Plato's metaphysical speculations were basis of further speculative made the thought. is The latter alternative was the one Thus the further history of Platonism marked by the steps taken in this direction. dilemma by a logical step Behind Plato's concrete per- mind (voGs or \0y05) the New Platonist (^rb Iv." But how can an left idea. placed to ov). or to surrender Plato's theism altogether and to allow his metaphysical ideal theories to run their logical course into a consistent pantheism. — theistic terms being employed with a pan- theistic meaning. the Creator and Father of the world. but his followers avoided the which eliminated sonal it. either to surrender the Platonic metaphysical idealism and fall back on a crude dualism as the basis of the — Platonic theism. in his ideal theory as the "idea of the good. however. accepted. without attributes or qualities.

without a single quality of any sort yet he again and again and. God or Father. of it himself. parent and lord of light in and the source of truth and reason in the other " (Rep. made great use of definition. 517). This isolated expression. " the one " (to Iv). Unless this peculiarity is of Plotinian nomenclature borne in mind. this His first is hypostasis (vTrocrraorts) or principle of being a pure impersonal abstraction. a simple principle of unity . and yet in another passage (509. B. thus plainly identifying the " idea of the good " with God himself . The second step grew out of the question whether the eternal ideas of Plato's metaphysical . the reader of the Enneads will often be led astray. as we shall see. he had described this same " idea of the good " as " above aU essential or individual being " (to iTriKuva t^s ovo-tas). and right. in calls this abstraction it. which Plato had casually dropped from his pen without explanation or repe- tition. In his " Republic " Plato had described the " idea of the good" as the "universal author of all things laid had been by Plato beautiful this world. the basis being suited the speculative tendencies of this profoundly metaphysical age. describing uses the personal pronoun in the masculine gender. as first deity.).14f$ THE ETHNIC TRINITIES ? in a concrete abstraction mind endowed with the power of But such a logical starting-point of Moreover. Evolution of a pantheistic rest. we have already seen. explained the Plotinus. became the New Platonic definition of the highest or sort.

GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM terior 147 world were interior to the divine reason or ex- and independent. the clearer grows one's conviction as to his real position. where Plato made the " idea of the good. lies at the very root of the but the more thoroughly one enters into Plato's point of view. But New it Pla- tonism tended to the opposite view. to be identical with God the himself. but are interior to the divine reason (vow or Xoyos). the first As reduced mere oneness without attributes. that they are not apart from and independent of God. and are employed by God as the patterns and causes of aU phenomena. God father and creator forms all things after the pattern of the eternal ideas con- tained in his own reason (^Xoyo'. in the Timaeus. also. own doctrine of which was incontestably.'). These two steps led the way to the fuUy develabsolute to God . I am aware of the oppos- ing views entertained by critics concerning this vexed question which Platonic philosophy . The world of ideas was located in mind of a second God. and what is the study of Plato's dialogues plainly indicates amply sustained by the later Platonic evolution. This is the doctrine of the Republic." which he placed at the summit of the ideal world. it could not look upon the ideas which were the types and causes of things as inhering in this first God. who was himself the the principle of intelligence (vovs) generated by a natural evolution from the first God. So. The key to that evolution is to be found only in the right understanding of Plato's ideas.

He claimed to be a regenerator of philosophy. 1. as but a few fragments . Plato did not distinguish the Demiurge or Creator from the Supreme God. His strict theism prevented it. active intelligent principle of the created world." who was generated from the second god.148 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES oped New Platonic trinity. and was the generation from the ." who by in the divine intelligence first god became the active embodiment of the eternal ideas and the Demiurge or maker of the world and the " third god. He treated the eternal ideas which were the patterns as immanent in the divine being. It will be seen that this view of the principles of the divine being differs considerably from that of Plato. self-conscious yet unable to create or actively employ the ideas that inhered a " second god. the Cosmos . scribed as " three gods." —a " . the Supreme Deity 2. This trinity he defirst god. Thus we have for the trinity of Numenius. or world. and thus stands midway in time between Plutarch and Plotinus. This trinity first ap- pears in a crude shape in Numenius." who was the absolute one (vovs). In Socrates and Plato he thought that he found a real divine trinity. and causes of things and actively op- erative in the divine mind in the construction of the material universe. the Demiurge 3. . and sought to return to the pure fountains of Pythagoras and Plato. How Numenius could have read his evolutionary pantheistic ideas into Plato it is impossible to guess. Numenius was a philosophical writer of the latter half of the second century.

that the connection be- tween him and Plotinus may be more clear. and grandson. cKyovos. not a passive instrument of genera- Lis Xoyos doctrine. immediate offspring. "Father. This spurious epistle was plainly the work of some New about Platonic this." the world is as it might be put. drifting steadily toward a trinitarian panthe- The special significance of Numenius lies in the fact that he pushed the trinitarian element to the front. mythological We have seen the generative principle playing an important part in the Ethnic trinities. He may- have seen a spurious " Epistle " which was attrib- uted to Plato and contained a passage that distinguished a " jfirst. from Plutarch on. . and thus directly prepared the way for the Plotinian trinity. one fact becomes more and more that the whole Platonic school. and more re- mote offspring. disciple. TraTTTros. of Thus the whole evolution regarded as a generative process from beginning to end. and — literally "grandfather. calls his three gods. Whatever be the truth clear." " second. tion. Numenius aTroyovos. A word or two more is required concerning the speculations of Numenius.GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM of his writings have 149 come down to us. son. But the generative idea appears in Philo in and still more fully in Plutarch. God an though not in Plato himself. Plato makes active creator. We also found it early in the development of Platonism into New Platonism." and " third " god." or. was ism. The most marked peculiarity of the Numenian trinity is its generation doctrine.

body. nature was both idealistic and hylozoistic. from the highest to the lowest forms of existence. however. totle. sun. or star. What does Numenius mean tjie in calling the world a god. and to make the Supreme Being father of the second god. It was reserved. that Plato's dualism was a seed-bed of the most verse philosophical His doctrine of Arisdisciple. which dwelt in the universe as the soul of man dwells in his body. was a consistent and . earth. There is one other point in Numenius's scheme which demands a word of explanation. How is fruitful germ of pantheistic tendencies this theory needs no unfolding. was an animated one essential divinity. But a further word should Numenius derived from Plato the idea that not only what we call the material world. idealistic The truth tendencies. and stars. and a member of his divine trinity ? it Of course pantheism explains in part.160 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the third who makes member of the triad the gen- and second members. with its earth. for Numenius to apply the generative principle to the whole trinity. We shall see how completely Plotinus accepted this fertile suggestion. In his view the whole universe. deriving its animated life from a was di- the world-soul. is one substance. in this respect. sun. and contains be added. but also that each individual intelligent being. moon. the Demiurge. was an animal or living being as a whole. erated son of the first the world. and grandfather of the third god.

We now pass to Plotinus. .GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRINITARIANISM 151 hence we shall see in our further studies how philosophical schools of the most antagonistic character can claim these two great founders of Greek speculative thought as their masters.

Porphyry. It was Plotinus who revived the central truth of . Numenius made the Demiurge or while Plotinus transfers the work of world-maker the second principle or member of his trinity . Two points are sufficient to illustrate First. and how Numenius made the Cosmos — or world a far he failed to understand the idealistic dualism of Plato. tells us that the writings of Niunenius were among those that were read in the school of Plotinus for discussion and criticism . but he takes pains to add that Plotinus was not a mere follower of Numenius. Plotinus's disciple. and show that Plotinus pro- ceeded upon entirely original lines of philosophic thought. showing how chaotic and incomplete was his trinitarianism. the Demiurge to the third principle of the triad. The between Plotinus and Numenius are palpable and radical. a rude device. differences This is plain at a glance.CHAPTER Vni THE GEEEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY There Plotinus is and a close historical connection between Numenius. member of his trinity. A second point of difference is still more radical. whom he regarded as his forerunner. this. but developed a " more accurate " philosophy.

that any of his prehe was a wide philosophy on aU sides. On the whole. In fact. influenced him as His references to Plato plainly regarded him How scious of his wide variations far he was confrom Plato it is not is easy to say. it 153 a speculative meta- physic in which the spiritual world as the eternally is carefully distinguished is This fact revealed in his from the phenomnew trinity. he dismissed entirely the Platonic element of person- fundamental to the spiritual realm. it is evident that Plotinus was under no decessors. The influence of Aristotle marked. and in its place a new spiritual principle is substituted. as has already been mentioned. from which the Cosmos or visible universe is discarded. are numerous. except so far as this. My own judgment that he re- garded himself as a true follower of Plato. The two philosophers who most were Plato and Aristotle. but exercised freely the functions of a critic. especially his whole theory of .THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY Platonism and raised upon real enal. while he adhered to the spiritualistic idealism of Plato. and he his philosophical master. and looked upon his own philosophical system as a legitimate and logical unfolding of Plato's speculations. His chief upon Plotinus is also deviations from Plato are on Aristotelian lines. and built the most complete metaphysical system of ality as idealistic pantheism that the world has seen. the headquar- Greek schools in the third century. having student of Greek special obligations to spent his early ters of all the life in Alexandria.

since the principle of all eternal. and so eternally productive of motion in the physical universe. we have seen. were the slow result of a long evolution. Plato made God an active causal agent in the formation of the world. so that the profound significance of Plotinus as a religious thinker. it still remains true that his philoso- phical system is essentially original. Plotinus accepted the view and made it the basis of his trinitaBut while Plotinus shows a thorough acquaintance with aU the great thinkers before him in the Greek world. This is pre- eminently true of his trinitarianism.IM THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the origin of the world as an evolution of phenomenal movements and activities. minds of may be duly impressed on the my readers. of Aristotle. I wish to emphasize this fact. which involve an unmoved and motionless mover or principle of motion. while Aristotle held that the world must be eternal. Before I proceed to a description of the Plotinian trinity. and their origins are hid in the darkness of the primeval world. and of his religious system as compared with other systems. Neither Zoroaster nor Buddha nor any single Hindoo sage laid the foundations of the Zoroastrian or triads. which had a beginmotion must be ning . out of which they finally emerged into the light of historical times. rianism. Hindoo which The Greek mythological trinity . and even adopts many of their ideas. Of no other trinitarian it system can as be said that it is the creation of a single religious genius. AU other Ethnic trinities.

the most creative trinitarian thinker before Plotinus. Plato was. He was a monotheist. pantheism and trinitarianism. on the whole. and in the Plotinian system each element involves the other. I have already traced that change through Philo. are essentially pantheistic. the whole character of it had to be changed. though they lie at the basis of all his thinking. and makes his three hy- postases or principles of being the root and centre of his whole explanation of the universe. and sowed the speculative seed which finally produced the Plotinian trinity. This was the truly original work of Plotinus.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY 165 forms so tender a background to the story of the Odyssey had floated down into the Homeric world from an unknown past. But Plato himself was not a trinitarian in any sense. and from the highest to the lowest forms . Plutarch. also nature and destiny. and before a trinity could emerge from his theistic philosophy. It is in- deed true that Plotinus does not baldly assert his pantheistic ideas. character. includ- ing man in his origin. Not till the Platonic monotheism had become a New Platonic pantheism could a metaphysical trinity be built on Platonic foundations. that the two great philosophical trinities of the ancient world. and could have been developed only from pantheistic principles. and Numenius. It is a historical fact worthy of careful attention and remembrance. Two words describe the essence of Plotinianism. but he places his trinity in the fore- front of his philosophy. the Hindoo and the New Platonic.

Hence. His " three (to If. trinity.166 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES What establishes of phenomenal existence. hypostases. frequently feU back on mythological ideas in order to bridge the speculative gaps in their thought. dealing with the great mysteries of the world and man and God. stubble " are mixed with the pure metaphysics of Plotinus. when one considers that all the historical elements that have entered into the development of the various Ethnic trinities appear in the Plotinian. although the is mediative principle drawn from Plato conspic- uous in the Plotinian of a divine incarnation. Every trinity before that of Plotinus has mythological. Anaxagoras. in the Hindoo trinity. hay. Empedocles. or historical elements incorporated more or less completely in its composition. Even pliilosophers like Heraclei- tus. ^vxn). and Plato himself. and stamps as genuine the originality of this wonderful system." 6 vovs. . The Mind. The Soul . This fact grows the more remarkable. legendary. But no such " wood. rj The One. viewed simply as a product of speculative thought. it remains wholly nothing in Plo- transcendental. are in no sense mythological and have no mythological background they are wholly transcendental creations of the speculative reason. never lowering itself to the point There is tinus to remind one of the God-man. or the Virgin Athene of Greek mythology. Krishna. — the result of the sublimest flights of abstract thought. is its completely metaphysical and trans- cendental character. or Sosiosh or Mithra in Zoroastrianism. namely.

living so entirely upper world. Why.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY 167 the peculiar significance of three^ the family or generative principle. — a man in truth of the sublimest faith in the imseen God. would naturally have developed out of idealistic premises an abstract and logical metaphysic that would have no room for any de- and time such as an incarnation of God demands. scent to earth phenomenal. nus. historical plane without violating its own cardinal principles. While systems that mythologies and speculative are . Less creative and poetic than Plato. an incarnation is logically impossible in any strict and consistent metaphysical scheme. the more fully I compre- hend how and apart he was from all external and how original was the character and scope of his genius. in the Such a man. No ancient thinker has ever looked so steadily and unweariedly into the face of eternal and spiritual realities as Plotialoof influences. And here is revealed the secret of Plotinus's tenacity of his grip power as a thinker. then. In short. we may weU ask. did Plotinus leave ? out the natural idea of a divine incarnation The answer becomes plain only when the character of Plotinus himself and of his speculative system is clearly understood. he far excelled him in the rigid consistency and reach of his speculations. and of the upon critical thought. Such a scheme must complete It cannot itself on purely metaphysical lines. The more I study the man himself and his writings. and the mediation principle. descend from the metaphysical to the physical.

Yet this can be said if meta^physics shall prove to be the master key to the world's enigmas. is by and teaching. With my fortified own a historical instincts developed life of historical study a strong disinclination airy path. not for such as But it aU events the histor- ical critic cannot treat as he can mythological and legendary cosmogonies. for it starts and remains far in- above of all merely phenomenal events. He can only acknowit lies whoUy beyond his own historical and critical sphere. like a shore fog under the morning sun. tinus is and intensely metaphysical system of Ploproving itself to be the most vital and it is indestructible of the world's speculative treasures. one thing is certain. Strange as it may seem. I confess to to enter and tread such an at and The Plotinian solution of the universe I. Whether directly to stand or faU. that neither scientific nor historical criticism can touch it . the rigid. logical. except so far as may be neces- sary for the explanation of his trinitarian views. the great aim of Plo- . prepared the way for the direct consideration of the Plotinian trinity. by these preliminary statements.168 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES founded upon legendary traditions are fading out. though cluding them as shadowy and subordinate incidents its wonderful panorama of existence. I hope that I have in some measure. — commend me to the optimistic — trinitarian idealism of Plotinus. which I am not yet ready to ledge that . grant. I shall not attempt to unfold the subtleties of Plotinus's speculations.

THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY tinus in aJI practical 159 his metaphysical writings is wholly and religious ." " if haply they might feel after him and find him. to find a resting- solid basis of security and comfort mid the moral uncertainties of this mortal and mysteries and At times in Plo- tinus this moral enthusiasm breaks forth in pas- sages of marvellous mystical insight and beauty. In this respect Plotinus belongs to that select class of " seekers after God. Seneca. even in their most transcendental and imparts to them an intense No more serious explorer after religious truth ever lived. though decadent. moral earnestness. anism. Plutarch. its still Epicure- haunted men with denials of a future spiritual existence. rested on a materialistic basis that could give no clear assurance of a personal immortality. Equally for them all the great object of their intellectual efforts place for religious faith. and Marcus Aurelius. Even Stoicism. Zoroaster. and Marcus Aurelius. which prises raise his strangely harsh and involved style of thought to a rhythmic heavenly strain that sur- and almost startles us. with aU its lofty ethical ideas." which includes such thinkers and seers as Buddha. —a was evils life. flights. Socrates. physical philosophy. it is to defend the reality of man's higher and immortal nature against the materialism and skepticism of his age. sanctified and embalmed in the noble writings of Epictetus. Plato. Against all such ideas Plotinus sought to raise a solid barrier in his meta- This aim animates him aU through his speculations. This moral and .

thus fallen are redeemed. as a consequence of which man is turned away from his divine source toward lower corporeal things. which remains as a minor key throughand at the close gathers every single various chord into one grand melody " How happens it ethical note : that souls become forgetful of God their Father. V.) : ereign hypostases or principles of being" (HcptTwv Tptwv apxiKiov vTToo-Tao-tcov). if : " It is necessary. is the soul would apprehend what . thus showing that it has been in his mind aU along. namely. that they should be converted from things below them " and be raised to the highest. 1. and." It is immediately after this exor- diima that Plotinus develops his trinitarian doctrine as the one only divine method by which souls it. to cial attention. which I now call spe- The very first sentence strikes the out. he thus closes therefore. having finished he returns to his starting-point. neither "Hence souls seeing God nor themselves despise themselves Plo- through ignorance of their divine lineage." tinus next proceeds to point out the true remedy. Noting the dual character of the soul as having a power of choice between things within and above and things external and inferior. the one and the first. and are thus made ignorant of him and also of their own divine nature ? " The question is answered by tracing this obliviousness to the union of the soul with matter.160 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES famous " Concerning the three sov- religious quality is well illustrated in the chapter (En. though they have sprung from him and are wholly of him.

THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY higlier. But this is only a temporary condition. is the point of view from which Plo- tinus proceeds to unfold his divine trinity. desiring to hear a voice that pleases him. But . itself — a lower It has in its present side which concerns things. then. except so far as may be for use needful. sound as it draws near . The true higher life of the soul does not begin with temporal things or end with them. two sides or aspects. with phenomenal and temporal intelligible and a higher side that is turned toward the and divine. Soul and body belong to two different spheres of being. Here Plotinus assumes the truth of the Platonic dualistic idealism. He distinguishes the eternal world of ideal spiritual beings from the temporal world of phenomena. separates himself and opens his ear to the sweeter is from other voices. with a view to hearing voices from above. state This leads Plotinus to set forth his doctrine of the soul. starts with the He is assumption that the human soul spiritual and consequently immortal. its It has in- deed become oblivious of of its divine origin because connection with the body. The body has a material origin. This dualistic line between the spiritual and material is drawn in the sharpest manner possible. so here also it necessary for the soul to dis- miss external and sensible sounds. while the soul is descended from the spiritual world. in order to keep pure its and ready introspective power. that its attention 161 should be turned inward." Such. Just as when any one.

Plato's manner of dealing with it one must reare patent to every thinker. thought was evolved the dualistic school of Socrates and Plato. This premise is one of the most curious speculations in the history day plays no small part Let us see how Plato was led to it. It is easy enough to assume dualism as a fact. He lived in a period of strong reaction from the Ionian physicists. and that such a principle must be simple and beyond all mixture or change. The fundamental differences between mind and matter of philosophy. This principle Out of this pregnant he called mind (voCs). and make it harmonize with the unity of the world.162 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES how are these two diverse spheres of being related and bound together? Here Plotinus draws his premise from Plato. but moves on to a more consistent metaphysical conclusion. and . Its whole aim was to resist the materialistic skepticism which in the Sophistic schools was becoming more and more popular. The question was how to find a standing-place for the dualistic theory. who had sought to find in nature and its phenomena the origin of the world. these differences member his whole point of view. But how to adjust and explain metaphysically the nature and origin of the union between such diverse forms of being is and always has been the In considering Gordian knot of philosophy. Anaxagoras had suggested that behind all phenomenal motion and change there must be a mover or principle of motion. to this and in philosophical thought.

even He could from his idealistic point of view. studies. the physical is Above visible the metaphysical. become a creator? Plato might have jumped the whole mystery in the Hebrew fashion. Behind matter is mind. mind of this and phenomenal uniscientific Plato shows little little regard for — the was in his day was superficial guesswork. He boldly entered the unseen transcendental sphere. which are the patterns causes in the divine verse. He held to the secondary reality of matter. not. on metaphysical foundations a spiritual The suggestion of Anaxagoras was made the starting-point. and declared that God created the world by a simple fiat." as it was explained by Jews and Christians in later times. The true eternal realities are ideal. The All world has its basis in the invisible. But Plato was not a pure idealistic monist. deny the facts before his eyes as to the temporal reality of the visible world. not phenomenal. But Plato was not physical trap.'* science there What way of metaphysical speculation. How shall he unite the two his eternal ideas worlds? How shall God. individual concrete things are only copies in time of God's eternal ideas.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY to build 163 philosophy. and led to no conclusive results. and established himself on the speculative ple that all real truth is princi- eternally existent in the mind of God. Plato sought " a more excellent way. with or patterns of things. This is his famous theory of ideas. to be caught in such a meta- "Out of nothing nothing can . " out of nothing.

him we must not lose sight of his in laying down such assumptions. and are logically true only so far as they are abstracted in thought from real objects in nature and experience.164 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES as familiar to come " was a later day. He wishes to build a metaphysical system on ." he says. aU existBut it must be remembered that such facts ence. the ultimate fact of the spiritual and sameness. " Sameare only subjectively and logically true. But Plato made this principle of logical division a metaphysical one. This purely speculative and barren assumption was adopted by Plotinus. The facts to be explained and harmonized are those which involve two separate and seemingly is radically different worlds. What fact of the tie between them? How can dualism be sustained? In this wise. "are the first of things "(xptora). Let him who has not sinned in this But in judging great object way cast the first stone. How so logical and rigid a thinker as Plotinus could have been willing to stand on so slippery a speculation need cause no surprise. " Sameness and otherness. and treated it as if it were an objective unity. and unchangeability. is The ultimate the material world multiplicity involving motion and change world is . ness and otherness " are mere abstractions and generalizations of the mind. him as Here there appears to Epicureans of the curious spec- ulation on which he dares to risk his whole meta- physical system. These two facts are the opposite poles of cardinal truth in the nature of things.

THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY wMcli lie 165 may rest his doctrine of the soul. But how explain the changes and processes of phenomena ? " Otherness " involving multiplicity is the counter principle through which nature acts. Is the soul mortal or immortal. number. been so closely united with a mortal " Sameness and otherness " is the " open it sesame. Whatever schools that principle be. " the receptacle. Plato in the Timaeus represents making the world-soul before the world it" the unchangeable and self. like previous Greek philoso- phers from Thales to Plato. All down to Heracleitus allowed this. was essentially one." which. it fire. out of two elements indivisible. and in a manner the nurse of aU genThus the world-soul was formed out of eration. sometimes called by him " space. was a necessary condition of creation." Thus as : God was formed " an intermediate essence partaking of ^'' By " the same " Plato the same and of the other meant the eternal spiritual world " which always " or change. water." Plotinus." the two fundamental principles of things. of earth or of heaven ? If immortal how has body ? and of heavenly origin and mould. and by " the is and has no becoming " he meant the material substratum of things other which Plato conceived as a purely negative principle." and became the mediating . "the same and the other. and to which God himself is subject as the Demiurge or world-former. started with oneness as the ultimate principle of nature and the world. the imlimited. air. however. and the divisible and corporeal.

of reason (\6yos^j and of goodness. The world-soul is a creation in time. in any sense. first It is of aU to be noted that Plato does not make So the world-soul an eternal principle of being. the Demiurge. and radical and profound. the deviation is It is just here that Plotinus deviates from his master. any. With this intent God first formed the soul (t/^x^) as an intermediate being to be the instrument of Thus there emerges a second member But here the evolution pauses. In truth. and not therefore to be placed on a par. and the maker of a good world. that he after all remains firmly monotheistic. with the eter- nal God.166 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES element in the creation of the phenomenal world. Plato's world-soul which he constructs so fancifully out of " sameness and is otherness " simply a deus ex machina extempo- rized for the purpose of bridging the troublesome chasm between two separate worlds. It is the . But we are seeking in all this curious transcen- dentalism the germs of the Plotinian trinity. completes his trinity on Plato's foundation. if First. sophy. the Supreme God. we have who is represented by Plato as the principle of intelligence (voC?). namely." These Platonic speculations are imbedded in the Plotinian philoworld-soul. Let us now see how Plotinus creation. of the triad. does Plato's view contain. and we are now ready to ask what trinitarian germs. Such was Plato's dualistic conception of God. the and " the corporeal universe which was formed within and around her.

but a pure deus ex like Plato's. Aristotle stopped at this point he did not take the further logical pantheistic step and hold that the sonal.. and activity Here Plo- axiom that motion implies a mover who causes motion but is not moved. The first principle or Absolute God of both Aristotle and Plotinus is not an active being who by the his intelligence and causal energy brings fill world into existence. the This whole cosmogony disappears in Plo- and gives place to a thoroughly pantheistic Plotinus cannot conceive of the first view. is that Aristotle left this point it where he found since lay beyond the field of his . first principle itations or qualities of any sort. the gap in their philosophy. and then him as were swinging in the metaphysical to be the football of philosophical critics who have ever since wrestled over the never settled question whether Aristotle was a theist or pantheist or atheist. The truth it. was above all limand hence imper- He it described God as a mind (yov's) eterleft air. THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY step 167 already noted from theism to pantheism. ligent and active. called act him Father and His first creative was the forming of the world-soul to be the mediating instrument in the formation of world. tinus. sonal being. Such intelligence involves a primary principle behind tinus introduces the AristoteKan it. Plato's God was a self-conscious intelligent perPlato Creator. devised to machina. Aoyo?). prinintel- ciple of the world as a personal mind (yovs). nally occupied in self-contemplation. possessing reason (vovs.

168 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES were scientific rather inquiries. wliicli lative. But is not one a number as then. Activity proceeds from him." It is " superior to all essence. ulative. . and what is derived must be the cause of such derivation. The Mind. is derived inferior to I need not dwell on the curious argument of Plotinus in defense of his position that " The One " is the only proper name of the " first hypostasis " or god. Intelligence and the exercise of the eternal ideas which are the patterns and causes of aU lower forms of life must belong Thus the way is to a second and derived god. prepared for the fuU-fledged Plotinian trinity: "The voi)s. he cannot be a truly intelligent being. ^ ^vxrf)' One. so that Plato's one and only God becomes in Plotinus a second principle. It is purely speccurious of and subjective. The com- pletely pantheistic character of the Plotinian sys- tem is here seen. and The Soul" (rh Iv. 5 Behind the First God and Father lov of Plato (6 or 6 voOs) another god is inserted by Plotinus (to Iv). If the first god is not subject to motion and active intelligence. is his idea that the first god is " The One " because he is above or superior to number^ as to everything else." for aU essence or active intelligent being from it. Most perhaps. than specuwith such But Plotinus was not satisfied an iUogical result. logical. since he is the first cause of aU activity. His First God is not a person or even an active principle. all. is the first much as two or three ? Why. but the first principle itself can be defined only as " The One.

cal contradiction. " The Good " if not a Plotinus was led to moral and personal being ? tonism. this second definition of his first god by his Pla- Plato's ideal theory culminated in " the idea of the good. a remarkable evidence of his sense of the unreality of his logical definition of " The One " that he so constantly applies to it « The Good . more or less concealed. placing them in the Second First God any sort. In every rigidly metaphysical system there must lie somewhere. and why principle any the Of less an essence than the second or third ? course " one " is the actual initial terminus of all numbers." which Plato himself identified with his personal God. Yet Plato jumped this . then. — by separating God and — Plotinus avoids this logi- for ideas are abstractions. — Thus his a mere God is without ideas of principle of unity and nothing more. persons. Why.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY principle 169 any more superior to is number than the the first second or the third. In Plato it was his theprinciple ory of ideas which he treated as real entities inde- pendent of and apart from aU individual pheno- mena. namely. a premise which involves a logical break. not all conscious ideas from the First (o vovs). and so Plotinus was compelled It is to accept it as the logical basis of his trinity. But an idea is an abstract universal and cannot be individualized. " for what is another name. did he so often style his first " The Good " (^rb KaXw). thus taking away with one hand what he had given with the other? There is but one answer possible.

question has been answered. whatever is derived must be inferior to its cause. the way is prepared for the third.: 170 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and identified his highest universal. But a second question now emerges how can the divine Mind put into operation the and causes of aU corporeal phenomena and bridge the chasm which separates mind from matter ? A third principle ideas which are the patterns . but the same logical antinomyat another point. namely. In the end metaphyholiness first principle? sical consistency. without a moral or good For according to his own frequently expressed axiom. with souls that are on an upward road toward the highest and blessedness. how can he be called " good ? " But how could Plotinus build a met him moral system issuing in a moral universe." with a personal God. If God is above all moral qualities and limitations. The^rs^ and second principles of Plotinus having thus been developed out of Plato's one God." one metaphysical others. In his doctrine of " The One " and " The Mind. logical chasm. Plotinus avoided this dilemma by adopting the pantheistic view of God. and how then can an unmoral first cause produce a moral world ? We must not forget that Plotinus was from first to last a moral and religious thinker. in his case as in that of so many had to give way to the interests of religion. " the idea of the good. how an intel- ligent active cause of the world can be speculatively connected with the eternal first principle of aU being. which placed him above all personal qualities.

turning ing its its sole activity first and life consists in itself toward the principle Only by the generation out of Mind of a third principle can the end be secured. since. — why cause. as Ploti- nus conceives. does Plotinus get this ? double aspect and capacity of the soul capacity of turning toward first If the second principle of being. has only a — the the its superior and principle. Soul ? But this natural question does not of reasoning. This third principle is the soul (^^vxrj^. namely. which. inasmucli as the second principle this not competent for work by itself. and it was the third subor- . being derived from Mind. to turn towards Mind as its generative cause of life and activity and also towards the material element which Plotinus. is inferior to it." But where. the One or Good.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY is 171 is needed. the Mind. three eternal metaphysical principles of being hov- ered a secondary principle of matter on which the three immaterial principles world is must operate. and so is conceived of by Plotinus as endowed with a double capacity. we may ask. if the to be formed. Beyond his seem to trouble Plotinus. It was enough for him that his grand pantheistic scheme demanded it. was far from his sphere of thought. holds to be etereternal energy of being and and good. which The inductive method demands some basis of fact or evidence from experience. as a Platonist. receiv- nally existent as a pure capacity or possibility of life when a^ted upon and vitalized by " The Soul. should not the same be true of the third principle.

that was necessitated to do same old problem which the how get across from mind to matter. and become the generator of the material world. at least in part. Soul. of its divine origin. activity which he makes the essential bond and force of his metaphysical trinity. is conversant with sensible or corporeal stiU has and another a subsistence between soul to pre- them. anthis It is the dualist always has to solve: other part things. Plotinus cuts the knot by giving to the third hypostasis. ETHiTIC TRINITIES dinate principle. a double character and faculty. Plato bridges the dualistic creative act. but in it is and the last time not only made the fundamental characteristic of his trinitarianism but also is carried forward to the further evolution of the whole universe. soul. leaving the meta- chasm by a purely physical higher world stiU separate from the lower phenomenal world but Plotinus fiUs the chasm which he allows to exist in the nature of things by extending over it the same generative power and . " One part of it always abides on high." serve it is Of course it is now easy for the two principles from which generated and to which it must always turn. and even temporarily forgetful. he says. its relation to the and yet be " drawn downward " by its closeness to matter.172 THE work. Just here is the precise point where the Platonic theism becomes the Plotinian pantheism. Soul. has two or even three parts. We have seen how important a part this theory of generation has played in Plotinus for the first all trinitarian views . His whole evolu- .

173 is founded on generation. The second Mind. in the other. is equally generated from Mind. is generated from tlie first principle. its generative power must be exercised on matter. This generative process is conceived by Plotinus as without beginning. who declared must manifest his goodness in the creation of a good world. with Plotinus. too. This image must be inferior to its pattern . and as that which is next below it is matter. the One. involved Hence the second principle is infethe first. The soul. and the third to the second. and produce the material world. to . The principle of progression which the terms generation or evolution would seem to involve is. Closely connected with the Plotinian theory of that of subordination. Not only does the Plotinian trinity exist by eternal generation^ but the world is equally that God. being good. But Plotinus goes still further. God requires that he should generate an image of him- catching his idea from Plato. since it is a true image of God. must generate a true image of itself. as he directly asserts. and in the lower world itself the same law works through a downward movement the lowest possible forms of nature. eternal. logical. and the third principle. not chronological. He defends this view by declaring that the very perfection of self. So is the temporal or phenomenal world inferior to the ideal world.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY tion doctrine principle. the Soul. and as the soul is the lowest form or principle of the spiritual world. in fact. rior to generation in the trinity is The one is.

homoousios (complete in likeness) it may be asked. tween the metaphysical and the physical at the His trinity is wholly metaphysical. that such a series of emanations must be limited to three. then. is not his doctrine of generation carries Plotinus a true dualist rather than a pantheist? But note where him. as we have seen. It is curi- ous to find Plotinus contending against the Christian Gnostic sect. . as the third principle of divinity." —a me phrase which contains the very essence of pantheism. and even ized in whoUy of spiritwhen individualits human it bodies it may recognize divine parentage and ness that is know in its own moral conscious- with God.^ The second thing to be noted is this. The soul itself is ual origin and nature. In the first place. bepoint next below the soul. AU generation involves the transmission of the essential nature of the author of generation.174 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Two things are especially to be noted in this scheme of the universe. form and this His reported . then the world thus generated must contain the essential principle of divinity. ^ See critical note on Plotinus's pantheism at the end of this chapter. though this in a lower the view of Plotinus. which held to a long series of divine emanations of which the preexistent Christ in the form of vovs or Xoyos was the first. If the soul. Plotinus draws the line sharply. is precisely last words show : " I go hence to carry the divine in to the divine in the universe. has generated the world. After aU.

then. should the of division between mind and matter occur just at this point ? Why should not the descendgradually and ing force of generation lose itself so . did he go out of his way to attack them ? dualistic The own tion reason is clear. It is needless to say that Plotinus here perhaps surpasses himself in this speculative spinning of spiders' webs. speculations.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY In short. namely tJiree^ and that no increase or diminution was possible. from the Plotinian pantheistic point of view. But why was he so solicitous to guard his doctrine of " three hypostases ? " not his whole system Gnostic in Was its essential character ? Had he not bridged the chasm more completely than the Gnostics themselves? Without the slightest doubt. lie held that the 175 forms or principles of to the eternal divine being were in the very nature of things confined strictly a fixed number. Why. and he entered into a detailed argument to prove it. is whether any real dualism was His reply found in the universe. He feared the result of his How could he answer the quesconcerning left ? inevitably raised his system. should the number of the divine principles of being stop with three ? What subtle is metaphysical significance in the number three there which should make it give absolute law to the mode of existence of the divine nature ? And. why. line that he draws so insistently berest of the tween " the three hypostases " and the not down But the question remains : and will Why. further. line on the Plotinian theory.

Ttto-is meant the underlying essence or principle of things. since it was " superior to all essence as lying at the basis of ings can and could not be numbered. Plotinus did not employ the term vTrooT-acris (hypostasis) with the meaning it by Athanasius or by Orimust refer the reader to my previous volume for an account of the changes of meaning that this word underwent in the theological nomencla^ afterwards applied to I gen." are not three personal individual beings.176 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES it would not be any keenest metaphysical eye to see He does not even Plotinus gives no answer. as all individual beso that we must regard his employment of the term hypostasis to designate " the one " as a yielding to the necessities of language. it must be re- secretly in lower forms of life that possible for cognized that his trinity rest of his system. Hence Plotinus's spec- . Mind. though not personalized. and to be interpreted in an improper or metaphorical sense. He conceived of three such essential forms aU existence. . in the Plotinian trin- was an hypostatic being. mind. Enough here to say vTroa-- that to Plotinus. But while he was intent on preserving the form of dualism by his doctrine of three hypostases. as to Plato and Aristotle. it? seem aware that any answer is needed. To the " one " he would not allow even any hypostatic or good " character. and Soul. ture of the fourth century. The second ity principle. is as pantheistic as the His three principles of being " The One. but only separated from " the one " by " otherness " or difference.

and samefirst ness are the existences. . and having constructed out of his own speculations this meta- physical passageway from earth to heaven. so narrow that even the righteous — could not pass over it alone. Such. to " the many.t " oth- For soul comes into It is in tliis contact with matter in which " otherness " or multiplicity has its true abiding-place. nition. way that " otherness " becomes a part over which Plotinus one. No such distinction can apply. erness " has fullest play. which can be numbered hence Mind is essence. the pheno- menal world. though " the first cause " of aU being. without falling into . indeed." being without aU qualities or defi- was beyond essence." to emerge in the second Mind. otherness. which might well be compared to the Zoroastrian bridge of Chinevad." and hence unchangeable. he thinks. The use made by Plotinus of the Platonic term " the same and the other " is curious." which is of the bridge is able to pass from "the only " the same." by which he meant that " the one. essence.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY Illation that 177 " mind. in the third hypostasis. is the soul. was the faith of Plotinus. since it " can be circumscribed. tha." But it hypostasis. build on it How airy is and unsubstantial such a speculative bridge needs no argument. and hence not a true hypostasis or being. to " the It first begins one. and appears in the ideas of the Mind." that is. To a whole philosophical system would be impossible to any one who had not a complete key of all faith in metaphysics as the knowledge.

is At a later point in our study we shall compare the trinity of Plotinus with that of the Christian religion. words. may be asked whether Certainly it is the trinity of Plotinus after all. that It is." with all its pantheistic implications. anticipate that comparative survey so far as to say that the logical tendency toward pantheism in its which later is inherent in every philosophical form of trinity is illustrated in the Christian dogma Augustinian SabeUian form. — lie traveled it with a confidence is sublime. employed as though I cannot leave it this analysis of the Plotinian to trinity without once more bearing testimony my profound sense of the moral fervor of Plotinus's .178 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the abyss below. In the this respect it differs. which wholly consistent with itself. and can be compared only with the Hindoo Brahmanical trlmurti. I may. as we have seen. is were really something more than a metaphysical snare to catch the unwary. anything more than a playing with not a tri-personal trinity. interesting to observe that the old Platonic-Plotinian speculative device of " sameness and otherstill ness. so that the Plotinian trinity remains to this day the solitary ex- ample of a pantheistic trinitarianism. from all mythological triads of the Ethnic religions. But even in the Hindoo triad there is a mythological basis and element. however. and especially in the present efforts of theologians who still wear It is the trinitarian mask to harmonize their so-called trinitarianism with a monistic philosophy.

To see it clothed in its proper body. the works of Plotinus were included. at excessive intellectualism." caught their idealistic meaning from the same headspring that fed Plotinus's Gospel on the Hps of Christ." But surely such a view of " the land . to indicate is an But such not the fact. I do not forget the criticism of Augustine upon "the Platonic books. namely. ligion." in which. the and the life. that though these books gave a vision of heavenly things and " the land of peace. one must study deeply and patiently that wonderful compound of specuthought which was gathered into the Enneads by Plotinus's great disciple. 179 Such a brief analysis as has been at- tempted can convey no adequate idea of the impression which the Enneads make on the mindI have given a mere skeleton of the Plotinian trinitarian philosophy. soaring spirit. lative The extremely metaphysical nus's writings seems. " I truth.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY writings. Porphyry. Metaphysic was for Plotinus the highest form of truth. as he compared them with the scriptures." they failed " to show the way thither. first character of Ploti- sight. and truth was equally for him the life of re- The words put by the author of the Fourth am the way. and arrayed in the fair form of the Plotinian mystical idealism. no doubt. and from a metaphysic that gives a foundation to the doctrine of the soul's essential spirituality and divinity. AU the loftiest spiritual natures have always drawn their visions of divine truth fi'om faith in an unseen ideal world.

is a beautiful illustration of the gious spirit. or sweet and touchlife ing revelation of a man's inner spiritual be found in epistolary literature. once the bridge is crossed from earth to heaven. Airy and unsubstantial though his metaphysic may be. No one can drink deeply of Plotinus without becoming conscious that the Plotinian stream was somehow of eternal truth. drawn from the fountains ever how- much we may its criticise the channels through which living waters have flowed. — can it written as was in aU the freedom of a private correspondence.180 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is that very far off " as Plotinus held up before the soul has no small part to play in the enkindling of its its immortal yearnings and energies. a flight of the Alone the Alone Q^vyri jxovov Trpos fiovov). is the effect a thorough study of this marvelous thinker. With a pathetic . the soul feels that somehow its of true eternal resting-place is reached. and of divine and happy all external things here below. New Platonic No more pious. A Porphyry reli- to his wife Marcella. and such. and in its true awakening from forgetfulness of divine original and home . of Plotinus who wrote letter of the life and to whom we owe the preservation of his master's teachings. in fact. in a season of forced absence. — —a men life free from above the I have alluded to Porphyry. Surely such words as these with which the Enneads close have a far off and supernal ring : " Such is the life of the gods. yet. recently brought to light. senses to and its pleasures.

a sort of " Epistle to Posterity ? " I cannot think so. Is it their aU fine writ- ing.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY panion away from his earthly tion self. and her upward into all the larger spiritual that is open to good and loving seems to souls. I wish to call atties tention to the remarkable freedom of the Ethnic from gross and degrading superstitions. The whole epistle is redolent with the pure atmosphere of heaven. 181 tenderness he turns the thoughts of his life-com- whose separa^ from her she is mourning. and to the growing elevation and moral purity of Ethnic thought in the progress of the trinitarian ideas of comparative religion has done remove the traditional Christian prejudice concerning the real origin and character of It has been the custom in Christhese religions. I would rather believe that Porphyry. while earth and time and petty affairs fade out of view." In concluding this survey of the Ethnic triniand before proceeding to a comparison of them with the Christian dogma. to that higher continually spiritual self that is ever present with her. The all writer live habitually in the clear vision of di- vine things. with which she may from this point of view he leads life and commune. ages. as . like his master Plotinus. was one of those seekers Christ's find. after God who found " Seek and ye shall own words true: knock and it shall be opened unto you. The study much to tian ecclesiastical history to apply the terms " pagan " and " heathen " to them in a bad sense.

especially in their ideas of and of the supernatural sphere. or Seneca. to learn the truth concern- ing God and his relations to this world. Paul's Epistle to stern indictment against heathenism in the first chapter of the the equally to a degenerate Christianity. practices of heathen Romans applies The wicked men are no worse than those . or Plotinus. One cannot read the Odyssey. without feeling assured that these cret of men had somehow learned the great secommunion with the higher world. or the JEneid. even the objects of their faith seem to us so allied to error and superstition. The oldest crudeness of their ideas.182 if THE ETHNIC TRINITIES they were essentially evil of evil-minded and false. or the moral sayings of Buddha or Socrates. or Porphyry. or the writings of Plato. are the result of the earnest efforts of men. does not lessen our sense of the truly moral and religious character of such efforts to find within the reach of worship. in the dawn of moral consciousness and under the dim light of the earliest divine revelations. or Plutarch. more fully how compared with Surely there were if men of great faith among them. historical ignorance. God and to bring him down human scrutiny and faith and we realize Rather our sympathy grows for these their religious light ancestors of our race as meagre was ours. or Marcus Aurelius. — the God work men and even of diabolical that the supernatural beings. as seen in the mythologies and cosmogonies. Such views were born of Our survey shows Ethnic religions.

of either Ethnic or Christian flitted saints. whether in science. R.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY of nominal Christians. and tinged with a childish spirit of fear. Compare. on " The permanent influence of Neo-Platonism upon Christianity. Further. 183 and are not to be con- founded with the efforts. for example. the religious light grows dimmer. any other like evolution in human experience. Egypt with the idealistic philosophy The passage from the Egyptian anito the Plotinian transcendentalism is mal worship involves a religious evolution that outstripping. CRITICAL NOTE ON THE QUESTION OF PLOTINUS'S PANTHEISM. in a valuable and suggestive article in the " American Journal of Theology. England (Bampton Lecturer. He says (page 336) that Plotinus sought to " save per- . or in philosophy. 1900. the upward this early religion is it are plainly progress of the religious beliefs of clear as the path of history is men is equally from the beginning reli- traced. 1899). As we push back our tigations into primeval times. Inge of Oxford. and fanciful. Mr. to realize the moral ideals that before inves- their aspiring souls." holds that Plotinus was not a pantheist. perhaps. the early gious ideas of of Plotinus. and religious ideas and beliefs grow more naturalistic. often made with the lof- tiest spirit of sacrifice. but the reality of none the less clear. W." April. and from drawn whatever moral sanctions have had power with men. in history. vast indeed.

as returning from this separated corporeal condition to the eternal unity of the all in all. hypostasis (vTroo-racrts) person. 1. Separation involving individuality begins with the union of spirit and matter. (Koa-fio? vorp-6<s) Here the dualism : of Plotinus signifi- cantly appears. use of the phrase " sameness and I suspect that Plotinus's otherness " has mis- led Mr." Does Mr." Moreover. It is in harmony with this view that Plotinus treats the human soul as descending from a pre-incarnate impersonal form of existence. They were super-personal. In one place (V. " We must not inquire after a place (xwpa) where we may establish it. but it must be assigned apart (c^o)) from all place. " The One. as If so. Inge suppose that the " three hypostases " in the view of Ploti- nus were individual personal beings? disagree with him entirely. the soul. Personality and separate individuality for Plotinus involved connection with matter. " separated but the hypostases " are (xoiptcrOeyTo) from each other not separated from each other " (V.) because there is nothing between them. 6. to a self-conscious state as an individualized person. viewed in its higher aspect. Soul. Inge. he declares that what is true of the first and second principles is equally true of the third. Plotithat nus supports his position with the assertion of Aristotle " the first principle is separate from matter. when united with the body." 184 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES sonality while insisting on unity. The two worlds are . and at death. I must In the Plotinian vocabulary did not mean an individual or Plotinus used the term in the sense of Aristotle an underlying principle (apxr]) of existence." Only when the soul has become embodied in nature is it individualized and personalized. Mind. end) Plotinus says that " the second principle. being generated from . 6. 1." were in no sense persons. They had no place in the intelligible or ideal world . to awaken.

all its its tem- porary abode. as truly savors of pantheism. At all events. drops with the body its the accidents of bodily existence and returns to previous ideal where aU separation ends and where the one (to The whole of €v) is the all (ttolv) and the all is one. To defend sign of individuality as applied to is nx)t separation hut distinction" God in trinity. but even their personality rather an accident than a fundamental attribute of being. For him. but I would call special attention to the fourth and fifth Books of the sixth Ennead and will give a few extracts in support of what I must regard as the only state. certainly savors of Sabel- lianism. . The assertion of Mr. The vacillation in language here observable illustrates the which Plotinus as well as Plato his dualism he must introduce separation somewhere." to wit.THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY 185 the first principle. the Enneads is saturated with the Plotinian pantheism. He begins with its negative or idealistic presence in the intelligible world. as applied to created moral beings. Persons belong only to the material world of multiplicity is and change soul. personality with individual self-consciousness involves separation. as a sort of shadowy anticipation of its real existence in the form of multiplicity and separateness in the phenomenal world. that " the true speculative difficulty in was involved. such lan- guage is wholly foreign to Plotinus. of " otherness . and separation is the attribute of matter. and. hypostases. where Plotinus insists that the two principles are not separated. Hence his doctrine of the ideal world and of its trinity is wholly He allows a " distinction " in " the three pantheistic. . Inge. is present with it in such a way as to be separated from it by otherness alone" The term " separated " here must be interpreted in the light of the preceding statement already quoted. The human on leaving the body. " but not of separate personality.

speaking of the relation of the soul to the body. but when is it presides over nothing material and particular it wholly uni- though retaining its capacity of partition. in the sense of being question between the panwhether such personal self-consciousness is a temporary and accidental phenomenon or an essential element in all moral existence. and of the comparative good and evil growing out of such a " relation. should confine himself to a single department of For no longer an individual (iKcto-ny) but when separated from the ideal world. Inge's apparent misunthe use made by Plotinus of the term He says : " Plotinus asserts personality -— Sei (EKaarrov cKaorov cTvat.186 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES In En. says is the liberation of the soul from : Why the body good its ? Because while it is not of the body in rather nature. though is : each soul when wholly separate from body in another manner versal. Mr." I must here call attention to derstanding of cKacTTos (each) . Plotinus. self-conscious beings. although being one who is learned in all knowledge it. Just as if for its energy is itself of no the longer devoted to the whole. becomes somehow partial Travros) : than universal (ck rov whole. possible interpretation. 15. But this is far from proving that Plotinus was not a panthe- of the term l/caorrov to the world of matter place in the world of spirit. No one of course denies that human souls in the present bodily state are personal. it is universal . not in place but in energy. pas- sage which I have quoted above confines the application it has no Does Mr. 4. it becomes something particular (to Kaff iKatrrov) and is a certain portion of the whole rather than the whole itself. VI. I have no controversy with him. Inge mean that " Plotinus asserts personality " in this present world merely ? If so." But Plotinus in the . theist The and the theist is . yet it when it is spoken of as such through (fiepLKrj) union with it. ist.

THE GREEK PLOTINIAN TRINITY 187 But if any doubt could remain. then it must follow that in every particular man God is present with him. there also the second class and also the third. and we to ov). Besides. since. then." Passing now to the so to a certain ex- soul as existing in a human body and tent separated from the ideal world. without being separated by intervals but all united with one another. As to us men our truest possessions and (cts we ourselves belong to real being ascend to it." view to the whole trinity of the ideal world. being is present. not need- ing images or types of them." stand. intuitively perceive the realities of that world. it results that classes of being in where the first class of is. as if in one sphere from one point. namely. Plotinus enters into to both a curious description of such a soul as belonging worlds and illustrating both sameness and otherness. But if this cannot be. the following extracts would seem decisive. suspended. and at the same time exists everywhere as the Plotinus proceeds to extend this imiversal whole. but directly discerning them. And here he touches that key which he " is continually striking in his whole philosophy. since aU men from the movements of their own free moral consciousness declare that God (t6v " Under^eov) is in each of us as one and the same. that this God is . "For since there are in the intelligible world three several a certain order. the soul's true divinity. From which it follows that we truly belong to . being originally and naturally derived from it." and no longer form one whole. not in one place or another. " It is universally believed among men that the one and same in number is everywhere also a whole. he would no longer be everywhere. if but equally everywhere but God is everywhere he cannot be divided into parts. but individual parts of him (eKao-- Tov avTov fiipos) would exist in different places. God would then be a body (a-Mfjia). then.

or in fact the Enneads as a whole. Mr. for they are marvelously consistent throughout in their fundamental premises ? . all the conditions of its separated life will disappear and it wiU become like God himself. and of whom can be predicated or known by perception or intelligence (En. of separation Some one may inquire be God " does Of course it does. 7." the bold con- pantheism of Plotinus. Inge says: "Plotinus is no Buddhist. its release from the body occurs. VI. 41)." " Hence as pure souls ta-yiev hi). But should anythat upward direction. how does he interpret the above quoted pas- sages.188 that world THE ETHNIC TRINITIES (ta-fiiv eKctva). we become of our true condition as one (Iv ovTci). for its here dealing with the soul in present state and multiplicity. however. the one-all whom Plotinus describes as neither 8c kavTov)^ beholding himself (ovSc BXcn-ct nor exercisnothing ing any intellectual apprehension. whether the Plotinus is soul's " perceiving itself to not allow individual personality. one be able to turn himself in either by his own power or through the aid of Athene. When. we are one and aU {iravra apa But when we look ignorant without ourselves to the external world rather than to that ideal world whence we came. the he will perceive himself to be sistent God and Such is aU (Otov tc Kot ainov koX to irav ot/rerat)." If he means that Plotinus did not hold to the final absorption of the soul's present conscious personal life at death into the super-conscious Nirvana of pantheistic Bud- dhism. Pantheism can go no further.


reads to the present the lessons to be derived — I hold to be the only latter-day prophet. " The true historian — he who most sympathetically. ." — Charles Francis Adadis. experiences of the past President of the Massachusetts EKstorical Society. That man has a message to deliver." The conversion of ecclesiastical and confessional Christianity into historical Christianity is the work of Biblical science. as well as from the correctly." — Hbnbi-Fbedbbic Amibl.

having their basis common religious nature field of of and man. or intellectual movements. It holds true as weU in the history of religion. of The rela- the Ethnic trinities to the Christian dogma have a plain historical foundation. in practical. scientific This of the or historical method. The tions consideration upon which we now enter can- not therefore he treated as exceptional. Our Otherwise there could be no history of religion. both of resemblance and difference. indications of such relationship have appeared. naturally suggest and involve a common external background and source in history. But when we enter the Christian origins . as in that of nature or of its human life. The which wiU be considered later. have moved along the same line of historical evolution that has governed all other earthly things.CHAPTER I EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS The a first law of historical evolution is universal its line and is knows no break in principle of continuity. previous studies have given ample evidence that the religious ideas of men. from the earliest times. social. Already. in our close internal relations survey of the Ethnic spring in the trinities.

such indications become the very material and substratum of religious history in the ordinary historical dential changes No histori- cal breach occurs. and the basis of a spiritual doctrine of God and the soul laid in the Platonic idealistic philosophy. against . Judaism had become corrupt and the needed reformer appeared in Jesus No more truly historical event has of Nazareth. but the old evolution moves on channels. religion This new was a natural outgrowth of the earlier Mosaic reformation and of the Jewish monotheistic faith which was built upon it. one of the most remarkable religious epochs in human annals. evangelistic zeal. as a religious reformer. He was of Jewish ancestry and training. the finally. heralded by Socrates. though provi- character take place. and developed into immortal literary form by Plato. filled and came forth from his Galilean home with a true. and aster. that wonderful period of intellectual and moral iUuminism in the Greek world. At the beginning of the Christian era. ever occurred than the advent of the Nazarene. and the way thus providentially pre- pared for the reception of Christianity.192 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES itself. by means of which the old superstitious faith in an idolatrous polytheism was shattered. Witness the Hebrew monotheistic reformation under Moses. tions were not and reformations of a remarkable Such changes and reformain the history of religion at the new time of Christ's coming. the great Persian religious movement in the time of Zoro- founding of Buddhism.

and hypocritical orthodoxy of the later Jewish Pharisaism. 193 His great effort was its to revive the older prophetic teaching. My present new ical to mark the fact that this religious epoch began in a completely histor- previous way and was a natural development out of chapters of religious history. pearance of Jesus Christ can just as easily be accounted that of Zoroaster or tes. from a historical point of view. and. with aU their religious are wholly within the range of historical research." lies behind them all. The mysteries of the divine selection and call- ing and administration by which such religious epochs are brought about are closed to the historian's ken . are being brought out more and more clearly into the light of open day. thanks to the new science and history. in place of the dead. though " at sundry times and in divers manners.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS the false religionists of his day. working through history according to one universal law of good. Further on I shall dwell more fully on the character of object is his messianic mission. in all living spiritual power. in the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke. formal. The apfor. as Moses or Gautama or Socra- One divine providential purpose and move- ment. the historical reply must be that such legendary and philo- . themselves. Should any one here bring forward the legends concerning a miraculous birth of Christ. or the philosophical proem of the Fourth Gospel. but the earthly human movements results. concerning a divine incarnation.

namely. it critical age. but were the of all common accompaniepochs ment remarkable religious and characters. critical account of the Christian legends and the must refer my readers Such legends do not come directly within the historical field. beyond all other religions. that the evolution of religion in its ordinary natural movement is able way in which they arose. as our previous studies have illustrated in the case of Zoroaster. but must be cast aside as misgrowths of a credulous and unEven were they accepted as true. bom and one of them. Buddha.194 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES first sopMcal growths did not life gather around the of Christ. to trace the evidence of historical relations between the Ethnic trinities and the scarcely Christian dogma. such ideas form the mythologies. It is needless to add that common stock of all ancient which show how ingrained they were For a fuller in the earliest traditions of the race. and Plato. Such evidence seems necessary when it is considered that the Christian religion has hitherto been regarded as. a historical one and based on historical facts. I to my earlier volume. became also the medium of a divine incarnation. to explain in a strictly historical way the appear- ance of Christ and his religion. then. Buddha. not affect the position which the historical would student must take. The traditional dogmatic apologists of Christianity have made much of the assured . I proceed. Later legends represented them aU as miraculously of virgin mothers through a divine parentage .

bases the doctrine of the trinity on the simple fact.' but simply the ex- pression in philosophical language of what had entered the world as a statement of fact — the fact that there is plurality. then. and the author of a work on "Divine Immanence. while the Ethnic religious ideas were purely subjective delusions bom of the mythological imagination or specula- which alike were under the control of Frequently in a fallen and depraved nature.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS 195 fact that the chief articles of the Christian creeds were actual historical events. on " The Incarnation and the Trinity. the Bampton lecturer for 1894. the I baptismal formula of the Christian church. the doctrine of the trinity no metaphysical invention. his resurrection and ascension. or at least as superstitious and wicked forms of error. theological literature such matters as the virgin miraculous birth of Christ. it wiU be noticed that Hilary here. like the Platonic 'ideas' or the Aristotelian 'form. lUingworth. like Augustine after him. namely. So recent and learned a writer as Rev." allows himself to use such ." . in a chapter of the latter book. tive reason. K. in GodJ^ " Accordingly. in the light is of its history. and even the trinity are described as historical facts in contrast with similar legends and dogmas current in the Ethnic religions. the second person of the itself. language as this " Viewed. which are treated as inventions of Satan. J. his incarnation dition as and his preexistent contrinity." published in 1898. triune plurality.

lUingtrinitarian worth must be aware that the baptismal formula was not " a simple fact " of original Christianity. then. The evolution from the one name to three names accompanied the corresponding evolution of monotheism into trinitarianism.' " I will only ask the reader to his- postpone judgment to the conclusion of this torical survey. referring to so Mr. But recent studies in comparative religion have demolished all completely such assumptions. it Allowing." and is therefore " no metaphysical invention. but the result of a historical evolution from the original norm which was simply a baptism in the name of Christ. tion It is has usually been implied. but even more at the apparent historical ignorance so naively displayed. Yet Mr. that the trinity philosophically expresses "a fact. that or other religions are wanting largely in this note of historicity historical credibility. its true his- must foUow that Christianity true that the counter-assumpall forms an essential part of the history of religion as a whole. Illingworth's book. namely. What do we . torical character. lUingworth's assertion. — not merely by in view of the confusion of the dogmatic and the meta- physical and historical points of view so curiously revealed. As to Mr. to criticise it much as to illustrate with the insistence of Christian apologists on the real historicity of the Christian religion. But it has not been my object. like the ' Platonic ideas. in it.196 THE ETHNIC TKINITIES confess that I marvel as I read these statements a prominent English divine.

Comparative as a historical science deals only with .EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS mean when we speak of a religion Do we mean that its doctrines. The history of theology. shows how such abstract doctrines concerning God and man and the world have been slowly evolved as civiliBut to call such notions of zation has advanced. Zoroastrianism. not concrete historical events. with truth or falsehood. as itself has succeeded in propagating are the only among men. who Mor- mediums of historical events. the truth or falsity of a its that it is the test of historicity. apply equally to all rehgions. for example. as American history conclusively shows. is having a very concrete historical place in any complete survey of the world's religions. are as truly historical religions as Christianity. and so far only. Mohammedanism. dhism. just so far. concrete fact. all its but whether entered human life. God and man and nature "facts of history" is an abuse of language which one seeks for in vain History and outside of theologians themselves. are historical events carries its falsity ? 197 as historical? philosophical Such a statement Philosophical on its very face. in the scientific meaning of Budthese terms. religion It is not. Every it religious idea that ever appeared in the world is historical. but abstraxstions are creations of the mind. as a hard. as formulas. then. formulas are ideal abstractions. monism. whether true op false . historical credibility. both Christian and Ethnic. and became a blessing or bane to religion human souls.

198 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES fact. Almost the started more recent religions of the world have from a single historical founder whose new conceptions of truth have been historically devel- oped into philosophical and dogmatic systems of These different systems one sort or another. But such a scien- study. elements which look toward community of and faith on the one hand. new lines of In is this respect it will be found that Christianity no exception to the . Christianity must come under the evoall same lution historic laws of natural. by a comparative the origin and discriminating analysis. All religions alike must be treated in their purely historical aspects. to be fruitful. must rest on a purely and historical basis. and yet wonderfully homogeneous . As a historical religion. matters of historical A complete historical survey of the world. on the other. The gain not only to every candid to science. and accepted as equally having a place in the providential history of the race. reveals a multitude of religions and of religious ideas. of such a comparative study must be plain tific mind. as far back toward the origins of mankind as research allows. infinitely diversified. providential as any and every other. but also to religion itself. have frequently affected each other and led to modifications which have resulted in theological evolution. and toward diverspeculative gence and complexity as the result of differences of environment or of free thought. and it has been the task of the historical student to seek. then.

199 In a passage wMch reveals a pro- foundly philosophical and critical spirit. as they have been historically developed. were of heavenly origin. who in Jesus himself was thus acmen. and hence infallible ' and perfect. introduced into the world by Jesus of Nazareth. is to say.^^ is What Jesus. : then. Christ's teachings. Amiel in his " Journal Intime. in contrast with those of aU other religious prophets and sages.: EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS general rule. the great ideas of Greek wisdom. Neither its doctrine nor its morality." Of course. was a new religion throughout. are new or spontaneous. Christianity thus became differentiated from aU other religions as the one divine gospel. who broke the continuity of history and of historical religions through a divine incarnation which miraculously transcended aU ordinary natural laws and became the witness and seal of a direct and perfect revelation of tually " manifest in the flesh " to God. that and of Europe. tianity Jesus. — spiritual currents of dis- certain religions. and especially those of Platoof Asia nism. F. The imknown author of the Fourth Gospel makes Christ say " / am the truth." says most truly " What we call Christianity is a vast ocean into which flow a number of tant and various origin. This view made the person of Jesus the very substance of truth. with the . H. with all accretion of dogmas and rites gathered in the course of centuries. It has the religious consciousness of been the traditional dogmatic view its — is original and specific in Chris- that Christianity.

How have been otherwise. Going back now to the historical tianity in the life and teachings of so groundless origin of Chrisits founder. unhistorical as was. to It God human view. a time of intellectual and moral gloom. therefore. was the only true false. I need not here do more than simply That it Every page dence in its of history contributes its quota of evirefutation. and had. Christianity. and other religions were How en- tirely without historical foundation this is whole view declare. in the Dark Ages. when civilization almost expired." religion. when history became a " lost art " and legend and fable filled the whole horizon of human life with delusion and fear. while those religions were of human fabrication. and the Christian religion itseK became a system of degrading superstitions.200 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES seal upon it of God himseK. we . was in such an age that Christianity completed dogmatic and ritualistic forms. should have been it accepted as true. the work of men who " did not like to retain God in their know- — ledge. men with professed historical learning could uphold an assumption. could it is not surprising. in the closing days of the nineteenth century. The real surprise begins when. when earth and air with supernatural beings whose diabol- were ical filled nature and power were mostly exercised in tormenting and terrifying poor humanity. under the light of a new science and history which has so its — thoroughly dispelled the ghosts of past ignorance. almost left his own world.

. but was a part of the accepted creed of his own As to those later Christian dogmas. lUingworth claims that " it was implicit in the Christian creed. heaven. births and divine incarnations were common appendages of new religious movements ages before Christ's day. which were the result of a slow evolution and cannot be attributed to Christ himself. and refer my readers. So far as he had what we may call a theology. their Scriptures. trinity. I can only express my surprise that any scholar in these days should dare to make such a claim." and " was not borrowed from Plato or any other Ethnic source " (Bampton Lectures. was ethical rather than dogmatic. 66^. miraculous virgin birth. life. even then history shows that such and should the claim be dogmas Miraculous were not original with Christianity. 1894. hell. it was derived from his Jewish ancestors and from His doctrine of God. sin.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS ask : 201 What was its historical starting-point ? In other words. such as incarnation. though Mr. As to the trinity. allowed. and what was the new truth which became the seed of a new religion ? Certainly the answer is not to be found any new dogmas which he gave to the world. in Christ's teaching a future day. wherein did Jesus of Nazareth show himseK a religious genius and leader. man. was not original at all. for the abun- dant evidence in disproof. to my " Critical History of the Evolution of Trinitarianism " and to the . p. should it be claimed that as Christian doctrines they originated in Christ's own teachings. etc.

he spoke out of the free spontaneous in- tuitions of his possible. again. Christ had not been educated in any philosophical school. No wonder that dwellers in Jeru- .202 fuller THE ETHNIC TRINITIES testimony of the book in hand. if was he affected by the various Greek partition philosophical schools that were beginning to break down Jewish isolation. own moral nature. with cardinal logos doctrine. the direct lineal descendant of the Platonic dualistic idealism. whole spirit and method were different from theirs. sist in its Nor. whether Jewish or Greek. scholastic Judaism seems to have affected him any further than to draw forth his aversion and antagHe did not teach " as the scribes. While they were under the yoke of a theological tradition. to which Christ proclaimed is men a new philosophy spirit a gross misrepresentation of the whole and method of the great teacher. if I will simply add that is there is one historical fact that in the his- more assured to me than any other it is tory of Christian theology.*' His onism. Neither Palestinian Sadduceeism nor Alexandrian the walls of Philonism ever disturbed with their skeptical or mystical clouds the intellectual serenity of his Galilean soul. the fact that the its Christian trinitarian is dogma. There is no evidence that he had any acquaintance with the metaphysical ideas which were floating in the intellectual atmosphere Not even the rabbinical thought of of his time. Even less. does the newness of the gospel conTo caU the " good news " philosophy.

" It is true that Christianity was afterwards developed into a philosophical creed. Confucius. again. when compared with Christian- Innumerable passages can be quoted from the reputed sayings of Zoroaster. as we shall see. Much has been made of this point in the traditional apologies and polemics. Paul. there are other religions that would not suffer greatly ity. inspired with a purity and sweetness of moral temper that strongly re- mind one of Christ's own teaching. but as the immediate offspring of his tion with own moral rela- God : " My teaching is not mine but his that sent me.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS a gospel so strange to their said : 203 salem should have " marveled " as they listened to ears. also. that he regarded his gospel not as the product of education or philosophy. as is true of all religious ideas. but this its historical process cannot be traced to founder. was the new system of But ethics. " How knoweth this man having never learned?" And Christ's reported answer shows this at least. historical comparative investigation religious has disillusioned the whole If reli- purity of ethics was to be the great test of gious systems. and should have letters. Socrates. or in the kindred doctrine that the great aim and end of moral life . Gau- tama. was the historical bridge between the " good news " of Jesus of Nazareth and the speculative philosophy of the Nicene Creed. Christianity of Christ a Nor. form Surely human ethics reaches its highest in the doctrine of universal love and benevolence. field. here. and Plato.

was. is surely the but where can a life more touching example bilia of of such a be found than that of Socrates as given in the Memora- Xenophon and in the Phaedo of his dis- ciple Plato ? devoted to not this Does the life of Jesus of Nazareth. one holds up directly before his eyes the actual historical Hfe of Christ moved Surely it as a principle it and catches the spirit that and spur of moral action. while the latter doctrine written on every page of Buddhistic every ethical sentiment by " new commandment " that Christ's of the soul. the central ethical word of the Bible. but one answer. doctrine literature. is but elsewhere. even to its end. — and — when. dismissing There he that runs may all traditional conceptions. but where it can a purer or more searching delineation of lic ? be found than in the second book of Plato's RepubTo devote one's whole life. highest ideal of a moral life . Christ's "moral . the secret of its superior attraction lie in a new ethics. in a death of martyrdom. as Amiel wrote. it What ? secret ? What that is original and read unique in the beginnings of Christianity is it. though he by his own life and teaching Righteousness gave is it a new meaning and power. these same high moral ends. to the work of contributing in the highest possible degree to the moral welfare and progress of one's feUow-men. men should love one another was not " new " in Plato in words that stir history.fl04 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Yet the former was emphasized is should be to become like God. ecHpse all does is others.

or philosophy.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS relationship to his 205 consciousness. became the sence of religion. and to man as brother. is es- For religion. indicates. — an God and of man's moral rela^ exposition that was born in Jesus himself and more and more blessedly with its precious revelations. or ethics in This was the keynote of Christ's There was no theology. so that the whole moral law of the gospel in the is summed up "new commandment. is grow in the divine likeness. brought the religious consciousness of filled his life to light in his own moral its experience. moral character of tionship to him. trine that And what was is the doc- formed : centre and circumference ? Simply in love. his this God's moral character is summed up ways to all and as such : revealed in all moral creatures to and hence the highest form of in God's morality in man. who was made moral image." "Love one another." Love. but simply a new exposition of the it. involving a double mission of obe- dience to God in doing the to work given him to do." full to overflowing of his sense of God as his Father. and of ministry dren of the men who were equally the chilcommon Father in heaven and the and grace. parable of the prodigal son sums The in one up wonderful story. as its very name a binding and unifying principle. Hence its essential element cannot be dogma or . These revelations. it common heirs of his love Here all is the headspring of the gospel Christ preached. were the sub- stance of his teaching. messiahship. in Christ's teaching. then.

life in in constant liv- ing conununion with God. a dialect kindred with the Phoenician and Arabic." It is not a " dry light " like a metaphysical or ethical formula.206 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES love. philosophy. and by it Christ's words are fulfilled But " that they it all may be one. Jesus was a Jew of Semitic race. we stand at the fountain head of the Christian true beginnings of its and can mark the His teaching It is history. and especially throughout the Graeco-Roman interesting though not a practical question. true that a few disciples seem to have been world into gathered out of the Greek and Roman which Judaea had been but during the tine. The original were all Jews and of Aramaic speech. the fire of a moral nature all alive is with a moral consciousness that ardent souls. The author of " Ecce Homo " has well described it as " the enthusiasm of humanity. so that life politically incorporated. an Aramaic Semitic religion. at the outset. which separate into sects and schools. and longs to pour out its a loving ministry to needy hureligion. was in the Hebrew-Aramaic language. then. on the contrary. love has in a moral principle which becomes a passion and inspiration for action. is the great harmonizing force in the moral kingdom. . man Here. of the founder the proclamato tion of his gospel was confined Aramaic Palesapostles It is Christianity was. an what the fortunes of Christianity would have been had not the dispersion of the Jews in other countries." Moreover. but a flame of fire.

in the wide dispersion of the Jews among the Gentiles. Christ's religious movement might have been Here are to be seen two very birth. 207 brought large close acquaintance with the numbers of them into Greek language and Had Judaea remained closed to outside and been kept in political and linguistic isolation. and thus was made acquainted with both the HebrewAramaic and Greek languages. and no avenue would have been opened influences for the preaching of his gospel to the Gentiles. we know. of Christianity different shape. and the breakdown of the political barriers which made them for ages " a peculiar people " and secondly. hang on a single So far as history can speak. would have taken an entirely So much sometimes seems to individual. Without Paul. and also with Jewish-Rabbinic and Greek philosophical ideas. culture.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS Empire. Never perhaps was the in hand of providence more conspicuously revealed . no other individual appeared in his day that could have taken his place. in the remarkable training of Paul. Tarsus. or have done the unique work that he did. who. of the " divers ways " in which the divine provistifled in its dence has worked in history for the evolution of mankind first. was born and educated in a Greek city. what human probability that the religious reformation attempted by Christ would have succeeded in Palestine or been carried forth into the Greek world ? The Jews. we may say that the whole history good to : . rejected him en masse. though a Jew.

that the gospel. rather than in Aramaic-Hebrew. The question whether the Semite 1 Abbott's criticism on See note at the end of this chapter for reply to Dr. true founder of the Christian religion.208 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES human said. He its gave the original Semitic gospel of Jesus the new philosophical setting which prepared way for its entrance into faith. Paul was as truly the founder of the Grseco-Roman Christianity. This is well illustrated is Aryan thought and by the term fna-LTrjq (mediator). The full significance of it such a transfer cannot be realized until political is understood that the centre of power and the great historical currents which were chiefly to mould the world's future had already passed into the hands of the European Aryan people. For Paul. This significant change whether historical or not. which the central keynote of Paul's theology and which he plainly borrowed from the Greek Platonic Philonism. Lyman . after- wards ascribed to Matthew. has a historical basis in this fact. that Gentiles. as has already been affairs.i the "Apostle to the It was through Paul. (or Aryan among a people who of spoke Greek Latin) instead is Aramaic." Christian churches were planted in the non-Semitic world. — in other words. marked by the fact that the New Testament has come down to us in Greek The tradition. was originally written in Hebrew. my view of Paul. was the great historical bridge from a provincial Aramaic religious movement to its oecumenIf Christ was the ical extension over the world.

What is here to be kept in view the is the fact that this transfer of from Aramaic Palestinian soil to Aryan Grseco-Roman world was a radical and critical point in its whole history. and thus was fitted to translate a Semitic gospel into Aryan forms of thought and speech." No historical religion was ever more wonderfully prepared for by thoroughly historical providential movements than Christianity itseK. Paul was himso was it to be with its religion. is the . with his Semitic Arabian religious reaction. It is not needful to dwell at length on the historical conrule Aryan should sequences of Paul's work. self a true Semitic Jew. " the wily Hannibal. settled the Even Mohammed. was not able to reverse the issue. And as the political and social character of mankind was to be moulded through the Aryan mind. And an appeal to such visible historical preparation true basis of every Christian apology. but he was born in a Greek city and received an Aryan education. when the world's fortunes for the moment seemed to hang in the balance as swayed by the military genius of one man." The battle of Zama question in favor of the Aryan.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS or the 209 and direct the civilization of the human race was settled in the war between Rome and Carthage. and further that it was brought about whoUy by ordinary historical Christ's religion processes. of the Neander has introduced his " History Christian Religion " with an account of what he caUs " the preparations for Christianity.

reason Here is the historical why the Semitic Phoenician Carthaginians could never amalgamate with the or Aryan Greeks Romans when they came In into contact. Not only so. the histories of the Semitic and Aryan The differences between the Semitic peoples have languages. is equally true. It became the religion of Greek communities. of course. and Aryan They belong to two comThe very roots pletely distinct types of speech. a new chapter in its history begins. lectures to another wholly distinct race and Mr. in on " Keligion in Ancient Egypt.210 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the With entrance of Christianity into the Greek world. It is indeed difficult to realize how much is involved in the passage of a religion from one race and a course of language language. and forms of inflection are wholly diverse. Equally was the Aryan type of religious thought and faith to prevail in religion. and at once was modified by Greek social. Flinders-Petrie. the One or the other must yield. political. Aryan race and language showed itself the stronger. both in war and in peace. been on lines as diverse as their Two different types of civilization were developed by them. languages are radical." The reverse." seeking to place his English hearers at the right point of " must feel that the greater view. fact. How could it be otherwise? Religious beliefs . well said : We part of mankind has had systems of language which would be wholly incapable of expressing our ideas. and philosophical ideas and usages.

were steeped in the Platonic Greek philosophy and drew from it the metaphysical groundwork of their Christian theology. after Paul. sphere of When Christianity entered the the Greek language and culture. What saved to it a Semitic leaven which remained indeed vital in .EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS have their basis in the ideas of 211 men concerning the cardinal questions of philosophy. was a Platonic philosopher before that he became a Christian. from his acquaintance with His immediate Martyr. Justin mitic Ebionitic type. so far as history sheds light on the doctrine subject. the true founder of that Greek type of Christianity which ultimately prevailed over the original Se- Greek language and thought. Thus Christianity from the middle of the second century passed through a complete metamorphosis and became Aryan to the core. its very philosophy suffered a radical change. and introduction of it is to him we owe. Clement of Alexandria. the the logos into the dogma of the trinity. the views held concerning the world and man and God. Justin Martyr who was. theological Christian successors. Origen. The effect of this new Greek logos mediation idea was radical. The whole Jewish conception of God and his relations to men which Christ as a Jew had retained in his new gospel was modified. as has been already explained. and the Ethnic Greek conception which rested on the need of a metaphysical divine mediation principle supplanted it. Paul himself caught his new the philosophical keynote of a mediator. namely.

only needful here to remind those who have read dogma on which everything else hangs is that of Christ as the true logos of and the divine mediator and that this dogma had Greek philosophy." With Paul a new chapter begins when the Judean gospel was trans- . on which Christ had built his religious reform. was the fact that the Jewish Old many Testament writings. The was played by the Old Testament in early Christian dogmatics was comparatively small. the fact of a close historical connection between the Ethnic religions and Christianity. The fuU account in of this historical move- ment may be found that the central my previous book. who emigrated from "Ur of the Chaldees. and forms a special chap- Judaism in its Old Testament Jewish turn had its historical re- beginnings in the Ethnic Babylonian-Chaldaic ligion of the ancestors of Abraham. ter in the history of the religion. Thanks to Paul's Greek education and to the Hellenic character of the early Fathers from Justin Martyr to Origen. 212 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES ways. Christ's gospel sprang out of Judaism. I trust. became the Christian Bible. God between God and man its historical origin in 1 have thus made sufficiently clear. however.. the Semitic religion of Christ was evolved into a completely Aryan It is it form. that course of a century or more. In the part. and has remained an essential part of the sacred books of Christianity down to the present day. Christian theology became thoroughly HeUenized.

Dr. on a philosophy which they borrowed from Plato. and later in that of combination and absorption. tion of The mediation theory Hes the at the very founda- whole Greek theology. Abbott. Athanasius.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS lated into the its 213 Greek language and thought. and was fuUy developed in the logos doctrine. Augustine. third. are thus We prepared to proceed to a consideration of the internal relations between the Ethnic trinities and the Christian trinitarian dogma. 1900). at first in the way of opposition. building their theories of God. and nature Aristotle. presumably by Dr. Christian philosophical and helped to frame the creeds which became orthodox and Justin Martyr. and the Stoics. It was drawn. and further history is inextricably mixed with that of Ethnic-Greek religious ideas. No Christian theologian of the second. or fourth centuries can be under- stood without a full acquaintance with the Ethnic philosophy of his day. were first of all philosophical thinkers. '* — A review Trinitarianism in " of " The Evolution of The Outlook " (December 15. man. those This is especially true of who laid the foundations of the leading schools. oecumenical. true only in the sense that all the early Fathers were Arians. from Plato through Philo. The question between them was not whether Christ . both were equally dualistic. Athanasius held it as strongly as Arius . Origen. takes issue with my view of Paul's mediational Christology. Abbott This can be declares that I make Paul an Arian. Note (see p. Plotinus. 208). as we have seen.

tical. it them held but while Athanasius was disposed to lessen to a minimum. It took three centuries to develop it. though it is equally plain that he never thought of making him identical with God Thus one himself. The time had not come for such a step. though the highest of all creatures and the instrument of their creation. ii. This is what is known in church history as Arianism. such as Phil. and thus was led to declare that Christ was not derived from God by eternal generation. Arius reacted toward the opposite pole.214 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES just was a mediator between God and man. . 47. seem to me to show conclusively that Paul regarded Christ as superhuman and of heavenly origin. pretation to be given to another class. but was a creature of God. as Athanasius held. To confound Paul's mediation ideas with the fourth century doctrine of Arius argues the evolution of the Greek trinitarianism. he gives no clear Certainly he was no Arian. and dualistic mediation theory as a certainly several passages in his Epistles look strongly ii. with a beginning in time. not a speculative thinker. to the subordinationism of Origen. or in any sense an Absolute Being. a strange want of acquaintance with the history of Whatever Paul's ideas were concerning the metaphysical characof God. Paul was a practer of the relation of Christ to theological statement them. I refer especially to 1 Timothy Corinthians xv. and hence capable of assuming mediational functions. 5 and 1 But other passages. class of passages serves to correct and limit the inter- that way. 5 and 1 Corinthians xi. He laid hold of the good practical basis for his faith in Christ as the true Saviour of men. 3. Whether he regarded Christ as metaphysically more than a man is doubted by such scholars as Pfleiderer. but how much was Both of metaphysically involved in such a function.

For I it. am ready faith to be offered. himself man. Abbott to base his own view on another passage in the next chapter of the same Epistle that it ? He defends his use of it by declaring " has been rightly accepted as a true summary would of the Apostolic doctrine. which became the com- mon term for Christ as mediator. I take it. as I have shown. I am quite ready to believe that these Epistles have suffered interpolation along with other New Testament writings but there is not the slightest evidence of the interpolation of 1 Tim. But if 1 Timothy ought not to be quoted in behalf of my view of Paul's Christology." etc. Take . if Paul did not write my in the authenticity of all the so-caUed Pauline Epistles would be greatly shaken.EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL RELATIONS Dr. with it harmonizes so completely with Paul's other Epistles which are full of the mediation its natural corollaries of subordination and personal distinction. criticises my use of 1 Timothy 5. Abbott because of its 215 ii. Abbott seems to be. No letters of Paul are more the passage. one mediator between God and man. He holds that " The New Trmita- ." but such a defense be equally good for my use of the famous passage "There is one God. doubtful genuineness. so far as I is am aware. . while the term logos sprinkled all over his But I am not so ready to give up the genu- ineness of the Pastoral Epistles as Dr. Christ Jesus " for it gave the key: note to the later Greek Christology. logos. In fact. it is to my mind a decisive proof of its ii. all The Pauline flavor runs through them. though. but once. the term /Aco-tn/? (mediator) gave way to another Philonic word. is the real point of Dr. fxecrirrjs Thus Athanasius employs the term writings. Abbott's objection to my interpretation of Paul's Christology. " full of internal evidence of Pauline authorship. And this. 5. what right has Dr. genuineness that view.

216 THE ETHNIC of TRINITIES. to the spirit of Paul. and : — the head of the Christ is is woman is the man. namely. was identical with God's divinity. which as a Platonic dualistic theory has always in Greek trinitarianism involved a metaphysical subordination of second person to the first person. including Arius and Athanasius. " The head of every man is Christ. this To read passage the Augustinian Sabellianism or the latest " New Trinitarianism " would require a heroic exercise of exegetical dexterity. exalted him. Abbott's view. after traveling a long circuit.^' etc. To make it harmonize with Dr. To make Paul square with " Modern Trinitarianism " one must do exegetical vio- lence to the whole drift of Paul's teachings. Its plain natural meaning is that Christ. one must distort it from end to end. Abbott thinks that on this point I " misunderstand Paul and the also the *^ modern trinitarianism. rianism " was Paul's trinitarianism." This may be so. which 1 Corinsheds an interesting sidelight on this subject. Let me suggest one passage more for thians xi." and he believes that orthodoxy has returned. ii." The key to the understanding of this Paul's view of woman as inferior in nature to man . as subordinate to God. obediently accepted the mediatorial function and became incarnate. in the sense that God's real being and divinity was incarnated in that. fxea-iTT)^ Hence his dislike of the (mediator) doctrine. Dr. and as man humbled himself to die on the cross and that on this account God " highly . but surely not in Dr. Abbott's way. Abbott's consideration. though of divine nature. 3 Dr. and the head of God. so far as Christ was divine. Take the famous Kenotic passage in Phil. so his divinity God in the flesh. that Christ was the manifestation Jesus of Nazareth. This is the historical Christian doctrine of mediatorship as held by all the early Greek into Fathers.

influence in the Epistles that are universally accepted as genuine is so strong that the genuineness of is the Pastoral Epistles the term ftccrm/s. is who The one man is i. the other of the earth " (Philonis Opera. has a thoroughly Philonic ring." etc. " The is first man is of the earth earthy the second man of heaven " : is a direct reminiscence of Philo. 19. and us into the very heart of ftccrmy? in Paul's Christology. . Hence Paul's four orders of being: woman. through whom are all things. 5. Leaving out of view the Philonic 1 Tim. The it lets logic here is perfectly plain and complete. In the eighth chapter of the same Epistle there is another clear Philonic expression : " One Lord Jesus Christ.. 1 Corinthians xv." "all things are of God. and God superior to Christ. making the Philonic tinction 6eov).EXTERNAL O^ HISTORICAL RELATIONS 217 and therefore subject to him. heavenly. the evidence of a Greek Philonic teaching. who reconciled us to himself through Christ. 50). As man is superior to woman. the Logos (Philonis 162). 18. amply sustained in their use of Paul uses other Philonic expressions For example. dis- between God as the originating cause (e/c tov and Christ as the instrumental means (Sia ^ptoTov) Philo makes of redemption. Paul's mediation doctrine stands out clearly in his In fact. besides this one." This view of is Christ as the mediating instrument of creation pre- cisely the doctrine of Philo concerning the Logos. ii. a portion of which Dr. deriving from Aristotle. says " There are two kinds of men. This is made clear by what follows. and that the only difference between Paul and Philo Christ in place of is Paul puts Opera. man. 47. so Christ is superior in nature to man. God. Christ. . The very passage in 2 Corinthians v. much of this distinction it between cac (from) and 8ta (through) . Abbott quotes as " the keynote of Paul's doctrine. i.

Bacon.218 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES in vindication It Thus much of my view of Paul's was Augustine who through his ignorance of Greek theology paved the way for a mediation theory." as he thinks. on " Exegesis as a Historical Study. See a suggestive article in the " Biblical World." Failure to start right vitiates all that follows. I have the atonement. But suppose that Paul parture. who never saw Christ and whose Apostolic was at least half a generation after Christ's Behind Paul was Christ's own messianic career and the traditions of his teaching which are gathered up in the Acts and Synoptic gospels. is not the historical point of de- what then? Now. the same lead. " The calling death? of Dr. by Prof. W. he holds. " the starting-point of the Christological evolution. How can the evolution of Christology be made to begin with Paul. Abbott regards my account of the evolution of Trinitarianism as " fatally defective " because I have " failed. " in my interpretation of Paul." His argument here is is at least curious." March. B. Dr. Sabellian doctrine that broke tions of the Pauline illustrated this in down the very founda- Greek mediation view. Abbott's whole criticism is its " failure " to interpret correctly the historical environment of early Christianity. rightly or wrongly. Biblical exegesis walks fatal defect" with uncertain steps without the aid of history to il- luminate its path." . Paul. discussion of Anselm's theory of " The New Trinitarianism " follows It has my simply because it has no ground on which no real mediation doctrine it can rest. is my starting-point of all Christian history Christ himself. 1901.

in a pantheistic way. but but the development from one " A Critical History of the Evolution of Trinitaribackground was the question of the anism. though there were exceptions in the case of the philosophical trinities. such as the Hindoo and the Plotinian. as a rule. of the Christian dogma. where. The Ethnic trinities. either God formed a stage in the movement from plurality to unity. of and it is equally true Every trinitarian theory that has ever been developed has started from a polytheistic or from a monotheistic doctrinal basis. Readers of that book will remember how completely in the . CHAPTER THE INTEKNAL RELATIONS II — RESEMBLANCES is As soon as a direct comparison trinities instituted between the Ethnic trinity.. This has already been fuUy set forth in pantheistic ground. this is of the We have seen how true Ethnic trinities. The Christian dogma did not start from a polytheistic or from Jewish monotheism God to a trinity was just as completely a historical evolution as any other." especially in respect to the second person. it all and the Christian immediately strikes the observer that these trinities fall alike under the common law of historical evolution. the movement was from unity to trinity.

Indeed. In the Egyptian and the Baby- lonian trinities there was constant action and re- from triality to duality and vice versa. the Christian doctrine of God might have remained that of a " duad " instead of a " triad. fact. the Christian of the trinity third person. Thus Christianity theologically is essentially a Christology^ or doc- trine of Christ as a second person in the Godhead. the religious consciousness of man has always fluctuated." The same may be asserted of every Ethnic action trinity. had it not been and historical tendency seen in all movements toward the evolution of duality into triality. This was the new view introduced by Paul into Christian theology. — polytheism tending to reduce itself to triality . and In thus paving the istic belief way for a return to the polythe- which has ever haunted the race.220 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES As was there noted. borrowed from Greek philosophy. of the need of a mediator (/Aco-tn^s) between man and God. had its spring in the theory. strange as for the natural trinitarian it may appear. between the two exits tremes of polytheism and monotheism in ception of divinity. which grew afterward into the logos doctrine. and in the ascription to Jesus Christ of such a nature dogma and function. like a pendulum. and the doctrine of one of a duad. finally to unity and and conversely God resolving itself into that and in turn into that of a triad. according as plurality of its con- sense of the natural phenomena and forces has . in the hands of Justin Martyr and his successors. then to duality.

the Ethnic trinities are shown to be in a continued state of flux. through this triad of gods that the third stage of evolution takes place. to be found for it The epic reveals the among the earmanner in is which it was done. and Ea. representing the " monster " world became in their turn the ancestors of Anschar and Kisha. its — is where chaos with ized elements is mass of multiplied unorganin personified of Tiamat. Tiamat. In fact. and from springs the great Babylonian triad of It is whom Bel. Chaotic multiplicity mythorising logicaUy personified in disorder . through two successive are stages of evolution. has determined its philosophy.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES swayed its 221 emotions and thoughts. not only from duality to trin- and Ea. Bel. A vivid picture of and fluctuation creation. Lakmu and Lakamu. the principle of and then. and of God as its author. who made the progenitors of Anu. two pairs of nature gods are formed. Anu. this evolutionary uncertainty — is given in the Babylonian epic of of very early though uncertain date. These divinities. background. when this epic was written. the Babylonian triad had already been evolved. Behind this picture lies a complete polytheism which forms its substantial the creation of the world. and a place had lier traditions. who represent a second stage of movement toward order. who made the progenitor of half-chaotic things. Plainly. namely. or as its more educated sense of the unity of nature and natural law. Other examples might be given. .

and Athene. and then also ity or quartemity. as in Hindooism. but from one triad to another. Holy Enough to say that it is never used by it is itself to express a person. The same . but its adjunctive or adjectival use still continues. Here. the earlier evolution. and indicates the real meaning of the expression . for polytheism affords a much wider field of change than monotheism. from Zeus. now in the case of Holy Spirit. as in the passage. which monotheistic. " Take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Indra. Athene. 6 vovs. rj The remarkable thing about is it all is that the idea of trinity so persistent. In the New Testament we first find " the Holy Spirit " used separately. especially in its is As the idea of trinity not to be found in the Old Testament. When employed always an adjxmct. to Zeus." The " Holy Spirit of God " is a monotheistic paraphrase of God himself. Vishnu. or to multiples of to the philosophical Plotinian triad of t6 i}/vxV' Iv. and Civa. and in the Greek world. and Apollo. is substantially true of the Christian trinity of course not so fully or with so much of fluctuation.222 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES a triad. holding its ground it tenaciously. it is is strictly needless to enter into any dis- cussion as to the meaning of the compression Spirit in that part of the Bible. but the fact decisive. This is the Old Testament doctrine throughout. and Agni to Brahma. from Varuna. while so Proteuslike in the shapes assumes. of constant evolution is just as clear and I propose to illustrate this the third person.

" But even the Synoptic gospels. and that meanwhile the form of Christian tradition was under- going a clear process of evolution." Let it be noted here that the reduction of the gospel to writing was made long after Christ's day. 29) justly says " ' Holy throughout the Synoptics is equivalent to Spirit ' the ' Spirit of God ' or ' the divine Spirit. as in the clause : " God Certainly Christ nowhere employed the expression in any way to indicate that he believed in the personality of the Holy Spirit as distin- guished from the personality of God." me add in support of Professor Gary's statement. no doubt.' spoken of here in verse 35 Most High. neither of a personal had the conception Holy Spirit been developed in the Christian church at the time of the writing of our gospels. and surely cannot be taxed with any trinitarian tendencies." p.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES when used a spirit." 223 is separately. Spirit " This is shown by his interchange of the phrases " Holy and " Spirit of God. and Professor Cary (" Synoptic Gospels. It is not to be lost sight of that we have here to deal with ideas held by men who were Let Jews before they were Christians. as the power of the Never has the Hebrew mind been (Luke) able to accept the idea of a division of personality in the divine nature. as we have them. which represents Jewish orthodox tradiback as Christ's day. has not a little to do with the history of the expression " Holy Spirit. stiU continue the Old Tes: tament monotheistic tradition. that the tion as far Talmud. again and . This.

gospels were written. ii." It is true that there are in Paul's Epistles a few passages that might bear a trinitarian meaning if supported by more direct evidence. without feeling assured that he had no clearly defined doctrine of the Spirit as a distinct Person. 9.224 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES For example. but on two separate occasions." since he lived before the Not only does Paul use the terms " Holy ably. viii. Romans viii. " Through again uses the expression " Holy Spirit " as equivalent to the spirit of God. : the Jewish monotheit ism of his ancestors doctrine of Christ ator also but he added to is his new " There one God. between God and man. when he gives his doctrine of God in a thoroughly formal and credal way. 14. for example. Spirit. is But such corroborative evidence wanting. Take. " where " Holy Spirit " is plainly synony- mous with God's blessing." interchange- and without any apparent difference of meaning. active is Paul here immanent presence and an important witness. 1 Tim. Christ Jesus. the reward of faith the Holy Spirit rested upon Israel . if he held to a trinity of divine persons? Paul's theology of God was . No fre- one can read those Epistles and note how quently and closely Paul connects the Spirit with God and with Christ. 6 . this. he ignores the Holy Spirit entirely. 16 " The : . one medihimself man. " Spirit of God. the context always makes it clear that God or Christ is intended. When the expression Spirit or Holy Spirit is used separately. How could he do (1 Cor." " Spirit of Christ. 5).

But supposing tion of it to be genuine. " as Spirit of many still as are led by the " if God." hath not the Spirit of Christ. plainly hovering And there is a single passage in Paul's Epistles tendency 14). it seems probable that of the Holy Spirit. does not add " and StiU. he none A similar passage occurs in 1 Cor. in the Why were all name God. An iv. in 11 were justified the name of the " But ye Lord Jesus : Christ. not a later bears marks that cannot be easily overlooked of a well-defined trinitarianism. fact that 10- 14. his view the sanctifying and plainly because in and justifying power of in God is specially manifested him as a Holy Spirit. is where this trinitarian over the apostle's mind. or of Christ. The is Paul had no decided trinitarian vi. benediction (2 Cor. But is ii. if any man of his." but Paid." is 225 explained by the previous clause. but Paul ignores it. and an indica- Paul's trinitarian tendency.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES Spirit himself beareth witness." and by a earlier passage. view well illustrated in 1 Cor. equally good opportunity was given in : 2 Tim. and in the spirit of our God." already in Paul's day the tendency was growing to invest the Spirit of God with personal attributes. interpolation. so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Surely here was a fine opportunity to turn the duad into a triad. 1 " I charge thee in the sight of God and of Jesus Christ. it I refer to the trinitarian If this is xii. or of both . one cannot help asking why such of a benediction was never Paul's other benedictions ? repeated.

Hence every doxology was to him. of which I shall speak later. there is no evidence outside of that gospel of any distinctly developed doctrine of the Holy Spirit as a third person in a trinity. God was properly addressed But God alone was the one in Christ's name. Barnabas. This conclusion is amply sustained by the evidence of the earliest post-apostolic Fathers.226 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES then. And why was every doxology of Paul. it can be said without hesitation." placed in their These four writings I have chronological order. Christ was for him a mediator between God and men. and Polycarp. Whether less. this tendency is regarded as greater or the only historical result that can be relied that an evolution is on is begun which will natu- rally complete itseK in the fuUy developed trinity of the fourth century. Especially important are the Epistles of Clement. object of worship and praise. As such a mediator Christ was a proper object of intercessory prayer. further. Paul believed in " one God " and in the one Holy Spirit of God. earlier date probable though some critics would assign an . On the whole. and " The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. without entering upon a fuller critical discussion of New Testament texts. but not God himself. that while a clear tendency is discernible in the New Testament writings towards a trinitarian view of God culminating in the Fourth Gospel. without a single exception. addressed to God alone? There is but one satisfactory answer.

But. and the Holy Spirit." Epistle is In many ways this of great importance. document its come down Lightfoot fixes date " about the year 95. which other evidence of the same nature makes entirely convincing. able traditional evolution of the Christian faith had already taken place. it is equally clear that a trinity has not yet . No clear sign is given of aquaintance with our present though the writer may have had some apocryphal gospel in his hands. and the Lord Jesus Christ liveth. as the Old the Testament Scriptures are described as " true utterances of the Holy Spirit. On the of question of the is Holy Spirit the evidence Clement quite is indefinite. trinitarian idea if it be genuine." when in the apostolic preachers are said to have been is also " proved by the Spirit. The expression when and " Holy Spirit " used several times in the plain sense of the spirit of God or of Christ. By the " Scriptures " he always means the Old Testament." : This surely proves. on the other hand." 227 is The to Epistle of Clement undoubtedly the that has earliest post-apostolic us. that the was growing. still gospel was largely It shows that the communicated orally." There one passage the newly discovered portion of the Epistle which has a decided trinitarian ring and indicates the tendency which was in the air towards the later trinitarian dogma " As God liveth. that our present gospels were written after a considerfour gospels. Thus proof is furnished.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES to the "Teaching.

' There indeed." 228 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and the benedictions at the make no allusion though both God and Christ been fuUy developed. In neither of these Epistles to the is there any reference Holy Spirit or to a trinity. nor is any gospel named but Christ's sayings are quoted as if from oral tradi" As the Lord said. for example bas begins salutation. in the present text of Barnabas : " As it is written. for the two doxologies are strictly monotheistic. 107. : The Epistle of Poly- " Peace from God Almighty and carp begins from the Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied. is If it is not an interpola- tion. Neither refers to John or the Fourth Gospel. are mentioned. The tion. and T. Many an apparent exception are called. but the flesh is weak. : ' spirit truly is. beginning and end of the Epistle to the Holy is Spirit. T. is willing. . which belong to the second quarter of the second century.' " but its genuine' ness is very doubtful. Apostolic Fathers. but few are chosen." and the conclusion is similar. especially in the case of is the third person. . The Epistle of Barna- and ends with a simple Christian Both of these Epistles have a thoroughly primitive air. it " the first example in the writings of the Fathers of a citation from any book of the New Testament preceded ' formula 1 it is written. the Epistles of Polycarp and of Barnabas. Clark. The benedic- tions are not trinitarian.' " ^ by the authoritative But if Barnabas really p. evolution This view that the trinitarian supported by the testimony of only begun.

is it not strange that he gives no other sign of acquaintance. or certainly quoted from. Christ is again and again called God's . Old Testament. The same is indefinite and fluxive character seen in the trinitarian develop- Polycarp and Barnabas represent a sort of half-way house ism. " The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles " closely connected with the Epistle of general character. If any one of the four gospels is known. it is not directly reacquaintance with — Paul's Epistles ferred to. the time of Justin Martyr. a fact which makes the absence of quotation from any gospel still more noticeable. a thorough and quotes freely from them. I have dwelt on these points as helping to show how uncertain and fluxive is the general condition of Christian thought and belief a hundred years after Christ's death. is but go no further.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES 229 was acquainted with any written gospel. reminding one of the Book of Acts. exhibits books. They hold to one from monotheism to trinitarianGod and one Lord Jesus. expression reference also is Whenever " the to the in the earlier is Fathers the the Scripture " employed. indeed. neither is the name ment. of any author given. Passages are given which are plainly from apocryphal Polycarp. Barnabas in In some respects it seems the most primitive of all the post-apostolic writings. either by mention or by a clear citation ? The fact is that there is no evidence of the growth of a New Testament canon tiU. As in that book.

as that of Papias.: 230 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES (ttols). as came to be the case when the gospel was reduced to writ- ing by several hands." etc. singular term gospel post-apostolic is em- ployed by all Fathers until Justin Martyr. as ye is have (^x^O ^^ *^® gospel of our Lord. but gives no direct clue to the manner in which such possession was attained." this Other evidence. " " The Lord hath said . shows that was the very period when oral tradition was I cannot accept. written tradition The passage from oral to may be gauged The the quite accurately is by this mark. giving place to written gospels. Such a clause has little weight against the whole tenor of " The Teaching. the judgment of several recent it that the clause at the close of chapter xv. therefore. is Christ's teaching always referred to as " the gospel. " servant Jesus " The indications of de- pendence on oral tradition rather than on written gospels are clear and decided.. " So do ye." €X€T€ an allusion to a written gospel." and the is plural " gospels " never employed. " " Him that speaketh to thee the word of the Lord. The verb simply indicates present possession. critics. The prominence given in " The Teaching " to the work of " apostles and pro- phets " and to exhortations as to the way in which they were to be received affords strong evidence ." which continually refers to Christ himself and his pro- phets and apostles as the sources of the teaching " The Lord commandeth . who the first to refer to certain gospels which he caUs " Memoirs of the Apostles.

19. of his disciples. It thus Paul knows nothing of the trinitarian becomes evident that the verse at the close of Matthew is an interpolation of a its later time. or that the whole gospel in present . namely. it indicates the same indefinite and inchoate character. we find it in close agreement with the Epistles of Clement. " Whoever cometh and teacheth you all these things^ before spohen^ receive him." Examining now the " The Teaching " for light on the question of its trinitarianism. With the exception of a Polycarp. The plainly unhistorical character of this passage is proved by the fact that after Christ's death the form of baptism was " into Christ " and not into the Trinity. single passage. in the formula of baptism. and Barnabas. not the Alexandrian Logos The doxologies are addressed to God Only in a single passage is there a hint of a trinitarian tendency. it in Mat. Testament is how this formula originated is The only sign of it in the New xxviii. where Christ represented as giving to his disciples. No the trace appears of the Pauline Greek "mediator" the servant of element." When is whoUy unknown. which appears for the plete trinitarian first time in com- form or : " Baptize in the the Father. alone. and of the Son. It is the Pales- tinian Messianism. Christ God and Lord or master doctrine. and of the name of Holy Ghost. formula.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES that the teaching of the gospel 231 was oral rather than written. Its doctrine of God is is strictly monotheistic. to which I shall soon refer.

when the so-called Apostles' Creed was originally written. So " The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles " gives the trinitarian baptismal formula. the baptismal formula. 232 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES this agrees shape was composed well on in the second century and with the indirect and negative testimony of the Epistles of Clement. It is is altogether silent as to the doctrine an interesting question in this connection. rests entirely and what was its first form. There is no reference. now lost. any trinitarian creed. and Barnabas. and the developing creed of the church . however. and a like form is also given in Tertullian a little later. in the latter part of the second century. in either of these writers to the " Apostles' Creed. and it will be found that the order above given is in fact the chronological order of Paul gets as far once as a trinitarian benediction. though he never aUudes to the trinitarian formula of baptism or suggests comparative evolution. It may here be noted that the evolution of is Christian trinitarianism three lines of evidence : mainly traceable along the form of benediction." as would naturally have been the case had the . The earliest is similar in character to form of a creed that the Apostles' Creed is found in Irenaeus. but of the trinity. Professor Sanday's suggestion that there was an earlier creed it is behind it is quite probable.. but if so. Polycarp. on legendary ground. In Its its name present shape it is as late as the seventh or eighth century.

is It a Latin. cannot be assigned to an earlier date than The it significance of this creed is in the fact that based in its very form as well as substance on the trinitarian conception. the materials of the Apostles' Creed original were undoubtedly gathering in the course of the second century. each revolving around one of the three persons of the trinity. the church. as History of the Church Dr. The traditional title to it of this creed has undoubtedly had largely do in with the veneration that has been accorded to the Western church since it came into general use in the early Middle Ages. But the belief that it represents the real creed of the church of post-apostolic 1. not a Greek. The Greek church knew nothing when an effort as was declared in the Council of Florence in the fifteenth century. confession. and undoubtof edly an offshoot of the growing creed of the Ro- man it. ! How eagerly therefore. conapostles) are subdivided tributed by the twelve into three parts. Schaff has done. lies itself. church. heal the schism between the Greek and churches. in his " The Apostles' Creed in : . even in its form. 233 tradition of such a creed with apostolic authority- Irenaeus expressly de- clared that his creed was generally accepted by would he have appealed to the authority of the apostles. had the creed put forth in their names been already extant While. Its twelve clauses (according to the legend. the creed the third century.he early is age must be given up. was made to Latin To say.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES been in vogue in that day.

nei- ther apostolic nor post-apostolic in the historical meaning of that term. and con- tains essential gospel like Dr. Schaff." conveys a It whoUy is false impression as to the real facts. about 180. Schaff has innocently given proof that his own assertion was false. whatever view Apostles' Creed may be taken of the Nicene and other later creeds. No early Greek Father makes any allusion to it. Schaff declares that " it has the authority of antiquity and the dew of perennial youth beyond any other document of post-apostolic times. have helped to perthe interests. How about the " oecumenical " standing of the Apostles' Creed . here. I have introduced the question of the Apostles' Creed. Its thoroughly trinitarian character makes it a historical anachronism when dated at any point earlier than Irenseus." the only In the last clause of this statement Dr. I petuate this mistaken view. so called. as the Nicene Creed oecumenical creed of the East. as representing a later stage of evolution. but in its con- tents and spirit truly apostolic. of what they regard as " the faith once delivered. truth. widely spread to-day that." Dr. of it. and is the only strictly oecumenical is creed of the "West. Christian scholars who show in their writings that they are aware of the facts.234 its THE ETHNIC TRINITIES present shape is post-apostolic . is so ingrained in the popular Christian mind. it — though properly The impression is should come in later. — because the traditional idea which is whoUy unhistorical. in suppose. the is essentially apostolic.

but an evolutionary development that did not reach its fuU limit until it appeared as a Latin creed of the Western church torical in the eighth century. namely. fluxatstill Nothing like a " creed " has yet been are tempted. were developed. Polycarp. Heartley. as represented by Clement." only sporadic tendencies toward a trinitarian view of God. cies These tenden- we have noted along three lines of movement. I would add that. The benediction and doxology ." which gives a full account of the slow and hesitating way in which the creeds of Christendom. Schaff has simply made a hisantiquity " ? torical jump of several centuries it. the formula of baptism. without any adequate evidence to sustain in the air. A. entitled. especially the Western. Barnabas. sents. if any one wishes to gain a vivid idea of the evolutionary character him read a small book by an English Oxford scholar of conservative instincts." how could it have " the authority of Dr. let of the post-apostolic period. not It is a pure leap The so-called Apostles' Creed repre- an original dogma of the gospel. " Harmonia Symbolica. To return. Before leaving this special topic and returning to the his- survey of the growth of early apostolic trinitarianism. and the growth of the trinitarian dogma. the Christian benediction. Everything has thus far been tentative and ive. and " The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES in the 235 East f And if it was not " oecumenical in the East. C. we have found in the first stage of creeds.

from " into Christ "to " into the Father. the Son." There first is one further piece of evidence left us in the period which has a unique significance and interest. that these Epis- an interpolated and amended recen- sion of the shorter ones. and Holy Ghost. but surely there can be no doubt as to the strength of Lightfoot's destructive criticism in the case of the longer Epistles. to Epistle the Ephesians. as to their authenticity and historical authority. may shed on the points before us. this Three of the seven Epistles is close in way.236 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES monotheistic. and. for they bear unmistakable traces of legend as well as interpolation . tles represent Assuming. then. The . but that the sJiorter Epistles are genuine and historical documents. for Take the example. I am not ready myself to accept the historicity of the shorter Epistles. is The one conclusion of that Bishop Lightfoot the seven certainly conservative scholars to-day generally accept. in the longer version of included with Christ. let us consult them for the light they First. the Holy Spirit God it is the Father and the Lord Jesus all absent from three in the earlier shorter Epistles. on the trinitarian tendency of the Christian benediction. while all of them. than the Ignatian Epistles. that longer Epistles have been so largely interpolated as to have lost all independent authority . The baptismal formula has become changed in one single instance^ we know not how or just when. namely. No documents of this early age have been more the subject of controversy.

namely. and possess ye a steadfast which is Jesus Christ" (Lightfoot's translation)." The Epistle to the Smyrnians gives a further " Fare ye well in the grace of God " evolution : : becomes " Fare ye well in the grace of God. but in the longer Epistles there are com- plete trinitarian statements which are wholly want- ing in the shorter. our common hope. our common hope in the Holy Ghost." In the Epistle to the Philadel: phians the shorter version reads in Christ Jesus. being filled with the Holy Spirit and divine and sacred wisdom." its If now we we turn our attention to the line of decreed velopment of the trinitarian dogma in form. Holy Ghost. makes shorter Epistles of the real doctrine of the " Fare ye well in the harmony spirit God. in Jesus Christ." In the longer form there is added " and in the " Fare ye well . confesses the Father For example "If any one and the Son and the Holy : . our common Lord " the longer version reads " Fare ye weU in the Lord Jesus Christ. is There no allusion here to any third person. by the will of God. shall find a similar evolution." clear : close of another Epistle. and of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are one or two suggestions of a trinity in the shorter Epistles.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES shorter 237 version reads : " Farewell in God the Father and in Jesus Christ. But the longer version gives a trinitarian twist to the original text: "Fare ye well in harmony. that to the The Mag- nesians. ye who have obtained the steadfast Spirit.

).238 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES vi. Perhaps the most remarkable passage which has a suggestive credal is the follow: air " Since there but one unbegotten being. the Spirit of truth " (Phil. This stage is represented in its origin by Justin . and and ative will only add here that I know of no more striking and conclusive testimony to the incomplete fluxive character of the early trinitarianism than the results brought before us by the comparstudy of the Ignatian Epistles." ing. nearly two generations after the supposed date of the I shall refer to this matter later. Spirit" (Phil. even the Father. Moreover. and one only-begotten Son. and one Comforter. God. iv." these conclusively that they are interpolations. the Son of the Father. that from a duad to a triads brought about by the influence of Greek philosophy. In truth. namely. the transparent interpolations of the longer Epistles are suggestive indications great and omens of the movement which wiU mark the next stage of evolution which we are now to consider. "The Comforter is is Word is Holy. God. Two words "Word. they till do not appear in any authentic writing Ignatian Epistles.). put in the of a Christian bishop mouth who was supposed in to have died a martyr in the opening years of the second century. No one who is at aU acquainted with early church history can help noting the strange- ness of such dogmatic language. holy and the Again. statements prove " Com- — forter" and Neither of these terms is ever used in the shorter Epistles. the Word and man.

But the trinitarian dogma still sits lightly on him.INTERNAL RELATIONS -.). about the middle of the second century. is the son of the true God xiii. all Nicene discussions assumed the logos doctrine. but simply that of the third person. From the time of Justin the doctrine of the second person assumes the dogmatic mould which it has substantially pre- served ever since. and the prophetic Spirit in the third " (1 Apol. by Justin Martyr and his immediate Greek logos doctrine into ChrisThis is the real philosophical basis of Christian trinitarianism.). but developed diflater The ferences as to its precise theological character. Not so with the question of the third person. is greatly strengthened by the new logos Justin Martyr himself makes one dis" Having learned tinct allusion to three persons : that Jesus Christ self. account of the mode of baptism (1 Apol. StiU. who for the first time employs the term rpta?. which corresponds to the Latin trinitas. The word trinity does not appear until Theophilus (168-188). the tendency towards a dogmatic trinitarian statement doctrine. since centre around which nite it has found a philosophical to revolve. I shall omit any detailed account of the introduction successors of the tian theology. as is shown by another passage in the same . Henceforth what was before indefinite and fluxive tends to become defi- and fixed. him- and holding him in the second place. also gives the baptismal trinitarian He formula in his Ixi. present object is not to trace the whole trinitarian evolution.RESEMBLANCES As my 239 Martyr.

and the host of good angels who follow and are made like to him. and the Holy Spirit is plainly viewed as a sort of heavenly messenger rather than : as a member of the trinity. or Comforter. Origen as well as Arius held that the Holy Spirit was a creature. and the prophetic Spirit.). as regards the second person. the doctrine of the third per- son were at the front.doc- trine." Here the order of superiority seems clearly to be given. but such a begging of the question foolish and Neander explains it rightly as showing a " wavering " on Justin's part " between the idea of the Holy Spirit. as This is very showing that the doctrine of the third less in discussion if person second. as one of the members of the Triad. Athanagoras. he mentions the various objects of Chris- " God.240 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES (vi. significant. Apology where. with a beginning in time. is much than that of the Surely. It that Justin. while is notable making much of the logos . makes no men- tion of the Paraclete. Tatian. or Theophilus would have made use of the re- markable fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of that . and was not dogmatically settled tiU the Nicene age." This question whether the Holy vain. and a spirit standing in some relationship with the angels. Dogmatic writers have is attempted to give another translation of this passage. and the Son who came forth tian worship from him. Spirit is a divine member of the trinity or a crea- ture was long debated in the early church. in refuting the charge of atheism. Justin. and the Fourth Gospel was also in their hands.

" This certainly is far from the the prophets." . as " the Spirit of God and . " The Holy Spirit himself also. and strikingly suggests the coming SabeUianism that already lurks in the air. but never. A little later. es- He is giving : an account of the successive days of creation " In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries are types of the trinity of his God and is left Word and is his Wisdom. and so far as I place taken by a term which was often applied to the second person. Theophilus of Antioch still gives us another curious illustration of the undeveloped character of the doctrine of God. Here. aclete nection with tion It is also a fact from the Fourth Gospel in conworthy of atten- that Irenaeus distinct creed or basis. or second person. him and returning back again like a flowing from beam of the sun." scribes the Logos. there a fuU trinity its but the Holy Spirit is wholly out. In another passage Theophilus degoverning principle and wisdom. pecially as regards the third person. am aware. is the first Father to give a dogmatic formula on a trinitarian The church Fathers from Justin Martyr to hold steadfastly to the logos doctrine. to be sure. Irenaeus but waver concerning the dogma of the third per- Athanagoras in a remarkable passage says : son. to the Holy Spirit in a per- sonal sense.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES gospeL first 241 But this is not the case. fully developed Nicene doctrine. which operates in we assert to be an effluence of God. Irenaeus is the among the early Fathers to aUude to the Parand to quote it.

to Montanism led him make much rife in of the Fourth Gospel. on into the Nicene and postIn this controversial period. dog- Promi- nent in this stage. which were now the church. was a stout opponent of all anti-trinitarian ideas. matically set forth in creed definitions. whom our Lord and Saviour in the Gospel according to John has named the Para conspicuous place.) in the and faith of the work De Prin- (B. Christ. we have now. entered the dogmatic controversy. on the basis of the Fourth Gospel. in his description of the Para- according to Origen. except to say in general that a third stage of evolution begins with him. aclete. "wished to enlighten his disciples regarding the nature trinity. and by the deep infusion of the speculative spirit of Greek philosophy. including the Holy Spirit as a is personal divine though subordinate being." cipiis The whole chapter c. especially at first. which characterized by the influence of the mystical Fourth Gospel. which appears in the Niceno- . II. and may be said to have laid the foundation of the completed dogma concerning the Holy Ghost as the third person." clete. in which the doctrine of a full trinity. whose doctrine of the Paraclete. vi. era of in the third cen- tury. But Irenseus wavering and uncertainty ends with and I need not pursue the subject fur- ther. is the use of its the Fourth Gospel and Tertullian. In short. is of great historical signifi- cance. which is will continue Nicene age. the doctrine of the " Holy Spirit.242 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES all this . Origen had He was the first to unfold.

We found three fundamental grounds or causes of the trinitarian evolution in the Ethnic religions. as tic dualist. then. however diversified they may become under any varied providential environments and influences. and not to be for a moment confounded. and we may therefore expect religious elements in all such reli- to find common gions. with the eternal God himself. My aim in following the history of the third trinitarian. 243 Yet it must not be Holy Spirit to be a creature. . the Logos of God. We are prepared. any more than the second person. to all trinitarian ideas.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES Constantinopolitan creed. common working alike in Such a the Ethnic and Christian trinities. religious must involve further radical truth is that the fundamental ideas that are to be found in all the his- The torical religions are the outgrowth of a common re- ligious nature in man. This is just as true of trinitarian ideas as of other form of dogma. Origen was what might be fitly termed a mo7iotheistic forgotten that Origen held the Paul might be styled a monotheisand he thus represents the haK-way movement of the pendulum from the position of Paul to that of Athanasius. resemblances. occupying a midway position between God and man. to find that the fundamental causes which led to the have worked development of the Ethnic trinities equally in the evolution of the Christian trinity. person of the Christian trinity thus far has been to illustrate the fact that the lution is law of historical evo- common law.

in fact. wholly unacquainted with the history of the Christian religion. should expect to find in after our we historical same general principles and causes working toward a trinitarian doctrine of God. (2) the faifmly or generative 'principle^ which at the very basis of lies human life and society . the is not only historically connected with the Ethnic trinities. survey of the Ethnic trinities. The explanation there .244 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES namely. will necesa cursory resume of some of our previous clear made studies. in its connection with the gods. It is impossible. to trace the triadal or triple idea. in order to be sitate This comparison. (3) the mediation theory^ which grew out of the sense of distance of man from God. It lies behind all historical records. (1) the peculiar sacredness attaching to three as a number in the early ideas of men. The traditions in Genesis in regard to the origin of the Sabbath show how early seven must have become a specially sacred number. in the most The causes that contributed to the development of marked degree the Ethnic trinities are equally visible in the history of the Christian dogma. The Christian trinity. to its historical source. So the special occult signifi- cance or sacredness of certain numbers seems to be one of the earliest traditions of the race. and definite. and of the need of some go-between who should be the medium of gifts. but has also an intimate logical and in- ternal relationship. prayers and Were we it. as we have said.

The superstitions that gath- ered in the ancient world around the supposed lucky character of odd numbers. in 245 the account of creation. of it course wholly mythological and unscientific assumes a creation of the world in six days and a resting of God afterwards. 150. real explanation of the sacredness of seven is to be found in a growing sense of the occult power of certain numbers. form one of the most curi- ous chapters in history. of Virgil that led in It was not a mere conceit : him to say " God takes delight odd numbers." He was voicing a deep-seated sentiment that had come down from prehistoric Roman life and tradition was full of it. The was number three. ^ The remarkable division of the Etruscan temples into three parts with three doors was apparently the result of the same superstitious feeling concerning three as an odd or lucky and in a peculiar sense ^ See Granger's Worship of the Bomans. regarded as peculiarly mystical and sacred. "Five wax candles" were scrupulously used at weddings. is How The unhistorical this assumption I need not say. as if he could become weary. p. . The steps leading to temples dedicated to religion were made of unequal numbers. times. as among so many peoples. especially odd ones. as if the entrance itself to sacred places might thus be consecrated and become a sort of via sacra. The calendar was arranged in obedience to it.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES given. as com- pared with even. in the light of recent scientific discoveries. is . and the unlucky character of even ones.

and. with their whole view of nature and of the gods. Aristotle was struck with this view. though an even number. and numbers three and ten. — three because contains " the begin- ning. equaling ten. We are thus prepared to join three with seven as peculiarly sacred in the eyes of the earhest races. and 10 all. perhaps the most occult and sacred of four digits — as 10." and hence became the usual form of the Pythagorean especially the oath." he traces this perfection to nature^ as if there was a fundamental threeness in the very nature of things and hence divine nature . also smgled out as notably But other numbers were significant. The Py7. which gives us the earliest theory of number. thagorean philosophy. The ber. had a mystical meaning and power. It is plain that the Pythagoreans closely connected numbers. celebrated " Tetractys. As we have already noted. somehow involved in the and is to this fact he ascribes certain trinitarian features in the rites of the Greek reli- gion. How much to be made of this remarkable . after quoting the Pythagorean dictum concerning three as " the complete or perfect number. and the end.246 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES divine number." and ten because it includes in itself the whole essence of number. being compounded of the first (1+2+3+4 = 10). as being " the source and root of the eternal nature. singles out 3. the middle. it Three and ten were specially distinguished as the perfect numbers." or quaternary num- which was made up of the addition of the first four digits.

Philosophy had its rise much later. among illustrated in whom it philosophy originated.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES passage one cannot say. had taken deep root in the ideas of men. tains evidence that 247 fur- Aristotle it makes no ther allusion to the subject. which had a wide influence . a place in the history of Of course these Pythagorean and Aristotelian philosophical theories are comparatively late in the history of religion. But the doctrine of numbers in their mystical significance was certainly an attractive one to the Greeks. and makes it easier to understand as revealed in nature how the theory of triads should have had so large religions. as is Pythagoreanism. and it cannot be doubted that beliefs. They belong to what may be called the trinities age of Ethnic scholasticism. the earliest tion man began quickly to use his imagina- on the arithmetical elements of the divine order exhibited within and around him. and traditions that Plotinus was out of Greek philosophical drew his trinitarian theory . How large a part this may have played in the develop- ment of the triads that appear already formed when the light of history dawns it is impossible to say. The Ethnic had their origin in the spontaneous mythologizing intuitions of man's religious nature long before philosophers had begun to theorize on primitive But Greek philosophy always worked on the religious materials which lay imbedded in the earlier traditions. but certainly con- somehow the triadal principle and in what may be called the divine mathematics.

authority. thus reaching the position that trinity is of the essence of the divine being and hence an absolute necessity. He quoted or referred to by Justin Martyr.248 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES its and scholastic conclusion that God not only existed in trinity but could exist in no other way. either in duality or in quaternity. Turning now to the history of the Christian trinity. Such an idea did . and asking ourselves how much the triple idea had to do with its development. after quoting a passage their utterance as from the Pythagoreans." The Athanasius was based on the assumption that trinity was as absolutely essential to the mode of existence of the Divine Being as his omnipotence and omniscience and other natural attributes. the same obscurity hangs over its origin as was the case with the Ethnic trinities. as if of high and Clement. describes philosophical trinitarianism of " written through the inspiration of God. Philosophy did not begin to enter into the question until the Nicene and post-Nicene age. and especially revered such thinkers as Pythagoras and Plato and Aristotle. we cannot err in believing that they easily sympathized with their theories of the occult relations of certain numbers such as three or seven or ten to nature and religion and God. But when we realize that the earliest Christian theologians were students and admirers of Greek philosophy. and Origen. Clemof ent Alexandria. is Pythagoras seems to have been held in gTcat repute by the Greek Fathers generally.



not spring from the teacliings of Christ or even














Platonic-Aristotelianism of which Athanasius drank
so deeply ?

may be
to the

suggested that he owed





Fourth Gospel.



indeed possible, but the writer of that gospel

drank quite as deeply of the same spring. This inclination to regard threeness as an essential
feature of



seen in Augustine's use of trin-

itarian analogies

found in nature, and especially

in the triple division of the faculties of the soul.


I have already noted, his

work on the


employed in tracing such analogies,
to prove that the triple character

and thus trying

which seems to pervade

God's handiwork must

intimate and reveal a corresponding triplicity in

was reserved for a much later age by Plotinus, whether God could exist in any other way than by a trinity. But it was a question that was logically bound to arise in the Christian dogma as weU as
to raise the question already raised

in the Ethnic.

Plotinus, in his



way, placed the scholastic capstone on the Greek


his assertion against the Gnostics

that the Divine Hypostases could he no more


and the same curious conclusion has been reached by our present-day theologians in their position that God as a self-conscious and social being must exist in a tri-personal form. Of the bad psychology involved in what is called the no




have already spoken.
I here


social trinity " I

refer to

to illustrate

how thoroughly

the Ethnic

tendency to find

triality in

nature and in deity

continued and finally

summed up

in the history of

the Christian trinity, with the metaphysical and

transcendental conclusion that trinity
lutely necessary


the abso-

form of the divine existence. But we must look deeper for the most radical resemblances between the Ethnic trinities and the Christian, and the further we go, the more remarkable the resemblances become.
ies of the



Our previous studshowed how deeply seated
Both of these ideas and theogonies. was the foundation of

in the earliest religious ideas of the race were those

of generation
underlie the

and mediation.

oldest mythologies


the generative principle




was naturally transferred to

man's conceptions of the origin of the gods.


mythological trinities are as a rule composed of

male and female


thus laying a basis for

triads consisting of husband, wife,


child, or,

other words, of


mother, and son or

triad triad

as sometimes

was the

case, the

was wholly masculine, each member of the had his female companion, and one member

was, in such a case, usually a son of one of the

tion that a goddess

was the rule rather than the excepwas a member of the triad, and sometimes even two out of the three were feminine, as for example, in the Homeric trinity, Zeus, Here, and Athene, and also in the Koman


Capitoline triad, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.



the Egyptian triad of Osiris,


and Horus,


tion of the masculine

But whatever be the proporand feminine elements in

the mythological


the generative

There is always a god who represents fatherhood, and one who represents sonship and if motherhood is not

fundamental to them

directly represented in the triad itself,

it is


in the background,






was often

in this


that triads

became enlarged

to four deities or doubled or tripled. for instance, the masculine triad

was supplemented by a feminine triad. Thus the Ethnic trinities were really supposed to be families, in which the three essential family constituents were united together, father, mother, and son. The influence of philosophical abstract thought upon the mytho-



tended to eliminate the family

conception, or at least to break




and completeness





very significant that


gives us the most abstract trinity

that was ever conceived, foUows Plato in calling
his first
principle, "

The One," by the name


Father, and makes generation the power of emanation through which his metaphysical trinity
If his to


6 vo9s,



are too pro-

foundly impersonal and pantheistic to form in any
true sense a household, they at least are brought
into metaphysical relationship

by the generative

law on which the household



the Christian trinity stand re-

How, now, does

lated to the generative family conception ?


need not go far for the answer.
sonship are
its vital

Fatherhood and


The whole


of salvation in the Christian religion, as

was developed in the course of the first three centuries, was siunmed up in the offices of God, the Father of mankind, and of his Divine Son, who came into the world to carry out his Father's plan of grace. Not only so, but, further, the generative principle which fatherhood and sonship involve, if these names are truly significant, and not merely symbolic, is made the metaphysical

corner-stone of

the fully developed Nicene



fact, the controversies of the

Nicene age revolved around the question whether
the Son was eternally generated from the Father or was merely a creature like other created beings.

This was the precise issue between Arius and
Athanasius. The triumph of the Athanasian homoousian doctrine was indeed a conservative victory in more senses than one for it signalized the

retention in Christian trinitarian theology of that

Ethnic idea which had


origin in


and seems


have been the germ of



trinities of

which the history of religions

gives account.

It is

no wonder that in our day

there should have been a strong reaction against

a form of trinitarianism that bears so plainly the marks of its mythological parentage. The sharp, terse wit of Emmons, which made his dictum,









famous, had

edge and point in the query

whether there could be any generation without
a beginning.

But how about the added query

whether generation itseK, as applied to God,
a crude materialism.
tion " is


Emmons might

given a double edge to his wit.
ulation concerning

well have " Eternal genera-

no more nonsensical as a theological spec-


than temporal generation

and the retention of the generation idea, whether with or without the adjective " eternal," in theological language, only

shows how fundamental





forms of thought.

But, looking at the interior relations of the
Christian trinity, two features of
sight to differentiate

seem at first quite completely from the

namely, the absence of the femU nine element^ and the doctrine of the procession



of the Holy


These peculiar features are

the result of the peculiar historical origin of the




whom the Christian trinity grew, was himself a man of Jewish stock and parentage. He had a
human mother
as well as father.




legend played around the story of his birth and at
length invested him with a divine paternity, no
question was ever raised as to Mary's true mother-


when Christ began to be looked at Son of God, it was impossible to complete the trinity with Mary, as would naturally have been the case. The legend

so that

as of divine nature, the true


itself to that of

of the miraculous conception of Mary,


Jesus, paved the


the later deoroKo^ dogma, namely, that she was the
true mother of
of her

God and

this in turn laid the basis


divineness which culminated in the

But the dogma Meanin the trinity was left unfilled. while the vacant place
Mariolatry of the Middle Ages.

Mary was of

comparatively slow growth.
facts help explain



the slowness

and fluctuating character of the evolution of the The doctrine of the Holy Spirit as third person. a separate person, and as the third member of the trinity, was really a sort of makeshift or accident.


our historical standpoint of the comparative

study of religions,

becomes more easily explicable

God became separated from God himself, and was added to the Father and the Son to form a trinity. It was a sort of
the Holy Spirit of

historical necessity that the vacant place should


and thus a duad became a Ethnic trinities were so many signal



lights to re-


Christian theologians that their


was yet incomplete.

I would not suggest that

Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Origen were directly

such a trinitarian





but the very air around them


full of trinitarian voices.




have been, a curious light
tion of the

shed on the substitu-


Spirit for the natural third per-

son, namely, the divine

mother of Jesus, in an

extract which has been preserved, from the Gospel



an early gospel which afterof the Hebrews, wards came to be regarded as heretical, and thus passed out of use and is largely lost. In this
gospel, in the account of

the baptism, the




represented as saying to Christ

" Thou


first-born son,"

and further on, in the

count of the temptation, Christ himself is made to say " My mother, the Holy Spirit, lately took

me by

one of

my hairs and



to the great

mountain Tabor." element, so fundamental in all the Ethnic trinities, It was striving to assert itself on Christian soil. the Ebionitic and heretical character of this Gospel

Here appears the feminine

Hebrews that may have prevented the Holy from appearing in the Trinity as the divine Spirit mother of Christ. There was indeed one difficulty which could not easily be surmounted, namely, the substitution of the Holy Spirit for Mary, the historical mother of Jesus, who was growing more
of the

and more sacred in Christian tradition. Then In the early there was a stiU further difficulty. legendary account of Christ's birth, which was accepted as historical fact, the Holy Spirit was


the masculine agent in Christ's conception


18, 20


Luke i.


The Gospel

of the


Hebrews must have followed a different legendary Under such circumstances it is not
surprising that the

feminine element failed of

being represented in the Christian
the later history of the cultus and
the so-called

But Mary, " Virgin-mother," gives added evi-




loss of the

dence that the
always been

feminine element has


in the Christian consciousness.

The popularity of the cultus of Mary, and the rapid growth of the dogma of her bodily assumption and enthronement in heaven at Christ's right hand
where she becomes the chief intercessor for man,
thus taking the place of Christ, her Son,


largely taken the place of the Father as

and Judge

who has Lord




strongly the

feminine element, as representative of grace and

mercy in God, has always appealed to the human There is no more realistic and pathetic chapter in Christian history than that which records the gradual divinization of Mary the mother of Jesus. In the second century she was the " Virgin-mother." In the fourth and fifth centuries she became the ^cotkoos, or mother of God. Already she has been transformed into a semi-divine being.

Then legend followed legend to prepare her for her new sphere and office in the heavenly world. Her miraculous birth had already taken its place in the post-apostolic apocryphal traditions. Her
miraculous bodily assumption from the grave to

heaven was only a logical
her installation as




lowed her coronation by the Father or the Son and
" Queen of heaven."


Christian art of the Middle Ages,
decorate the
great churches and

employed to
stimulate the

faith of the people that thronged

them on



fuU of paintings

illustrative of this


derful historical evolution.

Only one step

" Histoire du dogme de la Divinite de . " Our Holy Mother. But it was not cing the worship of the distinct Holy Mother the first effort in this direction. A religious belief. her Son. intuition of the heart is surely destined sooner or later to become a dogma of intellectual A cultus at last becomes a creed." What the result of this movement was has not transpired. but every- where the cultus of Mary. More than thirty years ago Albert Reville." and " Queen of heaven. which represented the popular beliefs and not especially the religious conceptions and rites that fed their spiritual Hf e. It is understood on Catholic authority that " a congress was called in the city of Rome. to invest her with which her functions already It is noticeable in all this process of the deifica- tion of Mary. some time since. declared. but — it has gone out of the practical faith of men. title That was. for the ' purpose of pla' in a more and authoritative position among the articles of belief and practice. It remains.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES ther 257 remained. in the creeds. that the dogma of the Holy Spirit is losing recognition." is made the centre of attraction and worship. the trinitarian involved. the present rector of the University of Paris. is as witnessed by the innumerable pictures in the churches. in a small but notable book. Nothing is more irresistible than the logic of a historical evolution. indeed. rivaling and more and more uniting itself with that of Christ. The Holy Spirit is whoUy absent from these paintings.

is the Christian radical affirmations to its Ethnic Nor let us Protestants be too critically insuperstitious clined towards what may seem to us . where Christ. and they declare more vividly than words can how deeply fixed in the human soul is the sentiment of its need of the divine mercy. or side. She comwould have been a marvelous thing had the womanly element in Christianity failed to succeed in mounting to the very bosom of God.'* In the light of such a remark of Renan. receives the crown from the former and the homage seated at Mary's or as " of the latter. Mary has entered of full right into the Trinity she far excels the Holy it pletes the divine family. if it Mariolatry continues longer." Such pictures as " The In- coronata. and how intimately related trinity in its elders. as if pictures — such stitious sharing together the offices of judgment and mercy." where Mary. and.258 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES '* : " More than one serious attempt has already been made in the Ultramontane camp Jesus Christ to join in some way Mary facts. to the Trinity. in one of his essays. placed between the Father and the Son." in which Christ and side by side in separate glories. for Spirit. puts the crown on her head. may seem to us Protestants superit and even blasphemous. will come to pass. has a new signifi- " . having in mind the tendencies of modern Catholic cance : Christianity. Mary sit The Last Judgment. but must not be forgotten that they testify truly to the religious faith of the whole Christian church down to the sixteenth century.

refer. when search made for their historical roots. for I is have learned how tenacious trust. then. the grasp of a sin- cere though ignorant faith on the objects of its and how is affiliated are all such objects. but with the utmost seriousness. originally. of the feminine element in the Christian dogma of the trinity does not indicate any radical difference in character. The absence. to " the divine madonnaJ*^ Let who will cast a stone at this distinguished Congregational preacher. which was as fundamental to the Chrisas to the Ethnic. really required of the cultus of it. in the common religious nature of man. its internal when compared with that of the Ethnic Fortuitous historical circumstances pre- vented tian its admission for a while. but my historical studies have only deepened my feeling and even sympathy for every sincere religious belief. trinities. which . I am not a Catholic. dogma and the development the natural result.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES features of Catholic faith. and who abides in regular standing in the Congregational brotherhood. though it may have its source in unhistorical and superstitious traditions. 259 clear Are our skirts quite Is not the cult of of similar superstitions herself growing ? Mary among us ? Is she not the Virgin- mother somehow set apart from all other womankind ? Not long ago I heard a Protestant minister of New England ancestry and faith. nor of charity am I catholically inclined. Mary was In the Catholic church. in no ironical fashion. but the generative principle. For myself.

and my conclusion. and Mary was the real mother of the God-man. But the old dogmas and creeds logically include the doctrine and cultus of Mary which grew spontaneously in the Middle Ages. the dogma and Mary have become a vital part of its system. The Protestant revolt was directed rather against rites than dogmas. Hence it is that conservative Protestantism to-day. is its reactionary taking more and more kindly to a Surely. Hence it was that Mary was thrown down from her lofty pedestal. It is my profound conviction that the pre- diction of Reville concerning the tendencies in the Catholic church towards the inclusion of Mary is in the Christian trinity will ultimately be verified. if sort of haK-and-half Mariology. Turning now to the other point raised. it is to be noted that does not appear in . namely.260 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Nicene and post-Nicene rites of historically represents the Christianity. and Mary was his virginwhy should she not be honored as such. and be even entitled to a seat at her divine Son's The logic of history rarely right hand in glory ? There is in it a divine method and provifails. equally clear that those Protestants who are de- voted to the old Catholic dogmas must finally though the steps taken towards it may be reach — uncertain and slow the same goal. If those creeds are true. in tendencies. — the Christian dogma of the procession of the it Holy Spirit. then the special honor and cultus of Mary is defensible. as a historical observer. dence. is Jesus indeed mother. God himself.

No doubt the phrase in John xv. when the doctrine of the third person is first set forth theologically. 261 Creed of 325 simply alludes to the without constructing any The Nicene Holy Spirit. the only begotten Son of the Father. manner of Philo. The proem of that gospel had set forth. but though it slumbered for nearly two centuries. Whether the Holy Spirit was a person or only an influence was not quite clear. But why was it that the theory of genera- tion is not applied also to the as to the clue is Son? given in Holy Spirit as well The answer seems clear. was rhetorical rather than theological. Nazareth. Its the Fourth Gospel. As late as the latter part of the fourth century Gregory Nazianzen regarded the question as unsetand not essential to orthodoxy. and had identified this preexistent Logos with Jesus of after the Generation and procession are simply two forms of derivation from God. it. then. the theory of the Logos of God. was the common view of the Holy Spirit's relation to God ? Plainly it was one of derivation or ematled nation.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES the creeds until the fourth century. in the creeds of the middle of . and of his procession from the Fa^ ther. What. dogma about This shows that no theological discussion had yet arisen on this point. it was at last caught up when controversy began to arise as to the precise relation It is remarkable that of the Holy Spirit to God. or Son. analogous to that of the second person. Here is found the for the first time theory of the Paraclete (Comforter).

and has ever since been retained as a fixed shibboleth of orthodoxy. is clearly of Greek origin." or Comforter. who became est defender of the homoousian character not only on the Fourth Gospel. There of the second person but also of the third. that the Fourth Gospel is responsible for that peculiar the- ory of the third person which became incorporated in the so-called Constantinopolitan amendment of the Nicene Creed. the Galilean apostle. remarkable that no such language can be found in the Synoptic gospels. The very word " Paraclete. and that their fourth centuries was ceptance by Christian theologians in the third and due to the fact that the authorship of the Fourth Gospel was attributed to John. at all events. and is traceable to the same Philo who gave the Greek term " Logos " to Christian theology. rested his defense primarily can be no historical doubt. express allusion made to the language of John xv. and to the term " Paraclete " the great- (Comforter). I will not here this bit of his- stop to consider the light shed by tory on the question of the authorship and date of the Fourth Gospel. therefore. Athanasius.262 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is the fourth century. is What is plain. In . that the author of that gospel derived his trini- tarian ideas concerning the eternal generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit from ac- Alexandrian Philonic sources. arises The question here lips of whether the language placed on the really Christ concerning the Paraclete and his procession from the Father was ever Certainly it is spoken by him.

in his recently published volume Introduction to the : " An New Testament. xiv." Professor Bacon holds that the Fourth Gospel is a post-apostolic writing by an unknown author who gathered the materials from composite sources. common Greek Christ taught no such Logos or Paraclete doctrine.: ." I am in substantial accord with these conclusions though I must add that I regard them as quite conservative. unless we accept the apostolicity of the Fourth Gospel. I think Professor Bacon has yielded quite as courses as the evidence warrants. W. as a whole.'" but " expanding them into dialectic discourses. stiU those city There are who are ready to defend such apostoli- of the and to hold that Christ spoke the very words long discourses and prayer in chapters But the weight of critical authority more and more settles itself on a substantial agreement with the conclusions of Professor B. and it is my decided feeling that historical criticism in its progress will more hesitant about allowing even so grow more and much.-xvii. INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES fact. much says to the genuineness of original logia in the set dis- He weU . employing " trustworthy data and genuine logia. as other than literary compositions by the author (unknown) of the Johannine Epistles. Bacon." " Professor it Bacon further adds is With all due allowance impossible to regard the set discourses of John." "in a manner wholly incompatible with the clear historical recollection of : an eyewitness. 263 the two words belong to the vocabulary of a philosophy.

quote them as a truly gospel foundation for the article of the creed also. used the term. had the Fourth Gospel not been written. see Critical His- 1 For my own historical judgment on the general Appendix A. form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed. certainly.264 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES will " Few deny that in this gospel the prerogative of the ancient historian to place in the mouth of his characters discourses reflecting his own idea of what on were suitable to the occasion has been used to the limit. would have been. If the language of John XV. To the last discourses of the Fourth Gospel must question. it is impossible to on the third person. of his and in accord with the literary habit day put into his mouth. himself. it to the Logos. tainly. cannot of course be determined. . but applied person. and that the doctrine of the Paraclete does not appear the end of that century." in A tory of the Evolution of Trinitarianism. but only 25 cannot be regarded as that of Christ an intei"pretation of what a writer of the second century supposed to be the spirit of his teaching. on "The Johannine Problem. Without it. as regards the third person." 1 The bearing of this critical conclusion the point before us is clear. after important to remember that the Fourth till Gospel makes no figure in early history the middle of the second century. if the —a till near strange thing cer- Fourth Gospel was apostolic and in What the the hands of the apostolic Christians. indeed. it is Here. there would have been no doctrine of the Paraclete as a distinct Philo. as he did the term mediator.

Thus the apparent difference between the and the Christian trinity in the matter of the form of derivation of the third Ethnic trinities person fades into a purely superficial distinction and. but representing the tendency which was now growing towards the New Platonic monism. for the historical ori- gin of the Spirit. had more influence than any others in the final formation of the completed creed. whether by generation or some " The Paraclete who other form of evolution. Philo and the author of the Fourth Gospel were Alexandrian Platonists. to The difference them between the mode of derivation of the second person and the third was simply one of form. as we have was evolution. though seemingly in different ways. or deriva- AU things proceeded. when adopted into the creed. and the persons thus derived. were thoroughly versed in the Platonic philosophy. in one way or other. 265 and to them alone. in this case. who tation. were equally homoousio% and in the same sense divine.. Generation and procession were essentially the same. dogma of the procession of the Holy We mine are now in a position to be able to deter- quite clearly what the real meaning of " procession " was. from the one God. INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES we look. of that philosophy tion. not of substance. The key word. as in the case of the absence of . and can bear but one interpre- Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa. seen. proceedeth from the Father " is genuine Greek Platonic language.

all directly Philonic. This it fact is so patent that I need not dwell upon at any length. irapaKXrjTo? (Paraclete). scheme of salvation circles around the word /Aco-tTiys. who was sent by his Father on the mission of healing the alienation and reuniting God and his human The whole creatures in one moral kingdom. fact. But it is the mediation element. it was plainly the strongest bond of the Ethnic trinitarianism. but also to Christian theology in its whole range. have as their Son of very centre and crown the divine mediatorship of Christ. I scarcely need add that mediatorship In is equally the keynote of the Ethnic trinities. introduced into the Christian theology by Paul. derived from Add the word Philo and Greek philosophy. we have the keynote not only to Christian wrought by sin. exposed as it was constantly to the disintegrating effects of polytheism on the one hand and pantheism on the other. trinitarianism. working more efficiently than all others to preserve its substance and form. and in these three Greek words. and more indirectly Platonic. and the kindred word A. the God. after all. the doctrines The whole Christian trinity and aU that hang upon it.oyos.266 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES seem to the feminine element. that binds the Ethnic trinities and the Christian trinity in closest and most intimate relationship. circumstances entirely fortuitous have prevented the Christian trinitarianism from being based on the generation family principle throughout. The great question of religion and religious .

and later in the West. And. as we have seen. the incarnate god-man.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES faith has always 267 been from the beginning of time. When we read of Sosiosh." we are " not The more closely the Ethnic religions are studied. the more deeply one realizes that the very foundations of the Ethnic trinities were laid in the need felt by the hu- man heart of some favorable and friendly medium between weak man and those heavenly powers that rule earth and sea and sky and the nether world . New Platonism of Plotinus and Proclus. The terms "Father" and " Son. the "mediator." are by no means peculiar to Chris- They are found scattered over the sacred books of the East. more and more prominent in the histories of the Ethnic religions has grown the mediative principle. the " benevolent " one and " savior." tianity." "Friend of Man." "Mediator. of ^sculapius." " Savior. in Hindooism. be able to enter into such relations of amity and communion with God as shall insure To establish such a basis of his help and favor. "Messenger. until at last. they reach religious significance. of Krishna." and of Mithra. shall how man religious trust has been the end of every religion that history gives any account of." in Zoroastrianism. the " a-oiT-qp " or " savior " in Greek religious rites. their height of moral and and remind us that we have entered somehow into a truly Christian atmos- phere and faith. we are indeed made to feel that far from the kingdom of God. in Greek mythologies and in the complete philosophies.

whether Father or Son or Mother. places God and himself." and one of the Zoroastrian trinities with its " mediator. " Man. A one of these attempts to find historical analogies between one of the Babylonian triads with its " intercessor. The function of " intercessor" was strongly marked in some of the The investigation of the analoOriental cults. thus making a trinity complete. demand still other intermediaries " (" Kevue de I'histoire des reli- . was the fill need still felt of another go-between to the chasm not wholly closed between the Son and man. who. gies furnished by several of these religions has been a fascinating subject of late with Oriental competent foreign critic. at once he or she is made the most prominent and popular The veryobject of worship and sacrificial rites. The need of a go-between to mediate with the highest and most distant deity led to the evolution of a second person est deity could who as a son of that high- be the bearer to him of human It prayers and sacrifices and offerings. terrified at finding himself concludes : before the intermediaries between his power of the divine majesty. being divinized in their turn. that sometimes led to another addition.268 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Whichever member of a trinity. below." while refusing to accept the evidence as full proof of any actual borrowing. development of some of the Ethnic trinities seems to have come about along this mediating line. becomes in human apprehension the mediating friend of man. reviewing scholars.

269 240). A prolonged study of the Christian and Ethnic religions has convinced me that this critic's words bring us to the fountain head.INTERNAL RELATIONS — RESEMBLANCES gions. causes contributed their share of influence. ." 1898. i. not only of all the trinities that have ever all been evolved. more influential than all has been this Other but most radiits cal of human religious instincts. with inex- tinguishable fears and hopes. but also of the various religions that have been developed around them.

but on closer exami- nation resolved themselves into superficial features make the resemblances more Such were the absence of the feminine element. We have now to notice other differences which do not so that only served to striking. difference Here is a point of radical between the Christian trinity and aU the Ethnic trinities. If Zoroaster was a historical personage. and the derivation by procession rather than generation of the Holy Spirit. easily yield to critical examination.CHAPTER INTERNAL RELATIONS III — DIFFERENCES resem- In our consideration of the internal Ethnic and Christian trinities. he never became a member of a trinity. raising of Christ The to that from the position of a man is of a divine being the historical starting-point of the Christian trinity. in or starts No Ethnic trinity centre^ from a man. blances that are visible in a comparison of the we had occasion to first note several differences that seemed at sight to be of a radical character. Attention has already been called to the historical origin of the Christian trinity as an outgrowth of faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. though in later legend he was invested .

and that he has remained true theological centre throughout It has even been its aU its history. but he was himself the sole author of the Plotinian trinity.INTERNAL RELATIONS — DIFFERENCES with semi-divine functions. The One. he never was raised by his followers to a divine All the mythological trinities had their rank. made the great apologetical argument for the truth of the Christian trinity that it had a true historical origin. Mohamis medanism self a Semitic religion closely akin to Judaism. the In- and the Soul. So Hindoo and the the philosophical trinities. and it never occurred to the most speculative of his followers to introduce the name of their master into a trinity of such transcendental abstractions as " telligence. as an incarnation of Buddha but no trinity up around him. while aU Ethnic trinities are claimed to be unhistorical creations of fancy or philosophy. Plotinus became in- deed a sort of divine man in the eyes of his admir- ing disciples. such as the New Platonic. but though Mohammed proclaimed him- a reformer and prophet like Moses and Christ. 271 also Gautama was . origin in the religious imagination of the early man. I have already shown how . but it remains no less true that without Jesus Christ there would have been no Christian trinity. were the offspring of the speculative reason. raised in later Buddhistic tradition to the place of of di\dne persons grew a god." It is true that the early Christian Fathers grazed on Ethnic soil in laying the philosophic foimdations of the Christian trinitarian dogma.

in the faith of his disciples. that Jesus of Nazareth was really born of a virgin by an immediate act of divine power. as a religious dogma. to membership in a trinity of But these historical facts concern- ing the evolution of a trinity out of the Jewish monotheism do not make the Christian trinity itself. fortunately. to a divine rank. a historical eternal truth.272 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES this position is wanting in historical verity evolution of the Ethnic trinities as is. that this miraculous birth contained within itseK a real divine incarnation of God. and divine beings. Were it capable of being given. But such proof has never been furnished. would involve the utter and fatal subversion of God's own universal and eternal laws. The much a mat- ter of history as is that of the Christian dogma. person. and of those ultimate principles on which human But. assumes as historical fact what should be proved. and in the nature of things cannot be. any more than the corresponding facts concerning the evolution of the Ethnic trinities prove them to be valid statements concerning the nature of God. . no science and history rest. it such conflict between science and faith can arise. A fatal fallacy is involved It first in this apolo- getical argument. and Jesus Christ was a historical he not only became the historical founder of a new religion. indeed. but he also was raised after his death. cooperation of Christ's putative father. one element of truth in the Christian apology. There is. making unnecessary the and fur- ther. namely.

mythological and the philosophi- The Christian trinity belongs to the latter class. Paul. therefore. Such a doctrine of God cannot be conChrist himseK was a mono- founded with any historical human being. than the Ethnic ties. remains substantially fixed in its trinitarian form. The real difference. and Origen. adhering to . is true that man is the historical starting-point of it is the Christian trinity. historical criticism has made clear the legendary character of the traditions that slowly gathered around the birth and it infancy of Jesus. All trinitarian doctrines are divisible into classes. then. Further. such as Jesus of Nazareth. Another difference that arrests attention in this " comparative study is that the Christian trinity. drew their theological ideas from Greek philosophy. and installed its founder in God it as "very God of very what no Ethnic religion ever did. who may be styled the three chief originators of Christian trinitarianism. and she never ap- peared in evidence. not a trinitarian. itself not true that the dogma trini- any more rests upon historical grounds. Justin Martyr. as an article of religious faith. the two cal.INTERNAL RELATIONS — DIFFERENCE^»§4ialS2Si^^ The only direct human witness would be Mary the mother of Jesus herself. after reaching its full development. philosophy. between the Ethnic trinities and the Christian on this point dwindles to the single fact that the Christian religion slowly de- veloped out of rian its original monotheism a trinita- dogma borrowed from Greek . Christ as a While. theist.

until became typed at length by the formation of creeds. while the facile fluxive character. It is one of showing the most significant facts of history. on the other hand. Christian Yet it is not to be forgotten that the considerable stereo- dogma passed through a it period of flux and change. To become heretical on the single question of the form of the trinity as set forth in the Nicene Creed exposed any theological leader to excomThis exmunication and even exile and death. — — sion is so quickly aroused to the point of bitter and relentless persecution as the passion of reli- .274 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES whom it the three persons of was originally com- posed. doubling or triphng them. rather than anything radical in the nature of the Christian trinity. and also to the methods of derivation by and still which these were related to each other Ethnic trinities exhibit . explains the ap- parent inflexibility of the Christian dogma as compared with the Ethnic trinities. which were henceforth made authoritative and unchangeable as canons of orthodoxy. ternal cause. The Ethnic trinities. as Egyptian. The dogmatic spirit which so characterized the Nicene age is thus largely responsible for the arrest of freedom and fluidity in Christian trinitarian speculation. how deep-seated and influential is the religious that no human passentiment in man's nature. or further pluralizing them. — a much more easily exchanging one trinity in the case of the for another. had a freer development. and were never fixed in creeds.

The Hindoo and Plotinian trinities in their full pantheistic form became as fixed as the Christian trinity. the balance is religions.INTERNAL RELATIONS — DIFFERENCES gion 275 when it becomes wedded to some particular form of dogmatic belief. I have already adverted to the remarkable spri'it of toleration shown scent in the Buddhist faith throughout its long history. Indeed. that when Ethnic history is compared with the Christian on this point. with which the Chi*istian trinity may more properly be compared. and . It founder. which This have remained with little change for ages. as well as the Christian. and should have made so poor a show its when compared with is still further to be noted that the Ethnic trini- ties. the more one is surprised and impressed by the intellectual and religious liberty that was universally enjoyed. Alas that Christianity afterwards should ! so far have deteriorated from that gospel of the great Eastern rival. overwhelmingly in favor of the Ethnic Let it be remembered here that MoIt is hammedanism does not count among them. having a common de- from Judaism. reminding one of the teachings of Christ and his gospel. half-brother to Christianity. philosophical was especially true of the Ethnic trinities. gradually into fixed trinitarian crystallized became forms. The annals of the Ethnic religions cannot be said to be wholly free from these perversions of the religious nature. But this can be said. except on rare occasions of special excitement. the more one studies Ethnic history.

sent on errands of mercy or judgment. There is no doubt that the Jews of the Captivity received their ideas con- . was considerably free from such tendencies in either There is no doubt that the original direction. polytheistic background. Jewish monotheistic element was the means of preserving Christianity for some centuries from the polytheistic and pantheistic influences that were in But the Christian doctrine of the air around it. contained a polytheistic leaven that in the course of time leavened the whole lump. were of superhuman or semidivine nature. and the great movements that have agitated Latin Christendom the have given to Christian theology a fluxive character that has made the law of evolution active in all its history. or a mixture of both. The Ethnic trinities have as a rule been connected with polytheistic or pantheistic religious ideas. murti was compounded of a strange mixture of pantheism and polytheism. There is stiU another point of comparison where a noticeable difference is discernible between the Ethnic and Christian trinitarianism.276 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES so. for even more converted to Christianity have been Western nations that were much more progressive than the Orientals. and were the usual messengers from the upper world to the earth. beings. which came directly from Judaism. angels and devils. starting from monotheism. These good and evil. even down to the present day. on the other hand. The Vedic trinities had a The later Hindoo triThe Christian trinity.

know how prominent became when bad this feature of Christian theology in the fourth and fifth centuas well as good spirits from the upper world were believed to range freely over the earth and enter into close relations with hu- man kind. the " Father of — gods and men. between Ethnic and Christian ideas as to the divine or semi-divine beings It who in- habited the celestial regions. polytheism. after all. or gods of a stiU lower and lesser sort. In ." The Greek doctrine of demons.INTERNAL RELATIONS — DIFFERENCES their 277 cerning spirits dwelling in the upper air from Zoroastrian Persian masters. indeed. obedient to Zeus. was mostly a that matter of names. gods. the Christian doctrine of angels. that there was not so great a difference. Plato. filled with such beings. We ries. can be seen. made one God the creator and father of this world. then. was of later but had already come into New Platonic speculation in the time of Plutarch. gods and goddesses. in the Timaeus. whom employing as his instruments lower he first created and then bade fulfill This view comes very near to It his decrees concerning the further creation of the world and men. with power to injure or to bless. Such in gen- eral. were the lower gods of the Ethnic The Greek pantheon of Olympus all was — who were origin. The Ethnic polytheism trinities was not essentially lay behind the Ethnic different from the Jewish and Christian doctrine of angels and devils who were all under God's rule and willingly or unwillingly did his bidding.

of saint even divine beings. the outset to find differences between the Ethnic trinities and the Christian . which. is the explanation of the rapid Here. if reputed to be peculiarly holy. divided this lower sphere with God and the mes- sengers and servants of both beings were busy in the discharge of their various functions.278 fact. . the THE ETHNIC TRINITIES monotheism of Christ and early Chrishad abeady largely given place to a thorSatan practically . Wherein such views differed from the so-called polytheism of the Ethnic religions it is not easy to say. I am sure that my readers by this time pre- pared to hear me confess the surprise which I have experienced in the progress of these comIt was my fuU expectation at parative studies. superhuman. and human became so dim and indistinct that it was easily crossed. came to be treated as if transfigured into superhuman or also. as dedicated to name are the gods of polytheism. The truth is that during the Middle Ages the Christian church was practically polytheistic. tianity oughly polytheistic conception of the relations of the upper world to this world. trinity quite as radical as the resemblances but this survey has revealed the fact that the resemblances are fundamental. growth and image worship. a shows. The line between the divine. as well as that of the Virgin Mary. had been pagan temple. and men and women. a fact that was fitly illustrated when — a bishop of to " Rome in the Mary and all the all seventh century dedicated saints " its the Pantheon.

and on closer scrutiny are seen to rest on external and fortui- tous rather than internal grounds. The historical is cer- conclusion to which one is forced to come tainly plain. trinitarian. " in the times of ignorance. As of we do the highest honor to Jesus Nazareth when we let history. that all the varied forms of monotheistic. What and even to faU into gross Like age. isolation of tribes and even families from each other in early barbarous times. and only compared with the . modifications of human feeling and thought brought about by natural peculiarities of ra<?e. It was in a degree pardonable to men. and more especially by the different degrees of civilization and culture to which the various peoples of the world have attained. teU the whole truth about him. gion. like people. ize as —a a religion of credulity and religion which I venture to characterto be forming the most terrible religious chapter in all history." to hold a blind faith superstitions. or pantheistic religion in the world have one common all root in man's religious nature. polytheistic. like relicould be expected in the almost total eclipse of intellectual Hfe in the so-called Dark and Ages (seculum obscurum) of mediaeval Christenfear dom but cruelty. which is one Christians of God's methods of providential revelation.INTERNAL RELATIONS— DIFFERENCES 279 while the differences are superficial. and that the differ- ences which have been developed in the movements of history apparently so radical and complete are traceable to differences of environment. namely.

in providence. so his eternal truth will correit spondingly brighten until shall become the Sun " true light of the whole moral world and forever. brings in its train a solemn message. Slowly but surely the day has dawned. With increased light and know- ledge comes increased responsibility. Science and history have opened the once closed book of God's ways in nature. its " Surely the excuse of the " times of ignorance cannot be ours." 280 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES of savage tribes. and the shadows of error and delusion have disappeared. and in human life. Shamanism execrable The excuse But we for the deeds of that unhappy time was the live in profound ignorance of the people. and as God's law of evolution de- velops man's intellectual and moral powers more and more fuUy. it Christians of to-day to read ." according to human capacity to receive it. Man has found his rightful place in God's universe. a different world. is be- ginning to show religious faith its real eternal nature behind all the more or less obscure and distorted forms of . historical past over The long It is for which our survey has extended aright. Truth revealed gradually and "in divers ways.

on this very truth. may be asked at the outset whether such unity of religious beliefs conduct not ? is possible or even desirable. and its ideal was that " all may be one. The cosmos law of natural evolution finds itself repeated in a cosmos of moral order and unity. The unity of nature and material law involves the essential built his gospel Christ of the moral kingdom. towards unity in The central forces of society are moving from iso- lation and provincialism towards cosmopolitan of science under the forms of life. has brought us to a point of view where a wide and comprehensive outlook as to the nature of the Divine lations with is possible of the present providential mission of It Christianity as a coming world-religion. especially Being and his remankind.CHAPTER IV THE PEOVIDENTIAL MISSION OF CECRISTIANITY AS A WORLD-BELIGION The comparative survey now concluded of the chief religions and faiths of the world." As the real principle of the gospel is becoming understood and prac- unity of man and . and sentiments and principles of But why all All things in this age of ours are tending directions as never before.

nature and in moral aspirations. Science. making all human souls " of one heart and of one mind. hopes. All men are essentially one in instincts. the unification of society in all its various forms goes on apace. one law. why should not a common ligious and bond. of and The foundations the religious life are laid deep in the instincts common religious and yearnings of humanity. And one far-off divine event. move in dif- even in politics as weU commerce and ferent departments of international far-off relationship. To which the whole creation moves . If the moral consciousness distinguishes its its a moral kingdom with the natural cosmos with cause. and not be allowed to remain a Such a consummation is not a millennial ideal ? faith . own moral laws from physical laws." become an accomplished fact.282 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES It is beginning to as in ticed. and philosophy unite in affirming the unity of the Supreme Power that moves and guides the universe. history. " re- and if this be true. Already the dream of a izable. in Why now aU ? this movement should not religion take the lead religious fears. as millennium when the nations shall learn war no more seems real- one notes how widely the principle of unity of race and of a common human brother- hood racial is triumphing over the barbarous ideas of separation and antagonism and hatred. one element. it also seeks behind both realms of being a single first — " One God.

The same is credal tests. when outward unity is made a fundamental ple of the Kingdom. is Every form of externality very nature. I justice and am not here thinking of traditional concepexternal unity which have had rule so tions of but which historical criticism has swept away with so much other rubbish. that no true religious unity can ever come out of . if what is the impressive lesson taught. which is declaring more plainly than ever before the " good news " of a coming world-wide era of peace and unity. but long. They are barriers to unity. As we look back ideas. it becomes subversive very unity it princi- of the seeks to reach and preserve. limiting and divisive in its The radical trouble with Christendom all and equally with the religions and reis ligious organizations of the world. to-day. External church organizations indeed have their uses . History shows only too clearly that they have always been the great promoters of over the strife and discord. with the implication that all other churches so called lack.CHRISTIAKITY AS A WORLD-RELIGION mere vision 283 of of the religious fancy. the notes or marks of that true of all kingdom. that each church or established religious cult claims to be the true kingdom of God on earth. long history of trinitarian as sunmied up in the Ethnic and Christian trinities. more or less completely. not this. but a clear the Christian affirmation consciousness that grows more pronounced and emphatic under these last revelations of God's providence.

as he surveys the religious field. is already proving itself to be. as its principles and methods are allowed to more consistently and thoroughly. history. the proviwork dential herald of God's one kingdom of hberty and love to our whole human race. that our new age with its new scientific and historical light is breaking down the barriers which the long reign of dogmatic faith has reared and strengthened into fortresses of defensive warfare. first Nor sight reli- the question as easy to answer as at Christianity is appears. Over against there rise as during all the centuries since Christ proclaimed his new gospel. religions in the that are hoary with the hallowed traditions of age.284 religious essentials THE ETHNIC TRINITIES dogmas and the assertion of them as What is the of religious harmony? ground of hope to the historical observer to-day. maligned as it has been. still. the question at once arises. which one of the great historical religions that have hitherto shared with each other the moral dominion of the world is is best fitted for this unifying task. In numbers surpassed by It is not the only religion that spirit has the missionary proselyting tial it so essen- to any first religious propaganda. and is thus opening the way for the spread everywhere of true spiritual freedom and charity and love and peace and unity ? Yes. if not just this. is But. and have become intrenched faith and . other religions. if such a religious unity possible and to be sought. one of the younger it is gions of the earth.

that are as venerable and dear to and sacred writings them as our Old and New Testaments are to all us. But have the dense masses Buddhists. and history alone. the been at Mohammedans. of Is it not time. Still less would I speak sank into the soil of — depreciatingly of the last missionary crusade that has given our own age so conspicuous a place in Christian annals. And it is impor- tant here to note that the efforts of Christen- dom for these nineteen centuries. time seemed f uU of hope but the new seed never whether because pagan life. been utterly vain. in its marvelous evolution. is certainly a good and great of the Hindoos. the ground was not good or the seed not rightly sown. gives the answer. the all the Chinese. The Scripmany non-Christian Foundations have been This tures have been translated into languages. Christian I do not forget some special missionary movements which for the . done. work. to ask how such ramparts dogmatic and traditional defense can be broken down ? History. we will not decide. How ! clearly is divine providence working to-day to solve the pro- blem that has seemed so difficult Never before . No doubt much good has been laid. to overthrow these intrenchments. by sword or by have gospel. with a long suc- cession of prophets and sages.CHRISTIANITY AS A WORLD-RELIGION 285 affections of millions of devotees. then. thoroughly reached and moved ? Have the religious systems whose devotees far outnumber Christian believers yet been assailed in their centres of influence and overthrown ? Certainly not.

has Christianity grown to its present stature. are in Christian hands. even in darkest periods of superstition. not barriers saintly lives. and made its ! ! . science. as it can be to-day. we have already Christ's kingdom was " of the spirit. but by that leaven of Christ's original gospel which has continued to work in that. What is the essential quality of that gospel leaven seen. 35). hterature. until. in these post- Reformation times Christian society has regained the surface of is and renewing its life and strength in the fresh divine revelations of our age. that Christian- ity has the political promise of the future. culture. under the banner of Christ's cross. The great The world's commerce. powers of the world are Christian. for the work of is evangelization? History again our It tells us in language not to be mistaken. by ecclesiasticism or creeds or dogmatic and defenses. we are ready to ask. By this How men know that ye are ^^ my disciples if ye have love one to another (John xiii. What. hollow and sad does past Christian history appear when the real meaning of these words forces itself What a false religion had Chrison our minds tianity become when.286 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES it could be said. shall all Its ruling force was love. it came to be a source of division and strife And all because it had missed and bitterness the true meaning of Christ's gospel. is the vital principle in the Christian religion that has given it this position of intellectual it and the moral power and armed world's guide. like an underground it river. then.

now follows ? This that such dogmas as those Christian gospel : of the trinity or the metaphysical deity of Christ and kindred ones are not of the essence in their of the gospel. — nineteen centuries have proved to be impossible. is So that when the question put before us : how shall Christianity go forth to evangelize the world? the answer rings sharp and clear from the lips of history itself: not by any effort to break down and destroy the Ethnic religions and erect the a feat which Christian dogmas on their ruins. while the is gospel of Christ engenders brotherhood an experience of the heart and and unity and charity. There can be no doubt that in the passages here used the unknown writer has set forth in language of wonderful power and beauty the central elements of Christ's teaching. " If any man wiUeth to do his he shall know of the teaching whether it be truth shall " Ye shall know the truth. then. and very nature create division. and truth leads to freedom. ." ^ These words Christ himseK explained when he gave his "new comof God.CHRISTIANITY AS A WORLD-RELIGION 287 essence to consist in constrained unity of church authority and creed. instead of the freedom of brotherly love. for love What leads to truth. for they are matters of the head. : is the true trinity of the Love^ truths freedom ." Here. — but rather to reopen the too long closed fountains of the original gospel proclaimed by Jesus himself 1 Let me here say once for all that I quote Christ's sayings from the Fourth Gospel only when they are in full harmony with the Synoptic gospels." mandment. and the make you free. will.

they have become too abstract for the ordi- nary comprehension of uneducated people. or that religious mere love and obedience problems for us . Obey the new moral law of Christian love." How clear aU this becomes in the light of the Take. Can anything be simpler or plainer? And yet how Christian tradition has distorted and of falsified it.288 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES essential on the hiUs of Galilee and Judasa. whose notes are love and truth and freedom. As these trinities have grown more metaphysical and specu- lative. and think he was " doing God service. is widespread in the annals of thought. Yet . human belief and A close analytical comparison reveals the fact that aU the leading trinities. but by each man's own moral consciousness working on all questions of truth through the moral exercises of love and liberty. for examIn some form or one of the most ancient and ! comparative history of religions ple. the other dogma of this dogma the trinity. the Christian included. until a man named with the name Christ could put his pagan or even Christian brother to a cruel death because of a purely dogmatic or speculative difference. He did not mean that aU it is of no consequence what dogmas a man may hold. But let us not misunderstand the true import of Christ's words. have been developed from certain com- mon religious intuitions and sentiments. and that love shall make you free in the truth. will solve but he did mean that the way of approach to such problems is not by dogmatic authority.

he will cer- tainly convince himself. will — the the — the educated missionary if On this very question of the special subject of our studies. and whither. must the palm go? ism or Platonism. dogma must be The question must be as to the the dogma to be held. also. This survey has shown that no keener thinkers have ever speculated on trinitarian lines than the master minds of Hindoo- Compare Origen. if ? Christianity proposes to convert the world on the basis of met with dogma. and really necessary Was such a yoke ever put on human consciences before in this whole world's history ? But how can such a yoke be put on the devotees of non-Christian religions Notice that. How vain such an appeal must be. in fact. or Augustine with the unknown builders of the Hindoo trimurti^ or with Plato and Plotinus. and he does not convince his opponent that his doctrine of God is purest and best. theology. form of its dogmas. trinity." history itself shows us " a more excellent Paul had learned enough of Christ's gos- . Athanasius. Is it New not enough to note that these Christian theo- logians freely acknowledged their indebtedness to their Ethnic masters ? But way. our missionaries have been learn- ing only too well. think you. but real vital centre of all dogmatic unflinchingly hold his Hindoo or Mussulman ground against the is Christian who seeking to convert him.CHRISTIANITY AS A WORLD-RELIGION 289 such dogmas have been taught by the church in its creeds as if they were of the essence of faith to salvation.

" nothing with- Let Christianity. truly ^trinitarian close. these three. and Paul's chapter on knowledge versus its "But now abideth faith. love. .^^ and the greatest of and the triumph of Christianity as the world's religion will be only a question of time. that famous panegyric of love.: 290 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES it. — where he it is — says " Though I have aU knowledge out love. these is love. with banners Christ's parable of the prodigal son. hope. write on love. the 13th of 1 Corinthians. pel to declare in the most inspired chapter of Apostolic literature. laying aside its ex- ploded traditions and creeds that were the product of ages of Christian decline its and darkness.

In Paul's language. taking on of new faculties life." and cannot realize that the time has come when it should " be- come a man and put away most critical childish things. in is my idealistic ardor. its that Christianity not yet ready to take up to final victory. Jesus himself seems to have foreseen what bitter experiences would be the lot of his disciples in the future progress of his grow kingdom. thinks as a child. feels as it still " speaks as a child. It stiU clings to its swad- dling clothes and listens with unwilling ears to the the Carlylian " Sartor Resartus " Zeitgeist — — that would fain reclothe it for its higher destiny. —a — the veritable birth into spiritual regen- a higher and nobler Such a eration cannot but be attended with sharp pangs and overwhelming anxieties." is The moral passage from childhood to manhood indeed the and even tragical stage in the history of an individual or of an age. It is like the change from the grub to the butterfly. a child.• CHAPTER V THE UNEEADINESS OF CHKISTENDOM FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF ITS MISSION But march I must not forget. and forewarned them in words that fuller and fuUer of prophetic meaning as the .

of history and its philosophical interpretation. 21). for joy that a man is bom into the world " (John xvi. creative intervention of completely changed. and philosophical scholars. So radical is the whole change of view that it can only be compared to a new birth where " old things have all passed away and things have become new. in his immortal book " The Origin of Species. historical. but when delivered of the child she remembereth no more the anguish. movement at But the intimate seen. with aU that volves in aU departments of knowledge. and showed that all the processes of nature. It is nothing less than a " TraXtyycvco-ta. of religion and God. because her hour she is come. crisis in its life to-day. the whole aspect of nature and the universe. has lution. including even the development of species. 1. were imder a single law of natural evo- and hence required no special miraculous God. life. 1859) when Charles Darwin so modestly published. Christianity is passing through such a bitter so radical has ever before tory. has already become an accepted axiom among all scientific." geology.292 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES by : ages go "A woman when is she is in travail hath sorrow. first Of course the was slow and hesitating. relation of the new doctrine of evolution to previ- ous scientific discoveries was quickly and the it in- grand unity of unalterable law." Nothing happened in all its his- From the day (Oct." the results of his physical researches. We have not only a new astronomy and but also a new science of nature and of a new .

a new view of man and of his relations to nature. it is divided into two great camps. then. how shall Christendom be made ready for the work given it Such a question cannot be answered until to do ? the causes of scrutinized its present unreadiness are thoroughly clearly understood. ical then. — — It is is the fortune or misfortune of our age that it in the very midst of the agonizing throes that this great must attend century. to history. No doubt this scientific age is mak- ing deep inroads into the prejudices and misunderstandings which have hitherto kept these two great . look over the Christian world and see what the real situation First. Let us. the Catholic and the Protestant. new birth of the opening Fortunate are they whose eyes are opened seasonably to hail the coming " heir of all Does the human mother welcome the the ages. and to God. should not this age so honored and blessed of God ? hail the new and histor- evangel In the previous chapter I called attention to the providential mission of Christianity as a world-religion . and the serious question remains. which have been in open or concealed warfare from the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation to the present day.UNREADINESS OF CHRISTENDOM biology and anthropology scientific light . and is. to his brother man. 293 and out of all this new must come in its order and time a a new conception new philosophy and theology." natal hour when " a man is born into the world " scientific ? Why. of God and his relation to the universe and to man.

among us that the cardinal Christian principles of liberty and fraternity have taken deepest root . is new revelations Can it even and now be said that the spirit of denominational churchly sectarianism I think not. or non-established. What a spectacle is presented to non-Chris- tian peoples. But must not be overlooked that these fraternizing movements as yet extend only over small sections of Protestant Christendom. gregationalism dying out to any great extent in the great organized Protestant churches ? It is must be remembered that Conbut a comparatively small fracIt is tion of the whole Christian body. and are sporadic and inchoate and the most that can be said of them is . I gladly recognize the rapid strides that are being taken among us fraternity. not to be mistaken. Protestantism itself up into sectarian parties and churches. to when missionaries come to them of claiming Christ. large portions of rest as true established which do not regard or treat the Christian organizations. represent one common religion and who yet treat each other as "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. of the partial silent penetration of God's into the minds and hearts of men." if not as open enemies. wliich both rest remain firm upon and must prevent any- real union so long as these principles are adhered to. that they give evidence.294 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES But the antagonistic principles bodies apart. is split But this is not all. but how . to- ward a more Christian unity and is It it the most promising sign of the times.

no- where has the dogmatic spirit been more regnant than at the very headquarters of Congregational Protestantism. Figures here are of small account. and wherever that spirit lives Christian freedom in the truth and in love cannot be allowed its full birthright. the fact must be accepted as one of the most significant of our times. The real question religious what are the leading moral and forces in human society and life. The contrary. as Christian organizations. But what is to be said of that larger Christen- dom which outlook is includes the masses of nominal ChrisIt is just here that the historical tian peoples ? most discouraging. is true. am not now raising the question reli- whether the original religion of Christ or the gious spirit in general in is declining. representing traditional Christianity. and I whither are they tending? am aware that .UNREADINESS OF CHRISTENDOM chary are our churches to see and accept this all 295 that principle involves! As history shows. is. are for some reason slowly losing their hold upon the I outside world. known in Explain it as we may. Such is the condi- tion of things within our Christian churches. I am speaking of our church organizations that have held the position of Christian leadership and authority hitherto and have claimed to truly represent Christ and his gospel. that this age movement away from organized Christianity such as was never before its history. Nothing is more certain than that our churches. It is a fact is witnessing a which cannot be gainsaid. my view.

like organized law. Let be understood that I am not attempting to decide whether the organized Christian forces or the unorganized moral forces of the outside world are now the the stronger. the drift of these forces to-day as respects those which science dogmas and and historical Social criticism have found to be the outgrowth of the ages of blind faith and superstition. but simply to drift is to-day. be found on the traditional conservative But even laws that remain on the statute book eventu- become a dead of society cast them ally rites of Christianity letter when the and such ruling forces is aside. and but moral and even religious leadership is silently surely passing from our organized religious bodies to that great judgment-seat of the educated masses . and and dogmas and forms. But it is my own deliberate judgment.296 dijfferent THE ETHNIC TRINITIES answers may be it given. formed from a long and careful survey. with some exceptional opportunities for reaching a true result. always has the power of custom and legal rescript and organized instrumentalities ing attachment to what and that weight of unthinkis old which is always to side. with its old creeds is point of view. that traditional Christianity. passing as a religious force out of the great currents of thought and belief among the intelli- gent masses of is men and women with a rapidity that it simply alarming to every open-eyed Christian observer. discern whither Organized behind it religion. according to the must remain a matter to a large degree of individual opinion.

and in the the dogmas of traditional orthodoxy? be an ignorant assert it. and what is the character of the literature that is passing through the largest number of editions. our literature and through these channels is flooding Christendom with its new religious ideas. magazines written and edited as a rule interest of He must will man or a brave man who The Zeitgeist leavens history. and not so long since. when the churches and church leaders and religious newspapers could move public sentiment to from centre question that circumference on any religious pertained to ecclesiastical or doc- is from true toMoral leadership among us no Would longer depends on church membership. we learn whither the moral forces are running and trinal orthodoxy. Let this tide sweep on a few years longer and can there be any doubt what the result must be? One of two things will surely as well as our science and happen. 297 multitudinous city and country commu- There was a time. How far this day all know. as we draw towards the conclusion of our comparative historical survey.UNREADINESS OF CHRISTENDOM of our nities. Thus. novels and daily and Are our by Sunday secular newspapers and members of our churches. or it will new life have been regenerand thus able to regain its wan- ing moral authority. we find the Chris- . ated to a Either organized Christianity will cease to be a ruling force. we have only to ask what intelligent people are reading most. whence their head-springs.

with dogma ranged tianity dogma. and superstition still against superstition. .. 298 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and Without. the trans- — formed to cast spirit of a new age has risen up against its traditional dogmas and pretensions and threatens it wholly aside. remain fixed in their ancestral boundaries. — the fruits of national and civil religious and disagreement wars stiU divide it whose wounds are not yet healed into numerous opposing camps fighting imder different banners . schism. and last. and ready to on its own ground of dogmatic meet Chrisargument within. It remains take see a closer view of the organized church. and how far it is prepared to meet and solve the problems that are forcing themselves upon its attention and are menacing its very life. the two following chapters. but not least. the ancient Ethnic religions against tian religion exposed to dangers both without within. is But our survey for us to not yet complete. sectarian rivalry. Such a view reveals two great and imminent perils growing out of its intellectual and moral These perils will form the subject of condition.

and can be explained only as illustrating tremendous power of a dogIt matic presupposition. this class of opponents of religious progress will soon disappear." as they fondly call these traditions. to be disturbed. Such a charge the is ing from educated men. and are ready to accept the law of natural and historical evolution to up a certain point. Igmyrance It times ters is one of the most remarkable facts of our large numbers of our intelligent minisand cburch members who are quite alive to the significance of the new revelations of God and tliat his truth that scientific have recently been made through and historical channels. as it must be. may be hoped that. Not a few churches to-day are declaring that scientific and historical criticism is a traitor in the Christian indeed strange as com- camp. into the sphere of religion and its dogmatic traditions. yet shut their eyes persistit ently against the results of this law when is brought. with the inevitable decay of the dogmatic spirit.CHAPTER VI TWO PEEIL8 OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY I. Such persons will not allow "the faith once delivered. But a more serious question arises .

Christian or- does not require a very large acquaintance with the history of the church to enable one to realize what a dead weight in the path of all religious or theological movement such a mass of ignorance is. gational churches there are those Even in our free and independent Congrewho would raise if it the old cry of heresy in order to excite an ignorant prejudice could be of any avail. Nothing is so stubborn or so fanatical as a wrongly instructed conscience. The fact that this class is so sincere in greater. Here it not a case of a dogmatic presupposition which shuts the eyes. as Paul showed in his own case by his own confession. its beliefs only makes the danger the Religious conscientiousness when stimu- by bigotry is capable of the highest unreason. It This class stiU forms the all majority of church members in ganizations. Catholic and Protestant. So that it . Only skillful leaderlated ship is required to fix a large portion of Christen- dom times is in an attitude of intellectual hostile opposition to the strongest . and moral currents of our is and such leadership not wanting. human and especially as to the effect of these changes on religious dogmas. is considered.300 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES the position of the less educated when members is of the churches throughout Christendom. but that of a real and profound ignorance as to the character of the changes which science and history are bringing about in all matters of life. This true not only of the Catholic authorities. but also of a considerable portion of the Protestant church officials.

and this is the reason undoubtedly why so many of this class hold themselves aloof from church membership.— PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 301 becomes a serious question whether the great body members throughout Christendom is not on the point of breaking with the dominant religious spirit of the age. as is so generally assumed. These religious defects are of course always inciroots. numbers of intelligent representative men and of church women are looking elsewhere than to. movements. and of thus widening the chasm between the organized church and the outAlready it can be seen that large side world. Spasmodic revivalistic meetings here and there will heal the hurt slightly. To be effectual the methods of diagnosis remedy must go as deeply as the disease and work healing from the The real ailment is not mere worldliness and unspirituality. The radical ailment to be found in the fact that our churches are still wedded theories to forms of religious truth and to churchly our times. and are devisBut " forward ing ways and means to arrest it. will be found futile. and methods that are out of joint with For such a disease there is but one . dental to man's life on earth ." largely — to use the phrase now in vogue. No wonder that churchmen are marking the drift away from our church organizations. disease is deeper than the old The reach. along old lines of Christian activity. but in the present state of our churches they are only symptomatic is of a deeper trouble. the church for religious leadership and authority .

what is imperatively demanded is a campaign of education^ a forward movement all along the line in harmony with the — new I revelations of God's truth. and how greatly the interest in Bible study has been quick- ened in these latter years. so now in religion. was ever a time when our best educated Christians should be put in charge of the religious instruction In every community a of the young it is now. which should be placed under the direct supervision of some person whose fitness will win the respect and confidence of the at large. it community Moreover. being ignorant of the simplest principles of Biblical criticism.302 efficacious THE ETHNIC TRINITIES remedy. and give place to . Better no study at all than a study along the old Nothing can be worse for a child to-day than to have its mind filled with religious ideas and impressions that will be lines of theological instruction. tradi- too Yet the teachers in our Sunday-schools are often young persons who are utterly unfitted If there to explain the Scriptures. But everything depends on the character of such study. ble to the signs of movement is in the church know how widespread the spirit of inquiry within the church as well as without. Take the case of the young in our Sunday-schools and Bible classes. class should be formed of aU candidates for the post of a religious teacher. As so often in political emer- gencies. found in later years to rest on unhistorical tion. is a time when timidity of reli- gious leadership should cease. I am not insensiitself.

there am I in the midst of them. there is the spirit of God. asserted that "where the church is." To make this the charter torical organization is to miss and refuge of any hisand falsify the deep spiritual significance of Christ's words. changes. and for the church to ignore such a fact is to be false to its To faU back in highest and plainest moral duty. such a crisis on God's care of his church and quote Christ's words. stanch Ire- churchman that he was. spiritual The world was not it. The and history permeates not only our higher institutions of learning and our literature. as an external organization. weU as failure to read is the signs of the times. ripe for a church when Christ entered As early as the second century Christian leaders began to misunderstand the teachings of their master." from which he drew the inference that all who were separate from the church. Knowledge running to and is increased as never before. 303 Too long has the excuse been of faith in that the people are not prepared for such religious Such an excuse implies lack his providence.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY courageous action. " The gates of heU shall not preWhat vail against it. opposing heretics and schismatics. nseus. but even the very air we breathe." is worse than in vain. were cut off from the influences of the Holy . Yet it is not surprising that such a false interpretation was soon accepted. as God and and fro. Christ meant by his "church" he himself exscience new plained in : " Where two or three are met together my name.

third. Nor was this case an isolated one. . The same thing illustration. that the church with cession bishops in historical suc- from the Apostles. For a time. namely. and are the only representatives and repositories of God's truth and grace." and " the seven churches which are in Asia " have been extinct so long that history preserve any definite account of their dis- fails to solution. and with the sacraments administered by them.304 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Only one step more needed its Ghost. and remember that the warnings there were afterwards historically fulfilled. has happened again and again in Christian annals. outside of which there is no confident ground of salvation and this step was taken a little later by Cyprian. and fourth centuries the most flourishing churches in Chris- tendom were those in North Africa. uttered Those " seven candlesticks " were " moved out of their places. but I am not so sure that the idea in not deeply rooted the minds of many good of truly di- Congregational people that our church organizations as organizations are somehow vine origin and authority (^jure divine'). to be taken to complete this wholly unchristian view. Let me give a single further In the second. little Of course such a high- church doctrine has footing among us who are descendants of the Pilgrim Puritans of New is England. clearly known to history. Such persons ought to read carefully the seven epistles to the seven churches of Asia. the first highchurchman . is the true kingdom of God on earth.

hke its all things else. only there peril is that threatens the organized church another and perhaps it is the greater. but Christianity itself has departed. can live simply on its past. however if nothing sacred its claim. The church. not the .PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY in 305 the persons of Cyprian and Augustine. if it cannot hope to survive in loses the respect is present form . and confidence of men and this one of the dangers that beset our Christian organizations to-day. is But ignorance peril. this portion of the Christian world became the verycentre of ecclesiastical and theological influence. Least of all can such an anachronism have any chance of life to-day. leaving no trace behind but a few dismal ruins. How can intelligent men new and women whose ears are filled with the voices of God's providence respect an organization that claims to speak in God's name and yet restrives mains deaf to such divine voices and even to stifle them ? It is simply impossible. . else. the land. and Mohammedanism fills in its most bigoted form thing. Surely history proves one that no institution. But what is the case to-day ? Not only are all these churches extinct.

word. Its root soul." equally true that the mother of hypocrisy. Paul. are centred and hold sway.CHAPTER VII TWO PERILS or ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY II. with accompaniments. Insincerity is If is it be true that " ignorance it is the mother of insincerity superstition." he probed them to the core. is The notable thing about it that its favorite haunt has always been in that region of human nature where the religious senall their superstitious timents and emotions. too. and his bold words cost him his life. hidden in the darkest corner of the all covered with the multitudinous motives that govern moral action. seems . society History shows that in no sphere of human has hypocrisy played so large a part or entailed on the world such calamitous results as in that of religion. It is it the cardinal peculiarity of this juggles with itself and wears loftiest vir- moral vice that tue lies with a kind of honesty the face of the . When Christ called the orthodox leaders of his day " hypocrites. It is one of the noblest features of Christ's gospel that its keynote is complete sin- cerity in thought. the deceiver is also self-deceived. and deed.

can here be given." Plato says. however.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY to have caught the real spirit of his master. Plato. strikes at once the keynote of his whole ethical philo- when he quotes a passage from ^schylus. ideas inherited from pre-Christian The history of Christian casuistry in the matter of truthfulness and the lawfulness of deception in certain exceptional cases is deeply interesting and in- A book might be written on it. was on this contrary to his whole ground that Plato opposed other poets in education." and he adds in explanation. which the poet describes the good man as not in wishing merely to appear to be good to others. was in the main a noble one and based on just moral principles. " The true lie. " one will admit falsehood into that which truest is the truest and highest part of himself or about the and highest matters. in his Republic. but Ov yap SoKecv apto-ros d\X* to be good in reality sophy. : is hated of gods and men." such deception It nature. a summary." But Plato recognized cer- . simply that we may understand the real character of the moral danger that now threatens Christendom. " no €tvat OeXci. 307 But Christianity quite early became infected with ethics. The ethical system of Plato and Aristotle. Only structive. from which the Graeco-Roman Christianity so largely drew its ethical ideas. the use of Homer and because in their poems the gods were described as " deceiving mankind." " can never lie is Plato further holds that since God or deceive in any way. which deals with justice.

certain cases realizing. sons should be forbidden this privilege and punished for practicing it." Yet Plato plainly did. as how easily this exception to the rule might be taken ests of injustice. 308 tain cases THE ETHNIC TRINITIES where a " lie in words " is necessary for example. hesitate to deceive an insane man or a robber or a murderer. and useful only sicians as a medicine to men." Here follows a sentence which has become famous in Christian ethics. private individuals have no business with them. then the use of such medicines should be restricted to phy. This was just what But what was Plato meant by his " royal lie. It is thus that and his famous exception must be allowed in some cases No man of common sense would to hold good. limitation : " Truth should be highly valued saying. Hence he was led to make a curious distinction between " the true lie " and the " lie in words. not a pure unadulterated falsehood. as we were useless to the gods.. where Plato de- clares that " the rulers of the state may be allowed per- to lie for the public good." while aU private clear . a lie is if. may " in be useful and not hateful. if by such deception he could prevent an act of frenzy or a crime." which tion latter he defines as " only a kind of imitaand shadowy image of a previous affection of the soul. he holds. advantage of in the inter- he added the following express ." Such a verbal lie. in dealing with sick or insane persons." plainly an exceptional and superficial element in Plato's ethics were essentially sound .

The vir- between the " true " . Here. makes truthfuhiess essentially an inward though he moral state rather than an outward does not make SP much lie of Plato's discrimination and the " verbal lie. noted. Plato. who uses it in ex- plaining certain apparently contradictory passages in the Old Testament in relation to the character of God. Philo goes beyond Plato. Plato's theory of the " royal lie " seems to have entered Christian ethics 'largely through Philo. however." and regards truthfulness in words as the natural accompaniment of truthfulness of soul. Aristotle With act. rulers for the This Philonic enlargement of Plato's exception deeply affected Christian thought. who as a theologian and exegete was the most influential Father of the early church. to be the mean between exaggeration or overstatement and dissimulation or concealment of the real truth.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY Plato's ethics of truthfulness to be 309 grew more and more and in the an important element of Christian morals. illustrating his gen- eral doctrine of virtue as a and making truthfulness mean between extremes. whereas Plato denied that God could have anything to do with deception in any way whatever. 9). " form of the " officiosum mendacium has had a remarkable history. and restricted its use to human good of the state. The influence of Aristotle should also be In his " Nicomachean Ethics " Aristotle treats of truthfulness (iv. Its leaven clearly appears in the writings of Origen. chief agent in the use of falsehood making God the for the good of men.

It . David. simply because he is in a certain moral state. was assumed that the end sanctified the means that truth might be . such as Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas.310 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is tuous man. " true in life and word. amples by Thomas Aquinas and others in defense of the " officiosum mendacium " is highly suggestive. Rahab. and it is due to the reputation which he enjoyed in the Middle Ages that the great Catholic schoolmen. he says. were saved from defending the " officiosum mendacium " in its most glaring forms." Thus Aristotle corrected in a degree the vacil- lating tendency of Plato. There was another source of Christian ethics concerning truthfulness which cannot be overThe Old Testament was the first Chrislooked. and the accounts of the deceptions prac- by Abraham. whole subject perverted is Yet their treatment of the implicit proof of the hold which a Christian tradition continued to have even on the minds of the most enlightened leaders of the Catholic church. tian Bible. Jacob. began very early in the efforts to defend Christianity against pagans and heretics. and other saints had no little influence in neutralizing the natural effect of the teaching of Christ and The use made of such Old Testament exPaul. and helps us to understand the ease with ticed Hebrew which exceptions to the law of truthfulness gained entrance into Christian morals. I can give only a few illustrations of the process by which such It vio- lations came to be regarded as lawful.

This led the orthodox party to descend to a like dissimulation. and controversies arose within the church itself. namely. and all of them be true. and that the truth is not for all men. A bishop of Antioch sects. became customary for such persecuted sects to practice concealment of their peculiar opinions. in order to discover the real doctrines of their opponents. Behind this vicious exegesis is to be seen Philo's theory that God may indulge in a sort of deception in his revelations of himself to man. the opening chapters of Genesis. known as the " Robber Synod. tion increased." bishops were forced to sign blank papers which were afterwards so far as to pretend to be in full with a leader of one of these filled out by the party in the majority with such a . So far was this carried that in the General Council of 449. that of a double or triple sense of a pas- Augustine went so far as to declare that a dozen different interpretations might be given to sage. went agreement and in this way managed to extort a confession from him which was then used against him and his whole As the spirit of dogmatism and persecuparty. the same practice of evasion and concealment entered the ranks of orthodoxy.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY violated in defense of " the truth. on the ground that the end sanctified the means." ciple of interpretation 311 prin- A new was applied to Scripture which enabled any dogma to be foisted into it. As the church began to proceed with increasing severity against the various heretical schools that it were springing up.

312 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES These creed as they desired." no wonder that the noble moral feelings of Augustine rebelled against these lax principles which were passing from the East to the West. the party leaders. Augustine and wrote his work. and excused it on the ground of compulsion and fear. holding that under no circumstances. even to save honor or life. But. to save their own interests and that of their party. A vivid illustration of the sad demoralization that befeU the matter of truthfulness Christian morality in is found in the way in in the sixth century which the Origenistic party parried an attack of their enemies. ticed When it was proposed that the church should employ the dissimulation prac- them. who dePriscillianists against by the it opposed earnestly fended the dissimulation of Peter at Antioch. They It is likewise subscribed the decrees of the synod and consequently nothing could be done to them. " Contra Mendacium^^^ in which he was led to take an extreme position. word. " sacrificed the truth. tine had previously been induced to go to this extreme by a controversy with Jerome. or deed morally allowable. powerful as Augustine was. he could not overcome the current that was flowing more and more strongly toward the allowance of prevarica- tion in all cases where the interests of Christian . men confessed their mendacious conduct afterwards at the Council of Chalcedon. When a synod had condemned the doctrines of the great Origen. was a falsehood in Augusthought. to use the language of Neander.

Huss fixed his eye council What Christian man does not himself blush as he asked. whose safe-conduct. else can. Peris filled with the most shocking examples. the deep current of insincerity in matters is of religion which stiU eating as a canker into the heart of Christendom. when upon him before the whole and reminded him of the safe-conduct he had given without any conditions. It is true that the " officiosum . was canceled by the General Council at Constance on the express ground that no faith was to be kept with heretics. Surely the lowest depths of moral baseness in Christendom were reached in this act of the largest council ever assembled . as if it We have heard much were peculiar to the Catholic church. as nothing behind and explains.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY truth were supposed to be at stake. it being assumed that if a man was convicted of a certain crime the church was absolved from the guilt of committing a worse one. famous in haps the most famous illustration was the view of its superabounding infamy — — treatment of John Huss. of Jesuit casuistry. sible 313 It is impos- here to illustrate the infamous excesses to which the doctrine of legitimate falsehood was carThe whole history of mediaeval Christianity ried. given to him by the Emperor Sigismund. have I stopped to ? reads the pitiful story ? But why. and it is no wonder that the blush which mantled the face of Sigismund. is historic. because it may be indulge in this historical digression it lies I answer.

but they were even stiffened and made more than ever the essentials of Chrisand deeply imbedded in these dogmas tian faith and in the methods of defense of them was the . The history of the New England Congregational churches wrestlings. who had come as pilgrims to these shores that they might have " freedom to worship God. then. be too hastily . old historic church after and that the Jesuit order has undoubtedly made But it is a historical blunder to great use of it. Even our own Puritan forefathers. of the two sons " Paul described as " the child of bondage liberty." when once settled here straightway began to forget the lesson which persecution at the hands of their own Protestant brethren in the mother country had only half taught them. assume that the Lutheran Reformation involved any radical change in traditional theology or ethics. Not only were the great creeds and dogmas of the old church retained. the end is not yet. Let not." and " the child of of promise " and though its full in this new age the child of liberty is fast named by Paul " the child nearing it manhood. " officiosum mendacium " with its allowance of dissimulation and falsehood "that good may come." The historical fact is that the Protestant revolt did not quite break the chains of mental and moral slavery which the church had been forging for centuries and binding more completely on the necks of men. is tragical with the bitter whom even in their birth.314 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES " with its fatal mendacium leaven remained in the the Protestant revolt.

its his- In fact. and aU their evil Until that yoke is completely broken brood. who are under the sway of and my object is to historical church traditions . and dogma appear. hypocrisy. whose mental and religious freedom is quite complete. the more effective do they become. within the sphere of their influence. to-day. age besides fear of death. den and insidious forms of theological persecution have by no suspicion. the more hidden and stealthy are the processes by which these intimidating forces act. means lost their power .PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 315 assumed that even the Protestant portion of Christendom is wholly free from its long inherited curse The great error of of mental and moral slavery. as a Christian organization. make clear the fact that the peril which above all others menaces the church. Kemember that I am not speaking of the outside world. as ever in tory. calumny — — and they are doing their enslaving work as truly and effectually to-day. prejudice. It is the members of our church organizations with whom I am now concerned. the church has always been its assumption of authority over the souls of faith men in all matters of and the natural fruits of dogauthority have always been and always wiU matic be insincerity. There are other forms of dogmatic bondThe halter and the Heterodoxy is But the more hid- stake have indeed been banished. is an inherited virus of insincerity . everywhere in Christendom its results are bound to . within the limits of the church. no longer treated as a crime. cant.

setting forth labels. facts squarely in the face. it. so.316 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and hypocrisy whose poison permeates the whole Does this statement surprise any one. The reply came quickly and sharply not believe : " Impossible ! Impossible ! I can- it. look body. filling new bottles with old and old old inleft gredients. and put the question to him. then. or old truth under bottles with new wine or new truth under new ones." This answer from a man for whose moral consciousness the minister had the greatest respect seems to have ended his dilemma. He went to a friend who stood in high moral as well as literary repute. What is the most startling fact in the Is it not that our present theological situation ? church leaders throughout Christendom have been hiding themselves behind theological makeshifts of every kind. but I Nor do I intend to do make my appeal to the inner moral consciousness of men. It is difficult on such a point to call witnesses. He told me of his and of the way he took to solve them. illustration from my own personal observafell into Some years since I with a minister of troubles over my acquaintance on the subject of Christ's miraculous birth. He had made his appeal to the practical. common sense of a highly respected man of the . and call forth protest or denial ? Let iis. both within the church and without it. so that hearers are mystified in complete theological confusion? Let me give a conversation a single tion. whether he believed that Jesus was born in a miraculous way. intelligent.

No doubt being repeated in the history of not a few pastors and churches. nurses. Perhaps there are those and would defend it as a lawful use of the " qfficiosum mendaciumy But how Will not the strictest moralist declare that no better example could be given of a low moral sense of what the law of Christian veracity demands ? There is no form of does the world judge it ? insincerity that is so injurious to the principle of truthfulness as that which hides itself in such a way and wears the garb of a pious dissimulation. awakened out Should another Rip Van Winkle awake from a half cento be disturbed or . even when its real life is utterly gone. and the answer lie 317 received seemed to have finally." — is Ten- " Old sisters of a day gone by. who see no wrong in it. who was conceived by the : Holy Ghost. markable how long men can continue to live under the forms of an old tradition. So deeply ingrained in our religious life has the habit become that such an illustration of it as I It is rehave given no longer attracts attention. born give this case as it is of the Virgin Mary. loving nothing new. in which are the words " Jesus Christ." Most men disHke of their intellectual or religious slumbers. settled the question for him completely and Yet years after this occurrence my ministerial ac- quaintance was reciting the Apostles' Creed in his church services every Sunday.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY world. How true to nature nyson's description of " Gray Use and Wont." I do not if it were remarkable.

" But such illustrations are mere straws on is the surface of the deep stream. I remember well the moral shock which I experienced when I learned that the Calvinistic trinitarian hymns of Dr. the transcendent issue. but the general order of exercises would air. This if the real. were written by an Arminianizing Arianizing Sabellian. Most. involving the old assumptions.318 tury's THE ETHNIC TRINITIES nap and enter one of our churches on the how long he Some innovations would arrest his attention. and even from stiU earlier times and he might shut his . — never realizing that the most stupendous tual revolution of history has left its intellec- mark on every first phase of human thought. Watts. not all. eyes for another nap. But in what respect was Dr. and excuse themselves by professing to accept who stiU sing his their theological truth "for substance of doc- trine. assured that all is well. strike his ear occasionally in the quality of the preaching . with all their crude materialism. the old hymns of Watts and Wesley. The congregation would take a somewhat larger part in the service. educated men are aware that the Darwinian law of evolu- . and a new note might Lord's day he would scarcely realize had slept. hymns and others Hke them. have the old familiar He would recognize at once the old forms of Scripture reading with the old interpretations. which had fed the religious faith of my childhood. Watts worse than ministers and churches today. from prayer-books of the sixteenth century. the old-time formidas of prayer.

And the Greek pagan was lie is ethically A A negative as truly a lie as a positive one. Aristotle made truthfulness to consist in the avoidance of two extremes. dations of the old traditional theology are utterly- broken down. equally behind both forms of man who . but what In that case I do not you actually think yourself. Yet how few of our church leaders are of this. which is the essence of it. he believed many things he would never say " (Paulsen. care very much for what you have to say. of — the expression what is false and It is the second dissimulation — extreme — is the repression of what is true. a falsehood. called by Aristotle that so rife to-day. has radicallychanged aU the old conceptions of nature. It is said that is this policy defended ? " Kant once confessed that though he would never say anything he did not believe. for I desire to know.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY tion in its 319 fuU application in all departments of and in historical research." 682). of man. ready to make fuU acknowledgment their stand and honestly take on it ! A tacit conspiracy of silence has shut their mouths." Kant has here well expressed the trend of recent theological apology as regards a full and honest confession of Christian faith. and that wholly new forms of truth must take their place. is Intentional deception. right. Paulsen well adds ' : " A Greek might have replied to him. and of God. " System of And how Ethics. They know well that the very founscience. not what you are allowed to think with the consent of the high authorities.

except with a mental reservation. indeed. become the ethical Yet not so ! The taint is in the very blood of many generations. guilty of an act of dissimulation which no casuistry can excuse. ism. The history of modern Biblical exegesis furnishes many memorable pretation to illustrations of this. what is true and right in religious things and what is true and right in temdistinctions which lay behind the poral things. The old distinctions between the church and the world. Pious and scholarly exegetes have applied canons of inter- Scripture which they would never have dared to apply to any other book in the world. and which the enlightened moral consciousness of every man must condemn. evil that great To do a good may come has been the favorite appeal of the tempter from Eden down. as the . It is the peculiar moral quality of the " officiosum mendaciuTYi^'' in either of its forms. — it being assumed that the Bible.320 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES a creed which he does is recites with a congregation not believe. and especially in that it that of the " suppressio veri^'' so successlittle fully arrays itself in angelic garb. and never has he applied his arts more skiUfuUy and successfully than in these recent times in the very heart of Christendom. even among Procium^'^ — testant theologians. ecclesiasticism and secular- and morahty. old Strange. religion — whole church theory of the " officiosum mendahave not yet faded out. that the Greek Aristotle should teacher of a degenerate Christianity strange.

earliest times has troubled Christian "We are told that in view of the ap- proaching Feast of Tabernacles Christ's brethren ironically urged him to go into Judaea and show himself publicly. The reply of Christ was a simple . that such unnatural scriptural exegesis should often involve evasions of the Aristotelian law of truthfulness ? Let me give a single instance. early church. conversation between Jesus and his brethren which from the exegetes." was made. " to avoid is What the "offense" was made known by Jerome. offense.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 321 Word human of God. In a work against the Pelagians. who held strongly to free wiU and the natural power of every man to avoid sin. according to Alford. refusal. is to be discriminated is writings.'* Such was the reading of the text in the time of Porphyry and of Jerome. which appears in the Textus receptus^ and is translated " not yet." in the King James version. The later change from ovK to ovTTO). Jerome quotes to us . The worst of is that these principles are often utterly discordant with ordi- nary rules of human interpretation. which I choose out of many equally a propos^ because it brings out so clearly how close is the affinity between the theological dissimulation that infects the Christianity of to-day and that of the In the opening verses of the seventh chapter of the Fourth Gospel there occurs a. and so to be interpreted it from aU on dif- ferent principles. " Go ye up unto the feast I go not up unto this feast because my time is not yet fulfilled. then. Is it surpris- ing.

is led to give a curi11-14. tion between He even suggests that the conten- them was feigned (simulatd) in the interests of peace between Jewish and Gentile Christians. "he denies to his brethren that he ernacles." and then. ous interpretation of Gal. asserting that the altercation which arose between Peter and Paul and Peter's apparent dissimulation were the result of their different points of view. ii. and he defends the whole transaction on the ground that dissimulation for the time may . rome. in further illustration of Christ's inability.322 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES passages of Scripture to show the contrary. He denied before and did what he had Porphyry barks at this. he adds. not openly. but as that he should go^ in secret. Porphyry brought a similar charge against Peter and Paid. but explains to Christ's evasion of the truth on the ground of his temptable human nature. and that really both of them were exercising the highest Christian prudence. in his defense of them. many He self even quotes Christ as saying. all yieldings to temptation should be referred to the flesh (nesciens esse Teferendci)^ omnia scandala ad carnem The things to be especially noted from Jerome are that Jerome's text and that he does not attempt evade the natural meaning of it. not knowing that with denied. is going up to the Feast of Tab- his brethren and afterwards it is written that when had gone up then he himself went if up. charging Christ fickleness and inconstancy. " I can of my- do nothing. and Jein this passage ovK^ had not ovttw.

gical exegetes that led to the interpolation of But this refuge has failed since the discovery that ovtto). to defend the use of a lie even by Christ in the interest of prudence and utility.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 323 be useful (utilem vero simulationem et assumervdam in tempore)^ referring to two Old Testament examples. Thus Jerome showed himself ready. but excused infirmity of the flesh? it as an The development of the . had held the same view. that of Jehu in the matter of the priests of Baal. especially Origen. It did not even occur to him that a change from ovk to ov-n-oi would lessen the difficulty. but that many Fathers before him. which allowed mendacity on Christ's part. tion In he informs Augustine that his posi- was not new. It was the later refinements of theoloovtto). and adds apologetically that they did not so much lie as treat it as an act of honorable temporizing and prudence (" non officio sum mendefend a dacium sed honestam dispensationem et prudentiam "). with Origen and others before him. the original text was ovk rather than How now were the words of Christ to be defended. and that of David in the case of AbimeIt was this distinct avowal of the lawful- ness at times of a deception which involved a lie that led Augustine to write to Jerome a letter which was the beginning of a sharp though controversy. of friendly- One it of Jerome's letters in reply is hi'story of prime importance in the Christian morals. lech. and he be saved from an open falsehood ? Was the view of Jerome to be accepted.

ovk. but he went not up to that feast so soon or so publicly Without raisas he did at some other seasons. He allows that the earlier reading was and that Christ's reply to his brethren's advice was. It is here that my illustrations of modern exegesis become appropriate. " I go not up to the feast. or of our Lord's altering his intention. I have this to say. from the charge of an intentional deception of his brethren. Lardner. and afford telling evidence of the tendency to suppress or distort the truth in matters of religion. his inner intentions. the feast . Lardner's interpretation." He then adds : " Sup- posing this to be the true reading." deals with question quite at length. in their natural meaning. that his explanation does not exculpate Christ at all. not that he had solved not to go at all to the feast. The context shows re- that he had spoken of deferring his journey to Jerusalem for a short time. Some other solution of this moral puzzle must be found. but whether he deceived his brethren and meant to do so. Lardner that Christ did not change his mind. in his work " The Credibility of the Gospel Histhis tory..324 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES of Christ's absolute sinlessness dogma made it im- possible. but how about the deception that . They could not read his and plainly accepted words is. I quite agTce with Dr. He went to and he always intended to do so . 1 see not any reason for the charge of inconstancy. or even attempt to. The real question not whether Christ changed his mind." ing any question as to the correctness of Dr.

" I go not up to this feast " ? Dr. The work of Dr. both on account of the present (not avafiya-o/xaL. Alford then says little " It outtw. is from the commentary Dean whom I have been accustomed to regard as one of the noblest and most honest of Christian writers. Lardner belongs to the eighteenth century. di/aySatVo). How must it. remarks that " the present . ing. My of second illustration Alford." is in violation of one commonest laws of all languages. confines the act of going up to the " present " time and must be translated. His suggestion that the use of this the present. not at present going up. which would express the disavowal of an intention to go up).' " As one reads amazing comment.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 325 lurks behind Christ's words. and of ' ovTTO) / am Ovk dj/a/JatVco would mean afterwards. of import whether we read ovk or ava/3atVa> the sense will be the same. Lardner here is silent. we interpret this silence ? Did he wish to conceal the difficulty under a disingenuous evasion of or was he ready to excuse Christ's reply as a lawful mendacium f I leave it for my readers to judge. let alone the New Testament Greek. How often do we use the present tense future act ? when the reference is to some Buttmann. a momentary doubt arises whether Alford's scholarship was at fault or his moral sincerity. in his Graromar of New fre- Testament Greek. Accepting ovk as the true readcorrectly the reason of : and explaining the is later interpolation. " I am not of the at present going up.

and least of aU of one of its most common rules. that the natural interpretation of the original text required the admission that. takes virtually the same ground. 18. is where the same present used in a plainly future sense. But surely Alford cannot be accused of ignorance of Greek grammar.326 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES when things still quently stands of. yet it never occurred to either of them that Christ's use of the present implied that he meant to be underI confess that I critical stood as saying. because This is it unalterably determined. " I go not up. on the contrary. though more guardedly. XX. He must have known." Alford was quite as good a Greek scholar as either Porphyry or Jerome. Alford." and adds that this " phenomenon is common in all ages and all languages. am somewhat at a loss to give a judgment on this curious piece of exegesis. " I am not at present going up. future are spoken and consequently comprises within itself the future force of the word." precisely the case in hand." Among other illustrations he refers to discussion. if the . Christ used the present. the passage now under He also refers dvajSatVo) to Matt." because he wished his brethren to understand it was not his intention to go up. in his Grammar. Porphyry wrote in Greek as his vernacular. as well as they. and Jerome was Greek scholar enough to translate the New Testament into Latin. holding that "an action still future is is mentioned as already present. Winer. declares that " the disavowal of an intention to go up " would require the future d>'a/3i}o-o/iai.

then. Here. if ever." not because it is worse than other examples. at least in the exegesis of his loyal disciple. Christ intended to deceive his brethren. unimpeached? moral fickleness. put into Christ's How could it be explained so that Christ's perfect sinlessness might be left Porphyry had charged him with Jerome had defended his want of truthfulness by referring it to human weakness. words here imputed to Christ were actually uttered Here. acterized his exegesis of this passage as " humiliat- ing. Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel. if not If a in the conduct of Christ himself. was AKord led to write this extraorThere can be but one satis? He held as an article of faith factory answer. dinary statement was thus ready to hold to the historicity of all the accounts in that gospel. But Alford could not accept either view. more humiliatthis. then. ing bit of commentary can be found than I know not where to look for it. Yet. was a case where a " useful dissimulation " might be allowed. He also accepted the that Christ was God. He felt called upon to defend Christ's moral perfectness at all hazards.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 327 account be true history. He How. was an apparent falsehood lips. and to believe that the by him. it . If I am asked whether I think that Alford was conscious of any disingenuousness. AlI have char- ford was not a sinner above others. then. after aU. I reply at once. but because was the dernier ressort of a scholar usually so free from exegetical refinements.

for he treats Such a the theological a priori assumption of strikes at root the inductive historical method of critical investigation. We must not forget that Alford's " New Testament " was published before Darwin's " Origin of Species. reveal a character of singular He had the courage of his But he was a true son of the Church of England. builds his argument on the crumbling foundations Here was the fatal flaw in of unhistorical legend." "The former." and while historical . Journal. the Pentateuch as such. how could he save Christ from mendacity except by a strain- Assuming the strict deity of plete historicity of the ing of the text at ? It is pathetic to think how close hand lay the "key of knowledge" which he sought in vain to find." In a letter to Colenso he distinguished " the believing point of view " from " the unbelieving (critical) point of view. convictions. His openness and honesty. churchly conservatism is seen in his attitude toward Bishop Colenso's book on the " Pentateuch. and accepted the Nicene Creed without any qualification as absolute truth. not a historical to view.'''' is historical. and Letters. he it was." he said. He of the Fourth Gospel is a good illustration. Christ and the comFourth Gospel. "assumes If Jesus Christ to have been the Son of God.328 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES " The Life. It is here that AKord's deficiency as a commentator comes clearly He was simply a textual." surely not. Alford's fitness to deal with the passage before us. His defense of the Johannine authorship critic. edited by his widow.

that was the outcome of a long evolution of theological exegesis which rested on the ethical theory that the officiosum mendacium was lawfid — when the interests of dogmatic truth required it. but were the work of a writer a century after Christ's death. " I go not up. how different would his exegesis if have been ? I confess. for my- the light I have gained on the " Johannine Problem " had brought me no other boon seK. Could lie only have grasped the historical fact that the Fourth Gospel is not Johannine. that Christ is thereby saved for me from Porphyry's charge of fickleness and from Jerome's acknowledgment of falsehood. If the words. but the work of an un- known writer of the middle of the second century. or from the lame defenses of later exegetes such as Lardner and AKord. and that the long conversations and discourses imputed to Christ are not to be regarded as really his beyond certain logia which tradition had brought down from Apostolic times. Augustine's passionate protest against the ten- . then Christ is absolved from all responsibility for them. and the law of truthfulness and sincerity which he proclaimed so plaiuly in the Sermon on the Mount stands unmoved and secure.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY criticism 329 was yet in its infancy. He was the victim of an environment his theological environment. that than this." were not actually spoken by Christ. I should be more than repaid for my long and anxious search. Yet this should be said iu palliation of Alford's remarkable interpretation.

8. Griesbach." and in fact has no relation to the case in hand. down Let me add one or two further examples of the manner in which other distinguished commentators of the conservative school have dealt with the passage that has been under consideration. Alford. authority of the Codices the reading of owo) must be preferred. whether apolo- getic considerations have not given the preference oviro) before ovkJ* After referring to Porphyry's charge of fickleness and to Jerome's defense. "If we foUow the external for evangelical piety Tholuck. should read against it. as is clearly the The case of vi. to But it may be asked. ov/c. no objection could be brought In a loose manner of speaking it may become synonymous with ovttcd. But if it had it would not help us." " clear. Jerome. Lardner. 17. and KJaapp we earlier reading ovk. both grounded on the " But if Tholuck adds with Bengel. did his breth- ren understand that he spoke loosely and meant to tell them that he was simply deferring his visit to Jerusalem. 17 is not so case in vi. or did they understand him to say and . the question is.: 330 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES his dency of age had been without avail. Suppose we allow that Christ spoke loosely^ using ovk in the sense of ovtto). are only straws showing whither the currents of exegetical ethics have been flow- ing during the entire history of Christianity to the present day. Few men of the nineteenth century were more famous and learning than the German In his commentary on John he thus remarks on vii.

though he allows that it "is perhaps defensible. could a willful deception be more complete ? In this quandary Tholuck leaves us to our own devices. I is now turn to a commentator who on the whole to be regarded as the leading living exegetical English church of the present was shown by his being made chairman of the British New Testament Revision Company. on the ground that " it seems neither so simple nor so natural" as his own. His interscholar in the as generation. EUicott rejects Meyers's supposition " as not borne out is that Christ " here states his intention and after- wards alters as it it by the context. that Christ everywhere represented as " the reader of the . The conThey did not suppose that he used ovk " in a loose Did Christ. Comment manner. then. pretation occurs in his " Life of Christ " ed. I refer to Bishop EUicott. (Am. 227)." What now is the exegesis which EUicott prefers and squarely adopts as one that removes " the apparent contradiction that to the others mentioned has been found between our Lord's words and his subsequent acts " ? He makes the key to his explanation what he regards as a pecuUar characteristic of the is Fourth Gospel. intend to mislead them by a douhle-entendre^ and if so. namely." surely is unnecessary. certainly not. He also rejects " the ex- planation of De Wette and Alford " which I have given above.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 331 mean that lie was not going up at aU ? text surely can bear but one interpretation.

" and men " did not so rising thoughts and intents of the thus in his conversations with much reply to the words of the speaker as to the thoughts which he knew were up within. rather than to the outward terms was couched. seeking request. for it leaves in which it his brethren. He joins now no festal company he takes now no prominent part But he goes all the in the festival solemnities." This he uses as a principle of interpretation in he was going up him whether But the question implied " a worldly and self-seeking spirit. which sense. explanation. that the Lord answered " He does indeed not go up to the feast in the sense in which these carnal-minded men presumed to counsel him. that it referred to his going up and not merely to the manner of it. Christ's brethren asked to the feast. who took his words Such is Ellicott's literally and not spiritually. by EUicott that Christ was f uUy aware of the character of their question. however. which does not explain. It is assumed. and that his reply was not to their question^ but to a new .332 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES human heart. to the spirit and meaning of this worldly and selfJohn vii. 8. is of course wholly subjective and not understood by his brethren. of course. since ately use a form of answer it makes him deliher- which he knew would wholly deceive them." same^ in another sense of his language." They wished him to go publicly and announce him" It is self in a way to draw general attention." . Christ in a worse moral plight than either of the other interpretations.

in the case in question. Tholuck. history of the text My me is. in my view. in the very headquarters of churchmanship. his age Like Al- and its others. am not here concerned whether this method of exegesis has absolved Christ from the moral of dethis linquency in which the authentic text passage seems to involve him. the sources of which I have traced back to the origins this I will only add that comment of Bishop Ellicott is one of the worst specimens on record. and which full of evidence of the unconscious disingenuous- . which Bishop Ellicott regards as super- naturally inspired. view of the makes such a method wholly concerns unnecessary." be noted. the Scriptures " as —" Scriptures. and he only official illustrates. ford. What must one think of the fine- ness of moral fibre of a Christian commentator who can descend of it to such a miserable " wresting this. and.PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY question which he had drawn out of it. he was the creature of and of traditional environment. that hereditary moral taint of Christianity. 333 Yet Bishop Ellicott seems entirely I satisfied with this explanation as saving Christ from untruthfulness. the very language of the divine Son of God! Far be it from me even to suggest a suspicion that this eminent prelate has juggled with his conscience in his scholarly commentaries. What whether it can absolve Bishop Ellicott himself from a like delinquency. of the spiritualizing method of interpretation which has is been so popular in recent exegesis.

what must we expect of the rank and file of Christians who have been accustomed to reverence and follow Can we wonder that our their chosen leaders? churches are honeycombed with elements of insincerity and hypocrisy. go of so far in textual distortion to save an article the orthodox creed. or that the world is ready to ask whether Christianity itself in its organized form.334 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES is ness and insincerity that so ingrained in the theological temper of our age. Jerome was much more free in his exegetical views than Augustine. before it can become a missionary force that shall conquer the unchristian world. is not an imposture and a sham ? Surely. Christian exegetical scholars have as a rule been more free from the yoke of theological dogma than professed dogmatic theologians. still further. Alford was by no means a If the exegetes can hard-and-fast dogmatist. what may we expect of the metaphysical theologians? And if both exegetes and theologians are ready to play fast and loose with the law of veracity when the interests of what they regard as the truth demand it. because it gives so clear results of the and conclusive theory of the evidence officiosum of the mendacium which has played so influential a part in Christian theology and life. judging it by its moral exhibitions. I have dwelt thus at length on the subject of Biblical interpretation. mvi&t first he converted itself. it . before the church can hope to convert nominal Christendom.

And just here wiU begin the church's true With freedom will quickly come regeneration. — thanks It is this to the too. can despair of the future who reads with any clear intelligence the signs of the times. It cannot science continue much it. would it be if it should come to pass that the unrecognized outside " sleeping partners " of the true kingdom of God should be the real leaders in the moral progress of the race. Outside of the church at least there bigotry and dishonesty. in old tra- The light of God's truth is as universal as that of the sun. however deeply seated ditions. new and the new history. rather than the historical organizations that have so long assumed be the only representatives of Christianity. lantern by any sacred that the world is call that name you wiU. No one sound. Then an end of ignorance and of insincerity. around Its closed doors .PERILS OF ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY 335 These words may have a severe and pessimistic But the writer is no pessimist. and freedom of thought. Already such a movement has taken visible shape. The Zeitgeist is becoming conscious of its power. and an end of religious And these moral forces react on the church itself with are beginning to Marvelous indeed silent but irresistible potency. has ceased to be a fetich. must soon learn the same lesson. finding out to-day. The church. to Organization. longer to resist the influences and windows must be thrown wide open to the free air and light of heaven. and cannot be shut up in anybody's lantern. is readiness for the light.

of man.336 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES men will with open eyes tions." or regret it ? The old monk's " Regret not that which This is a day of promise and hope." Surely in these days of God's outstretched hand should give place to humility." The garnered philoindeed proved sophy of ages has shriveled up as a scroll in the fire that tries every man's works. what nature had disclosed of previously hidden pro- cesses as the providential interpreter of Him whose pride works are " parts of his ways. not of unavailing regrets . Charles Darwin was not the author of is that wonderful law of evolution which tionizing all revolu- our conceptions of nature. pessimistic lamentations. will read God's new revela- Then it be seen that the new truths of science and of historical criticism are not of man's building. its if of God. human Man's wisdom has " foolishness. and only discovered what revealed. faith And in that hope and and cheer I seem to catch a vision of the days to come. Christianity has been like one of those old palimpsests where the original writing was buried and lost under a later script. and the original teachings of . his He God himself in own time had one pleases. a day of faith." But God's providence has given us the subtle critical art by means of which the legendary accumulations of long ages have been removed. not of . not of skepti- cism a day of optimistic courage and cheer. Christ's own gospel had been transformed into "another gospel which was not a gospel. or. it : And why is should we cling to counsel was good past.



Christ once more brought out clearly to view



as I look

on that old standard under which

Christianity has so long fought, with




embers of forgotten controand marvelous change comes a sudden its traditional dogmatic creeds disappear

— dead


a mist of the morning, and in their place I

his whole gospel

read those recovered words of Christ which sum up " new commandment I give


unto you, that ye love one another.

By this


that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another : " and yet again the scene

men know

and the vision of the seer of Patmos is " I saw no temple therein for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there And they shall bring the shall be no night there. What glory and honor of the nations into it." Not any outward city of city is here described ? man's making, with its " temples " and " shut gates " but the " New Jerusalem, coming from God out of heaven." In that city, open and free, and illumined by the sun of God's righteous love, ''all the nations shall walk," and "there shall be no night there."







should be given to this

apocalyptic passage cannot be exactly determined.

All apocalypse, as Neander has well

said, has a "germinant and springing meaning and accom-

The Revelation

does not claim to be

It belongs to the realm of mystical theo-


and must be interpreted by mystical or symMoreover, the authorship of the

bolical methods.


gain light

unknown, so that it is impossible to from the author's environment or reliis

gious point of view.

Yet, notwithstanding

all this,

I cannot think that the radical thought of the


Whoever he was, he had doubtful. somehow caught a glimpse of the final evoof God's kingdom on earth, and sought to


in apocalyptic form.


all its

imagery three characteristics of the end of all world-wide things stand out clearly to view 1.


united brotherhood of God's people. 2. God's


presence in their midst, making needless material
gates for protection or material temples for worship.



peace and joy

— which being

state of perfect

harmony and

translated into the


historical apocalypse of our

read thus

own day should The harmonizing and union of all
interpretation of di-

the hitherto warring religions of the world through
Christ's gospel, with its

vine and brotherly love.


tabernacling of

God among men through

his seK-revelations as

immanent in nature, in the world, and in all human souls, and thus becoming the spiritual bond of one



kingdom of truth and justice. 3. The consummation of aU things in a world-wide moral unity and peace. Eighteen centuries have gone since the Kevelation was written. Its jubilant hope, expressed in " Behold I come quickly," still remains an unfulfilled ideal. It has been one of the objects of this book to disclose some of the historical causes of
the delay of God's coming.


This comparative
historical survey has

on the

practical side reached its appropriate conclusion.

But there

stiU remains a question

which cannot be

without interest to aU Christian thinkers.
gious faith must

by a law

of the

human mind
History shows

sooner or later be subjected to the inquisition of
the reason and
its critical processes.

that every religion tends to

become a theology, and

guard and limit


with a dogmatic creed.

Hence the

historical inductive



called to

deal not only with the history of religions, but also

with their theological developments.

We have now reached a
comprehensive survey

point of view where a
of the present
their in-

may be taken

religious possessions of the world

and of

and theological relations to each other. In this way by the inductive process the foundations may be laid of the new theology which is
to come.

wiU be the aim

of this chapter to set forth

the real character of the


theological problem

which the twentieth century finds at



problem has two
aspect of


distinct sides or aspects.


has to do with the relation of religion

to those scientific discoveries



in the


revelations of nature

which have created and its
aspect of the pro-

laws a



The other

blem grows out

and critical investigations which have developed an entirely new
of those historical

conception not only of the historical origins of
Christianity, but also of the origins

and character

of the Ethnic religions.


results of science

and of the history of
transformed the whole

religions have together so
field of religious faith


thought that a new philosophical or theological
construction has become inevitable.
It is not


purpose to go over again the ground
I do not propose



previous book.

further attempt at a construction of the

now any new theo-


I have in



simply, from the

wider and higher vantage ground reached in this
historical survey of the trinitarian ideas of


kind concerning God, to put the new theological

problem thus raised in


true historical setting,

and thus

to help towards its solution.

Such a


liminary analysis and diagnosis

most needful.

Physicians of every school are always with us.


most of the attempts to heal the of our times have been of two

religious maladies

" Forward


in the churches

and in missionary

organizations and " Reconstructions in Theology."

Plainly the theological doctors have become alive
to the fact that the patient






and the medicine

as to the character of the disease
to be administered there

great diversity of opin-

The mere list shows how much at

of remedies suggested only-

sea the physicians are.


usual the traditionalists and metaphysicians are on

hand with the old
it is


The question

not high time for the historical doctor

Strauss's keen and searching remark, " The true criticism of dogma is its history,"
to say his say.


prove to be the very key we need.


lasting good can

come from " forward movements "

or from " theological reconstructions,"

they pro-

ceed by wrong roads to take us only further away

from the end sought? The right start must be made and the right line of direction taken, if a Christian advance is to issue in a final success and To learn what the right not in inglorious failure. start is and what the right line of direction, we need to use carefuUy and thoroughly the searchSuch is the form of investigalights of history.


now proposed. The new problem

of theology in the twentieth

century " suggests at once a historical contrast

with the problem of the century just closed.


was that problem and how was


solved ?


the last century opened, the old theology in

most rigid and scholastic form held the field and was regnant in all orthodox circles. This theology had two poles, a Sabellianized trinitarianism, and a Calvinistic anthropology, which, however, was rapidly yielding to the dissolving influence of



Arminian ideas. The old creeds, however, remained Scientists and historical critics intact and firm.
were quietly pursuing their investigations into nature and the sources of history, but their disNot tiU the coveries created no general alarm.
middle of the century was the inevitable and essential

antagonism between





and the dogmas of

traditional theology fully


Then followed a mortal


the radical and vital principle of
historical criticism,

— summed up

all science


in the Darwin-

ian law of uninterrupted natural evolution,

— and

the traditional a 'priori principle of a supernatural


special creation

and miracle as the

true historical explanation of the course of nature

and of human



conflict, if

we look


the nineteenth century from

theological side,

marks more deeply and

characteristically than


history as a whole.

Consciously or un-

consciously, all theological discussions and movements of any importance have taken their cue from the attitude of theologians toward the Darwinian

doctrine of nature.

For a generation

after the

publication of "
theological air

The Origin

of Species " the whole


was filled with the dust that was by dogmatic or timid theologians. But a strange lull has recently fallen upon the field of

debate, for reasons that are too plain to remain







has become clear to

the mass of intelligent

men and women

any radical antagonism between the




tained facts of science and historical criticism and
the traditional dogmas of the old orthodoxy, it must mean that these dogmas are invalid and false. In fact, the new science and the new history have come to stay. The educated world has already accepted their fundamental premises and conclusions,

however doubtful
nate questions.


may be

as to certain subordi-

historically clear for the

Thus the ground has been made new problem of theology
There can be no doubt
fundamental character must be.

in the century to come. as



The century is to be marked by the complete harmonizing and unifying of scientific, historical, and
religious truth.


this process will involve the

utter downfall of the old theology in


creed forms goes without saying.

pear with the old false



must disapscience and history on which

as, for

example, those exploded

theories of creation as wrought in six days, of our

earth as the centre of the universe, of a material

heaven beyond the circumference of the starry vault, of a material heU deep in the centre of the
earth, of the aerial region above

and around us


with supernatural beings both good and bad,


men as subject in both body and soul to the " prince of the power of the air," through bewitchor actual demoniacal possession, of this world


as given over
fall to

by God because of Adam's



Satan, and thus


the scene of conflict

between two spiritual kingdoms only to be terminated by the miraculous coming of the Son of God

let work of . This whole mass of traditional superstiessentially to which belongs one and the same giving place class of uncritical beliefs. Organized Christianity. . in battle the assertion the decisive between and religion is at an end. science as there fenders of a miraculous Christianity have rested arguments on the assumption that the Bible was a direct divine revelation. which hugs so tenaciously believe that I its historical traditions. as a historical observer. will not give them up without a final struggle but I am that safe. aspect of it.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY for the everlasting destruction of evil 345 and triumph of good. so far was any real ground of conflict growing out of dogmas that were supposed to be essential to religious faith. If one would realize how complete a change has him look into a been wrought in a single generation. and that consequently its narratives were authentic history. Such is the problem in one still Of course there are many who would protest loudly against such a historical resume and forecast. and that. The final cowp de The degrace was given by historical criticism. science and its ally historical criticism have come off victors. is rapidly dissolving like is snow under the sun to a of summer and new order of religious ideas proceeding from a new scientific and critical principle of eternal and unchangeable law. as the result of critical research. Histheir torical criticism has destroyed the very basis of this position by showing that its primary assumptions are untenable. tion.

346 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES McCosh entitled " Dr. years before. The Supernatural in Kelar tion to the Natural. The naive way in which Dr. it may not be accepted So concerning Balaam's ass. On the same principle he declares that the prophe- cies of the Old Testament were predictions of defi- nite future historical events. truly astonish- For example. though he was quite a scientific student and accepted much of the science of his day. especially the new astronomy and geology. his Certainly had he realized what was the radically by Darwin as to the character and mode of development of nature in all its forms. " foretold hundreds or thousands of years beforehand. Appar- ently Dr. assuming without question their entire historicity. he would have met it with an earnest demurrer. McCosh was not aware that Darwin's epoch-making book had already appeared three At least he does not allude to it in own volume. for he held strongly in his book to special acts of divine creation. he alludes to the account in the book of Daniel of " the three children of Israel who were thrown into the fiery furnace in Babylon " without a hint that fact. he asserts that " We know enough to convince us that the ass could not speak except by a supernatural agency working in it." never once suggesting a doubt whether the ass did actually speak in human language. McCosh makes use is of certain portions of the Bible. ing. and to the conposition taken new of the origin tinuance of the miraculous element in history." and hence ." published in 1862.

for example. the miraculous birth of Christ. McCosh had upon as There are some the citadel of his own position. What critical scholar to-day accepts the fuU historicity of any of these utterly How the foundations of Dr. apparently. Dr. what becomes of the law itself? A law of nature can no more allow a . — the very case which Dr. to-day. without having been taught. addressed a multitude of persons gathered from a variety of countries each in his own language.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 347 must be regarded as proofs of miraculous power and agency. admits the law to be inviolable and universal with a single exception. assuming with the completest assurance that " uneducated fishermen at once." McCosh's argument have been undermined by Biblical whole criticism I need not say. He accepts the entire historicity of the narrative given in "The Acts" concerning what happened on the day of Pentecost. McCosh laid primary philosophical thesis " that it is not possible for the inductive philosophers to be able to establish the doctrine of the uniformity of nature as a law which can admit of no exceptions.^^ he surely little realized that a book was al- ready in existence which would prove just such a uniformity of nature in the case of species. But if one event can lie outside of the law. Scripture accounts? down his When Dr. to wit. but refuse to allow that there are no exceptions to it. Lyman Abbott. who are leaning on the same broken reed. They are ready to accept the law of relied evolution to a certain point.

which makes the universe the sport of chance. there is no attempt to answer them the time and better way theological . The Darwinian true. then the essential character of law has been invaded and a principle of natural disorder and contingency has been introduced. or it is utterly false.348 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES than a chain. need of such discussion has gone irretrievably by. when they are raised now and then. equally applicable in every other field of nature. by a single miraculous act through which natural law was violated or suspended. Take the case of miracles. McCosh's book. It is just as difficult for . and its essential character as a cosmos is gone. law of natural evolution and universally. the strength of which is single breach is gone if a single link be broken. but if on the if retention of the latter as Christianity itself dereality. New Testament. unchangeably. in its application to all is species of organic including man. I as if feel I were stirring the flickering embers of a issue. In dealing thus with Dr. There are those who are insist ready to give up or even of the all miracles outside of the Bible. dead those I have done so because I to know of no show how far behind us already have questions drifted which some would assume to be still alive and mooted among In fact. and to be cast aside as unscientific. pended on their historical But the principle of the uniformity of nature has ever been broken once. The law and of natural evolution so signally proved illustrated by Darwin life. us.

What may lie its laws are derived. but in the metaphysical or transcen- . are questions not of science directly but of philosophy.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY miracle. is whoUy obsolete so far as concerned. No haH-way measures no compromises between two antagonistic positions can stand. If a conflict is to between monism and dualism. and theology can never come into real harmony with Let it scientific methods and results until it has equally abolished this dualistic assumption. then. be noted that science has to its do only with nature and behind nature. There can be no real harmonizing of — — science and theology except on the and laws in all basis of a complete and unwavering acceptance of principles tions. whence laws. does not necessarily monism arise again in philosophy. all is false. in its 349 the scientific or historical critic to accept a single theological meaning of a violation or suspension of law. with its appendix of miracle. true or it Evolution. comes to view the very starting-point of any satisfactory and lasting solution of the new problem of theology. as I have said. it can- not be fought within the domain of nature and natural law. Here. Monism involve in science. as to accept a thousand. therefore. from which all miracle science is is eliminated. The old distinction which has so long been a fundamental assumption of theology between the supernatural. scientific their widest applica- To attempt to revive the old discredited is controversies of the nineteenth century ical all a historis anachronism. and the natural.

he passes from scientific ground. but also of the truest — ! . where he is strong and invulnerable." But the new problem of theology in the aspect under it which we are now considering nected with nature ther problems is directly confur- and its laws. in " The to all philosophical Riddle of the Universe. of science When Ernst Haeckel." and to not only of divine ministries and tenderest revelations of the divine character. a man may be a dualist in his philosophy and yet accept wholly the mon- ism of science. to philosophic ground. full When na- ture and history are once seen to be "parts of God's ways.350 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES In short. a very well or men. what new sources Then the of theological truth will they become Bible will become a new book. When it will this position has once been squarely taken. to every canfirst The new theology must theology of all be a scientific through and through. as did observer. be found that scientific and critical scholars who ness. Whatever may arise in the field of philosophic thought. where he at once becomes weak. tion of religion and science and here the it situation has become clear. as in league with destroyers of the faith. seems to me. if have been treated with distrust and unfair- and even sometimes with scant courtesy. and shows only too painfully " the heel of Achilles." declares that the monism must be extended problems. the problem that faces the theologian of to-day first of all is concerned with the true rela. are really its most valuable friends and helpers. dental realm.

we are ready to ask what must which shall be able be the presiding principle of a theology harmonize the hitherto all their divergent religions of the world and unite devotees in one kingdom of truth and life ? One great barrier to this result will have been removed by the assumption just made.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY natural spring of the water of life. involving a like downfall of those religious and theological cults that have lived on with little relaxation of their hold on the Ethnic peoples from prehistoric tunes to the present day. The full harmonization of religion and science must involve at once the entire downfall of the old traditional credal theology. With the spread of the new scientific and historical light the same result must follow in the non- Christian world. on which the great missionary move- ments of Christendom have hitherto largely rested. Let us now turn to the other aspect of the proAssuming that science and religion have blem. We have seen how vain it is to . been brought into harmonious union. not at second hand from human literature and learning. and have tian resisted hitherto all the efforts of Chris- missions. the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth will glow with a and beauty. but directly from God's own new spiritual light great book of nature itself. and the highest forms of human intelligence thus made accordant with those religious instincts and principles which are inextinguishably rooted in every of the member human to race. drawn as they were so completely. 361 Above all.

then the first Education and enlightenment is work of the Christian missionary. When science has done its part. But they opponents. he would be completely e(juipped for the procla- . is the spread among them of the f uUest and latest results of modern scholarship. history of religion . But this is only the stepping-stone to his real mission as a religious teacher. God's newest revelations in nature and history. then historical criticism if must add its quota. The weapons The of the Ethnic religious thinkers are as keen and effective as those of their is fuU of these and the theological ramparts behind which these battles were fought the most amazing metaphysical structures ever reared are to-day the wonder and admiration by man of aU students of ancient philosophy. The new missionary gospel must be one that has been transformed by the new light of our What the Ethnic peoples need. Error and superstition thrive so long as men are bound in the chains of ignorance and custom. first of all. intelligently understood and accepted. metaphysical battles — — belong to a mode of warfare that has passed movement on no longer possible. to topple into a mass of ruins. will cause those ancient systems of religious speculation which are strong against any form of Christian dogma. but they cannot endure the away. age.352 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES attempt to overthrow the speculative dogmas of the Ethnic religions from the standpoint of Christian theology. carry on the missionary is To these old superannuated lines light of truth.

THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 353 mation of that religious truth which alone has power to convert and sanctify mankind. histor- Enough here ical criticism summarize and say that has restored to Christian faith and love the true historical Jesus of Nazareth. which gathered up into itself the very pith and marrow of Christ's moral teaching. after layer of unhistorical tradition its with fable. Such a picture. once more to draw to himself all tempted. and moral greatness of his hmnan life has come forth to view. Such truth is to be found in Christ's original and unHow this gospel was slowlyadulterated gospel. a gospel from God from Nice to Westminster. — through pel of man to his human brother. and how it has been rediscovered for us in these last times. without dogma or credo^ without any mixture of speculative metaphysics. has more power and virderness. — such a gos- divine-human brotherly love the heart of will man everywhere open to as the morning . and thirsting human hearts. superstitious Layer and legend. has been to already set forth at length. until at table picture of the man of Galilee in all the ten- and sweetness. uttering with silent and yet eloquent lips that parable of the prodigal son. accretions of miracle and last the veri- have been removed. with all its gospel simplicity. distorted into another gospel until its original lineaments were mostly lost for long ages. hungering. tue in it to move the world than all the theologies Such a simple gospel.

" The Boston Transcript. or in those established under the auspices of the British government." torially : Hindus in vari- Some denounce idolatry. other. which shows that the essential dogmas of those religfions have been slowly built up on primary religious ideas that form the is is What .^ ^ It will open to no has been a common assumption of the advocates of Chris- tian missions that the Ethnic religious systems have little hold upon their adherents. First. items entirely independent of each other it is. " living entirely among the natives. for studying its literature. study Hindooism on its own ground." These items are in line with other recent testimony of men who have lived many years in India and have looked at the matter with unprejudiced minds." She spent — — nine years. and most of these have been educated in Christian schools. declaring that these superstitions are The Christian Register also edi- remarks " The vast recuperative powers of the Oriental whether Buddhist. A close study of the history of these systems makes clear the superficial and unhistorical character of this assumption. ous ways are attempting to reform Hinduism. appearing in leading newspapers are straws that indicate much more truthfully than missionary reports what is the real character of the situation. Mohammedan. such as Confucianism. if ever." ' On the point it with which I am now concerned Miss Muller ' thinks improb- able that Christianity can get any general hold on the Hindoos for a very long time to come. Buddhism. gives some account of the results of the experiences of an English woman who was led by " her interest in the Hindoo religion and people to go to India to. or Confucian world have been shown through innumerable past ages. the Congregationalist has the following in its editorial columns: ^^ Hinduism Reviving. and Mohammedanism. not essential to their faith.354 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES and it flowers to the rising sun. As I write. Hindooism. Societies are being formed for the defense of Hinduism. and for practical religious and charitable work. and recent events are proving how baseless and false This is especially the case with the g^eat Asiatic religions. vation thus made evident by the testimony of recent obseramply sustained by the history of the Ethnic religions. Hindus of the educated classes in Bengal are more actively engaged in support of their religion than ever before. others polytheism. in an issue of the same week. and are likely to be exhibited within our times upon a grand scale.

It is my profound conviction. The subsequent conversion of the western bar- barians was more due to the influence of Roman civilization and of culture. the more clearly will it be seen that religious dogmatic systems are secondary to Here. than to the dogmas be seen that the problem of the Christianization of the world is a far more complex and intricate one than is ordinarily supposed. This difference lies below the dogmatic differences between the Ethnic and Christian religions. that the Christian nations providentially hold the keys of the world's religious as well as political future but everything depends. as has been shown. and it is the chief bar to the success of Christian missions. but its speedy amalgamation with Greek ideas completely changed its whole character. Such changes are of movement. It may be said that Christianity is itself of Asiatic origin. Thus may . A Semitic Asiatic religion became a Hellenized European religion. of society. of racial kinship and the more closely these subjects are studied. and are built up to support them. and it has remained such to this day. THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY At at this point I cannot help noting 355 how simple in last "the new problem of theology the very warp and woof of the Ethnic religions consciousness. and cannot be dislodged by another set of ideas without an upheaval such as is not likely to happen at present. in these primary ideas. There is something deeper nature and society than mere dogma or dogmatic systems of religious belief. of mankind have developed great sentiment and thought. in connection with race affinity. of government. This is true. is the explanation of the remarkable and apparently deep-seated difference between the Asiatic Oriental mind and character and that of the Occidental or European.. as a historical student. These are but the outgrowth of sentiments and ideas that have their roots in the primary moral instincts and tendencies of human nature. The Semitic Judaism out of which it sprang has always refused to accept it. This is the historical reason why Christianity in its early progress never penetrated far beyond the outskirts of the Roman Empire. the Christian religion. such as ideas woman. While it all the slowest in their and more radical in human is true that the human race is generically one. part at least. it is equally true diverof the that different varieties of gencies of religious family. on the way in which Christianity employs its forces. as I have endeavored to show. it .

Not so strange would it be if again. is such a shrinkage of human philosophy to human pride. who " had not where to lay his head. rising toward the sky like the vast mediaeval cathedrals . while before us rises the unobtrusive figure of a man. the Hindoo. the meek and lowly Jesus. as we turn the corner of a new century. there is a more excellent way. Founded my earnest student of the great Oriental religions can. But." that is. volume we have walked around and closely scanned grand scholastic metaphysical systems. unwilling to leave those mediaeval structures on which they have labored so long for the humble abode of Fortunate the Christian missionary Nazareth. as Paul did. as I have said. and preach " Jesus Christ and him crucified. who shall have so caught the spirit of his master that he will be ready to lay aside all the pride of human philosophy. a diviner gos- pel of love and charity. the construction will be easy. . in — judgment. be made to believe that they will ever be overthi-own by philosophical or theological dogmas of any kind. I had most said that No it wiU construct itself. a truer science. but even now they are growing dim in the distance behind us. the way of a nobler civilization. as in the beginnings of Christianity. and it is the only way. The new problem of theology once fairly al- grasped. Christ's own gospel of love and sacrifice.356 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES In this twentieth century " has become." Humbling. the Plotinian. Christ in his lowliness should be " despised and rejected " even by the religious leaders of Christendom. the Christian. indeed.

that way. All the spiritual knowledge of which man is capable must reach him through so that its real it his own moral faculties. is in must The seat of moral authority for every man his own moral nature. Whether God and man are of one common image and likesciousness. man's own moral consciousness the focus-point through which all the moral light of the universe in every form of revelation pass. the highest moral duty of every man to study himseK. appropriating all the new truth for the satisfaction of its and spiritual needs. It becomes. its Man and nature together will constitute material. and in the light of that psychological survey to test and gauge his moral responsibility. It is not difficult also to forecast tial what the essen- feature of the new theology is will be. If man cannot help conceiving of God in God is not a moral and personal . Besides." religion and the religious nature will rise to higher and fuller conintellectual ceptions of truth. therefore. new fields of discovery ical criticism move on to and knowledge. fundamental and as man nature's crown. As " knowledge grows from more to more. theology wiU follow. its development will be As science and histornatural and spontaneous.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 357 on the inductive method. ness or not. character will be truly discoverable only as takes on the forms of the moral con- is God can be known only as his image shadowed in man's own moral nature. he wiU is naturally be the foremost subject of rehgious interest.

Another historical forecast may also be taken. The are only just beginning to set toward their swift forward march. Historical movements as a rule are slow . religious and theological changes that especially and see how deep and radical they are." Hence theology destined to be essentially an anthropo- logy . Science is still " mew- mighty youth. Not only wiU the development of the new theology it will also be rapid. Such. Even now one can feet. still This movement is new currents ing its in its very birth throes. rushing of the tide beneath his effect Cause and go together. One has only to study the causes of the present unrest. historical — criticism assisting them by its methods of elimi- nating possible error and by shedding the further light of universal human experience upon man's individual path." and historical criticism is but a child in swaddling clothes.368 being. cessions to the realm of knowledge What vast acmay we not expect when these striplings attain to their full . case in the religious and theological advances of feel the the new century. he is is THE ETHNIC TRINITIES to man " an unknown God. and psychology or the study of man's higher nature will form with natural science the twin " master lights " of theological truth. I believe. will be the be easy. to lose all sense of surprise at the great are coming over human thought and over all the old forms of religious belief. but crises often involve immense changes that are accomplished with a marvelous celerity.

kindled by God every man's moral By itseK the speculative or ratiocinating faculty. in brief. ligion. achievements seem hke the play of and with it a new philosophy of nature. who will see with his torical own eyes an era of scientific and histhat shall progress make our present children. " The true fight enlighteneth every man that cometh in into the world " was nature. I have faith in metaphysical speculation as containing any satisfactory solution of religious problems or even as able to throw practical light any upon them. and a new theology practically complete. . but a dry Sahara waste. It has no fountain of spiritual life. But some one metaphysically inclined. so the historical observer may not fear to say. the question : : will. For myseK. of man. Not till Kant had passed from the barren wastes of speculative rationalistic criticism to the green pastures of man's that moral intuitions did his religious consciousness find rest. whose speechless lips and far-off looking eyes are silent wit- nesses to the eternal mystery of little life and time. a new reand of God. the sphinxes that line the approach to the ruined temple of Egyptian Karnak. a new world. and not — quite ready to accept such a simple solution as the inductive historical method offers. is whether analytical or synthetical.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY majority ! 359 The infant is already born. if you such a riddle I have no answer. raise may skeptically what about monism versus For dualism f To which my reply would be Ask.

the charge of logical inconsistency falls to the ground. Therefore scientific and historical induction affords the only basis of a true theology. It has been made a point of criticism against "The Evolution of Trinitarism " that ness to be in its it declares the moral conscioustheistic. is meta- the speculative faculty. and that such experience can be studied only by experimental induction and further. That consciousness can be interrogated and studied only by the inductive or experimental method. but should be a servant. with all physical assumptions.360 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES Man's moral consciousness is the natural headspring of all religion and of aU religious truth. who threw his rider to the earth when he wished its to be carried to heaven. and assert. Such an assumption I decline to accept. very nature — it being is assimied by these critics that such a declaration a priori or deductive rather than inductive. Let me here say that the difference between of procedure in the discovery of these two modes religious truth is vital. the widest possible survey of the moral history of mankind proves conclusively that man's moral instincts and intuitions are theistic. If my position be valid. that aU the religious light we have from our moral consciousness is purely the result of experience. — a method of religious quest and adventure as unsafe as Bellerophon's horse Pegasus. that . on the contrary. This faculty has it function in critical philosophy. The true fons et origo of its the a priori or abstract method. and never . and not pantheistic.

he has only to read the history of Christian theology. remem- No doubt the world will have to a priori' and speculative idealisms There are always some to straction the end of time. The Zeitgeist has worked and to set its house in order too hard to get rid of the metaphysical cobwebs of past millenniums for the new facts of science credulously or patiently to song. a veritable ab" daily food. of investigation." How could Jonathan Edwards understand the religious nature of a child. —a Here of will be the field field religious inquiry virgin and rich indeed.s THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY become a master. man's moral consciousness. On the other hand. If 361 one would realize what mastership involves. the true and original ligious truth is home of religion and of re- man's religious nature. will be a matter offact^ a moral. and will be solidly built on the foundation stones of the truths revealed through be. when he piously believed that from birth it was "a little viper" steeped in the "poison" Were I asked what religious book I reof sin ! gard as the most epochal of the last century in New England or even in America I should answer ." is whom is or Platonic " idea " Unfortunately for such the twentieth century otherwise inclined. hitherto almost covered up by the old theological dogmas of "original sin" and "total depravity. to any metaphysical else it listen siren The new theology. and history. its Strange that so easy a lesson should be so hard to ber. whatever may an anthropologic theology.

" the was Bushnell. If ever a man "builded better than he knew. Scarcely realiz- ing what he was doing." 362 at once : THE ETHNIC TRINITIES BushneU's " Christian Nui-ture. fervid plea for the careful Christian education and training of children from the beginnings of moral existence. be the most fruitful feature of those psychological investigations which more than aU other influences combined will give a new shapit When ing to theological thought. The new theology . but more through the scientific and critical light that was slowly permeating the minds of men. the times were The Edwardsian Calvinistic doctrine of child-nature as poisoned and depraved by the Adamic sin was losing its hold on the age. beginning with the The whole book is a earliest years of childhood. the publication of Darwin's " Origin of Species. I believe." published in 1860. BushneU practically laid first stone in the foundations of the new theology. ripe for the seed sown. That stone was the new position taken is that the Christian religion a matter of natural growth and nurture in man. — the year This following." — has exerted a it quiet but truly remark- able influence. To this day I know of no theological work so fuU of the new religious leaven and spirit that are work. though putting something just as bad in its place. partly through the prevalence of Hopkinsianism which denied natural corruption. be it noted. ing in our time as BushneU's '' Christian Nurture and its main teaching concerning the child-nature will. was published. first book.

a single genera- but when the crisis at last . ties The Ethnic trini- antedate all history." Long deferred was the great Protestant Eeforma- tion that broke for half of Europe the papal yoke came. Through what long ages may the growth ! of Christian theology be traced As a rule how unyielding and tenacious of faith has every its ! hold on Christian Yet. it has been proved equally true that "a thousand years with the Lord are as one day. on the other dogma been hand. Realizing thus logical how simple and rapid the theo-' is movement of the twentieth century likely to be. I am ready to believe that the necessary preliminary work of destructive criticism give may soon It is way to a new theological construction. THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY will 363 not only be anthropological : it child-anthropology^ and Milton's lines " — will be a The childhood shows the man As morning shows will the day " — be the first article of its credo. with ever growing impressiveness. " One The day with the Lord is as a thousand years " movement of the dogmatic evolutions of the great ! world religions has been like the geological formation of the crust of the earth.. true that theological changes are usually of creep- ing pace. and one may follow them until they are lost in the prehistoric origins of the race. Who does not realize it that has studied the history of theological beliefs ? How often does the Scripture adage come to mind. especially stiffened into when thought has become creeds.

to earlier faith so mysterious. is good. Nature. The signs of an equally remarkable theological revolution fiU the religious sky to-day and give no uncertain note of warning that " The time is short. not also. and the God of nature must be good Divine revelation." by the things that are made. but also the scientific and historical laws in accordance with which it is guided and will continue to be guided in the future." evil. To a degree at least we now know where we are in God's universe and whither we are tending. . and shown that " he is not far from any one of us. how much more occasion for a like sentiment at the conclusion of a survey of man's religious history infinitely great from the beginning of time How the contrast between the moral ! ignorance and blindness of mankind at the outset of their moral life and our is clear ! and intelligent grasp of religious truth to-day contrast the What makes this own more signal the fact that in our generation not only has the true history of nature and man been made known. as its laws have proved. " God hath spoken to us at the end of these days. If the historical evolution of nineteen centuries gave grounds for optimistic hopefulness.364 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES most remarkable tion sufficed to accomplish the ecclesiastical revolt in history. Here the basis is laid as it was never laid before for confidence and faith. in a manner that cannot be mistaken.^^ I cannot finish this book without touching once more the note which was struck in the last chapter of my previous volume.

Religion with us is no longer of the letter or of is the form." only revealing themselves more future rejoices in that eternal sweep of unchang- and more grace." custom that human nature delights in at certain stages and in certain moods are dropping off as " childish things. — clearly in all their rhythmic order and " Forever singing as they shine. and turning to the ing divine law which gives such sweet assurance that all things shall continue " as they were from the beginning. cast-off Dogma but the badge of a slavery that has given place to " the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us Even those fads of religious fancy and free." Coming back from such an outlook round of our mortal lives. As it looks backward it sees the difficult and uncertain path by which it has slowly gained its present point of vision." The educated world has at last entered into the inheritance of its full man- hood. With the day the old materialism. but listen contiaually to " the that whispers within our light of our scientific still small voice " own souls. has faded into shadows that have gone with the night. to the little with their vicissitudes of . but of the spirit. and sporadic. The hand that made us is divine.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 365 transcendent. We wait no longer to hear God speak outside of us in some miraculous way. has become natural and immanent and harmonious with the faculties of our moral nature. new with all its degrading and cruel superstitions.

that the whole we live. 366 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES evil. with all its longing after faith. to all. declares in one maand harmonious accord that " God is good "? was with a vision not quite cleared from the clouds of old tradition. we know not anything I can but trust that good shall fall At last — far oflE — at last. Or cast as rubbish to the void. but with eager gaze into the growing revelations which nature and history had already disclosed." and his expression of it but an . good and universe in which forces jestic how can we forget the truth thus learned. loss and gain." Such a strain. half believing attitude of the century just ended " : — yet we trust that somehow good Will be the final goal of ill. : : . To pangs of nature. and with its frank confession of agnosticism and doubt. with all its laws and It and historical evolutions. I ? "So runs my dream but what am An infant crying in the night An infant crying for the light : And with no language but a cry. sorrow and joy. Tennyson's " trust " after all is but a " dream. " Behold. And every winter change to spring... Defects of doubt. and taints of blood Oh " That nothing walks with aimless feet That not one life shall be destroyed. reminds one of the melancholy notes of Virgil's ^neid. sins of will. that Tennyson summed up in his " In Memoriam " the half doubting. When God hath made the pile complete.

" No doubt. Praise God ! ' sang Theocrite. " The light. ^ It may be said that the " In Memoriam " does not Allowing fairly this. remains true that this poem.^ I can but think that the future Tennyson or Virgil of our twentieth century will strike a hopeful key and sing a nobler song." It is " night " still around him. long and well O'er his work the boy's curls felL " But ever. all one If on the earth or in the sun. evening. " Hard he labored. and there are clear touches of it in some of his last poems. " influenced religiously the age . more Browning was only a younger contemporary of Tennyson. and it may be added that the " In Me- moriam more than all Tennyson's Nor does it stand alone among these writings in its religious character. at each period. no less was it the supreme expression of its religious moods. But if the " In Memoriam " was the supreme poetical creation of the Victorian age. accurately represents the ruling literary spirit of the nineteenth century . with all its agnostic and hesitating religious temper. but he had caught something of the spirit of the coming age when he wrote that simple yet weird poem. as Teimyson drew nearer to the end of the century. noon * and night. and unrest is even more strongly struck in " The Two Voices. to him. ' He stopped and sang. it represent Tennyson's maturer religious views." for which he prays has not yet risen. uncertainty. THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 367 " infant's cry. Praise God ' ! " Then back again his curls he threw. And " cheerful turned to work anew." from which I quote : — " Morning. He did God's will . the spirit of unquestioning faith grew on him. other writings. The same note of doubt.. " The Boy and the Angel.

that man. The twentieth century will be an era of faith built on solid grounds. with its ac- . light of a Browning has somehow seen a new light new scientific and historical day. . and peace are always the harbingers of the highest blessings to revelations of God. coming filled — not so much a new religion as a revival of Christ's own religion.. simple. and of the fullest freedom. There is no doubt in no fear ! ' " Who does not note the difference in the religious temper of these two poets ? The " In Memoriam " is pensive with a minor strain of baffled moral effort and anxious uncertainty that vibrates all through the poem like a chilling east wind. with a sense of God's presence and reflecting This new age of ours his gracious spirit of love. is ' A praise is in mine ear it. Into that carry us. 368 THE ETHNIC TRINITIES " God said. new era our survey cannot further The scroU of God's providence unrolls time moves on. There no doubt in no fear ! ' " will be the deep undertone and refrain of man's religion. is the heir of two centuries. The nineteenth century was an age of conflict between traditional dogmas that were embalmed in creeds and the moral awakening caused by the new revelations of science and history. But this we knoW. The eighteenth cen- tury was marked by an intense skeptical reaction from a theology of gloom and fear. and of religious freedom and peace. * A praise is in mine ear it. only as faith. " — the But God said. Political peace. spiritual.

secret of : Wordsworth had caught the true " open vision " in the strangely mystical lines " Hence in a season of calm weather — the Though inland Our souls have far we be." . bled.THE NEW PROBLEM OF THEOLOGY 369 companiment of freedom. Can in a moment travel thither. sight of that immortal sea Which brought us hither. "Peace I leave with you" was Christ's last message to his sorrowing companions. and fitly symbolizes the Puritan spirit. It is in such an atmosphere that man Only receives the clearest and purest inspirations. and the tumult in the hearts of Christ's disciples had been stilled. And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. Towards this the noblest souls of the race have always striven. has ever been the world's Men have fought. But political peace is only a crude prefigurement of moral and spiritual peace and harmony. after the storm on the Gralilean lake had subsided. "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" is still written on the escutcheon of the State of Massachusetts. ideal. did they gain a new apprehension " What of his marvelous nature and exclaim manner of man is this ? " Not in times of " Sturm : und Drang " are the highest heavens opened. And see the children sport upon the shore. and died for it.


tions. mother of Jesus. Athene. 362. Amiel. Aristotle. F. my view of evolution of Trinitarianism " fatally defective. 41 .. not earlier in original form than third century. epistle of. motherly character." 213. 362. 231. 216. 108 central figure of Odyssey. 276. Nicomachean Ethics. Abbott's whole criticism. 39 . quoted. 109 intercessor for men. Bhagavatgita {Divine Song). 114." 230 . A. 232. 18 . Brahm. real point of objection to my interpretation. 42 lation of Plato. Barnabas. mostly legendary likeness to gospel accounts of Christ." 112. comparison with 40. 241. 18. lives of B. 123. . creation. use of tripartite character of soul in work on Trinity. sey. tion an incarnation of Vishnu. 263. Capttolinb temple. 102. Ltman. character of teaching. 42. La Religion des Gaulois." quoted. 43. 39 not a dogmatic revolt from earlier Hindoo ideas. 57 its dogma of an incarnation of Gk>d the . 108. 113. 309 corrected ethical vacil. evolution of trinitarian formula. 42 . H. 40. 235.. tolerant character.. various incarnations." 218 on the Fourth Gospel. 368. relation of Buddhist and Christian tradiB. Baptism. . 312. Browning. 233 reached its present shape in eighth century as a Latin creed of Western Church. 215 his dislike of the mediation doctrine. collection of reputed sayings. Carey. originally "into Christ. absolute form of personal Brahma. Buddhism. note. passage from De Calo. thinks I misimderstand Paul. 58 . " fatal ^defect " of Dr. *• article." 114. temptation by the Evil One." 218. Buddha (Gautama)." most epochal book of last century in America. 110 as a man. " Synoptic pels. compared with Mary. 216.INDEX Abbott. 18 . . 223. criticism of " EvoluTrinitarianism.. . Professor. 275. 218 admits the laws of natiire to be inviolable with a single exception. . "called virgin. R. . obview of Paul's mediational theology. 54. 228. analysis of action of Odys108. 310. quoted. title legendary. my B. article in " Biblical World. threefold law of the syllogism. doctrine of child nurture fruitful in psychological investigations. Apostles' Creed. H. 199. . Bertrand. declares that I make Paul an Arian. 221. " The Boy and the Angel. mediator between gods and men. "Christian Nurture. Bushnell. 213. Christian angelology and demonology. in later Hindoo tradi. 213. 16 . . . Christ's sayings. 232 . Athenagoras held Holy Spirit to be an effluence (not personal) from Gk)d. W. Augustine. radically similar to Ethnic ." quoted. 183. 108 . American Journal of Theology. mediat" in fashion ing character." tion of jects to Babylonian epic of Bacon. 367 compared with Tennyson. 118. 347. only historical counterpart to that of Christianity. not a trinitarian. Gos- Contra Mendacium. ..

epistle of. Aristotle on dissimulation. INDEX essentially polytheistic 312. gious leadership. 315 . 194.. 329. 210 its philosophy radically changed. "Christian Register. " officiosum mendacium. and cruelty. 100. 97 . 263.. . 283. and quote from Fourth Gospel. religion of." 333. false reliance on perpetuity of organized chiurch. . . causes of unreadiness. ture. fatal flaw. 286 . 102. 281. reaction through new spirit of the age. Cross. creeds and dogmas barriers to unity. churches wedded to forms of . as a world-religion. as organized. Christianity like an old palimpsest. explanation of Alford's extraordinary interpretation. sincerity of Christ. 338. the apocalypse. 322 . 335 . 198 traditional view of. 227. origin. modem Biblical exegesis. 298. proper teaching of the young. 94 . 286 . effect of new light on Johannine tian tolerant as and Ethnic religions. 220. note. 262 of. 311 lawful use of dissimulation against heretics. 302. not an external vmity. quoted. no more "historical " than Ethnic religions. 306 . . 279. effect on ethics of the theory of " double sense " in Scripture. different in significance from Christian." quoted. how made ready for its work. devoted to worship of sun-god. 97. sin of suppressio veri. cium^^ continued after Protestant inherited virus of in. 311 Augustine's " contra mendacium. Lardner. . 240. religion and the religious instinct in men essentially one. its interpretation. of Greek origin. made by Constantine the great symbol of Christianity. exposed to two perils. 322 . 314 note. 241. 301 campaign of education imperatively needed. 320 . 303 no institution can live simply on its past. 298 . one.^^ . 282. 291 . 320 . vious interpretations. 305. 293 . 283. Paul and early Fathers influenced by Greek thought. 354. religions. necessity . 297 . Old Testament ethical teaching. Alford's exegesis. gradual shifting of reli- " Congregationalist. peculiar character of religious insincerity. ethics of "offlciosum menda- in Middle Ages. " I go not up to this feast. results of theory of " officiosum niendacium. 321 . 325. charges of Porphyry. Jerome. Jerome's defense. prehistoric. 96 not original with Christianity. : Crucifix. 283 comparative ineffectualness of Christian missions. 197 comes under the strict law of historical evolution. not mentioned by Justin Martyr. . Bishop Ellicott rejects pre330 . . 285. . 97. 282 world-religion finally one. exposed to dangers within and without. 372 ideas. 324. history of La Religion des Gaulois. quoted. doctrine not taught in the synoptics. sign of the. an amazing " wresting of Scrip- Christianity. its ruling force. 96 pre-Christian. as the one divine gospel. . 310 . . 309 . . later. quoted. 331 . 319. crisis in Clement. Tholuck's exegesis. of revival of Christ's original gospel." note." 321 . N. revolt. Christian religion. his own. sincerity in the church to-day. 306 ethics of Plato and Aristotle. 336. 293 . . 328 . Dabk Ages. 211 close historical connection between Chris. fear. 327 . .^^ 309.''^ 334 . Latin form. one of cre- dulity. 25. Comforter (Paraclete). 199 entrance into Greek world begins a new chapter of history. 321 . 99 early form. God. religious truth out of joint with our times. 354. change of ovk to ovwoi. 94 f oimd in all parts of the world. Bertrand. 97 . incompared with Ethnic problem. history of. 211 . Irenseus first to mention it. 302. traceable to Philo. 307 influence on church. illustrated 100 from early Christian art. 212. origin as late as seventh century. . 275. 99 gradual blending of pre-Christian and Christian conceptions. . 278. Constantine. Christian theology essentially a Christology. 276.

N. Evolution. 68 picture of Zoroaster. S. Christianity no exception. . 68 remarkable resemblances to events in life of Christ. 292. 223 Paul.. . the.. M. setting forth the divine activity. 254 in " Gospel of the Hebrews " the .. quoted. fundamental to all Ethnic trinities. to God view of i)ost. Fergusson. oldest Avestan writing. historicity of. as third person. historical.."*. 25. 22. Jewish monotheist. 124. 265. originally polytheistic. as third person. equally applicable to a degenerate Christianity. had a beginning in time. Darwin. of." 350. of. 67.. emphasized by Origeu and Defoe. Ethnic religions. 225. Charles. 19." 264. question whether H. see evolution of H. along three lines of movement. and to Christian dogma. as third Person of Trinity. J. 6 law of. 262. . a true human mother. God. and Aristotle. of. developed by Plotinus. Generation idea. 182 upward progress of. illustrated in the history of religions. 253 substitution of Holy Spirit for Mary. a.' the earliest conception of. root of trinitarian idea." 239 . . Gospel pel. 261 found in Fourth Gospel. A. Fourth Gospel. . illustrated tendency towards personality. 255 quoted. 253 . . Harmonia God.. universal. behind divine triads. Emmons. 191. S. result of historical ignorance. origin of term as applied to Heartley. 68.. 5. 361 . . Haecsel. 251. traditional view . 240 .Apostolic only. 224. Feminine element in Trinity. "Hebrews. S. real meaning of procestrine of . 373 ments. 33. Gnosticism. procession Christian trinity. mostly lost. . 1. 235 Justin Martyr. 20. a sort of historical necessity. eternal. 182 Paul's indictment against. cised. 216-218. is a member of Trinity or creature not settled until Nicene age. 90. Holy Holy Spirit is called Christ's . docH. . in Christian consciousness.) G-ATHAs. 88. as essentially evil and false. evolution of supernatural and miraculous ele- m sion. (For writer's judgment on authenticity of. 249. " Origin of Species " (Oct. new epoch of Socrates. 235. religion. can exist only in trinity. 252. 124. 23. . evolution of. absence of. 1859). Gibbon. quoted. 253 Mary. Greek 92 . earlier philosophy of. mo- why the feminine elether. 68 . 222. used the term as synonymous with God. 226 Fathers. 255 ment failed to prevail. physical versus historical. Syrtibo- Father. doxologies. "Evolution of Trinitarianism " criti. 255 loss felt ." terianism. 22 . Generation. 256. Athanasius. 226. " History of Architecture. 281 . 262 whether the words imputed to Christ concerning Comforter were spoken by him. first gives theory of Comforter and procession from the Father. 254. E. Zoroastrian in origin. wavering "view of. 118. "procession " does not appear in creeds until fourth century. 240. Universe. Christ's doctrme of. and without break. lica. tendencies towards ." plan of triple Etruscan temple. Plato. Avestan scholar. " The Kiddle of the Faibbaibn. 4 . in Christian dogma. Spirit. quoted. 224. 255. Ori- gen and Arius held that H. 222 in Old Testament always adjunctive or adjectival. in Appendix A on "The Johannine " Evolution of TriniProblem. INDEX Darmesteter. Eenst. S. Athanasius rested defense of homoousian trinity primarily on. 262 . Family. so held by Plotinus and present day theologians." early gos. 183. J. 77. C. 261 why procession of third person instead of generation. 360.

" "son of Ea. 205 . Aramaic." 116. Virgin. . introduces third stage of evolution of trinity. 195 Christian 196. 252 popularity of cult of. 132. lUingworth. 50. translators ^neid. 236.. 241 .. and of man's relation to Him. meaning understanding of phrase "sameness and otherness. 114. represents the feminine element in mediation. 205." 188. 47 pre-Christian. legends of miraculous birth common to all religious epochs and characters. classes of theory of. but not in shorter. 257 Catholic effort to place M. W. . or of a new system of ethics.. R. 270 . at Christ's side in paintings. Jupiter Capitolinus. cult of M. 260 only possible direct witness of virginity. 319. mediational character of treats Athene. 263. the liistorical starting point of Christian trinity. of. lic . stages of evolution of dogma. 183 . and doctrine of Comforter. . T. "Word" found in longer. "first-bom. . quoted. 194 J. 203 . 236. shorter. divinizing of J. 105 . as historical person. not to be accepted as genuine. distinction between incarnation theories. Huss. use of. Lonsdale nus is no Buddhist. Mary. " The Supernatural in re- . and the theological centre of Christianity." "only begotten. ." 184 view savors of . 52 . genuiueuesa somewhat doubtther of Jesus. perpetuated in English versions. Jesds Cheist. Krishna.. 71. Lightfoot. apparent mis- and mediation Aoyos (logos). 186 says " Ploti- 8abellianism. 129 how logos doctrine is traced to Plato. 238 conclusive testimony to fluxive character of early trinitarianism. "Queen of Heaven. quoted. of Irenseus." 25. 236. dogmas two as historical facts. had no mediation doctrine. fewer interpolations. 258. 258 . prohibited by Plato scheme of education. 118. 242 Maha-Bharata. 236 results of comparison of two ver" Comforter " and sions. . ful. 129 Plato's use of. 92." attributed to Plunot peculiar to Christianity. John. K. process of evolution of dogma of. . Inge. and Lee. . . violation of safe conduct by Council of Constance. its trinity. 279. McCosh. . " Isis and Osiris. 238. unfortunate error of Latin version of N. 114 . how defensible. niad. holds that Plotinus was not a pantheist. on Ignatian Epistles. 131 . ism. 313. 105. Incarnation. 193 such legends misgrowths of a credulous and uncritical age. or of a new philosophy. gospel originally given in Hebrew- loNATiAN Epistles. theology to divine rank. the substance of religion. logos of Fourth Gospel. 130 Philo's substitution of Aoyo? for ^vxv as mediation principle.. first to give a creed on trin- Marduk. 71 motarch. 272 most honored when truth told of him. 103 subordination. Lectistebnium. 60 . doctrine and cultus of. marked by use of Fourth Gospel. . E. 192 . seven longer. 202 . . 237 . 51 . growing among Protestants. 271 fallacy of apology concerning C. love. . in the Middle Ages. J. 43. 242. . Bishop. 121. . 259. . Kant. J. 118. 236. not the author of new dogmas. 129 introduced by Heracleitus into philosophical language. 137. in . 206.. a truly historical personage. in the Trinity. 374 INDEX in Homer. as mediator. quoted. C. 128. . incarnation of Vishnu. 114 raised in Catho- itarian basis. 201 . new " moral consciousness " of character of God . seven largely interpolated. proem of Fourth Gospel. extracts from 185 the Enneads that prove Plotinus a 185 misunderstanding of term exacrTos. differences between it and the Christian dog^ma. pantheist. C.

. Athene supplants Here. 275. 85. 208 . or aureole. Paulsen. tions. of. raic cult. 132 . . 136 . also of . 79 /xeaiTTjs (mediator) introduced by Philo into Greek philosophy. painting of. 27 Sosiosh as Zoroastrian. 16. 123. Odyssey compared with Iliad. Lyman Abbott." quoted. 101 . 60 tianity. 27 in Vedic hymn to Agni. Numenius. origin of idea of. . Ormuzd as head . 59.? of Genesis as reformed ver. . S.. Mohammedanism. Persian religion. a " mediator. 88. 102 with other forms of. H. follower of Plato.. Apollo becomes member of trinity. 81 Mithraic triad. change from Platonism radical. mediation doctrine of. mediating function joined to second person. 207 founder of Graeco-Roman Christianity. . 28 tended to union with generation idea. and Plutarch. Paul. L. had a mediation element. rivalled in Ethnic literature. "three gods. . 16. 86. a monotheistic trinitarian. "Divine Song" of Ethnic Bible. 214 did not make Christ identical with God. takes place of closed Roman world. compared with ^neid. 103. 26 in the Ethnic trinities. 101. Odyssey. 148 significance of. INDEX lation to the Natural. New Platonism. . sion of older polytheism. Michelet. . of Zoroastrian trinity. 131 . 64. in Plato. 84. view of dualism as theory of universe." 148 . 112. instrument of transfer of Christianity from Semitic to Aryan world. teat words ideal- . Athene O. who admits a single exception. begins with Philo . . Moses. O. Numbers. midway between Plutarch and Plotinus. Mediator. tween God and Satan. 213 not an Arian." 346 375 mediation. theory of mediatorship be- of Mithraic cult in 82 of. viz. Monotheism. how it led to a trinity. 89. sim-god in Yedas. in Bible de V Humanity expresses preference for dualism. 132. 108 . Mediation idea. 107. 106 . 243. difference between Mith. Mithra. repre. 82 spread . 105 . 122. 346 ism. . . 319. 347. chief characters. O. at Pompeii. 28. 106 . creature of Ormuzd. of later date than Hiad. 89. in Avesta. . essentially a system of symbolism. 107 the central x>ersonage. 90 to be condemned. as a creature. quoted. 209. Mills. 214. 149 generation doctrine applied to whole trinity. of. 65. sign of saintliness connection with or divinity.. 107 . 15 8i)ecial sacredness of seven and three. ethical teaching 310. 78. a member of trinity. the miraculous birth of Christ. . sign of cross. 347 laws of nature may admit of excepwith Dr. sents the traditional pre-Darwlnian view of nature and miracle. Origen. . 150 the world. product of imagicomparison of Greek nation. 81 . 102. 106 its theme. pagan temple. Mill. half-brother to Chris- Pantheon. laid foundation of completed dogma of Holy Spirit as third person. 243 . ." 278. Greek training of. L. evolution. relation to Indian. 150. French historian. . Pythagorean idea of the propitious character of odd numbers. made the keynote of Paul's Christology. Epistle to Hebrews. raic and Christian. . 148. dedicated to " Mary and all the saints. as the primitive revelation. 89. second person of trinity a woman» 113 . Mythology. the great mediator. Penelope. James. Abbott. 105. temples by Theodosius. " System of Ethics. sacredness 348. 242 regarded H. . un- . Nimbus. 81 in later Zoroastrianism. 136. ." but not deified. Old Testament. 89 Mithoverthrown by Christian emperors. 91. 136 accepts full historicity of Scripholds that the ture miracles. defended against view of Dr. 27 .

quoted. moral power quoted on Apostlea* . " otherness " the bridge from transcendent tics. 159. found in the Egyptian Osiris myth. 174 . 161 . in theology. 153 philosophical system Greek Fathers. 8 . evolution. 180. ruling feature of his system. 119.. 138 seeks to bring Plato's three principles of existence into harmony with the Egyptian . Osiris. and descended Roman religion. 134. 258. 143 opened the path from theism to pantheism. 161 " Sameness and Otherness. basis of . a philosophic trinity. 133. Sayce. religious genius. on Christian morals. Rdville. 131 " mediator " not a strict person. quoted. historical view of ori. Professor. aim practical and reanalysis of famous ligious. Renan. Professor. V. 154 trinity alone the . of key. . ethical and Horus. book of. letter to Marcella. quoted. adopted. Philo. 77 . monistic rather than dualistic. opposed use of Homer " in education. 307 .e<7tr»js (medianot a trinitarian. 341. 21 Creed." 74 a Platonist. R^ville. 62 . Etruscan origin. subordination of second and third hypostases. 76. 16 styles the gods *' saviours. 248. . 136 a philosophical eclectic. 210. called God. 90. media. . 309. 157 . Ahriman of A vesta. Satan. Numenius. Origen's doctrine of. 24 . ity. 154 built a metaphysical trinity on Platonic foundatrinity has no mytholotions. . " lie in words sometimes necessary. 125 media. Albert. no divine incarnation. 86. chapter. opposes Gnosdualistic . Revelation. assumes idealistic dualism. 152 differences between Porphyry. 156 a man originality of genius. comparison of R. 126 world is produced. appendix to Greek. 228. 131 tion. trinitarian germs. . 376 Petrie. 157 . G. Plotinian work . souls trin116 abstract character. 232. 136 new philosophic key.. P. velopment of doctrine of. 173. quoted. . suggestion concerning origin of Apostles' Creed. led the way to the trinity of Numeuius. them. trinity with Greek. 148. Zoroastrian ele- ments. Sanday. 157 of faith. Schaff. 176 . peculiar double character of third hypostasis. troduced the term /u. in the Enneads. Flindera. ." Plato's . 132 . 117 from metaphysical world. 144 two steps towards it. triad. 145. traditional view of its origin. 126 three principles how the phenomenal of being. 308 . quoted. Isis. Jean. . drawn indirectly from Zoroastrianism. 155 gical background. church. 234. eliminated fabulous materials from philosophy. 164. 130 historical founder of in- Plutarch. E. 16. affinity trinitarian development. Plotinus. wholly transcendental. 166 . of a single Rawlinson. his tor). Plato. Histoire du dogme de la divinitS de JSsus Christ. held in great repute by Aristotle. developing Logos . 134 . 23. 117 . germ of Logos doctrine. 173 soul homoousios with God. La Religion sous les Severes. quoted. 110 . 177 of. on Egyptian trinities. 178. 86. influence of. Polycarp. historical connection with . 127 . 307 . idealistic dualist. . views. gin. Elder.. 128 . 168 . 88. thinker. 258. INDEX agency in . 135 . . 8. essentially original. 175 three hypostases not personal beings. Pliny. doctrine. quoted. 172 . 160. logos mediation theology. in dethe 174 limits trinitarian evolution to three. 138 . 7 Paul most influential expoimder. 160.. to material world. 1. 126. eternal generation of trinity. tion doctrine. Polytheism. Epistle of. 15. Reconstruction. . Capitoline trinity. 152 influence of Plato and Pythagoras. mimortal. 142 not real. Father. . . . quoted. unique power as a . . prepared way for Plotinus. full evolution of a trinity.

10." Boston. two sides or aspects. freedom and peace. F. 96 found in aU parts of world. ." spurious. 361. 17. 94 of sun. 340. note . persistency of trinitarian idea. . according to Aristotle. supernatural son of Zoroaster. Swastica. more complex than ordinarily supposed. 368. 351 . : Triadal idea. . 360. 22 stage toward pantheism. . 231 baptismal formula. watchwords of the future. Zoroastrian. the new problem. 96. its origin. T. quoted. 12 gin unknown. 356. quoted. 366 . Zoroastrian "saviour. 231. 16. 7 Trimurti. 224. way house from polytheism . quoted. 61. 74. Soaiosh." Pythagorean term. 351 . demonism velopment rapid. 248. compared with Browning. 342 . 359 new theology not metaphysical but moral. 246. D. Shedd. "Transcript. divine messenger of Ormuzd to raise the dead and judge the world. . 43-45. feature. result of a long evolution. Symbolism. Three. Trinities. Tauribolium. 83. 43. 32 result from Trinitarianism. original significance. 11. 343 victory of science and historical criticism. Talmud. 354. Servius. versus dualism. fundamental in human thought and language. 357 . a halfto the doctrine of the divine unity.99." 362 optimistic hopefulness.. . false assumption that Ethnic religious systems are problem of Chriseffete. " Letters of Paul and Seneca. Theophilus. rite of Mithraic wor- " Teaching of Twelve Apostles. of the twentieth. usual form of oath. 355. . quoted. the complete harmonizing of scientific. of cross. of cross and wheel. ship. 368. mythical being. 344. note great Oriental religions cannot be overthrown by theological dogmas. first in trinitarian form. Theologry. relation to Pantheism. movement. 78. 35 . 377 commentator on Virgil. Strauss. Symbols. 19. . 244 how it entered into Christian theology. 95 their religious character. alike under the common law of historical evo- human .. 344. . the new problem of." 231 doxol<^es monotheistic. 342. 14. common needs of religious instincts and nature. 98 . G. " Origin of Species. Tennyson. 355. . 32 . . H. 29 of diverse and independent origin. mortal confiict betweeen law of iminterrupted evolution and the traditional principle of supernatural intervention by special creation and miracle.. Hindoo gammated cross. 344 the new. Christ the " servant of God. Ethnic and Christian." 343 . 14 . 345 . note. 341 contrast with problem of nineteenth century. Browning. historical and religious truth. quoted. . a principle of nature according to Aristotle. history of its evolution. widely spread over the world. *' Tetractys. quoted. 118. 366. downfall of old theology. 241. construction of new theology simple and easy.. Triads. must be scientific. 9 . why trinity rather than duad or quatemity. INDEX Seneca." 229 inchoate . W. effect of harmonizing of science and religion on missionary . . Smith. 350 other aspect of problem.. 354. 62. anthropological. 94. . 98. comparatively late historical oriin development. 358. 367 faith. 36. 74 . makes "wisdom" third person in place of H. Triad." 73. Alfred. 364 Tennyson as representative of reUgioua temper of nineteenth century. character of no trace of 231 Pauline mediatorship. 231 . Hindoo. B. subject to various evolutionary changes. 61 . illustrates trinitarian idea. Ethnic. quoted. effect of Bushnell's "Chrisgrounds for tian Nurture. 10. 14. why comparatively incomplete. 366 essential tianization of world . . explanation of rise of. 75. the complete or perfect number. . S.

72 closely akin trinity (Greek. 65. 65 . in Ethnic religions. and Christ. quoted. incarnation of. before Christian era. trinito later Judaism. 73 . its later dualism. . 274 resemblances radical. 243. comparison of Vkdas.. post-exilic Jewish Ultssbs. 73 three stages 243. 15. 47. mediational terms characterize Ethnic trinities as the Christian Watts. 106. 66. the word gious teachings of. the closest bond. to external rather than internal causes. 70. whether a myth. 318. 12. Latin. Vishnu. 69 quoted. internal resemblances. Christian dogma of. Zoroastrianism. INDEX 219. Brahmanic. monotheist. explanation 43.378 lutjon.Westcott. 250 mediation Virgin births. in Virgil. 121. 16 Capitoline trinity development of. . Trinity. 19. 168-188). tian eschatology. an evolution. quoted. . Zend-Avesta. 73. 51. . a practical recised. theism. a reaction from poly(A. illustrated in case Z. 73 historical connection between Z. 369. Isaac. 268 . . 267 French critic quoted. to be part of original revelation in Zoroaster. JSneid compared with Odyssey. quoted. 67 . historical contas) does not appear till Theophilus nection with J. . or historiGenesis. . completed differences superficial. "social trinity" critical person. Bishop. 222. 266. . reliof third person.. 37. life largely legendary. 75. supposed 91. Buddha. 65. rpias. element. former. 37. in the JCneid. hero of Odyssey. 222. . D. and Chris. 122. 279. 239. internal differences. fatalism. . Vedic. 270 in. Christian dogma derived from Greek philosophy. 219 a historical of resemblances between lives of evolution. ideas derived from. 64. flexibility of Christian dogma due Wordsworth. character of hymns. 64 . dates of. 120. dogma. internal characteristics. 71.


S.^ U. Cambridge. A.ElectrotyPed and printed by H. Mass. Houghton &* Co. O. .

. but facts derived by positive methods. the product of many years of research.Press Notices of Dr. It is both critical and constructive. or a more revolutionary Biblical Worlds Chicago. made by those who accept the results of unprejudiced critical processes for a theology resting. George B. criticism. not on assumptions. No more quickening. Paine's Previous Work : A CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE EVOLUTION OF TRINITARIANISM AND ITS OUTCOME Crown IN THE NEW CHRISTOLOGY 8vOj gilt top. exposition of Augustinianism. It is a frank and candid not fail of adequate criticism. Our author outdoes the most extreme Ritschlians in his view of the needlessness and harmfulness of metaphysics in Within the limits of a brief review it is only theology. Standard. Prof. he vigorous. Yale Divinity School. It is the work of an acute and reverent mind. The author has many ways lucid and striking qualities of style . the demands consciousness. and It is to be hoped that it will deserves to be taken seriously. and is a highly finished fruit of the naturalistic school. absorbing. This is a book which every serious-minded minister should read in order that he may understand the spirit of the hisHere is an investigator torical school of theological study. reflection. and voices well. — is al- . Hartford Seminary Record. let it be frankly and candidly met and answered. possible to give a resume of a book which raises a multitude of fundamental questions in history. book . and philosophy. . and stimulating book could be taken by a minister for occasional reading in his summer holidays. Chicago. and whose methods and processes strike deep into the very foundations of the dogmatic structure of Christianity. . Its significance lies in the fact that it is an expression of to-day's theological selfIt voices. who deals with the fundamentals. in The on — — — London Christian World. would be difficult to find elsewhere a more lucid presentation of Athauasian trinitarianism.00 There have been few works on theology published within recent years more deserving of serious attention than this volume of Professor Paine's. The book is written in a most vigorous and pellucid style. A noteworthy book. Professor Paine shows himself an exceedingly acute and It stimulating expositor of the development of doctrine. $2. and teaching. Stevens.

Nashville. The — Advance. and force.Marks a stage far in advance of anything that has come from the pen of a Congregationalist. and a very honorable and important part. Zion's Herald. The Christian Register. Professor Paine writes with the deeply sincere convictions of an earnest seeker after truth. Boston. It is a comfort to read one who hates The Independent. In style the book is stimulating from its lucidity. as I am immensely interested in the book as res gesta. Dr. The Presbyterian.. Boston. Unity. the new school of thinkers. Chicago. as one of its hostile critics admits. a part of contemporary ecclesiastical history. Tenn. the result of thirty years of continuous and critical study and meditation. Bacon. — — A . one of the ablest and subtlest presentations of The style is direct. . . Dr. Wm. . Norwich. and with the fullest recognition — — of the prevalent differences of opinion. This is a profound book. It is the boldest book which we have had from any Orthodox enclosure. The key-note of the book is Faith in God and not in dogma. Chicago. This volume supplies a discussion of the historical development of the doctrine of the Trinity which for clarity and suggestiveness has not been surpassed for many years in the field of American theology. a fog of words. Boston Transcript. New York. publican. The strength of the book is in its historical method. Matthews. thorough. Any one who has time for a careful study of Christian doctrines will find this book honest. . in the frankest and most straightforward manner. . accuracy. He has courage to come out and tell from the housetops what other scholars have been muttering among themselves Springfield Rein a corner in all our leading seminaries. It seems to me that one of the most remarkable things about your very remarkable book is the way the world (including the Church) has taken it. Leonard W. It is immensely significant as the work of a teacher in one of our most conservative theological institutions. Conn. — — — — — — . in the and clear as rock-water.. MIFFLIN AND COMPANY Boston and New York . As an unequivocal expression of the transitional forms of belief of the modern scientific school of theology it will take rank as a very noteworthy volume. radically good book. and shall we say it ? free from that propensity to lie for the truth's sake which characterizes so large a part of theological production. Beyond all question the book is. — — HOUGHTON. written by a master in one of our theological schools. terse.





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