Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

will precede alarm, and alarm conviction, and conviction confession, and confession faith, and faith will be followed by hope, and peace, and joy, and holiness. The understanding may be first enlightened, or the sensibilities may be moved, or the conscience may be quickened. Sometimes the result is all that can be wished; the sinner is renewed and forever united to Christ. In other instances the case of Saul is repeated—“The Spirit of the Lord came upon him and gave him another heart,” but not the new heart; he was changed, but he was not regenerated. And sometimes, as the Saviour teaches in the parable of the sower, the influence is temporary and superficial. Often, very often, do men receive the grace of God in vain. The Spirit is a righteous Sovereign, and men can vex his benignant heart and limit his influence so that He may stop short in His work of mercy; and thus this gracious power, moving in the depths of the soul, secretly guiding, inspiring, urging the sinner to renounce his sin and flee to Christ, is banished and withdraws. There are six forms of expression made use of in the Bible to set forth the activity of the human soul against the presence, power, and grace of the Divine Spirit; these are “resist,” “limit," "grieve," "provoke," "vex,” “quench.” And the responsibility of men under these influences of the Holy Spirit is to the last degree solemn. For these sacred influences all look and tend to actual regeneration. They are the preparations of the Holy Ghost in the sinner with a view to that mighty change.* They look to the breaking down of

* John Owen (vol. iii., p. 329, Goold's edition) says, “There are ordinarily certain previous and preparatory works or workings in and upon the souls of men that are antecedent and dispositive unto regeneration.” John Howe (vol. i. p. 413, London ed. 1822—see also p. 430,) says, “ We must know there are vincible operations of that Spirit, leading on to those that are victorious, being complied with; otherwise to the most terrible vengeance.” Vol. v. p. 23:-" There are many previous workings in order to regeneration, wherein the Spirit of God is frequently resisted; that is the workings and operations of common grace which lead and tend to this special work of grace.” The Larger Catechism, in answer to Q. 68, Are the elect only effectually called ? says:—“All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the word, and have some common operations of the Spirit; who for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.” (See also Shedd's History of Christian Doctrine," vol. i. p. 68.)

the barriers which so long had shut out all the love of God the Father, and all the grace and goodness of God the Son. This, according to the Bible and the experience of Christians is almost universally the method pursued by the Spirit of God. He convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of a judgment to come, before He performs that work by which the soul is savingly renewed and comforted and sanctified.

And there being no fourth person in the Godhead, and the love of the Father and the love of the Son having been rejected, the Holy Spirit is man's last, man's only hope.* The Father and the Son are accessible only by the Spirit. If the work of this Divine Person is thwarted, if His influences are overborne and quenched, if He is grieved away and finally departs, then all is over with the sinner. He is joined to his idols, God the Spirit departs from him, eternal “woe" is his portion.

Thus we see that it is not merely by the manifestation of such love as that of God the Father in the sacrificial gift of his only begotten Son, nor by that of the matchless kindness of God the Son, in His incarnation and death, that our actual salvation is effected, but by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; through whom we are brought into fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and receive the fulness of their separate and combined love in the great mystery of redemption. The love of God the Father and the grace of Christ are rendered effectual only by the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit.

* Owen, vol. iii. p. 28, says:-—"As God hath not another Son to offer, another sacrifice for sin, so that he by whom His sacrifice is despised can have none remaining for him; no more hath He another Spirit to make that sacrifice effectual unto us, if the Holy Spirit in His work be despised and rejected."

Art. •III.— The Monophysite Churches of the East. By

PHILIP SCHAFF, D. D., New York.

The Monophysites, like their antagonists the Nestorians, have maintained themselves in the East as separate sects under their own bishops and patriarchs, even to the present day; thus proving the tenacity of those Christological errors, which acknowledge the full Godhead and manhood of Christ, while those errors of the ancient church, which deny the Godhead or the manhood, (Ebionism, Gnosticism, Manichæism, Arianism, &c.,) as sects, have long since vanished. These Christological schismatics stand, as if enchanted, upon the same position which they assumed in the fifth century. The Nestorians reject the third oecumenical councils, the Monophysites the fourth; the former hold the distinction of natures, even to abstract separation; the latter, the fusion of the two natures in one, with a stubbornness which has defied centuries, and forbids their return to the bosom of the orthodox Greek church. They are properly the ancient national churches of Egypt, Syria, and Armenia, in distinction from the orthodox Greek church, and the united or Roman church of the East.

The Monophysites are scattered upon the mountains, and in the valleys and deserts of Syria, Armenia, Assyria, Egypt, and Abyssinia, and, like the orthodox Greeks of those coun: tries, live mostly under Mohammedan, partly under Russian rule. They supported the Arabs and Turks in weakening, and at last conquering the Byzantine Empire, and thus furthered the ultimate victory of Islam. In return, they were variously favoured by the conquerors, and upheld in their separation from the Greek church. They have long since fallen into stagnation, ignorance, and superstition, and are to Christendom as a praying corpse to a living man. They are isolated fragments of the ancient church history, and curious petrifactions from the Christological battle-fields of the fifth and sixth centuries, coming to view amidst Mohammedan scenes. But Providence has preserved them, like the Jews, and doubtless not without design, through storms of war and persecution, unchanged

until the present time. Their very hatred against the orthodox Greek church makes them more accessible both to Protestant and Roman missions, and to the influences of Western Christianity and Western civilization.

On the other hand, they are a door for Protestantism to the Arabs and the Turks; to the former through the Jacobites, to the latter through the Armenians. There is the more reason for such a hope in the fact that the Mohammedans despise the oriental churches, and must be won, if at all, by a purer type of Christianity. In this respect the American missions among the Armenians in the Turkish Empire are, like those among the Nestorians in Persia, of great prospective importance as outposts of a religion which is destined sooner or later to regenerate the East.

With the exception of the Chalcedonian Christology, which they reject as Nestorian heresy, most of the doctrines, institutions, and rites of the Monophysite sects are common to them with the orthodox Greek church. They reject, or at least do not recognize the filioque; they hold to the mass, or the Eucharistic sacrifice, with a kind of transubstantiation; leavened bread in the Lord's Supper; baptismal regeneration by trine immersion; seven sacraments, (yet not explicitly, since they either have no definite term for sacrament, or no settled conception of it); the patriarchal polity; monasticism, pilgrimages, and fasting; the requisition of a single marriage for priests and deacons, (bishops are not allowed to marry); the prohibition of the eating of blood, or of things strangled.

On the other hand, they know nothing of purgatory and indulgences, and have a simpler worship than the Greeks and Romans. According to their doctrine, all men after death go into Hades, a place alike without sorrow or joy; after the general judgment they enter into heaven, or are cast into hell; and meanwhile the intercessions and pious works of the living have an influence on the final destiny of the departed. Like the orthodox Greeks, they honour pictures and relics of the saints, but not in the same degree. Scripture and tradition are with them coördinate sources of revelation and rules of faith. The reading of the Bible is not forbidden, but is limited by the ignorance of the people themselves. They use in wor

ship the ancient vernacular tongues, which, however, are now dead languages to them.

There are four branches of the Monophysites: the Syrian JACOBITES; the Copts, including the ABYSSINIANS; the ARMENIANS; and the less ancient MARONITES.

I. The JACOBITES in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Babylonia. Their name comes down from their æcumenical* metropolitan, JACOB, surnamed BARADAI, or ZANZALUS.T This remarkable man, in the middle of the sixth century, devoted himself for seven and thirty years (541-578), with unwearied zeal to the interests of the persecuted Monophysites. “Lightfooted as Azahel"I and in the garb of a beggar, he journeyed hither and thither amid the greatest dangers and privations; revived the patriarchate of Antioch; ordained bishops, priests, and deacons; organized churches; healed divisions, and thus saved the Monophysite body from impending extinction.

The patriarch bears the title of Patriarch of Antioch, because the succession is traced back to Severus of Antioch; but he commonly resides in Diarbekir, or other towns or monasteries. Since the fourteenth century the patriarch has always borne the name Ignatius, after the famous martyr and bishop of Antioch.

The Jacobite monks are noted for gross superstition and rigorous asceticism. A part of the Jacobites have united with the church of Rome. Lately some Protestant missionaries from America have also found entrance among them.

II. The Coptss in Egypt are in nationality the genuine descendants of the ancient Egyptians, though with an admixture of Greek and Arab blood. Soon after the council of Chalcedon, they chose Timotheus Ælurus in opposition to the

* Ecumenical, i. e., not restricted to any particular province.

† From his beggarly clothing. Baradai signifies in Arabic and Syriac, horseblanket of coarse cloth, and ośársunov, is vile aliquid et tritum. (See Rödiger in Herzog's Encycl. vi. 401.) $ 2 Sam. ii. 18.

From A igurtos, Guptos, and not, as some suppose, from the town Koptos, nor from an abbreviation of Jacobite. They are the most ancient, but Christian Egyptians, in distinction from the Pharaonic (Chem), those of the Old Testament (Mizrim), the Macedonian or Greek ('Arg.) and the modern Arab Egyptians (Mizr.)

VOL. XXXVIII.-NO. IV. 72

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »