Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Their own advantage, unallied, unbound;
Their blood the mortar-building from the ground;
Their cares the statutes, making all anew;
To learn to trust the many, not the few;
To bend the mind to discipline; to break

The bonds of old convention, and forget
The claims and barriers of class; to face
A desert land, a strange and hostile race,

And conquer both to friendship by the debt
That Nature pays to justice, love, and toil:
Here, on this Rock, and on this sterile soil,
Began the kingdom not of Kings, but Men,
Began the making of the world again.
Here centuries sank, and from the hither brink,
A New World reached and raised an Old World link,
When England's hands, by wider vision taught,
Threw down the feudal bars the Norman brought,
And here revived, in spite of sword and stake,
The ancient freedom of the Wapentake.

Here struck the seed the Pilgrims' roofless town,
Where equal rights and equal bonds were set,
Where all the People equal-franchised met,

Where doom was writ of Privilege and Crown, Where human breath blew all the idols down, Where crests were naught, where vulture flags were

furled, And Common Men began to own the world.

RIGEN, an ecclesiastical writer, surnamed

ADAMANTIUS; born at Alexandria, Egypt,

in A.D. 185; died at Tyre in 254. He was of Greek descent, and wrote in Greek. He was by birth a Christian, and, his father having suffered martyrdom, he, with his mother and her seven children, was left in poverty. He in time opened a school at Alexandria, which became famous. He lived a life of the utmost austerity. After many and varied experiences, which need not here be detailed, he opened, in 231, what we may call a theological seminary at Cæsarea, in Palestine. When the Decian persecution Lroke out, in 251, Origen was imprisoned and put to torture; but was eventually released, and died soon afterward.

Origin has been styled “the father of Biblical criticism and exegesis.” Jerome says of him: “He was a man of immortal genius, who understood logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, grammar, rhetoric, and all the sects of the philosophers.” But the main subject of his labors belongs to the domain of theology, upon which he was a voluminous writer, even though the statement that he wrote 6,000 books may be set down as an exaggeration. His extant works (some of them being fragments, and others existing only in an early translation into Latin) are the Hexapla (“Sixfold," because it contained, in parallel columns, the Hebrew text, written in Greek character, the Septuagint version, and those of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion); Commentaries on the Scriptures, and the treatises on Principles, on Prayer, on Martyrdom, and Against Celsus.

On certain speculative points Origen advanced views quite different from those which have come to be generally accepted throughout Christendom. To set these forth at length, and in the words of Origen, would require a volume. We shall therefore present

. the summaries as given in Cave's History of Literature and Schaff's Church History.

UNENDING METEMPSYCHOSES AND PROBATION.

Origen was accused of maintaining that the death of Christ was advantageous not to men only, but to angels, devils, nay, even to the stars and other insensible things, which he supposed to be possessed of a rational soul, and, therefore, to be capable of sin; that all rational natures whether devils, human souls, or any other were created by God from eternity, and were originally pure intelligences, but afterward, according to the various use of their free-will, were dispersed among the various orders of angels, men, or devils. That angels and other supernatural beings were clothed with subtile and ethereal bodies, which consisted of matter, although in comparison with our grosser bodies they may be called incorporeal and spiritual. That the souls of all rational beings, after putting off one state, pass into another, either superior or inferior, according to their respective behavior. And that thus, by a kind of perpetual transmigration, one and the soul may successively — and even often

- pass through all the orders of rational beings. And that hence the souls of men were thrust into the prison of bodies for offences committed in some former state; and that when loosed from hence, they will become either angels or devils as they shall have deserved. That, however, neither the punishment of men or devils, nor the joys of the saints, shall be eternal; but that all shall return to their original state of pure intelligences, to begin the same round over and over again. — Cave, History of Literature.

same

THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST.

Origen brings the Son as near as possible to the essence of the Father, not only making him the absolute personal Wisdom, Truth, Righteousness, Reason, but also expressly predicating eternity of him, and propounding the Church dogma of the Eternal Generation of the Son. This Generation he usually presents as proceeding from the Will of the Father; but he also conceives it as proceeding from his Essence; and hence, at least, in one passage, in a fragment on the Epistle to the Hebrews, he applies the term homoousios to the Son thus declaring him co-equal in substance with the Father. This idea of Eternal Generation, however, has a peculiar form in him, from its close connection with his doctrine of an eternal creation. He can no more think of the Father without the son that of an almighty God without creation, or of light without radiance. Hence he describes this generation not as a single instantaneous act, but, like creation, ever going on. But on the other hand, he distinguishes the Essence of the Son from that of the Father; speaks of a difference of Substance; and makes the Son decidedly inferior to the Father.

Origen ascribes to the Holy Ghost eternal existence; exalts him, as he does the Son, far above all creatures, and considers him as the source of all charisms — especially as the principle of all illumination and holiness of believers under the Old Covenant and the New. But he places the Spirit in essence, dignity, and efficiency below the Son, as far as he places the Son below the Father. And though he grants, in one passage, that the Bible nowhere calls the Holy Ghost a creature, yet, according to another somewhat obscure sentence, he himself inclines to the view - which, however, he does not avow - that the Holy Ghost had a beginning (though, according to his system, not in time but from eternity), and is the first and most excellent of all things produced by the Logos.

In the same connection he adduces three opinions concerning the Holy Ghost; one, regarding him as not having an origin; another, ascribing to him no separate personality; and a third, making him a being originated by the Logos. The first of these opinions he rejects, because the Father alone is without origin. The second he rejects, because in Matt. xii. 32, the Spirit is plainly distinguished from the Son. The third he takes for the true and Scriptural view, because everything was made by the Logos. — SCHAFF, Church History.

ORIGIN'S THEOLOGICAL SYSTEM.

Following the direction which Justin Martyr, and especially Clement of Alexandria, had pursued, Origen sought to create, with the aid of the philosophy of his day, a science of Christian doctrine whose systematic structure should be equal to the systems of the philosophers. In doing this, he held very positively to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity as they had been handed down and defined in opposition to the heretics, especially the Gnostic heretics. But he found truths in the philosophocial systems, and tried to show that they were borrowed from the Bible, predicating, however, a general revelation of the Logos.-Schaff-Herzog Encylclopedia of Religious Knowledge.

« ElőzőTovább »