Theology of the Logos – Part 4: Statement and Solution of the Third Question

After the solution of the two questions concerning the entity of the Logos, the following may be stated as a third question concerning Him. Since the prime and essential attribute of the substance of the Logos has been proved to be His divine nativity, or state of being begotten of God, while eternity has been proved to be the prime and direct and natural consequence of His nativity, the question now is what other attributes can be logically and necessarily educed from this prime attribute.

From the nativity we can logically and must necessarily educe His sameness of essence, equality, only-begottenness, and nobility, as is shown by the following logical reflection:

Generation, or begetting, is defined to be production of a living essence from a living essence; and everything that is begotten has the same essence as has that which begets it. That is to say, it is of the same essence with what begot it. Since the being of the Logos is admitted to be begotten of the Father, it necessarily has the same essence that God has; that is to say, it is of the same essence with the Generator. For, if it were not of the same essence, God would be producing out of His own essence another essence; God would be not simple in essence, but composite and a mixture of various essences, which is a monstrous and blasphemous thing to say of God. Therefore, if the being of the Logos is begotten of God, it is necessarily of the same essence, or homoousian, as the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicea most rightly and logically dogmatized, anathematizing the heteroousian dogma as blasphemous and false. But the Arians, who denied the homoousian character of the Logos, also denied the divine nativity, or the character of being begotten of God, converting it into something created out of nothing. Sophisticating, they censured the term “homoousian” on the ground that it is not to be found in the Bible.

But if the nativity is testified to by the Bible in countless places, how can it be said that the sameness of essence that necessarily fol­lows from it is not also testified to? Moreover, the difference of essence, or heteroousianity, of the Arians and the creation out of non­entity are not only nowhere met with in the Scriptures, but are opposed and discountenanced by what is written adversely to it. The incarnate Logos directly and immediately ascribes sameness of essence, or homo­ousianity, to Himself, saying: “I and my Father are one. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” If the Logos were of another essence than that of His Father, he that had seen Him would not have seen His Father, being of another essence; while the statement “I and my Father are one” would be shown to be false, and not true.

Obviously, therefore, the Bible ascribes homoousianity to the Logos and excludes the blasphemous heteroousianity of the Arians, and the doctrine of homoousianity is confirmed and proved both logically and Scripturally, while the heresy opposed to it is disproved both logically and Scripturally, and anathematized as false. This science of Logic verifies the dogmas of the Orthodox Church of Christ, proving them to be true, and strengthens the saving faith in them; on the other hand, it disproves the irrationalities and contradictions of the heretics, who have been given over to a reprobate mind to do things improper, because they did not care to have full knowledge of God, which has been clearly revealed to them both by words and by works.

His sameness of essence having been very clearly proved by the fact of His being begotten, the equality of the Logos with His God and Father is likewise proved along with it, in spite of its denial by the Arians and semi-Arians, who denied both the sameness of essence and the fact of being begotten of God. Sameness of essence and equality are inseparably and necessarily conceived together in co­eternal persons having the same essence and nature, and the contrary idea of inequality is excluded from them by all kinds of argument. For a perfect God would not beget a Son unequal to Himself – that is, imperfect and inferior to Him; nor can a rational intellect conceive the Logos who is of the same essence with God as being a little or a great deal inferior to God, but must conceive Him to be exactly equal, just as the Evangelist declared, saying: “And the Word was God.” The prime equality, exact equality, eternal equality, equality itself, the idea of which was passionately sought by Platonic philosophy through the many things that are equal, is to be found between the two co-eternal substances of Father and Son, between the first and perfect Mind and the first and perfect Logos, whose distinct sub­stances, being exactly equated, constitute the prime, immutable equal­ity; the prime, steadfast balance; and the prime, well-balanced and just beam, whence springs the universal law of equality and balance which reigns throughout creation and holds it together in safety.

Since the begotten and homoousian entity of the Logos is exactly equal to the unbegotten and uncaused entity of God, it is for this rea­son characterized as and named the first Idea of the first Being, His first Image, and the first Truth. It is called an Idea as being the cause of awareness and of scientific knowledge; an Image as being exactly like the original; the Truth on the ground that contemplation of it removes obliviousness and ignorance, revealing the ever-existent God and bringing to light all His perfection. For this reason the be­gotten being of the Logos is also the only begotten; because God begets but one Idea, one Image, one Truth; He could not beget two or more Ideas of Himself. God is one, and there is but one Idea, Image, and Truth of God that truly and exactly depicts and represents Him. The only-begotten being of the Logos is begotten of God like light of light, as a perfect refulgence of the first self-illumined and self-knowing and all-knowing essence; and this only-begotten being is also noble – that is, of good descent – because it is due to the best and finest begetting out of the best and finest essence. Moreover, this only-begotten and noble essence and nature, this only-begotten and noble Being, as such is the prime beauty and the perfect expression and representation of perfect beautifulness, the contemplation of which insatiably delights the beholder and makes him really blissful. Be­sides all this, it is the first boon out of the first boon, for which our nature yearns and by which alone it becomes blissful. In sum, the entity of the Logos, because it is begotten of God, is therefore also eternal and homoousian and equal with the unbegotten and uncaused entity of God, being the only-begotten as well as noble, and possessing all the attributes that God possesses, except those of being unbegotten and of being a father, because it is a natural impossibility for the be­gotten Son to be at the same time the unbegotten Father. The state of not-having-been-begotten and the state of being-begotten, or father­ship and sonship, distinguish the two substances that are co-eternal, of which one is conceived to be the first and uncaused and absolute prin­ciple, while the other is conceived to be the first and immediate con­sequence of the first principle, with which indeed it eternally co-exists. Out of this eternal co-existence of the first principle with the first consequence springs the universal law of causality and of rationality, according to which the tree is known by its fruit, and the inevident cause is discovered from the evident effect of it, and from knowledge of the cause its effect can be foreknown. The science of logic and all science is founded upon this law and is formed by its correct application.

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