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facts contained, and which their faith required them to promulgate. This absence of a scientific and formulated creed, combined, as it is, in the letter of Clement, with definite and commonly received beliefs is, as we shall see in a subsequent part of this article, of great apologetic value.
We proceed now to arrange the doctrinal views of Clement as developed in various parts of his letter. And we begin with his Theology, using this term in its strict sense as denoting his doctrine concerning God. With Clement, God is the Supreme; be is the Creator of the universe, and all things are under his rule. The heavens are subject to him, and day and night pursue the course he has appointed. The earth yields its increase according to his will, and the sea “gathered together by his working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed round it." He is omnipotent, and with him nothing is impossible, except faithlessness. When, and as he pleases, he will do all things, and none of the things determined by him shall pass away." He is all-present, for all things are seen and heard by him. Knowledge, vast as the universe and infinite as the depths of his own nature, is attributed to him. As an all-merciful and beneficent Father, he regards with an infinite compassion all who fear him. The unity and perfection of God, as subsequently stated in a scientific theology, were held by Clement, and the Christians of his time, in all their fullness and integrity.
Believing devoutly, and stating clearly, the unity of the Divine essence, did Clement entertain that view of Deity which afterwards found expressions in trinitarian formula ? It will be necessary here to anticipate, in some measure, Clement's doctrine concerning the person of Christ. The doctrine of trinal distinction in the Godhead is not formally and precisely stated in any part of the letter ; but the question is, have we such views propounded as find their logical and exact expression in the subsequent formulas of the Church ? and have we reason to suppose that Clement would have regarded the trinitarian formula as a satisfactory expression of his own belief? These questions we think admit of definite answer; and the answer shows that had Clement been required by the force of controversy to give logical statement to his views, he would have adopted much the same formula as was afterwards adopted by the Church teachers. In chap. xxxvi. Clement advances the weighty argument with which the epistle to the Hebrews opens. Christ is affirmed to be superior to the angels; said to be the Son of God; begotten by God. In other chapters Clement is careful to mark that the angels are superior to man, and stand nearer God, and he is equally explicit in claiming for Christ a superiority to them; superiority he expresses by the phrase, “Son of God.” The exact significance of this phrase may be difficult to determine ; but it is obvious that it must mean more than it can possibly mean when applied to men or to angels. Had Christ in the estimate of Clement been man only, he neither could nor would have used the language he does; and had a humanitarian view of the person of Christ been generally held throughout Christendom, the epistle of Clement would never have met with the acceptance it did. Man is said to have been made, and angels take rank with the rest of the creation; but Christ, as the Son of God, is distinguished both from man and angels, and exalted above all creation. He inherits this name. It is his by right, inheritance obviously implying this. Authority and rule are also attributed to Christ. He is frequently called Lord; and this name is applied to him in such a manner that there can be no doubt Clement regarded him as divine. In ch. xxii. his pre-existence is unquestionably taught, for he is said to have spoken by the Holy Ghost the words contained in Psalm lxxxiii. 11-18. Repeatedly his sinlessness is affirmed, for in him we behold the immaculateness and excellence of Deity. That Clement placed Christ in a relation to God, such as neither angels nor men could claim, does not admit of question; he also attributes to Christ titles and agency truly and properly predicable of God alone; and in him he finds the source and medium of all blessings. Now, though Clement may not verbally identify Christ with God, yet what intelligible sense can we put upon his language if we deny that the divinity of Christ was among the most precious and fundamental of his beliefs ?
Throughout theepistle there are many references to the Holy Spirit, but nothing definite respecting His personality; still the allusions are so numerous, and are made in such a way, that the admission o his personality is demanded as a condition of any rational interpretation of the epistle. Some eight times he is spoken of as the Holy Spirit. He is said to have inspired the writers of the Scriptures. Quotations are introduced by the formula : for the Holy Ghost saith ; just as in other places the formula : for God said, is used. Certainly it is not a strained inference when we say that personality and divinity are as much implied in the one formula as the other. He is also said to persuade and convince sinners, and to strengthen and establish believers. Personality and divinity are not affirmed in so many words, but the epistle defies interpretation, if they be denied.
The theological doctrine advanced in this epistle forms a full and logical expression of the Church doctrine of the Trinity in Unity.
The Clementine cosmology and anthropology may be briefly stated. All things were created by God. Man was made in the image of God, he was formed the most excellent of all earthly creatures, and of great and dignified understanding. The whole
creation was very good and elicited the divine approval. There is no mention made of a fall, but there are numerous references to the presence and operation of evil in man, showing that man had not continued in the state in which he was created, but had departed from God and become the subject of evil.
The Christology of the epistle has been anticipated, in so far as the doctrine of the person of Christ is concerned; it remains for us now to notice the views propounded of Christ's work, and how men realise the blessings it provides. As might have been expected in a writing decidedly practical in its aim, there is much said about the influence of Christ's work in men, but its objective character is not altogether ignored. In chap. vii. we read, “Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world.” In chap. xvi. the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is quoted in reference to Christ and his sufferings, and is plainly accepted as expressing their significance. The scarlet thread being in the window of Rahab, is regarded as a type of the redemption provided by Christ, for the sign agreed upon between Rahab and the spies is said to have “ made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord, to all them that hope and believe in God.” In chap. xlix., where he sets forth the transcendent excellence of love, he says, “ On account of the love he bore
us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave his blood for us by the will of God, his flesh for our flesh, and his soul for our souls.” Though the substitutionary character of Christ's work is not explicitly stated, there can be no doubt respecting the view which Clement held. Christ died that men might be redeemed from the penalty to which they were justly liable; and that they might obtain blessings which by their own effort they could not clairn and secure.
According to Clementine teaching justification is by faith, not by works, as it is clearly stated in ch. 32: “The honour and greatness realised by saints in previous ages had not been realised by their own works, or through any righteousness of their own, but by the operation of the will of God. And, we too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart, but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men. There is not an explicit statement of a connection between faith and the death of Christ in the justification of sinful men, but such a passage as that quoted above, giving, as it does, a universal significance to faith, plainly supposes that such a connection existed in the mind of Clement; as does also such a phrase as, “the faith which is in Christ," ch. 22; as well as the reference to Isaac, and the reason which induced him to submit to be bound on the altar in the land of Moriab, ch. 31.
Every spiritual blessing is mediated to men through Christ, and all spiritual growth has its roots in Him. He is “the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity.” Through Him we look up to heaven. By Him we are enlightened, and it is through Him that we obtain the knowledge of immortality. He is the sanctifier of men, and the fountain of all grace. Obviously he stands in such a relation to the restoration of humanity, to the origination and development of spiritual life in man, as cannot be predicted of any other.
The ecclesiology revealed in this epistle is of a very simple character. Presbyters, or bishops, or overeers—it does not matter which appellative we employ-and deacons comprehend the orders recognized by Clement. The men who filled these offices were appointed with the consent of the whole Church; " and if they failed to faithfully and blamelessly discharge the obligations of their respective offices, Clement recognizes the right and power of the Church to dismiss them, but not for any other reason. He maintains that it is no light sin to eject from the office of oversight, those who, of excellent behaviour, had blamelessly and with honour discharged its obligations. But he never questions the right and power of the Church to dismiss unworthy persons. Clement never employs the term priest as designative of Christian teachers. He applies it to the Jewish sacerdotal class, but never to the ministers of the Christian Church. This carefully observed distinction indicates a distinction of character and work. Nothing can be found in Clement affording any countenance to the hierarchic and priestly pretensions of later times. The epistle containsno notice of the ancient mode of worship, beyond the fact that stated and regular assemblies were held, when devout and thoughtful service was offered to God, and the requisite contributions were presented for the maintenance of Church institutions. A grand simplicity pervades the ecclesiology of this ancient writing. It is as far removed as anything can well be from the authority, pomp, and splendour of subsequent hierarchies.
The eschatology of Clement is precise and clear. He devotes. three chapters to the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ he accepts as a fact supported by the most precise and abundant testimony, and this fact he regards as the first-fruits in which we have already the earnest of the general resurrection. He finds illustrations of this doctrine of a general resurrection in the succession of day and night, and in the process of vegetation. The sower casts his seed into the ground and there it dissolves, but out of the dissolution there comes an abundance of life. The fable of the Phoenix is also introduced in the same connection, and reference is made to statements in the book of Job and in the Psalms. The time and mode of our resurrection, and other related questions he does
not introduce, but he seems to have thought that the same body which was laid in the grave would be raised again. In ch. 34 he refers to the general judgment, when the Lord should come and render to every man according to his works. In ch. 35 he contrasts present Christian attainments with those things which God has prepared for such as wait for Him. And though the former are justly considered great, they are as nothing in comparison with the latter. The end and doom of sinners he describes in the same chapter. The result in each case appears to be final in the estimate of Clement.
The ethics of this epistle are lofty and pure. Falsehood, treachery, and violence of every kind, Clement prohibits. Envy, anger, and all uncharitable feeling be also declares to be wrong. The ethical teaching of the letter reaches in its prohibition not merely to action, but to thought and feeling, and it is equally farreaching on its positive side. Love to men in general, love to the Christian brotherhood in particular, care for the poor, regard for the weak, respect for properly constituted authorities, a faithful discharge of obligations in every relation of life, and underlying all, overtopping all, and permeating all, giving vitality and vigour to the spiritual and ethical life of man, an entire and constant consecration to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. A realised fellowship with God, and a consecration to His service, inclusive of all power and resource, not only changed the man, but altered the whole course and current of his life. This new and altered life gives the ethical side of Christianity, and anything higher or more comprehensive man neither requires nor is able to realize.
These are the principal dogmatic and ethical features of this epistle. A question now arises, as to how far Clement may be accepted as representing the moral and religious thought of his times. Without insisting upon any acquaintance, or personal intercourse between him and Paul, it is generally conceded that his life reaches back to the apostolic age; and, that if not personally intimate with apostles, he was familiar with many of their contemporaries. His presbytership in the imperial city, and the value attached to the epistle bearing his name, as attested by many of the early fathers, show the general respect in which he was held by the Christians of that period. A man in his position, with so excellent a character, and possessing even ordinary endowments, must have formed an extensive acquaintance with the current Christian beliefs of his times. He could not possibly be ignorant of the views of Christendom upon all doctrine and practice fundamentally affecting Christian condition and life. In official position and geographical location he was favourably situated for faithfully representing the prevailing thought and belief of his contemporaries. He appears also to have possessed the requisite intel