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Even if metaphorical, such language might give shelter to unfair disputants; but we are not answerable for the slips of teachers who failed to perceive all the consequences of doctrinal truths really held by them.
This name He took to Himself ( Matthew ; John ), while the Fourth Gospel declares Him to be the Word (Logos), Who in the beginning was with God and was God, by Whom all things were made. Paul, in his undoubtedly genuine Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians.But a view so unlike tradition found little favour; it required softening or palliation, even at the cost of logic ; and the school which supplanted Arianism from an early date affirmed the likeness, either without adjunct, or in all things, or in substance, of the Son to the Father, while denying His co-equal dignity and co-eternal existence. They approached, in strict argument, to the heretical extreme; but many of them held the orthodox faith, however inconsistently; their difficulties turned upon language or local prejudice, and no small number submitted at length to Catholic teaching .The Semi-Arians attempted for years to invent a compromise between irreconcilable views, and their shifting creeds, tumultuous councils, and worldly devices tell us how mixed and motley a crowd was collected under their banner.The point to be kept in remembrance is that, while they affirmed the Word of God to be everlasting, they imagined Him as having become the Son to create the worlds and redeem mankind.Among the ante-Nicene writers, a certain ambiguity of expression may be detected, outside the school of Alexandria, touching this last head of doctrine. that there was only one God ; and the Trinity, that this Absolute One existed in three distinct subsistences; and the Circuminession, that Father, Word, and Spirit could not be separated, in fact or in thought, from one another; yet an opening was left for discussion as regarded the term "Son," and the period of His "generation" ( gennesis ).