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No perfect Unity in Philo.
without the circle of contemplation. He could not at all answer the question, inasmuch as the physical categories with which he had to deal, dispense with all ideas of personality.
(2) The second question is: Whether Philo's Logos, (however it may be with the matter of hypostasis), can be conceived of as truly divine?
The answer to this has already in part been given. The first question of all is: Whether God himself is conceived of by Philo as truly divine, or rather is much more regarded only in a physical light? If the last is true, then his incongruity with Christianity is quite plain. In the domain of categories of natural objects, neither the discrepance, nor the unity, can obtain its full claims. (Compare, for example, the categories ground and existence, thing and its attributes, substantiality and mere appearance, whole and part, power and development, substance and accidence, in the second volume of the Hegelian Logic). Accordingly, if the true idea of God is lacking in Philo's Logos, true divinity must of course be lacking. But even the divine of Philo, as all agree, cannot actually belong to his Logos. What he regards as truly divine is incommunicable; or, to view it in another light, the Philonic absolute leaves no room for distinctions in the innermost divine sphere, but has only a circle of irradiation, a world of light around, in which it is reflected. This is the divine, as viewed in the light of its revelation, and as comprised in the Logos.
But to return from this special investigation; The two opposing sides of his system, constantly approaching and then receding from each other, are not correctly represented, when any person, in order to preserve unity, seeks to derive one out of the other. No real perfect unity can be found in Philo. The real state of the case is, that the old Hebrew idea marred by a pagan view of the world. Hence originates a kind of theogonic process; and the abstractness of his idea of God becomes in a measure unstable, by reason of another ethnical ingredient, viz., that derived from Emanation. On the other hand, his abstract monotheistic consciousness reäcts against any objective and eternal distinction in God, so that every concrete object, which is appealed to as an image of him in regard to his simple and absolute being, is directly denied in the sequel, and taken back. Philo's Monotheism omits the highest trait of Hebrew Monotheism, namely, the moral energy which speaks out in the righteousness of Jehovah, and that holiness which is certain of attaining the objects it has in view. From the old Hebrew ethics he falls back into the Pagan doctrine of nature. By this it is apparent, that he allows and does not allow a difference between God and the world; establishes a VOL. VII. No. 28. 60
theogonic and at the same time a cosmogonic process, and destroys the idea of God by that of the world, and again the idea of the world by that of God.
With special predilection have many of the recent investigators of Philo offered to our view this aspect of him, viz., that God, as viewed by him, is a being, who, in his pure absoluteness, is entirely simple and immutable. This absolute retraction of God within himself, they further say, makes an intermediate being, i. e. the Philonic Logos, to be necessary; who, consequently, cannot again be absorbed in God. Otherwise God himself would be placed in immediate contact with the world. It must, therefore, be a proper hypostasis although in a state of subordination.
It is true, that there are numerous passages in Philo, which speak of God's supremacy. That God is,' says Philo, we know from the world. Such a work of art, so great a city, came not into being of itself. But how God exists, it is impossible for us to discover. We should indeed seek after it, for the seeking has strong attractions; still, nothing in the world can tell us how God exists. Show thyself to me, said Moses. In the whole world I find not one who will tell me what thou art, thou must show thyself to me. I pray thee, suffer thyself to be implored by thy humble servant; and bring help, for thou only canst do this. For as the light, without being shined upon by any other thing, reveals itself, so canst thou, and only thou, show thyself."'
Some suppose, since he commends the desire to know God as noble and divine, that he here stands on the threshold of Wisdom, and demands a knowledge of God through revelation. But in what way does he represent God as answering Moses, who was his representative of human nature in its most pleasing attitude, his sage? Thus: "What thou askest is laudable; but thy request is fitted for no created being. It would be easy for me to grant it; but not for thee to receive the grant. I give to every one worthy of favor, as much as he can bear; but heaven and the world cannot comprehend me; how much less a human being?" It is not merely the unknowableness of God by men, which he maintains, but his infiniteness is so described after the manner of the apophatic 2 theology, that objectively all and every definitive thing, as goodness, beauty, etc., is disclaimed, and only the attribute of undefinableness remains.3
1 Philo de Monarch. I. § 3—6 (ed. Mangey), II. p. 216-218. De Poster. Cain. I. p. 258. De Somn. I. 40. I. 655.
2 [Apophatic means, a manner of describing without professing to describe.-S.] 3 Compare Quod Deus sit immutabilis, § 11. p. 281. Richter II. 77. De Praem. et Poen. § 6. II. 444. Richt. V. 226.
Views of Philo.
But with equal right others may say: God, with Philo, is anything rather than an abstract being.' Much more is he the opposite of this. Everywhere is he the beginning and end of all things. Not merely of the Logos is it said, 'that he is the Creator of the world, and everywhere diffused,' but it is also said in a general way of God, that 'he fills all things, and pervades all, and has left nothing empty and vacant; that he was and is the Creator of the Universe, and the Father of the world; that he preserves heaven and earth, water and air, and whatever is therein, and rules over them.'1 Even there belongs his doctrine of the providence of God. So little does the simple self-reposing being of God describe his essence satisfactorily, that he calls him moreover, as he does afterwards the Logos, the repository of ideas, the fulness in himself and through himself, the place of all, i. e. him who has the universe for his fulness. This we must conceive of as in a state of dividedness, as he appears to us, but in accordance with his unity. The world belongs of necessity to God, and therein it has a pledge of its eternity and indestructibility.3 Should it perish, then would God, through destitution of employment and revolting inaction, lead a life not worth living. Yea, in such loneliness, which can scarcely be described, even death would be the consequence to the divine Being. In order, then, that his sufficiency in himself, of which he says so much, may be rightly conceived of, it is so to be understood, as that by virtue of his goodness he is necessitated to remain not without sympathy with god-like beings. But he declines to say, that we may reverse the case in which God is spoken of as communicating himself to the world, and say that it imparts to him what it has not from him. Permeating all, present in all, he is not comprised by the world, receives nothing from it, and gives to all a part therein, that taking all in all it may be something. So much does it live by participating in him, that he is its verity as the idealworld, which, in one aspect of his essence, he is. He has no part in it as a world which is the object of sense; unspotted by it, he remains in it. Receiving nothing from it he is its active element (Sqαorýgiov), and it (by itself considered) is purely passive and definitive, (nadŋuκόν, οὐσία = ὕλη).4
With far too much confidence is the opinion frequently broached, that the Logos of Philo is a special being between God and the world, a hypostasis different from God. How could Philo, in countless
1 Comp. De Somn. I. 25. Tom. I. 644.
See also De Cherub. § 24 ib. I. p. 153.
places and in the manner described, represent God as coming into so immediate contact with the world, only designating it as something passive (лantxóv), as matter external to him, and yet recipient of him? Against a special hypostasis of the Logos, his words speak most decidedly: "Nothing divine is divided in the way of separation; but it merely extends itself." So far now as the Logos is divine, he is only the extended or extending God himself. Nothing that is not divine, however, has Philo's Logos ever in himself. Matter (ovoia) he does not create, but merely shapes it as a seal. Even this is in countless instances ascribed to God himself; so that the Logos can be only God himself in a definite respect. Where has Philo showed himself anxious, to connect anything doubtful as to the unity of God with his doctrine of Logos? And yet, he could not fail of doing this, had he made the Logos, as a hypostasis, coördinate with God.2
When Philo, to place God in the attitude of definite self-extension, of energy, or of the creative thinking of ideas respecting the world, forms for him appropriate categories and names, he still leaves us not destitute of the necessary elements of correction, so as to hold fast the monarchical contemplation of him which appears to be correct. (Comp. De Leg. Alleg. II. 1. Tom. I. 66, 67.) It is true, that he names the Logos (De Mund. Opif.), not barely the world-conceiving and the world-creating power of God, which is his peculiar idea, in order to mark that aspect of God according to which he places him in an active relation (dqαorńgtov) with the world, but he also names him Son, first-born of God, the bond between God and the actual world; and to these are attached the names of mediator, high priest, intercessor, archangel, the pillar, etc.3
1 Quod deter. potiori insidietur, § 24. I. 209. Comp. De Leg. Alleg. II. 21. Mang. II. 82.
2 Read carefully De Somn. I. § 37-41. I. 655 seq. and one will see, that according to Philo all idea of a divine duality or plurality owes its origin only to a subordinate stand-point of the observer,—to pavraoia, as he calls it in De Abrah. § 24, 25. This applies also to the case of a Logos with God. To be sure, he regards this pavracia not as purely arbitrary, not as something barely subjective; rather does the one God appear different for the advantage of him who contemplates him, in order that he may comprehend something of him in all gradations. Hence at the highest degree of contemplation, i. e. the true one, this appearance does not absolutely vanish. But it remains no more the highest; still less are two divine persons presented to consciousness. In the form of the Logos, God appeared and was the most high God, which appropriately constituted a person. He is the personal God then only when one has not attained to God most high. If he has done this, the Logos can be regarded as nothing more than the aspect of his revelation, destitute of all divine hypostasis in itself.
3 See De Agric. § 12. I. p. 509. De Confus. Ling. § 28. § 20-28. § 48. De
Philo's Logos a Power of Thinking.
But from the name Son, in Philo, to draw the inference of hypostasis, is not practicable; for he names the world a son of God, which surely cannot indicate personality, although the world, this younger son of God, appears as animated and intelligent, at least when combined in unity with the Logos his elder Son. Further, if one ponders the various meanings which the Logos of Philo has, yet without referring to different subjects, strong doubts arise against the admission that the Logos is a special and second personality, a counterpart of God. Is his ɛios λóyos always one and the same, (which must be admitted), but only conceived of in different relations, then must his special personality be in unison with all the meanings; if not, then must one feel it to be necessary to examine all the aforesaid expressions which seem to indicate personality, and see whether they must not be understood as personifications.
(1) The Logos of Philo is, in the first place, a divine power or faculty of thinking, or of creating, or of both.1
Somn. I. 39. 656. Also devτepoç vɛóç in Euseb. Praep. Evang. VII. 13. Mediator (uéoos), Quis Rer. div. Haeres, § 42. I. 502, because he is neither un-begotten as God, nor begotten as men, De Somn. II. 28. I. 683. 84. "Who is he, now, if he be not man? Is he not God? I cannot say this, since Moses attained this name, when in Egypt he was called Pharaoh's God, [i. e. because this was after the manner of the heathen]. Man, however, he is not, but he is the one who touches the two extremes, the base and the top." In other words: He is no special divine personage, but God as animating and extending himself. For aрxiɛpɛús, see De Somn. § 27. De Profug. § 21. Through him God constituted himself a means—or a mediator of the creation. Besides himself he needed no other, De Mund. Opif. § 6. I. 5. To suppose a created being capable of creating, would be sinful, (De Cherub. I. 153. § 24). As a creature Philo does not comprehend him. On the contrary, he regards him as one who guards the boundary between creature and Creator, (Quis Rer. div. Haeres, § 42). There also he is called ἱκέτης, πρεσβευτής, as in Vit. Moys. III. 14, II. 155, παράκλητος. Further, as God he is called ἀρχάγγελος, ἡνίοχος, ἡγεμών. In relation to God he is called dóža (De Somn. I. 40), σkiú of God (Leg. Alleg. III. 34. I. 106). "The shadow of God is his Logos, whom he used as an organ in making the world. This shadow, and as it were image, is the archetype of other things." In relation to the world, names not personal are often given him. Besides ὄργανον we have also σφραγίς, δέσμος κόσμου, νόμος, the στήλη on which all rests, the τόπος or the home of all (μετρόπολις), the ἰδέα τῶν ἰδεῶν = γενικώτατος λόγος, (De Mund. Opif. § 6. I. 5 De Migrat. Abr. § 18. I. 452, "That σopayiç is the idea of ideas, according to which God formed the world corporeal and intellectual."
1 In Philo, λóyoç and vouç are identical, both in men and in God. So De Mund. Opif (ut supra); where to vouç he ascribes the same things as elsewhere to the Logos. In De Migrat. ACF. § 1. I. 437, it is said, that in God himself is the Logos, the house, the dwelling or hearth (έoría), of the divine vous, and thus designates a fixed ideal central point in God, while vous is the active principle which is elsewhere named λóyos. In the Logos reposes the world, and also the