THE PRINCIPAL WITNESS ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE LOGOS.
We have now to compare Justin’s doctrine of the Logos with that of the Fourth Gospel.
The doctrine or dogma of the Logos is declared in the Fourth Gospel in a short paragraph of fourteen verses, a part of which is occupied with the mission of the Baptist.
The doctrine, as I have said before, is rather oracular enunciation than doctrine; i.e. it is not doctrine elaborately drawn out and explained and guarded, but simply laid down as by the authority of Almighty God.
It is contained in four or five direct statements:—
“In the beginning was the Logos.”
In the beginning—that is, before all created things—when there was no finite existence by which time could be measured; in that fathomless abyss of duration when there was God only:—
“The Logos was with God.”
Though numerically distinct from Him, [73:1] He was so “by” or “with” Him as to be His fellow:—
“The Logos was God.”
That is, though numerically distinct, He partook of the same Divine Nature:
“All Things were made by Him.”
Because, partaking fully of the nature, He partook fully of the power of God, and so of His creating power.
“That was the true light
which lighteth every man that cometh into
“The Logos was made flesh.”
He was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
The first enunciation, then, of St. John is that—
“IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD.”
In Justin we read:—
“His Son, Who alone
is properly called Son, the Word, Who also was
with Him, and was begotten before the works.” (Apol. ii. ch. vi.)
“When you [Justin] say
that this Christ existed as God before the
ages.” (Dial. ch. xlviii.)
“God begat before all creatures a Beginning, [74:1] [who was] a certain rational Power from Himself, Who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos.” (Dial. ch. lxi.)
Now it is to be here remarked, that though the Logos is continually declared to be “begotten of,” “derived from,” “an offspring of” the Father, yet in no case is He declared to be “created” or “made,” anticipating the declaration which we confess in our Creed, “The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.”
St. John proceeds:—
“THE WORD WAS WITH GOD.”
In Justin we read:—
“This Offspring, which
was truly brought forth from the Father, was
with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed
with Him.” (Dial. ch. lxii.)