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Monarchia [1]

is the term by which is designated the leading or opening statement in the orderly enunciation of the doctrine of-the Trinity (q.v.), i.e., the doctrine that there is one and only one Ἀρχή , principle or fountain of Divinity, God the Father, the first person in the Trinity, who only is Αὐτόθεος , "God of and from himself" (Pearson [Expos. Of The Creed (1741, fol.), page 39] is very particular on the form of this statement, and takes exception to Bull, who uses the word " from" "of and from himself," which Pearson considers a contradiction). The doctrine of the Trinity assumes that. the Son and the Holy Ghost derive their divinity from the Father is the one Ἀρχή . The scriptural and only true idea of God involves in its development the idea of the trinity; and the doctrine of the Monarchia may be approached either from the side of the unity of God or from the side of the trinity of persons. Coming to it on the side of the unity, there is presented to the mind, first, the existence of God, then the unity of God, then the underived nature that is, his self-existence. Coming to the doctrine on the side of the trinity of persons, Scripture reveals God the Son, who is Θεὸς Ἐκ Θεοῦ by an eternal generation; and God the Holy Ghost, who is Θεὶς Ἐκ Θεοῦ by an eternal procession. This refers us to the first person of the Trinity, as him from whom the second and third persons derive their divinity.

The doctrine of the Monarchia, flowing as it does directly from the unity of God, in its expression guards that unity; while at the same time it renders it possible that the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost God, by a derivation of Godhead; the full doctrine of the Godhead of the second and third persons being maintained by the further doctrine of the perichoresis. It is to be remarked that as Ἀρχή has the meaning of "beginning" with reference to time, as well as the meaning of "principle" with reference to origin, so with regard to the former meaning the Son and the Holy Spirit are Ἄναρχοι as well as the Father. Αἰτία , cause, is also used in the enunciation of this doctrine: the Father himself, Αἰτία , is Ἀναίτιος ; the Son and the Holy Spirit are Αἰτιατός and Αἰτιατόν . Scripture and the Church avoid the appearance of tritheism by tracing back (if we may so say) the infinite perfection of the Son and Spirit to him whose Son and Spirit they are. They are, so to express it, but the new manifestation and repetition of the Father; there being no room for numeration or comparison between them, nor any resting-place for the contemplating mind, till they are referred to him in whom they centre. On the other hand, in naming the Father, we imply the Son and Spirit, whether they be named or not. This is the key to much of the language of holy Scripture which is otherwise difficult to understand, as, e.g.  1 John 5:20;  1 Corinthians 12:4-31;  John 14:16-18 (Newman's Arians, page 192). Viewing this doctrine on the side of the second and third persons of the Trinity, it becomes the doctrine of their subordination to the Father. In nature, in perfection of substance, equal to the Father; in authority, in origin, the Son and Holy Spirit are subordinate. Bull expresses it thus: " Pater igitur minor est Filius Κατ᾿ Αἰτίαν . AEqualis vero est Patri Filius Κατὰ Φύσιν . Deus ac Dominus est Filius aeque ac Pater; et in hoc solo discrepat a Patre Filius, quod Deus et Dominus sit a Patre Deo ac Domino; hoc est, Deus licet de Deo sit, de vero tamen Deo Deus verus est, ut definivit synodus ipsi Nicaena" (Bull's Works, Burton's ed., 6:707). The like things may be said of the Holy Spirit. This subordination, and the ministrations of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in executing the counsels of the individual society of the Godhead, is styled the economy of the Holy Trinity. (See Procession).