Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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49 y. THE PHILOSOPHIC SYSTEM OF BAR SODAIL1. The letter of Jacob of Sarug was evidently written at a
period when Bar Sudaili had not yet thrown off the mask
entirely: it makes no mention of pantheistic doctrines, but
simply upholds the church doctrine of the eternity of punish*
ment against Bar Sudaili’s theory of its temporal duration.
In doing so he falls, Jacob of Takrit (XIII century) remarks1),
into the error of the Semi-Pelagians, that the just received
eternal bliss because God foreknew that they would always
have continued in righteousness. This view cannot be cor¬
rectly said to be that of the Semi-Pelagians, although it
resembles it in the cooperation of the two elements of grace
and good works. Philoxenos has confined himself, in his letter, to treating
in general terms of one part only of Bar Sudaili’s system,
that which seemed to him most pernicious, his pantheism and
his doctrine of salvation. His system was openly pantheistic,
or, to speak more philosophically, Pan-nihilistic; for, accor¬
ding to him, all nature even to the lowest forms of animal 11) The passage is in his KiwiilB.I Kla&ua »Book of Treasures”
(written in 1231), part III, ch. 39: cf. Assem. B. 0., T.II, p. 240; and
Abbeloos, 8. Jacques de Sarug, p. 125. Frothmgh&m, Bar Sudaili. 4