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

53 besides the three world-periods, — is the form of doctrine
found in both on the //consummation”: what other mystic
writer had ever dared to reach such a depth of logical
blasphemy as to assert in so many words that //the Father,
Son, and Spirit”, that God, will cease to exist? This is, of
course, but the logical consequence of the Pseudo-Dionysian
doctrine of an emanated Trinity, for, as Origen says, // as the
beginning is, so must the end be”; but nowhere in these
writings, any more than in those of the Alexandrian and
Antiochene doctors who teach the dnoxardaracns > is such
a consequence expressed. Many striking personal similarities between Bar Sudaili and Pseudo-Hierotheos are evident at \ first sight: both lay claim to direct divine revelations; both
make extensive use of Scripture for the support of their
theories. It remains for us to see whether the Dionysian frag¬
ments of Hierotheos are in accord with what has been de¬
duced. As it would be out of place to give here their full
text, which would have to be compared with passages of
the Book of Hierotheos, a few words of description will be
sufficient. The extract from the Elements of Theology ') is a
definition of the nature of Christ. The divinity of Jesus (tov
'Irpov deortis) is the all-including cause, above intelligence,
life, and substance. It maintains the harmony of the parts
and the whole, being above both the parts and the whole.
Between this conception and that of Christ as the universal
essence and the union of all things, the harmony is evident.
The extract given in Eccles. Hier. (ch. II, 1) shows that
uthe first motion of the mini towards the divine is the love
of God”; and the fragments from the Erotic hymns9) treat
of love as a unitive force moving all beings ufrom the Good 1) Divine Names, ch. II, 10. 2) Divine Names, ch. IV, 15—17.