Gregory, although he has not always escaped the charge of Sabellianism, now holds an undisputed place among the fathers of the church; and although the turn of his mind was practical rather than speculative, he is known to have taken an energetic part in most of the doctrinal controversies of his time.
He detected in his bishop Gnosticism, Manichaeism and Sabellianism, and was convinced that he himself was the champion of pure doctrine against heresy.
Sabellianism, in fact, became a collective name for all those Unitarian doctrines in which the divine nature of Christ was acknowledged.
The sources of our knowledge of Sabellianism are Hippolytus (Philos.
It was natural that he should take this side, for in his traditional fear of Sabellianism, in which he was one with the followers of Origen in general, he found it difficult to approve the position of Alexander, who seemed to be doing away altogether with the subordination of the Son.
The former and briefer aims simply to expose the errors of Marcellus, whom Eusebius accuses of Sabellianism, the latter to refute them.
And the name Sabellianism is often loosely applied (e.g.
Caroli brought a counter-charge against the Geneva divines of Sabellianism and Arianism, because they would not enforce the Athanasian creed, and had not used the words "Trinity" and "Person" in the confession they had drawn up. It was a struggle between the thoroughgoing humanistic reformer who drew his creed solely from the "word of God" and the merely semi-Protestant reformer who looked on the old creed as a priceless heritage.
In regard to the Trinity, Protestantism tart his- has nothing very new to say, though " Sabellianism " tors of is revived by Swedenborg and Schleiermacher.