Fathers of the Church
A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity
by Novatian in Middle of the third century. | translated by Unknown
CHAP. I. ARGUMENT.—NOVATIAN, WITH THE VIEW OF TREATING OF THE TRINITY, SETS FORTH FROM THE RULE OF FAITH THAT WE SHOULD FIRST OF ALL BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER AND LORD OMNIPOTENT, THE ABSOLUTE FOUNDER OF ALL THINGS. THE WORKS OF CREATION ARE BEAUTIFULLY DESCRIBED. MAN'S FREE-WILL IS ASSERTED; GOD'S MERCY IN INFLICTING PENALTY ON MAN IS SHOWN; THE CONDITION AFTER DEATH OF THE SOULS OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND UNRIGHTEOUS IS DETERMINED.
The Rule of truth requires that we should first of all things believe on God the Father and Lord n Omnipotent; that is, the absolutely perfect Founder of all things, who has suspended the heavens in lofty sublimity, has established the earth with its lower mass, has diffused the seas with their fluent moisture, and has distributed all these things, both adorned and supplied with their appropriate and fitting instruments. For in the solid vault of heaven He has both awakened the light-bringing Sunrisings; He has filled up the white globe of the moon in its monthly s waxings as a solace for the night; He, moreover, kindles the starry rays with the varied splendours of glistening light; and He has willed all these things in their legitimate tracks to circle the entire compass of the world, so as to cause days, months, years, signs, and seasons, and benefits of other kinds for the human race. On the earth, moreover, He has lifted up the loftiest mountains to a peak, He has thrown down valleys into the depths, He has smoothly levelled the plains, He has ordained the animal herds usefully for the various services of men. He has also established the oak trees of the woods for the future benefit of human uses. He has developed the harvests into food. He has unlocked the mouths of the springs, and has poured them into the flowing rivers. And after these things, lest He should not also provide for the very delights of the eyes, He has clothed all things with the various colours of the flowers for the pleasure of the beholders. Even in the sea itself, moreover, although it was in itself marvellous both for its extent and its utility, He has made manifold creatures, sometimes of moderate, sometimes of vast bodily size, testifying by the variety of His appointment to the intelligence of the Artificer. And, not content with these things, est perchance the roaring and rushing waters should seize upon a foreign element at the expense of its human possessor, He has enclosed its limits with shores; so that when the raving billow and the foaming water should come from its deep bosom, it should return again unto itself, and not transgress its concealed bounds, but keep its prescribed laws, so that man might the rather be careful to observe the divine laws, even as the elements themselves observed them. And after these things He also placed man at the head of the world, arid man, too, made in the image of God, to whom He imparted mind, and reason, and foresight, that he might imitate God; and although the first elements of his body were earthly, yet the substance was inspired by a heavenly and divine breathing. And when He had given him all things for his service, He willed that he alone should be free. And lest, again, an unbounded freedom should fall into peril, He laid down a command, in which man was taught that there was no evil in the fruit of the tree; but he was forewarned that evil would arise if perchance he should exercise his free will, in the contempt of the law that was given. For, on the one hand, it had behoved him to be free, lest the image of God should, unfittingly be in bondage; and on the other, the law was to be added, so that an unbridled liberty might not break forth even to a contempt of the Giver. So that he might receive as a consequence both worthy rewards and a deserved punishment, having in his own power that which he might choose to do, by the tendency of his mind in either direction: whence, therefore, by envy, mortality comes back upon him; seeing that, although he might escape it by obedience, he rushes into it by hurrying to be God under the influence of perverse counsel. Still, nevertheless, God indulgently tempered his punishment by cursing, not so much himself, as his labours upon earth. And, moreover, what is required does not come without man's knowledge; but He shows forth man's hope of future discovery and salvation in Christ. And that he is prevented from touching of the wood of the tree of life, is not caused by the malignant poison of envy, but lest, living for ever without Christ's previous pardon of his sins, he should always bear about with him for his punishment an immortality of guilt. Nevertheless also, in higher regions; that is, above even the firmament itself, regions which are not now discernible by our eyes, He previously ordained angels, he arranged spiritual powers, He put in command thrones and powers, and founded many other infinite spaces of heavens, and unbounded works of His mysteries; so that this world, immense as it is, might almost appear rather as the Latest, than the only work of corporeal things. And truly, what lies beneath the earth is not itself void of distributed and arranged powers. For there is a place whither the souls of the just and the unjust are taken, conscious of the anticipated dooms of fixture judgment; so that we might behold the overflowing greatness of God's works in all directions, not shut up within the bosom of this world, however capacious as we have said, but might also be able to conceive of them beneath both the abysses and the depths I of the world itself. And thus considering the greatness of the works, we should worthily admire the Artificer of such a structure.
CHAP. II. ARGUMENT.—GOD IS ABOVE ALL THINGS, HIMSELF CONTAINING ALL THINGS, IMMENSE, ETERNAL, TRANSCENDING THE MIND OF MAN; INEXPLICABLE IN DISCOURSE, LOFTIER THAN ALL SUBLIMITY.
And over all these things He Himself, containing all things, having nothing vacant beyond Himself, has left room for no superior God, such as some people conceive. Since, indeed, He Himself has included all things in the bosom of perfect greatness and power, He is always intent upon His own work, and pervading all things, and moving all things, and quickening all things, and beholding all things, and so linking together discordant materials into the concord of all elements, that out of these unlike principles one world is so established by a conspiring union, that it can by no force be dissolved, save when He alone who made it commands it to be dissolved, for the purpose of bestowing other and greater things upon us. For we read that He contains all things, and therefore that there could have been nothing beyond Himself. Because, since He has not any beginning, so consequently He is not conscious of an ending; unless perchance—and far from us be the thought—He at some time began to be, and is not above all things, but as He began to be after something else, He would be beneath that which was before Himself, and would so be found to be of less power, in that He is designated as subsequent even in time itself. For this reason, therefore, He is always unbounded, because nothing is greater than He; always eternal, because nothing is more ancient than He. For that which is without beginning can be preceded by none, in that He has no time. He is on that account immortal, that He does not come to an end by any ending of His completeness. And since everything that is without beginning is without law, He excludes the mode of time by feeling Himself debtor to none. Concerning Him, therefore, and concerning those things which are of Himself, and are in Him, neither can the mind of man worthily conceive what they are, how great they are, and what they are like; nor does the eloquence of human discourse set forth a power that approaches the level of His majesty. For to conceive and to speak of His majesty, as well all eloquence is with reason mute, as all mind poor. For He is greater than mind itself; nor can it be conceived how great He is, seeing that, if He could be conceived, He would be smaller than the human mind wherein He could be conceived. He is greater, moreover, than all discourse, nor can He be declared; for if He could be declared, He would be less than human discourse, whereby being declared, He can both be encompassed and contained. For whatever could be thought concerning Him must be less than Himself; and whatever could be declared must be less than He, when compared in respect of Himself. Moreover, we can in some degree be conscious of Him in silence, but we cannot in discourse unfold Him as He is. For should you call Him Light, you would be speaking of His creature rather than of Himself—you would not declare Him; or should you call Him Strength, you would rather be speaking of and bringing out His power than speaking of Himself; or should you call Him Majesty, you would rather be describing His honour than Himself. And why should I make a long business of going through His attributes one by one? I will at once unfold the whole. Whatever in any respect you might declare of Him, you would rather be unfolding some condition and power of His than Himself. For what can you fittingly either say or think concerning Him who is greater than all discourses and thoughts? Except that in one manner—and how can we do this? how can we by possibility conceive how we may grasp these very things?—we shall mentally grasp what God is, if we shall consider that He is that which cannot be understood either in quality or quantity, nor, indeed, can come even into the thought itself. For if the keenness of our eyes grows dull on looking at the sun, so that the gaze, overcome by the brightness of the rays that meet it, cannot look upon the orb itself, the keenness of our mental perception suffers the same thing in all our thinking about God, and in proportion as we give our endeavours more directly to consider God, so much the more the mind itself is blinded by the light of its own thought. For—to repeat once more—what can you worthily say of Him, who is loftier than all sublimity, and higher than all height, and deeper than all depth, and clearer than all light, and brighter than all brightness, more brilliant than all splendour, stronger than all strength, more powerful, than all power, and more mighty than all might, and greater than all majesty, and more potent than all potency, and richer than all riches, more wise than all wisdom, and more benignant than all kindness, better than all goodness, juster than all justice, more merciful than all clemency? For all kinds of virtues must? needs be less than Himself, who is both. God and Parent of all virtues, so that it may truly be said that God is that, which is such that nothing can be compared to Him. For He is above all that can be said. For He is a certain Mind generating and filling all things, which, without any beginning or end of time, controls, by the highest and most perfect reason, the naturally linked causes of things, so as to result in benefit to all.
CHAP. III. ARGUMENT.—THAT GOD IS THE FOUNDER OF ALL THINGS, THEIR LORD AND PARENT, IS PROVED FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
Him, then, we acknowledge and know to be God, the Creator of all things—Lord on account of His power, Parent on account of His discipline— Him, I say, who "spake, and all things were made; " He commanded, and all things went forth: of whom it is written, "Thou hast made all things in wisdom;" of whom Moses said, "God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath;" who, according to Isaiah, "hath meted out the heaven with a span, the earth with the hollow of His hand;" "who looketh on the earth, and maketh it tremble; whoboundeth the circle of the earth, and those that dwell in it like locusts; who hath weighed themountains in a balance, and the groves in scales,"that is, by the sure test of divine arrangement; easily fall into ruins if it were not balanced with equal weights, He has poised this burden of the earthly mass with equity. Who says by the prophet, "I am God, and there is none beside me" Who says by the same prophet "Because I will not give my majesty to another," that He may exclude all heathens and heretics with their figments; proving that that is not God who is made by the hand of the workman, nor that which is feigned by the intellect of a heretic. For he is not God for whose existence the workman must be asked. And He has added hereto by the prophet, "The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me, and where is the place of my rest?" that He may show that He whom the world does not contain is much less contained in a temple; and He says these things not for boastfulness of Himself, but for our knowledge. For He does not desire from us the glory of His magnitude; but He wishes to confer upon us, even as a father, a religious wisdom. And He, wishing moreover to attract to gentleness our minds, brutish, and swelling, and stubborn with cloddish ferocity, says, "And upon whom shall my Spirit rest, save upon him that is lowly, and quiet, and that trembleth at my words?"—so that in some degree one may recognise how great God is, in learning to fear Him by the Spirit given to him: Who, similarly wishing still more to come into our knowledge, and, by way of stirring up our minds to His worship, said, "I am the Lord, who made the light and created the darkness;" that we might deem not that some Nature,—what I know not,—was the artificer of those vicissitudes whereby nights and days are controlled, but might rather, as is more true, recognise God as their Creator. And since by the gaze of our eyes we cannot see Him, we rightly learn of Him from the greatness, and the power, and the majesty of His works. "For the invisible things of Him," says the Apostle Paul," from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by those things which are made, even His eternal power and godhead;" so that the human mind, learning hidden things from those that are manifest, from the greatness of the works which it should behold, might with the eyes of the mind consider the greatness of the Architect. Of whom the same apostle, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory." For He has gone beyond the contemplation of the eyes who has surpassed the greatness of thought. "For," it is said," of Him, and through Him, and in Him are all things." For all things are by His command, because they are of Him; and are ordered by His word as being through Him; and all things return to His judgment; as in Him expecting liberty when corruption shall be done away, they appear to be recalled to Him.
CHAP. IV. ARGUMENT.—MOREOVER, HE IS GOOD, ALWAYS THE SAME, IMMUTABLE, ONE AND ONLY, INFINITE; AND HIS OWN NAME CAN NEVER BE DECLARED, AND HE IS INCORRUPTIBLE AND IMMORTAL.
Him alone the Lord rightly declares good, of whose goodness the whole world is witness; which world He would not have ordained if He had not been good. For if "everything was very good," consequently, and reasonably, both those things which were ordained have proved that He that ordained them is good, and those things which are the work of a good Ordainer cannot be other than good; wherefore every evil is a departure from God. For it cannot happen that He should be the originator or architect of any evil work, who claims to Himself the name of "the Perfect," both Parent and Judge, especially when He is the avenger and judge of every evil work; because, moreover, evil does not occur to man from any other cause than by his departure from the good God. Moreover, this very thing is specified in man, not because it was necessary, but because he himself so willed it. Whence it manifestly appeared also what was evil; and lest there should seem to be envy in God, it was evident whence evil had arisen. He, then, is always like to Himself; nor does He ever turn or change Himself into any forms, lest by change He should appear to be mortal. For the change implied in turning from one thing to another is comprehended as a portion of a certain death. Thus there is never in Him any accession or increase of any part or honour, lest anything should appear to have ever been wanting to His perfection, nor is any loss sustained in Him, lest a degree of mortality should appear to have been suffered by Him. But what He is, He always is; and who He is, He is always Himself; and what character He has, He always has. For increasing argues beginning, as well as losses prove death and perishing. And therefore He says, "I am God, I change not;" in that, what is not born cannot suffer change, holding His condition always. For whatever it be in Him which constitutes Divinity, must necessarily exist always, maintaining itself by its own powers, so that He should always be God. And thus He says, "I am that I am." For what He is has this name, because it always maintains the same quality of Himself. For change takes away the force of that name "That I Am;" for whatever, at any time, is changed, is shown to be mortal in that very particular which is changed. For it ceases to be that which it had been, and consequently begins to be what it was not; and therefore, reasonably, there remains always in God His position, in that without any loss arising from change, He is always like and equal to Himself. And what is not born cannot be changed: for only those things undergo change which are made, or which are begotten; in that those things which bad not been at one time, learn to be by coming into being, and therefore to suffer change by being born. Moreover, those things which neither have nativity nor maker, have excluded from themselves the capacity of change, not having a beginning wherein is cause of change. And thus He is declared to be one, having no equal. For whatever can be God, must as God be of necessity the Highest. But whatever is the Highest, must certainly be the Highest in such sense as to be without any equal. And thus that must needs be alone and one on which nothing can be conferred, having no peer; because there cannot be two infinites, as the very nature of things dictates. And that is infinite which neither has any sort of beginning nor end. For whatever has occupied the whole excludes the beginning of another. Because if He does not contain all which is, whatever it is—seeing that what is found in that whereby it is contained is found to be less than that whereby it is contained—He will cease to be God; being reduced into the power of another, in whose greatness He, being smaller, shall have been included. And therefore what contained Him would then rather claim to be God. Whence it results that God's own name also cannot be declared, because He cannot be conceived. For that is contained in a name which is, in any way, comprehended from the condition of His nature. For the name is the signification of that thing which could be comprehended from a name. But when that which is treated of is such that it cannot be worthily gathered into one form by the very understanding itself, how shall it be set forth fittingly in the one word of an appellation, seeing that as it is beyond the intellect, it must also of necessity be above the significancy of the appellation? As with reason when He applies and prefers from certain reasons and occasions His name of God, we know that it is not so much the legitimate propriety of the appellation that is set forth, as a certain significancy determined for it, to which, while men betake themselves, they seem to be able thereby to obtain God's mercy. He is therefore also both immortal and incorruptible, neither conscious of any kind of loss nor ending. For because He is incorruptible, He is therefore immortal; and because He is immortal, He is certainly also incorruptible,—each being involved by turns in the other, with itself and in itself, by a mutual connection, and prolonged by a vicarious concatenation to the condition of eternity; immortality arising from incorruption, as well as incorruption coming from immortality.
CHAP. V. ARGUMENT.—IF WE REGARD THE ANGER, AND INDIGNATION, AND HATRED OF GOD DESCRIBED IN THE SACRED PAGES, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE NOT TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS BEARING THE CHARACTER OF HUMAN VICES.
Moreover, if we read of His wrath, and consider certain descriptions of His indignation, and learn that hatred is asserted of Him, yet we are not to understand these to be asserted of Him in the sense in which they are human vices. For all these things, although they may corrupt man, cannot at all corrupt the divine power. For such passions as these will rightly be said to be in men, and will not rightly be judged to be in God. For man may be corrupted by these things, because he can be corrupted; God may not be corrupted by them, because He cannot be corrupted. These things, forsooth, have their force which they may exercise, but only where a material capable of impression precedes them, not where a substance that cannot be impressed precedes them. For that God is angry, arises from no vice in Him. But He is so for our advantage; for He is merciful even then when He threatens, because by these threats men are recalled to rectitude. For fear is necessary for those who want the motive to a virtuous life, that they who have forsaken reason may at least be moved by terror. And thus all those, either angers of God or hatreds, or whatever they are of this kind, being displayed for our medicine,—as the case teaches,—have arisen of wisdom, not from vice, nor do they originate from frailty; wherefore also they cannot avail for the corruption of God. For the diversity in us of the materials of which we consist, is accustomed to arouse the discord of anger which corrupts us; but this, whether of nature or of defect, cannot subsist in God, seeing that He is known to be constructed assuredly of no associations of bodily parts. For He is simple and without any corporeal commixture, being wholly of that essence, which, whatever it be,—He alone knows,—constitutes His being, since He is called Spirit. And thus those things which in men are faulty and corrupting, since they arise from the corruptibility of the body, and matter itself, in God cannot exert the force of corruptibility, since, as we have said, they have come, not of vice, but of reason.
CHAP. VI. ARGUMENT.— AND THAT, ALTHOUGH SCRIPTURE OFTEN CHANGES THE DIVINE APPEARANCE INTO A HUMAN FORM, YET THE MEASURE OF THE DIVINE MAJESTY IS NOT INCLUDED WITHIN THESE LINEAMENTS OF OUR BODILY NATURE.
And although the heavenly Scripture often turns the divine appearance into a human form,—as when it says, "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous;" or when it says, "The Lord God smelled the smell of a good savour;" or when there are given to Moses the tables "written with the finger of God;" or when the people of the children of Israel are set free from the land of Egypt "with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm;" or when it says, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things;" or when the earth is set forth as "God's footstool;" or when it says, "Incline thine ear, and hear,"—we who say that the law is spiritual do not include within these lineaments of our bodily nature any mode or figure of the divine majesty, but diffuse that character of unbounded magnitude (so to speak) over its plains without any limit. For it is written, "If I shall ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I shall descend into hell, Thou art there also; and if I shall take my wings, and go away across the sea, there Thy hand shall lay hold of me, and Thy right hand shall hold me." For we recognise the plan of the divine Scripture according to the proportion of its arrangement. For the prophet then was still speaking about God in parables according to the period of the faith, not as God was, but as the people were able to receive Him. And thus, that such things as these should be said about God, must be imputed not to God, but rather to the people. Thus the people are permitted to erect a tabernacle, and yet God is not contained within the enclosure of a tabernacle. Thus a temple is reared, and yet God is not at all bounded within the restraints of a temple. It is not therefore God who is limited, but the perception of the people is limited; nor is God straitened, but the understanding of the reason of the people is held to be straitened. Finally, in the Gospel the Lord said, "The hour shall come when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father;" and gave the reasons, saying, "God is a Spirit; and those therefore who worship, must worship in spirit and in truth." Thus the divine agencies are there exhibited by means of members; it is not the appearance of God nor the bodily lineaments that are described. For when the eyes are spoken of, it is implied that He sees all things; and when the ear, it is set forth that He hears all things; and when the finger, a certain energy of His will is opened up; and when the nostrils, His recognition of prayers is shown forth as of odours; and when the hand, it is proved that He is the author of every creature; and when the arm, it is announced that no nature can withstand the power of His arm; and when the feet it is unfolded that He fills all things, and that there is not any place where God is not. For neither members nor the offices of members are needful to Him to whose sole judgment, even unexpressed, all things serve and are present. For why should He require eyes who is Himself the light? or why should He ask for feet who is everywhere? or why should He wish to go when there is nowhere where He can go beyond Himself? or why should He seek for hands whose will is, even when silent, the architect for the foundation of all things? He needs no ears who knows the wills that are even unexpressed; or for what reason should He need a tongue whose thought is a command? These members assuredly were necessary to men, but not to God, because man's design would be ineffectual if the body did not fulfil the thought. Moreover, they are not needful to God, whose will the works attend not so much without any effort, as that the works themselves proceed simultaneously with the will. Moreover, He Himself is all eye, because He all sees; and all ear, because He all hears; and all hand, because He all works; and all foot, because He all is everywhere. For He is the same, whatever it is. He is all equal, and all everywhere. For He has not in Him any diversity in Himself, being simple. For those are the things which are reduced to diversity of members, which arise from birth and go to dissolution. But things which are not concrete cannot be conscious of these things. And what is immortal, whatever it is, that very thing is one and simple, and for ever. And thus because it is one it cannot be dissolved; since whatever is that very thing which is placed beyond the claim of dissolution, it is freed from the laws of death.
CHAP. VII. ARGUMENT.—MOREOVER, THAT WHEN GOD IS CALLED A SPIRIT, BRIGHTNESS, AND LIGHT, GOD IS NOT SUFFICIENTLY EXPRESSED BY THOSE APPELLATIONS.
But when the Lord says that God is a Spirit, I think that Christ spoke thus of the Father, as wishing that something still more should be understood than merely that God is a Spirit. For although, in His Gospel, He is reasoning for the purpose of giving to men an increase of intelligence, nevertheless He Himself speaks to men concerning God, in such a way as they can as yet hear and receive; although, as we have said, He is now endeavouring to give to His hearers religious additions to their knowledge of God. For we find it to be written that God is called Love, and yet from this the substance of God is not declared to be Love; and that He is called Light, while in this is not the substance of God. But the whole that is thus said of God is as much as can be said, so that reasonably also, when He is called a Spirit, it is not all that He is which is so called; but so that, while men's mind by understanding makes progress even to the Spirit itself, being already changed in spirit, it may conjecture God to be something even greater through the Spirit. For that which is, according to what it is, can neither be declared by human discourse, nor received by human ears, nor gathered by human perceptions. For if "the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him, neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, nor the heart of man, nor even his mind has perceived;" what and how great is He Himself who promises these things, in understanding which both the mind and nature of man have failed! Finally, if you receive the Spirit as the substance of God, you will make God a creature. For every spirit is a creature. And therefore, then, God will be made. In which manner also, if, according to Moses, you should receive God to be fire, in saying that He is a creature, you will have declared what is ordained, you will not have taught who is its ordainer. But these things are rather used as figures than as being so in fact. For as, in the Old Testament, God is for this reason called Fire, that fear may be struck into the hearts of a sinful people, by suggesting to them a Judge; so in the New Testament He is announced as Spirit, that, as the Renewer and Creator of those who are dead in their sins, He may be attested by this goodness of mercy granted to those that believe.
CHAP. VIII. ARGUMENT. — IT IS THIS GOD, THEREFORE, THAT THE CHURCH HAS KNOWN AND ADORES; AND TO HIM THE TESTIMONY OF THINGS AS WELL VISIBLE AS INVISIBLE IS GIVEN BOTH AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL FORMS, BY THE NATURE WHICH HIS PROVIDENCE RULES AND GOVERNS.
This God, then, setting aside the fables and figments of heretics, the Church knows and worships, to whom the universal and entire nature of things as well visible as invisible gives witness; whom angels adore, stars wonder at, seas bless, lands revere, and all things under the earth look up to; whom the whole mind of man is conscious of, even if it does not express itself; at whose command all things are set in motion, springs gush forth, rivers flow, waves arise, all creatures bring forth their young, winds arc compelled to blow, showers descend, seas arc stirred up, all things everywhere diffuse their fruitfulness. Who ordained, peculiar to the protoplasts of eternal life, a certain beautiful paradise in the east; He planted the tree of life, and similarly placed near it another tree of the knowledge of good and evil, gave a command, and decreed a judgment against sin; He preserved the most righteous Noe from the perils of the deluge, for the merit of His innocence and faith; He translated Enoch: He elected Abraham into the society of his friendship; He protected Isaac: He increased Jacob; He gave Moses for a leader unto the people; He delivered the groaning children of Israel from the yoke of slavery; He wrote the law; He brought the offspring of our fathers into the land of promise; He instructed the prophets by His Spirit, and by all of them He promised His Son Christ; and at the time at which He had covenanted that He would give Him, He sent Him, and through Him He desired to come into our knowledge, and shed forth upon us the liberal stores of His mercy, by conferring His abundant Spirit on the poor and abject. And, because He of His own free- will is both liberal and kind, lest the whole of this globe, being turned away from the streams of His grace, should wither, He willed the apostles, as founders of our family, to be sent by His Son into the whole world, that the condition of the human race might be conscious of its Founder; and, if it should choose to follow Him, might have One whom even in its supplications it might now call Father instead of God. And His providence has had or has its course among men, not only individually, but also among cities themselves, and states whose destructions have been announced by the words of prophets; yea, even through the whole world itself; whose end, whose miseries, and wastings, and sufferings on account of unbelief He has allotted. And lest moreover any one should think that such an indefatigable providence of God does not reach to even the very least things, "One of two sparrows," says the Lord, "shall not fall without the will of the Father; but even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." And His care and providence did not permit even the clothes of the Israelites to be worn out, nor even the vilest shoes on their feet to be wasted; nor, moreover, finally, the very garments of the captive young men to be burnt. And this is not without reason; for if He embraces all things, and contains all things,—and all things, and the whole, consist of individuals,—His care will consequently extend even to every individual thing, since His providence reaches to the whole, whatever it is. Hence it is that He also sitteth above the Cherubim; that is, He presides over the variety of His works, the living creatures which hold the control over the rest being subjected to His throne: a crystal covering being thrown over all things; that is, the heaven covering all things, which at the command of God had been consolidated into a firmament from the fluent material of the waters, that the strong hardness that divides the midst of the waters that covered the earth before, might sustain as if on its back the weight of the superincumbent water, its strength being established by the frost. And, moreover, wheels lie below—that is to say, the seasons—whereby all the members of the world are always being rolled onwards; such feet being added by which those things do not stand still for ever, but pass onward. And, moreover, throughout all their limbs they are studded with eyes; for the works of God must be contemplated with an ever watchful inspection: in the heart of which things, a fire of embers is in the midst, either because this world of ours is hastening to the fiery day of judgment; or because all the works of God are fiery, and are not darksome, but flourish. Or, moreover, lest, because those things had arisen from earthly beginnings, they should naturally be inactive, from the rigidity of their origin, the hot nature of an interior spirit was added to all things; and that this nature concreted with the cold bodies might minister for the purpose of life equal measures for all. This, therefore, according to David, is God's chariot. "For the chariot of God," says he, "is multiplied ten thousand times;" that is, it is innumerable, infinite, immense. For, under the yoke of the natural law given to all things, some things are restrained, as if withheld by reins; others, as if stimulated, are urged on with relaxed reins. For the world,s which is that chariot of God with all things, both the angels themselves and the stars guide; and their movements, although various, yet bound by certain laws, we watch them guiding by the bounds of a time prescribed to themselves; so that rightly we also are now disposed to exclaim with the apostle, as he admires both the Architect and His works: "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how inscrutable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" And the rest.
CHAP. IX. ARGUMENT.— FURTHER, THAT THE SAME RULE OF TRUTH TEACHES US TO BELIEVE, AFTER THE FATHER, ALSO IN THE SON OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD GOD, BEING THE SAME THAT WAS PROMISED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, AND MANIFESTED IN THE NEW.
The same rule of truth teaches us to believe, after the Father, also on the Son of God, Christ Jesus, the Lord our God, but the Son of God—of that God who is both one and alone, to wit the Founder of all things, as already has been expressed above. For this Jesus Christ, I will once more say, the Son of this God, we read of as having been promised in the Old Testament, and we observe to be manifested in the New, fulfilling the shadows and figures of all the sacraments, with the presence of the truth embodied. For as well the ancient prophecies as the Gospels testify Him to be the son of Abraham and the son of David. Genesis itself anticipates Him, when it says: "To thee will I give it, and to thy seed." He is spoken of when it shows how a man wrestled with Jacob; He too, when it says: "There shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a leader from between his thighs, until He shall come to whom it has been promised; and He shall be the expectation of the nations." 8 He is spoken of by Moses when he says: "Provide another whom thou mayest send." He is again spoken of by the same, when he testifies, saying: "A Prophet will God raise up to you from your brethren; listen to Him as if to me." It is He, too, that he speaks of when he says: "Ye shall see your life hanging in doubt night and day, and ye shall not believe Him." Him, too, Isaiah alludes to: "There shall go forth a rod from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall grow up from his root." The same also when he says: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son." Him he refers to when he enumerates the healings that were to proceed from Him, saying: "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear: then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be eloquent." Him also, when he sets forth the virtue of patience, saying: "His voice shall not be heard in the streets; a bruised reed shall He not destroy, and the smoking flax shall He not quench." Him, too, when he described His Gospel: "And I will ordain for you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David." Him, too, when he foretells that the nations should believe on Him: "Behold, I have given Him for a Chief and a Commander to the nations. Nations that knew not Thee shall call upon Thee, and peoples that knew Thee not shall flee unto Thee." It is the same that he refers to when, concerning His passion, he exclaims, saying: "As a sheep He is led to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so He opened not His mouth in His humility." Him, moreover, when he described the blows and stripes of His scourgings: "By His bruises we were healed." Or His humiliation: "And we saw Him, and He had neither form nor comeliness, a man in suffering, and who knoweth how to bear infirmity." Or that the people would not believe on Him: "All day long I have spread out my hands unto a people that believeth not." Or that He would rise again from the dead: "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and one who shall rise to reign over the nations; on Him shall the nations hope, and His rest shall be honour." Or when he speaks of the time of the resurrection: "We shall find Him, as it were, prepared in the morning." Or that He should sit at the right hand of the Father: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I shall place Thine enemies as the stool of Thy feet." Or when He is set forth as possessor of all things: "Ask of me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the boundaries of the earth for Thy possession." Or when He is shown as Judge of all: "O God, give the King Thy judgment, and Thy righteousness to the King's Son." And I shall not in this place pursue the subject further: the things which are announced of Christ are known to all heretics, but are even better known to those who hold the truth.
CHAP. X. ARGUMENT.—THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD AND TRULY MAN, AS OPPOSED TO THE FANCIES OF HERETICS, WHO DENY THAT HE TOOK UPON HIM TRUE FLESH.
But of this I remind you, that Christ was not to be expected in the Gospel in any other wise than as He was promised before by the Creator, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament; especially as the things that were predicted of Him were fulfilled, and those things that were fulfilled had been predicted. As with reason I might truly and constantly say to that fanciful—I know not what—of those heretics who reject the authority of the Old Testament, as to a Christ feigned and coloured up from old wives' fables: "Who art thou? Whence art thou? By whom art thou sent? Wherefore hast thou now chosen to come? Why such as thou art? Or how hast thou been able to come? Or wherefore hast thou not gone to thine own, except that thou hast proved that thou hast none of thine own, by coming to those of another? What hast thou to do with the Creator's world? What hast thou to do with the Creator's man? What hast thou to do with the image of a body from which thou takest away the hope of resurrection? Why comest thou to another man's servant, and desirest thou to solicit another man's son? Why dost thou strive to take me away from the Lord? Why dost thou compel me to blaspheme, and to be impious to my Father? Or what shall I gain from thee in the resurrection, if I do not receive myself when I lose my body? If thou wishest to save, thou shouldest have made a man to whom to give salvation. If thou desirest to snatch from sin, thou shouldest have granted to me previously that I should not fall into sin. But what approbation of law dost thou carry about with thee? What testimony of the prophetic word hast thou? Or what substantial good can I promise myself from thee, when I see that thou hast come in a phantasm and not in a bodily substance? What, then, hast thou to do with the form of a body, if thou hatest a body? Nay, thou wilt be refitted as to the hatred of bearing about the substance of a body, since thou hast been willing even to take up its form. For thou oughtest to have hated the imitation of a body, if thou hatedst the reality; because, if thou art something else, thou oughtest to have come as something else, lest thou shouldest be called the Son of the Creator if thou hadst even the likeness of flesh and body. Assuredly, if thou hatedst being born because thou hatedst ' the Creator's marriage-union,' thou oughtest to refuse even the likeness of a man who is born by the 'marriage of the Creator.'"
Neither, therefore, do we acknowledge that that is a Christ of the heretics who was—as it is said—in appearance and not in reality; for of those things which he did, he could have done nothing real, if he himself was a phantasm, and not reality. Nor him who wore nothing of our body in himself, seeing "he received nothing from Mary ;" neither did he come to us, since he appeared "as a vision, not in our substance." Nor do, we acknowledge that to the Christ who chose an ethereal or starry flesh, as some heretics have pretended. Nor can we perceive any salvation of ours in him, if in him we do not even recognise the substance of our body; nor, in short, any other who may have worn any other kind of fabulous body of heretical device. For all such fables as these are confuted as well by the nativity as by the death itself of our Lord. For John says: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;" so that, reasonably, our body should be in Him, because indeed the Word took on Him our flesh. And for this reason blood flowed forth from His hands and feet, and from His very side, so that He might be proved to be a sharer in our body by dying according to the laws of our dissolution. And that He was raised again in the same bodily substance in which He died, is proved by the wounds of that very body, and thus He showed the laws of our resurrection in His flesh, in that He restored the same body in His resurrection which He had from us. For a law of resurrection is established, in that Christ is raised up in the substance of the body as an example for the rest; because, when it is written that "flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of God," it is not the substance of the flesh that is condemned, which was built up by the divine hands that it should not perish, but only the guilt of the flesh is rightly rebuked, which by the voluntary daring of man rebelled against the claims of divine law. Because in baptism and in the dissolution of death the flesh is raised up and returns to salvation, by being recalled to the condition of innocency when the mortality of guilt is put away.
CHAP. XI.— AND INDEED THAT CHRIST WAS NOT ONLY MAN, BUT GOD ALSO; THAT EVEN AS HE WAS THE SON OF MAN, SO ALSO HE WAS THE SON OF GOD.
But lest, from the fact of asserting that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator, was manifested in the substance of the true body, we should seem either to have given assent to other heretics, who in this place maintain that He is man only and alone, and therefore desire to prove that He was a man bare and solitary; and lest we should seem to have afforded them any ground for objecting, we do not so express doctrine concerning the substance of His body, as to say that He is only and alone man, but so as to maintain, by the association of the divinity of the Word in that very materiality, that He was also God according to the Scriptures. For there is a great risk of saying that the Saviour of the human race was only man; that the Lord of all, and the Chief of the world, to whom all things were delivered, and all things were granted by His Father, by whom all things were ordained, all things were created, all things were arranged, the King of all ages and times, the Prince of all the angels, before whom there is none but the Father, was only man, and denying to Him divine authority in these things. For this contempt of the heretics will recoil also upon God the Father, if God the Father could not beget God the Son. But, moreover, no blindness of the heretics shall prescribe to the truth. Nor, because they maintain one thing in Christ and, do not maintain another, they see one side of Christ and do not see another, shall there be taken away from us that which they do not see for the sake of that which they do. For they regard the weaknesses in Him as if they were a man's weaknesses, but they do not count the powers as if they were a God's powers. They keep in mind the infirmities of the flesh, they exclude the powers of the divinity; when if this argument from the infirmities of Christ is of avail to the result of proving Him to be man from His infirmities, the argument of divinity in Him gathered from His powers avails to the result also of asserting Him to be God from His works. For if His sufferings show in Him human frailty, why may not His works assert in Him divine power? For if this should not avail to assert Him to be God from His powers, neither can His sufferings avail to show Him to be man also from them. For whatever principle be adopted on one or the other side, will be found to be maintained. For there will be a risk that He should not be shown to be man from His sufferings, if He could not also be approved as God by His powers. We must not then lean to one side and evade the other side, because any one who should exclude one portion of the truth will never hold the perfect truth. For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God Himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth Him to be the Son of God only, but also the Son of man; nor does it only say, the Son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of Him as the Son of God. So that being of both, He is both, lest if He should be one only, He could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that He must be believed to be God who is of God; but if he should not also be God when be is of God, no more should he be man although he should be of man. And thus both doctrines would be endangered in one and the other way, by one being convicted to have lost belief in the other. Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the Son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God. For in the manner that as man He is of Abraham, so also as God He is before Abraham himself. And in the same manner as He is as man the "Son of David," so as God He is proclaimed David's Lord. And in the same manner as He was made as man "under the law," so as God He is declared to be "Lord of the Sabbath." And in the same manner as He suffers, as man, the condemnation, so as God He is found to have all judgment of the quick and dead. And in the same manner as He is born as man subsequent to the world, so as God He is manifested to have been before the world. And in the same way as He was begotten as man of the seed of David, so also the world is said to have been ordained by Him as God. And in the same way as He was as man after many, so as God He was before all. And in the same manner as He was as man inferior to others, so as God He was greater than all. And in the same manner as He ascended as man into heaven, so as God He had first descended thence. And in the same manner as He goes as man to the Father, so as the Son in obedience to the Father He shall descend thence. So if imperfections in Him prove human frailty, majesties in Him affirm divine power. For the risk is, in reading of both, to believe not both, but one of the two. Wherefore as both are read of in Christ, let both be believed; that so finally the faith may be true, being also complete. For if of two principles one gives way in the faith, and the other, and that indeed which is of least importance, be taken up for belief, the rule of truth is thrown into confusion; and that boldness will not confer salvation, but instead of salvation will effect a great risk of death from the overthrow of the faith.
CHAP. XII. ARGUMENT.—THAT CHRIST IS GOD, IS PROVED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES.
Why, then, should we hesitate to say what Scripture does not shrink from declaring? Why shall the truth of faith hesitate in that wherein the authority of Scripture has never hesitated? For, behold, Hosea the prophet says in the person of the Father: "I will not now save them by bow, nor by horses, nor by horsemen; but I will save them by the Lord their God." If God says that He saves by God, still God does not save except by Christ. Why, then, should man hesitate to call Christ God, when he observes that He is declared to be God by the Father according to the Scriptures? Yea, if God the Father does not save except by God, no one can be saved by God the Father unless he shall have confessed Christ to be God, in whom and by whom the Father promises that He will give him salvation: so that, reasonably, whoever acknowledges Him to be God, may find salvation in Christ God; whoever does not acknowledge Him to be God, would lose salvation which he could not find elsewhere than in Christ God. For in the same way as Isaiah says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and ye shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, interpreted, God with us;" so Christ Himself says, "Lo, I am with you, even to the consummation of the world." Therefore He is" God with us;" yea, and much rather, He is in us. Christ is with us, therefore it is He whose name is God with us, because He also is with us; or is He not with us? How then does He say that He is with us? He, then, is with us. But because He is with us He was called Emmanuel, that is, God with us. God, therefore, because He is with us, was called God with us, The same prophet says: "Be ye strengthened, ye relaxed hands, and ye feeble knees; be consoled, ye that are cowardly in heart; be strong; fear not. Lo, our God shall return judgment; He Himself shall come, and shall save you: then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be eloquent." Since the prophet says that at God's advent these should be the signs which come to pass; let men acknowledge either that Christ is the Son of God, at whose advent and by whom these wonders of healings were performed; or, overcome by the truth of Christ's divinity, let them rush into the other heresy, and refusing to confess Christ to be the Son of God, and God, let them declare Him to be the Father. For, being bound by the words of the prophets, they can no longer deny Christ to be God. What, then, do they reply when those signs are said to be about to take place on the advent of God, which were manifested on the advent of Christ? In what way do they receive Christ as God? For now they cannot deny Him to be God. As God the Father, or as God the Son? If as the Son, why do they deny that the Son of God is God? If as the Father, why do they not follow those who appear to maintain blasphemies of that kind? unless because in this contest against them concerning the truth, this is in the meantime sufficient for us, that, being convinced in any kind of way, they should confess Christ to be God, seeing they have even wished to deny that He is God. He says by Habakkuk the prophet: "God shall come from the south, and the Holy One from the dark and dense mountain." Whom do they wish to represent as coming from the south? If they say that it is the Almighty God the Father, then God the Father comes from a place, from which place, moreover, He is thus excluded, and He is bounded within the straitnesses of some abode; and thus by such as these, as we have said, the sacrilegious heresy of Sabellius is embodied. Since Christ is believed to be not the Son, but the Father; since by them He is asserted to be in strictness a bare man, in a new manner, by those, again, Christ is proved to be God the Father Almighty. But if in Bethlehem, the region of which local division looks towards the southern portion of heaven, Christ is born, who by the Scriptures is also said to be God, this God is rightly described as coming from the south, because He was foreseen as about to come from Bethlehem. Let them, then, choose of the two alternatives, the one that they prefer, that He who came from the south is the Son, or the Father; for God is said to be about to come from the south. If the Son, why do they shrink from calling Him Christ and God? For the Scripture says that God shall come. If the Father, why do they shrink from being associated with the boldness of Sabellius, who says that Christ is the Father? unless because, whether they call Him Father or Son, from his heresy, however unwillingly, they must needs withdraw if they are accustomed to say that Christ is merely man; when compelled by the facts themselves, they are on the eve of exalting Him as God, whether in wishing to call Him Father or in wishing to call Him Son.
CHAP. XIII. ARGUMENT. —THAT THE SAME TRUTH IS PROVED FROM THE SACRED WRITINGS OF THE NEW COVENANT.
And thus also John, describing the nativity of Christ, says: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full Of grace and truth.". For, moreover, "His name is called the Word of God," and not without reason. "My heart has emitted a good word; " which word He subsequently calls by the name of the King inferentially, "I will tell my works to the King." For "by Him were made all the works, and without Him was nothing made." "Whether" says the apostle "they be thrones or dominations, or powers, or mights, visible things and invisible, all things subsist by Him." Moreover, this is I d which came unto His own, and His own received Him not. For the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not." Moreover, this Word "was in the beginning with God, and God was the Word." Who then can doubt, when in the last clause it is said, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," that Christ, whose is the nativity, and because He was made flesh, is man; and because He is the Word of God, who can shrink from declaring without hesitation that He is God, especially when he considers the evangelical Scripture, that it has associated both of these substantial natures into one concord of the nativity of Christ? For He it is who "as a bride-groom goeth forth from his bride-chamber; He exulted as a giant to run his way. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His return unto the ends of it." Because, even to the highest, "not any one hath ascended into heaven save He who came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven." Repeating this same thing, He says: "Father, glorify me with that glory wherewith I was with Thee before the world was." And if this Word came down from heaven as a bridegroom to the flesh, that by the assumption of flesh He might ascend thither as the Son of man, whence the Son of God had descended as the Word, reasonably, while by the mutual connection both flesh wears the Word of God, and the Son of God assumes the frailty of the flesh; when the flesh being espoused ascending thither, whence without the flesh it had descended, it at length receives that glory which in being shown to have had before the foundation of the world, it is most manifestly proved. to be God. And, nevertheless, while the world itself is said to have been founded after Him, it is found to have been created by Him; by that very divinity in Him whereby, the world was made, both His glory and His authority are proved. Moreover, if, whereas it is the property of none but God to know the secrets of the heart, Christ beholds the secrets of the heart; and if, whereas it belongs to none but God to remit sins, the same Christ remits sins; and if, whereas it is the portion of no man to come from heaven, He descended by coming from heaven; and if, whereas this word can be true of no man, "I and the Father are one," Christ alone declared this word out of the consciousness of His divinity; and if, finally, the Apostle Thomas, instructed in all the proofs and conditions of Christ's divinity, says in reply to Christ, "My Lord and my God ;" and if, besides, the Apostle Paul says, " Whose are the fathers, and of whom Christ came according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for evermore," writing in his epistles; and if the same apostle declares that he was ordained "an apostle not by men, nor of man, but by Jesus Christ;" and if the same contends that he learned the Gospel not from men or by man, but received it from Jesus Christ, reasonably Christ is God. Therefore, in this respect, one of two things must needs be established. For since it is evident that all things were made by Christ, He is either before all things, since all things were by Him, and so He is justly God; or because He is man He is subsequent to all things, and justly nothing was made by Him. But we cannot say that nothing was made by Him, when we observe it written that all things were made by Him. He is not therefore subsequent to all things; that is, He is not man only, who is subsequent to all things, but God also, since God is prior to all things. For He is before all things, because all things are by Him, while if He were only man, nothing would be by Him; or if all things were by Him, He would not be man only, because if He were only man, all things would not be by Him; nay, nothing would be by Him. What, then, do they reply? That nothing is by Him, so that He is man only? How then are all things by Him? Therefore He is not man only, but God also, since all things are by Him; so that we reasonably ought to understand that Christ is not man only, who is subsequent to all things, but God also, since by Him all things were made. For how can you say that He is man only, when you see Him also in the flesh, unless because when both aspects are considered, both truths are rightly believed?
CHAP. XIV. ARGUMENT—THE AUTHOR PROSECUTES THE SAME ARGUMENT.
And yet the heretic still shrinks from urging that Christ is God, whom he perceives to be proved God by so many words as well as facts. If Christ is only man, how, when He came into this world, did He come unto His own, since a man could have made no world? If Christ was only man, how is the world said to have been made by Him, when the world was not by man, but man was ordained after the world? If Christ was only man, how was it that Christ was not only of the seed of David; but He was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us? For although the Protoplast was not born of seed, yet neither was the Protoplast formed of the conjunction of the Word and the flesh. For He is not the Word made flesh, nor dwelt in us. If Christ was only man, how does He "who cometh from heaven testify what He hath seen and heard," when it is plain that man cannot come from heaven, because he cannot be born there? If Christ be only man, how are "visible things and invisible, thrones, powers, and dominions," said to be created by Him and in Him; when the heavenly powers could not have been made by man, since they must needs have been prior to man? If Christ is only man, how is He present wherever He is called upon; when it is not the nature of man, but of God, that it can be present in every place? If Christ is only man, why is a man invoked in prayers as a Mediator, when the invocation of a man to afford salvation is condemned as ineffectual? If Christ is only man, why is hope rested upon Him, when hope in man is declared to be accursed? If Christ is only man, why may not Christ be denied without destruction of the soul, when it is said that a sin committed against man may be forgiven? If Christ is only man, how comes John the Baptist to testify and say, "He who cometh after me has become before me, because He was prior to me;" when, if Christ were only man, being born after John, He could not be before John, unless because He preceded him, in that He is God? If Christ is only man, how is it that "what things the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise," when man cannot do works like to the heavenly operations of God? If Christ is only man, how is it that "even as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself," when man cannot have life in him after the example of God the Father, because he is not glorious in eternity, but made with the materials of mortality? If Christ is only man, how does He say, "I am the bread of eternal life which came down from heaven," when man can neither be the bread of life, he himself being mortal, nor could he have come down from heaven, since no perishable material is established in heaven? If Christ is only man, how does He say that "no man hath seen God at any time, save He which is of God; He hath seen God?" Because if Christ is only man, He could not see God, because no man has seen God; but if, being of God, He has seen God, He wishes it to be understood that He is more than man, in that He has seen God. If Christ is only man, why does He say, "What if ye shall see the Son of man ascending thither where He was before?" But He ascended into heaven, therefore He was there, in that He returned thither where He was before. But if He was sent from heaven by the Father, He certainly is not man only; for man, as we have said, could not come from heaven. Therefore as man He was not there before, but ascended thither where He was not. But the Word of God descended which was there, —the Word of God, I say, and God by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. It was not therefore man that thus came thence from heaven, but the Word of God; that is, God descended thence.
CHAP. XV. ARGUMENT.—AGAIN HE PROVES FROM THE GOSPEL THAT CHRIST IS GOD.
If Christ is only man, how is it that He says, "Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: because I know whence I came, and whither I go; ye know not whence I came, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh?" Behold, also He says, that He shall return thither whence He bears witness that He came before, as being sent,—to wit, from heaven. He came down therefore from whence He came, in the same manner as He goes thither from whence He descended. Whence if Christ were only man, He would not have come thence, and therefore would not depart thither, because He would riot have come thence. Moreover, by coming thence, whence as man He could not have come, He shows Himself to have come as God. For the Jews, ignorant and untaught in the matter of this very descent of His, made these heretics their successors, seeing that to them it is said, "Ye know not whence I come, and whither I go: ye judge after the flesh." As much they as the Jews, holding that the carnal birth of Christ was the only one, believed that Christ was nothing else than man; not considering this point, that as man could not come from heaven, so as that he might return thither, He who descended thence must be God, seeing that man could not come thence. If Christ is only man, how does He say, "Ye are from below, I am from above; ye are of this world, I am not of this world?" But therefore if every man is of this world, and Christ is for that reason in this world, is He only man? God forbid !But consider what He says: "I am not of this world." Does He then speak falsely when He says "of this world," if He is only man? Or if He does not speak falsely, He is not of this world; He is therefore not man only, because He is not of this world. But that it should not 1 be a secret who He was, He declared whence He was: "I," said He, "am from above," that is, from heaven, whence man cannot come, for he was not made in heaven. He is God, therefore, who is from above, and therefore He is not of this world; although, moreover, in a certain manner He is of this word: wherefore Christ is not God only, but man also. As reasonably in the way in which He is not of this world according to the divinity of the Word, so He is of this world according to the frailty of the body that He has taken upon Him. For man is joined with God, and God is linked with man. But on that account this Christ here laid more stress on the one aspect of His sole divinity, because the Jewish blindness contemplated in Christ the aspect alone of the flesh; and thence in the present passage He passed over in silence the frailty of the body, which is of the world, and spoke of His divinity alone, which is not of the world: so that in proportion as they had inclined to believe Him to be only man, in that proportion Christ might draw them to consider His divinity, so as to believe Him to be God, desirous to overcome their incredulity concerning His divinity by omitting in the meantime any mention of His human condition, and by setting before them His divinity alone. If Christ is man only, how does He say, "I proceeded forth and came from God," when it is evident that man was made by God, and did not proceed forth from Him? But in the way in which as man He proceeded not from God, thus the Word of God proceeded, of whom it is said, "My heart hath uttered forth a good Word ;" which, because it is from God, is with reason also with God. And this, too, since it was not uttered without effect, reasonably makes all things: "For all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made.' But this Word whereby all things were made (is God). "And God," says he, "was the Word." Therefore God proceeded from God, in that the Word which proceeded is God, who proceeded forth from God. If Christ is only man, how does He say, "If any man shall keep my word, he shall not see death for ever?" Not to see death for ever! what is this but immortality? But immortality is the associate of divinity, because both the divinity is immortal, and immortality is the fruit of divinity. For every man is mortal; and immortality cannot be from that which is mortal. Therefore from Christ, as a mortal man, immortality cannot arise. "But," says He, "whosoever keepeth my word, shall not see death for ever;" therefore the word of Christ affords immortality, and by immortality affords divinity. But although it is not possible to maintain that one who is himself mortal can make another immortal, yet this word of Christ not only sets forth, but affords immortality: certainly He is not man only who gives immortality, which if He were only man He could not give; but by giving divinity by immortality, He proves Himself to be God by offering divinity, which if He were not God He could not give. If Christ was only man, how did He say, "Before Abraham was, I Am?" For no man can be before Him from whom he himself is; nor can it be that any one should have been prior to him of whom he himself has taken his origin. And yet Christ, although He is born of Abraham, says that He is before Abraham. Either, therefore, He says what is not true, and deceives, if He was not before Abraham, seeing that He was of Abraham; or He does not deceive, if He is also God, and was before Abraham. And if this were not so, it follows that, being of Abraham, He could not be before Abraham. If Christ was only man, how does He say, "And I know them, and my sheep follow me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish?" And yet, since every man is bound by the laws of mortality, and therefore is unable to keep himself for ever, much more will he be unable to keep another for ever. But Christ promises to give salvation for ever, which if He does not give, He is a deceiver; if He gives, He is God. But He does not deceive, for He gives what He promises. Therefore He is God who proffers eternal salvation, which man, being unable to keep himself for ever, cannot be able to give to another. If Christ is only man, what is that which He says, "I and the Father are one?" For how can it be that "I and the Father are one," if He is not both God and the Son?—who may therefore be called one, seeing that He is of Himself, being both His Son, and being born of Him, being declared to have proceeded from Him, by which He is also God; which when the Jews thought to be hateful, and believed to be blasphemous, for that He had shown Himself in these discourses to be God, and therefore rushed at once to stoning, and set to work passionately to hurl stones, He strongly refuted His adversaries by the example and witness of the Scriptures. "If," said He, "He called them gods to whom the words of God were given, and the Scriptures cannot be broken, ye say of Him whom the Father sanctified, and sent into this world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God." By which words He did not deny Himself to be God, but rather He confirmed the assertion that He was God. For because, undoubtedly, they are said to be gods unto whom the words of God were given, much more is He God who is found to be superior to all these. And nevertheless He refuted the calumny of blasphemy in a fitting manner with lawful tact. For He wishes that He should be thus understood to be God, as the Son of God, and He would not wish to be understood to be the Father Himself. Thus He said that He was sent, and showed them that He had manifested many good works from the Father; whence He desired that He should not be understood to be the Father, but the Son. And in the latter portion of His defence He made mention of the Son, not the Father, when He said, "Ye say, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God." Thus, as far as pertains to the guilt of blasphemy, He calls Himself the Son, not the Father; but as pertaining to His divinity, by saying, "I and the Father are one," He proved that He was the Son of God. He is God, therefore, but God in such a manner as to be the Son, not the Father.
CHAP. XVI. ARGUMENT.—AGAIN FROM THE GOSPEL HE PROVES CHRIST TO BE GOD.
If Christ was only man, how is it that He Himself says, "And every one that believeth in me shall not die for evermore?" And yet he who believes in man by himself alone is called accursed; but he who believes on Christ is not accursed, but is said not to die for evermore. Whence, if on the one hand He is man only, as the heretics will have it, how shall not anybody who believes in Him die eternally, since he who trusts in man is held to be accursed? Or on the other, if he is not accursed, but rather, as it is read, destined for the attainment of everlasting life, Christ is not man only, but God also, in whom he who believes both lays aside all risk of curse, and attains to the fruit of righteousness. If Christ was only man, how does He say that the Paraclete "shall take of His, those things which He shall declare?" For neither does the Paraclete receive anything from man, but the Paraclete offers knowledge to man; nor does the Paraclete learn things future from man, but instructs man concerning futurity. Therefore either the Paraclete has not received from Christ, as man, what He should declare, since man could give nothing to the Paraclete, seeing that from Him man himself ought to receive, and Christ in the present instance is both mistaken and deceives, in saying that the Paraclete shall receive from Him, being a man, the things which He may declare; or He does not deceive us,—as in fact He does not,—and the Paraclete has received from Christ what He may declare. But if He has received from Christ what He may declare to us, Christ is greater than the Paraclete, because the Paraclete would not receive from Christ unless He were less than Christ. But the Paraclete being less than Christ, moreover, by this very fact proves Christ to be God, from whom He has received what He declares: so that the testimony of Christ's divinity is immense, in the Paraclete being found to be in this economy less than Christ, and taking from Him what He gives to others; seeing that if Christ were only man, Christ would receive from the Paraclete what He should say, not the Paraclete receive from Christ what He should declare. If Christ was only man, wherefore did He lay down for us such a rule of believing as that in which He said, "And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent?" Had He not wished that He also should be understood to be God, why did He add, "And Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent," except because He wished to be received as God also? Because if He had not wished to be understood to be God, He would have added, "And the man Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent;" but, in fact, He neither added this, nor did Christ deliver Himself to us as than only, but associated Himself with God, as He wished to be understood by this conjunction to be God also, as He is. We must therefore believe, according to the rule prescribed, on the Lord, the one true God, and consequently on Him whom He has sent, Jesus Christ, who by no means, as we have said, would have linked Himself to the Father had He not wished to be understood to be God also: for He would have separated Himself from Him had He not wished to be understood to be God. He would have placed Himself among men only, had He known Himself to be only man; nor would He have linked Himself with God had He not known Himself to be God also. But in this case He is silent about His being man, because no one doubts His being man, and with reason links Himself to God, that He might establish the formula of His divinity for those who should believe. If Christ was only man, how does He say, "And now glorify me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was?" If, before the world was, He had glory with God, and maintained His glory with the Father, He existed before the world, for He would not have had the glory unless He Himself had existed before, so as to be able to keep the glory. For no one could possess anything, unless he himself should first be in existence to keep anything. But now Christ has the glory before the foundation of the world; therefore He Himself was before the foundation of the world. For unless He were before the foundation of the world, He could not have glory before the foundation of the world, since He Himself was not in existence. But indeed man could not have glory before the foundation of the world, seeing that he was after the world; but Christ had—therefore He was before the world. Therefore He was not man only, seeing that He was before the world. He is therefore God, because He was before the world, and held His glory before the world. Neither let this be explained by predestination, since this is not so expressed, or let them add this who think so, but woe is denounced to them who add to, even as to those who take away from, that which is written. Therefore that may not be said, which may not be added. And thus, predestination being set aside, seeing it is not so laid down, Christ was in substance before the foundation of the world. For He is "the Word by which all things were made, and without which nothing was made." Because even if He is said to be glorious in predestination, and that this predestination was before the foundation of the world, let order be maintained, and before Him a considerable number of men was destined to glory. For in respect of that destination, Christ will be perceived to be less than others if He is designated subsequent to them. For if this glory was in predestination, Christ received that predestination to glory last of all; for prior to Him Adam will be seen to have been predestinated, and Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and many others. For since with God the order of all, both persons and things, is arranged, many will be said to have been predestinated before this predestination of Christ to glory. And on these terms Christ is discovered to be inferior to other men, although He is really found to be better and greater, and more ancient than the angels themselves. Either, then, let all these things be set on one side, that Christ's divinity may be destroyed; or if these things cannot be set aside, let His proper divinity be attributed to Christ by the heretics.
CHAP. XVII. ARGUMENT.—IT IS, MOREOVER, PROVED BY MOSES IN THE BEGINNING OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
What if Moses pursues this same rule of truth, and delivers to us in the beginning of his sacred writings, this principle by which we may learn that all things were created and rounded by the Son of God, that is, by the Word of God? For He says the same that John and the rest say; nay, both John and the others are perceived to have received from Him what they say. For if John says, "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made," the prophet David too says, "I tell my works to the King." Moses, moreover, introduces God commanding that there should be light at the first, that the heaven should be established, that the waters should be gathered into one place, that the dry land should appear, that the fruit should be brought forth according to its seed, that the animals should be produced, that lights should be established in heaven, and stars. He shows that none other was then present to God—by whom these works were commanded that they should be made—than He by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. And if He is the Word of God—"for my heart has uttered forth a good Word"—He shows that in the beginning the Word was, and that this Word was with the Father, and besides that the Word was God, and that all things were made by Him. Moreover, this "Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,"—to wit, Christ the Son of God; whom both on receiving subsequently as man according to the flesh, and seeing before the foundation of the world to be the Word of God, and God, we reasonably, according to the instruction of the Old and New Testament, believe and hold to be as well God as man, Christ Jesus. What if the same Moses introduces God saying, "Let us make man after our image and likeness;" and below, "And God made man; in the image of God made He him, male and female made He them?" If, as we have already shown, it is the Son of God by whom all things were made, certainly it was the Son of God by whom also man was ordained, on whose account all things were made. Moreover, when God commands that man should be made, He is said to be God who makes man; but the Son of God makes man, that is to say, the Word of God, "by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made." And this Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: therefore Christ is God; therefore man was made by Christ as by the Son of God. But God made man in the image of God; He is therefore God who made man in the image of God; therefore Christ is God: so that with reason neither does the testimony of the Old Testament waver concerning the person of Christ, being supported by the manifestation of the New Testament; nor is the power of the New Testament detracted from, while its truth is resting on the roots of the same Old Testament. Whence they who presume Christ the Son of God and man to be only man, and not God also, do so in opposition to both Old and New Testaments, in that they corrupt the authority and the truth both of the Old and New Testaments. What if the same Moses everywhere introduces God the Father infinite and without end, not as being enclosed in any place, but as one who includes every place; nor as one who is in a place, but rather one in whom every place is, containing all things and embracing all things, so that with reason He can neither descend nor ascend, because He Himself both contains and fills all things, and yet nevertheless introduces God descending to consider the tower which the sons of men were building, asking and saying, "Come;" and then, "Let us go down and there confound their tongues, that each one may not understand the words of his neighbour." Whom do they pretend here to have been the God who descended to that tower, and asking to visit those men at that time? God the Father? Then thus He is enclosed in a place; and how does He embrace all things? Or does He say that it is an angel descending with angels, and saying, "Come;" and subsequently, "Let us go down and there confound their tongues?" And yet in Deuteronomy we observe that God told these things, and that God said, where it is written, "When He scattered abroad the children of Adam, He determined the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God." Neither, therefore, did the Father descend, as the subject itself indicates; nor did an angel command these things, as the fact shows. Then it remains that He must have descended, of whom the Apostle Paul says, "He who descended is the same who ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill all things," that is, the Son of God, the Word of God. But the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us. This must be Christ. Therefore Christ must be declared to be God.
CHAP. XVIII. ARGUMENT.—MOREOVER ALSO, FROM THE FACT THAT HE WHO WAS SEEN OF ABRAHAM IS CALLED GOD; WHICH CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD OF THE FATHER, WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN AT ANY TIME; BUT OF THE SON IN THE LIKENESS OF AN ANGEL.
Behold, the same Moses tells us in another place that "God was seen of Abraham." And yet the same Moses hears from God, that "no man can see God and live." If God cannot be seen, how was God seen? Or if He was seen, how is it that He cannot be seen? For John also says, "No man hath seen God at any time;" and the Apostle Paul, "Whom no man hath seen, nor can see." But certainly the Scripture does not lie; therefore, truly, God was seen. Whence it may be understood that it was not the Father who was seen, seeing that He never was seen; but the Son, who has both been accustomed to descend, and to be seen because He has descended. For He is the image of the invisible God, as the imperfection and frailty of the human condition was accustomed sometimes even then to see God the Father in the image of God, that is, in the Son of God. For gradually and by progression human frailty was to be strengthened by the image to that glory of being able one day to see God the Father. For the things that are great are dangerous if they are sudden. For even the sudden light of the sun after darkness, with its too great splendour, will not make manifest the light of day to unaccustomed eyes, but will rather strike them with blindness.
And lest this should occur to the injury of human eyes, the darkness is broken up and scattered by degrees; and the rising of that luminary, mounting by small and unperceived increments, gently accustoms men's eyes to bear its full orb by the gentle increase of its rays. Thus, therefore, Christ also—that is, the image of God, and the Son of God—is looked upon by men, inasmuch as He could be seen. And thus the weakness and imperfection of the human destiny is nourished, led up, and educated by Him; so that, being accustomed to look upon the Son, it may one day be able to see God the Father Himself also as He is, that it may not be stricken by His sudden and intolerable brightness, and be hindered from being able to see God the Father, whom it has always desired. Wherefore it is the Son who is seen; but the Son of God is the Word of God: and the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and this is Christ. What in the world is the reason that we should hesitate to call Him God, who in so many ways is acknowledged to be proved God? And if, moreover, the angel meets with Hagar, Sarah's maid, driven from her home as well as turned away, near the fountain of water in the way to Shur; asks and learns the reason of her flight, and after that offers her advice that she should humble herself; and, moreover, gives her the hope of the name of mother, and pledges and promises that from her womb there should be a numerous seed, and that she should have Ismael to be born from her; and with other things unfolds the place of his habitation, and describes his mode of life; yet Scripture sets forth this angel as both Lord and God—for He would not have promised the blessing of seed unless the angel had also been God. Let them ask what the heretics can make of this present passage. Was that the Father that was seen by Hagar or not? For He is declared to be God. But far be it from us to call God the Father an angel, lest He should be subordinate to another whose angel He would be. But they will say that it was an angel. How then shall He be God if He was an an gel? Since this name is nowhere conceded to angels, except that on either side the truth compels us into this opinion, that we ought to understand it to have been God the Son, who, because He is of God, is rightly called God, because He is the Son of God. But, because He is subjected to the Father, and the Announcer of the Father's will, He is declared to be the Angel of Great Counsel. Therefore, although this passage neither is suited to the person of the Father, lest He should be called an angel, nor to the person of an angel, lest he should be called God; yet it is suited to the person of Christ that He should be both God because He is the Son of God, and should be an angel because He is the Announcer of the Father's mind. And the heretics ought to understand that they are setting themselves against the Scriptures, in that, while they say that they believe Christ to have been also an angel, they are unwilling to declare Him to have been also God, when they read in the Old Testament that He often came to visit the human race. To this, moreover, Moses added the instance of God seen of Abraham at the oak of Mature, when he was sitting at the opening of his tent at noon-day. And nevertheless, although he had beheld three men, note that he called one of them Lord; and when he had washed their feet, he offers them bread baked on the ashes, with butter and abundance of milk itself, and urges them that, being detained as guests, they should eat. And after I this he hears also that he should be a father, and learns that Sarah his wife should bring forth a son by him; and acknowledges concerning the destruction of the people of Sodom, what they deserve to suffer; and learns that God had come down on account of the cry of Sodom. in which place, if they will have it that the Father was seen at that time to have been received with hospitality in company with two angels, the heretics have believed the Father to be visible. But if an angel, although of the three angels one is called Lord, why, although it is not usual, is an angel called God? Unless because, in order that His proper invisibility may be restored to the Father, and the proper inferiority be remitted to the angel, it was only God the Son, who also is God, who was seen by Abraham, and was believed to have been received with hospitality. For He anticipated sacramentally what He was hereafter to become. He was made a guest of Abraham, being about to be among the sons of Abraham. And his children's feet, by way of proving what He was, He washed; returning in the children the claim of hospitality which formerly the Father had put out to interest to Him. Whence also, that there might be no doubt but that it was He who was the guest of Abraham on the destruction of the people of Sodom, it is declared: "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrha fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven." For thus also said the prophet in the person of God: "I have overthrown you, as the Lord overturned Sodom and Gomorrha." Therefore the Lord overturned Sodom, that is, God overturned Sodom; but in the overturning of Sodom, the Lord rained fire from the Lord. And this Lord was the God seen by Abraham; and this God was the guest of Abraham, certainly seen because He was also touched. But although the Father, being invisible, was assuredly not at that time seen, He who was accustomed to be touched and seen was seen and received to hospitality. But this the Son of God, "The Lord rained from the Lord upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire." And this is the Word of God. And the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and this is Christ. It was not the Father, then, who was a guest with Abraham, but Christ. Nor was it the Father who was seen then, but the Son; and Christ was seen. Rightly, therefore, Christ is both Lord and God, who was not otherwise seen by Abraham, except that as God the Word He was begotten of God the Father before Abraham himself. Moreover, says the Scripture, the same Angel and God visits and consoles the same Hagar when driven with her son from the dwelling of Abraham. For when in the desert she had exposed the infant, because the water had fallen short from the pitcher; and when the lad had cried out, and she had lifted up her weeping and lamentation, "God heard," says the Scripture, "the voice of the lad from the place where he was." Having told that it was God who heard the voice of the infant, it adds: "And the angel of the Lord called Hagar herself out of heaven," saying that that was an angel whom it had called God, and pronouncing Him to be Lord whom it had set forth as an angel; which Angel and God moreover promises to Hagar herself greater consolations, in saying, "Fear not; for I have heard the voice of the lad from the place where he was. Arise, take up the lad, and hold him; for I will make of him a great nation." Why does this angel, if angel only, claim to himself this right of saying, I will make of him a great nation, since assuredly this kind of power belongs to God, and cannot belong to an angel? Whence also He is confirmed to be God, since He is able to do this; because, by way of proving this very point, it is immediately added by the Scripture: "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of running water; and she went and filled the bottle from the well, and gave to the lad: and God was with the lad." If, then, this God was with the Lord, who opened the eyes of Hagar that she might see the well of running water, and might draw the water on account of the urgent need of the lad's thirst, and this God who calls her from heaven is called an angel when, in previously hearing the voice of the lad crying, He was rather God; is not understood to be other than angel, in like manner as He was God also. And since this cannot be applicable or fitting to the Father, who is God only, but may be applicable to Christ, who is declared to be not only God, but angel also, it manifestly appears that it was not the Father who thus spoke to Hagar, but rather Christ, since He is God; and to Him also is applied the name of angel, since He became the "angel of great counsel." And He is the angel, in that He declares the bosom of the Father, as John sets forth. For if John himself says, that He Himself who sets forth the bosom of the Father, as the Word, became flesh in order to declare the bosom of the Father, assuredly Christ is not only man, but angel also; and not only angel, but He is shown by the Scriptures to be Cod also. And this is believed to be the case by us; so that, if we will not consent to apprehend that it was Christ who then spoke to Hagar, we must either make an angel God, or we must reckon God the Father Almighty among the angels.
CHAP. XIX. ARGUMENT.—THAT GOD ALSO APPEARED TO JACOB AS AN ANGEL; NAMELY, THE SON OF GOD.
What if in another place also we read in like manner that God was described as an angel? For when, to his wives Leah and Rachel, Jacob complained of the injustice of their father, and when he told them that he desired now to go and return into his own land, he moreover inter posed the authority of his dream; and at this time he says that the angel of God had said to him in a dream, "Jacob, Jacob. And I said," says he, "What is it? Lift up thine eyes, said He, and see, the he-goats and the rams leaping upon the sheep, and the she-goats are black and white, and many- coloured, and grizzled, and speckled: for I have seen all that Laban hath done to thee. I am God, who appeared to thee in the place of God, where thou anointedst for me there the standing stone, and there vowedst a vow unto me: now therefore arise, and go forth from this land, and go unto the land of thy nativity, and I will be with thee." If the Angel of God speaks thus to Jacob, and the Angel himself mentions and says, "I am God, who appeared unto thee in the house of God," we see without any hesitation that this is declared to be not only an angel, but God also; because He speaks of the vow directed to Himself by Jacob in the place of God, and He does not say, in my place. It is then the place of God, and He also is God. Moreover, it is written simply in the place of God, for it is not said in the place of the angel and God, but only of God; and He who promises those things is manifested to be both God and Angel, so that reasonably there must be a distinction between Him who is called God only, and Him who is declared to be not God simply, but Angel also. Whence if so great an authority cannot here be regarded as belonging to any other angel, that He should also avow Himself to be God, and should bear witness that a vow was made to Him, except to Christ alone, to whom not as angel only, but as to God, a vow can be vowed; it is manifest that it is not to be received as the Father, but as the Son, God and Angel. Moreover, if this is Christ, as it is, he is in terrible risk who says that Christ is either man or angel alone, withholding from Him the power of the divine name,—an authority which He has constantly received on the faith of the heavenly Scriptures, which continually say that He is both Angel and God. To all these things, moreover, is added this, that in like manner as the divine Scripture has frequently declared Him both Angel and God, so the same divine Scripture declares Him also both man and God, expressing thereby what He should be, and depicting even then in figure what He was to be in the truth of His substance. "For," it says, "Jacob remained alone; and there wrestled with him a man even till daybreak. And He saw that He did not prevail against him; and He touched the broad part of Jacob's thigh while He was wrestling with him and he with Him, and said to him, Let me go, for the morning has dawned. And he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me. And He said, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said to him, Thy name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; because thou hast prevailed with God, and thou an powerful with men." And it adds, moreover: "And Jacob called the name of that place the Vision of God: for I have seen the Lord face to face, and my soul has been made safe. And the sun arose upon him. Afterwards he crossed over the Vision of God, but he halted upon his thigh." A man, it says, wrestled with Jacob. If this was a mere man, who is he? Whence is he? Wherefore does he contend and wrestle with Jacob? What had intervened? What had happened? What was the cause of so great a dispute as that, and so great a struggle? Why, moreover, is Jacob, who is found to be strong enough to hold the man with whom he is wrestling, and asks for a blessing from Him whom he is holding, asserted to have asked therefore, except because this struggle was prefigured as that which should be between Christ and the sons of Jacob, which is said to be completed in the Gospel? For against this man Jacob's people struggled, in which struggle Jacob's people was found to be the more powerful, because against Christ it gained the victory of its iniquity: at which time, on account of the crime that it committed, hesitating and giving way, it began most sorely to halt in the walk of its own faith and salvation; and although it was found the stronger, in respect of the condemnation of Christ, it still needs His mercy, still needs His blessing. But, moreover, the man who wrestled with Jacob says, "Moreover, thy name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name;" and if lsrael is the man who sees God, the Lord was beautifully showing that it was not only a man who was then wrestling with Jacob, but God also. Certainly Jacob saw God, with whom he wrestled, although he was holding the man in his own struggle. And in order that there might still be no hesitation, He Himself laid down the interpretation by saying, "Because thou hast prevailed with God, and art powerful with men." For which reason the same Jacob, perceiving already the force of the Mystery, and apprehending the authority of Him with whom he had wrestled, called the name of that place in which he had wrestled, the Vision of God. He, moreover, superadded the reason for his interpretation being offered of the Vision of God: "For I have seen," said he, "God face to face, and my soul has been saved." Moreover, he saw God, with whom he wrestled as with a man; but still indeed he held the man as a conqueror, though as an inferior he asked a blessing as from God. Thus he wrestled with God and with man; and thus truly was that struggle prefigured, and in the Gospel was fulfilled, between Christ and the people of Jacob, wherein, although the people had the mastery, yet it proved to be inferior by being shown to be guilty. Who will hesitate to acknowledge that Christ, in whom this type of a wrestling was fulfilled, was not man only, but God also, since even that very type of a wrestling seems to have proved Him man and God? And yet, even after this, the same divine Scripture justly does not cease to call the Angel God, and to pronounce God the Angel. For when this very Jacob was about to bless Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph, with his hands placed across on the heads of the lads, he said, "The God which fed me from my youth even unto this day, the Angel who delivered me from all evils, bless these lads." Even to such a point does he affirm the same Being to be an Angel, whom he had called God, as in the end of his discourse, to express the person of whom he was speaking as one, when he said "bless these lads." For if he had meant the one to be understood as God, and the other as an angel, he would have comprised the two persons in the plural number; but now he defined the singular number of one person in the blessing, whence he meant it to be understood that the same person is God and Angel. But yet He cannot be received as God the Father; but as God and Angel, as Christ He can be received. And Him, as the author of this blessing, Jacob also signified by placing his hands crossed upon the lads, as if their father was Christ, and showing, from thus placing his hands, the figure and future form of the passion. Let no one, therefore, who does not shrink from speaking of Christ as an Angel, thus shrink from pronouncing Him God also, when he perceives that He Himself was invoked in the blessing of these lads, by the sacrament of the passion, intimated in the type of the crossed hands, as both God and Angel.
CHAP. XX. ARGUMENT.—IT IS PROVED FROM THE SCRIPTURES THAT CHRIST WAS CALLED AN ANGEL. BUT YET IT IS SHOWN FROM OTHER PARTS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE THAT HE IS GOD ALSO.
But if some heretic, obstinately struggling against the truth, should persist in all these instances either in understanding that Christ was properly an angel, or should contend that He must be so understood, he must in this respect also be subdued by the force of truth. For if, since all heavenly things, earthly things, and things under the earth, are subjected to Christ, even the angels themselves, with all other creatures, as many as are subjected to Christ, are called gods, rightly also Christ is God. And if any angel at all subjected to Christ can be called God, and this, if it be said, is also professed without blasphemy, certainly much more can this be fitting for Christ, Himself the Son of God, for Him to be pronounced God. For if an angel who is subjected to Christ is exalted as God, much more, and more consistently, shall Christ, to whom all angels are subjected, be said to be God. For it is not suitable to nature, that what is conceded to the lesser should be denied to the greater. Thus, if an angel be inferior to Christ, and yet an angel is called god, rather by consequence is Christ said to be God, who is discovered to be both greater and better, not than one, but than all angels. And if "God standeth in the assembly of the gods, and in the midst God distinguisheth between the gods," and Christ stood at various times in the synagogue, then Christ stood in the synagogue as God,—judging, to wit, between the gods, to whom He says, "How long do ye accept the persons of men?" That is to say, consequently, charging the men of the synagogue with not practising just judgments. Further, if they who are reproved and blamed seem even for any reason to attain this name without blasphemy, that they should be called gods, assuredly much more shall He be esteemed God, who not only is said to have stood as God in the synagogue of the gods, but moreover is revealed by the same authority 9f the reading as distinguishing and judging between gods. But even if they who "fall like one of the princes" are still called gods, much rather shall He be said to be God, who not only does not fall like one of the princes, but even overcomes both the author and prince of wickedness himself. And what in the world is the reason, that although they say that this name was given even to Moses, since it is said, "I have made thee as a god to Pharaoh," it should be denied to Christ, who is declared to be ordained not to Pharaoh only, but to every creature, as both Lord and God? And in the former case indeed this name is given with reserve, in the latter lavishly; in the former by measure, in the latter above all kind of measure: "For," it is said, "the Father giveth not to the Son by measure, for the Father loveth the Son." In the former for the time, in the latter without reference to time; for He received the power of the divine name, both above all things and for all time. But if he who has received the power of one man, in respect to this limited power given him, still without hesitation attains that name of God, how much more shall He who has power over Moses himself as well be believed to have attained the authority of that name?
CHAP. XXI. ARGUMENT.—THAT THE SAME DIVINE MAJESTY IS AGAIN CONFIRMED IN CHRIST BY OTHER SCRIPTURES.
And indeed I could set forth the treatment of this subject by all heavenly Scriptures, and set in motion, so to speak, a perfect forest of texts concerning that manifestation of the divinity of Christ, except that I have not so much undertaken to speak against this special form of heresy, as to expound the rule of truth concerning the person of Christ. Although, however, I must hasten to other matters, I do not think that I must pass over this point, that in the Gospel the Lord declared, by way of signifying His majesty, saying, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up again." Or when, in another passage, and on another subject, He declares, "I have power to lay down my life, and again to take it up; for this commandment I have received of my Father." Now who is it who says that He can lay down His life, or can Himself recover His life again, because He has received it of His Father? Or who says that He can again resuscitate and rebuild the destroyed temple of His body, except because He is the Word who is from the Father, who is with the Father, "by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made;" the imitator of His Father's works and powers, "the image of the invisible God ;" "who came down from heaven;" who testified what things he had seen and heard; who "came not to do His own will, but rather to do the will of the Father," by whom He had been sent for this very purpose, that being made the "Messenger of Great Counsel," He might unfold to us the laws of the heavenly mysteries; and who as the Word made flesh dwelt among us, of us this Christ is proved to be not man only, because He was the son of man, but also God, because He is the Son of God? And if by the apostle Christ is called "the first-born of every creature," how could He be the first- born of every creature, unless because according to His divinity the Word proceeded from the Father before every creature? And unless the heretics receive it thus, they will be constrained to show that Christ the man was the first-born of every creature; which they will not be able to do. Either, therefore, He is before every creature, that He may be the first- born of every creature, and He is not man only, because man is after every creature; or He is man only, and He is after every creature. And how is He the first-born of every creature, except because being that Word which is before every creature; and therefore, the first-born of every creature, He becomes flesh and dwells in us, that is, assumes that man's nature which is after every creature, and so dwells with him and in him, in us, that neither is humanity taken away from Christ, nor His divinity denied? For if He is only before every creature, humanity is taken away from Him; but if He is only man, the divinity which is before every creature is interfered with. Both of these, therefore, are leagued together in Christ, and both are conjoined, and both are linked with one another. And rightly, as there is in Him something which excels the creature, the agreement of the divinity and the humanity seems to be pledged in Him: for which reason He who is declared as made the "Mediator between God and man" is revealed to have associated in Himself God and man. And if the same apostle says of Christ, that "having put off the flesh, He spoiled powers, they being openly triumphed over in Himself," he certainly did not without a meaning propound that the flesh was put off, unless because he wished it to be understood that it was again put on also at the resurrection. Who, therefore, is He that thus put off and put on the flesh? Let the heretics seek out. For we know that the Word of God was invested with the substance of flesh, and that He again was divested of the same bodily material, which again He took up in the resurrection and resumed as a garment. And yet Christ could neither have been divested of nor invested with manhood, had He been only man: for man is never either deprived of nor invested with himself. For that must be something else, whatever it may be, which by any other is either taken away or put on. Whence, reasonably, it was the Word of God who put off the flesh, and again in the resurrection put it on, since He put it off because at His birth He had been invested with it. Therefore in Christ it is God who is invested, and moreover must be divested, because He who is invested must also likewise be He who is divested; whereas, as man, He is invested with and divested of, as it were, a certain tunic of the compacted body. And therefore by consequence He was, as we have said, the Word of God, who is revealed to be at one time invested, at another time divested of the flesh. For this, moreover, He before predicted in blessings: "He shall wash His garment in wine, and His clothing in the blood of the grape." If the garment in Christ be the flesh, and the clothing itself be the body, let it be asked who is He whose body is clothing, and garment flesh? For to us it is evident that the flesh is the garment, and the body the clothing of the Word; and He washed His bodily substance, and purified the material of the flesh in blood, that is, in wine, by His passion, in the human character that He had undertaken. Whence, if indeed He is washed, He is man, because the garment which is washed is the flesh; but He who washes is the Word of God, who, in order that He might wash the garment, was made the taker-up of the garment. Rightly, from that substance which is taken that it might be washed, He is revealed as a man, even as from the authority of the Word who washed it He is manifested to be God.
CHAP. XXII. ARGUMENT—THAT THE SAME DIVINE MAJESTY IS IN CHRIST, HE ONCE MORE ASSERTS BY OTHER SCRIPTURES.
But why, although we appear to hasten to another branch of the argument, should we pass over that passage in the apostle: "Who, although He was in the form of God, did not think it robbery that He should be equal with God; but emptied Himself, taking up the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore also God hath highly exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bent, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, in the glory of God the Father?" "Who, although He was in the form of God," he says. If Christ had been only man, He would have been spoken of as in "the image" of God, not "in the form" of God. For we know that man was made after the image or likeness, not after the form, of God. Who then is that angel who, as we have said, was made in the form of God? But neither do we read of the form of God in angels, except because this one is chief and royal above all—the Son of God, the Word of God, the imitator of all His Father's works, in that He Himself worketh even as His Father. He is—as we have declared—in the form of God the Father. And He is reasonably affirmed to be in the form of God, in that He Himself, being above all things, and having the divine power over every creature, is also God after the example of the Father. Yet He obtained, this from His own Father, that He should be both God of all and should be Lord, and be begotten and made known from Himself as God in the form of God the Father. He then, although He was in the form of God, thought it not robbery that He should be equal with God. For although He remembered that He was God from God the Father, He never either compared or associated Himself with God the Father, mindful that He was from His Father, and that He possessed that very thing that He is, because the Father had given it Him. Thence, finally, both before the assumption of the flesh, and moreover after the assumption of the body, besides, after the resurrection itself, He yielded all obedience to the Father, and still yields it as ever. Whence it is proved that He thought that the claim of a certain divinity would be robbery, to wit, that of equalling Himself with God the Father; but, on the other hand, obedient and subject to all His rule and will, He even was contented to take on Him the form of a servant— that is, to become man; and the substance of flesh and body which, as it came to Him from the bondage of His forefathers' sins according to His manhood, He undertook by being born, at which time moreover He emptied Himself, in that He did not refuse to take upon Him the frailty incident to humanity. Because if He had been born man only, He would not have been emptied in respect of this; for man, being born, is increased, not emptied. For in beginning to be that which He could not possess, so long as He did not exist, as we have said, He is not emptied, but is rather increased and enriched. But if Christ is emptied in being born, in taking the form of a servant, how is He man only? Of whom it could more truly have been said that He was enriched, not emptied, at the time that He was born, except because the authority of the divine Word, reposing for awhile in taking upon itself humanity, and not exercising itself with its real strength, casts itself down, and puts itself off for the time, in bearing the humanity which it has undertaken? It empties itself in descending to injuries and reproaches, in bearing abominations, in experiencing things unworthy; and yet of this humility there is present at once an eminent reward. For He has "received a name which is above every name," which assuredly we understand to be none other than the name of God. For since it belongs to God alone to be above all things, it follows that the name which is that God's who is above all things, is above every name; which name by consequence is certainly His who, although He was "in the form of God, thought it not robbery for Him to be equal with God." For neither, if Christ were not God, would every knee bend itself in His name, "of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;" nor would things visible and invisible, even every creature of all things, be subjected or be placed under man, when they might remember that they were before man. Whence, since Christ is said to be in the form of God, and since it is shown that for His nativity according to the flesh He emptied Himself; and since it is declared that He received from the Father that name which is above every name; and since it is shown that in His name "every knee of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, bend and bow" themselves; and this very thing is asserted to be a furtherance of the glory of God the Father; consequently He is not man only, from the fact that He became obedient to the Father, even to death, yea, the death of the cross; but, moreover, from the proclamation by these higher matters of the divinity of Christ, Christ Jesus is shown to be Lord and God, which the heretics will not have.
CHAP. XXIII. ARGUMENT.—AND THIS IS SO MANIFEST, THAT SOME HERETICS HAVE THOUGHT HIM TO BE GOD THE FATHER, OTHERS THAT HE WAS ONLY GOD WITHOUT THE FLESH.
In this place I may be permitted also to collect arguments from the side of other heretics. It is a substantial kind of proof which is gathered even from an adversary, so as to prove the truth even from the very enemies of truth. For it is so far manifest that He is declared in the Scriptures to be God, that many heretics, moved by the magnitude and truth of this divinity, exaggerating His honours above measure, have dared to announce or to think Him not the Son, but God the Father Himself. And this, although it is contrary to the truth of the Scriptures, is still a great and excellent argument for the divinity of Christ, who is so far God, except as Son of God, born of God, that very many heretics—as we have said—have so accepted Him as God, as to think that He must be pronounced not the Son, but the Father. Therefore let it be considered whether He is God or not, since His authority has so affected some, that, as we have already said above, they have thought Him God the Father Himself, and have confessed the divinity in Christ with such impetuosity and effusion—compelled to it by the manifest divinity in Christ—that they thought that He whom they read of as the Son, because they perceived Him to be God, must be the Father. Moreover, other heretics have so far embraced the manifest divinity of Christ, as to say that He was without flesh, and to withdraw from Him the whole humanity which He took upon Him, lest, by associating with Him a human nativity, as they conceived it, they should diminish in Him the power of the divine name. This, however, we do not approve; but we quote it as an argument to prove that Christ is God, to this extent, that some, taking away the manhood, have thought Him God only, and some have thought Him God the Father Himself; when reason and the proportion of the heavenly Scriptures show Christ to be God, but as the Son of God; and the Son of man, having been taken up, moreover by God, that He must be believed to be man also. Because if He came to man, that He might be Mediator of God and men, it behoved Him to be with man, and the Word to be made flesh, that in His own self He might link together the agreement of earthly things with heavenly things, by associating in Himself pledges of both natures, and uniting God to man and man to God; so that reasonably the Son of God might be made by the assumption of flesh the Son of man, and the Son of man by the reception of the Word of God the Son of God. This most profound and recondite mystery, destined before the worlds for the salvation of the human race, is found to be fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, both God and man, that the human race might be placed within the reach of the enjoyment of eternal salvation.
CHAP. XXIV. ARGUMENT.—THAT THESE HAVE THEREFORE ERRED, BY THINKING THAT THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SON OF GOD AND THE SON OF MAN; BECAUSE THEY HAVE ILL UNDERSTOOD THE SCRIPTURE.
But the material of that heretical error has arisen. as I judge, from this, that they think that there is no distinction between the Son of God and the Son of man; because if a distinction were made, Jesus Christ would easily be proved to be both man and God. For they will have it that the self-same that is man, the Son of man, appears also as the Son of God; that man and flesh and that same frail substance may be said to be also the Son of God Himself. Whence, since no distinction is discerned between the Son of man and the Son of God, but the Son of man Himself is asserted to be the Son of God, the same Christ and the Son of God is asserted to be man only; by which they strive to exclude, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." And ye shall call His name Emmanuel; which is, interpreted, God with us." For they propose and put forward what is told in the Gospel of Luke, whence they strive to maintain not what is the truth, but only what they want it to be: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shah overshadow thee; therefore also the Holy Thing which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God." If, then, say they, the angel of God says to Mary, "that Holy Thing which is born of thee," the substance of flesh and body is of Mary; but he has set forth that this substance, that is, that Holy Thing which is born of her, is the Son of God. Man, say they, himself, and that bodily flesh; that which is called holy, itself is the Son of God. That also when the Scripture says that "Holy Thing," we should understand thereby Christ the man, the Son of man; and when it places before us the Son of God, we ought to perceive, not man, but God. And yet the divine Scripture easily convicts and discloses the frauds and artifices of the heretics. For if it were thus only, "The Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that Holy Thing which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God," perchance we should have had to strive against them in another sort, and to have sought for other arguments, and to have taken up other weapons, with which to overcome both their snares and their wiles; but since the Scripture itself, abounding in heavenly fulness, divests itself of the calumnies of these heretics, we easily depend upon that that is written, and overcome those errors without any hesitation. For it said, not as we have already stated, "Therefore the Holy Thing which shall be born of thee;" but added the conjunction, for it says, "Therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee," so as to make it plain that that Holy Thing which is born of her—that is, that substance of flesh and body—is not the Son of God primarily, but consequently, and in the secondary place; but primarily, that the Son of God is the Word of God, incarnate by that Spirit of whom the angel says, "The Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." For He is the legitimate Son of God who is of God Himself; and He, while He assumes that Holy Thing, and links to Himself the Son of man, and draws Him and transfers Him to Himself, by His connection and mingling of association becomes responsible for and makes Him the Son of God, which by nature He was not, so that the original cause of that name Son of God is in the Spirit of the Lord, who descended and came, and that there is only the continuance of the name in the case of the Son of man; and by consequence He reasonably became the Son of God, although originally He is not the Son of God. And therefore the angel, seeing that arrangement, and providing for that order of the mystery, did not confuse every thing in such a way as to leave no trace of a distinction, but established the distinction by saying, "Therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" lest, had he not arranged that distribution with his balances, but had left the matter all mixed up in confusion, it had really afforded occasion to heretics to declare that the Son of man, in that He is man, is the same as the Son of God and man. But now, explaining severally the ordinance and the reason of so great a mystery, he evidently set forth in saying, "And that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" the proof that the Son of God descended, and that He, in taking up into Himself the Son of man, consequently made Him the Son of God, because the Son of God associated and joined Him to Himself. So that, while the Son of man cleaves in His nativity to the Son of God, by that very mingling He holds that as pledged and derived which of His own nature He could not possess. And thus by the word of the angel the distinction is made, against the desire of the heretics, between the Son of God and man; yet with their association, by pressing them to understand that Christ the Son of man is man, and also to receive the Son of God and man the Son of God; that is, the Word of God as it is written as God; and thus to acknowledge that Christ Jesus the Lord, connected on both sides, so to speak, is on both sides woven in and grown together, and associated in the same agreement of both substances, by the binding to one another of a mutual alliance—man and God by the truth of the Scripture which declares this very thing.
CHAP. XXV. ARGUMENT.—AND THAT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THENCE, THAT BECAUSE CHRIST DIED IT MUST ALSO BE RECEIVED THAT GOD DIED; FOR SCRIPTURE SETS FORTH THAT NOT ONLY WAS CHRIST GOD, BUT MAN ALSO.
Therefore, say they, if Christ is not man only, but God also—and Scripture tells us that He died for us, and was raised again—then Scripture teaches us to believe that God died; or if God does not die, and Christ is said to have died, then Christ will not be God, because God cannot be admitted to have died. If they ever could understand or had understood what they read, they would never speak after such a perilous fashion. But the folly of error is always hasty in its descent, and it is no new thing if those who have forsaken the lawful faith descend even to perilous results. For if Scripture were to set forth that Christ is God only, and that there was no association of human weakness mingled in His nature, this intricate argument of theirs might reasonably avail something. If Christ is God, and Christ died, then God died. But when Scripture determines, as we have frequently shown, that He is not only God, but man also, it follows that what is immortal may be held to have remained uncorrupted. For who cannot understand that the divinity is impassible, although the human weakness is liable to suffering? When, therefore, Christ is understood to be mingled and associated as well of that which God is, as of that which man is—for "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us"—who cannot easily apprehend of himself, without any teacher and interpreter, that it was not that in Christ that died which is God, but that in Him died which is man? For what if the divinity in Christ does not die, but the substance of the flesh only is destroyed, when in other men also, who are not flesh only, but flesh and soul, the flesh indeed alone suffers the inroads of wasting and death, while the soul is seen to be uncorrupted, and beyond the laws of destruction and death? For this also our Lord Himself said, exhorting us to martyrdom and to contempt of all human power: "Fear not those who slay the body, but cannot kill the soul." But if the immortal soul cannot be killed or slain in any other, although the body and flesh by itself can be slain, how much rather assuredly could not the Word of God and God in Christ be put to death at all, although the flesh alone and the body was slain! For if in any man whatever, the soul has this excellence of immortality that it cannot be slain, much more has the nobility of the Word of God this power of not being slain. For if the power of men fails to slay the sacred power of God, and if the cruelty of man fails to destroy the soul, much more ought it to fail to slay the Word of God. For as the soul itself, which was made by the Word of God, is not killed by men, certainly much rather will it be believed that the Word of God cannot be destroyed. And if the sanguinary cruelty of men cannot do more against men than only to slay the body, how much more certainly it will not have power against Christ beyond in the same way slaying the body! So that, while from these considerations it is gathered that nothing but the human nature in Christ was put to death, it appears that the Word in Him was not drawn down into mortality. For if Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, who, it is admitted, were only men, are manifested to be alive—for all they, says He, "live unto God;" and death in them does not destroy the soul, although it dissolves the bodies themselves: for it could exercise its power on the bodies, it did not avail to exercise it on the souls: for the one in them was mortal, and therefore died; the other in them was immortal, and therefore is understood not to have been extinguished: for which reason they are affirmed and said to live unto God,—much rather death in Christ could have power against the material of His body alone, while against the divinity of the Word it could not bring itself to bear. For the power of death is broken when the authority of immortality intervenes.
CHAP. XXVI. ARGUMENT.—MOREOVER, AGAINST THE SABELLIANS HE PROVES THAT THE FATHER IS ONE, THE SON ANOTHER.
But from this occasion of Christ being proved from the sacred authority of the divine writings not man only, but God also, other heretics, breaking forth, contrive to impair the religious position in Christ; by this very fact wishing to show that Christ is God the Father, in that He is asserted to be not man only, but also is declared to be God. For thus say they, If it is asserted that God is one, and Christ is God, then say they, If the Father and Christ be one God, Christ will be called the Father. Wherein they are proved to be in error, not knowing Christ, but following the sound of a name; for they are not willing that He should be the second person after the Father, but the Father Himself. And since these things are easily answered, few words shall be said. For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, "Let us make man in our image and our likeness;" and that after this it was related, "And God made man, in the image of God made He him?" Or when he holds in his hands: "The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrha fire and brimstone from the Lord from heaven?" Or when he reads (as having been said) to Christ: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I will give Thee the heathens for Thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy possession?" Or when also that beloved writer says: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, until I shall make Thine enemies the stool of Thy feet?" Or when, unfolding the prophecies of Isaiah, he finds it written thus: "Thus saith the Lord to Christ my Lord?" Or when he reads: "I came not down from heaven to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me?" Or when he finds it written: "Because He who sent me is greater than I?" Or when he considers the passage: "I go to my Father, and your Father; to my God, and your God?" Or when he finds it placed side by side with others: "Moreover, in your law it is written that the witness of two is true. I bear witness of myself, and the Father who sent me beareth witness of me?" Or when the voice from heaven is: "I have both glorified Him, and I will glorify Him again?" Or when by Peter it is answered and said: Thou art the Son of the living God?" Or when by the Lord Himself the sacrament of this revelation is approved, and He says: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee, but my Father which is in heaven? Or when by Christ Himself it is expressed: "Father, glorify me with that glory with which I was with Thee before the world was made?Or when it was said by the same: "Father, I knew that Thou hearest me always; but on account of those who stand around I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me?" Or when the definition of the rule is established by Christ Himself, and it is said: "And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee upon the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest me?" Or when, moreover, by the same it is asserted and said: "All things are delivered to me by my Father?" Or when the session at the right hand of the Father is proved both by apostles and prophets? And I should have enough to do were I to endeavour to gather together all the passages whatever on this side; since the divine Scripture, not so much of the Old as also of the New Testament, everywhere shows Him to be born of the Father, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made, who always has obeyed and obeys the Father; that He always has power over all things, but as delivered, as granted, as by the Father Himself permitted to Him. And what can be so evident proof that this is not the Father, but the Son; as that He is set forth as being obedient to God the Father, unless, if He be believed to be the Father, Christ may be said to be subjected to another God the Father?
CHAP. XXVII. ARGUMENT.—HE SKILFULLY REPLIES TO A PASSAGE WHICH THE HERETICS EMPLOYED IN DEFENCE OF THEIR OWN OPINION.
But since they frequently urge upon us the passage where it is said, "I and the Father are one," in this also we shall overcome them with equal facility. For if, as the heretics think, Christ were the Father, He ought to have said, "I and the Father are one." But when He says I, and afterwards introduces the Father by saying, "I and the Father," He severs and distinguishes the peculiarity of His, that is, the Son's person, from the paternal authority, not only in respect of the sound of the name, but moreover in respect of the order of the distribution of power, since He might have said, "I the Father," if He had had it in mind that He Himself was the Father. And since He said "one" thing, let the heretics understand that He did not say "one "person. For one placed in the neuter, intimates the social concord, not the personal unity. He is said to be one neuter, not one masculine, because the expression is not referred to the number, but it is declared with reference to the association of another. Finally, He adds, and says, "We are," not "I am," so as to show, by the fact of His saying" I and the Father are," that they are two persons. Moreover, that He says one, has reference to the agreement, and to the identity of judgment, and to the loving association itself, as reasonably the Father and Son are one in agreement, in love, and in affection; and because He is of the Father, whatsoever He is, He is the Son; the distinction however remaining, that He is not the Father who is the Son, because He is not the Son who is the Father. For He would not have added "We are," if He had had it in mind that He, the only and sole Father, had become the Son. In fine, the Apostle Paul also apprehended this agreement of unity, with the distinction of persons notwithstanding: for in writing to the Corinthians he said, "I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. Therefore neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth, but God who gives the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one." And who does not perceive that Apollos is one person and Paul another, and that. Apollos and Paul are not one and the same person? Moreover, also, the offices mentioned of each one of them are different; for one is he who plants, and another he who waters. The Apostle Paul, however, put forward these two not as being one person, but as being" one;" so that although Apollos indeed is one, and Paul another, so far as respects the distinction of persons, yet as far as respects their agreement both are "one." For when two persons have one judgment, one truth, one faith, one and the same religion, one fear of God also, they are one even although they are two persons: they are the same, in that they have the same mind. Since those whom the consideration of person divides from one another, these same again are brought together as one by the consideration of religion. And although they are not actually the self-same people, yet in feeling the same, they are the same; and although they are two, are still one, as having an association in faith, even although they bear diversity in persons. Besides, when at these words of the Lord the Jewish ignorance had been aroused, so that hastily they ran to take up stones, and said, "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because thou, being a man, makest thyself God," the Lord established the distinction, in giving them the principle on which He had either said that He was God, or wished it to be understood, and says, "Say ye of Him, whom the Father sanctified, and sent into this world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am. the Son of God?" Even here also He said that He had the Father. He is therefore the Son, not the Father: for He would have confessed that He was the Father had He considered Himself to be the Father; and He declares that He was sanctified by His Father. In receiving, then, sanctification from the Father, He is inferior to the Father. Now, consequently, He who is inferior to the Father, is not the Father, but the Son; for had He been the Father, He would have given, and not received, sanctification. Now, however, by declaring that He has received sanctification from the Father, by the very fact of proving Himself to be less than the Father, by receiving from Him sanctification, He has shown that He is the Son, and not the Father. Besides, He says that He is sent: so that by that obedience wherewith the Lord Christ came, being sent, He might be proved to be not the Father, but the Son, who assuredly would have sent had He been the Father; but being sent, He was not the Father, lest the Father should be proved, in being sent, to be subjected to another God. And still after this He added what might dissolve all ambiguity, and quench all the controversy of error: for He says, in the last portion of His discourse, "Ye say, Thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God." Therefore if He plainly testifies that He is the Son of God, and not the Father, it is an instance of great temerity and excessive madness to stir up a controversy of divinity and religion, contrary to the testimony of the Lord Christ Himself, and to say that Christ Jesus is the Father, when it is observed that He has proved Himself to be, not the Father, but the Son.
CHAP. XXVIII. ARGUMENT.—HE PROVES ALSO THAT THE WORDS SPOKEN TO PHILIP MAKE NOTHING FOR THE SABELLIANS.
Hereto also I will add that view wherein the heretic, while he rejoices as if at the loss of some power of seeing special truth and light, acknowledges the total blindness of his error. For again and again, and frequently, he objects that it was said, "Have I been so long time with you, and do ye not know me, Philip? He who hath seen me, hath seen the Father also." But let him learn what he does not understand. Philip is reproved, and rightly, and deservedly indeed, because he has said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." For when had he either heard from Christ, or learnt that Christ was the Father? although, on the other hand, he had frequently heard, and had often learned, rather that He was the Son, not that He was the Father. For what the Lord said, "If ye have known me, ye have known my Father also: and henceforth ye have known Him, and have seen Him," He said not as wishing to be understood Himself to be the Father, but implying that he who thoroughly, and fully, and with all faith and all religiousness, drew near to the Son of God, by all means shall attain, through the Son Himself, in whom he thus believes, to the Father, and shall see Him. "For no one," says He, "can come to the Father, but by me." And therefore he shall not only come to God the Father, and shall know the Father Himself; but, moreover, he ought thus to hold, and so to presume in mind and heart, that he has henceforth not only known, but seen the Father. For often the divine Scripture announces things that are not yet done as being done, because thus they shall be; and things which by all means have to happen, it does not predict as if they were future, but narrates as if they were done. And thus, although Christ had not been born as yet in the times of Isaiah the prophet, he said, "For unto us a child is born;" and although Mary had not yet been approached, he said, "' And I approached unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son." And when Christ had not yet made known the mind of the Father, it is said, "And His name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel." And when He had not yet suffered, he declared, "He is as a sheep led to the slaughter." And although the cross had never yet existed, He said, "All day long have I stretched out my hands to an unbelieving people." And although not yet had He been scornfully given to drink, the Scripture says, "In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." And although He had not yet been stripped, He said, "Upon my vesture they did cast lots, and they numbered my bones: they pierced my hands and my feet." For the divine Scripture, foreseeing, speaks of things which it knows shall be as being already done, and speaks of things as perfected which it regards as future, but which shall come to pass without any doubt. And thus the Lord in the present passage said, "Henceforth ye have known and have seen Him." Now He said that the Father should be seen by whomsoever had followed the Son, not as if the Son Himself should be the Father seen, but that whosoever was willing to follow Him, and be His disciple, should obtain the reward of being able to see the Father. For He also is the image of God the Father; so that it is added, moreover, to these things, that "as the Father worketh, so also the Son worketh." And the Son is an imitator of all the Father's works, so that every one may regard it just as if he saw the Father, when he sees Him who always imitates the invisible Father in all His works. But if Christ is the Father Himself, in what manner does He immediately add, and say, "Whosoever believeth in me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father? And He further subjoins, "If ye love me, keep my commandments; and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter." After which also He adds this: "If any one loveth me, he shall keep my word: and my Father will love him; and we will come unto him, and will make our abode with him." Moreover, also, He added this too: "But the Advocate, that Holy Spirit whom the Father will send, He will teach you, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." He utters, further, that passage when He shows Himself to be the Son, and reasonably subjoins, and says, "If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I." But what shall we say when He also continues in these words: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit?" Still He persists, and adds: "As the Father hath loved me, so also have I loved you: remain in my love. If ye have kept my commandments, ye shall remain in my love; even as I have kept the Father's commandments, and remain in His love." Further, He says in addition: "But I have called you friends; for all things which I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Moreover, He adds to all this: "But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me." These things then, after the former, evidently attesting Him to be not the Father but the Son, the Lord would never have added, if He had had it in mind, either that He was the Father, or wished Himself to be understood as the Father, except that He might declare this, that every man ought henceforth to consider, in seeing the image of God the Father through the Son, that it was as if he saw the Father; since every one believing on the Son may be exercised in the contemplation of the likeness, so that, being accustomed to seeing the divinity in likeness, he may go forward, and grow even to the perfect contemplation of God the Father Almighty. And since he who has imbibed this truth into his mind and soul, and has believed of all things that thus it shall be, he shall even now see, as it were, in some measure the Father whom he will see hereafter; and he may so regard it, as if he actually held, what he knows for certain that he shall one day hold. But if Christ Himself had been the Father, why did He promise as future, a reward which He had already granted and given? For that He says, "Blessed are they of a pure heart, for they shall see God," it is understood to promise the contemplation and vision of the Father; therefore He had not given this; for why should He promise if He had already given? For He had given if He was the Father: for He was seen, and He was touched But since, when Christ Himself is seen and touched, He still promises, and says that he who is of a pure heart shall see God, He proves by this very saying that He who was then present was not the Father, seeing that He was seen, and yet promised that whoever should be of a pure heart should see the Father. It was therefore not the Father, but the Son, who promised this, because He who was the Son promised that which had yet to be seen; and His promise would have been superfluous unless He had been the Son. For why did He promise to the pure in heart that they should see the Father, if already they who were then present saw Christ as the Father? But because He was the Son, not the Father, rightly also He was then seen as the Son, because He was the image of God; and the Father, because He is invisible, is promised and pointed out as to be seen by the pure in heart. Let it then be enough to have suggested even these points against that heretic; a few words about many things. For a field which is indeed both wide and expansive would be laid open if we should desire to discuss that heretic more fully; seeing that bereaved, in these two particulars, as it were of his eyes plucked out, he is altogether overcome in the blindness of his doctrine.
CHAP. XXIX. ARGUMENT.—HE NEXT TEACHES US THAT THE AUTHORITY OF THE FAITH ENJOINS, AFTER THE FATHER AND THE SON, To BELIEVE ALSO ON THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOSE OPERATIONS TIE ENUMERATES FROM SCRIPTURE.
Moreover, the order of reason, and the authority of the faith in the disposition of the words and in the Scriptures of the Lord, admonish us after these things to believe also on the Holy Spirit, once promised to the Church, and in the appointed occasions of times given. For He was promised by Joel the prophet, but given by Christ. "In the last days," says the prophet, "I will pour out of my Spirit upon my servants and my handmaids." And the Lord said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins ye remit, they shall be remitted; and whose ye retain, they shall be retained." But this Holy Spirit the Lord Christ calls at one time "the Paraclete," at another pronounces to be the "Spirit of truth." And He is not new in the Gospel, nor yet even newly given; for it was He Himself who accused the people in the prophets, and in the apostles gave them the appeal to the Gentiles. For the former deserved to be accused, because they had contemned the law; and they of the Gentiles who believe deserve to be aided by the defence of the Spirit, because they earnestly desire to attain to the Gospel law. Assuredly in the Spirit there are different kinds of offices, because in the times there is a different order of occasions; and yet, on this account, He who discharges these offices is not different, nor is He another in so acting, but He is one and the same, distributing His offices according to the times, and the occasions and impulses of things. Moreover, the Apostle Paul says, "Having the same Spirit; as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak." He is therefore one and the same Spirit who was in the prophets and apostles, except that in the former He was occasional, in the latter always. But in the former not as being always in them, in the latter as abiding always in them; and in the former distributed with reserve, in the latter all poured out; in the former given sparingly, in the latter liberally bestowed; not yet manifested before the Lord's resurrection, but conferred after the resurrection. For, said He, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, that He may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth." And, "When He, the Advocate, shall come, whom I shall send unto you from my Father, the Spirit of truth who proceedeth from my Father." And, "If I go not away, that Advocate shall not come to you; but if I go away, I will send Him to you." And, "When the Spirit of truth shall come, He will direct you into all the truth." And because the Lord was about to depart to the heavens, He gave the Paraclete out of necessity to the disciples; so as not to leave them in any degree orphans, which was little desirable, and forsake them without an advocate and some kind of protector. For this is He who strengthened their hearts and minds, who marked out the Gospel sacraments, who was in them the enlightener of divine things; and they being strengthened, feared, for the sake of the Lord's name, neither dungeons nor chains, nay, even trod under foot the very powers of the world and its tortures, since they were henceforth armed and strengthened by the same Spirit, having in themselves the gifts which this same Spirit distributes, and appropriates to the Church, the spouse of Christ, as her ornaments. This is He who places prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives powers and healings, does wonderful works, often discrimination of spirits, affords powers of government, suggests counsels, and orders and arranges whatever other gifts there are of charismata; and thus make the Lord's Church everywhere, and in all, perfected and completed. This is He who, after the manner of a dove, when our Lord was baptized, came and abode upon Him, dwelling in Christ full and entire, and not maimed in any measure or portion; but with His whole overflow copiously distributed and sent forth, so that from Him others might receive some enjoyment of His graces: the source of the entire Holy Spirit remaining in Christ, so that from Him might be drawn streams of gifts and works, while the Holy Spirit dwelt affluently in Christ. For truly Isaiah, prophesying this, said: "And the Spirit of wisdom and understanding shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and piety; and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord shall fill Him." This self-same thing also he said in the person of the Lord Himself, in another place,' "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me, He has sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor." Similarly David: "Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Of Him the Apostle Paul says: "For he who hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of His." "And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." He it is who effects with water the second birth as a certain seed of divine generation, and a consecration of a heavenly nativity, the pledge of a promised inheritance, and as it were a kind of handwriting of eternal salvation; who can make us God's temple, and fit us for His house; who solicits the divine hearing for us with groanings that cannot be uttered; filling the offices of advocacy, and manifesting the duties of our defence,—an inhabitant given for our bodies and an effector of their holiness. Who, working in us for eternity, can also produce our bodies at the resurrection of immortality, accustoming them to be associated in Himself with heavenly power, and to be allied with the divine eternity of the Holy Spirit. For our bodies are both trained in Him and by Him to advance to immortality, by learning to govern themselves with moderation according to His decrees. For this is He who "desireth against the flesh," because "the flesh resisteth against the Spirit." This is He who restrains insatiable desires, controls immoderate lusts, quenches unlawful fires, conquers reckless impulses, repels drunkenness, checks avarice, drives away luxurious revellings, links love, binds together affections, keeps down sects, orders the rule of truth, overcomes heretics, turns out the wicked, guards the Gospel, Of this says the same apostle: "We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God." Concerning Him he exultingly says: "And I think also that I have the Spirit of God." Of Him he says: "The Spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets." Of Him also he tells: "Now the Spirit speaketh plainly, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, doctrines of demons, who speak lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience cauterized." Established in this Spirit, "none ever calleth Jesus anathema;" no one has ever denied Christ to be the Son of God, or has rejected God the Creator; no one utters any words of his own contrary to the Scriptures; no one ordains other and sacrilegious decrees; no one draws up different laws. Whosoever shall blaspheme against Him, "hath not forgiveness, not only in this world, but also not in the world to come." This is He who in the apostles gives testimony to Christ; in the martyrs shows forth the constant faithfulness of their religion; in virgins restrains the admirable continency of their sealed chastity; in others, guards the laws of the Lord's doctrine incorrupt and uncontaminated; destroys heretics, corrects the perverse, condemns infidels, makes known pretenders; moreover, rebukes the wicked, keeps the Church uncorrupt and inviolate, in the sanctity of a perpetual virginity and truth.
CHAP. XXX. ARGUMENT.—IN FINE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE SAID HERETICS HAVE GATHERED THE ORIGIN OF THEIR ERROR FROM CONSIDERATION OF WHAT IS WRITTEN: ALTHOUGH WE CALL CHRIST GOD, AND THE FATHER GOD, STILL SCRIPTURE DOES NOT SET FORTH TWO GODS, ANY MORE THAN TWO LORDS OR TWO TEACHERS.
And now, indeed, concerning the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, let it be sufficient to have briefly said thus much, and to have laid down these points concisely, without carrying them out in a lengthened argument. For they could be presented more diffusely and continued in a more expanded disputation, since the whole of the Old and New Testaments might be adduced in testimony that thus the true faith stands. But because heretics, ever struggling against the truth, are accustomed to prolong the controversy of pure tradition and Catholic faith, being offended against Christ; because He is, moreover, asserted to be God by the Scriptures also, and this is believed to be so by us; we must rightly—that every heretical calumny may be removed from our faith—contend, concerning the fact that Christ is God also, in such a way as that it may not militate against the truth of Scripture; nor yet against our faith, how there is declared to be one God by the Scriptures, and how it is held and believed by us. For as well they who say that Jesus Christ Himself is God the Father, as moreover they who would have Him to be only man, have gathered thence the sources and reasons of their error and perversity; because when they perceived that it was written that "God is one," they thought that they could not otherwise hold such an opinion than by supposing that it must be believed either that Christ was man only, or really God the Father. And they were accustomed in such a way to connect their sophistries as to endeavour to justify their own error. And thus they who say that Jesus Christ is the Father argue as follows:—If God is one, and Christ is God, Christ is the Father, since God is one. If Christ be not the Father, because Christ is God the Son, there appear to be two Gods introduced, contrary to the Scriptures. And they who contend that Christ is man only, conclude on the other hand thus:—If the Father is one, and the Son another, but the Father is God and Christ is God, then there is not one God, but two Gods are at once introduced, the Father and the Son; and if God is one, by consequence Christ must be a man, so that rightly the Father may be one God. Thus indeed the Lord is, as it were, crucified between two thieves, even as He was formerly placed; and thus from either side He receives the sacrilegious reproaches of such heretics as these. But neither the Holy Scriptures nor we suggest to them the reasons of their perdition and blindness, if they either will not, or cannot, see what is evidently written in the midst of the divine documents. For we both know, and read, and believe, and maintain that God is one, who made the heaven as well as the earth, since we neither know any other, nor shall we at any time know such, seeing that there is none. "I," says He, "am God, and there is none beside me, righteous and a Saviour." And in another place: "I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no God who is as I." And, "Who hath meted out heaven with a Span, and the earth with a handful? Who has suspended the mountains in a balance, and the woods on scales? " And Hezekiah: "That all may know that Thou art God alone." Moreover, the Lord Himself: "Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? God alone is good." Moreover, the Apostle Paul says: "Who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light that no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see." And in another place: "But a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." But even as we hold, and read, and believe this, thus we ought to pass over no portion of the heavenly Scriptures, since indeed also we ought by no means to reject those marks of Christ's divinity which are laid down in the Scriptures, that we may not, by corrupting the authority of the Scriptures, be held to have corrupted the integrity of our holy faith. And let us therefore believe this, since it is most faithful that Jesus Christ the Son of God is our Lord and God; because "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God." And, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us." And, "My Lord and my God." And, "Whose are the fathers, and of whom according to the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for evermore." What, then, shall we say? Does Scripture set before us two Gods? How, then, does it say that "God is one?" Or is not Christ God also? How, then, is it said to Christ," My Lord and my God?" Unless, therefore, we hold all this with fitting veneration and lawful argument, we shall reasonably be thought to have furnished a scandal to the heretics, not assuredly by the fault of the heavenly Scriptures, which never deceive; but by the presumption of human error, whereby they have chosen to be heretics. And in the first place, we must turn the attack against them who undertake to make against us the charge of saying that there are two Gods. It is written, and they cannot deny it, that "there is one Lord." What, then, do they think of Christ?—that He is Lord, or that He is not Lord at all? But they do not doubt absolutely that He is Lord; therefore, if their reasoning be true, here are already two Lords. How, then, is it true according to the Scriptures, there is one Lord? And Christ is called the "one Master." Nevertheless we read that the Apostle Paul also is a master. Then, according to this, our Master is not one, for from these things we conclude that there are two masters. How, then, according to the Scriptures, is "one our Master, even Christ?" In the Scriptures there is one "called good, even God;" but in the same Scriptures Christ is also asserted to be good. There is not, then, if they rightly conclude, one good, but even two good. How, then, according to the scriptural faith, is there said to be only one good? But if they do not think that it can by any means interfere with the truth that there is one Lord, that Christ also is Lord, nor with the truth that one is our. Master, that Paul also is our master, or with the truth that one is good, that Christ also is called good; on the same reasoning, let them understand that, from the fact that God is one, no obstruction arises to the truth that Christ also is declared to be God.
CHAP. XXXI. ARGUMENT.—BUT THAT GOD, THE, SON OF GOD, BORN OF GOD THE FATHER FROM EVERLASTING, WHO WAS ALWAYS IN THE FATHER, IS THE SECOND PERSON TO THE FATHER, WHO DOES NOTHING WITHOUT HIS FATHER'S DECREE; AND THAT HE IS LORD, AND THE ANGEL OF GOD'S GREAT COUNSEL, TO WHOM THE FATHER'S GODHEAD IS GIVEN BY COMMUNITY OF SUBSTANCE.
Thus God the Father, the Founder and Creator of all things, who only knows no beginning, invisible, infinite, immortal, eternal, is one God; to whose greatness, or majesty, or power, I would not say nothing can be preferred, but nothing can be compared; of whom, when He willed it, the Son, the Word, was born, who is not received in the sound of the stricken air, or in the tone of voice forced from the lungs, but is acknowledged in the substance of the power put forth by God, the mysteries of whose sacred and divine nativity neither an apostle has learnt, nor prophet has discovered, nor angel has known, nor creature has apprehended. To the Son alone they are known, who has known the secrets of the Father. He then, since He was begotten of the Father, is always in the Father. And I thus say always, that I may show Him not to be unborn, but born. But He who is before all time must be said to have been always in the Father; for no time can be assigned to Him who is before all time. And He is always in the Father, unless the Father be not always Father, only that the Father also precedes Him,—in a certain sense,—since it is necessary—in some degree—that He should be before He is Father. Because it is essential that He who knows no beginning must go before Him who has a beginning; even as He is the less as knowing that He is in Him, having an origin because He is born, and of like nature with the Father in some measure by His nativity, although He has a beginning in that He is born, inasmuch as He is born of that Fat, her who alone has no beginning. He, then, when the Father willed it, proceeded from the Father, and He who was in the Father came forth from the Father; and He who was in the Father because He was of the Father, was subsequently with the Father, because He came forth from the Father,—that is to say, that divine substance whose name is the Word, whereby all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. For all things are after Him, because they are by Him. And reasonably, He is before all things, but after the Father, since all things were made by Him, and He proceeded from Him of whose will all things were made. Assuredly God proceeding from God, causing a person second to the Father as being the Son, but not taking from the Father that characteristic that He is one God. For if He had not been born—compared with Him who was unborn, an equality being manifested in both—He would make two unborn beings, and thus would make two Gods. If He had not been begotten—compared with Him who was not begotten, and as being found equal—they not being begotten, would have reasonably given two Gods, and thus Christ would have been the cause of two Gods. Had He been formed without beginning as the Father, and He Himself the beginning of all things as is the Father, this would have made two beginnings, and consequently would have shown to us two Gods also. Or if He also were not the Son, but the Father begetting from Himself another Son, reasonably, as compared with the Father, and designated as great as He, He would have caused two Fathers, and thus also He would have proved the existence of two Gods. Had He been invisible, as compared with the Invisible, and declared equal, He would have shown forth two Invisibles, and thus also He would have proved them to be two Gods. If incomprehensible, if also whatever other attributes belong to the Father, reasonably we say, He would have given rise to the allegation of two Gods, as these people feign. But now, whatever He is, He is not of Himself, because He is not unborn; but He is of the Father, because He is begotten, whether as being the Word, whether as being the Power, or as being the Wisdom, or as being the Light, or as being the Son; and whatever of these He is, in that He is not from any other source, as we have already said before, than from the Father, owing His origin to His Father, He could not make a disagreement in the divinity by the number of two Gods, since He gathered His beginning by being born of Him who is one God. In which kind, being both as well only-begotten as first-begotten of Him who has no beginning, He is the only one, of all things both Source and Head. And therefore He declared that God is one, in that He proved Him to be from no source nor beginning, but rather the beginning and source of all things. Moreover, the Son does nothing of His own will, nor does anything of His own determination; nor does He come from Himself, but obeys all His Father's commands and precepts; so that, although birth proves Him to he a Son, yet obedience even to death declares Him the minister of the will of His Father, of whom He is. Thus making Himself obedient to His Father in all things, although He also is God, yet He shows the one God the Father by His obedience, from whom also He drew His beginning. And thus He could not make two Gods, because He did not make two beginnings, seeing that from Him who has no beginning He received the source of His nativity before all time. For since that is the beginning to other creatures which is unborn,—which God the Father only is, being beyond a beginning of whom He is who was born,—while He who is born of Him reasonably comes from Him who has no beginning, proving that to be the beginning from which He Himself is, even although He is God who is born, yet He shows Him to be one God whom He who was born proved to be without a beginning. He therefore is God, but begotten for this special result, that He should be God. He is also the Lord, but born for this very purpose of the Father, that He might be Lord. He is also an Angel, but He was destined of the Father as an Angel to announce the Great Counsel of God. And His divinity is thus declared, that it may not appear by any dissonance or inequality of divinity to have caused two Gods. For all things being subjected to Him as the Son by the Father, while He Himself, with those things which are subjected to Him, is subjected to His Father, He is indeed proved to be Son of His Father; but He is found to be both Lord and God of all else. Whence, while all things put under Him are delivered to Him who is God, and all things are subjected to Him, the Son refers all that He has received to the Father, remits again to the Father the whole authority of His divinity. The true and eternal Father is manifested as the one God, from whom alone this power of divinity is sent forth, and also given and directed upon the Son, and is again returned by the communion of substance to the Father. God indeed is shown as the Son, to whom the divinity is beheld to be given and extended. And still, nevertheless, the Father is proved to be one God; while by degrees in reciprocal transfer that majesty and divinity are again returned and reflected as sent by the Son Himself to the Father, who had given them; so that reasonably God the Father is God of all, and the source also of His Son Himself whom He begot as Lord. Moreover, the Son is God of all else, because God the Father put before all Him whom He begot. Thus the Mediator of God and men, Christ Jesus, having the power of every creature subjected to Him by His own Father, inasmuch as He is God; with every creature subdued to Him, found at one with His Father God, has, by abiding in that condition that He moreover "was heard," briefly proved God His Father to be one and only and true God.
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland beginning in 1867. (ANF 5, Roberts and Donaldson). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.