Fathers of the Church
The Eranistes or Polymorphus
by Theodoret in 450 | translated by Blomfield Jackson
Some men, distinguished neither by family nor education, and without any of the honourable notoriety that comes of an upright life, are ambitious of achieving fame by wicked ways. Of these was the famous Alexander, the coppersmith, a man of no sort of distinction at all,—no nobility of birth, no eloquence of speech, who never led a political party nor an army in the field; who never played the man in fight, but plied from day to day his ignominious craft, and won fame for nothing but his mad violence against Saint Paul.
Shimei, again, an obscure person of servile rank, has become very renowned for his audacious attack on the holy David.
It is said too that the originator of the Manichaean heresy was a mere whipping-block of a slave, and, from love of notoriety, composed his execrable and superstitious writings.
The same line of conduct is pursued by many now, who after turning their backs on the honourable glory of virtue on account of the toil to be undergone ere it be won, purchase to themselves the notoriety that comes of shame and disgrace. For through eagerness to pose as champions of new doctrines they pick up and get together the impiety of many heresies, and compile this heresy of death.
Now I will endeavour briefly to dispute with them, with the double object of curing them, if I can, of their unsoundness, and of giving a word of warning to the whole.
I call my work "Eranistes, or Polymorphus," for, after getting together from many unhappy sources their baleful doctrines, they produce their patchwork and incongruous conceit. For to call our Lord Christ God only is the way of Simon, of Cerdo, of Marcion, and of others who share this abominable opinion.
The acknowledgment of His birth from a Virgin, but coupled with the assertion that this birth was merely a process of transition, and that God the Word took nothing of the Virgin's nature, is stolen from Valentinus and Bardesanes and the adherents of their fables. To call the godhead and the manhood of the Lord Christ one nature is the error filched from the follies of Apollinarius.
Again the attribution of capacity of suffering to the divinity of the Christ is a theft from the blasphemy of Arius and Eunomius. Thus the main principle of their teaching is like beggars' gabardines—a cento of ill- matched rags.
So I call this work Eranistes or Polymorphus. I shall write it in the form of a dialogue with questions and answers, propositions, solutions, and antitheses, and all else that a dialogue ought to have. I shall not insert the names of the questioners and respondents in the body of the dialogue as did the wise Greeks of old, but I shall write them at the side at the beginning of the paragraphs. They, indeed, put their writings in the hands of readers highly and variously educated, and to whom literature was life. I, on the contrary, wish the reading of what I write, and the discovery of whatever good it may give, to be an easy task, even to the illiterate. This I think will be facilitated if the characters of the interlocutors are plainly shown by their names in the margin, so the disputant who argues on behalf of the apostolical decrees is called "Orthodoxos," and his opponent "Eranistes." A man who is fed by the charity of many we commonly call "Beggar;" a man who knows how to get money together we call a "Chrematistes." So we have given our disputant this name from his character and pursuits.
I beg that all those into whose hands my book may fall will lay aside all preconceived opinion and put the truth to the test. For clearness' sake I will divide my book into three dialogues. The first will contain the contention that the Godhead of the only-begotten Son is immutable. The second will by God's help show that the union of the Godhead and the manhood of the Lord Christ is without confusion. The third will contend for the impassibility of the divinity of our saviour. After these three disputations we will subjoin several others as it were to complete them, giving formal proof under each head, and making it perfectly plain that the apostles' doctrine is preserved by us.
DIALOGUE I: THE IMMUTABLE.
Orthodoxos and Eranistes.
Orth.—Better were it for us to agree and abide by the apostolic doctrine in its parity. But since, I know not how, you have broken the harmony, and are now offering us new doctrines, let us, if you please, with no kind of quarrel, investigate the truth.
Eran.—We need no investigation, for we exactly hold the truth.
Orth.—This is what every heretic supposes. Aye, even Jews and Pagans reckon that they are defending the doctrines of the truth; and so also do not only the followers of Plato and Pythagoras, but Epicureans too, and they that are wholly without God or belief. It becomes us, however, not to be the slaves of a priori assumption, but to search for the knowledge of the truth.
Eran.—I admit the force of what you say and am ready to act on your suggestion.
Orth.—Since then you have made no difficulty in yielding to this my preliminary exhortation, I ask you in the next place not to suffer the investigation of the truth to depend on the reasonings of men, but to track the footprints of the apostles and prophets, and saints who followed them. For so wayfarers when they wander from the high-road are wont to consider well the pathways, if haply they shew any prints of men or horses or asses or mules going this way or that, and when they find anysuch they trace the tracks as dogs do and leavethem not till once more they are in the rightroad.
Eran.—So let us do. Lead on yourself, as you began the discussion.
Orth.—Let us, therefore, first make careful and thorough investigation into the divine names,—I mean substance, and essences, and persons and proprieties, and let us learn anti define how they differ the one from the other. Then let us thus handle afterwards what follows.
Eran.—You give us a very admirable and proper introduction to our argument. When these points are clear, our discussion will go forward without let or obstacle.
Orth.—Since we have decided then that this must be our course of procedure, tell me, my friend, do we acknowledge one substance of God, alike of Father and of the only begotten Son and of the Holy Ghost, as we have been taught by Holy Scripture, both Old and New, and by the Fathers in Council in Nicaea, or do we follow the blasphemy of Arius?
Eran.—We confess one substance of the Holy Trinity.
Orth.—And do we reckon hypostasis to signify anything else than substance, or do we take it for another name of substance?
Eran.—Is there any difference between substance and hypostasis?
Orth.—In extra Christian philosophy there is not, for ousi'a signifies to` o'n, that which is, and hupo'stasis that which subsists. But according to the doctrine of the Fathers there is the same difference between ousi'a and hupo'stasis as between the common and the particular, and the species and the individual.
Eran.—Tell me more clearly what is meant by race or kind, and species and individual.
Orth.—We speak of race or kind with regard to the animal, for it means many things at once. It indicates both the rational and the irrational; and again there are many species of irrational, creatures that fly, creatures that are amphibious, creatures that on foot, and creatures that swim. And of these species each is marked by many subdivisions; of creatures that go on foot there is the lion, the leopard, the bull, and countless others. So, too, of flying creatures and the rest there are many species; yet all of them, though the species are the aforesaid, belong to one and the same animal race. Similarly the name man is tile common name of mankind; for it means the Roman, the Athenian, the Persian, the Sauromatian, the Egyptian, and, in a word, all who are human, but the name Paulus or Petrus does not signify what is common to the kind but some particular man; for no one on hearing of Paul turns in thought to Adam or Abraham or Jacob, but thinks of him alone whose name he has heard. But if he hears the word man simply, he does not fix his mind on the individual, but bethinks him of the Indian, the Scythian, and the Massagete, and of all the race of men together, and we learn this not only from nature, but also from Holy Scripture, for God said, we read, "I will destroy man from the face of the earth," and this he spake of countless multitudes, and when more than two thousand and two hundred years had gone by after Adam, he brought universal destruction on men through the flood, and so the blessed David says: "Man that as in honour and understandeth not," accusing not one here nor one there, but all men in common. A thousand similar examples might be found, but we must not be tedious.
Eran.—The difference between the common and the proper is shewed clearly. Now let us return to discussion about ousi'a and hupo'stasis.
Orth.—As then the name man is common to human nature, so we understand the divine substance to indicate the Holy Trinity; but the hypostasis denotes any person, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; for, following the definitions of the Holy Fathers, we say that hypostasis and individuality mean the same thing.
Eran.—We agree that this is so.
Orth.—Whatever then is predicated of the divine nature is common both to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as for instance "God," "Lord," "Creator," "Almighty," and so forth.
Eran.—Without question these words are common to the Trinity.
Orth.—But all that naturally denotes the hypostasis ceases to be common to the Holy Trinity, and denotes the hypostasis to which it is proper, as, for instance, the names "Father," "Unbegotten," are peculiar to the Father; while again the names "Son," "Only Begotten," "God the Word," do not denote the Father, nor yet the Holy Ghost, but the Son, and the words "Holy Ghost," "Paraclete," naturally denote the hypostasis of the Spirit.
Eran.—But does not Holy Scripture call both the Father and the Son "Spirit"?
Orth.—Yes, it calls both the Father and the Son "Spirit," signifying by this term the incorporeal illimitable character of the divine nature. The Holy Scripture only calls the hypostasis of the Spirit "Holy Ghost."
Eran.—This is indisputable.
Orth.—Since then we assert that some terms are common to the Holy Trinity, and some peculiar to each hypostasis, do we assert the term "immutable" to be common to the substance or peculiar to any hypostasis?
Eran.—The term "immutable" is common to the Trinity, for it is impossible for part of the substance to be mutable and part immutable.
Orth.—You have well said, for as the term mortal is common to mankind, so are "immutable" and "invariable" to the Holy Trinity. So the only- begotten Son is immutable, as are both the Father that begat Him and the Holy Ghost.
Orth.—How then do you advance the statement in the gospel "the word became flesh." and predicate mutation of the immutable nature?
Eran.—We assert Him to have been made flesh not by mutation, but as He Him self knows.
Orth.—If He is not said to have become flesh by taking flesh. one of two things must be asserted, either that he underwent tile mutation into flesh, or was only so seen in appearance, and in reality was God without flesh.
Eran.—This is tile doctrine of the disciples of Valentinus, Marcion, and of the Manichees, but we have been taught without dispute that the divine Word was made flesh.
Orth.—But in what sense do you mean "was made flesh"? "Took flesh," or "was changed into flesh"?
Eran.—As we have heard the evangelist say, "the word was made flesh."
Orth.—In what sense do you understand "was made"?
Eran.—He who underwent mutation into flesh was made flesh, and, as I said just now, as He knows. But we know that with Him all things are possible, for He changed the water of the Nile into blood, and day into night, and made the sea dry land, and filled the dry wilderness with water, and we hear the prophet saying "Whatsoever the Lord pleased that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas and all deep places."
Orth.—The creature is transformed by the Creator as He will, for it is mutable and obeys the nod of Him that fashioned it. But His nature is immutable and invariable, wherefore of the creature the prophet saith "He that maketh and transformeth all things." But of the divine Word the great David says "Thou art the same and thy years shall not fail." And again the same God says of Himself "For I am the Lord and I change not."
Eran.—What is hidden ought not to "be enquired into."
Orth.—Nor yet what is plain to be altogether ignored.
Eran.—I am not aware of the manner of the incarnation. I have heard that the Word was made flesh.
Orth.—If He was made flesh by mutation He did not remain what He was before, and this is easily intelligible from several analogies. Sand, for instance. when it is subjected to heat, first becomes fluid, then is changed and congealed into glass, and at the time of the change alters its name, for it is no longer called sand but glass.
Eran.—So it is.
Orth.—And while we call the fruit of the vine grape, when once we have pressed it, we speak of it no longer as grape, but as wine.
Orth.—And the wine itself, after it has undergone a change, it is our custom to name no longer wine, but vinegar.
Orth.—And similarly stone when burnt and in solution is no longer called stone, but lime. And innumerable other similar instances might be found where mutation involves a change of name.
Orth.—If therefore you assert that the Divine Word underwent the change in the flesh, why do you call Him God and not flesh? for change of name fits in with the alteration of nature. For if where the things which undergo change have some relation to their former condition (for there is a certain approximation of vinegar to wine and of wine to the fruit of the vine, and of glass to sand) they receive another name after their alteration, how, where the difference between them is infinite and as wide as that which divides a gnat from the whole visible and invisible creation (for so wide, nay much wider, is the difference between the nature of flesh and of Godhead) is it possible for the same name to obtain after the change?
Eran.—I have said more than once that He was made flesh not by mutation, but continuing still to be what He was, He was made what He was not.
Orth.—But unless this word" was made" becomes quite clear it suggests mutation and alteration, for unless He was made flesh by taking flesh He was made flesh by undergoing mutation.
Eran.—But the word "take" is your own invention. The Evangelist says the Word was made flesh.
Orth.—You seem either to be ignorant of the sacred Scripture, or to do it wrong knowingly. Now if you are ignorant, I will teach you; if yon are doing wrong, I will convict you. Answer then; do you acknowledge the teaching of the divine Paul to be of the Spirit?
Orth.—And do you allow that the same Spirit wrought through both Evangelists and Apostles?
Eran.—Yes, for so have I learnt from the Apostolic Scripture "There are diversities of gifts but the same spirit," and again "All these things worketh that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will," a and again "Having the same Spirit of the Faith."
Orth.—Your introduction of the apostolic testimony is in season. If we assert that the instruction alike of the evangelists and of the apostles is of the same spirit, listen how the apostle interprets the words of the Gospel, for in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, "Verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but be took on him the seed of Abraham." Now tell me what you mean by the seed of Abraham. Was not that which was naturally proper to Abraham proper also to the seed of Abraham?
Eran.—No; not without exception, for Christ did no sin.
Orth.—Sin is not of nature, but of corrupt will. On this very account, therefore, I did not say indefinitely what Abraham had, but what he had according to nature, that is to say, body and reasonable soul. Now tell me plainly; will you acknowledge that the seed of Abraham was endowed with body and reasonable soul? If not, in this point you agree with the ravings of Apollinarius. But I will compel you to confess this by other means. Tell me now; had the Jews a body and a reasonable soul?
Eran.—Of course they had.
Orth.—So when we hear the prophet saying, "But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend," are we to understand the Jews to be bodies only? Are we not to understand them to be men consisting of bodies and souls?
Orth.—And the seed of Abraham not without soul nor yet intelligence, but with everything which characterizes the seed of Abraham?
Eran.—He who so says puts forward two sons.
Orth.—But he who says that the Divine Word is changed into the flesh does not even acknowledge one Son, for mere flesh by itself is not a son; but we confess one Son who took upon Him the seed of Abraham, according to the divine apostle, and wrought the salvation of mankind. But if you do not accept the apostolic preaching, say so openly.
Eran.—But we maintain that the utterances of the apostles are inconsistent, for there appears to be a certain inconsistency between "the Word was made flesh" and "took upon Him the seed of Abraham."
Orth.—It is because you lack intelligence, or because you are arguing for arguing's sake, that the consistent seems inconsistent. It does not so appear to men who use sound reasoning; for the divine apostle teaches that the Divine Word was made Flesh, not by mutation, but by taking on Him the seed of Abraham. At the same time, too, he recalls the promise given to Abraham. Or do you not remember the promises given to the Patriarch by the God of the Universe?
Orth.—When He brought him out of his father's house, and ordered him to come into Palestine, did He not say to him "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed"?
Eran.—I remember these promises.
Orth.—Remember, too, the covenants made by God with Isaac and Jacob, for He gave them, too, the same promises, confirming the former by the second and the third.
Eran.—I remember them too.
Orth.—It is in relation to these covenants that the divine apostle writes in his Epistle to the Galatians "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made." He saith not "seeds" as of many, but as of one ... which is Christ, very plainly showing that the manhood of Christ sprang from the seed of Abraham, and fulfilled the promise made to Abraham.
Eran.—So the apostle says.
Orth.—Enough has been said to remove all the controversy raised on this point. But I will nevertheless remind you of another prediction. The blessing given to the Patriarch Jacob and to his father and his grand father was given by him to his son Judah alone. He said "A Prince shall not fail Judah, no a leader from his loins, until he shall have come to whom it is in store, and he is the expectation of the Gentiles." Or do you not accept this prediction as spoken of the Saviour Christ?
Eran. —Jews give erroneous interpretations of prophecies of this kind, but I am a Christian; I trust in the Divine word; and I receive the prophecies without doubt.
Orth.—Since then you confess that you believe the prophecies and acknowledge the predictions have been divinely uttered about our Saviour, consider what follows as to the intention of the words of the apostle, for while pointing out that the promises made to the patriarchs have reached their fulfilment, he uttered those remarkable words "He took not on Him the nature of angels," all but saying the promise is true; the Lord has fulfilled His pledges; the fount of blessing is open to the gentiles; God had taken on Him the seed of Abraham; through it He brings about the promised salvation; through 'it He confirms the promise of the gentiles.
Eran.—The words of the Prophet fit in admirably with those of the apostle.
Orth.—So again the divine apostle, reminding us of the blessing of Judah, and pointing out how it received its fulfilment exclaims "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah." So too the Prophet Micah and the evangelist Matthew. For the former spoke his prediction, and the latter connects the prophecy with his narrative. What is extraordinary is that he says that the open enemies of the truth plainly told Herod that the Christ is born in Bethlehem, for it is written, he says, "And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah art not the least among the Princes of Judah for out of thee shall come a Governor who shall rule my people Israel." Now let us subjoin what the Jews in their malignity omitted and so made the witness imperfect. For the prophet, after saying "Out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel" adds "Whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting."
Eran.—You have done well in adducing the whole evidence of the Prophet, for he points out that He who was born in Bethlehem was God.
Orth.—Not God only but also Man; Man as sprung from Judah after the flesh and born in Bethlehem; and God as existing before the ages. For the words "Out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler," shew his birth after the flesh which has taken place in the last days; while the words "Whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting" plainly proclaim His existence before the ages. In like man her also the divine apostle in his Epistle to the Romans bewailing the change to the worse of the ancient felicity of the Jews, and calling to mind their divine promises and legislation, goes on to say" Whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever Amen." and in this same passage he exhibits Him both as Creator of all things and Lord and Ruler as God and as sprung from the Jews as man.
Eran.—Well; you have explained these passages, what should you say to the prophecy of Jeremiah? For this proclaims him to be God only.
Orth.—Of what prophecy do you speak?
Eran.—"This is our God and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison to him—he hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant and to Israel his beloved. Afterward did he shew himself upon earth and conversed with men."
In these words the Prophet speaks neither of the flesh, nor of manhood, nor of man, but of God alone.
Orth.—What then is the good of reasoning? Do we say that the Divine nature is invisible? or do we dissent from the Apostle when he says "Immortal, invisible, the only God."
Eran.—Indubitably the Divine nature is invisible.
Orth.—How then was it possible for the invisible nature to be seen without a body? Or do you not remember those words of the apostle in which he distinctly teaches the invisibility of the divine nature? He says "Whom no man hath seen nor can see." If therefore the Divine Nature is invisible to men, and I will add too to Angels, tell me how he who cannot be seen or beheld was seen upon earth?
Eran.—The Prophet says he was seen on the earth,
Orth.—And the apostle says "Immortal, invisible, the only God" and "Whom no man hath seen and can see."
Eran.—What then? is the Prophet lying?
Orth.—God forbid. Both utterances are the words of the Holy Ghost.
Eran.—Let us inquire then how the invisible was seen.
Orth.—Do not, I beg you, bring in human reason. I shall yield to scripture alone.
Eran.—You shall receive no argument unconfirmed by Holy Scripture, and if you bring me any solution of the question deduced from Holy Scripture I will receive it, and will in no wise gainsay it.
Orth.—You know how a moment ago we made the word of the evangelist clear by means of the testimony of the apostle; and that the divine apostle showed us how the Word became Flesh, saying plainly "for verily He took not on Him the nature of angels but He took on Him the seed of Abraham." The same teacher will teach us how the divine Word was seen upon the earth and dwelt among men.
Eran.—I submit to the words both of apostles and of prophets. Shew me then in accordance with your promise the interpretation of the prophecy.
Orth.—The divine apostle, writing to Timothy, also says "without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles believed on in the world, received up into glory."
It is therefore plain that the divine nature is invisible, but the flesh visible, and that through the visible the invisible was seen, by its means working wonders and unveiling its own power, for with the hand He fashioned the sense of seeing and healed him that was blind from birth. Again He gave the power of hearing to the deaf, and loosed the fettered tongue, using his fingers for a tool ant applying his spittle like some healing medicine. So again when He walked upon the sea He displayed the almighty power of the Godhead. Fitly, therefore, did the apostle say" God was manifest in the flesh." For through it appeared the invisible nature beheld by its means by the angel hosts, for "He was seen," he says, "of angels."
The nature then of bodiless beings has shared with us the enjoyment of this boon.
Eran.—Then did not the angels see God before the manifestation of the Saviour?
Orth.—The apostle says that He "was made manifest. in the flesh and seen of angels."
Eran.—But the Lord said, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you that their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."
Orth.—But the Lord said again, "Not that any man hath seen the Father save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." Wherefore the evangelist plainly exclaims, "No man hath seen God at any time," and confirms the word of the Lord, for he says, "The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father He hath declared Him," and the great Moses, when he desired to see the invisible nature, heard the Lord God saying, "There shall no man see me and live."
Eran.—How then are we to understand the words, "Their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven"?
Orth.—Just as we commonly understand what is said about men who have been supposed to see God.
Eran.—Pray make this plainer, for I do not understand. Can God be seen of men also?
Eran.—Yet we hear the divine scripture saying God appeared unto Abraham at the oak of Mamre; and Isaiah says "I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up," and the same thing is said by Micah, by Daniel and Ezekiel. And of the lawgiver Moses it is related that "The Lord spake to Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend," and the God of the universe Himself said, "With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches." What then shall we say; did they behold the divine nature?
Orth.—By no means, for God Himself said, "There shall no man see me and live."
Eran.—Then they who say that they have seen God are liars?
Orth.—God forbid—they saw what it was possible for them to see.
Eran.—Then the loving Lord accommodates his revelation to the capacity of them that see Him?
Orth.—Yes; and this He has shewn through the Prophet, "for I," He says, "have multiplied visions and by the hands of the Prophets was made like."
He does not say "was seen" but "was made like." And making like does not shew the very nature of the thing seen. For even the image of the emperor does not exhibit the emperor's nature, though it distinctly preserves his features.
Eran.—This is obscure and not sufficiently plain. Was not then the substance of God seen by them who beheld those revelations?
Orth.—No; for who is mad enough to dare to say so?
Eran.—But yet it is said that they saw.
Orth.—Yes; it is said; but we both in the exercise of reverent reason, and in reliance on the Divine utterances, which exclaim distinctly, "No man hath seen God at any time," affirm that they did not see the Divine Nature, but certain visions adapted to their capacity.
Eran.—So we say.
Orth.—So also then let us understand of the angels when we hear that they daily see the face of your Father. For what they see is not the divine substance which cannot be circumscribed, comprehended, or apprehended, which embraces the universe, but some glory made commensurate with their nature.
Eran.—This is acknowledged.
Orth.—After the incarnation, however, He was seen also of angels, as the divine apostle says, not however by similitude of glory, but using the true and living covering of the flesh as a kind of screen. "God," he says, "was made manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels."
Eran.—I accept this as Scripture, but I am not prepared to accept the novelties of phrase.
Orth.—What novelties of phrase have we introduced?
Eran.—That of the "screen." What Scripture calls the flesh of the Lord a screen?
Orth.—You do not seem to be a very diligent reader of your Bible; if you had been you would not have found fault with what we have said as in a figure. For first of all the fact that the divine apostle says that the invisible nature was made manifest through the flesh allows us to understand the flesh as a screen of the Godhead. Secondly, the divine apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews, distinctly uses the phrase, for he says, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh; and having an High Priest over the House of God. Coming with truth drawing near with a true heart in fulness of faith."
Eran.—Your demonstration is unanswerable, for it is based on apostolic authority.
Orth.—Do not then charge us with innovation. We will adduce for you yet another prophetic authority, distinctly calling the Lord's flesh a robe and mantle.
Eran.—Should it not appear obscure and ambiguous we will say nothing against it, and be thankful for it.
Orth.—I will make yon yourself testify to the truth of the promise. You know how the Patriarch Jacob, when be was addressing Judah, limited the sovereignty of Judah by the birth of the Lord. "A prince shall not fail Judah, nor a leader from his loins until he shall have come to whom it is in store and he is the expectation of the Gentiles." You have already confessed that this prophecy was uttered about the saviour.
Orth.—Remember then what follows; for he says "And unto him shall the gathering of the people be ... he shall wash his robe in wine and his mantle in the blood of the grape."
Eran.—The Patriarch spoke of garments, not of a body.
Orth.—Tell me, them when or where be washed his cloak in the blood of the grape?
Eran.—Nay; tell me you when he reddened his body in it?
Orth.—Answer I beseech you more reverently. Perhaps some of the uninitiated are within hearing.
Eran.—I will both hear and answer in mystic language.
Orth.—You know that the Lord called himself a vine?
Eran.—Yes I know that he said "I am the true vine."
Orth.—Now what is the fruit of a vine called after it is pressed?
Eran.—It is called wine.
Orth.—When the soldiers wounded the Saviour's side with the spear, what did the evangelist say was poured out from it?
Eran.—Blood and water.
Orth.—Well, then; he called the Saviour's blood blood of the grape, for if the Lord is called a vine, and the fruit of the vine wine, and from the Lord's side streams of blood and water flowed downwards over the rest of his body, fitly and appropriately the Patriarch foretells "He shall wash his robe in wine and his mantle in blood of the grape." For as we after the consecration call the mystic fruit of the vine the Lord's blood, so be called the blood of the true vine blood of the grape.
Eran.—The point before us has been set forth in language at once mystical and clear.
Orth.—Although what has been said is enough for your faith, I will, for confirmation of the faith, give you yet another proof.
Eran.—I shall be grateful to you for so doing, for you will increase the favour done me.
Orth.—You know how God called His own body bread?
Orth.—And how in another place be called His flesh corn?
Eran.—Yes, I know. For I have heard Him saying "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified," and "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit."
Orth.—Yes; and in the giving of the mysteries He called the bread, body, and what had been mixed, blood.
Eran.—He so did.
Orth.—Yet naturally the body would properly be calledbody, and the blood, blood.
Orth.—But our Saviour changed the names, and to His body gave the name of the symbol and to the symbol that of his body. So, after calling himself a vine, he spoke of the symbol as blood.
Eran.— True. But I am desirous of knowing the reason of the change of names.
Orth. —To them that are initiated in divine things the intention is plain. For be wished the partakers in the divine mysteries not to give heed to the nature of the visible objects, but, by means of the variation of the names, to believe the change wrought of grace. For He, we know, who spoke of his natural body as corn and bread, and, again, called Himself a vine, dignified the visible symbols by the appellation of the body and blood, not because He had changed their nature, but because to their nature He had added grace?
Eran.—The mysteries are spoken of in mystic language, and there is a clear declaration of that which is not known to all.
Orth.—Since then it is agreed that the body of the Lord is called by the patriarch "robe" and "mantle" and we have reached the discussion of the divine mysteries, tell me truly, of what do you understand the Holy Food to be a symbol and type? Of the godhead of the Lord Christ, or of His body and His blood?
Eran.—Plainly of those things of which they received the names.
Orth.—You mean of the body and of the blood?
Orth.—You have spoken as a lover of truth should speak, for when the Lord had taken the symbol, He did not say "this is my godhead," but "this is my body;" and again "this is my blood" and in another place "the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world."
Eran.—These words are true, for they are the divine oracles.
Orth.—If then they are true, I suppose the Lord had a body.
Eran.—No; for I maintain him to be bodiless.
Orth.—But you confess that He had a body?
Eran.—I say that the Word was made flesh, for so I have been taught.
Orth.—It seems, as the proverb has it, as if we are drawing water in a pail with a hole in it. For after all our demonstrations and solutions of difficulties, you are bringing the same arguments round again.
Eran.—I am not giving you my arguments, but those of the gospels.
Orth.—And have I not given you the interpretation of the words of the gospels from those of prophets and apostles?
Eran.—They do not serve to clear up the point at issue.
Orth.—And yet we shewed how, being invisible, He was made manifest through flesh, and the relationship of this very flesh we bare been taught by the sacred writers—"He took on Him the seed of Abraham." And the Lord God said to the patriarch, "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," and the apostle, "It is evident our Lord sprang out of Judah." We adduced further several similar testimonies; but, since you are desirous of hearing yet others, listen to the apostle when he says, "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices, wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer."
Eran.—Point out, then, bow He offered after taking a body.
Orth.—The divine apostle himself clearly teaches in the very passage, for after a few words he says: "Wherefore, when He cometh into the world, He saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me." He does not say "into a body hast thou changed," but "a body hast thou prepared," and he shows plainly that the formation of the body was wrought by the Spirit in accordance with the utterance of the gospel, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is generated in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Eran.—The virgin then gave birth only to a body?
Orth.—It appears that you do not even understand the composition of words, much less their meaning, for he is teaching Joseph the manner, not of the generation, but of the conception. For he does not say that which is generated of her, i.e. made, or formed, is of the Holy Ghost. Joseph, ignorant of the mystery, was suspicions of adultery; he was therefore plainly taught the formation by the Spirit. It is this which He signified through the prophet when He said "A body hast thou prepared me" for the divine Apostle being full of the Spirit interpreted the prediction. If then the offering of gifts is the special function of priests and Christ in His humanity was called priest and offered no other sacrifice save His own body, then the Lord Christ had a body.
Eran.—This even I have repeatedly affirmed, and I do not say that the divine Word appeared without a body. What I maintain is not that He took a body but that He was made flesh.
Orth.—So far as I see our contest lies with the supporters of Valentinus, of Marcion, and of Manes; but even they never had the hardihood to say that the immutable nature underwent mutation into flesh.
Eran.—Reviling is unchristian.
Orth.—We do not revile, but we are fighting for truth, and we are vexed at your arguing about the indisputable as though it could be disputed. However, I will endeavour to put an end to your ungracious contention. Answer now; do yon remember thepromises which God made to David?
Orth.—Those which the prophet inserted in the 88th Psalm.
Eran.—I know that many promises were made to David. Which are you enquiring about now?
Orth.—Those which refer to the Lord Christ.
Eran.—Recall the utterances yourself, for you promised to adduce your proofs.
Orth.—Listen now how the prophet praises God at the very beginning of the Psalm. He saw with his prophetic eyes the future iniquity of his people, and the captivity that was in consequence foredoomed; yet he praised his own Lord for unfailing promises. "I will sing," he says, "of the mercies of the Lord forever, with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations, for thou hast said, Mercy shall be built up for ever, Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens."
Through all this the prophet teaches that the promise was made by God on account of lovingkindness, and that the promise is faithful. Then he goes on to say what He promised, and to whom, introducing God Himself as the speaker. ("I have made a covenant with my chosen.") It is the Patriarchs that He called chosen; then He goes on "I have sworn unto David my servant," and He states concerning what He swore, "Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations."
Now whom do you suppose to be called the seed of David?
Eran.—The promise was made about Solomon.
Orth.—Then he made his covenant with the Patriarchs about Solomon, for before what was said about David he mentioned the promises made to the Patriarchs "I have made a covenant with my chosen," and He promised the Patriarchs that in their seed He would bless all nations. Kindly point out how the nations were blessed through Solomon.
Eran.—Then God fulfilled this promise, not by means of Solomon, but of our Saviour.
Orth.—So then our Lord Christ gave the fulfilment to the promises made to David.
Eran.—I hold that these promises were made by God, either about Solomon, or about Zerubbabel.
Orth.—Just now you used the arguments of Marcion and Valentinus and of Manes. Now you have gone over to the directly opposite faction, and are advocating the impudence of the Jews. This is just like all those who turn out of a straight road; they err and stray first one way and then another, wandering in a wilderness.
Eran.—Revilers are excluded by the Apostle from the kingdom.
Orth.—Yes, if their revilings are vain. Sometimes the divine Apostle himself opportunely uses this mode of speech. He calls the Galatians "foolish," and of others he says "men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith," and again of another set, "Whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame," and so forth.
Eran.—What occasion did I give you for reviling?
Orth.—Do you really not think that the willing advocacy of the declared enemies of the truth furnishes the pious with very reasonable ground of indignation?
Eran.—And what enemies of the truth have I patronized?
Orth.—Jews connect prophecies of this kind with Solomon and Zerubbabel, in order to exhibit the groundlessness of the Christian position; but the mere words are quite enough to convict them of their iniquity, for it is written "I will establish my throne for ever." Now not only Solomon and Zerubbabel, to whom such prophecies are applied by the Jews, have lived out their appointed time, and reached the end of life, but the whole race of David has become extinct; for who ever heard of any one at the present day descended from the root of David?
Eran.—But are not, then, those who are called Patriarchs of the Jews of the family of David?
Eran.—Whence, then, are they sprung?
Orth.—From the foreigner Herod, who, on his father's side, was an Ascalonite, and on his mother's an Idumaean; but they, too, have all disappeared, and many years have gone by since their sovereignty came to an end. But our Lord God promised not only to maintain the seed of David for ever, but to establish his kingdom undestroyed; for He said, "I will build up my throne to all generations."
But we see that his race is gone, and his kingdom come to an end. Yet though we see this, we know that the God of the Universe is true.
Eran.—That God is true is plain.
Orth.—If, then, God is true, as in truth He is, and promised David that He would establish His race for ever, and keep his kingdom through all time, and it neither race nor kingdom are to be seen, for both have come to an end, how can we convince our opponents that God is true?
Eran.—I suppose, then, the prophecy really points to the Lord Christ.
Orth.—If, then, you confess this, let us investigate together a passage in the middle of the Psalm; we shall then more clearly see what the prophecy means.
Eran.—Lead on; I will religiously follow in your footsteps.
Orth.—After making many promises about this seed that it should be Lord both by sea and land and higher than the kings of the earth and be called the first begotten of God, and should boldly call God, Father God also added this, "My mercy will I keep for him for evermore and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
Eran.—The promise goes beyond the bounds of human nature, for both the life and the honour are indestructible and eternal. But men endure but for a season; their-nature is short lived and their kingdom even during its lifetime undergoes many and various vicissitudes, so that truly the greatness of the prophecy befits none but the Saviour Christ.
Orth.—Go on then to what follows and your opinion upon this point will be in every way confirmed, for again saith the God of the universe, "Once have I sworn by my holiness, if I lie unto David, his seed shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon."
Then, pointing out the truth of the promise He adds, "And the witness is faithful in heaven."
Eran.—We must believe without doubt in the promises given by the faithful witness, for, if we are wont to believe men who have promised to speak the truth even if they do not confirm their words with an oath, who can be so mad as to disbelieve the Creator of the Universe, when He adds an oath to his words? For He who forbids others to swear confirmed the immutability of his counsel by an oath, "that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
Orth.—If then the promise is irrefragable, and among the Jews there is now neither family nor kingdom of the prophet David to be seen, let us believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is plainly called seed of David in His humanity, for of Him the life and the kingdom are both alike eternal.
Eran.—We have no doubt; and this I own to be the truth.
Orth.—These proofs then are sufficient to show clearly the manhood which our Lord and Saviour took of David's seed. But to remove all possibility of doubt by the witness of the majority, let us hear how God makes mention of the promises given to David through the voice of the prophet Isaiah. "I will make," he says, "an everlasting covenant with you," and, signifying the law-giver, he adds, "even the sure mercies of David."
Since He made this promise to David, and spoke through Esaias, He will assuredly bring the promise to pass. And what follows after the prophecy is in harmony with what I say, for he saith "Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold nations that know thee not shall call upon thee, and peoples that understand thee not shall run unto thee." Now this fits in with none that are sprung from David, for who of David's descendants, as Esaias says, was made a ruler of nations? And what nations in their prayers ever called on David's descendants as God?
Eran.—About what is perfectly clear it is unbecoming to dispute, and this plainly refers to the Lord Christ.
Orth.—Then let us pass on to another prophetic testimony and let us hear the same prophet saying "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots."
Eran.—I think this prophecy was delivered about Zerubbabel.
Orth.—If yon hear what follows, you will not remain in your opinion. The Jews have never so understood this prediction, for the prophet goes on, "and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." This would never be attributed by any one to a mere man, for even to the very holy the gifts of the Spirit are given by division, as the divine apostle witnesses when he says, "To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit," and so on. The prophet describes Him who sprang from the root of Jesse as possessing all the powers of the spirit.
Eran.—To gainsay this were sheer folly.
Orth.—Now hear what follows. You will see some things that transcend human nature, he goes on. "He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity the mighty of the earth. and He shall smite the earth with the word of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall he slay the wicked." Now of these predictions some are human and some divine. Justice, truth, equity, and rectitude in giving judgment exhibit virtue in human nature.
Eran.—We have so far clearly learned that the prophet predicts the coming of our Saviour Christ.
Orth.—The sequel will shew you yet more plainly the truth of the interpretation. For he goes on, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb," and so on, whereby he teaches at once the distinction of modes of life and the harmony of faith; and experience furnishes a proof of the prediction, for they that abound in wealth, they that live in poverty, servants and masters, rulers and ruled, soldiers and citizens and they that wield the sceptre of the world are received in one font, are all taught one doctrine, are all admitted to one mystic table, and each of the believers enjoys an equal share.
Eran.—It is thus shewn that God is spoken of.
Orth.—Not only God but man. So at the very beginning of this prediction he says that a rod shall grow out of the root of Jesse. Then at the conclusion of the prediction he takes up once more the strain with which he began, for he says "There shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people, to it shall the Gentiles seek and his rest shall be glorious." Now Jesse was the father of David, and the promise with an oath was made to David. The prophet would not have spoken of the Lord Christ as a rod growing out of Jesse if he had only known Him as God. The prediction also foretold the change of the world, for "the earth" he says "shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Eran.—I have heard the prophetic utterances. But I was anxious to know clearly if the divine company of the apostles also says that the Lord Christ sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh.
Orth.—You have asked for information which so far from being hard is exceedingly easy to give you. Only listen to the first of the apostles exclaiming "David being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit upon His throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His sold was not left in hell neither His flesh did see corruption."
Hence you may perceive that of the seed of David according to the flesh sprang the Lord Christ, and had not flesh only but also a soul.
Eran.—What other apostle preached this?
Orth.—The great Peter alone was sufficient to testify to the truth, for the Lord after receiving the confession of the truth given by Peter alone confirmed it by a memorable approval. But since volt are anxious to hear others proclaiming this same thing, hear Paul and Barnabas preaching in Antioch in Pisidia; for they, when they had made mention of David, continued "Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus." and so on. And in a letter to Timothy the divine Paul says "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." And, when writing to the Romans, at the very outset he calls attention to the Davidic kin, for he says "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God which He had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures concerning His Son which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh," and so on.
Eran.—Your proofs are numerous and convincing; but tell me why you have omitted what follows?
Orth.—Because it is not about the Godhead, but about the manhood, that you are in difficulties. Had you been in doubt about the Godhead, I would have given you proof of it. It is enough to say "according to the Flesh" to declare the Godhead which is not expressed in terms. When speaking of a relationship of man in general I do not say the son of such an one "according to the flesh," but simply "son," so the divine Evangelist writing his genealogy says "Abraham begat Isaac" and does not add according to the flesh, for Isaac was merely man, and he mentions the rest in like manner, for they were men and had no qualities transcending their nature. But when the heralds of the truth are discoursing of our Lord Christ, and are pointing out to the ignorant His lower relation, they add the words "according to the flesh," thus indicating His Godhead and teaching that the Lord Christ was not only man but also Eternal God.
Eran.—You have adduced many proofs from the apostles and prophets, but I follow the words of the Evangelist "The Word was made Flesh."
Orth.—I also follow this divine teaching, but I understand it in a pious sense, as meaning that He was made Flesh by taking flesh and a reasonable soul. But if the divine Word took nothing of our nature, then the covenants made with the patriarchs by the God of all with oaths were not true, and the blessing of Judah was vain, and the promise to David was false, and the Virgin was superfluous, because she did not contribute anything of our nature to the Incarnate God. Then the predictions of the prophets have no fulfilment. Then vain is our preaching, vain our faith and vain the hope of the resurrection for the Apostle, it appears, lies when he says "and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." For if the Lord Christ had nothing of our nature then He is falsely described as our first fruits, and His bodily nature has not risen from the dead and has not taken the seat in Heaven on the right hand; and if He has obtained none of these things, how hath God raised us up together and made us sit together with Christ, when we in no wise belong to Him in Nature? But it is impious to say this, for the divine apostle, though the general resurrection has not yet taken place, though the kingdom of heaven has not vet been bestowed upon the faithful, exclaims, "He hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," in order to teach that since the resurrection of our first fruits, and His sitting on the right hand has come to pass, we too in general shall attain the resurrection, and that all they who share in His nature and have adopted His faith, share too in the first fruits of His glory.
Eran.—We have gone through many and sound arguments, but I was anxious to know the force of the Gospel saying.
Orth.—You stand in need of no interpretation from without. The evangelist himself interprets himself. For after saying "the Word was made flesh," he goes on "and dwelt among us." That is to say by dwelling in us, and using the flesh taken from us as a kind of temple, He is said to have been made flesh, and, teaching that He remained unchanged, the evangelist adds "and we beheld His glory—the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." For though clad with flesh He exhibited His Father's nobility, shot forth the beams of the Godhead, and emitted the radiance of the power of the Lord, revealing by His works of wonder His hidden nature. A similar illustration is afforded by the words of the divine apostle to the Philippians: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man he humbled Himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross."
Look at the relation of the utterances. The evangelist says "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," the apostle, "took upon him the form of a servant; "the evangelist "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father"—the apostle, "who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God." To put the matter briefly, both teach that being God and son of God, and clad with His Father's glory, and having the same nature and power with Him that begat Him, He that was in the beginning and was with God, and was God, and was Creator of the world, took upon Him the form of a servant, and it seemed that this was all which was seen; but it was God clad in human nature, and working out the salvation of men. This is what was meant by "The word was made flesh" and "was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man." This is all that was looked at by the Jews, and therefore they said to him "For a good work we stone Thee not but for blasphemy and because that Thou being a man makest Thyself God," and again "This man is not of God because He keepeth not the Sabbath Day."
Eran.—The Jews were blind on account of their unbelief, and therefore used these words.
Orth.—If you find even the apostles before the resurrection thus saying, will you receive the interpretation? I hear them in the boat, after the mighty miracle of the calm, saying "what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
Eran.—This is made plain. But now tell me this;—the divine apostle says that He "was made in the likeness of man."
Orth.—What was taken of him was not man's likeness, but man's nature. For "form of a servant" is understood just as "the form of God" is understood to mean God's nature. He took this, and so was made in the likeness of man, and was found in fashion as a man. For, being God, He seemed to be man, on account of the nature which He took. The evangelist, however, speaks of His being made in the likeness of man as His being made flesh. But that yon may know that they who deny the flesh of the Saviour are of the opposite spirit, hear the great John in his Catholic Epistle saying "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of Anti-Christ."
Eran.—You have given a plausible interpretation, but I was anxious to know how the old teachers of the Church have understood the passage "the word was made flesh."
Orth.—You ought to have been persuaded by the apostolic and prophetic proofs; but since you require further the interpretations of the holy Fathers I will also furnish you, God helping me, this medicine.
Eran.—Do not bring me men of obscure position or doubtful doctrine. I shall not receive the interpretation of such as these.
Orth.—Does the far famed Athanasius, brightest light of the church of Alexandria, seem to you to be worthy of credit?
Eran.—Certainly, for he ratified his teaching by the suffering he underwent for the Truth's sake.
Orth.—Hear then how he wrote to Epictetus. "The expression of John 'the Word was made flesh' has this interpretation, so far as can be discovered from the similar passage which we find in St. Paul 'Christ was made a curse for us.' It is not because He was made a curse but because He received the curse on our behalf that He is said to have been made a curse, and so it is not because He was turned into flesh, but because He took flesh on our behalf, that He is said to have been made flesh." So far the divine Athanasius. Gregory, too, whose glory among all men is great, who formerly ruled the Imperial city at the mouth of the Bosphorus and afterwards dwelt at Nazianzus, thus wrote to Cledonius against the specious fallacies of Apollinarius.
Eran.—He was an illustrious man and a foremost fighter in the cause of piety.
Orth.—Hear him then. He says "the expression 'He was made Flesh' seems to be parallel to His being said to have been made sin and a curse, not because the Lord was transmuted into these,—for how could He?—but because He accepted these when He took on Him our iniquities and bore our infirmities."
Eran.—The two interpretations agree. Orth.—We have shown you the pastors of the south and north in harmony; now then let us introduce too the illustrious teachers of the west, who have written their interpretation, if with another tongue, yet with one and the same mind.
Eran.—I am told that Ambrosius, who adorned the episcopal throne at Milan, fought in the first ranks against all heresy, and wrote works of great beauty and in agreement with the teaching of the apostles.
Orth.—I will give you his interpretation. Ambrosius says in his work concerning the faith "It is written that the Word was made flesh. I do not deny that it is written, but look at the terms used; for there follows 'and dwelt among us.' that is to say dwelt in human flesh. Yon are therefore astonished at the terms in which it is written that the Word was made flesh, on the assumption of flesh, by the divine Word, when also concerning sin which He had not, it is said that He was made sin, that is to say not that He was made the nature and operation of sin, but that he might crucify our sin in the flesh; let them then give over asserting that the nature of the Word has undergone change and alteration, for He who took is one and that which was taken other."
It is now fitting that you should hear the teachers of the east, this being the only quarter of the world which we have hitherto left unnoticed, though they indeed might well have first witnessed to the truth, for to them was first imparted the teaching of the apostles. But since you have sharpened your tongues against the first-born sons of piety by whetting them on the hone of falsehood, we have reserved for them the last place, that after first hearing the rest, you might lay witness by the side of witness, and so at once admire their harmony, and cease from your own interminable talk. Listen then to Flavianus who for a long time right wisely moved the tiller of the church of Antioch, and made the churches which he guided ride safe over the Arian storm, by expounding to them the word of the gospel. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; He is not turned into flesh, nor yet did he cease from being God, for this he was from all eternity and became flesh in the dispensation of the incarnation after himself building his own temple, and taking up his abode in the passible creature." And if you desire to hear the ancients of Palestine, lend your ears to the admirable Gelasius, who did diligent husbandry in the church of Caesarea. Now these are his words in his homily on the festival of the Lord's epiphany. "Learn the truth from the words of John the Fisherman, 'And the word was made flesh,' not having himself undergone change, but having taken up his abode with us. The dwelling is one thing; the Word is another; the temple is one thing, and God who dwells in it, another."
Eran.—I am much struck by the agreement.
Orth.—Now do you not suppose that the rule of the apostolic faith was kept by John, who first nobly watered the field of the church of the Antiochenes, and then was a wise husbandman of that of the imperial city?
Eran.—I hold this teacher to be in all respects an admirable one.
Orth.—Well, this most excellent man has interpreted this passage of the Gospel. He writes, "When you hear that the Word was made flesh, be not startled or cast down, for the substance did not deteriorate into flesh—an idea of the uttermost impiety—but continuing to be just what it is, so took the form of a servant. For just as when the apostle says 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' he does not say that the substance of Christ departed from His own glory, and took the substance of a curse, a position which not even devils would imagine, nor the utterly senseless, and the naturally idiotic—so remarkable being the connection between impiety and insanity. But what he does assert is that after receiving the curse due to us, He does not suffer us to be cursed for the future. It is in this sense that He is stated to have been made flesh, not because he had changed the substance into flesh, but because he had assumed the flesh, the substance remaining all the while unimpaired."
You may like to bear also Severianus, Bishop of Gabala. If so, I will adduce his testimony and do you lend your ears.
"The text 'the Word was made flesh' does not indicate a deterioration of nature but the assumption of our nature. Suppose you take the word 'was made' to indicate a change; then when you hear Paul saying 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' do you understand him to mean a change into the nature of a curse? Just as being made a curse had no other meaning than that He took our curse upon Himself. so the words was made flesh and dwelt among us mean nothing other than the assumption of flesh."
Eran.—I admire the exact agreement of these men. For they are as unanimous in giving the same interpretations of evangelical writings as if they had met in the same place and written down their opinion together.
Orth.—Mountains and seas separate them very far from one another, yet distance does not damage their harmony, for they were all inspired by the same gift of the spirit. I would also have offered you the interpretations of the victorious champions of piety Diodorus and Theodorus, had I not seen that you were ill disposed towards them, and had inherited the hostility of Apollinarius; you would have seen that they have expressed similar experiences, drawing water from the divine Fount, and becoming themselves too, streams of the spirit. But I will pass them by, for you have declared a truceless war against them. I will, however, shew you the famous teacher of the Church, and his mind about the divine incarnation, that you may know what opinion he held concerning the assumed nature. You have no doubt heard of the illustrious Ignatius, who received episcopal grace by the hand of the great Peter, and after ruling the church of Antioch, wore the crown of martyrdom. You have heard too of Irenaeus, who enjoyed the teaching of Polycarp, and became a light of the western Gauls;—of Hippolytus and Methodius, bishops and martyrs, and the rest, whose names I will append to their expressions of opinion.
Eran.—I am exceedingly desirous of hearing their testimony, too.
Orth.—Hear them now bringing forward the apostolic teaching. Testimony of Saint Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and martyr,
From the letter to the Smyrnaeans (I.):—
"Having a full conviction with respect to our Lord as being truly descended from David according to the flesh, son of God according to Godhead and power, born really of a virgin, baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, really in the thee of Pontius Pilate and of Herod the tetrarch crucified for our sake in the flesh."
Of the same in the same epistle:—
"For what advantageth it me if a man praises me but blasphemes my Lord, in not confessing him to be a bearer of flesh? but he who does not make this confession really denies Him and is himself bearer of a corpse."
Of the saint from the same epistle:—
"For if these things were done by our Lord in appearance only, then it is in appearance only that I am a prisoner in chains; and why have I delivered myself to death, to fire, to sword, to the beasts? But he who is near to the sword is near to God. Only in the name of Jesus Christ that I may share his sufferings I endure all things while He, Perfect Man whom some in their ignorance deny, gives me strength."
From the same in the letter to the Ephesians:—
"For our God Jesus Christ was born in Mary's womb by dispensation of God of the seed of David and of the Holy Ghost who was born and was baptized that our mortality might be purified."
From the same epistle:—
"If ye all individually come together by grace name by name in out faith, and in one Jesus Christ according to the flesh of David's race Son of God and Son of man.
Of the same from the same epistle:—
"There is one Physician of flesh and of spirit generate and ingenerate, God in man, true life in death, Son of Mary and of God, first passible and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Lastly of the same in his epistle to the Trallians:—
"Be ye made deaf therefore when any man speaks to you apart from Jesus Christ, who was of David's race and of Mary, who was really born and really ate and drank and was persecuted in the thee of Pontius Pilate, was crucified and died, while beings on earth and beings in heaven and beings under the earth were looking on."
Testimony of Irenaeus bishop of Lyons, from his third book Against the heresies:—
"Why then did they add the words 'In the city of David, save to proclaim the good news that the promise made by God to David, that of the fruit of his loins should come an everlasting king, was fulfilled; a promise which indeed the Creator of the world had made."
Of the same from the same book:—
"And when he says ' Hear ye now, Oh House of David' he means that the everlasting King whom God promised to David that he would raise up from his body is He who was born of David's Virgin."
Of the same from the same book:—
"If then the first Adam had had a human father and had been begotten of seed, it would have been reasonable to say that the second Adam had been begotten of Joseph. But if the former was taken from earth, and his creator was God, it was necessary also that He who renews in himself the man created by God should have the same likeness of generation with that former. Why then did not God again take dust? Why did he on the other hand ordain that the formation should be made of Mary? That there might be no other creation; that that which was being saved might be no other thing; but that the former might himself be renewed without loss of the likeness. For then do they too fall away who allege that He took nothing from the Virgin, that they may repudiate the inheritance of the flesh and cast off the likeness."
Of the same from the same book:—
"Since his going down into Mary is useless; for why went He down into her if He was designed to take nothing from her? And further, if He had taken nothing from Mary He would not have accepted the food taken from earth whereby is nourished the body taken from earth, nor would He like Moses and Elias, after fasting forty days, have hungered, on account of His body demanding its own food, nor vet would John his disciple when writing about him have said—'Jesus being wearied from his journey sat,' nor would David have uttered the prediction about him 'And they added to the pain of my wounds,' nor would lie have wept over Lazarus, nor would He have sweated drops of blood, nor would He have said, 'my soul is exceedingly sorrowful,' nor yet when He was pierced would blood and water have issued from His side. For all these things are proofs of the flesh taken from earth, which He had renewed in Himself in the salvation of his own creature."
Of the same from the same book:—
"For as by the disobedience of the one man who was first formed from rude earth the many were made sinners and lost their life, so also was it fitting that through obedience of one man, the firstborn of a virgin, many should be made righteous and receive their salvation." Of the same from the same work:—
"'I have said ye are gods and all of you children of the Most High but ye shall die like man.' This He says to them that did not accept the gift of adoption, but dishonour the incarnation of the pure generation of the word of God, deprive man of his ascent to God, and are ungrateful to the Word of God who for their sakes was made flesh. For this cause was the word made man that man receiving the word and accepting the adoption should be made God's son."
Of the same from the same book:—
"Since then on account of the fore-ordained dispensation the spirit came down, and the only begotten Son of God, who also is Word of the Father, when the fulness of thee was come, was made flesh in man and our Lord Jesus Christ—being one and the same—fulfilled all the human dispensation as the Lord himself testifies, and the apostles confess, all the teachings of men who invented the ogdoads and tetrads and similitudes are proved plainly false."
Testimony of the Holy Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, from his discourse on "The Lord is my shepherd":—
"And an ark of incorruptible wood was the Saviour Himself, for the incorruptibility and indestructibility of His Tabernacle signified its producing no corruption of sin. For the sinner who confesses his sin says ' My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.' But the Lord was without sin, made in His human nature of incorruptible wood, that is to say, of the Virgin and the Holy Ghost overland within anti without, as it were, by purest gold of the word of God."
Of the same from his discourse on Elkanah and Hannah:—
"Bring me then, O Samuel, the Heifer drawn to Bethlehem, that you may shew the King begotten of David, and anointed King and Priest by the Father."
From the same discourse:—
"Tell me, O Blessed Mary, what it was that was conceived by thee in the womb; what it was that was borne by thee in a Virgin's womb. It was the Word of God, firstborn from Heaven, on thee descending, and man firstborn being formed in a womb, that the first born Word of God might be shewn united to a firstborn man."
From the same discourse:—
"The second, which was through the prophets as through Samuel, he revokes, and turns his people from the slavery of strangers. The third, in which He took the manhood of the Virgin and was present in the flesh: who, when He saw the city wept over it."
Of the same from his discourse on the beginning of Isaiah:—
"He likens the world to Egypt; its idolatry, to images; its removal and destruction to an earthquake. The Word he calls the 'Lord' and by a 'swift cloud' he means the right pure tabernacle enthroned on which our Lord Jesus Christ entered into life to undo the fall."
Testimony of the Holy Methodius, bishop and martyr, from his discourse on the martyrs:—
"So wonderful and precious is martyrdom that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, testified in its honour that He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, that He might crown with this grace the Manhood into whom He had come down."
Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, confessor. From his interpretation of the xvith Psalm:—
"The soul of Jesus experienced both. For it was in the place of the souls of men and being made without the flesh, lives and survives. So it is reasonable and of the same substance as the souls of men, just as the flesh is of the same substance as the flesh of men, coming forth from Mary."
Of the same from his work about the soul:—
"On looking at the education of the child, or at the increase of his stature, or at the extension of thee, or at the growth of the body, what would they say? But, to omit the miracles wrought upon earth, let them behold the raisings of the dead to life, the signs of the Passion, the marks of the scourges, the bruises and the blows, the wounded side, the prints of the nails, the shedding of the blood, the evidences of the death, and in a word the actual resurrection of the very body."
From the same work:—
"Indeed if any one looks to the generation of the body, he would clearly discover that after being born at Bethlehem He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and was brought up for some thee in Egypt, because of the evil counsel of the cruel Herod, and grew to man's estate at Nazareth."
From the same work:—
"For the tabernacle of the Word and of God is not the same, whereby the blessed Stephen beheld the divine glory."
Of the same from his sermon on "the Lord created me in the beginning of His way":—
"If the Word received a beginning of His generation from the thee when passing through His mother's womb He wore the human frame, it is clear that He was made of a woman; but if He was from the first Word and God with the Father, and if we assert that the universe was made by Him, then He who is and is the cause of all, created things was not made of a woman, but is by nature God, self existent, infinite, incomprehensible; and of a woman was made man, formed in the Virgin's womb by the Holy Ghost."
From the same work:—
"For a temple absolutely holy and undefiled is the tabernacle of the word according to the flesh, wherein God visibly made his habitation and dwelt, and we assert this not of conjecture, for He who is by nature the Son of this God when predicting the destruction and resurrection of the temple distinctly instructs us by His teaching when He says to the murderous Jews, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.'"
From the same work:—
"When then the Word built a temple and carried the manhood, companying in a body with men, He invisibly displayed various miracles, and sent forth the apostles as heralds of His everlasting kingdom."
Of the same from his intrepretation of Psalm xcii:—
"It is plain then if 'He that anointeth' means God whose throne He calls 'everlasting,' the anointer is plainly by nature God, begotten of God. But the anointed took an acquired virtue, being adorned with a chosen temple of the Godhead dwelling in it."
The testimony of the holy Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria and Confessor. From the defence of Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria:—
"'I am the vine, ye are the branches My Father is the husbandman.' For we according to the booty are of kin to the Lord, and for this reason He himself said 'I will declare thy name unto my brethren.' And just as the branches are of one substance with the vine, and of it, so too we, since we have bodies akin to the body of the Lord, receive them of His fulness, and have it as a root for our resurrection and salvation. And the Father is called a husbandman, for He Himself through the Word tilled the vine which is the Lord's body."
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"The Lord was called a vine on account of His bodily relationship to the branches which are ourselves."
Of the same from his greater oration concerning the faith:—
"The scripture 'in the beginning was the Word' clearly indicates the Godhead. The passage 'the Word was made flesh' shews the human nature of the Lord."
From the same discourse:—
"'He shall wash His garments in wine' that is His body, which is the vestment of the Godhead in His own blood."
Of the same from the same discourse:—
"The Word 'was' is referred to His divinity, the words 'was made flesh' to His body, tile Word was made flesh not by being reduced to flesh, but by bearing flesh, just as any one might say such an one became or was made an old man, though not so born from the beginning, or the soldier became a veteran, not being previously such as he became. John says, 'I became,' or 'was in the island of Patmos on the Lord's day.' Not that he was made or born there, but he says 'I became or was in Patmos 'instead of saying 'I arrived;' so the Word 'arrived' at flesh, as it is said 'the Word was made flesh.' Hear the words 'I became like a broken vessel,' and 'I became like a man that hath no strength, free among the dead.' "
Of the same from his letter to Epictetus:—
"Whoever heard such things? Who taught them? Who learn, them? 'Out of Zion shall go forth the law and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' But whence did these things come forth? What hell vomited them out? To say that the body taken of Mary was of the same substance as the Godhead of the Word, or that the Word was changed into flesh and bones and hairs and a whole body; whoever heard in a church or at all among Christians that God bore a body by adoption and not by birth?"
Of the same from the same Epistle:—
"But who, hearing that the Word made for Himself a passible body, not of Mary, but of His own substance, would call the sayer of these things a Christian? Who has invented so unfounded an impiety, as even to think and to say that they who affirm the Lord's body to be of Mary, conceive no longer of a Trinity, but of a quaternity in the godhead? As though they that are of this opinion described the flesh which the Saviour clothed himself with of Mary as of the substance of the Trinity.
"Whence further have some men vomited forth an impiety as bad as the foregoing, and alleged that the body is not of later thee than the godhead of the Word, bat has always been co-eternal with it, since it is formed of the substance of wisdom."
Of the same from the same letter:—
"So the body taken of Mary was human according to the scriptures, and real in that it was the same as our own. For Mary was our sister, since we are all of Adam, a fact which no one could doubt who remembers the words of Luke."
Testimony of the holy Basil, bishop of Caesarea:—
From the interpretation of Psalm LX.
"All strangers have stooped and been pat trader the yoke of Christ, wherefore also 'over Edom' does he 'cast out' his 'shoe.' Now the shoe of the Godhead is the flesh which bore God whereby he came among men."
Of the same from his writings about the Holy Ghost to Amphilochius:—
"He uses the phrase 'of whom' instead of 'through whom;' as when Paul says 'made of a woman.' He clearly made this distinction for us in another place where he says that the being made of the man is proper to a woman, but to a man the being made by the woman, in the words 'For as the woman is of the man so is the man by the woman.' But with the object at once of pointing out the different use of these expressions, and of correcting obiter an error of certain men who supposed the body of the Lord to be spiritual, that he may shew how the God-bearing flesh was composed of human matter, he gives prominence to the more emphatic expression, for the expression 'by a woman' was in danger of suggesting that the sense of the word generation was merely in passing through, while the phrase 'of the woman' makes the common nature of the child and of the mother plain enough."
Testimony of the holy Gregory bishop of Nazianus. From the former exposition to Cledonius:—
"If any one says that the flesh came down from heaven, and not from this earth, and from us, let him be Anathema. For the words 'The second man is from heaven,' and 'as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly' and 'no man hath ascended up to heaven but the son of man that came down from heaven,' and any other similar passage, must be understood to be spoken on account of the union with man, as also the statement that 'all things were made by Christ,' and that 'Christ dwells in our hearts,' must be understood not according to the sensible, but according to the intellectual conception of the Godhead, the terms being commingled together just as are the natures."
Of the same from the same work:—
"Let us see from their own words what reason they give for the being made man, that is for the incarnation. If indeed it was that God otherwise not contained in space, might be contained in space and, as it were under a veil, might converse with men in the flesh, then their mask and their stage play are exquisite: not to say that it was possible for Him otherwise to converse with us, as of yore, in a burning bush and in human form, but if that He might undo the damnation of sin by taking like to like then just as He required flesh on account of the condemned flesh, and a soul on account of the soul, so too he required a mind on account of the mind, which in Adam not only fell but,—to employ a term which physicians are accustomed to use about diseases—was affected with original malady. For that which did not keep the commandment was what had received the commandment; and that which dared transgression was what had not kept the commandment; and that which specially needed salvation was what had transgressed, and that which was assumed was what needed salvation; so the mind was assumed. Now this point has been demonstrated, whether they will or no, by proofs which are so to say mathematical and necessary. But you are doing just as though, if a man were to have a diseased eye and a limping foot you were to cure the foot but leave the eye uncured; or, if a painter had painted a picture badly, were to alter the picture, but leave the painter alone as though he were doing his work well. But if they are so constrained by these arguments as to take refuge in the statement that it is possible for God to save man, even without a mind, why then clearly He might have done so even without flesh, by the mere expression of His will, just as He works and has worked in the universe without a body. Away then with the flesh as well as with the mind! Let there be no inconsistency in your absurdity."
Testimony of the Holy Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. From his sermon on Abraham:—
"So the Word came down not naked, but after having been made flesh, not in the form of God, but in the form of a servant. This then is He who said that He could do nothing of Himself. For the not being able is the part of powerlessness. For as darkness is opposed to light, and death to life, so is weakness to power. But yet Christ is Power of God. Power is wholly inconsistent with not being able. For if power were powerless what is powerful? When then the Word declares that He can do nothing it is plain that He does not attribute his powerlessness to the Godhead of the Only- begotten, but connects his not being able with the powerlessness of our nature. The flesh is weak, as it is written, 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'"
Of the same from his Book "on the Perfection of Life":—
"Again the true lawgiver, of whom Moses was a type, hewed for Himself out of our earth the slabs of nature. No wedlock fashioned for Him the flesh that was to receive the godhead, but He Himself is made the hewer of His own flesh, graven as it is by the finger of God. For the Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her. And when this had come to pass, nature once again took its indestructible character, being made immortal by the marks of the divine finger."
Of the same from his Book against Eunomius:—
"We assert therefore that when He said above that wisdom built for herself a house, he intimates by the phrase the formation of the flesh of the Lord, for the very wisdom made its home in no strange dwelling, but built itself its dwelling of the Virgin's body."
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"The Word was before the ages, but the flesh was made in the last times, and no one would say on the contrary either that the flesh was before the ages, or the Word made in the last times."
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"The expression 'created me ' is not to be understood of the divine and the undefiled, but, as has been said, of our created nature, according to the dispensation of the incarnation."
Of the same from the first discourse on the Beatitudes:—
"'Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied himself, and took the form of a servant.' What poorer, in respect of God, than the form of a servant? What more lowly, in respect of the King of all, than approach to fellowship in our poor nature? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords voluntarily dons the form of servitude."
Testimony of the Holy Flavianus, bishop of Antioch. From his sermon on John the Baptist:—
"Do not think of connexion in any physical sense, nor entertain the idea of conjugal intercourse. For thy Creator is creating His own bodily temple now being born of thee."
Of the same from his book on "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me":- "Hear Him saying, 'The Spirit is upon me because He hath anointed me.' You do not know, He says, what you read, for I, the anointed with the Spirit, am come to you. Now what is akin to us, and not the invisible nature, is anointed with the Spirit."
Testimony of Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium. From his Discourse on "My Father is greater than I: "—
"Distinguish me now the natures, the Divine and the human. For man was not made from God by failing away, nor was God made of man by advancement. I am speaking of God and man. When, however, you attribute the passions to the flesh and the miracles to God, you of necessity and involuntarily assign the lowly titles to the man born of Mary, and the exalted and divine to the Word Who in the beginning was God. Wherefore in some cases I utter exalted words, in others lowly, to the end that by means of the lofty I may shew the nature of the indwelling Word, and by the lowly, own the weakness of the lowly flesh. Whence sometimes I call myself equal to the Father and sometimes greater than the Father, not contradicting myself, but shewing that I am God and than, for God is of the lofty, man of the lowly; but if you wish to know how my Father is greater than I, I spoke of the flesh and not of the person of the Godhead."
Of the same from his discourse on "The Son, can do nothing of Himself:"—
How was Adam disobedient in Heaven, and how of heavenly body was he formed first-formed beside the first formation? But it was the Adam of the earth who was formed at the beginning; the Adam of the earth disobeyed; the Adam of the earth was assumed. Wherefore also the Adam of the earth was saved that thus the reason of the incarnation may be proved necessary and true."
Testimony of the Holy John Bishop of Constantinople. From the speech which he made when the Gothic envoy had spoken before him:—
"See from the beginning what He does. He clothes Himself in our nature, powerless and vanquished, that by its means He may fight and struggle and from the beginning He uproots the nature of rebellion."
Of the same from his discourse on The Festival of the Nativity:—
"For is it not of the very last stupidity for them to bring down their own gods into stones and cheap wooden images, shutting them up as it were in a kind of prison, and to fancy that there is nothing disgraceful in what they either say or do, and then to find fault with us for saying that God made a living temple for Himself of the Holy Ghost, by means of which he brought succour to the world? For if it is disgraceful for God to dwell in a human body, then in proportion as the stone and the wood are more worthless than man is it much more disgraceful for him to dwell in stone and wood. But perhaps mankind seems to them to be of less value than these senseless objects. They bring down the substance of God into stones and into dogs; but many heretics into fouler things than these. But we could never endure even to hear of these things. But what we say is that of a virgin's womb the Christ took pure flesh, holy and without spot, and made impervious to all sin, and restored the body that was His own."
A little further on: "And we assert that when the divine Word had fashioned for Himself a holy temple by its means he brought the heavenly state into our life."
Of the same from the oration: That the lowly words and deeds of Christ were not spoken and done through lack of power, but through distinctions of dispensation.
"What then are the causes of many humble things having been said about Him both by Himself and by His apostles? The first and greatest cause is the fact of His having clothed Himself with flesh, and wishing all his contemporaries and all who have lived since, to believe that He was not a shadow, nor what was seen merely a form, but reality of nature. For if when He Himself and His apostles had spoken about Him so often in humble and in human sense, the devil yet had power to persuade some wretched and miserable men to deny the reason of the incarnation, and dare to say that He did not take flesh and so to destroy all the ground of His love for man, how many would not have fallen into this abyss if He had never said anything of the kind?"
I have now produced for you a few out of many authorities of the heralds of the truth, not to stun you with too many. They are quite enough to show the bent of the mind of the excellent writers. It is now for you to say what force their writings seem to have.
Eran.—They have all spoken in harmony with one another, and the workers in the vineyard of the West agree with them whose husbandry is done in the region of the rising sun. Yet I perceived a considerable difference in their sayings.
Orth.—They are successors of the divine apostles; some even of those apostles were privileged to hear the holy voice and see the goodly sight. The majority of them too were adorned with the crown of martyrdom. Does it seem right for you to wag the tongue of blasphemy against them?
Eran.—I shrink from doing this; at the same time I do not approve of their great divergence.
Orth.—But now I will bring you an unexpected remedy. I will adduce one of your own beautiful heresy—your teacher Apollinarius, and I will shew you that he understood the text "The Word was made flesh" just as the holy Fathers did. Hear now what he wrote about it in his "Summary."
The testimony of Apollinarius from his "Summary":—
"If no one is turned into that which he assumes, and Christ assumed flesh, then He was not turned into flesh."
And immediately afterward he continues:—
"For also He gave himself to us in relationship by means of the body to save us. Now that which saves is far more excellent than that which is being saved. Far more excellent then than we are, is He in the assumption of a body! But He would not have been more excellent had He been turned into flesh."
A little further on he says:—
"The simple is one, but the complex cannot be one; he then that alleges that He was made flesh affirms the mutation of the one Word. But if the complex is also one, as man, then he who on account of the union with the flesh says the Word was made flesh means the one in complexity."
And again a little further on he says-"To be made flesh is to be made empty, but the being made empty declares not man, but the Son of man, who 'emptied Himself' not by undergoing change, but by investiture."
There; you see the teacher of your own doctrines has introduced the word 'investiture' and indeed in his little work upon the faith he says— "We then believe that he was made flesh, while His Godhead remained unchanged for the renewal of the manhood. For in the holy power of God there has been neither alteration nor change-of place, nor inclusion"—and then shortly again—"We worship God who took flesh of the blessed virgin, and on this account in the flesh is man, but in the spirit God." And in another exposition he says—"We confess the Son of God to have been made the Son of man, not nominally but verily, on taking flesh of the Virgin Mary."
Eran.—I did not suppose that Apollinarius held these sentiments. I had other ideas about him.
Orth.—Well; now you have learnt that not only the prophets and apostles, and they who after them were ordained teachers of the world, but even Apollinarius, the writer of heretical babbling, confesses the divine Word to be immutable, states that He was not turned into flesh but assumed flesh, and this over and over again, as you have heard. Do not then struggle to throw your master's blasphemy into the shade by your own, For, says the Lord "the disciple is not above his master."
Eran.—Yes, I confess that the divine Word of God is immutable and took flesh. It were the uttermost foolishness to withstand authorities so many and so great.
Orth.—Do you wish to have a solution of the rest of the difficulties?
Eran.—Let us put off their investigation until to-morrow.
Orth.—Very well; our synod is dismissed. Let us depart, and bear in mind what we have agreed upon.
DIALOGUE II: THE UNCONFOUNDED.
Eranistes and Orthodoxus.
Eran.—I am come as I promised. 'Tis yours to adopt one of two alternatives, and either furnish a solution of my difficulties, or assent to what I and my friends lay down.
Orth.—I accept your challenge, for I think it right and fair. But we must first recall to mind at what point we left off our discourse yesterday, and what was the conclusion of our argument.
Eran.—I will remind you of the end. I remember our agreeing that the divine Word remained immutable, and took flesh, and was not himself changed into flesh.
Orth.—You seem to be content with the points agreed on, for you have faithfully called them to mind.
Eran.—Yes, and I have already said that the man that withstands teachers so many and so great is indubitably out of his mind. I was moreover put to not a little shame to find that Apollinarius used the same terms as the orthodox, although in his books about the incarnation his drift has distinctly been in another direction.
Orth.—Then we affirm that the Divine Word took flesh?
Orth.—And what do we mean by the flesh? A body only, as is the view of Arius and Eunomius, or body and soul?
Eran.—Body and soul.
Orth.—What kind of soul? The reasonable soul, or that which is by some termed the phytic, vegetable, that is, vital? for the fable-mongering quackery of the Apollinarians compels us to ask unseemly questions.
Eran.—Does then Apollinarius make a distinction of souls?
Orth.—He says that man is composed of three parts, of a body, a vital soul, and further of a reasonable soul, which he terms mind. Holy Scripture on the contrary knows only one, not two souls; and this is plainly taught us by the formation of the first man. For it is written God took dust from the earth and "formed man," and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." And in the gospels the Lord said to the holy disciples "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
And the very divine Moses when he told the tale of them that came down into Egypt and stated with whom each tribal chief had come in, added, "All the souls that came out of Egypt were seventy-five," reckoning one soul for each immigrant. And the divine apostle at Troas, when all supposed Eutychus to be dead, said "Trouble not yourselves for his soul is in him."
Eran.—It is shewn clearly that each man has one soul.
Orth.—But Apollinarius says two; and that the Divine Word took the unreasonable, and that instead of the reasonable, he was made in the flesh. It was on this account that I asked what kind of soul you assert to have been assumed with the body.
Eran.—I say the reasonable. For I follow the Divine Scripture.
Orth.—We agree then that the "form of a servant" assumed by the Divine Word was complete.
Orth.—And rightly; for since the whole first man became subject to sin, and lost the impression of the Divine Image, and the race followed, it results that the Creator, with the intention of renewing the blurred image, assumed the nature in its entirety, and stamped an imprint far better than the first.
Eran.—True. But now I beg you in the first place that the meaning of the terms employed may be made quite clear, that thus our discussion may advance without hindrance, and no investigation of doubtful points
intervene to interrupt our conversation.
Orth.—What yon say is admirable. Ask now concerning whatever point yon like.
Eran.—What must we call Jesus the Christ? Man?
Orth.—By neither name alone, but by both. For the Divine Man after being made man was named Jesus Christ. "For," it is written," Thou shalt call His name Jesus for he shall save His people from their sins," and unto you is born this day in the city of David Christ the Lord. Now these are angels' voices. But before the Incarnation he was named God, son of God, only begotten, Lord, Divine Word, and Creator. For it is written "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God," and "all things were made by Him," and "He was life," and "He was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." There are also other similar passages, declaring the divine nature. But after the Incarnation He was named Jesus and Christ.
Eran.—Therefore the Lord Jesus is God only.
Orth.—You hear that the divine Word was made man, and do you call him God only?
Eran.—Since He became mall without being changed, but remained just what He was before, we must call Him just what He was.
Orth.—The divine Word was and is and will be immutable. But when He had taken man's nature He became man. It behoves us therefore to confess both natures, both that which took, and that which was taken.
Eran.—We must name Him by the nobler.
Orth—Man,—I mean man the animal,—is he a simple or a composite being?
Orth.—Composed of what component parts?
Eran.—Of a body and a soul.
Orth.—And of these natures whether is nobler?
Eran.—Clearly the soul, for it is reasonable and immortal, and has been entrusted with the sovereignty of the animal. But the body is mortal and perishable, and without the soul is unreasonable, and a corpse.
Orth.—Then the divine Scripture ought to have called the animal after its more excellent part.
Eran.—It does so call it, for it calls them that came out of Egypt souls. For with seventy-five souls, it says, Israel came down into Egypt.
Orth.—But does the divine Scripture never call any one after the body?
Eran.—It calls them that are the slaves of flesh, flesh. For "God," it is written, "said my spirit shall not always remain in these men, for they are flesh."
Orth.—But without blame no one is called flesh?
Eran.—I do not remember.
Orth.—Then I will remind you, and point out to you that even the very saints are called "flesh." Answer now. What would you call the apostles? Spiritual, or fleshly?
Eran.—Spiritual;—and leaders and teachers of the spiritual.
Orth.—Hear now the holy Paul when he says "But when it pleased God who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his son in me that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood neither went I up to them that were apostles before me." Does he so style the apostles because he blames them?
Orth.—Is it not that he names them after their visible nature, and comparing the calling which is of men with that which is of heaven?
Orth.—Then hear too the psalmist David—"Unto thee shall all flesh come." Hear too, the prophet Isaiah foretelling "All flesh shall see the salvation of our God."
Eran.—It is made perfectly plain that Holy Scripture names human nature from the flesh without the least blame.
Orth.—I will proceed to give you the yet further proof.
Orth.—The fact that sometimes when giving blame the divine Scripture uses only the name of soul.
Eran.—And where will you find this in holy Scripture?
Orth.—Hear the Lord God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel "The sold that sinneth it shall die." Moreover through the great Moses He saith "If a soul sin—" And again "It shall come to pass that every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be cut off." And many other passages of the same kind may be found.
Eran.—This is plainly proved.
Orth.—In cases, then, where there is a certain natural union, and a combination of created things, and of beings connected by service and by time, it is not the custom of holy Scripture to use a name for this being derived only from the nobler nature; it names it indiscriminately both by the meaner and by the nobler. If so, how can you find fault with us for calling Christ the Lord, man, after confessing Him to be God, when many things combine to compel us to do so?
Eran.—What is there to compel us to call the Saviour Christ, "man"?
Orth.—The diverse and mutually inconsistent opinions of the heretics.
Eran.—What opinions, and contrary to what?
Orth.—That of Arius to that of Sabellius. The one divides the substances: the other confounds the hypostases. Arius introduces three substances, and Sabellius makes one hypostasis instead of three. Tell me now, how ought we to heal both maladies? Must we apply the same drug for both ailments, or for each the proper one? Eran.—For each the proper one.
Orth.—We shall therefore endeavour to persuade Arius to acknowledge the substance of the Holy Trinity, and we shall adduce proofs of this position from Holy Scripture.
Eran.—Yes: this ought to be done.
Orth.—But in arguing with Sabellius we shall adopt the opposite course. Concerning the substance we shall advance no argument, for even he acknowledges but one.
Orth.—But we shall do our best to cure the unsound part of his doctrine.
Eran.—We say that where he halts is about the hypostases.
Orth.—Since then he asserts there to be one hypostasis of the Trinity, we shall point out to him that the divine Scripture proclaims three hypostases.
Eran.—This is the course to take. But we have wandered from the subject.
Orth.—Not at all. We are collecting proofs of it, as you will learn in a moment. But tell me, do you understand that all the heresies which derive their name from Christ, acknowledge both the Godhead of Christ and His manhood?
Eran.—By no means.
Orth.—Do not some acknowledge the godhead alone, and some the manhood alone?
Orth.—And some but a part of the manhood?
Eran.—I think so. But it will be well for us to lay down the names of the holders of these different opinions, that the point under discussion may be made plainer.
Orth.—I will tell yon the names. Simon, Menander, Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, Bardesanes, Cerdo, and Manes, openly denied the humanity of Christ. On the other hand Artemon, Theodotus, Sabellius, Paul of Samosata, Marcellus, and Photinus, fell into the diametrically opposite blasphemy; for they preach Christ to be man only, and deny the Godhead which existed before the ages. Arius and Eunomius make the Godhead of the only begotten a created Godhead, and maintain that He assumed only a body. Apollinarius confesses that the assumed body was a living body, but in his work deprives the reasonable soul alike of its honour and of its salvation. This is the contrariety of these corrupt opinions. But do you, with all due love of truth, tell us, must we institute a discussion with these men, or shall we let them go dashed down headlong and howling to their doom?
Eran.—It is inhuman to neglect the sick.
Orth.—Very well; then we must compassionate them, and do our best to heal them.
Eran.—By all means.
Orth.—If then you had scientifically learned how to cure the body, and round you stood many men asking you to cure them, and shewing their various ailments, such as arise from running at tile eyes, injury to the ears, tooth-ache, contraction of tile joints, palsy, bile, or phlegm, what would you have done? Tell me; would you have applied the same treatment to all, or to each that which was appropriate?
Eran.—I should certainly have given to each the appropriate remedy.
Orth.—So by applying cold treatment to the hot, and heating the cold, and loosing the strained, and giving tension to the loose, and drying the moist, and moistening the dry, you would have driven out the diseases and restored the health which they had expelled.
Eran.—This is the treatment prescribed by medical science, for contraries, it is said, are the remedies of contraries.
Orth.—If you were a gardener, would yon give the same treatment to all plants? or their own to the mulberry and the fig, and so to the pear, to the apple, and to the vine what is fitting to each, and in a word to each plant its own proper culture?
Eran.—It is obvious that each plant requires its own treatment.
Orth.—And if you undertook to be a ship builder, and saw that the mast wanted repair, would you try to mend it in the same way as you would the tiller? or would you give it the proper treatment of a mast?
Eran.—There is no question about these things: everything demands its own treatment, be it plant or limb or gear or tackle.
Orth.—Then is it not monstrous to apply to the body and to things without life to each its own appropriate treatment, and not to keep this rule of treatment in the case of the soul?
Eran.—Most unjust; nay, rather stupid than unrighteous. They who adopt any other method are quite unskilled in the healing art.
Orth.—Then in disputing against each heresy we shall use the appropriate remedy?
Eran.—By all means.
Orth.—And it is fitting treatment to add what is wanting and to remove what is superfluous?
Orth.—In endeavouring then to cure Photinus and Marcellus and their adherents, in order to carry out the rule of treatment, what should we add?
Eran.—The acknowledgment of the Godhead of Christ, for it is this that they lack.
Orth.—But about the manhood we will say nothing to them, for they acknowledge the Lord Christ to be man. Eran.—You are right.
Orth.—And in arguing with Arius and Eunomius about the incarnation of the only begotten, what should we persuade them to add to their own confession?
Eran.—The assumption of the soul; for they say that the divine Word took only a body.
Orth.—And what does Apollinarius lack to make his teaching accurate about the incarnation?
Eran.—Not to separate the mind from the soul, but to confess that, with the body, was assumed a reasonable soul.
Orth.—Then shall we dispute with him on this point?
Orth.—But under this head what did we assert to be confessed, and what altogether denied, by Marcion, Valentinus, Manes and their adherents?
Eran.—That they admitted their belief in the Godhead of Christ, but do not accept the doctrine of His manhood.
Orth.—We shall therefore do our best to persuade them to accept also the doctrine of the manhood, and not to call the divine incarnation a mere appearance.
Eran.—It will be well so to do.
Orth.—We will therefore tell them that it is right to style the Christ not only God, but also man.
Eran.—By all means.
Orth.—And how is it possible for us to induce others to style the Christ 'man' while we excuse ourselves from doing so? They will not yield to our persuasion, but on the contrary will convict us of agreeing with them.
Eran.—And how can we, confessing as we do that the divine Word took flesh and a reasonable soul, agree with them?
Orth.—If we confess the fact, why then shun the word?
Eran.—It is right to name the Christ from His nobler qualities.
Orth.—Keep this rule then. Do not speak of Him as crucified, nor yet as risen from the dead, and so on.
Eran.—But these are the names of the sufferings of salvation. Denial of the sufferings implies denial of the salvation.
Orth.—And the name Man is the name of a nature. Not to pronounce the name is to deny the nature: denial of the nature is denial of the sufferings, and denial of the sufferings does away with the salvation.
Eran.—I hold it profitable to acknowledge the assumed nature; but to style the Saviour of the world man is to belittle the glory of the Lord.
Orth.—Do you then deem yourself wiser than Peter and Paul; aye, and than the Saviour Himself? For the Lord said to the Jews "Why do ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard of my Father?" And He frequently called Himself Son of Man.
And the meritorious Peter, in his sermon to the Jewish people, says,— "Ye men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you." And the blessed Paul, when bringing the message of salvation to the chiefs of the Areopagus, among many other things said this,—
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." He then who excuses himself from using the name appointed and preached by the Lord and his Apostles deems himself wiser than even these great instructors, aye, even than the very well-spring of the wisest.
Eran.—They gave this instruction to the unbelievers. Now the greater part of the world has professed the faith.
Orth.—But we have still among us Jews and pagans and of heretics systems innumerable, and to each of these we must give fit and appropriate teaching. But, supposing we were all of one mind, tell me now, what harm is there in calling the Christ both God and man? Do we not behold in Him perfect Godhead, and manhood likewise lacking in nothing?
Eran.—This we have owned again and again.
Orth.—Why then deny what we have again and again owned?
Eran.—I hold it unnecessary to call the Christ 'man,'—especially when believer is conversing with believer.
Orth.—Do you consider the divine Apostle a believer?
Eran.—Yes: a teacher of all believers.
Orth.—And do youdeem Timothy worthy of being so styled?
Eran.—Yes: both as a disciple of the Apostle, and as a teacher of the rest.
Orth.—Very well: then hear the teacher of teachers writing to his very perfect disciple. "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." Do stop your idle prating, and laying down the law about divine names. Moreover in this passage that very name 'mediator' stands indicative both of Godhead and of manhood. He is called a mediator because He does not exist as God alone; for how, if He had had nothing of our nature could He have mediated between us and God? But since as God He is joined with God as having the same substance, and as man with us, because from us He took the form of a servant, He is properly termed a mediator, uniting in Himself distinct qualities by the unity of natures of Godhead, I mean, and of manhood.
Eran.—But was not Moses called a mediator, though only a man?
Orth.—He was a type of the reality: but the type has not all the qualities of the reality. Wherefore though Moses was not by nature God, yet, to fulfil the type, he was called a god. For He says "See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh." And then directly afterwards he assigns him also a Prophet as though to God, for "Aaron thy brother," He says, "shall be thy Prophet." But the reality is by nature God, and by nature man.
Eran.—But who would call one not having the distinct characteristics of the archetype, a type?
Orth.—The imperial images, it seems, you do not call images of the emperor
Eran.—Yes, I do.
Orth.—Yet they have not all the characteristics which their archetype has. For in the first place they have neither life nor reason: secondly they have no inner organs, heart, I mean, and belly and liver and the adjacent parts. Further they present the appearance of the organs of sense, but perform none of their functions, for they neither hear, nor speak, nor see; they cannot write; they cannot walk, nor perform any other human action; and yet they are called imperial statues. In this sense Moses was a mediator and Christ was a mediator; but the former as an image and type and the latter as reality. But that I may make this point clearer to you from yet another authority, call to mind the words used of Melchisedec in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Orth.—Those in which the divine Apostle comparing the Levitical priesthood with that of the Christ likens Melchisedec in other respects to the Lord Christ, and says that the Lord had the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec.
Eran.—I think the words of the divine Apostle are as follows;—" For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation king of righteousness, and after that also king of Salem, which is king of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God; abideth a priest continually." I presume you spoke of this passage.
Orth.—Yes, I spoke of this; and I must praise you for not mutilating it, but for quoting the whole. Tell me now, does each one of these points fit Melchisedec in nature and reality?
Eran.—Who has the audacity to deny a fitness where the divine apostle has asserted it?
Orth.—Then you say that all this fits Melchisedec by nature?
Orth.—Do you say that he was a man, or assumed some other nature?
Orth.—Begotten or unbegotten?
Eran.—You are asking very absurd questions.
Orth.—The fault lies with you for openly opposing the truth. Answer then.
Eran.—There is one only unbegotten, who is God and Father.
Orth.—Then we assert that Melchisedec was begotten?
Orth.—But the passage about him teaches the opposite. Remember the words which you quoted a moment ago, "Without father without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life." How then do the words "Without father and without mother" fit him; and how the statement that he neither received beginning of existence nor end, since all this transcends humanity?
Eran.—These things do in fact overstep the limits of human nature.
Orth.—Then shall we say that the Apostle told lies?
Orth.—How then is it possible both to testify to the truth of the Apostle, and apply the supernatural to Melchisedec?
Eran.—The passage is a very difficult one, and requires much explanation.
Orth.—For any one willing to consider it with attention it will not be hard to attain perception of the meaning of the words. After saying "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life," the divine Apostle adds "made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually." Here he plainly teaches us that the Lord Christ is archetype of Melchisedec in things concerning the human nature. And he speaks of Melchisedec as "made like unto the Son of God." Now let us examine the point in this manner;—do you say that the Lord had a father according to the flesh?
Eran.—He was born of the holy Virgin alone.
Orth.—He is therefore properly styled "without father"?
Orth.—Do you say that according to the divine Nature He had a mother?
Orth.—For He was begotten of the Father alone before the ages?
Orth.—And yet, as the generation He has of the Father is ineffable, He is spoken of as "without descent." "Who" says the prophet "shall declare His generation?"
Eran.—You are right.
Orth.—Thus it becomes Him to have neither beginning of days nor end of life; for He is without beginning, indestructible, and, in a word, eternal, and coeternal with the Father.
Eran.—This is my view too. But we must now consider how this fits the admirable Melchisedec.
Orth.—As an image and type. The image, as we have just observed, has not all the properties of the archetype. Thus to the Saviour these qualities are proper both by nature and in reality; but the story of the origin of the race has attributed them to Melchisedec. For after telling us of the father of the patriarch Abraham, and of the father and mother of Isaac, and in like manner of Jacob and of his sons, and exhibiting the pedigree of our first forefathers, of Melchisedec it records neither the father nor the mother, nor does it teach that he traced his descent from any one of Noah's sons, to the end that he may be a type of Him who is in reality without father, and without mother. And this is what the divine Apostle would have us understand, for in this very passage he says further, "But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises."
Eran.—Then, since Holy Scripture has not mentioned his parents, can he be called without father and without mother?
Orth.—If he had really been without father and without mother, he would not have been an image, but a reality. But since these are his qualities not by nature, but according to the dispensation of the Divine Scripture, he exhibits the type of the reality.
Eran.—The type must have the character of the archetype.
Orth.—Is man called an image of God?
Eran.—Man is not an image of God, but was made in the image of God.
Orth.—Listen then to the Apostle. He says: "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God."
Eran.—Granted, then, that he is an image of God.
Orth.—According to your argument then he must needs have plainly preserved the characters of the archetype, and have been uncreate, uncompounded, and infinite. He ought in like manner to have been able to create out of the non existent, he ought to have fashioned all things by his word and without labour, in addition to this to have been free from sickness, sorrow, anger, and sin, to have been immortal and incorruptible and to possess all the qualities of the archetype.
Eran.—Man is not an image of God in every respect.
Orth.—Though truly an image in the qualities in which you would grant him to be so, you will find that he is separated by a wide interval from the reality.
Orth.—Consider now too this point. The divine Apostle calls the Son the image of the Father; for he says "Who is the image of the invisible God?"
Eran.—What then; has not the Son all the qualities of the Father?
Orth.—He is not Father. He is not uncaused. He is not unbegotten.
Eran.—If He were He would not be Son.
Orth.—Then does not what I said hold good; the image has not all the qualities of the archetype?
Orth.—Thus too the divine Apostle said that Melchisedec is made like unto the Son of God.
Eran.—Suppose we grant that he is without Father and without Mother and without descent, as you have said. But how are we to understand his having neither beginning of days nor end of life?
Orth.—The holy Moses when writing the ancient genealogy tells us how Adam being so many years old begat Seth, and when he had lived so many years he ended his life. So too he writes of Seth, of Enoch, and of the rest, but of Melchisedec he mentions neither beginning of existence nor end of life. Thus as far as the story goes he has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but in truth and reality the only begotten Son of God never began to exist and shall never have an end.
Orth.—Then, so far as what belongs to God and is really divine is concerned, Melchisedec is a type of the Lord Christ; but as far as the priesthood is concerned, which belongs rather to man than to God, the Lord Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec. For Melchisedec was a high priest of the people, and the Lord Christ for all men has made the right holy offering of salvation.
Eran.—We have spent many words on this matter.
Orth.—Yet more were needed, as you know, for you said the point was a difficult one.
Eran.—Let us return to the question before us.
Orth.—What was the question?
Eran.—On my remarking that Christ must not be called man, but only God, you yourself besides many other testimonies adduced also the well known words of the Apostle which he has used in his epistle Timothy—"One God, one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time."
Orth.—I remember from what point we diverged into this digression. It was when I had said that the name of mediator exhibits the two natures of the Saviour, and you said that Moses was called a mediator though he was only a man and not God and man. was therefore under the necessity of following up these points to show that the type has not all the qualities of the archetype. Tell me, then, whether you allow that the Saviour ought also to be called man.
Eran.—I call Him God, for He is God's Son.
Orth.—If you call him God, because you have learnt that he is God's Son, call him also man, for he often called Himself "Son of Man."
Eran.—The name man does not apply to Him in the same way as the name God.
Orth.—As not really belonging to Him or for some other reason?
Eran.—God is his name by nature; man is the designation of the Incarnation.
Orth.—But are we to look on the Incarnation as real, or as something imaginary and false?
Orth.—If then the grace of the Incarnation is real, and what we call Incarnation is the divine Word's being made man, then the name man is real; for after taking man's nature He is called man.
Eran.—Before His passion He was styled man, but afterward He was no longer so styled.
Orth.—But it was after the Passion and the Resurrection that the divine Apostle wrote the Epistle to Timothy wherein he speaks of the Saviour Christ as man, and writing after the Passion and the Resurrection to the Corinthians he exclaims "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." And in order to make his meaning clear he adds, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." And after the Passion and the Resurrection the divine Peter, in his address to the Jews, called Him man. And after His being taken up into heaven, Stephen the victorious, amid the storm of stones, said to the Jews, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Are we to suppose ourselves wiser than the illustrious heralds of the truth?
Eran.—I do not suppose thyself wiser than the holy doctors, but I fail to find the use of the name.
Orth.—How then could you persuade them that deny the incarnation of the Lord, Marcionists, I mean, and Manichees, and all the rest who are thus unsound, to accept the teaching of the truth, unless you adduce these and similar proofs with the object of shewing that the Lord Christ is not God only but also man?
Eran.—Perhaps it is necessary to adduce them.
Orth.—Why not then teach the faithful the reality of the doctrine? Are you forgetful of the apostolic precept enjoining us to be "ready to give an answer." Now let us look at the matter in this light. Does the best general engage the enemy, attack with arrows and javelins, and endeavour to break their column all alone, or does he also arm his men, and marshal them, and rouse their hearts to play the man?
Eran.—He ought rather to do this latter.
Orth.—Yes; for it is not the part of a general to expose his own life, and take his place in the ranks, and let his men go fast asleep, but rather to keep them awake for their work at their post.
Orth.—This is what the divine Paul did, for in writing to them who had made profession of their faith he said, "Take unto you the whole armour of God that ye be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. And again, "Stand therefore with your loins girt about with truth," and so on. Bear in mind too what we have already said, that a physician supplies what nature lacks. Does he find the cold redundant? He supplies the hot, and so on with the rest; and this is what the Lord does.
Eran.—And where will you show that the Lord has done this?
Orth.—In the holy gospels.
Eran.—Show me then and fulfil your promise.
Orth.—What did the Jews consider our Saviour Christ?
Orth.—And that He was also God they were wholly ignorant.
Orth.—Was it not then necessary for the ignorant to learn?
Orth.—Listen to Him then saying to them: "Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?" And when they replied: "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou being a man makest thyself God," He added "It is written in your law I said ye are gods. If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken, say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my father believe me not ... that I am in the Father and the Father is in me."
Eran.—In the passages you have just read you bare shewn that the Lord shewed Himself to the Jews to be God and not man.
Orth.—Yes, for they did not need to learn what they knew; that He was a man they knew, but they did not know that He was from the beginning God. He adopted this same course in the case of the Pharisees; for when He saw them accosting Him as a mere man He asked them "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?" And when they said "Of David" He went on "How then doth David calling him Lord say 'The Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand.'" Then He goes on to argue, "If then He is His Lord how is He His Son?"
Eran.—You have brought testimony against yourself, for the Lord plainly taught the Pharisees to call Him not "Son of David" but "Lord of David." Wherefore He is distinctly shown wishing to be called God and not man.
Orth.—I am afraid you have not attended to the divine teaching. He did not repudiate the name of "Son of David," but He added that He ought also to be believed to be Lord of David. This He clearly shews in the words "If He is his Lord how is He then his Son?" He did not say "if He is Lord He is not Son," but "how is He his Son?" instead of saying in one respect He is Lord and in another Son. These passages both distinctly show the Godhead and the manhood.
Eran.—There is no need of argument. The Lord distinctly teaches that He does not wish to be called Son of David.
Orth.—Then He ought to have told the blind men and the woman of Canaan and the multitude not to call Him Son of David, and yet the blind men cried out "Thou Son of David have mercy on us." And the woman of Canaan "Have mercy on me O Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a Devil." And the multitude: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." And not only did He not take it ill, but even praised their faith; for the blind He freed from their long weary night and granted them the power of sight; the maddened and distraught daughter of the woman of Canaan He healed and drove out the wicked demon; and when the chief priests and Pharisees were offended at them that shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David" He did not merely not prevent them from shouting, but even sanctioned their acclamation, for, said He, "I tell you that if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out."
Eran.—He put up with this style of address before the resurrection in condescension to the weakness of them that had not yet properly believed. But after the resurrection these names are needless.
Orth.—Where shall we rank the blessed Paul? among the perfect or the imperfect?
Eran.—It is wrong to joke about serious things.
Orth.—It is wrong to make light of the reading of the divine oracles.
Eran.—And who is such a wretch as to despise his own salvation?
Orth.—Answer my question, and then you will learn your ignorance.
Orth.—Where are we to rank the divine Apostle?
Eran.—Plainly among the most perfect, and one of the perfect teachers.
Orth.—And when did he begin his teaching?
Eran.—After the ascension of the Saviour, the coming of the Spirit, and the stoning of the victorious Stephen.
Orth.—Paul, at the very end of his life, when writing his last letter to his disciple Timothy, and in giving him, as it were, his paternal inheritance by will, added "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." Then he went on to mention his sufferings on behalf of the gospel, and thus showed its truth saying, "Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer even unto bonds."
It were easy for me to adduce many similar testimonies, but I have judged it needless to do so.
Eran.—You promised to prove that the Lord supplied the lacking instruction to them that needed, and you have shown that He discoursed about His own Godhead to the Pharisees, and to the rest of the Jews. But that He gave also His instruction about the flesh you have not shewn.
Orth.—It would have been quite superfluous to have discoursed about the flesh which was before their eyes, for He was plainly seen eating and drinking and toiling and sleeping. Furthermore, to omit the many and various events before the passion, after His resurrection He proved to His disbelieving disciples not His Godhead but His manhood; for He said, "Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have."
Now I have fulfilled my promise, for we have proved the giving of instruction about the Godhead to them that were ignorant of the Godhead, and about the resurrection of the flesh to them that denied this latter. Cease therefore from contending, and confess the two natures of the Saviour.
Eran.—There were two before the union, but, after combining, they made one nature.
Orth.—When do you say that the union was effected?
Eran.—I say at the exact moment of the conception.
Orth.—And do you deny that the divine Word existed before the conception?
Eran.—I say that He was before the ages.
Orth.—And that the flesh was co-existent with Him?
Eran.—By no means.
Orth.—But was formed, after the salutation of the angel, of the Holy Ghost?
Eran.—So I say.
Orth.—Therefore before the union there were not two natures but only one. For if the Godhead pre-existed, but the manhood was not coexistent, being formed after the angelic salutation, and the union being coincident with the formation, then before the union there was one nature, that which exists always and existed before the ages. Now let us again consider this point. Do you understand the making of flesh or becoming man to be anything other than the union?
Orth.—For when He took flesh He was made flesh.
Orth.—And the union coincides with the taking flesh.
Eran.—So I say.
Orth.—So before the making man there was one nature. For if both union and making man are identical, and He was made man by taking man's nature, and the form of God took the form of a servant, then before the union the divine nature was one.
Eran.—And how are the union and the making man identical?
Orth.—A moment ago you confessed that there is no distinction between these terms.
Eran.—You led me astray by your arguments.
Orth.—Then, if you like, let us go over the same ground again.
Eran.—We had better so do.
Orth.—Is there a distinction between the incarnation and the union, according to the nature of the transaction?
Eran.—Certainly; a very great distinction.
Orth.—Explain fully the character of this distinction.
Eran.—Even the sense of the terms shows the distinction, for the word "incarnation" shows the taking of the flesh, while the word "union" indicates the combination of distinct things.
Orth.—Do yon represent the incarnation to be anterior to the union?
Eran.—By no means.
Orth.—You say that the union took place in the conception?
Orth.—Therefore if not even the least moment of time intervened between the taking of flesh and the union, and the assumed nature did not precede the assumption and the union, then incarnation and union signify one and the same thing, and so before the union and incarnation there was one nature, while after the incarnation we speak properly of two, of that which took and of that which was taken.
Eran.—I say that Christ was of two natures, but I deny two natures.
Orth.—Explain to us then in what sense you understand the expression "of two natures;" like gilded silver? like the composition of electron? like the solder made of lead and tin?
Eran.—I deny that the union is like any of these; it is ineffable, and passes all understanding.
Orth.—I too confess that the manner of the union cannot be comprehended. But I have at all events been instructed by the divine Scripture that each nature remains unimpaired after the union.
Eran.—And where is this taught in the divine Scripture?
Orth.—It is all full of this teaching.
Eran.—Give proof of what you assert.
Orth.—Do you not acknowledge the properties of each nature?
Eran.—No: not, that is, after the union.
Orth.—Let us then learn this very point from the divine Scripture.
Eran.—I am ready to obey the divine Scripture.
Orth.—When, then, yon hear the divine John exclaiming "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God" and "By Him all things were made" and the rest of the parallel passages, do you affirm that the flesh, or the divine Word, begotten before the ages of the Father, was in the beginning with God, and was by nature God, and made all things?
Eran.—I say that these things belong to God the Word. But I do not separate Him from the flesh made one with Him.
Orth. —Neither do we separate the flesh from God the Word, nor do we make the union a confusion.
Eran.—I recognise one nature after the union.
Orth.—When did the Evangelists write the gospel? Was it before the union, or a very long time after the union?
Eran.—Plainly after the union, the nativity, the miracles, the passion, the resurrection, the taking up into heaven, and the coming of the Holy Ghost.
Orth.—Hear then John saying "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made" and so on. Hear too Matthew, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, Son of David,—Son of Abraham,"—and so on. Luke too traced His genealogy to Abraham and David. Now make the former and the latter quotation fit one nature. You will find it impossible, for existence in the beginning, and descent from Abraham,—the making of all things, anti derivation from a created forefather, are inconsistent.
Eran.—By thus arguing you divide the only begotten son into two Persons.
Orth.—One Son of God I both know and adore, the Lord Jesus Christ; but I have been taught the difference between His Godhead and his manhood. You, however, who say that there is only one nature after the union, do you make this agree with tILe introductions of the Evangelists.
Eran.—You appear to assume the proposition to be hard, nay impossible. Be it, I beg, short and easy;—only solve our question.
Orth.—Both qualities are proper to the Lord Christ,—existence from the beginning, and generation, according to the flesh, from Abraham and David.
Eran.—You laid down the law that after the union it is not right to speak of one nature. Take heed lest in mentioning the flesh you transgress your own law.
Orth.—Even without mentioning the flesh it is quite easy to explain the point in question, for 12 am applying both to the Saviour Christ.
Eran.—I too assert that both these qualities belong to the Lord Christ.
Orth.—Yes; but you do so in contemplation of two natures in Him, and applying to each its own properties. But if the Christ is one nature, how is it possible to attribute to it properties which are inconsistent with one another? For to have derived origin from Abraham and David, and still more to have been born many generations after David, is inconsistent with existence in the beginning. Again to have sprung from created beings is inconsistent with being Creator of all things; to have had human fathers with existence derived from God. In short the new is inconsistent with the eternal.
Let us also look at the matter in this way. Do we say that the divine Word is Creator of the Universe?
Eran.—So we have learnt to believe from the divine Scriptures.
Orth.—And how many days after the creation of heaven and earth are we told that Adam was formed?
Eran.—On the sixth day.
Orth.—And from Adam to Abraham
how many generations went by?
Eran.—I think twenty.
Orth.—And from Abraham to Christ our Saviour how many generations are reckoned by the Evangelist Matthew.
Orth.—If then the Lord Christ is one nature bow can He be Creator of all things visible and invisible and, at the same time, after so many generations, have been formed by the Holy Ghost in a virgin's womb? And how could He be at one and the same time Creator of Adam and Son of Adam's descendants?
Eran.—I have already said that both these properties are appropriate to Him as God made flesh, for I recognise one nature made flesh of the Word.
Orth.—Nor yet, my good sir, do we say that two natures of the divine Word were made flesh, for we know that the nature of the divine Word is one, but we have been taught that the flesh of which He availed Himself when He was incarnate is of another nature, and here I think that you too agree with me. Tell me now; after what manner do you say that the making flesh took place?
Eran.—I know not the manner, but I believe that He was made flesh.
Orth.—You make a pretext of your ignorance unfairly, and after the fashion of the Pharisees. For they when they beheld the force of the Lord's enquiry, and suspecting that they were on the point of conviction, uttered their reply" We do not know." But I proclaim quite openly that the divine incarnation is without change. For if by any variation or change He was made flesh, then after the change all that is divine in His names and in His deeds is quite inappropriate to Him.
Eran.—We have agreed again and again that God the Word is immutable.
Orth.—He was made flesh by taking flesh.
Orth.—The nature of God the Word made flesh is different from that of the flesh, by assumption of which the nature of the divine Word was made flesh and became man.
Orth.—Was He then changed into flesh?
Orth.—If then He was made flesh, not by mutation, but by taking flesh, and both the former and the latter qualities are appropriate to Him as to God made flesh, as you said a moment ago, then the natures were not confounded, but remained unimpaired. And as long as we hold thus we shall perceive too the harmony of the Evangelists, for while the one proclaims the divine attributes of the one only begotten—the Lord Christ—the other sets forth His human qualities. So too Christ our Lord Himself teaches us, at one time calling Himself Son of God and at another Son of man: at one time He gives honour to His Mother as to her that gave Him birth; at another He rebukes her as her Lord? At one time He finds no fault with them that style Him Son of David; at another He teaches the ignorant that He is not only David's Son but also David's Lord. He calls Nazareth and Capernaum His country, and again He exclaims "Before Abraham was I am." You will find the divine Scripture full of similar passages, and they all point not to one nature but to two.
Eran.—He who contemplates two natures in the Christ divides the one only begotten into two sons.
Orth.—Yes; and he who says Paul is made up of soul and body makes two Pauls out of one.
Eran.—The analogy does not hold good.
Orth.—I know it does not, for here the union is a natural union of parts that are coaeval, created, and fellow slaves, but in the case of the Lord Christ all is of good will, of love to man, and of grace. Here too, though the union is natural, the proper qualities of the natures remain unimpaired.
Eran.—If the proper qualities of the natures remain distinct, how does the soul together with the body crave for food?
Orth.—The soul does not crave for food. How could it when it is immortal? But the body, which derives its vital force from the soul, feels its need, and desires to receive what is lacking. So after toil it long, for rest, after waking for sleep, and so with the rest of its desires. So forthwith after its dissolution, since it has no longer its vital energy, it does not even crave for what is lacking, and, ceasing to receive it, it undergoes corruption.
Eran.—You see that to thirst and to hunger and similar appetites belong to the soul.
Orth.—Did these belong to the soul it would suffer hunger and thirst, and the similar wants, even after its release from the body.
Eran.—What then do you say to be proper to the soul?
Orth.—The reasonable, the absolute, the immortal, the invisible.
Eran.—And what of the body?
Orth.—The complex, the visible, the mortal.
Eran.—And we say that man is composed of these?
Eran.—Then we define man as a mortal reasonable being.
Eran.—And we give names to him from both these attributes.
Eran.—As then in this case we make no distinction, but call the same man both reasonable and mortal, so also should we do in the case of the Christ, and apply to Him both the divine and the human.
Orth.—This is our argument, although you do not accurately express it. For look you. When we are pursuing the argument about the human soul, do we only mention what is appropriate to its energy and nature?
Orth.—And when our discussion is about the body, do we not only recall what is appropriate to it?
Orth.—But, when our discourse touches the whole being, then we have no difficulty in adducing both sets of qualities, for the properties both of the body and of the soul are applicable to man.
Orth.—Well; just in this way should we speak of the Christ, and, when arguing about His natures, give to each its own, and recognise some as belonging to the Godhead, and some as to the manhood. But when we are discussing the Person we must then make what is proper to the natures common, and apply both sets of qualities to the Saviour, and call the same Being both God and Man, both Son of God and Son of Man—both David's Son and David's Lord, both Seed of Abraham and Creator of Abraham, and so on.
Eran.—That the person of the Christ is one, and that both the divine and the human are attributable to Him, you have quite rightly said, and I accept this definition of the Faith; but your real position, that in discussing the natures we must give to each its own properties, seems to me to dissolve the union. It is for this reason that I object to accept these and similar arguments.
Orth.—Yet when we were enquiring about soul and body you thought the distinction of these terms admirable, and forthwith gave it your approbation. Why then do you refuse to receive the same rule in the case of the Godhead and manhood of the Lord Christ? Do you go so far as to object to comparing the Godhead and the manhood of the Christ to soul and body? So, while you grant an unconfounded union to soul and body, do you venture to say that the Godhead and manhood of the Christ have undergone commixture and confusion?
Eran.—I hold the Godhead of the Christ aye, and His flesh too, to be infinitely higher in honour than soul and body; but after the union I do assert one nature.
Orth.—But now is it not impious and shocking, while maintaining that a soul united to a body is in no way subject to confusion, to deny to the Godhead of the Lord of the universe the power to maintain its own nature unconfounded or to keep within its proper bounds the humanity which He assumed? Is it not, I say, impious to mix the distinct, and to commingle the separate? The idea of one nature gives ground for suspicion of this confusion.
Eran.—I am equally anxious to avoid the term confusion, but I shrink from asserting two natures lest I fall into a dualism of sons.
Orth.—I am equally anxious to escape either horn of the dilemma, both the impious confusion and the impious distinction; for to me it is alike an unhallowed thought to split the one Son in two and to gainsay the duality of the natures. But now in truth's name tell me. Were one of the faction of Arius or Eunomius to endeavour, while disputing with you, to belittle the Son, and to describe Him as less than and inferior to the Father, by the help of all their familiar arguments and citations from the divine Scripture of the text "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me" and that other, "Now is my soul troubled" and other like passages, how would you dispose of his objections? How could you show that the Son is in no way diminished in dignity by these expressions and is not of another substance, but begotten of the substance of the Father?
Eran.—I should say that the divine Scripture uses some terms according to the theology and some according to the oeconomy, and that it is wrong to apply what belongs to the economy to what belongs to the theology.
Orth.—But your opponent would retort that even in the Old Testament the divine Scripture says many things economically, as for instance, "Adam heard the voice of the Lord God walking," and "I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it which has come to me; and if not I will know," and again, "Now I know that thou fearest God" and the like.
Eran.—I might answer to this that there is a great distinction between the oeconomies. In the Old Testament there is an oeconomy of words; in the New Testament of deeds.
Orth.—Then your opponent would ask of what deeds?
Eran.—He shall straightway hear of the deeds of the making flesh. For the Son of God on being made man both in word and deed at one time exhibits the flesh, at another the Godhead: as of course, in the passage quoted, He shews the weakness of the flesh and of the soul, the sense namely of fear.
Orth.—But if he were to go on to say, "But he did not take a soul but only a body; for the Godhead instead of a soul being united to the body performed all the functions of the soul," with what arguments could you meet his objections?
Eran.—I could bring proofs from the divine Scripture shewing how God the Word took not only flesh but also soul.
Orth.—And what proofs of this shall we find in Sripture?
Eran.—Have you not heard the Lord saying "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. ... I lay it down of myself that I might take it a again." And again, "Now is my soul troubled." And again, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto deaths" and again David's words as interpreted by Peter "His soul was not left in hell neither did His flesh see corruption." These and similar passages clearly point out that God the Word assumed not only a body but also a soul.
Orth.—You have quoted this testimony most appositely and properly, but your opponent might reply that even before the incarnation God said to the Jews, "Fasting and holy day and feasts my soul hateth." Then he might go on to argue that as in the Old Testament He mentioned a soul, though He had not a soul, so He does in the New.
Eran.—But he shall be told again how the divine Scripture, when speaking of God, mentions even parts of the body as "Incline thine ear and hear" and "Open thine eyes and see" and "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" and "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me" and countless other passages.
If then after the incarnation we are forbidden to understand soul to mean sold, it is equally forbidden to hold body to mean body. Thus the great mystery of the oeconomy will be found to be mere imagination; and we shall in no way differ from Marcion, Valentinus and Manes, the inventors of all these figments.
Orth.—But if a follower of Apollinarius were suddenly to intervene in our discussion and were to ask "Most excellent Sir; what kind of soul do you say that Christ assumed?" what would you answer?
Eran.—should first of all say that I know only one soul of man; then I should answer, "But if you reckon two souls, the one reasonable and the other without reason, I say that the soul assumed was the reasonable. Yours it seems is the unreasonable, inasmuch as you think that our salvation was incomplete."
Orth.—But suppose he were to ask for proof of what you say?
Eran.—I could very easily give it. I shall quote the oracles of the Evangelists "The Child Jesus grew anti waxed strong in spirit and the grace of God was upon him" and again "Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and men." I should say that these have nothing to do with Godhead for the body increased in stature, and in wisdom the soul—not that which is without reason, but the reasonable. God the Word then took on Him a reasonable soul.
Orth.—Good Sir, you have bravely broken through the three fold phalanx of your foes; but that union, and the famous commixture and confusion, not in two ways only but in three, you have scattered and undone; and not only have you pointed out the distinction between Godhead and manhood, but you have in two ways distinguished the manhood by pointing out that the soul is one thing and the body another, so that no longer two, according to our argument, but three natures of our Saviour Jesus Christ may be understood.
Eran.—Yes; for did not you say that there is another substance of the soul besides the nature of the body?
Eran.—How then does the argument seem absurd to you?
Orth.—Because while you object to two, yon have admitted three natures.
Eran.—The contest with our antagonists compels us to this, for how could any one in any other way argue against those who deny the assumption of the flesh, or of the soul, or of the mind, but by adducing proofs on these points from the divine Scripture? And how could any one confute them who in their readiness strive to belittle the Godhead of the only Begotten but by pointing out that the divine Scripture speaks sometimes theologically and sometimes oeconomically.
Orth.—What you now say is true. It is what I, nay what all say, who keep whole the apostolic rule. You yourself bare become a supporter of our doctrines.
Eran.—How do I support yours, while I refuse to acknowledge two sons?
Orth.—When did you ever hear of our affirming two sons?
Eran.—He who asserts two natures asserts two sons.
Orth.—Then you assert three sons, for you have spoken of three natures.
Eran.—In no other way was it possible to meet the argument of my opponents.
Orth.—Hear this same thing from us too; for both you and I confront the same antagonists.
Eran.—But I do not assert two natures after the union.
Orth.—And yet after many generations of the union a moment ago you used the same words. Explain to us however in what sense you assert one nature after the union. Do you mean one nature derived from both or that one nature remains after the destruction of the other?
Eran.—I maintain that the Godhead remains and that the manhood was swallowed up by it.
Orth.—Fables of the Gentiles, all this, and follies of the Manichees. I am ashamed so much as to mention such things. The Greeks had their gods' swallowings and the Manichees wrote of the daughter of light. But we reject such teaching as being as absurd as it is impious, for how could a nature absolute and uncompounded, comprehending the universe, unapproachable and infinite, have absorbed the nature which it assumed?
Eran.—Like the sea receiving a drop of honey, for straightway the drop, as it mingles with the ocean's water, disappears.
Orth.—The sea and the drop are different in quantity, though alike in quality; the one is greatest, the other is least; the one is sweet and the other is bitter; but in all other respects you will find a very close relationship. The nature of both is moist, liquid, and fluid. Both are created. Both are lifeless yet each alike is called a body. There is nothing then absurd in these cognate natures undergoing commixture, and in the one being made to disappear by the other. In the case before us on the contrary the difference is infinite, and so great that no figure of the reality can be found. I will however endeavour to point out to you several instances of substances which are mixed without being confounded, and remain unimpaired.
Eran.—Who in the world ever heard of an unmixed mixture?
Orth.—I shall endeavour to make you admit this.
Eran.—Should what you are about to advance prove true we will not oppose the truth.
Orth.—Answer then, dissenting or assenting as the argument may seem good to you.
Eran.—I will answer.
Orth.—Does the light at its rising seem to you to fill all the atmosphere except where men shut up in caverns might remain bereft of it?
Orth.—And does all the light seem to you to be diffused through all the atmosphere?
Eran.—I am with you so far.
Orth.—And is not the mixture diffused through all that is subject to it?
Orth.—But, now, this illuminated atmosphere, do we not see it as light and call it light?
Orth.—And yet when the light is present we sometimes are aware of moisture and aridity; frequently of heat and cold.
Orth.—And after the departure of the light the atmosphere afterwards remains alone by itself.
Orth.—Consider this example too. When iron is brought in contact with fire it is fired.
Orth.—And the fire is diffused through its whole substance?
Orth.—How, then, does not the complete union, and the mixture universally diffused, change the iron's nature?
Eran.—But it changes it altogether. It is now reckoned no longer as iron, but as fire, and indeed it has the active properties of fire.
Orth.—But does not the smith call it iron, and put it on the anvil and smite it with his hammer?
Orth.—Then the nature of the iron was not damaged by contact with the fire. If then, in natural bodies, instances may be found of an unconfounded mixture, it is sheer folly in the case of the nature which knows neither corruption nor change to entertain the idea of confusion and destruction of the assumed nature, and all the more so when this nature was assumed to bring blessing on the race.
Eran.—What I assert is not the destruction of the assumed nature, but its change into the substance of Godhead.
Orth.—Then the human race is no longer limited as heretofore?
Orth.—When did it undergo this change?
Eran.—After the complete union.
Orth.—And what date do you assign to this?
Eran.—I have said again and again, that of the conception.
Orth.—Yet after the conception He was an unborn babe in the womb; after His birth. He was a babe and was called a babe, and was worshipped by shepherds, and in like manner became a boy, and was so called by the angel. Do you acknowledge all this? or do you think I am inventing fables?
Eran.—This is taught in the history of the divine gospels, and cannot be gainsaid.
Orth.—Now let us investigate what follows. We acknowledge, do we not, that the Lord was circumcised?
Orth.—Of what was there a circumcision? Of flesh or Godhead?
Eran.—Of the flesh.
Orth.—Of what was then the growth and increase in wisdom and stature?
Eran.—This, of course, is not applicable to Godhead.
Orth.—Nor hunger and thirst?
Orth.—Nor walking about, and being weary, and failing asleep?
Orth.—If then the union took place at the conception, and all these things came to pass after the conception and the birth, then, after the union, the manhood did not lose its own nature.
Eran.—I have not stated my meaning exactly. It was after the resurrection from the dead that the flesh underwent the change into Godhead.
Orth.—Then, after the resurrection, nothing of all that indicates its nature remained in it?
Eran.—If it remained, the divine change did not take place.
Orth.—How then was it that He shewed His hands and His feet to the disciples who disbelieved?
Eran.—Just as He came in when the doors were shut.
Orth.—But He came in when the doors were shut just as He came out from the womb, though the virgin's bolts and bars were undrawn, and just as He walked upon the sea. Then according to your argument not even yet had the change of nature taken place?
Eran.—The Lord shewed His hands to the Apostles in the same way as He wrestled with Jacob.
Orth.—No; the Lord does not allow us to understand it in this sense. The disciples thought they saw a spirit, but the Lord dispelled this idea, and shewed the nature of the flesh, for He said "Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." And observe the exactness of the language. He does not say "is not flesh and bones," but "has not flesh and bones," in order to point out that the nature of the possessor and the nature of that which is possessed are distinct and separate. Just in the same way that which took and that which was taken are separate and distinct, and the Christ is beheld made one of both. Thus the part possessing is entirely different from the part possessed; and yet does not divide into two persons Him who is an object of thought in them. The Lord, indeed, while the disciples were still in doubt, asked for food and took and ate it, not consuming the food only in appearance, nor satisfying to the need of the body.
Eran.—But one of these alternatives must be accepted; either He partook because He needed, or else, needing not, He seemed to eat, and did not really partake of food.
Orth.—His body now become immortal required no food. Of them that rise the Lord says: "they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as Angels." The apostles however bear witness that He partook of the food, for the blessed Luke in the preface to the Acts says "being assembled together with the apostles the Lord commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem" and the very divine Peter says more distinctly: "Who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead." For since eating is proper to them that live this present life, of necessity the Lord by means of eating and drinking proved the resurrection of the flesh to them that did not acknowledge it to be real. This same course He pursued in the case of Lazarus and of Jairus' daughter. For when He had raised up the latter He ordered that something should be given her to eat and He made Lazarus sit with Him at the table and so shewed the reality of the rising again.
Eran.—If we grant that the Lord really ate, let us grant that after the resurrection all men partake of food.
Orth.—What was done by the Saviour through a certain oeconomy is not a rule and law of nature. This follows from the fact that He did other things by oeconomy which shall by no means be the lot of them that live again.
Eran.—What do you mean?
Orth.—Will not the bodies of them that rise become incorruptible and immortal?
Eran.—So the divine Paul has taught us. "It is sown" he says "in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."
Orth.—But the Lord, who raises the bodies of all men, unmaimed and unmarred (for lameness of limb and blindness of eye are unknown among them that are risen), left in His own body the prints of the nails, and the wound in His side, whereof are witnesses both the Lord Himself and the hand of Thomas.
Orth.—If then after the resurrection the Lord both partook of food, and shewed His hands and His feet to His disciples, and in them the prints of the nails, and His side with the mark of the wound in it, and said to them, "Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have" it follows that after His resurrection the nature of His body was preserved and was not changed into another substance.
Eran.—Then after the resurrection it is mortal and subject to suffering?
Orth.—By no means; it is incorruptible, impassible, and immortal.
Eran.—If it is incorruptible, impassible, and immortal, it has been changed into another nature.
Orth.—Therefore the bodies of all men will be changed into another substance, for all will be incorruptible and immortal. Or have you not heard the words of the Apostle, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality"?
Eran.—I have heard.
Orth.—Therefore the nature remains, but its corruption is changed into incorruption, and its mortal into immortality. But let us look at the matter in this way; we call a body that is sick and a body that is whole, in the same way, a body.
Eran.—Since both partake of the same substance.
Orth.—Yet we see in them a very great difference, for the one is whole, perfect, and unhurt; the other has either lost an eye, or has a broken leg, or has undergone some other suffering.
Eran.— But to the same nature belong both health and sickness.
Orth.—So the body is called substance; disease and health are called accident.
Eran.—Of course. For these things are accidents of the body, and again cease to be so.
Orth.—In the same way corruption and death must be called accidents, and not substances, for they too are accidents and cease to be so.
Orth.—So the body of the Lord rose incorruptible, impassible, and immortal, and is worshipped by the powers of heaven, and is yet a body having its former limitation.
Eran.—In these points you seem to say sooth, but after its assumption into heaven I do not think that you will deny that it was changed into the nature of Godhead.
Orth.—I would not so say persuaded only by human arguments, for I am not so rash as to say anything concerning which divine Scripture is silent. But I have heard the divine Paul exclaiming "God hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained whereof He hath given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead," and I have learnt from the holy Angels that He will come in like manner as the disciples saw Him going into heaven. Now they saw His nature not unlimited. For I have heard the words of the Lord, "Ye shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven," and I acknowledge that what is seen of men is limited, for the unlimited nature is invisible. Furthermore to sit upon a throne of glory and to set the lambs upon the right and the kids upon the left indicates limitation.
Eran.—Then He was not unlimited even before the incarnation, for the prophet saw Him surrounded by the Seraphim.
Orth.—The prophet did not see the substance of God, but a certain appearance accommodated to his capacity. After the resurrection, however, all the world will see the very visible nature of the judge.
Eran.—You promised that you would adduce no argument without evidence, but you are introducing arguments adapted to us.
Orth.—I have learnt these things from he divine Scripture. I have heard the words of the prophet Zechariah "They shall look on Him whom they pierced,' and how shall the event follow the prophecy unless the crucifiers recognise the nature which they crucified? And I have heard the cry of the victorious martyr Stephen, "Behold I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God," and he saw the visible, not the invisible nature.
Eran.—These things are thus written, but I do not think that you will be able to show that the body, after the ascension into heaven, is called body by the inspired writers.
Orth.—What has been already said indicates the body perfectly plainly; for what is seen is a body; but I will nevertheless point out to you that even after the assumption the body of the Lord is called a body. Hear the teaching of the Apostle, "For our conversation is in Heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." It was not changed into another nature, but remained a body, full however of divine glory, and sending forth beams of light. The bodies of the saints shall be fashioned like unto it. But if it was changed into another nature, their bodies will be likewise changed, for they shall be fashioned like unto it. But if the bodies of the saints preserve the character of their nature, then also the body of the Lord in like manner keeps its own nature unchanged.
Eran.—Then will the bodies of the saints be equal with the body of the Lord?
Orth.—In its incorruption and its immortality they too will share. Moreover in its glory they will participate, as says the Apostle, "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." It is in quantity that the vast difference may be found, a difference as great as between sun and stars, or rather between master and slaves, and that which gives and that which receives light. Yet has He given a share of His own name to His servants and as He is Light, calls His saints light, for "Ye," He says, "are the Light of the world," and being named servants and being named "Sun of Righteousness" He says of his servants "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun." It is therefore according to quality, not according to quantity, that the bodies of the saints shall be fashioned like unto the body of the Lord. Now I have shewn you plainly what you bade me. Further, if you please, let us look at the matter in yet another way.
Eran.—One ought "to stir every stone," as the proverb says, to get at the truth; above all when it is a question of divine doctrines.
Orth.—Tell me now; the mystic symbols which are offered to God by them who perform priestly rites, of what are they symbols?
Eran.—Of the body and blood of the Lord.
Orth.—Of the real body or not?
Orth.—Good. For there must be the archetype of the image. So painters imitate nature and paint the images of visible objects.
Orth.—If, then, the divine mysteries are antitypes of the real body, therefore even now the body of the Lord is a body, not changed into nature of Godhead, but filled with divine glory.
Eran.—You have opportunely introduced the subject of the divine mysteries for from it I shall be able to show you the change of the Lord's body into another nature. Answer now to my questions.
Orth.—I will answer.
Eran.—What do you call the gift which is offered before the priestly invocation?
Orth.—It were wrong to say openly; perhaps some uninitiated are present.
Eran.—Let your answer be put enigmatically.
Orth.—Food of grain of such a sort.
Eran.—And how name we the other symbol?
Orth.—This name too is common, signifying species of drink.
Eran.—And after the consecration how do you name these?
Orth.—Christ's body and Christ's blood.
Eran.—And do yon believe that you partake of Christ's body and blood?
Eran.—As, then, the symbols of the Lord's body and blood are one thing before the priestly invocation, and after the invocation are changed and become another thing; so the Lord's body after the assumption is changed into the divine substance.
Orth.—You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the right hand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord.
Eran.—Yes; and the mystic symbol changes its former appellation; it is no longer called by the name it went by before, but is styled body. So must the reality be called God, and not body.
Orth.—You seem to me to be ignorant—for He is called not only body but even bread of life. So the Lord Himself used this name' and that very body we call divine body, and giver of life, and of the Master and of the Lord, teaching that it is not common to every man but belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ Who is God and Man. "For Jesus Christ" is "the same yesterday, to-day, and forever."
Eran.—You have said a great deal about this, but I follow the saints who have shone of old in the Chruch; show me then, if you can, these in their writings dividing the natures after the union.
Orth.—I will read you their works, and I am sure you will be astonished at the countless mentions of the distinction which in their struggle against impious heretics they have inserted in their writings. Hear now those whose testimony I have already adduced speaking openly and distinctly on these points.
Testimony of the holy Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and martyr:—
From the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans: "I acknowledge and believe Him after His resurrection to be existent in the flesh: and when He came to hem that were with Peter He said to them 'Take; handle me and see, for I am not a bodiless daemon .' And straightway they took hold of him and believed."
Of the same from the same epistle:—
"And after His Resurrection He ate with them, and drank with them, as being of the flesh, although He was spiritually one with the Father."
Testimony of Irenaeus, the ancient bishop of Lyons; —
From the third Book of his work "Against Heresies." (Chap. XX.)
"As we have said before, He united man to God. For had not a man vanquished man's adversary, the enemy would not have been vanquished a right; and again, had not God granted the boon of salvation we should not have possessed it in security. And had not man been united to God, he could not have shared in the incorruption. For it behoved the mediator of God and men, by means of His close kinship to either, to bring them both into friendship and unanimity, and to set man close to God and to make God known to men."
Of the same from the third book of the same treatise (Chapter XVIII):—
"So again in his Epistle he says 'Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,' recognising one and the same Jesus Christ to whom the gates of heaven were opened, on account of His assumption in the flesh. Who in the same flesh in which He also suffered shall come revealing the glory of the Father."
Of the same from the fourth book (Chapter VII):—
"As Isaiah saith 'He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root. Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit.' So his fruit being scattered through the whole world, they, who erst brought forth good fruit (for of them was produced the Christ in the flesh and the apostles) were abandoned and removed. And now they are no longer fit for bringing forth fruit."
Of the same from the same book (Chapter LIX):—
"And be judges also them of Ebion. How can they be saved unless it was God who wrought their salvation on earth, or how shall man come to God unless God came to man?"
Of the same from the same book (Chapter LXIV):—
"They who preach that Emmanuel was of the Virgin set forth the union of God the Word with His creature."
Of the same from the same treatise (Book V. Chap. I.):—
"Now these things came to pass not in seeming but in essential truth, for if He appeared to be man though He was not man then the Spirit of God did not continue to be what in truth It is; for the Spirit is invisible; nor was there any truth in Him, for He was not what He appeared to be. And we have said before that Abraham and the rest of the prophets beheld Him in prophecy prophesying what was destined to come to pass in actual sight. If then now too He appeared to be of such a character, though in reality He was not what He appeared, then a kind of prophetic vision would have been given to men, and we must still look for yet another advent in which He will really be what He is now seen to be in prophecy. Now we have demonstrated that there is no difference between the statements that He only appeared in seeming and that He took nothing from Mary, for He did not really even possess flesh and blood whereby He redeemed us, unless He renewed in Himself the old creation of Adam. The sect of Valentinus are therefore vain in teaching thus that they may cast out the life of the flesh."
Testimony of the holy Hippolytus, bishop and martyr, from his work on the distribution of the talents:—
"Any one might say that these and those who uphold otherwise are neighbours, erring as they do in the same manner, for even they either confess that the Christ appeared in life as mere man, denying the talent of His Godhead, or else acknowledging Him as God, on the other hand they deny the man, representing that He deluded the sight of them that beheld Him by unreal appearances; and that He wore manhood not as a Man but was rather a mere imaginary semblance, as Marcion and Valentinus and the Gnostics teach, wrenching away the Word from the flesh, and rejecting the one talent, the incarnation."
Of the same from his letter to a certain Queen:—
"He calls Him 'the first fruits of them that sleep,' as being 'the first born from the dead,' and He, after His resurrection, wishing to show that that which was risen was the same as that which had undergone death when the disciples were doubting, called Thomas to Him, and said, 'Come hither handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and blood as ye see me have.' "
Of the same from his discourse on Elkanah and Hannah: —
"Wherefore three seasons of the year typified the Saviour Himself that He might fulfil the mysteries predicted about Him. In the Passover, that He might shew Himself as the sheep doomed to be sacrificed anti shew a true Passover as says the Apostle. 'Christ, God, our Passover was sacrificed for us.' At Pentecost that He might announce the kingdom of heaven ascending Himself first into heaven and offering to God man as a gift."
Of the same from his work on the great Psalm:—
"He who drew from the nethermost hell man first formed of the earth When lost and held fast in bonds of death; He who came down from above and lifted up him that was down; He who became Evangelist of the dead, ransomer of souls anti resurrection of them that were entombed; this was He who became succourer of vanquished man in Himself, like man firstborn Word; visiting the first formed Adam in the Virgin; the spiritual seeking the earthy in the womb; the ever-living him who by disobedience died; the heavenly calling the earthly to the world above, the highborn meaning to make the slave free by His own obedience; He who turned to adamant man crumbled into dust anti made serpents' meat; He who made man hanging on a tree of wood Lord over him who had conquered Him and so by a tree of wood is proved victorious."
Of the same from the same book:—
"They who do not now recognise the Son of God in the flesh will one day recognise Him when He comes as judge in glory, though now in an inglorious body suffering wrong."
Of the same from the same book:—
"Moreover the apostles when they had come to the sepulchre on the third day did not find the body of Jesus, just as the children of Israel went up on the mountain, and could not find the tomb of Moses."
Of the same from his interpretation of Psalm II.:—
"When He had come into the world He was manifested as God and Man. His manhood is easy of perception because He is ahungered and aweary, in toil He is athirst in fear He flees, in prayer He grieves; He falls asleep upon a pillow, He prays that the cup of suffering may pass from Him, being in an agony He sweats, He is strengthened by an angel, betrayed by Judas, dishonoured by Caiaphas, set at nought by Herod, scourged by Pilate, mocked by soldiers, nailed to a cross by Jews, He commends His spirit to the Father with a cry, He leans His head as He breathes His last, He is pierced in the side with a spear and rolled in fine linen, is laid in a tomb, and on the third day He is raised by the Father. No less plainly may His divinity be seen when He is worshipped by angels, gazed on by shepherds, waited for by Simeon, testified to by Anna, sought out by Magi, pointed out by a Star, at the wedding feast makes water wine, rebukes the sea astir by force of winds, and on the same sea walks, makes a man blind from birth see, raises Lazarus who had been four days dead, works many and various wonders, remits sins and gives power to His disciples."
Of the same from his work on Psalm XXIV.:—
"He comes to the heavenly gates, angels travel with Him and the gates of the heavens are shut. For He hath not yet ascended into heaven. Now first to the heavenly powers flesh appears ascending. The Word then goes forth to the powers from the angels that speed before the Lord and Saviour, 'Lift the Gates ye princes and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors and the King of glory shall come in.'"
Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch and confessor.
From his work on The Titles of the Psalms:—
"He predicted that He would sit upon a holy throne, shewing that He has been set forth on the same throne as the divine Spirit on account of the God that dwells in Him continually."
Of the same from his work upon the Soul:—
"Before His passion in each case He predicted His bodily death, saying that He would be betrayed to the father of the High Priest, and announcing the trophy of the Cross. And after the passion, when He had risen on the third day from the dead, His disciples being in doubt as to His resurrection, He appeared to them in His very body and confessed that He had complete flesh and bones, submitting to their sight His wounded side and shewing them the prints of the nails."
Of the same from his discourse on "The Lord formed me in the beginning of His ways:—
"Paul did not say 'conformed to the Son of God' but 'conformed to the image of His Son ' in order to point out a distinction between the Son and His image, for the Son, wearing the divine tokens of His Father's Excellence, is an image of His Father; for since like are generated of like, offspring appear as very images of their parents, but the manhood which He wore is an image of the Son, as images even of different colours are painted on wax, some being wrought by hand and some by nature and likeness. Moreover the very law of truth announces this, for the bodiless spirit of wisdom is not conformed to bodily men, but the express image made man by the spirit bearing the same number of members with all the rest, and clad in similar form."
Of the same from the same work:—
"That he speaks of the body as conformed to those of men he teaches more clearly in his Epistle to the Philippians, 'our conversation' he says 'is in Heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.' And if by changing the form of the vile body of men He fashions it like unto His own body, then the false teaching of our opponents is shewn to be in every way worthless."
Of the same from the same work:—
"But as being born of the Virgin He is said to have been made man of the woman, so He is described as being made under the law because of His sometimes walking by the precepts of the law, as for instance when His parents zealously urged His circumcision, when He was a child eight days old, as relates the evangelist Luke, afterwards 'they brought Him to present Him to the Lord,' 'bringing the offerings of purification' 'to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.' As then the gifts of purification were offered on His behalf according to the law, and He underwent circumcision on the eighth day, the Apostle very properly writes that He was thus brought under the law. Not indeed that the Word was subject to the law, (as our calumnious opponents suppose) being Himself the law, nor did God, who by one breath can cleanse and hallow all things, need sacrifices of purification. But He took from the Virgin the members of a man and became subject to the law and was purified according to the rite of the firstborn, not because He submitted to this treatment from any need on His part of such observance, but in order that He might redeem from the slavery of the law them that were sold to the doom of the curse."
Testimony of the holy Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.
From his Second Discourse against heresies: —
"We should not have been redeemed from sin and the curse had not the flesh which the Word wore been by nature that of man, for we should have had nothing in common with that which was not our own; just so man would not have been made God, had not the Word which was made flesh been by nature of the Father and verily and properly His. And the combination is of this character that to the natural God may be joined the natural man, and so his salvation and deification be secure. Therefore let them that derby Him to be naturally of the Father, and own Son of His substance, deny too that He took very flesh of man from the Virgin Mary."
Of the same from his Epistle to Epictetus:—
"If on account of the Saviour's Body being, and being described in the Scriptures as being, derived from Mary, and a human Body, they fancy that a quaternity is substituted for a Trinity, as though some addition were made by the body, they are quite wrong; they put the creature on a par with the Creator, and suppose that the Godhead is capable of being added to. They fall to see that the Word was not made flesh on account of any addition to Godhead, but that the flesh may rise. Not for the aggrandisement of the Word did He come forth from Mary, but that the human race may be redeemed. How can they think that the body ransomed and quickened by the Word can add anything in the way of Godhead to the Word that quickened it?"
Of the same from the same Epistle:—
"Let them be told that if the Word had been a creature, the creature would not have assumed a body to quicken it. For what help can creatures get from a creature standing itself in need of salvation? But the Word, Himself Creator, was made maker of created things, and therefore in the fulness of the ages He attached the creature to Himself, that once more as a Creator He might renew it, and might be able to create it afresh."
From the longer Discourse "De Fide":—
"This also we add concerning the words 'Sit thou on my right hand,' that they are said of the Lord's body. For if 'the Lord saith, do not I fill heaven and earth,' as says Jeremiah, and God contains all things, and is contained of none, on what kind of throne does He sit? It is therefore the body to which He says 'Sit thou on my right hand,' of which too the devil with his wicked powers was foe, and Jews and Gentiles too. Through this body too He was made and was called High Priest and Apostle through the mystery whereof He gave to us, saying 'This as my Body for you' and 'my Blood of the New Testament' (not of the Old), shed for you .' Now Godhead hath neither body nor blood; but the manhood which He bore of Mary was the cause of them, of whom the Apostles said 'Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you.'"
Of the same from his book against the Arians:—
"And when he says 'Wherefore God hath also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name' he speaks of the temple of the body, not of the Godhead, for the Most High is not exalted, but the flesh of the Most High is exalted, and to the flesh of the Most High He gave a name which is above every name. Nor did the Word of God receive the designation of God as a favour, but His flesh was held divine as well as Himself."
Of the same from the same work:—
"And when he says 'the Holy Ghost was not yet because that Jesus was not yet glorified,' he says that His flesh was not yet glorified, for the Lord of glory is not glorified, but the flesh itself receives glory of the glory of the Lord as it mounts with Him into Heaven; whence he says the spirit of adoption was not yet among men, because the first fruits taken from men had not yet ascended into heaven. Wherever then the Scripture says that the Son received and was glorified, it speaks because of His manhood, not His Godhead."
Of the same from the same work:—
"So that He is very God both before His being made man and after His being made mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ united to the Father in spirit, and to us in flesh, who mediated between God and men, and who is not only man but also God."
Testimony of the Holy Ambrosius, bishop of Milan.
In his Exposition of the Faith:—
"We confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, was begotten before all ages, without beginning, of the Father, and that in these last days the same was made flesh of the holy Virgin Mary, assumed the manhood, in its perfection, of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the Father as touching His Godhead and of one substance with us as touching His manhood. For union of two perfect natures hath been after an ineffable manner. Wherefore we acknowledge one Christ, one Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; knowing that being co-eternal with His own Father as touching His Godhead, by virtue of which also He is creator of all, He deigned, after the assent of the Holy Virgin, when she said to the angel 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word' to build after an ineffable fashion a temple out of her for Himself, and to unite this temple to Himself by her conception, not taking and uniting with Himself a body co-eternal with His own substance, and brought from heaven, but of the matter of our substance, that is of the Virgin. God the Word was not turned into flesh; His appearance was not unreal; keeping ever His own substance immutably and invariably He took the first fruits of our nature, and united them to Himself. God the Word did not take His beginning from the Virgin, but being coeternal with His own Father He of infinite kindness deigned to unite to Himself the first fruits of our nature, undergoing no mixture but in either substance appearing one and the same, as it is written 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' For the divine Christ, as touching my substance which he took is destroyed, and the same Christ raises the destroyed temple as touching the divine substance in which also He is Creator of all things. Never at any time after the Union which He deigned to make with Himself from the moment of the conception did He depart from His own temple, nor indeed through His ineffable love for mankind could depart.
"The same Christ is both passible and impassible; as touching His manhood passible and as touching His Godhead impassible. 'Behold behold me, it is I, I have undergone no change'—and when God the Word had raised His own temple and in it had wrought out the resurrection and renewal of our nature, He shewed this nature to His disciples and said 'Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me,' not 'be' but 'have.' So He says, referring to both the possessor and the possessed in order that you may perceive that what had taken place was not mixture, not change, not variation, but union. On this account too He shewed the prints of the nails and the wound of the spear and ate before His disciples to convince them by every means that the resurrection of our nature had been renewed in Him; and further because in accordance with the blessed substance of His Godhead unchanged, impassible, immortal, He lived in need of nought, He by concession permitted all that can be felt to be brought to His own temple, and by His own power raised it up, and by means of His own temple made perfect the renewal of our nature.
"Them therefore that assert that the Christ was mere man, that God the Word was passible, or changed into flesh, or that the body which He had was consubstantial, or that He brought it from Heaven, or that it was an unreality; or assert that God the Word being mortal needed to receive His resurrection from the Father, or that the body which He assumed was without a soul, or manhood without a mind, or that the two natures of the Christ became one nature by confusion and commixture; them that deny that our Lord Jesus Christ was two natures unconfounded, but one person, as He is one Christ and one Son, all these the catholic and apostolic Church condemns."
Of the same:—
"If then the flesh of all was in Christ or hath been in Christ snbject to wrongs, how can it be held to be of one essence with the Godhead? For if the Word and the flesh which derives its nature from earth are of one essence. then the Word and the soul which He took in its perfection are of one essence, for the Word is of one nature with God both according to the Word of the Father, and the confession of the Son Himself in the words, 'I and my Father are one.' Thus the Father must be held to be of the same substance with the body. Why any longer are ye wroth with the Arians, who say that the Son is a creature of God, while you assert yourselves that the Father is of one substance with His creatures?"
Of the same from his letter to the Emperor Gratianus:—
"Let us preserve a distinction between Godhead and flesh. One Son of God speaks in both, since in Him both natures exist. The same Christ speaks, yet not always in the same but sometimes in a different manner. Observe how at one time He expresses divine glory and at another human feeling. As God He utters the things of God, since He is the Word; as man He speaks with humility because He converses in my essence."
On the same from the same book:—
"As to the passage where we read that the Lord of glory was crucified, let us not suppose that He was crucified in His own glory. But since He is both God and man, as touching His Godhead God, and as touching the assumption of the flesh, a man, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, is said to have been crucified. For He partakes of either nature— that is the human and the divine. In the nature of manhood He underwent the passion in order that He who suffered might be said to be without distinction both Lord of Glory and Son of Man. As it is written 'He that came down from Heaven.'"
Similarly of the same:—
"Let then vain questions about words be silent, as it is written, the kingdom of God is not in 'enticing words' but in 'demonstration of the spirit.' For there is one Son of God who speaks in both ways, since both natures exist in Him; but although He Himself speaks He does not speak always in the same way; for you see in Him at one time God's glory, at another time man's feeling. As God He utters divine things, being the Word; as man He utters human things, since in this nature He spoke."
Of the same from his work on the Incarnation of the Lord against the Apollinarians:—
"But while we are confuting these, another set spring up who assert the body of the Christ and His godhead to be of one nature. What hell hath vomited forth so terrible a blasphemy? Really Arians are more tolerable, whose infidelity, on account of these men, is strengthened, so that with greater opposition they deny Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be of one substance, for they did at least endeavour to maintain the Godhead of the Lord and His flesh to be of one nature."
Of the same (from the same chapter):—
"He has frequently told me that he maintains the exposition of the Nicene Council, but in that examination our Fathers laid down that the Word of God, not the flesh, was of one substance with the Father, and they confessed that the Word came from the substance of the Father but that the flesh is of the Virgin. Why then do they hold out to us the name of the Nicene Council, while in reality they are introducing innovations of which our forefathers never entertained the thought?"
Of the same against Apollinarius:—
"Refuse thou to allow that the body is by nature on a par with the Godhead. Even though thou believe the body of the Christ to be real and bring it to the altar for transformation, and fail to distinguish the nature of the body and of the Godhead we shall say to thee, 'If thou offer rightly and fail to distinguish rightly, thou sinnest; hold thy peace.' Distinguish what belongs naturally to us, and what is peculiar to the Word. For I had not what was naturally His, and He had not what was naturally mine, but He took what was naturally mine in order to make us partakers of what was His. And He received this not for confusion but for completion."
Of the same, a little further on: —
"Let them who say that the nature of the Word has been changed into nature of the body say so no more, lest by the same interpretation the nature of the Word seem to have been changed into the corruption of sin. For there is a distinction between what took, and what was taken. Power came over the Virgin, as in the words of the angel to her, 'The power of the highest shall overshadow thee.' But what was born was of the body of the Virgin, and on this account the descent was divine but the conception human. Therefore the nature of the flesh and of the godhead could not be the same."
The testimony of St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea.
From his homily on Thanksgiving:—
"Wherefore when He wept over His friend He shewed His participation in human nature and set us free from two extremes. suffering us neither to grow over soft in suffering nor to be insensible to pain. As then the Lord suffered hunger after solid food had been digested, and thirst when the moisture in His body was exhausted; and was aweary when His nerves and sinews were strained by His journeying, it was not that His divinity was weighed down with toil, but that His body showed the wonted symptoms of its nature. Thus too when He allowed Himself to weep He permitted the flesh to take is natural course."
From the same against Eunomius:—
"I say that being in the form of God has the same force as being in God's substance for as to have taken the form of a servant shews our Lord to have been of the substance of the manhood, so the statement that He was in the form of God attributes to Him the peculiar qualities of the divine substance."
The testimony of the holy Gregorius, bishop of Nazianzus.
From his discourse De nova dominica:—
"Believe that He will come again at His glorious advent judging quick and dead, no longer flesh but not without a body."
"In order that He may be seen by them that pierced Him and remain God without grossness."
Of the same from his Epistle to Cledonius:—
"God and man are two natures, as soul and body are two; but there are not two sons, nor yet are there here two men although Paul thus speaks of the outward man and the inward man. In a word the sources of the Saviour's being are of two kinds, since the visible is distinct from the invisible and the timeless from that which is of time, but He is not two beings. God forbid."
Of the same from the same Exposition to Cledonius:—
"If any one says that the flesh has now been laid aside, and that the Godhead is bare of body, and that it is not and will not come with that which was assumed, let him be deprived of the vision of the glory of the advent! For where is the body now, save with Him that assumed it? For it assuredly has not been, as the Manichees fable, swallowed up by the Son, that it may be honoured through dishonour; it has not been poured out and dissolved in the air like a voice and stream of perfume or flash of unsubstantial lightning. And where is the capacity of being handled after the resurrection, wherein one day it shall be seen by them that pierced Him? For Godhead of itself is in visible."
Of the same from the second discourse about the Son:—
"As the Word He was neither obedient nor disobedient, for these qualities belong to them that are in subjection and to inferiors; the former of the more tractable and the latter of them that deserve condemnation. But in the form of a servant He accommodates Himself to his fellowservants and puts on a form that was not His own, bearing in Himself all of me with all that is mine, that in Himself He may waste and destroy the baser parts as wax is wasted by fire or the mist of the earth by the sun."
Of the same from his discourse on the Theophany:—
"Since He came forth from the Virgin with the assumption of two things mutually opposed to one another, flesh and spirit, whereof the one was taken into God and the other exhibited the grace of the Godhead."
Of the same a little further on:—
"He was sent, but as Man. For His nature was twofold, for without doubt He thenceforth was aweary and hungered and thirsted and suffered agony and shed tears after the custom of a human body."
Of the same from his second discourse about the Son:—
"He would be called God not of the Word, but of the visible creation, for how could He be God of Him that is absolutely God? Just so He is called Father, not of the visible creation, but of the Word. For He was of two- fold nature. Wherefore the one belongs absolutely to both, but the other not absolutely. For He is absolutely our God, but not absolutely our Father. And it is this conjunction of names which gives rise to the error of heretics. A proof of this lies in the fact that when natures are distinguished in thought, there is a distinction in names. Listen to the words of Paul. 'The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of Glory,'- -of Christ He is God of glory Father, and if both are one this is so not by nature but by conjunction. What can be plainer than this? Fifthly let it be said that He receives life, authority, inheritance of nations, power over all flesh, glory, disciples or what you will; all these belong to the manhood."
Of the same from the same work:—
"'For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus.' As man He still pleads for my salvation, because He keeps with Him the body which He took, till he made me God by the power of the incarnation—though He be no longer known according to the flesh that is by affections of the flesh and though He be without sin."
Of the same from the same work:—
"Is it not plain to all that as God He knows, and is ignorant, He says, as man? If that is, any one distinguish the apparent from that which is an object of intellectual perception. For what gives rise to this opinion is the fact that the appellation of the Son is absolute without relation, it not being added of whom He is the Son; so to give the most pious sense to this ignorance we hold it to belong to the human, and not to the divine."
Testimony of the Holy Gregorius, bishop of Nyssa.
From his catechetical discourse:—
"And who says this that the infinity of the Godhead is comprehended by the limitation of the flesh, as by some vessel?"
Of the same from the same work:—
"But if man's soul by necessity of its nature commingled with the body, is everywhere in authority, what need is there of asserting that the Godhead is limited by the nature of the flesh?" Of the same from the same work:—
"What hinders us then, while recognising a certain unity and approximation of a divine nature in relation to the human, from retaining the divine intelligence even in this approximation, believing that the divine even when it exists in men is beyond all limitation?"
Of the same from his work against Eunomius:—
"The Son of Mary converses with brothers, but the only begotten has no brothers, for how could the name of only begotten be preserved among brothers? And the same Christ that said 'God is a spirit' says to His disciples 'Handle me,' to shew that the human nature only can be handled and that the divine is intangible; and He that said 'I go' indicates removal from place to place, while He that comprehends all things and 'by Whom,' as says the Apostle, 'all things were created and by Whom all things consist,' had among all existing things nothing without and beyond Himself which can stand to Him in the relation of motion or removal."
Of the same from the same work:—
"'Being by the right hand of God exalted.' Who then was exalted? The lowly or the most high? And what is the lowly if it be not the human? And what is the most high save the divine? But God being most high needs no exaltation, and so the Apostle says that the human is exalted, exalted that is in being 'made both Lord and Christ.' Therefore the Apostle does not mean by this term 'He made' the everlasting existence of the Lord, but the change of the lowly to the exalted which took place on the right hand of God. By this word he declares the mystery of piety, for when he says 'by the right hand of God exalted' he plainly reveals the ineffable oeconomy of the mystery that the right band of God which created all things, which is the Lord by whom all things were made and without whom nothing consists of things that were made, through the union lifted up to Its own exaltation the manhood united to It."
Testimony of St. Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.
From his discourse on "My Father is greater than I":—
"Henceforth distinguish the natures; that of God and that of man. For He was not made man by falling away from God, nor God by increase and advance from man."
Of the same from his discourse on "the Son can do nothing of Himself":—
"For after the resurrection the Lord shews both—both that the body is not of this nature, and that the body rises, for remember the history. After the passion and the resurrection the disciples were gathered together, and when the doors were shut the Lord stood in the midst of them. Never at any time before the passion did He do this. Could not then the Christ have done this even long before? For all things are possible to God. But before the passion He did not do so lest you should suppose the incarnation an unreality or appearance, and think of the flesh of the Christ as spiritual, or that it came down from heaven and is of another substance than our flesh. Some have invented all these theories with the idea that thereby they reverence the Lord, forgetful that through their thanksgiving they blaspheme themselves, and accuse the truth of a lie: for I say nothing of the lie being altogether absurd. For if He took another body how does that affect mine which stands in need of salvation? If He brought down flesh from heaven, how does this affect my flesh which was derived from earth?"
Of the same from the same work:—
"Wherefore not before the passion, but after the passion, the Lord stood in the midst of the disciples when the doors were shut, that thou mayest know that thy natural body after being sown is 'raised a spiritual body,' and that thou mayest not suppose the body that is raised to be a different body. When Thomas after the resurrection doubted, He shews him the prints of the nails, He shews him the marks of the spears. But had He not power to heal Himself after the resurrection too, when even before the resurrection He had healed all men? But by shewing the prints of the nails He shews that it is this very body; by coming in when the doors were shut He shews that it has not the same qualities; the same body to fulfil the work of the incarnation by raising that which had become a corpse, but a changed body that it fall not again under corruption nor be subject again to death."
Testimony of the blessed Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria.
From his work against Origen:—
"Our likeness which He assumed is not changed into the nature of Godhead nor is His Godhead turned into our likeness. For He remains what He was from the beginning God, and He so remains preserving our subsistence in Himself."
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"But you persist continually in your blasphemies attacking the Son of God, and using these words 'as the Son and the Father are one, so also are the soul which the Son took and the Son Himself one.' You are ignorant that the Son and the Father are one on account of their one substance and the same Godhead; but the soul and the Son are each of a different substance and different nature. For if the soul of the Son and the Son Himself are one in the same sense in which the Father and the Son are one, then the Father and the Soul will be one and the soul of the Son shall one day say 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;' but this is not so; God forbid. For the Son and the Father are one because there is no distinction between their qualities, but the soul and the Son are distinguished alike in nature and substance, in that the soul which is naturally of one substance with us was made by Him. For if the soul and the Son are one in the same manner in which the Father anti the Son are one, as Origen would have it, then the soul equally with the Son will be 'the brightness of God's glory and express image of His person.' But this is impossible; impossible that the Son and the soul should be one as He and the Father are one. And what will Origen do when again he attacks himself? For he writes, never could the soul distressed and 'exceeding sorrowful' s be the 'firstborn of every creature.' For God the Word, as being stronger than the soul, the Son Himself, says 'I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.' If then the Son is stronger than His own soul, as is agreed, how can His soul be equal to God and in the form of God? For we say that 'He emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant.' In the extravagance of his impieties Origen surpasses all other heretics, as we have shewn, for if the Word exists in the form of God and is equal to God and if be supposes thus daring to write the soul of the Saviour to be in the form of God and equal with God, bow can the equal be greater, when the inferior in nature testifies to the superiority of what is beyond it?"
Testimony of the Holy, John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople.
From the Discourse held in the Great Church:—
"Thy Lord exalted man to heaven, and thou wilt not even give him a share of the agora. But why do I say 'to heaven'? He seated man on a kingly throne. Thou expellest him from the city."
Of the same, on the beginning of Ps. xlii.:—
" Up to this day Paul does not cease to say 'We are ambassadors for Christ as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.' Nor did He stand here, but taking the first fruits of thy nature He sat down 'above all principality and power and might, and every name that is named not only in this world but in the world to come.' What could be equal to this honour? The first fruits of our race which has so much offended and is so dishonoured sits so high and enjoys honour so vast."
Of the same about the division of tongues:—
"For bethink thee what it is to see our nature riding on the Cherubim and all the power of heaven mustered round about it. Consider too Paul's wisdom and how many terms he searches for that he may set forth the love of Christ to men, for he does not say simply the grace, nor vet simply the riches, but the 'exceeding great riches of His grace in His kindness.'"
Of the same froth his Dogmatic Oration on the theme that the word spoken and deeds done in humility by Christ were not so spoken and done on account of infirmity. but on account of differences of dispensation:—
"And after His resurrection, when He saw His disciple disbelieving, He did not shrink from shewing him both wound and print of nails, and letting him lay his hand upon the scars, and said 'Examine and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones.' The reason of His not assuming the manhood of full age from the beginning, and of His deigning to be conceived, to be born, to be suckled, and to live so long upon the earth, was that by the long period of the time and all the other circumstances, He might give a warranty for this very thing."
Of the same against those who assert that demons rule human affairs:—
"Nothing was more worthless than man and than man nothing has become more precious. He was the last part of the reasonable creation, but the feet have been made the head, and through the firstfruits have been borne up to the kingly throne. Just as some man noble and bountiful, on seeing a wretch escaped from shipwreck who has saved nothing but his bare body from the waves, welcomes him with open hands, clothes him in a radiant robe, and exalts him to the highest honour, so too hath God done towards our nature. Man had lost all that he had, his freedom, his intercourse with God, his abode in Paradise, his painless life, whence he came forth like a than all naked from a wreck, but God received him and straightway clothed him, and, taking him by the hand, led him onward step by step and brought him up to heaven."
Of the same from the same work:—
"But God made the gain greater than the loss, and exalted our nature to the royal throne. So Paul exclaims 'And have raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places' at His right hand."
Of the same from his IIIrd oration against the Jews:—
"He opened the heavens; of foes he made friends; He introduced them into heaven; He seated our nature on the right hand of the throne; He gave us countless other good things."
Of the same from his discourse on the Ascension:—
"To this distance and height did He exalt our nature. Look where low it lay, and where it mounted up. Lower it was impossible to descend than where man descended; higher it was impossible to rise than where He exalted him."
Of the same from his interpretation of the Epistle to the Ephesians:—
"According to His good pleasure, which He had proposed in himself, that is which He earnestly desired, He was as it were in labour to tell us the mystery. And what is this mystery? That He wishes to seat man on high; as in truth came to pass."
Of the same from the same interpretation:—
"God of our Lord Jesus Christ speaks of this and not of God the Word."
Of the same from the same interpretation:—
"'And when we were dead in sins He quickened us together in Christ;' again Christ stands in the midst, and the work is wonderful. If the first fruits live we live also. He quickened both Him and us. Seest thou that all these things are spoken according to the flesh?"
Of the same from the gospel according to St. John:—
"Why does he add 'and dwelt among us'? It is as though he said: Imagine nothing absurd from the phrase 'was made.' For I have not mentioned any change in that unchangeable nature, but of tabernacling and of inhabiting. Now that which tabernacles is not identical with the tabernacle, but one thing tabernacles in another; otherwise there would be no tabernacling. Nothing inhabits itself. I spoke of a distinction of substance. For by the union and the conjunction God the Word and the flesh are one without confusion or destruction of the substances, but by ineffable and indescribable union."
Of the same from the gospel according to St. Matthew:—
"Just as one standing in the space between two that are separated from one another stretches out both his hands and joins them, so too did He, joining the old and the new the divine nature and the human, His own with ours."
Of the same from the Ascension of Christ:—
"For so when two champions stand ready for the fight, some other intervening between them, at once stops the struggle, and puts an end to their ill will, so too did Christ. As God He was wroth, but we made light of His wrath, and turned away our faces from our loving Lord. Then Christ flung Himself in the midst, and restored both natures to mutual love, and Himself took on Him the weight of the punishment laid by the Father On us."
Of the same froth the same work:—
" Lo He brought the first fruits of our nature to the Father and the Father Himself approved the gift, alike on account of the high dignity of Him that bought it and of the faultlessness of the offering. He received it in His own hands, He made a chair of His own throne; nay more He seated it on His own right band, let us then recognise who it was to whom it was said ' Sit thou on my right hand ' and what was that nature to which God said ' Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.'"
Of the same a little further on:—
"What arguments to use, what words to utter I cannot tell; the nature which was rotten, worthless, declared lowest of all, vanquished everything and overcame the world. To-day it hath been thought worthy to be made higher than all, to-day it hath received what from old time angels have desired; to-day it is possible for archangels to be made spectators of what has been for ages longed for, and they contemplate our nature, shining on the throne of the King in the glory of His immortality."
Testimony of St. Flavianus, bishop of Antioch.
From the Gospel according to St. Luke:—
"In all of us the Lord writes the express image of His holiness, and in various ways shows our nature the way of salvation. Many and clear proofs does He give us both of His bodily advent and of His Godhead working by a body's means. For He wished to give us assurance of both His natures."
Of the same on the Theophany:—
"'Who can express the noble acts of the Lord, or shew forth all His praise?' who could express in words the greatness of His goodness toward us? Human nature is joined to Godhead, while both natures remain independent."
Testimony of Cyril, bishop Jerusalem.
From his fourth catechetical oration concerning the ten dogmas.
Of the birth from a virgin:—
"Believe thou that this only begotten Son of God, on account of our sins, came down from heaven to earth, having taken on Him this manhood of like passions with us, and being born of holy Virgin and of Holy Ghost. This incarnation was effected, not in seeming and unreality, but in reality. He did not only pass through the Virgin, as through a channel, but was verily made flesh of her. Like us He really ate, and of the Virgin was really suckled. For if the incarnation was an unreality, then our salvation is a delusion. The Christ was twofold—the visible man, the invisible God. He ate as man, verily like ourselves, for the flesh that He wore was of like passions with us; He fed tile five thousand with five loaves as God. As man He really died. As God He raised the dead on tile fourth day. As man He slept in the boat. As God He walked upon the waters."
Testimony of Antiochus, bishop of Ptolemais:—
"Do not confound the natures and you will have a lively apprehension of the incarnation."
Testimony of the holy Hilarius, bishop and confessor, in his ninth book, "de Fide":
"He who knoweth not Jesus the Christ as very God and as very man, knoweth not in reality his own life, for we incur the same peril if we deny Christ Jesus or God the spirit, or the flesh of our own body. ' Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven, but whosoever shall deny me before men him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven.' These things spoke the Word made flesh; these things the man Christ Jesus, Lord of Glory, taught, being made Mediator for the salvation of the Church in the very mystery whereby He mediated between God and men. Both being made one out of the natures united for this very purpose, He was one and the same through either nature, but so that in both He fell short in neither, lest haply by being born as man He should cease to be God, or by remaining God should not be man. Therefore this is the blessedness of the true faith among men to preach both God and man, to confess both word and flesh, to recognise that God was also man, and not to be ignorant that the flesh is also Word."
Of the same from the same book:—
" So the only begotten God being born man of a Virgin and in the fulness of the time, being Himself ordained to work out the advance of man to God, observed this order of things, through all the words of the gospels, that He might teach belief in Him self, as Son of God, and keep us in mind to preach Him as Son of Man. As being man He always spoke and acted as is proper to man, but in such a manner as never to speak in this same mode of speech as touching both save with the intention of signifying both God and Man. But hence the heretics derive a pretext for catching in their traps simple and ignorant men: what was spoken by our Lord in accordance with His manhood they falsely assert to have been uttered in the weakness of His divine nature, and since one and the same person spake all the words He used they, urged that all He uttered He uttered about Himself. Now even we do not deny that all His extant words are of His own nature. But granted that the one Christ is man and God; granted that when man He was not then first God; granted that when man He was then also God, granted that after the assumption of the manhood in the Lord, the Word was man and the Word was God, it follows of necessity that there is one and the same mystery of His words as there is of His generation. Whenever in Him, as occasion may require, you distinguish the manhood from the Godhead, then also endeavour to separate the words of God from the words of man. And whenever you confess God and man, then discern the words of God and man. And when the words are spoken of God and man, and again of man wholly and wholly of God, consider carefully the occasion. If anything was spoken to signify what was appropriate to a particular occasion, apply the words to the occasion. A distinction must be observed between God before the manhood, man and God, man wholly and God wholly after the union of the manhood and Godhead. Take heed therefore not to confuse the mystery of the incarnation in the words and acts. For it must needs be that according to the quality of the kinds of natures a distinction lies in the manner of speech, before the manhood was born, in accordance with the mystery when it was still approaching death, and again when it was everlasting. ' For if in His birth and in His passion and in His death He acted in accordance with our nature He nevertheless effected all this by the power of His own nature.'"
Of the same in the same book:—
"Do you then see that thus God and man are confessed, so that death is predicated of man, and the resurrection of the flesh, of God; for consider the nature of God and the power of the resurrections and recognise in the death the oeconomy as touching man. And since both death and resurrection have been brought about in their own natures, bear in mind, I beg you, the one Christ Jesus, who was of both. I have shortly demonstrated these points to you to the end that we may remember both natures to have been in our Lord Jesus Christ ' for being in the form of God He took the form of a servant.'"
Testimony of the very holy bishop Augustinus.
From his letter to Volusianus. Epistle III:
" But now He appeared as Mediator between God and man, so as in the unity of His person to conjoin both natures, by combining the wonted with the unwonted, and the unwonted with the wonted."
Of the same from his exposition of the Gospel according to John:—
" What then, O heretic? Since Christ is also than, He speaks as man; and dost thou slander God? He in Himself lifts man's nature on high, and thou hast the hardihood to cheapen His divine nature."
Of the same from his book on the Exposition at the Faith:—
"It is ours to believe, but His to know, and so let God the Word Himself, after receiving all that is proper to man, be man, and let man after His assumption and reception of all that is God, be no other than God. It must not be supposed because He is said to have been incarnate and mixed that therefore His substance was diminished. God knows that He mixes Himself without the natural corruption, and He is mixed in reality. He knows also that He so received in Himself as that no addition of increment accrues to Himself, as also He knows He infused His whole self so as to incur no diminution. Let us not then, in accordance with our weak intelligence, and forming conjectures on the teaching of experience and the senses, suppose that God and man are mixed after the manner of things created and equal mixed together, and that from such a confusion as this of the Word and of the flesh a body as it were was made. God forbid that this should be our belief, test we should suppose that after the manner of things which are confounded together two natures were brought into one hypostasis. For a mention of this kind implies destruction of both parts; but Christ Himself, containing but
not contained, who examines us but is Himself beyond examination, making full but not made full, everywhere at one and the same time being Himself whole and pervading the universe, through His pouring out His own power, as being moved with mercy, was mingled with the nature of man, though the nature of man was not mingled with the divine."
Testimony of Severianus, bishop of Gabala.
From "the Nativity of Christ ":—
"O mystery truly heavenly and yet on earth—mystery seen and not apparent for so was the Christ after His birth; heavenly and yet on earth; holding and not held; seen and invisible; of Heaven as touching the nature of the Godhead, on earth as touching the nature of the manhood; seen in the flesh, invisible in the spirit; held as to the body not to be holden as to the Word."
Testimony of Atticus, bishop of Constantinople.
From his letter to Eupsychius:—
"How then did it behave the Most Wise to act? By mediation of the flesh assumed, and by union of God the Word with man born of Mary, He is made of either nature, so that the Christ made one of both, as constituted in Godhead, abides in the proper dignity of His impassible nature, but in flesh. being brought near to death, at one and the same time shews the kindred nature of the flesh how through death to despise death, and by His death confirms the righteousness of the new covenant."
Testimony of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. From his letter to Nestorius:—
"The natures which have been brought together in the true unity are distinct, and of hath there is one God and Son, but the difference of the natures has not been removed in consequence of the union."
Of the same from his letter against the Orientals:—
"There is an union of two natures, wherefore we acknowledge one Christ, one Son, one Lord. In accordance with this perception of the unconfounded union we acknowledge the Holy Virgin as Mother of God because the Word of God was made flesh and was made man, and from the very conception united to Himself the temper taken from her."
Of the same:—
"There is one Lord Jesus Christ, even if the difference be recognised of the natures of which we assert the ineffable union to have been made."
Of the same:—
"Therefore, as I said, while praising the manner of the incarnation, we see that two natures came together in inseparable union without confusion and without division, for the flesh is flesh and no kind of Godhead, although it was made flesh of God; in like manner the Word is God, and not flesh, although He made the flesh His own according to the oeconomy."
Of the same from his interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews:—
"For although the natures which came together in unity are regarded as different and unequal with one another, I mean of flesh and of God, nevertheless the Son, Who was made of both, is one."
Of the same from his interpretation of the same Epistle:—
" Yet though the only begotten Word of God is said to be united in hypostasis to flesh, we deny there was any confusion of the natures with one another, and declare each to remain what it is."
Of the same from his commentaries:—
"The Father's Word, born of the Virgin, is named man, though being by nature God as partaking of flesh and blood like us for thus He was seen by men upon earth, without getting rid of His own nature, but assuming our Manhood perfect according to its own reason."
Of the same concerning the Incarnation (Schol. c. 13):—
"Then before the incarnation there is one Very God, and in manhood He remains what He was and is and will be; the one Lord Jesus Christ then must not be separated into man apart and into God apart, but recognising the difference of the natures and preserving them unconfounded with one another, we assert that there is one and the same Christ Jesus."
Of the same after other commentaries:—
"There is plain perception of one thing dwelling in another, namely the divine nature in manhood, without undergoing commixture or any confusion, or any change into what it was not. For what is said to dwell in another does not become the same as that in which it dwells, but is rather regarded as one thing in another. But in the nature of the Word and of the manhood the difference points out to us a difference of natures alone, for of both is perceived one Christ. Therefore he says that the Word ' Tabernacled among us,' carefully observing the freedom from confusion, for he recognises one only begotten Son who was made flesh and became man."
Now, my dear sir, you have heard the great lights of the world; you have seen the beams of their teaching, and you have received exact instruction how, not only after the nativity, but after the passion which wrought salvation, and the resurrection, and the ascension, they have shewn the union of the Godhead and of the manhood to be without confusion.
Eran.—I did not suppose that they distinguished the natures after the union, but I have found an infinite amount of distinction.
Orth.—It is mad and rash against those noble champions of the faith so much as to wag your tongue. But I will adduce for you the words of Apollinarius, in order that you may know that he too asserts the union to be without confusion. Now hear his words.
Testimony of Apollinarius.
From his summary:—
"There is an union between what is of God and what is of the body. On the one side is the adorable Creator Who is wisdom and power eternal; these are of the Godhead. On the other hand is the Son of Mary, born at the last time, worshipping God, advancing in wisdom, strengthened in power; these are of the body. The suffering on behalf of sin and the curse came and will not pass away nor yet be changed into the incorporeal."
And again a little further on:—
"Men are consubstantial with the unreasoning animals as far as the unreasoning body is concerned; they are of another substance in so far forth as they are reasonable. Just so God who is consubstantial with men according to the flesh is of another substance in so far forth as He is Word and Man."
And in another place he says:—
" Of things which are mingled together the qualities are mixed and not destroyed. Thus it comes to pass that some are separate from the mixed parts as wine from water, nor yet is there mingling with a body, nor vet as of bodies with bodies, but the mingling preserves also the unmixed, so that, as each occasion may require, the energy of the Godhead either acts independently or in conjunction, as was the case when the Lord fasted, for the Godhead being in conjunction in proportion to its being above need, hunger was hindered, but when it no longer opposed to the craving its superiority to need, then hunger arose, to the undoing of the devil. But if the mixture of the bodies suffered no change, how much more that of the Godhead ?"
And in another place he says:—
" If the mixture with iron which makes the iron itself fire does not change its nature, so too the union of God with the body implies no change of the body, even though the body extend its divine energies to what is within its reach."
To this he immediately adds:—
"If a man has both soul and body, and these remain in unity, much more does the Christ, who has Godhead and body, keep both secure and unconfounded."
And again a little further on:—
"For human nature is partaker of the divine energy, as far as it is capable, but it is as distinct as the least from the greatest. Man is a servant of God, but God is not servant of man, nor even of Himself. Man is a creature of God, but God is not a creature of man, nor even of Himself."
"If any one takes in reference to Godhead and not in reference to flesh the passage the 'Son doeth what He seeth the Father do,' wherein He Who was made flesh is distinct from the Father Who was not made flesh, divides two divine energies. But there is no division. So He does not speak in reference to Godhead."
Again he says:—
"As man is not an unreasoning being, on account of the contact of the reasoning and the unreasoning, just so the Saviour is not a creature on account of the contact of the creature with God uncreate."
To this he also adds:—
"The invisible which is united to a visible body and thereby is beheld, remains invisible, and it remains without composition because it is not circumscribed with the body, and the body, remaining in its own measure, accepts the union with God in accordance with its being quickened, nor is it that which is quickened which quickens."
And a little further on he says:—
"If the mixture with soul and body, although from the beginning they coalesce, does not make the soul visible on account of the body, nor change it into the other properties of the body, so as to allow of its being cut or lessened, how much rather God, who is not of the same nature as the body, is united to the body without undergoing change, if the body of man remains in its own nature, and this when it is animated by a soul, then in the case of Christ the commingling does not so change the body as that it is not a body."
And further on he says again:—
"He who confesses that soul and body are constituted one by the Scripture, is inconsistent with himself when he asserts that this union of the Word with the body is a change, such change being not even beheld in the case of a soul."
Listen to him again exclaiming clearly:—
"If they are impious who deny that the flesh of the Lord abides, much more are they who refuse wholly to accept His incarnation."
And in his little book about the Incarnation he has written:—
"The words 'Sit thou on my right hand ' He speaks as to man, for they are not spoken to Him that sits ever on the throne of glory, as God the Word after His ascension from earth, but they are said to Him who hath now been exalted to the heavenly glory as man, as the Apostles say ' for David is not ascended into the heavens, but he saith himself the Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand.' The order is human, giving a beginning to the sitting; but it is a divine dignity to sit together with God 'to whom thousand thousands minister and before whom ten thousand times ten thousand stand.'"
And again a little further on:—
"He does not put His enemies under Him as God but as man, but so that the God who is seen and man are the same. Paul too teaches us that the words ' until I make thy foes thy footstool' are spoken to then describing the success as Ills own of course in accordance with His divinity 'According to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.' Behold Godhead and manhood existing inseparably in One Person."
"'Glorify me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' The word ' glorify ' He uses as man, but His having this glory before the ages He reveals as God." And again:—
"But let us not be humiliated as thinking the worship of the Son of God humiliation, even in His human likeness, but as though honouring some king appearing in poor raiment with his royal glory, and above all seeing that the very garb in which He is clad is glorified, as became the body of God and of the world's Saviour which is seed of eternal life, instrument of divine deeds destroyer of all wickedness, slayer of death and prince of resurrection; for though it had its nature from man it derived its life from God, and its power and divine virtue from heaven."
"Whence we worship the body as the Word; we partake of the body as of the spirit."
Now it has been plainly shewn you that the author who was first to introduce the mixture of the natures openly uses the argument of a distinction between them; thus he has called the body garb, creature and instrument; he even went so far as to call it slave, which none of us has ever ventured to do. He also says that it was deemed worthy of the seat on the right hand, and uses many other expressions which are rejected by your vain heresy.
Eran.—But why then did he who was the first to introduce the mixture insert so great a distinction in his arguments?
Orth.—The power of truth forces even them that vehemently fight against her to agree with what she says, but, if you will, let us now begin a discussion about the impassibility of the Lord.
Eran.—You know that musicians are accustomed to give their strings rest, and they slacken them by turning the pegs; if then things altogether void of reason and soul stand in need of some recreation, we who partake of both shall do nothing absurd if we mete out our labour in proportion to our power. Let us then put it off till tomorrow.
Orth.—The divine David charges us to give heed to the divine oracles by night and by day; but let it be as you say, and let us keep the investigation of the remainder of our subject till to-morrow.
DIALOGUE III: THE IMPASSIBLE.
Orthodoxus and Eranistes.
Orth.—In our former discussions we have proved that God the Word is immutable, and became incarnate not by being changed into flesh, but by taking perfect human nature. The divine Scripture, and the teachers of the churches and luminaries of the world have clearly taught us that, after the union, He remained as He was, unmixed, impassible, unchanged, uncircumscribed; anti that He preserved unimpaired the nature which He had taken. For the future then the subject before us is that of His passion, and it will be a very profitable one, for thence have been brought to us the waters of salvation.
Eran.—I am also of opinion that this discourse will be beneficial. I shall not however consent to our former method, but I propose myself to ask questions.
Orth.—And I will answer, without making any objection to the change of method. He who has truth on his side, not only when he questions but also when he is questioned, is supported by the might of the truth. Ask then what you will.
Eran.—Who, according to your view, suffered the passion ?
Orth.—Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eran.—Then a than gave us our salvation.
Orth.—No; for have we confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ was only man ?
Eran.—Now define what you believe Christ to be.
Orth.—Incarnate Son of the living God.
Eran.—And is the Son of God God ?
Orth.—God, having the same substance as the God Who begat Him.
Eran.—Then God underwent the passion.
Orth.—If He was nailed to the cross without a body, apply the passion to the Godhead; but if he was made man by taking flesh, why then do you exempt the passible from the passion and subject the impassible to it?
Eran.—But the reason why He took flesh was that the impassible might undergo the passion by means of the passible.
Orth.—You say impassible and apply passion to Him.
Eran.—I said that He took flesh to suffer.
Orth.—If He had had a nature capable or the Passion He would have suffered without flesh; so the flesh becomes superfluous.
Eran.—The divine nature is immortal, and the nature of the flesh mortal, so the immortal was united with the mortal, that through it He might taste of death.
Orth.—That which is by nature immortal does not undergo death, even when conjoined with the mortal; this is easy to see.
Eran.—Prove it; and remove the difficulty.
Orth.—Do you assert that the human soul was immortal, or mortal?
Orth.—And is the body mortal or immortal?
Orth.—And do we say that man consists of these natures?
Orth.—So the immortal is conjoined with the mortal?
Orth.—But when the connexion or union is at an end, the mortal submits to the law of death, while the soul remains immortal though sin has introduced death, or do you not hold death to be a penalty?
Eran.—So divine Scripture teaches. For we learn that when God forbade Adam to partake of the tree of knowledge He added "on the day that ye eat thereof ye shall surely die."
Orth.—Then death is the punishment of them that have sinned?
Orth.—Why then, when soul and body have both sinned together, does the body alone undergo the punishment of death?
Eran.—It was the body that cast its evil eye upon the tree, and stretched forth its hands, and plucked the forbidden fruit. It was the mouth that bit it with the teeth, and ground it small, and then the gullet committed it to the belly, and the belly digested it, and delivered it to the liver; and the live turned what it had received into blood and passed it on to the hollow vein and the vein to the adjacent parts and they through the rest, and so the theft of the forbidden food pervaded the whole body. Very properly then the body alone underwent the punishment of sin.
Orth.—You have given us a physiological disquisition on the nature of food, on all the parts that it goes through and on the modifications to which it is subject before it is assimilated with the body. But there is one point that you have refused to observe, and that is that the body goes through none of these processes which you have mentioned without the soul. When bereft of the soul which is its yoke mate the body lies breathless, voiceless, motionless; the eye sees neither wrong nor aright; no sound of voices reaches the ears, the hands cannot stir; the feet cannot walk; the body is like an instrument without music. How then can you say that only the body sinned when the body without the soul cannot even take a breath?
Eran.—The body does indeed receive life from the soul, and it furnishes the soul with the penal possession of sin.
Orth.—How, and in what manner?
Eran.—Through the eyes it makes it see amiss; through the ears it makes it hear unprofitable sounds; and through the tongue utter injurious words, and through all the other parts act ill.
Orth.—Then I suppose we may say Blessed are the deaf; blessed are they that have lost their sight and have been deprived of their other faculties, for the souls of men so incapacitated have neither part nor lot in the wickedness of the body. And why, O most sagacious sir, have you mentioned those functions of the body which are culpable, and said nothing about the laudable? It is possible to look with eyes of love and of kindliness; it is possible to wipe away a tear of compunction, to hear oracles of God, to bend the ear to the poor, to praise the Creator with the tongue, to give good lessons to our neighbour, to move the hand in mercy, and in a word to use the parts of the body for complete acquisition of goodness.
Eran.—This is all true.
Orth.—Therefore the observance and transgression of law is common to both soul and body.
Orth.—It seems to me that the soul takes the leading part in both, since it uses reasoning before the body acts.
Eran.—In what sense do you say this?
Orth.—First of all the mind makes, as it were, a sketch of virtue or of vice, and then gives to one or the other form with appropriate material and colour, using for its instruments the parts of the body.
Eran.—So it seems.
Orth.—If then the soul sins with the body; nay rather takes the lead in the sin, for to it is entrusted the bridling and direction of the animal part, why, as it shares the sin, does it not also share the punishment?
Eran.—But how were it possible for the immortal soul to share death?
Orth.—Yet it were just that after sharing the transgression, it should share the chastisement.
Orth.—But it did not do so.
Orth.—At least in the life to come it will be sent with the body to Gehenna.
Eran.—So He said "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Orth.—Therefore in this life it escapes death, as being immortal; in the life to come; it will be punished, not by undergoing death, but by suffering chastisement in life.
Eran.—That is what the divine Scripture says.
Orth.—It is then impossible for the immortal nature to undergo death.
Eran.—So it appears.
Orth.—How then do you say, God the Word tasted death? For if that which was created immortal is seen to be incapable of becoming mortal, how is it possible for him that is without creation and eternally immortal, Creator of mortal and immortal natures alike, to partake of death?
Eran.—We too know that His nature is immortal, but we say that He shared death in the flesh.
Orth.—But we have plainly shewn that it is in no wise possible for that which is by nature immortal to share death, for even the soul created together with, and conjoined with, the body and sharing in its sin, does not share death with it, on account of the immortality of its nature alone. But let us look at this same position from another point of view.
Eran.—There is every reason why we should leave no means untried to arrive at the truth.
Orth.—Let us then examine the matter thus. Do we assert that of virtue and vice some are teachers and some are followers?
Orth.—And do we say that the teacher of virtue deserves greater recompense?
Orth.—And similarly the teacher of vice deserves twofoldandthreefold punishment?
Orth.—And what part shall we assign to the devil, that of teacher or disciple?
Eran.—Teacher of teachers, for he himself is father and teacher of all iniquity.
Orth.—And who of men became his first disciples?
Eran.—Adam and Eve.
Orth.—And who received the sentence of death?
Eran.—Adam and all his race.
Orth.—Then the disciples were punished for the bad lessons they had learnt, but the teacher, whom we have just declared to deserve two-fold and three-fold chastisement, got off the punishment?
Orth.—And though this so came about we both acknowledge and declare that the Judge is just.
Orth.—But, being just, why did He not exact an account from him of his evil teach-in g?
Eran.—He prepared for him the unquenchable flame of Gehenna, for, He says, "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." And the reason why he did not here share death with his disciples is because he has an immortal nature.
Orth.—Then even the greatest transgressors cannot incur death if they have an immortal nature.
Orth.—If then even the very inventor and teacher of iniquity did not incur death on account of the immortality of his nature, do you not shudder at the thought of saying that the fount of immortality and righteousness shared death?
Eran.—Had we said that he underwent the passion involuntarily, there would have been some just ground for the accusation which yon bring against us. But if the passion which is preached by us was spontaneous and the death voluntary, it becomes you, instead of accusing us, to praise the immensity of His love to man. For He suffered because He willed to suffer, and shared death because He wished it.
Orth.—You seem to me to be quite ignorant of the divine nature, for the Lord God wishes nothing inconsistent with His nature, and is able to do all that He wishes, and what He wishes is appropriate and agreeable to His own nature.
Eran.—We have learnt that all things are possible with God.
Orth.—In expressing yourself thus indefinitely you include even what belongs to the Devil, for to say absolutely all things is to name together not only good, but its opposite.
Eran.—But did not the noble Job speak absolutely when he said "I know that thou canst do all things and with thee nothing is impossible"?
Orth.—If you read what the just man said before, you will see the meaning of the one passage from the other, for he says "Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh and hast fenced me with bones and sinews, thou hast granted me life and favour."
And then he adds:—
"Having this in myself I know that thou canst do all things and that with thee nothing is impossible." Is it not therefore all that belongs to these things that he alleges to belong to the incorruptible nature, to the God of the universe?
Eran.—Nothing is impossible to Almighty God.
Orth.—Then according to your definition sin is possible to Almighty God?
Eran.—By no means.
Eran.—Because He does not wish it.
Orth.—Wherefore does He not wish it?
Eran.—Because sin is foreign to His nature.
Orth.—Then there are many things which He cannot do, for there are many kinds of transgression.
Eran.—Nothing of this kind can be wished or done by God.
Orth.—Nor can those things which are contrary to the divine nature.
Eran.—What are they?
Orth.—As, for instance, we have learnt that God is intelligent and true Light.
Orth.—And we could not call Him darkness or say that He wished to become, or could become, darkness.
Eran.—By no means.
Orth.—Again, the Divine Scripture calls His nature invisible.
Orth.—And we could never say that It is capable of being made visible.
Eran.—No; for He is not so.
Orth.—No; for He is incomprehensible, and altogether unapproachable.
Eran.—You are right.
Orth.—And He that is could never become non-existent.
Eran.—Away with the thought!
Orth.—Nor yet could the Father become Son.
Orth.—Nor yet could the unbegotten become begotten.
Eran.—How could He.
Orth.—And the Father could never become Son?
Eran.—By no means.
Orth.—Nor could the Holy Ghost ever become Son or Father.
Eran.—All this is impossible.
Orth.—And we shall find many other things of the same kind, which are similarly impossible, for the Eternal will not become of time, nor the Uncreate created and made, nor the infinite finite, and the like.
Eran.—None of these is possible.
Orth.—So we have found many things which are impossible to Almighty God.
Orth.—But not to be able in any of these respects is proof not of weakness, but of infinite power, and to be able would certainly be proof not of power but of impotence.
Eran.—How do you say this?
Orth.—Because each one of these proclaims the unchangeable and invariable character of God. For the impossibility of good becoming evil signifies the immensity of the goodness; and that He that is just should never become unjust, nor He that is true a liar, exhibits the stability and the strength that there is in truth and righteousness. Thus the true light could never become darkness; He that is could never become nonexistent, for the existence is perpetual and the light is naturally invariable. And so, after examining all other examples, you will find that the not being able is declaratory of the highest power. That things of this kind are impossible in the case of God, the divine Apostle also both perceived and laid down, for in his Epistle to the Hebrews he says, "that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie we might have a strong consolation." He shews that this incapacity is not weakness, but very power, for he asserts Him to be so true that it is impossible for there to be even a lie in Him. So the power of truth is signified through its want of power. And writing to the blessed Timothy, the Apostle adds "It is a faithful saying, for if we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him, if we suffer we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him He will also deny us, if we believe not yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself." Again then the phrase "He cannot" is indicative of infinite power, for even though all men deny Him He says God is Himself, and cannot exist otherwise than in His own nature, for His being is indestructible. This is what is meant by the words "He cannot deny Himself." Therefore the impossibility of change for the worse proves infinity of power.
Eran.—This is quite true and in harmony with the divine words.
Orth.—Granted then that with God many things are impossible,— everything, that is, which is repugnant to the divine nature,—how comes it that while yon omit all the other qualities which belong to the divine nature, goodness, righteousness, truth, invisibility, incomprehensibility, infinity, and eternity, and the rest of the attributes which we assert to be proper to God, you maintain that His immortality and impassibility alone are subject to change, and in them concede the possibility of variation anti give to God a capacity indicative of weakness?
Eran.—We have learnt this from the divine Scripture. The divine John exclaims "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," and the divine Paul, For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life."
Orth.—Of course all this is true, for these are divine oracles, but remember what we have often confessed.
Orth.—We have confessed that God the Word the Son of God did not appear without a body, but assumed perfect human nature.
Eran.—Yes; this we have confessed.
Orth.—And He was called Son of Man because He took a body and human soul.
Orth.—Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is verily our God; for of these two natures the one was His from everlasting and the other He assumed.
Orth.—While, then, as man He underwent the passion, as God He remained incapable of suffering.
Eran.—How then does the divine Scripture say that the Son of God suffered?
Orth.—Because the body which suffered was His body. But let us look at the matter thus; when we hear the divine Scripture saying "And it came to pass when Isaac was old his eyes were dim so that he could not see," whither is our mind carried and on what does it rest, on Isaac's soul or on his body?
Eran.—Of course on his body.
Orth.—Do we then conjecture that his soul also shared in the affection of blindness?
Orth.—We assert that only his body was deprived of the sense of sight?
Orth.—And again when we hear Amaziah saying to the prophet Amos, "Oh thou seer go flee away into the land of Judah," and Saul enquiring: "Tell me I pray thee where the seer's house is," we understand nothing bodily.
Orth.—And vet the words used are significant of the health of the organ of sight.
Orth.—Yet we know that the power of the Spirit when given to purer souls inspires prophetic grace and causes them to see even hidden things, and, in consequence of their thus seeing, they are called seers and beholders.
Eran.—What you say is true.
Orth.—And let us consider this too.
Orth.—When we hear the story of the divine evangelists narrating how they brought to God a man sick of the palsy, laid upon a bed, do we say that this was paralysis of the parts of the soul or of the body?
Eran.—Plainly of the body.
Orth.—And when while reading the Epistle to the Hebrews we light upon the passage where the Apostle says "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lathe be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed," do we say that the divine Apostle said these things about the parts of the body?
Orth.—Shall we say that he was for removing the feebleness and infirmity of the soul and stimulating the disciples to manliness?
Orth.—But we do not find these things distinguished in the divine Scripture, for in describing the blindness of Isaac he made no reference to the body, but spoke of Isaac as absolutely blind, nor in describing the prophets as seers and beholders did he say that their souls saw and beheld what was hidden, but mentioned the persons themselves.
Eran.—Yes; this is so.
Orth.—And he did not point out that the body of the paralytic was palsied, but called the man a paralytic.
Orth.—And even the divine Apostle made no special mention of the souls, though it was these that he purposed to strengthen and to rouse.
Eran.—No; he did not.
Orth.—But when we examine the meaning of the words, we understand which belongs to the soul and which to the body.
Eran.—And very naturally; for God made us reasonable beings.
Orth.—Then let us make use of this reasoning faculty in the case of our Maker and Saviour, and let us recognise what belongs to His Godhead and what to His manhood.
Eran.—But by doing this we shall destroy the supreme union.
Orth.—In the case of Isaac, of the prophets, of the man sick of the palsy, and of the rest, we did so without destroying the natural union of the soul and of the body; we did not even separate the souls from their proper bodies, but by reason alone distinguished what belonged to the soul and what to the body. Is it not then monstrous that while we take this course in the case of souls and bodies, we should refuse to do so in the case of our Saviour, and confound natures which differ not in the same proportion as soul from body, but in as vast a degree as the temporal from the eternal and the Creator from the created?
Eran.—The divine Scripture says that the Son of God underwent the passion.
Orth.—We deny that it was suffered by any other, but none the less, taught by the divine Scripture, we know that the nature of the Godhead is impassible. We are told of impassibility and of passion, of manhood and of Godhead, and we therefore attribute the passion to the passible body, and confess that no passion was undergone by the nature that was impassible.
Eran.—Then a body won our salvation for us.
Orth.—Yes; but not a mere man's body, but that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. If you regard this body as insignificant and of small account, how can you hold its type to be an object of worship and a means of salvation? and how can the archetype be contemptible and insignificant of that of which the type is adorable and honourable?
Eran.—I do not look on the body as of small account, but I object to dividing it from the Godhead.
Orth.—We, my good sir, do not divide the union but we regard the peculiar properties of the natures, and I am sure that in a moment you will take the same view.
Eran.—You talk like a prophet.
Orth.—No; not like a prophet, but as knowing the power of truth. But now answer me this. When you hear the Lord saying "I and my Father are one," and "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father," do you say that this refers to the flesh or to the Godhead?
Eran.—How can the flesh and the Father possibly be of one substance?
Orth.—Then these passages indicate the Godhead?
Orth.—And so with the text, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God," and the like.
Orth.—Again when the divine Scripture says. "Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey sat thus on the well," of what is the weariness to be understood, of the Godhead or of the body?
Eran.—I cannot bear to divide what is united.
Orth.—Then it seems you attribute the weariness to the divine nature?
Eran.—I think so.
Orth.—But then yon directly contradict the exclamation of the prophet "He fainteth not neither is weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." And a little further on "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run anti not be weary and they shall walk and not faint." Now how can He who bestows upon others the boon of freedom from weariness and want, possibly be himself subject to hunger and thirst?
Eran.—I have said over and over again that God is impassible, and free from all want, but after the incarnation He became capable of suffering.
Orth.—But did He do this by admitting the sufferings in His Godhead, or by permitting the passible nature to undergo its natural sufferings and by suffering proclaim that what was seen was no unreality, but was really assumed of human nature? But now let us look at the matter thus: we say that the divine nature was uncircumscribed.
Orth.—And uncircumscribed nature is circumscribed by none.
Eran.—Of course not.
Orth.—It therefore needs no transition for it is everywhere.
Orth.—And that which needs no transition needs not to travel.
Eran.—That is clear.
Orth.—And that which does not travel does not grow weary.
Orth.—It follows then that the divine nature, which is uncircumscribed, and needs not to travel, was not weary.
Eran.—But the divine Scripture says that Jesus was weary, and Jesus is God: "And our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things."
Orth.—But the exact expression of the divine Scripture is that Jesus "was wearied" not "is wearied." We must consider how one and the other can be applied to the same person.
Eran.—Well: try to point this out, for you are always for forcing on us the distinction of terms.
Orth.—I think that even a barbarian might easily make this distinction. The union of unlike nature's being conceded, the person of Christ on account of the union receives both; to each nature its own properties are attributed; to the uncircumscribed immunity from weariness, to that which is capable of transition and travel weariness. For travelling is the function of the feet; of the muscles to be strained by over exercise.
Eran.—There is no controversy about these being bodily affections.
Orth.—Well then; the prediction which I made, and you scoffed at, has come true; for look; you have shewn us what belongs to manhood, and what belongs to Godhead.
Eran.—But I have not divided one son into two.
Orth.—Nor do we, my friend; but giving heed to the difference of the natures, we consider what befits godhead, and what is proper to a body.
Eran.—This distinction is not the teaching of the divine Scripture; it says that the Son of God died. So the Apostle;—"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son." And he says that the Lord was raised from the dead for "God" he says "raised the Lord from the dead."
Orth.—And when the divine Scripture says "And devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him" would any one say that his soul was committed to the grave as well as his body?
Eran. —Of course not.
Orth.—And when you hear the Patriarch Jacob saying "Bury me with my Fathers." do yon suppose this refers to the body or to the soul?
Eran.—To the body; without question.
Orth.—Now read what follows.
Eran. —"There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife and there I buried Leah."
Orth.—Now, in the passages which you have just read, the divine Scripture makes no mention of the body, but as far as the words used go, signifies soul as well as body. We however make the proper distinction and say that the souls of the patriarchs were immortal, and that only their bodies were buried in the double cave.
Eran. — True.
Orth. — And when we read in the Acts how Herod slew James the brother of John with a sword, we are not likely to hold that his soul died.
Eran. —No; how could we? We remember the Lord's warning "Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul."
Orth. — But does it not seem to you impious and monstrous in the case of mere men to avoid the invariable connexion of soul and body, and in the case of scriptural references to death and burial, to distinguish in thought the soul from the body and connect them only with the body, while in trust in the teaching of the Lord you hold the sold to be immortal, and then when you hear of the passion of the Son of God to follow quite a different course? Are you justified in making no mention of the body to which the passion belongs, and in representing the divine nature which is impassible, immutable and immortal as mortal and passible? While all the while you know that if the nature of God the Word is capable of suffering, the assumption of the body was superfluous.
Eran. — We have learnt from the Divine Scriptures that the Son of God suffered.
Orth. — But the divine apostle interprets the Passion, and shews what nature suffered.
Eran. — Show me this at once and clear the matter up.
Orth. —Are you not acquainted with the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews in which the divine Paul says "For which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren saying ' I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.' And again, 'Behold I and the children which God hath given me.'"
Eran. —Yes, I know this, but this does not give us what you promised.
Orth. —Yes: even these suggest what I promised to shew. The word brotherhood signifies kinship, and the kinship is due to the assumption of the nature, and the assumption openly proclaims the impassibility of the Godhead. But to understand this the more plainly read what follows.
Eran. —" Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same that through death He might destroy him that bath the power of death . . . and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life subject to bondage."
Orth. — This, I think, needs no explanation; it teaches clearly the mystery of the oeconomy.
Eran.—I see nothing here of what you promised to prove.
Orth. — Yet the divine Apostle teaches plainly that the Creator, pitying this nature not only seized cruelly by death, but throughout all life made death's slave, effected the resurrection through a body for our bodies, and, by means of a mortal body, undid the dominion of death; for since His own nature was immortal He righteously wished to stay the sovereignty of death by taking the first fruits of them that were subject to death, and while He kept these firstfruits (i.e. the body) blameless and free from sin, on the one hand He gave death license to lay hands on it and so satisfy its insatiability, while on the other, for the sake of the wrong done to this body, he put a stop to the unrighteous sovereignty usurped over all the rest of mere. These firstfruits unrighteously engulfed He raised again and will make the race to follow them.
Set this explanation side by side with the words of the Apostle, and you will understand the impassibility of the Godhead.
Eran.—In what has been read there is no proof of the divine impassibility.
Orth. — Nay: does not the statement of the divine Apostle, that the reason of His making the children partakers of the flesh and blood was that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, distinctly, signify the impassibility of the Godhead, and the passibility of the flesh, and that because the divine nature could not suffer He assumed the nature that could and through it destroyed the power of the devil?
Eran.—How did He destroy the power of the devil and the dominion of death through the flesh?
Orth. —What arms did the devil use at the beginning when he enslaved the nature of men?
Eran. —The means by which he took captive him who had been constituted citizen of Paradise, was sin.
Orth. — And what punishment did God assign for the transgression of the commandment ?
Eran. — Death.
Orth. —Then sin is the mother of death, and the devil its father.
Eran. — True.
Orth.—War then was waged against human nature by sin. Sin seduced them that obeyed it to slavery, brought them to its vile father, and delivered them to its very bitter offspring.
Eran. —That is plain.
Orth.—So with reason the Creator, with the intention of destroying either power, assumed the nature against which war was being waged, and, by keeping it clear of all sin, both set it free from the sovereignty of the devil, and, by its means, destroyed the devil's dominion. For since death is the punishment of sinners, and death unrighteously and against the divine law seized the sinless body of the Lord, He first raised up that which was unlawfully detained, and then promised release to them that were with justice imprisoned.
Eran. — But how do you think it just that the resurrection of Him who was unlawfully detained should be shared by the bodies which had been righteously delivered to death?
Orth. — And how do you think it just that, when it was Adam who transgressed the commandment, his race should follow their forefather?
Era.—Although the race had not participated in the famous transgression, yet it committed other sins, and for this cause incurred death.
Orth.— Yet not sinners only but just men, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and men who have shone bright in many kinds of virtue have come into death's meshes.
Eran.—Yes; for how could a family sprung of mortal parents remain immortal? Adam after the transgression and the divine sentence, and after coming under the power of death, knew his wife, and was called father; having himself become mortal he was made father of mortals; reasonably then all who have received mortal nature follow their forefather.
Orth. —You have shewn very well the reason of our being partakers of death. The same however must be granted about the resurrection, for the remedy must be meet for the disease. When the head of the race was doomed, all the race was doomed with him, and so when the Saviour destroyed the curse, human nature won freedom; and just as they that shared Adam's nature followed him in his going down into Hades, so all the nature of men will share in newness of life with the Lord Christ in His resurrection.
Eran. — The decrees of the Church must be given not only declaratorily but demonstratively. Tell me then how these doctrines are taught in the divine Scripture.
Orth. —Listen to the Apostle writing to the Romans, and through them teaching all mankind: " For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" and again: "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." And when introducing to the Corinthians his argument about the resurrection he shortly reveals to them the mystery of the oeconomy, and says: " But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them which slept. For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." a So I have brought you proofs from the divine oracles. Now look at what belongs to Adam compared with what belongs to Christ, the disease with the remedy, the wound with the salve, the sin with the wealth of righteousness, the ban with the blessing, the doom with the delivery, the transgression with the observance, the death with the life, hell with the kingdom, Adam with Christ, the man with the Man. And yet the Lord Christ is not only man but eternal God, but the divine Apostle names Him from the nature which He assumed, because it is in this nature that he compares Him with Adam. The justification, the struggle, the victory, the death, the resurrection are all of this human nature; it is this nature which we share with Him; in this nature they who have exercised themselves beforehand in the citizenship of the kingdom shall reign with Him. Of this nature I spoke, not dividing the Godhead, but referring to what is proper to the manhood.
Eran. — You have gone through long discussions on this point, anti have strengthened your argument by scriptural testimony, but if the passion was really of the flesh, how is it that when he praises the divine love to men, the Apostle exclaims, "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all," what son does he say was delivered up?
Orth. —Watch well your words. There is one Son of God, wherefore He is called only begotten.
Eran. — If then there is one Son of God, the divine Apostle called him own Son.
Orth. — True.
Eran. —Then he says that He was delivered up.
Orth.- Yes, but not without a body, as we have agreed again and again.
Eran. —It has been agreed again and again that he took body and soul.
Orth.— Therefore the Apostle spoke of what relates to the body.
Eran.—The divide Apostle says distinctly "Who spared not his own Son."
Orth. —When then you hear God saying to Abraham "Because thou hast not withheld thy son thy only son," do you allege that Isaac was slain?
Eran. — Of course not.
Orth. —And yet God said "Thou hast not withheld," and the God of all is true.
Eran. — The expression "thou hast not withheld" refers to the readiness of Abraham, for he was ready to sacrifice the lad, but God prevented it.
Orth. — Well; in the story of Abraham you were not content with the letter, but unfolded it and made the meaning clear. In precisely the same manner examine the meaning of the words of the Apostle. Your will then see that it was by no means the divine nature which was not withheld, but the flesh nailed to the Cross. And it is easy to perceive the truth even in the type. Do you regard Abraham's sacrifice as a type of the oblation offered on behalf of the world?
Eran. — Not at all, nor vet can I make words spoken rhetorically in the churches a rule of faith.
Orth. — You ought by all means to follow teachers of the Church, but, since you improperly oppose yourself to these, hear the Saviour Himself when addressing the Jews; " Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad." Note that the Lord calls His passion'" a day."
Eran. —I accept the Lord's testimony and do not doubt the type.
Orth.— Now compare the type with the reality and you will see the impassibility of the Godhead even in the type. Both in the former and in the latter there is a Father; both in the former and the latter a well beloved Son, each bearing the material for the sacrifice. The one bore the wood, the other the cross upon his shoulders. It is said that the top of the hill was dignified by the sacrifice of both. There is a correspondence moreover between the number of days and nights and the resurrection which followed, for after Isaac had been slain by his father's willing heart, on the third day after the bountiful God had ordered the deed to be done, he rose to new life at the voice of Him who loves mankind. A lamb was seen caught in a thicket, furnishing an image of the cross, and slain instead of the lad. Now if this is a type of the reality, and in the type the only begotten Son did not undergo sacrifice, but a lamb was substituted and laid upon the altar and completed the mystery of the oblation, why then in the reality do you hesitate to assign the passion to the flesh, and to proclaim the impassibility of the Godhead?
Eran.—In your observations upon this type you represent Isaac as living again at the divine command. There is nothing therefore unseemly if, fitting the reality to the type, we declare that God the Word suffered and came to life again.
Orth.— I have said again and again that it is quite impossible for the type to match the archetypal reality in every respect, and this may also be easily understood in the present instance. Isaac and the lamb, as touching the difference of their natures, suit the image, but as touching the separation of their divided persons they do so no longer. We preach so close an union of Godhead and of manhood as to understand one person undivided, and to acknowledge the same to be both God and man, visible and invisible, circumscribed and uncircumcscribed, and we apply to one of the persons all the attributes which are indicative alike of Godhead and of manhood. Now since the lamb, an unreasoning being, and not gifted with the divine image, could not possibly prefigure the restoration to life, the two divide between them the type of the mystery of the oeconomy, and while one furnishes the image of death, the other supplies that of the resurrection. We find precisely the same thing in the Mosaic sacrifices, for in them too may. be seen a type outlined in anticipation of the passion of salvation.
Eran.— What Mosaic sacrifice foreshadows the reality?
Orth.- All the Old Testament, so to say, is a type of the New. It is for this reason that the divine Apostle plainly says—"the Law having a shadow of good things to come" and again "now all these things happened unto them for ensamples." The image of the archetype is very distinctly exhibited by the lamb slain in Egypt, and by the red heifer burned without the camp, and moreover referred to by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where he writes "Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate."
But of this no more for the present. I will however mention the sacrifice in which two goats were offered, the one being slain, and the other let go. In these two goats there is an anticipative image of the two natures of the Saviour; — in the one let go, of the impassible Godhead, in the one slain, of the passible manhood.
Eran.— Do you not think it irreverent to liken the Lord to goats?
Orth. — Which do you think is a fitter object of avoidance and hate, a serpent or a goat ?
Eran.—A serpent is plainly hateful, for it injuries those who come within its reach, and often hurts people who do it no harm. A goat on the other hand comes, according to the Law, in the list of animals that are clean and may be eaten.
Orth. —Now hear the Lord likening the passion of salvation to the brazen serpent. He says: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." If a brazen serpent was a type of the crucified Saviour, of what impropriety are we guilty in comparing the passion of salvation with the sacrifice of the goats?
Eran. — Because John called the Lord "a lamb," and Isaiah called Him "lamb" and "sheep."
Orth. —But the blessed Paul calls Him "sin " and " curse." As curse therefore He satisfies the type of the accursed serpent; as sin He explains the figure of the sacrifice of the goats, for on behalf of sin, in the Law, a goat, and not a lamb, was offered. So the Lord in the Gospels likened the just to lambs, but sinners to kids; and since He was ordained to undergo the passion not only on behalf of just men, but also of sinners, He appropriately foreshadows His own offering through lambs and goats.
Eran. — But the type of the two goats leads us to think of two persons.
Orth. —The passibility of the manhood and the impassibility of the Godhead could not possibly be prefigured both at once by one goat. The one which was slain could not have shewn the living nature. So two were taken in order to explain the two natures. The same lesson may well be learnt from another sacrifice.
Eran. — From which?
Orth.—From that in which the lawgiver bids two pure birds be offered— one to be slain, and the other, after having been dipped in the blood of the slain, to be let go. Here also we see a type of the Godhead and of the manhood —of the manhood slain and of the godhead appropriating the passion.
Eran.—You have given us many types, but I object to enigmas.
Orth. —Yet the divine Apostle says that the narratives are types. Hagar is called a type of the old covenant; Sarah is likened to the heavenly Jerusalem; Ishmael is a type of Israel, and Isaac of the new people. So you must accuse the loud trumpet of the Spirit for giving its enigmas for us all.
Eran. —Though you urge any number of arguments, you will never induce me to divide the passion. I have heard the voice of the angel saying to Mary and her companions, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
Orth. —This is quite in accordance with our common customs; we speak of the part by the name which belongs to all the parts. When we go into the churches where are buried the holy apostles or prophets or martyrs, we ask from time to time, "Who is it who lies in the shrine?" and those who are able to give us information say in reply, Thomas, it may be, the Apostle, or John the Baptist, or Stephen the protomartyr, or any other of the saints, mentioning them by name, though perhaps only a few scanty relics of them lie here. But no one who hears these names which are common to both body and soul will imagine that the souls also are shut up in the chests; everybody knows that the chests contain only the bodies or even small portions of the bodies.
The holy angel spoke in precisely the same manner when he described the body by the name of the person.
Eran. — But how can you prove that the angel spoke to the women about the Lord's body ?
Orth. — In the first place, the tomb itself suffices to settle the question, for to a tomb is committed neither sold nor Godhead whose nature is uncircumscribed; tombs are made for bodies. Furthermore this is plainly taught by the divine Scripture, for so the holy Matthew narrates the event, "When the even was come there came a rich man of Arimathaea named Joseph who also himself was Jesus' disciple: he went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered, and when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed." See how often he mentions the body in order to stop the mouths of them who blaspheme the Godhead. The same course is pursued by the thrice blessed Mark whose narrative I will also quote. "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead; and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph, and he brought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre," and so on. Observe with admiration, the harmony of terms, and how consistently and continuously the word body is introduced. The illustrious Luke, too, relates just in the same way how Joseph begged the body and after he had received it treated it with due rites. By the divine John we are told yet more, "Joseph of Arimathaea being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes about a hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day, for the sepulchre was nigh at band." Observe how often mention is made of the body; how the Evangelist shows that it was the body which was nailed to the cross, the body begged by Joseph of Pilate, the body taken down from the tree, the body wrapped in linen clothes with the myrrh and aloes, and then the name of the person given to it; and Jesus said to have been laid in a tomb. Thus the angel said, "Come see the place where the Lord lay," naming the part by the name of the whole; and we constantly do just the same. In this place, we say, such an one was buried; not the body of such an one. Every one in his senses knows that we are speaking of the body, and such a mode of speech is customary in divine Scripture. Aaron, we read, died and they buried him on Mount Hot. Samuel died and they buried him at Ramah, and there are many similar instances. The same use is followed by the divine Apostle when speaking of the death of the Lord. "I delivered unto you first of all," he writes, "that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," and so on.
Eran. — In the passages we have just now read the Apostle does not mention a body, but Christ the Saviour of us all. You have brought evidence against your own side, and wounded yourself with your own weapon.
Orth. —You seem to have very quickly forgotten the long discourse in which I proved to you over and over again that the body is spoken of by the name of the person. This is what is now done by the divine Apostle, and it can easily be proved from this very passage. Now let us look at it. Why did the divine writer write thus to the Corinthians?
Eran. — They had been deceived by some into believing that there is no resurrection. When the teacher of the world learnt this he furnished them with his arguments about the resurrection of the bodies.
Orth. —Why then does he introduce the resurrection of the Lord, when he wishes to Drove the resurrection of the bodies?
Eran. —As sufficient to prove the resurrection of us all.
Orth. —In what is His death like the death of the rest; that by His resurrection may be proved the resurrection of all?
Eran. —The reason of the incarnation suffering, and death of the only begotten Son of God, was that He might destroy death. Thus, after rising, by His own resurrection He preaches the resurrection of all.
Orth. — But who, hearing of a resurrection of God, would ever believe that the resurrection of all men would be exactly like it? The difference of the natures does not allow of our believing in the argument of the resurrection. He is God and they are men, and the difference between God and men is incalculable. They are mortal, and subject to death, like to the grass and to the flower. He is almighty.
Eran.—But after His incarnation God the Word had a body, and through this He proved His likeness to men.
Orth. — Yes; and for this reason the suffering and the death and the resurrection are all of the body, and in proof of this the divine Apostle in another place promises renewal of life to all, and to them that believe in the resurrection of their Saviour, yet look upon the general resurrection of all as fable, he exclaims, "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say sonic among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ he not risen . . . your faith is vain, you are yet ill your sins." And from the past he confirms the future, and from what is disbelieved he disproves what is believed, for he says, If the one seems impossible to you, then the other will be false; if the one seems real and true, then let the other in like manner seem true, for here too a resurrection of the body is preached, and this body is called the first fruits of those. The resurrection of this body after many arguments he affirms directly, "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept, for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead, for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, " and he does not only confirm the argument of the resurrection, but also reveals the mystery of the oeconomy. (He calls Christ man that he may prove the remedy to be appropriate to the disease.
Eran. — Then the Christ is only a man.
Orth.—God forbid. On the contrary, we have again and again confessed that He is not only man but eternal God. But He suffered as man, not as God. And this the divine Apostle clearly teaches us when he says "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." And in his letter to the Thessalonians, he strengthens his argument concerning the general resurrection by that of our Saviour in the passage "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
Eran. — The Apostle proves the general resurrection by means of the Lord's resurrection, and it is clear that in this case also what died and rose was a body. For he would never have attempted to prove the general resurrection by its means unless there had been some relation between the substance of the one and the other. I shall never consent to apply the passion to the human nature alone. It seems agreeable to my view to say that God the Word died in the flesh.
Orth. —We have frequently shewn that what is naturally immortal can in no way die. If then He died He was not immortal; and what perils lie in the blasphemy of the words.
Eran. —He is by nature immortal, but He became man and suffered.
Orth. — Therefore He underwent change, for how otherwise could He being immortal submit to death? But we have agreed that the substance of the Trinity is immutable. Having therefore a nature superior to change, He by no means shared death.
Eran. — The divine Peter says "Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh."
Orth. —This agrees with what we have said, for we have learnt the rule of dogmas from the divine Scripture.
Eran.—How then can you deny that God the Word suffered in the flesh?
Orth. —Because we have not found this expression in the divine Scripture.
Eran. —But I have just quoted you the utterance of the great Peter.
Orth. — You seem to ignore the distinction of the terms.
Eran. — What terms? Do you not regard the Lord Christ as God the Word?
Orth. —The term Christ in the case of our Lord and Saviour signifies the incarnate Word, the Immanuel, God with us, both God and man, but the term "God the Word" so said signifies the simple nature before the world, superior to time, and incorporeal. Wherefore the Holy Ghost that spake through the holy Apostles nowhere attributes passion or death to this name.
Eran. — If the passion is attributed to the Christ, and God the Word after being made man was called Christ, I hold that he who states God the Word to have suffered in the flesh is in no way unreasonable.
Orth. — Hazardous and rash in the extreme is such an attempt. But let us look at the question in this way. Does the divine Scripture state God the Word to be of God and of the Father?
Eran. — True.
Orth. — And it describes the Holy Ghost as being in like manner of God?
Eran. — Agreed.
Orth. — But it calls God the Word only begotten Son.
Eran. — It does.
Orth. — It nowhere so names the Holy Ghost.
Eran. — No.
Orth. — Yet the Holy Ghost also has Its subsistence of the Father and God.
Eran. — True.
Orth. — We grant then that both the Son and the Holy Ghost are both of God the Father; but would you dare to call the Holy Ghost Son?
Eran. — Certainly not.
Orth. — Why?
Eran. — Because I do not find this term in the divine Scripture.
Orth. — Or begotten?
Eran. — No.
Orth. — Wherefore?
Eran. — Because I no more learn this in the divine Scripture.
Orth. — But what name can properly be given to that which is neither begotten nor created?
Eran. — We style it uncreated and unbegotten.
Orth. — And we say that the Holy Ghost is neither created nor begotten.
Eran. — By no means.
Orth. — Would you then dare to call the Holy Ghost unbegotten?
Eran. — No.
Orth. — But why refuse to call that which is naturally uncreate, but not begotten, unbegotten?
Eran. — Because I have not learnt so from the divine Scripture, and I am greatly afraid of saying, or using language which Scripture does not use.
Orth. — Then, my good sir, I maintain the same caution in the case of the passion of salvation; do you too avoid all the divine names which Scripture has avoided in the case of the passion, and do not attribute the passion to them.
Eran. — What names?
Orth. — The passion is never connected with the name "God."
Eran. — But even I do not affirm that God the Word suffered apart from a body, but say that He suffered in flesh.
Orth. — You affirm then a mode of passion, not impassibility. No one would ever say this even in the case of a human body. For who not altogether out of his senses would say that the soul of Paul died in flesh? This could never be said even in the case of a great villain; for the souls even of the wicked are immortal. We say that such or such a murderer has been slain, but no one would ever say that his soul had been killed in the flesh. But if we describe the souls of murderers and violators of sepulchres as free from death, far more right is it to acknowledge as immortal the soul of our Saviour, in that it never tasted sin. If the souls of them who have most greatly erred have escaped death on account of their nature, how could that soul, whose nature was immortal and who never received the least taint of sin, have taken death's hook?
Eran. — It is quite useless for you to give me all these long arguments. We are agreed that the soul of the Saviour is immortal.
Orth. — But of what punishment are you not deserving, you who say that the soul, which is by nature created, is immortal, and are for making the divine substance mortal for the Word; you who deny that the soul of the Saviour tasted death in the flesh, and dare to maintain that God the Word, Creator of all things, underwent the passion?
Eran. — We say that he underwent the passion impassibly.
Orth. — And what man in his senses would ever put up with such ridiculous riddles? Who ever heard of an impassible passion, or of an immortal mortality? The impassible has never undergone passion, and what has undergone passion could not possibly be impassible. But we hear the exclamation of the divine Paul: "Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no than can approach unto."
Eran. — Why then do we say that the invisible powers too and the souls of men, aye and the very devils, are immortal?
Orth. — We do say so; that God is absolutely immortal. He is immortal not by partaking of substance, but in substance; He does not possess an immortality which He has received of another. It is He Him- self who has bestowed their immortality on the angels and on them that thou hast just now mentioned. How, moreover, when the divine Paul styles Him immortal and says that He only hath immortality, can you attribute to Him the passion of death?
Eran. — We say that He tasted death after the incarnation.
Orth. — But over and over again we have confessed Him immutable. If being previously immortal He afterwards underwent death through the flesh, a change having preceded His undergoing death; if His life left Him for three days and three nights, how do such statements fall short of the most extreme impiety? For I think that not even they that are struggling against impiety can venture to let such words fall from their lips without peril.
Eran. — Cease from charging us with impiety. Even we say that not the divine nature suffered but the human; but we do say that the divine shared with the body in suffering.
Orth. — What can you mean by sharing in suffering? Do you mean that when the nails were driven into the body the divine nature felt the sense of pain?
Eran. — I do.
Orth. — Both now and in our former investigations we have shewn that the soul does not share all the faculties of the body but that the body while it receives vital force has the sense of suffering through the soul. And even supposing us to grant that the soul shares in pain with the body we shall none the less find the divine nature to be impassible, for it was not united to the body instead of a soul. Or do you not acknowledge that He assumed a soul?
Eran. — I have often acknowledged it.
Orth. — And that He assumed a reasonable Soul?
Eran. — Yes.
Orth. — If then together with the body He assumed the soul, and we grant that the soul shared in suffering with the body, then the soul, not the Godhead, shared the passion with the body; it shared the passion, receiving pangs by means of the body. But possibly somebody might agree to the soul sharing suffering with the body, but might deny its sharing death, because of its having an immortal nature. On this account the Lord said "Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul." If then we deny that the soul of the Saviour shared death with the body, how could any one accept the blasphemy you and your friends presumptuously promulgate when you dare to say that the divine nature participated in death? This is the more inexcusable when the Lord points out at one time that the body was being offered, at another that the soul was being troubled.
Eran. — And where doth the Lord shew that the body was being offered? Or are you going to bring me once more that well worn passage "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up"? Or with your conceited self-sufficiency are you going to quote me the words of the Evangelist? "But He spake of the temple of his body. When therefore He was risen from the dead His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them and they believed the Scripture and the words which He had said."
Orth. — If you have such a detestation of the divine words which preach the mystery of the incarnation, why, like Marcion and Valentinus and Manes, do you not destroy texts of this kind? For this is what they have done. But if this seems to you rash and impious, do not turn the Lord's words into ridicule, but rather follow the Apostles in their belief after the resurrection that the Godhead raised again the temple which the Jews had destroyed.
Eran. — If you have any good evidence to adduce, give over gibing and fulfil your promise.
Orth. — Remember specially those words of the gospels in which the Lord made a comparison between manna and the true bread.
Eran. — I remember.
Orth. — In that passage after speaking at some length about the bread of life, he added, "The bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world." In these words may be understood alike the bounty of the Godhead and the boon of the flesh.
Eran. — One quotation is not enough to settle the question.
Orth. — The Ethiopian eunuch had not read much of the Bible, but when he had found one witness from the prophets he was guided by it to salvation. But not all Apostles and prophets and all the preachers of the truth who have lived since then are enough to convince you. Nevertheless I will bring you some further testimony about the Lord's body. You cannot but know that passage in the Gospel history where, after eating the passover with His disciples, our Lord pointed to the death of the typical lamb and taught what body corresponded with that shadow.
Eran. — Yes I know it.
Orth. — Remember then what it was which our Lord took and broke, and what He called it when He had taken it.
Eran. — I will answer in mystic language for the sake of the uninitiated. After taking and breaking it and giving it to His disciples He said, "This is my body which was given for you" or according to the apostle "broken" and again, "This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many."
Orth. — Then when exhibiting the type of the passion He did not mention the Godhead?
Erase. — No.
Orth. — But He did mention the body and blood.
Eran. — Yes.
Orth. — And the body was nailed to the Cross?
Eran. — Even so.
Orth. — Come, then; look at this. When after the resurrection the doors were shut and the Lord came to the holy disciples and beheld them affrighted, what means did He use to destroy their fear and instead of fear to infuse faith?
Eran. — He said to them "Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit bath not flesh and bones as ye see me have."
Orth. — So when they disbelieved He shewed them the body?
Eran. — He did.
Orth. — Therefore the body rose?
Eran. — Clearly.
Orth. — And I suppose what rose was what had died?
Eran. — Even so.
Orth. — And what had died was what
was nailed to the cross?
Eran. — Of necessity.
Orth. — Then according to your own argument the body suffered?
Eran. — Your series of arguments forces us to this conclusion.
Orth. — Consider this too. Now I will be questioner, and do you answer as becomes a lover of the truth.
Eran. — I will answer.
Orth. — When the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles, and that wonderful sight and sound collected thousands to the house, what did the chief of the apostles in the speech he then made say concerning the Lord's resurrection?
Eran. — He quoted the divine David, and said that he had received promises from God that the Lord Christ should be born of the fruit of his loins and that in trust in these promises he prophetically foresaw His resurrection, and plainly said that His soul was not left in Hades and that His flesh did not see corruption.
Orth. — His resurrection therefore is of these.
Eran. — How can any one in his senses say that there is a resurrection of the soul which never died?
Orth. — How comes it that you who attribute the passion, the death and the resurrection to the immutable and uncircumscribed Godhead have suddenly appeared before us in your right mind and now object to connecting the word resurrection with the soul?
Eran. — Because the word resurrection is applicable to what has fallen.
Orth. — But the body does not obtain resurrection apart from a soul, but being renewed by the divine will, and conjoined with its yokefellow, it receives life. Was it not thus that the Lord raised Lazarus?
Eran. — It is plain that not the body alone rises.
Orth. — This is more distinctly taught by the divine Ezekiel, for he points out how the Lord commanded the bones to come together, and how all of them were duly fitted together, and how He marie sinews and veins and arteries grow with all the flesh pertaining to them and the skin that clothes them all, and then ordered the souls to come back to their own bodies.
Eran. — This is true.
Orth. — But the Lord's body did not undergo this corruption, but remained unimpaired, and on the third day recovered its own soul.
Eran. — Agreed.
Orth. — Then the death was of what had suffered?
Eran. — Without question.
Orth. — And when the great Peter mentioned the resurrection, and the divine David too, they said that His soul was not left in Hell, but that His body did not undergo corruption?
Eran. — They did.
Orth. — Then it was not the Godhead which underwent death, but the body by severance from the soul?
Eran. — I cannot brook these absurdities.
Orth. — But you are fighting against your own arguments; it is your own words which you are calling absurd.
Eran. — You slander me; not one of these words is mine.
Orth. — Suppose any one to ask what is the animal which is at once reasonable and mortal, and suppose some one else to answer—man; which of the two would you call interpreter of the saying? The questioner or the answerer?
Eran. — The answerer.
Orth. — Then I was quite right in calling the arguments yours? For you, I ween, in your answers, by rejecting some points and accepting others, confirmed them.
Eran. — Then I will not answer any longer; do you answer.
Orth. — I will answer.
Eran. — What do you say to those words of the Apostle "Had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory"? in this passage be mentions neither body nor soul.
Orth. — Therefore you must not put the words "in the flesh" in it, — for this is your ingenious invention for decrying the Godhead of the Word - - but must attribute the passion to the bare Godhead of the Word.
Eran. — No; no. He suffered in the flesh, but His incorporeal nature was not capable of suffering by itself.
Orth. — Ah! but nothing must be added to the Apostle's words.
Eran. — When we know the Apostle's meaning there is nothing absurd in adding what is left out.
Orth. — But to add anything to the divine words is wild and rash. To explain what is written and reveal the hidden meaning is holy and pious.
Eran. — Quite right.
Orth. — We two then shall do nothing unreasonable and unholy in examining the mind of the Scriptures.
Eran. — No.
Orth. — Let us then look together into what seems to be hidden.
Eran. — By all means.
Orth. — Did the great Paul call the divine James the Lord's brother?
Eran. — He did.
Orth. — But in what sense are we to regard him as brother? By relationship of His godhead or of His manhood?
Eran. — I will not consent to divide the united natures.
Orth. — But you have often divided them in our previous investigations, and yon shall do the same thing now. Tell me; do you say that God the Word was only begotten Son?
Eran. — I do.
Orth. — And only begotten means only Son.
Eran. — Certainly.
Orth. — And the only begotten cannot have a brother?
Eran. — Of course not, for if He had had a brother He would not be called the only begotten.
Orth. — Then they were wrong in calling James the brother of the Lord. For the Lord was only begotten, and the only begotten cannot have a brother.
Eran. — No, but the Lord is not incorporeal and the proclaimers of the truth are referring only to what touches the godhead.
Orth. — How then would you prove the word of the apostle true?
Eran. — By saying that James was of kin with the Lord according to the flesh.
Orth. — See how you have brought in again that division which you object to.
Eran. — It was not possible to explain the kinship in any other way.
Orth. — Then do not find fault with those who cannot explain similar difficulties in any other way.
Eran. — Now you are getting the argument off the track because you want to shirk the question.
Orth. — Not at all, my friend. That will be settled too by the points we have investigated. Now look; when you were reminded of James the brother of the Lord, you said that the relationship referred not to the Godhead but to the flesh.
Eran. — I did.
Orth. — Well, now that you are told of the passion of the cross, refer this too to the flesh.
Eran. — The Apostle called the crucified "Lord of Glory," and the same Apostle called the Lord "brother of James."
Orth. — And it is the same Lord in both cases. If then you are right in referring the relationship to the flesh you must also refer the passion to the flesh, for it is perfectly ridiculous to regard the relationship without distinction and to refer the passion to Christ without distinction.
Eran. — I follow the Apostle who calls the crucified "Lord of glory."
Orth. — I follow too, and believe that He was "Lord of glory." For the body which was nailed to the wood was not that of any common man but of the Lord of glory. But we must acknowledge that the union makes the names common. Once more: do you say that the flesh of the Lord came down from heaven?
Eran. — Of course not.
Orth. — But was formed in the Virgin's womb?
Eran. — Yes.
Orth. — How, then, does the Lord say "If ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before," I and again "No man hath ascended up to heaven but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven?"
Eran. — He is speaking not of the flesh, but of the Godhead.
Orth. — Yes; but the Godhead is of the God and Father. How then does He call him Son of man?
Eran. — The peculiar properties of the natures are shared by the person, for on account of the union the same being is both
Son of man and Son of God, everlasting and of time, Son of David and Lord of David, and so on with the rest.
Orth. — Very right. But it is also important to recognise the fact that no confusion of natures results froth both having one name. Wherefore we are endeavouring to distinguish how the same being is Son of God and also Son of man, and how He is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," and by the reverent distinction of terms we find that the contradictions are in agreement.
Eran. — You are right.
Orth. — You say that the divine nature came down from heaven and that in consequence of the union it was called the Son of man. Thus it behoves us to say that the flesh was nailed to the tree, but to hold that the divine nature even on the cross and in the tomb was inseparable from this flesh, though from it it derived no sense of suffering, since the divine nature is naturally incapable of undergoing both suffering and death and its substance is immortal and impassible. It is in this sense that the crucified is styled Lord of Glory, by attribution of the title of the impassible nature to the passible, since, as we know, a body is described as belonging to this latter.
Now let us examine the matter thus. The words of the divine Apostle are "Had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." They crucified the nature which they knew, not that of which they were wholly ignorant: had they known that of which they were ignorant they would not have crucified that which they knew: they crucified the human because they were ignorant of the divine. Have you forgotten their own words. "For a good work we stone thee not but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." These words are a plain proof that they recognised the nature they saw, while of the invisible they were wholly ignorant: had they known that nature they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Eran. — That is very probable, but the exposition of the faith laid down by the Fathers in council at Nicaea says that the only begotten Himself, very God, of one substance with the Father, suffered and was crucified.
Orth. — You seem to forget what we have agreed on again and again.
Eran. — What do you mean?
Orth. — I mean that after the union the holy Scripture applies to one person terms both of exaltation and of humiliation. But possibly you are also ignorant that the illustrious Fathers first mentioned His taking flesh and being made man, and then afterwards added that He suffered and was crucified, and thus spoke of the passion after they had set forth the nature capable of passion.
Eran. — The Fathers said that the Son of God, Light of Light, of the substance of the Father, suffered and was crucified.
Orth. — I have observed more than once that both the Divine and the human are ascribed to the one Person. It is in accordance with this position that the thrice blessed Fathers, after teaching how we should believe in the Father, and then passing on to the person of the Son, did not immediately add "and in the Son of God," although it would have very naturally followed that after defining what touches God the Father they should straightway bare introduced the name of Son. But their object was to give us at one and the same time instruction on the theology and on the oeconomy, lest there should be supposed to be any distinction between the Person of the Godhead and the Person of the Manhood. On this account they added to their statement concerning the Father that we must believe also in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Now after the incarnation God the Word is called Christ, for this name includes alike all that is proper to the Godhead and to the manhood. We recognise nevertheless that some properties belong to the one nature and some to the others, and this may at once be understood from the actual terms of the Creed. For tell me: to what do you apply the phrase "of the substance of the Father"? to the Godhead, or to the nature that was fashioned of the seed of David?
Eran. — To the Godhead, as is plain.
Orth. — And the clause "Very God of very God"; to which do you hold this belongs, to the Godhead or to the manhood?
Eran. — To the Godhead.
Orth. — Therefore neither the flesh nor the soul is of one substance with the Father, for they are created, but the Godhead which formed all things.
Eran. — True.
Orth. — Very well, then. And when we are told of passion and of the cross we must recognise the nature which submitted to the passion; we must avoid attributing it to the impassible, and must attribute it to that nature which was assumed for the distinct purpose of suffering. The acknowledgment on the part of the most excellent Fathers that the divine nature was impassible; and their attribution of the passion to the flesh is proved by the conclusion of the creed, which runs "But they who state there was a time when He was not, and before He was begotten He was not, and He was made out of the non-existent, or who allege that the Son of God was of another essence or substance mutable or variable, these the holy catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes." See then what penalties are denounced against them that attribute the passion to the divine nature.
Eran. — They are speaking in this place of mutation and variation.
Orth. — But what is the passion but mutation and variation? For if, being impassible before His incarnation, He suffered after His incarnation, He assuredly suffered by trader-going mutation; and if being immortal before He became man, He tasted death, as you say, after being made man, He underwent a complete alteration by being made mortal after being immortal. But expressions of this kind, anti their authors with them, have all been expelled by the illustrious Fathers from the bounds of the Church, and cut off like rotten limbs from the sound body. We therefore exhort you to fear the punishment and abhor the blasphemy. Now I will show you that in their own writings the holy Fathers have held the opinions we have expressed. Of the witnesses I shall bring forward some took part in that great Council; some flourished in the Church after their time; some illuminated the world long before. But their harmony is broken neither by difference of periods nor by diversity of language; like the harp their strings are several and separate but like the harp they make one harmonious music.
Eran. — I was anxious for and shall be delighted at such citations. Instruction of this kind cannot be gainsaid, and is most useful.
Orth. — Now; open your ears and receive the streams that flow from the spiritual springs.
Testimony of the holy Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and martyr.
From his Epistle to the Smyrnaeans: —
"They do not admit Eucharists and oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which of His goodness the Father raised."
Testimony of lrenoeus, bishop of Lyons.
From his third book against heresies (Chap. XX.):—
"It is clear then that Paul knew no other Christ save Him that suffered and was buried and rose and was born, whom he calls man, for after saying, 'If Christ be preached that He rose from the dead,' he adds, giving the reason of His incarnation, 'For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead,' and on all occasions in reference to the passion, the manhood and I the dissolution of the Lord, he uses the name of Christ as in the text, 'Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died,' and again, 'But now in Christ ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ,' and again, 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.'"
Of the same from the same work. (Chapter xxi.):—
"For as He was Man that He might be tempted, so was He Word that He might be glorified. In His temptation, His crucifixion and His dying, the Word was inoperative; but in His victory, His patience, His goodness, His resurrection and His assumption it was co-operative with the manhood."
Of the same from the fifth book of the same work:—
"When with His own blood the Lord had ransomed us, and given His soul on behalf of our souls, and His flesh instead of our flesh."
The testimony of the holy Hippolytus, bishop and martyr.
From his letter to a certain Queen:—
"So he calls Him 'The firstfruits of them that slept,' and 'The first born of the dead.' When He had risen and was wishful to show that what had risen was the same body which died, when the Apostles doubted, He called to Him Thomas and said 'Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.'" Of the same from the same letter:—
"By calling Him firstfruits He bore witness to what we have said, that the Saviour, after taking the flesh of the same material, raised it, making it firstfruits of the flesh of the just, in order that all we that believe might have expectation of our resurrection through trust in Him that is risen."
Of the same from his discourse on the two thieves:—
"The body of the Lord gave both to the world,—the holy blood and the sacred water."
Of the same from the same discourse:—
"And the body being, humanly speaking, a corpse, has in itself great power of life, for there flowed from it what does not flow from dead bodies—blood and water,—that we might know what vital force lies in the indwelling power in the body, so that it is a corpse evidently unlike others, and is able to pour forth for us causes of life."
Of the same from the same discourse:—
"Not a bone of the holy Lamb is broken. The type shews that the passion cannot touch the power, for the bones are the power of the body."
Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, and confessor.
From his book on the soul:—
"Their impious calumny can be refuted in a few words; they may be right, unless He voluntarily gave up His own body to the destruction of death for the sake of the salvation of men. First of all they attribute to Him extraordinary infirmity in not being able to repel His enemies' assault."
Of the same from the same book:—
"Why do they, in the concoction of their earth-born deceits, make much of proving that the Christ assumed a body without a soul? In order that if they could seduce any to lay down that this is the case, then, by attributing to the divine Spirit variations of affection, they might easily persuade them that the mutable is not begotten of the immutable nature."
Of the same from his discourse on "the Lord created me in the beginning of His ways":—
"The man Who died rose on the third day, and, when Mary was eager to lay hold of His holy limbs, He objected and cried 'Touch me not. For I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.' Now the words 'I am not yet ascended to my Father,' were not spoken by the Word and God, who came down from heaven, and was in the bosom of the Father, nor by the Wisdom which contains all created things, but were uttered by the man who was compacted of various limbs, who had risen from the dead, who had not yet after His death gone back to the Father, and was reserving for Himself the first fruits of His progress."
Of the same from the same work:—
"As he writes he expressly describes the man who was crucified as Lord of Glory, declaring Him to be Lord and Christ, just as the Apostles with one voice when speaking to Israel in the flesh say 'Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' He so made Jesus Christ who suffered. He did not so make the Wisdom nor yet the Word who has the might of dominion from the beginning, but Him who was lifted up on high and stretched out His hands upon the Cross."
Of the same from the same work:—
"For if He is incorporeal and not subject to manual contact, nor apprehended by eyes of flesh, He undergoes no wound, He is not nailed by nails, He has no part in death, He is not hidden in the ground, He is not shut in a grave, He does not rise from a tomb."
Of the same from the same book:—
"'No man taketh it from me. ... I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.' If as God He had the double power, He yet yielded to them who were striving of evil counsel to destroy the temple, but by His resurrection He restored it in greater splendour. It is proved by incontrovertible evidence that He of Himself rose and renewed His own house, and the great work of the Son is to be ascribed to the divine Father; for the Son does not work without the Father, as is declared in the unimpeachable utterances of the holy Scriptures. Wherefore at one time the divine Parent is described as having raised the Christ from the dead, at another time the Son promises to raise His own temple. If then from what has previously been laid down the divine spirit of the Christ is proved to be impassible, in vain do the accursed assail the apostolic definitions. If Paul says that the Lord of Glory was crucified, clearly referring to the manhood, we must not on this account refer suffering to the divine. Why then do they put these two things together, saying that the Christ was crucified from infirmity?"
Of the same from the same work:—
"But had it been becoming to attribute to Him any kind of infirmity, any one might have said that it was natural to attach these qualities to the manhood, though not to the fulness of the Godhead, or to the dignity of the highest wisdom, or to Him who according to Paul is described as God over all."
Of the same from the same book:—
"This then is the manner of the infirmity according to which He is described by Paul as coming to death, for the man lives by God's power when plainly associated with God's spirit, since from the preceding statements He who is believed to be in Him is proved to be also the power of the Most High."
Of the same from the same:—
"As by entering the Virgin's womb He did not lessen His power, so neither by the fastening of His body to the wood of the cross is His spirit defiled. For when the body was crucified on high the divine Spirit of wisdom dwelt even within the body, trod in heavenly places, filled all the earth, reigned over the depths, visited and judged the soul of every man, and continued to do all that God continually does, for the wisdom that is on high is not prisoned and contained within bodily matter, just as moist and dry material are contained within their vessels and are contained by but do not contain them. But this wisdom, being a divine and ineffable power, embraces and confirms alike all that is within and all that is without the temple, and thence proceeding beyond comprehends and sways at once all matter."
Of the same from the same work:—
"But if the sun being a visible body, apprehended by the senses, endures everywhere such adverse influences without changing its order, or feeling any blow, be it small or great; can we suppose the incorporeal Wisdom to be defiled and to change its nature because its temple is nailed to the cross or destroyed or wounded or corrupted? The temple suffers, but the substance abides without spot, and preserves its entire dignity without defilement."
Of the same from his work on the titles of the Psalms of Degrees:—
"The Father who is perfect, infinite, incomprehensible. and is incapable alike of adornment or disfigurement, receives no acquired glory; nor yet does His Word, who is God begotten of Him, through whom are angels and heaven and earth's boundless bulk and all the form and matter of created things; but the man Christ raised from the dead is exalted and glorified to the open discomfiture of His foes."
Of the same from the same work:—
"They however who have lifted up hatred against Him, though they be fenced round with the forces of His foes, are scattered abroad, while the God and Word gloriously raised His own temple."
Of the same from his interpretation of the 92nd Psalm:—
"Moreover the prophet Isaiah following the tracks of His sufferings, among other utterances exclaims with a mighty voice 'And we saw Him and He had no form nor beauty. His form was dishonoured and rejected among the sons of men,' thus distinctly showing that the marks of indignity and the sufferings must be applied to the human but not to the divine. And immediately afterwards be adds 'Being a man under stroke, and able to bear infirmity.' He it is who after suffering outrage was seen to have no form or comeliness, then again was changed and clothed with beauty, for the God dwelling in Him was not led like a lamb to death and slaughtered like a sheep, for His nature is invisible."
Testimony of the Holy Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, and confessor.
From his letter to Epictetus:—
"Whoever reached such a pitch of impiety as to think and say that the Godhead itself of one substance with the Father was circumcised, and from perfect became imperfect; and to deny that what was crucified on the tree was the body, asserting it on the contrary to be the very creative substance of wisdom?"
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"The Word associated with Himself and brought upon Himself what the humanity of the Word suffered, that we might be able to share in the Godhead of the Word. And marvellous it was that the sufferer and He who did not suffer were the same; sufferer in that His own body suffered and He was in it while suffering, but not suffering because the Word, being by nature God, was impassible. And He Himself the incorporeal was in the passible body, and the body contained in itself the impassible Word, destroying the infirmities of His body."
Of the same from the same letter:—
"For being God and Lord of Glory, He was in the body ingloriously crucified; but the body suffered when smitten on the tree, and water and blood flowed from its side; but being temple of the Word, it was full of the Godhead. Wherefore when the sun saw its Creator suffering in His outraged body, it drew in its rays, and darkened the earth. And that very body with a mortal nature rose superior to its own nature, on account of the Word within it, and is no longer touched by its natural corruption, but clothed with the superhuman Word, became incorruptible."
Of the same from his greater discourse on the Faith:—
"Was what rose from the dead, man or God? Peter, the Apostle, who knows better than we, interprets and say, 'and when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a sepulchre, but God raised Him from the dead.' Now the dead body of Jesus which was taken down from the tree, which had been laid in a sepulchre, and entombed by Joseph of Arimathaea, is the very body which the Word raised, saying, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' It is He who quickens all the dead, and quickened the man Christ Jesus, born of Mary, whom He assumed. For if while on the cross He raised corpses of the saints that had previously undergone dissolution, much more can God the everliving Word raise the body, which He wore, as says Paul, 'For the word of God is quick and powerful.'"
Of the same from the same work:—
"Life then does not die, but quickens the dead; for as the light is not injured in a dark place, so life cannot suffer when it has visited a mortal nature, for the Godhead of the Word is immutable and invariable as the Lord says in the prophecy about Himself 'I am the Lord I change not.'"
Of the same from the same work:—
"Living He cannot die but on the contrary quickens the dead. He is therefore, by the Godhead derived from the Father, a fount of light; but He that died, or rather rose from the dead, our intercessor, who was born of the Virgin Mary, whom the Godhead of the Word assumed for our sake, is man."
Of the same from the same work:—
"It came to pass that Lazarus fell sick and died; but the divine Man did not fall sick nor against His own will did He die, but of His own accord came to the dispensation of death, being strengthened by God the Word who dwelt within Him, and who said 'No man taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.' The Godhead then which lays down and takes the life of man which He wore is of the Son, for in its completeness He assumed the manhood, in order that in its completeness He might quicken it, and, with it, the dead."
Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—
"When therefore the blessed Paul says the Father 'raised' the Son 'from the dead' John tells us that Jesus said 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up ... but He spake' of His own 'body.' So it is clear to them that take heed that at the raising of the body the Son is said by Paul to have been raised from the dead, for he refers what concerns the body to the Son's person, and just so when he says 'the Father gave life to the Son' it must be understood that the life was given to the Flesh. For if He Himself is life bow can the life receive life?"
Of the same from his work on the incarnation:—
"For when the Word was conscious that in no other way could tile ruin of men be undone save by death to the uttermost, and it was impossible that the Word who is immortal and Son of the Father should die, to effect His end He assumes a body capable of death, that this body, being united to the Word, who is over all, might, in the stead of all, become subject to death, and because of the indwelling Word might remain incorruptible, and so by the grace of the resurrection corruption for the future might lose its power over men. Thus offering to death, as a sacrifice and victim free from every spot, the body which He had assumed, by His corresponding offering He straightway destroyed death's power over all His kind; for being the Word of God above and beyond all men, He rightly offered and paid His own temple and bodily instrument, as a ransom for all souls due to death. And thus by means of the like (body) being associated with all men, the incorruptible Son of God rightly clothed all men with incorruption by the promise of the resurrection, for the corruption inherent in death no longer has any place with men, for the sake of the Word who dwelt in them by the means of the one body."
Of the same from the same work:—
"Wherefore, after His divine manifestations in His works, now also on behalf of all He offered sacrifice, yielding to death His own temple instead of all, that He might make all men irresponsible and free from the ancient transgression, and, exhibiting His own body as incorruptible firstfruits of the resurrection of mankind, might shew Himself stronger than death. For the body, as having a common substance—for it was a human body, although by a new miracle its constitution was of the Virgin alone— being mortal, died after the example of its like; but by the descent of the Word into it no longer suffered corruption, according to its own nature, but, on account of God the Word who dwelt within it, was delivered from corruption."
Of the same from the same work:—
"Whence, as I have said, since it was not possible for the Word being immortal to die, He took upon Himself a body capable of death, in order that He might offer this same body for all, and He Himself in His suffering on behalf of all through His descent into this body might 'destroy Him that hath the power of death .'"
Of the same from the same work:—
"For the body in its passion, as is the nature of bodies, died, but it had the promise of incorruption through the Word that dwelt within it. For when the body died the Word was not injured; but He was Himself impassible, incorruptible, and immortal, as being God's Word, and being associated with the body He kept from it the natural corruption of bodies, as says the Spirit to Him 'thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.'"
The testimony of the holy Damasus, bishop of Rome:—
"If any one say that, in the passion of the Cross, God the Son of God suffered pain, and not the flesh with the soul, which the form of the servant put on and assumed, as the Scripture saith, Let him be anathema."
Testimony of the holy Ambrosius, bishop of Milan.
From his book on the Catholic faith:—
"There are some men who have reached such a pitch of impiety as to think that the Godhead of the Lord was circumcised, and from perfect was made imperfect; and that the divine substance, Creator of all things, and not the flesh, was on the tree."
Of the same from the same work:—
"The flesh suffered; but the Godhead is free from death. He yielded His body to suffer according to the law of human nature. For how can God die, when the soul cannot die? 'Fear not,' He says, 'them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.' If then the soul cannot be slain how can the Godhead be made subject to death?"
Testimony of the holy Basilius, bishop of Caesarea:—
"It is perfectly well known to every one who has the least acquaintance with the meaning of the words of the Apostle that he is not delivering to us a mode of theology but is explaining the reasons of the oeconomy, for he says 'God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord aim Christ.' Thus he is plainly directing his argument to His human and visible nature."
Testimony of the holy Gregorius, bishop of Nazianzus.
From his letter to the blessed Nectarius, bishop of Constantinople:—
"The saddest thing in what has befallen the churches is the boldness of the utterances of Apollinarius and his party. I cannot understand how your Holiness has allowed them to arrogate to themselves the power of assembling on the same terms with us."
And a little further on:—
"I will no longer call this serious; it is indeed saddest of all that the only begotten God Himself, Judge of all who exist, the Prince of Life, the Destroyer of Death, is made by him mortal and alleged to receive suffering in His own Godhead. He represents the Godhead to have shared with the body in the dissolution of that three days' death of the body, and so after the death to have been again raised by the Father."
Of the same from his former exposition to Cledonius:—
"It is the contention of the Arians that the manhood was without a soul, that they may refer the passion to the Godhead and represent the same power as both moving the body and suffering."
Of the same from his discourse about the Son:—
"It remained for us to treat of what was commanded Him and of His keeping the commandments and doing all things pleasing to Him; and further of His perfection, exaltation, and learning obedience by all that He suffered, His priesthood, His offering, His betrayal, His entreaty to Him that hath power to save Him from death, His agony, His bloody sweat, His prayer and similar manifestations, were it not clear to all that all these expressions in connexion with His Passion in no way signify the nature which was immutable and above suffering."
Of the same from his Easter Discourse (Or. ii.):—
"'Who is this that cometh from Edom?' and from the earth, and how can the garments of the bloodless and bodiless be red as of one that treadeth in the wine-fat? Urge in reply the beauty of the garment of the body which suffered and was made beautiful in suffering, and was made splendid by the Godhead, than which nothing is lovelier nor more fair."
Testimony of Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. From his catechetical oration :- -
"And this is the mystery of the dispensation of God concerning the manhood and of the resurrection from the dead, not to prevent the soul from being separated from the body by death according to the necessary law of human nature, and to bring them together again through the resurrection."
Of the same from the same work:—
"The flesh which received the Godhead, and which through the resurrection was exalted with the Godhead, is not formed of another material, but of ours; so, just as in the case of our own body, the operation of one of the senses moves to general sensation the whole man united to that part, in like manner just as though all nature were one single animal, the resurrection of the part pervades the whole, being conveyed from the part to the whole by what is continuous and united in nature. What then do we find extraordinary in the mystery that the upright stoops to the fallen to raise up him that lies low?"
Of the same from the same work:—
"It would be natural also in this part not to heed the one and neglect the other; but in the immortal to behold the human, and to be curiously exact about the diviner quality in the manhood."
Of the same from his work against Eunomius:—
"'Tis not the human nature which raises Lazarus to life. 'Tis not the impassible power which sheds tears over the dead. The tear belongs to the man; the life comes from the very life. The thousands are not fed by human poverty; omnipotence does not hasten to the fig tree. Who was weary in the way, and who by His word sustains all the world without being weary? What is the brightness of His glory, what was pierced by the nails? What form is smitten in the passion, what is glorified for everlasting? The answer is plain and needs no interpretation."
Of the same from the same treatise:—
"He blames them that refer the passion to the human nature. He wishes himself wholly to subject the Godhead itself to the passion, for the proposition being twofold and doubtful, whether the divinity or the humanity was concerned in the passion, the denial of the one becomes the positive condemnation of the other. While therefore they blame them who see the passion in the humanity, they will bestow unqualified praise on them that maintain the Divinity of the Son of God to be passible. But the point established by these means becomes a confirmation of their own absurdity of doctrine; for if, as they allege, the Godhead of the Son suffers while that of the Father in accordance with its substance is conserved in complete impassibility, it follows that the impassible nature is at variance with the nature which sustains suffering."
The testimony of the holy Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.
From his discourse on the text "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life":—
"Whose then are the sufferings? Of the flesh. Therefore if you give to the flesh the suffering, give it also the lowly words; and ascribe the exalted words to Him to Whom you assign the miracles. For the God when He is in the act of working wonders naturally speaks in high and lofty language worthy of His works and the man when He is suffering fitly utters lowly words corresponding with His sufferings."
Of the same from his discourse on " My Father is greater than I ":—
"But when you give the sufferings to the flesh and the miracles to God, you must of necessity, though unwillingly, give the lowly words to the man born of Mary, and the high and lofty words becoming God, to the Word who existed in the beginning. The reason why I utter sometimes lofty words and sometimes lowly is that by the lofty I may show the nobility of the indwelling Word, and by the lowly make known the infirmity of the lowly flesh. So at one time I call myself equal to the Father and at another I call the Father greater; and in this I am not inconsistent with myself, but I shew that I am God and man; God by the lofty and man by the lowly. And if you wish to know in what sense my Father is greater than I, I spoke in the flesh and not in the person of the Godhead."
Of the same from his discourse on " If it be possible let this cup pass from me ":—
"Ascribe not then the sufferings of the flesh to the impassible God, for I, O heretic, am God, and man; God, as the miracles prove man as is shewn by the sufferings. Since then I am God and man, tell me, who was it who suffered? If God suffered, you have spoken blasphemy; but if the flesh suffered, why do you not attribute the passion to Him to whom yon ascribe the dread? For while one is suffering another feels on dread; while man is being crucified God is not troubled."
Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—
"And not to prolong what I am saying, I will shortly ask you, O heretic, did He who was begotten of God before the ages suffer, or Jesus who was born of David in the last days? If the Godhead suffered, thou hast spoken blasphemy; if, as the truth is, the manhood suffered, for what reason do you hesitate to attribute the passion to man?"
Of the same from his discourse concerning the Son:—
"Peter said, 'God hath made tiffs Jesus both Lord and Christ' and said too, this Jesus whom ye crucified God hath raised up.' Now it was the manhood, not the Godhead, which became a corpse, and He who raised it was the Word, the power of God, who said in the Gospel, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' So when it is said that God hath made Him who became a corpse and rose from the dead both Lord and Christ, what is meant is the flesh, and not the Godhead of the Son."
Of the same from his discourse on "The Son can do nothing of Himself":—
"For He had not such a nature as that His life could be held by corruption, since His Godhead was not forcibly reduced to suffering. For how could it? But the manhood was renewed in incorruption. So he says 'For this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption.' You observe the accuracy; he points distinctly to 'this mortal' that you may not entertain the idea of the resurrection of any other flesh."
Testimony of the holy Flavianus, bishop of Antioch.
On Easter Day:—"Wherefore also the cross is boldly preached by us, and the Lord's death confessed among us, though in nothing did the Godhead suffer, for the divine is impassible, but the dispensation was fulfilled by the body."
Of the same on Judas the traitor:—
"When therefore you hear of the Lord being betrayed, do not degrade the divine dignity to insignificance, nor attribute to divine power the sufferings of the body. For the divine is impassible and invariable. For if through His love to mankind He took on Him the form of a servant, He underwent no change in nature. But being what He ever was, he yielded the divine body to experience death."
Testimony of Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria.
From his Heortastic Volume :—
"Of unreasoning beings the souls are not taken and replaced: they share in the corruption of the bodies, and are dissolved into dust. But after the Saviour at the time of the cross had taken the soul from His own body, He restored it to the body again when He rose from the dead. To assure us of this He uttered the words of the psalmist, the predictive exclamation, 'Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell nor suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.'"
Testimony of the blessed Gelasius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine: —
"He was bound, He was wounded, He was crucified, He was handled, He was marked with scars, He received a lance's wound, and all these indignities were undergone by the body born of Mary, while that which was begotten froth the Father before the ages none was able to harm, for the Word had no such nature. For how can any one constrain Godhead? How wound it? How make red with blood the incorporeal nature? How surround it with grave bands? Grant now what you cannot contravene and, constrained by invincible reason, honour Godhead."
Testimony of the holy John, bishop of Constantinople.
From his discourse on the words "My Father worketh hitherto and I work": —
"'What sign shewest Thou unto us seeing that Thou doest these things?' What then does He reply Himself? 'Destroy this temple,' He says, ' and in three days I will raise it up,' speaking of His own body, but they did not understand Him."
And a little further on: —
"Why does not the evangelist pass this by? Why did he add the correction, 'But He spake of the temple of his body'? for He did not say destroy this 'body,' but temple' that He might shew the indwelling God. Destroy this temple which is far more excellent than that of the Jews. The Jewish temple contained the Law; this temple contains the Lawgiver; the former the letter that killeth; the latter the spirit that giveth life."
Of the same from the discourse "That what was spoken and done in humility was not so done and spoken on account of infirmity ofpower but different dispensations": —
"How then does He say 'If it be possible'? He is pointing out to us the infirmity of the human nature, which did not choose to be torn away from this present life, but stepped back and shrank on account of the love implanted in it by God in the beginning for the present life. If then when the Lord Himself so often spoke in such terms, some have dared to say that He did not take flesh, what would they have said if none of these words had been spoken by Him?"
Of the same from the same work: —
"Observe how they spoke of His former age. Ask the heretic the question Does God dread? Does He draw back? Does He shrink? Does He sorrow? and if he says yes, stand off from him for the future, rank him down below with the devil, aye lower even than the devil, for even the devil will not dare to say this. But, should he say that each of these things is unworthy of God, reply — neither does God pray; for apart from these it will be yet another absurdity should the words be the words of God, for the words indicate not only an agony, but also two wills; one of the Son and another of the Father, opposed to one another. For the words 'Not as I will, but as Thou wilt,' are the words of one indicating this."
Of the same from the same work:—
"For if this be spoken of the Godhead there arises a certain contradiction, and many absurdities are thereby produced. If on the contrary it be spoken of the flesh, the expressions are reasonable, and no fault can be found with them. For the unwillingness of the flesh to die incurs no condemnation; such is the nature of the flesh and He exhibits all the properties of the flesh except sin, and indeed in full abundance, so as to stop the mouths of the heretics. When therefore He says 'If it be possible let this cup pass from me' and 'not as I will but as Thou wilt,' He only shews that the is really clothed with the flesh which fears death, for it is the nature of the flesh to fear death, to draw back and to suffer agony. Now He leaves it abandoned and stripped of its own activity, that by shewing its weakness He may convince us also of its nature. Sometimes however He conceals it, because He was not mere man."
Testimony of Severianus, bishop of Gabala.
From his discourse on the seals: —
"The Jews withstand the apparent, ignorant of the non-apparent; they crucify the flesh; they do not destroy the Godhead. For if my words are not destroyed together with the letter which is the clothing of speech, how could God the Word, the fount of life, die together with the flesh? The passion belongs to the body, but impassibillty to the dignity."
See then bow they whose husbandry is in the East and in the West, as well as in the South and in the North, have all been shewn by us to condemn your vain heresy, and all openly to proclaim the impassibility of the divine Nature. See how both tongues, I mean both Greek and Latin, make one harmonious confession about the things of God,
Eran. — I am myself astonished at their harmony, but I observe a considerable difference in the terms they use.
Orth. — Do not be angry. The very force of their fight against their adversaries is the cause of their seeming immoderate. The same thing is to be observed in the case of planters; when they see a plant bent one way or another, they are not satisfied with bringing it to a straight line, but bend it still further in the opposite direction, that by its being bent still further from the straight it may attain its upright stature. But that you may know that the very promoters and supporters of this manifold heresy strive to surpass even the heretics of old by the greatness of their blasphemies, listen once more to the writings of Apollinarius which proclaim the impassibility of the divine nature, and confess the passion to be of the body.
Testimony of Apollinarius. From his summary: -" John spoke of the temple which was destroyed, namely the body of Him that raised it, and the body is entirely united to Him and He is not another among them. And if the body of the Lord was one with the Lord, the properties of the body were constituted His properties on account of the body."
And again: —
"And the truth is that His conjunction with the body does not take place by circumscription of the Word, so that He has nothing beyond His incorporation. Wherefore even in death immortality abides with Him; for if He transcends this composition, so does He also the dissolution. Now death is dissolution. But He was not comprehended in the composition; had He been so, the universe would have been made void; nor in the dissolution did He, like the soul, suffer the deprivation which succeeds dissolution."
And again: —
"As the Saviour says that the dead bodies go forth from their tombs, though their souls do not go forth thence, just so He says that He Himself will rise from the dead, although it is only His body that rises."
In another similar work he writes: —
"Of man is the rising from the dead; of God is the raising. Now Christ both rose and raised, for He was God and man. Had the Christ been only man He would not have quickened the dead, and if He had been only God, He would not on His own account apart from the Father have quickened any of the dead. But Christ did both; the same being is both God and man. If the Christ had been only man He would not have saved the world; if He had been only God He would not have saved it through suffering, but Christ did both, so He is God and man. If the Christ had been only than or if only God He could not have been a Mediator between men and God."
And a little further on: —
"Now flesh is an instrument of life fitted to the capacity for suffering in accordance with the divine will. Words are not proper to the Flesh, nor are deeds. Being made subject to the capacity for suffering, as is natural to the flesh, it prevails over the suffering because it is the flesh of God."
And again a little further on: —
"The Son took flesh of the Virgin and travelled to the world. This flesh He filled with the Holy Ghost to the sanctification of us all. So He delivered death to death and destroyed death through the resurrection to the raising of us all."
From his tract concerning the faith:—
"Since the passions are concerned with the flesh His power possessed its own impassibility, so to refer the passion to the power is an impious error."
And in his tract about the incarnation he further writes: —
"Here then He shews that it was the same man who rose from the dead and God who reigns over all creation."
You see now that one of the professors of vain heresy plainly preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, calls the body a temple, and persists in maintaining that this body was raised by God the Word.
Eran. — I have beard and I am astonished; and I am really ashamed that our doctrines should appear less tenable than the innovation of Apollinarius.
Orth. — But I will bring you a witness from yet another heretical herd distinctly preaching the impassibility of the Godhead of the only begotten.
Eran. — Whom do you mean?
Orth. — You have probably heard of Eusebius the Phoenician, who was bishop of Emesa by Lebanon.
Eran. — I have met with some of his writings, and found him to be a supporter of the doctrines of Arius.
Orth. — Yes; he did belong to that sect, but in his endeavour to prove that the Father was greater than the only begotten he declares the Godhead of the depreciated Son to be impassible and for this opinion he contended with long and extraordinary perseverance.
Eran. — I should be very much obliged if you would quote his words too.
Orth. — To comply with your wish I will adduce somewhat longer evidence. Now listen to what he says, and fancy that the man himself is addressing us.
Testimony of Eusebius of Emesa:—
"Wherefore does he fear death? Lest he suffer anything from death? For what was death to Him? Was it not the severance of the power from the flesh? Did the power receive a nail that it should fear? If our soul suffers not the body's infirmities when united with it, but the eye grows blind and yet the mind retains its force; and a foot is cut off and yet the reasoning power does not halt — and this nature evidences, and the Lord sets His seal on, in the words 'Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul' (and if they cannot kill the soul, it is not because they do not wish, but because they are not able, though they would like to make the soul share the suffering of the body yoked with it) — shall He who created the soul and formed the body suffer as the body suffers, although He does take upon Himself the body's sufferings? But Christ suffered for us, and we lie not. ' And the bread that l will give is my flesh.' This He gave for us.
"That which can be mastered was mastered; that which can be crucified was crucified, but He that had power alike to dwell in it and to leave. it said 'Father into thy hands I commend my Spirit,' not into the hands of them who were trying to hasten His death. I am not fond of controversy; I rather avoid it; with all gentleness I wish to enquire into the points at issue between us as between brothers. Do not I say truly that the power could not be subject to the sufferings of the flesh? I stay noticing; let him who will say what the power suffered. Did it fail? See the danger. Was it extinct? See the blasphemy. Did it no longer exist? This is the death of power. Tell me what can so master it that it suffered and I withdraw. But, if you cannot tell me. why do you object to my not telling you? What you cannot tell me, that it did not receive. Drive a nail into a soul and I will admit that it can be driven into power. But it was in sympathy. Tell me what you mean by 'in sympathy.' As a nail went into the flesh, so pain into the power. Let us understand 'was in sympathy' in this sense. Then pain was felt by the power which was not smitten. For pain always follows on suffering. But if a body often despises pain while the mind is sound, on account of the vigour of its thought, then in this case let some one explain impartially what suffered and what suffered with or was in sympathy. What then? Did not Christ die for us? How did He die? 'Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.' The Spirit departed; the body remained; the body remained without breath. Did He not die then? He died for us. The Shepherd offered the sheep, the Priest offered the sacrifice, He gave Himself for us. 'He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all.' I do not reject the words, but I want the meaning of the words. The Lord says that the bread of God came down from Heaven, and though I cannot express it more clearly on account of the mysteries, He says in explanation 'It is my flesh.' Did the flesh of the Son come down from heaven? No. How then does He say, and that in explanation, the bread of God lives and came down from Heaven? He refers the properties of the power to the flesh, because the power which assumed the flesh came down from heaven. Change the terms then; He refers to the power what the flesh suffers. How did Christ suffer for us? He was spat upon, He was smitten on the cheek, they put a crown about His brow, His hands and feet were pierced. All these sufferings were of the body, but they are referred to Him that dwelt therein. Throw a stone at the Emperor's statue. What is the cry? 'You have insulted the Emperor.' Tear the Emperor's robe. What is the cry? 'You have rebelled against the Emperor.' Crucify Christ's body. What is the cry? 'Christ died for us.' But what need of me and thee? Let us go to the Evangelists. How have you received from the Lord how the Lord died? They read 'Father into thy hands I commend my Spirit.' The Spirit on high, the body on the Cross for us. So far as His body is attributed to Himself He offered the sheep."
Of the same from the same book:—
"He came to save our nature; not to destroy His own. If I consent to say that a camel flies, you directly count it strange, because it does not fit in with its nature; and you are quite right. And if I say that men live in the sea you will not accept it; you are quite right. It is contrary to nature. As then if I say strange things about these natures you count it strange; if I say that the Power which was before the ages, by nature incorporeal, in dignity impassible, which exists with the Father and by the Father's side, on His right hand and in glory, if I say that this incorporeal nature suffers, will you not stop your ears? If you will not stop your ears when you hear this, I shall stop my heart. Can we do anything to an angel? Smite him with a sword? Or cut him in pieces? Why do I say to an angel? Can we to a soul? Does a soul receive a nail? A soul is neither cut nor burnt. Do you ask why? Because it was so created. Are His works impassible and He Himself passible? I do not reject the oeconomy; on the contrary, I welcome the ill-treatment. Christ died for us and was crucified. So it is written; so the nature admitted. I do not blot out the words nor do I blaspheme the nature. But this is not true. Very well, then let something truer be said. The teacher is a benefactor, never harsh, never an enemy, unless the pupil be headstrong. Have you anything good to say? My ears are gratefully open. Does any one want to quarrel? Let him quarrel at his leisure. Could the Jews crucify the Son of God and make the power itself a dead body? Can the living die? The death of this power is its failure. Even when we die, our body is left. But if we make that power a dead body we reduce it to non-existence. I am afraid you cannot hear. If the body die, the soul is separated from it and remains; but if the soul die, since it has no body, it altogether ceases to exist. A soul by dying altogether ceases to be. For the death of the immortals is a contradiction of their existence. Consider the alternative; for I do not dare even to mention it. We say these things as we understand them, but if any one is contentions, we lay down no law. But I know one thing, that every man must reap the fruit of his opinions. Each man comes to God and brings before Him what he has said and thought about Him. Do not suppose that God reads books, or is troubled by having to recollect what you said or who heard you: all is made manifest. The judge is on the throne. Paulus is brought before Him. 'Thou saidst I was a man; thou hast no life with Me. Thou knewest not Me; I know not thee.' Up comes another. 'Thou saidst I was one of the things that are created. Thou knewest not My dignity; I know not thee.' Up comes another. 'Thou saidst that I did not assume a body. Thou madest light of My grace. Thou shall not share My immortality.' Up comes another. 'Thou saidst that I was not born of a Virgin to save the body of the Virgin; thou shall not be saved.' Each one reaps the fruit of his opinions about tile faith."
You see the other sect of your teachers, which yon supposed that you had learnt the suffering of the Godhead of the only Begotten, abhors this blasphemy, preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, and quits the ranks of them who dare to attribute the passion to it.
Eran. — Yes; I am astonished at the conflict, and I admire the man's sense and opinions.
Orth. — Then, my good Sir, imitate the bees. As you flit in mental flight about the meads of the divine Scripture, among the flowers of these illustrious Fathers, build us in your heart the honey-comb of the faith. If haply yon find anywhere herbage bitter and not fit to eat, like these fellows Apollinarius and Eusebius, but still not quite without something that may be meet for making honey, it is reasonable that yon should sip the sweet and leave the poisonous behind, like bees who lighting often on baneful bushes leave all the deadly bane behind and gather all the good. We give you this advice, dear friend, in brotherly kindness. Receive it and you will do well. And if you hearken not we will say to you in the word of the apostle "We are pure." We have spoken, as the prophet says, what we have been commanded.
BOOK IV: DEMONSTRATIONS BY SYLLOGISMS
THAT GOD THE WORD IS IMMUTABLE
1. We have confessed one substance of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and have agreed that it is immutable. If then there is one substance of the Trinity, and it is immutable, then the only begotten Son, who is one person of the Trinity, is immutable. And, if He is immutable, He was not made flesh by mutation, but is said to have been made flesh after taking flesh.
2. If God the Word was made flesh by undergoing mutation into flesh, then He is not immutable. For no one in his senses would call that which undergoes alteration immutable. And if He is mutable He is not of one substance with Him that begat Him. How indeed is it possible for one part of an uncompounded substance to be mutable and the other immutable? If we grant this we shall fall headlong into the blasphemy of Arius and Eunomius, who assert that the Son is of another substance.
3. If the Lord is consubstantial with the Father, and the Son was made flesh by undergoing change into flesh, then the substance is at once mutable and immutable, which blasphemy if any one has the hardihood to maintain, he will no doubt make it worse by his blasphemy against the Father, for inasmuch as the Father shares the same substance, he will assuredly call Him mutable.
4. It is written in the divine Scriptures that God the Word took flesh, and also a soul. And the most divine Evangelist says the Word was made flesh. We must therefore perforce do one of two things: either we must admit the mutation of the Word into flesh, and reject all divine Scripture, both Old and New, as teaching lies, or in obedience to the divine Scripture, We must confess the assumption of the flesh, banishing mutation from our thoughts, and piously regarding the word of the Evangelist. This latter we must do inasmuch as we confess the nature of God the Word to be immutable, and have countless testimonies to the assumption of the flesh.
5. That which inhabits a tabernacle is distinct from the tabernacle which is inhabited. The Evangelist calls the flesh a tabernacle, and says that God the Word tabernacled therein. "The Word," he says, "was made flesh and dwelt among us." Now if He was made flesh by mutation, He did not dwell in flesh. But we have been taught that He dwelt in flesh; for the same Evangelist in another place calls His body a temple. We must therefore believe the Evangelist's explanation and interpretation of what to some seemed ambiguous.
6. If when the Evangelist wrote "the Word was made flesh" he had added nothing which could remove the ambiguity, perhaps the controversy about the passage might have had some reasonable excuse, from the obscurity of the terms used. But since he immediately went on to say "and dwelt in us," the combatants contend to no purpose. The former clause is explained by the latter.
7. The immutability of God the Word is plainly proclaimed by the most wise Evangelist, for after saying "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," he immediately adds, "And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." But if, according to the foolish, He had undergone mutation into flesh, He would not have remained what He was, but if even when enveloped in the flesh He emitted the rays of His Father's nobility, it follows that the nature which He has is immutable, and it shines even in the body and sends abroad the brightness of the nature which is unseen. For that light nothing can dim. "For the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not," as saith the very divine John.
8. The illustrious Evangelist was desirous of explaining the glory of the only-begotten, but was unable to carry out his purpose. He therefore shews it by His fellowship with the Father. For he says He is of that nature; just as though any one to persons beholding Joseph sunk in a slavery inconsistent with his rank, and unaware of the splendour of his descent, were to point out that Jacob was his father, and his forefather Abraham. So in this sense the Evangelist said that when He dwelt among us He did not dim the glory of His nature, "For we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father." So if even when He was made flesh it was plain who He was, then He remained who he was, and did not undergo the mutation into flesh.
9. We have confessed that God the Word took not a body only but also a soul. Why then did the divine Evangelist omit in this place mention of the soul and mention the flesh alone? Is it not plain that he exhibited the visible nature and by its means signified the nature united to it? For the mention of the soul is understood of course in that of the flesh. For when we hear the prophet saying "Let all flesh bless His holy name," we do not understand the prophet to be exhorting bodies of flesh without souls, but believe the whole to be summoned to give praise in the summoning of a part.
10. The words 'the Word was made flesh" are plainly indicative not of mutation but of His unspeakable loving-kindness. For after the illustrious Evangelist had said "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God," and had declared Him to be Creator of the visible and invisible, and had called Him life and true light, adding other similar expressions, and had spoken concerning the Godhead in such terms as human reason can take in and the language at its command can express, he went on "And the Word was made flesh," as though smitten with amazement and astounded at the boundless loving-kindness. His existence is eternal; He is God; He made all things; He is source of eternal life and of true light; and on account of the salvation of men He put about Him the tabernacle of flesh. And He was supposed to be only that which He appeared. So for this reason he did not even mention a soul bat only the perishable and mortal flesh. Of the soul as being immortal he said nothing in order to exhibit the boundlessness of the kindness.
11. The divine Apostle calls the Lord Christ seed of Abraham. But if this is true, as true it is, then God the Word was not changed into flesh, but took on Him the seed of Abraham, according to the teaching of the Apostle himself.
12. God swore to David that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ, as the prophet said and as the great Peter interpreted. But if God the Word was called Christ after mutation into flesh, we shall nowhere find the truth in the oaths. Yet we have been taught that God cannot lie; nay rather is Himself the truth. Therefore God the Word did not undergo change into flesh, but in accordance with the promise, took firstfruits of David's seed.
PROOFS THAT THE UNION WAS WITHOUT CONFUSION.
1. Those who believe that after the union there was one nature both of Godhead and of manhood, destroy by this reasoning the peculiarities of the natures; and their destruction involves denial of either nature. For the confusion of the united natures prevents us from recognising either that flesh is flesh or that God is God. But if even after the union the difference of the united natures is clear, it follows that there is no confusion and that the union is without confusion. And if this is confessed then the Master Christ is not one nature, but one Son shewing either nature unimpaired.
2. We too assert the union, and ourselves confess that it took place at the conception; if then by the union the natures were mixed and confounded, how was the flesh after the birth not seen to possess any new quality, but exhibited the human character, preserved the dimensions of the babe, was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and sucked a mother's breast? And if all this did not come to pass in mere phantasy and seeming, then they admit of neither phantasy nor seeming; then what was seen was truly a body. And if this be granted then the natures were not confounded by the union, but each remained unimpaired.
3. The authors of this patchwork and incongruous heresy at one time assert that God the Word was made flesh, and at another declare that the flesh underwent a change into nature of Godhead. Either statement is futile and vain and full of falsehood, for if God the Word, as they argue, was made flesh, why then do they call Him God, and this alone, and refuse to name Him man as well, anti find great fault with us who in addition to confessing Him as God also call Him man? But if the flesh was changed into the nature of Godhead, wherefore do they substitute the antitypes of the body? For the type is superfluous when the reality is destroyed.
4. An incorporeal nature is not corporeally circumcised, bat the word corporeally is added on account of the spiritual circumcision of the heart; so then the circumcision is of a body; but the Master Christ is circumcised after the union. And if this is granted then the argument of the confusion is confuted.
5. We have learnt that the Saviour Christ hungered and thirsted, and we have believed that this was so really and not in seeming, but such conditions belong not to a bodiless nature but to a body. The Master Christ then had a body which before the resurrection was affected according to its nature. And to this the divine Apostle bears testimony when he says "For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin." For the sin is not of the nature but of the evil will.
6. Of the divine nature the prophet David says, "Behold He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." But the narrative of the Evangelist describes the Master Christ as sleeping in the boat. Now not sleeping and being asleep are two contrary ideas, so the prophet contradicts the Gospels if, as they argue, the Master Christ was God alone. There is no contradiction. for both prophecies and gospels flow from one and the same spirit. The Master Christ therefore had a body, akin to all other bodies, affected by the need of sleep. So the argument for the confusion is proved a fable.
7. Of the divine nature the prophet Isaiah said, "He shall neither be hungry nor weary" and so on. But the Evangelist says "Jesus being weary with his journey sat thus on the well;" and "shall not be weary" is contrary to "being weary." Therefore the prophecy is contrary to the narrative of the gospels. But they are not contrary, for both are of one God. Not being weary is of the uncircumscribed nature which fills all things. But moving from place to place is of the circumscribed nature; and when that which moves is constrained to travel it is subject to the weariness of the wayfarer. Therefore what walked and was weary was a body, for the union did not confound the natures.
8. To the divine Paul when shut up in prison the Master Christ said "Be not afraid Paul" and so on. But the same Christ, who drove away Paul's fear, Himself so feared, as testifies the blessed Luke that tie sweated from all His body drops of blood, and with them sprinkled all the ground about His body, and was strengthened by angelic succour, and these statements are opposed to one another, for how can fearing be other than contrary to driving away fear? Yet they are not contrary. For the same Christ is by nature God and man; as God He strengthens them that need consolation; as man He receives consolation through an angel. And although the Godhead and the Spirit were present as an anointing, the body and the soul were not then supported either by the Godhead united to them or by the Holy Ghost, but this service was entrusted to an angel in order to exhibit the infirmity both of the soul and of the body and that through the infirmity might be seen the natures of the infirm. Now these things plainly happened by the permission of the divine nature, that, among them that were to live in future times, believers in the assumption of the soul and of the body might be vindicated by these demonstrations, and their opponents by plain proof convicted. If then the union was effected by the conception, and, as they argue, made both natures one, how could the properties of the natures continue unimpaired, the soul agonize, and the body sweat so as to sweat bloody drops from excess of fear? But if the one is natural to the body and the other to the soul, then the union did not effect one nature of flesh and Godhead, but one Son appeared shewing forth in Himself both the human and the divine.
9. Should they say that after the resurrection the body underwent mutation into Godhead they may properly be answered thus. Even after the resurrection the body was seen circumscribed with hands and feet and all the body's parts; it was tangible and visible; it had wounds and scars, as it had before the resurrection. One then of two alternatives mast be maintained. Either these parts must be attributed to the divine nature, if the body when changed into the divine nature had these parts; or on the other hand it must be confessed that the body remained within the bounds of its own nature. Now the divine nature is simple and incomposite, but the body is composite and divided into many parts; therefore it was not changed into the nature of Godhead, but even after the resurrection though immortal, incorruptible and fail of divine glory, it remains a body with its own circumscription.
10. To the unbelieving apostles the Lord after His resurrection shewed His hands, His feet, and the prints of the nails; then further to teach them that what they saw was not a vision He added "a spirit bath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Therefore the body was not changed into spirit it was flesh and bones and hands and feet. Consequently even after the resurrection the body remained a body.
11. The divine nature is invisible, but the thrice blessed Stephen said that he saw the Lord, so even after the resurrection the Lord's body is a body, and it was seen by the victorious Stephen, since the divine nature cannot be seen.
12. If all mankind shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, according to the Lord's own words, and He said to Moses "No man shall see me and live," and both are true, then He will come with the body with which He ascended into heaven. For that body is visible, and of this the angel spoke to the Apostles "This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven." If this is true, as true it is, then there is not one nature of flesh and Godhead, but the union is without confusion.
PROOF THAT THE DIVINITY OF THE SAVIOUR IS IMPASSIBLE.
1. Alike by the divine Scripture and by the holy Fathers assembled at Nicaea we have been taught to confess that the Son is of one substance with God the Father. The impassibility of the Father is also taught by the nature and proclaimed by the divine Scripture. We shall then further confess the Son to be impassible, for this definition is enforced by the identity of substance. Whenever then we hear the divine Scripture proclaiming the cross and the death of the Master Christ we attribute the passion to the flesh, for in no wise is the Godhead, being by nature impassible, capable of suffering.
2. "All things that the Father hath are mine" says the Master Christ, and one out of all is impassibility. If therefore as God He is impassible, He suffered as man. For the divine nature does not undergo suffering.
3. The Lord said "the bread which I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world," and again "I am the good shepherd and know my sheep and am known of mine ... and I lay down my life for the sheep." So body and soul are both given by the good shepherd for the sheep who have soul and body.
4. The nature of men is compounded of body and soul. But it sinned and stood in need of a sacrifice free from every spot. So i the Creator took a body and a soul, and keeping them clean from the stains of sin for men's bodies gave His body and for their souls His soul. If this is true, and true it is, for these are words of truth itself, then wild and blasphemous are they who ascribe passion to the divine nature.
5. The blessed Paul called the Christ "the first born of the dead;" and I suppose the first born has the same nature as they of whom He is called first born. As man then He is first born of the dead, for He first destroyed the pangs of death and gave to all the sweet hope of another life. As He rose so He suffered. As man then He suffered but as awful God He remained impassible.
6. The divine Apostle calls our Saviour Christ "the firstfruits of them that slept," but the firstfruits are related to the whole whereof they are firstfruits. He is not therefore called firstfruits as God, for what relationship is there between Godhead and manhood? The former is an immortal nature, the latter mortal. Such is the nature of them that sleep, of whom Christ is called firstfruits. To this nature belong death and resurrection, and in its resurrection we have a proof of the general resurrection.
7. When the Master Christ wished to persuade the doubting Apostles that He had destroyed death and risen, He shewed them parts of His body, His side, His hands, His feet and the marks of the passion preserved therein. This body then rose, and this, I ween, was shown to the disbelievers. What rose is what was buried, and what was buried is what had died, and what had died is of course what was nailed to the cross. So the divine nature united to the body remained impassible.
8. They who describe the flesh of the Lord as giver of life make life itself mortal by their words. They ought to have seen that it was giver of life through the life united to it. But if according to their argument the life is mortal, how could the flesh being itself by nature mortal, and made life-giving through the life, remain life-giving?
9. God the Word is by nature immortal, and the flesh by nature mortal, but after the passion by union with the Word the flesh itself became immortal. How then is it not absurd to say that the giver of such immortality shared death?
10. They who maintain that God tile Word suffered in the flesh should be asked the meaning of what they say, and should they have the hardihood to reply that when the body was pierced with nails the divine nature was sensible of pain, let them learn that the divine nature did not fill the part of a soul. God the Word had assumed a soul with the body. Should they reject this argument as blasphemous, and should they assert that the flesh suffered by nature, and that God the Word made the passion His own as of His own flesh, let them not propound puzzling and murky phrases, but let them clearly propound the meaning of the ill sounding phrase. They will have all those who wish to follow the divine Scripture as their supporters in this interpretation.
11. The divine Peter in his Catholic Epistle says that Christ suffered in the flesh. But he who hears that Christ suffered does not understand God the Word incorporeal, but incarnate. The name of Christ indicates both natures; but the word "flesh" connected with the passion signifies not that both, but that one of the two, suffered. For he that hears that Christ suffered in the flesh thinks of Him as impassible in that He was God, and attributes the passion to the flesh alone. For just as when we hear him saying that God had sworn to David of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh to raise up the Christ, we do not say that God the Word derived His origin from David, but that the flesh which God the Word took was akin to David, so must he who hears that Christ suffered in the flesh, recognise that the passion belongs to the flesh, and confess the impassibility of the Godhead.
12. When on the cross the Lord Christ said, "Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit," this spirit is said by the Arians and the Eunomians to be the Godhead of the only-begotten, for they hold that the body which He took was without a soul, but the heralds of the truth say that the soul was so called and they base their opinion on the following passages. The right wise Evangelist immediately adds "And having said thus He gave up the ghost." So says Luke, and the blessed Mark similarly adds "He gave up the ghost." The divine Matthew writes, "yielded up the Ghosts" and the divine John, "gave up the Ghost." All speak according to the usage of men, for we are accustomed to use all these expressions about those who die; none of them conveys any meaning of Godhead, but they all signify the soul, and if any one were to receive the Arian sense of the passage none the less even thus will it shew the immortality of the divine nature. For Christ commended it to the Father. He did not yield it to death. If then they that deny tim assumption of the soul, and maintain God the Word to be a creature, and assert that He was in the body in place of a soul, deny that He was delivered to death, how can they obtain pardon who while they confess one substance of the Trinity, and leave the sold in its own immortality, impudently dare to say that God the Word of one substance with the Father tasted death?
13. If Christ is both God and man, as the divine Scripture teaches, and the illustrious Fathers persistently preached, then He suffered as man, but as God remained impassible.
14. If they acknowledge the assumption of the flesh, and declare it to be passible before the resurrection, and preach that the nature of the Godhead is impassible, why, leaving the passible nature, do they attribute the passion to the impassible?
15. If our Lord and Saviour nailed the handwriting to the cross, as says the divine Apostle, He then nailed the body, for on his body every man like letters marks the prints of his sins, wherefore on behalf of sinners He gave up the body that was free from all sin.
16. When we say that the body or the flesh or the manhood suffered, we do not separate the divine nature, for as it was united to one hungering, thirsting, aweary, even asleep, and undergoing the passion, itself affected by none of these but permitting the human nature to be affected in its own way, so it was conjoined to it even when crucified, and permitted the completion of the passion, that by the passion it might destroy death; not indeed receiving pain from the passion, but making the passion its own, as of its own temple, and of the flesh united to it, on account of which flesh also the faithful are collect members of Christ, and He Himself is styled the head of them that believed.
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. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.