The Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem,with a revised translation, introduction, notes, and indices,
by Edwin Hamilton Gifford, D.D.
Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London
Published in 1893 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
On the words Incarnate, and Made Man.Isaiah vii. 10-14
"And the Lord spoke again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign, &c.:" and "Behold! a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, &c."
1. Nurslings of purity and disciples of chastity, raise we our hymn to the Virgin-born God  with lips full of purity. Deemed  worthy to partake of the flesh of the Spiritual Lamb  , let us take the head together with the feet  , the Deity being understood as the head, and the Manhood taken as the feet. Hearers of the Holy Gospels, let us listen to John the Divine  . For he who said, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God  , went on to say, and the Word was made flesh  . For neither is it holy to worship the mere man, nor religious to say that He is God only without the Manhood. For if Christ is God, as indeed He is, but took not human nature upon Him, we are strangers to salvation. Let us then worship Him as God, but believe that He also was made Man. For neither is there any profit in calling Him man without Godhead nor any salvation in refusing to confess the Manhood together with the Godhead. Let us confess the presence of Him who is both King and Physician. For Jesus the King when about to become our Physician, girded Himself with the linen of humanity  , and healed that which was sick. The perfect Teacher of babes  became a babe among babes, that He might give wisdom to the foolish. The Bread of heaven came down on earth  that He might feed the hungry.
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3. Let the Jews, then, be led astray, since they so will: but let the Church of God be glorified. For we receive God the Word made Man in truth, not, as heretics say  , of the will of man and woman, but of The Virgin and the Holy Ghost  according to the Gospel, Made Man  , not in seeming but in truth. And that He was truly Man made of the Virgin, wait for the proper time of instruction in this Lecture, and thou shalt receive the proofs  : for the error of the heretics is manifold. And some have said that He has not been born at all of a virgin  : others that He has been born, not of a virgin, but of a wife dwelling with a husband. Others say that the Christ is not God made Man, but a man made God  . For they dared to say that not He--the pre-existent Word--was made Man; but a certain man was by advancement crowned.
4. But remember thou what was said yesterday concerning His Godhead. Believe that He the Only-begotten Son of God--He Himself was again begotten of a Virgin. Believe the Evangelist John when he says, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us  . For the Word is eternal, Begotten of the Father Before All Worlds: but the flesh He took on Him recently for our sake. Many contradict this, and say: "What cause was there so great, for God to come down into humanity? And, is it at all God's nature to hold intercourse with men? And, is it possible for a virgin to bear, without man?" Since then there is much controversy, and the battle has many forms, come, let us by the grace of Christ, and the prayers of those who are present, resolve each question.
5. And first let us inquire for what cause Jesus came down. Now mind not my argumentations, for perhaps thou mayest be misled but unless thou receive testimony of the Prophets on each matter, believe not what I say: unless thou learn from the Holy Scriptures concerning the Virgin, and the place, the time, and the manner, receive not testimony from man  . For one who at present thus teaches may possibly be suspected: but what man of sense will suspect one that prophesied a thousand and more years beforehand? If then thou seekest the cause of Christ's coming, go back to the first book of the Scriptures. In six days God made the world: but the world was for man. The sun however resplendent with bright beams, yet was made to give light to man, yea, and all living creatures were formed to serve us: herbs and trees were created for our enjoyment. All the works of creation were good, but none of these was an image of God, save man only. The sun was formed by a mere command, but man by God's hands: Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness  . A wooden image of an earthly king is held in honour; how much more a rational image of God?
But when this the greatest of the works of creation was disporting himself in Paradise, the envy of the Devil cast him out. The enemy was rejoicing over the fall of him whom he had envied: wouldest thou have had the enemy continue to rejoice? Not daring to accost the man because of his strength, he accosted as being weaker the woman, still a virgin: for it was after the expulsion from Paradise that Adam knew his wife  .
6. Cain and Abel succeeded in the second generation of mankind: and Cain was the first murderer. Afterwards a deluge was poured abroad because of the great wickedness of men: fire came down from heaven upon the people of Sodom because of their transgression. After a time God chose out Israel: but Israel also turned aside, and the chosen race was wounded. For while Moses stood before God in the mount, the people were worshipping a calf instead of God. In the lifetime of Moses, the law-giver who had said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, a man dared to enter a place of harlotry and transgress  . After Moses, Prophets were sent to cure Israel: but in their healing office they lamented that they were not able to overcome the disease, so that one of them says, Woe is me! for the godly man is perished out of the earth, and there is none that doeth right among men  : and again, They are all gone out of the way, they are together became unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one  : and again, Cursing and stealing, and adultery, and murder are poured out upon the land  . Their sons and their daughters they sacrificed unto devils  . They used auguries, and enchantments, and divinations  . And again, they fastened their garments with cords, and made hangings attached to the altar  .
7. Very great was the wound of man's nature; from the feet to the head there was no soundness in it; none could apply mollifying ointment, neither oil, nor bandages  . Then bewailing and wearying themselves, the Prophets said, Who shall give salvation out of Sion  ? And again, Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand, and upon the son of man whom Thou madest strong for Thyself: so will not we go back from Thee  . And another of the Prophets entreated, saying, Bow the heavens, O Lord and come down  . The wounds of man's nature pass our healing. They slew Thy Prophets, and cast down Thine altars  . The evil is irretrievable by us, and needs thee to retrieve it.
8. The Lord heard the prayer of the Prophets. The Father disregarded not the perishing of our race; He sent forth His Son, the Lord from heaven, as healer: and one of the Prophets saith, The Lord whom ye seek, cometh, and shall suddenly come  . Whither? The Lord shall come to His own temple, where ye stoned Him. Then another of the Prophets, on hearing this, saith to him: In speaking of the salvation of God, speakest thou quietly? In preaching the good tidings of God's coming for salvation, speakest thou in secret? O thou that bringest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. Speak to the cities of Judah. What am I to speak? Behold our God! Behold! the Lord cometh with strength  ! Again the Lord Himself saith, Behold! I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall flee unto the Lord  . The Israelites rejected salvation through Me: I come to gather all nations and tongues  . For He came to His own and His own received Him not  . Thou comest and what dost Thou bestow on the nations? I come to gather all nations, and I will leave on them a sign  . For from My conflict upon the Cross I give to each of My soldiers a royal seal to bear upon his forehead. Another also of the Prophets said, He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under His feet  . For His coming down from heaven was not known by men.
9. Afterwards Solomon hearing his father David speak these things, built a wondrous house, and foreseeing Him who was to come into it, said in astonishment, Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth  ? Yea, saith David by anticipation in the Psalm inscribed For Solomon, wherein is this, He shall come down like rain into a fleece  : rain, because of His heavenly nature, and into a fleece, because of His humanity. For rain, coming down into a fleece, comes down noiselessly: so that the Magi, not knowing the mystery of the Nativity, say, Where is He that is born King of the Jews  ? and Herod being troubled inquired concerning Him who was born, and said, Where is the Christ to be born  ?
10. But who is this that cometh down? He says in what follows, And with the sun He endureth, and before the moon generations of generations  . And again another of the Prophets saith, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold! thy King cometh unto thee, just and having salvation  . Kings are many; of which speakest thou, O Prophet? Give us a sign which other Kings have not. If thou say, A king clad in purple, the dignity of the apparel has been anticipated. If thou say, Guarded by spear-men, and sitting in a golden chariot, this also has been anticipated by others. Give us a sign peculiar to the King whose coming thou announcest. And the Prophet maketh answer and saith, Behold! thy King cometh unto thee, just, and having salvation: He is meek, and riding upon an ass and a young foal, not on a chariot. Thou hast a unique sign of the King who came. Jesus alone of kings sat upon an unyoked  foal, entering into Jerusalem with acclamations as a king. And when this King is come, what doth He? Thou also by the blood of the covenant hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water  .
11. But He might perchance even sit upon a foal: give us rather a sign, where the King that entereth shall stand. And give the sign not far from the city, that it may not be unknown to us: and give us the sign plain before our eyes, that even when in the city we may behold the place. And the Prophet again makes answer, saying: And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east  . Does any one standing within the city fail to behold the place?
12. We have two signs, and we desire to learn a third. Tell us what the Lord doth when He is come. Another Prophet saith, Behold! our God, and afterwards, He will come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear: then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be distinct  . But let yet another testimony be told us. Thou sayest, O Prophet, that the Lord cometh, and doeth signs such as never were: what other clear sign tellest thou? The Lord Himself entereth into judgment with the elders of His people, and with the princes thereof  . A notable sign! The Master judged by His servants, the elders, and submitting to it.
13. These things the Jews read, but hear not: for they have stopped the ears of their heart, that they may not hear. But let us believe in Jesus Christ, as having come in the flesh and been made Man, because we could not receive Him otherwise. For since we could not look upon or enjoy Him as He was, He became what we are, that so we might be permitted to enjoy Him. For if we cannot look full on the sun, which was made on the fourth day, could we behold God its Creator  ? The Lord came down in fire on Mount Sinai, and the people could not bear it, but said to Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; and let not God speak to us, lest we die  : and again, For who is there of all flesh that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, and shall live  ? If to hear the voice of God speaking is a cause of death, how shall not the sight of God Himself bring death? And what wonder? Even Moses himself saith, I exceedingly fear and quake  .
14. What wouldest thou then? That He who came for our salvation should become a minister of destruction because men could not bear Him? or that He should suit His grace to our measure? Daniel could not bear the vision of an Angel, and wert thou capable of the sight of the Lord of Angels? Gabriel appeared, and Daniel fell down: and of what nature or in what guise was he that appeared? His countenance was like lightning  ; not like the sun: and his eyes as lamps of fire, not as a furnace of fire: and the voice of his words as the voice of a multitude, not as the voice of twelve legions of angels; nevertheless the Prophet fell down. And the Angel cometh unto him, saying, Fear not, Daniel, stand upright: be of good courage, thy words are heard  . And Daniel says, I stood up trembling  : and not even so did he make answer, until the likeness of a man's hand touched him. And when he that appeared was changed into the appearance of a man, then Daniel spoke: and what saith he? O my Lord, at the vision of Thee my inward parts were turned within me, and no strength remaineth in me, neither is there breath left in me  . If an Angel appearing took away the Prophet's voice and strength, would the appearance of God have allowed him to breathe? And until there touched me as it were a vision of a man  , saith the Scripture, Daniel took not courage. So then after trial shewn of our weakness, the Lord assumed that which man required: for since man required to hear from one of like countenance, the Saviour took on Him the nature of like affections, that men might be the more easily instructed.
15. Learn also another cause. Christ came that He might be baptized, and might sanctify Baptism: He came that He might work wonders, walking upon the waters of the sea. Since then before His appearance in flesh, the sea saw Him and fled, and Jordan was turned back  , the Lord took to Himself His body, that the sea might endure the sight, and Jordan receive Him without fear. This then is one cause; but there is also a second. Through Eve yet virgin came death; through a virgin, or rather from a virgin, must the Life appear: that as the serpent beguiled the one, so to the other Gabriel might bring good tidings  . Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away. The Devil had used the flesh as an instrument against us; and Paul knowing this, saith, But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity  , and the rest. By the very same weapons, therefore, wherewith the Devil used to vanquish us, have we been saved. The Lord took on Him from us our likeness, that He might save man's nature: He took our likeness, that He might give greater grace to that which lacked; that sinful humanity might become partaker of God. For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound  . It behoved the Lord to suffer for us; but if the Devil had known Him, he would not have dared to approach Him. For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory  . His body therefore was made a bait to death that the dragon  , hoping to devour it, might disgorge those also who had been already devoured  . For Death prevailed and devoured; and again, God wiped away every tear from off every face  .
16. Was it without reason that Christ was made Man? Are our teachings ingenious phrases and human subtleties? Are not the Holy Scriptures our salvation? Are not the predictions of the Prophets? Keep then, I pray thee, this deposit  undisturbed, and let none remove thee: believe that God became Man. But though it has been proved possible for Him to be made Man, yet if the Jews still disbelieve, let us hold this forth to them: What strange thing do we announce in saying that God was made Man, when yourselves say that Abraham received the Lord as a guest  ? What strange thing do we announce, when Jacob says, For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved  ? The Lord, who ate with Abraham, ate also with us. What strange thing then do we announce? Nay more, we produce two witnesses, those who stood before Lord on Mount Sinai: Moses was in a clift of the rock  , and Elias was once in a clift of the rock  : they being present with Him at His Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, spoke to the Disciples of His decease which fire should accomplish at Jerusalem  . But, as I said before, it has been proved possible for Him to be made man: and the rest of the proofs may be left for the studious to collect.
17. My statement, however, promised to declare  also the time of the Saviour's and the place: and I must not go away convicted of falsehood, but rather send away the Church's novices  well assured. Let us therefore inquire the time when our Lord came: because His coming is recent, and is disputed: and because Christ Jesus is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever  . Moses then, the prophet, saith, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me  : but let that "like unto me" be reserved awhile to be examined in its proper place  . But when cometh this Prophet that is expected? Recur, he says, to what has been written by me: examine carefully Jacob's prophecy addressed to Judah: Judah, thee may thy brethren praise, and afterwards, not to quote the whole, A prince shall not fail out of Judah, nor a ruler from his loins, until He come, for whom it is reserved; and He is the expectation, not of the Jews but of the Gentiles  . He gave, therefore, as a sign of Christ's advent the cessation of the Jewish rule. If they are not now under the Romans, the Christ is not yet come: if they still have a prince of the race of Judah and of David  , he is not yet come that was expected. For I am ashamed to tell of their recent doings concerning those who are now called Patriarchs  among them, and what their descent is, and who their mother: but I leave it to those who know. But He that cometh as the expectation of the Gentiles, what further sign then hath He? He says next, Binding his foal unto the vine  . Thou seest that foal which was clearly announced by Zachariah  .
18. But again thou askest yet another testimony of the time. The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee: and a few words further on, Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron  . I have said before that the kingdom of the Romans is clearly called a rod of iron; but what is wanting concerning this let us further call to mind out of Daniel. For in relating and interpreting to Nebuchadnezzar the image of the statue, he tells also his whole vision concerning it: and that a stone cut out of a mountain without hands, that is, not set up by human contrivance, should overpower the whole world: and he speaks most clearly thus; And in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and His kingdom shall not be left to another people  .
19. But we seek still more clearly the proof of the time of His coming. For man being hard to persuade, unless he gets the very years for a clear calculation, does not believe what is stated. What then is the season, and what the manner of the time? It is when, on the failure of the kings descended from Judah, Herod a foreigner succeeds to the kingdom? The Angel, therefore, who converses with Daniel says, and do thou now mark the words, And thou shalt know and understand: From the going forth of the word for making answer  , and for the building of Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince are seven weeks and three score and two weeks  . Now three score and nine weeks of years contain four hundred and eighty-three years. He said, therefore, that after the building of Jerusalem, four hundred and eighty-three years having passed, and the rulers having failed, then cometh a certain king of another race, in whose time the Christ is to be born. Now Darius the Mede  built the city in the sixth year of his own reign, and first year of the 66th Olympiad according to the Greeks. Olympiad is the name among the Greeks of the games celebrated after four years, because of the day which in every four years of the sun's courses is made up of the three  (supernumerary) hours in each year. And Herod is king in the 186th Olympiad, in the 4th year thereof. Now from the 66th to the 186th Olympiad there are 120 Olympiads intervening, and a little over. So then the 120 Olympiads make up 480 years: for the other three years remaining are perhaps taken up in the interval between the first and fourth years. And there thou hast the proof according to the Scripture which saith, From the going forth of the word that Jerusalem be restored and built until Messiah the Prince are seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. Of the times, therefore, thou hast for the present this proof, although there are also other different interpretations concerning the aforesaid weeks of years in Daniel.
20. But now hear the place of the promise, as Micah says, And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephrathah, art thou little to be among the thousands of Judah? For out of thee shall come forth unto Me a ruler, to be governor in Israel: and His goings forth are front the beginning, from the days of eternity  . But assuredly as to the places, thou being an inhabitant of Jerusalem, knowest also beforehand what is written in the hundred and thirty-first psalm. Lo! we heard of it at Ephrathah, we found it in the plains of the wood  . For a few years ago the place was woody  . Again thou hast heard Habakkuk say to the Lord, When the years draw nigh, thou shalt be made known, when the time is come, thou shalt be shewn  . And what is the sign, O Prophet, of the Lord's coming? And presently he saith, In the midst of two lives shalt thou be known  , plainly saying this to the Lord, "Having come in the flesh thou livest and diest, and after rising from the dead thou livest again." Further, from what part of the region round Jerusalem cometh He? From east, or west, or north, or south? Tell us exactly. And he makes answer most plainly and says, God shall come from Teman  (now Teman is by interpretation `south') and the Holy One from Mount Paran  , shady, woody: what the Psalmist spake in like words, We found it in the plains of the wood.
21. We ask further, of whom cometh He and how? And this Esaias tells us: Behold! the virgin shall conceive in her womb, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel  . This the Jews contradict, for of old it is their wont wickedly to oppose the truth: and they say that it is not written "the virgin," but "the damsel." But though I assent to what they say, even so I find the truth. For we must ask them, If a virgin be forced, when does she cry out and call for helpers, after or before the outrage? If, therefore, the Scripture elsewhere says, The betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her  , doth it not speak of a virgin?
But that you may learn more plainly that even a virgin is called in Holy Scripture a "damsel," hear the Book of the Kings, speaking of Abishag the Shunamite, And the damsel was very fair  : for that as a virgin she was chosen and brought to David is admitted.
22. But the Jews say again, This was said to Ahaz in reference to Hezekiah. Well, then, let us read the Scripture: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, in the depth or in the height  . And the sign certainly must be something astonishing. For the water from the rock was a sign, the sea divided, the sun turning back, and the like. But in what I am going to mention there is still more manifest refutation of the Jews. (I know that I am speaking at much length, and that my hearers are wearied: but bear with the fulness of my statements, because it is for Christ's sake these questions are moved, and they concern no ordinary matters.) Now as Isaiah spoke this in the reign of Ahaz, and Ahaz reigned only sixteen years, and the prophecy was spoken to him within these years, the objection of the Jews is refuted by the fact that the succeeding king, Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, was twenty-five years old when he began to reign: for as the prophecy is confined within sixteen years, he must have been begotten of Ahaz full nine years before the prophecy. What need then was there to utter the prophecy concerning one who had been already begotten even before the reign of father Ahaz  ? For he said not, hath conceived, but "the virgin shall conceive," speaking as with foreknowledge  .
23. We know then for certain that the Lord was to be born of a Virgin, but we have to shew of what family the Virgin was. The Lord sware in truth unto David, and will not set it aside. Of the fruit of body will I set upon thy throne  : and again, seed will I establish for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven  . And afterwards, Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me, and as the moon established for ever  . Thou seest that the discourse is of Christ, not of Solomon. For Solomon's throne endured not as the sun. But if any deny this, because Christ sat not on David's throne of wood, we will bring forward that saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat  : for it signifies not his wooden seat, but the authority of his teaching. In like manner then I would have you seek for David's throne not the throne of wood, but the kingdom itself. Take, too, as my witnesses the children who cried aloud,Hosanna to the Son of David  , blessed is the King of Israel  . And the blind men also say, Son of David, have mercy on us  . Gabriel too testifies plainly to Mary, saying, And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David  . Paul also saith, Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my Gospel  : and in the beginning of the Epistle to the Romans he saith, Which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh  . Receive thou therefore Him that was born of David, believing the prophecy which saith, And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and He that shall rise to rule over the Gentiles: in Him shall the Gentiles trust  .
24. But the Jews are much troubled at these things. This also Isaiah foreknew, saying, And they shall wish that they had been burnt with fire: for unto us a child is born (not unto them), unto us a Son is given  . Mark thou that at first He was the Son of God, then was given to us. And a little after he says, And of His peace there is no bound  . The Romans have bounds: of the kingdom of the Son of God there is no bound. The Persians and the Medes have bounds, but the Son has no bound. Then next, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it. The Holy Virgin, therefore, is from David.
25. For it became Him who is most pure, and a teacher of purity, to have come forth from a pure bride-chamber. For if he who well fulfils the office of a priest of Jesus abstains from a wife, how should Jesus Himself be born of man and woman? For thou, saith He in the Psalms, art He that took Me out of the womb  . Mark that carefully, He that took Me out of the womb, signifying that He was begotten without man, being taken from a virgin's womb and flesh. For the manner is different with those who are begotten according to the course of marriage.
26. And from such members He is not ashamed to assume flesh, who is the framer of those very members. But then who telleth us this? The Lord saith unto Jeremiah: Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee  . If, then, in fashioning man He was not ashamed of the contact, was He ashamed in fashioning for His own sake the holy Flesh, the veil of His Godhead? It is God who even now creates the children in the womb, as it is written in Job, Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast knit me together with bones and sinews  . There is nothing polluted in the human frame except a man defile this with fornication and adultery. He who formed Adam formed Eve also, and male and female were formed by God's hands. None of the members of the body as formed from the beginning is polluted. Let the mouths of all heretics be stopped who slander their bodies, or rather Him who formed them. But let us remember Paul's saying, Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost which is in you  ? And again the Prophet hath spoken before in the person of Jesus, My flesh is from them  : and in another place it is written, Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she bringeth forth  . And what is the sign? He tells us in what follows, She shall bring forth, and the remnant of their brethren shall return. And what are the nuptial pledges of the Virgin, the holy bride? And I will betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness  . And Elizabeth, talking with Mary, speaks in like manner: And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord  .
27. But both Greeks and Jews harass us and say that it was impossible for the Christ to be born of a virgin. As for the Greeks we will stop their mouths from their own fables. For ye who say that stones being thrown were changed into men  , how say ye that it is impossible for a virgin to bring forth? Ye who fable that a daughter was born from the brain  , how say ye that it is impossible for a son to have been born from a virgin's womb? Ye who falsely say that Dionysus was born from the thigh of your Zeus  , how set ye at nought our truth? I know that I am speaking of things unworthy of the present audience: but in order that thou in due season mayest rebuke the Greeks, we have brought these things forward answering them from their own fables.
28. But those of the circumcision meet thou with this question: Whether is harder, for an aged woman, barren and past age, to bear, or for a virgin in the prime of youth to conceive? Sarah was barren, and though it had ceased to be with her after the manner of women, yet, contrary to nature, she bore a child. If, then, it is against nature for a barren woman to conceive, and also for a virgin, either, therefore, reject both, or accept both. For it is the same God  who both wrought the one and appointed the other. For thou wilt not dare to say that it was possible for God in that former case, and impossible in this latter. And again: how is it natural for a man's hand to be changed in a single hour into a different appearance and restored again? How then was the hand of Moses made white as snow, and at once restored again? But thou sayest that God's will made the change. In that case God's will has the power, and has it then no power in this case? That moreover was a sign concerning the Egyptians only, but this was a sign given to the whole world. But whether is the more difficult, O ye Jews? For a virgin to bear, or for a rod to be quickened into a living creature? Ye confess that in the case of Moses a perfectly straight rod became like a serpent, and was terrible to him who cast it down, and he who before held the rod fast, fled from it as from a serpent; for a serpent in truth it was: but he fled not because he feared that which he held, but because he dreaded Him that had changed it. A rod had teeth and eyes like a serpent: do then seeing eyes grow out of a rod, and cannot a child be born of a virgin's womb, if God wills? For I say nothing of the fact that Aaron's rod also produced in a single night what other trees produce in several years. For who knows not that a rod, after losing its bark, will never sprout, not even if it be planted in the midst of rivers? But since God is not dependent on the nature of trees, but is the Creator of their natures, the unfruitful, and dry, and barkless rod budded, and blossomed, and bare almonds. He, then, who for the sake of the typical high-priest gave fruit supernaturally to the rod, would He not for the sake of the true High-Priest grant to the Virgin to bear a child?
29. These are excellent suggestions of the narratives: but the Jews still contradict, and do not yield to the statements concerning the rod, unless they may be persuaded by similar strange and supernatural births. Question them, therefore, in this way: of whom in the beginning was Eve begotten? What mother conceived her the motherless? But the Scripture saith that she was born out of Adam's side. Is Eve then born out of a man's side without a mother, and is a child not to be born without a father, of a virgin's womb? This debt of gratitude was due to men from womankind: for Eve was begotten of Adam, and not conceived of a mother, but as it were brought forth of man alone. Mary, therefore, paid the debt, of gratitude, when not by man but of herself alone in an immaculate way she conceived of the Holy Ghost by the power of God.
30. But let us take what is yet a greater wonder than this. For that of bodies bodies should be conceived, even if wonderful, is nevertheless possible: but that the dust of the earth should become a man, this is more wonderful. That clay moulded together should assume the coats and splendours of the eyes, this is more wonderful. That out of dust of uniform appearance should be produced both the firmness of bones, and the softness of lungs, and other different kinds of members, this is wonderful. That clay should be animated and travel round the world self moved, and should build houses, this is wonderful. That clay should teach, and talk, and act as carpenter, and as king, this is wonderful. Whence, then, O ye most ignorant Jews, was Adam made? Did not God take dust from the earth, and fashion this wonderful frame? Is then clay changed into an eye, and cannot a virgin bear a son. Does that which for men is more impossible take place, and is that which is possible never to occur?
31. Let us remember these things, brethren: let us use these weapons in our defence. Let us not endure those heretics who teach Christ's coming as a phantom. Let us abhor those also who say that the Saviour's birth was of husband and wife; who have dared to say that He was the child of Joseph and Mary, because it is written, And he took unto him his wife  . For let us remember Jacob who before he received Rachel, said to Laban, Give me my wife  . For as she before the wedded state, merely because there was a promise, was called the wife of Jacob, so also Mary, because she had been betrothed, was called the wife of Joseph. Mark also the accuracy of the Gospel, saying, And in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph  , and so forth. And again when the census took place, and Joseph went up to enrol himself, what saith the Scripture? And Joseph also went up from Galilee, to enrol himself with Mary who was espoused to him, being great with child  . For though she was with child, yet it said not "with his wife," but with her who was espoused to him. For God sent forth His Son, says Paul, not made of a man and a woman, but made of a woman  only, that is of a virgin. For that the virgin also is called a woman, we shewed before  . For He who makes souls virgin, was born of a Virgin.
32. But thou wonderest at the event: even she herself who bare him wondered at this. For she saith to Gabriel, How shall this be to me, since I know not a man? But he says, The Holy Ghost shall came upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is to be born shall be called the Son of God  . Immaculate and undefiled was His generation: for where the Holy Spirit breathes, there all pollution is taken away: undefiled from the Virgin was the incarnate generation of the Only-begotten. And if the heretics gainsay the truth, the Holy Ghost shall convict them: that overshadowing power of the Highest shall wax wroth: Gabriel shall stand face to face against them in the day of judgment: the place of the manger, which received the Lord, shall put them to shame. The shepherds, who then received the good tidings, shall bear witness; and the host of the Angels who sang praises and hymns, and said, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of His good pleasure  : the Temple into which He was then carried up on the fortieth day: the pairs of turtle-doves, which were offered on His behalf  : and Symeon who then took Him up in his arms, and Anna the prophetess who was present.
33. Since God then beareth witness, and the Holy Ghost joins in the witness, and Christ says, Why do ye seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth  ? let the heretics be silenced who speak against His humanity, for they speak against Him, who saith, Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have  . Adored be the Lord the Virgin-born, and let Virgins acknowledge the crown of their own state: let the order also of Solitaries acknowledge the glory of chastity for we men are not deprived of the dignity of chastity. In the Virgin's womb the Saviour's period of nine months was passed: but the Lord was for thirty and three years a man: so that if a virgin glories  because of the nine months, much more we because of the many years.
34. But let us all by God's grace run the race of chastity, young men and maidens, old men and children  ; not going after wantonness, but praising the name of Christ. Let us not be ignorant of the glory of chastity: for its crown is angelic, and its excellence above man. Let us be chary of our bodies which are to shine as the sun: let us not for short pleasure defile so great, so noble a body: for short and momentary is the sin, but the shame for many years and for ever. Angels walking upon earth are they who practise chastity: the Virgins have their portion with Mary the Virgin. Let all vain ornament be banished, and every hurtful glance, and all wanton gait, and every flowing robe, and perfume enticing to pleasure. But in all for perfume let there be the prayer of sweet odour, and the practice  of good works, and the sanctification of our bodies: that the Virgin-born Lord may say even of us, both men who live in chastity and women who wear the crown, I will dwell in them; and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people  . To whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?...He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, &c.
1. Every deed of Christ is a cause of glorying to the Catholic Church, but her greatest of all glorying is in the Cross; and knowing this, Paul says, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Christ  . For wondrous indeed it was, that one who was blind from his birth should receive sight in Siloam  ; but what is this compared with the blind of the whole world? A great thing it was, and passing nature, for Lazarus to rise again on the fourth day; but the grace extended to him alone, and what was it compared with the dead in sins throughout the world? Marvellous it was, that five loaves should pour forth food for the five thousand; but what is that to those who are famishing in ignorance through all the world? It was marvellous that she should have been loosed who had been bound by Satan eighteen years: yet what is this to all of us, who were fast bound in the chains of our sins? But the glory of the Cross led those who were blind through ignorance into light, loosed all who were held fast by sin, and ransomed the whole world of mankind.
2. And wonder not that the whole world was ransomed; for it was no mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God, who died on its behalf. Moreover one man's sin, even Adam's, had power to bring death to the world; but if by the trespass of the one death reigned over the world, how shall not life much rather reign by the righteousness of the One  ? And if because of the tree of food they were then cast out of paradise, shall not believers now more easily enter into paradise because of the Tree of Jesus? If the first man formed out of the earth brought in universal death, shall not He who formed him out of the earth bring in eternal life, being Himself the Life? If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom  , put away the wrath which is against mankind?
3. Let us then not be ashamed of the Cross of our Saviour, but rather glory in it. For the word of the Cross is unto Jews a stumbling-block, and unto Gentiles foolishness, but to us salvation: and to them that are perishing it is foolishness, but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God  . For it was not a mere man who died for us, as I said before, but the Son of God, God made man. Further; if the lamb under Moses drove the destroyer  far away, did not much rather the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world  , deliver us from our sins? The blood of a silly sheep gave salvation; and shall not the Blood of the Only-begotten much rather save? If any disbelieve the power of the Crucified, let him ask the devils; if any believe not words, let him believe what he sees. Many have been crucified throughout the world, but by none of these are the devils scared; but when they see even the Sign of the Cross of Christ, who was crucified for us, they shudder  . For those men died for their own sins, but Christ for the sins of others; for He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth  . It is not Peter who says this, for then we might suspect that he was partial to his Teacher; but it is Esaias who says it, who was not indeed present with Him in the flesh, but in the Spirit foresaw His coming in the flesh. Yet why now bring the Prophet only as a witness? take for a witness Pilate himself, who gave sentence upon Him, saying, I find no fault in this Man  : and when he gave Him up, and had washed his hands, he said, I am innocent of the blood of this just person  . There is yet another witness of the sinlessness of Jesus,--the robber, the first man admitted into Paradise; who rebuked his fellow, and said, "We receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss  ; for we were present, both thou and I, at His judgment."
4. Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion  , otherwise our redemption is an illusion also. His death was not a mere show  , for then is our salvation also fabulous. If His death was but a show, they were true who said, We remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I rise again  . His Passion then was real: for He was really crucified, and we are not ashamed thereat; He was crucified, and we deny it not, nay, I rather glory to speak of it. For though I should now deny it, here is Golgotha to confute me, near which we are now assembled; the wood of the Cross confutes me, which was afterwards distributed piecemeal from hence to all the world  . I confess the Cross, because I know of the Resurrection; for if, after being crucified, He had remained as He was, I had not perchance confessed it, for I might have concealed both it and my Master; but now that the Resurrection has followed the Cross, I am not ashamed to declare it.
5. Being then in the flesh like others, He was crucified, but not for the like sins. For He was not led to death for covetousness, since He was a Teacher of poverty; nor was He condemned for concupiscence, for He Himself says plainly, Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already  ; not for smiting or striking hastily, for He turned the other cheek also to the smiter; not for despising the Law, for He was the fulfiller of the Law; not for reviling a prophet, for it was Himself who was proclaimed by the Prophets; not for defrauding any of their hire, for He ministered without reward and freely; not for sinning in words, or deeds, or thoughts, He who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not  ; who came to His passion, not unwillingly, but willing; yea, if any dissuading Him say even now, Be it far from Thee, Lord, He will say again, Get thee behind Me, Satan  .
6. And wouldest thou be persuaded that He came to His passion willingly? others, who foreknow it not, die unwillingly; but He spoke before of His passion: Behold, the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified  . But knowest thou wherefore this Friend of man shunned not death? It was lest the whole world should perish in its sins. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed, and shall be crucified  ; and again, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem  . And wouldest thou know certainly, that the Cross is a glory to Jesus? Hear His own words, not mine. Judas had become ungrateful to the Master of the house, and was about to betray Him. Having but just now gone forth from the table, and drunk His cup of blessing, in return for that drought of salvation he sought to shed righteous blood. He who did eat of His bread, was lifting up his heel against Him  ; his hands were but lately receiving the blessed gifts  , and presently for the wages of betrayal he was plotting His death. And being reproved, and having heard that word, Thou hast said  , he again went out: then said Jesus, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified  . Seest thou how He knew the Cross to be His proper glory? What then, is Esaias not ashamed of being sawn asunder  , and shall Christ be ashamed of dying for the world? Now is the Son of man glorified  . Not that He was without glory before: for He was glorified with the glory which was before the foundation of the world  . He was ever glorified as God; but now He was to be glorified in wearing the Crown of His patience. He gave not up His life by compulsion, nor was He put to death by murderous violence, but of His own accord. Hear what He says: I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again  : I yield it of My own choice to My enemies; for unless I chose, this could not be. He came therefore of His own set purpose to His passion, rejoicing in His noble deed, smiling at the crown, cheered by the salvation of mankind; not ashamed of the Cross, for it was to save the world. For it was no common man who suffered, but God in man's nature, striving for the prize of His patience.
7. But the Jews contradict this  , ever ready, as they are, to cavil, and backward to believe; so that for this cause the Prophet just now read says, Lord, who hath believed our report  ? Persians believe  , and Hebrews believe not; they shall see, to whom He was not spoken of, and they that have not heard shall understand  , while they who study these things shall set at nought what they study. They speak against us, and say, "Does the Lord then suffer? What? Had men's hands power over His sovereignty?" Read the Lamentations; for in those Lamentations, Jeremias, lamenting you, wrote what is worthy of lamentations. He saw your destruction, he beheld your downfall, he bewailed Jerusalem which then was; for that which now is  shall not be bewailed; for that Jerusalem crucified the Christ, but that which now is worships Him. Lamenting then he says, The breath of our countenance, Christ the Lord was taken in our corruptions  . Am I then stating views of my own? Behold he testifies of the Lord Christ seized by men. And what is to follow from this? Tell me, O Prophet. He says, Of whom we said, Under His shadow we shall live among the nations  . For he signifies that the grace of life is no longer to dwell in Israel, but among the Gentiles.
8. But since there has been much gainsaying by them, come, let me, with the help of your prayers, (as the shortness of the time may allow,) set forth by the grace of the Lord some few testimonies concerning the Passion. For the things concerning Christ are all put into writing, and nothing is doubtful, for nothing is without a text. All are inscribed on the monuments of the Prophets; clearly written, not on tablets of stone, but by the Holy Ghost. Since then thou hast heard the Gospel speaking concerning Judas, oughtest thou not to receive the testimony to it? Thou hast heard that He was pierced in the side by a spear; oughtest thou not to see whether this also is written? Thou hast heard that He was crucified in a garden; oughtest thou not to see whether this also is written? Thou hast heard that He was sold for thirty pieces of silver; oughtest thou not to learn what prophet spake this? Thou hast heard that He was given vinegar to drink; learn where this also is written. Thou hast heard that His body was laid in a rock, and that a stone was set over it; oughtest thou not to receive this testimony also from the prophet? Thou hast heard that He was crucified with robbers; oughtest thou not to see whether this also is written? Thou hast heard that He was buried; oughtest thou not to see whether the circumstances of His burial are anywhere accurately written? Thou hast heard that He rose again; oughtest thou not to see whether we mock thee in teaching these things? For our speech and our preaching is not in persuasive words of man's wisdom  . We stir now no sophistical contrivances; for these become exposed; we do not conquer words with words  , for these come to an end; but we preach Christ Crucified  , who has already been preached aforetime by the Prophets. But do thou, I pray, receive the testimonies, and seal them in thine heart. And, since they are many, and the rest of our time is narrowed into a short space, listen now to a few of the more important as time permits; and having received these beginnings, be diligent and seek out the remainder. Let not thine hand be only stretched out to receive, but let it be also ready to work  . God gives all things freely. For if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth  , and he shall receive. May He through your prayer grant utterance to us who speak, and faith to you who hear.
9. Let us then seek the testimonies to the Passion of Christ: for we are met together, not now to make a speculative exposition of the Scriptures, but rather to be certified of the things which we already believe. Now thou hast received from me first the testimonies concerning the coming of Jesus; and concerning His walking on the sea, for it is written, Thy way is in the sea  . Also concerning divers cures thou hast on another occasion received testimony. Now therefore I begin from whence the Passion began. Judas was the traitor, and he came against Him, and stood, speaking words of peace, but plotting war. Concerning him, therefore, the Psalmist says, My friends and My neighbours drew near against Me, and stood  . And again, Their words were softer than oil, yet be they spears  . Hail, Master  ; yet he was betraying his Master to death; he was not abashed at His warning, when He said, Judas, betrayest than the Son of Man with a kiss  ? for what He said to him was just this, Recollect thine own name; Judas means confession  ; thou hast covenanted, thou hast received the money, make confession quickly. O God, pass not over My praise in silence; for the mouth of the wicked, and the mouth of the deceitful, are opened against Me; they have spoken against Me with a treacherous tongue, they have compassed Me about also with words of hatred  . But that some of the chief-priests also were present, and that He was put in bonds before the gates of the city, thou hast heard before, if thou rememberest the exposition of the Psalm, which has told the time and the place; how they returned at evening, and hungered like dogs, and encompassed the city  .
10. Listen also for the thirty pieces of silver. And I will say to them, If it be good in your sight, give me my price, or refuse  , and the rest. One price is owing to Me from you for My healing the blind and lame, and I receive another; for thanksgiving, dishonour, and for worship, insult. Seest thou how the Scripture foresaw these things? And they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver  . How exact the prophecy! how great and unerring the wisdom of the Holy Ghost! For he said, not ten, nor twenty, but thirty, exactly as many as there were. Tell also what becomes of this price, O Prophet! Does he who received it keep it? or does he give it back? and after he has given it back, what becomes of it? The Prophet says then, And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them into the house of the Lord, into the foundry  . Compare the Gospel with the Prophecy: Judas, it says, repented himself, and cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed  .
11. But now I have to seek the exact solution of this seeming discrepancy. For they who make light of the prophets, allege that the Prophet says on the one hand, And I cast them into the house of the Lord, into the foundry, but the Gospel on the other hand, And they gave them for the potter's field  . Hear then how they are both true. For those conscientious Jews forsooth, the high-priests of that time, when they saw that Judas repented and said, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent blood, reply, What is that to us, see thou to that  . Is it then nothing to you, the crucifiers? but shall he who received and restored the price of murder see to it, and shall ye the murderers not see to it? Then they say among themselves, It is not lawful to cast them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood  . Out of your own mouths is your condemnation; if the price is polluted, the deed is polluted also: but if thou art fulfilling righteousness in crucifying Christ, why receivest thou not the price of it? But the point of iniquity is this: how is there no disagreement, if the Gospel says, the potter's field, and the Prophet, the foundry? Nay, but not only people who are goldsmiths, or brass-founders, have a foundry, but potters also have foundries for their clay. For they sift off the fine and rich and useful earth from the gravel, and separate from it the mass of the refuse matter, and temper the clay first with water, that they may work it with ease into the forms intended. Why then wonderest thou that the Gospel says plainly the potter's field, whereas the Prophet spoke his prophecy like an enigma, since prophecy is in many places enigmatical?
12. They bound Jesus, and brought Him into the hall of the High-priest. And wouldest thou learn and know that this also is written? Esaias says, Woe unto their soul, for they have taken evil counsel against themselves, saying, Let us bind the Just, for He is troublesome to us  . And truly, Woe unto their soul! Let us see how Esaias was sawn asunder, yet after this the people was restored. Jeremias was cast into the mire of the cistern, yet was the wound of the Jews healed; for the sin was less, since it was against man. But when the Jews sinned, not against man, but against God in man's nature, Woe unto their soul!--Let us bind the Just; could He not then set Himself free, some one will say; He, who freed Lazarus from the bonds of death on the fourth day, and loosed Peter from the iron bands of a prison? Angels stood ready at hand, saying, Let us burst their bands in sunder  ; but they hold back, because their Lord willed to undergo it. Again, He was led to the judgment-seat before the Elders; thou hast already the testimony to this, The Lord Himself will come into judgment with the ancients of His people, and with the princes thereof  .
13. But the High-priest having questioned Him, and heard the truth, is wroth; and the wicked officer of wicked men smites Him; and the countenance, which had shone as the sun, endured to be smitten by lawless hands. Others also come and spit on the face of Him, who by spittle had healed the man who was blind from his birth. Do ye thus requite the Lord? This people is foolish and unwise  . And the Prophet greatly wondering, says, Lord, who hath believed our report  ? for the thing is incredible, that God, the Son of God, and the Arm of the Lord  , should suffer such things. But that they who are being saved may not disbelieve, the Holy Ghost writes before, in the person of Christ, who says, (for He who then spake these things, was afterward Himself an actor in them,) I gave My back to the scourges; (for Pilate, when he had scourged Him, delivered Him to be crucified  ;) and My cheeks to smitings; and My face I turned not away from the shame of spittings; saying, as it were, "Though knowing before that they will smite Me, I did not even turn My cheek aside; for how should I have nerved My disciples against death for truth's sake, had I Myself dreaded this?" I said. He that loveth his life shall lose it  : if I had loved My life, how was I to teach without practising what I taught? First then, being Himself God, He endured to suffer these things at the hands of men; that after this, we men, when we suffer such things at the hands of men for His sake, might not be ashamed. Thou seest that of these things also the prophets have clearly written beforehand. Many, however, of the Scripture testimonies I pass by for want of time, as I said before; for if one should exactly search out all, not one of the things concerning Christ would be left without witness.
14. Having been bound, He came from Caiaphas to Pilate,--is this too written? yes; And having bound Him, they led Him away as a present to the king of Jarim  . But here some sharp hearer will object, "Pilate was not a king," (to leave for a while the main parts of the question,) "how then having bound Him, led they Him as a present to the king?" But read thou the Gospel; When Pilate heard that He was of Galilee, he sent Him to Herod  ; for Herod was then king, and was present at Jerusalem. And now observe the exactness of the Prophet; for he says, that He was sent as a present; for the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together, for before they were at enmity  . For it became Him who was on the eve of making peace between earth and heaven, to make the very men who condemned Him the first to be at peace; for the Lord Himself was there present, who reconciles  the hearts of the princes of the earth. Mark the exactness of the Prophets, and their true testimony.
15. Look with awe then at the Lord who was judged. He suffered Himself to be led and carried by soldiers. Pilate sat in judgment, and He who sitteth on the right hand of the Father, stood and was judged  . The people whom He had redeemed from the land of Egypt, and oftimes from other places, shouted against Him, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him  . Wherefore, O ye Jews? because He healed your blind? or because He made your lame to walk, and bestowed His other benefits? So that the Prophet in amazement speaks of this too, Against whom have ye opened your mouth, and against whom have ye let loose your tongue  ? and the Lord Himself says in the Prophets, Mine heritage became unto Me as a lion in the forest; it gave its voice against Me; therefore have I hated it  . I have not refused them, but they have refused Me; in consequence thereof I say, I have forsaken My house  .
16. When He was judged, He held His peace; so that Pilate was moved for Him, and said, Hearest Thou not what these witness against Thee  ? Not that He knew Him who was judged, but he feared his own wife's dream which had been reported to him. And Jesus held His peace. The Psalmist says, And I became as a man that heareth not; and in whose mouth are no reproofs  ; and again, But I was as a deaf man and heard not; and as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth  . Thou hast before heard concerning this  , if thou rememberest.
17. But the soldiers who crowd around mock Him, and their Lord becomes a sport to them, and upon their Master they make jests. When they looked on Me, they shaked their heads  . Yet the figure of kingly state appears; for though in mockery, yet they bend the knee. And the soldiers before they crucify Him, put on Him a purple robe, and set a crown on His head; for what though it be of thorns? Every king is proclaimed by soldiers; and Jesus also must in a figure be crowned by soldiers; so that for this cause the Scripture says in the Canticles, Go forth, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, and look upon King Solomon in the crown wherewith His mother crowned Him  . And the crown itself was a mystery; for it was a remission of sins, a release from the curse.
18. Adam received the sentence, Cursed is the ground in thy labours; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee  . For this cause Jesus assumes the thorns, that He may cancel the sentence; for this cause also was He buried in the earth, that the earth which had been cursed might receive the blessing instead of a curse. At the time of the sin, they clothed themselves with fig-leaves; for this cause Jesus also made the fig-tree the last of His signs. For when about to go to His passion, He curses the fig-tree, not every fig-tree, but that one alone, for the sake of the figure; saying, No more let any man eat fruit of thee  ; let the doom be cancelled. And because they aforetime clothed themselves with fig-leaves, He came at a season when food was not wont to be found on the fig-tree. Who knows not that in winter-time the fig-tree bears no fruit, but is clothed with leaves only? Was Jesus ignorant of this, which all knew? No, but though He knew, yet He came as if seeking; not ignorant that He should not find, but shewing that the emblematical curse extended to the leaves only.
19. And since we have touched on things connected with Paradise, I am truly astonished at the truth of the types. In Paradise was the Fall, and in a Garden was our Salvation. From the Tree came sin, and until the Tree sin lasted. In the evening, when the Lord walked in the Garden, they hid themselves  ; and in the evening the robber is brought by the Lord into Paradise. But some one will say to me, "Thou art inventing subtleties; shew me from some prophet the Wood of the Cross; except thou give me a testimony from a prophet, I will not be persuaded. Hear then from Jeremias, and assure thyself; I was like a harmless lamb led to be slaughtered; did I not know it  ? (for in this manner read it as a question, as I have read it; for He who said, Ye know that after two days comes the passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified  , did He not know?) I was like a harmless lamb led to be slaughtered; did I not know it? (but what sort of lamb? let John the Baptist interpret it, when he says, Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world  .) They devised against Me a wicked device, saying  --(He who knows the devices, knew He not the result of them? And what said they?)--Come, and let us place a beam upon His bread  --(and if the Lord reckon thee worthy, thou shalt hereafter learn, that His body according to the Gospel bore the figure of bread;)--Come then, and let us place a beam upon His bread, and cut Him off out of the land of the living;--(life is not cut off, why labour ye for nought?)--And His name shall be remembered no more. Vain is your counsel; for before the sun His Name  abideth in the Church. And that it was Life, which hung on the Cross, Moses says, weeping, And thy life shall be hanging before thine eyes; and thou shalt be afraid day and night, and thou shalt not trust thy life  . And so too, what was just now read as the text, Lord, who hath believed our report?
20. This was the figure which Moses completed by fixing the serpent to a cross, that whoso had been bitten by the living serpent, and looked to the brasen serpent, might be saved by believing  . Does then the brazen serpent save when crucified, and shall not the Son of God incarnate save when crucified also? On each occasion life comes by means of wood. For in the time of Noe the preservation of life was by an ark of wood. In the time of Moses the sea, on beholding the emblematical rod, was abashed at him who smote it; is then Moses' rod mighty, and is the Cross of the Saviour powerless? But I pass by the greater part of the types, to keep within measure. The wood in Moses' case sweetened the water; and from the side of Jesus the water flowed upon the wood.
21. The beginning of signs under Moses was blood and water; and the last of all Jesus' signs was the same. First, Moses changed the river into blood; and Jesus at the last gave forth from His side water with blood. This was perhaps on account of the two speeches, his who judged Him, and theirs who cried out against Him; or because of the believers and the unbelievers. For Pilate said, I am innocent and washed his hands in water; they who cried out against Him said, His blood be upon us  : there came therefore these two out of His side; the water, perhaps, for him who judged Him; but for them that shouted against Him the blood. And again it is to be understood in another way; the blood for the Jews, and the water for the Christians: for upon them as plotters came the condemnation from the blood; but to thee who now believest, the salvation which is by water. For nothing has been done without a meaning. Our fathers who have written comments have given another reason of this matter. For since in the Gospels the power of salutary Baptism is twofold, one which is granted by means of water to the illuminated, and a second to holy martyrs, in persecutions, through their own blood, there came out of that saving Side blood and water  , to confirm the grace of the confession made for Christ, whether in baptism, or on occasions of martyrdom. There is another reason also for mentioning the Side. The woman, who was formed from the side, led the way to sin; but Jesus who came to bestow the grace of pardon on men and women alike, was pierced in the side for women, that He might undo the sin.
22. And whoever will inquire, will find other reasons also; but what has been said is enough, because of the shortness of the time, and that the attention of my hearers may not become sated. And yet we never can be tired of hearing concerning the crowning of our Lord, and least of all in this most holy Golgotha. For others only hear, but we both see and handle. Let none be weary; take thine armour against the adversaries in the cause of the Cross itself; set up the faith of the Cross as a trophy against the gainsayers. For when thou art going to dispute with unbelievers concerning the Cross of Christ, first make with thy hand the sign of Christ's Cross, and the gainsayer will be silenced. Be not ashamed to confess the Cross; for Angels glory in it, saying, We know whom ye seek, Jesus the Crucified  . Mightest thou not say, O Angel, "I know whom ye seek, my Master?" But, "I," he says with boldness, "I know the Crucified." For the Cross is a Crown, not a dishonour.
23. Now let us recur to the proof out of the Prophets which I spoke of. The Lord was crucified; thou hast received the testimonies. Thou seest this spot of Golgotha! Thou answerest with a shout of praise, as if assenting. See that thou recant not in time of persecution. Rejoice not in the Cross in time of peace only, but hold fast the same faith in time of persecution also; be not in time of peace a friend of Jesus, and His foe in time of wars. Thou receivest now remission of thy sins, and the gifts of the King's spiritual bounty; when war shall come, strive thou nobly for thy King. Jesus, the Sinless, was crucified for thee; and wilt not thou be crucified for Him who was crucified for thee? Thou art not bestowing a favour, for thou hast first received; but thou art returning a favour, repaying thy debt to Him who was crucified for thee in Golgotha. Now Golgotha is interpreted, "the place of a skull." Who were they then, who prophetically named this spot Golgotha, in which Christ the true Head endured the Cross? As the Apostle says, Who is the Image of the Invisible God; and a little after, and He is the Head of the body, the Church  . And again, The Head of every man is Christ  ; and again, Who is the Head of all principality and power  . The Head suffered in "the place of the skull." O wondrous prophetic appellation! The very name also reminds thee, saying, "Think not of the Crucified as of a mere man; He is the Head of all principality and power. That Head which was crucified is the Head of all power, and has for His Head the Father; for the Head of the man is Christ, and the Head of Christ is God  ."
24. Christ then was crucified for us, who was judged in the night, when it was cold, and therefore a fire of coals  was laid. He was crucified at the third hour; and from the sixth hour there was darkness until the ninth hour  ; but from the ninth hour there was light again. Are these things also written? Let us inquire. Now the Prophet Zacharias says, And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall not be light, and there shall be cold and frost one day; (the cold on account of which Peter warmed himself;) And that day shall be known unto the Lord  ; (what, knew He not the other days? days are many, but this is the day of the Lord's patience, which the Lord made  ;)--And that day shall be known unto the Lord, not day, and not night: what is this dark saying which the Prophet speaks? That day is neither day nor night? what then shall we name it? The Gospel interprets it, by relating the event. It was not day; for the sun shone not uniformly from his rising to his setting, but from the sixth hour till the ninth hour, there was darkness at mid-day. The darkness therefore was interposed; but God called the darkness night  . Wherefore it was neither day nor night: for neither was it all light, that it should be called day; nor was it all darkness, that it should be called night; but after the ninth hour the sun shone forth. This also the Prophet foretels; for after saying, Not day, nor night, he added, And at evening time it shall be light  . Seest thou the exactness of the prophets? Seest thou the truth of the things which were written aforetime?
25. But dost thou ask exactly at what hour the sun failed  ? was it the fifth hour, or the eighth, or the tenth? Tell, O Prophet, the exact time thereof to the Jews, who are unwilling to hear; when shall the sun go down? The Prophet Amos answers, And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that the sun shall go down at noon (for there was darkness from the sixth hour;) and the light shall grow dark over the earth in the day  ." What sort of season is this, O Prophet, and what sort of day? And I will turn your feasts into mourning; for this was done in the days of unleavened bread, and at the feast of the Passover: then afterwards he says, And I will make Him as the mourning of an Only Son, and those with Him as a day of anguish  ; for in the day of unleavened bread, and at the feast, their women were wailing and weeping, and the Apostles had hidden themselves and were in anguish. Wonderful then is this prophecy.
26. But, some one will say, "Give me yet another sign; what other exact sign is there of that which has come to pass? Jesus was crucified; and He wore but one coat, and one cloak: now His cloak the soldiers shared among themselves, having rent it into four; but His coat was not rent, for when rent it would have been no longer of any use; so about this lots are cast by the soldiers; thus the one they divide, but for the other they cast lots. Is then this also written? They know, the diligent chanters  of the Church, who imitate the Angel hosts, and continually sing praises to God: who are thought worthy to chant Psalms in this Golgotha, and to say, They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture they did cast lots  . The "lots" were what the soldiers cast  .
27. Again, when He had been judged before Pilate, He was clothed in red; for there they put on Him a purple robe. Is this also written? Esaias saith, Who is this that cometh from Edom? the redness of His garments is from Bosor  ; (who is this who in dishonor weareth purple? For Bosor has some such meaning in Hebrew  .) Why are Thy garments red, and Thy raiment as from a trodden wine-press? But He answers and says, All day long have I stretched forth Mine hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people  .
28. He stretched out His hands on the Cross, that He might embrace the ends of the world; for this Golgotha is the very centre of the earth. It is not my word, but it is a prophet who hath said, Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth  . He stretched forth human hands, who by His spiritual hands had established the heaven; and they were fastened with nails, that His manhood, which here the sins of men, having been nailed to the tree, and having died, sin might die with it, and we might rise again in righteousness. For since by one man came death, by One Man came also life  ; by One Man, the Saviour, dying of His own accord: for remember what He said, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again  .
29. But though He endured these things, having come for the salvation of all, yet the people returned Him an evil recompense. Jesus saith, I thirst  ,--He who had brought forth the waters for them out of the craggy rock; and He asked fruit of the Vine which He had planted. But what does the Vine? This Vine, which was by nature of the holy fathers, but of Sodom by purpose of heart;--(for their Vine is of Sodom, and their tendrils of Gomorrah  ;)--this Vine, when the Lord was athirst, having filled a sponge and put it on a reed, offers Him vinegar. They gave Me also gall for My meat, and in My thirst, they gave Me vinegar to drink  . Thou seest the clearness of the Prophets' description. But what sort of gall put they into My mouth? They gave Him, it says, wine mingled with myrrh  . Now myrrh is in taste like gall, and very bitter. Are these things what ye recompense unto the Lord? Are these thy offerings, O Vine, unto thy Master? Rightly did the Prophet Esaias aforetime bewail you, saying, My well-beloved had a vineyard in a hill in a fruitful place; and (not to recite the whole) I waited, he says, that it should bring forth grapes; I thirsted that it should give wine; but it brought forth thorns  ; for thou seest the crown, wherewith I am adorned. What then shall I now decree? I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it  . For the clouds which are the Prophets were removed from them, and are for the future in the Church; as Paul says, Let the Prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge  ; and again, God gave in the Church, some, Apostles, and some, Prophets  . Agabus, who bound his own feet and hands, was a prophet.
30. Concerning the robbers who were crucified with Him, it is written, And He was numbered with the transgressors  . Both of them were before this transgressors, but one was so no longer. For the one was a transgressor to the end, stubborn against salvation; who, though his hands were fastened, smote with blasphemy by his tongue. When the Jews passing by wagged their heads, mocking the Crucified, and fulfilling what was written, When they looked on Me, they shaked their heads  , he also reviled with them. But the other rebused the reviler; and it was to him the end of life and the beginning of restoration; the surrender of his soul a first share in salvation. And after rebuking the other, he says, Lord, remember me  ; for with Thee is my account. Heed not this man, for the eyes of his understanding are blinded; but remember me. I say not, remember my works, for of these I am afraid. Every man has a feeling for his fellow-traveller; I am travelling with Thee towards death; remember me, Thy fellow-wayfarer. I say not, Remember me now, but, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.
31. What power, O robber, led thee to the light? Who taught thee to worship that despised Man, thy companion on the Cross? O Light Eternal, which gives light to them that are in darkness! Therefore also he justly heard the words, Be of good cheer  ; not that thy deeds are worthy of good cheer; but that the King is here, dispensing favours. The request reached unto a distant time; but the grace was very speedy. Verily I say unto thee, This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise; because to-day thou hast heard My voice, and hast not hardened thine heart  . Very speedily I passed sentence upon Adam, very speedily I pardon thee. To him it was said, In the day wherein ye eat, ye shall surely die  ; but thou to-day hast obeyed the faith, to-day is thy salvation. Adam by the Tree fell away; thou by the Tree art brought into Paradise. Fear not the serpent; he shall not cast thee out; for he is fallen from heaven  . And I say not unto thee, This day shalt thou depart, but, This day shalt thou be with Me. Be of good courage: thou shalt not be cast out. Fear not the flaming sword; it shrinks from its Lord  . O mighty and ineffable grace! The faithful Abraham had not yet entered, but the robber enters  ! Moses and the Prophets had not yet entered, and the robber enters though a breaker of the law. Paul also wondered at this before thee, saying, Where sin abounded, there grace did much more abound  . They who had borne the heat of the day had not yet entered; and he of the eleventh hour entered. Let none murmur against the goodman of the house, for he says, Friend, I do thee no wrong; is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with Mine own  ? The robber has a will to work righteousness, but death prevents him; I wait not exclusively for the work, but faith also I accept. I am come who feed My sheep among the lilies  , I am come to feed them in the gardens. I have found a sheep that was lost  , but I lay it on My shoulders; for he believes, since he himself has said, I have gone astray like a lost sheep  ; Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.
32. Of this garden I sang of old to My spouse in the Canticles, and spoke to her thus. I am come into My garden, My sister, My spouse  ; (now in the place where He was crucified was a garden  ;) and what takest Thou thence? I have gathered My myrrh; having drunk wine mingled with myrrh, and vinegar, after receiving which, He said, It is finished  . For the mystery has been fulfilled; the things that are written have been accomplished; sins are forgiven. For Christ being come an High-Priest of the good things to come, by the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption; for if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more the blood of Christ  ? And again, 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 because His flesh, this veil, was dishonoured, therefore the typical veil of the temple was rent asunder, as it is written, And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom  ; for not a particle of it was left; for since the Master said, Behold, your house is left unto you desolate  , the house brake all in pieces.
33. These things the Saviour endured, and made peace through the Blood of His Cross, for things in heaven, and things in earth  . For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness  . Of no small account was He who died for us; He was not a literal sheep; He was not a mere man; He was more than an Angel; He was God made man. The transgression of sinners was not so great as the righteousness of Him who died for them; the sin which we committed was not so great as the righteousness which He wrought who laid down His life for us,--who laid it down when He pleased, and took it again when He pleased. And wouldest thou know that He laid not down His life by violence, nor yielded up the ghost against His will? He cried to the Father, saying, Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit  ; I commend it, that I may take it again. And having said these things, He gave up the ghost  ; but not for any long time, for He quickly rose again from the dead.
34. The Sun was darkened, because of the Sun of Righteousness  . Rocks were rent, because of the spiritual Rock. Tombs were opened, and the dead arose, because of Him who was free among the dead  ; He sent forth His prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water  . Be not then ashamed of the Crucified, but be thou also bold to say, He beareth our sins, and endureth grief for us, and with His stripes we are healed  . Let us not be unthankful to our Benefactor. And again; for the transgression of my people was He led to death; and I will give the wicked for His burial, and the rich for His death  . Therefore Paul says plainly, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He hath risen again the third day according to the Scriptures  .
35. But we seek to know clearly where He has been buried. Is His tomb made with hands? Is it, like the tombs of kings, raised above the ground? Is the Sepulchre made of stones joined together? And what is laid upon it? Tell us, O Prophets, the exact truth concerning His tomb also, where He is laid, and where we shall seek Him? And they say, Look into the solid rock which ye have hewn  . Look in and behold. Thou hast in the Gospels In a sepulchre hewn in stone, which was hewn out of a rock  . And what happens next? What kind of door has the sepulchre? Again another Prophet says, They cut off My life in a dungeon  , and cast a stone upon Me. I, who am the Chief corner-stone, the elect, the precious  , lie for a little time within a stone--I who am a stone of stumbling to the Jews, and of salvation to them who believe. The Tree of life  , therefore was planted in the earth, that the earth which had been cursed might enjoy the blessing, and that the dead might be released.
36. Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still  . Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the sake of the poor; without toil, for the sick; since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of devils: for He triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly  ; for when they see the Cross they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, who bruised the heads of the dragon  . Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the gift; out for this the rather honour thy Benefactor.
37. And if thou ever fall into disputation and hast not the grounds of proof, yet let Faith remain firm in thee; or rather, become thou well learned, and then silence the Jews out of the prophets, and the Greeks out of their own fables. They themselves worship men who have been thunderstricken  : but the thunder when it comes from heaven, comes not at random. If they are not ashamed to worship men thunderstricken and abhorred of God, art thou ashamed to worship the beloved Son of God, who was crucified for thee? I am ashamed to tell the tales about their so-called Gods, and I leave them because of time; let those who know, speak. And let all heretics also be silenced. If any say that the Cross is an illusion, turn away from him. Abhor those who say that Christ was crucified to our fancy  only; for if so, and if salvation is from the Cross, then is salvation a fancy also. If the Cross is fancy, the Resurrection is fancy also; but if Christ be not risen, we are yet in our sins  . If the Cross is fancy, the Ascension also is fancy; and if the Ascension is fancy, then is the second coming also fancy, and everything is henceforth unsubstantial.
38. Take therefore first, as an indestructible foundation, the Cross, and build upon it the other articles of the faith. Deny not the Crucified; for, if thou deny Him, thou hast many to arraign thee. Judas the traitor will arraign thee first; for he who betrayed Him knows that He was condemned to death by the chief-priests and elders. The thirty pieces of silver bear witness; Gethsemane bears witness, where the betrayal occurred; I speak not yet of the Mount of Olives, on which they were with Him at night, praying. The moon in the night bears witness; the day bears witness, and the sun which was darkened; for it endured not to look on the crime of the conspirators. The fire will arraign thee, by which Peter stood and warmed himself; if thou deny the Cross, the eternal fire awaits thee. I speak hard words, that thou may not experience hard pains. Remember the swords that came against Him in Gethsemane, that thou feel not the eternal sword. The house of Caiaphas  will arraign thee, shewing by its present desolation the power of Him who was erewhile judged there. Yea, Caiaphas himself will rise up against thee in the day of judgment, the very servant will rise up against thee, who smote Jesus with the palm of his hand; they also who bound Him, and they who led Him away. Even Herod shall rise up against thee; and Pilate; as if saying, Why deniest thou Him who was slandered before us by the Jews, and whom we knew to have done no wrong? For I Pilate then washed my hands. The false witnesses shall rise up against thee, and the soldiers who arrayed Him in the purple robe, and set on Him the crown of thorns, and crucified Him in Golgotha, and cast lots for His coat. Simon the Cyrenian will cry out upon thee, who bore the Cross after Jesus.
39. From among the stars there will cry out upon thee, the darkened Sun; among the things upon earth, the Wine mingled with myrrh; among reeds, the Reed; among herbs, the Hyssop; among the things of the sea, the Sponge; among trees, the Wood of the Cross;--the soldiers, too, as I have said, who nailed Him, and cast lots for His vesture; the soldier who pierced His side with the spear; the women who then were present; the veil of the temple then rent asunder; the hall of Pilate, now laid waste by the power of Him who was then crucified; this holy Golgotha, which stands high above us, and shews itself to this day, and displays even yet how because of Christ the rocks were then riven  ; the sepulchre nigh at hand where He was laid; and the stone which was laid on the door, which lies to this day by the tomb; the Angels who were then present; the women who worshipped Him after His resurrection; Peter and John, who ran to the sepulchre; and Thomas, who thrust his hand into His side, and his fingers into the prints of the nails. For it was for our sakes that he so carefully handled Him; and what thou, who wert not there present, wouldest have sought, he being present, by God's Providence, did seek.
40. Thou hast Twelve Apostles, witnesses of the Cross; and the whole earth, and the world of men who believe on Him who hung thereon. Let thy very presence here now persuade thee of the power of the Crucified. For who now brought thee to this assembly? what soldiers? With what bonds wast thou constrained? What sentence held thee fast here now? Nay, it was the Trophy of salvation, the Cross of Jesus that brought you all together. It was this that enslaved the Persians, and tamed the Scythians; this that gave to the Egyptians, for cats and dogs and their manifold errors, the knowledge of God; this, that to this day heals diseases; that to this day drives away devils, and overthrows the juggleries of drugs and charms.
41. This shall appear again with Jesus from heaven  ; for the trophy shall precede the king: that seeing Him whom they pierced  , and knowing by the Cross Him who was dishonoured, the Jews may repent and mourn; (but they shall mourn tribe by tribe  , for they shall repent, when there shall be no more time for repentance;) and that we may glory, exulting in the Cross, worshipping the Lord who was sent, and crucified for us, and worshipping also God His Father who sent Him, with the Holy Ghost: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you....that He hath been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, &c.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and keep high festival, all ye that love Jesus; for He is risen. Rejoice, all ye that mourned before  , when ye heard of the daring and wicked deeds of the Jews: for He who was spitefully entreated of them in this place is risen again. And as the discourse concerning the Cross was a sorrowful one, so let the good tidings of the Resurrection bring joy to the hearers. Let mourning be turned into gladness, and lamentation to joy: and let our mouth be filled with joy and gladness, because of Him, who after His resurrection, said Rejoice  . For I know the sorrow of Christ's friends in these past days; because, as our discourse stopped short at the Death and the Burial, and did not tell the good tidings of the Resurrection, your mind was in suspense, to hear what you were longing for.
Now, therefore, the Dead is risen, He who was free among the dead  , and the deliverer of the dead. He who in dishonour wore patiently the crown of thorns, even He arose, and crowned Himself with the diadem of His victory over death.
2. As then we set forth the testimonies concerning His Cross, so come let us now verify the proofs of His Resurrection also: since the Apostle before us  affirms, He was buried, and has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. As an Apostle, therefore, has sent us back to the testimonies of the Scriptures, it is good that we should get full knowledge of the hope of our salvation; and that we should learn first whether the divine Scriptures tell us the season of His resurrection, whether it comes in summer or in autumn, or after winter; and from what kind of place the Saviour has risen, and what has been announced in the admirable Prophets as the name of the place of the Resurrection, and whether the women, who sought and found Him not, afterwards rejoice at finding Him; in order that when the Gospels are read, the narratives of these holy Scriptures may not be thought fables nor rhapsodies.
3. That the Saviour then was buried, ye have heard distinctly in the preceding discourse, as Isaiah saith, His burial shall be in peace  : for in His burial He made peace between heaven and earth, bringing sinners unto God: and, that the righteous is taken out of the way of unrighteousness  : and, His burial shall be in peace: and, I will give the wicked for His burial  . There is also the prophecy of Jacob saying in the Scriptures, He lay down and couched as a lion, and as a lion's whelp: who shall rouse Him up  ? And the similar passage in Numbers, He couched, He lay down as a lion, and as a lion's whelp  . The Psalm also ye have often heard, which says, And Thou hast brought me down into the dust of death  . Moreover we took note of the spot, when we quoted the words, Look unto the rock, which ye have hewn  . But now let the testimonies concerning His resurrection itself go with us on our way.
4. First, then, in the 11th Psalm He says, For the misery of the poor, and the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord  . But this passage still remains doubtful with some: for He often rises up also in anger  , to take vengeance upon His enemies.
Come then to the 15th Psalm, which says distinctly: Preserve Me, O Lord, for in Thee have I put my trust  : and after this, their assemblies of blood will I not join, nor make mention of their names between my lips  ; since they have refused me, and chosen Cæsar as their king  : and also the next words, I foresaw the Lord alway before Me, because He is at My right hand, that I may not be moved  : and soon after Yea and even until night my reins chastened me  . And after this He says most plainly, For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell  ; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. He said not, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see death, since then He would not have died; but corruption, saith He, I see not, and shall not abide in death. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life  . Behold here is plainly preached a life after death. Come also to the 29th Psalm, I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast lifted Me up, and hast not made My foes to rejoice over Me  . What is it that took place? Wert thou rescued from enemies, or wert thou released when about to be smitten? He says himself most plainly, O Lord, Thou hast brought up My soul from hell  . There he says, Thou wilt not leave, prophetically: and here he speaks of that which is to take place as having taken place, Thou hast brought up. Thou hast saved Me from them that go down into the pit  . At what time shall the event occur? Weeping shall continue for the evening, and joy cometh in the morning  : for in the evening was the sorrow of the disciplines, and in the morning the joy of the resurrection.
5. But wouldst thou know the place also? Again He saith in Canticles, I went down into the garden of nuts  ; for it was a garden where He was crucified  . For though it has now been most highly adorned with royal gifts, yet formerly it was a garden, and the signs and the remnants of this remain. A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed  , by the Jews who said, We remember that that deceiver said while He was yet alive, After three days, I will rise: command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure; and further on, So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone with the guard  . And aiming well at these, one saith, and in rest Thou shalt judge them  . But who is the fountain that is sealed, or who is interpreted as being a well-spring of living water  ? It is the Saviour Himself, concerning whom it is written, For with Thee is the fountain of life  .
6. But what says Zephaniah in the person of Christ to the disciples? Prepare thyself, be rising at the dawn: all their gleaning is destroyed  : the gleaning, that is, of the Jews, with whom there is not a cluster, nay not even a gleaning of salvation left; for their vine is cut down. See how He says to the disciples, Prepare thyself, rise up at dawn: at dawn expect the Resurrection.
And farther on in the same context of Scripture He says, Therefore wait thou for Me, saith the Lord, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony  . Thou seest that the Prophet foresaw the place also of the Resurrection, which was to be surnamed "the Testimony." For what is the reason that this spot of Golgotha and of the Resurrection is not called, like the rest of the Churches, a Church, but a Testimony? Why, perhaps, it was because of the Prophet, who had said, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony.
7. And who then is this, and what is the sign of Him that rises? In the words of the Prophet that follow in the same context, He says plainly, For then will I turn to the peoples a language  : since, after the Resurrection, when the Holy Ghost was sent forth the gift of tongues was granted, that they might serve the Lord under one yoke  . And what other token is set forth in the same Prophet, that they should serve the Lord under one yoke? From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they shall bring me offerings  . Thou knowest what is written in the Acts, when the Ethiopian eunuch came from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia  . When therefore the Scriptures tell both the time and the peculiarity of the place, when they tell also the signs which followed the Resurrection, have thou henceforward a firm faith in the Resurrection, and let no one stir thee from confessing Christ risen from the dead  .
8. Now take also another testimony in the 87th Psalm, where Christ speaks in the Prophets, (for He who then spoke came afterwards among us): O Lord, God of My salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee, and a little, farther on, I became as it were a man without help, free among the dead  . He said not, I became a man without help; but, as it were a man without help. For indeed He was crucified not from weakness, but willingly and His Death was not from involuntary weakness. I was counted with them that go down into the pit  . And what is the token? Thou hast put away Mine acquaintance far from Me  (for the disciples have fled). Wilt Thou shew wonders to the dead  ? Then a little while afterwards: And unto Thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee  . Seest thou how they shew the exact point of the Hour, and of the Passion and of the Resurrection?
9. And whence hath the Saviour risen? He says in the Song of Songs: Rise up, come, My neighbour  : and in what follows, in a cave of the rock  ! A cave of the rock He called the cave which was erewhile before the door of the Saviour's sepulchre, and had been hewn out of the rock itself, as is wont to be done here in front of the sepulchres. For now it is not to be seen, since the outer cave was cut away at that time for the sake of the present adornment. For before the decoration of the sepulchre by the royal munificence, there was a cave in the front of the rock  . But where is the rock that had in it the cave? Does it lie near the middle of the city, or near the walls and the outskirts? And whether is it within the ancient walls, or within the outer walls which were built afterwards? He says then in the Canticles: in a cave of the rock, close to the outer wall  .
10. At what season does the Saviour rise? Is it the season of summer, or some other? In the same Canticles immediately before the words quoted He says, The winter is past, the rain is past and gone  ; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the pruning is come  . Is not then the earth full of flowers now, and are they not pruning the vines? Thou seest how he said also that the winter is now past. For when this month Xanthicus  is come, it is already spring. And this is the season, the first month with the Hebrews, in which occurs the festival of the Passover, the typical formerly, but now the true. This is the season of the creation of the world: for then God said, Let the earth bring forth herbage of grass, yielding seed after his kind and after his likeness  . And now, as thou seest, already every herb is yielding seed. And as at that time God made the sun and moon and gave them courses of equal day (and night), so also a few days since was the season of the equinox.
At that time God said, let us make man after our image and after our likeness  . And the image he received, but the likeness through his disobedience he obscured. At the same season then in which he lost this the restoration also took place. At the same season as the created man through disobedience was cast out of Paradise, he who believed was through obedience brought in. Our Salvation then took place at the same season as the Fall: when the flowers appeared, and the pruning was come.
11. A garden was the place of His Burial, and a vine that which was planted there: and He hath said, I am the vine  ! He was planted therefore in the earth in order that the curse which came because of Adam might be rooted out. The earth was condemned to thorns and thistles: the true Vine sprang up out of the earth, that the saying might be fulfilled, Truth sprang up out of the earth, and righteousness looked down from heaven  . And what will He that is buried in the garden say? I have gathered My myrrh with My spices: and again, Myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices  . Now these are the symbols of the burying; and in the Gospels it is said, The women came unto the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared  : Nicodemus also bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes  . And farther on it is written, I did eat My bread with My honey  : the bitter before the Passion, and the sweet after the Resurrection. Then after He had risen He entered through closed doors: but they believed not that it was He: for they supposed that they beheld a spirit  . But He said, Handle Me and see. Put your fingers into the print of the nails, as Thomas required. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and honeycomb  . Seest thou how that is fulfilled, I did eat My bread with My honey.
12. But before He entered through the closed doors, the Bridegroom and Suitor  of souls was sought by those noble and brave women. They came, those blessed ones, to the sepulchre, and sought Him Who had been raised, and the tears were still dropping from their eyes, when they ought rather to have been dancing with joy for Him that had risen. Mary came seeking Him, according to the Gospel, and found Him not: and presently she heard from the Angels, and afterwards saw the Christ. Are then these things also written? He says in the Song of Songs, On my bed I sought Him whom my soul loved. At what season? By night on my bed I sought Him Whom my soul loved: Mary, it says, came while it was yet dark. On my bed I sought Him by night, I sought Him, and I found Him not  . And in the Gospels Mary says, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him  . But the Angels being then present cure their want of knowledge; for they said, Why seek ye the living among the dead  ? He not only rose, but had also the dead with Him when He rose  . But she knew not, and in her person the Song of Songs said to the Angels, Saw ye Him Whom my soul loved? It was but a little that I passed from them (that is, from the two Angels), until I found Him Whom my soul loved. I held Him, and would not let Him go  .
13. For after the vision of the Angels, Jesus came as His own Herald; and the Gospel says, And behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail! and they came and took hold of His feet  . They took hold of Him, that it might be fulfilled, I will hold Him, and will not let Him go. Though the woman was weak in body, her spirit was manful. Many waters quench not love, neither do rivers drown it  ; He was dead whom they sought, yet was not the hope of the Resurrection quenched. And the Angel says to them again, Fear not ye; I say not to the soldiers, fear not, but to you  ; as for them, let them be afraid, that, taught by experience, they may bear witness and say, Truly this was the Son of God  ; but you ought not to be afraid, for perfect love casteth out fear  . Go, tell His disciples that He is risen  ; and the rest. And they depart with joy, yet full of fear; is this also written? yes, the second Psalm, which relates the Passion of Christ, says, Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling  ;--rejoice, because of the risen Lord; but with trembling, because of the earthquake, and the Angel who appeared as lightning.
14. Though, therefore, Chief Priests and Pharisees through Pilate's means sealed the tomb; yet the women beheld Him who was risen. And Esaias knowing the feebleness of the Chief Priests, and the women's strength of faith, says, Ye women, who come from beholding, come hither  ; for the people hath no understanding;--the Chief Priests want understanding, while women are eye-witnesses. And when the soldiers came into the city to them, and told them all that had come to pass, they said to them, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept  ? Well therefore did Esaias foretell this also, as in their persons, But tell us, and relate to us another deceit  . He who rose again, is up, and for a gift of money they persuade the soldiers; but they persuade not the kings of our time. The soldiers then surrendered the truth for silver; but the kings of this day have, in their piety, built this holy Church of the Resurrection of God our Saviour, inlaid with silver and wrought with gold, in which we are assembled  ; and embellished it with the treasures of silver and gold and precious stones. And if this come to the governor's ears, they say, we will persuade him  . Yea, though ye persuade the soldiers, yet ye will not persuade the world; for why, as Peter's guards were condemned when he escaped out of the prison, were not they also who watched Jesus Christ condemned? Upon the former, sentence was pronounced by Herod, for they were ignorant and had nothing to say for themselves; while the latter, who had seen the truth, and concealed it for money, were protected by the Chief Priests. Nevertheless, though but a few of the Jews were persuaded at the time, the world became obedient. They who hid the truth were themselves hidden; but they who received it were made manifest by the power of the Saviour, who not only rose from the dead, but also raised the dead with Himself. And in the person of these the Prophet Osee says plainly, After two days will He revive us, and in the third day we shall rise again, and shall live in His sight  .
15. But since the disobedient Jews will not be persuaded by the Divine Scriptures, but forgetting all that is written gainsay the Resurrection of Jesus, it were good to answer them thus: On what ground, while you say that Eliseus and Elias raised the dead, do you gainsay the Resurrection of our Saviour? Is it that we have no living witnesses now out of that generation to what we say? Well, do you also bring forward witnesses of the history of that time. But that is written;--so is this also written: why then do ye receive the one, and reject the other? They were Hebrews who wrote that history; so were all the Apostles Hebrews: why then do ye disbelieve the Jews  ? Matthew who wrote the Gospel wrote it in the Hebrew tongue  ; and Paul the preacher was a Hebrew of the Hebrews; and the twelve Apostles were all of Hebrew race: then fifteen Bishops of Jerusalem were appointed in succession from among the Hebrews  . What then is your reason for allowing your own accounts, and rejecting ours, though these also are written by Hebrews from among yourselves.
16. But it is impossible, some one will say, that the dead should rise; and yet Eliseus twice raised the dead,--when he was alive, and also when dead. Do we then believe, that when Eliseus was dead, a dead man who was cast upon him and touched him, arose and is Christ not risen? But in that case, the dead man who touched Eliseus, arose, yet he who raised him continued nevertheless dead: but in this case both the Dead of whom we speak Himself arose, and many dead were raised without having even touched Him. For many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and they came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the Holy City  , (evidently this city, in which we now are  ,) and appeared unto many. Eliseus then raised a dead man, but he conquered not the world; Elias raised a dead man, but devils are not driven away in the name of Elias. We are not speaking evil of the Prophets, but we are celebrating their Master more highly; for we do not exalt our own wonders by disparaging theirs; for theirs also are ours; but by what happened among them, we win credence for our own.
17. But again they say, "A corpse then lately dead was raised by the living; but shew us that one three days dead can possibly arise, and that a man should be buried, and rise after three days." If we seek for Scripture testimony in proof of such facts, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself supplies it in the Gospels, saying, For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth  . And when we examine the story of Jonas, great is the force  of the resemblance. Jesus was sent to preach repentance; Jonas also was sent: but whereas the one fled, not knowing what should come to pass; the other came willingly, to give repentance unto salvation. Jonas was asleep in the ship, and snoring amidst the stormy sea; while Jesus also slept, the sea, according to God's providence  , began to rise, to shew in the sequel the might of Him who slept. To the one they said, Why art thou snoring? Arise, call upon thy God, that God may save us  ; but in the other case they say unto the Master, Lord, save us  . Then they said, Call upon thy God; here they say, save Thou. But the one says, Take me, and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you  ; the other, Himself rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm  . The one was cast into a whale's belly: but the other of His own accord went down thither, where the invisible whale of death is. And He went down of His own accord, that death might cast up those whom he had devoured, according to that which is written, I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and from the hand of death I will redeem them  .
18. At this point of our discourse, let us consider whether is harder, for a man after having been buried to rise again from the earth, or for a man in the belly of a whale, having come into the great heat of a living creature, to escape corruption. For what man knows not, that the heat of the belly is so great, that even bones which have been swallowed moulder away? How then did Jonas, who was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, escape corruption? And, seeing that the nature of all men is such that we cannot live without breathing, as we do, in air, how did he live without a breath of this air for three days? But the Jews make answer and say, The power of God descended with Jonas when he was tossed about in hell. Does then the Lord grant life to His own servant, by sending His power with him, and can He not grant it to Himself as well? If that is credible, this is credible also; if this is incredible, that also is incredible. For to me both are alike worthy of credence. I believe that Jonas was preserved, for all things are possible with God  ; I believe that Christ also was raised from the dead; for I have many testimonies of this, both from the Divine Scriptures, and from the operative power even at this day  of Him who arose,--who descended into hell alone, but ascended thence with a great company; for He went down to death, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose  through Him.
19. Death was struck with dismay on beholding a new visitant descend into Hades, not bound by the chains of that place. Wherefore, O porters of Hades, were ye scared at sight of Him? What was the unwonted fear that possessed you? Death fled, and his flight betrayed his cowardice. The holy prophets ran unto Him, and Moses the Lawgiver, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; David also, and Samuel, and Esaias, and John the Baptist, who bore witness when he asked, Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another  ? All the Just were ransomed, whom death had swallowed; for it behoved the King whom they had proclaimed, to become the redeemer of His noble heralds. Then each of the Just said, O death, where is thy victory? O grave, where is thy sting  ? For the Conqueror hath redeemed us.
20. Of this our Saviour the Prophet Jonas formed the type, when he prayed out of the belly of the whale, and said, I cried in my affliction, and so on; out of the belly of hell  , and yet he was in the whale; but though in the whale, he says that he is in Hades; for he was a type of Christ, who was to descend into Hades. And after a few words, he says, in the person of Christ, prophesying most clearly, My head went down to the chasms of the mountains  ; and yet he was in the belly of the whale. What mountains then encompass thee? I know, he says, that I am a type of Him, who is to be laid in the Sepulchre hewn out of the rock. And though he was in the sea, Jonas says, I went down to the earth, since he was a type of Christ, who went down into the heart of the earth. And foreseeing the deeds of the Jews who persuaded the soldiers to lie, and told them, Say that they stole Him away, he says, By regarding lying vanities they forsook their own mercy  . For He who had mercy on them came, and was crucified, and rose again, giving His own precious blood both for Jews and Gentiles; yet say they, Say that they stole Him away, having regard to lying vanities  . But concerning His Resurrection, Esaias also says, He who brought up from the earth the great Shepherd of the sheep  ; he added the word, great, lest He should be thought on a level with the shepherds who had gone before Him.
21. Since then we have the prophecies, let faith abide with us. Let them fall who fall through unbelief, since they so will; but thou hast taken thy stand on the rock of the faith in the Resurrection. Let no heretic ever persuade thee to speak evil of the Resurrection. For to this day the Manichees say, that, the resurrection of the Saviour was phantom-wise, and not real, not heeding Paul who says, Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and again, By the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead  . And again he aims at them, and speaks thus, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven; or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ from the dead  ; and in like manner warning as he has elsewhere written again, Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead  ; and again, And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up  . But in what follows he says, But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep  ;--And He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; (for if thou believe not the one witness, thou hast twelve witnesses;) then He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once  ; (if they disbelieve the twelve, let them admit the five hundred;) after that He was seen of James  , His own brother, and first Bishop of this diocese. Seeing then that such a Bishop originally  saw Christ Jesus when risen, do not thou, his disciple, disbelieve him. But thou sayest that His brother James was a partial witness; afterwards He was seen also of me  Paul, His enemy; and what testimony is doubted, when an enemy proclaims it? "I, who was before a persecutor  , now preach the glad tidings of the Resurrection."
22. Many witnesses there are of the Saviour's resurrection.--The night, and the light of the full moon; (for that night was the sixteenth  ;) the rock of the sepulchre which received Him; the stone also shall rise up against the face of the Jews, for it saw the Lord; even the stone which was then rolled away  , itself bears witness to the Resurrection, lying there to this day. Angels of God who were present testified of the Resurrection of the Only-begotten: Peter and John, and Thomas, and all the rest of the Apostles; some of whom ran to the sepulchre, and saw the burial-clothes, in which He was wrapped before, lying there after the Resurrection; and others handled His hands and His feet, and beheld the prints of the nails; and all enjoyed together that Breath of the Saviour, and were counted worthy to forgive sins in the power of the Holy Ghost. Women too were witnesses, who took hold of His feet, and who beheld the mighty earthquake, and the radiance of the Angel who stood by: the linen clothes also which were wrapped about Him, and which He left when He rose;--the soldiers, and the money given to them; the spot itself also, yet to be seen;--and this house of the holy Church, which out of the loving affection to Christ of the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, was both built and beautified as thou seest.
23. A witness to the resurrection of Jesus is Tabitha also, who was in His name raised from the dead  ; for how shall we disbelieve that Christ is risen, when even His Name raised the dead? The sea also bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as thou hast heard before  . The drought of fishes also testifies, and the fire of coals there, and the fish laid thereon. Peter also bears witness, who had erst denied Him thrice, and who then thrice confessed Him; and was commanded to feed His spiritual  sheep. To this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him Who ascended on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension. For from heaven He descended to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives  ; at the former place beginning His conflicts among men, but in the latter, crowned after them. Thou hast therefore many witnesses; thou hast this very place of the Resurrection; thou hast also the place of the Ascension towards the east; thou hast also for witnesses the Angels which there bore testimony; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.
24. The course of instruction in the Faith would lead me to speak of the Ascension also; but the grace of God so ordered  it, that thou heardest most fully concerning it, as far as our weakness allowed, yesterday, on the Lord's day; since, by the providence of divine grace, the course of the Lessons  in Church included the account of our Saviour's going up into the heavens  ; and what was then said was spoken principally for the sake of all, and for the assembled body of the faithful, yet especially for thy sake  . But the question is, didst thou attend to what was said? For thou knowest that the words which come next in the Creed teach thee to believe in Him "Who rose again the third day, and ascended into Heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father." I suppose then certainly that thou rememberest the exposition; yet I will now again cursorily put thee in mind of what was then said. Remember what is distinctly written in the Psalms, God is gone up with a shout  ; remember that the divine powers also said to one another, Lift up your gates, ye Princes  , and the rest; remember also the Psalm which says, He ascended on high, He led captivity captive  ; remember the Prophet who said, Who buildeth His ascension unto heaven  ; and all the other particulars mentioned yesterday because of the gainsaying of the Jews.
25. For when they speak against the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible, remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk: for if Habakkuk was transported by an Angel, being carried by the hair of his head  , much rather was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels, able by His own power to make His ascent into the Heavens on a cloud from the Mount of Olives. Wonders like this thou mayest call to mind, but reserve the preeminence for the Lord, the Worker of wonders; for the others were borne up, but He bears up all things. Remember that Enoch was translated  ; but Jesus ascended: remember what was said yesterday concerning Elias, that Elias was taken up in a chariot of fire  ; but that the chariots of Christ are ten thousand-fold even thousands upon thousands  : and that Elias was taken up, towards the east of Jordan; but that Christ ascended at the east of the brook Cedron: and that Elias went as into heaven  ; but Jesus, into heaven: and that Elias said that a double portion in the Holy Spirit should be given to his holy disciple; but that Christ granted to His own disciples so great enjoyment of the grace of the Holy Ghost, as not only to have It in themselves, but also, by the laying on of their hands, to impart the fellowship of It to them who believed.
26. And when thou hast thus wrestled against the Jews,--when thou hast worsted them by parallel instances, then come further to the pre-eminence of the Saviour's glory; namely, that they were the servants, but He the Son of God. And thus thou wilt be reminded of His pre-eminence, by the thought that a servant of Christ was caught up to the third heaven. For if Elias attained as far as the first heaven, but Paul as far as the third, the latter, therefore, has obtained a more honourable dignity. Be not ashamed of thine Apostles; they are not inferior to Moses, nor second to the Prophets; but they are noble among the noble, yea, nobler still. For Elias truly was taken up into heaven; but Peter has the keys of the kingdom of heaven, having received the words, Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven  . Elias was taken up only to heaven; but Paul both into heaven, and into paradise  (for it behoved the disciples of Jesus to receive more manifold grace), and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for man to utter. But Paul came down again from above, not because he was unworthy to abide in the third heaven, but in order that after having enjoyed things above man's reach, and descended in honour, and having preached Christ, and died for His sake, he might receive also the crown of martyrdom. But I pass over the other parts of this argument, of which I spoke yesterday in the Lord's-day congregation; for with understanding hearers, a mere reminder is sufficient for instruction.
27. But remember also what I have often said  concerning the Son's sitting at the right hand of the Father; because of the next sentence in the Creed, which says, "and ascended into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father." Let us not curiously pry into what is properly meant by the throne; for it is incomprehensible: but neither let us endure those who falsely say, that it was after His Cross and Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, that the Son began to sit on the right hand of the Father. For the Son gained not His throne by advancement  ; but throughout His being (and His being is by an eternal generation  ) He also sitteth together with the Father. And this throne the Prophet Esaias having beheld before the incarnate coming of the Saviour, says, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up  , and the rest. For the Father no man hath seen at any time  , and He who then appeared to the Prophet was the Son. The Psalmist also says, Thy throne is prepared of old; Thou art from everlasting  . Though then the testimonies on this point are many, yet because of the lateness of the time, we will content ourselves even with these.
28. But now I must remind you of a few things out of many which are spoken concerning the Son's sitting at the right hand of the Father. For the hundred and ninth Psalm says plainly, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool  . And the Saviour, confirming this saying in the Gospels, says that David spoke not these things of himself, but from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, saying, How then doth David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand  ? and the rest. And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter on the day of Pentecost standing with the Eleven  , and discoursing to the Israelites, has in very words cited this testimony from the hundred and ninth Psalm.
29. But I must remind you also of a few other testimonies in like manner concerning the Son's sitting at the right hand of the Father. For in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, Nevertheless, I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power  , and the rest: in accordance with which the Apostle Peter also writes, By the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven  . And the Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says, It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God  . And charging the Ephesians, he thus speaks, According to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand  ; and the rest. And the Colossians he taught thus, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God  . And in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, When He had made purification of our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high  . And again, But unto which of the Angels hath He said at any time, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool  ? And again, But He, when He had offered one sacrifice for all men, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool  . And again, Looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God  .
30. And though there are many other texts concerning the session of the Only-begotten on the right hand of God, yet these may suffice us at present; with a repetition of my remark, that it was not after His coming in the flesh  that He obtained the dignity of this seat; no, for even before all ages, the Only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, ever possesses the throne on the right hand of the Father. Now may He Himself, the God of all, who is Father of the Christ, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who came down, and ascended, and sitteth together with the Father, watch over your souls; keep unshaken and unchanged your hope in Him who rose again; raise you together with Him from your dead sins unto His heavenly gift; count you worthy to be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air  , in His fitting time; and, until that time arrive of His glorious second advent, write all your names in the Book of the living, and having written them, never blot them out (for the names of many, who fall away, are blotted out); and may He grant to all of you to believe on Him who rose again, and to look for Him who is gone up, and is to come again, (to come, but not from the earth; for be on your guard, O man, because of the deceivers who are to come;) Who sitteth on high, and is here present together with us, beholding the order of each, and the steadfastness of his faith  . For think not that because He is now absent in the flesh, He is therefore absent also in the Spirit. He is here present in the midst of us, listening to what is said of Him, and beholding thine inward thoughts, and trying the reins and hearts  ;--who also is now ready to present those who are coming to baptism, and all of you, in the Holy Ghost to the Father, and to say, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given Me  :--To whom be glory for ever. Amen.
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