Writings of Athanasius. Introduction to Four Discourses Against the Arians - Discourse I

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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 1892 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

Introduction to Four Discourses Against the Arians.

Written Between 356 And 360.

There is no absolutely conclusive evidence as to the date of these Discourses, in fact they would appear from the language of ii. 1 to have been issued at intervals. The best judges, however, are agreed in assigning them to the fruitful period of the `third exile.' The Discourses cannot indeed be identified with the lost account of the Arian heresy addressed to certain Egyptian monks (see Introd. to Arian Hist. supra); but the demand for such a treatise may have set Athanasius upon the composition of a more comprehensive refutation of the heresy. It was only at this period (`Blasphemy' of Sirmium, 357) that the doctrinal controversy began to emerge from the mass of personalities and intrigues which had encumbered it for the first generation after the great Council; only now that the various parties were beginning to formulate their position; only now that the great mass of Eastern `Conservatism' was beginning to see the nature of the issue as between the Nicene doctrine and the essential Arianism of its more resolute opponents. The situation seemed to clear, the time had come for gathering up the issues of the combat and striking a decisive blow. To this situation of affairs the treatise before us exactly corresponds. Characteristic of this period is the anxiety to conciliate and win over the so-called semi-Arians (of the type of Basil of Ancyra) who stumbled at the homoousion, but whose fundamental agreement with Athanasius was daily becoming more clear. Accordingly we find that Athanasius pointedly avoids the famous test word in these Discourses [1820] (with the exception of the fourth: see Orat. i. 20, note 5, 58, note 10: it only occurs i. 9, note 12, but see Orat. iv. 9, 12), and even adopts (not as fully adequate de Syn. 53, but as true so far as it goes), the `semi-Arian' formula `like in essence' (Or. i. 21, note 8, 20, 26, iii. 26, he does not use the single compound word homoiousios: see further, Introd. to de Synodis). Although, therefore, demonstrative proof is lacking, there is tolerable certainty as to the date of our Discourses. And their purpose is no less manifest: they are a decisive blow of the kind described above, aimed at the very centre of the question, and calculated to sever the abnormal alliance between conservatives who really thought with Athanasius and men like Valens or Eudoxius, whose real convictions, so far as they had any, were Arian. Moreover they gather up all the threads of controversy against Arianism proper, refute its appeal to Scripture, and leave on record for all time the issues of the great doctrinal contest of the fourth century. They have naturally become, as Montfaucon observes, the mine whence subsequent defenders of the Divinity of our Redeemer have drawn their material. There are doubtless arguments which a modern writer would scarcely adopt (e.g. ii. 63, iii. 65 init., &c.), and the repeated labelling of the Arians as madmen (`fanatics' in this translation), enemies of Christ, disciples of Satan, &c., &c., is at once tedious and by its very frequency unimpressive (see ii. 43 note 8 for Newman's famous list of animal nicknames). But the serious reader will pass sicco pede over such features, and will appreciate `the richness, fulness, and versatility' of the use of Scripture, `the steady grasp of certain primary truths, especially of the Divine Unity and of Christ's real or genuine natural and Divine Sonship (i. 15, ii. 2-5, 22, 23, 73, iii. 62), the keen penetration with which Arian objections are analysed (i. 14, 27, 29, ii. 26, iii. 59), Arian imputations disclaimed, Arian statements old and new, the bolder and the more cautious, compared, Arian evasions pointed out, Arian logic traced to its conclusions, and Arianism shewn to be inconsistent, irreverent' (Bright, Introd. p. lxviii.). Above all, we see in these Discourses what strikes us in all the writings of Athanasius from the de Incarnatione to the end, his firm hold of the Soteriological aspect of the question at issue, of its vital importance to the reality of Redemption and Grace, to the reality of the knowledge of God vouchsafed to sinful man in Christ (ii. 69, 70, cf. i. 35, 49, 50, ii. 67, &c., &c). The Theology and Christology of Athanasius is rooted in the idea of Redemption: our fellowship with God, our adoption as sons of God, would be unaccomplished, had not Christ imparted to us what was His Own to give (i. 12, 16, cf. Harnack, Dogmengesch., 2. 205). Among other points of interest we may observe the anticipatory rejection of the later heresies of Macedonius (i. 48, iii. 24), Nestorius (ii. 8 note 3, &c., and the frequent application of theotokos to the B.M.V. iii. 14, 29, &c.), and Eutyches (ii. 10 note 6, &c.), the emphatic vindication of worship as the exclusive prerogative of Divinity (ii. 23, iii. 32, `we invoke no creature') and of the unique sinless conception of Christ (iii. 33), lastly the cautious and reasonable discussion (iii. 42 sqq.) of our Saviour's human knowledge.

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Although apparently composed at different times (see above) the four `Discourses' form a single work. The fourth alone ends with the usual doxology, thus announcing itself as the conclusion of the four-fold treatise. At the same time, the relation of the fourth Discourse to the others is by no means clear. It is largely occupied with a polemic against a heresy at the opposite extreme from Arianism, Monarchianism in one or other of its forms. Newman, in his introductory excursus, expresses the opinion that it consists of a series of fragmentary notes against several heresies, which for some unknown reason came to be incorporated, possibly by Athanasius himself or by his secretaries, in the great anti-Arian Manifesto. Zahn Marcell. pp. 198-208 shews convincingly that the system of Marcellus, either in itself or in its supposed logical consequences, is the main object of criticism all along. If we trace throughout the Discourses the purpose of conciliating the `Conservative' and Semi-Arian party, we can well understand that Athanasius may have appended to them a section directed against Monarchianism, which, in the persons of Marcellus and Photinus (whose names, however, are characteristically absent), must have been felt by him to be a legitimate stumbling-block in their path toward peace. At any rate the fourth oration has always been associated with the others as forming part of one work.

There is, however, some confusion in early citations, in mss., and in early editions as to the number of `Orations' against the Arians. The confusion is due to the frequent practice of reckoning the Ep. Ęg. as the first (or in one or two cases as the fourth; the Basel ms. counts de Incar. c. Ar. as the fifth, and our fourth as the sixth). Montfaucon (Monitum Migne xxvi. p. 10) ascribes this to the arrangement in many mss. by which the Ep. Ęg. comes immediately before the `Orations.' Being itself directed against the Arians it has come to be labelled logos protos

The title `Orations' is consecrated by long use, and cannot be displaced, but it is unfortunate as implying, to our ears, oratorical delivery, for which the Discourses were never meant. The original Greek term (logos) is common to these Discourses with the c. Gentes, de Incarnatione, &c., &c.

A full analysis of these Discourses is given by Bishop Kaye (Council of Nicæa, in `Works,' vol. v.); his strictures on Newman's notes are occasionally very just. The Discourses are more concisely analysed by Ceillier (vol. v., pp. 218, sqq.) See also Dorner, Doctr. of Person of Christ, Part I., Div. 3, i. 3. The headings of Newman, prefixed to the `chapters,' will supply the place of an analysis for readers of this volume.

The translation which follows is that of Cardinal Newman, published in 1844 (the year before his secession), in the Oxford `Library of the Fathers.' The copious and elaborate notes and discussions which accompany it have always been acknowledged to be a masterpiece of their illustrious author. The modern reader sits down to study Athanasius, and rises from his task filled with Newman. Like all the work of Newman included in this volume, translation and notes alike have been touched by the present editor with a reverent and a sparing hand. The translation, which shews great care and fidelity, coupled with remarkable ingenuity and close study of characteristic phrases and idioms, has been, with two main exceptions, but little altered. These exceptions are (1) the substitution throughout of `essence' for `substance,' (2) an attempt to remedy the most unfortunate, though not unconsidered, confusion of gennetos and genetos under the single rendering `generate.' A good rendering for the latter word and its cognates is indeed not easy to find (see above, p. 149); but it was felt impossible, even in deference to so great a name, after the note in Lightfoot's Ignatius, to leave the matter as it stood.

With regard to the notes, the historical matter and the abundant cross references have been thoroughly overhauled and in some cases modified without indication of the change. Moreover, some theological notes of minor importance have been expunged to economise space, while for the same reason, mere references have in many cases been reluctantly substituted for the extensive patristic quotations. The notes to Orat. iv., which are less important theologically, have been very much curtailed. With these exceptions, all doctrinal notes proper have been left exactly as they first appeared, even where they maintain views which appear untenable: any additions or explanations by the present editor are enclosed in square brackets, which also in a very few cases denote additional or corrected references made under Dr. Pusey's authority in the reprint of 1877.

It is necessary to apologise to the reader for the hesitation which has been felt in touching, even to this slight extent, the work of John Henry Newman. The only apology which the editor of this volume cares to offer is for having done the little that seemed absolutely needed.

It may be added that the Cardinal published in 1881 (4th ed., 1888) a `free translation' of the first three Discourses, based upon the Oxford translation, but of a totally different kind, amounting to a somewhat highly condensed paraphrase of the original in the luminous English of the Cardinal himself, rather than bound, as the older translation is, to the style of Athanasius. The new rendering includes the de Decretis and the de Synodis; almost all the notes are in a second volume.

The most convenient edition of the Greek text is that of Dr. Bright (Oxford, 1872), with an Introduction on the Life and Writings of Athanasius (rewritten for D.C.B., vol. i., pp. 179 sqq.).

Table of Contents of the Four Discourses.

The following Table of Contents of Orat. i-iii. (the contents of Orat. iv. will be tabulated at the end of Exc. C.) must be supplemented by the fuller headings prefixed to Newman's `chapters.'

Orat. i. 1-4. Introductory.

i. 5-7. a. The Arian doctrine as represented in the `Thalia.'

i. 8-10. b. Significance of the Controversy.

General Subject of the Discourses: The Sonship of Christ.

i. 11-13. The Divine Sonship: (1) Eternal

i. 14-16. (2) Though real, not like earthly Sonship.

i. 17-21. (3) The true Sonship.

i. 22-29. Objections to the above discussed.

i. 30-34. (4) On the term agenetos

i. 35, 36. (5) On the unchangeableness of the Son.

Orat. i. 37-iii. 58. (6) Discussion of controverted texts.

i. 37-64. Texts bearing on the exaltation of the Son (viz. Phil. ii. 9; Ps. xlv. 7, 8; Heb. i. 4).

(Excursus B. On the Arian formula prin gennethenai ouk en.)

ii. 1-82. b. Texts bearing on the `creation' of the Son (viz. Heb. iii. 2; Acts ii. 36; Prov. viii. 22; the latter occupying §§18-82).

iii. 1-25. g. Texts from the Fourth Gospel on the relation of the Son to the Father.

iii. 26-58. d. Texts bearing more directly on the Incarnation (Matt. xxviii. 18; Joh. iii. 35; Mark xiii. 32, Luke ii. 52, human knowledge, &c., of Christ, §§42-53; Matt. xxvi. 39, &c.).

iii. 58-67. (7) The Divine Sonship in relation to the Divine Will.


[1820] Not that he was willing to suppress the term and surrender the Nicene cause, far from it; but he sees the relative importance of things and words. This shews the absurdity of the taunt, that the Nicene theologians fought ferociously over a single `iota.'


Four Discourses Against the Arians.

Discourse I.

Chapter I.--Introduction. Reason for writing; certain persons indifferent about Arianism; Arians not Christians, because sectaries always take the name of their founder.

1. Of all other heresies which have departed from the truth it is acknowledged that they have but devised [1821] a madness, and their irreligiousness has long since become notorious to all men. For that [1822] their authors went out from us, it plainly follows, as the blessed John has written, that they never thought nor now think with us. Wherefore, as saith the Saviour, in that they gather not with us, they scatter with the devil, and keep an eye on those who slumber, that, by this second sowing of their own mortal poison, they may have companions in death. But, whereas one heresy, and that the last, which has now risen as harbinger [1823] of Antichrist, the Arian, as it is called, considering that other heresies, her elder sisters, have been openly proscribed, in her craft and cunning, affects to array herself in Scripture language [1824] , like her father the devil, and is forcing her way back into the Church's paradise,--that with the pretence of Christianity, her smooth sophistry (for reason she has none) may deceive men into wrong thoughts of Christ,--nay, since she has already seduced certain of the foolish, not only to corrupt their ears, but even to take and eat with Eve, till in their ignorance which ensues they think bitter sweet, and admire this loathsome heresy, on this account I have thought it necessary, at your request, to unrip `the folds of its breast-plate [1825] ,' and to shew the ill savour of its folly. So while those who are far from it may continue to shun it, those whom it has deceived may repent; and, opening the eyes of their heart, may understand that darkness is not light, nor falsehood truth, nor Arianism good; nay, that those [1826] who call these men Christians are in great and grievous error, as neither having studied Scripture, nor understanding Christianity at all, and the faith which it contains.

2. For what have they discovered in this heresy like to the religious Faith, that they vainly talk as if its supporters said no evil? This in truth is to call even Caiaphas [1827] a Christian, and to reckon the traitor Judas still among the Apostles, and to say that they who asked Barabbas instead of the Saviour did no evil, and to recommend Hymenæus and Alexander as right-minded men, and as if the Apostle slandered them. But neither can a Christian bear to hear this, nor can he consider the man who dared to say it sane in his understanding. For with them for Christ is Arius, as with the Manichees Manichæus; and for Moses and the other saints they have made the discovery of one Sotades [1828] , a man whom even Gentiles laugh at, and of the daughter of Herodias. For of the one has Arius imitated the dissolute and effeminate tone, in writing Thaliæ on his model; and the other he has rivalled in her dance, reeling and frolicking in his blasphemies against the Saviour; till the victims of his heresy lose their wits and go foolish, and change the Name of the Lord of glory into the likeness of the `image of corruptible man [1829] ,' and for Christians come to be called Arians, bearing this badge of their irreligion. For let them not excuse themselves; nor retort their disgrace on those who are not as they, calling Christians after the names of their teachers [1830] , that they themselves may appear to have that Name in the same way. Nor let them make a jest of it, when they feel shame at their disgraceful appellation; rather, if they be ashamed, let them hide their faces, or let them recoil from their own irreligion. For never at any time did Christian people take their title from the Bishops among them, but from the Lord, on whom we rest our faith. Thus, though the blessed Apostles have become our teachers, and have ministered the Saviour's Gospel, yet not from them have we our title, but from Christ we are and are named Christians. But for those who derive the faith which they profess from others, good reason is it they should bear their name, whose property they have become [1831] .

3. Yes surely; while all of us are and are called Christians after Christ, Marcion broached a heresy a long time since and was cast out; and those who continued with him who ejected him remained Christians; but those who followed Marcion were called Christians no more, but henceforth Marcionites. Thus Valentinus also, and Basilides, and Manichæus, and Simon Magus, have imparted their own name to their followers; and some are accosted as Valentinians, or as Basilidians, or as Manichees, or as Simonians; and other, Cataphrygians from Phrygia, and from Novatus Novatians. So too Meletius, when ejected by Peter the Bishop and Martyr, called his party no longer Christians, but Meletians [1832] , and so in consequence when Alexander of blessed memory had cast out Arius, those who remained with Alexander, remained Christians; but those who went out with Arius, left the Saviour's Name to us who were with Alexander, and as to them they were hence-forward denominated Arians. Behold then, after Alexander's death too, those who communicate with his successor Athanasius, and those with whom the said Athanasius communicates, are instances of the same rule; none of them bear his name, nor is he named from them, but all in like manner, and as is usual, are called Christians. For though we have a succession of teachers and become their disciples, yet, because we are taught by them the things of Christ, we both are, and are called, Christians all the same. But those who follow the heretics, though they have innumerable successors in their heresy, yet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it. Thus, though Arius be dead, and many of his party have succeeded him, yet those who think with him, as being known from Arius, are called Arians. And, what is a remarkable evidence of this, those of the Greeks who even at this time come into the Church, on giving up the superstition of idols, take the name, not of their catechists, but of the Saviour, and begin to be called Christians instead of Greeks: while those of them who go off to the heretics, and again all who from the Church change to this heresy, abandon Christ's name, and henceforth are called Arians, as no longer holding Christ's faith, but having inherited Arius's madness.

4. How then can they be Christians, who for Christians are Ario-maniacs [1833] ? or how are they of the Catholic Church, who have shaken off the Apostolical faith, and become authors of fresh evils? who, after abandoning the oracles of divine Scripture, call Arius's Thaliæ a new wisdom? and with reason too, for they are announcing a new heresy. And hence a man may marvel, that, whereas many have written many treatises and abundant homilies upon the Old Testament and the New, yet in none of them is a Thalia found; nay nor among the more respectable of the Gentiles, but among those only who sing such strains over their cups, amid cheers and jokes, when men are merry, that the rest may laugh; till this marvellous Arius, taking no grave pattern, and ignorant even of what is respectable, while he stole largely from other heresies, would be original in the ludicrous, with none but Sotades for his rival. For what beseemed him more, when he would dance forth against the Saviour, than to throw his wretched words of irreligion into dissolute and loose metres? that, while `a man,' as Wisdom says, `is known from the utterance of his word [1834] ,' so from those numbers should be seen the writer's effeminate soul and corruption of thought [1835] . In truth, that crafty one did not escape detection; but, for all his many writhings to and fro, like the serpent, he did but fall into the error of the Pharisees. They, that they might transgress the Law, pretended to be anxious for the words of the Law, and that they might deny the expected and then present Lord, were hypocritical with God's name, and were convicted of blaspheming when they said, `Why dost Thou, being a man, make Thyself God,' and sayest, `I and the Father are one [1836] ?' And so too, this counterfeit and Sotadean Arius, feigns to speak of God, introducing Scripture language [1837] , but is on all sides recognised as godless [1838] Arius, denying the Son, and reckoning Him among the creatures.


[1821] epinoesasai. This is almost a technical word, and has occurred again and again already, as descriptive of heretical teaching in opposition to the received traditionary doctrine. It is also found passim in other writers. Thus Socrates, speaking of the decree of the Council of Alexandria, 362, against Apollinaris; `for not originating, epinoesantes, any novel devotion, did they introduce it into the Church, but what from the beginning the Ecclesiastical Tradition declared.' Hist. iii. 7. The sense of the word epinoia which will come into consideration below, is akin to this, being the view taken by the mind of an object independent of (whether or not correspondent to) the object itself. [But see Bigg. B. L. p. 168, sq.] [1822] to gar exelthein...delon an eie, i.e. to and so infr. §43. to de kai proskuneisthai...delon an eie. [1823] de Syn. 5. [1824] Vid. infr. §4 fin. That heresies before the Arian appealed to Scripture we learn from Tertullian, de Præscr. 42, who warns Catholics against indulging themselves in their own view of isolated texts against the voice of the Catholic Church. vid. also Vincentius, who specifies obiter Sabellius and Novation. Commonit. 2. Still Arianism was contrasted with other heresies on this point, as in these two respects; (1.) they appealed to a secret tradition, unknown even to most of the Apostles, as the Gnostics, Iren. Hær. iii. 1 or they professed a gift of prophecy introducing fresh revelations, as Montanists, de Syn. 4, and Manichees, Aug. contr. Faust. xxxii. 6. (2.) The Arians availed themselves of certain texts as objections, argued keenly and plausibly from them, and would not be driven from them. Orat. ii. §18. c. Epiph. Hær. 69. 15. Or rather they took some words of Scripture, and made their own deductions from them; viz. `Son,' `made,' `exalted,' &c. `Making their private irreligiousness as if a rule, they misinterpret all the divine oracles by it.' Orat. i. §52. vid. also Epiph. Hær. 76. 5 fin. Hence we hear so much of their thrulletai phonai, lexeis, epe, rheta, sayings in general circulation, which were commonly founded on some particular text. e.g. infr., §22, `amply providing themselves with words of craft, they used to go about,' &c. Also ano kai kato peripherontes, de Decr. §13. to rh& 208;to tethrullekasi ta pantachou. Orat. 2. §18. to poluthrulleton sophisma, Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 14. ten poluthrulleton dialektiken, Nyssen. contr. Eun. iii. p. 125. ten thrulloumenen apor& 191;oen, Cyril. Dial. iv. p. 505. ten poluthrulleton phonen, Socr. ii. 43. [1825] Job xli. 13 (v. 4. LXX). [1826] These Orations and Discourses seem written to shew the vital importance of the point in controversy, and the unchristian character of the heresy, without reference to the word homoousion. He has [elsewhere] insisted that the enforcement of the symbol was but the rejection of the heresy, and accordingly he is here content to bring out the Catholic sense, as feeling that, if persons understood and embraced it, they would not scruple at the word. He seems to allude to what may be called the liberal or indifferent feeling as swaying the person for whom he writes, also infr. §7 fin. §9. §10 init. §15 fin. §17. §21. §23. He mentions in Apollin. i. 6. one Rhetorius, who was an Egyptian, whose opinion, he says, it was `fearful to mention.' S. Augustine tells us that this man taught that `all heresies were in the right path, and spoke truth,' `which,' he adds, `is so absurd as to seem to me incredible.' Hær 72. vid. also Philastr. Hær. 91. [1827] de Decr. §§2, 24, 27. [1828] de Syn. §1. [1829] Vid. Hil. de Trin. viii. 28; Rom. i. 25. [1830] He seems to allude to Catholics being called Athanasians; vid. however next §. Two distinctions are drawn between such a title as applied to Catholics, and again to heretics, when they are taken by Catholics as a note against them. S. Augustine says, `Arians call Catholics Athanasians or Homoüsians, not other heretics too. But ye not only by Catholics but also by heretics, those who agree with you and those who disagree, are called Pelagians; as even by heresies are Arians called Arians. But ye, and ye only, call us Traducianists, as Arians call us Homoüsians, as Donatists Macarians, as Manichees Pharisees, and as the other heretics use various titles.' Op. imp. i. 75. It may be added that the heretical name adheres, the Catholic dies away. S. Chrysostom draws a second distinction, `Are we divided from the Church? have we heresiarchs? are we called from man? is there any leader to us, as to one there is Marcion, to another Manichæus, to another Arius, to another some other author of heresy? for if we too have the name of any, still it is not those who began the heresy, but our superiors and governors of the Church. We have not "teachers upon earth,"' &c. in Act. Ap. Hom. 33 fin. [1831] Vid. foregoing note. Also, `Let us become His disciples, and learn to live according to Christianity; for whoso is called by other name besides this, is not of God.' Ignat. ad Magn. 10. Hegesippus speaks of `Menandrians, and Marcionites, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians,' who `each in his own way and that a different one brought in his own doctrine.' Euseb. Hist. iv. 22. `There are, and there have been, my friends, many who have taught atheistic and blasphemous words and deeds, coming in the name of Jesus; and they are called by us from the appellation of the men, whence each doctrine and opinion began....Some are called Marcians, others Valentinians, others Basilidians, others Saturnilians,' &c. Justin. Tryph. 35. Iren. Hær. i. 23. `When men are called Phrygians, or Novatians, or Valentinians, or Marcionites, or Anthropians, or by any other name, they cease to be Christians; for they have lost Christ's Name, and clothe themselves in human and foreign titles.' Lact. Inst. iv. 30. `A. How are you a Christian, to whom it is not even granted to bear the name of Christian? for you are not called Christian but Marcionite. M. And you are called of the Catholic Church; therefore ye are not Christians either. A. Did we profess man's name, you would have spoken to the point; but if we are called from being all over the world, what is there bad in this?' Adamant. Dial. §1, p. 809. Epiph. Hær. 42. p. 366. ibid. 70. 15. vid. also Hær. 75. 6 fin. Cyril Cat. xviii. 26. `Christian is my name, Catholic my surname.' Pacian. Ep. 1. `If you ever hear those who are called Christians, named, not from the Lord Jesus Christ, but from some one else, say Marcionites, Valentinians, Mountaineers, Campestrians, know that it is not Christ's Church, but the synagogue of Antichrist.' Jerom. adv. Lucif. fin. [1832] Vid. de Syn. 12. [Prolegg. ch. ii. §2.] [1833] de Syn. 13, note 4. Manes also was called mad; `Thou must hate all heretics, but especially him who even in name is a maniac.' Cyril. Catech. vi. 20, vid. also ibid. 24 fin.--a play upon the name, vid. de Syn. 26, `Scotinus.' [1834] Vid. Ecclus. iv. 24. [1835] It is very difficult to gain a clear idea of the character of Arius. [Prolegg. ch. ii. §2.] Epiphanius's account of Arius is as follows:--`From elation of mind the old man swerved from the mark. He was in stature very tall, downcast in visage, with manners like wily serpent, captivating to every guileless heart by that same crafty bearing. For ever habited in cloke and vest, he was pleasant of address, ever persuading souls and flattering; wherefore what was his very first work but to withdraw from the Church in one body as many as seven hundred women who professed virginity.?' Hær. 69. 3, cf. ib. §9 for a strange description of Arius attributed to Constantine, also printed in the collections of councils: Hard. i. 457. [1836] John x. 30. [1837] §1, note 4. [1838] And so godless or atheist Aetius, de Syn. 6, note 3, cf. note on de Decr. 1, for an explanation of the word. In like manner Athan. says, ad Serap. iii. 2, that if a man says `that the Son is a creature, who is word and Wisdom, and the Expression, and the Radiance, whom whoso seeth seeth the Father,' he falls under the text, `Whoso denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.' `Such a one,' he continues, `will in no long time say, as the fool, There is no God.' In like manner he speaks of those who think the Son to be the Spirit as `without (exo) the Holy Trinity, and atheists' (Serap. iv. 6), because they really do not believe in the God that is, and there is none other but He. Cf. also Serap. i. 30. Eustathius speaks of the Arians as anthropous atheous, who were attempting kratesai tou theiou. ap. Theod. Hist. i. 7. p. 760. Naz. speaks of the heathen polutheos atheia. Orat. 25. 15. and he calls faith and regeneration `a denial of atheism, atheias, and a confession of godhead, theotetos,' Orat. 23. 12. He calls Lucius, the Alexandrian Anti-pope, on account of his cruelties, `this second Arius, the more copious river of the atheistic spring, tes atheou peges.' Orat. 25. 11. Palladius, the Imperial officer, is aner atheos. ibid. 12.

Chapter II.--Extracts from the Thalia of Arius. Arius maintains that God became a Father, and the Son was not always; the Son out of nothing; once He was not; He was not before his generation; He was created; named Wisdom and Word after God's attributes; made that He might make us; one out of many powers of God; alterable; exalted on God's foreknowledge of what He was to be; not very God; but called so as others by participation; foreign in essence from the Father; does not know or see the Father; does not know Himself.

5. Now the commencement of Arius's Thalia and flippancy, effeminate in tune and nature, runs thus:--

`According to faith of God's elect, God's prudent ones,

Holy children, rightly dividing, God's Holy Spirit receiving,

Have I learned this from the partakers of wisdom,

Accomplished, divinely taught, and wise in all things.

Along their track, have I been walking, with like opinions.

I the very famous, the much suffering for God's glory;

And taught of God, I have acquired wisdom and knowledge.'

And the mockeries which he utters in it, repulsive and most irreligious, are such as these [1839] :--`God was not always a Father;' but `once God was alone, and not yet a Father, but afterwards He became a Father.' `The Son was not always;' for, whereas all things were made out of nothing, and all existing creatures and works were made, so the Word of God Himself was `made out of nothing,' and `once He was not,' and `He was not before His origination,' but He as others `had an origin of creation.' `For God,' he says, `was alone, and the Word as yet was not, nor the Wisdom. Then, wishing to form us, thereupon He made a certain one, and named Him Word and Wisdom and Son, that He might form us by means of Him.' Accordingly, he says that there are two wisdoms, first, the attribute co-existent with God, and next, that in this wisdom the Son was originated, and was only named Wisdom and Word as partaking of it. `For Wisdom,' saith he, `by the will of the wise God, had its existence in Wisdom.' In like manner, he says, that there is another Word in God besides the Son, and that the Son again, as partaking of it, is named Word and Son according to grace. And this too is an idea proper to their heresy, as shewn in other works of theirs, that there are many powers; one of which is God's own by nature and eternal; but that Christ, on the other hand, is not the true power of God; but, as others, one of the so-called powers, one of which, namely, the locust and the caterpillar [1840] , is called in Scripture, not merely the power, but the `great power.' The others are many and are like the Son, and of them David speaks in the Psalms, when he says, `The Lord of hosts' or `powers [1841] .' And by nature, as all others, so the Word Himself is alterable, and remains good by His own free will, while He chooseth; when, however, He wills, He can alter as we can, as being of an alterable nature. For `therefore,' saith he, `as foreknowing that He would be good, did God by anticipation bestow on Him this glory, which afterwards, as man, He attained from virtue. Thus in consequence of His works fore-known [1842] , did God bring it to pass that He being such, should come to be.'

6. Moreover he has dared to say, that `the Word is not the very God;' `though He is called God, yet He is not very God,' but `by participation of grace, He, as others, is God only in name.' And, whereas all beings are foreign and different from God in essence, so too is `the Word alien and unlike in all things to the Father's essence and propriety,' but belongs to things originated and created, and is one of these. Afterwards, as though he had succeeded to the devil's recklessness, he has stated in his Thalia, that `even to the Son the Father is invisible,' and `the Word cannot perfectly and exactly either see or know His own Father;' but even what He knows and what He sees, He knows and sees `in proportion to His own measure,' as we also know according to our own power. For the Son, too, he says, not only knows not the Father exactly, for He fails in comprehension [1843] , but `He knows not even His own essence;'--and that `the essences of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, are separate in nature, and estranged, and disconnected, and alien [1844] , and without participation of each other [1845] ;' and, in his own words, `utterly unlike from each other in essence and glory, unto infinity.' Thus as to `likeness of glory and essence,' he says that the Word is entirely diverse from both the Father and the Holy Ghost. With such words hath the irreligious spoken; maintaining that the Son is distinct by Himself, and in no respect partaker of the Father. These are portions of Arius's fables as they occur in that jocose composition.

7. Who is there that hears all this, nay, the tune of the Thalia, but must hate, and justly hate, this Arius jesting on such matters as on a stage [1846] ? who but must regard him, when he pretends to name God and speak of God, but as the serpent counselling the woman? who, on reading what follows in his work, but must discern in his irreligious doctrine that error, into which by his sophistries the serpent in the sequel seduced the woman? who at such blasphemies is not transported? `The heaven,' as the Prophet says, `was astonished, and the earth shuddered [1847] ' at the transgression of the Law. But the sun, with greater horror, impatient of the bodily contumelies, which the common Lord of all voluntarily endured for us, turned away, and recalling his rays made that day sunless. And shall not all human kind at Arius's blasphemies be struck speechless, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, to escape hearing them or seeing their author? Rather, will not the Lord Himself have reason to denounce men so irreligious, nay, so unthankful, in the words which He has already uttered by the prophet Hosea, `Woe unto them, for they have fled from Me; destruction upon them, for they have transgressed against Me; though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me [1848] .' And soon after, `They imagine mischief against Me; they turn away to nothing [1849] .' For to turn away from the Word of God, which is, and to fashion to themselves one that is not, is to fall to what is nothing. For this was why the Ecumenical [1850] Council, when Arius thus spoke, cast him from the Church, and anathematized him, as impatient of such irreligion. And ever since has Arius's error been reckoned for a heresy more than ordinary, being known as Christ's foe, and harbinger [1851] of Antichrist. Though then so great a condemnation be itself of special weight to make men flee from that irreligious heresy [1852] , as I said above, yet since certain persons called Christian, either in ignorance or pretence, think it, as I then said, little different from the Truth, and call its professors Christians; proceed we to put some questions to them, according to our powers, thereby to expose the unscrupulousness of the heresy. Perhaps, when thus caught, they will be silenced, and flee from it, as from the sight of a serpent.


[1839] de Syn. §15. [where the metre of the Thalia is discussed in a note.] [1840] de Syn. §18; Joel ii. 25. [1841] Ps. xxiv. 10. [1842] de Syn. 26, note 7, de Decr. 6, note 8. [1843] Vid. de Syn. 15, note 6. katalepsis was originally a Stoic word, and even when considered perfect, was, properly speaking, attributable only to an imperfect being. For it is used in contrast to the Platonic doctrine of ideai, to express the hold of things obtained by the mind through the senses; it being a Stoical maxim, nihil esse in intellectu quod non fuerit in sensu. In this sense it is also used by the Fathers, to mean real and certain knowledge after inquiry, though it is also ascribed to Almighty God. As to the position of Arius, since we are told in Scripture that none `knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him,' if katalepsis be an exact and complete knowledge of the object of contemplation, to deny that the Son comprehended the Father, was to deny that He was in the Father, i.e. the doctrine of the perichoresis, de Syn. 15, anepimiktoi, or to maintain that He was a distinct, and therefore a created, being. On the other hand Scripture asserts that, as the Holy Spirit which is in God, `searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,' so the Son, as being `in the bosom of the Father,' alone `hath declared Him.' vid. Clement. Strom. v. 12. And thus Athan. speaking of Mark xiii. 32, 'If the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son, and the Father knows the day and the hour, it is plain that the Son too, being in the Father, and knowing the things in the Father, Himself also knows the day and the hour." Orat. iii. 44. [1844] de Decr. 25, note 2. [1845] de Syn. 15. [1846] Ep. Encycl. 6; Epiph. Hær. 73. 1. [1847] Jer. ii. 12. [1848] Hos. vii. 13. [1849] Ib. 15. lxx. [1850] de Decr. 27, note 1. [1851] Ib. 3, note 1, §1, note 3. [1852] And so Vigilius of the heresies about the Incarnation, Etiamsi in erroris eorum destructionem nulli conderentur libri, hoc ipsum solum, quod hæretici sunt pronunciati, orthodoxorum securitati sufficeret. contr. Eutych. i. p. 494.

Chapter III.--The Importance of the Subject. The Arians affect Scripture language, but their doctrine new, as well as unscriptural. Statement of the Catholic doctrine, that the Son is proper to the Father's substance, and eternal. Restatement of Arianism in contrast, that He is a creature with a beginning: the controversy comes to this issue, whether one whom we are to believe in as God, can be so in name only, and is merely a creature. What pretence then for being indifferent in the controversy? The Arians rely on state patronage, and dare not avow their tenets.

8. If then the use of certain phrases of divine Scripture changes, in their opinion, the blasphemy of the Thalia into reverent language, of course they ought also to deny Christ with the present Jews, when they see how they study the Law and the Prophets; perhaps too they will deny the Law [1853] and the Prophets like Manichees [1854] , because the latter read some portions of the Gospels. If such bewilderment and empty speaking be from ignorance, Scripture will teach them, that the devil, the author of heresies, because of the ill savour which attaches to evil, borrows Scripture language, as a cloak wherewith to sow the ground with his own poison also, and to seduce the simple. Thus he deceived Eve; thus he framed former heresies; thus he persuaded Arius at this time to make a show of speaking against those former ones, that he might introduce his own without observation. And yet, after all, the man of craft did not escape. For being irreligious towards the Word of God, he lost his all at once [1855] , and betrayed to all men his ignorance of other heresies too [1856] ; and having not a particle of truth in his belief, does but pretend to it. For how can he speak truth concerning the Father, who denies the Son, that reveals concerning Him? or how can he be orthodox concerning the Spirit, while he speaks profanely of the Word that supplies the Spirit? and who will trust him concerning the Resurrection, denying, as he does, Christ for us the first-begotten from the dead? and how shall he not err in respect to His incarnate presence, who is simply ignorant of the Son's genuine and true generation from the Father? For thus, the former Jews also, denying the Word, and saying, `We have no king but Cæsar [1857] ,' were forthwith stripped of all they had, and forfeited the light of the Lamp, the odour of ointment, knowledge of prophecy, and the Truth itself; till now they understand nothing, but are walking as in darkness. For who was ever yet a hearer of such a doctrine [1858] ? or whence or from whom did the abettors and hirelings [1859] of the heresy gain it? who thus expounded to them when they were at school [1860] ? who told them, `Abandon the worship of the creation, and then draw near and worship a creature and a work [1861] ?' But if they themselves own that they have heard it now for the first time, how can they deny that this heresy is foreign, and not from our fathers [1862] ? But what is not from our fathers, but has come to light in this day, how can it be but that of which the blessed Paul [1863] has foretold, that `in the latter times some shall depart from the sound faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, in the hypocrisy of liars; cauterized in their own conscience, and turning from the truth [1864] ?'

9. For, behold, we take divine Scripture, and thence discourse with freedom of the religious Faith, and set it up as a light upon its candlestick, saying:--Very Son of the Father, natural and genuine, proper to His essence, Wisdom Only-begotten, and Very and Only Word of God is He; not a creature or work, but an offspring proper to the Father's essence. Wherefore He is very God, existing one [1865] in essence with the very Father; while other beings, to whom He said, `I said ye are Gods [1866] ,' had this grace from the Father, only by participation [1867] of the Word, through the Spirit. For He is the expression of the Father's Person, and Light from Light, and Power, and very Image of the Father's essence. For this too the Lord has said, `He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father [1868] .' And He ever was and is and never was not. For the Father being everlasting, His Word and His Wisdom must be everlasting [1869] . On the other hand, what have these persons to shew us from the infamous Thalia? Or, first of all, let them read it themselves, and copy the tone of the writer; at least the mockery which they will encounter from others may instruct them how low they have fallen; and then let them proceed to explain themselves. For what can they say from it, but that `God was not always a Father, but became so afterwards; the Son was not always, for He was not before His generation; He is not from the Father, but He, as others, has come into subsistence out of nothing; He is not proper to the Father's essence, for He is a creature and work?' And `Christ is not very God, but He, as others, was made God by participation; the Son has not exact knowledge of the Father, nor does the Word see the Father perfectly; and neither exactly understands nor knows the Father. He is not the very and only Word of the Father, but is in name only called Word and Wisdom, and is called by grace Son and Power. He is not unalterable, as the Father is, but alterable in nature, as the creatures, and He comes short of apprehending the perfect knowledge of the Father.' Wonderful this heresy, not plausible even, but making speculations against Him that is, that He be not, and everywhere putting forward blasphemy for reverent language! Were any one, after inquiring into both sides, to be asked, whether of the two he would follow in faith, or whether of the two spoke fitly of God,--or rather let them say themselves, these abettors of irreligion, what, if a man be asked concerning God (for `the Word was God'), it were fit to answer [1870] . For from this one question the whole case on both sides may be determined, what is fitting to say,--He was, or He was not; always, or before His birth; eternal, or from this and from then; true, or by adoption, and from participation and in idea [1871] ; to call Him one of things originated, or to unite Him to the Father; to consider Him unlike the Father in essence, or like and proper to Him; a creature, or Him through whom the creatures were originated; that He is the Father's Word, or that there is another word beside Him, and that by this other He was originated, and by another wisdom; and that He is only named Wisdom and Word, and is become a partaker of this wisdom, and second to it?

10. Which of the two theologies sets forth our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Son of the Father, this which you vomited forth, or that which we have spoken and maintain from the Scriptures? If the Saviour be not God, nor Word, nor Son, you shall have leave to say what you will, and so shall the Gentiles, and the present Jews. But if He be Word of the Father and true Son, and God from God, and `over all blessed for ever [1872] ,' is it not becoming to obliterate and blot out those other phrases and that Arian Thalia, as but a pattern of evil, a store of all irreligion, into which, whoso falls, `knoweth not that giants perish with her, and reacheth the depths of Hades [1873] ?' This they know themselves, and in their craft they conceal it, not having the courage to speak out, but uttering something else [1874] . For if they speak, a condemnation will follow; and if they be suspected, proofs from Scripture will be cast [1875] at them from every side. Wherefore, in their craft, as children of this world, after feeding their so-called lamp from the wild olive, and fearing lest it should soon be quenched (for it is said, `the light of the wicked shall be put out [1876] ,') they hide it under the bushel [1877] of their hypocrisy, and make a different profession, and boast of patronage of friends and authority of Constantius, that what with their hypocrisy and their professions, those who come to them may be kept from seeing how foul their heresy is. Is it not detestable even in this, that it dares not speak out, but is kept hid by its own friends, and fostered as serpents are? for from what sources have they got together these words? or from whom have they received what they venture to say [1878] ? Not any one man can they specify who has supplied it. For who is there in all mankind, Greek or Barbarian, who ventures to rank among creatures One whom he confesses the while to be God and says, that He was not till He was made? or who is there, who to the God in whom he has put faith, refuses to give credit, when He says, `This is My beloved Son [1879] ,' on the pretence that He is not a Son, but a creature? rather, such madness would rouse an universal indignation. Nor does Scripture afford them any pretext; for it has been often shewn, and it shall be shewn now, that their doctrine is alien to the divine oracles. Therefore, since all that remains is to say that from the devil came their mania (for of such opinions he alone is sower [1880] ), proceed we to resist him--for with him is our real conflict, and they are but instruments;--that, the Lord aiding us, and the enemy, as he is wont, being overcome with arguments, they may be put to shame, when they see him without resource who sowed this heresy in them, and may learn, though late, that, as being Arians, they are not Christians.


[1853] de Syn. 33. [1854] Faustus, in August. contr. Faust. ii. 1. admits the Gospels (vid. Beausobre Manich. t. i. p. 291, &c.), but denies that they were written by the reputed authors. ibid. xxxii. 2. but nescio quibus Semi-judæis. ibid. xxxiii. 3. Accordingly they thought themselves at liberty to reject or correct parts of them. They rejected many of the facts, e.g. our Lord's nativity, circumcision, baptism, temptation, &c. ibid. xxxii. 6. [1855] de Decr. 1, note 6. [1856] [A note on the intimate mutual connexion of all heresies is omitted here.] [1857] Joh. xix. 15. [1858] de Decr. 7, note 2. [1859] dorodokoi, and so kerdos tes philochrematias, infr. §53. He mentions prostasias philon, §10. And so S. Hilary speaks of the exemptions from taxes which Constantius granted the Clergy as a bribe to Arianize; contr. Const. 10. And again, of resisting Constantius as hostem blandientem, qui non dorsa cædit, sed ventrem palpat, non proscribit ad vitam, sed ditat in mortem, non caput gladio desecat, sed animum auro occidit. ibid. 5. vid. Coustant. in loc. Liberius says the same, Theod H. E. ii. 13. And S. Gregory Naz. speaks of philochrusous mallon e philochristous. Orat. 21. 21. On the other hand, Ep. Ęg. 22, Athan. contrasts the Arians with the Meletians, as not influenced by secular views. [Prolegg. ch. ii. §3 (2) c. (2).] [1860] de Syn. §3 and 9. [1861] Vid. de Decr. 1. note. This consideration, as might be expected, is insisted on by the Fathers. vid. Cyril. Dial. iv. p. 511, &c. v. p. 566. Greg. Naz. 40, 42; Hil. Trin. viii. 28; Ambros. de fid. i. n. 69 and 104. [1862] Ib. 4, note 8. [1863] 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2; Tit. i. 14. [1864] This passage is commonly taken by the Fathers to refer to the Oriental sects of the early centuries, who fulfilled one or other of those conditions which it specifies. It is quoted against the Marcionists by Clement. Strom. iii. 6. Of the Carpocratians apparently, Iren. Hær. i. 25; Epiph. Hær. 27. 5. Of the Valentinians, Epiph. Hær. 31. 34. Of the Montanists and others, ibid. 48. 8. Of the Saturnilians (according to Huet.) Origen in Matt. xx. 16. Of apostolic heresies, Cyril. Cat. iv. 27. Of Marcionites, Valentinians, and Manichees, Chrysost. de Virg. 5. Of Gnostics and Manichees, Theod. Hær. ii. præf. Of Encratites, ibid. v. fin. Of Eutyches, Ep. Anon. 190 (apud Garner. Diss. v. Theod. p. 901. Pseudo-Justin seems to consider it fulfilled in the Catholics of the fifth century, as being Anti-Pelagians. Quæst. 22. vid. Bened. note in loc. Besides Athanasius, no early author occurs to the writer of this, by whom it is referred to the Arians, cf. Depos. Ar. supr. p. 71, note 29. [1865] [This is the only occurrence of the word homoousios in these three Discourses.] [1866] Ps. lxxxii. 6. [1867] de Decr. §14 fin.; de Syn. §51. [1868] John xiv. 9. [1869] de Decr. 15, note 6. [1870] That is, `Let them tell us, is it right to predicate this or to predicate that of God (of one who is God), for such is the Word, viz. that He was from eternity or was created,' &c., &c. [1871] kat' epinoian, vid. Orat. ii. §38. [1872] Rom. ix. 5. [1873] Prov. ix. 18. LXX. [1874] de Decr. 6. note 5; de Syn. 32. [1875] de Decr. 26, note 6. [1876] Job xviii. 5. [1877] Ep. Ęg. 18. [1878] §8, note 5. [1879] Matt. iii. 17. [1880] de Decr. 2, note 6.

Chapter IV.--That the Son is Eternal and Increate. These attributes, being the points in dispute, are first proved by direct texts of Scripture. Concerning the `eternal power' of God in Rom. i. 20, which is shewn to mean the Son. Remarks on the Arian formula, `Once the Son was not,' its supporters not daring to speak of `a time when the Son was not.'

11. At his suggestion then ye have maintained and ye think, that `there was once when the Son was not;' this is the first cloke of your views of doctrine which has to be stripped off. Say then what was once when the Son was not, O slanderous and irreligious men [1881] ? If ye say the Father, your blasphemy is but greater; for it is impious to say that He was `once,' or to signify Him by the word `once.' For He is ever, and is now, and as the Son is, so is He, and is Himself He that is, and Father of the Son. But if ye say that the Son was once, when He Himself was not, the answer is foolish and unmeaning. For how could He both be and not be? In this difficulty, you can but answer, that there was a time when the Word was not; for your very adverb `once' naturally signifies this. And your other, `The Son was not before His generation,' is equivalent to saying, `There was once when He was not,' for both the one and the other signify that there is a time before the Word. Whence then this your discovery? Why do ye, as `the heathen, rage, and imagine vain phrases against the Lord [1882] and against His Christ?' for no holy Scripture has used such language of the Saviour, but rather `always' and `eternal' and `coexistent always with the Father.' For, `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [1883] .' And in the Apocalypse he thus speaks [1884] ; `Who is and who was and who is to come.' Now who can rob `who is' and `who was' of eternity? This too in confutation of the Jews hath Paul written in his Epistle to the Romans, `Of whom as concerning the flesh is Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever [1885] ;' while silencing the Greeks, he has said, `The visible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal Power and Godhead [1886] ;' and what the Power of God is, he teaches us elsewhere himself, `Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God [1887] .' Surely in these words he does not designate the Father, as ye often whisper one to another, affirming that the Father is `His eternal power.' This is not so; for he says not, `God Himself is the power,' but `His is the power.' Very plain is it to all that `His' is not `He;' yet not something alien but rather proper to Him. Study too the context and `turn to the Lord;' now `the Lord is that Spirit [1888] ;'and you will see that it is the Son who is signified.

12. For after making mention of the creation, he naturally speaks of the Framer's Power as seen in it, which Power, I say, is the Word of God, by whom all things have been made. If indeed the creation is sufficient of itself alone, without the Son, to make God known, see that you fall not, from thinking that without the Son it has come to be. But if through the Son it has come to be, and `in Him all things consist [1889] ,' it must follow that he who contemplates the creation rightly, is contemplating also the Word who framed it, and through Him begins to apprehend the Father [1890] . And if, as the Saviour also says, `No one knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him [1891] ,' and if on Philip's asking, `Shew us the Father,' He said not, `Behold the creation,' but, `He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father [1892] ,' reasonably doth Paul,--while accusing the Greeks of contemplating the harmony and order of the creation without reflecting on the Framing Word within it (for the creatures witness to their own Framer) so as through the creation to apprehend the true God, and abandon their worship of it,--reasonably hath he said, `His Eternal Power and Godhead [1893] ,' thereby signifying the Son. And where the sacred writers say, `Who exists before the ages,' and `By whom He made the ages [1894] ,' they thereby as clearly preach the eternal and everlasting being of the Son, even while they are designating God Himself. Thus, if Isaiah says, `The Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth [1895] ;' and Susanna said, `O Everlasting God [1896] ;' and Baruch wrote, `I will cry unto the Everlasting in my days,' and shortly after, `My hope is in the Everlasting, that He will save you, and joy is come unto me from the Holy One [1897] ;' yet forasmuch as the Apostle, writing to the Hebrews, says, `Who being the radiance of His glory and the Expression of His Person [1898] ;' and David too in the eighty-ninth Psalm, `And the brightness of the Lord be upon us,' and, `In Thy Light shall we see Light [1899] ,' who has so little sense as to doubt of the eternity of the Son [1900] ? for when did man see light without the brightness of its radiance, that he may say of the Son, `There was once, when He was not,' or `Before His generation He was not.' And the words addressed to the Son in the hundred and forty-fourth Psalm, `Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all ages [1901] ,' forbid any one to imagine any interval at all in which the Word did not exist. For if every interval in the ages is measured, and of all the ages the Word is King and Maker, therefore, whereas no interval at all exists prior to Him [1902] , it were madness to say, `There was once when the Everlasting was not,' and `From nothing is the Son.' And whereas the Lord Himself says, `I am the Truth [1903] ,' not `I became the Truth;' but always, `I am,--I am the Shepherd,--I am the Light,'--and again, `Call ye Me not, Lord and Master? and ye call Me well, for so I am,' who, hearing such language from God, and the Wisdom, and Word of the Father, speaking of Himself, will any longer hesitate about the truth, and not forthwith believe that in the phrase `I am,' is signified that the Son is eternal and without beginning?

13. It is plain then from the above that the Scriptures declare the Son's eternity; it is equally plain from what follows that the Arian phrases `He was not,' and `before' and `when,' are in the same Scriptures predicated of creatures. Moses, for instance, in his account of the generation of our system, says, `And every plant of the field, before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground [1904] .' And in Deuteronomy, `When the Most High divided to the nations [1905] .' And the Lord said in His own Person, `If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father, for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe [1906] .' And concerning the creation He says by Solomon, `Or ever the earth was, when there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, was I brought forth [1907] .' And, `Before Abraham was, I am [1908] .' And concerning Jeremiah He says, `Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee [1909] .' And David in the Psalm says, `Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth and the world were made, Thou art, God from everlasting and world without end [1910] .' And in Daniel, `Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, O everlasting God, that knowest the secrets, and knowest all things before they be [1911] .' Thus it appears that the phrases `once was not,' and `before it came to be,' and `when,' and the like, belong to things originate and creatures, which come out of nothing, but are alien to the Word. But if such terms are used in Scripture of things originate, but `ever' of the Word, it follows, O ye enemies of God, that the Son did not come out of nothing, nor is in the number of originated things at all, but is the Father's Image and Word eternal, never having not been, but being ever, as the eternal Radiance [1912] of a Light which is eternal. Why imagine then times before the Son? or wherefore blaspheme the Word as after times, by whom even the ages were made? for how did time or age at all subsist when the Word, as you say, had not appeared, `through' whom `all things have been made and without' whom `not one thing was made [1913] ?' Or why, when you mean time, do you not plainly say, `a time was when the Word was not?' But while you drop the word `time' to deceive the simple, you do not at all conceal your own feeling, nor, even if you did, could you escape discovery. For you still simply mean times, when you say, `There was when He was not,' and `He was not before His generation.'


[1881] Athan. observes that this formula of the Arians is a mere evasion to escape using the word `time.' vid. also Cyril. Thesaur. iv. pp. 19, 20. Else let them explain,--`There was,' what `when the Son was not?' or what was before the Son? since He Himself was before all times and ages, which He created, de Decr. 18, note 5. Thus, if `when' be a word of time, He it is who was `when' He was not, which is absurd. Did they mean, however, that it was the Father who `was' before the Son? This was true, if `before' was taken, not to imply time, but origination or beginning. And in this sense the first verse of S. John's Gospel may be interpreted `In the Beginning,' or Origin, i.e. in the Father `was the Word.' Thus Athan. himself understands that text, Orat. iv. §1. vid. also Orat. iii. §9; Nyssen. contr. Eunom. iii. p. 106; Cyril. Thesaur. 32. p. 312. [1882] Ps. ii. 1. [1883] John i. 1. [1884] Rev. i. 4. tade legei. [On legei, &c., in citations, see Lightf. on Gal. iii. 16, Winer, Gram. §58, 9 g, Grimm-Thayer, s.v. II. 1. e.] [1885] Rom. ix. 5. [1886] Ib. i. 20. [1887] 1 Cor. i. 24. Athan. has so interpreted this text supr. de Decr. 15. It was either a received interpretation, or had been adduced at Nicæa, for Asterius had some years before these Discourses replied to it, vid. de Syn. 18, and Orat. ii. §37. [1888] 2 Cor. iii. 16, 17. S. Athanasius observes, Serap. i. 4-7, that the Holy Ghost is never in Scripture called simply `Spirit' without the addition `of God' or `of the Father' or `from Me' or of the article, or of `Holy,' or `Comforter,' or `of truth,' or unless He has been spoken of just before. Accordingly this text is understood of the third Person in the Holy Trinity by Origen, contr. Cels. vi. 70; Basil de Sp. S. n. 32; Pseudo-Athan. de comm. ess. 6. On the other hand, the word pneuma, `Spirit, is used more or less distinctly for our Lord's Divine Nature whether in itself or as incarnate, in Rom. i. 4, 1 Cor. xv. 45, 1 Tim. iii. 16, Hebr. ix. 14, 1 Pet. iii. 18, John vi. 63, &c. [But cf. also Milligan Resurr. 238 sq.] Indeed the early Fathers speak as if the `Holy Spirit,' which came down upon S. Mary might be considered the Word. E.g. Tertullian against the Valentinians, `If the Spirit of God did not descend into the womb "to partake in flesh from the womb," why did He descend at all?' de Carn. Chr. 19. vid. also ibid. 5 and 14. contr. Prax. 26, Just. Apol. i. 33. Iren. Hær. v. 1. Cypr. Idol Van. 6. Lactant. Instit. iv. 12. vid. also Hilar. Trin. ii. 27; Athan. logos en to pneumati eplatte to soma. Serap. i. 31 fin. en to logo en to pneuma ibid. iii. 6. And more distinctly even as late as S. Maximus, auton anti sporas sullabousa ton logon, kekueke, t. 2. p. 309. The earliest ecclesiastical authorities are S. Ignatius ad Smyrn. init. and S. Hermas (even though his date were a.d. 150), who also says plainly: Filius autem Spiritus Sanctus est. Sim. v. 5, 2, cf. ix. 1. The same use of `Spirit' for the Word or Godhead of the Word, is also found in Tatian. adv. Græc. 7. Athenag. Leg. 10. Theoph. ad Autol. ii. 10. Iren. Hær. iv. 36. Tertull. Apol. 23. Lact. Inst. iv. 6, 8. Hilar. Trin. ix. 3, and 14. Eustath. apud Theod. Eran. iii. p. 235. Athan. contr. Apoll. i. 8. Apollinar. ap. Theod. Eran. i. p. 71, and the Apollinarists passim. Greg. Naz. Ep. 101. ad Cledon. p. 85. Ambros. Incarn. 63. Severian. ap. Theod. Eran. ii. p. 167. Vid. Grot. ad Marc. ii. 8; Bull, Def. F. N. i. 2, §5; Coustant. Præf. in Hilar. 57, &c. Montfaucon in Athan. Serap. iv. 19. [see also Tertullian, de Orat. init.] [1889] Col. i. 17. [1890] Vid. contr. Gent. 45-47. [1891] Matt. xi. 27. [1892] John xiv. 8, 9. [1893] Rom. i. 20. [1894] Heb. i. 2. [1895] Is. xl. 28. [1896] Hist. Sus. 42. [1897] Bar. iv. 20, 22. [1898] Heb. i. 3. [1899] Ps. xc. 17; xxxvi. 9. [1900] de Decr. 12, 27. [1901] Ps. cxlv. 13. [1902] Vid. de Decr. 18, note 5. The subject is treated at length in Greg. Nyss. contr. Eunom. i. t. 2. Append. p. 93-101. vid. also Ambros. de Fid. i. 8-11. As time measures the material creation, `ages' were considered to measure the immaterial, as the duration of Angels. This had been a philosophical distinction, Timæus says eikon esti chronos to agennato chrono, hon aiona potagoreuomes. vid. also Philon. Quod Deus Immut. 6. Euseb. Laud. C. 1 prope fin., p. 501. Naz. Or. 38. 8. [1903] John xiv. 6; x. 14; viii. 12; xiii. 13 [1904] Gen. ii. 5. [1905] Deut. xxxii. 8. [1906] John xiv. 28, 29. [1907] Prov. viii. 23. [1908] John viii. 58. [1909] Jer. i. 5. [1910] Ps. xc. 2. [1911] Hist. Sus. 42. [1912] de Decr. 23, note 4. [1913] John i. 3.

Chapter V.--Subject Continued. Objection, that the Son's eternity makes Him coordinate with the Father, introduces the subject of His Divine Sonship, as a second proof of His eternity. The word Son is introduced in a secondary, but is to be understood in real sense. Since all things partake of the Father in partaking of the Son, He is the whole participation of the Father, that is, He is the Son by nature; for to be wholly participated is to beget.

14. When these points are thus proved, their profaneness goes further. `If there never was, when the Son was not,' say they, `but He is eternal, and coexists with the Father, you call Him no more the Father's Son, but brother [1914] .' O insensate and contentious! For if we said only that He was eternally with the Father, and not His Son, their pretended scruple would have some plausibility; but if, while we say that He is eternal, we also confess Him to be Son from the Father, how can He that is begotten be considered brother of Him who begets? And if our faith is in Father and Son, what brotherhood is there between them? and how can the Word be called brother of Him whose Word He is? This is not an objection of men really ignorant, for they comprehend how the truth lies; but it is a Jewish pretence, and that from those who, in Solomon's words, `through desire separate themselves [1915] ' from the truth. For the Father and the Son were not generated from some pre-existing origin [1916] , that we may account Them brothers, but the Father is the Origin of the Son and begat Him; and the Father is Father, and not born the Son of any; and the Son is Son, and not brother. Further, if He is called the eternal offspring [1917] of the Father, He is rightly so called. For never was the essence of the Father imperfect, that what is proper to it should be added afterwards [1918] ; nor, as man from man, has the Son been begotten, so as to be later than His Father's existence, but He is God's offspring, and as being proper Son of God, who is ever, He exists eternally. For, whereas it is proper to men to beget in time, from the imperfection of their nature [1919] , God's offspring is eternal, for His nature is ever perfect [1920] . If then He is not a Son, but a work made out of nothing, they have but to prove it; and then they are at liberty, as if imagining about a creature, to cry out, `There was once when He was not;' for things which are originated were not, and have come to be. But if He is Son, as the Father says, and the Scriptures proclaim, and `Son' is nothing else than what is generated from the Father; and what is generated from the Father is His Word, and Wisdom, and Radiance; what is to be said but that, in maintaining `Once the Son was not,' they rob God of His Word, like plunderers, and openly predicate of Him that He was once without His proper Word and Wisdom, and that the Light was once without radiance, and the Fountain was once barren and dry [1921] ? For though they pretend alarm at the name of time, because of those who reproach them with it, and say, that He was before times, yet whereas they assign certain intervals, in which they imagine He was not, they are most irreligious still, as equally suggesting times, and imputing to God an absence of Reason [1922] .

15. But if on the other hand, while they acknowledge with us the name of `Son,' from an unwillingness to be publicly and generally condemned, they deny that the Son is the proper offspring of the Father's essence, on the ground that this must imply parts and divisions [1923] ; what is this but to deny that He is very Son, and only in name to call Him Son at all? And is it not a grievous error, to have material thoughts about what is immaterial, and because of the weakness of their proper nature to deny what is natural and proper to the Father? It does but remain, that they should deny Him also, because they understand not how God is [1924] , and what the Father is, now that, foolish men, they measure by themselves the Offspring of the Father. And persons in such a state of mind as to consider that there cannot be a Son of God, demand our pity; but they must be interrogated and exposed for the chance of bringing them to their senses. If then, as you say, `the Son is from nothing,' and `was not before His generation,' He, of course, as well as others, must be called Son and God and Wisdom only by participation; for thus all other creatures consist, and by sanctification are glorified. You have to tell us then, of what He is partaker [1925] . All other things partake of the Spirit, but He, according to you, of what is He partaker? of the Spirit? Nay, rather the Spirit Himself takes from the Son, as He Himself says; and it is not reasonable to say that the latter is sanctified by the former. Therefore it is the Father that He partakes; for this only remains to say. But this, which is participated, what is it or whence [1926] ? If it be something external provided by the Father, He will not now be partaker of the Father, but of what is external to Him; and no longer will He be even second after the Father, since He has before Him this other; nor can He be called Son of the Father, but of that, as partaking which He has been called Son and God. And if this be unseemly and irreligious, when the Father says, `This is My Beloved Son [1927] ,' and when the Son says that God is His own Father, it follows that what is partaken is not external, but from the essence of the Father. And as to this again, if it be other than the essence of the Son, an equal extravagance will meet us; there being in that case something between this that is from the Father and the essence of the Son, whatever that be [1928] .

16. Such thoughts then being evidently unseemly and untrue, we are driven to say that what is from the essence of the Father, and proper to Him, is entirely the Son; for it is all one to say that God is wholly participated, and that He begets; and what does begetting signify but a Son? And thus of the Son Himself, all things partake according to the grace of the Spirit coming from Him [1929] ; and this shews that the Son Himself partakes of nothing, but what is partaken from the Father, is the Son; for, as partaking of the Son Himself, we are said to partake of God; and this is what Peter said `that ye may be partakers in a divine nature [1930] ;' as says too the Apostle, `Know ye not, that ye are a temple of God?' and, `We are the temple of a living God [1931] .' And beholding the Son, we see the Father; for the thought [1932] and comprehension of the Son, is knowledge concerning the Father, because He is His proper offspring from His essence. And since to be partaken no one of us would ever call affection or division of God's essence (for it has been shewn and acknowledged that God is participated, and to be participated is the same thing as to beget); therefore that which is begotten is neither affection nor division of that blessed essence. Hence it is not incredible that God should have a Son, the Offspring of His own essence; nor do we imply affection or division of God's essence, when we speak of `Son' and `Offspring;' but rather, as acknowledging the genuine, and true, and Only-begotten of God, so we believe. If then, as we have stated and are shewing, what is the Offspring of the Father's essence be the Son, we cannot hesitate, rather we must be certain, that the same [1933] is the Wisdom and Word of the Father, in and through whom He creates and makes all things; and His Brightness too, in whom He enlightens all things, and is revealed to whom He will; and His Expression and Image also, in whom He is contemplated and known, wherefore `He and His Father are one [1934] ,' and whoso looketh on Him looketh on the Father; and the Christ, in whom all things are redeemed, and the new creation wrought afresh. And on the other hand, the Son being such Offspring, it is not fitting, rather it is full of peril, to say, that He is a work out of nothing, or that He was not before His generation. For he who thus speaks of that which is proper to the Father's essence, already blasphemes the Father Himself [1935] ; since he really thinks of Him what he falsely imagines of His offspring.


[1914] This was an objection urged by Eunomius, cf. de Syn. 51, note 8. It is implied also in the Apology of the former, §24, and in Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 28. Aetius was in Alexandria with George of Cappadocia, a.d. 356-8, and Athan. wrote these Discourses in the latter year, as the de Syn. at the end of the next. It is probable then that he is alluding to the Anomoean arguments as he heard them reported, vid. de Syn. l.c. where he says, `they say, "as you have written,"' §51. 'Anomoios kat' ousian is mentioned infr. §17. As the Arians here object that the First and Second Persons of the Holy Trinity are adelphoi, so did they say the same in the course of the controversy of the Second and Third. vid. Serap. i. 15. iv. 2. [1915] Prov. xviii. 1. [1916] Vid. de Syn. §51. [1917] In other words, by the Divine gennesis is not meant an act but an eternal and unchangeable fact, in the Divine Essence. Arius. not admitting this, objected at the outset of the controversy to the phrase `always Father, always Son,' Theod. H. E. i. 4. p. 749, and Eunomius argues that, `if the Son is co-eternal with the Father, the Father was never such in act, energos, but was argos.' Cyril. Thesaur. v. p. 41. S. Cyril answers that `works,' erga, are made exothen, `from without;' but that our Lord, as S. Athanasius here says, is neither a `work' nor `from without.' And hence he says elsewhere that, while men are fathers first in posse then in act, God is dunamei te kai energei& 139; pater. Dial. 2. p. 458. (vid. supr. p. 65. note m). Victorinus in like manner, says, that God is potentia et actione Deus sed in æterna, Adv. Ar. i. p. 202; and he quotes S. Alexander, speaking apparently in answer to Arius, of a semper generans generatio. And Arius scoffs at aeigennes and agennetogenes. Theod. Hist. i. 4. p. 749. And Origen had said, ho soter aei gennatai. ap. Routh. Reliq. t. 4. p. 304 and S. Dionysius calls Him the Radiance, anarchon kai aeigenes. Sent. Dion 15. S. Augustine too says, Semper gignit Pater, et semper nascitur Filius. Ep. 238. n. 4. Petav. de Trin. ii. 5. n. 7, quotes the following passage from Theodorus Abucara, `Since the Son's generation does but signify His having His existence from the Father, which He has ever, therefore He is ever begotten. For it became Him, who is properly (kurios) the Son, ever to be deriving His existence from the Father, and not as we who derive its commencement only. In us generation is a way to existence; in the Son of God it denotes the existence itself; in Him it has not existence for its end, but it is itself an end, telos, and is perfect, teleion.' Opusc 26. [1918] de Decr. 22, note 9. [1919] Infr. §26 fin., and de Decr. 12, note 2. [1920] Vid. supr. note 4. A similar passage is found in Cyril. Thesaur. v. p. 42, Dial. ii. fin. This was retorting the objection; the Arians said, `How can God be ever perfect, who added to Himself a Son?' Athan. answers, `How can the Son not be eternal, since God is ever perfect?' vid. Greg. Nyssen, contr. Eunom. Append. p. 142. Cyril. Thesaur. x. p. 78. As to the Son's perfection, Aetius objects ap. Epiph. Hær. 76. pp. 925, 6, that growth and consequent accession from without were essentially involved in the idea of Sonship; whereas S. Greg. Naz. speaks of the Son as not atele proteron, eita teleion, hosper nomos tes hemeteras geneseos, Orat. 20. 9 fin. In like manner, S. Basil argues against Eunomius, that the Son is teleios, because He is the Image, not as if copied, which is a gradual work, but as a charakter, or impression of a seal, or as the knowledge communicated from master to scholar, which comes to the latter and exists in him perfect, without being lost to the former. contr. Eunom. ii. 16 fin. [1921] de Decr. 12, 15. [1922] Ib. 22, note 1, infr. §19. [1923] De Decr. §§10, 11. [1924] Infr. §23. [1925] De Syn. §45, 51. [1926] Nic. Def. 9, note 4. [1927] Matt. iii. 17. [1928] Here is taught us the strict unity of the Divine Essence. When it is said that the First Person of the Holy Trinity communicates divinity to the Second, it is meant that that one Essence which is the Father, also is the Son. Hence the force of the word homoousion, which was in consequence accused of Sabellianism, but was distinguished from it by the particle homou, `together,' which implied a difference as well as unity; whereas tautoousion or sunousion implied, with the Sabellians, an identity or a confusion. The Arians, on the other hand, as in the instance of Eusebius, &c., supr. p. 75, note 7; de Syn. 26, note 3; considered the Father and the Son two ousiai. The Catholic doctrine is that, though the Divine Essence is both the Father Ingenerate and also the Only-begotten Son, it is not itself agennetos or gennete; which was the objection urged against the Catholics by Aetius, Epiph. Hær. 76. 10. Cf. de Decr. §30, Orat. iii. §36 fin., Expos. Fid. 2. vid. de Syn. 45, note 1. `Vera et æterna substantia in se tota permanens, totam se coæternæ veritati nativitatis indulsit.' Fulgent. Resp. 7. And S. Hilary, `Filius in Patre est et in Filio Pater, non per transfusionem, refusionemque mutuam, sed per viventis naturæ perfectam nativitatem.' Trin. vii. 31. [1929] De Decr. §31. [1930] 2 Pet. i. 4. [1931] 1 Cor. iii. 16; 2 Cor. vi. 16. [1932] ennoia, vid. de Syn. §48 fin. [1933] de Decr. 17, 24. [1934] John x. 30. [1935] de Decr. 1, note.

Chapter VI.--Subject Continued. Third proof of the Son's eternity, viz. from other titles indicative of His coessentiality; as the Creator; One of the Blessed Trinity; as Wisdom; as Word; as Image. If the Son is a perfect Image of the Father, why is He not a Father also? because God, being perfect, is not the origin of a race. Only the Father a Father because the Only Father, only the Son a Son because the Only Son. Men are not really fathers and really sons, but shadows of the True. The Son does not become a Father, because He has received from the Father to be immutable and ever the same.

17. This is of itself a sufficient refutation of the Arian heresy; however, its heterodoxy will appear also from the following:--If God be Maker and Creator, and create His works through the Son, and we cannot regard things which come to be, except as being through the Word, is it not blasphemous, God being Maker, to say, that His Framing Word and His Wisdom once was not? it is the same as saying, that God is not Maker, if He had not His proper Framing Word which is from Him, but that that by which He frames, accrues to Him from without [1936] , and is alien from Him, and unlike in essence. Next, let them tell us this,--or rather learn from it how irreligious they are in saying, `Once He was not,' and, `He was not before His generation;'--for if the Word is not with the Father from everlasting, the Triad is not everlasting; but a Monad was first, and afterwards by addition it became a Triad; and so as time went on, it seems what we know concerning God grew and took shape [1937] . And further, if the Son is not proper offspring of the Father's essence, but of nothing has come to be, then of nothing the Triad consists, and once there was not a Triad, but a Monad; and a Triad once with deficiency, and then complete; deficient, before the Son was originated, complete when He had come to be; and henceforth a thing originated is reckoned with the Creator, and what once was not has divine worship and glory with Him who was ever [1938] . Nay, what is more serious still, the Triad is discovered to be unlike Itself, consisting of strange and alien natures and essences. And this, in other words, is saying, that the Triad has an originated consistence. What sort of a religion then is this, which is not even like itself, but is in process of completion as time goes on, and is now not thus, and then again thus? For probably it will receive some fresh accession, and so on without limit, since at first and at starting it took its consistence by way of accessions. And so undoubtedly it may decrease on the contrary, for what is added plainly admits of being subtracted.

18. But this is not so: perish the thought; the Triad is not originated; but there is an eternal and one Godhead in a Triad, and there is one Glory of the Holy Triad. And you presume to divide it into different natures; the Father being eternal, yet you say of the Word which is seated by Him, `Once He was not;' and, whereas the Son is seated by the Father, yet you think to place Him far from Him. The Triad is Creator and Framer, and you fear not to degrade It to things which are from nothing; you scruple not to equal servile beings to the nobility of the Triad, and to rank the King, the Lord of Sabaoth with subjects [1939] . Cease this confusion of things unassociable, or rather of things which are not with Him who is. Such statements do not glorify and honour the Lord, but the reverse; for he who dishonours the Son, dishonours also the Father. For if the doctrine of God is now perfect in a Triad, and this is the true and only Religion, and this is the good and the truth, it must have been always so, unless the good and the truth be something that came after, and the doctrine of God is completed by additions. I say, it must have been eternally so; but if not eternally, not so at present either, but at present so, as you suppose it was from the beginning,--I mean, not a Triad now. But such heretics no Christian would bear; it belongs to Greeks, to introduce an originated Triad, and to level It with things originate; for these do admit of deficiencies and additions; but the faith of Christians acknowledges the blessed Triad as unalterable and perfect and ever what It was, neither adding to It what is more, nor imputing to It any loss (for both ideas are irreligious), and therefore it dissociates It from all things generated, and it guards as indivisible and worships the unity of the Godhead Itself; and shuns the Arian blasphemies, and confesses and acknowledges that the Son was ever; for He is eternal, as is the Father, of whom He is the Eternal Word,--to which subject let us now return again.

19. If God be, and be called, the Fountain of wisdom and life--as He says by Jeremiah, `They have forsaken Me the Fountain of living waters [1940] ;' and again, `A glorious high throne from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary; O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of living waters [1941] ;' and in the book of Baruch it is written, `Thou hast forsaken the Fountain of wisdom [1942] ,'--this implies that life and wisdom are not foreign to the Essence of the Fountain, but are proper to It, nor were at any time without existence, but were always. Now the Son is all this, who says, `I am the Life [1943] ,' and, `I Wisdom dwell with prudence [1944] .' Is it not then irreligious to say, `Once the Son was not?' for it is all one with saying, `Once the Fountain was dry, destitute of Life and Wisdom.' But a fountain it would then cease to be; for what begetteth not from itself, is not a fountain [1945] . What a load of extravagance! for God promises that those who do His will shall be as a fountain which the water fails not, saying by Isaiah the prophet, `And the Lord shall satisfy thy soul in drought, and make thy bones fat; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not [1946] .' And yet these, whereas God is called and is a Fountain of wisdom, dare to insult Him as barren and void of His proper Wisdom. But their doctrine is false; truth witnessing that God is the eternal Fountain of His proper Wisdom; and, if the Fountain be eternal, the Wisdom also must needs be eternal. For in It were all things made, as David says in the Psalm, `In Wisdom hast Thou made them all [1947] ;' and Solomon says, `The Lord by Wisdom hath formed the earth, by understanding hath He established the heavens [1948] .' And this Wisdom is the Word, and by Him, as John says, `all things were made,' and `without Him was made not one thing [1949] .' And this Word is Christ; for `there is One God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for Him; and One Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him [1950] .' And if all things are through Him, He Himself is not to be reckoned with that `all.' For he who dares [1951] to call Him, through whom are things, one of that `all,' surely will have like speculations concerning God, from whom are all. But if he shrinks from this as unseemly, and excludes God from that all, it is but consistent that he should also exclude from that all the Only-Begotten Son, as being proper to the Father's essence. And, if He be not one of the all [1952] , it is sin to say concerning Him, `He was not,' and `He was not before His generation.' Such words may be used of the creatures; but as to the Son, He is such as the Father is, of whose essence He is proper Offspring, Word, and Wisdom [1953] . For this is proper to the Son, as regards the Father, and this shews that the Father is proper to the Son; that we may neither say that God was ever without Word [1954] , nor that the Son was non-existent. For wherefore a Son, if not from Him? or wherefore Word and Wisdom, if not ever proper to Him?

20. When then was God without that which is proper to Him? or how can a man consider that which is proper, as foreign and alien in essence? for other things, according to the nature of things originate, are without likeness in essence with the Maker; but are external to Him, made by the Word at His grace and will, and thus admit of ceasing to be, if it so pleases Him who made them [1955] ; for such is the nature of things originate [1956] . But as to what is proper to the Father's essence (for this we have already found to be the Son), what daring is it in irreligion to say that `This comes from nothing,' and that `It was not before generation,' but was adventitious [1957] , and can at some time cease to be again? Let a person only dwell upon this thought, and he will discern how the perfection and the plenitude of the Father's essence is impaired by this heresy; however, he will see its unseemliness still more clearly, if he considers that the Son is the Image and Radiance of the Father, and Expression, and Truth. For if, when Light exists, there be withal its Image, viz. Radiance, and, a Subsistence existing, there be of it the entire Expression, and, a Father existing, there be His Truth (viz. the Son); let them consider what depths of irreligion they fall into, who make time the measure of the Image and Form of the Godhead. For if the Son was not before His generation, Truth was not always in God, which it were a sin to say; for, since the Father was, there was ever in Him the Truth, which is the Son, who says, `I am the Truth [1958] .' And the Subsistence existing, of course there was forthwith its Expression and Image; for God's Image is not delineated from without [1959] , but God Himself hath begotten it; in which seeing Himself, He has delight, as the Son Himself says, `I was His delight [1960] .' When then did the Father not see Himself in His own Image? or when had He not delight, that a man should dare to say, `the Image is out of nothing,' and `The Father had not delight before the Image was originated?' and how should the Maker and Creator see Himself in a created and originated essence? for such as is the Father, such must be the Image.

21. Proceed we then to consider the attributes of the Father, and we shall come to know whether this Image is really His. The Father is eternal, immortal, powerful, light, King, Sovereign, God, Lord, Creator, and Maker. These attributes must be in the Image, to make it true that he `that hath seen' the Son `hath seen the Father [1961] .' If the Son be not all this, but, as the Arians consider, originate, and not eternal, this is not a true Image of the Father, unless indeed they give up shame, and go on to say, that the title of Image, given to the Son, is not a token of a similar essence [1962] , but His name [1963] only. But this, on the other hand, O ye enemies of Christ, is not an Image, nor is it an Expression. For what is the likeness of what is out of nothing to Him who brought what was nothing into being? or how can that which is not, be like Him that is, being short of Him in once not being, and in its having its place among things originate? However, such the Arians wishing Him to be, devised for themselves arguments such as this;--`If the Son is the Father's offspring and Image, and is like in all things [1964] to the Father, then it necessarily holds that as He is begotten, so He begets, and He too becomes father of a son. And again, he who is begotten from Him, begets in his turn, and so on without limit; for this is to make the Begotten like Him that begat Him.' Authors of blasphemy, verily, are these foes of God! who, sooner than confess that the Son is the Father's Image [1965] , conceive material and earthly ideas concerning the Father Himself, ascribing to Him severings and [1966] effluences and influences. If then God be as man, let Him become also a parent as man, so that His Son should be father of another, and so in succession one from another, till the series they imagine grows into a multitude of gods. But if God be not as man, as He is not, we must not impute to Him the attributes of man. For brutes and men, after a Creator has begun them, are begotten by succession; and the son, having been begotten of a father who was a son, becomes accordingly in his turn a father to a son, in inheriting from his father that by which he himself has come to be. Hence in such instances there is not, properly speaking, either father or son, nor do the father and the son stay in their respective characters, for the son himself becomes a father, being son of his father, but father of his son. But it is not so in the Godhead; for not as man is God; for the Father is not from a father; therefore doth He not beget one who shall become a father; nor is the Son from effluence of the Father, nor is He begotten from a father that was begotten; therefore neither is He begotten so as to beget. Thus it belongs to the Godhead alone, that the Father is properly [1967] father, and the Son properly son, and in Them, and Them only, does it hold that the Father is ever Father and the Son ever Son.

22. Therefore he who asks why the Son is not to beget a son, must inquire why the Father had not a father. But both suppositions are unseemly and full of impiety. For as the Father is ever Father and never could become Son, so the Son is ever Son and never could become Father. For in this rather is He shewn to be the Father's Expression and Image, remaining what He is and not changing, but thus receiving from the Father to be one and the same. If then the Father change, let the Image change; for so is the Image and Radiance in its relation towards Him who begat It. But if the Father is unalterable, and what He is that He continues, necessarily does the Image also continue what He is, and will not alter. Now He is Son from the Father; therefore He will not become other than is proper to the Father's essence. Idly then have the foolish ones devised this objection also, wishing to separate the Image from the Father, that they might level the Son with things originated.


[1936] de Decr. 25, note 2. [1937] Vid. Orat. iv. §13. [1938] §8, note 8. [1939] De Decr. §31. [1940] Jer. ii. 13. [1941] Ib. xvii. 12, 13. [1942] Bar. iii. 12. [1943] John xiv. 6. [1944] Prov. viii. 12. [1945] Supr. §15. [1946] Isa. lviii. 11. [1947] Ps. civ. 24. [1948] Prov. iii. 19. [1949] John i. 3. See Westcott's additional note on the passage.] [1950] 1 Cor. viii. 6. [1951] Vid. Petav. de Trin. ii. 12, §4. [1952] De Decr. §30. [1953] De Decr. §17. [1954] alogon. Vid. note on de Decr. §§1, 15, where other instances are given from Athan. and Dionysius of Rome; vid. also Orat. iv. 2, 4. Sent. D. 23. Origen, supr. p. 48. Athenag. Leg. 10. Tat. contr. Græc. 5. Theoph. ad. Autol. ii. 10. Hipp. contr. Noet. 10. Nyssen. contr. Eunom. vii. p. 215. viii. pp. 230, 240. Orat, Catech. 1. Naz. Orat. 29. 17 fin. Cyril. Thesaur. xiv. p. 145 (vid. Petav. de Trin. vi. 9). It must not be supposed from these instances that the Fathers meant that our Lord was literally what is called the attribute of reason or wisdom in the Divine Essence, or in other words, that He was God merely viewed as He is wise; which would be a kind of Sabellianism. But, whereas their opponents said that He was but called Word and Wisdom after the attribute (vid. de Syn. 15, note), they said that such titles marked, not only a typical resemblance to the attribute, but so full a correspondence and (as it were) coincidence in nature with it, that whatever relation that attribute had to God, such in kind had the Son;--that the attribute was His symbol, and not His mere archetype; that our Lord was eternal and proper to God, because that attribute was, which was His title, vid. Ep. Ęg. 14, that our Lord was that Essential Reason and Wisdom,--not by which the Father is wise, but without which the Father was not wise;--not, that is, in the way of a formal cause, but in fact. Or, whereas the Father Himself is Reason and Wisdom, the Son is the necessary result of that Reason and Wisdom, so that, to say that there was no Word, would imply there was no Divine Reason; just as a radiance implies a light; or, as Petavius remarks, l.c. quoting the words which follow shortly after in the text, the eternity of the Original implies the eternity of the Image; tes hupostaseos huparchouses, pantos euthus einai dei ton charaktera kai ten eikona tautes, §20. vid. also infr. §31, de Decr. §13, p. 21, §§20, 23, pp. 35, 40. Theod. H. E. i. 3. p. 737. [1955] This was but the opposite aspect of the tenet of our Lord's consubstantiality or eternal generation. For if He came into being at the will of God, by the same will He might cease to be; but if His existence is unconditional and necessary, as God's attributes might be, then as He had no beginning, so can He have no end; for He is in, and one with, the Father, who has neither beginning nor end. On the question of the `will of God' as it affects the doctrine, vid. Orat. iii. §59, &c. [1956] §29, note. [1957] De Decr. 22, note 9. [1958] John xiv. 6. [1959] Athan. argues from the very name Image for our Lord's eternity. An Image, to be really such, must be an expression from the Original, not an external and detached imitation. vid. supr. note 10, infr. §26. Hence S. Basil, `He is an Image not made with the hand, or a work of art, but a living Image,' &c. vid. also contr. Eunom. ii. 16, 17. Epiph. Hær. 76. 3. Hilar. Trin. vii. 41 fin. Origen observes that man, on the contrary, is an example of an external or improper image of God. Periarch. i. 2. §6. It might have been more direct to have argued from the name of Image to our Lord's consubstantiality rather than eternity, as, e.g. S. Gregory Naz. `He is Image as one in essence, homoousion,...for this is the nature of an image, to be a copy of the archetype.' Orat. 30. 20. vid. also de Decr. §§20, 23, but for whatever reason Athan. avoids the word homoousion in these Discourses. S. Chrys. on Col. i. 15. [1960] Prov. viii. 30. [1961] John xiv. 9. [1962] homoias ousias. And so §20 init. homoion kat' ousian, and homoios tes ousias, §26. homoios kat' ousian, iii. 26. and homoios kata ten ousian tou patros. Ep. Ęg. 17. Also Alex. Ep. Encycl. 2. Considering what he says in the de Syn. §38, &c., in controversy with the semi-Arians a year or two later, this use of their formula, in preference to the homoousion (vid. foregoing note), deserves our attention. [1963] De Decr. §16. [1964] De Syn. 27 (5) note 1, and infr. §40. [1965] The objection is this, that, if our Lord be the Father's Image, He ought to resemble Him in being a Father. S. Athanasius answers that God is not as man; with us a son becomes a father because our nature is rheuste, transitive and without stay, ever shifting and passing on into new forms and relations; but that God is perfect and ever the same, what He is once that He continues to be; God the Father remains Father, and God the Son remains Son. Moreover men become fathers by detachment and transmission, and what is received is handed on in a succession; whereas the Father, by imparting Himself wholly, begets the Son: and a perfect nativity finds its termination in itself. The Son has not a Son, because the Father has not a Father. Thus the Father is the only true Father, and the Son alone true Son; the Father only a Father, the Son only a Son; being really in their Persons what human fathers are but by office, character, accident, and name; vid. De Decr. 11, note 6. And since the Father is unchangeable as Father, in nothing does the Son more fulfil the idea of a perfect Image than in being unchangeable too. Thus S. Cyril also, Thesaur. 10. p. 124. And this perhaps may illustrate a strong and almost startling implication of some of the Greek Fathers, that the First Person in the Holy Trinity, is not God [in virtue of His Fatherhood]. E.g. ei de theos ho hui& 232;s, ouk epei hui& 231;s; homoios kai ho pater, ouk epei pater, theos; all' epei ousia toiade, heis esti pater kai ho hui& 232;s theos. Nyssen. t. i. p. 915. vid. Petav. de Deo i. 9. §13. Should it be asked, `What is the Father if not God?' it is enough to answer, `the Father.' Men differ from each other as being individuals, but the characteristic difference between Father and Son is, not that they are individuals, but that they are Father and Son. In these extreme statements it must be ever borne in mind that we are contemplating divine things according to our notions. not in fact: i.e. speaking of the Almighty Father, as such; there being no real separation between His Person and His Substance. It may be added, that, though theologians differ in their decisions, it would appear that our Lord is not the Image of the Father's person, but of the Father's substance; in other words, not of the Father considered as Father, but considered as God. That is, God the Son is like and equal to God the Father, because they are both the same God. De Syn. 49. note 4, also next note. [1966] Ep. Eus. 7, de Decr. 11, note 8. [1967] kurios, de Decr. 11, note 6. Elsewhere Athan. says, `The Father being one and only is Father of a Son one and only; and in the instance of Godhead only have the names Father and Son stay, and are ever; for of men if any one be called father, yet he has been son of another; and if he be called son, yet is he called father of another; so that in the case of men the names father and son do not properly, kurios, hold.' ad Serap. i. 16. also ibid. iv. 4 fin. and 6. vid. also kurios, Greg. Naz. Orat. 29. 5. alethos, Orat. 25, 16. ontos, Basil. contr. Eunom. i. 5. p. 215.

Chapter VII.--Objections to the Foregoing Proof. Whether, in the generation of the Son, God made One that was already, or One that was not.

22 (continued). Ranking Him among these, according to the teaching of Eusebius, and accounting Him such as the things which come into being through Him, Arius and his fellows revolted from the truth, and used, when they commenced this heresy, to go about with dishonest phrases which they had got together; nay, up to this time some of them [1968] , when they fall in with boys in the market-place, question them, not out of divine Scripture, but thus, as if bursting with `the abundance of their heart [1969] ;'--`He who is, did He make him who was not, from that which was [not], or him who was? therefore did He make the Son, whereas He was, or whereas He was not [1970] ?' And again, `Is the Unoriginate one or two?' and `Has He free will, and yet does not alter at His own choice, as being of an alterable nature? for He is not as a stone to remain by Himself unmoveable.' Next they turn to silly women, and address them in turn in this womanish language; `Hadst thou a son before bearing? now, as thou hadst not, so neither was the Son of God before His generation.' In such language do the disgraceful men sport and revel, and liken God to men, pretending to be Christians, but changing God's glory `into an image made like to corruptible man [1971] .'

23. Words so senseless and dull deserved no answer at all; however, lest their heresy appear to have any foundation, it may be right, though we go out of the way for it, to refute them even here, especially on account of the silly women who are so readily deceived by them. When they thus speak, they should have inquired of an architect, whether he can build without materials; and if he cannot, whether it follows that God could not make the universe without materials [1972] . Or they should have asked every man, whether he can be without place; and if he cannot, whether it follows that God is in place, that so they may be brought to shame even by their audience. Or why is it that, on hearing that God has a Son, they deny Him by the parallel of themselves; whereas, if they hear that He creates and makes, no longer do they object their human ideas? they ought in creation also to entertain the same, and to supply God with materials, and so deny Him to be Creator, till they end in grovelling with Manichees. But if the bare idea of God transcends such thoughts, and, on very first hearing, a man believes and knows that He is in being, not as we are, and yet in being as God, and creates not as man creates, but yet creates as God, it is plain that He begets also not as men beget, but begets as God. For God does not make man His pattern; but rather we men, for that God is properly, and alone truly [1973] , Father of His Son, are also called fathers of our own children; for of Him `is every fatherhood in heaven and earth named [1974] .' And their positions, while unscrutinized, have a shew of sense; but if any one scrutinize them by reason, they will be found to incur much derision and mockery.

24. For first of all, as to their first question, which is such as this, how dull and vague it is! they do not explain who it is they ask about, so as to allow of an answer, but they say abstractedly, `He who is,' `him who is not.' Who then `is,' and what `are not,' O Arians? or who `is,' and who `is not?' what are said `to be,' what `not to be?' for He that is, can make things which are not, and which are, and which were before. For instance, carpenter, and goldsmith, and potter, each, according to his own art, works upon materials previously existing, making what vessels he pleases; and the God of all Himself, having taken the dust of the earth existing and already brought to be, fashions man; that very earth, however, whereas it was not once, He has at one time made by His own Word. If then this is the meaning of their question, the creature on the one hand plainly was not before its origination, and men, on the other, work the existing material; and thus their reasoning is inconsequent, since both `what is' becomes, and `what is not' becomes, as these instances shew. But if they speak concerning God and His Word, let them complete their question and then ask, Was the God, `who is,' ever without Reason? and, whereas He is Light, was He ray-less? or was He always Father of the Word? Or again in this manner. Has the Father `who is' made the Word `who is not,' or has He ever with Him His Word, as the proper offspring of His substance? This will shew them that they do but presume and venture on sophisms about God and Him who is from Him. Who indeed can bear to hear them say that God was ever without Reason? this is what they fall into a second time, though endeavouring in vain to escape it and to hide it with their sophisms. Nay, one would fain not hear them disputing at all, that God was not always Father, but became so afterwards (which is necessary for their fantasy, that His Word once was not), considering the number of the proofs already adduced against them; while John besides says, `The Word was [1975] ,' and Paul again writes, `Who being the brightness of His glory [1976] ,' and, `Who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen [1977] .'

25. They had best have been silent; but since it is otherwise, it remains to meet their shameless question with a bold retort [1978] . Perhaps on seeing the counter absurdities which beset themselves, they may cease to fight against the truth. After many prayers [1979] then that God would be gracious to us, thus we might ask them in turn; God who is, has He so become, whereas He was not? or is He also before His coming into being? whereas He is, did He make Himself, or is He of nothing, and being nothing before, did He suddenly appear Himself? Unseemly is such an enquiry, both unseemly and very blasphemous, yet parallel with theirs; for the answer they make abounds in irreligion. But if it be blasphemous and utterly irreligious thus to inquire about God, it will be blasphemous too to make the like inquiries about His Word. However, by way of exposing a question so senseless and so dull, it is necessary to answer thus:--whereas God is, He was eternally; since then the Father is ever, His Radiance ever is, which is His Word. And again, God who is, hath from Himself His Word who also is; and neither hath the Word been added, whereas He was not before, nor was the Father once without Reason. For this assault upon the Son makes the blasphemy recoil upon the Father; as if He devised for Himself a Wisdom, and Word, and Son from without [1980] ; for whichever of these titles you use, you denote the offspring from the Father, as has been said. So that this their objection does not hold; and naturally; for denying the Logos they in consequence ask questions which are illogical. As then if a person saw the sun, and then inquired concerning its radiance, and said, `Did that which is make that which was, or that which was not,' he would be held not to reason sensibly, but to be utterly mazed, because he fancied what is from the Light to be external to it, and was raising questions, when and where and whether it were made; in like manner, thus to speculate concerning the Son and the Father and thus to inquire, is far greater madness, for it is to conceive of the Word of the Father as external to Him, and to idly call the natural offspring a work, with the avowal, `He was not before His generation.' Nay, let them over and above take this answer to their question;--The Father who was, made the Son who was, for `the Word was made flesh [1981] ;' and, whereas He was Son of God, He made Him in consummation of the ages also Son of Man, unless forsooth, after the Samosatene, they affirm that He did not even exist at all, till He became man.

26. This is sufficient from us in answer to their first question. And now on your part, O Arians, remembering your own words, tell us whether He who was needed one who was not for the framing of the universe, or one who was? You said that He made for Himself His Son out of nothing, as an instrument whereby to make the universe. Which then is superior, that which needs or that which supplies the need? or does not each supply the deficiency of the other? You rather prove the weakness of the Maker, if He had not power of Himself to make the universe, but provided for Himself an instrument from without [1982] , as carpenter might do or shipwright, unable to work anything without adze and saw! Can anything be more irreligious? yet why should one dwell on its heinousness, when enough has gone before to shew that their doctrine is a mere fantasy?


[1968] This miserable procedure, of making sacred and mysterious subjects a matter of popular talk and debate, which is a sure mark of heresy, had received a great stimulus about this time by the rise of the Anomoeans. Eusebius's testimony to the profaneness which attended Arianism upon its rise will be given de Syn. 2, note 1. The Thalia is another instance of it. S. Alexander speaks of the interference, even judicial, in its behalf against himself, of disobedient women, di' entuchias gunaikarion atakton ha epatesan, and of the busy and indecent gadding about of the younger, ek tou peritrochazein pasan aguian asemnos. ap. Theod. H. E. i. 3. p. 730, also p. 747; also of the men's buffoon conversation, p. 731. Socrates says that `in the Imperial Court, the officers of the bedchamber held disputes with the women, and in the city in every house there was a war of dialectics.' Hist. ii. 2. This mania raged especially in Constantinople, and S. Gregory Naz. speaks of `Jezebels in as thick a crop as hemlock in a field.' Orat. 35. 3, cf. de Syn. 13, n. 4. He speaks of the heretics as `aiming at one thing only, how to make good or refute points of argument,' making `every market-place resound with their words, and spoiling every entertainment with their trifling and offensive talk.' Orat. 27. 2. The most remarkable testimony of the kind though not concerning Constantinople, is given by S. Gregory Nyssen, and often quoted, `Men of yesterday and the day before, mere mechanics, off-hand dogmatists in theology, servants too and slaves that have been flogged, runaways from servile work, are solemn with us and philosophical about things incomprehensible....With such the whole city is full; its smaller gates, forums, squares, thoroughfares; the clothes-venders, the money-lenders, the victuallers. Ask about pence, and he will discuss the Generate and Ingenerate; inquire the price of bread, he answers, Greater is the Father, and the Son is subject; say that a bath would suit you, and he defines that the Son is out of nothing.' t. 2. p. 898. [1969] Matt. xii. 34. [1970] This objection is found in Alex. Ep. Encycl. 2. ho on theos ton me onta ek tou me ontos. Again, onta gegenneke e ouk onta. Greg. Orat. 29. 9. who answers it. Pseudo-Basil. contr. Eunom. iv. p. 281. 2. Basil calls the question poluthrulleton, contr. Eunom. ii. 14. It will be seen to be but the Arian formula of `He was not before His generation,' in another shape; being but this, that the very fact of His being begotten or a Son, implies a beginning, that is, a time when He was not: it being by the very force of the words absurd to say that `God begat Him that was,' or to deny that `God begat Him that was not.' For the symbol, ouk en prin gennethe, vid. Excursus B. at the end of this Discourse. [1971] Rom. i. 23, and §2. [1972] De Decr. § 11, esp. note 6. [1973] De Decr. 31, note 5 [1974] Eph. iii. 15. [1975] John i. 1. [1976] Heb. i. 3. [1977] Rom. ix. 5. [1978] Vid. Basil, contr. Eunom. ii. 17. [1979] This cautious and reverent way of speaking is a characteristic of S. Athanasius, ad Serap. i. 1. vid. ii. init. ad Epict. 13 fin. ad Max. init. contr. Apoll. i. init. `I must ask another question, bolder, yet with a religious intention; be propitious, O Lord, &c.' Orat. iii. 63, cf. de Decr. 12, note 8, 15, note 6, de Syn. 51, note 4. [1980] De Decr. 25, note 2. [1981] John i. 14. [1982] organon, de Decr. 7, n. 6, de Syn. 27, note 11. This was alleged by Arius, Socr. i. 6. and by Eusebius, Eccles. Theol. i. 8. supr. Ep. Eus., and by the Anomoeans, supr. de Decr. 7, note 1.

Chapter VIII.--Objections Continued. Whether we may decide the question by the parallel of human sons, which are born later than their parents. No, for the force of the analogy lies in the idea of connaturality. Time is not involved in the idea of Son, but is adventitious to it, and does not attach to God, because He is without parts and passions. The titles Word and Wisdom guard our thoughts of Him and His Son from this misconception. God not a Father, as a Creator, in posse from eternity, because creation does not relate to the essence of God, as generation does.

26. (continued). Nor is answer needful to their other very simple and foolish inquiry, which they put to silly women; or none besides that which has been already given, namely, that it is not suitable to measure divine generation by the nature of men. However, that as before they may pass judgment on themselves, it is well to meet them on the same ground, thus:--Plainly, if they inquire of parents concerning their son, let them consider whence is the child which is begotten. For, granting the parent had not a son before his begetting, still, after having him, he had him, not as external or as foreign, but as from himself, and proper to his essence and his exact image, so that the former is beheld in the latter, and the latter is contemplated in the former. If then they assume from human examples that generation implies time, why not from the same infer that it implies the Natural and the Proper [1983] , instead of extracting serpent-like from the earth only what turns to poison? Those who ask of parents, and say, `Had you a son before you begot him?' should add, `And if you had a son, did you purchase him from without as a house or any other possession?' And then you would be answered, `He is not from without, but from myself. For things which are from without are possessions, and pass from one to another; but my son is from me, proper and similar to my essence, not become mine from another, but begotten of me; wherefore I too am wholly in him, while I remain myself what I am [1984] .' For so it is; though the parent be distinct in time, as being man, who himself has come to be in time, yet he too would have had his child ever coexistent with him, but that his nature was a restraint and made it impossible. For Levi too was already in the loins of his great-grandfather, before his own actual generation, or that of his grandfather. When then the man comes to that age at which nature supplies the power, immediately, with nature, unrestrained, he becomes father of the son from himself.

27. Therefore, if on asking parents about children, they get for answer, that children which are by nature are not from without, but from their parents, let them confess in like manner concerning the Word of God, that He is simply from the Father. And if they make a question of the time, let them say what is to restrain God--for it is necessary to prove their irreligion on the very ground on which their scoff is made--let them tell us, what is there to restrain God from being always Father of the Son; for that what is begotten must be from its father is undeniable. Moreover, they will pass judgment on themselves in attributing [1985] such things to God, if, as they questioned women on the subject of time, so they inquire of the sun concerning its radiance, and of the fountain concerning its issue. They will find that these, though an offspring, always exist with those things from which they are. And if parents, such as these, have in common with their children nature and duration, why, if they suppose God inferior to things that come to be [1986] , do they not openly say out their own irreligion? But if they do not dare to say this openly, and the Son is confessed to be, not from without, but a natural offspring from the Father, and that there is nothing which is a restraint to God (for not as man is He, but more than the sun, or rather the God of the sun), it follows that the Word is from Him and is ever co-existent with Him, through whom also the Father caused that all things which were not should be. That then the Son comes not of nothing but is eternal and from the Father, is certain even from the nature of the case; and the question of the heretics to parents exposes their perverseness; for they confess the point of nature, and now have been put to shame on the point of time.

28. As we said above, so now we repeat, that the divine generation must not be compared to the nature of men, nor the Son considered to be part of God, nor the generation to imply any passion whatever; God is not as man; for men beget passibly, having a transitive nature, which waits for periods by reason of its weakness. But with God this cannot be; for He is not composed of parts, but being impassible and simple, He is impassibly and indivisibly Father of the Son. This again is strongly evidenced and proved by divine Scripture. For the Word of God is His Son, and the Son is the Father's Word and Wisdom; and Word and Wisdom is neither creature nor part of Him whose Word He is, nor an offspring passibly begotten. Uniting then the two titles, Scripture speaks of `Son,' in order to herald the natural and true offspring of His essence; and, on the other hand, that none may think of the Offspring humanly, while signifying His essence, it also calls Him Word, Wisdom, and Radiance; to teach us that the generation was impassible, and eternal, and worthy of God. [1987] What affection then, or what part of the Father is the Word and the Wisdom and the Radiance? So much may be impressed even on these men of folly; for as they asked women concerning God's Son, so [1988] let them inquire of men concerning the Word, and they will find that the word which they put forth is neither an affection of them nor a part of their mind. But if such be the word of men, who are passible and partitive, why speculate they about passions and parts in the instance of the immaterial and indivisible God, that under pretence of reverence [1989] they may deny the true and natural generation of the Son? Enough was said above to shew that the offspring from God is not an affection; and now it has been shewn in particular that the Word is not begotten according to affection. The same may be said of Wisdom; God is not as man; nor must they here think humanly of Him. For, whereas men are capable of wisdom, God partakes in nothing, but is Himself the Father of His own Wisdom, of which whoso partake are given the name of wise. And this Wisdom too is not a passion, nor a part, but an Offspring proper to the Father. Wherefore He is ever Father, nor is the character of Father adventitious to God, lest He seem alterable; for if it is good that He be Father, but has not ever been Father, then good has not ever been in Him.

29. But, observe, say they, God was always a Maker, nor is the power of framing adventitious to Him; does it follow then, that, because He is the Framer of all, therefore His works also are eternal, and is it wicked to say of them too, that they were not before origination? Senseless are these Arians; for what likeness is there between Son and work, that they should parallel a father's with a maker's function? How is it that, with that difference between offspring and work, which has been shewn, they remain so ill-instructed? Let it be repeated then, that a work is external to the nature, but a son is the proper offspring of the essence; it follows that a work need not have been always, for the workman frames it when he will; but an offspring is not subject to will, but is proper to the essence [1990] . And a man may be and may be called Maker, though the works are not as yet; but father he cannot be called, nor can he be, unless a son exist. And if they curiously inquire why God, though always with the power to make, does not always make (though this also be the presumption of madmen, for `who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His Counsellor?' or how `shall the thing formed say to' the potter, `why didst thou make me thus [1991] ?' however, not to leave even a weak argument unnoticed), they must be told, that although God always had the power to make, yet the things originated had not the power of being eternal [1992] . For they are out of nothing, and therefore were not before their origination; but things which were not before their origination, how could these coexist with the ever-existing God? Wherefore God, looking to what was good for them, then made them all when He saw that, when originated, they were able to abide. And as, though He was able, even from the beginning in the time of Adam, or Noah, or Moses, to send His own Word, yet He sent Him not until the consummation of the ages (for this He saw to be good for the whole creation), so also things originated did He make when He would, and as was good for them. But the Son, not being a work, but proper to the Father's offspring, always is; for, whereas the Father always is, so what is proper to His essence must always be; and this is His Word and His Wisdom. And that creatures should not be in existence, does not disparage the Maker; for He hath the power of framing them, when He wills; but for the offspring not to be ever with the Father, is a disparagement of the perfection of His essence. Wherefore His works were framed, when He would, through His Word; but the Son is ever the proper offspring of the Father's essence.


[1983] Supr. de Decr. 6. The question was, What was that sense of Son which would apply to the Divine Nature? The Catholics said that its essential meaning could apply, viz. consubstantiality, whereas the point of posteriority to the Father depended on a condition, time, which could not exist in the instance of God. ib. 10. The Arians on the other hand said, that to suppose a true Son, was to think of God irreverently, as implying division, change, &c. The Catholics replied that the notion of materiality was quite as foreign from the Divine Essence as time, and as the Divine Sonship was eternal, so was it also clear both of imperfection or extension. [1984] It is from expressions such as this that the Greek Fathers have been accused of tritheism. The truth is, every illustration, as being incomplete on one or other side of it, taken by itself, tends to heresy. The title Son by itself suggests a second God, as the title Word a mere attribute, and the title Instrument a creature. All heresies are partial views of the truth, and are wrong, not so much in what they say, as in what they deny. The truth, on the other hand, is a positive and comprehensive doctrine, and in consequence necessarily mysterious and open to misconception. vid. de Syn. 41, note 1. When Athan, implies that the Eternal Father is in the Son, though remaining what He is, as a man in his child, he is intent only upon the point of the Son's connaturality and equality, which the Arians denied. Cf. Orat. iii. §5; Ps.-Ath. Dial. i. (Migne xxviii. 1144 C.). S. Cyril even seems to deny that each individual man may be considered a separate substance except as the Three Persons are such (Dial. i. p. 409); and S. Gregory Nyssen is led to say that, strictly speaking, the abstract man, which is predicated of separate individuals, is still one, and this with a view of illustrating the Divine Unity. ad Ablab. t. 2. p. 449. vid. Petav. de Trin. iv. 9. [1985] [But see Or. iii. 65, note 2.] [1986] S. Athanasius's doctrine is, that, God containing in Himself all perfection, whatever is excellent in one created thing above another, is found in its perfection in Him. If then such generation as radiance from light is more perfect than that of children from parents, that belongs, and transcendently, to the All-perfect God. [1987] This is a view familiar to the Fathers, viz. that in this consists our Lord's Sonship, that He is the Word, or as S. Augustine says, Christum ideo Filium quia Verbum. Aug. Ep. 120. 11. Cf. de Decr. §17. `If I speak of Wisdom, I speak of His offspring;' Theoph. ad Autolyc. i. 3. `The Word, the genuine Son of Mind;' Clem. Protrept. p. 58. Petavius discusses this subject accurately with reference to the distinction between Divine Generation and Divine Procession. de Trin. vii. 14. [1988] Orat. iii. 67. [1989] Heretics have frequently assigned reverence as the cause of their opposition to the Church; and if even Arius affected it, the plea may be expected in any other. `O stultos et impios metus,' says S. Hilary, `et irreligiosam de Deo sollicitudinem.' de Trin. iv. 6. It was still more commonly professed in regard to the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation. Cf. Acta Archelai [Routh. Rell. v. 169]. August. contr. Secund. 9, contr. Faust. xi. 3. As the Manichees denied our Lord a body, so the Apollinarians denied Him a rational soul, still under pretence of reverence because, as they said, the soul was necessarily sinful. Leontius makes this their main argument, ho nous hamartetikos esti. de Sect. iv. p. 507. vid. also Greg. Naz. Ep. 101. ad Cledon. p. 89; Athan. in Apoll. i. 2. 14. Epiph. Ancor. 79. 80. Athan., &c., call the Apollinarian doctrine Manichæan in consequence. vid. in Apoll. ii. 8. 9. &c. Again, the Eranistes in Theodoret, who advocates a similar doctrine, will not call our Lord man. Eranist. ii. p. 83. Eutyches, on the other hand, would call our Lord man, but refused to admit His human nature, and still with the same profession. Leon. Ep. 21. 1 fin. `Forbid it,' he says at Constantinople, `that I should say that the Christ was of two natures, or should discuss the nature, phusiologein, of my God.' Concil. t. 2. p. 157 [Act. prima conc. Chalc. t. iv. 1001 ed. Col.] A modern argument for Universal Restitution takes a like form; `Do not we shrink from the notion of another's being sentenced to eternal punishment; and are we more merciful than God?' vid. Matt. xvi. 22, 23. [1990] Vid. Orat. iii. §59, &c. [1991] Rom. xi. 34; ib. ix. 20. [1992] Athan.'s argument is as follows: that, as it is of the essence of a son to be `connatural' with the father, so is it of the essence of a creature to be of `nothing,' ex ouk onton; therefore, while it was not impossible `from the nature of the case,' for Almighty God to be always Father, it was impossible for the same reason that He should be always a Creator. vid. infr. §58: where he takes, `They shall perish,' in the Psalm, not as a fact but as the definition of the nature of a creature. Also ii. §1, where he says, `It is proper to creatures and works to have said of them, ex ouk onton and ouk en prin gennethe.' vid. Cyril. Thesaur. 9. p. 67. Dial. ii. p. 460. on the question of being a Creator in posse, vid. supra, Ep. Eus. 11 note 3.

Chapter IX.--Objections Continued. Whether is the Unoriginate one or two? Inconsistent in Arians to use an unscriptural word; necessary to define its meaning. Different senses of the word. If it means `without Father,' there is but One Unoriginate; if `without beginning or creation,' there are two. Inconsistency of Asterius. `Unoriginate' a title of God, not in contrast with the Son, but with creatures, as is `Almighty,' or `Lord of powers.' `Father' is the truer title, as not only Scriptural, but implying a Son, and our adoption as sons.

30. These considerations encourage the faithful, and distress the heretical, perceiving, as they do, their heresy overthrown thereby. Moreover, their further question, `whether the Unoriginate be one or two [1993] ,' shews how false are their views, how treacherous and full of guile. Not for the Father's honour ask they this, but for the dishonour of the Word. Accordingly, should any one, not aware of their craft, answer, `the Unoriginated is one,' forthwith they spirit out their own venom, saying, `Therefore the Son is among things originated,' and well have we said, `He was not before His generation.' Thus they make any kind of disturbance and confusion, provided they can but separate the Son from the Father, and reckon the Framer of all among His works. Now first they may be convicted on this score, that, while blaming the Nicene Bishops for their use of phrases not in Scripture, though these not injurious, but subversive of their irreligion, they themselves went off upon the same fault, that is, using words not in Scripture [1994] , and those in contumely of the Lord, knowing `neither what they say nor whereof they affirm [1995] .' For instance, let them ask the Greeks, who have been their instructors (for it is a word of their invention, not Scripture), and when they have been instructed in its various significations, then they will discover that they cannot even question properly, on the subject which they have undertaken. For they have led me to ascertain [1996] that by `unoriginate' is meant what has not yet come to be, but is possible to be, as wood which is not yet become, but is capable of becoming, a vessel; and again what neither has nor ever can come to be, as a triangle quadrangular, and an even number odd. For a triangle neither has nor ever can become quadrangular; nor has even ever, nor can ever, become odd. Moreover, by `unoriginate' is meant, what exists, but has not come into being from any, nor having a father at all. Further, Asterius, the unprincipled sophist, the patron too of this heresy, has added in his own treatise, that what is not made, but is ever, is `unoriginate [1997] .' They ought then, when they ask the question, to add in what sense they take the word `unoriginate,' and then the parties questioned would be able to answer to the point.

31. But if they still are satisfied with merely asking, `Is the Unoriginate one or two?' they must be told first of all, as ill-educated men, that many are such and nothing is such, many, which are capable of origination, and nothing, which is not capable, as has been said. But if they ask according as Asterius ruled it, as if `what is not a work but was always' were unoriginate, then they must constantly be told that the Son as well as the Father must in this sense be called unoriginate. For He is neither in the number of things originated, nor a work, but has ever been with the Father, as has already been shewn, in spite of their many variations for the sole sake of speaking against the Lord, `He is of nothing' and `He was not before His generation.' When then, after failing at every turn, they betake themselves to the other sense of the question, `existing but not generated of any nor having a father,' we shall tell them that the unoriginate in this sense is only one, namely the Father; and they will gain nothing by their question [1998] . For to say that God is in this sense Unoriginate, does not shew that the Son is a thing originated, it being evident from the above proofs that the Word is such as He is who begat Him. Therefore if God be unoriginate, His Image is not originated, but an Offspring [1999] , which is His Word and His Wisdom. For what likeness has the originated to the unoriginate? (one must not weary of using repetition;) for if they will have it that the one is like the other, so that he who sees the one beholds the other, they are like to say that the Unoriginate is the image of creatures; the end of which is a confusion of the whole subject, an equalling of things originated with the Unoriginate, and a denial of the Unoriginate by measuring Him with the works; and all to reduce the Son into their number.

32. However, I suppose even they will be unwilling to proceed to such lengths, if they follow Asterius the sophist. For he, earnest as he is in his advocacy of the Arian heresy, and maintaining that the Unoriginate is one, runs counter to them in saying, that the Wisdom of God is unoriginate and without beginning also. The following is a passage out of his work [2000] : `The Blessed Paul said not that he preached Christ the power of God or the wisdom of God, but, without the article, `God's power and God's wisdom [2001] ;' thus preaching that the proper power of God Himself, which is natural to Him and co-existent with Him unoriginatedly, is something besides.' And again, soon after: `However, His eternal power and wisdom, which truth argues to be without beginning and unoriginate; this must surely be one.' For though, misunderstanding the Apostle's words, he considered that there were two wisdoms; yet, by speaking still of a wisdom coexistent with Him, he declares that the Unoriginate is not simply one, but that there is another Unoriginate with Him. For what is coexistent, coexists not with itself, but with another. If then they agree with Asterius, let them never ask again, `Is the Unoriginate one or two,' or they will have to contest the point with him; if, on the other hand, they differ even from him, let them not rely upon his treatise, lest, `biting one another, they be consumed one of another [2002] .' So much on the point of their ignorance; but who can say enough on their crafty character? who but would justly hate them while possessed by such a madness? for when they were no longer allowed to say `out of nothing' and `He was not before His generation,' they hit upon this word `unoriginate,' that, by saying among the simple that the Son was `originate,' they might imply the very same phrases `out of nothing,' and `He once was not;' for in such phrases things originated and creatures are implied.

33. If they have confidence in their own positions, they should stand to them, and not change about so variously [2003] ; but this they will not, from an idea that success is easy, if they do but shelter their heresy under colour of the word `unoriginate.' Yet after all, this term is not used in contrast with the Son, clamour as they may, but with things originated; and the like may be found in the words `Almighty,' and `Lord of the Powers [2004] .' For if we say that the Father has power and mastery over all things by the Word, and the Son rules the Father's kingdom, and has the power of all, as His Word, and as the Image of the Father, it is quite plain that neither here is the Son reckoned among that all, nor is God called Almighty and Lord with reference to Him, but to those things which through the Son come to be, and over which He exercises power and mastery through the Word. And therefore the Unoriginate is specified not by contrast to the Son, but to the things which through the Son come to be. And excellently: since God is not as things originated, but is their Creator and Framer through the Son. And as the word `Unoriginate' is specified relatively to things originated, so the word `Father' is indicative of the Son. And he who names God Maker and Framer and Unoriginate, regards and apprehends things created and made; and he who calls God Father, thereby conceives and contemplates the Son. And hence one might marvel at the obstinacy which is added to their irreligion, that, whereas the term `unoriginate' has the aforesaid good sense, and admits of being used religiously [2005] , they, in their own heresy, bring it forth for the dishonour of the Son, not having read that he who honoureth the Son honoureth the Father, and he who dishonoureth the Son, dishonoureth the Father [2006] . If they had any concern at all [2007] for reverent speaking and the honour due to the Father, it became them rather, and this were better and higher, to acknowledge and call God Father, than to give Him this name. For, in calling God unoriginate, they are, as I said before, calling Him from His works, and as Maker only and Framer, supposing that hence they may signify that the Word is a work after their own pleasure. But that he who calls God Father, signifies Him from the Son being well aware that if there be a Son, of necessity through that Son all things originate were created. And they, when they call Him Unoriginate, name Him only from His works, and know not the Son any more than the Greeks; but he who calls God Father, names Him from the Word; and knowing the Word, he acknowledges Him to be Framer of all, and understands that through Him all things have been made.

34. Therefore it is more pious and more accurate to signify God from the Son and call Him Father, than to name Him from His works only and call Him Unoriginate [2008] . For the latter title, as I have said, does nothing more than signify all the works, individually and collectively, which have come to be at the will of God through the Word; but the title Father has its significance and its bearing only from the Son. And, whereas the Word surpasses things originated, by so much and more doth calling God Father surpass the calling Him Unoriginate. For the latter is unscriptural and suspicious, because it has various senses; so that, when a man is asked concerning it, his mind is carried about to many ideas; but the word Father is simple and scriptural, and more accurate, and only implies the Son. And `Unoriginate' is a word of the Greeks, who know not the Son; but `Father' has been acknowledged and vouchsafed by our Lord. For He, knowing Himself whose Son He was, said, `I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me;' and, `He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father,' and `I and the Father are One [2009] ;' but nowhere is He found to call the Father Unoriginate. Moreover, when He teaches us to pray, He says not, `When ye pray, say, O God Unoriginate,' but rather, `When ye pray, say, Our Father, which art in heaven [2010] .' And it was His will that the Summary [2011] of our faith should have the same bearing, in bidding us be baptized, not into the name of Unoriginate and originate, nor into the name of Creator and creature, but into the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For with such an initiation we too, being numbered among works, are made sons, and using the name of the Father, acknowledge from that name the Word also in the Father Himself [2012] . A vain thing then is their argument about the term `Unoriginate,' as is now proved, and nothing more than a fantasy.


[1993] The word angen[n]eton was in the philosophical schools synonymous with `God;' hence by asking whether there were two Unoriginates, the Arians implied that there were two Gods, if Christ was God in the sense in which the Father was. Hence Athan. retorts, phaskontes, ou legomen duo ageneta, legousi duo theous. Orat. iii. 16, also ii. 38. Plato used agenneton of the Supreme God [not so; he used ageneton, see note 2 on de Decr. 28]; the Valentinians, Tertull. contr. Val. 7; and Basilides, Epiph. Hær. 31. 10. S. Clement uses it, see de Syn. 47, note 7. [The earlier Arians apparently argued mainly, like Asterius, from agenetos (cf. Epiph. 64. 8), the later (kainoi, Epiph. Hær. 73. 19) Anomoeans rather from agennetos]; viz. that he agennesia is the very ousia of God, not an attribute. So Aetius in Epiph. Hær. 76. S. Athanasius does not go into this question, but rather confines himself to the more popular form of it, viz. the Son is by His very name not agenetos, but genetos, but all geneta are creatures; which he answers, as de Decr. §28, by saying that Christianity had brought in a new idea into theology, viz. the sacred doctrine of a true Son, ek tes ousias. This was what the Arians had originally denied hen to agenneton hen de to hup' autou alethos, kai ouk ek tes ousias autou gegonos. Euseb. Nic. ap. Theod. H. E. i. 6. When they were urged what according to them was the middle idea to which the Son answered, if they would not accept the Catholic, they would not define but merely said, gennema, all' ouk hos hen ton gennematon. [See pp. 149, 169, and the reference there to Lightfoot.] [1994] De Decr. 18. [1995] 1 Tim. i. 7. [1996] De Decr. 28, note 4. [1997] The two first senses here given answer to the two first mentioned, de Decr. §28. and, as he there says, are plainly irrelevant. The third in the de Decr. which, as he there observes, is ambiguous and used for a sophistical purpose, is here divided into third and fourth, answering to the two senses which alone are assigned in the de Syn. §46 [where see note 5], and on them the question turns. This is an instance, of which many occur, how Athan. used his former writings and worked over again his former ground, and simplified or cleared what he had said. In the de Decr. after 350, we have three senses of ageneton, two irrelevant and the third ambiguous; here in Orat. i. (358), he divides the third into two; in the de Syn. (359), he rejects and omits the two first, leaving the two last, which are the critical senses. [1998] These two senses of agenneton unbegotten and unmade were afterwards [but see notes on de Decr. 28] expressed by the distinction of nn and n, agenneton and ageneton. vid. Damasc. F. O. i. 8. p. 135. and Le Quien's note. [1999] §20, note 5. [2000] De Syn. §18, infr. ii. 37. [2001] 1 Cor. i. 24. [2002] Gal. v. 15. [2003] De Syn. 9, note 2. [2004] The passage which follows is written with his de Decr. before him. At first he but uses the same topics, but presently he incorporates into this Discourse an actual portion of his former work, with only such alterations as an author commonly makes in transcribing. This, which is not unfrequent with Athan., shews us the care with which he made his doctrinal statements, though they seem at first sight written off. It also accounts for the diffuseness and repetition which might be imputed to his composition, what seems superfluous being often only the insertion of an extract from a former work. [2005] De Syn. §47. [2006] John v. 23. [2007] Here he begins a close transcript of the de Decr. §30, the last sentence, however, of the paragraph being an addition. [2008] For analogous arguments against the word agenneton, see Basil, contr. Eunom. i. 5. p. 215. Greg. Naz. Orat. 31. 23. Epiph. Hær. 76. p. 941. Greg. Nyss. contr. Eunom. vi. p. 192, &c. Cyril. Dial. ii. Pseudo-Basil. contr. Eunom. iv. p. 283. [2009] John xiv. 11; xiv. 9; x. 30. These three texts are found together frequently in Athan. particularly in Orat. iii. where he considers the doctrines of the `Image' and the perichoresis. vid. Index of Texts, also Epiph. Hær. 64. 9. Basil. Hexaem. ix. fin. Cyr. Thes. xii. p. 111. [add in S. Joan, 168, 847] Potam. Ep. ap. Dacher. t. 3. p. 299. Hil. Trin. vii. 41. et supr. [2010] Luke xi. 2. [2011] De Syn. 28, note 5. [2012] Here ends the extract from the de Decretis. The sentence following is added as a close.

Chapter X.--Objections Continued. How the Word has free will, yet without being alterable. He is unalterable because the Image of the Father, proved from texts.

35. As to their question whether the Word is alterable [2013] , it is superfluous to examine it; it is enough simply to write down what they say, and so to shew its daring irreligion. How they trifle, appears from the following questions:--`Has He free will, or has He not? is He good from choice according to free will, and can He, if He will, alter, being of an alterable nature? or, as wood or stone, has He not His choice free to be moved and incline hither and thither?' It is but agreeable to their heresy thus to speak and think; for, when once they have framed to themselves a God out of nothing and a created Son, of course they also adopt such terms, as being suitable to a creature. However, when in their controversies with Churchmen they hear from them of the real and only Word of the Father, and yet venture thus to speak of Him, does not their doctrine then become the most loathsome that can be found? is it not enough to distract a man on mere hearing, though unable to reply, and to make him stop his ears, from astonishment at the novelty of what he hears them say, which even to mention is to blaspheme? For if the Word be alterable and changing, where will He stay, and what will be the end of His development? how shall the alterable possibly be like the Unalterable? How should he who has seen the alterable, be considered to have seen the Unalterable? At what state must He arrive, for us to be able to behold in Him the Father? for it is plain that not at all times shall we see the Father in the Son, because the Son is ever altering, and is of changing nature. For the Father is unalterable and unchangeable, and is always in the same state and the same; but if, as they hold, the Son is alterable, and not always the same, but of an ever-changing nature, how can such a one be the Father's Image, not having the likeness of His unalterableness [2014] ? how can He be really in the Father, if His purpose is indeterminate? Nay, perhaps, as being alterable, and advancing daily, He is not perfect yet. But away with such madness of the Arians, and let the truth shine out, and shew that they are foolish. For must not He be perfect who is equal to God? and must not He be unalterable, who is one with the Father, and His Son proper to His essence? and the Father's essence being unalterable, unalterable must be also the proper Offspring from it. And if they slanderously impute alteration to the Word, let them learn how much their own reason is in peril; for from the fruit is the tree known. For this is why he who hath seen the Son hath seen the Father; and why the knowledge of the Son is knowledge of the Father.

36. Therefore the Image of the unalterable God must be unchangeable; for `Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever [2015] .' And David in the Psalm says of Him, `Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment. And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed, but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail [2016] .' And the Lord Himself says of Himself through the Prophet, `See now that I, even I am He,' and `I change not [2017] .' It may be said indeed that what is here signified relates to the Father; yet it suits the Son also to say this, specially because, when made man, He manifests His own identity and unalterableness to such as suppose that by reason of the flesh He is changed and become other than He was. More trustworthy are the saints, or rather the Lord, than the perversity of the irreligious. For Scripture, as in the above-cited passage of the Psalter, signifying under the name of heaven and earth, that the nature of all things originate and created is alterable and changeable, yet excepting the Son from these, shews us thereby that He is no wise a thing originate; nay teaches that He changes everything else, and is Himself not changed, in saying, `Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail [2018] .' And with reason; for things originate, being from nothing [2019] , and not being before their origination, because, in truth, they come to be after not being, have a nature which is changeable; but the Son, being from the Father, and proper to His essence, is unchangeable and unalterable as the Father Himself. For it were sin to say that from that essence which is unalterable was begotten an alterable word and a changeable wisdom. For how is He longer the Word, if He be alterable? or can that be Wisdom which is changeable? unless perhaps, as accident in essence [2020] , so they would have it, viz. as in any particular essence, a certain grace and habit of virtue exists accidentally, which is called Word and Son and Wisdom, and admits of being taken from it and added to it. For they have often expressed this sentiment, but it is not the faith of Christians; as not declaring that He is truly Word and Son of God, or that the wisdom intended is true Wisdom. For what alters and changes, and has no stay in one and the same condition, how can that be true? whereas the Lord says, `I am the Truth [2021] .' If then the Lord Himself speaks thus concerning Himself, and declares His unalterableness, and the Saints have learned and testify this, nay and our notions of God acknowledge it as religious, whence did these men of irreligion draw this novelty? From their heart as from a seat of corruption did they vomit it forth [2022] .


[2013] treptos, not `changeable' but of a moral nature capable of improvement. Arius maintained this in the strongest terms at starting. `On being asked whether the Word of God is capable of altering as the devil altered, they scrupled not to say, "Yea, He is capable."' Alex. ap. Socr. i. 6. p. 11. [2014] Supr. §22. init. [2015] Heb. xiii. 8. [2016] Ps. cii. 26-28 [2017] Deut. xxxii. 39; Mal. iii. 6. [2018] Heb. i. 12. [2019] §29, note. [2020] Nic. Def. 21. note 9. [2021] John xiv. 6. [2022] De Syn. §16 fin.

Chapter XI.--Texts Explained; And First, Phil. II. 9, 10 Various texts which are alleged against the Catholic doctrine: e.g. Phil. ii. 9, 10. Whether the words `Wherefore God hath highly exalted' prove moral probation and advancement. Argued against, first, from the force of the word `Son;' which is inconsistent with such an interpretation. Next, the passage examined. Ecclesiastical sense of `highly exalted,' and `gave,' and `wherefore;' viz. as being spoken with reference to our Lord's manhood. Secondary sense; viz. as implying the Word's `exaltation' through the resurrection in the same sense in which Scripture speaks of His descent in the Incarnation; how the phrase does not derogate from the nature of the Word.

37. But since they allege the divine oracles and force on them a misinterpretation, according to their private sense [2023] , it becomes necessary to meet them just so far as to vindicate these passages, and to shew that they bear an orthodox sense, and that our opponents are in error. They say then, that the Apostle writes, `Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name; that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth [2024] ;' and David, `Wherefore God even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows [2025] .' Then they urge, as something acute: `If He was exalted and received grace, on a `wherefore,' and on a `wherefore' He was anointed, He received a reward of His purpose; but having acted from purpose, He is altogether of an alterable nature.' This is what Eusebius [2026] and Arius have dared to say, nay to write; while their partizans do not shrink from conversing about it in full market-place, not seeing how mad an argument they use. For if He received what He had as a reward of His purpose, and would not have had it, unless He had needed it, and had His work to shew for it, then having gained it from virtue and promotion, with reason had He `therefore' been called Son and God, without being very Son. For what is from another by nature, is a real offspring, as Isaac was to Abraham, and Joseph to Jacob, and the radiance to the sun; but the so called sons from virtue and grace, have but in place of nature a grace by acquisition, and are something else besides [2027] the gift itself; as the men who have received the Spirit by participation, concerning whom Scripture saith, `I begat and exalted children, and they rebelled against Me [2028] .' And of course, since they were not sons by nature, therefore, when they altered, the Spirit was taken away and they were disinherited; and again on their repentance that God who thus at the beginning gave them grace, will receive them, and give light, and call them sons again.

38. But if they say this of the Saviour also, it follows that He is neither very God nor very Son, nor like the Father, nor in any wise has God for a Father of His being according to essence, but of the mere grace given to Him, and for a Creator of His being according to essence, after the similitude of all others. And being such, as they maintain, it will be manifest further that He had not the name `Son' from the first, if so be it was the prize of works done and of that very same advance which He made when He became man, and took the form of the servant; but then, when, after becoming `obedient unto death,' He was, as the text says, `highly exalted,' and received that `Name' as a grace, `that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow [2029] .' What then was before this, if then He was exalted, and then began to be worshipped, and then was called Son, when He became man? For He seems Himself not to have promoted the flesh at all, but rather to have been Himself promoted through it, if, according to their perverseness, He was then exalted and called Son, when He became man. What then was before this? One must urge the question on them again, to make it understood what their irreligious doctrine results in [2030] . For if the Lord be God, Son, Word, yet was not all these before He became man, either He was something else beside these, and afterwards became partaker of them for His virtue's sake, as we have said; or they must adopt the alternative (may it return upon their heads!) that He was not before that time, but is wholly man by nature and nothing more. But this is no sentiment of the Church. but of the Samosatene and of the present Jews. Why then, if they think as Jews, are they not circumcised with them too, instead of pretending Christianity, while they are its foes? For if He was not, or was indeed, but afterwards was promoted, how were all things made by Him, or how in Him, were He not perfect, did the Father delight [2031] ? And He, on the other hand, if now promoted, how did He before rejoice in the presence of the Father? And, if He received His worship after dying, how is Abraham seen to worship Him in the tent [2032] , and Moses in the bush? and, as Daniel saw, myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands were ministering unto Him? And if, as they say, He had His promotion now, how did the Son Himself make mention of that His glory before and above the world, when He said, `Glorify Thou Me, O Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was [2033] .' If, as they say, He was then exalted, how did He before that `bow the heavens and come down;' and again, `The Highest gave His thunder [2034] ?' Therefore, if, even before the world was made, the Son had that glory, and was Lord of glory and the Highest, and descended from heaven, and is ever to be worshipped, it follows that He had not promotion from His descent, but rather Himself promoted the things which needed promotion; and if He descended to effect their promotion, therefore He did not receive in reward the name of the Son and God, but rather He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man.

39. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us [2035] . Since, if when He became man, only then He was called Son and God, but before He became man, God called the ancient people sons, and made Moses a god of Pharaoh (and Scripture says of many, `God standeth in the congregation of Gods [2036] '), it is plain that He is called Son and God later than they. How then are all things through Him, and He before all? or how is He `first-born of the whole creation [2037] ,' if He has others before Him who are called sons and gods? And how is it that those first partakers [2038] do not partake of the Word? This opinion is not true; it is a device of our present Judaizers. For how in that case can any at all know God as their Father? for adoption there could not be apart from the real Son, who says, `No one knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him [2039] .' And how can there be deifying apart from the Word and before Him? yet, saith He to their brethren the Jews, `If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came [2040] .' And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, and He Himself before all, or rather He Himself only is very Son [2041] , and He alone is very God from the very God, not receiving these prerogatives as a reward for His virtue, nor being another beside them, but being all these by nature and according to essence. For He is Offspring of the Father's essence, so that one cannot doubt that after the resemblance of the unalterable Father, the Word also is unalterable.

40. Hitherto we have met their irrational conceits with the true conceptions [2042] implied in the Word `Son,' as the Lord Himself has given us. But it will be well next to cite the divine oracles, that the unalterableness of the Son and His unchangeable nature, which is the Father's, as well as their perverseness, may be still more fully proved. The Apostle then, writing to the Philippians, says, `Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not a prize to be equal with God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also highly exalted Him, and gave Him a Name which is above every name; that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [2043] .' Can anything be plainer and more express than this? He was not from a lower state promoted: but rather, existing as God, He took the form of a servant, and in taking it, was not promoted but humbled Himself. Where then is there here any reward of virtue, or what advancement and promotion in humiliation? For if, being God, He became man, and descending from on high He is still said to be exalted, where is He exalted, being God? this withal being plain, that, since God is highest of all, His Word must necessarily be highest also. Where then could He be exalted higher, who is in the Father and like the Father in all things [2044] ? Therefore He is beyond the need of any addition; nor is such as the Arians think Him. For though the Word has descended in order to be exalted, and so it is written, yet what need was there that He should humble Himself, as if to seek that which He had already? And what grace did He receive who is the Giver of grace [2045] ? or how did He receive that Name for worship, who is always worshipped by His Name? Nay, certainly before He became man, the sacred writers invoke Him, `Save me, O God, for Thy Name's sake [2046] ;'and again, `Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God [2047] .' And while He was worshipped by the Patriarchs, concerning the Angels it is written, `Let all the Angels of God worship Him [2048] .'

41. And if, as David says in the 71st Psalm, `His Name remaineth before the sun, and before the moon, from one generation to another [2049] ,' how did He receive what He had always, even before He now received it? or how is He exalted, being before His exaltation the Most High? or how did He receive the right of being worshipped, who before He now received it, was ever worshipped? It is not a dark saying but a divine mystery [2050] . `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;' but for our sakes afterwards the `Word was made flesh [2051] .' And the term in question, `highly exalted,' does not signify that the essence of the Word was exalted, for He was ever and is `equal to God [2052] ,' but the exaltation is of the manhood. Accordingly this is not said before the Word became flesh; that it might be plain that `humbled' and `exalted' are spoken of His human nature; for where there is humble estate, there too may be exaltation; and if because of His taking flesh `humbled' is written, it is clear that `highly exalted' is also said because of it. For of this was man's nature in want, because of the humble estate of the flesh and of death. Since then the Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father; therefore also, as man, He is said because of us and for us to be highly exalted, that as by His death we all died in Christ, so again in the Christ Himself we might be highly exalted, being raised from the dead, and ascending into heaven, `whither the forerunner Jesus is for us entered, not into the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us [2053] .' But if now for us the Christ is entered into heaven itself, though He was even before and always Lord and Framer of the heavens, for us therefore is that present exaltation written. And as He Himself, who sanctifies all, says also that He sanctifies Himself to the Father for our sakes, not that the Word may become holy, but that He Himself may in Himself sanctify all of us, in like manner we must take the present phrase, `He highly exalted Him,' not that He Himself should be exalted, for He is the highest, but that He may become righteousness for us [2054] , and we may be exalted in Him, and that we may enter the gates of heaven, which He has also opened for us, the forerunners saying, `Lift up your gates, O ye rulers, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in [2055] .' For here also not on Him were shut the gates, as being Lord and Maker of all, but because of us is this too written, to whom the door of paradise was shut. And therefore in a human relation, because of the flesh which He bore, it is said of Him, `Lift up your gates,' and `shall come in,' as if a man were entering; but in a divine relation on the other hand it is said of Him, since `the Word was God,' that He is the `Lord' and the `King of Glory.' Such our exaltation the Spirit foreannounced in the eighty-ninth Psalm, saying, `And in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted, for Thou art the glory of their strength [2056] .' And if the Son be Righteousness, then He is not exalted as being Himself in need, but it is we who are exalted in that Righteousness, which is He [2057] .

42. And so too the words `gave Him' are not written because of the Word Himself; for even before He became man He was worshipped, as we have said, by the Angels and the whole creation in virtue of being proper to the Father; but because of us and for us this too is written of Him. For as Christ died and was exalted as man, so, as man, is He said to take what, as God, He ever had, that even such a grant of grace might reach to us. For the Word was not impaired in receiving a body, that He should seek to receive a grace, but rather He deified that which He put on, and more than that, `gave' it graciously to the race of man. For as He was ever worshipped as being the Word and existing in the form of God, so being what He ever was, though become man and called Jesus, He none the less has the whole creation under foot, and bending their knees to Him in this Name, and confessing that the Word's becoming flesh, and undergoing death in flesh, has not happened against the glory of His Godhead, but `to the glory of God the Father.' For it is the Father's glory that man, made and then lost, should be found again; and, when dead, that he should be made alive, and should become God's temple. For whereas the powers in heaven, both Angels and Archangels, were ever worshipping the Lord, as they are now worshipping Him in the Name of Jesus, this is our grace and high exaltation, that even when He became man, the Son of God is worshipped, and the heavenly powers will not be astonished at seeing all of us, who are of one body with Him [2058] , introduced into their realms. And this had not been, unless He who existed in the form of God had taken on Him a servant's form, and had humbled Himself, yielding His body to come unto death.

43. Behold then what men considered the foolishness of God because of the Cross, has become of all things most honoured. For our resurrection is stored up in it; and no longer Israel alone, but henceforth all the nations, as the Prophet hath foretold, leave their idols and acknowledge the true God, the Father of the Christ. And the illusion of demons is come to nought, and He only who is really God is worshipped in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ [2059] . For the fact that the Lord, even when come in human body and called Jesus, was worshipped and believed to be God's Son, and that through Him the Father was known, shows, as has been said, that not the Word, considered as the Word, received this so great grace, but we. For because of our relationship to His Body we too have become God's temple, and in consequence are made God's sons, so that even in us the Lord is now worshipped, and beholders report, as the Apostle says, that God is in them of a truth [2060] . As also John says in the Gospel, `As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become children of God [2061] ;' and in his Epistle he writes, `By this we know that He abideth in us by His Spirit which He hath given us [2062] .' And this too is an evidence of His goodness towards us that, while we were exalted because that the Highest Lord is in us, and on our account grace was given to Him, because that the Lord who supplies the grace has become a man like us, He on the other hand, the Saviour, humbled Himself in taking `our body of humiliation [2063] ,' and took a servant's form, putting on that flesh which was enslaved to sin [2064] . And He indeed has gained nothing from us for His own promotion: for the Word of God is without want and full; but rather we were promoted from Him; for He is the `Light, which lighteneth every man, coming into the world [2065] .' And in vain do the Arians lay stress upon the conjunction `wherefore,' because Paul has said, `Wherefore, hath God highly exalted Him.' For in saying this he did not imply any prize of virtue, nor promotion from advance [2066] , but the cause why the exaltation was bestowed upon us. And what is this but that He who existed in form of God, the Son of a noble [2067] Father, humbled Himself and became a servant instead of us and in our behalf? For if the Lord had not become man, we had not been redeemed from sins, not raised from the dead, but remaining dead under the earth; not exalted into heaven, but lying in Hades. Because of us then and in our behalf are the words, `highly exalted' and `given.'

44. This then I consider the sense of this passage, and that, a very ecclesiastical sense [2068] . However, there is another way in which one might remark upon it, giving the same sense in a parallel way; viz. that, though it does not speak of the exaltation of the Word Himself, so far as He is Word [2069] (for He is, as was just now said, most high and like His Father), yet by reason of His becoming man it indicates His resurrection from the dead. For after saying, `He hath humbled Himself even unto death,' He immediately added, `Wherefore He hath highly exalted Him;' wishing to shew, that, although as man He is said to have died, yet, as being Life, He was exalted on the resurrection; for `He who descended, is the same also who rose again [2070] .' He descended in body, and He rose again because He was God Himself in the body. And this again is the reason why according to this meaning he brought in the conjunction `Wherefore;' not as a reward of virtue nor of advancement, but to signify the cause why the resurrection took place; and why, while all other men from Adam down to this time have died and remained dead, He only rose in integrity from the dead. The cause is this, which He Himself has already taught us, that, being God, He has become man. For all other men, being merely born of Adam, died, and death reigned over them; but He, the Second Man, is from heaven, for `the Word was made flesh [2071] ,' and this Man is said to be from heaven and heavenly [2072] , because the Word descended from heaven; wherefore He was not held under death. For though He humbled Himself, yielding His own Body to come unto death, in that it was capable of death [2073] , yet He was highly exalted from earth, because He was God's Son in a body. Accordingly what is here said, `Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him,' answers to Peter's words in the Acts, `Whom God raised up, having loosed the bonds of death, because it was not possible that He should be holden of it [2074] .' For as Paul has written, `Since being in form of God He became man, and humbled Himself unto death, therefore God also hath highly exalted Him,' so also Peter says, `Since, being God, He became man, and signs and wonders proved Him to beholders to be God, therefore it was not possible that He should be holden of death.' To man it was not possible to succeed in this; for death belongs to man; wherefore, the Word, being God, became flesh, that, being put to death in the flesh, He might quicken all men by His own power.

45. But since He Himself is said to be `exalted,' and God `gave' Him, and the heretics think this a defect [2075] or affection in the essence [2076] of the Word, it becomes necessary to explain how these words are used. He is said to be exalted from the lower parts of the earth, because death is ascribed even to Him. Both events are reckoned His, since it was His Body [2077] , and none other's, that was exalted from the dead and taken up into heaven. And again, the Body being His, and the Word not being external to it, it is natural that when the Body was exalted, He, as man, should, because of the body, be spoken of as exalted. If then He did not become man, let this not be said of Him: but if the Word became flesh, of necessity the resurrection and exaltation, as in the case of a man, must be ascribed to Him, that the death which is ascribed to Him may be a redemption of the sin of men and an abolition of death, and that the resurrection and exaltation may for His sake remain secure for us. In both respects he hath said of Him, `God hath highly exalted Him,' and `God hath given to Him;' that herein moreover he may show that it is not the Father that hath become flesh, but it is His Word, who has become man, and receives after the manner of men from the Father, and is exalted by Him, as has been said. And it is plain, nor would any one dispute it, that what the Father gives, He gives through. the Son. And it is marvellous and overwhelming verily; for the grace which the Son gives from the Father, that the Son Himself is said to receive; and the exaltation, which the Son bestows from the Father, with that the Son is Himself exalted. For He who is the Son of God, became Himself the Son of Man; and, as Word, He gives from the Father, for all things which the Father does and gives, He does and supplies through Him; and as the Son of Man, He Himself is said after the manner of men to receive what proceeds from Him, because His Body is none other than His, and is a natural recipient of grace, as has been said. For He received it as far as His man's nature [2078] was exalted; which exaltation was its being deified. But such an exaltation the Word Himself always had according to the Father's Godhead and perfection, which was His [2079]



[2023] Vid. de Syn. 4, note 6. and cf. Tertull. de Præscr. 19. Rufinus H. E. ii. 9. Vincent. Comm. 2. Hippolytus has a passage very much to the same purpose, contr. Noet. 9 fin. [2024] Phil. ii. 9, 10. [2025] Ps. xlv. 7. [2026] Of Nicomedia. vid. Theod. H. E. i. 5. [2027] §39 end. [2028] Is. i. 2. LXX. [2029] Phil. ii. 8. [2030] The Arians perhaps more than other heretics were remarkable for bringing objections against the received view, rather than forming a consistent theory of their own. Indeed the very vigour and success of their assault upon the truth lay in its being a mere assault, not a positive and substantive teaching. They therefore, even more than others, might fairly be urged on to the consequences of their positions. Now the text in question, as it must be interpreted if it is to serve as an objection, was an objection also to the received doctrine of the Arians. They considered that our Lord was above and before all creatures from the first, and their Creator; how then could He be exalted above all? They surely, as much as Catholics, were obliged to explain it of our Lord's manhood. They could not then use it as a weapon against the Church, until they took the ground of Paul of Samosata. [2031] Prov. viii. 30. [2032] De Syn. 27 (15). [2033] John xvii. 5. [2034] Ps. xviii. 9, 13. [2035] [De Incar. 54, and note.] [2036] Ps. lxxxii. 1; Heb. LXX. [2037] Col. i. 15. vid. infr. ii. §62. [2038] In this passage Athan. considers that the participation of the Word is deification, as communion with the Son is adoption: also that the old Saints, inasmuch as they are called `gods' and `sons,' did partake of the Divine Word and Son, or in other words were gifted with the Spirit. He asserts the same doctrine very strongly in Orat. iv. §22. On the other hand, infr. 47, he says expressly that Christ received the Spirit in Baptism `that He might give it to man.' There is no real contradiction in such statements; what was given in one way under the Law, was given in another and fuller under the Gospel. [2039] Matt. xi. 27. [2040] John x. 35. [2041] p. 157, note 6. [2042] tais ennoiais chromenoi, pros tas epinoias apentesamen. cf. ouchi epinoia, paranoia de mallon, &c. Basil. contr. Eunom. i. 6. init. [2043] Phil. ii. 5-11. [2044] homoios kata panta, de Syn. 21, note 10. [2045] p. 162, note 3. [2046] Ps. liv. 1. [2047] Ib. xx. 7. [2048] Heb. i. 6. [2049] Ps. lxxii. 17, 5, LXX. [2050] Scripture is full of mysteries, but they are mysteries of fact, not of words. Its dark sayings or ænigmata are such, because in the nature of things they cannot be expressed clearly. Hence contrariwise, Orat. ii. §77 fin. he calls Prov. viii. 22. an enigma, with an allusion to Prov. i. 6. Sept. In like manner S. Ambrose says, Mare est scriptura divina, habens in se sensus profundos, et altitudinem propheticorum ænigmatum, &c. Ep. ii. 3. What is commonly called `explaining away' Scripture, is this transference of the obscurity from the subject to the words used. [2051] John i. 1, 14. [2052] Phil. ii. 6. [2053] Heb. vi. 20; ix. 24. [2054] When Scripture says that our Lord was exalted, it means in that sense in which He could be exalted; just as, in saying that a man walks or eats, we speak of him not as a spirit, but as in that system of things to which the ideas of walking and eating belong. Exaltation is not a word which can belong to God; it is unmeaning, and therefore is not applied to Him in the text in question. Thus, e.g. S. Ambrose: `Ubi humiliatus, ibi obediens. Ex eo enim nascitur obedientia, ex quo humilitas et in eo desinit,' &c. Ap. Dav. alt. n. 39. [2055] Ps. xxiv. 7. [2056] Ps. lxxxix. 17, 18, LXX. [2057] 1 Cor. i. 30. [2058] Infr. §43. [2059] [De Incar. §§46, 51, &c.] [2060] ontos en humin ho theos. 1 Cor. xiv. 25. Athan. interprets en in not among; as also in 1 John iii. 24, just afterwards. Vid. en emoi. Gal. i. 24. entos humon, Luke xvii. 21, eskenosen en hemin, John i. 14, on which text Hooker says, `It pleased not the Word or Wisdom of God to take to itself some one person among men, for then should that one have been advanced which was assumed and no more, but Wisdom, to the end she might save many, built her house of that Nature which is common unto all; she made not this or that man her habitation, but dwelt in us.' Eccl. Pol. v. 52. §3. S. Basil in his proof of the divinity of the Holy Spirit has a somewhat similar passage to the text, de Sp. S. c. 24. [2061] John i. 12. [2062] 1 John iii. 24. [2063] Phil. iii. 21. [2064] It was usual to say against the Apollinarians, that, unless our Lord took on Him our nature, as it is, He had not purified and changed it, as it is, but another nature; `The Lord came not to save Adam as free from sin, that He should become like unto him; but as, in the net of sin and now fallen, that God's mercy might raise him up with Christ.' Leont. contr. Nestor. &c. ii. p. 996. Accordingly, Athan. says elsewhere, `Had not sinlessness appeared [cf. Rom. viii. 3, pempsas] "in the nature which had sinned," how was sin condemned in the flesh?' in Apoll. ii. 6. `It was necessary for our salvation,' says S. Cyril, `that the Word of God should become man, that human flesh "subject to corruption" and "sick with the lust of pleasures," He might make His own; and, "whereas He is life and lifegiving," He might "destroy the corruption," &c....For by this means, might sin in our flesh become dead.' Ep. ad Success. i. p. 138. And S. Leo, `Non alterius naturæ erat ejus caro quam nostra, nec alio illi quam cæteris hominibus anima est inspirata principio, quæ excelleret, non diversitate generis, sed sublimitate virtutis.' Ep. 35 fin. vid. also Ep. 28. 3. Ep. 31. 2. Ep. 165. 9. Serm. 22. 2. and 25. 5. It may be asked whether this doctrine does not interfere with that of the immaculate conception [i.e. that Christ was conceived sinless]; but that miracle was wrought in order that our Lord might not be born in original sin, and does not affect, or rather includes, His taking flesh of the substance of the Virgin, i.e. of a fallen nature. If indeed sin were `of the substance' of our fallen nature, as some heretics have said, then He could not have taken our nature without partaking our sinfulness; but if sin be, as it is, a fault of the will, then the Divine Power of the Word could sanctify the human will, and keep it from swerving in the direction of evil. Hence `We say not that Christ by the felicity of a flesh separated from sense could not feel the desire of sin, but that by perfection of virtue, and by a flesh not begotten through concupiscence of the flesh, He had not the desire of sin;' Aug. Op. Imperf. iv. 48. On the other hand, S. Athanasius expressly calls it Manichean doctrine to consider ten phusin of the flesh hamartian, kai ou ten praxin. contr. Apoll. i. 12 fin. or phusiken einai ten hamartian. ibid. i. 14 fin. His argument in the next ch. is on the ground that all natures are from God, but God made man upright nor is the author of evil (vid. also Vit. Anton. 20); `not as if,' he says, `the devil wrought in man a nature (God forbid!) for of a nature the evil cannot be maker (demiourgos) as is the impiety of the Manichees, but he wrought a bias of nature by transgression, and `so death reigned over all men.' Wherefore, saith he, `the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil;' what works? that nature, which God made sinless, and the devil biassed to the transgression of God's command and the finding out of sin which is death, did God the Word raise again, so as to be secure from the devil's bias and the finding out of sin. And therefore the Lord said, "The prince of this world cometh and findeth nothing in Me."' vid. also §19. Ibid. ii. 6. he speaks of the devil having `introduced the law of sin.' vid. also §9. [2065] John i. 9. [2066] prokopes `internal advance,' Luke ii. 52. [2067] eugenous [2068] ekklesiastikos, vid. Serap. iv. 15. contr. Gent. 6. 7. 33. [2069] Orat. ii. §8. [2070] Eph. iv. 10, but anastas for anabas. [2071] John i. 14. [2072] In Apoll. i. 2. [2073] It was a point in controversy with the extreme Monophysites, that is, the Eutychians, whether our Lord's body was naturally subject to death, the Catholics maintaining the affirmative, as Athanasius here. Eutyches asserted that our Lord had not a human nature, by which he meant among other things that His manhood was not subject to the laws of a body, but so far as He submitted to them, He did so by an act of will in each particular case; and this, lest it should seem that He was moved by the pathe against His will akousios; and consequently that His manhood was not subject to death. But the Catholics maintained that He had voluntarily placed Himself under those laws, and died naturally, vid. Athan. contr. Apol. i. 17, and that after the resurrection His body became incorruptible, not according to nature, but by grace. vid. Leont. de Sect. x. p. 530. Anast. Hodeg. c. 23. To express their doctrine of the huperphues of our Lord's manhood the Eutychians made use of the Catholic expression `ut voluit.' vid. Athan. l.c. Eutyches ap. Leon. Ep. 21. `quomodo voluit et scit,' twice. vid. also Eranist. i. p. 11. ii. p. 105. Leont. contr. Nest. i. p. 967. Pseudo-Athan. Serm. adv. Div. Hær. §8. (t. 2. p. 570.) [2074] Acts ii. 24. [2075] elattoma, ad Adelph. 4. [2076] At first sight it would seem as if S. Athanasius here used ousia essence for subsistence, or person; but this is not true except with an explanation. Its direct meaning is here, as usual, essence, though indirectly it comes to imply subsistence. He is speaking of that Divine Essence which, though also the Almighty Father's, is as simply and entirely the Word's as if it were only His. Nay, even when the Essence of the Father is spoken of in a sort of contrast to that of the Son, as in the phrase ousia ex ousias, harsh as such expressions are, it is not accurate to say that ousia is used for subsistence or person, or that two ousiai are spoken of (vid. de Syn. 52, note 8), except, that is, by Arians, as Eusebius, supr. Ep. Eus. §6 [or by Origen, Prolegg. ii. §3 (2) a.] Just below we find phusis tou logou, §51 init. [2077] This was the question which came into discussion in the Nestorian controversy, when, as it was then expressed, all that took place in respect to the Eternal Word as man, belonged to His Person, and therefore might be predicated of Him; so that it was heretical not to confess the Word's body (or the body of God in the Person of the Word), the Word's death (as Athan, in the text), the Word's exaltation, and the Word's, or God's, Mother, who was in consequence called theotokos, which was the expression on which the controversy mainly turned. Cf. Orat. iii. 31, a passage as precise as if it had been written after the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies, though without the technical words then adopted. [2078] ton anthropon. [2079] ten patriken heautou theoteta, cf. de Syn. 45, note 1.

Chapter XII.--Texts Explained; Secondly, Psalm xlv. 7, 8. Whether the words `therefore,' `anointed,' &c., imply that the Word has been rewarded. Argued against first from the word `fellows' or `partakers.' He is anointed with the Spirit in His manhood to sanctify human nature. Therefore the Spirit descended on Him in Jordan, when in the flesh. And He is said to sanctify Himself for us, and give us the glory He has received. The word `wherefore' implies His divinity. `Thou hast loved righteousness,' &c., do not imply trial or choice.

46. Such an explanation of the Apostle's words confutes the irreligious men; and what the sacred poet says admits also the same orthodox sense, which they misinterpret, but which in the Psalmist is manifestly religious. He says then, `Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows [2080] .' Behold, O ye Arians, and acknowledge even hence the truth. The Singer speaks of us all as `fellows' or `partakers' of the Lord: but were He one of things which come out of nothing and of things originate, He Himself had been one of those who partake. But, since he hymned Him as the eternal God, saying, `Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' and has declared that all other things partake of Him, what conclusion must we draw, but that He is distinct from originated things, and He only the Father's veritable Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which all things originate partake [2081] , being sanctified by Him in the Spirit [2082] ? And therefore He is here `anointed,' not that He may become God, for He was so even before; nor that He may become King, for He had the Kingdom eternally, existing as God's Image, as the sacred Oracle shews; but in our behalf is this written, as before. For the Israelitish kings, upon their being anointed, then became kings, not being so before, as David, as Hezekiah, as Josiah, and the rest; but the Saviour on the contrary, being God, and ever ruling in the Father's Kingdom, and being Himself He that supplies the Holy Ghost, nevertheless is here said to be anointed, that, as before, being said as man to be anointed with the Spirit, He might provide for us men, not only exaltation and resurrection, but the indwelling and intimacy of the Spirit. And signifying this the Lord Himself hath said by His own mouth in the Gospel according to John, `I have sent them into the world, and for their sakes do I sanctify Myself, that they may be sanctified in the truth [2083] .' In saying this He has shown that He is not the sanctified, but the Sanctifier; for He is not sanctified by other, but Himself sanctifies Himself, that we may be sanctified in the truth. He who sanctifies Himself is Lord of sanctification. How then does this take place? What does He mean but this? `I, being the Father's Word, I give to Myself, when becoming man, the Spirit; and Myself, become man, do I sanctify in Him, that henceforth in Me, who am Truth (for "Thy Word is Truth"), all may be sanctified.'

47. If then for our sake He sanctifies Himself, and does this when He is become man, it is very plain that the Spirit's descent on Him in Jordan was a descent upon us, because of His bearing our body. And it did not take place for promotion to the Word, but again for our sanctification, that we might share His anointing, and of us it might be said, `Know ye not that ye are God's Temple, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you [2084] ?' For when the Lord, as man, was washed in Jordan, it was we who were washed in Him and by Him [2085] . And when He received the Spirit, we it was who by Him were made recipients of It. And moreover for this reason, not as Aaron or David or the rest, was He anointed with oil, but in another way above all His fellows, `with the oil of gladness,' which He Himself interprets to be the Spirit, saying by the Prophet, `The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me [2086] ;' as also the Apostle has said, `How God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost. [2087] ' When then were these things spoken of Him but when He came in the flesh and was baptized in Jordan, and the Spirit descended on Him? And indeed the Lord Himself said, `The Spirit shall take of Mine;' and `I will send Him;' and to His disciples, `Receive ye the Holy Ghost [2088] .' And notwithstanding, He who, as the Word and Radiance of the Father, gives to others, now is said to be sanctified, because now He has become man, and the Body that is sanctified is His. From Him then we have begun to receive the unction and the seal, John saying, `And ye have an unction from the Holy One;' and the Apostle, `And ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise [2089] .' Therefore because of us and for us are these words. What advance then of promotion, and reward of virtue or generally of conduct, is proved from this in our Lord's instance? For if He was not God, and then had become God, if not being King He was preferred to the Kingdom, your reasoning would have had some faint plausibility. But if He is God and the throne of His kingdom is everlasting, in what way could God advance? or what was there wanting to Him who was sitting on His Father's throne? And if, as the Lord Himself has said, the Spirit is His, and takes of His, and He sends It, it is not the Word, considered as the Word and Wisdom, who is anointed with the Spirit which He Himself gives, but the flesh assumed by Him which is anointed in Him and by Him [2090] ; that the sanctification coming to the Lord as man, may come to all men from Him. For not of Itself, saith He, doth the Spirit speak, but the Word is He who gives It to the worthy. For this is like the passage considered above; for as the Apostle has written, `Who existing in form of God thought it not a prize to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and took a servant's form,' so David celebrates the Lord, as the everlasting God and King, but sent to us and assuming our body which is mortal. For this is his meaning in the Psalm, `All thy garments [2091] smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia;' and it is represented by Nicodemus and by Mary's company, when the one came bringing `a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pounds weight;' and the others [2092] `the spices which they had prepared' for the burial of the Lord's body.

48. What advancement then was it to the Immortal to have assumed the mortal? or what promotion is it to the Everlasting to have put on the temporal? what reward can be great to the Everlasting God and King in the bosom of the Father? See ye not, that this too was done and written because of us and for us, that us who are mortal and temporal, the Lord, become man, might make immortal, and bring into the everlasting kingdom of heaven? Blush ye not, speaking lies against the divine oracles? For when our Lord Jesus Christ had been among us, we indeed were promoted, as rescued from sin; but He is the same [2093] ; nor did He alter, when He became man (to repeat what I have said), but, as has been written, `The Word of God abideth for ever [2094] .' Surely as, before His becoming man, He, the Word, dispensed to the saints the Spirit as His own [2095] , so also when made man, He sanctifies all by the Spirit and says to His Disciples, `Receive ye the Holy Ghost.' And He gave to Moses and the other seventy; and through Him David prayed to the Father, saying, `Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me [2096] .' On the other hand, when made man, He said, `I will send to you the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth [2097] ;' and He sent Him, He, the Word of God, as being faithful. Therefore `Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever [2098] ,' remaining unalterable, and at once gives and receives, giving as God's Word, receiving as man. It is not the Word then, viewed as the Word, that is promoted; for He had all things and has them always; but men, who have in Him and through Him their origin [2099] of receiving them. For, when He is now said to be anointed in a human respect, we it is who in Him are anointed; since also when He is baptized, we it is who in Him are baptized. But on all these things the Saviour throws much light, when He says to the Father, `And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one [2100] .' Because of us then He asked for glory, and the words occur, `took' and `gave' and `highly exalted,' that we might take, and to us might be given, and we might be exalted in Him; as also for us He sanctifies Himself, that we might be sanctified in Him [2101] .

49. But if they take advantage of the word `wherefore,' as connected with the passage in the Psalm, `Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee,' for their own purposes, let these novices in Scripture and masters in irreligion know, that, as before, the word `wherefore' does not imply reward of virtue or conduct in the Word, but the reason why He came down to us, and of the Spirit's anointing which took place in Him for our sakes. For He says not, `Wherefore He anointed Thee in order to Thy being God or King or Son or Word;' for so He was before and is for ever, as has been shewn; but rather, `Since Thou art God and King, therefore Thou wast anointed, since none but Thou couldest unite man to the Holy Ghost, Thou the Image of the Father, in which [2102] we were made in the beginning; for Thine is even the Spirit.' For the nature of things originate could give no warranty for this, Angels having transgressed, and men disobeyed [2103] . Wherefore there was need of God and the Word is God; that those who had become under a curse, He Himself might set free. If then He was of nothing, He would not have been the Christ or Anointed, being one among others and having fellowship as the rest [2104] . But, whereas He is God, as being Son of God, and is everlasting King, and exists as Radiance and Expression [2105] of the Father, therefore fitly is He the expected Christ, whom the Father announces to mankind, by revelation to His holy Prophets; that as through Him we have come to be, so also in Him all men might be redeemed from their sins, and by Him all things might be ruled [2106] . And this is the cause of the anointing which took place in Him, and of the incarnate presence of the Word [2107] , which the Psalmist foreseeing, celebrates, first His Godhead and kingdom, which is the Father's, in these tones, `Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom [2108] ;' then announces His descent to us thus, `Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows [2109] .'

50. What is there to wonder at, what to disbelieve, if the Lord who gives the Spirit, is here said Himself to be anointed with the Spirit, at a time when, necessity requiring it, He did not refuse in respect of His manhood to call Himself inferior to the Spirit? For the Jews saying that He cast out devils in Beelzebub, He answered and said to them, for the exposure of their blasphemy, `But if I through the Spirit of God cast out demons [2110] .' Behold, the Giver of the Spirit here says that He cast out demons in the Spirit; but this is not said, except because of His flesh. For since man's nature is not equal of itself to casting out demons, but only in power of the Spirit, therefore as man He said, `But if I through the Spirit of God cast out demons.' Of course too He signified that the blasphemy offered to the Holy Ghost is greater than that against His humanity, when He said, `Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him;' such as were those who said, `Is not this the carpenter's son [2111] ?' but they who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, and ascribe the deeds of the Word to the devil, shall have inevitable punishment [2112] . This is what the Lord spoke to the Jews, as man; but to the disciples shewing His Godhead and His majesty, and intimating that He was not inferior but equal to the Spirit, He gave the Spirit and said, `Receive ye the Holy Ghost,' and `I send Him,' and `He shall glorify Me,' and `Whatsoever He heareth, that He shall speak [2113] .' As then in this place the Lord Himself, the Giver of the Spirit, does not refuse to say that through the Spirit He casts out demons, as man; in like manner He the same, the Giver of the Spirit, refused not to say, `The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me [2114] ,' in respect of His having become flesh, as John hath said; that it might be shewn in both these particulars, that we are they who need the Spirit's grace in our sanctification, and again who are unable to cast out demons without the Spirit's power. Through whom then and from whom behoved it that the Spirit should be given but through the Son, whose also the Spirit is? and when were we enabled to receive It, except when the Word became man? and, as the passage of the Apostle shews, that we had not been redeemed and highly exalted, had not He who exists in form of God taken a servant's form, so David also shews, that no otherwise should we have partaken the Spirit and been sanctified, but that the Giver of the Spirit, the Word Himself, hast spoken of Himself as anointed with the Spirit for us. And therefore have we securely received it, He being said to be anointed in the flesh; for the flesh being first sanctified in Him [2115] , and He being said, as man, to have received for its sake, we have the sequel of the Spirit grace, receiving `out of His fulness [2116] .'

51. Nor do the words, `Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity,' which are added in the Psalm, show, as again you suppose, that the Nature of the Word is alterable, but rather by their very force signify His unalterableness. For since of things originate the nature is alterable, and the one portion had transgressed and the other disobeyed, as has been said, and it is not certain how they will act, but it often happens that he who is now good afterwards alters and becomes different, so that one who was but now righteous, soon is found unrighteous, wherefore there was here also need of one unalterable, that men might have the immutability of the righteousness of the Word as an image and type for virtue [2117] . And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent's deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, `For we are not ignorant of his devices. [2118] ' Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself sent, that, He, being and remaining the same [2119] , by taking this alterable flesh, `might condemn sin in it [2120] ,' and might secure its freedom, and its ability [2121] henceforth `to fulfil the righteousness of the law' in itself, so as to be able to say, `But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us [2122] .'

52. Vainly then, here again, O Arians, have ye made this conjecture, and vainly alleged the words of Scripture; for God's Word is unalterable, and is ever in one state, not as it may happen [2123] , but as the Father is; since how is He like the Father, unless He be thus? or how is all that is the Father's the Son's also, if He has not the unalterableness and unchangeableness of the Father [2124] ? Not as being subject to laws [2125] , and biassed to one side, does He love the one and hate the other, lest, if from fear of falling away He chooses the one, we admit that He is alterable otherwise also; but, as being God and the Father's Word, He is a just judge and lover of virtue, or rather its dispenser. Therefore being just and holy by nature, on this account He is said to love righteousness and to hate iniquity; as much as to say, that He loves and chooses the virtuous, and rejects and hates the unrighteous. And divine Scripture says the same of the Father; `The Righteous Lord loveth righteousness; Thou hatest all them that work iniquity [2126] ,' and `The Lord loveth the gates of Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob [2127] ;' and, `Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated [2128] ;' and in Isaiah there is the voice of God again saying, `I the Lord love righteousness, and hate robbery of unrighteousness [2129] .' Let them then expound those former words as these latter; for the former also are written of the Image of God: else, misinterpreting these as those, they will conceive that the Father too is alterable. But since the very hearing others say this is not without peril, we do well to think that God is said to love righteousness and to hate robbery of unrighteousness, not as if biassed to one side, and capable of the contrary, so as to select the latter and not choose the former, for this belongs to things originated, but that, as a judge, He loves and takes to Him the righteous and withdraws from the bad. It follows then to think the same concerning the Image of God also, that He loves and hates no otherwise than thus. For such must be the nature of the Image as is Its Father, though the Arians in their blindness fail to see either that image or any other truth of the divine oracles. For being forced from the conceptions or rather misconceptions [2130] of their own hearts, they fall back upon passages of divine Scripture, and here too from want of understanding, according to their wont, they discern not their meaning; but laying down their own irreligion as a sort of canon of interpretation [2131] , they wrest the whole of the divine oracles into accordance with it. And so on the bare mention of such doctrine, they deserve nothing but the reply, `Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God [2132] ;' and if they persist in it, they must be put to silence, by the words, `Render to' man `the things that are' man's, `and to God the things that are' God's [2133] .


[2080] Ps. xlv. 7, 8. [2081] p. 156, note 4. [2082] It is here said that all things `originate' partake the Son and are `sanctified' by the Spirit. How a gennesis or adoption through the Son is necessary for every creature in order to its consistence, life, or preservation, has been explained, p. 162, note 3. Sometimes the Son was considered as the special Principle of reason, as by Origen, ap. Athan. Serap. iv. 9. vid. himself. de Incarn. 11. These offices of the Son and the Spirit are contrasted by S. Basil, in his de Sp. S. ton prostattonta kurion, ton demiourgounta logon, to stereoun pneuma, &c. c. 16. n. 38. [2083] John xvii. 18, 19, vid. Cyril, Thesaur. 20. [2084] 1 Cor. iii. 16. [2085] Pusey on Baptism, 2nd Ed. pp. 275-293. [2086] Isai. lxi. 1. [2087] Acts x. 38. [2088] John xvi. 14, 7; xx. 22. [2089] 1 John ii. 20; Eph. i. 13. [2090] Elsewhere Athan. says that our Lord's Godhead was the immediate anointing or chrism of the manhood He assumed, in Apollin. ii. 3, Orat. iv. §36. vid. Origen. Periarch. ii. 6. n. 4. And S. Greg. Naz. still more expressly, and from the same text as Athan. Orat. x. fin. Again, `This [the Godhead] is the anointing of the manhood, not sanctifying by an energy as the other Christs [anointed] but by a presence of Him whole who anointed, holou tou chriontos; whence it came to pass that what anointed was called man and what was anointed was made God.' Orat. xxx. 20. Damasc. F. O. iii. 3. Dei Filius, sicut pluvia in vellus, toto divinitatis unguento nostram se fudit in carnem. Chrysolog. Serm. 60. It is more common, however, to consider that the anointing was the descent of the Spirit, as Athan. says at the beginning of this section, according to Luke iv. 18; Acts x. 38. [2091] Ps. xlv. 8. Our Lord's manhood is spoken of as a garment; more distinctly afterwards, `As Aaron was himself, and did not change on putting round him the high priest's garment, but remaining the same, was but clothed,' &c, Orat. ii. 8. On the Apollinarian abuse of the idea, vid. note in loc. [2092] John xix. 39; Luke xxiv. 1. [2093] p. 159, note 8. [2094] Isai. xl. 8. logos but rhema. LXX. [2095] §39, note 4. [2096] Ps. li. 11. [2097] John xv. 26. [2098] Heb. xiii. 8. [2099] The word origin, arche, implies the doctrine, more fully brought out in other passages of the Fathers, that our Lord has deigned to become an instrumental cause, as it may be called, of the life of each individual Christian. For at first sight it may be objected to the whole course of Athan.'s argument thus;--What connection is there between the sanctification of Christ's manhood and ours? how does it prove that human nature is sanctified because a particular specimen of it was sanctified in Him? S. Chrysostom explains, Hom. in Matt. lxxxii. 5. And just before, `It sufficed not for Him to be made man, to be scourged, to be sacrificed; but He assimilates us to Him (anaphurei heauton hemin), nor merely by faith, but really, has He made us His body.' Again, `That we are commingled (anakerasthomen) into that flesh, not merely through love, but really, is brought about by means of that food which He has bestowed upon us.' Hom. in Joann. 46. 3. And so S. Cyril writes against Nestorius: `Since we have proved that Christ is the Vine, and we branches as adhering to a communion with Him, not spiritual merely but bodily, why clamours he against us thus bootlessly, saying that, since we adhere to Him, not in a bodily way, but rather by faith and the affection of love according to the Law, therefore He has called, not His own flesh the vine, but rather the Godhead?' in Joann. lib. 10. Cap. 2. pp. 863, 4. And Nyssen, Orat. Catech. 37. Decoctâ quasi per ollam carnis nostræ cruditate, sanctificavit in æternum nobis cibum carnem suam. Paulin. Ep. 23. Of course in such statements nothing material is implied; Hooker says, `The mixture of His bodily substance with ours is a thing which the ancient Fathers disclaim. Yet the mixture of His flesh with ours they speak of, to signify what our very bodies through mystical conjunction receive from that vital efficacy which we know to be in His, and from bodily mixtures they borrow divers similitudes rather to declare the truth than the manner of coherence between His sacred and the sanctified bodies of saints.' Eccl. Pol. v. 56. §10. But without some explanation of this nature, language such as S. Athanasius's in the text seems a mere matter of words. vid. infr. §50 fin. [2100] John xvii. 22. [2101] Cyril, Thesaur. 20. p. 197. [2102] §51, note 1. [2103] angelon men parabanton, anthropon de parakousanton. vid. infr. §51. init. Cf. ad Afr. 7. vid. de Decr. 19, note 3. infr. Orat. ii. iii. Cyril. in Joann. lib. v. 2. On the subject of the sins of Angels, vid. Huet. Origen. ii. 5. §16. Petav. Dogm. t. 3. p. 87. Dissert. Bened. in Cyril. Hier. iii. 5. Natal. Alex. Hist. Ęt. i. Diss. 7. [2104] De Decr. 10, note 4. [2105] Heb. i. 3. [2106] The word wherefore is here declared to denote the fitness why the Son of God should become the Son of man. His Throne, as God, is for ever; He has loved righteousness; therefore He is equal to the anointing of the Spirit, as man. And so S. Cyril on the same text, as in l. c. in the foregoing note. Cf. Leon Ep. 64. 2. vid. de Incarn. 7 fin. 10. In illud Omn. 2. Cyril. in Gen. i. p. 13. [2107] ensarkos parousia. This phrase which has occurred above, §8. is very frequent with Athan. vid. also Cyril. Catech. iii. 11. xii. 15. xiv. 27, 30, Epiph. Hær. 77. 17. The Eutychians avail themselves of it at the Council of Constantinople, vid. Hard. Conc. t. 2. pp. 164, 236. [2108] Ps. xlv. 6. [2109] Ib. 7 [2110] Matt. xii. 28. [2111] Matt. xii. 32; xiii. 55. [2112] [Cf. Prolegg. ch. iii. §1 (22).]. [2113] John xx. 22; xvi. 13, 14. [2114] Is. lxi. 1. [2115] §48, note 7. [2116] John i. 16. [2117] Vid. de Incarn. 13. 14. vid. also Gent. 41 fin. and Nic. Def. 17, note 5. Cum justitia nulla esset in terra doctorem misit, quasi vivam legem. Lactant. Instit. iv. 25. `The Only-begotten was made man like us,...as if lending us His own stedfastness.' Cyril. in Joann. lib. v. 2. p. 473; vid. also Thesaur. 20. p. 198. August. de Corr. et Grat. 10-12. Damasc. F. O. iv. 4. But the words of Athan. embrace too many subjects to illustrate distinctly in a note. [2118] 2 Cor. ii. 11. [2119] §48, note 1. [2120] Rom. viii. 3; ib. 4. [2121] Cf. de Incarn. 7, Orat. ii. 68. [2122] Rom. viii. 9. [2123] haplos, ouk haplos horisthe, all' akribos exetasthe. Socr. i. 9. p. 31. [2124] John xvii. 10, §35, note 2. [2125] Eunomius said that our Lord was utterly separate from the Father, `by natural law,' nomo phuseos; S. Basil observes, `as if the God of all had not power over Himself, heautou kurios, but were in bondage under the decrees of necessity.' contr. Eunom. ii. 30. [2126] Ps. xi. 7; v. 5. [2127] Ib. lxxxvii. 2. [2128] Mal. i. 2, 3. [2129] Is. lxi. 8. [2130] ennoion mallon de paranoion, vid. §40, note 1. [2131] Instead of professing to examine Scripture or to acquiesce in what they had been taught, the Arians were remarkable for insisting on certain abstract positions or inferences on which they make the whole controversy turn. Vid. Socrates' account of Arius's commencement, `If God has a Son, he must have a beginning of existence,' &c. &c., and so the word ageneton. [2132] Matt. xxii. 29. [2133] Ib. xxii. 21.

Chapter XIII.--Texts Explained; Thirdly, Hebrews i. 4. Additional texts brought as objections; e.g. Heb. i. 4; vii. 22. Whether the word `better' implies likeness to the Angels; and `made' or `become' implies creation. Necessary to consider the circumstances under which Scripture speaks. Difference between `better' and `greater;' texts in proof. `Made' or `become' a general word. Contrast in Heb. i. 4, between the Son and the Works in point of nature. The difference of the punishments under the two Covenants shews the difference of the natures of the Son and the Angels. `Become' relates not to the nature of the Word, but to His manhood and office and relation towards us. Parallel passages in which the term is applied to the Eternal Father.

53. But it is written, say they, in the Proverbs, `The Lord created me the beginning of His ways, for His Works [2134] ;' and in the Epistle to the Hebrews the Apostle says, `Being made so much better than the Angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they [2135] .' And soon after, `Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that made Him [2136] .' And in the Acts, `Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ [2137] .' These passages they brought forward at every turn, mistaking their sense, under the idea that they proved that the Word of God was a creature and work and one of things originate; and thus they deceive the thoughtless, making the language of Scripture their pretence, but instead of the true sense sowing upon it the poison of their own heresy. For had they known, they would not have been irreligious against `the Lord of glory [2138] ,' nor have wrested the good words of Scripture. If then henceforward openly adopting Caiaphas's way, they have determined on judaizing, and are ignorant of the text, that verily God shall dwell upon the earth [2139] , let them not inquire into the Apostolical sayings; for this is not the manner of Jews. But if, mixing themselves up with the godless Manichees [2140] , they deny that `the Word was made flesh,' and His Incarnate presence, then let them not bring forward the Proverbs, for this is out of place with the Manichees. But if for preferment-sake, and the lucre of avarice which follows [2141] , and the desire for good repute, they venture not on denying the text, `The Word was made flesh,' since so it is written, either let them rightly interpret the words of Scripture, of the embodied presence of the Saviour, or, if they deny their sense, let them deny that the Lord became man at all. For it is unseemly, while confessing that `the Word became flesh,' yet to be ashamed at what is written of Him, and on that account to corrupt the sense.

54. For it is written, `So much better than the Angels;' let us then first examine this. Now it is right and necessary, as in all divine Scripture, so here, faithfully to expound the time of which the Apostle wrote, and the person [2142] , and the point; lest the reader, from ignorance missing either these or any similar particular, may be wide of the true sense. This understood that inquiring eunuch, when he thus besought Philip, `I pray thee, of whom doth the Prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man [2143] ?' for he feared lest, expounding the lesson unsuitably to the person, he should wander from the right sense. And the disciples, wishing to learn the time of what was foretold, besought the Lord, `Tell us,' said they, `when shall these things be? and what is the sign of Thy coming [2144] ?' And again, hearing from the Saviour the events of the end, they desired to learn the time of it, that they might be kept from error themselves, and might be able to teach others; as, for instance, when they had learned, they set right the Thessalonians [2145] , who were going wrong. When then one knows properly these points, his understanding of the faith is right and healthy; but if he mistakes any such points, forthwith he falls into heresy. Thus Hymenæus and Alexander and their fellows [2146] were beside the time, when they said that the resurrection had already been; and the Galatians were after the time, in making much of circumcision now. And to miss the person was the lot of the Jews, and is still, who think that of one of themselves is said, `Behold, the Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and they shall call his Name Emmanuel, which is being interpreted, God with us [2147] ;' and that, `A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you [2148] ,' is spoken of one of the Prophets; and who, as to the words, `He was led as a sheep to the slaughter [2149] ,' instead of learning from Philip, conjecture them spoken of Isaiah or some other of the former Prophets [2150] .

55. (3.) Such has been the state of mind under which Christ's enemies have fallen into their execrable heresy. For had they known the person, and the subject, and the season of the Apostle's words, they would not have expounded of Christ's divinity what belongs to His manhood, nor in their folly have committed so great an act of irreligion. Now this will be readily seen, if one expounds properly the beginning of this lection. For the Apostle says, `God who at sundry times and divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son [2151] ;' then again shortly after he says, `when He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the Angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they [2152] .' It appears then that the Apostle's words make mention of that time, when God spoke unto us by His Son, and when a purging of sins took place. Now when did He speak unto us by His Son, and when did purging of sins take place? and when did He become man? when, but subsequently to the Prophets in the last days? Next, proceeding with his account of the economy in which we were concerned, and speaking of the last times, he is naturally led to observe that not even in the former times was God silent with men, but spoke to them by the Prophets. And, whereas the prophets ministered, and the Law was spoken by Angels, while the Son too came on earth, and that in order to minister, he was forced to add, `Become so much better than the Angels,' wishing to shew that, as much as the son excels a servant, so much also the ministry of the Son is better than the ministry of servants. Contrasting then the old ministry and the new, the Apostle deals freely with the Jews, writing and saying, `Become so much better than the Angels.' This is why throughout he uses no comparison, such as `become greater,' or `more honourable,' lest we should think of Him and them as one in kind, but `better' is his word, by way of marking the difference of the Son's nature from things originated. And of this we have proof from divine Scripture; David, for instance, saying in the Psalm, `One day in Thy courts is better than a thousand [2153] :' and Solomon crying out, `Receive my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it [2154] .' Are not wisdom and stones of the earth different in essence and separate in nature? Are heavenly courts at all akin to earthly houses? Or is there any similarity between things eternal and spiritual, and things temporal and mortal? And this is what Isaiah says, `Thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My Covenant; even unto them will I give in Mine house, and within My walls, a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off [2155] .' In like manner there is nought akin between the Son and the Angels; so that the word `better' is not used to compare but to contrast, because of the difference of His nature from them. And therefore the Apostle also himself, when he interprets the word `better,' places its force in nothing short of the Son's excellence over things originated, calling the one Son, the other servants; the one, as a Son with the Father, sitting on the right; and the others, as servants, standing before Him, and being sent, and fulfilling offices.

56. Scripture, in speaking thus, implies, O Arians, not that the Son is originate, but rather other than things originate, and proper to the Father, being in His bosom. (4.) Nor [2156] does even the expression `become,' which here occurs, shew that the Son is originate, as ye suppose. If indeed it were simply `become' and no more, a case might stand for the Arians; but, whereas they are forestalled with the word `Son' throughout the passage, shewing that He is other than things originate, so again not even the word `become' occurs absolutely [2157] , but `better' is immediately subjoined. For the writer thought the expression immaterial, knowing that in the case of one who was confessedly a genuine Son, to say `become' is the same with saying that He had been made, and is, `better.' For it matters not even if we speak of what is generate, as `become' or `made;' but on the contrary, things originate cannot be called generate, God's handiwork as they are, except so far as after their making they partake of the generate Son, and are therefore said to have been generated also, not at all in their own nature, but because of their participation of the Son in the Spirit [2158] . And this again divine Scripture recognises; for it says in the case of things originate, `All things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing came to be [2159] ,' and, `In wisdom hast Thou made them all [2160] ;' but in the case of sons which are generate, `To Job there came to be seven sons and three daughters [2161] ,' and, `Abraham was an hundred years old when there came to be to him Isaac his son [2162] ;' and Moses said [2163] , `If to any one there come to be sons.' Therefore since the Son is other than things originate, alone the proper offspring of the Father's essence, this plea of the Arians about the word `become' is worth nothing.

(5.) If moreover, baffled so far, they should still violently insist that the language is that of comparison, and that comparison in consequence implies oneness of kind, so that the Son is of the nature of Angels, they will in the first place incur the disgrace of rivalling and repeating what Valentinus held, and Carpocrates, and those other heretics, of whom the former said that the Angels were one in kind with the Christ, and Carpocrates that Angels are framers of the world [2164] . Perchance it is under the instruction of these masters that they compare the Word of God with the Angels.

57. Though surely amid such speculations, they will be moved by the sacred poet, saying, `Who is he among the gods that shall be like unto the Lord [2165] ,' and, `Among the gods there is none like unto Thee, O Lord [2166] .' However, they must be answered, with the chance of their profiting by it, that comparison confessedly does belong to subjects one in kind, not to those which differ. No one, for instance, would compare God with man, or again man with brutes, nor wood with stone, because their natures are unlike; but God is beyond comparison, and man is compared to man, and wood to wood, and stone to stone. Now in such cases we should not speak of `better,' but of `rather' and `more;' thus Joseph was comely rather than his brethren, and Rachel than Leah; star [2167] is not better than star, but is the rather excellent in glory; whereas in bringing together things which differ in kind, then `better' is used to mark the difference, as has been said in the case of wisdom and jewels. Had then the Apostle said, `by so much has the Son precedence of the Angels,' or `by so much greater,' you would have had a plea, as if the Son were compared with the Angels; but, as it is, in saying that He is `better,' and differs as far as Son from servants, the Apostle shews that He is other than the Angels in nature.

(6.) Moreover by saying that He it is who has `laid the foundation of all things [2168] ,' he shews that He is other than all things originate. But if He be other and different in essence from their nature, what comparison of His essence can [2169] there be, or what likeness to them? though, even if they have any such thoughts, Paul shall refute them, who speaks to the very point, `For unto which of the Angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? And of the Angels He saith, Who maketh His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire [2170] .'

58. Observe here, the word `made' belongs to things originate, and he calls them things made; but to the Son he speaks not of making, nor of becoming, but of eternity and kingship, and a Framer's office, exclaiming, `Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever;' and, `Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thine hands; they shall perish, but Thou remainest.' From which words even they, were they but willing, might perceive that the Framer is other than things framed, the former God, the latter things originate, made out of nothing. For what has been said, `They shall perish,' is said, not as if the creation were destined for destruction, but to express the nature of things originate by the issue to which they tend [2171] . For things which admit of perishing, though through the grace [2172] of their Maker they perish not, yet have come out of nothing, and themselves witness that they once were not. And on this account, since their nature is such, it is said of the Son, `Thou remainest,' to shew His eternity; for not having the capacity of perishing, as things originate have, but having eternal duration, it is foreign to Him to have it said, `He was not before His generation,' but proper to Him to be always, and to endure together with the Father. And though the Apostle had not thus written in his Epistle to the Hebrews, still his other Epistles, and the whole of Scripture, would certainly forbid their entertaining such notions concerning the Word. But since he has here expressly written it, and, as has been above shewn, the Son is Offspring of the Father's essence, and He is Framer, and other things are framed by Him, and He is the Radiance and Word and Image and Wisdom of the Father, and things originate stand and serve in their place below the Triad, therefore the Son is different in kind and different in essence from things originate, and on the contrary is proper to the Father's essence and one in nature with it [2173] . And hence it is that the Son too says not, `My Father is better than I [2174] ,' lest we should conceive Him to be foreign to His Nature, but `greater,' not indeed in greatness, nor in time, but because of His generation from the Father Himself [2175] , nay, in saying `greater' He again shows that He is proper to His essence.

59. (7). And the Apostle's own reason for saying, `so much better than the Angels,' was not any wish in the first instance to compare the essence [2176] of the Word to things originate (for He cannot be compared, rather they are incommeasurable), but regarding the Word's visitation in the flesh, and the Economy which He then sustained, he wished to show that He was not like those who had gone before Him; so that, as much as He excelled in nature those who were sent afore by Him, by so much also the grace which came from and through Him was better than the ministry through Angels [2177] . For it is the function of servants, to demand the fruits and no more; but of the Son and Master to forgive the debts and to transfer the vineyard.

(8.) Certainly what the Apostle proceeds to say shews the excellence of the Son over things originate; `Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him [2178] .' But if the Son were in the number of things originate, He was not better than they, nor did disobedience involve increase of punishment because of Him; any more than in the Ministry of Angels there was not, according to each Angel, greater or less guilt in the transgressors, but the Law was one, and one was its vengeance on transgressors. But, whereas the Word is not in the number of originate things, but is Son of the Father, therefore, as He Himself is better and His acts better and transcendent, so also the punishment is worse. Let them contemplate then the grace which is through the Son, and let them acknowledge the witness which He gives even from His works, that He is other than things originated, and alone the very Son in the Father and the Father in Him. And the Law [2179] was spoken by Angels, and perfected no one [2180] , needing the visitation of the Word, as Paul hath said; but that visitation has perfected the work of the Father. And then, from Adam unto Moses death reigned [2181] ; but the presence of the Word abolished death [2182] . And no longer in Adam are we all dying [2183] ; but in Christ we are all reviving. And then, from Dan to Beersheba was the Law proclaimed, and in Judæa only was God known; but now, unto all the earth has gone forth their voice, and all the earth has been filled with the knowledge of God [2184] , and the disciples have made disciples of all the nations [2185] , and now is fulfilled what is written, `They shall be all taught of God [2186] .' And then what was revealed was but a type; but now the truth has been manifested. And this again the Apostle himself describes afterwards more clearly, saying, `By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament;' and again, `But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.' And, `For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.' And again he says, `It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these [2187] .' Both in the verse before us, then, and throughout, does he ascribe the word `better' to the Lord, who is better and other than originated things. For better is the sacrifice through Him, better the hope in Him; and also the promises through Him, not merely as great compared with small, but the one differing from the other in nature, because He who conducts this economy, is `better' than things originated.

60. (9.) Moreover the words `He is become surety' denote the pledge in our behalf which He has provided. For as, being the `Word,' He `became flesh [2188] ' and `become' we ascribe to the flesh, for it is originated and created, so do we here the expression `He is become,' expounding it according to a second sense, viz. because He has become man. And let these contentious men know, that they fail in this their perverse purpose; let them know that Paul does not signify that His essence [2189] has become, knowing, as he did, that He is Son and Wisdom and Radiance and Image of the Father; but here too he refers the word `become' to the ministry of that covenant, in which death which once ruled is abolished. Since here also the ministry through Him has become better, in that `what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh [2190] ,' ridding it of the trespass, in which, being continually held captive, it admitted not the Divine mind. And having rendered the flesh capable of the Word, He made us walk, no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, and say again and again, `But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,' and, `For the Son of God came into the world, not to judge the world, but to redeem all men, and that the world might be saved through Him [2191] .' Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all [2192] . With a view to this has John exclaimed, `The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ [2193] .' Better is grace than the Law, and truth than the shadow.

61. (10.) `Better' then, as has been said, could not have been brought to pass by any other than the Son, who sits on the right hand of the Father. And what does this denote but the Son's genuineness, and that the Godhead of the Father is the same as the Son's [2194] ? For in that the Son reigns in His Father's kingdom, is seated upon the same throne as the Father, and is contemplated in the Father's Godhead, therefore is the Word God, and whoso beholds the Son, beholds the Father; and thus there is one God. Sitting then on the right, yet He does not place His Father on the left [2195] ; but whatever is right [2196] and precious in the Father, that also the Son has, and says, `All things that the Father hath are Mine [2197] .' Wherefore also the Son, though sitting on the right, also sees the Father on the right, though it be as become man that He says, `I saw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, therefore I shall not fall [2198] .' This shews moreover that the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son; for the Father being on the right, the Son is on the right; and while the Son sits on the right of the Father, the Father is in the Son. And the Angels indeed minister ascending and descending; but concerning the Son he saith, `And let all the Angels of God worship Him [2199] .' And when Angels minister, they say, `I am sent unto thee,' and, `The Lord has commanded;' but the Son, though He say in human fashion, `I am sent [2200] ,' and comes to finish the work and to minister, nevertheless says, as being Word and Image, `I am in the Father, and the Father in Me;' and, `He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father;' and, `The Father that abideth in Me, He doeth the works [2201] ;' for what we behold in that Image are the Father's works.

(11.) What has been already said ought to shame those persons who are fighting against the very truth; however, if, because it is written, `become better,' they refuse to understand `become,' as used of the Son, as `has been and is [2202] ;' or again as referring to the better covenant having come to be [2203] , as we have said, but consider from this expression that the Word is called originate, let them hear the same again in a concise form, since they have forgotten what has been said.

62. If the Son be in the number of the Angels, then let the word `become' apply to Him as to them, and let Him not differ at all from them in nature; but be they either sons with Him, or be He an Angel with them; sit they one and all together on the right hand of the Father, or be the Son standing with them all as a ministering Spirit, sent forth to minister Himself as they are. But if on the other hand Paul distinguishes the Son from things originate, saying, `To which of the Angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son?' and the one frames heaven and earth, but they are made by Him; and He sitteth with the Father, but they stand by ministering, who does not see that he has not used the word `become' of the essence of the Word, but of the ministration come through Him? For as, being the `Word,' He `became flesh,' so when become man, He became by so much better in His ministry, than the ministry which came by the Angels, as Son excels servants and Framer things framed. Let them cease therefore to take the word `become' of the substance of the Son, for He is not one of originated things; and let them acknowledge that it is indicative of His ministry and the Economy which came to pass.

(12.) But how He became better in His ministry, being better in nature than things originate, appears from what has been said before, which, I consider, is sufficient in itself to put them to shame. But if they carry on the contest, it will be proper upon their rash daring to close with them, and to oppose to them those similar expressions which are used concerning the Father Himself. This may serve to shame them to refrain their tongue from evil, or may teach them the depth of their folly. Now it is written, `Become my strong rock and house of defence, that Thou mayest save me [2204] .' And again, `The Lord became a defence for the oppressed [2205] ,' and the like which are found in divine Scripture. If then they apply these passages to the Son, which perhaps is nearest to the truth, then let them acknowledge that the sacred writers ask Him, as not being originate, to become to them `a strong rock and house of defence;' and for the future let them understand `become,' and `He made,' and `He created,' of His incarnate presence. For then did He become `a strong rock and house of defence,' when He bore our sins in His own body upon the tree, and said, `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest [2206] .'

63. But if they refer these passages to the Father, will they, when it is here also written, `Become' and `He became,' venture so far as to affirm that God is originate? Yea, they will dare, as they thus argue concerning His Word; for the course of their argument carries them on to conjecture the same things concerning the Father, as they devise concerning His Word. But far be such a notion ever from the thoughts of all the faithful! for neither is the Son in the number of things originated, nor do the words of Scripture in question, `Become,' and `He became,' denote beginning of being, but that succour which was given to the needy. For God is always, and one and the same; but men have come to be afterwards through the Word, when the Father Himself willed it; and God is invisible and inaccessible to originated things, and especially to men upon earth. When then men in infirmity invoke Him, when in persecution they ask help, when under injuries they pray, then the Invisible, being a lover of man, shines forth upon them with His beneficence, which He exercises through and in His proper Word. And forthwith the divine manifestation is made to every one according to his need, and is made to the weak health, and to the persecuted a `refuge' and `house of defence;' and to the injured He says, `While thou speakest I will say, Here I am [2207] .' Whatever defence then comes to each through the Son, that each says that God has come to be to himself, since succour comes from God Himself through the Word. Moreover the usage of men recognises this, and every one will confess its propriety. Often succour comes from man to man; one has undertaken toil for the injured, as Abraham for Lot; and another has opened his home to the persecuted, as Obadiah to the sons of the prophets; and another has entertained a stranger, as Lot the Angels; and another has supplied the needy, as Job those who begged of him. And then, should one and the other of these benefited persons say, `Such a one became an assistance to me,' and another `and to me a refuge,' and `to another a supply,' yet in so saying would not be speaking of the original becoming or of the essence of their benefactors, but of the beneficence coming to themselves from them; so also when the saints say concerning God, `He became' and `become Thou,' they do not denote any original becoming, for God is without beginning and unoriginate, but the salvation which is made to be unto men from Him.

64. This being so understood, it is parallel also respecting the Son, that whatever, and however often, is said, such as, `He became' and `become,' should ever have the same sense: so that as, when we hear the words in question, `become better than the Angels' and `He became,' we should not conceive any original becoming of the Word, nor in any way fancy from such terms that He is originate; but should understand Paul's words of His ministry and Economy when He became man. For when `the Word became flesh and dwelt among us [2208] ' and came to minister and to grant salvation to all, then He became to us salvation, and became life, and became propitiation; then His economy in our behalf became much better than the Angels, and He became the Way and became the Resurrection. And as the words `Become my strong rock' do not denote that the essence of God Himself became, but His lovingkindness, as has been said, so also here the `having become better than the Angels,' and, `He became,' and, `by so much is Jesus become a better surety,' do not signify that the essence of the Word is originate (perish the thought!), but the beneficence which towards us came to be through His becoming Man; unthankful though the heretics be, and obstinate in behalf of their irreligion.


[2134] Prov. viii. 22. vid. Orat. ii. §§19-72. [2135] Heb. i. 4; iii. 1. [2136] Vid. Orat. ii. §§2-11. [2137] Acts ii. 36. vid. Orat. ii. §§11-18. [2138] 1 Cor. ii. 8. [2139] Zech. ii. 10; vid. 1 Kings viii. 27; Bar. iii. 37 [2140] Vid. the same contrast, de Syn. §33; supr. §8; Orat. iv. §23. [2141] §8, note 6. [2142] De Decr. 14, note 2. [2143] Acts viii. 34. [2144] Matt. xxiv. 3. [2145] Vid. 1 Thess. iv. 13; 2 Thess. ii. 1, &c. [2146] 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18; 1 Tim. i. 20. [2147] Is. vii. 14; Matt. i. 23. [2148] Deut. xviii. 15. [2149] Is. liii. 7. [2150] The more common evasion on the part of the Jews was to interpret the prophecy of their own sufferings in captivity. It was an idea of Grotius that the prophecy received a first fulfilment in Jeremiah. vid. Justin Tryph. 72 et al., Iren. Hær. iv. 33. Tertull. in Jud. 9, Cyprian. Testim. in Jud. ii. 13, Euseb. Dem. iii. 2, &c. [cf. Driver and Neubauer Jewish commentaries on Is. lii. and Is. liii. and Introduction to English Translation of these pp. xxxvii. sq.] [2151] Heb. i. 1, 2. [2152] Ib. 3, 4. [2153] Ps. lxxxiv. 10. [2154] Prov. viii. 10, 11. [2155] Is. lvi. 4, 5. [2156] There is apparently much confusion in the arrangement of the paragraphs that follow; though the appearance may perhaps arise from Athan.'s incorporating some passage from a former work into his text, cf. note on §32. It is easy to suggest alterations, but not anything satisfactory. The same ideas are scattered about. Thus sunkritikos occurs in (3) and (5). The Son's seat on the right, and Angels in ministry, (3) fin. (10) (11). `Become' interpreted as `is originated and is,' (4) and (11). The explanation of `become,' (4) (9) (11) (14). The Word's epidemia is introduced in (7) and (8) parousia being the more common word; epidemia occurs Orat. ii. §67 init. Serap. i. 9. Vid. however, §61, notes. If a change must be suggested, it would be to transfer (4) after (8) and (10) after (3). [2157] apolelumenos. vid. also Orat. ii. 54. 62. iii. 22. Basil. contr. Eunom. i. p. 244. Cyril. Thesaur. 25, p. 236. dialelumenos. Orat. iv. 1. [2158] [The note, referred to above, p. 169, in which Newman defends the treatment of geneton and genneton as synonymous, while yet admitting that they are expressly distinguished by Ath. in the text, is omitted for lack of space.] [2159] John i. 3. [2160] Ps. civ. 24. [2161] Job i. 2. [2162] Gen. xxi. 5. [2163] Cf. Deut. xxi. 15. [2164] These tenets and similar ones were common to many branches of the Gnostics, who paid worship to the Angels, or ascribed to them the creation; the doctrine of their consubstantiality with our Lord arose from their belief in emanation. S. Athanasius here uses the word homogenes, not homoousios which was usual with them (vid. Bull. D. F. N. ii. 1, §2) as with the Manichees after them, Beausobre, Manich. iii. 8. [2165] Ps. lxxxix. 7. [2166] Ib. lxxxvi. 8. [2167] Orat. ii. §20. [2168] Heb. i. 10. [2169] De Syn. 45, note 9. [2170] Heb. i. 7. [2171] §29, note 10. [2172] De Decr. 19, note 3. [2173] Here again is a remarkable avoidance of the word homoousion. He says that the Son is heterogenes kai heteroousios ton geneton, kai tes tou patros ousias idios kai homophues. vid. §§20, 21, notes. [2174] John xiv. 28. [2175] Athan. otherwise explains this text, Incarn. contr. Arian. 4. if it be his. This text is thus taken by Basil. contr. Eun. iv. p. 289. Naz. Orat. 30. 7, &c. &c. [2176] §§60. 62. 64. ii. §18. [2177] He also applies this text to our Lord's economy and ministry de Sent. D. 11. in Apoll. ii. 15. [2178] Heb. ii. 1-3. [2179] Part of this chapter, as for instance (7) (8) is much more finished in point of style than the general course of his Orations. It may be indeed only the natural consequence of his warming with his subject, but this beautiful passage looks very much like an insertion. Some words of it are found in Sent. D. 11. written few years sooner [cf. supr. 33, note 2.] [2180] Heb. vii. 19. [2181] Rom. v. 14. [2182] 2 Tim. i. 10. [2183] 1 Cor. xv. 22. [2184] Is. xi. 9; vid. Ps. lxxvi. 1, and xix. 4. [2185] Matt. xxviii. 19. [2186] John vi. 45; Is. liv. 13. [2187] Heb. vii. 22; viii. 6; vii. 19; ix. 23 [2188] John i. 14. [2189] §45, note. [2190] Rom. viii. 3. [2191] John iii. 17. [2192] Vid. Incarn. passim. Theod. Eranist. iii. pp. 196-198, &c. &c. It was the tendency of all the heresies concerning the Person of Christ to explain away or deny the Atonement. The Arians, after the Platonists, insisted on the pre-existing Priesthood, as if the incarnation and crucifixion were not of its essence. The Apollinarians resolved the Incarnation into a manifestation, Theod. Eran. i. The Nestorians denied the Atonement, Procl. ad Armen. p. 615. And the Eutychians, Leont. Ep. 28, 5. [2193] John i. 17. [2194] De Syn. 45, note 1. [2195] Cf. August. de Fid. et Symb. 14. Does this passage of Athan.'s shew that the Anthropomorphites were stirring in Egypt already? [2196] dexion [2197] John xvi. 15. [2198] Ps. xvi. 8. [2199] Heb. i. 6. [2200] Vid. John xvii. 3; Mark x. 45. [2201] John xiv. 10, 9. [2202] Of His divine nature, (4) (8). [2203] Of His human nature, and (10). [2204] Ps. xxx. 3. [2205] Ib. ix. 9. [2206] Matt. xi. 28. [2207] Is. lviii. 9. [2208] John i. 14.

Excursus B. On §22 (Note 3).

On the Meaning of the Formula prin gennethenai ouk en, in the Nicene Anathema.

It was observed on p. 75, note 4(b), that there were two clauses in the Nicene Anathema which required explanation. One of them, ex heteras hupostaseos e ousias, has been discussed in the Excursus, pp. 77-82; the other, prin gennethenai ouk en, shall be considered now.

Bishop Bull has suggested a very ingenious interpretation of it, which is not obvious, but which, when stated, has much plausibility, as going to explain, or rather to sanction, certain modes of speech in some early Fathers of venerable authority, which have been urged by heterodox writers, and given up by Catholics of the Roman School, as savouring of Arianism. The foregoing pages have made it abundantly evident that the point of controversy between Catholics and Arians was, not whether our Lord was God, but whether He was Son of God; the solution of the former question being involved in that of the latter. The Arians maintained that the very word `Son' implied a `beginning,' or that our Lord was not Very God; the Catholics said that it implied `connaturality,' or that He was Very God as one with God. Now five early writers, Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, Hippolytus, and Novatian, of whom the authority of Hippolytus is very great, not to speak of Theophilus and Athenagoras, whatever be thought of Tatian and of Novatian, seem to speak of the divine generation as taking place immediately before the creation of the world, that is, as if not eternal, though at the same time they teach that our Lord existed before that generation. In other words they seem to teach that He was the Word from eternity, and became the Son at the beginning of all things; some of them expressly considering Him, first as the logos endiathetos, or Reason, in the Father, or (as may be speciously represented) a mere attribute; next, as the logos prophorikos, or Word, terms which are explained, note on de Syn. 26 (5). This doctrine, when divested of figure and put into literal statement, might appear nothing more or less than this,--that at the beginning of the world the Son was created after the likeness of the Divine attribute of Reason, as its image or expression, and thereby became the Divine Word, was made the instrument of creation, called the Son from that ineffable favour and adoption which God had bestowed on Him, and in due time sent into the world to manifest God's perfections to mankind;--which, it is scarcely necessary to say, is the doctrine of Arianism.

Thus S. Hippolytus says,--

Ton de ginomenon archegon kai sumboulon kai ergaten egenna logon, hon logon echon en heauto a& 231;raton te onta to ktizomeno, kosmo, horaton poiei; proteran phonen phthengomenos, kai phos ek photos gennon, proeken te ktisei kurion. contr. Noet. 10.

And S. Theophilus:--

,'Echon oun ho theos ton heautou logon endiatheton en tois idiois splanchnois, egennesen auton meta tes heautou sophias exereuxamenos pro ton holon...hopote de ethelesen ho theos poiesai hosa ebouleusato, touton ton logon egennese prophorikon, prototokon pases ktiseos. ad Autol. ii. 10-22.

Bishop Bull, Defens. F. N. iii. 5-8, meets this representation by maintaining that the gennesis which S. Hippolytus and other writers spoke of, was but a metaphorical generation, the real and eternal truth being shadowed out by a succession of events in the economy of time, such as is the Resurrection (Acts xiii. 33), nay, the Nativity; and that of these His going forth to create the worlds was one. And he maintains (ibid. iii. 9) that such is the mode of speaking adopted by the Fathers after the Nicene Council as well as before. And then he adds (which is our present point), that it is even alluded to and recognised in the Creed of the Council, which anathematizes those who say that `the Son was not before His generation,' i.e. who deny that `the Son was before His generation,' which statement accordingly becomes indirectly a Catholic truth.

I am not aware whether any writer has preceded or followed this great authority in this view [2209] . The more obvious mode of understanding the Arian formula is this, that it is an argument ex absurdo, drawn from the force of the word Son, in behalf of the Arian doctrine; it being, as they would say, a truism, that, `whereas He was begotten, He was not before He was begotten,' and the denial of it a contradiction in terms. This certainly does seem to myself the true force of the formula; so much so, that if Bishop Bull's explanation be admissible, it must, in order to its being so, first be shewn to be reducible to this sense, and to be included under it.

The point at issue between the two interpretations is this; whether the clause prin gennethenai ouk en is intended for a denial of the contrary proposition, `He was before His generation,' as Bishop Bull says; or whether it is what Aristotle calls an enthymematic sentence, assuming the falsity, as confessed on all hands, of that contrary proposition, as self-contradictory, and directly denying, not it, but `He was from everlasting.' Or, in other words, whether it opposes the position of the five writers, or the great Catholic doctrine itself; and whether in consequence the Nicene Fathers are in their anathema indirectly sanctioning that position, or stating that doctrine. Bull considers that both sides contemplated the proposition, `He was before His generation,'--and that the Catholics asserted or defended it; some reasons shall here be given for the contrary view.

1. Now first, let me repeat, what was just now observed by the way, that the formula in question, when taken as an enthymematic sentence, or reductio ad absurdum, exactly expresses the main argument of the Arians, which they brought forward in so many shapes, as feeling that their cause turned upon it, `He is a son, therefore He had a beginning.' Thus Socrates records Arius's words in the beginning of the controversy, (1) `If the Father begat the Son, He who is begotten has a beginning of existence; (2) therefore once the Son was not, en hote ouk en; (3) therefore He has His subsistence from nothing, ex ouk onton echei ten hupostasin.' H. E. i. 5. The first of these propositions exactly answers to the ouk en prin gennethenai taken enthymematically; and it may be added that when so taken, the three propositions will just answer to the three first formulæ anathematized at Nicæa, two of which are indisputably the same as two of them; viz. hoti en pote dte ouk en; & 234;ti prin gennethenai ouk en; & 234;ti ex ouk onton egeneto. On the other hand, we hear nothing in the controversy of the position which Bull conceives to be opposed by Arius (`He was before His generation'), that is, supposing the formula in question does not allude to it; unless indeed it is worth while to except the statement reprobated in the Letter of the Arians to Alexander, onta proteron, gennethenta eis hui& 231;n, which is explained, de Syn. 16. note 12.

2. Next, it should be observed that the other formulæ here, as elsewhere, mentioned, are enthymematic also, or carry their argument with them, and that, an argument resolvable often into the original argument derived from the word `Son.' Such are ho on ton me onta ek tou ontos e ton onta; and hen to ageneton e duo; and in like manner as regards the question of the trepton; `Has He free will' (thus Athanasius states the Arian objection) `or has He not? is He good from choice according to free will, and can He, if He will, alter, being of an alterable nature? as wood or stone, has He not His choice free to be moved, and incline hither and thither?' supr. §35. That is, they wished the word treptos to carry with it its own self-evident application to our Lord, with the alternative of an absurdity; and so to prove His created nature.

3. In §32, S. Athanasius observes that the formula of the ageneton was the later substitute for the original formulæ of Arius; `when they were no longer allowed to say, "out of nothing," and "He was not before His generation,"' they hit upon this word Unoriginate, that, by saying among the simple that the Son was originate, they might imply the very same phrases "out of nothing" and "He once was not." Here he does not in so many words say that the argument from the ageneton was a substitute for the ouk en prin gennethenai, yet surely it is not unfair so to understand him. But it is plain that the ageneton was brought forward merely to express by an appeal to philosophy and earlier Fathers, that to be a Son was to have a beginning and a creation, and not to be God. This therefore will be the sense of the ouk en prin gennethenai. Nay, when the Arians asked, `Is the ageneton one or two,' they actually did assume that it was granted by their opponents that the Father only was agenetos; which it was not, if the latter held, nay, if they had sanctioned at Nicæa, as Bull says, that our Lord en prin gennethe; and moreover which they knew and confessed was not granted, if their own formula ouk en prin gennethenai was directed against this statement.

4. Again, it is plain that the ouk en prin gennethenai is used by S. Athanasius as the same objection with ho on ton me onta ek tou ontos, &c. E.g. he says, `We might ask them in turn, God who is, has He so become, whereas He was not?' or is He also before His generation? whereas He is, did He make Himself, or is He of nothing. &c., §25. Now the ho on ton me onta, &c., is evidently an argument, and that, grounded on the absurdity of saying ho on ton onta. S. Alexander's Encyclical Letter (vid. Socr. i. 6), compared with Arius's original positions and the Nicene Anathemas as referred to above, is a strong confirmation. In these three documents the formulæ agree together, except one; and that one, which in Arius's language is `he who is begotten has a beginning of existence,' is in the Nicene Anathema, ouk en prin gennethenai, but in S. Alexander's circular, ho on theos ton me onta ek tou me ontos pepoieken. The absence of the ouk en prin, &c., in S. Alexander is certainly remarkable. Moreover the two formulæ are treated as synonymous by Greg. Naz. Orat. 29. 9. Cyril, Thesaur. 4. p. 29 fin., and by Basil as quoted below. But indeed there is an internal correspondence between them, shewing that they have but one meaning. They are really but the same sentence in the active and in the passive voice.

5. A number of scattered passages in Athanasius lead us to the same conclusion. For instance, if the Arian formula had the sense which is here maintained, of being an argument against our Lord's eternity, the Catholic answer would be, `He could not be before His generation because His generation is eternal, as being from the Father.' Now this is precisely the language Athanasius uses, when it occurs to him to introduce the words in question. Thus in Orat. ii. §57 he says, `The creatures began to come to be (ginesthai); but the Word of God, not having beginning (archen) of being, surely did not begin to be, nor begin to come to be, but was always. And the works have a beginning (archen) in the making, and the beginning precedes things which come to be; but the Word not being of such, rather Himself becomes the Framer of those things which have a beginning. And the being of things originate is measured by their becoming (en to ginesthai), and at some beginning (origin) doth God begin to make them through the Word, that it may be known that they were not before their origination (prin genesthai); but the Word hath His being in no other origin than the Father (vid. supr. §11, note 1), `whom they themselves allow to be unoriginate, so that He too exists unoriginately in the Father, being His offspring not His creature.' We shall find that other Fathers say just the same. Again, we have already come to a passage where for `His generation,' he substitutes `making,' a word which Bull would not say that either the Nicene Council or S. Hippolytus would use; clearly shewing that the Arians were not quoting and denying a Catholic statement in the ouk en prin, &c., but laying down one of their own. `Who is there in all mankind, Greek or Barbarian, who ventures to rank among creatures One whom he confesses the while to be God, and says that "He was not `before He was made,' prin poiethe."' Orat. i. §10. Arius, who is surely the best explainer of his own words, says the same; that is, he interprets `generation' by `making,' or confesses that he is bringing forward an argument, not opposing a dogma; `Before His generation,' he says, `or creation, or destination (horisthe), Rom. i. 4), or founding (vid. Prov. viii. 23), He was not; for He was not ingenerate.' Theod., Hist. i. 4. Eusebius of Nicomedia also, in a passage which has already come before us, says distinctly, `"It is plain to any one," that what has been made was not before its generation; but what came to be has an origin of being.' De Syn. §17.

6. If there are passages in Athanasius which seem to favour the opposite interpretation, that is, to imply that the Catholics held or allowed, as Bp. Bull considers, that `before His generation, He was,' they admit of an explanation. E.g. "How is He not in the number of the creatures, if, as they say, He was not before His generation? for it is proper to the creatures and works, not to be before their generation.' Orat. ii. §22. This might be taken to imply that the Arians said, `He was not,' and Catholics `He was.' But the real meaning is this, `How is He not a creature, if the formula be true, which they use, "He was not before His generation?" for it may indeed properly be said of creatures that "they were not before their generation."' And so again when he says, `if the Son was not before His generation, Truth was not always in God,' supr. §20, he does not thereby imply that the Son was before His generation, but he means, `if it be true that, &c.,' `if the formula holds,' `if it can be said of the Son, "He was not, &c."' Accordingly, shortly afterwards, in a passage already cited, he says the same of the Almighty Father in the way of parallel; `God who is, hath He so become, whereas He was not, or "is He too before His generation?"' (§25), not implying here any generation at all, but urging that the question is idle and irrelevant, that the formula is unmeaning and does not apply to, cannot be said of, Father or Son.

7. Such an explanation of these passages, as well as the view here taken of the formula itself, receive abundant confirmation from S. Gregory Nazianzen and S. Hilary. What has been maintained is, that when S. Athanasius says, `if the Son is not before His generation, then, &c.,' he does but mean, `if it can be said,' `if the words can be used or applied in this case.' Now the two Fathers just mentioned both decide that it is not true, either that the Son was before His generation, or that He was not; in other words, that the question is unmeaning and irrelevant, which is just the interpretation which has been here given to Athanasius. But again, in thus speaking, they thereby assert also that they did not hold, that they do not allow, that formula which Bull considers the Nicene Fathers defended and sanctioned, as being Catholic and in use both before the Council and after, viz. `He was before His generation.' Thus S. Gregory in the passage in which he speaks of `did He that is make Him that is not, &c.,' and `before His generation, &c.,' as one and the same, expressly says, `In His case, to be begotten is concurrent with existence and is from the beginning,' and that in contrast to the instance of men; who he says, do fulfil in a manner `He who is, &c.' (Levi being in the loins of Abraham), i.e. fulfil Bull's proposition, `He was before generation.' He proceeds, `I say that the question is irrelevant, not the answer difficult.' And presently after, mentioning some idle inquiries by way of parallel, he adds, `more ill-instructed, be sure, is it to decide whether what was generated from the beginning was or was not before generation, pro tes genneseos.' Orat. 29. 9.

8. S. Hilary, on the other hand, is so full on the subject in his de Trin. xii., and so entirely to the point for which I would adduce him, that but a few extracts of what might be made are either necessary or practicable. He states and argues on the formula expressly as an objection; Adjiciant hæc arguta satis atque auditu placentia; Si, inquit, natus est, coepit; et cum coepit, non fuit; et cum non fuit, non patitur ut fuerit. Atque idcirco piæ intelligentiæ, sermonem esse contendant, Non fuit ante quam nasceretur, quia ut esset, qui non erat, natus est.' n. 18. He answers the objection in the same way. `Unigenitus Deus neque non fuit aliquando non filius, neque fuit aliquid ante quam filius, neque quidquam aliquid ipse nisi filius,' n. 15, which is in express words to deny, `He was before His generation.' Again, as Gregory, `Ubi pater auctor est, ibi et nativitas est; et vero ubi auctor æternus est, ibi et nativitatis æternitas est,' n. 21. And he substitutes `being always born' for `being before birth;' `Numquid ante tempora æterna esse, id ipsum sit quod est, eum qui erat nasci? quia nasci quod erat, jam non nasci est, sed se ipsum demutare nascendo....Non est itaque id ipsum, natum ante tempora æterna semper esse, et esse antequam nasci.' n. 30. And he concludes, in accordance with the above explanation of the passages of Athanasius which I brought as if objections, thus: `Cum itaque natum semper esse, nihil aliud sit confitendum esse, quam natum, id sensui, antequam nascitur vel fuisse, vel non fuisse non subjacet. n. 31.'

9. It may seem superfluous to proceed, but as Bishop Bull is an authority not lightly to be set aside, a passage from S. Basil shall be added. Eunomius objects, `God begat the Son either being or not being, &c....to him that is, there needs not generation.' He replies that Eunomius, `because animals first are not, and then are generated, and he who is born to-day, yesterday did not exist, transfers this conception to the subsistence of the Only-begotten; and says, since He has been generated, He was not before His generation, pro tes genneseos,' contr. Eunom. ii. 14. And he solves the objection as the other Fathers, by saying that our Lord is from everlasting, speaking of S. John, in the first words of his Gospel, as te a& 187;dioteti tou patros tou monogenous sunapton ten gennesin. §15.

These then being the explanations which the contemporary and next following Fathers give of the Arian formula which was anathematized at Nicæa, it must be observed that the line of argument which Bishop Bull is pursuing, does not lead him to assign any direct reasons for the substitution of a different interpretation in their place. He is engaged, not in commenting on the Nicene Anathema, but in proving that the Post-Nicene Fathers admitted that view or statement of doctrine which he conceives also implied in that anathema; and thus the sense of the anathema, instead of being the subject of proof, is, as he believes, one of the proofs of the point which he is establishing. However, since these other collateral evidences which he adduces, may be taken to be some sort of indirect comment upon the words of the Anathema, the principal of them in point of authority, and that which most concerns us, shall here be noticed: it is a passage from the second Oration of Athanasius.

While commenting on the words, arche hodon eis ta erga in the text, `The Lord has created me the beginning of His ways unto the works,' S. Athanasius is led to consider the text `first born of every creature,' prototokos pases ktiseos: and he says that He who was monogenes from eternity, became by a sunkatabasis at the creation of the world prototokos. This doctrine Bp. Bull considers declaratory of a going forth, proeleusis, or figurative birth from the Father, at the beginning of all things.

It will be observed that the very point to be proved is this, viz. not that there was a sunkatabasis merely, but that according to Athanasius there was a gennesis or proceeding from the Father, and that the word prototokos marks it. Bull's words are, that `Catholici quidam Doctores, qui post exortam controversiam Arianam vixerunt,...illam tou logou....ex Patre progressionem (quod et sunkatabasin, hoc est, condescensionem eorum nonnulli appellarunt), ad condendum hæc universa agnovere; atque ejus etiam progressionis respectu ipsum ton logon a Deo Patre quasi natum fuisse et omnis creaturæ primogenitum in Scripturis dici confessi sunt.' D. F. N. iii. 9. §1. Now I consider that S. Athanasius does not, as this sentence says, understand by primogenitus that our Lord was `progressionis respectu a Deo Patre quasi natus.' He does not seem to me to speak of a generation or birth of the Son at all, though figurative, but of the birth of all things, and that in Him.

That Athanasius does not call the sunkatabasis of the Word a birth, as denoted by the term prototokos, is plain from his own avowal in the passage to which Bull refers. `Nowhere in the Scriptures,' he says, `is He called prototokos tou Theou, first-born of God, nor creature of God, but Only-begotten, Word, Wisdom, have their relation to the Father, and are proper to Him.' ii. 62. Here surely he expressly denies Bull's statement that `first-born' means `a Deo natus,' `born of God.' Such additions as para tou patros, he says, are reserved for monogenes and logos.

He goes on to say what the term prototokos does mean; viz. instead of having any reference to a proeleusis from the Father, it refers solely to the creatures; our Lord is not called prototokos, because His proeleusis is a `type of His eternal generation,' but because by that proeleusis He became the `Prototype of all creation.' He, as it were, stamped His image, His Sonship, upon creation, and became the first-born in the sense of being the Archetypal Son. If this is borne out by the passage, Athanasius, it is plain, does not speak of any gennesis whatever at the era of creation, though figurative; prototokos does but mean monogenes proteuon en te ktisei, or arche tes ktiseos, or prototupon gennema, or monos gennetos en tois genetois; and no warrant is given, however indirect, to the idea that in the Nicene Anathema, the Fathers implied an allowance of the proposition, `He was before His generation.'

As the whole passage occurs in the Discourse which immediately follows, it is not necessary to enter formally into the proof of this view of it, when the reader will soon be able to judge of it for himself. But it may be well to add two passages, one from Athenagoras, the other from S. Cyril, not in elucidation of the words of Athanasius, but of the meaning which I would put upon them.

The passage from Athenagoras is quoted by Bull himself, who of course is far from denying the doctrine of our Lord's Archetypal office; and does but wish in addition to find in Athanasius the doctrine of a gennesis. Athenagoras says that the Son is `the first offspring, proton gennema, of the Father, not as come to be, genomenon (for God being Eternal Mind had from the beginning in Himself the Word, as having Reason eternally, logikos on), but that while as regards matter heavy and light were mixed together' (the passage is corrupt here), `He went forth, proelthon, as an idea and energy', i.e. as an Agent to create, and a Form and Rule to create by. And then he goes on to quote the very text on which Athanasius is employed when he explains prototokos. `And the Prophetic Spirit confirms this doctrine, saying, The Lord hath created me a beginning (origin) of His ways, for His works.' Leg. 10.

And so S. Cyril, `He is Only-begotten according to nature, as being alone from the Father, God from God, Light kindled from Light; and He is First-born for our sakes, that, as if to some immortal root the whole creation might be ingrafted and might bud forth from the Everlasting. For all things were made by Him, and consist for ever and are preserved in Him.' Thesaur. 25 p. 238.

In conclusion it may be suggested whether the same explanation which has here been given of Athanasius's use of prototokos does not avail more exactly to the defence of two of the five writers from the charge of inaccurate doctrine, than that which Bull has preferred.

As to Athenagoras, we have already seen that he does not speak of a gennesis at all in his account of creation, but simply calls the Son proton gennema, i.e. prototupon gennema.

Nor does Tatian approach nearer to the doctrine of a gennesis. He says that at the creation the Word ergon prototokon tou patros ginetai. touton ismen tou kosmou ten archen. ad Græc. 5. Here the word ergon, which at first sight promises a difficulty, does in fact explain both himself and Athenagoras. He says that at creation the Word became, ginetai, not a Son (figuratively), as Bull would grant to the parties whom he is opposing, but a work. It was His great condescension, sunkatabasis, to be accounted the first of the works, as being their type; that as they were to be raised to an adoption and called sons, so He for that purpose might stoop to creation, and be called a work. As Tatian uses the word arche in the concluding clause, there is great reason to think that he is alluding to the very text which Athanasius and Athenagoras expressly quote, in which Wisdom is said to be `created a beginning, arche, of ways, unto the works, eis ta erga.'

As to Novatian, Bishop Bull himself observes that it is a question whether he need be understood to speak of any generation but that which is eternal; nor does Pamelius otherwise explain him.


[2209] Waterland expresses the view here taken, and not Bishop Bull's; vol. i. p. 114. Bull's language, on the other hand, is very strong: `Sæpe olim, ut verum ingenue fateai, animum meum subiit admiratio, quid effato isto, `Filius priusquam nasceretur, non erat,' sibi voluerint Ariani. De nativitate Christi ex beatissima Virgine dictum non esse exponendum constat....Itaque de nativitate Filii loquuntur, quæ hujus universi creationem antecessit. Quis vero, inquam, sensus dicti hujus "Filius non erat, sive non existebat, priusquam nasceretur ex Patre ante conditum mundum?" Ego sane nullus dubito, quin hoc pronunciatum Arianorum oppositum fuerit Catholicorum istorum sententiæ, qui docerent, Filium quidem paulo ante conditum mundum inexplicabili quodam modo ex Patre progressum fuisse ad constituendum universa, &c. D. F. N. iii. 9. §2.

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