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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIX.

There was concealed from the ruler of this world the virginity of Mary and the birth of our Lord, and the three renowned mysteries 1158 which were done in the tranquillity of God from the star. And here, at the manifestation of the Son, magic began to be destroyed, and all bonds were loosed; and the ancient kingdom and the error of evil was destroyed. Henceforward all things were moved together, and the destruction of death was devised, and there was the commencement of that which was perfected in God. 1159



Literally, “the mysteries of the shout.” The meaning is here confused and obscure. See the Greek.


Chaps. xx. and xxi. of the Greek are altogether wanting in the Syriac. [N.B.—See spurious Epistle to Philippians, cap. 4, infra. This concealment from Satan of the mystery of the incarnation is the explanation, according to the Fathers, of his tempting the Messiah, and prompting His crucifixion. Also, Christ the more profoundly humbled himself, “ne subtilis ille diaboli oculus magnum hoc pietatis deprehenderet sacramentum” (St. Bernard, opp. ii. 1944). Bernard also uses this opinion very strikingly (opp. ii. 1953) in one of his sermons, supposing that Satan discovered the secret too late for his own purpose, and then prompted the outcry, Come down from the cross, to defeat the triumph of the second Adam. (Comp. St. Mark i. 24 and St. Luke iv. 34, where, after the first defeat of the tempter, this demon suspects the second Adam, and tries to extort the secret).]

Next: Epistle to the Romans: Syriac Version

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