Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: How the Son Was Forsaken by the Father Upon the Cross. The True Meaning Thereof Fatal to Praxeas. So Too, the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension, Session at the Father's Right Hand, and Mission of the Holy Ghost.
Chapter XXX.—How the Son Was Forsaken by the Father Upon the Cross. The True Meaning Thereof Fatal to Praxeas. So Too, the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension, Session at the Fathers Right Hand, and Mission of the Holy Ghost.
However, if you persist in pushing your views further, I shall find means of answering you with greater stringency, and of meeting you with the exclamation of the Lord Himself, so as to challenge you with the question, What is your inquiry and reasoning about that? You have Him exclaiming in the midst of His passion: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” 8186 Either, then, the Son suffered, being “forsaken” by the Father, and the Father consequently suffered nothing, inasmuch as He forsook the Son; or else, if it was the Father who suffered, then to what p. 627 God was it that He addressed His cry? But this was the voice of flesh and soul, that is to say, of man—not of the Word and Spirit, that is to say, not of God; and it was uttered so as to prove the impassibility of God, who “forsook” His Son, so far as He handed over His human substance to the suffering of death. This verity the apostle also perceived, when he writes to this effect: “If the Father spared not His own Son.” 8187 This did Isaiah before him likewise perceive, when he declared: “And the Lord hath delivered Him up for our offences.” 8188 In this manner He “forsook” Him, in not sparing Him; “forsook” Him, in delivering Him up. In all other respects the Father did not forsake the Son, for it was into His Fathers hands that the Son commended His spirit. 8189 Indeed, after so commending it, He instantly died; and as the Spirit 8190 remained with the flesh, the flesh cannot undergo the full extent of death, i.e., in corruption and decay. For the Son, therefore, to die, amounted to His being forsaken by the Father. The Son, then, both dies and rises again, according to the Scriptures. 8191 It is the Son, too, who ascends to the heights of heaven, 8192 and also descends to the inner parts of the earth. 8193 “He sitteth at the Fathers right hand” 8194 —not the Father at His own. He is seen by Stephen, at his martyrdom by stoning, still sitting at the right hand of God 8195 where He will continue to sit, until the Father shall make His enemies His footstool. 8196 He will come again on the clouds of heaven, just as He appeared when He ascended into heaven. 8197 Meanwhile He has received from the Father the promised gift, and has shed it forth, even the Holy Spirit—the Third Name in the Godhead, and the Third Degree of the Divine Majesty; the Declarer of the One Monarchy of God, but at the same time the Interpreter of the Economy, to every one who hears and receives the words of the new prophecy; 8198 and “the Leader into all truth,” 8199 such as is in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according to the mystery of the doctrine of Christ.
Matt. xxvii. 46.627:8187
Rom. viii. 32.627:8188
This is the sense rather than the words of Isa. 53:5, 6.627:8189
Luke xxiii. 46.627:8190
i.e., the divine nature.627:8191
1 Cor. 15:3, 4.627:8192
John iii. 13.627:8193
Eph. iv. 9.627:8194
Mark 16:19, Rev. 3:21.627:8195
Acts vii. 55.627:8196
Ps. cx. 1.627:8197
Acts 1:11, Luke 21:37.627:8198
Tertullian was now a [pronounced] Montanist.627:8199
John xvi. 13.
Next: Retrograde Character of the Heresy of Praxeas. The Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity Constitutes the Great Difference Between Judaism and Christianity.
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