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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: Of the Unction.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VII.—Of the Unction.

After this, when we have issued from the font, 8593 we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction,—(a practice derived) from the old discipline, wherein on entering the priesthood, men were wont to be anointed with oil from a horn, ever since Aaron was anointed by Moses. 8594 Whence Aaron is called “Christ,” 8595 from the “chrism,” which is “the unction;” which, when made spiritual, furnished an appropriate name to the Lord, because He was “anointed” with the Spirit by God the Father; as written in the Acts: “For truly they were gathered together in this city 8596 against Thy Holy Son whom Thou hast anointed.” 8597 Thus, too, in our case, the unction runs carnally, (i.e. on the body,) but profits spiritually; in the same way as the act of baptism itself too is carnal, in that we are plunged in water, but the effect spiritual, in that we are freed from sins.


Footnotes

672:8593

Lavacro.

672:8594

See Exod. 29:7, Lev. 8:12, Ps. 33:2.

672:8595

i.e. “Anointed.” Aaron, or at least the priest, is actually so called in the LXX., in Lev. 4:5, 16, ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ Χριστός: as in the Hebrew it is the word whence Messiah is derived which is used.

672:8596

Civitate.

672:8597

Acts iv. 27. “In this city” (ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ) is omitted in the English version; and the name ᾽Ιησοῦν, “Jesus,” is omitted by Tertullian. Compare Acts 10:38, Lev. 4:18, Isa. 61:1 in the LXX.


Next: Of the Imposition of Hands. Types of the Deluge and the Dove.

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