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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Against the Arians. (Orationes contra Arianos IV.): Sections 6, 7

Early Church Fathers  Index     

§§6, 7. When the Word and Son hungered, wept, and was wearied, He acted as our Mediator, taking on Him what was ours, that He might impart to us what was His.

6. But in answer to the weak and human notion of the Arians, their supposing that the Lord is in want, when He says, ‘Is given unto Me,’ and ‘I received,’ and if Paul says, ‘Wherefore He highly exalted Him,’ and ‘He set Him at the right hand 3304 ,’ and the like, we must say that our Lord, being Word and Son of God, bore a body, and became Son of Man, that, having become Mediator between God, and men, He might minister the things of God to us, and ours to God. When then He is said to hunger and weep and weary, and to cry Eloi, Eloi, which are our human affections, He receives them from us and offers to the Father 3305 , interceding for us, that in Him they may be annulled 3306 . And when it is said, ‘All power is given unto Me,’ and ‘I received,’ and ‘Wherefore God highly exalted Him,’ these are gifts given from God to us through Him. For the Word was never in want 3307 , nor has come into being 3308 ; nor again were men sufficient to minister these things for themselves, but through the Word they are given to us; therefore, as if given to Him, they are imparted to us. For this was the reason of His becoming man, that, as being given to Him, they might pass on to us 3309 . For of such gifts mere man had not become worthy; and again the mere Word had not needed them 3310 ; the Word then was united to us, and then imparted to us power, and highly exalted us 3311 . For the Word being in man, highly exalted man himself; and, when the Word was in man, man himself received. Since then, the Word being in flesh, man himself was exalted, and received power, therefore these things are referred to the Word, since they were given on His account; for on account of the Word in man were these gifts given. And as ‘the Word became flesh 3312 ,’ so also man himself received the gifts which came through the Word. For all that man himself has received, the Word is said to have received 3313 ; that it might be shewn, that man himself, being unworthy to receive, as far as his own nature is concerned, yet has received because of the Word become flesh. Wherefore if anything be said to be given to the Lord, or the like, we must consider that it is given, not to Him as needing it, but to man himself through the Word. For every one interceding for another, receives the gift in his own person, not as needing, but on his account for whom he intercedes.

7. For as He takes our infirmities, not being infirm 3314 , and hungers not hungering, but sends up what is ours that it may be abolished, so the gifts which come from God instead of our infirmities, doth He too Himself receive, that man, being united to Him, may be able to partake them. Hence it is that the Lord says, ‘All things whatsoever Thou hast given Me, I have given them,’ and again, ‘I pray for them 3315 .’ For He prayed for us, taking on Him what is ours, and He was giving what He received. Since then, the Word being united to man himself, the Father, regarding Him, p. 436 vouchsafed to man to be exalted, to have all power and the like; therefore are referred to the Word Himself, and are as if given to Him, all things which through Him we receive. For as He for our sake became man, so we for His sake are exalted. It is no absurdity then, if, as for our sake He humbled Himself, so also for our sake He is said to be highly exalted. So ‘He gave to Him,’ that is, ‘to us for His sake;’ ‘and He highly exalted Him 3316 ,’ that is, ‘us in Him.’ And the Word Himself, when we are exalted, and receive, and are succoured, as if He Himself were exalted and received and were succoured, gives thanks to the Father, referring what is ours to Himself, and saying, ‘All things, whatsoever Thou hast given Me, I have given unto them 3317 .’


Footnotes

435:3304

Matt. xxviii. 18; John x. 18; Phil. ii. 9; Eph. i. 20.

435:3305

De Decr. 14; Or. ii. 8, 9.

435:3306

Or. iii. 33, n. 6, and 34.

435:3307

Or. i. 43.

435:3308

Or. i. 43; ii. 65, 67.

435:3309

Or. i. 42, 45.

435:3310

Or. i. 48; iii. 38.

435:3311

Or. i. 41, 42.

435:3312

John i. 14.

435:3313

iii. 38.

435:3314

Or. ii. 60; iii. 37.

435:3315

John xvii. 7-9.

436:3316

Phil. ii. 9.

436:3317

John 17:7, 8.


Next: Section 8

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