Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril.: On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets.
p. 115 Lecture XVI.
On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets.
1 Cor. 12:1, 4
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.…Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, &c.
1. Spiritual in truth is the grace we need, in order to discourse concerning the Holy Spirit; not that we may speak what is worthy of Him, for this is impossible, but that by speaking the words of the divine Scriptures, we may run our course without danger. For a truly fearful thing is written in the Gospels, where Christ has plainly said, Whosoever shall speak a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come 1970 . And there is often fear, lest a man should receive this condemnation, through speaking what he ought not concerning Him, either from ignorance, or from supposed reverence. The Judge of quick and dead, Jesus Christ, declared that he hath no forgiveness; if therefore any man offend, what hope has he?
2. It must therefore belong to Jesus Christs grace itself to grant both to us to speak without deficiency, and to you to hear with discretion; for discretion is needful not to them only who speak, but also to them that hear, lest they hear one thing, and misconceive another in their mind. Let us then speak concerning the Holy Ghost nothing but what is written; and whatsoever is not written, let us not busy ourselves about it. The Holy Ghost Himself spoke the Scriptures; He has also spoken concerning Himself as much as He pleased, or as much as we could receive. Let us therefore speak those things which He has said; for whatsoever He has not said, we dare not say.
3. There is One Only Holy Ghost, the Comforter; and as there is One God the Father, and no second Father;—and as there is One Only-begotten Son and Word of God, who hath no brother;—so is there One Only Holy Ghost, and no second spirit equal in-honour to Him. Now the Holy Ghost is a Power most mighty, a Being divine and unsearchable; for He is living and intelligent, a sanctifying principle of all things made by God through Christ. He it is who illuminates the souls of the just; He was in the Prophets, He was also in the Apostles in the New Testament. Abhorred be they who dare to separate the operation of the Holy Ghost! There is One God, the Father, Lord of the Old and of the New Testament: and One Lord, Jesus Christ, who was prophesied of in the Old Testament, and came in the New; and One Holy Ghost, who through the Prophets preached of Christ, and when Christ was come, descended, and manifested Him 1971 .
p. 116 4. Let no one therefore separate the Old from the New Testament 1972 ; let no one say that the Spirit in the former is one, and in the latter another; since thus he offends against the Holy Ghost Himself, who with the Father and the Son together is honoured, and at the time of Holy Baptism is included with them in the Holy Trinity. For the Only-begotten Son of God said plainly to the Apostles, Go ye, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost 1973 . Our hope is in Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. We preach not three Gods 1974 ; let the Marcionites be silenced; but with the Holy Ghost through One Son, we preach One God. The Faith is indivisible; the worship inseparable. We neither separate the Holy Trinity, like some; nor do we as Sabellius work confusion. 1975 But we know according to godliness One Father, who sent His Son to be our Saviour; we know One Son, who promised that He would send the Comforter from the Father; we know the Holy Ghost, who spake in the Prophets, and who on the day of Pentecost descended on the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, here, in Jerusalem, in the Upper Church of the Apostles 1976 ; for in all things the choicest privileges are with us. Here Christ came down from heaven; here the Holy Ghost came down from heaven. And in truth it were most fitting, that as we discourse concerning Christ and Golgotha here in Golgotha, so also we should speak concerning the Holy Ghost in the Upper Church; yet since He who descended there jointly partakes of the glory of Him who was crucified here, we here speak concerning Him also who descended there: for their worship is indivisible.
5. We would now say somewhat concerning the Holy Ghost; not to declare His substance with exactness, for this were impossible; but to speak of the diverse mistakes of some concerning him, lest from ignorance we should fall into them; and to block up the paths of error, that we may journey on the Kings one highway. And if we now for cautions sake repeat any statement of the heretics, let it recoil on their heads, and may we be guiltless, both we who speak, and ye who hear.
6. For the heretics, who are most profane in all things, have sharpened their tongue 1977 against the Holy Ghost also, and have dared to utter impious things; as Irenæus the interpreter has written in his injunctions against heresies 1978 . For some of them have dared to say that they were themselves the Holy Ghost;—of whom the first was Simon 1979 , the sorcerer spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles; for when he was cast out, he presumed to teach such doctrines: and they who are called Gnostics, impious men, have spoken other things against the Spirit 1980 , and the wicked Valentinians 1981 again something else; and the profane Manes dared to call himself the Paraclete sent by Christ 1982 . Others again have taught that the Spirit is different in the Prophets and in the New Testament. 1983 Yea, and great is their error, or rather their blasphemy. Such therefore abhor, and flee from them who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and have no forgiveness. For what fellowship hast thou with the desperate, thou, who art now to be baptized, into the Holy Ghost also 1984 ? If he who attaches himself to a thief, and consenteth with him, is subject to punishment, what hope shall he have, who offends against the Holy Ghost?
7. Let the Marcionists also be abhorred, who tear away from the New Testament the sayings of the Old 1985 . For Marcion first, that most impious of men, who first asserted three Gods 1986 , knowing that in the New Testament are p. 117 contained testimonies of the Prophets concerning Christ, cut out the testimonies taken from the Old Testament, that the King might be left without witness. Abhor those above-mentioned Gnostics, men of knowledge by name, but fraught with ignorance; who have dared to say such things of the Holy Ghost as I dare not repeat.
8. Let the Cataphrygians 1987 also be thy abhorrence, and Montanus, their ringleader in evil, and his two so-called prophetesses, Maximilla and Priscilla. For this Montanus, who was out of his mind and really mad (for he would not have said such things, had he not been mad), dared to say that he was himself the Holy Ghost,—he, miserable man, and filled with all uncleanness and lasciviousness; for it suffices but to hint at this, out of respect for the women who are present. And having taken possession of Pepuza, a very small hamlet of Phrygia, he falsely named it Jerusalem; and cutting the throats of wretched little children, and chopping them up into unholy food, for the purpose of their so-called mysteries 1988 ,—(wherefore till but lately in the time of persecution we were suspected of doing this, because these Montanists were called, falsely indeed, by the common name of Christians;)—yet he dared to call himself the Holy Ghost, filled as he was with all impiety and inhuman cruelty, and condemned by an irrevocable sentence.
9. And he was seconded, as was said before, by that most impious Manes also, who combined what was bad in every heresy 1989 ; who being the very lowest pit of destruction, collected the doctrines of all the heretics, and wrought out and taught a yet more novel error, and dared to say that he himself was the Comforter, whom Christ promised to send. But the Saviour when He promised Him, said to the Apostles, But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high 1990 . What then? did the Apostles who had been dead two hundred years, wait for Manes, until they should be endued with the power; and will any dare to say, that they were not forthwith full of the Holy Ghost? Moreover it is written, Then they laid their hands on and they received the Holy Ghost 1991 ; was not this before Manes, yea, many years before, when the Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost?
10. Wherefore was Simon the sorcerer condemned? Was it not that he came to the Apostles, and said, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost? For he said not, “Give me also the fellowship of the Holy Ghost,” but “Give me the power;” that he might sell to others that which could not be sold, and which he did not himself possess. He offered money also to them who had no possessions 1992 ; and this, though he saw men bringing the prices of the things sold, and laying them at the Apostles feet. And he considered not that they who trod under foot the wealth which was brought for the maintenance of the poor, were not likely to give the power of the Holy Ghost for a bribe. But what say they to Simon? Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought to purchase the gift of God with money 1993 ; for thou art a second Judas, for expecting to buy the grace of the Spirit with money. If then Simon, for wishing to get this power for a price, is to perish, how great is the impiety of Manes, who said that he was the Holy Ghost? Let us hate them who are worthy of hatred; let us turn away from them from whom God turns away; let us also ourselves say unto God with all boldness concerning all heretics, Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee, and am not I grieved with Thine enemies 1994 ? For there is also an enmity which is right, according as it is written, I will put enmity between thee and her seed 1995 ; for friendship with the serpent works enmity with God, and death.
11. Let then thus much suffice concerning those outcasts; and now let us return to the divine Scriptures, and let us drink waters out of our own cisterns [that is, the holy Fathers 1996 ], and out of our own springing wells 1997 . Drink we of living water, springing up into everlasting life 1998 ; but this spake the Saviour of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive 1999 . For observe what He says, He that believeth on Me (not simply this, but), as the Scripture hath said (thus He hath sent thee back to the Old Testament), out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, not rivers perceived by sense, and merely watering the earth with its thorns and trees, but bringing souls to the light. And in another place He says, But the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of living water springing up p. 118 into everlasting life,—a new kind of water living and springing up, springing up unto them who are worthy.
12. And why did He call the grace of the Spirit water? Because by water all things subsist; because water brings forth grass and living things; because the water of the showers comes down from heaven; because it comes down one in form, but works in many forms. For one fountain watereth the whole of Paradise, and one and the same rain comes down upon all the world, yet it becomes white in the lily, and red in the rose, and purple in violets and hyacinths, and different and varied in each several kind: so it is one in the palm-tree, and another in the vine, and all in all things; and yet is one in nature, not diverse from itself; for the rain does not change itself, and come down first as one thing, then as another, but adapting itself to the constitution of each thing which receives it, it becomes to each what is suitable 2000 . Thus also the Holy Ghost, being one, and of one nature, and indivisible, divides to each His grace, according as He will 2001 : and as the dry tree, after partaking of water, puts forth shoots, so also the soul in sin, when it has been through repentance made worthy of the Holy Ghost, brings forth clusters of righteousness. And though He is One in nature, yet many are the virtues which by the will of God and in the Name of Christ He works. For He employs the tongue of one man for wisdom; the soul of another He enlightens by Prophecy; to another He gives power to drive away devils; to another He gives to interpret the divine Scriptures. He strengthens one mans self-command; He teaches another the way to give alms; another He teaches to fast and discipline himself; another He teaches to despise the things of the body; another He trains for martyrdom: diverse in different men, yet not diverse from Himself, as it is written, But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healing, in the same Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will 2002 .
13. But since concerning spirit in general many diverse things are written in the divine Scriptures, and there is fear lest some out of ignorance fall into confusion, not knowing to what sort of spirit the writing refers; it will be well now to certify you, of what kind the Scripture declares the Holy Spirit to be. For as Aaron is called Christ, and David and Saul and others are called Christs 2003 , but there is only one true Christ, so likewise since the name of spirit is given to different things, it is right to see what is that which is distinctively called the Holy Spirit. For many things are called spirits. Thus an Angel is called spirit, our soul is called spirit, and this wind which is blowing is called spirit; great virtue also is spoken of as spirit; and impure practice is called spirit; and a devil our adversary is called spirit. Beware therefore when thou hearest these things, lest from their having a common name thou mistake one for another. For concerning our soul the Scripture says, His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return to his earth 2004 : and of the same soul it says again, Which formeth the spirit of man within him 2005 . And of the Angels it is said in the Psalms, Who maketh His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire 2006 . And of the wind it saith, Thou shalt break the ships of Tarshish with a violent spirit 2007 ; and, As the tree in the wood is shaken by the spirit 2008 ; and, Fire, hail, snow, ice, spirit of storm 2009 . And of good doctrine the Lord Himself says, The words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit 2010 , and they are life; instead of, “are spiritual.” But the Holy Spirit is not pronounced by the tongue; but He is a Living Spirit, who gives wisdom of speech, Himself speaking and discoursing.
14. And wouldest thou know that He discourses and speaks? Philip by revelation of an Angel went down to the way which leads to Gaza, when the Eunuch was coming; and the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot 2011 . Seest thou the Spirit talking to one who hears Him? Ezekiel also speaks thus, The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and said unto me, Thus saith the Lord 2012 . And again, The Holy Ghost said 2013 , unto the Apostles who were in Antioch, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Beholdest thou the Spirit living, separating, calling, and with authority sending forth? Paul also said, Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me 2014 . For this good Sanctifier of the Church, and her Helper, and Teacher, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, of whom the Saviour said, He shall p. 119 teach you all things (and He said not only, He shall teach, but also, He shall bring to your remembrance whatever I have said unto you 2015 ; for the teachings of Christ and of the Holy Ghost are not different, but the same)—He, I say, testified before to Paul what things should befall him, that he might be the more stout-hearted, from knowing them beforehand. Now I have spoken these things unto you because of the text, The words which I have spoken unto you, they are spirit; that thou mayest understand this, not of the utterance of the lips 2016 , but of the good doctrine in this passage.
15. But sin also is called spirit, as I have already said; only in another and opposite sense, as when it is said, The spirit of whoredom caused them to err 2017 . The name “spirit” is given also to the unclean spirit, the devil; but with the addition of, “the unclean;” for to each is joined its distinguishing name, to mark its proper nature. If the Scripture speak of the soul of man, it says the spirit with the addition, of the man; if it mean the wind, it says, spirit of storm; if sin, it says, spirit of whoredom; if the devil, it says, an unclean spirit: that we may know which particular thing is spoken of, and thou mayest not suppose that it means the Holy Ghost; God forbid! For this name of spirit is common to many things; and every thing which has not a solid body is in a general way called spirit 2018 . Since, therefore, the devils have not such bodies, they are called spirits: but there is a great difference; for the unclean devil, when he comes upon a mans soul (may the Lord deliver from him every soul of those who hear me, and of those who are not present), he comes like a wolf upon a sheep, ravening for blood, and ready to devour. His coming is most fierce; the sense of it most oppressive; the mind becomes darkened; his attack is an injustice also, and so is his usurpation of anothers possession. For he makes forcible use of anothers body, and anothers instruments, as if they were his own; he throws down him who stands upright (for he is akin to him who fell from heaven 2019 ); he twists the tongue and distorts the lips; foam comes instead of words; the man is filled with darkness; his eye is open, yet the soul sees not through it; and the miserable man gasps convulsively at the point of death. The devils are verily foes of men, using them foully and mercilessly.
16. Such is not the Holy Ghost; God forbid! For His doings tend the contrary way, towards what is good and salutary. First, His coming is gentle; the perception of Him is fragrant; His burden most light; beams of light and knowledge gleam forth before His coming 2020 . He comes with the bowels of a true guardian: for He comes to save, and to heal, to teach, to admonish, to strengthen, to exhort, to enlighten the mind, first of him who receives Him, and afterwards of others also, through him. And as a man, who being previously in darkness then suddenly beholds the sun, is enlightened in his bodily sight, and sees plainly things which he saw not, so likewise he to whom the Holy Ghost is vouchsafed, is enlightened in his soul, and sees things beyond mans sight, which he knew not; his body is on earth, yet his soul mirrors forth the heavens. He sees, like Esaias, the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up 2021 ; he sees, like Ezekiel, Him who is above the Cherubim 2022 ; he sees like Daniel, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands 2023 ; and the man, who is so little, beholds the beginning of the world, and knows the end of the world, and the times intervening, and the successions of kings,—things which he never learned: for the True Enlightener is present with him. The man is within the walls of a house; yet the power of his knowledge reaches far and wide, and he sees even what other men are doing.
17. Peter was not with Ananias and Sapphira when they sold their possessions, but he was present by the Spirit; Why, he says, hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost 2024 ? There was no accuser; there was no witness; whence knew he what had happened? Whiles it remained was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart 2025 ? The unlettered 2026 Peter, through the grace of the Spirit, learnt what not even the wise men of the Greeks had known. Thou hast the like in the case also of Elisseus. For when he had freely healed the leprosy of Naaman, Gehazi received the reward, the reward of anothers achievement; and he took the money from Naaman, and bestowed it in a dark place. But the darkness is not hidden from the Saints 2027 . And when he came, Elisseus asked him; and like Peter, when he said, Tell me whether ye p. 120 sold the land for so much 2028 ? he also enquires, Whence comest thou, Gehazi 2029 ? Not in ignorance, but in sorrow ask I whence comest thou? From darkness art thou come, and to darkness shalt thou go; thou hast sold the cure of the leper, and the leprosy is thy heritage. I, he says, have fulfilled the bidding of Him who said to me, Freely ye have received, freely give 2030 ; but thou hast sold this grace; receive now the condition of the sale. But what says Elisseus to him? Went not mine heart with thee? I was here shut in by the body, but the spirit which has been given me of God saw even the things afar off, and shewed me plainly what was doing elsewhere. Seest thou how the Holy Ghost not only rids of ignorance, but invests with knowledge? Seest thou how He enlightens mens souls?
18. Esaias lived nearly a thousand years ago; and he beheld Zion as a booth. The city was still standing, and beautified with public places, and robed in majesty; yet he says, Zion shall be ploughed as a field 2031 , foretelling what is now fulfilled in our days 2032 . And observe the exactness of the prophecy; for he said, And the daughter of Zion shall be left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers 2033 . And now the place is filled with gardens of cucumbers. Seest thou how the Holy Spirit enlightens the saints? Be not therefore carried away to other things, by the force of a common term, but keep fast the exact meaning.
19. And if ever, while thou hast been sitting here, a thought concerning chastity or virginity has come into thy mind, it has been His teaching. Has not often a maiden, already at the bridal threshold 2034 , fled away, He teaching her the doctrine of virginity? Has not often a man distinguished at court 2035 , scorned wealth and rank, under the teaching of the Holy Ghost? Has not often a young man, at the sight of beauty, closed his eyes, and fled from the sight, and escaped the defilement? Askest thou whence this has come to pass? The Holy Ghost taught the soul of the young man. Many ways of covetousness are there in the world; yet Christians refuse possessions: wherefore? because of the teaching of the Holy Ghost. Worthy of honour is in truth that Spirit, holy and good; and fittingly are we baptized into Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A man, still clothed with a body, wrestles with many fiercest demons; and often the demon, whom many men could not master with iron bands, has been mastered by the man himself with words of prayer, through the power which is in him of the Holy Ghost; and the mere breathing of the Exorcist 2036 becomes as fire to that unseen foe. A mighty ally and protector, therefore, have we from God; a great Teacher of the Church, a mighty Champion on our behalf. Let us not be afraid of the demons, nor of the devil; for mightier is He who fighteth for us. Only let us open to Him our doors; for He goeth about seeking such as are worthy 2037 and searching on whom He may confer His gifts.
20. And He is called the Comforter, because He comforts and encourages us, and helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered 2038 , that is, makes intercession to God. Oftentimes a man for Christs sake has been outraged and dishonoured unjustly; martyrdom is at hand; tortures on every side, and fire, and sword, and savage beasts, and the pit. But the Holy Ghost softly whispers to him, “Wait thou on the Lord 2039 , O man; what is now befalling thee is a small matter, the reward will be great. Suffer a little while, and thou shalt be with Angels for ever. The sufferings of this present time art not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us 2040 .” He portrays to the man the kingdom of heaven; He gives him a glimpse of the paradise of delight; and the martyrs, whose bodily countenances are of necessity turned to their judges, but who in spirit are already in Paradise, despise those hardships which are seen.
21. And wouldest thou be sure that by the power of the Holy Ghost the Martyrs bear their witness? The Saviour says to His disciples, And when they bring you unto p. 121 the synagogues, and the magistrates, and authorities, be not anxious how ye shall answer, or what ye shall say; for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in that very hour, what ye ought to say 2041 . For it is impossible to testify as a martyr for Christs sake, except a man testify by the Holy Ghost; for if no man can say that Jesus Christ is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost 2042 , how shall any man give his own life for Jesus sake, but by the Holy Ghost?
22. Great indeed, and all-powerful in gifts, and wonderful, is the Holy Ghost. Consider, how many of you are now sitting here, how many souls of us are present. He is working suitably for each, and being present in the midst, beholds the temper of each, beholds also his reasoning and his conscience, and what we say, and think, and believe 2043 . Great indeed is what I have now said, and yet is it small. For consider, I pray, with mind enlightened by Him, how many Christians there are in all this diocese, and how many in the whole province 2044 of Palestine, and carry forward thy mind from this province, to the whole Roman Empire; and after this, consider the whole world; races of Persians, and nations of Indians, Garbs and Sarmatians, Gauls and Spaniards, and Moors, Libyans and Ethiopians, and the rest for whom we have no names; for of many of the nations not even the names have reached us. Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;—how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another voluntary poverty, to another power of repelling hostile spirits. And as the light, with one touch of its radiance sheds brightness on all things, so also the Holy Ghost enlightens those who have eyes; for if any from blindness is not vouchsafed His grace, let him not blame the Spirit, but his own unbelief.
23. Thou hast seen His power, which is in all the world; tarry now no longer upon earth, but ascend on high. Ascend, I say, in imagination even unto the first heaven, and behold there so many countless myriads of Angels. Mount up in thy thoughts, if thou canst, yet higher; consider, I pray thee, the Archangels, consider also the Spirits; consider the Virtues, consider the Principalities, consider the Powers, consider the Thrones, consider the Dominions 2045 ;—of all these the Comforter is the Ruler from God, and the Teacher, and the Sanctifier. Of Him Elias has need, and Elisseus, and Esaias, among men; of Him Michael and Gabriel have need among Angels. Naught of things created is equal in honour to Him: for the families of the Angels, and all their hosts assembled together, have no equality with the Holy Ghost. All these the all-excellent power of the Comforter overshadows. And they indeed are sent forth to minister 2046 , but He searches even the deep things of God, according as the Apostle says, For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the thing of a man, save the spirit of the man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God 2047 .
24. He preached concerning Christ in the Prophets; He wrought in the Apostles; He to this day seals the souls in Baptism. And the Father indeed gives to the Son; and the Son shares with the Holy Ghost. For it is Jesus Himself, not I, who says, All things are delivered unto Me of My Father 2048 ; and of the Holy Ghost He says, When He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, and the rest.…He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you 2049 . The Father through the Son, with the Holy Ghost, is the giver of all grace; the gifts of the Father are none other than those of the Son, and those of the Holy Ghost; for there is one Salvation, one Power, one Faith; One God, the Father; One Lord, His only-begotten Son; One Holy Ghost, the Comforter. And it is enough for us to know these things; but inquire not curiously into His nature or substance 2050 : for had it been written, we would have spoken of it; what is not written, let us not venture on; it is sufficient for our salvation to know, that there is Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.
25. This Spirit descended upon the seventy Elders in the days of Moses. (Now let not the length of the discourse, beloved, produce weariness in you: but may He the very subject of our discourse grant strength to every one, both to us who speak, and to you who listen!) This Spirit, as I was saying, came down upon the seventy Elders in the time of Moses; and this I say to thee, that I may now prove, that He knoweth all things, and worketh as He will 2051 . p. 122 The seventy Elders were chosen; And the Lord came down in a cloud, and took of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and put it upon the seventy Elders 2052 ; not that the Spirit was divided, but that His grace was distributed in proportion to the vessels, and the capacity of the recipients. Now there were present sixty and eight, and they prophesied; but Eldad and Modad were not present: therefore that it might be shewn that it was not Moses who bestowed the gift, but the Spirit who wrought, Eldad and Modad, who though called, had not as yet presented themselves, did also prophesy 2053 .
26. Jesus the Son of Nun, the successor of Moses, was amazed; and came to him and said, “Hast thou heard that Eldad and Modad are prophesying? They were called, and they came not; my lord Moses, forbid them 2054 .” “I cannot forbid them,” he says, “for this grace is from Heaven; nay, so far am I from forbidding them, that I myself am thankful for it. I think not, however, that thou hast said this in envy; art thou jealous for my sake, because that they prophesy, and thou prophesiest not yet? Wait for the proper season; and oh that all the Lords people may be prophets, whenever the Lord shall give His Spirit upon them 2055 !” saying this also prophetically, whenever the Lord shall give; “For as yet then He has not given it; so thou hast it not yet.”—Had not then Abraham this, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph? And they of old, had they it not? Nay, but the words, “whenever the Lord shall give” evidently mean “give it upon all; as yet indeed the grace is partial, then it shall be given lavishly.” And he secretly alluded to what was to happen among us on the day of Pentecost; for He Himself came down among us. He had however also come down upon many before. For it is written, And Jesus the son of Nun was filled with a spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him 2056 . Thou seest the figure everywhere the same in the Old and New Testament;—in the days of Moses, the Spirit was given by laying on of hands; and by laying on of hands Peter 2057 also gives the Spirit. And on thee also, who art about to be baptized, shall His grace come; yet in what manner I say not, for I will not anticipate the proper season.
27. He also came down upon all righteous men and Prophets; Enos, I mean, and Enoch, and Noah, and the rest; upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for as regards Joseph, even Pharaoh perceived that he had the Spirit of God within him 2058 . As to Moses, and the wonderful works wrought by the Spirit in his days, thou hast heard often: This Spirit Job also had, that most enduring man, and all the saints, though we repeat not all their names. He also was sent forth when the Tabernacle was in making, and filled with wisdom the wise-hearted men who were with Bezaleel 2059 .
28. In the might of this Spirit, as we have it in the Book of Judges, Othniel judged 2060 ; Gideon 2061 waxed strong; Jephtha conquered 2062 ; Deborah, a woman, waged war; and Samson, so long as he did righteously, and grieved Him not, wrought deeds above mans power. And as for Samuel and David, we have it plainly in the Books of the Kingdoms, how by the Holy Ghost they prophesied themselves, and were rulers of the prophets;—and Samuel was called the Seer 2063 ; and David says distinctly, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me 2064 , and in the Psalms, And take not thy Holy Spirit from me 2065 , and again, Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of righteousness 2066 . And as we have it in Chronicles, Azariah 2067 , in the time of King Asa, and Jahaziel 2068 in the time of King Jehoshaphat, partook of the Holy Ghost; and again, another Azariah, he who was stoned 2069 . And Ezra says, Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them 2070 . But as touching Elias who was taken up, and Elisseus, those inspired 2071 and wonder-working men, it is manifest, without our saying so, that they were full of the Holy Ghost.
29. And if further a man peruse all the books of the Prophets, both of the Twelve, and of the others, he will find many testimonies concerning. the Holy Ghost; as when Micah says in the person of God, surely I will perfect power by the Spirit the Lord 2072 ; and Joel cries, And it shall come to pass afterwards, saith God, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh 2073 , and the rest; and Haggai, Because I am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts 2074 ; and My Spirit remaineth in the midst of you 2075 ; and in like manner Zechariah, But receive My words and My statutes which I command by My Spirit, to My servants the Prophets 2076 ; and other passages.
30. Esaias too, with his majestic voice, says, And the Spirit of God shall rest upon Him, p. 123 the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and godliness; and the Spirit of the fear of God shall fill Him 2077 ; signifying that the Spirit is one and undivided, but His operations various. So again, Jacob My servant,…..I have put My Spirit upon Him 2078 . And again, I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed 2079 ; and again, And now the Lord Almighty and His Spirit hath sent Me 2080 ; and again, This is My covenant with them, saith the Lord, My Spirit which is upon thee 2081 ; and again, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me 2082 , and the rest; and again in his charge against the Jews, But they rebelled and vexed His Holy Spirit 2083 , and Where is He that put His Holy Spirit within them 2084 ? Also thou hast in Ezekiel (if thou be not now weary of listening), what has already been quoted, And the Spirit fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord 2085 . But the words, fell upon me we must understand in a good sense, that is “lovingly;” and as Jacob, when he had found Joseph, fell upon his neck; as also in the Gospels, the loving father, on seeing his son who had returned from his wandering, had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him 2086 . And again in Ezekiel, And he brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldæa, to them of the captivity 2087 . And other texts thou heardest before, in what was said about Baptism; Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you 2088 , and the rest; a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you 2089 ; and then immediately, And I will put My Spirit within you 2090 . And again, The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord 2091 .
31. He endued with wisdom the soul of Daniel, that young as he was he should become a judge of Elders. The chaste Susanna was condemned as a wanton; there was none to plead her cause; for who was to deliver her from the rulers? She was led away to death, she was now in the hands of the executioners. But her Helper was at hand, the Comforter, the Spirit who sanctifies every rational nature. Come hither to me, He says to Daniel; young though thou be, convict old men infected with the sins of youth; for it is written, God raised up the Holy Spirit upon a young stripling 2092 ; and nevertheless, (to pass on quickly,) by the sentence of Daniel that chaste lady was saved. We bring this forward as a testimony; for this is not the season for expounding. Nebuchadnezzar also knew that the Holy Spirit was in Daniel; for he says to him, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, of whom I know, that the Holy Spirit of God is in thee 2093 . One thing he said truly, and one falsely; for that he had the Holy Spirit was true, but he was not the master of the magicians, for he was no magician, but was wise through the Holy Ghost. And before this also, he interpreted to him the vision of the Image, which he who had seen it himself knew not; for he says, Tell me the vision, which I who saw it know not 2094 . Thou seest the power of the Holy Ghost; that which they who saw it, know not, they who saw it not, know and interpret.
32. And indeed it were easy to collect very many texts out of the Old Testament, and to discourse more largely concerning the Holy Ghost. But the time is short; and we must be careful of the proper length of the lecture. Wherefore, being for the present content awhile with passages from the Old Testament, we will, if it be Gods pleasure, proceed in the next Lecture to the remaining texts out of the New Testament. And may the God of peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, count all of you worthy of His spiritual and heavenly gifts:—To whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
Matt. xii. 32.115:1971
At the end of this section there follows in the Coislin ms. a long interpolation consisting of two parts. The former is an extract taken word for word from Gregory of Nyssa, Oratio Catechetica, ii. c, which may be read in this series: ᾽Αλλ᾽ ὡς Θεοῦ Λόγον ἀκούσαντες .…σύνδρομον ἔχουσαν τῇ βουλήσει τὴν δύναμιν. Of the second passage the Benedictine Editor says: “I have not been able to discover who is the author. No one can assign it to our Cyril, although the doctrine it contains is in full agreement with his: but he explains all the same points more at large in his two Lectures (xvi. xvii.). The passage is very ancient and undoubtedly older than the eleventh century, which is the date of the Cod. Coislin. Therefore in the controversy of the Latins against the Greeks concerning the Procession of the Holy Ghost it is important to notice what is taught in this passage, and also brought forward as a testimony by S. Thomas (Aquinas), that “The Holy Ghost is of the Godhead of the Father and the Son (ex Patris et Filii divinitate existere).” To me indeed these words seem to savour altogether not of the later but of the more ancient theology of the Greeks, and to be earlier than the controversies of the Greeks against the Latins.”
This second passage is as follows:—
“For the Spirit of God is good. And Thy good Spirit, says David, shall lead me in the land of righteousness. This then is the Spirit of God in which we believe: the blessed Spirit, the eternal, immutable, unchangeable, ineffable: which rules and reigns over all productive being, both visible and invisible natures: which is Lord both of Angels and Archangels, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones: the Creator of all being, enthroned with the glory of the Father and the Son, reigning without beginning and without end with the Father and the Son, before the created substances: Who sanctifies the ministering spirits sent forth for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation: Who came down upon the holy and blessed Virgin Mary, of whom was born Christ according to the flesh; came down also upon the Lord Himself in bodily form of a dove in the river Jordan: Who came upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost in form of fiery tongues; Who gives and supplies all spiritual gifts in the Church, Who Proceedeth from the Father: Who is of the Godhead of the Father and the Son; Who is of one substance with the Father and the Son, inseparable and indivisible.”116:1972
Cf. Cat. iv. 33; vii. 6. Irenæus, Hæres. III. xxi. 4; IV. ix. 1. In Eusebius, E.H. V. 13, Rhodon says that Apelles attributed the prophecies to an adverse spirit and rejected them as false and self-contradictory. Similar blasphemies against the holy Prophets are imputed to Manes by Epiphanius (Hæres. lxvi. 30).116:1973
Matt. xxviii. 19. The same text is used with much force by S. Basil (De Spir. S. cap. xxiv.).116:1974
Cat. xi. 4, note 3. See Newmans notes on Athanasius, Contra Arian. Or. I. viii. 1; Ib. Or. III. xxv. 9; Ib. xxvii. 3. Marcions doctrine of three first principles (τριῶν ἀρχῶν λόγος) is discussed by Epiphanius (Hæres. xlii. 6, 7). See also Tertull. Contra Marcion. I. 15; Euseb. Hist. Eccles. V. 13.116:1975
συναλοιφήν, iv. 8; xi. 16; xv. 9.116:1976
Cat. xvii. 13. Epiphanius (De Mensuris et Ponder. c. 14): “And he (Hadrian) found the city all levelled to the ground, except a few houses, and the Church of God which was small: where the Disciples, on their return after the Saviour was taken up from the Mount of Olives, went up into the upper chamber: for there it had been built, that is on Sion.” Cf. Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, c. xiv. 3: “Within the precincts of that Mosque (of the Tomb of David) is a vaulted Gothic chamber, which contains within its four walls a greater confluence of traditions than any other place of like dimensions in Palestine. It is startling to hear that this is the scene of the Last Supper, of the meeting after the Resurrection, of the miracle of Pentecost, of the residence and death of the Virgin, of the burial of Stephen.”116:1977
Ps. cxl. 3.116:1978
Irenæus is called “the interpreter” in the same general sense as other ecclesiastical authors (Cat. xiii. 21; xv. 20), on account of his frequent comments upon the Scriptures. The full title of his work was A Refutation and Subversion of Knowledge falsely so called (Euseb. Hist. Eccles. V. c. 7). Cyrils expression (ἐν τοῖς προστάγμασι) is sufficiently appropriate to the hortatory purpose professed by Irenæus in his preface. But the Benedictine Editor thinks that the word προστάγμασι may be an interpolation arising from the following words πρὸς τὰς.…The meaning would then be “in his writings Against Heresies,” the usual short title of the work.116:1979
Cat. vi. 14, note 10.116:1980
Irenæus (I. xxix § 4; xxx. § 1).116:1981
Ib. I. ii. §§ 5, 6.116:1982
Cat. vi. 25.116:1983
Cat. iv. 33. See § 3, note 3, above.116:1984
i.e. as well as into the Father and the Son.116:1985
See Dict. Christ. Biography, Marcion, p. 283; and Tertullian (Adv. Marcion. IV. 6): “His whole aim centres in this that he may establish a diversity between the Old and New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to the rival god, and as alien from the Law and the Prophets.116:1986
Cf. § 4, note 5, above.117:1987
Phrygians, or Cataphrygians (οἱ κατὰ φρύγας) was the name given to the followers of the Phrygian Montanus. See the account of Montanism in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. V. xvi., and the note there in this Series.117:1988
The charges of lust and cruelty brought against the Montanists by Cyril and Epiphanius (Hær 48) seem to rest on no trustworthy evidence, and are not mentioned by Eusebius, a bitter foe to the sect.117:1989
On Manes, see Cat. vi. 20. ff.117:1990
Luke xxiv. 49.117:1991
Acts viii. 17.117:1992
Acts viii. 19. ἀκτήμοσι. Cf. § 19: ἀκτημονοῦσι, and § 22: ἀκτημοσύνην.117:1993
Ps. cxxxix. 21.117:1995
Gen. iii. 15.117:1996
The words ἁγίων πατέρων are not found in the mss. Mon. 1. Mon. 2. Vind. Roe. Casaub. nor in Grodecq. Whether meant to refer, as the Benedictine Editor thinks, to the writers of the Old Testament, or to Christian authors, they are an evident gloss.117:1997
Prov. v. 15.117:1998
John iv. 14, quoted more fully at the end of the section.117:1999
John 7:38, 39.118:2000
Compare a similar passage on rain in Cat. ix. 9, 10.118:2001
1 Cor. xii. 11.118:2002
1 Cor. 12.7-11.118:2003
See Cat. x. 11; xi. 1.118:2004
Ps. cxlvi. 4.118:2005
Zech. xii. 1.118:2006
Ps. civ. 4.118:2007
Ps. xlviii. 7.118:2008
Is. vii. 2.118:2009
Ps. cxlviii. 8.118:2010
John vi. 63.118:2011
Acts viii. 29.118:2012
Ezek. xi. 5.118:2013
Acts xiii. 2.118:2014
John xiv. 26.119:2016
John 6.63. The Holy Spirit is more than words pronounced by the tongue, even than our Lords own words, which he called spirit.119:2017
Hosea iv. 12.119:2018
Origen, de Principiis, i. § 2: “It is the custom of Holy Scripture, when it would designate anything contrary to this more dense and solid body, to call it spirit.”119:2019
Luke x. 18.119:2020
In this contrast between the evil spirit and the Spirit of God Cyrils language rises to true eloquence, far surpassing a somewhat similar description, which may have been known to him, in Euseb. Dem. Evang. V. 132.119:2021
Is. vi. 1.119:2022
Ezek. x. 1.119:2023
Dan. vii. 10.119:2024
Acts v. 3.119:2025
Ps. cxxxix. 12.120:2028
Acts v. 8.120:2029
2 Kings v. 25.120:2030
Matt. x. 8.120:2031
Micah iii. 12; ascribed by Cyril to Isaiah.120:2032
Cf. Euseb. Dem. Evang. vi. 13: “In our own time we have seen with our eyes the Sion of old renown being ploughed by Romans with yokes of oxen, and Jerusalem in a state of utter desolation as the oracle itself says, like a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. As Cyril at that time saw the Prophets prediction fulfilled, so we also to the present day see most plainly the fulfilment of the divine oracle, and Sion ploughed before our eyes: for except the Church of the Apostles, with the houses lying around it, and the house of Caiaphas and the cemeteries, all the remaining space of this hill, lying without the city, is under plough.” (Jerusalem Editor).120:2033
Isa. i. 8. ὀπωροφυλάκιον is the hut of the watchman who guarded the crop when ripening for harvest. Σικυήλατον is explained by Basil in his comment on the passage of Isaiah as “A place that produces quick-growing and perishable fruits.” This agrees with the etymological sense of the word as “a forcing-bed for cucumbers” (Hippocrates apud Fritzsche, “Der Brief des Jeremia,” v. 70). On the form σικυηράτῳ, see the notes on the Epistle of Jeremy in the Speakers Commentary.120:2034
παστάδας. On the meaning of παστάς see the notes on Herodotus, II. 148, 169 in Bähr, and Rawlinson. Here it appears to mean the cloister or colonnade which gave access to the bridal chamber, θάλαμος.120:2035
Compare Procat. § 9; Cat. xx. 3.120:2037
Wisdom vi. 16. Compare the saying in Clem. Alex. Quis dives salvetur? § 31: αὐτὸν ζητεῖν τοὺς εὖ πεισομένους ἀξίους τε ὄντας τοῦ Σωτῆρος μαθητάς. The Jerusalem Editor quotes from Origen (Prolog. in Cantic.) a passage which may have been known to Cyril: “This Comforter therefore goeth about seeking if He may discover any worthy and receptive souls to whom He may reveal the greatness of the love which is in God.”120:2038
Rom. viii. 26.120:2039
Ps. 28:14, Ps. 37:34.120:2040
Rom. viii. 18.121:2041
Luke 12:11, 12.121:2042
1 Cor. xii. 3. Μαρτυρῆσαι, “to bear witness by death.”121:2043
Codd. Monac. Vind. Roe. Casaub. add καὶ τί πιστεύομεν.121:2044
The terms παροικία, the See of a Bishop, and ἐπαρχία, the Province of a Metropolitan, were both adopted from the corresponding divisions of the Roman Empire. See Bingham, Antt. Book IX. i. §§ 2–6.121:2045
S. Basil (De Spiritu S. c. xvi. § 38), after quoting the same passage, Col. i. 16, proceeds—εἴτε κυριότητες, καὶ εἴ τινές εἰσιν ἕτεραι λογικαὶ φύσεις ἁκατονόμαστοι. The last word shews that Basil had in mind this passage of Cyril, who after the names of nations in § 22, adds καὶ τοὺς λοίπους ἀκατονομάστους ἡμῖν.121:2046
Heb. i. 14.121:2047
1 Cor. 2:10, 11.121:2048
Matt. xi. 27.121:2049
John 16:13, 14.121:2050
In regard to the caution with which St. Cyril here speaks, we must remember that the heresy of Macedonius had not yet given occasion to the formal discussion and determination of the “nature and substance” of the Holy Ghost.121:2051
1 Cor. xii. 11.122:2052
Num. 11:24, 25. “Modad” is the form of the name in the LXX.122:2053
The apocryphal book of Eldad and Modad is mentioned by Hermas, Shepherd, Vis. ii. § 3. S. Basil, Liber de Spir. S. cap. 61, referring to Num. xi. 26, says that the Spirit rested permanently only upon Eldad and Modad.122:2054
Num. xi. 28.122:2055
Num. xi. 29.122:2056
Deut. xxxiv. 9.122:2057
Acts viii. 18. On this passage of Cyril, see the section on “Chrism” in the Introduction.122:2058
Gen. xli. 38.122:2059
Exod. 31:1, Exod. 36:1.122:2060
Judges iii. 10.122:2061
1 Sam. ix. 9.122:2064
2 Sam. xxiii. 2.122:2065
Ps. li. 11.122:2066
Ps. cxliii. 10.122:2067
2 Chron. xv. 1.122:2068
2 Chron. 20.14.122:2069
2 Chr. 24:20, 21.122:2070
Neh. ix. 20. Ezra and Nehemiah form one book “Ezra” in the Hebrew Canon.122:2071
πνευματοφόρων, used only twice in the Sept. (Hos. 9:7, Zeph. 3:4), and in an unfavourable sense. With Cyrils use of it compare Theophilus, Ad Autolyc. ii. 9: Θεοῦ ἀνθρώπους πνευματοφόρους Πνεύματος ἁγίου.122:2072
Mic. iii. 8.122:2073
Joel ii. 28.122:2074
Haggai ii. 4.122:2075
Zech. i. 6.123:2077
Is. xi. 2.123:2078
Isa. 44:1, Isa. 42:1.123:2079
Is. lix. 21.123:2082
Is. lxi. 1.123:2083
Ezek. xi. 5.123:2086
Gen. 46:29, Luke 15:20.123:2087
Ezek. xi. 24.123:2088
Ezek. 36.25; Cat. iii. 16.123:2089
Ezek. xxxvii. 1.123:2092
Dan. iv. 9.123:2094
Dan. 2:26, 31.
Next: Continuation of the Discourse on the Holy Ghost.
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