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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter IV. The Unity of God is necessarily implied in the order of Nature, in the Faith, and in Baptism. The gifts of the Magi declare (1) the Unity of the Godhead; (2) Christ's Godhead and Manhood. The truth of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is shown in the Angel walking in the midst of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IV.

The Unity of God is necessarily implied in the order of Nature, in the Faith, and in Baptism. The gifts of the Magi declare (1) the Unity of the Godhead; (2) Christ’s Godhead and Manhood. The truth of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is shown in the Angel walking in the midst of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

31. All nature testifies to the Unity of God, inasmuch as the universe is one. The Faith declares that there is one God, seeing that there is one belief in both the Old and the New Testament. That there is one Spirit, all holy, 1728 grace witnesseth, because there is one Baptism, in the Name of the Trinity. The prophets proclaim, the apostles hear, the voice of one God. In one God did the Magi believe, and they brought, in adoration, gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Christ’s cradle, confessing, by the gift of gold, His Royalty, and with the incense worshipping Him as God. For gold is the sign of kingdom, incense of God, myrrh of burial. 1729

p. 206 32. What, then, was the meaning of the mystic offerings in the lowly cattle-stalls, save that we should discern in Christ the difference between the Godhead and the flesh? He is seen as man, 1730 He is adored as Lord. He lies in swaddling-clothes, but shines amid the stars; the cradle shows His birth, the stars His dominion; 1731 it is the flesh that is wrapped in clothes, the Godhead that receives the ministry of angels. Thus the dignity of His natural majesty is not lost, and His true assumption of the flesh is proved.

33. This is our Faith. Thus did God will that He should be known by all, thus believed the three children, 1732 and felt not the fire into the midst whereof they were cast, which destroyed and burnt up unbelievers, 1733 whilst it fell harmless as dew upon the faithful, 1734 for whom the flames kindled by others became cold, seeing that the torment had justly lost its power in conflict with faith. For with them there was One in the form of an angel, 1735 comforting them, 1736 to the end that in the number of the Trinity one Supreme Power might be praised. God was praised, the Son of God was seen in God’s angel, holy and spiritual grace spake in the children. 1737


Footnotes

205:1728

The Spirit here spoken of is, according to Hurter’s interpretation, not the Third Person of the Trinity, but the Triune God, Who is a Spirit (John 4:24, 2 Cor. 3:17).

205:1729

Hymns A. and M. 76, stanza 4.

206:1730

Phil. ii. 7.

206:1731

Rev. 1:16, Rev. 22:16, Matt. 2:0, Num. 24:17.

206:1732

Dan. iv. 17.

206:1733

Dan. iv. 22.

206:1734

Hosea xiv. 5.

206:1735

Dan. iv. 28.

206:1736

S. Luke xxii. 43.

206:1737

Dan. iv. 25. In the number of the three children was shadowed forth the number of Persons in the Trinity, whilst in the Angel, who was one, was shown the Unity of power or nature. In another way, too, St. Ambrose points out, was the Trinity typified in that event, inasmuch as God was praised, the Angel of God was present, and the Spirit, or the Grace of God spake in the children.—H.


Next: Chapter V. The various blasphemies uttered by the Arians against Christ are cited. Before these are replied to, the orthodox are admonished to beware of the captious arguments of philosophers, forasmuch as in these especially did the heretics put their trust.

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