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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter XV. An explanation of Acts ii. 36 and Proverbs viii. 22, which are shown to refer properly to Christ's manhood alone.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XV.

An explanation of Acts ii. 36 and Proverbs viii. 22, which are shown to refer properly to Christ’s manhood alone.

95. To no purpose, then, is the heretics’ customary citation of the Scripture, that “God made Him both Lord and Christ.” Let these ignorant persons read the whole passage, and understand it. For thus it is written. “God made this Jesus, Whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 1843 It was not the Godhead, but the flesh, that was crucified. This, indeed, was possible, because the flesh allowed of being crucified. It follows not, then, that the Son of God is a created being.

96. Let us despatch, then, that passage also, which they do use to misrepresent,—let them learn what is the sense of the words, “The Lord created Me.” 1844 It is not “the Father created,” but “the Lord created Me.” The flesh acknowledgeth its Lord, praise declareth the Father: our created nature confesseth the first, loveth, knoweth the latter. Who, then, cannot but perceive that these words announce the Incarnation? Thus the Son speaketh of Himself as created in respect of that wherein he witnesseth to Himself as being man, when He says, “Why seek ye to kill Me, a man, Who have told you the truth?” He speaketh of His Manhood, wherein He was crucified, and died, and was buried.

97. Furthermore, there is no doubt but that the writer set down as past that which was to come; for this is the usage of prophecy, that things to come are spoken of as though they were already present or past. For example, in the twenty-first 1845 psalm you have read: “Fat bulls (of Bashan) have beset me,” and again: 1846 “They parted My garments among them.” This the Evangelist showeth to have been spoken prophetically of the time of the Passion, for to God the things that are to come are present, and for Him Who foreknoweth all things, they are as though they were past and over; as it is written, “Who hath made the things that are to be.” 1847

98. It is no wonder that He should declare His place to have been set fast before all worlds, seeing that the Scripture tells us that He was foreordained before the times and ages. The following passage discovers how the words in question present themselves as a true prophecy of the Incarnation: “Wisdom hath built her an house, and set up seven pillars to support it, and she hath slain her victims. She hath mingled her wine in the bowl, and made ready her table, and sent her servants, calling men together with a mighty voice of proclamation, saying: ‘He who is simple, let him turn in to me.’” 1848 Do we not see, in the Gospel, that all these things were fulfilled after the Incarnation, in that Christ disclosed the mysteries of the Holy Supper, sent forth His apostles, and cried with a loud voice, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.” 1849 That which followeth, then, answereth to that which went before, and we behold the whole story of the Incarnation set forth in brief by prophecy.

99. Many other passages might readily be seen to be prophecies of this sort concerning the Incarnation, but I will not delay over books, lest the treatise appear too wordy



Acts 2:36, 1 John 4:3.


Prov. viii. 22.

Note on Prov. viii. 22, cited in § 96.—The A.V. is “The Lord possessed me,” and the Vulgate likewise Dominus possedit me. The Greek versions of the passage appear to have presented two readings, which might exhibit little difference to the eye in a closely-written ms., though the difference in meaning was by no means small. The two readings were: (1) ἔκτισέ με and (2) εκτήσατό με: the former meaning “founded,” “established,” or “created” me, the latter “acquired me.” The strict Greek equivalent of possedit (Vulgate) or “possessed” (A.V.) would be ἐκέκτητο.


The 22d in the Prayer-Book and Bible. See Ps. xxii. 13—compare Matt. 27:36, Luke 23:35.


Ps. 22:19, Matt. 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:23.


Is. xlv. 11. A.V.—“Ask me of things to come.” Vulgate, l.c.Ventura interrogate me.


2 Tim. 1:9, Prov. 9:1 f.


S. John vii. 37.

Next: Chapter XVI. The Arians blaspheme Christ, if by the words “created” and “begotten” they mean and understand one and the same thing. If, however, they regard the words as distinct in meaning, they must not speak of Him, of Whom they have read that He was begotten, as if He were a created being. This rule is upheld by the witness of St. Paul, who, professing himself a servant of Christ, forbade worship of a created being. God being a substance pure and uncompounded, there is no created nature in Him; furthermore, the Son is not to be degraded to the level of things created, seeing that in Him the Father is well pleased.

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