Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter IV. What the difference is between Christ and the saints.
What the difference is between Christ and the saints.
Moreover there is between Him and all the saints the same difference that there is between a dwelling and one who dwells in it, for certainly it is the doing of the dweller not the dwelling, if it is inhabited, for on him it depends both to build the house and to occupy it. I mean, that he can choose, if he will, to make it a dwelling, and when he has made it, to live in it. “Or do you seek a proof,” says the Apostle, “of Christ speaking in me?” 2497 And elsewhere, “Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobate?” 2498 And again: “in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” 2499 Do you not see what a difference there is between the Apostles doctrine and your blasphemies? You say that God dwells in Christ as in a man. He testifies that Christ Himself dwells in men: which certainly, as you admit, flesh and blood cannot do; so that He is shown to be God, from the very fact from which you deny Him to be God. For since you cannot deny that He who dwells in man is God, it follows that we must believe that He, whom we know to dwell in men, is most decidedly God. All, then, whether patriarchs, or prophets, or apostles, or martyrs, or saints, had every one of them God within him, and were all made sons of God and were all receivers of God (Θεοδόχοι), but in a very different and distinct way. For all who believe in God are sons of God by adoption: but the only begotten alone is Son by nature: who was begotten of His Father, not of any material substance, for all things, and the substance of all things exist through the only begotten Son of God—and not out of nothing, because He is from the Father: not like a birth, for there is nothing in God that is void or mutable, but in an ineffable and incomprehensible manner God the Father, wherein He Himself was regenerate, begat his only begotten Son; and so from the Most High, Ingenerate, and Eternal Father proceeds the Most High, Only Begotten, and Eternal Son. Who must be considered the same Person in the flesh as He is in the Spirit: and must be held to be the same Person in the body as He is in glory, for when He was about to be born in the flesh, 2500 He made no division or separation within Himself, as if some portion of Him was born while another portion was not born: or as if some portion of Divinity afterwards came upon Him, which had not been in Him at His birth from the Virgin. For according to the Apostle, “all the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in Christ bodily.” 2501 Not that It dwells in Him at times, and at times dwells not; nor that It was there at a later date, and not an earlier one: otherwise we are entangled in that impious heresy of Pelagius, so as to say that from a fixed moment God dwelt in Christ, and that He then came upon Him; when He had won by His life and conversation this; viz., that the power of the Godhead should dwell in Him. These things then belong to men, to men, I say, not to God,—that as far as human weakness can, they should humble themselves to God, be subject to God, make themselves dwellings for God, and by their faith and piety win this, to have God as their guest and indweller. For in proportion as anyone is fit for Gods gift, so does the Divine grace reward him: in proportion as a man seems worthy of him: in proportion as a man seems worthy of p. 583 God, so does he enjoy Gods presence, according to the Lords promise: “if any man love Me, he will keep My word; and I and My Father will come to him and make Our abode with him.” 2502 But very different is the case as regards Christ; in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily: for He has within Him the fulness of the Godhead so that He gives to all of His fulness, and He—as the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him—Himself dwells in each of the saints in proportion as He deems them worthy of His Presence, and gives of His fulness to all, yet in such a way that He Himself continues in all that fulness,—who even when He was on earth in the flesh, yet was present in the hearts of all the saints, and filled the heaven, the earth, the sea, aye and the whole universe with His infinite power and majesty; and yet was so complete in Himself that the whole world could not contain Him. For however great and inexpressible whatever is made may be, yet there are no things so boundless and infinite as to be able to contain the Creator Himself.
2 Cor. xiii. 3.582:2498
2 Cor. 13.5.582:2499
Eph. 3:16, 17.582:2500
Idem credendus in corpore qui creditur in majestate, quia nasciturus in carne non divisionem, etc., (Petschenig): Gazæus reads Idem credendus in majestate quia nasciturus in carne. Non divisionem, etc.582:2501
Col. ii. 9.583:2502
S. John xiv. 23.
Next: Chapter V. That before His birth in time Christ was always called God by the prophets.
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