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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Remains of the Second and Third Centuries.: Part II

Early Church Fathers  Index     


From the Discourse on Soul and Body. 3589

For this reason did the Father send His Son from heaven without a bodily form, that, when He should put on a body by means of the Virgin’s womb, and be born man, He might save man, and gather together those members of His which death had scattered when he divided man.

And further on:—The earth shook, and its foundations trembled; the sun fled away, and the elements turned back, and the day was changed into night:  for they could not endure the sight of their Lord hanging on a tree.  The whole creation was amazed, marvelling and saying, “What new mystery, then, is this?  The Judge is judged, and holds his peace; the Invisible One is seen, and is not ashamed; the Incomprehensible is laid hold upon, and is not indignant; the Illimitable is circumscribed, and doth not resist; the Impossible suffereth, and doth not avenge; the Immortal dieth, and answereth not a word; the Celestial is laid in the grave, and endureth!  What new mystery is this?”  The whole creation, I say, was astonished; but, when our Lord arose from the place of the dead, and trampled death under foot, and bound the strong one, and set man free, then did the whole creation see clearly that for man’s sake the Judge was condemned, and the Invisible was seen, and the Illimitable was circumscribed, and the Impassible suffered, and the Immortal died, and the Celestial was laid in the gave.  For our Lord, when He was born man, was condemned in order that He might show mercy, was bound in order that He might loose, was seized in order that He might release, suffered in order that He might feel compassion, 3590 died in order that He might give life, was laid in the grave that He might raise from the dead3591



By Melito, bishop of Sardis.


*** seems to be the true reading, not the *** of the printed ms.


[Such passages sustain the testimony of Jerome and others, that this venerable and learned Father was an eloquent preacher.]

Next: Part III

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