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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Manichæan Controversy.: Chapter 10

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 10.—The Holy Spirit Twice Given.

11.  For the glorification of our Lord among men is His resurrection from the dead and His ascension to heaven.  For it is written in the Gospel according to John:  "The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." 275   Now if the reason why He was not given was that Jesus was not yet glorified, He was given immediately on the glorification of Jesus.  And since that glorification was twofold, as regards man and as regards God, twice also was the Holy Spirit given:  once, when, after His resurrection from the dead, He breathed on the face of His disciples, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost;" 276 and again, ten days after His ascension to heaven.  This number ten signifies perfection; for to the number seven which embraces all created things, is added the trinity of the Creator. 277   On these things there is much pious and sober discourse among spiritual men.  But I must keep to my point; for my business at present is not to teach you, which you might think presumptuous, but to take the part of an inquirer, and learn from you, as I tried to do for nine years without success.  Now, therefore, I have a document to believe on the subject of the Holy Spirit’s advent; and if you bid me not to believe this document, as your usual advice is not to believe ignorantly, without consideration, 278 much less will I believe your documents.  Away, then, with all books, and disclose the truth with logical clearness, so as to leave no doubt in my mind; or bring forward books where I shall find not an imperious demand for my belief, but a trustworthy statement of what I may learn.  Perhaps you say this epistle is also of this character.  Let me, then, no longer stop at the threshold:  let us see the contents.



John vii. 39.


John xx. 22.


[This is, of course, fanciful; but is quite in accordance with the exegetical methods of the time.—A.H.N.]


[The Manichæans assumed the role of rationalists, and scorned the credulity of ordinary believers.  Yet they required in their followers an amount of credulity which only persons of a peculiar turn of mind could furnish.  The same thing applies to modern rationalistic anti-Christian systems.  The fact is, that it requires infinitely less credulity to believe in historical Christianity than to disbelieve in it.—A.H.N.]

Next: Chapter 11

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