Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
A Treatise on the Predestination of the...: Chapter 13
Chapter 13 [VIII.]—The Effect of Divine Grace.
Accordingly, our only Master and Lord Himself, when He had said what I have above mentioned,—“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent,”—says a little afterwards in that same discourse of His, “I said unto you that ye also have seen me and have not believed. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” 3466 What is the meaning of “shall come to me,” but, “shall believe in me”? But it is the Fathers gift that this may be the case. Moreover, a little after He says, “Murmur not among yourselves. No one can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all teachable 3467 of God. Every man that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me.” 3468 What is the meaning of, “Every man that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me,” except that there is none who hears from the Father, and learns, who cometh not to me? For if every one who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes, certainly every one who does not come has not heard from the Father; for if he had heard and learned, he would come. For no one has heard and learned, and has not come; but every one, as the Truth declares, who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes. Far removed from the senses of the flesh is this teaching in which the Father is heard, and teaches to come to the Son. Engaged herein is also the Son Himself, because He is His Word by which He thus teaches; and He does not do this through the ear of the flesh, but of the heart. Herein engaged, also, at the same time, is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son; and He, too, teaches, and does not teach separately, since we have learned that the workings of the Trinity are inseparable. And p. 505 that is certainly the same Holy Spirit of whom the apostle says, “We, however, having the same Spirit of faith.” 3469 But this is especially attributed to the Father, for the reason that of Him is begotten the Only Begotten, and from Him proceeds the Holy Spirit, of which it would be tedious to argue more elaborately; and I think that my work in fifteen books on the Trinity which God is, has already reached you. Very far removed, I say, from the senses of the flesh is this instruction wherein God is heard and teaches. We see that many come to the Son because we see that many believe on Christ, but when and how they have heard this from the Father, and have learned, we see not. It is true that that grace is exceedingly secret, but who doubts that it is grace? This grace, therefore, which is hiddenly bestowed in human hearts by the Divine gift, is rejected by no hard heart, because it is given for the sake of first taking away the hardness of the heart. When, therefore, the Father is heard within, and teaches, so that a man comes to the Son, He takes away the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh, as in the declaration of the prophet He has promised. Because He thus makes them children and vessels of mercy which He has prepared for glory.
John vi. 36.504:3467
Or, “docile towards God.”504:3468
John vi. 43 ff.505:3469
2 Cor. iv. 13.
Next: Chapter 14
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