Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV IndexEarly Church Fathers
Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV
Athanasius: Select Works and Letters
Title Page.Title Page.
Editorial Preface.Editorial Preface.
Second Title Page.Second Title Page.
History of the Period, and of the Arian Controversy.
History of Doctrine.
The Arian Controversy before Nicæa, 319-325.
Section 3 (1)
Section 3 (2)
The Council of Tyre and First Exile of Athanasius, 335-337.
Renewal of Troubles. Second Exile. Pistus and Gregory, Culmination of Eusebian Intrigue. Rome and Sardica. (337-346).
The Golden Decade, 346-356.
The Third Exile, 356-362.
Athanasius under Julian and his successors; Fourth and Fifth Exiles. Feb. 21, 362, to Feb. 1, 366.
Last Years, Feb. 1, 366-May 2, 373.
Athanasius as an Author. Style and Characteristics.
Personal characteristics (see Stanley's Eastern Church, Lect. vii.).
Fundamental ideas of man and his redemption.
Fundamental Ideas of God, the World, and Creation.
Vehicles of Revelation; Scripture, the Church, Tradition.
Content of Revelation. God Three in One and the Incarnation.
Derivative Doctrines. Grace and the Means of Grace; The Christian Life; The Last Things.
Principles and Method.
Synoptical Table of the Bishops of the Chief Sees.
Against the Heathen. (Contra Gentes.)Against the Heathen. (Contra Gentes.)
Contra Gentes. (Against the Heathen.)
Evil no part of the essential nature of things. The original creation and constitution of man in grace and in the knowledge of God.
The decline of man from the above condition, owing to his absorption in material things.
The gradual abasement of the Soul from Truth to Falsehood by the abuse of her freedom of Choice.
Evil, then consists essentially in the choice of what is lower in preference to what is higher.
False views of the nature of evil: viz., that evil is something in the nature of things, and has substantive existence. (a) Heathen thinkers: (evil resides in matter). Their refutation. (b) Heretical teachers: (Dualism). Refutation from Scripture.
Refutation of dualism from reason. Impossibility of two Gods. The truth as to evil is that which the Church teaches: that it originates, and resides, in the perverted choice of the darkened soul.
The origin of idolatry is similar. The soul, materialised by forgetting God, and engrossed in earthly things, makes them into gods. The race of men descends into a hopeless depth of delusion and superstition.
The various developments of idolatry: worship of the heavenly bodies, the elements, natural objects, fabulous creatures, personified lusts, men living and dead. The case of Antinous, and of the deified Emperors.
Similar human origin of the Greek gods, by decree of Theseus. The process by which mortals became deified.
The deeds of heathen deities, and particularly of Zeus.
Other shameful actions ascribed to heathen deities. All prove that they are but men of former times, and not even good men.
The folly of image worship and its dishonour to art.
Image worship condemned by Scripture.
The details about the gods conveyed in the representations of them by poets and artists shew that they are without life, and that they are not gods, nor even decent men and women.
Heathen arguments in palliation of the above: and (1) 'the poets are responsible for these unedifying tales.' But are the names and existence of the gods any better authenticated? Both stand or fall together. Either the actions must be defended or the deity of the gods given up. And the heroes are not credited with acts inconsistent with their nature, as, on this plea, the gods are.
The truth probably is, that the scandalous tales are true, while the divine attributes ascribed to them are due to the flattery of the poets.
Heathen defence continued. (2) 'The gods are worshipped for having invented the Arts of Life.' But this is a human and natural, not a divine, achievement. And why, on this principle, are not all inventors deified?
The inconsistency of image worship. Arguments in palliation. (1) The divine nature must be expressed in a visible sign. (2) The image a means of supernatural communications to men through angels.
But where does this supposed virtue of the image reside? in the material, or in the form, or in the maker's skill? Untenability of all these views.
The idea of communications through angels involves yet wilder inconsistency, nor does it, even if true, justify the worship of the image.
The image cannot represent the true form of God, else God would be corruptible.
The variety of idolatrous cults proves that they are false.
The so-called gods of one place are used as victims in another.
Human sacrifice. Its absurdity. Its prevalence. Its calamitous results.
The moral corruptions of Paganism all admittedly originated with the gods.
The refutation of popular Paganism being taken as conclusive, we come to the higher form of nature-worship. How Nature witnesses to God by the mutual dependence of all her parts, which forbid us to think of any one of them as the supreme God. This shewn at length.
But neither can the cosmic organism be God. For that would make God consist of dissimilar parts, and subject Him to possible dissolution.
The balance of powers in Nature shews that it is not God, either collectively, or in parts.
Proof of the existence of the rational soul. (1) Difference of man from the brutes. (2) Man's power of objective thought. Thought is to sense as the musician to his instrument. The phenomena of dreams bear this out.
(3) The body cannot originate such phenomena; and in fact the action of the rational soul is seen in its over-ruling the instincts of the bodily organs.
§33. The soul immortal. Proved by (1) its being distinct from the body, (2) its being the source of motion, (3) its power to go beyond the body in imagination and thought.
§34. The soul, then, if only it get rid of the stains of sin is able to know God directly, its own rational nature imaging back the Word of God, after whose image it was created. But even if it cannot pierce the cloud which sin draws over its vision, it is confronted by the witness of creation to God.
This the more striking, if we consider the opposing forces out of which this order is produced.
The same subject continued.
The Unity of God shewn by the Harmony of the order of Nature.
Impossibility of a plurality of Gods.
The rationality and order of the Universe proves that it is the work of the Reason or Word of God.
The Presence of the Word in nature necessary, not only for its original Creation, but also for its permanence.
This function of the Word described at length.
Three similes to illustrate the Word's relation to the Universe.
The similes applied to the whole Universe, seen and unseen.
Conclusion. Doctrine of Scripture on the subject of Part I.
Doctrine of Scripture on the subject of Part 3.
Necessity of a return to the Word if our corrupt nature is to be restored.
The Incarnation of the Word.The Incarnation of the Word.
On the Incarnation of the Word.
Erroneous views of Creation rejected. (1) Epicurean (fortuitous generation). But diversity of bodies and parts argues a creating intellect. (2.) Platonists (pre-existent matter.) But this subjects God to human limitations, making Him not a creator but a mechanic. (3) Gnostics (an alien Demiurge). Rejected from Scripture.
The true doctrine. Creation out of nothing, of God's lavish bounty of being. Man created above the rest, but incapable of independent perseverance. Hence the exceptional and supra-natural gift of being in God's Image, with the promise of bliss conditionally upon his perseverance in grace.
Our creation and God's Incarnation most intimately connected. As by the Word man was called from non-existence into being, and further received the grace of a divine life, so by the one fault which forfeited that life they again incurred corruption and untold sin and misery filled the world.
For God has not only made us out of nothing; but He gave us freely, by the Grace of the Word, a life in correspondence with God.
The human race then was wasting, God's image was being effaced, and His work ruined. Either, then, God must forego His spoken word by which man had incurred ruin; or that which had shared in the being of the Word must sink back again into destruction, in which case God's design would be defeated. What then? was God's goodness to suffer this? But if so, why had man been made? It could have been weakness, not goodness on God's part.
On the other hand there was the consistency of God's nature, not to be sacrificed for our profit. Were men, then, to be called upon to repent? But repentance cannot avert the execution of a law; still less can it remedy a fallen nature. We have incurred corruption and need to be restored to the Grace of God's Image. None could renew but He Who had created. He alone could (1) recreate all, (2) suffer for all, (3) represent all to the Father.
The Word, then, visited that earth in which He was yet always present ; and saw all these evils. He takes a body of our Nature, and that of a spotless Virgin, in whose womb He makes it His own, wherein to reveal Himself, conquer death, and restore life.
The Word, since death alone could stay the plague, took a mortal body which, united with Him, should avail for all, and by partaking of His immortality stay the corruption of the Race. By being above all, He made His Flesh an offering for our souls; by being one with us all, he clothed us with immortality. Simile to illustrate this.
By a like simile, the reasonableness of the work of redemption is shewn. How Christ wiped away our ruin, and provided its antidote by His own teaching. Scripture proofs of the Incarnation of the Word, and of the Sacrifice He wrought.
Second reason for the Incarnation. God, knowing that man was not by nature sufficient to know Him, gave him, in order that he might have some profit in being, a knowledge of Himself. He made them in the Image of the Word, that thus they might know the Word, and through Him the Father. Yet man, despising this, fell into idolatry, leaving the unseen God for magic and astrology; and all this in spite of God's manifold revelation of Himself.
For though man was created in grace, God, foreseeing his forgetfulness, provided also the works of creation to remind man of him. Yet further, He ordained a Law and Prophets, whose ministry was meant for all the world. Yet men heeded only their own lusts.
Here again, was God to keep silence? to allow to false gods the worship He made us to render to Himself? A king whose subjects had revolted would, after sending letters and messages, go to them in person. How much more shall God restore in us the grace of His image. This men, themselves but copies, could not do. Hence the Word Himself must come (1) to recreate, (2) to destroy death in the Body.
A portrait once effaced must be restored from the original. Thus the Son of the Father came to seek, save, and regenerate. No other way was possible. Blinded himself, man could not see to heal. The witness of creation had failed to preserve him, and could not bring him back. The Word alone could do so. But how? Only by revealing Himself as Man.
Thus the Word condescended to man's engrossment in corporeal things, by even taking a body. All man's superstitions He met halfway; whether men were inclined to worship Nature, Man, Demons, or the dead, He shewed Himself Lord of all these.
He came then to attract man's sense-bound attention to Himself as man, and so to lead him on to know Him as God.
How the Incarnation did not limit the ubiquity of the Word, nor diminish His Purity. (Simile of the Sun.)
How the Word and Power of God works in His human actions: by casting out devils, by Miracles, by His Birth of the Virgin.
Man, unmoved by nature, was to be taught to know God by that sacred Manhood, Whose deity all nature confessed, especially in His Death.
None, then, could bestow incorruption, but He Who had made, none restore the likeness of God, save His Own Image, none quicken, but the Life, none teach, but the Word. And He, to pay our debt of death, must also die for us, and rise again as our first-fruits from the grave. Mortal therefore His Body must be; corruptible, His Body could not be.
Death brought to nought by the death of Christ. Why then did not Christ die privately, or in a more honourable way? He was not subject to natural death, but had to die at the hands of others. Why then did He die? Nay but for that purpose He came, and but for that, He could not have risen.
But why did He not withdraw His body from the Jews, and so guard its immortality? (1) It became Him not to inflict death on Himself, and yet not to shun it. (2) He came to receive death as the due of others, therefore it should come to Him from without. (3) His death must be certain, to guarantee the truth of His Resurrection. Also, He could not die from infirmity, lest He should be mocked in His healing of others.
Necessity of a public death for the doctrine of the Resurrection.
Further objections anticipated. He did not choose His manner of death; for He was to prove Conqueror of death in all or any of its forms: (simile of a good wrestler). The death chosen to disgrace Him proved the Trophy against death: moreover it preserved His body undivided.
Why the Cross, of all deaths? (1) He had to bear the curse for us. (2) On it He held out His hands to unite all, Jews and Gentiles, in Himself. (3) He defeated the “Prince of the powers of the air” in His own region, clearing the way to heaven and opening for us the everlasting doors.
Reasons for His rising on the Third Day. (1) Not sooner for else His real death would be denied, nor (2) later; to (a) guard the identity of His body, (b) not to keep His disciples too long in suspense, nor (c) to wait till the witnesses of His death were dispersed, or its memory faded.
The change wrought by the Cross in the relation of Death to Man.
This exceptional fact must be tested by experience. Let those who doubt it become Christians.
Here then are wonderful effects, and a sufficient cause, the Cross, to account for them, as sunrise accounts for daylight.
The reality of the resurrection proved by facts: (1) the victory over death described above: (2) the Wonders of Grace are the work of One Living, of One who is God: (3) if the gods be (as alleged) real and living, a fortiori He Who shatters their power is alive.
If Power is the sign of life, what do we learn from the impotence of idols, for good or evil, and the constraining power of Christ and of the Sign of the Cross? Death and the demons are by this proved to have lost their sovereignty. Coincidence of the above argument from facts with that from the Personality of Christ.
But who is to see Him risen, so as to believe? Nay, God is ever invisible and known by His works only: and here the works cry out in proof. If you do not believe, look at those who do, and perceive the Godhead of Christ. The demons see this, though men be blind. Summary of the argument so far.
Unbelief of Jews and scoffing of Greeks. The former confounded by their own Scriptures. Prophecies of His coming as God and as Man.
Prophecies of His passion and death in all its circumstances.
Prophecies of the Cross. How these prophecies are satisfied in Christ alone.
Prophecies of Christ's sovereignty, flight into Egypt, &c.
Psalm xxii. 16, &c. Majesty of His birth and death. Confusion of oracles and demons in Egypt.
Other clear prophecies of the coming of God in the flesh. Christ's miracles unprecedented.
Do you look for another? But Daniel foretells the exact time. Objections to this removed.
Argument (1) from the withdrawal of prophecy and destruction of Jerusalem, (2) from the conversion of the Gentiles, and that to the God of Moses. What more remains for the Messiah to do, that Christ has not done?
Answer to the Greeks. Do they recognise the Logos? If He manifests Himself in the organism of the Universe, why not in one Body? for a human body is a part of the same whole.
His union with the body is based upon His relation to Creation as a whole. He used a human body, since to man it was that He wished to reveal Himself.
He came in human rather than in any nobler form, because (I) He came to save, not to impress ; (2) man alone of creatures had sinned. As men would not recognise His works in the Universe, He came and worked among them as Man; in the sphere to which they had limited themselves.
As God made man by a word, why not restore him by a word? But (1) creation out of nothing is different from reparation of what already exists. (2) Man was there with a definite need, calling for a definite remedy. Death was ingrained in man's nature: He then must wind life closely to human nature. Therefore the Word became Incarnate that He might meet and conquer death in His usurped territory. (Simile of straw and asbestos.)
Thus once again every part of creation manifests the glory of God. Nature, the witness to her Creator, yields (by miracles) a second testimony to God Incarnate. The witness of Nature, perverted by man's sin, was thus forced back to truth. If these reasons suffice not, let the Greeks look at facts.
Discredit, from the date of the Incarnation, of idol-cultus, oracles, mythologies, demoniacal energy, magic, and Gentile philosophy. And whereas the old cults were strictly local and independent, the worship of Christ is catholic and uniform.
The numerous oracles,--fancied apparitions in sacred places, &c., dispelled by the sign of the Cross. The old gods prove to have been mere men. Magic is exposed. And whereas Philosophy could only persuade select and local cliques of Immortality, and goodness,--men of little intellect have infused into the multitudes of the churches the principle of a supernatural life.
Further facts. Christian continence of virgins and ascetics. Martyrs. The power of the Cross against demons and magic. Christ by His Power shews Himself more than a man, more than a magician, more than a spirit. For all these are totally subject to Him. Therefore He is the Word of God.
His Birth and Miracles. You call Asclepius, Heracles, and Dionysus gods for their works. Contrast their works with His, and the wonders at His death, &c.
Impotence and rivalries of the Sophists put to shame by the Death of Christ. His Resurrection unparalleled even in Greek legend.
The new virtue of continence. Revolution of Society, purified and pacified by Christianity.
Wars, &c., roused by demons, lulled by Christianity.
The whole fabric of Gentilism levelled at a blow by Christ secretly addressing the conscience of Man.
The Word Incarnate, as is the case with the Invisible God, is known to us by His works. By them we recognise His deifying mission. Let us be content to enumerate a few of them, leaving their dazzling plentitude to him who will behold.
Summary of foregoing. Cessation of pagan oracles, &c.: propagation of the faith. The true King has come forth and silenced all usurpers.
Search then, the Scriptures, if you can, and so fill up this sketch. Learn to look for the Second Advent and Judgment.
Above all, so live that you may have the right to eat of this tree of knowledge and life, and so come to eternal joys. Doxology.
Deposition of Arius. (Depositio Arii.)Deposition of Arius. (Depositio Arii.)
Deposition of Arius.
Letter of Eusebius. (Epistola Eusebii.)Letter of Eusebius. (Epistola Eusebii.)
Letter of Eusebius. (Epistola Eusebii.)
Statement of Faith. (Expositio Fidei.)Statement of Faith. (Expositio Fidei.)
Expositio Fidei. (Statement of Faith.)
On Luke x. 22. (Illud Omnia, &c.)On Luke x. 22. (Illud Omnia, &c.)
Illud Omnia, &c. (On Luke x. 22.)
Sense in which, and end for which all things were delivered to the Incarnate Son.
By 'all things' is meant the redemptive attributes and power of Christ.
The text John xvi. 15, shews clearly the essential relation of the Son to the Father.
The same text further explained.
The Trisagion wrongly explained by Arians. Its true significance.
Encyclical Letter. (Epistola Encyclica.)Encyclical Letter. (Epistola Encyclica.)
Epistola Encyclica. (Encyclical Letter.)
Violent and Uncanonical Intrusion of Gregory.
Outrages which took place at the time of Gregory's arrival.
Outrages on Good Friday and Easter Day, 339.
Retirement of Athanasius, and tyranny of Gregory and Philagrius.
All the above illegalities were carried on in the interest of Arianism.
Appeal to the bishops of the whole Church to unite against Gregory.
Defence Against the Arians. (Apologia Contra Arianos.)Defence Against the Arians. (Apologia Contra Arianos.)
Apologia Contra Arianos. (Defence Against the Arians.)
Letter of Julius to the Eusebians at Antioch.
Letters of the Council of Sardica to the Churches of Egypt and of Alexandria, and to all Churches.
Imperial and Ecclesiastical Acts in Consequence of the Decision of the Council of Sardica.
Documents connected with the Council of Tyre.
Additional Note on Apol. C. Arianos, §50.
Defence of the Nicene Definition. (De Decretis.)Defence of the Nicene Definition. (De Decretis.)
De Decretis. (Defence of the Nicene Definition.)
Conduct of the Arians towards the Nicene Council. Ignorant as well as irreligious to attempt to reverse an Ecumenical Council: proceedings at Nicæa: Eusebians then signed what they now complain of: on the unanimity of true teachers and the process of tradition: changes of the Arians.
Two senses of the word Son, 1. adoptive; 2. essential; attempts of Arians to find a third meaning between these; e.g. that our Lord only was created immediately by God (Asterius's view), or that our Lord alone partakes the Father. The second and true sense; God begets as He makes, really; though His creation and generation are not like man's; His generation independent of time; generation implies an internal, and therefore an eternal, act in God; explanation of Prov. viii. 22.
Proof of the Catholic Sense of the Word Son. Power, Word or Reason, and Wisdom, the names of the Son, imply eternity; as well as the Father's title of Fountain. The Arians reply, that these do not formally belong to the essence of the Son, but are names given Him; that God has many words, powers, &c. Why there is but one Son and Word, &c. All the titles of the Son coincide in Him.
Defence of the Council's Phrases, “from the essence,” And “one in essence.” Objection that the phrases are not scriptural; we ought to look at the sense more than the wording; evasion of the Arians as to the phrase “of God” which is in Scripture; their evasion of all explanations but those which the Council selected, which were intended to negative the Arian formulæ; protest against their conveying any material sense.
Authorities in Support of the Council. Theognostus; Dionysius of Alexandria; Dionysius of Rome; Origen.
On the Arian Symbol “Unoriginate.” This term afterwards adopted by them; and why; three senses of it. A fourth sense. Unoriginate denotes God in contrast to His creatures, not to His Son; Father the scriptural title instead; Conclusion.
Defence of Dionysius. (De Sententia Dionysii.)Defence of Dionysius. (De Sententia Dionysii.)
De Sententia Dionysii. (Defence of Dionysius.)
Life of Antony. (Vita Antoni.)Life of Antony. (Vita Antoni.)
Life of Antony. (Vita Antoni.)
Sections 1, 2
Sections 3, 4
Sections 5, 6
Sections 12, 13
Sections 14, 15
Sections 49, 50.
Sections 55, 56
Sections 61, 62
Sections 63, 64
Sections 83, 84
Sections 89, 90
Circular to Bishops of Egypt and Libya. (Ad Episcopos Ægypti Et Libyæ Epistola Encyclica.)Circular to Bishops of Egypt and Libya. (Ad Episcopos Ægypti Et Libyæ Epistola Encyclica.)
To the Bishops of Egypt.
Apology to the Emperor. (Apologia Ad Constantium.)Apology to the Emperor. (Apologia Ad Constantium.)
Apology to the Emperor. (Apologia Ad Constantium.)
The first charge, of setting Constans against Constantius.
He never saw Constans alone.
The movements of Athanasius refute this charge.
No possible time or place for the alleged offence.
The second charge, of corresponding with Magnentius.
This charge utterly incredible and absurd.
Disproof of It.
Athanasius could not write to one who did not even know him.
His loyalty towards Constantius and his brother.
Challenge to the accusers as to the alleged letter.
Truth the defence of Thrones.
This charge rests on forgery.
The third charge, of using an undedicated Church.
Want of room the cause, precedent the justification.
Better to pray together than separately.
Better to pray in a building than in the desert.
Prayers first do not interfere with dedication afterwards.
Fourth charge, of having disobeyed an Imperial order.
History of his disobeying it.
Arrivals of Diogenes and of Syrianus.
A copy of the letter as follows:
Why Athanasius did not obey the Imperial Order.
The irruption of Syrianus.
How Athanasius acted when this took place.
Athanasius leaves Alexandria to go to Constantius, but is stopped by the news of the banishment of the Bishops.
The news of the intrusion of George.
Athanasius has heard of his own proscription.
A copy of the letter of Constantius against Athanasius.
Letter of Constantius to the Ethiopians against Frumentius.
He defends his Flight.
Conduct of the Arians towards the consecrated Virgins.
He expostulates with Constantius.
Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.)Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.)
Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.)
Insincerity of this charge.
Outrages of the Arians against the Bishops.
Proceedings after the Council of Milan.
In praise of Hosius.
Outrages of George upon the Alexandrians.
Outrages of George.
If it is wrong to flee, it is worse to persecute.
The accusation shews the mind of the accusers.
Their real grievance is not that Athanasius is a coward, but that he is free.
Examples of Scripture Saints in defence of flight.
The Lord an example of timely flight.
Example of Our Lord.
An hour and a time for all men.
The Lord's hour and time.
The Lord's example followed by the Saints.
A time to flee and a time to stay.
The Saints who fled were no cowards.
The Saints courageous in their flight, and divinely favoured.
Same Subject Continued.
The Saints fled for our sakes.
Same subject concluded.
Persecution is from the Devil.
Irruption of Syrianus.
Athanasius's wonderful escape.
He acted according to the example of the Saints. Character of his accusers.
Arian History. (Historia Arianorum ad Monachos.)Arian History. (Historia Arianorum ad Monachos.)
Arian History. (Historia Arianorum ad Monachos.)
First Arian Persecution under Constantius.
Restoration of the Catholics on the Council of Sardica.
Second Arian Persecution under Constantius.
Persecution and Lapse of Liberius.
Persecution and Lapse of Hosius.
Persecution at Alexandria.
Persecution in Egypt.
Against the Arians. (Orationes contra Arianos IV.)Against the Arians. (Orationes contra Arianos IV.)
Against the Arians. (Orationes contra Arianos IV.)
Extracts from the Thalia of Arius. Arius maintains that God became a Father, and the Son was not always; the Son out of nothing; once He was not; He was not before his generation; He was created; named Wisdom and Word after God's attributes; made that He might make us; one out of many powers of God; alterable; exalted on God's foreknowledge of what He was to be; not very God; but called so as others by participation; foreign in essence from the Father; does not know or see the Father; does not know Himself.
The Importance of the Subject. The Arians affect Scripture language, but their doctrine new, as well as unscriptural. Statement of the Catholic doctrine, that the Son is proper to the Father's substance, and eternal. Restatement of Arianism in contrast, that He is a creature with a beginning: the controversy comes to this issue, whether one whom we are to believe in as God, can be so in name only, and is merely a creature. What pretence then for being indifferent in the controversy? The Arians rely on state patronage, and dare not avow their tenets.
That the Son is Eternal and Increate. These attributes, being the points in dispute, are first proved by direct texts of Scripture. Concerning the 'eternal power' of God in Rom. i. 20, which is shewn to mean the Son. Remarks on the Arian formula, 'Once the Son was not,' its supporters not daring to speak of 'a time when the Son was not.'
Subject Continued. Objection, that the Son's eternity makes Him coordinate with the Father, introduces the subject of His Divine Sonship, as a second proof of His eternity. The word Son is introduced in a secondary, but is to be understood in real sense. Since all things partake of the Father in partaking of the Son, He is the whole participation of the Father, that is, He is the Son by nature; for to be wholly participated is to beget.
Subject Continued. Third proof of the Son's eternity, viz. from other titles indicative of His coessentiality; as the Creator; One of the Blessed Trinity; as Wisdom; as Word; as Image. If the Son is a perfect Image of the Father, why is He not a Father also? because God, being perfect, is not the origin of a race. Only the Father a Father because the Only Father, only the Son a Son because the Only Son. Men are not really fathers and really sons, but shadows of the True. The Son does not become a Father, because He has received from the Father to be immutable and ever the same.
Objections to the Foregoing Proof. Whether, in the generation of the Son, God made One that was already, or One that was not.
Objections Continued. Whether we may decide the question by the parallel of human sons, which are born later than their parents. No, for the force of the analogy lies in the idea of connaturality. Time is not involved in the idea of Son, but is adventitious to it, and does not attach to God, because He is without parts and passions. The titles Word and Wisdom guard our thoughts of Him and His Son from this misconception. God not a Father, as a Creator, in posse from eternity, because creation does not relate to the essence of God, as generation does.
Objections Continued. Whether is the Unoriginate one or two? Inconsistent in Arians to use an unscriptural word; necessary to define its meaning. Different senses of the word. If it means 'without Father,' there is but One Unoriginate; if 'without beginning or creation,' there are two. Inconsistency of Asterius. 'Unoriginate' a title of God, not in contrast with the Son, but with creatures, as is 'Almighty,' or 'Lord of powers.' 'Father' is the truer title, as not only Scriptural, but implying a Son, and our adoption as sons.
Objections Continued. How the Word has free will, yet without being alterable. He is unalterable because the Image of the Father, proved from texts.
Texts Explained; And First, Phil. II. 9, 10. Various texts which are alleged against the Catholic doctrine: e.g. Phil. ii. 9, 10. Whether the words 'Wherefore God hath highly exalted' prove moral probation and advancement. Argued against, first, from the force of the word 'Son;' which is inconsistent with such an interpretation. Next, the passage examined. Ecclesiastical sense of 'highly exalted,' and 'gave,' and 'wherefore;' viz. as being spoken with reference to our Lord's manhood. Secondary sense; viz. as implying the Word's 'exaltation' through the resurrection in the same sense in which Scripture speaks of His descent in the Incarnation; how the phrase does not derogate from the nature of the Word.
Texts Explained; Secondly, Psalm xlv. 7, 8. Whether the words 'therefore,' 'anointed,' &c., imply that the Word has been rewarded. Argued against first from the word 'fellows' or 'partakers.' He is anointed with the Spirit in His manhood to sanctify human nature. Therefore the Spirit descended on Him in Jordan, when in the flesh. And He is said to sanctify Himself for us, and give us the glory He has received. The word 'wherefore' implies His divinity. 'Thou hast loved righteousness,' &c., do not imply trial or choice.
Texts Explained; Thirdly, Hebrews i. 4. Additional texts brought as objections; e.g. Heb. i. 4; vii. 22. Whether the word 'better' implies likeness to the Angels; and 'made' or 'become' implies creation. Necessary to consider the circumstances under which Scripture speaks. Difference between 'better' and 'greater;' texts in proof. 'Made' or 'become' a general word. Contrast in Heb. i. 4, between the Son and the Works in point of nature. The difference of the punishments under the two Covenants shews the difference of the natures of the Son and the Angels. 'Become' relates not to the nature of the Word, but to His manhood and office and relation towards us. Parallel passages in which the term is applied to the Eternal Father.
Excursus B. On §22 (Note 3).
Texts explained; Fifthly, Acts ii. 36. The Regula Fidei must be observed; made applies to our Lord's manhood; and to His manifestation; and to His office relative to us; and is relative to the Jews. Parallel instance in Gen. xxvii. 29, 37. The context contradicts the Arian interpretation.
Chapter XVI.--Introductory to Proverbs viii. 22, that the Son is not a Creature. Arian formula, a creature but not as one of the creatures; but each creature is unlike all other creatures; and no creature can create. The Word then differs from all creatures in that in which they, though otherwise differing, all agree together, as creatures; viz. in being an efficient cause; in being the one medium or instrumental agent in creation; moreover in being the revealer of the Father; and in being the object of worship.
Introduction to Proverbs viii. 22 continued. Absurdity of supposing a Son or Word created in order to the creation of other creatures; as to the creation being unable to bear God's immediate hand, God condescends to the lowest. Moreover, if the Son a creature, He too could not bear God's hand, and an infinite series of media will be necessary. Objected, that, as Moses who led out the Israelites was a man, so our Lord; but Moses was not the Agent in creation:--again, that unity is found in created ministrations, but all such ministrations are defective and dependent:--again, that He learned to create, yet could God's Wisdom need teaching? and why should He learn, if the Father worketh hitherto? If the Son was created to create us, He is for our sake, not we for His.
Introduction to Proverbs viii. 22 continued. Contrast between the Father's operations immediately and naturally in the Son, instrumentally by the creatures; Scripture terms illustrative of this. Explanation of these illustrations; which should be interpreted by the doctrine of the Church; perverse sense put on them by the Arians, refuted. Mystery of Divine Generation. Contrast between God's Word and man's word drawn out at length. Asterius betrayed into holding two Unoriginates; his inconsistency. Baptism how by the Son as well as by the Father. On the Baptism of heretics. Why Arian worse than other heresies.
Texts explained; Sixthly, Proverbs viii. 22. Proverbs are of a figurative nature, and must be interpreted as such. We must interpret them, and in particular this passage, by the Regula Fidei. 'He created me' not equivalent to 'I am a creature.' Wisdom a creature so far forth as Its human body. Again, if He is a creature, it is as 'a beginning of ways,' an office which, though not an attribute, is a consequence, of a higher and divine nature. And it is 'for the works,' which implied the works existed, and therefore much more He, before He was created. Also 'the Lord' not the Father 'created' Him, which implies the creation was that of a servant.
Texts Explained; Sixthly, Proverbs viii. 22 Continued. Our Lord is said to be created 'for the works,' i.e. with a particular purpose, which no mere creatures are ever said to be. Parallel of Isai. xlix. 5, &c. When His manhood is spoken of, a reason for it is added; not so when His Divine Nature; Texts in proof.
Texts Explained; Sixthly, Proverbs viii. 22, Continued. Our Lord not said in Scripture to be 'created,' or the works to be 'begotten.' 'In the beginning' means in the case of the works 'from the beginning.' Scripture passages explained. We are made by God first, begotten next; creatures by nature, sons by grace. Christ begotten first, made or created afterwards. Sense of 'First-born of the dead;' of 'First-born among many brethren;' of 'First-born of all creation,' contrasted with 'Only-begotten.' Further interpretation of 'beginning of ways,' and 'for the works.' Why a creature could not redeem; why redemption was necessary at all. Texts which contrast the Word and the works.
Texts Explained; Sixthly, the Context of Proverbs viii. 22 Vz. 22-30. It is right to interpret this passage by the Regula Fidei. 'Founded' is used in contrast to superstructure; and it implies, as in the case of stones in building, previous existence. 'Before the world' signifies the divine intention and purpose. Recurrence to Prov. viii. 22, and application of it to created Wisdom as seen in the works. The Son reveals the Father, first by the works, then by the Incarnation.
Texts Explained; Eighthly, John xvii. 3. and the Like. Our Lord's divinity cannot interfere with His Father's prerogatives, as the One God, which were so earnestly upheld by the Son. 'One' is used in contrast to false gods and idols, not to the Son, through whom the Father spoke. Our Lord adds His Name to the Father's, as included in Him. The Father the First, not as if the Son were not First too, but as Origin.
Texts Explained; Ninthly, John x. 30; xvii. 11, &c. Arian explanation, that the Son is one with the Father in will and judgment; but so are all good men, nay things inanimate; contrast of the Son. Oneness between Them is in nature, because oneness in operation. Angels not objects of prayer, because they do not work together with God, but the Son; texts quoted. Seeing an Angel, is not seeing God. Arians in fact hold two Gods, and tend to Gentile polytheism. Arian explanation that the Father and Son are one as we are one with Christ, is put aside by the Regula Fidei, and shewn invalid by the usage of Scripture in illustrations; the true force of the comparison; force of the terms used. Force of 'in us;' force of 'as;' confirmed by S. John. In what sense we are 'in God' and His 'sons.'
Introductory to Texts from the Gospels on the Incarnation. Enumeration of texts still to be explained. Arians compared to the Jews. We must recur to the Regula Fidei. Our Lord did not come into, but became, man, and therefore had the acts and affections of the flesh. The same works divine and human. Thus the flesh was purified, and men were made immortal. Reference to I Pet. iv. 1.
Texts Explained; Tenthly, Matthew xi. 27; John iii. 35, &c. These texts intended to preclude the Sabellian notion of the Son; they fall in with the Catholic doctrine concerning the Son; they are explained by 'so' in John v. 26. (Anticipation of the next chapter.) Again they are used with reference to our Lord's human nature; for our sake, that we might receive and not lose, as receiving in Him. And consistently with other parts of Scripture, which shew that He had the power, &c., before He received it. He was God and man, and His actions are often at once divine and human.
Texts Explained; Eleventhly, Mark xiii. 32 and Luke ii. 52. Arian explanation of the former text is against the Regula Fidei; and against the context. Our Lord said He was ignorant of the Day, by reason of His human nature. If the Holy Spirit knows the Day, therefore the Son knows; if the Son knows the Father, therefore He knows the Day; if He has all that is the Father's, therefore knowledge of the Day; if in the Father, He knows the Day in the Father; if He created and upholds all things, He knows when they will cease to be. He knows not as Man, argued from Matt. xxiv. 42. As He asked about Lazarus's grave, &c., yet knew, so He knows; as S. Paul says, 'whether in the body I know not,' &c., yet knew, so He knows. He said He knew not for our profit, that we be not curious (as in Acts i. 7, where on the contrary He did not say He knew not). As the Almighty asks of Adam and of Cain, yet knew, so the Son knows[as God]. Again, He advanced in wisdom also as man, else He made Angels perfect before Himself. He adva
Texts Explained; Twelfthly, Matthew xxvi. 39; John xii. 27, &c. Arian inferences are against the Regula Fidei, as before. He wept and the like, as man. Other texts prove Him God. God could not fear. He feared because His flesh feared.
Objections continued, as in Chapters vii.--x. Whether the Son is begotten of the Father's will? This virtually the same as whether once He was not? and used by the Arians to introduce the latter question. The Regula Fidei answers it at once in the negative by contrary texts. The Arians follow the Valentinians in maintaining a precedent will; which really is only exercised by God towards creatures. Instances from Scripture. Inconsistency of Asterius. If the Son by will, there must be another Word before Him. If God is good, or exist, by His will, then is the Son by His will. If He willed to have reason or wisdom, then is His Word and Wisdom at His will. The Son is the Living Will, and has all titles which denote connaturality. That will which the Father has to the Son, the Son has to the Father. The Father wills the Son and the Son wills the Father.
Excursus C. Introductory to the Fourth Discourse against the Arians.
Sections 6, 7
Sections 9, 10
Sections 11, 12
Sections 13, 14
On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia. (De Synodis.)On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia. (De Synodis.)
On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia. (De Synodis.)
History of Arian Opinions.
On the Symbols 'Of the Essence' And 'Coessential.'
Synodal Letter to the People of Antioch. (Tomus ad Antiochenos.)Synodal Letter to the People of Antioch. (Tomus ad Antiochenos.)
Synodal Letter to the People of Antioch. (Tomus ad Antiochenos.)
Appendix. Exile of Athanasius under Julian, 362-363.
Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa. (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica.)Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa. (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica.)
Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa. (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica.)
Letters of Athanasius with Two Ancient Chronicles of His Life.Letters of Athanasius with Two Ancient Chronicles of His Life.
The Historia Acephala.
The Historia Acephala.
The Festal Letters, and their Index.
For 330. Easter-day xxiv Pharmuthi; xiii Kal. Mai; Æra Dioclet. 46; Coss. Gallicianus, Valerius Symmachus; Præfect, Magninianus; Indict. iii.
For 331. Easter-day xvi Pharmuthi; iii Id. April; Æra Dioclet. 47; Coss. Annius Bassus, Ablabius; Præfect, Florentius; Indict. iv.
For 332. Easter-day vii Pharmuthi, iv Non. Apr.; Æra Dioclet. 48; Coss. Fabius Pacatianus, Mæcilius Hilarianus; Præfect, Hyginus; Indict. v.
For 333. Easter-day, Coss. Dalmatius and Zenophilus; Præfect, Paternus; vi Indict.; xvii Kal. Maii, xx Pharmuthi; xv Moon; vii Gods; Æra Dioclet. 49.
For 334. Easter-day, xii Pharmuthi, vii Id. April; xvii Moon; Æra Dioclet. 50; Coss. Optatus Patricius, Anicius Paulinus; Præfect, Philagrius, the Cappadocian; vii Indict.
For 335. Easter-day iv Pharmuthi, iii Kal. April; xx Moon; Ær. Dioclet. 51; Coss. Julius Constantius, the brother of Augustus, Rufinus Albinus; Præfect, the same Philagrius; viii Indict.
For 339. Coss. Constantius Augustus II, Constans I; Præfect, Philagrius the Cappadocian, for the second time; Indict. xii; Easter-day xvii Kal. Mai, xx Pharmuthi; Æra Dioclet. 55.
(Probably for 340 A.D.) To the Beloved Brother, and our fellow Minister Serapion.
(For 341.) Coss. Marcellinus, Probinus; Præf. Longinus; Indict. xiv; Easter-day, xiii Kal. Maii, xxiv Pharmuthi; Æra Dioclet. 57.
(For 342.) Coss. Augustus Constantius III, Constans II, Præf. the same Longinus; Indict. xv; Easter-day iii Id. Apr., xvi Pharmuthi; Æra Dioclet. 58.
(For 346.) Coss. Augustus Constantius IV, Constans III; Præf. the same Nestorius; Indict. iv; Easter-day iii Kal. Apr., iv Pharmuthi; Moon 21; Æra Dioclet. 62.
(For 347.) Coss. Rufinus, Eusebius; Præf. the same Nestorius; Indict. v; Easter-day, Prid. Id. Apr., Pharmuthi xvii; Æra Dioclet. 63; Moon 15.
(For 348.) Coss. Philippus, Salia; Præfect the same Nestorius; Indict. vi; Easter-day iii Non. Apr., viii Pharmuthi; Æra Dioclet. 64; Moon 18.
(For 372.) And again, from the forty-fourth Letter, of which the commencement is, 'All that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did instead of us and for us.'
To the Church of Alexandria on the same occasion.
Letter to Amun. Written before 354 A.D.
Letter to Dracontius. Written A.D. 354 or 355.
First Letter to Lucifer.
Second Letter to Lucifer.
First Letter to Monks. (Written 358-360).
Second Letter to Monks.
To Serapion, concerning the death of Arius.
Letter to Rufinianus.
To the Emperor Jovian.
First Letter to Orsisius.
Second Letter to Orsisius.
To Adelphius, Bishop and Confessor: against the Arians.
Letter to Maximus. (Written about 371 A.D.)
To John and Antiochus.
Letter to the Presbyter Palladius.
To Diodorus (fragment).
Index of Scripture References
Greek Words and Phrases
Index of Pages of the Print Edition
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