Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter I. Not only were the prophets and apostles sent by the Spirit, but also the Son of God. This is proved from Isaiah and the evangelists, and it is explained why St. Luke wrote that the same Spirit descended like a dove upon Christ and abode upon Him. Next, after establishing this mission of Christ, the writer infers that the Son is sent by the Father and the Spirit, as the Spirit is by the Father and the Son.
Not only were the prophets and apostles sent by the Spirit, but also the Son of God. This is proved from Isaiah and the evangelists, and it is explained why St. Luke wrote that the same Spirit descended like a dove upon Christ and abode upon Him. Next, after establishing this mission of Christ, the writer infers that the Son is sent by the Father and the Spirit, as the Spirit is by the Father and the Son.
1. In the former book 1229 we have shown by the clear evidence of the Scriptures that the apostles and prophets were appointed, the latter to prophesy, the former to preach the Gospel, by the Holy Spirit in the same way as by the Father and the Son; now we add what all will rightly wonder at, and not be able to doubt, that the Spirit was upon Christ; and that as He sent the Spirit, so the Spirit sent the Son of God. For the Son of God says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me, He hath sent Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and sight to the blind.” 1230 And having read this from the Book of Isaiah, He says in the Gospel: “To-day hath this Scripture been fulfilled in your ears;” 1231 that He might point out that it was said of Himself.
2. Can we, then, wonder if the Spirit sent both the prophets and the apostles, since Christ said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me”? And rightly did He say “upon Me,” because He was speaking as the Son of Man. For as the Son of Man He p. 136 was anointed and sent to preach the Gospel.
3. But if they believe not the Son, let them hear the Father also saying that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Christ. For He says to John: “Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending from heaven and abiding upon Him, He it is Who baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.” 1232 God the Father said this to John, and John heard and saw and believed. He heard from God, he saw in the Lord, he believed that it was the Spirit Who was coming down from heaven. For it was not a dove that descended, but the Holy Spirit as a dove; for thus it is written: “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven as a dove.” 1233
4. As John says that he saw, so, too, wrote Mark; Luke, however, added that the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove; you must not think that this was an incarnation, but an appearance. He, then, brought the appearance before him, that by means of the appearance he might believe who did not see the Spirit, and that by the appearance He might manifest that He had a share of the one honour in authority, the one operation in the mystery, the one gift in the bath, together with the Father and the Son; unless perchance we consider Him in Whom the Lord was baptized too weak for the servant to be baptized in Him.
5. And he said fittingly, “abiding upon Him,” 1234 because the Spirit inspired a saying or acted upon the prophets as often as He would, but abode always in Christ.
6. Nor, again, let it move you that he said “upon Him,” for he was speaking of the Son of Man, because he was baptized as the Son of Man. For the Spirit is not upon Christ, according to the Godhead, but in Christ; for, as the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, so the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ is both in the Father and in the Son, for He is the Spirit of His mouth. For He Who is of God abides in God, as it is written: “But we received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God.” 1235 And He abides in Christ, Who has received from Christ; for it is written again: “He shall take of Mine:” 1236 and elsewhere: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death.” 1237 He is, then, not over Christ according to the Godhead of Christ, for the Trinity is not over Itself, but over all things: It is not over Itself but in Itself.
7. Who, then, can doubt that the Spirit sent the prophets and apostles, since the Son of God says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.” 1238 And elsewhere: “I am the First, and I am also for ever, and Mine hand hath founded the earth, and My right hand hath established the heaven; I will call them and they shall stand up together, and shall all be gathered together and shall hear. Who hath declared these things to them? Because I loved thee I performed thy pleasure against Babylon, that the seed of the Chaldæans might be taken away. I have spoken, and I have called, I have brought him and have made his way prosperous. Come unto Me and hear ye this. From the beginning I have not spoken in secret, I was there when those things were done; and now the Lord God hath sent Me and His Spirit.” 1239 Who is it Who says: The Lord God hath sent Me and His Spirit, except He Who came from the Father that He might save sinners? And, as you hear, the Spirit sent Him, lest when you hear that the Son sends the Spirit, you should believe the Spirit to be of inferior power.
8. So both the Father and the Spirit sent the Son; the Father sent Him, for it is written: “But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name.” 1240 The Son sent Him, for He said: “But when the Paraclete is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth.” 1241 If, then, the Son and the Spirit send each other, as the Father sends, there is no inferiority of subjection, but a community of power.
Bk. II. 12.135:1230
Isa. lxi. 1 [LXX.].135:1231
S. Luke iv. 21.136:1232
S. John i. 33.136:1233
S. John i. 32.136:1234
S. John i. 33.136:1235
1 Cor. ii. 12.136:1236
S. John xvi. 14.136:1237
Rom. viii. 2.136:1238
S. Luke iv. 18.136:1239
Isa. xlii. 12 ff. [LXX.].136:1240
S. John xiv. 26.136:1241
S. John xv. 26.
Next: Chapter II. The Son and the Spirit are alike given; whence not subjection but one Godhead is shown by Its working.
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