Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter III. By evidence gathered from Scripture the unity of Father and Son is proved, and firstly, a passage, taken from the Book of Isaiah, is compared with others and expounded in such sort as to show that in the Son there is no diversity from the Father's nature, save only as regards the flesh; whence it follows that the Godhead of both Persons is One. This conclusion is confirmed by the authority of Baruch.
By evidence gathered from Scripture the unity of Father and Son is proved, and firstly, a passage, taken from the Book of Isaiah, is compared with others and expounded in such sort as to show that in the Son there is no diversity from the Fathers nature, save only as regards the flesh; whence it follows that the Godhead of both Persons is One. This conclusion is confirmed by the authority of Baruch.
20. Now the oracles 1705 of the prophets bear witness what close unity holy Scripture declares to subsist between the Father and the Son as regards their Godhead. For thus saith the Lord of Sabaoth: 1706 “Egypt hath laboured, and the commerce of the Ethiopians and Sabeans: mighty men shall come over to thee, and shall be thy servants, and in thy train shall they follow, bound in fetters, and they shall fall down before thee, and to thee shall they make supplication: for God is in thee, and there is no God beside thee. For thou art God, and we knew it not, O God of Israel.” 1707
21. Hear the voice of the prophet: “In Thee,” he saith, “is God, and there is no God beside Thee.” How agreeth this with the Arians teaching? They must deny either the Fathers or the Sons Divinity, unless they believe, once for all, unity of the same Divinity.
22. “In Thee,” saith he, “is God”—forasmuch as the Father is in the Son. For it is written, “The Father, Who abideth in Me, Himself speaketh,” and “The works that I do, He Himself also doeth.” 1708 And yet again we read that the Son is in the Father, saying, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” 1709 Let the Arians, if they can, make away with this kinship 1710 in nature and unity in work.
23. There is, therefore, God in God, but not two Gods; for it is written that there is one God, 1711 and there is Lord in Lord, 1712 but not two Lords, forasmuch as it is likewise written: “Serve not two lords.” 1713 And the Law saith: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord thy God is one God;” 1714 moreover, in the same Testament it is written: “The Lord rained from the Lord.” 1715 The Lord, it is said, sent rain “from the Lord.” So also you may read in Genesis: “And God said,—and God made,” 1716 and, lower down, “And God made man in the image of God;” 1717 yet it was not two gods, but one God, that made [man]. In the one place, then, as in the other, the unity of operation and of name is maintained. For surely, when we read “God of God,” 1718 we do not speak of two Gods.
24. Again, you may read in the forty-fourth psalm 1719 how the prophet not only calls the Father “God” but also proclaims the Son as God, saying: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” 1720 And further on: “God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” 1721 This God Who anoints, and God p. 205 Who in the flesh is anointed, is the Son of God. For what fellows in His anointing hath Christ, except such as are in the flesh? You see, then, that God is by God anointed, but being anointed in taking upon Him the nature of mankind, He is proclaimed the Son of God; yet is the principle of the Law not broken.
25. So again, when you read, “The Lord rained from the Lord,” acknowledge the unity of Godhead, for unity in operation doth not allow of more than one individual God, even as the Lord Himself has shown, saying: “Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or believe Me for the very works sake.” 1722 Here, too, we see that unity of Godhead is signified by unity in operation.
26. The Apostle, careful to prove that there is one Godhead of both Father and Son, and one Lordship, lest we should run into any error, whether of heathen or of Jewish ungodliness, showed us the rule we ought to follow, saying: “One God, the Father, from Whom are all things, and we in Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.” 1723 For just as, in calling Jesus Christ “Lord,” he did not deny that the Father was Lord, even so, in saying, “One God, the Father,” he did not deny true Godhead to the Son, and thus he taught, not that there was more than one God, but that the source of power was one, forasmuch as Godhead consists in Lordship, and Lordship in Godhead, as it is written: “Be ye sure that the Lord, He is God. It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” 1724
27. “In thee,” therefore, “is God,” by unity of nature, and “there is no God beside Thee,” by reason of personal possession of the Substance, without any reserve or difference. 1725
28. Again, Scripture speaks, in the Book of Jeremiah, of One God, and yet acknowledges both Father and Son. Thus we read: “He is our God, and in comparison with Him none other shall be accounted of. He hath discovered all the way of teaching, and given it to Jacob, His servant, and to Israel, His beloved. After these things He appeared upon earth, and conversed with men.”
29. The prophet speaks of the Son, for it was the Son Himself Who conversed with men, and this is what he says: “He is our God, and in comparison with Him none other shall be accounted of.” Why do we call Him in question, of Whom so great a prophet saith that no other can be compared with Him? What comparison of another can be made, when the Godhead is One? This was the confession of a people set in the midst of dangers; reverencing religion, and therefore unskilled in strife of argument.
30. Come, Holy Spirit, and help Thy prophets, in whom Thou art wont to dwell, in whom we believe. Shall we believe the wise of this world, if we believe not the prophets? But where is the wise man, where is the scribe? When our peasant planted figs, he found that whereof the philosopher knew nothing, for God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the strong. 1726 Are we to believe the Jews? for God was once known in Jewry. Nay, but they deny that very thing, which is the foundation of our belief, seeing that they know not the Father, who have denied the Son. 1727
Rom. 3:2, Acts 7:38. The Hebrew word translated “burden” in the A.V.—e.g. Isa. xiii. 1—may be rendered “oracle.” The “oracles” of the Hebrew prophets were of a different order from those of Delphi or Lebadeia, which are rather comparable to the “oracles” of such persons as the witch of Endor.204:1706
Or “the Lord of Hosts.” Cf. Isa. vi. 3, and the Te Deum, verse 5 (the Trisagion).204:1707
Isa. xlv. 14. St. Ambroses version differs somewhat from the A.V.204:1708
S. John xiv. 10.204:1709
S. John xiv. 10.204:1710
Latin proprietas, Greek οικειότης.204:1711
Isa. 45:18, 1 Cor. 8:4, 6.204:1712
or “Jehovah in Jehovah.”204:1713
S. Matt. vi. 24.204:1714
Deut. vi. 4.204:1715
Gen. xix. 24.204:1716
Gen. 1:6, 7.204:1717
Gen. 1:26, 27.204:1718
Ps. xlv. in Bible and Prayer-book.204:1720
Ps. xlv. 6.204:1721
Ps. xlv. 7.205:1722
S. John 10:38, John 14:11.205:1723
1 Cor. viii. 6. The Greek runs: “εἷε θε ὁ ςὁπατήρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πὰντα καὶ ἡμεῖς ςἰς αὐτόν.” Vulg.—Nobis tamen unus Deus Pater, ex quo omnia et nos in illum.205:1724
Ps. c. 3.205:1725
The original is “non est Deus præter te—per proprietatem substantiæ.” It must be remembered St. Ambrose was a civil magistrate before he was made bishop. His mind would be disposed therefore to regard things under a legal aspect.205:1726
1 Cor. i. 27. The “peasant” is Jeremiah. See Jer. xxiv., but the prophet is not there spoken of as planting figs. The quotation in § 28 is Baruch iii. 36-38.205:1727
“In Jewry is God known.”—Ps. lxxvi. 1. Yet they deny the Son, and therefore know not the Father.—Matt. 11:27, John 1:18.
Next: Chapter IV. The Unity of God is necessarily implied in the order of Nature, in the Faith, and in Baptism. The gifts of the Magi declare (1) the Unity of the Godhead; (2) Christ's Godhead and Manhood. The truth of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is shown in the Angel walking in the midst of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
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