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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter III. Of those things which are spoken of God anthropomorphically.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter III.

Of those things which are spoken of God anthropomorphically.

For if when these things are said of God they are to be understood literally in a material gross signification, then also He sleeps, as it is said, “Arise, wherefore sleepest thou, O Lord?” 920 though it is elsewhere said of Him: “Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” 921 And He stands and sits, since He says, “Heaven is my seat, and earth the footstool for my feet:” 922 though He “measure out the heaven with his hand, and holdeth the earth in his fist.” 923 And He is “drunken with wine” as it is said, “The Lord awoke like a sleeper, a mighty man, drunken with wine;” 924 He “who only hath immortality and dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto:” 925 not to say anything of the “ignorance” and “forgetfulness,” of which we often find mention in Holy Scripture: nor lastly of the outline of His limbs, which are spoken of as arranged and ordered like a man’s; e.g., the hair, head, nostrils, eyes, face, hands, arms, fingers, belly, and feet: if we are willing to take all of which according to the bare literal sense, we must think of God as in fashion with the outline of limbs, and a bodily form; which indeed is shocking even to speak of, and must be far from our thoughts.



Psa. 44.23.


Psa. 121.4.


Isa. lxvi. 1.


Isa. xl. 12.


Psa. 78.65.


1 Tim. vi. 16.

Next: Chapter IV. In what sense we should understand the passions and human arts which are ascribed to the unchanging and incorporeal God.

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