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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter XXV. He shows that Ambrose agrees with S. Hilary.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXV.

He shows that Ambrose agrees with S. Hilary.

Ambrose, that illustrious priest of God, who never leaving the Lord’s hand, ever shone like a jewel upon the finger of God, thus speaks in his book to the Virgins: “My brother is white and ruddy. 2664 White because He is the glory of the Father: ruddy because He was born of the Virgin. But remember that in Him the tokens of Divinity are of longer standing than the mysteries of the body. For He did not p. 618 begin to exist from the Virgin, but He who was already in existence, came into the Virgin.” 2665 Again on Christmas Day: “See the miracle of the mother of the Lord: A Virgin conceived, a Virgin brought forth. She was a Virgin when she conceived, a Virgin when with child, a Virgin after the birth. As is said in Ezekiel: “And the gate was shut and not opened, because the Lord passed through it.” 2666 A splendid Virginity, and wondrous fruitfulness! The Lord of the world is born: and there are no cries from her who brought Him forth. The womb is left empty, and a true child is born, and yet the Virginity is not destroyed. It was right that when God was born the power of chastity should become greater, and that her purity should not be violated by the going forth of Him who had come to heal what was corrupt.” 2667 Again in his exposition of the gospel according to Luke he says that “one was especially chosen, to bring forth God, who was espoused to an husband.” 2668 He certainly declares that God was born of the Virgin. He calls Mary the mother of God. And where is that awful and execrable utterance of yours asking how can she be the mother of one of a different nature from her own. But if she is called mother by them, it is the human nature which was born not the Godhead. So, that illustrious teacher of the faith says both that she who bare Him was human, and that He who was born is God: and yet that this is no reason for unbelief, but only a miracle of faith.



Cf. Song of Sol. 5.10 (LXX.).


S. Ambrose. De Virg. Lib. i. xlvi.


Ezek. xliv. 2.


These words are not found in any extant writings of S. Ambrose, but something very like them occurs in S. Augustine’s Sixth Sermon in Natali Domini.


In Lucam II. i.

Next: Chapter XXVI. He adds to the foregoing the testimony of S. Jerome.

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