HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME
EXPOSITORY TREATISE AGAINST THE JEWS.
then, incline thine ear to me, and hear my words, and give heed, thou Jew. Many
a time dost thou boast thyself, in that thou didst condemn Jesus of Nazareth to
death, and didst give Him vinegar and gall to drink; and thou dost vaunt thyself
because of this. Come therefore, and let us consider together whether perchance
thou dost not boast unrighteously, O Israel, (and) whether that small portion of
vinegar and gall has not brought down this fearful threatening upon thee, (and)
whether this is not the cause of thy present condition involved in these myriad
2. Let him then be introduced before us who speaketh by the Holy Spirit, and saith truth--David the son of Jesse. He, singing a certain strain with prophetic reference to the true Christ, celebrated our God by the Holy Spirit, (and) declared clearly all that befell Him by the hands of the Jews in His passion; in which (strain) the Christ who humbled Himself and took unto Himself the form of the servant Adam, calls upon God the Father in heaven as it were in our person, and speaks thus in the sixty-ninth Psalm: "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I am sunk in the mire of the abyss," that is to say, in the corruption of Hades, on account of the transgression in paradise; and "there is no substance," that is, help. "My eyes failed while I hoped (or, from my hoping) upon my God; when will He come and save me?"
3. Then, in what next follows, Christ speaks, as it were, in His own person: "Then I restored that," says He, "which I took not away;" that is, on account of the sin of Adam I endured the death which was not mine by sinning. "For, O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee," that is, "for I did not sin," as He means it; and for this reason (it is added), "Let not them be ashamed who want to see" my resurrection on the third day, to wit, the apostles. "Because for Thy sake," that is, for the sake of obeying Thee, "I have borne reproach," namely the cross, when "they covered my face with shame," that is to say, the Jews; when "I became a stranger unto my brethren after the flesh, and an alien unto my mother's children," meaning (by the mother) the synagogue. "For the zeal of Thine house, Father, hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen on me," and of them that sacrificed to idols. Wherefore "they that sit in the gate spoke against me," for they crucified me without the gate. "And they that drink sang against me," that is, (they who drink wine) at the feast of the passover. "But as for me, in my prayer unto Thee, O Lord, I said, Father, forgive them," namely the Gentiles, because it is the time for favour with Gentiles. "Let not then the hurricane (of temptations) overwhelm me, neither let the deep (that is, Hades) swallow me up: for Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Hades); neither let the pit shut her mouth upon me," that is, the sepulchre. "By reason of mine enemies, deliver me," that the Jews may not boast, saying, Let us consume him.
4. Now Christ prayed all this economically as man; being, however, true God. But, as I have already said, it was the "form of the servant" that spake and suffered these things. Wherefore He added, "My soul looked for reproach and trouble," that is, I suffered of my own will, (and) not by any compulsion. Yet "I waited for one to mourn with me, and there was none," for all my disciples forsook me and fled; and for a "comforter, and I found none."
5. Listen with understanding, O Jew, to what the Christ says: "They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." And these things He did indeed endure from you. Hear the Holy Ghost tell you also what return He made to you for that little portion of vinegar. For the prophet says, as in the person of God, "Let their table become a snare and retribution." Of what retribution does He speak? Manifestly, of the misery which has now got hold of thee.
6. And then hear what follows: "Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not." And surely ye have been darkened in the eyes of your soul with a darkness utter and everlasting. For now that the true light has arisen, ye wander as in the night, and stumble on places with no roads, and fall headlong, as having forsaken the way that saith, "I am the way."
Furthermore, hear this yet more serious word: "And their back do thou bend always;" that means, in order that they may be slaves to the nations, not four hundred and thirty years as in Egypt, nor seventy as in Babylon, but bend them to servitude, he says, "always." In fine, then, how dost thou indulge vain hopes, expecting to be delivered from the misery which holdeth thee? For that is somewhat strange. And not unjustly has he imprecated this blindness of eyes upon thee. But because thou didst cover the eyes of Christ, (and thus thou didst beat Him, for this reason, too, bend thou thy back for servitude always.
And whereas thou didst pour out His blood in indignation, hear what thy recompense shall be: "Pour out Thine indignation upon them, and let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them;" and, "Let their habitation be desolate," to wit, their celebrated temple.
7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of that ancient fabrication of the calf? Was it on account of the idolatry of the people? Was it for the blood of the prophets? Was it for the adultery and fornication of Israel? By no means, he says; for in all these transgressions they always found pardon open to them, and benignity; but it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is coeternal with the Father. Whence He saith, "Father, let their temple be made desolate; for they have persecuted Him whom Thou didst of Thine own will smite for the salvation of the world;" that is, they have persecuted me with a violent and unjust death, "and they have added to the pain of my wounds." In former time, as the Lover of man, I had pain on account of the straying of the Gentiles; but to this pain they have added another, by going also themselves astray. Wherefore "add iniquity to their iniquity, and tribulation to tribulation, and let them not enter into Thy righteousness," that is, into Thy kingdom; but "let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous," that is, with their holy fathers and patriarchs.
8. What sayest thou to this, O Jew? It is neither Matthew nor Paul that saith these things, but David, thine anointed, who awards and declares these terrible sentences on account of Christ. And like the great Job, addressing you who speak against the righteous and true, he says, "Thou didst barter the Christ like a slave, thou didst go to Him like a robber in the garden."
9. I produce now the prophecy of Solomon, which speaketh of Christ, and announces clearly and perspicuously things concerning the Jews; and those which not only are befalling them at the present time, but those, too, which shall befall them in the future age, on account of the contumacy and audacity which they exhibited toward the Prince of Life; for the prophet says, "The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright," that is, about Christ, "Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings and words, and upbraideth us with our offending the law, and professeth to have knowledge of God; and he calleth himself the Child of God." And then he says, "He is grievous to us even to behold; for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed." And again, listen to this, O Jew! None of the righteous or prophets called himself the Son of God. And therefore, as in the person of the Jews, solomon speaks again of this righteous one, who is Christ, thus: "He was made to reprove our thoughts, and he maketh his boast that God is his Father. Let us see, then, if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him; for if the just man be the Son of God, He will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. Let us condemn him with a shameful death, for by his own saying he shall be respected."
10. And again David, in the Psalms, says with respect to the future age, "Then shall He" (namely Christ) "speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure." And again Solomon says concerning Christ and the Jews, that "when the righteous shall stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted Him, and made no account of His words, when they see it they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of His salvation; and they, repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit, shall say within themselves, This is He whom we had sometimes in derision and a proverb of reproach; we fools accounted His life madness, and His end to he without honour. How is He numbered among the children of God, and His lot is among the saints? Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness bath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not on us. We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction; we have gone through deserts where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it. What hath our pride profited us? all those things are passed away like a shadow."
THE CONCLUSION IS WANTING. yyyyyy
AGAINST PLATO, ON THE CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE.
1. And this is the passage regarding demons. But now we must speak of Hades, in which the souls both of the righteous and the unrighteous are detained. Hades is a place in the created system, rude, a locality beneath the earth, in which the light of the world does not shine; and as the sun does not shine in this locality, there must necessarily be perpetual darkness there. This locality has been destined to be as it were a guard-house for souls, at which the angels are stationed as guards, distributing according to each one's deeds the temporary punishments for (different) characters. And in this locality there is a certain place set apart by itself, a lake of unquenchable fire, into which we suppose no one has ever yet been cast; for it is prepared against the day determined by God, in which one sentence of righteous judgment shall be justly applied to all. And the unrighteous, and those who believed not God, who have honoured as God the vain works of the hands of men, idols fashioned (by themselves), shall be sentenced to this endless punishment. But the righteous shall obtain the incorruptible and un-fading kingdom, who indeed are at present detained in Hades, but not in the same place with the unrighteous. For to this locality there is one descent, at the gate whereof we believe an archangel is stationed with a host. And when those who are conducted by the angels appointed unto the souls have passed through this gate, they do not proceed on one and the same way; but the righteous, being conducted in the light toward the right, and being hymned by the angels stationed at the place, are brought to a locality full of light. And there the righteous from the beginning dwell, not ruled by necessity, but enjoying always the contemplation of the blessings which are in their view, and delighting themselves with the expectation of others ever new, and deeming those ever better than these. And that place brings no toils to them. There, there is neither fierce heat, nor cold, nor thorn; but the face of the fathers and the righteous is seen to be always smiling, as they wait for the rest and eternal revival in heaven which succeed this location. And we call it by the name Abraham's bosom. But the unrighteous are dragged toward the left by angels who are ministers of punishment, and they go of their own accord no longer, but are dragged by force as prisoners. And the angels appointed over them send them along, reproaching them and threatening them with an eye of terror, forcing them down into the lower parts. And when they are brought there, those appointed to that service drag them on to the confines or hell. And those who are so near hear incessantly the agitation, and feel the hot smoke. And when that vision is so near, as they see the terrible and excessively glowing spectacle of the fire, they shudder in horror at the expectation of the future judgment, (as if they were) already feeling the power of their punishment. And again, where they see the place of the fathers and the righteous, they are also punished there. For a deep and vast abyss is set there in the midst, so that neither can any of the righteous in sympathy think to pass it, nor any of the unrighteous dare to cross it.
2. Thus far, then, on the subject of Hades, in which the souls of all are detained until the time which God has determined; and then He will accomplish a resurrection of all, not by transferring souls into other bodies, but by raising the bodies themselves. And if, O Greeks, ye refuse credit to this because ye see these (bodies) in their dissolution, learn not to be incredulous. For if ye believe that the soul is originated and is made immortal by God, according to the opinion of Plato, in time, ye ought not to refuse to believe that God is able also to raise the body, which is composed of the same elements, and make it immortal. To be able in one thing, and to be unable in another, is a word which cannot be said of God. We therefore believe that the body also is raised. For if it become corrupt, it is not at least destroyed. For the earth receiving its remains preserves them, and they, becoming as it were seed, and being wrapped up with the richer part of earth, spring up and bloom. And that which is sown is sown indeed bare grain; but at the command of God the Artificer it buds, and is raised arrayed and glorious, but not until it has first died, and been dissolved, and mingled with earth. Not, therefore, without good reason do we believe in the resurrection of the body. Moreover, if it is dissolved in its season on account of the primeval transgression, and is committed to the earth as to a furnace, to be moulded again anew, it is not raised the same thing as it is now, but pure and no longer corruptible. And to every body its own proper soul will be given again; and the soul, being endued again with it, shall not be grieved, but shall rejoice together with it, abiding itself pure with it also pure. And as it now sojourns with it in the world righteously, and finds it in nothing now a traitor, it will receive it again (the body) with great joy. But the unrighteous will receive their bodies unchanged, and unransomed from suffering and disease, and unglorified, and still with all the ills in which they died. And whatever manner of persons they (were when they) lived without faith, as such they shall be faithfully judged.
3. For all, the righteous and the unrighteous alike, shall be brought before God the Word. For the Father hath committed all judgment to Him; and in fulfilment of the Father's counsel, He cometh as Judge whom we call Christ. For it is not Minos and Rhadamanthys that are to judge (the world), as ye fancy, O Greeks, but He whom God the Father hath glorified, of whom we have spoken elsewhere more in particular, for the profit of those who seek the truth. He, in administering the righteous judgment of the Father to all, assigns to each what is righteous according to his works. And being present at His judicial decision, all, both men and angels and demons, shall utter one voice, saying, "Righteous is Thy judgment." Of which voice the justification will be seen in the awarding to each that which is just; since to those who have done well shall be assigned righteously eternal bliss, and to the lovers of iniquity shall be given eternal punishment. And the fire which is un-quenchable and without end awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which dieth not, and which does not waste the body, but continues bursting forth from the body with unending pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no voice of interceding friends will profit them. For neither are the righteous seen by them any longer, nor are they worthy of remembrance. But the righteous will remember only the righteous deeds by which they reached the heavenly kingdom, in which there is neither sleep, nor pain, nor corruption, nor care, nor night, nor day measured by time; nor sun traversing in necessary course the circle of heaven, which marks the limits of seasons, or the points measured out for the life of man so easily read; nor moon waning or waxing, or inducing the changes of seasons, or moistening the earth; no burning sun, no changeful Bear, no Orion coming forth, no numerous wandering of stars, no painfully-trodden earth, no abode of paradise hard to find; no furious roaring of the sea, forbidding one to touch or traverse it; but this too will be readily passable for the righteous, although it lacks no water. There will be no heaven inaccessible to men, nor will the way of its ascent be one impossible to find; and there will be no earth unwrought, or toilsome for men, but one producing fruit spontaneously in beauty and order; nor will there be generation of wild beasts again, nor the bursting substance of other creatures. Neither with man will there be generation again, but the number of the righteous remains indefectible with the righteous angels and spirits. Ye who believe these words, O men, will be partakers with the righteous, and will have part in these future blessings, which "eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." To Him be the glory and the power, for ever and ever. Amen. yyyyyy
AGAINST THE HERESY OF ONE NOETUS.
1. Some others are secretly introducing another doctrine, who have become disciples of one Noetus, who was a native of Smyrna, (and) lived not very long ago. This person was greatly puffed up and inflated with pride, being inspired by the conceit of a strange spirit. He alleged that Christ was the Father Himself, and that the Father Himself was born, and suffered, and died. Ye see what pride of heart and what a strange inflated spirit had insinuated themselves into him. Froth his other actions, then, the proof is already given us that he spoke not with a pure spirit; for he who blasphemes against the Holy Ghost is cast out from the holy inheritance. He alleged that he was himself Moses, and that Aaron was his brother. When the blessed presbyters heard this, they summoned him before the Church, and examined him. But he denied at first that he held such opinions. Afterwards, however, taking shelter among some, and having gathered round him some others who had embraced the same error, he wished thereafter to uphold his dogma openly as correct. And the blessed presbyters called him again before them, and examined him. But he stood out against them, saying, "What evil, then, am I doing in glorifying Christ?" And the presbyters replied to him, "We too know in truth one God; we know Christ; we know that the Son suffered even as He suffered, and died even as He died, and rose again on the third day, and is at the right hand of the Father, and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And these things which we have learned we allege." Then, after examining him, they expelled him from the Church. And he was carried to such a pitch of pride, that he established a school.
2. Now they seek to exhibit the foundation for their dogma by citing the word in the law, "I am the God of your fathers: ye shall have no other gods beside me;" and again in another passage, "I am the first," He saith, "and the last; and beside me there is none other." Thus they say they prove that God is one. And then they answer in this manner: "If therefore I acknowledge Christ to be God, He is the Father Himself, if He is indeed God; and Christ suffered, being Himself God; and consequently the Father suffered, for He was the Father Himself." But the case stands not thus; for the Scriptures do not set forth the matter in this manner. But they make use also of other testimonies, and say, Thus it is written: "This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant (son), and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men." You see, then, he says, that this is God, who is the only One, and who afterwards did show Himself, and con-versed with men." And in another place he says, "Egypt hath laboured; and the merchandise of Ethiopia and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, (and they shall be slaves to thee); and they shall come after thee bound with manacles, and they shall fall down unto thee, because God is in thee; and they shall make supplication unto thee: and there is no God beside thee. For Thou art God, and we knew not; God of Israel, the Saviour." Do you see, he says, how the Scriptures proclaim one God? And as this is clearly exhibited, and these passages are testimonies to it, I am under necessity, he says, since one is acknowledged, to make this One the subject of suffering. For Christ was God, and suffered on account of us, being Himself the Father, that He might be able also to save us. And we cannot express ourselves otherwise, he says; for the apostle also acknowledges one God, when he says, "Whose are the fathers, (and) of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever."
8. In this way, then, they choose to set forth these things, and they make use only of one class of passages; just in the same one-sided manner that Theodotus employed when he sought to prove that Christ was a mere man. But neither has the one party nor the other understood the matter rightly, as the Scriptures themselves confute their senselessness, and attest the truth. See, brethren, what a rash and audacious dogma they have introduced, when they say without shame, the Father is Himself Christ, Himself the Son, Himself was born, Himself suffered, Himself raised Himself. But it is not so. The Scriptures speak what is right; but Noetus is of a different mind from them. Yet, though Noetus does not understand the truth, the Scriptures are not at once to be repudiated. For who will not say that there is one God? Yet he will not on that account deny the economy (i.e., the number and disposition of persons in the Trinity). The proper way, therefore, to deal with the question is first of all to refute the interpretation put upon these passages by these men, and then to explain their real meaning. For it is right, in the first place, to expound the truth that the Father is one God, "of whom is every family," "by whom are all things, of whom are all things, and we in Him."
4. Let us, as I said, see how he is confuted, and then let us set forth the truth. Now he quotes the words, "Egypt has laboured, and the merchandise of Ethiopia and the Sabeans," and so forth on to the words, "For Thou art the God of Israel, the Saviour." And these words he cites without understanding what precedes them. For whenever they wish to attempt anything underhand, they mutilate the Scriptures. But let him quote the passage as a whole, and he will discover the reason kept in view in writing it. For we have the beginning of the section a little above; and we ought, of course, to commence there in showing to whom and about whom the passage speaks. For above, the beginning of the section stands thus: "Ask me concerning my sons and my daughters, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and man upon it: I with my hand have stablished the heaven; I have commanded all the stars. I have raised him up, and all his ways are straight. He shall build my city, and he shall turn back the captivity; not for price nor reward, said the Lord of hosts. Thus said the Lord of hosts, Egypt hath laboured, and the merchandise of Ethiopia anti the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be slaves to thee: and they shall come after thee bound with manacles, and they shall fall down unto thee; and they shall make supplication unto thee, because God is in thee; and there is no God beside thee. For Thou art God, and we knew not; the God of Israel, the Saviour,"
"In thee, therefore," says he, "God is." But in whom is God except in Christ Jesus, the Father's Word, and the mystery of the economy? And again, exhibiting the truth regarding Him, he points to the fact of His being in the flesh when He says, "I have raised Him up in righteousness, and all His ways are straight." For what is this? Of whom does the Father thus testify? It is of the Son that the Father says, "I have raised Him up in righteousness."
And that the Father did raise up His Son in righteousness, the Apostle Paul bears witness, saying, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Behold, the word spoken by the prophet is thus made good, "I have raised Him up in righteousness." And in saying, "God is in thee," he referred to the mystery of the economy, because when the Word was made incarnate and became man, the Father was in the Son, and the Son in the Father, while the Son was living among men. This, therefore, was signified, brethren, that in reality the mystery of the economy by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin was this Word, constituting yet one Son to God. And it is not simply that I say this, but He Himself attests it who came down from heaven; for He speaketh thus: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." What then can he seek beside what is thus written?
Will he say, forsooth, that flesh was in heaven? Yet there is the flesh which was presented by the Father's Word as an offering,--the flesh that came by the Spirit and the Virgin, (and was) demonstrated to be the perfect Son of God. It is evident, therefore, that He offered Himself to the Father. And before this there was no flesh in heaven. Who, then, was in heaven but the Word unincarnate, who was despatched to show that He was upon earth and was also in heaven? For He was Word, He was Spirit, He was Power. The same took to Himself the name common and current among men, and was called from the beginning the Son of man on account of what He was to be, although He was not yet man, as Daniel testifies when he says, "I saw, and behold one like the Son of man came on the clouds of heaven." Rightly, then, did he say that He who was in heaven was called from the beginning by this name, the Word of God, as being that from the beginning.
5. But what is meant, says he, in the other passage: "This is God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him?" That said he rightly. For in comparison of the Father who shall be accounted of? But he says: "This is our God; there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved." He saith well. For who is Jacob His servant, Israel His beloved, but He of whom He crieth, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him?" Having received, then, all knowledge from the Father, the perfect Israel, the true Jacob, afterward did show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men. And who, again, is meant by Israel but a man who sees God? and there is no one who sees God except the Son alone, the perfect man who alone declares the will of the Father. For John also says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." And again: "He who came down from heaven testifieth what He hath heard and seen." This, then, is He to whom the Father hath given all knowledge, who did show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men.
6. Let us look next at the apostle's word: "Whose are the fathers, of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever." This word declares the mystery of the truth rightly and clearly. He who is over all is God; for thus He speaks boldly, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father." He who is over all, God blessed, has been born; and having been made man, He is (yet) God for ever. For to this effect John also has said, "Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." And well has he named Christ the Almighty. For in this he has said only what Christ testifies of Himself. For Christ gave this testimony, and said, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father;" and Christ rules all things, and has been appointed
Almighty by the Father. And in like manner Paul also, in setting forth the truth that all things are delivered unto Him, said, "Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For all things are put under Him. But when He saith, All things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted which did put all things under Him. Then shall He also Himself be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." If, therefore, all things are put under Him with the exception of Him who put them under Him, He is Lord of all, and the Father is Lord of Him, that in all there might be manifested one God, to whom all things are made subject together with Christ, to whom the Father hath made all things subject, with the exception of Himself. And this, indeed, is said by Christ Himself, as when in the Gospel He confessed Him to be His Father and His God. For He speaks thus: "I go to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." If then, Noetus ventures to say that He is the Father Himself, to what father will he say Christ goes away according to the word of the Gospel? But if he will have us abandon the Gospel and give credence to his senselessness, he expends his labour in vain; for "we ought to obey God rather than men."
7. If, again, he allege His own word when He said, "I and the Father are one," let him attend to the fact, and understand that He did not say, "I and the Father am one, but are one." For the word are is not said of one person, but it refers to two persons, and one power. He has Himself made this clear, when He spake to His Father concerning the disciples, "The glory which Thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; that the world may know that Thou hast sent me." What have the Noetians to say to these things? Are alI one body in respect of substance, or is it that we become one in the power and disposition of unity of mind? In the same manner the Son, who was sent and was not known of those who are in the world, confessed that He was in the Father in power and disposition. For the Son is the one mind of the Father. We who have the Father's mind believe so (in Him); but they who have it not have denied the Son. And if, again, they choose to allege the fact that Philip inquired about the Father, saying, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us," to whom the Lord made answer in these terms: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" and if they choose to maintain that their dogma is ratified by this passage, as if He owned Himself to be the Father, let them know that it is decidedly against them, and that they are confuted by this very word. For though Christ had spoken of Himself, and showed Himself among all as the Son, they had not yet recognised Him to be such, neither had they been able to apprehend or contemplate His real power. And Philip, not having been able to receive this, as far as it was possible to see it, requested to behold the Father. To whom then the Lord said, "Philip, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." By which He means, If thou hast seen me, thou mayest know the Father through me. For through the image, which is like (the original), the Father is made readily known. But if thou hast not known the image, which is the Son, how dost thou seek to see the Father? And that this is the case is made clear by the rest of the chapter, which signifies that the Son who "has been set forth was sent from the Father, and goeth to the Father."
8. Many other passages, or rather all of them, attest the truth. A man, therefore, even though he will it not, is compelled to acknowledge God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus the Son of God, who, being God, became man, to whom also the Father made all things subject, Himself excepted, and the Holy Spirit; and that these, therefore, are three. But if he desires to learn how it is shown still that there is one God, let him know that His power is one. As far as regards the power, therefore, God is one. But as far as regards the economy there is a threefold manifestation, as shall be proved afterwards when we give account of the true doctrine. In these things, however, which are thus set forth by us, we are at one. For there is one God in whom we must believe, but unoriginated, impassible, immortal, doing all things as He wills, in the way He wills, and when He wills. What, then, will this Noetus, who knows nothing of the truth, dare to say to these things? And now, as Noetus has been confuted, let us turn to the exhibition of the truth itself, that we may establish the truth, against which all these mighty heresies have arisen without being able to state anything to the purpose.
9. There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source. For just as a man, if he wishes to be skilled in the wisdom of this world, will find himself unable to get at it in any other way than by mastering the dogmas of philosophers, so all of us who wish to practise piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scriptures declare, at these let us took; and whatsoever things they teach, these let us learn; and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as He wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify Him; and as He wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them.
10. God, subsisting alone, and having nothing contemporaneous with Himself, determined to create the world. And conceiving the world in mind, and willing and uttering the word, He made it; and straightway it appeared, formed as it had pleased Him. For us, then, it is sufficient simply to know that there was nothing contemporaneous with God. Beside Him there was nothing; but He, while existing alone, yet existed in plurality. For He was neither without reason, nor wisdom, nor power, nor counsel And all things were in Him, and He was the All. When He willed, and as He willed, He manifested His word in the times determined by Him, and by Him He made all things. When He wills, He does; and when He thinks, He executes; and when He speaks, He manifests; when He fashions, He contrives in wisdom. For all things that are made He forms by reason and wisdom--creating them in reason, and arranging them in wisdom. He made them, then, as He pleased, for He was God. And as the Author, and fellow-Counsellor, and Framer of the things that are in formation, He begat the Word; and as He bears this Word in Himself, and that, too, as (yet) invisible to the world which is created, He makes Him visible; (and) uttering the voice first, and begetting Him as Light of Light, He set Him forth to the world as its Lord, (and) His own mind; and whereas He was visible formerly to Himself alone, and invisible to the world which is made, He makes Him visible in order that the world might see Him in His manifestation, and be capable of being saved.
11. And thus there appeared another beside Himself. But when I say another, I do not mean that there are two Gods, but that it is only as light of light, or as water from a fountain, or as a ray from the sun. For there is but one power, which is from the All; and the Father is the All, from whom cometh this Power, the Word. And this is the mind which came forth into the world, and was manifested as the Son of God. All things, then, are by Him, and He alone is of the Father. Who then adduces a multitude of gods brought in, time after time? For all are shut up, however unwillingly, to admit this fact, that the All runs up into one. If, then, all things run up into one, even according to Valentinus, and Marcion, and Cerinthus, and all their fooleries, they are also reduced, however unwillingly, to this position, that they must acknowledge that the One is the cause of all things. Thus, then, these too, though they wish it not, fall in with the truth, and admit that one God made all things according to His good pleasure. And He gave the law and the prophets; and in giving them, He made them speak by the Holy Ghost, in order that, being gifted with the inspiration of the Father's power, they might declare the Father's counsel and will.
12. Acting then in these (prophets), the Word spoke of Himself. For already He became His own herald, and showed that the Word would be manifested among men. And for this reason He cried thus: "I am made manifest to them that sought me not; I am found of them that asked not for me." And who is He that is made manifest but the Word of the Father?--whom the Father sent, and in whom He showed to men the power proceeding from Him. Thus, then, was the Word made manifest, even as the blessed John says. For he sums up the things that were said by the prophets, and shows that this is the Word, by whom all things were made. For he speaks to this effect: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made." And beneath He says, "The world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not; He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." If, then, said he, the world was made by Him, according to the word of the prophet, "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made," then this is the Word that was also made manifest. We accordingly see the Word incarnate, and we know the Father by Him, and we believe in the Son, (and) we worship the Holy Spirit. Let us then look at the testimony of Scripture. with respect to the announcement of the future manifestation of the Word.
13. Now Jeremiah says, "Who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived His Word?" But the Word of God alone is visible, while the word of man is audible. When he speaks of seeing the Word, I must believe that this visible (Word) has been sent. And there was none other (sent) but the Word. And that He was sent Peter testifies, when he says to the centurion Cornelius: "God sent His Word unto the children of Israel by the preaching of Jesus Christ. This is the God who is Lord of all." If, then, the Word is sent by Jesus Christ, the will of the Father is Jesus Christ.
14. These things then, brethren, are declared by the Scriptures. And the blessed John, in the testimony of his Gospel, gives us an account of this economy (disposition) and acknowledges this Word as God, when he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." If, then, the Word was with God, and was also God, what follows? Would one say that he speaks of two Gods? I shall not indeed speak of two Gods, but of one; of two Persons however, and of a third economy (disposition), viz., the grace of the Holy Ghost. For the Father indeed is One, but there are two Persons, because there is also the Son; and then there is the third, the Holy Spirit. The Father decrees, the Word executes, and the Son is manifested, through whom the Father is believed on. The economy of harmony is led back to one God; for God is One. It is the Father who commands, and the Son who obeys, and the Holy Spirit who gives understanding: the Father who is above all, and the Son who is through all, and the Holy Spirit who is in all. And we cannot otherwise think of one God, but by believing in truth in Father and Son and Holy Spirit. For the Jews glorified (or gloried in) the Father, but gave Him not thanks, for they did not recognise the Son. The disciples recognised the Son, but not in the Holy Ghost; wherefore they also denied Him. The Father's Word, therefore, knowing the economy (disposition) and the will of the Father, to wit, that the Father seeks to be worshipped in none other way than this, gave this charge to the disciples after He rose from the dead: "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." And by this He showed, that whosoever omitted any one of these, failed in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through this Trinity that the Father is glorified. For the Father willed, the Son did, the Spirit manifested. The whole Scriptures, then, proclaim this truth.
15. But some one will say to me, You adduce a thing strange to me, when you call the Son the Word. For John indeed speaks of the Word, but it is by a figure of speech. Nay, it is by no figure of speech. For while thus presenting this Word that was from the beginning, and has now been sent forth, he said below in the Apocalypse, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him (was) Faithful and True; and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. And His eyes (were) as flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself. And He (was) clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God." See then, brethren, how the vesture sprinkled with blood denoted in symbol the flesh, through which the impassible Word of God came under suffering, as also the prophets testify to me. For thus speaks the blessed Micah: "The house of Jacob provoked the Spirit of the Lord to anger. These are their pursuits. Are not His words good with them, and do they walk rightly? And they have risen up in enmity against His countenance of peace, and they have stripped off His glory." That means His suffering in the flesh. And in like manner also the blessed Paul says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be shown in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." What Son of His own, then, did God send through the flesh but the Word, whom He addressed as Son because He was to become such (or be begotten) in the future? And He takes the common name for tender affection among men in being called the Son. For neither was the Word, prior to incarnation and when by Himself, yet perfect Son, although He was perfect Word, only-begotten. Nor could the flesh subsist by itself apart from the Word, because it has its subsistence in the Word. Thus, then, one perfect Son of God was manifested.
16. And these indeed are testimonies bearing on the incarnation of the Word; and there are also very many others. But let us also look at the subject in hand,--namely, the question, brethren, that in reality the Father's power, which is the Word, came down from heaven, and not the Father Himself. For thus He speaks: "I came forth from the Father, and am come." Now what subject is meant in this sentence, "I came forth from the Father," but just the Word? And what is it that is begotten of Him, but just the Spirit, that is to say, the Word? But you will say to me, How is He begotten? In your own case you can give no explanation of the way in which you were begotten, although you see every day the cause according to man; neither can you tell with accuracy the economy in His case. For you have it not in your power to acquaint yourself with the practised and indescribable art (method) of the Maker, but only to see, and understand, and believe that man is God's work. Moreover, you are asking an account of the generation of the Word, whom God the Father in His good pleasure begat as He willed. Is it not enough for you to learn that God made the world, but do you also venture to ask whence He made it? Is it not enough for you to learn that the Son of God has been manifested to you for salvation if you believe, but do you also inquire curiously how He was begotten after the Spirit? No more than two, in sooth, have been put in trust to give the account of His generation after the flesh; and are you then so bold as to seek the account (of His generation) after the Spirit, which the Father keeps with Himself, intending to reveal it then to the holy ones and those worthy of seeing His face? Rest satisfied with the word spoken by Christ, viz., "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," just as, speaking by the prophet of the generation of the Word, He shows the fact that He is begotten, but reserves the question of the manner and means, to reveal it only in the time determined by Himself. For He speaks thus: "From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten Thee."
17. These testimonies are sufficient for the believing who study truth, and the unbelieving credit no testimony. For the Holy Spirit, indeed, in the person of the apostles, has testified to this, saying, "And who has believed our report?" Therefore let us not prove ourselves unbelieving, lest the word spoken be fulfilled in us. Let us believe then, dear brethren, according to the tradition of the apostles, that God the Word came down from heaven, (and entered) into the holy Virgin Mary, in order that, taking the flesh from her, and assuming also a human, by which I mean a rational soul, and becoming thus all that man is with the exception of sin, He might save fallen man, and confer immortality on men who believe on His name. In all, therefore, the word of truth is demonstrated to us, to wit, that the Father is One, whose word is present (with Him), by whom He made all things; whom also, as we have said above, the Father sent forth in later times for the salvation of men. This (Word) was preached by the law and the prophets as destined to come into the world. And even as He was preached then, in the same manner also did He come and manifest Himself, being by the Virgin and the Holy Spirit made a new man; for in that He had the heavenly (nature) of the Father, as the Word and the earthly (nature), as taking to Himself the flesh from the old Adam by the medium of the Virgin, He now, coming forth into the world, was manifested as God in a body, coming forth too as a perfect man. For it was not in mere appearance or by conversion, but in truth, that He became man.
18. Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God, He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble. And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow. And He who for this end came into the world, begs off from the cup of suffering. And in an agony He sweats blood, and is strengthened by an angel, who Himself strengthens those who believe on Him, and taught men to despise death by His work. And He who knew what manner of man Judas was, is betrayed by Judas. And He, who formerly was honoured by him as God, is contemned by Caiaphas. And He is set at nought by Herod, who is Himself to judge the whole earth. And He is scourged by Pilate, who took upon Himself our infirmities. And by the soldiers He is mocked, at whose behest stand thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads of angels and archangels. And He who fixed the heavens like a vault is fastened to the cross by the Jews. And He who is inseparable from the Father cries to the Father, and commends to Him His spirit; and bowing His head, He gives up the ghost, who said, "I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again;" and because He was not overmastered by death, as being Himself Life, He said this: "I lay it down of myself." And He who gives life bountifully to all, has His side pierced with a spear. And He who raises the dead is wrapped in linen and laid in a sepulchre, and on the third day He is raised again by the Father, though Himself the Resurrection and the Life.
For all these things has He finished for us, who for our sakes was made as we are. For "Himself hath borne our infirmities, and carried our diseases; and for our sakes He was afflicted," as Isaiah the prophet has said. This is He who was hymned by the angels, and seen by the shepherds, and waited for by Simeon, and witnessed to by Anna. This is He who was inquired after by the wise men, and indicated by the star; He who was engaged in His Father's house, and pointed to by John, and witnessed to by the Father from above in the voice, "This is my beloved Son; hear ye Him." He is crowned victor against the devil. This is Jesus of Nazareth, who was invited to the marriage-feast in Cana, and turned the water into wine, and rebuked the sea when agitated by the violence of the winds, and walked on the deep as on dry land, and caused the blind man from birth to see, and raised Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days, and did many mighty works, and forgave sins, and conferred power on the disciples, and had blood and water flowing from His sacred side when pierced with the spear. For His sake the sun is darkened, the day has no light, the rocks are shattered, the veil is rent, the foundations of the earth are shaken, the graves are opened, and the dead are raised, and the rulers are ashamed when they see the Director of the universe upon the cross closing His eye and giving up the ghost. Creation saw, and was troubled; and, unable to bear the sight of His exceeding glory, shrouded itself in dark ness. This (is He who) breathes upon the disciples, and gives them the Spirit, and comes in among them when the doors are shut, and is taken up by a cloud into the heavens while the disciples gaze at Him, and is set down on the right hand of the Father, and comes again as the Judge of the living and the dead. This is the God who for our sakes became man, to whom also the Father hath put all things in subjection. To Him be the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church both now and ever, and even for evermore. Amen. yyyyyy
AGAINST BERON AND HELIX.
FRAGMENTS OF A DISCOURSE, ALPHABETICALLY DIVIDED, ON THE DIVINE NATURE AND THE INCARNATION, AGAINST THE HERETICS BERON AND HELIX, THE BEGINNING OF WHICH WAS IN THESE WORDS, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD OF SABAOTH, WITH VOICE NEVER SILENT THE SERAPHIM EXCLAIM AND GLORIFY GOD."
By the omnipotent will of God all things are made, and the things that are made are also preserved, being maintained according to their several principles in perfect harmony by Him who is in His nature the omnipotent God and maker of all things, His divine will remaining unalterable by which He has made and moves all things, sustained as they severally are by their own natural laws. For the infinite cannot in any manner or by any account be susceptible of movement, inasmuch as it has nothing towards which and nothing around which it shall be moved. For in the case of that which is in its nature infinite, and so incapable of being moved, movement would be conversion. Wherefore also the Word of God being made truly man in our manner, yet without sin, and acting and enduring in man's way such sinless things as are proper to our nature, and assuming the circumscription of the flesh of our nature on our behalf sustained no conversion in that aspect in which He is one with the Father, being made in no respect one with the flesh through the exinani-tion. Burns He was without flesh, He remained without any circumscription. And through the flesh He wrought divinely those things which are proper to divinity, showing Himself to have both those natures in both of which He wrought, I mean the divine and the human, according to i that veritable and real and natural subsistence, (showing Himself thus) as both being in reality and as being understood to be at one and the same time infinite God and finite man, having the nature of each in perfection, with the same activity, that is to say, the same natural properties; whence we know that their distinction abides always according to the nature of each, and without conversion. But it is not (i.e., the distinction between deity and humanity), as some say, a merely comparative (or relative) matter, that we may not speak in an unwarrantable manner of a greater and a less in one who is ever the same in Himself. For comparisons can be instituted only between objects of like nature, and not between objects of unlike nature. But between God the Maker of all things and that which is made, between the infinite and the finite, between infinitude and finitude, there can be no kind of comparison, since these differ from each other not in mere comparison (or relatively), but absolutely in essence. And yet at the same time there has been effected a certain inexpressible and irrefragable union of the two into one substance, which entirely passes the understanding of anything that is made.
For the divine is just the same after the incarnation that it was before the incarnation; in its essence infinite, illimitable, impassible, incomparable, unchangeable, inconvertable, self-potent, and, in short, subsisting in essence alone the infinitely worthy good.
The God of all things therefore became truly, according to the Scriptures, without conversion, sinless man, and that in a manner known to Himself alone, as He is the natural Artificer of things which are above our comprehension. And by that same saving act of the incarnation He introduced into the flesh the activity of His proper divinity, yet without having it (that activity) either circumscribed by the flesh through the exinanition, or growing naturally out of the flesh as it grew out of His divinity, but manifested through it in the things which He wrought in a divine manner in His incarnate state. For the flesh did not become divinity in nature by a transmutation of nature, as though it became essentially flesh of divinity. But what it was before, that also it continued to be in nature and activity when united with divinity, even as the Saviour said, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." And working and enduring in the flesh things which were proper to sinless flesh, He proved the evacuation of divinity (to be) for our sakes, confirmed as it was by wonders and by sufferings of the flesh naturally. For with this purpose did the God of all things become man, viz., in order that by suffering in the flesh, which is susceptible of suffering, He might redeem our whole race, which was sold to death; and that by working wondrous things by His divinity, which is unsusceptible of suffering, through the medium of the flesh He might restore it to that incorruptible and blessed life from which it fell away by yielding to the devil; and that He might establish the holy orders of intelligent existences in the heavens in immutability by the mystery of His incarnation, the doing of which is the recapitulation of all things in himself. He remained therefore, also, after His incarnation, according to nature, God infinite, and more, having the activity proper and suitable to Himself,--an activity growing out of His divinity essentially, and manifested through His perfectly holy flesh by wondrous acts economically, to the intent that He might be believed in as God, while working out of Himself by the flesh, which by nature is weak, the salvation of the universe.
Now, with the view of explaining, by means of an illustration, what has been said concerning the Saviour, (I may say that) the power of thought which I have by nature is proper and suitable to me, as being possessed of a rational and intelligent soul; and to this soul there pertains, according to nature, a self-moved energy and first power, ever-moving, to wit, the thought that streams from it naturally. This thought I utter, when there is occasion, by fitting it to words, and expressing it rightly in signs, using the tongue as an organ, or artificial characters, showing that it is heard, though it comes into actuality by means of objects foreign to itself, and yet is not changed itself by those foreign objects. For my natural thought does not belong to the tongue or the letters, although I effect its utterance by means of these; but it belongs to me, who speak according to my nature, and by means of both these express it as my own, streaming as it does always from my intelligent soul according to its nature, and uttered by means of my bodily tongue organically, as I have said, when there is occasion. Now, to institute a comparison with that which is utterly beyond comparison, just as in us the power of thought that belongs by nature to the soul is brought to utterance by means of our bodily tongue without any change in itself, so, too, in the wondrous incarnation of God is the omnipotent and all-creating energy of the entire deity manifested without mutation in itself, by means of His perfectly holy flesh, and in the works which He wrought after a divine manner, (that energy of the deity) remaining in its essence free from all circumscription, although it shone through the flesh, which is itself essentially limited. For that which is in its nature unoriginated cannot be circumscribed by an originated nature, although this latter may have grown into one with it by a conception which circumscribes all understanding: nor can this be ever brought into the same nature and natural activity with that, so long as they remain each within its own proper and inconvertible nature. For it is only in objects of the same nature that there is the motion that works the same works, showing that the being whose power is natural is incapable in any manner of being or becoming the possession of a being of a different nature without mutation.
For, in the view of apostles and prophets and teachers, the mystery of the divine incarnation has been distinguished as having two points of contemplation natural to it, distinct in all things, inasmuch as on the one hand it is the subsistence of perfect deity, and on the other is demonstrative of full humanity. As long, therefore, as the Word is acknowledged to be in substance one, of one energy, there shall never in any way be known a movement s in the two. For while God, who is essentially ever-existent, became by His infinite power, according to His will, sinless man, He is what He was, in all wherein God is known; and what He became, He is in all wherein man is known and can be recognised. In both aspects of Himself He never falls out of Himself, in His divine activities and in His human alike, preserving in both relations His own essentially unchangeable perfection.
For lately a certain person, Beron, along with some others, forsook the delusion of Valentinus, only to involve themselves in deeper error, affirming that the flesh assumed to Himself by the Word became capable of working like works with the deity by virtue of its assumption, and that the deity became susceptible of suffering in the same way with the flesh by virtue of the exinanition; and thus they assert the doctrine that there was at the same time a conversion and a mixing and a fusing of the two aspects one with the other. For if the flesh that was assumed became capable of working like works with the deity, it is evident that it also became God in essence in all wherein God is essentially known. And if the deity by the exinanition became susceptible of the same sufferings with the flesh, it is evident that it also became in essence flesh in all wherein flesh essentially can be known. For objects that act in like manner, and work like works, and are altogether of like kind, and are susceptible of like suffering with each other, admit of no difference of nature; and if the natures are fused together, Christ will be a duality; and if the persons are separated, there will be a quaternity, --a thing which is altogether to be avoided. And how will they conceive of the one and the same Christ, who is at once God and man by nature? And what manner of existence will He have according to them, if He has become man by a conversion of the deity, and if he has become God by a change of the flesh? For the mutation of these, the one into the other, is a complete subversion of both. Let the discussion, then, be considered by us again in a different way.
Among Christians it is settled as the doctrine of piety, that, according to nature itself, and to the activity and to whatever else pertains thereunto, God is equal and the same with Himself, having nothing that is His unequal to Himself at all and heterogeneous. If, then, according to Beron, the flesh that He assumed to Himself became possessed of the like natural energy with them, it is evident that it also became possessed of the like nature with Him in all wherein that nature consists,--to wit, non-origination, non-generation, infinitude, eternity, incomprehensibility, and whatever else in the way of the transcendent the theological mind discerns in deity; and thus they both underwent conversion, neither the one nor the other preserving any more the substantial relation of its own proper nature. For he who recognises an identical operation in things of unlike nature, introduces at the same time a fusion of natures and a separation of persons, their natural existence being made entirely undistinguishable by the transference of properties.
But if it (the flesh) did not become of like nature with that (the deity), neither shall it ever become of like natural energy with that; that He may not be shown to have His energy unequal with His nature, and heterogeneous, and, through all that pertains to Himself, to have entered on an existence outside of His natural equality and identity, which is an impious supposition.
Into this error, then, have they been carried, by believing, unhappily, that that divine energy was made the property of the flesh which was only manifested through the flesh in His miraculous actions; by which energy Christ, in so far as He is apprehended as God, gave existence to the universe, and now maintains and governs it. For they did not perceive that it is impossible for the energy of the divine nature to become the property of a being of a different nature apart from conversion; nor did they understand that that is not by any means the property of the flesh which is only manifested through it, and does not spring out of it according to nature; and yet the proof thereof was clear and evident to them. For I, by speaking with the tongue and writing with the hand, reveal through both these one and the same thought of my intelligent soul, its energy (or operation) being natural; in no way showing it as springing naturally out of tongue or hand; nor yet (showing) even the spoken thought as made to belong to them in virtue of its revelation by their means. For no intelligent person ever recognised tongue or hand as capable of thought, just as also no one ever recognised the perfectly holy flesh of God, in virtue of its assumption, and in virtue of the revelation of the divine energy through its medium, as becoming in nature creative. But the pious confession of the believer is that, with a view to our salvation, and in order to connect the universe with unchangeableness, the Creator of all things incorporated with Himself a rational soul and a sensible body from the all-holy Mary, ever-virgin, by an undefiled conception, without conversion, and was made man in nature, but separate from wickedness: the same was perfect God, and the same was perfect man; the same was in nature at once perfect God and man. In His deity He wrought divine things through His all-holy flesh,--such things, namely, as did not pertain to the flesh by nature; and in His humanity He suffered human things,--such things, namely, as did not pertain to deity by nature, by the upbearing of the deity. He wrought nothing divine without the body; nor did the same do anything human without the participation of deity. Thus He preserved for Himself a new and fitting method by which He wrought (according to the manner of) both, while that which was natural to both remained unchanged; to the accrediting of His perfect incarnation, which is really genuine, and has nothing lacking in it. Beron, therefore, since the case stands with him as I have already stated, confounding together in nature the deity and the humanity of Christ in a single energy, and again separating them in person, subverts the life, not knowing that identical operation is indicative of the connatural identity only of connatural persons. yyyyyy
THE DISCOURSE ON THE HOLY THEOPHANY.
1. Good, yea, very good, are all the works of our God and Saviour--all of them that eye seeth and mind perceiveth, all that reason interprets and hand handles, all that intellect comprehends and human nature understands. For what richer beauty can there be than that of the circle of heaven? And what form of more blooming fairness than that of earth's surface? And what is there swifter in the course than the chariot of the sun? And what more graceful car than the lunar orb? And what work more wonderful than the compact mosaic of the stars? And what more productive of supplies than the seasonable winds? And what more spotless mirror than the light of day? And what creature more excellent than man? Very good, then, are all the works of our God and Saviour. And what more requisite gift, again, is there than the element of water? For with water all things are washed and nourished, and cleansed and bedewed. Water bears the earth, water produces the dew, water exhilarates the vine; water ma tures the corn in the ear, water ripens the grapecluster, water softens the olive, water sweetens the palm-date, water reddens the rose and decks the violet, water makes the lily bloom with its brilliant cups. And why should I speak at length? Without the element of water, none of the present order of things can subsist. So necessary is the element of water; for the other elements took their places beneath the highest vault of the heavens, but the nature of water obtained a seat also above the heavens. And to this the prophet himself is a witness, when he exclaims, "Praise the Lord, ye heavens of heavens, and the water that is above the heavens."
2. Nor is this the only thing that proves the dignity of the water. But there is also that which is more honourable than all--the fact that Christ, the Maker of all, came down as the rain, and was known as a spring, and diffused Himself as a river, and was baptized in the Jordan. For you have just heard how Jesus came to John, and was baptized by him in the Jordan. Oh things strange beyond compare! How should the boundless Rivers that makes glad the city of God have been dipped in a little water! The illimitable Spring that bears life to all men, and has no end, was covered by poor and temporary waters! He who is present everywhere, and absent nowhere--who is incomprehensible to angels and invisible to men--comes to the baptism according to His own good pleasure. When you hear these things, beloved, take them not as if spoken literally, but accept them as presented in a figure.
Whence also the Lord was not unnoticed by the watery element in what He did in secret, in the kindness of His condescension to man. "For the waters saw Him, and were afraid." They wellnigh broke from their place, and burst away from their boundary. Hence the prophet, having this in his view many generations ago, puts the question, "What aileth thee, O sea, that thou reddest; and thou, Jordan, that thou wast driven back?" And they in reply said, We have seen the Creator of all things in the "form of a servant," and being ignorant of the mystery of the economy, we were lashed with fear.
3. But we, who know the economy, adore His mercy, because He hath come to save and not to judge the world. Wherefore John, the forerunner of the Lord, who before knew not this mystery, on learning that He is Lord in truth, cried out, and spake to those who came to be baptized of him, "O generation of vipers," why look ye so earnestly at me? "I am not the Christ;" I am the servant, and not the lord; I am the subject, and not the king; I am the sheep, and not the shepherd; I am a man, and not God. By my birth I loosed the barrenness of my mother; I did not make virginity barren. I was brought up from beneath; I did not come down from above. I bound the tongue of my father; I did not unfold divine grace. I was known by my mother, and I was not announced by a star. I am worthless, and the least; but "after me there comes One who is before me" --after me, indeed, in time, but before me by reason of the inaccessible and unutterable light of divinity. "There comes One mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." I am subject to authority, but He has authority in Himself. I am bound by sins, but He is the Remover of sins. apply the law, but He bringeth grace to light. teach as a slave, but He judgeth as the Master. I have the earth as my couch, but He possesses heaven. I baptize with the baptism of repentance, but He confers the gift of adoption: "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." Why give ye attention to me? I am not the Christ.
4. As John says these things to the multitude, and as the people watch in eager expectation of seeing some strange spectacle with their bodily eyes, and the devil is struck with amazement at such a testimony from John, lo, the Lord appears, plain, solitary, uncovered, without escort, having on Him the body of man like a garment, and hiding the dignity of the Divinity, that He may elude the snares of the dragon. And not only did He approach John as Lord without royal retinue; but even like a mere man, and one involved in sin, He bent His head to be baptized by John. Wherefore John, on seeing so great a humbling of Himself, was struck with astonishment at the affair, and began to prevent Him, saying, as ye have just heard, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" What doest Thou, O Lord? Thou teachest things not according to rule. I have preached one thing (regarding Thee), and Thou performest another; the devil has heard one thing, and perceives another. Baptize me with the fire of Divinity; why waitest Thou for water? Enlighten me with the Spirit; why dost Thou attend upon a creature? Baptize me, the Baptist, that Thy pre-eminence may be known. I, O Lord, baptize with the baptism of repentance, and I cannot baptize those who come to me unless they first confess fully their sins. Be it so then that I baptize Thee, what hast Thou to confess? Thou art the Remover of sins, and wilt Thou be baptized with the baptism of repentance? Though I should venture to baptize Thee, the Jordan dares not to come near Thee. "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"
5. And what saith the Lord to him? "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." "Suffer it to be so now," John; thou art not wiser than I. Thou seest as man; I foreknow as God. It becomes me to do this first, and thus to teach. I engage in nothing unbecoming, for I am invested with honour. Dost thou marvel, O John, that I am not come in my dignity? The purple robe of kings suits not one in private station, but military splendour suits a king: am I come to a prince, and not to a friend? "Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness:" I am the Fulfiller of the law; I seek to leave nothing wanting to its whole fulfilment, that so after me Paul may exclaim, "Christ is the fulfilling of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." Baptize me, John, in order that no one may despise baptism. I am baptized by thee, the servant, that no one among kings or dignitaries may scorn to be baptized by the hand of a poor priest. Suffer me to go down into the Jordan, in order that they may hear my Father's testimony, and recognise the power of the Son. "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." Then at length John suffers Him. "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and the heavens were opened unto Him; and, lo, the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and rested upon Him. And a voice (came) from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
6. Do you see, beloved, how many and how great blessings we would have lost, if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John, and declined baptism? For the heavens were shut before this; the region above was inaccessible. We would in that case descend to the lower parts, but we would not ascend to the upper. But was it only that the Lord was baptized? He also renewed the old man, and committed to him again the sceptre of adoption. For straightway "the heavens were opened to Him." A reconciliation took place of the visible with the invisible; the celestial orders were filled with joy; the diseases of earth were healed; secret things were made known; those at enmity were restored to amity. For you have heard the word of the evangelist, saying, "The heavens were opened to Him," on account of three wonders. For when Christ the Bridegroom was baptized, it was meet that the bridal-chamber of heaven should open its brilliant gates. And in like manner also, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father's voice spread everywhere, it was meet that "the gates of heaven should be lifted up." "And, lo, the heavens were opened to Him; and a voice was heard, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
7. The beloved generates love, and the light immaterial the light inaccessible? "This is my beloved Son," He who, being manifested on earth and yet unseparated from the Father's bosom, was manifested, and yet did not appear. For the appearing is a different thing, since in appearance the baptizer here is superior to the baptized. For this reason did the Father send down the Holy Spirit from heaven upon Him who was baptized. For as in the ark of Noah the love of God toward man is signified by the dove, so also now the Spirit, descending in the form of a dove, bearing as it were the fruit of the olive, rested on Him to whom the witness was borne. For what reason? That the faithfulness of the Father's voice might be made known, and that the prophetic utterance of a long time past might be ratified. And what utterance is this?
"The voice of the Lord on the waters, the God of glory thundered; the Lord upon many waters." And what voice? "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." This is He who is named the son of Joseph, and (who is) according to the divine essence my Only-begotten. "This is my beloved Son"--He who is hungry, and yet maintains myriads; who is weary, and yet gives rest to the weary; who has not where to lay His head, and yet bears up all things in His hand; who suffers, and yet heals sufferings; who is smitten, and yet confers liberty on the world; who is pierced in the side, and yet repairs the side of Adam.
8. But give me now your best attention, I pray you, for I wish to go back to the fountain of life, and to view the fountain that gushes with healing. The Father of immortality sent the immortal Son and Word into the world, who came to man in order to wash him with water and the Spirit; and He, begetting us again to incorruption of soul and body, breathed into us the breath (spirit) of life, and endued us with an incorruptible panoply. If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the layer he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection from the dead. Wherefore I preach to this effect: Come, all ye kindreds of the nations, to the immortality of the baptism. I bring good tidings of life to you who tarry in the darkness of ignorance. Come into liberty from slavery, into a kingdom from tyranny, into incorruption from corruption. And how, saith one, shall we come? How? By water and the Holy Ghost. This is the water in conjunction with the Spirit, by which paradise is watered, by which the earth is enriched, by which plants grow, by which animals multiply, and (to sum up the whole in a single word) by which man is begotten again and endued with life, in which also Christ was baptized, and in which the Spirit descended in the form of a dove.
9. This is the Spirit that at the beginning "moved upon the thee of the waters;" by whom the world moves; by whom creation consists, and all things have life; who also wrought mightily in the prophets, and descended in flight upon Christ. This is the Spirit that was given to the apostles in the form of fiery tongues. This is the Spirit that David sought when he said, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Of this Spirit Gabriel also spoke to the Virgin, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." By this Spirit Peter spake that blessed word, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." By this Spirit the rock of the Church was stablished. This is the Spirit, the Comforter, that is sent because of thee, that He may show thee to be the Son of God.
10. Come then, be begotten again, O man, into the adoption of God. And how? says one. If thou practisest adultery no more, and committest not murder, and servest not idols; if thou art not overmastered by pleasure; if thou dost not suffer the feeling of pride to rule thee; if thou cleanest off the filthiness of impurity, and puttest off the burden of sin; if thou castest off the armour of the devil, and puttest on the breastplate of faith, even as Isaiah saith, "Wash you, and seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow. And come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, I shall make them white as snow; and though they be like crimson, I shall make them white as wool. And if ye be willing, and hear my voice, ye shall eat the good of the land." Do you see, beloved, how the prophet spake beforetime of the purifying power of baptism? For he who comes down in faith to the layer of regeneration, and renounces the devil, and joins himself to Christ; who denies the enemy, and makes the confession that Christ is God; who puts off the bondage, and puts on the adoption,--he comes up from the baptism brilliant as the sun, flashing forth the beams of righteousness, and, which is indeed the chief thing, he returns a son of God and joint-heir with Christ. To Him be the glory and the power, together with His most holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all the ages of the ages. Amen.
FRAGMENTS OF DISCOURSES OR HOMILIES.
From the Discourse of Hippolytus, Bishop of Rome, on the Resurrection and Incorruption.
Men, he says, "in the resurrection will be like the angels of God," to wit, in incorruption, and immortality, and incapacity of loss. For the incorruptible nature is not the subject of generation; it grows not, sleeps not, hungers not, thirsts not, is not wearied, suffers not, dies not, is not pierced by nails and spear, sweats not, drops not with blood. Of such kind are the natures of the angels and of souls released from the body. For both these are of another kind, and different from these creatures of our world, which are visible and perishing.
From the Discourse of St. Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, on the Divine Nature.
God is capable of willing, but not of not willing for that pertains only to one that changes and makes choice; for things that are being made follow the eternal will of God, by which also things that are made abide sustained.
St. Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, in his Homily on the Paschal Supper.
He was altogether in all, and everywhere; and though He filleth the universe up to all the principalities of the air, He stripped Himself again. And for a brief space He cries that the cup might pass from Him, with a view to show truly that He was also man. But remembering, too, the purpose for which He was sent, He fulfils the dispensation (economy) for which He was sent, and exclaims, "Father, not my will," and, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
1. Take me, O Samuel, the heifer brought to Bethlehem, in order to show the king begotten of David, and him who is anointed to be king and priest by the Father.
2. Tell me, O blessed Mary, what that was that was conceived by thee in the womb, and what that was that was born by thee in thy virgin matrix. For it was the first-born Word of God that descended to thee from heaven, and was formed as a first-born man in the womb, in order that the first-born Word of God might be shown to be united with a first-born man.
3. And in the second (form),--to wit, by the prophets, as by Samuel, calling back and delivering the people from the slavery of the aliens. And in the third (form), that in which He was incarnate, taking to Himself humanity from the Virgin, in which character also He saw the city, and wept over it.
And for this reason three seasons of the year prefigured the Saviour Himself, so that He should fulfil the mysteries prophesied of Him. In the Passover season, so as to exhibit Himself as one destined to be sacrificed like a sheep, and to prove Himself the true Paschal-lamb, even as the apostle says, "Even Christ," who is God, "our passover was sacrificed for us." And at Pentecost so as to prosignify the kingdom of heaven as He Himself first ascended to heaven and brought man as a gift to God.
And an ark of imperishable wood was the Saviour Himself. For by this was signified the imperishable and incorruptible tabernacle (of His body), which engendered no corruption of sin. For the man who has sinned also has this confession to make: "My wounds stank, and were corrupt, because of my foolishness." But the Lord was without sin, being of imperishable wood in respect of His humanity,--that is to say, being of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit, covered, as it were, within and without with the purest gold of the Word of God.
1. He who rescued from the lowest hell the first-formed man of earth when he was lost and bound with the chains of death; He who came down from above, and raised the earthy on high; He who became the evangelist of the dead, and the redeemer of the souls, and the resurrection of the buried,--He was constituted the helper of vanquished man, being made like him Himself, (so that) the first-born Word acquainted Himself with the first-formed Adam in the Virgin; He who is spiritual sought out the earthy in the womb; He who is the ever-living One sought out him who, through disobedience, is subject to death; He who is heavenly called the terrene to the things that are above; He who is the nobly-born sought, by means of His own subjection, to declare the slave free; He transformed the man into adamant who was dissolved into dust and made the food of the serpent, and declared Him who hung on the tree to be Lord over the conqueror, and thus through the tree He is found victor.
2. For they who know not now the Son of God incarnate, shall know in Him who comes as Judge in glory, Him who is now despised in the body of His humiliation.
3. And the apostles, when they came to the sepulchre on the third day, did not find the body of Jesus; just as the children of Israel went up the mount and sought for the tomb of Moses, but did not find it.
Under the figure of Egypt he described the world; and under things made with hands, idolatry; and under the earthquake, the subversion, and dissolution of the earth itself. And he represented the Lord the Word as a light cloud, the purest tabernacle. enthroned on which our Lord Jesus Christ entered into this life in order to subvert error.
Now Hippolytus, the martyr and bishop of [the Province of] Rome, in his second discourse on Daniel, speaks thus:- Then indeed Azarias, standing along with the others, made their acknowledgments to God with song and prayer in the midst of the furnace. Beginning thus with His holy and glorious and honourable name, they came to the works of the Lord themselves, and named first of all those of heaven, and glorified Him, saying, "Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord." Then they passed to the sons of men, and taking up their hymn in order, they then named the spirits [that people Tartarus beneath the earth,] and the souls of the righteous, m order that they might praise God together with them.
Now a person might say that these men, and those who hold a different opinion, are yet near neighbours, being involved in like error. For those men, indeed, either profess that Christ came into our life a mere man, and deny the talent of His divinity, or else, acknowledging Him to be God, they deny, on the other hand, His humanity, and teach that His appearances to those who saw Him as man were illusory, inasmuch as He did not bear with Him true manhood, but was rather a kind of phantom manifestation. Of this class are, for example, Marcion and Valentinus, and the Gnostics, who sunder the Word from the flesh, and thus set aside the one talent, viz., the incarnation.
1. The body of the Lord presented both these to the world, the sacred blood and the holy water.
2. And His body, though dead after the manner of man, possesses in it great power of life. For streams which flow not from dead bodies flowed forth from Him, viz., blood and water; in order that we might know what power for life is held by the virtue that dwelt in His body, so as that it appears not to be dead like others, and is able to shed forth for us the springs of life.
3. And not a bone of the Holy Lamb is broken, this figure showing us that suffering toucheth not His strength. For the bones are the strength of the body.
FRAGMENTS FROM OTHER WRITINGS OF HIPPOLYTUS.
Now Hippolytus, a martyr for piety, who was bishop of the place called Portus, near Rome, in his book Against all Heresies, wrote in these terms:- I perceive, then, that the matter is one of contention. For he speaks thus: Christ kept the supper, then, on that day, and then suffered; whence it is needful that I, too, should keep it in the same manner as the Lord did. But he has fallen into error by not perceiving that at the time when Christ suffered He did not eat the passover of the law. For He was the passover that had been of old proclaimed, and that was fulfilled on that determinate day.
From the same.
And again the same (authority), in the first book of his treatise on the Holy Supper, speaks thus:- Now that neither in the first nor in the last there was anything false is evident; for he who said of old, "I will not any more eat the passover," probably partook of supper before the passover. But the passover He did not eat, but He suffered; for it was not the time for Him to eat.
Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, in a letter to a certain queen.
1. He calls Him, then, "the first-fruits of them that sleep," as the "first-begotten of the dead." For He, having risen, and being desirous to show that that same (body) had been raised which had also died, when His disciples were in doubt, called Thomas to Him, and said, "Reach hither; handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not bone and flesh, as ye see me have."
2. In calling Him the first-fruits, he testified to that which we have said, viz., that the Saviour, taking to Himself the flesh out of the same lump, raised this same flesh, and made it the first-fruits of the flesh of the righteous, in order that all we who have believed in the hope of the Risen One may have the resurrection in expectation. yyyyyy
THE STORY OF A MAIDEN OF CORINTH, AND A CERTAIN MAGISTRIANUS
The account given by Hippolytus, the friend of the apostles
In another little book bearing the name of Hippolytus, the friend of the apostles, I found a story of the following nature:- There lived a certain most noble and beautiful maiden in the city of Corinth, in the careful exercise of a virtuous life. At that time some persons falsely charged her before the judge there, who was a Greek, with cursing the times, and the princes, and the images. Now those who trafficked in such things, brought her beauty under the notice of the impious judge, who lusted after women. And he gladly received the accusation with his equine ears and lascivious thoughts. And when she was brought before the bloodstained (judge), he was driven still more frantic with profligate passion. But when, after bringing every device to bear upon her, the profane than could not gain over this woman of God, he subjected the noble maiden to various outrages. And when he failed in these too, and was unable to seduce her from her confession of Christ, the cruel judge became furious against her, and gave her over to a punishment of the following nature: Placing the chaste maiden in a brothel, he charged the manager, saying, Take this woman, and bring me three nummi by her every day. And the man, exacting the money from her by her dishonour, gave her up to any who sought her in the brothel. And when the women-hunters knew that, they came to the brothel, and, paying the price lint upon their iniquity, sought to seduce her. But this most honourable maiden, taking counsel with herself to deceive them, called them to her, and earnestly besought them, saying: I have a certain ulceration of the pudenda, which has an extremely hateful stench; and I am afraid that ye might come to hate me on account of the abominable sore. Grant me therefore a few days, and then ye may have me even for nothing. With these words the blessed maiden gained over the profligates, and dismissed them for a time. And with most fitting prayers she impor tuned God, and with contrite supplications she sought to turn Him to compassion. God, therefore, who knew her thoughts, and understood how the chaste maiden was distressed in heart for her purity, gave ear to her; and the Guardian of the safety of all men in those days interposed with His arrangements in the following manner:- Of a certain person Magistrianus.
There was a certain young man, Magistrianus, comely in his personal appearance, and of a pious mind, whom God had inspired with such a burning spiritual zeal, that he despised even death itself. He, coming under the guise of profligacy, goes in, when the evening was far gone, to the fellow who kept the women, and pays him five nummi, and says to him, Permit me to spend this night with this damsel. Entering then with her into the private apartment, he says to her, Rise, save thyself. And taking off her garments, and dressing her in his own attire, his night-gown, his cloak, and all the habiliments of a man, he says to her, Wrap yourself up with the top of your cloak, and go out; and doing so, and signing herself entirely with the mystery of the cross, she went forth uncorrupt place, and was preserved perfectly stainless by the grace of Christ, and by the instrumentality of the young man, who by his own blood delivered her from dishonour. And on the following day the matter became known, and Magistrianus was brought before the infuriated judge. And when the cruel tyrant had examined the noble champion of Christ, and had learned all, he ordered him to be thrown to the wild beasts,--that in this, too, the honour-hating demon might be put to shame. For, whereas he thought to involve the noble youth in an unhallowed punishment, he exhibited him as a double martyr for Christ, inasmuch as he had both striven nobly for his own immortal soul, and persevered manfully in labours also in behalf of that noble and blessed maiden. Wherefore also he was deemed worthy of double honour with Christ, and of the illustrious and blessed crowns by His goodness.