Against Eunomius, Book VIII-XII

Author: Gregory of Nyssa

(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was not completely corrected. EWTN has corrected all discovered errors. If you find errors or omissions in the text, please notify

Transliteration of Greek words: All phonetical except: w = omega; h serves three puposes: 1. = Eta; 2. = rough breathing, when appearing initially before a vowel; 3. = in the aspirated letters theta = th, phi = ph, chi = ch. Accents are given immediately after their corresponding vowels: acute = ' , grave = `, circumflex = ^. The character ' doubles as an apostrophe, when necessary.



[Books VIII-IX translated by the Rev. Henry Austin Wilson, M.A., Fellow and Librarian of Magdalen College, Oxford; Books X-XII translated by the Rev. H. C. Ogle, revised by the Rev. Wilson.]


1. The eighth book very notably overthrows the blasphemy of the heretics who say that the Only-begotten came from nothing, and that there wits a time when He was not, and shows the Son to be no new being, but from everlasting, from His having said to Moses, "I am He that is," and to Manoah, "Why askest thou My name? it also is wonderful";--moreover David also says to God, "Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail;" and furthermore Isaiah says, "I am God, the first, and hereafter am I:" and the Evangelist, "He was in the beginning, and was with God, and was God:"--and that He has neither beginning nor end: and he thrones that those who say that He is new and comes front nothing are idolaters. And herein he very finely interprets "the brightness of the glory, and the express image of the Person."

THESE, then, are the strong points of Eunomius' case; and I think that when those which promised to be powerful are proved by argument to be so rotten and unsubstantial, I may well keep silence concerning the rest, since the others are practically refuted, concurrently with the refutation of the stronger ones; just as it happens in warlike operations that when a force more powerful than the rest has been beaten, the remainder of the army are no longer of any account in the eyes of those by whom the strong portion of it has been overcome. But the fact that the chief part of his blasphemy lies in the later part of his discourse forbids me to be silent. For the transition of the Only-begotten from nothing into being, that horrid and godless doctrine of Eunomius, which is more to be shunned than all impiety, is next maintained in the order of his argument. And since every one who has been bewitched by this deceit has the phrase, "If He was, He has not been begotten, and if He has been begotten, He was not," ready upon his tongue for the maintenance of the doctrine that He Who made of nothing us and all the creation is Himself from nothing, and since the deceit obtains much support thereby, as men of feebler mind are pressed by this superficial bit of plausibility, and led to acquiesce in the blasphemy, we must needs not pass by this doctrinal "root of bitterness," lest, as the Apostle says, it "spring up and trouble us(1)" Now I say that we must first of all consider the actual argument itself, apart from our contest with our opponents, and thus afterwards proceed to the examination and refutation of what they have set forth.

One mark of the true Godhead is indicated by the words of Holy Scripture, which Moses learnt by the voice from heaven, when He heard Him Who said, "I am He that is(2)." We think it right, then, to believe that to be alone truly Divine which is represented as eternal and infinite in respect of being; and all that is contemplated therein is always the same, neither growing nor being consumed; so that if one should say of God, that formerly He was, but now is not, or that He now is, but formerly was not, we should consider each of the savings alike to be godless: for by both alike the idea of eternity is mutilated, being cut short on one side or the other by non-existence, whether one contemplates "nothing" as preceding "being(3)," or declares that "being" ends in "nothing"; and the frequent repetition of "first of all" or "last of all" concerning God's non- existence does not make amends for the impious conception touching the Divinity. For this reason we declare the maintenance of their doctrine as to the non-existence at some time of Him Who truly is, to be a denial and rejection of His true Godhead; and this on the ground that, on the one hand, He Who showed Himself to Moses by the light speaks of Himself as being, when He says, "I am He that is(2)," while on the other, Isaiah (being made, so to say, the instrument of Him Who spoke in him) says in the person of Him that is, "I am the first, and hereafter am I(4)," so that hereby, whichever way we consider it, we conceive eternity in God. And so, too, the word that was spoken to Manoah shows the fact that the Divinity is not comprehensible by the significance of His name, because, when Manoah asks to know His name, that, when the promise has come actually to pass, he may by name glorify his benefactor, He says to him, "Why askest thou this? It also is wonderful(5)"; so that by this we learn that there is one name significant of the Divine Nature--the wonder, namely, that arises unspeakably in our hearts concerning It. So, too, great David, in his discourses with himself, proclaims the same truth, in the sense that all the creation was brought into being by God, while He alone exists always in the same manner, and abides for ever, where he says, "But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail(6)." When we hear these sayings, and others like them, from men inspired by God, let us leave all that is not from eternity to the worship of idolaters, as a new thing alien from the true Godhead. For that which now is, and formerly was not, is clearly new and not eternal, and to have regard to any new object of worship is called by Moses the service of demons, when he says, "They sacrificed to devils and not to God, to gods whom their fathers knew not; new gods were they that came newly up(7)." If then everything that is new in worship is a service of demons, and is alien from the true Godhead, and if what is now, but was not always, is new and not eternal, we who have regard to that which is, necessarily reckon those who contemplate non-existence as attaching to Him Who is, and who say that "He once was not," among the worshippers of idols. For we may also see that the great John, when declaring in his own preaching the Only-begotten God, guards his own statement in every way, so that the conception of non-existence shall find no access to Him Who is. For he says(8) that He "was in the beginning," and "was with God," and "was God," and was light, and life, and truth, and all good things at all times, and never at any time failed to be anything that is excellent, Who is the fulness of all good, and is in the bosom of the Father. If then Moses lays down as a law for us some such mark of true Godhead as this, that we know nothing else of God but this one thing, that He is (for to this point the words, "I am He that is(9)"); while Isaiah in his preaching declares aloud the absolute infinity of Him Who is, defining the existence of God as having no regard to beginning or to end (for He Who says "I am the first, and hereafter am I," places no limit to His eternity in either direction, so that neither, if we look to the beginning, do we find any point marked since which He is, and beyond which He was not, nor, if 'we turn our thought to the future, can we cut short by any boundary the eternal progress of Him Who is),--and if the prophet David forbids us to worship any new and strange God(1) (both of which are involved in the heretical doctrine; "newness" is clearly indicated in that which is not eternal, and "strangeness" is alienation from the Nature of the very God),- -if, I say, these things are so, we declare all the sophistical fabrication about the non-existence at some time of Him Who truly is, to be nothing else than a departure from Christianity, and a turning to idolatry. For when the Evangelist, in his discourse concerning the Nature of God, separates at all points non-existence from Him Who is, and, by his constant repetition of the word "was," carefully destroys the suspicion of non- existence, and calls Him the Only-begotten God, the Word of God, the Son of God, equal with God, and all such names, we have this judgment fixed and settled in us, that if the Only-begotten Son is God, we must believe that He Who is believed to be God is eternal. And indeed He is verily God, and assuredly is eternal, and is never at any time found to be non-existent. For God, as we have often said, if He now is, also assuredly always was, and if He once was not, neither does He now exist at all. But since even the enemies of the truth confess that the Son is and continually abides the Only-begotten God, we say this, that, being in the Father, He is not in Him in one respect only, but He is in Him altogether, in respect of all that the Father is conceived to be. As, then, being in the incorruptibility of the Father, He is incorruptible, good in His goodness, powerful in His might, and, as being in each of these attributes of special excellence which are conceived of the Father, He is that particular thing, so, also, being in His eternity, He is assuredly eternal. Now the eternity of the Father is marked by His never having taken His being from nonexistence, and never terminating His being in non-existence. He, therefore, Who hath all things that are the Father's(2), and is contemplated in all the glory of the Father, even as, being in the endlessness of the Father, He has no end, so, being in the unoriginateness of the Father, has, as the Apostle says, "no beginning of days(3)," but at once is "of the Father," and is regarded in the eternity of the Father: and in this respect, more especially, is seen the complete absence of divergence in the Likeness, as compared with Him Whose Likeness He is. And herein is His saying found true which tells us, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father(4)." Moreover, it is in this way that those words of the Apostle, that the Son is "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person(5)," are best understood to have an excellent and close application. For the Apostle conveys to those hearers who are unable, by the contemplation of purely intellectual objects, to elevate their thought to the height of the knowledge of God, a sort of notion of the truth, by means of things apparent to sense. For as the body of the sun is expressly imaged by the whole disc that surrounds it, and he who looks on the sun argues, by means of what he sees, the existence of the whole solid substratum, so, he says, the majesty of the Father is expressly imaged in the greatness of the power of the Son, that the one may be believed to be as great as the other is known to be: and again, as the radiance of light sheds its brilliancy from the whole of the sun's disc (for in the disc one part is not radiant, and the rest dim), so all that glory which the Father is, sheds its brilliancy from its whole extent by means of the brightness that comes from it, that is, by the true Light; and as the ray is of the sun (for there would be no ray if the sun were not), yet the sun is never conceived as existing by itself without the ray of brightness that is shed from it, so the Apostle delivering to us the continuity and eternity of that existence which the Only-begotten has of the Father, calls the Son "the brightness of His glory."

2. He then discusses the "willing" of the Father concerning the generation of the Son, and shows that the object of that good will is from eternity, which is the Son, existing in the father, and being closely related to the process of willing, as the ray to the flame, or the act of seeing to the eye.

After these distinctions on our part no one can well be longer in doubt how the Only-begotten at once is believed to be "of the Father," and is eternally, even if the one phrase does not at first sight seem to agree with the other,--that which declares Him to be "of the Father" with that which asserts His eternity. But if we are to confirm our statement by further arguments, it may be possible to apprehend the doctrine on this point by the aid of things cognizable by our senses. And let no one deride our statement, if it cannot find among existing things a likeness of the object of our enquiry such as may be in all respects sufficient for the presentation of the matter in hand by way of analogy and resemblance. For we should like to persuade those who say that the Father first willed and so proceeded to become a Father, and on this ground assert posteriority in existence as regards the Word, by whatever illustrations may make it possible, to turn to the orthodox view. Neither does this immediate conjunction exclude the "willing" of the Father, in the sense that He had a Son without choice, by some necessity of His Nature, nor does the "willing" separate the Son from the Father, coming in between them as a kind of interval: so that we neither reject from our doctrine the "willing" of the Begetter directed to the Son, as being, so to say, forced out by the conjunction of the Son's oneness with the Father, nor do we by any means break that inseparable connection, when "willing" is regarded as involved in the generation. For to our heavy and inert nature it properly belongs that the wish and the possession of a thing are not often present with us at the same moment; but now we wish for something we have not, and at another time we obtain what we do not wish to obtain. But, in the case of the simple and all-powerful Nature, all things are conceived together and at once, the willing of good as well as the possession of what He wills. For the good and the eternal will is contemplated as operating, indwelling, and co-existing in the eternal Nature, not arising in it from any separate principle, nor capable of being conceived apart from the object of will: for it is not possible that with God either the good will should not be, or the object of will should not accompany the act of will, since no cause can either bring it about that which befits the Father should not always be, or be any hindrance to the possession of the object of will. Since, then, the Only-begotten God is by nature the good (or rather beyond all good), and since the good does not fail to be the object of the Father's will, it is hereby clearly shown, both that the conjunction of the Son with the Father is without any intermediary, and also that the will, which is always present in the good Nature, is not forced out nor excluded by reason of this inseparable conjunction. And if any one is listening to my argument in no scoffing spirit, I should like to add to what I have already said something of the following kind.

Just as, if one were to grant (I speak, of course, hypothetically) the power of deliberate choice to belong to flame, it would be clear that the flame will at once upon its existence will that its radiance should shine forth from itself, and when it wills it will not be impotent (since, on the appearance of the flame, its natural power at once fulfils its will in the matter of the radiance), so that undoubtedly, if it be granted that the flame is moved by deliberate choice, we conceive the concurrence of all these things simultaneously--of the kindling of the fire, of its act of will concerning the radiance, and of the radiance itself; so that the movement by way of choice is no hindrance to the dignity of the existence of the radiance,--even so, according to the illustration we have spoken of, you will not, by confessing the good act of will as existing in the Father, separate by that act of will the Son from the Father. For it is not reasonable to suppose that the act of willing that He should be, could be a hindrance to His immediately coming into being; but just as, in the eye, seeing and the will to see are, one an operation of nature, the other an impulse of choice, yet no delay is caused to the act of sight by the movement of choice in that particular direction(6),--(for each of these is regarded separately and by itself, not as being at all a hindrance to the existence of the other, but as both being somehow interexistent, the natural operation concurring with the choice, and the choice in turn not failing to be accompanied by the natural motion)--as, I say, perception naturally belongs to the eye, and the willing to see produces no delay in respect to actual sight, but one wills that it should have vision, and immediately what he wills is, so also in the case of that Nature' which is unspeakable and above all thought, our apprehension of all comes together simultaneously--of the eternal existence of the Father, and of an act of will concerning the Son, and of the Son Himself, Who is, as John says, "in the beginning," and is not conceived as coming after the beginning. Now the beginning of all is the Father; but in this beginning the Son also is declared to be, being in His Nature that very thing which the Beginning is. For the Beginning is God, and the Word Who "was in the Beginning." is God. As then the phrase "the beginning" points to eternity, John well conjoins "the Word in the Beginning," saying that the Word was in It; asserting, I suppose, this fact to the end that the first idea present to the mind of his hearer may not be "the Beginning" alone by itself, but that, before this has been impressed upon him, there should also be presented to his mind, together with the Beginning the Word Who was in It, entering with It into the hearer's understanding, and being present to his heating at the same time with the Beginning.

3. Then, thus passing over what relates to the essence of the Son as having been already discussed, he treats of the sense involved in "generation," saying that there are diverse generations, those effected by matter and art, and of buildings,--and that by succession of animals,--and those by efflux, as by the sun and its beam. the lamp and its radiance, scents and ointments and the quality diffused by them,--and the ward produced by the mind; and cleverly discusses generation(7) from rotten wood; and from the condensation of fire, and countless other causes.

Now that we have thus thoroughly scrutinized our doctrine, it may perhaps be time to set forth and to consider the opposing statement, examining it side by side in comparison with our own opinion. He states it thus:--" For while there are," he says, "two statements which we have made, the one, that the essence of the Only-begotten was not before its own generation, the other that, being generated, it was before all things, he s does not prove either of these statements to be untrue; for he did not venture to say that He was before that supreme(9) generation and formation, seeing that he is opposed at once by the Nature of the Father, and the judgment of sober-minded men. For what sober man could admit the Son to be and to be begotten before that supreme generation? and He Who is without generation needs not generation in order to His being what He is." Well, whether he speaks truly, when he says that our master s opposed his antitheses to no purpose, all may surely be aware who have been conversant with that writer's works. But for my own part (for I think that the refutation of his calumny on this matter is a small step towards the exposure of his malice), I will leave the task of showing that this point was not passed over by our master without discussion, and turn my argument to the discussion, as far as in me lies, of the points now advanced. He says that he has in his own discourse spoken of two matters,--one, that the essence of the Only-begotten was not before Its own generation, the other, that, being generated, It was before all things. Now I think that by what we have already said, the fact has been sufficiently shown that no new essence was begotten by the Father besides that which is contemplated in the Father Himself, and that there is no need for us to be entangled in a contest with blasphemy of this kind, as if the argument were now propounded to us for the first time; and further, that the real force of our argument must be directed to one point, I mean to his horrible and blasphemous utterance, which clearly states concerning God the Word that "He was not." Moreover, as our argument in the foregoing discourse has already to some extent dealt with the question of his blasphemy, it would perhaps be superfluous again to establish by like considerations what we have proved already. For it was to this end that we made those former statements, that by the earlier impression upon our hearers of an orthodox mode of thought, the blasphemy of our adversaries, who assert that non-existence preceded existence in the case of the Only-begotten God, might be more manifest.

It seems at this point well to investigate in our argument, by a more careful examination, the actual significance of "generation." That this name presents to us the fact of being as the result of some cause is clear to every one, and about this point there is, I suppose, no need to dispute. But since the account to be given of things which exist as the result of cause is various, I think it proper that this matter should be cleared up in our discourse by some sort of scientific division. Of things, then, which are the result of something, we understand the varieties to be as follows. Some are the result of matter and art, as the structure of buildings and of other works, coming into being by means of their respective matter, and these are directed by some art that accomplishes the thing proposed, with a view to the proper aim of the results produced. Others are the results of matter and nature; for the generations of animals are the building(1) of nature, who carries on her own operation by means of their material bodily subsistence. Others are the result of material efflux, in which cases the antecedent remains in its natural condition, while that which flows from it is conceived separately, as in the case of the sun and its beam, or the lamp and its brightness, or of scents and ointments and the quality they emit; for these, while they remain in themselves without diminution, have at the same time, each concurrently with itself, that natural property which they emit: as the sun its beam, the lamp its brightness, the scents the perfume produced by them in the air. There is also another species of "generation" besides these, in which the cause is immaterial and incorporeal, but the generation is an object of sense and takes place by corporeal means;--I speak of the word which is begotten by the hind: for the mind, being itself incorporeal, brings forth the word by means of the organs of sense. All these varieties of generation we mentally include, as it were, in one general view. For all the wonders that are wrought by nature, which changes the bodies of some animals to something of a different kind, or produces some animals from a change in liquids, or a corruption of seed, or the rotting of wood, or out of the condensed mass of fire transforms the cold vapour that issues from the firebrands, shut off in the heart of the fire, to produce an animal' which they call the salamander,--these, even if they seem to be outside the limits we have laid down, are none the less included among the cases we have mentioned. For it is by means of bodies that nature fashions these varied forms of animals; for it is such and such a change of body, disposed by nature in this or that particular way, which produces this or that particular animal; and this is not a distinct species of generation besides that which is accomplished as the result of nature and matter.

4. He further shows the operations of God to be expressed by human illustrations; for what hands and fief and the other parts of the body with which men work are, that, in the case of God, the will alone is, in place of these. And so also arises the divergence of generation; wherefore He is called Only-begotten, because He has no community with other generation such as is observed in creation(2), but in that He is called the "brightness of glory," and the "savour of ointment," He shows the close conjunction and co-eternity of His Nature with the Father(3).

Now these modes of generation being well known to men, the loving dispensation of the Holy Spirit, in delivering to us the Divine mysteries, conveys its instruction on those matters which transcend language by means of what is within our capacity, as it does also constantly elsewhere, when it portrays the Divinity in bodily terms, making mention, in speaking concerning God, of His eye, His eyelids, His ear, His fingers, His hand, His right hand, His arm, His feet, His shoes(4), and the like,--none of which things is apprehended to belong in its primary sense to the Divine Nature,--but turning its teaching to what we can easily perceive, it describes by, terms well worn in human use, facts that are beyond every name, while by each of the terms employed concerning God we are led analogically to some more exalted conception. In this way, then, it employs the numerous forms of generation to present to us, from the inspired teaching, the unspeakable existence of the Only-begotten, taking just so much from each as may be reverently admitted into our conceptions concerning God. For as its mention of "fingers," "hand," and "arm," in speaking of God, does not by the phrase portray the structure of the limb out of bones and sinews and flesh and ligaments, but signifies by such an expression His effective and operative power, and as it indicates by each of the other words of this kind those conceptions concerning God which correspond to them, not admitting the corporeal senses of the words, so also it speaks indeed of the forms of these modes of coming into being as applied to the Divine Nature, yet does not speak in that sense which our customary knowledge enables us to understand. For when it speaks of the formative power, it calls that particular energy by the name of "generation," because the word expressive of Divine power must needs descend to our lowliness, yet it does not indicate all that is associated with formative generation among ourselves,--neither place nor time nor preparation of material, nor the cooperation of instruments, nor the purpose in the things produced, but it leaves these out of sight, and greatly and loftily claims for God the generation of the things that are, where it says, "He spake and they were begotten, He commanded and they were created(5)." Again, when it expounds that unspeakable and transcendent existence which the Only-begotten has from the Father, because human poverty is incapable of the truths that are too high for speech or thought, it uses our language here also, and calls Him by the name of "Son,"--a name which our ordinary use applies to those who are produced by matter and nature. But just as the word, which tells us in reference to God of the "generation" of the creation, did not add the statement that it was generated by the aid of any material, declaring that its material substance, its place, its time, and all the like, had their existence in the power of His will, so here too, in speaking of the "Son," it leaves out of sight both all other things which human nature sees in earthly generation (passions, I mean, and dispositions, and the cooperation of time and the need of place, and especially matter), without all which earthly generation as a result of nature does not occur. Now every such conception of matter and interval being excluded from the sense of the word "Son," nature alone remains, and hereby in the word "Son "is declared concerning the Only-begotten the close and true character of His manifestation from the Father. And since this particular species of generation did not suffice to produce in us an adequate idea of the unspeakable existence of the Only- begotten, it employs also another species of generation, that which is the result of efflux, to express the Divine Nature of the Son, and calls Him "the brightness of glory(6)," the "savour of ointment(7)," the "breath of God(8)," which our accustomed use, in the scientific discussion we have already made, calls material efflux. But just as in the previous cases neither the making of creation nor the significance of the word "Son" admitted time, or matter, or place, or passion, so here also the phrase, purifying the sense of "brightness" and the other terms from every material conception, and employing only that element in this particular species of generation which is suitable to the Divinity, points by the force of this mode of expression to the truth that He is conceived as being both from Him and with Him. For neither does the word "breath" present to us dispersion into the air from the underlying matter, nor "savour" the transference that takes place from the quality of the ointment to the air, nor "brightness" the efflux by means of rays from the body of the sun; but this only, as we have said, is manifested by this particular mode of generation, that He is conceived to be of Him and also with Him, no intermediate interval existing between the Father and that Son Who is of Him. And since, in its abundant loving-kindness, the grace of the Holy Spirit has ordered that our conceptions concerning the Only-begotten Son should arise in us from many sources, it has added also the remaining species of things contemplated in generation,--that, I mean, which is the result of mind and word. But the lofty John uses especial foresight that the hearer may not by any means by inattention or feebleness of thought fall into the common understanding of "Word," so that the Son should be supposed to be the voice of the Father. For this reason he prepares us at his first proclamation to regard the Word as in essence, and not in any essence foreign to or dissevered from that essence whence It has Its being, but in that first and blessed Nature. For this is what he teaches us when he says the Word "was in the beginning(9)," and "was with God(9)," being Himself also both God and all else that the "Beginning" is. For thus it is that he makes his discourse on the Godhead, touching the eternity of the Only-begotten. Seeing then that these modes of generation (those, I mean, which are the result of cause) are ordinarily known among us, and are employed by Holy Scripture for our instruction on the subjects before us, in such a way as it might be expected that each of them would be applied to the presentation of Divine conceptions, let the reader of our argument "judge righteous judgement(1)," whether any of the assertions that heresy makes have any force against the truth.

5. Then, after showing that the Person of the Only-begotten and Maker of things has no beginning, as have the things that were made by Him, as Eunomius says, but that the Only-begotten is without beginning and eternal, and has no community, either of essence or of names, with the creation, but is co-existent with the Father from everlasting, being, as the all- excellent Wisdom says, "the beginning and end and midst of the times," and after making many observations on the Godhead and eternity of the Only- begotten, and also concerning souls and angels, and life and death, he concludes the book.

I will now once more subjoin the actual language of my opponent, word for word. It runs thus:--"While there are," he says, "two statements which we have made, the one, that the essence of the Only-begotten was not before its own generation, the other, that, being generated, it was before all things--" What kind of generation does our dogmatist propose to us? Is it one of which we may fittingly think and speak in regard to God? And who is so godless as to pre-suppose non-existence in God? But it is clear that he has in view this material generation of ours, and is making the lower nature the teacher of his conceptions concerning the Only-begotten God, and since an ox or an ass or a camel is not before its own generation, he thinks it proper to say even of the Only-begotten God that which the course of the lower nature presents to our view in the case of the animals, without thinking, corporeal theologian that he is, of this fact, that the predicate "Only-begotten", applied to God, signifies by the very word itself that which is not in common with all begetting, and is peculiar to Him. How could the term "Only-begotten" be used of this "generation," if it had community and identity of meaning with other generation? That there is something unique and exceptional to be understood in His case, which is not to be remarked in other generation, is distinctly and suitably expressed by the appellation of "Only-begotten"; as, were any element of the lower generation conceived in it, He Who in respect of any of the attributes of His generation was placed on a level with other things that are begotten would no longer be "Only-begotten." For if the same things are to be said of Him which are said of the other things that come into being by generation, the definition will transform the sense of "Only-begotten" to signify a kind of relationship involving brotherhood. If then the sense of "Only-begotten" points to absence of mixture and community with the rest. of generated things, we shall not admit that anything which we behold in the lower generation is also to be conceived in the case of that existence which the Son has from the Father. But non-existence before generation is proper to all things that exist by generation: therefore this is foreign to the special character of the Only-begotten, to which the name "Only- begotten" bears witness that there attaches nothing belonging to the mode of that form of common generation which Eunomius misapprehends. Let this materialist and friend of the senses be persuaded therefore to correct the error of his conception by the other forms of generation. What will you say when you hear of the "brightness of glory" or of the "savour of ointment(2)?" That the "brightness" was not before its own generation? But if you answer thus, you will surely admit that neither did the "glory" exist, nor the "ointment": for it is not possible that the "glory" should be conceived as having existed by itself, dark and lustreless, or the "ointment" without producing its sweet breath: so that if the "brightness" "was not," the "glory" also surely "was not," and the "savour" being non- existent, there is also proved the non-existence of the "ointment." But if these examples taken from Scripture excite any man's fear, on the ground that they do not accurately present to us the majesty of the Only-begotten, because neither is essentially the same with its substratum--neither the exhalation with the ointment, nor the beam with the sun--let the true Word correct his fear, Who was in the Beginning and is all that the Beginning is, and existent before all; since John so declares in his preaching, "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God(3)." If then the Father is God and the Son is God, what doubt still remains with regard to the perfect Divinity of the Only-begotten, when by the sense of the word "Son" is acknowledged the close relationship of Nature, by "brightness" the conjunction and inseparability, and by the appellation of "God," applied alike to the Father and the Son, their absolute equality, while the "express image," contemplated in reference to the whole Person(4) of the Father, marks the absence of any defect in the Son's proper greatness, and the "form of God" indicates His complete identity by showing in itself all those marks by which the Godhead is betokened.

Let us now set forth Eunomius' statement once more. "He was not," he says, "before His own generation." Who is it of Whom he says "He was not"? Let him declare the Divine names by which He Who, according to Eunomius, "once was not," is called. He will say, I suppose, "light," and "blessedness," "life" and "incorruptibility," and "righteousness" and "sanctification," and "no power," and "truth," and the like. He who says, then, that "He was not before His generation," absolutely proclaims this,-- that when He "was not" there was no truth, no life, no light, no power, no incorruptibility, no other of those pre-eminent qualities which are conceived of Him: and, what is still more marvellous and still more difficult for impiety to face, there was no "brightness," no "express image." For in saying that there was no brightness, there is surely maintained also the non-existence of the radiating power, as one may see in the illustration afforded by the lamp. For he who speaks, of the ray of the lamp indicates also that the lamp shines, and he who says that the ray "is not," signifies also the extinction of that which gives light: so that when the Son is said not to be thereby is also maintained as a necessary consequence the non-existence of the Father. For if the one is related to the other by way of conjunction, according to the Apostolic testimony--the "brightness" to the "glory," the "express image" to the "Person," the "Wisdom" to God--he who says that one of the things so conjoined "is not," surely by his abolition of the one abolishes also that which remains; so that if the "brightness" "was not," it is acknowledged that neither did the illuminating nature exist, and if the "express image" had no existence, neither did the Person imaged exist, and if the wisdom and power of God "was not," it is surely acknowledged that He also was not, Who is not conceived by Himself without wisdom and power. If, then, the Only-begotten God, as Eunomius says, "was not before His generation," and Christ is "the power of God and the wisdom of God(5)," and the "express image"(6) and the "brightness(6)," neither surely did the Father exist, Whose power and wisdom and express image and brightness the Son is: for it is not possible to conceive by reason either a Person without express image, or glory without radiance, or God without wisdom, or a Maker without hands, or a Beginning without the Word(7), or a Father without a Son; but all such things, alike by those who confess and by those who deny, are manifestly declared to be in mutual union, and by the abolition of one the other also disappears with it. Since then they maintain that the Son (that is, the "brightness of the glory,") "was not" before He was begotten, and since logical consequence involves also, together with the non-existence of the brightness, the abolition of the glory, and the Father is the glory whence came the brightness of the Only-begotten Light, let these men who are wise over-much consider that they are manifestly supporters of the Epicurean doctrines, preaching atheism under the guise of Christianity. Now since the logical consequence is shown to be one of two absurdities, either that we should say that God does nor exist at all, or that we should say that His being was not unoriginate, let them choose which they like of the two courses before them,--either to be called atheist, or to cease saying that the essence of the Father is unoriginate. They would avoid, I suppose. being reckoned atheists. It remains, therefore, that they maintain that God is not eternal. And if the course of what has been proved forces them to this, what becomes of their varied and irreversible conversions of names? What becomes of that invincible compulsion of their syllogisms, which sounded so fine to the ears of old women, with its opposition of "Generated" and "Ungenerate"?

Enough, however, of these matters. But it might be well not to leave his next point unanswered; yet let us pass over in silence the comic interlude, where our clever orator shows his youthful conceit, whether in jest or in earnest, under the impression that he will thereby have an advantage in his argument. For certainly no one will force us to join either with those whose eyes are set askance in distorting our sight, or with those who are stricken with strange disease in being contorted, or in their bodily leaps and plunges. We shall pity them, but we shall not depart from our settled state of mind. He says, then, turning his discourse upon the subject to our master, as if he were really engaging him face to face, "Thou shalt be taken in thine own snare." For as Basil had said s that what is good is always present with God Who is over all, and that it is good to be the Father of such a Son,--that so what is good was never absent from Him, nor was it the Father's will to be without the Son, and when He willed He did not lack the power, but having the power and the will to be in the mode in which it seemed good to Him, He also always possessed the Son by reason of His always willing that which is good (for this is the direction in which the intention of our father's remarks tends), Eunomius pulls this in pieces beforehand, and puts forward to overthrow what has been said some such argument as this, introduced from his extraneous philosophy:--"What will become of you," he says, "if one of those who have had experience of such arguments should say,(4) If to create is good and agreeable to the Nature of God, how is it that what is good and agreeable to His Nature was not present with Him unoriginately, seeing that God is unoriginate? and that when there was no hindrance of ignorance or impediment of weakness or of age in the matter of creation,"--and all the rest that he collects together and pours out upon himself,--for I may not say, upon God. Well, if it were possible for our master to answer the question in person, he would have shown Eunomius what would have become of him, as he asked, by setting forth the Divine mystery with that tongue that was taught of God, and by scourging the champion of deceit with his refutations, so that it would have been made clear to all men what a difference there is between a minister of the mysteries of Christ and a ridiculous buffoon or a setter- forth of new and absurd doctrines. But since he, as the Apostle says, "being dead, speaketh(9)" to God, while the other puts forth such a challenge as though there were no one to answer him, even though an answer from us may not have equal force when compared with the words of the great Basil, we shall yet boldly say this in answer to the questioner:--Your own argument, put forth to overthrow our statement, is a testimony that in the charges we make against your impious doctrine we speak truly. For there is no other point we blame so much as this, that you(1) think there is no difference between the Lord of creation and the general body of creation, and what you now allege is a maintaining of the very things which we find fault with. For if you are bound to attach exactly what you see in creation also to the Only-begotten God, our contention has gained its end: your own statements proclaim the absurdity of the doctrine, and it is manifest to all, both that we keep our argument in the straight way of truth, and that your conception of the Only-begotten God is such as you have of the rest of the creation.

Concerning whom was the controversy? Was it not concerning the Only- begotten God, the Maker of all the creation, whether He always was, or whether He came into being afterwards as an addition to His Father? What then do our master's words say on this matter? That it is irreverent to believe that what is naturally good was not in God: for that he saw no cause by which it was probable that the good was not always present with Him Who is good, either for lack of power or for weakness of will. What does he who contends against these statements say? "If you allow that God the Word is to be believed eternal, you must allow the same of the things that have been created"--(How well he knows how to distinguish in his argument the nature of the creatures and the majesty of God! How well he knows about each, what befits it, what he may piously think concerning God, what concerning the creation!)--"if the Maker," he says, "begins from the time of His making: for there is nothing else by which we can mark the beginning of things that have been made, if time does not define by its own interval the beginnings and the endings of the things that come into being."

On this ground he says that the Maker of time must commence His existence from a like beginning. Well, the creation has the ages for its beginning, but what beginning can you conceive of the Maker of the ages? If any one should say, "The 'beginning' which is mentioned in the Gospel"--it is the Father Who is there signified, and the confession of the Son together with Him is there pointed to, nor can it be that He Who is in the Father(2), as the Lord says, can begin His being in Him from any particular point. And if any one speaks of another beginning besides this, let him tell us the name by which he marks this beginning, as none can be apprehended before the establishment of the ages. Such a statement, therefore. will not move us a whit from the orthodox conception concerning the Only-begotten, even if old women do applaud the proposition as a sound one. For we abide by what has been determined from the beginning, having our doctrine firmly based on truth, to wit, that all things which the orthodox doctrine assumes that we assert concerning the Only-begotten God have no kindred with the creation, but the marks which distinguish the Maker of all and His works are separated by a wide interval. If indeed the Son had in any other respect communion with the creation, we surely ought to say that He did not diverge from it even in the manner of His existence. But if the creation has no share in such things as are all those which we learn concerning the Son, we must surely of necessity say that in this matter also He has no communion with it. For the creation was not in the beginning, and was not with God, and was not, God, nor life, nor light, nor resurrection, nor the rest of the Divine names, as truth, righteousness, sanctification, Judge, just, Maker of all things, existing before the ages, for ever and ever; the creation is not the brightness of the glory, nor the express image of the Person, nor the likeness of goodness, nor grace, nor power, nor truth, nor salvation, nor redemption; nor do we find any one at all of those names which are employed by Scripture for the glory of the Only-begotten, either belonging to the creation or employed concerning it,- -not to speak of those more exalted words, "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me(2)," and, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father(3), and, "None hath seen the Son, save the Father(4)." If indeed our doctrine allowed us to claim for the creation things so many and so great as these, he might have been right in thinking that we ought to attach what we observe-in it to our conceptions of the Only-begotten also, since the transfer would be from kindred subjects to one nearly allied. But if all these concepts and names involve communion with the Father, while they transcend our notions of the creation, does not our clever and sharp-witted friend slink away in shame at discussing the nature of the Lord of the Creation by the aid of what he observes in creation, without being aware that the marks which distinguish the creation are of a different sort? The ultimate division of all that exists is made by the line between "created" and "uncreated," the one being regarded as a cause of what has come into being, the other as coming into being thereby. Now the created nature and the Divine essence being thus divided, and admitting no intermixture in respect of their distinguishing properties, we must by no means conceive both by means of similar terms, nor seek in the idea of their nature for the same distinguishing marks in things that are thus separated. Accordingly, as the nature that is in the creation, as the phrase of the most excellent Wisdom somewhere tells us, exhibits "the beginning, ending, and midst of the times(5)" in itself, and extends concurrently with all temporal intervals, we take as a sort of characteristic of the subject this property, that in it we see some beginning of its formation, look on its midst, and extend our expectations to its end. For we have learnt that the heaven and the earth were not from eternity, and will not last to eternity, and thus it is hence clear that those things are both started from some beginning, and will surely cease at some end. But the Divine Nature, being limited in no respect, but passing all limitations on every side in its infinity, is far removed from those marks which we find in creation. For that power which is without interval, without quantity, without circumscription, having in itself all the ages and all the creation that has taken place in them, and over-passing at all points, by virtue of the infinity of its own nature, the unmeasured extent of the ages, either has no mark which indicates its nature, or has one of an entirely different sort, and not that which the creation has. Since, then, it belongs to the creation to have a beginning, that will be alien from the uncreated nature which belongs to the creation. For if any one should venture to suppose the existence of the Only-begotten Son to be, like the creation, from any beginning comprehensible by us, he must certainly append to his statement concerning the Son the rest also of the sequence(6); for it is not possible to avoid acknowledging, together with the beginning, that also which follows from it. For just as if one were to admit some person to be a man in all(7) the properties of his nature, he would observe that in this confession he declared him to be an animal and rational, and whatever else is conceived of man, so by the same reasoning, if we should understand any of the properties of creation to be present in the Divine essence, it will no longer be open to us to refrain from attaching to that pure Nature the rest of the list of the attributes contemplated therein. For the "beginning" will demand by force and compulsion that which follows it; for the "beginning," thus conceived, is a beginning of what comes after it, in such a sense, that if they are, it is, and if the things connected with it are removed, the antecedent also would not remain(8). Now as the book of Wisdom speaks of "midst" and "end" as well as of "beginning," if we assume in the Nature of the Only-begotten, according to the heretical dogma, some beginning of existence defined by a certain mark of time, the book of Wisdom will by no means allow us to refrain from subjoining to the "beginning "a "midst" and an "end" also. If this should be done we shall find, as the result of our arguments, that the Divine word shows us that the Deity is mortal. For if, according to the book of Wisdom, the "end" is a necessary consequence of the "beginning," and the idea of "midst" is involved in that of extremes, he who allows one of these also potentially maintains the others, and lays down bounds of measure and limitation for the infinite Nature. And if this is impious and absurd, the giving a beginning to that argument which ends in impiety deserves equal, or even greater censure; and the beginning of this absurd doctrine was seen to be the supposition that the life of the Son was circumscribed by some beginning. Thus one of two courses is before them: either they must revert to sound doctrine under the compulsion of the foregoing arguments, and contemplate Him Who is of the Father in union with the Father's eternity, or if they do not like this, they must limit the eternity of the Son in both ways, and reduce the limitless character of His life to non-existence by a beginning and an end. And, granted that the nature both of souls and of the angels has no end, and is no way hindered from going on to eternity, by the fact of its being created, and having the beginning of its existence from some point of time, so that our adversaries can use this fact to assert a parallel in the case of Christ, in the sense that He is not from eternity, and yet endures everlastingly,--let any one who advances this argument also consider the following point, how widely the Godhead differs from the creation in its special attributes. For to the Godhead it properly belongs to lack no conceivable thing which is regarded as good, while the creation attains excellence by partaking in something better than itself; and further, not only had a beginning of its being, but also is found to be constantly in a state of beginning to be in excellence, by its continual advance in improvement, since it never halts at what it has reached, but all that it has acquired(9) becomes by participation a beginning of its ascent to something still greater, and it never ceases, in Paul's phrase, "reaching forth to the things that are before," and "forgetting the things that are behind(1)." Since, then, the Godhead is very life, and the Only- begotten God is God, and life, and truth, and every conceivable thing that is lofty and Divine, while the creation draws from Him its supply of good, it may hence be evident that if it is in life by partaking of life, it will surely, if it ceases from this participation, cease from life also. If they dare, then, to say also of the Only-begotten God those things which it is true to say of the creation, let them say this too, along with the rest, that He has a beginning of His being like the creation, and abides in life after the likeness of souls. But if He is the very life, and needs not to have life in Himself ab extra, while all other things are not life, but are merely participants in life, what constrains us to cancel, by reason of what we see in creation, the eternity of the Son? For that which is always unchanged as regards its nature, admits of no contrary, and is incapable of change to any other condition: while things whose nature is on the boundary line have a tendency that shifts either way, inclining at will to what they find attractive(2). If, then, that which is truly life is contemplated in the Divine and transcendent nature, the decadence thereof will surely, as it seems, end in the opposite state(3).

Now the meaning of "life" and "death" is manifold, and not always understood in the same way. For as regards the flesh, the energy and motion of the bodily senses is called "life," and their extinction and dissolution is named "death." But in the case of the intellectual nature, approximation to the Divine is the true life, and decadence therefrom is named "death": for which reason the original evil, the devil, is called both "death," and the inventor of death: and he is also said by the Apostle to have the power of death(4). As, then, we obtain, as has been said, from the Scriptures, a twofold conception of death, He Who is truly unchangeable and immutable "alone hath immortality," and dwells in light that cannot be attained or approached by the darkness of wickedness(5): but all things that participate in death, being far removed from immortality by their contrary tendency, if they fall away from that which is good, would, by the mutability of their nature, admit community with the worse condition, which is nothing else than death, having a certain correspondence with the death of the body. For as in that case the extinction of the activities of nature is called death, so also, in the case of the intellectual being, the absence of motion towards the good is death and departure from life; so that what we perceive in the bodiless creation(6) does not clash with our argument, which refutes the doctrine of heresy. For that form of death which corresponds to the intellectual nature (that is, separation from God, Whom we call Life) is, potentially, not separated even from their nature; for their emergence from non-existence shows mutability of nature; and that to which change is in affinity is hindered from participation in the contrary state by the grace of Him Who strengthens it: it does not abide in the good by its own nature: and such a thing is not eternal. If, then, one really speaks truth in saying that we ought not to estimate the Divine essence and the created nature in the same way, nor to circumscribe the being of the Son of God by any beginning, test, if this be granted, the other attributes of creation should enter in together with our acknowledgment of this one, the absurd character of the teaching of that man, who employs the attributes of creation to separate the Only-begotten God from the eternity of the Father, is clearly shown. For as none other of the marks which characterize the creation appears in the Maker of the creation, so neither is the fact that the creation has its existence from some beginning a proof that the Son was not always in the Father,--that Son, Who is Wisdom, and Power, and Light, and Life, and all that is conceived of in the bosom of the Father.


1. The ninth book declares that Eunomius' account of the Nature of God is, up to a certain point, well stated. Then in succession he mixes up with his own argument, on account of its affinity, the expression from Philo's writings, "God is before all other things, which are generated," adding also the expression, "He has dominion over His own power." Detesting the excessive absurdity, Gregory strikingly confutes it(1).

BUT he now turns to loftier language, and elevating himself and puffing himself up with empty conceit, he takes in hand to say something worthy of God's majesty. "For God," he says, "being the most highly exalted of all goods, and the mightiest of all, and free from all necessity--" Nobly does the gallant man bring his discourse, like some ship without ballast, driven unguided by the waves of deceit, into the harbour of truth! "God is the most highly exalted of all goods." Splendid acknowledgment! I suppose he will not bring a charge of unconstitutional conduct against the great John, by whom, in his lofty proclamation, the Only-begotten is declared to be God, Who was with God and was God(2). If he, then, the proclaimer of the Godhead of the Only-begotten, is worthy of credit, and if "God is the most highly exalted of all goods," it follows that the Son is alleged by the enemies of His glory, to be "the most highly exalted of all goods." And as this phrase is also applied to the Father, the superlative force of "most highly exalted" admits of no diminution or addition by way of comparison. But, now that we have obtained from the adversary's testimony these statements for the proof of the glory of the Only-begotten, we must add in support of sound doctrine his next statement too. He says, "God, the most highly exalted of all goods, being without hindrance from nature, or constraint from cause, or impulse from need, begets and creates according to the supremacy of His own authority, having His will as power sufficient for the constitution of the things produced. If, then, all good is according to His will, He not only determines that which is made as good, but also the time of its being. good, if, that is to say, as one may assume, it is an indication of weakness to make what one does not will(3)." We shall borrow so far as this, for the confirmation of the orthodox doctrines, from our adversaries' statement, percolated as that statement is by vile and counterfeit clauses. Yes, He Who has, by the supremacy of His authority, power in His will that suffices for the constitution of the things that are made, He Who created all things without hindrance from nature or compulsion from cause, does determine not only that which is made as good, but also the time of its being good. But He Who made all things is, as the gospel proclaims, the Only-begotten God. He, at that time when He willed it, did make the creation; at that time, by means of the circumambient essence, He surrounded with the body of heaven all that universe that is shut off within its compass: at that time, when He thought it well that this should be, He displayed the dry land to view, He enclosed the waters in their hollow places; vegetation, fruits, the generation of animals, the formation of man, appeared at that time when each of these things seemed expedient to the wisdom of the Creator:--and He Who made all these things (I will once more repeat my statement) is the Only-begotten God Who made the ages. For if the interval of the ages has preceded existing things, it is proper to employ the temporal adverb, and to say "He then willed" and "He then made": but since the age was not, since no conception of interval is present to our minds in regard to that Divine Nature which is not measured by quantity or by interval, the force of temporal expressions must surely be void. Thus to say that the creation has had given to it a beginning in time, according to the good pleasure of the wisdom of Him Who made all things, does not go beyond probability: but to regard the Divine Nature itself as being in a kind of extension measured by intervals, belongs only to those who have been trained in the new wisdom. What a point is this, embedded in his words, which I intentionally passed by in my eagerness to reach the subject! I will now resume it, and read it to show our author's cleverness.

"For He Who is most highly exalted in God Himself(4) before all other things that are generated," he says, "has dominion over His own power." The phrase has been transferred by our pamphleteer word for word from the Hebrew Philo to his own argument, and Eunomius' theft will be proved by Philo's works themselves to any one who cares about it. I note the fact, however, at present, not so much to reproach our speech-monger with the poverty of his own arguments and thoughts, as with the intention of showing to my readers the close relationship between the doctrine of Eunomius and the reasoning of the Jews. For this phrase of Philo would not have fitted word for word into his argument had there not been a sort of kindred between the intention of the one and the other. In the Hebrew author you may find the phrase in this form: "God, before all other things that are generated"; and what follows, "has dominion over His own power," is an addition of the new Judaism. But what an absurdity this involves an examination of the saying will clearly show. "God," he says, "has dominion over His own power." Tell me, what is He? over what has He dominion? Is He something else than His own power, and Lord of a power that is something else than Himself? Then power is overcome by the absence of power. For that which is something else than power is surely not power, and thus He is found to have dominion over power just in so far as He is not power. Or again, God, being power, has another power in Himself, and has dominion over the one by the other. And what contest or schism is there, that God should divide the power that exists in Himself, and overthrow one section of His power by the other. I suppose He could not have dominion over His own power without the assistance to that end of some greater and more violent power! Such is Eunomius' God: a being with double nature, or composite, dividing Himself against Himself, having one power out of harmony with another, so that by one He is urged to disorder, and by the other restrains this discordant motion. Again, with what intent does He dominate the power that urges on to generation? lest some evil should arise if generation be not hindered? or rather let i him explain this in the first place,--what is that which is naturally under dominion? His language points to some movement of impulse and choice, considered separately and independently. For that which dominates must needs be one thing, that which is dominated another. Now God "has dominion over His power "--and this is-- what? a self-determining nature? or something else than this, pressing on to disquiet, or remaining in a state of quiescence? Well, if he supposes it to be quiescent, that which is tranquil needs no one to have dominion over it: and if he says "He has dominion," He "has dominion" clearly over something which impels and is in motion: and this, I presume he will say, is something naturally different from Him Who rules it. What then, let him tell us, does he understand in this idea? Is it something else besides God, considered as having an independent existence? How can another existence be in God? Or is it some condition in the Divine Nature considered as having an existence not its own? I hardly think he would say so: for that which has no existence of its own is not: and that which is not, is neither under dominion, nor set free from it. What then is that power which was under dominion, and was restrained in respect of its own activity, while the due time of the generation of Christ was still about to come, and to set this power free to proceed to its natural operation? What was the intervening cause of delay, for which God deferred the generation of the Only-begotten, not thinking it good as yet to become a Father? And what is this that is inserted as intervening between the life of the Father and that of the Son, that is not time nor space, nor any idea of extension, nor any like thing? To what purpose is it that this keen and clear-sighted eye marks and beholds the separation of the life of God in regard to the life of the Son? When he is driven in all directions he is himself forced to admit that the interval does not exist at all.

2. He then ingeniously shows that the generation of the Son is not according to the phrase of Eunomius, "The Father begat Him at that time when He chose, and not before:" but that the Son, being the fulness of all that is good and excellent, is always contemplated in the Father; using for this demonstration the support of Eunomius' own arguments.

However, though there is no interval between them, he does not admit that their communion is immediate and intimate, but condescends to the measure of our knowledge, and converses with us in human phrase as one of ourselves, himself quietly confessing the impotence of reasoning and taking refuge in a line of argument that was never taught by Aristotle and his school. He says, "It was good and proper that He should beget His Son at that time when He willed: and in the minds of sensible men there does not hence arise any questioning why He did not do so before." What does this mean, Eunomius? Are you too going afoot like us unlettered men? are you leaving your artistic periods and actually taking refuge in unreasoning assent? you, who so much reproached those who take in hand to write without logical skill? You, who say to Basil, "You show your own ignorance when you say that definitions of the terms that express things spiritual are an impossibility for men," who again elsewhere advance the same charge, "you make your own impotence common to others, when you declare that what is not possible for you is impossible for all"? Is this the way that you, who say such things as these, approach the ears of him who questions about the reason why the Father defers becoming the Father of such a Son? Do you think it an adequate explanation to say, "He begat Him at that time when He chose: let there be no questioning on this point"? Has your apprehensive fancy grown so feeble in the maintenance of your doctrines? What has become of your premises that lead to dilemmas? What has become of your forcible proofs? how comes it that those terrible and inevitable syllogistic conclusions of your art have dissolved into vanity and nothingness? "He begat the Son at that time when He chose: let there be no questioning on this point!" Is this the finished product of your many labours, of your voluminous undertakings? What was the question asked? "If it is good and fitting for God to have such a Son, why are we not to believe that the good is always present with Him(5)?" What is the answer he makes to us from the very shrine of his philosophy, tightening the bonds of his argument by inevitable necessity? "He made the Son at that time when He chose: let there be no questioning as to why He did not do so before." Why, if the inquiry before us were concerning some irrational being, that acts by natural impulse, why it did not sooner do whatever it may be,--why the spider did not make her webs, or the bee her honey, or the turtle-dove her nest,--what else could you have said? would not the same answer have been ready--" She did it at that time when she chose: let there be no questioning on this matter"? Nay, if it were concerning some sculptor or painter who works in paintings or in sculptures by his imitative art, whatever it may be (supposing that he exercises his art without being subject to any authority), I imagine that such an answer would meet the case of any one who wished to know why he did not exercise his art sooner,- -that, being under no necessity, he made his own choice the occasion of his operation. For men, because they do not always wish the same things(6), and commonly have not power cooperating with their will, do something which seems good to them at that time when their choice inclines to the work, and they have no external hindrance. But that nature which is always the same, to which no good is adventitious, in which all that variety of plans which arises by way of opposition, from error or from ignorance, has no place, to which there comes nothing as a result of change, which was not with it before, and by which nothing is chosen afterwards which it had not from the beginning regarded as good,--to say of this nature that it does not always possess what is good, but afterwards chooses to have something which it did not choose before,--this belongs to wisdom that surpasses us. For we were taught that the Divine. Nature is at all times full of all good, or rather is itself the fulness of all goods, seeing that it needs no addition for its perfecting, but is itself by its own nature the perfection of good. Now that which is perfect is equally remote from addition and from diminution; and therefore, we say that perfection of goods which we behold in the Divine Nature always remains the same, as, in whatsoever direction we extend our thoughts, we there apprehend it to be such as it is. The Divine Nature, then, is never void of good: but the Son is the fulness of all good: and accordingly He is at all times contemplated in that Father Whose Nature is perfection in all good. But he says, "let there be no questioning about this point, why He did not do so before:" and we shall answer him,-- "It is one thing, most sapient sir, to lay down as an ordinance some proposition that you happen to approve(7), and another to make converts by reasoning on the points of controversy. So long, therefore, as you cannot assign any reason why we may piously say that the Son was "afterwards" begotten by the Father, your ordinances will be of no effect with sensible men."

Thus it is then that Eunomius brings the truth to light for us as the result of his scientific attack. And we for our part shall apply his argument, as we are wont to do, for the establishment of the true doctrine, so that even by this passage it may be clear that at every point, constrained against their will, they advocate our view. For if, as our opponent says, "He begat the Son at that time when He chose," and if He always chose that which is good, and His power coincided with His choice, it follows that the Son will be considered as always with the Father, Who always both chooses that which is excellent, and is able to possess what He chooses. And if we are to reduce his next words also to truth, it is easy for us to adapt them also to the doctrine we hold:--" Let there be no questioning among sensible men on this point, why He did not do so before"- -for the word "before" has a temporal sense, opposed to what is "afterwards" and "later": but on the supposition that time does not exist, the terms expressing temporal interval are surely abolished with it. Now the Lord was before times and before ages: questioning as to "before" or "after" concerning the Maker of the ages is useless in the eyes of reasonable men: for words of this class are devoid of all meaning, if they are not used in reference to time. Since then the Lord is antecedent to times, the words "before" and "after" have no place as applied to Him. This may perhaps be sufficient to refute arguments that need no one to overthrow them, but fall by their own feebleness. For who is there with so much leisure that he can give himself up to such an extent to listen to the arguments on the other side, and to our contention against the silly stuff? Since, however, in men prejudiced by impiety, deceit is like some ingrained dye, hard to wash out, and deeply burned in upon their hearts, let us spend yet a little time upon our argument, if haply we may be able to cleanse their souls from this evil stain. After the utterances that I have quoted, and after adding to them, in the manner of his teacher Prunicus,(8) some unconnected and ill-arranged octads of insolence and abuse, he comes to the crowning point of his arguments, and, leaving the illogical exposition of his folly, arms his discourse once more with the weapons of dialectic, and maintains his absurdity against us, as he imagines, syllogistically.

3. He further shows that the pretemporal generation of the San is not the subject of influences drawn from ordinary and carnal generation, but is without beginning and without end, and not according to the fabrications constructed by Eunomius, in ignorance of His power, from the statements of Plato concerning the soul and from the sabbath rest of the Hebrews.

What he says runs thus:--" As all generation is not protracted to infinity, but ceases on arriving at some end, those who admit the origination of the Son are absolutely obliged to say that He then ceased being generated, and not to look incredulously on the beginning of those things which cease being generated, and therefore also surely begin: for the cessation of generation establishes a beginning of begetting and being begotten: and these facts cannot be disbelieved, on the ground at once of nature itself and of the Divine laws(9)." Now since he endeavours to establish his point inferentially, laying down his universal proposition according to the scientific method of those who are skilled in such matters, and including in the general premise the proof of the particular, let us first consider his universal, and then proceed to examine the force of his inferences. Is it a reverent proceeding to draw from "all generation" evidence even as to the pre-temporal generation of the Son? and ought we to put forward ordinary nature as our instructor on the being of the Only-begotten? For my own part, I should not have expected any one to reach such a point of madness, that any such idea of the Divine and unsullied generation should enter his fancy. "All generation," he says, "is not protracted to infinity." What is it that he understands by "generation"? Is he speaking of fleshly, bodily birth, or of the formation of inanimate objects? The affections involved in bodily generation are well known--affections which no one would think of transferring to the Divine Nature. In order therefore that our discourse may not, by mentioning the works of nature at length, be made to appear redundant, we shall pass such matters by in silence, as I suppose that every sensible man is himself aware of the causes by which generation is protracted, both in regard to its beginning and to its cessation: it would be tedious and at the same time superfluous to express them all minutely, the coming together of those who generate, the formation in the womb of that which is generated, travail, birth, place, time, without which the generation of a body cannot be brought about,--things which are all equally alien from the Divine generation of the Only-begotten: for if any one of these things were admitted, the rest will of necessity all enter with it. That the Divine generation, therefore, may be clear of every idea connected with passion, we shall avoid conceiving with regard to it even that extension which is measured by intervals. Now that which begins and ends is surely regarded as being in a kind of extension, and all extension is measured by time, and as time (by which we mark both the end of birth and its beginning) is excluded, it would be vain, in the case of the uninterrupted generation, to entertain the idea of end or beginning, since no idea can be formed to mark either the point at which such generation begins or that at which it ceases. If on the other hand it is the inanimate creation to which he is looking, even in this case, in like manner, place, and time, and matter, and preparation, and power of the artificer, and many like things, concur to bring the product to perfection. And since time assuredly is concurrent with all things that are produced, and since with everything that is created, be it animate or inanimate, there are conceived also bases of construction relative to the product, we can find in these cases evident beginnings and endings of the process of formation. For even the procuring of material is actually the beginning of the fabric, and is a sign of place, and is logically connected with time. All these things fix for the products their beginnings and endings; and no one could say that these things have any participation in the pretemporal generation of the Only- begotten God, so that, by the aid of the things now under consideration, we are able to calculate, with regard to that generation, any beginning or end.

Now that we have so far discussed these matters, let us resume consideration of our adversaries' argument. It says, "As all generation is not protracted to infinity, but ceases on arriving at some end." Now, since the sense of "generation" has been considered with respect to either meaning,--whether he intends by this word to signify the birth of corporeal beings, or the formation of things created (neither of which has anything in common with the unsullied Nature), the premise is shown to have no connection with the subject(1). For it is not a matter of absolute necessity, as he maintains, that, because all making and generation ceases at some limit, therefore those who accept the generation of the Son should circumscribe it by a double limit, by supposing, as regards it, a beginning and an end. For it is only as being circumscribed in some quantitative way that things can be said either to begin or to cease on arriving at a limit, and the measure expressed by time (having its extension concomitant with the quantity of that which is produced) differentiates the beginning from the end by the interval between them. But how can any one measure or treat as extended that which is without quantity and without extension? What measure can he find for that which has no quantity, or what interval for that which has no extension? or how can any one define the infinite by "end" and "beginning?" for "beginning" and "end" are names of limits of extension, and, where there is no extension, neither is there any limit. Now the Divine Nature is without extension, and, being without extension, it has no limit; and that which is limitless is infinite, and is spoken of accordingly. Thus it is idle to try to circumscribe the infinite by "beginning" and "ending"--for what is circumscribed cannot be infinite. How comes it, then, that this Platonic Phaedrus disconnectedly tacks on to his own doctrine those speculations on the soul which Plato makes in that dialogue? For as Plato there spoke of "cessation of motion," so this writer too was eager to speak of "cessation of generation," in order to Impose upon those who have no knowledge of these matters, with fine Platonic phrases. "And these facts," he tells us, "cannot be disbelieved, on the ground at once of nature itself and of the Divine laws." But nature, from our previous remarks, appears not to be trustworthy for instruction as to the Divine generation,--not even if one were to take the universe itself as an illustration of the argument: since through its creation also, as we learn in the cosmogony of Moses, there ran the measure of time, meted out in a certain order and arrangement by stated days and nights, for each of the things that came into being: and this even our adversaries' statement does not admit with regard to the being of the Only-begotten, since it acknowledges that the Lord was before the times of the ages.

It remains to consider his support of his point by "the Divine laws," by which he undertakes to show both an end and a beginning of the generation of the Son. "God," he says, "willing that the law of creation should be impressed upon the Hebrews, did not appoint the first day of generation for the end of creation, or to be the evidence of its beginning; for He gave them as the memorial of the creation, not the first day of generation but the seventh, whereon He rested from His works." Will any one believe that this was written by Eunomius, and that the words cited have not been inserted by us, by way of misrepresenting his composition so as to make him appear ridiculous to our readers, in dragging in to prove his point matters that have nothing to do with the question? For the matter in hand was to show, as he undertook to do, that the Son, not previously existing, came into being; and that in being generated, He took a beginning of generation, and of cessation(2),--His generation being protracted in time, as it were by a kind of travail. And what is his resource for establishing this The fact that the people of the Hebrews, according to the Law, keep sabbath on the seventh day! How well the evidence agrees with the matter in hand! Because the Jew honours his sabbath by idleness, the fact, as he says, is proved that the Lord both had a beginning of birth and ceased being born! How many other testimonies on this matter has our author passed by, not at all of less weight than that which he employs to establish the point at issue!--the circumcision on the eighth day, the week of unleavened bread, the mystery on the fourteenth day of the moon's course, the sacrifices of purification, the observation of the lepers, the ram, the calf, the heifer, the scapegoat, the he-goat. If these things are far removed from the point, let those who are so much interested in the Jewish mysteries tell us how that particular matter is within range of the question. We judge it to be mean and unmanly to trample on the fallen, and shall proceed to enquire, from what follows in his writings, whether there is anything there of such a kind as to give trouble to his opponent. All, then, that he maintains in the next passage, as to the impropriety of supposing anything intermediate between the Father and the Son, I shall pass by, as being, in a sense, in agreement with our doctrine. For it would be alike undiscriminating and unfair not to distinguish in his remarks what is irreproachable, and what is blamable, seeing that, while he fights against his own statements, he does not follow his own admissions, speaking of the immediate character of the connection while refusing to admit its continuity, and conceiving that nothing was before the Son and having some suspicion that the Son was while yet contending that He came into being when He was not. We shall spend but a short time on these points (since the argument has already been established beforehand), and then proceed to handle the arguments proposed.

It is not allowable for the same person to set nothing above the existence of the Only-begotten, and to say that before His generation He was not, but that He was generated then when the Father willed. For "then" and "when" have a sense which specially and properly refers to the denoting of time, according to the common use of men who speak soundly, and according to their signification in Scripture. One may take "then shall they say among the heathen(3)," and "when I sent you(4)" and "then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened(5)," and countless similar phrases through the whole of Scripture, to prove this point, that the ordinary Scriptural use employs these parts of speech to denote time. If therefore, as our opponent allows, time was not, the signifying of time surely disappears too: and if this did not exist, it will necessarily be replaced by eternity in our conception(6). For in the phrase "was not" there is surely implied "once": as, if he should speak of "not being," without the qualification "once," he would also deny his existence now: but if he admits His present existence, and contends against His eternity, it is surely not "not being" absolutely, but "not being" once which is present to his mind. And as this phrase is utterly unreal, unless it rests upon the signification of time, it would be foolish and idle to say that nothing was before the Son, and yet to maintain that the Son did not always exist. For if there is neither place nor time, nor any other creature where the Word that was in the beginning is not, the statement that the Lord "once was not" is entirely removed from the region of orthodox doctrine. So he is at variance not so much with us as with himself, who declares that the Only- begotten both was and was not. For in confessing that the conjunction of the Son with the Father is not interrupted by anything, He clearly testifies to His eternity. But if he should say that the Son was not in the Father, we shall not ourselves say anything against such a statement, but shall oppose to it the Scripture which declares that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, without adding to the phrase "once" or "when" or "then," but testifying His eternity by this affirmative and unqualified utterance.

4. Then, having shown that Eunomius' calumny against the great Basil, that he called the Only-begotten "Ungenerate," is false, and having again with much ingenuity discussed the eternity, being, and endlessness of the Only- begotten, and the creation of light and of darkness, he concludes the book.

With regard to his attempting to show that we say the Only-begotten God is ungenerate, it is as though he should say that we actually define the Father to be begotten: for either statement is of the same absurdity, or rather of the same blasphemous character. If, therefore, he has made up his mind to slander us, let him add the other charge as well, and spare nothing by which it may be in his power more violently to exasperate his hearers against us. But if one of these charges is withheld because its calumnious nature is apparent, why is the other made? For it is just the same thing, as we have said, so far as the impiety goes, to call the Son ungenerate and to call the Father generated. Now if any such phrase can found in our writings, in which the Son is spoken of as ungenerate, we shall give the final vote against ourselves: but if he is fabricating false charges and calumnies at his pleasure, making any fictitious statement he pleases to slander our doctrines, this fact may serve with sensible men for an evidence of our orthodoxy, that while truth itself fights on our side, he brings forward a lie to accuse our doctrine and makes up an indictment for unorthodoxy that has no relation to our statements. To these charges, however, we can give a concise answer. As we judge that man accursed who says that the Only-begotten God is ungenerate, let him in turn anathematize the man who lays it down that He who was in the beginning "once was not." For by such a method it will be shown who brings his charges truly, and who calumniously. But if we deny his accusations, if, when we speak of a Father, we understand as implied in that word a Son also, and if, when we use the name "Son," we declare that He really is what He is called, being shed forth by generation from the ungenerate Light, how can the calumny of those who persist that we say the Only-begotten is ungenerate fail to be manifest? Yet we shall not, because we say that He exists by generation, therefore admit that He "once was not." For every one knows that the contradiction between "being" and "not being" is immediate, so that the affirmation of one of these terms is absolutely the destruction of the other, and that, just as "being" is the same in regard to every time at which any of the things that "are" is supposed to have its existence (for the sky, and stars, and sun, and the rest of the things that "are," are not more in a state of being now than they were yesterday, or the day before, or at any previous time), so the meaning of "not being" expresses non- existence equally at every time, whether one speaks of it in reference to what is earlier or to what is later. For any of the things that do not exist(7) is no more in a state of "not being" now than if it were non- existent before, but the idea of "not being" is one applied to that which "is not" at any distance of time. And for this reason, in speaking of living creatures, while we use different words to denote the dissolution into a state of "not being" of that which has been, and the condition of non-existence of that which has never had an entrance into being, and say either that a thing has never come into being at all, or that which was generated has died, yet by either form of speech we equally represent by our words "non-existence." For as day is bounded on each side by night, yet the parts of the night which bound it are not named alike, but we speak of one as "after night-fall," and of the other as "before dawn," while that which both phrases denote is night, so, if any one looks on that which is not in contrast to that which it, he will give different names to that state which is antecedent to formation and to that which follows the dissolution of what was formed, yet will conceive as one the condition which both phrases signify--the condition which is antecedent to formation and the condition following on dissolution after formation. For the state of "not being "of that which has not been generated, and of that which has died, save for the difference of the names, are the same,--with the exception of the account which we take of the hope of the resurrection. Now since we learn from Scripture that the Only-begotten God is the Prince of Life, the very life, and light, and truth, and all that is honourable in word or thought, we say that it is absurd and impious to contemplate, in conjunction with Him Who really is, the opposite conception, whether of dissolution tending to corruption, or of non-existence before formation: but as we extend our thought in every direction to what is to follow, or to what was before the ages, we nowhere pause in our conceptions at the condition of "not being," judging it to tend equally to impiety to cut short the Divine being by non-existence at any time whatever. For it is the same thing to say that the immortal life is mortal, that the truth is a lie, that light is darkness, and that which is not. He, accordingly, who refuses to allow that He will at some future time cease to be, will also refuse to allow that He "once was not," avoiding, according to our view, the same impiety on either hand: for, as no death cuts short the endlessness of the life of the Only-begotten, so, as we look back, no period of nonexistence will terminate His life in its course towards eternity, that which in reality is may be clear of all community with that which in reality is not. For this cause the Lord, desiring that His disciples might be far removed from this error (that they might never, by themselves searching for something antecedent to the existence of the Only- begotten, be led by their reasoning to the idea of non-existence), saith, "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me(8)," in the sense that neither is that which is not conceived in that which is, nor that which is in that which is not. And here the very order of the phrase explains the orthodox doctrine; for because the Father is not of the Son, but the Son of the Father, therefore He says, "I am in the Father," showing the fact that He is not of another but of Him, and then reverses the phrase to, "and the Father in Me," indicating that he who, in his curious speculation, passes beyond the Son, passes also beyond the conception of the Father: for He who is in anything cannot be found outside of that in which He is: so that the man who, while not denying that the Father is in the Son, yet imagines that he has in any degree apprehended the Father as external to the Son, is talking idly. Idle too are the wanderings of our adversaries' fighting about shadows touching the matter of "ungeneracy," proceeding without solid foundation by means of nonentities. Yet if I am to bring more fully to light the whole absurdity of their argument, let me be allowed to spend a little longer on this speculation. As they say that the Only-begotten God came into existence "later," after the Father, this "unbegotten" of theirs, whatever they imagine it to be, is discovered of necessity to exhibit with itself the idea of evil. Who knows not, that, just as the non-existent is contrasted with the existent, so with every good thing or name is contrasted the opposite conception, as "bad" with "good," "falsehood "with "truth," "darkness" with "light," and all the rest that are similarly opposed to one another, where the opposition admits of no middle term, and it is impossible that the two should co-exist, but the presence of the one destroys its opposite, and with the withdrawal of the other takes place the appearance of its contrary?

Now these points being conceded to us, the further point is also clear to any one, that, as Moses says darkness was before the creation of light, so also in the case of the Son (if, according to the heretical statement, the Father "made Him at that time when He willed"), before He made Him, that Light which the Son is was not; and, light not yet being, it is impossible that its opposite should not be. For we learn also from the other instances that nothing that comes from the Creator is at random, but that which was lacking is added by creation to existing things. Thus it is quite clear that if. God did make the Son, He made Him by reason of a deficiency in the nature of things. As, then, while sensible light was still lacking, there was darkness, and darkness would certainly have prevailed had light not come into being, so also, when the Son "as yet was not," the very and true Light, and all else that the Son is, did not exist. For even according to the evidence of heresy, that which exists has no need of coming into being; if therefore He made Him, He assuredly made that which did not exist. Thus, according to their view, before the Son came into being, neither had truth come into being, nor the intelligible Light, nor the fount of life, nor, generally, the nature of any thing that is excellent and good. Now, concurrently with the exclusion of each of these, there is found to subsist the opposite conception: and if light was not, it cannot be denied that darkness was; and so with the rest,--in place of each of these more excellent conceptions it is clearly impossible that its opposite did not exist in place of that which was lacking. It is therefore a necessary conclusion, that when the Father, as the heretics say, "had not as yet willed to make the Son," none of those things which the Son is being yet existent, we must say that He was surrounded by darkness instead of Light, by falsehood instead of truth, by death instead of life, by evil instead of good. For He Who creates, creates things that are not; "That which is," as Eunomius says, "needs not generation"; and of those things which are considered as opposed, the better cannot be non-existent, except by the existence of the worse. These are the gifts with which the wisdom of heresy honours the Father, by which it degrades the eternity of the Son, and ascribes to God and the Father, before the "production" of the Son, the whole catalogue of evils!

And let no one think to rebut by examples from the rest of creation the demonstration of the doctrinal absurdity which results from this argument. One will perhaps say that, as, when the sky was not, there was no opposite to it, so we are not absolutely compelled to admit that if the Son, Who is Truth, had not come into existence, the opposite did exist. To him we may reply that to the sky there is no corresponding opposite, unless one were to say that its non-existence is opposed to its existence. But to virtue is certainly opposed that which is vicious (and the Lord is virtue); so that when the sky was not, it does not follow that anything was; but when good was not, its opposite was; thus he who says that good was not, will certainly allow, even without intending it, that evil was. "But the Father also," he says(9), "is absolute virtue, and life, and light unapproachable, and all that is exalted in word or thought: so that there is no necessity to suppose, when the Only-begotten Light was not, the existence of that darkness which is His corresponding opposite." But this is just what I say, that darkness never was; for the light-never "was not," for "the light," as the prophecy says, "is always in the light(1)." If, however, according to the heretical doctrine, the "ungenerate light" is one thing, and the "generated light" another, and the one is eternal, while the other comes into existence at a later time, it follows of absolute necessity that in the eternal light we should find no place for the establishment of its opposite; (for if the light always shines, the power of darkness has no place in it;) and that in the case of the light which comes into being, as they say, afterwards, it is impossible that the light should shine forth save out of darkness; and the interval of darkness between eternal light and that which arises later will be clearly marked in every way(2). For there would have been no need of the making of the later light, if that which was created had not been of utility for some purpose: and the one use of light is that of the dispersion by its means of the prevailing gloom. Now the light which exists without creation is what it is by nature by reason of itself; but the created light clearly comes into being by reason of something else. It must be then that its existence was preceded by darkness, on account of which the light was of necessity created, and it is not possible by any reasoning to make plausible the view that darkness did not precede the manifestation of the Only-begotten Light,--on the supposition, that is, that He is believed to have been "made" at a later time. Surely such a doctrine is beyond all impiety! It is therefore clearly shown that the Father of truth did not make the truth at a time when it was not; but, being the fountain of light and truth, and of all good, He shed forth from Himself that Only-begotten Light of truth by which the glory of His Person is expressly imaged; so that the blasphemy of those who say that the Son was a later addition to God by way of creation is at all points refuted.


1. The tenth book discusses the unattainable and incomprehensible character of the enquiry into entities. And herein he strikingly sets forth the points concerning the nature and formation of the ant, and the passage in the Gospel, "I am the door" and "the way," and also cusses the attribution and interpretation of the Divine names, and the episode of the children of Benjamin.

LET US, however, keep to our subject. A little further on he contends against those who acknowledge that human nature is too weak to conceive what cannot be grasped, and with lofty boasts enlarges on this topic on this wise, making light of our belief on the matter in these words:--" For it by no means follows that, if some one's mind, blinded by malignity, and for that reason unable to see anything in front or above its head, is but moderately competent for the apprehension of truth, we ought on that ground to think that the discovery of reality is unattainable by the rest of mankind." But I should say to him that he who declares that the discovery of reality is attainable, has of course advanced his own intellect by some method and logical process through the knowledge of existent things, and after having been trained in matters that are comparatively small and easily grasped by way of apprehension, has, when thus prepared, flung his apprehensive fancy upon those objects which transcend all conception. Let, then, the man who boasts that he has attained the knowledge of real existence, interpret to us the real nature of the most trivial object that is before our eyes, that by what is knowable he may warrant our belief touching what is secret: let him explain by reason what is the nature of the ant, whether its life is held together by breath and respiration, whether it is regulated by vital organs like other animals, whether its body has a framework of bones, whether the hollows of the bones are filled with marrow, whether its joints are united by the tension of sinews and ligaments, whether the position of the sinews is maintained by enclosures of muscles and glands, whether the marrow extends along the vertebrae from the sinciput to the tail, whether it imparts to the limbs that are moved the power of motion by means of the enclosure of sinewy membrane; whether the creature has a liver, and in connection with the liver a gall-bladder; whether it has kidneys and heart, arteries and veins, membranes and diaphragm; whether it is externally smooth or covered with hair; whether it is distinguished by the division into male and female; in what part of its body is located the power of sight and hearing; whether it enjoys the sense of smell; whether its feet are undivided or articulated; how long it lives; what is the method in which they derive generation one from another, and what is the period of gestation; how it is that all ants do not crawl, nor are all winged, but some belong to the creatures that move along the ground, while others are borne aloft in the air. Let him, then, who boasts that he has grasped the knowledge of real existence, disclose to us awhile the nature of the ant, and then, and not till then, let him discourse on the nature of the power that surpasses all understanding. But if he has not yet ascertained by his knowledge the nature of the tiny ant, how comes he to vaunt that by the apprehension of reason he has grasped Him Who in Himself controls all creation, and to say that those who own in themselves the weakness of human nature, have the perceptions of their souls darkened, and can neither reach anything in front of them, nor anything above their head?

But now let us see what understanding he who has the knowledge of existent things possesses beyond the rest of the world. Let us listen to his arrogant utterance:--"Surely it would have been idle for the Lord to call Himself 'the door,' if there were none to pass through to the understanding and contemplation of the Father, and it would have been idle for Him to call Himself 'the way,' if He gave no facility to those who wish to come to the Father. And how could He be a light, without lightening men, without illuminating the eye of their soul to understand both Himself and the transcendent Light?" Well, if he were here enumerating some arguments from his own head, that evade the understanding of the hearers by their subtlety, there would perhaps be a possibility of being deceived by the ingenuity of the argument, as his underlying thought frequently escapes the reader's notice. But since he alleges the Divine words, of course no one blames those who believe that their inspired teaching is the common property of all. "Since then," he says, "the Lord was named 'a door,' it follows from hence that the essence of God may be comprehended by man." But the Gospel does not admit of this meaning. Let us hear the Divine utterance itself. "I am the door," Christ says; "by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture(1)." Which then of these is the knowledge of the essence? For as several things are here said, and each of them has its own special meaning, it is impossible to refer them all to the idea of the essence, lest the Deity should be thought to be compounded of different elements; and yet it is not easy to find which of the phrases just quoted can most properly be applied to that subject. The Lord is "the door," "By Me," He says, "if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and shall find pasture." Are we to say(2) that it is "entrance" of which he speaks in place of the essence of God, or "salvation "of those that enter in, or "going out," or "pasture," or "finding"?--for each of these is peculiar in its significance, and does not agree in meaning with the rest. For to get within appears obviously contrary to "going out," and so with the other phrases. For "pasture," in its proper meaning, is one thing, and "finding" another thing distinct from it. Which, then, of these is the essence of the Father supposed to be? For assuredly one cannot, by uttering all these phrases that disagree one with another in signification, intend to indicate by incompatible terms that Essence which is simple and uncompounded. And how can the word hold good, "No man hath seen God at any time(3)" and, "Whom no man hath seen nor can see(4)," and, "There shall no man see the face of the Lord and live(5)," if to be inside the door, or outside, or the finding pasture, denote the essence of the Father? For truly He is at the same time a "door of encompassing(6)," and a "house of defence(7)," as David calls Him, and through Himself He receives them that enter, and in Himself He saves those who have come within, and again by Himself He leads them forth to the pasture of virtues, and becomes all things to them that are in the way of salvation, that so He may make Himself that which the needs of each demand,--both way, and guide, and "door of encompassing," and "house of defence," and "water of comfort(8)," and "green pasture(8)," which in the Gospel He calls "pasture ": but s our new divine says that the Lord has been s called "the door" because of the knowledge of s the essence of the Father. Why then does he .'not force into the same significance the titles, "Rock," and "Stone," and "Fountain," and "True," and the rest, that so he might obtain evidence for his own theory by the multitude of strange testimonies, as he is well able to apply to each of these the same account which he has given of the Way, the Door, and the Light? But, as I am so taught by the inspired Scripture, I boldly affirm that He Who is above every name has for us many names, receiving them in accordance with the variety of His gracious dealings with us(9), being called the Light when He disperses the gloom of ignorance, and the Life when He grants the boon of immortality, and the Way when He guides us from error to the truth; so also He is termed a "tower of strength(1)," and a "city of encompassing(2)," and a fountain, and a rock, and a vine, and a physician, and resurrection, and all the like, with reference to us, imparting Himself under various aspects by virtue of His benefits to us-ward. But those who are keen-sighted beyond human power, who see the incomprehensible, but overlook what may be comprehended, when they use such titles to expound the essences, are positive that they not only see, but measure Him Whom no man hath seen nor can see, but do not with the eye of their soul discern the Faith, which is the only thing within the compass of our observation, valuing before this the knowledge which they obtain from ratiocination. Just so I have heard the sacred record laying blame upon the sons of Benjamin who did not regard the law, but could shoot within a hair's breadth(3), wherein, methinks, the word exhibited their eager pursuit of an idle object, that they were far- darting and dexterous aimers at things that were useless and unsubstantial, but ignorant and regardless of what was manifestly for their benefit. For after what I have quoted, the history goes on to relate what befel them, how, when they had run madly after the iniquity of Sodom, and the people of Israel had taken up arms against them in full force, they were utterly destroyed. And it seems to me to be a kindly thought to warn young archers not to wish to shoot within a hair's-breadth, while they have no eyes for the door of the faith, but rather to drop their idle labour about the incomprehensible, and not to lose the gain that is ready to their hand, which is found by faith alone.

2. He then wonderfully displays the Eternal Life, which is Christ, to those who confess Him not, and applies to them the mournful lamentation of Jeremiah over Jehoiakim, as being closely allied to Montanus and Sabellius.

But now that I have surveyed what remains of his treatise I shrink from conducting my argument further, as a shudder runs through my heart at his words. For he wishes to show that the Son is something different from eternal life, while, unless eternal life is found in the Son, our faith will be proved to be idle, and our preaching to be vain, baptism a superfluity, the agonies of the martyrs all for nought, the toils of the Apostles useless and unprofitable for the life of i men. For why did they preach Christ, in Whom, according to Eunomius, there does not reside the power of eternal life? Why do they make mention of those who had believed in Christ, unless it was through Him that they were to be partakers of eternal life? "For the intelligence," he says, "of those who have believed in the Lord, overleaping all sensible and intellectual existence, cannot stop even at the generation of the Son, but speeds beyond even this in its yearning for eternal life, eager to meet the First." What ought I most to bewail in this passage? that the wretched men do not think that eternal life is in the Son, or that they conceive of the Person of the Only- begotten in so grovelling and earthly a fashion, that they fancy they can mount in their reasonings upon His beginning, and so look by the power of their own intellect beyond the life of the Son, and, leaving the generation of the Lord somewhere beneath them, can speed onward beyond this in their yearning for eternal life? For the meaning of what I have quoted is nothing else than this, that the human mind, scrutinizing the knowledge of real existence, and lifting itself above the sensible and intelligible creation, will leave God the Word, Who was in the beginning, below itself, just as it has left below it all other things, and itself comes to be in Him in Whom God the Word was not, treading, by mental activity, regions which lie beyond the life of the Son, there searching for eternal life, where the Only-begotten God is not. "For in its yearning for eternal life," he says, "it is borne in thought, beyond the Son"--clearly as though it had not in the Son found that which it was seeking. If the eternal life is not in the Son, then assuredly He Who said, "I am the life(4)," will be convicted of falsehood, or else He is life, it is true. but not eternal life. But that which is not eternal is of course limited in duration. And such a kind of life is common to the irrational animals as well as to men. Where then is the majesty of the very life, if even the irrational creation share it? and how will the Word or Divine Reason s be the same as the Life, if this finds a home, in virtue of the life which is but temporary, in irrational creatures? For if, according to the great John, the Word is Life(6), but that life is temporary and not eternal, as their heresy holds, and if, moreover, the temporary life has place in other creatures, what is the logical consequence? Why, either that irrational animals are rational, or that the Reason must be confessed to be irrational. Have we any further need of words to confute their accursed and malignant blasphemy? Do such statements even pretend to conceal their intention of denying the Lord? For if the Apostle plainly says that what is not eternal is temporary(7), and if these people see eternal life in the essence of the Father alone, and if by alienating the Son from the Nature of the Father they also cut Him off from eternal life, what is this but a manifest denial and rejection of the faith in the Lord? while the Apostle clearly says that those who "in this life only have hope in Christ are of all men most miserable(8)." If then the Lord is life, but not eternal life, assuredly the life is temporal, and but for a day, that which is operative only for the present time, or else(9) the Apostle bemoans those who have hope, as having missed the true life.

However, they who are enlightened in Eunomius' fashion pass the Son by, and are carried in their reasonings beyond Him, seeking eternal life in Him Who is contemplated as outside and apart from the Only-begotten. What ought one to say to such evils as these,--save whatever calls forth lamentation and weeping? Alas, how can we groan over this wretched and pitiable generation, bringing forth a crop of such deadly mischiefs? In days of yore the zealous Jeremiah bewailed the people of Israel, when they, gave an evil consent to Jehoiakim who led the way to idolatry, and were condemned to captivity under the Assyrians in requital for their unlawful worship, exiled from the sanctuary and banished far from the inheritance of their fathers. Yet more fitting does it seem to me that these lamentations be chanted when the imitator of Jehoiakim draws away those whom he deceives to this new kind of idolatry, banishing them from their ancestral inheritance,--I mean the Faith. They too, in a way corresponding to the Scriptural record, are carried away captive to Babylon from Jerusalem that is above,--that is from the Church of God to this confusion of pernicious doctrines,--for(1) Babylon means "confusion." And even as Jehoiakim was mutilated, so this man, having voluntarily deprived himself of the light of the truth, has become a prey to the Babylonian despot, never having learned, poor wretch, that the Gospel enjoins us to behold eternal life alike in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as the Word has thus spoken concerning the Father, that to know Him is life eternal(2), and concerning the Son, that every one that believeth on Him hath eternal life(3), and concerning the Holy Spirit, that to Him that hath received His grace it shall be a well of water springing up unto eternal life(4). Accordingly every one that yearns for eternal life when he has found the Son,--I mean the true Son, and not the Son falsely so called--has found in Him in its entirety what he longed for, because He is life and hath life in Himself(5). But this man, so subtle in mind, so keen-sighted of heart, does not by his extreme acuteness of vision discover life in the Son, but, having passed Him over and left Him behind as a hindrance in the way to that for which he searches he there seeks eternal life where he thinks the true Life not to be! What could we conceive more to be abhorred than this for profanity, or more melancholy as an occasion of lamentation? But that the charge of Sabellianism and Montanism should be repeatedly urged against our doctrines, is much the same as if one should lay to our charge the blasphemy of the Anomoeans. For if one were carefully to investigate the falsehood of these heresies, he would find that they have great similarity to the error of Eunomius. For each of them affects the Jew in his doctrine, admitting neither the Only-begotten God nor the Holy Spirit to share the Deity of the God Whom they call "Great," and "First." For Whom Sabellius calls God of the three names, Him does Eunomius term unbegotten: but neither contemplates the Godhead in the Trinity of Persons. Who then is really akin to Sabellius let the judgment of those who read our argument decide. Thus far for these matters.

3. He then shows the eternity of She Son's generation, and the inseparable identity of His essence wish Him that begat Him, and likens the folly of Eunomius to children playing with sand.

But since, in what follows, he is active in stirring up the ill savour of his disgusting attempts, whereby he tries to make out that the Only- begotten God "once was not," it will be well, as our mind on this head has been made pretty clear by our previous arguments, no longer to plunge our argument also in what is likewise bad, except perhaps that it is not unseasonable to add this one point, having selected it from the multitude. He says (some one having remarked that "the property of not being begotten is equally associated with the essence of the Father(6)"), " The argument proceeds by like steps to those by which it came to a conclusion in the case of the Son." The orthodox doctrine is clearly strengthened by the attack of its adversaries, the doctrine, namely, that we ought not to think that not to be begotten or to be begotten are identical with the essence(7), but that these should be contemplated, it is true, in the subject, while the subject in its proper definition is something else beyond these, and since no difference is found in the subject, because the difference of "begotten" and "unbegotten" is apart from the essence, and does not affect it, it necessarily follows that the essence must be allowed to be in both Persons without variation. Let us moreover inquire, over and above what has been already said, into this point, in what sense he says that "generation" is alien from the Father,--whether he does so conceiving of it as an essence or an operation. If he conceives it to be an operation, it is clearly equally connected with its result and with its author, as in every kind of production one may see the operation alike in the product and the producer, appearing in the production of the effects and not separated from their artificer. But if he terms "generation" an essence separate from the essence of the Father, admitting that the Lord came into being therefrom, then he plainly puts this in the place of the Father as regards the Only-begotten, so that two Fathers are conceived in the case of the Son, one a Father in name alone, Whom he calls "the Ungenerate," Who has nothing to do with generation, and the other, which he calls "generation," performing the part of a Father to the Only-begotten.

And this is brought home even more by the statements of Eunomius himself than by our own arguments. For in what follows, he says:-"God, being without generation, is also prior to that which is generate," and a little further on, "for He Whose existence arises from being generated did not exist before He was generated." Accordingly, if the Father has nothing to do with generation, and if it is from generation that the Son derives His being, then the Father has no action in respect of the subsistence of the Son, and is apart from all connection with generation, from which the Son draws His being. If, then, the Father is alien from the generation of the Son, they either invent for the Son another Father under the name of "generation," or in their wisdom make out the Son to be self-begotten and self-generated. You see the confusion of mind of the man who exhibits his ignorance to us up and down in his own argument, how his profanity wanders in many paths, or rather in places where no path is, without advancing to its mark by any trustworthy guidance; and as one may see in the case of infants, when in their childish sport they imitate the building of houses with sand, that what they build is not framed on any plan, or by any rules of art, to resemble the original, but first they make something at haphazard, and in silly fashion, and then take counsel what to call this penetration I discern in our author. For after getting together words of impiety according to what first comes into his head, like a heap of sand, he begins to cast about to see whither his unintelligible profanity tends, growing up as it does spontaneously from what he has said, without any rational sequence. For I do not imagine that he originally proposed to invent generation as an actual subsistence standing to the essence of the Son in the place of the Father, nor that it was part of our rhetorician's plan that the Father should be considered as alien from the generation of the Son, nor was the absurdity of self-generation deliberately introduced. But all such absurdities have been emitted by our author without reflection, so that, as regards them, the man who so blunders is not even worth much refutation, as he knows, to borrow the Apostle's words, "neither what he says. nor whereof he affirms(8)."

"For He Whose existence arises from generation," he says, "did not exist before generation." If he here uses the term "generation" of the Father, I agree with Him, and there is no opponent. For one may mean the same thing by either phrase, by saying either that Abraham begat Isaac, or, that Abraham was the father of Isaac. Since then to be father is the same as to have begotten, if any one shifts the words from one form of speech to the other, paternity will be shown to be identical with generation. If, therefore, what Eunomius says is this, "He Whose existence is derived from the Father was not before the Father," the statement is sound, and we give our vote in favour of it. But if he is recurring in the phrase to that generation of which we have spoken before, and says that it is separated from the Father but associated with the Son, then I think it waste of time to linger over the consideration of the unintelligible. For whether he thinks generation to be a self-existent object, or whether by the name he is carried in thought to that which has no actual existence, I have not to this day been able to find out from his language. For his fluid and baseless argument lends itself alike to either supposition, inclining to one side or to the other according to the fancy of the thinker.

4. After this he shows that the Son, who truly is, and is in the bosom of the Father, is simple and uncompounded, and that, He who redeemed us from bondage is not under dominion of the Father, nor in a slate of slavery: and that otherwise not He alone, but also the Father Who is in the Son and is One with Him, must be a slave; and that the word "being" is formed from the word to "be." And having excellently and notably discussed all these matters, he concludes the book.

But not yet has the most grievous part of his profanity been examined, which the sequel of his treatise goes on to add. Well, let us consider his words sentence by sentence. Yet I know not how I can dare to let my mouth utter the horrible and godless language of him who fights against Christ. For I fear lest, like some baleful drugs, the remnant of the pernicious bitterness should be deposited upon the lips through which the words pass. "He that cometh unto God," says the Apostle, "must believe that He is(9)." Accordingly, true existence is the special distinction of Godhead. But Eunomius makes out Him Who truly is, either not to exist at all, or not to exist in a proper sense, which is just the same as not existing at all; for he who does not properly exist, does not really exist at all; as, for example, he is said to "run" in a dream who in that state fancies he is exerting himself in the race, while, since he untruly acts the semblance of the real race, his fancy that he is running is not for this reason a race. But even though in an inexact sense it is so called, still the name is given to it falsely. Accordingly, he who dares to assert that the Only- begotten God either does not properly exist, or does not exist at all, manifestly blots out of his creed all faith in Him. For who can any longer believe in something non-existent? or who would resort to Him Whose being has been shown by the enemies of the true Lord to be improper and unsubstantial?

But that our statement may not be thought to be unfair to our opponents, I will set side by side with it the language of the impious persons, which runs as follows:--"He Who is in the bosom of the Existent, and Who is in the beginning and is with God, not being, or at all events not being in a strict sense, even though Basil, neglecting this distinction and addition, uses the title of 'Existent' interchangeably, contrary to the truth--"What do you say? that He Who is in the Father is not, and that He Who is in the beginning, and Who is in the bosom of the Father, is not, for this very reason, that He is in the beginning and is in the Father, and is discerned in the bosom of the Existent, and hence does not in a strict sense exist, because He is in the Existent? Alas for the idle and irrational tenets! Now for the first time we have heard this piece of vain babbling,--that the Lord, by Whom are all things, does not in a strict sense exist. And we have not yet got to the end of this appalling statement; but something yet more startling remains behind, that he not only affirms that He does not exist, or does not strictly speaking exist, but also that the Nature in which He is conceived to reside is various and composite. For he says "not being, or not being simple." But that to which simplicity does not belong is manifestly various and composite. How then can the same Person be at once non-existent and composite in essence? For one of two alternatives they must choose if they predicate of Him non- existence they cannot speak of Him as composite, or if they affirm Him to be composite they cannot rob Him of existence. But that their blasphemy may assume many and varied shapes, it jumps at every godless notion when it wishes to contrast Him with the existent, affirming that, strictly speaking, He does not exist, and in His relation to the uncompounded Nature denying Him the attribute of simplicity:--"not existing, not existing simply, not existing in the strict sense." Who among those who have transgressed the word and forsworn the Faith was ever so lavish in utterances denying the Lord? He has stood up in rivalry with the divine proclamation of John. For as often as the latter has attested "was" of the Word, so often does he apply to Him Who is an opposing "was not." And he contends against the holy lips of our father Basil, bringing against him the charge that he "neglects these distinctions," when he says that He Who is in the Father, and in the beginning, and in the bosom of the Father, exists, holding the view that the addition of "in the beginning," and "in the bosom of the Father," bars the real existence of Him Who is. Vain learning! What things the teachers of deceit teach! what strange doctrines they introduce to their hearers! they instruct them that which is in something else does not exist! So, Eunomius, since your heart and brain are within you, neither of them, according to your distinction, exists. For if the Only-begotten God does not, strictly speaking, exist, for this reason, that He is in the bosom of the Father, then everything that is in something else is thereby excluded from existence. But certainly your heart exists in you, and not independently; therefore, according to your view, you must either say that it does not exist at all, or that it does not exist in the strict sense. However, the ignorance and profanity of his language are so gross and so glaring, as to be obvious even before our argument, at all events to all persons of sense: but that his folly as well as his impiety may be more manifest, we will add thus much to what has gone before. If one may only say that in the strict sense exists, of which the word of Scripture attests the existence detached from all relation to anything else, why do they, like those who carry water, perish with thirst when they have it in their power to drink? Even this man, though he had at hand the antidote to his blasphemy against the Son, closed his eyes and ran past it as though fearing to be saved, and charges Basil with unfairness for having suppressed the qualifying words, and for only quoting the "was" by itself, in reference to the Only-Begotten. And yet it was quite in his power to see what Basil saw and what every one who has eyes sees. And herein the sublime John seems to me to have been prophetically moved, that the mouths of those fighters against Christ might be stopped, who on the ground of these additions deny the existence, in the strict sense, of the Christ, saying simply and without qualification "The Word was God," and was Life, and was Light(1), not merely speaking of Him as being in the beginning, and with God, and in the bosom of the Father, so that by their relation the absolute existence of the Lord should be done away. But his assertion that He was God, by this absolute declaration detached from all relation to anything else, cuts off every subterfuge from those who in their reasonings run into impiety; and, in addition to this, there is moreover something else which still more convincingly proves the malignity of our adversaries. For if they make out that to exist in something is an indication of not existing in the strict sense, then certainly they allow that not even the Father exists absolutely, as they have learnt in the Gospel, that just as the Son abides in the Father, so the Father abides in the Son, according to the words of the Lord '. For to say that the Father is in the Son is equivalent to saying that the Son is in the bosom of the Father. And in passing let us make this further inquiry. When the Son, as they say, "was not," what did the bosom of the Father contain? For assuredly they must either grant that it was full, or suppose it to have been empty. If then the bosom was full, certainly the Son was that which filled the bosom. But if they imagine that there was some void in the bosom of the Father, they do nothing else than assert of Him perfection by way of augmentation, in the sense that He passed from the state of void and deficiency to the state of fulness and perfection. But "they knew not nor understood," says David of those that "walk on still in darkness(3)." For he who has been rendered hostile to the true Light cannot keep his soul in light. For this reason it was that they did not perceive lying ready to their hand in logical sequence that which would have corrected their impiety, smitten, as it were, with blindness, like the men of Sodom.

But he also says that the essence of the Son is controlled by the Father, his exact words being as follows:--" For He Who is and lives because of the Father, does not appropriate this dignity, as the essence which controls even Him attracts to itself the conception of the Existent." If these doctrines approve themselves to some of the sages "who are without," let not the Gospels nor the rest of the teaching of the Holy Scripture be in any way disturbed. For what fellowship is there between the creed of Christians and the wisdom that has been made foolish(4)? But if he leans upon the support of the Scriptures, let him show one such declaration from the holy writings, and we will hold our peace. I hear Paul cry aloud, "There is one Lord Jesus Christ(5)." But Eunomius shouts against Paul, calling Christ a slave. For we recognize no other mark of a slave than to be subject and controlled. The slave is assuredly a slave, but the slave cannot by nature be Lord, even though the term be applied to Him by inexact use. And why should I bring forward the declarations of Paul in evidence of the lordship of the Lord? For Paul's Master Himself tells His disciples that He is truly Lord, accepting as He does the confession of those who called Him Master and Lord. For He says, "Ye call Me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for so I am(6)." And in the same way He enjoined that the Father should be called Father by them, saying, "Call no man master upon earth: for one is your Master, even Christ: and call no man father upon earth, for one is your Father, Which is in heaven(7)." To which then ought we to give heed, as we are thus hemmed in between them? On one side the Lord Himself, and he who has Christ speaking in him(8), enjoin us not to think of Him as a slave, but to honour Him even as the Father is honoured, and on the other side Eunomius brings his suit against the Lord, claiming Him as a slave, when he says that He on Whose shoulders rests the government of the universe is under dominion. Can our choice what to do be doubtful, or is the decision which is the more advantageous course unimportant? Shall I slight the advice of Paul, Eunomius? shall I deem the voice of the Truth less trustworthy than thy deceit? But "if I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin(9)." Since then, He has spoken to them, truly declaring Himself to be Lord, and that He is not falsely named Lord (for He says, "I am," not "I am called"), what need is there that they should do that, whereon the vengeance is inevitable because they are forewarned?

But perhaps, in answer to this, he will again put forth his accustomed logic, and will say that the same Being is both slave and Lord, dominated by the controlling power but lording it over the rest. These profound distinctions are talked of at the cross-roads, circulated by those who are enamoured of falsehood, who confirm their idle notions about the Deity by illustrations from the circumstances of ordinary life. For since the occurrences of this world give us examples of such arrangements(1) (thus in a wealthy establishment one may see the more active and devoted servant set over his fellow-servants by the command of his master, and so invested with superiority over others in the same rank and station), they transfer this notion to the doctrines concerning. the Godhead, so that the Only-begotten God, though subject to the sovereignty of His superior, is no way hindered by the authority of His sovereign in the direction of those inferior to Him. But let us bid farewell to such philosophy, and proceed to discuss this point according to the measure of our intelligence. Do they confess that the Father is by nature Lord, or do they hold that He arrived at this position by some kind of election? I do not think that a man who has any share whatever of intellect could come to such a pitch of madness as not to acknowledge that the lordship of the God of all is His by nature. For that which is by nature simple, uncompounded, and indivisible, whatever it happens to be, that it is throughout in all its entirety, not becoming one thing after another by some process of change, but remaining eternally in the condition in which it is. What, then, is their belief about the Only- begotten? Do they own that His essence is simple, or do they suppose that in it there is any sort of composition? If they think that He is some multiform thing, made up of many parts, assuredly they will not concede Him even the name of Deity, but will drag down their doctrine of the Christ to corporeal and material conceptions: but if they agree that He is simple, how is it possible in the simplicity of the subject to recognize the concurrence of contrary attributes? For just as the contradictory opposition of life and death admits of no mean, so in its distinguishing characteristics is domination diametrically and irreconcilably opposed to servitude. For if one were to consider each of these by itself, one could not properly frame any definition that would apply alike to both, and where the definition of things is not identical, their nature also is assuredly different. If then the Lord is simple and uncompounded in nature, how can the conjunction of contraries be found in the subject, as would be the case if servitude mingled with lordship? But if He is acknowledged to be Lord, in accordance with the teaching of the saints, the simplicity of the subject is evidence that He can have no part or lot in the opposite condition: while if they make Him out to be a slave, then it is idle for them to ascribe to Him the title of lordship. For that which is simple in nature is not parted asunder into contradictory attributes. But if they affirm that He is one, and is called the other, that He is by nature slave and Lord in name alone, let them boldly utter this declaration and relieve us from the long labour of answering them. For who can afford to be so leisurely in his treatment of inanities as to employ arguments to demonstrate what is obvious and unambiguous? For if a man were to inform against himself for the crime of murder, the accuser would not be put to any trouble in bringing home to him by evidence the charge of blood- guiltiness. In like manner we shall no longer bring against our opponents, when they advance so far in impiety, a confutation framed after examination of their case. For he who affirms the Only-begotten to be a slave, makes Him out by so saying to be a fellow-servant with himself: and hence will of necessity arise a double enormity. For either he will despise his fellow- slave and deny the faith, having shaken off the yoke of the lordship of Christ, or he will bow before the slave, and, turning away from the self- determining nature that owns no Lord over it, will in a manner worship himself instead of God. For if he sees himself in slavery, and the object of his worship also in slavery, he of course looks at himself, seeing the whole of himself in that which he worships. But what reckoning can count up all the other mischiefs that necessarily accompany this pravity of doctrine? For who does not know that he who is by nature a slave, and follows his avocation under the constraint imposed by a master, cannot be removed even from the emotion of fear? And of this the inspired Apostle is a witness, when he says, "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear(2)." So that they will be found to attribute, after the likeness of men, the emotion of fear also to their fellow-servant God.

Such is the God of heresy. But what we, who, in the words of the Apostle, have been called to liberty by Christ(3), Who hath freed us from bondage, have been taught by the Scriptures to think, I will set forth in few words. I take my start from the inspired teaching, and boldly declare that the Divine Word does not wish even us to be slaves, our nature having now been changed for the better, and that He Who has taken all that was ours, on the terms of giving to us in return what is His, even as He took disease, death, curse, and sin, so took our slavery also, not in such a way as Himself to have what He took, but so as to purge our nature of such evils, our defects being swallowed up and done away with in His stainless nature. As therefore in the life that we hope for there will be neither disease, nor curse, nor sin, nor death, so slavery also along with these will vanish away. And that what I say is true I call the Truth Himself to witness, Who says to His disciples "I call you no more servants, but friends(4)." If then our nature will be free at length from the reproach of slavery, how comes the Lord of all to be reduced to slavery by the madness and infatuation of these deranged men, who must of course, as a logical consequence, assert that He does not know the counsels of the Father, because of His declaration concerning the slave, which tells us that "the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth(4)"? But when they say this, let them hear that the Son has in Himself all that pertains to the Father, and sees all things that the Father doeth, and none of the good things that belong to the Father is outside the knowledge of the Son. For how can He fail to have anything that is the Father's, seeing He has the Father wholly in Himself? Accordingly, if "the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth," and if He has in Himself all things that are the Father's, let those who are reeling with strong drink at last become sober, and let them now, if never before, look up at the truth, and see that He who has all things that the Father has is lord of all, and not a slave. For how can the personality that owns no lord over it bear on itself the brand of slavery? How can the King of all fail to have His form of like honour with Himself? how can dishonour--for slavery is dishonour--constitute the brightness of the true glory? and how is the King's son born into slavery? No, it is not so. But as He is Light of Light, and Life of Life, and Truth of Truth, so is He Lord of Lord, King of King, God of God, Supreme of Supreme; for having in Himself the Father in His entirety, whatever the Father has in Himself He also assuredly has, and since, moreover, all that the Son has belongs to the Father, the enemies of God's glory are inevitably compelled, if the Son is a slave, to drag down to servitude the Father as well. For there is no attribute of the Son which is not absolutely the Father's. "For all Mine are Thine," He says, "and Thine are Mine(5)." What then will the poor creatures say? Which is more reasonable--that the Son, Who has said, "Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them(5)," should be glorified in the sovereignty of the Father, or that insult should be offered to the Father by the degradation involved in the slavery of the Son? For it is not possible that He Who contains in Himself all that belongs to the Son, and Who is Himself in the Son, should not also absolutely be in the slavery of the Son, and have slavery in Himself. Such are the results achieved by Eunomius' philosophy, whereby he inflicts upon his Lord the insult of slavery, while he attaches the same degradation to the stainless glory of the Father.

Let us however return once more to the course of his treatise. What does Eunomius say concerning the Only-begotten? That He "does not appropriate the dignity," for he calls the appellation of "being" a "dignity." A startling piece of philosophy! Who of all men that have ever been, whether among Greeks or barbarian sages, who of the men of our own day, who of the men of all time ever gave "being" the name of "dignity"? For everything that is regarded as subsisting(6) is said, by the common custom of all who use language, to "be": and from the word "be" has been formed the term "being." But now the expression "dignity" is applied in a new fashion to the idea expressed by "being." For he says that "the Son, Who is and lives because of the Father, does not appropriate this dignity," having no Scripture to support his statement, and not conducting, his statement to so senseless a conclusion by any process of logical inference, but as if he had taken into his intestines some windy food, he belches forth his blasphemy in its crude and unmethodized form, like some unsavoury breath. "He does not appropriate this dignity." Let us concede the point of "being" being called "dignity." What then? does He Who is not appropriate being? "No," says Eunomius, "because He exists by reason of the Father." Do you not then say that He Who does not appropriate being is not? for "not to appropriate" has the same force as "to be alien from" and the mutual opposition of the ideas(7) is evident. For that which is "proper" is not "alien," and that which is "alien" is not "proper." He therefore Who does not "appropriate" being is obviously alien from being: and He Who is alien from being is nonexistent.

But his cogent proof of this absurdity he brings forward in the words, "as the essence which controls even Him attracts to itself the conception of the Existent." Let us say nothing about the awkwardness of the combination here: let us examine his serious meaning. What argument ever demonstrated this? He superfluously reiterates to us his statement of the Essence of the Father having sovereignty over the Son. What evangelist is the patron of this doctrine? What process of dialectic conducts us to it. What premises support it? What line of argument ever demonstrated by any logical consequence that the Only-begotten God is under dominion? "But," says he, "the essence that is dominant over the Son attracts to itself the conception of the Existent." What is the meaning of the attraction of the existent? and how comes the phrase of "attracting" to be flung on the top of what he has said before? Assuredly he who considers the force of words will judge for himself. About this, however, we will say nothing: but we will take up again that argument that he does not grant essential being to Him to Whom he does not leave the title of the Existent. And why does he idly fight with shadows, contending about the non-existent being this or that? For that which does not exist is of course neither like anything else, nor unlike. But while granting that He is existent he forbids Him to be so called. Alas for the vain precision of haggling about the sound of a word while making concessions on the more important matter! But in what sense does He, Who, as he says, has dominion over the Son, "attract to Himself the conception of the Existent"? For if he says that the Father attracts His own essence, this process of attraction is superfluous: for existence is His already, without being attracted. If, on the other hand, his meaning is that the existence of the Son is attracted by the Father, I cannot make out how existence is to be wrenched from the Existent, and to pass over to Him Who "attracts" it. Can he be dreaming of the error of Sabellius, as though the Son did not exist in Himself, but was painted on to the personal existence of the Father? is this his meaning in the expression that the conception of the Existent is attracted by the essence which exercises domination over the Son? or does he, while not denying the personal existence of the Son, nevertheless say that He is separated from the meaning conveyed by the term "the Existent"? And yet, how can "the Existent" be separated from the conception of existence? For as long as anything is what it is, nature does not admit that it should not be what it is.


1. The eleventh book shows that the title of "Good" is due, not to the Father alone, as Eunomius, the imitator of Manichaeus and Bardesanes, alleges, but to the Son also, Who formed man in goodness and loving- kindness, and reformed him by His Cross and death.

LET US now go on to the next stage in his argument:--".... the Only- begotten Himself ascribing to the Father the title due of right to Him alone. For He Who has taught us that the appellation 'good' belongs to Him alone Who is the cause of His own(1) goodness and of all goodness, and is so at all times, and Who refers to Him all good that has ever come into being, would be slow to appropriate to Himself the authority over all things that have come into being, and the title of 'the Existent.'" Well, so long as he concealed his blasphemy under some kind of veil, and strove to entangle his deluded hearers unawares in the mazes of his dialectic, I thought it necessary to watch his unfair and clandestine dealings, and as far as possible to lay bare in my argument the lurking mischief. But now that he has stripped his falsehood of every mask that could disguise it, and publishes his profanity aloud in categorical terms, I think it superfluous to undergo useless labour in bringing logical modes of confutation to bear upon those who make no secret of their impiety. For what further means could we discover to demonstrate their malignity so efficacious as that which they themselves show us in their writings ready to our hand? He says that the Father alone is worthy of the title of "good," that to Him alone such a name is due, on the plea that even the Son Himself agrees that goodness belongs to Him alone. Our accuser has pleaded our cause. for us: for perhaps in my former statements I was thought by my readers to show a certain wanton insolence when I endeavoured to demonstrate that the fighters against Christ made Him out to be alien from the goodness of the Father. But I think it has now been proved by the confession of our opponents that in bringing such a charge against them we were not acting unfairly. For he who says that the title of "good" belongs of right to the Father only, and that such an address befits Him alone, publishes abroad, by thus disclosing his real meaning, the villainy which he had previously wrapped up in disguise. He says that the title of "good" befits the Father only. Does he mean the title with the signification which belongs to the expression, or the title detached from its proper meaning? If on the one side he merely ascribes to the Father the title of "good" in a special sense, he is to be pitied for his irrationality in allowing to the Father merely the sound of an empty name. But if he thinks that the conception expressed by the term "good" belongs to God the Father only, he is to be abominated for his impiety, reviving as he does the plague of the Manichaean heresy in his own opinions. For as health and disease, even so goodness and badness exist on terms of mutual destruction, so that the absence of the one is the presence of the other. If then he says that goodness belongs to the Father only, he cuts off these from every conceivable object in existence except the Father, so that, along with all, the Only-begotten God is shut out from good. For as he who affirms that man alone is capable of laughter implies thereby that no other animal shares this property, so he who asserts that good is in the Father alone separates all things from that property. If then, as Eunomius declares, the Father alone has by right the title of "good," such a term will not be properly applied to anything else. But every impulse of the will either operates in accordance with good, or tends to the contrary. For to be inclined neither one way nor the other, but to remain in a state of equipoise, is the property of creatures inanimate or insensible. If the Father alone is good, having goodness not as a thing acquired, but in His nature, and if the Son, as heresy will have it, does not share in the nature of the Father, then he who does not share the good essence of the Father is of course at the same time excluded also from part and lot in the title of "good." But he who has no claim either to the nature or to the name of "good"--what he is assuredly not unknown, even though I forbear the blasphemous expression. For it is plain to all that the object for which Eunomius is so eager is to import into the conception of the Son a suspicion of that which is evil and opposite to good. For what kind of name belongs to him who is not good is manifest to every one who has a share of reason. As he who is not brave is cowardly, as he who is not just is unjust, and as he who is not wise is foolish, so he who is not good clearly has as his own the opposite name, and it is to this that the enemy of Christ wishes to press the conception of the Only-begotten, becoming thereby to the Church another Manes or Bardesanes. These are the sayings in regard of which we say that our utterance would be no more effective than silence. For were one to say countless things, and to arouse all possible arguments, one could not say anything so damaging of our opponents as what is openly and undisguisedly proclaimed by themselves. For what more bitter charge could one invent against them for malice than that of denying that He is good "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God(2)," but yet condescended to the low estate of human nature, and did so solely for the love of man? In return for what, tell me, "do ye thus requite the Lord(3)?" (for I will borrow the language of Moses to the Israelites); is He not good, Who when thou wast soulless dust invested thee with Godlike beauty, and raised thee up as an image of His own power endowed with soul? Is He not good, Who for thy sake took on Him the form of a servant, and for the joy set before Him(4) did not shrink from bearing the sufferings due to thy sin, and gave Himself a ransom for thy death, and became for our sakes a curse and sin?

2. He also ingeniously shows from the passage of the Gospel which speaks of "Good Master," from the parable of the Vineyard, from Isaiah and from Paul, that there is not a dualism in the Godhead of good and evil, as Eunomius' ally Marcion supposes, and declares that the Son does not refuse the title of "good" or "Existent," or acknowledge His alienation from the Father, but that to Him also belongs authority over all things that came into being.

Not even Marcion himself, the patron of your opinions, supports you in this. It is true that in common with you he holds a dualism of gods, and thinks that one is different in nature from the other, but it is the more courteous view to attribute goodness to the God of the Gospel. You however actually separate the Only begotten God from the nature of good, that you may surpass even Marcion in the depravity of your doctrines. However, they claim the Scripture on their side, and say that they are hardly treated when they are accused for using the very words of Scripture. For they say that the Lord Himself has said, "There is none good but one, that is, Gods." Accordingly, that misrepresentation may not prevail against the Divine words, we will briefly examine the actual passage in the Gospel. The history regards the rich man to whom the Lord spoke this word as young--the kind of person, I suppose, inclined to enjoy the pleasures of this life-- and attached to his possessions; for it says that he was grieved at the advice to part with what he had, and that he did not choose to exchange his property for life eternal. This man, when he heard that a teacher of eternal life was in the neighbourhood, came to him in the expectation of living in perpetual luxury, with life indefinitely extended, flattering the Lord with the title of "good,"--flattering, I should rather say, not the Lord as we conceive Him, but as He then appeared in the form of a servant. For his character was not such as to enable him to penetrate the outward veil of flesh, and see through it into the inner shrine of Deity. The Lord, then, Who seeth the hearts, discerned the motive with which the young man approached Him as a suppliant,--that he did so, not with a soul intently fixed upon the Divine, but that it was the man whom he besought, calling Him "Good Master," because he hoped to learn from Him some lore by which the approach of death might be hindered. Accordingly, with good reason did He Who was thus besought by him answer even as He was addressed(6). For as the entreaty was not addressed to God the Word, so correspondingly the answer was delivered to the applicant by the Humanity of Christ, thereby impressing on the youth a double lesson. For He teaches him, by one and the same answer, both the duty of reverencing and paying homage to the Divinity, not by flattering speeches but by his life, by keeping the commandments and buying life eternal at the cost of all possessions, and also the truth that humanity, having been sunk in depravity by reason of sin, is debarred from the title of "Good": and for this reason He says, "Why callest Thou Me good?" suggesting in His answer by the word "Me" that human nature which encompassed Him, while by attributing goodness to the Godhead He expressly declared Himself to be good, seeing that He is proclaimed to be God by the Gospel. For had the Only-begotten Son been excluded from the title of God, it would perhaps not have been absurd to think Him alien also from the appellation of "good." But if, as is the case, prophets, evangelists, and Apostles proclaim aloud the Godhead of the Only-begotten, and if the name of goodness is attested by the Lord Himself to belong to God, how is it possible that He Who is partaker of the Godhead should not be partaker of the goodness too? For that both prophets, evangelists, disciples and apostles acknowledge the Lord as God, there is none so uninitiated in Divine mysteries as to need to be expressly told. For who knows not that in the forty-fourth(7) Psalm the prophet in his word affirms the Christ to be God, anointed by God? And again, who of all that are conversant with prophecy is unaware that Isaiah, among other passages, thus openly proclaims the Godhead of the Son, where he says: "The Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and shall be servants unto thee: they shall come after thee bound in fetters, and in thee shall they make supplication, because God is in thee, and there is no God beside thee; for thou art God(8)." For what other God there is Who has God in Himself, and is Himself God, except the Only-begotten, let them say who hearken not to the prophecy; but of the interpretation of Emmanuel, and the confession of Thomas after his recognition of the Lord, and the sublime diction of John, as being manifest even to those who are outside the faith, I will say nothing. Nay, I do not even think it necessary to bring forward in detail the utterances of Paul, since they are, as one may say, in all men's mouths, who gives the Lord the appellation not only of "God," but of "great God" and "God over all," saying to the Romans, "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Who is over all, God blessed for ever(9)," and writing to his disciple Titus, "According to the appearing of Jesus Christ the great God and our Saviour(1)," and to Timothy, proclaims in plain terms, "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit(2)." Since then the fact has been demonstrated on every side that the Only-begotten God is God(3), how is it that he who says that goodness belongs to God, strives to show that the Godhead of the Son is alien from this ascription, and this though the Lord has actually claimed for Himself the epithet "good" in the parable of those who were hired into the vineyard? For there, when those who had laboured before the others were dissatisfied at all receiving the same pay, and deemed the good fortune of the last to be their own loss, the just judge says to one of the murmurers(4), "Friend, I do thee no wrong: did I not agree with thee for a penny a day? Lo, there thou hast that is thine(5): I will bestow upon this last even as upon thee. Have I not power to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good?" Of course no one will contest the point that to distribute recompense according to desert is the special function of the judge; and all the disciples of the Gospel agree that the Only-begotten God is Judge; "for the Father," He saith, "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son(6)." But they do not set themselves in opposition(7) to the Scriptures. For they say that the word "one" absolutely points to the Father. For He saith, "There is none good but one, that is God." Will truth then lack vigour to plead her own cause? Surely there are many means easily to convict of deception this quibble also. For He Who said this concerning the Father spake also to the Father that other word, "All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them(8)." Now if He says that all that is the Father's is also the Son's, and goodness is one of the attributes pertaining to the Father, either the Son has not all things if He has not this, and they will be saying that the Truth lies, or if it is impious to suspect the very Truth of being carried away into falsehood, then He Who claimed all that is the Father's as His own, thereby asserted that He was not outside of goodness. For He Who has the Father in Himself, and contains all things that belong to the Father, manifestly has His goodness with "all things." Therefore the Son is Good. But "there is none good," he says, "but one, that is God." This is what is alleged by our adversaries: nor do I myself reject the statement. I do not, however, for this cause deny the Godhead of the Son. But he who confesses that the Lord is God, by that very confession assuredly also asserts of Him goodness. For if goodness is a property of God, and if the Lord is God, then by our premises the Son is shown to be God. "But," says our opponent, "the word 'one' excludes the Son from participation in goodness." It is easy, however, to show that not even the word "one" separates the Father from the Son. For in all other cases, it is true, the term "one" carries with it the signification of not being coupled with anything else, but in the case of the Father and the Son "one" does not imply isolation. For He says, "I and the Father are one(9)." If, then, the good is one, and a particular kind of unity is contemplated in the Father and the Son, it follows that the Lord, in predicating goodness of "one," claimed under the term "one" the title of "good" also for Himself, Who is one with the Father, and not severed from oneness of nature.

3. He then exposes the ignorance of Eunomius, and the incoherence and absurdity of his arguments, in speaking of the Son as "the Angel of the Existent," and as being as much below the Divine Nature as the Son is superior to the things created by Himself. And in this connection there is a noble and forcible counter-statement and an indignant refutation, showing that He Who gave the oracles to Moses is Himself the Existent, the Only- begotten Son, Who to the petition of Moses, "If Thou Thyself goest not with us, carry me not up hence," said, "I will do this also that thou hast said"; Who is also called "Angel" both by Moses and Isaiah: wherein is cited the text, "Unto us a Child is born."

But that the research and culture of our imposing author may be completely disclosed, we will consider sentence by sentence his presentment of his sentiments. "The Son," he says, "does not appropriate the dignity of the Existent," giving the name of "dignity" to the actual fact of being:-- (with what propriety he knows how to adapt words to things!)--and since He is "by reason of the Father," he says that He is alienated from Himself on the ground that the essence which is supreme over Him attracts to itself the conception of the Existent. This is much the same as if one were to say that he who is bought for money, in so far as he is in his own existence, is not the person bought, but the purchaser, inasmuch as his essential personal existence is absorbed into the nature of him who has acquired authority over him. Such are the lofty conceptions of our divine: but what is the demonstration of his statements? .... "the Only-begotten," he says, "Himself ascribing to the Father the title due of right to Him alone," and then he introduces the point that the Father alone is good. Where in this does the Son disclaim the title of "Existent"? Yet this is what Eunomius is driving at when he goes on word for word as follows:--"For He Who has taught us that the appellation 'good' belongs to Him alone Who is the cause of His own goodness and of all goodness, and is so at all times, and Who refers to Him all good that has ever come into being, would be slow to appropriate to Himself the authority over all things that have come into being, and the title of 'the Existent."' What has "authority" to do with the context? and how along with this is the Son also alienated from the title of "Existent"? But really I do not know what one ought rather to do at this,--to laugh at the want of education, or to pity the pernicious folly which it displays. For the expression, "His own," not employed according to the natural meaning, and as those who know how to use language are wont to use it, attests his extensive knowledge of the grammar of pronouns, which even little boys get up with their masters without trouble, and his ridiculous wandering from the subject to what has nothing to do either with his argument or with the form of that argument, considered as syllogistic, namely, that the Son has no share in the appellation of "Existent"--an assertion adapted to his monstrous inventions(1),--this and similar absurdities seem combined together for the purpose of provoking laughter; so that it may be that readers of the more careless sort experience some such inclination, and are amused by the disjointedness of his arguments. But that God the Word should not exist, or that He at all events should not be good (and this is what Eunomius maintains when he says that He does not "appropriate the title" of "Existent" and "good"), and to make out that the authority over all things that come into being does not belong to him,--this calls for our tears, and for a wail of mourning.

For it is not as if he had but let fall something of the kind just once under some headlong and inconsiderate impulse, and in what followed had striven to retrieve his error: no, he dailies lingeringly with the malignity, striving in his later statements to surpass what had gone before. For as he proceeds, he says that the Son is the same distance below the Divine Nature as the nature of angels is subjected below His own, not indeed saying this in so many words, but endeavouring by what he does say to produce such an impression. The reader may judge for himself the meaning of his words: they run as follows,--"Who, by being called 'Angel,' clearly showed by Whom He published His words, and Who is the Existent, while by being addressed also as God, He showed His superiority over all things. For He Who is the God of all things that were made by Him, is the Angel of the God over all." Indignation rushes into my heart and interrupts my discourse, and under this emotion arguments are lost in a turmoil of anger roused by words like these. And perhaps I may be pardoned for feeling such emotion. For whose resentment would not be stirred within him at such profanity, when he remembers how the Apostle proclaims that every angelic nature is subject to the Lord, and in witness of his doctrine invokes the sublime utterances of the prophets:--"When He bringeth the first-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him," and, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," and, "Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail(2)"? When the Apostle has gone through all this argument to demonstrate the unapproachable majesty of the Only-begotten God, what must I feel when I hear from the adversary of Christ that the Lord of Angels is Himself only an Angel,--and when he does not let such a statement fall by chance, but puts forth his strength to maintain this monstrous invention, so that it may be established that his Lord has no superiority over John and Moses? For the word says concerning them, "This is he of whom it is written, 'Behold I send my angel before thy face(3).'" John therefore is an angel. But the enemy of the Lord, even though he grants his. Lord the name of God, yet makes Him out to be on a level with the deity of Moses, since he too was a servant of the God over all, and was constituted a god to the Egyptians(4). And yet this phrase, "over all," as has been previously observed, is common to the Son with the Father, the Apostle having expressly ascribed such a title to Him, when he says, "Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Who is God over all(5)." But this man degrades the Lord of angels to the rank of an angel, as though he had not heard that the angels are "ministering spirits," and "a flame of fire(6)." For by the use of these distinctive terms does the Apostle make the difference between the several subjects clear and unmistakable, defining the subordinate nature to be "spirits" and "fire," and distinguishing the supreme power by the name of Godhead. And yet, though there are so many that proclaim the glory of the Only-begotten God, against them all Eunomius lifts up his single voice, calling the Christ "an angel of the God over all," defining Him, by thus contrasting Him with the "God over all," to be one of the "all things," and, by giving Him the same name as the angels, trying to establish that He no wise differs from them in nature: for he has often previously said that all those things which share the same name cannot be different in nature. Does the argument, then, still lack its censors, as it concerns a man who proclaims in so many words that the "Angel" does not publish His own word, but that of the Existent? For it is by this means that he tries to show that the Word Who was in the beginning, the Word Who was God, is not Himself the Word, but is the Word of some other Word, being its minister and "angel." And who knows not that the only opposite to the "Existent" is the nonexistent? so that he who contrasts the Son with the Existent, is clearly playing the Jew, robbing the Christian doctrine of the Person of the Only-begotten. For in saying that He is excluded from the title of the "Existent," he is assuredly trying to establish also that He is outside the pale of existence: for surely if he grants Him existence, he will not quarrel about the sound of the word.

But he strives to prop up his absurdity by the testimony of Scripture, and puts forth Moses as his advocate against the truth. For as though that were the source from which he drew his arguments, he freely sets forth to us his own fables, saying, "He Who sent Moses was the Existent Himself, but He by Whom He sent and spake was the Angel of the Existent, and the God of all else." That his statement, however, is not drawn from Scripture, may be conclusively proved by Scripture itself. But if he says that this is the sense of what is written, we must examine the original language of Scripture. Moreover let us first notice that Eunomius, after calling the Lord God of all things after Him, allows Him no superiority in comparison with the angelic nature. For neither did Moses, when he heard that he was made a god to Pharaoh(4), pass beyond the bounds of humanity, but while in nature he was on an equality with his fellows, he was raised above them by superiority of authority, and his being called a god did not hinder him from being man. So too in this case Eunomius, while making out the Son to be one of the angels, salves over such an error by the appellation of Godhead, in the manner expressed, allowing Him the title of God in some equivocal sense. Let us once more set down and examine the very words in which he delivers his blasphemy. "He Who sent Moses was the Existent Himself, but He by Whom He sent was the Angel of the Existent"--this, namely "Angel," being the title he gives his Lord. Well, the absurdity of our author is refuted by the Scripture itself, in the passage where Moses beseeches the Lord not to entrust an angel with the leadership of the people, but Himself to conduct their march. The passage runs thus: God is speaking, "Go, get thee down, guide this people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold Mine Angel shall go before thee in the day when I visit(7)." And a little while after He says again, "And I will send Mine Angel before thee(8)." Then, a little after what immediately follows, comes the supplication to God on the part of His servant, running on this wise, "If I have found grace in Thy sight, let my Lord go among us(9)," and again, "If Thou Thyself go not with us, carry me not up hence(1)"; and then the answer of God to Moses, "I will do for thee this thing also that thou hast spoken for thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee above all men(2)." Accordingly, if Moses begs that the people may not be led by an angel, and if He Who was discoursing with him consents to become his fellow-traveller and the guide of the army, it is hereby manifestly shown that He Who made Himself known by the title of "the Existent" is the Only- begotten God.

If any one gainsays this, he will show himself to be a supporter of the Jewish persuasion in not associating the Son with the deliverance of the people. For if, on the one hand, it was not an angel that went forth with the people, and if, on the other, as Eunomius would have it, He Who was manifested by the name of the Existent is not the Only-begotten, this amounts to nothing less than transferring the doctrines of the synagogue to the Church of God. Accordingly, of the two alternatives they must needs admit one, namely, either that the Only-begotten God on no occasion appeared to Moses, or that the Son is Himself the "Existent," from Whom the word came to His servant. But he contradicts what has been said above, alleging the Scripture itself(3) which informs us that the voice of an angel was interposed, and that it was thus that the discourse of the Existent was conveyed. This, however, is no contradiction, but a confirmation of our view. For we too say plainly, that the prophet, wishing to make manifest to men the mystery concerning Christ, called the Self- Existent "Angel," that the meaning of the words might not be referred to the Father, as it would have been if the title of "Existent" alone had been found throughout the discourse. But just as our word is the revealer and messenger (or "angel") of the movements of the mind, even so we affirm that the true Word that was in the beginning, when He announces the will of His own Father, is styled "Angel" (or "Messenger"), a title given to Him on account of the operation of conveying the message. And as the sublime John, having previously called Him "Word," so introduces the further truth that the Word was God, that our thoughts might not at once turn to the Father, as they would have done if the title of God had been put first, so too does the mighty Moses, after first calling Him "Angel," teach us in the words that follow that He is none other than the Self-Existent Himself, that the mystery concerning the Christ might be fore-shown, by the Scripture assuring us by the name "Angel," that the Word is the interpreter of the Father's will, and, by the title of the "Self-Existent," of the closeness of relation subsisting between the Son and the Father. And if he should bring forward Isaiah also as calling Him "the Angel of mighty counsel(4)," not even so will be overthrow our argument. For there, in dear and uncontrovertible terms, there is indicated by the prophecy the dispensation of His Humanity; for "unto us," he says, "a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name is called the Angel of mighty counsel." And it is with an eye to this, I suppose, that David describes the establishment of His kingdom, not as though He were not a King, but in the view that the humiliation to the estate of a servant to which the Lord submitted by way of dispensation, was taken up and absorbed into the majesty of His Kingdom. For he says, "I was established King by Him on His holy hill of Sion, declaring the ordinance of the Lord.(5) Accordingly, He Who through Himself reveals the goodness of the Father is called "Angel" and "Word," "Seal" and "Image," and all similar titles with the same intention. For as the "Angel" (or "Messenger") gives information from some one, even so the Word reveals the thought within, the Seal shows by Its own stamp the original mould, and the Image by Itself interprets the beauty of that whereof It is the image, so that in their signification all these terms are equivalent to one another. For this reason the title "Angel" is placed before that of the "Self-Existent," the Son being termed "Angel" as the exponent of His Father's will, and the "Existent" as having no name that could possibly give a knowledge of His essence, but transcending all the power of names to express. Wherefore also His name is testified by the writing of the Apostle to be "above every name(6)," not as though it were some one name preferred above all others, though still comparable with them, but rather in the sense that He Who verily is above every name.

4. After this, fearing to extend his reply to great length, he passes by most of his adversary's statements as already refuted. But the remainder, for the sake of those who deem them of much force, he briefly summarizes, and refutes the blasphemy of Eunomius, who says of the Lord also that He is what animals and plants in all creation are, non-existent before their own generation; and so with the production of frogs; alas for the blasphemy!

But I must hasten on, for I see that my treatise has already extended beyond bounds and I fear that I may be thought garrulous and inordinate in my talk, if I prolong my answer to excess, although I have intentionally passed by many parts of my adversary's treatise, that my argument might not be spun out to many myriads of words. For to the more studious even the want of conciseness gives an occasion for disparagement; but as for those whose mind looks not to what is of use, but to the fancy of those who are idle and not in earnest, their wish and prayer is to get over as much of the journey as they can in a few steps. What then ought we to do when Eunomius' profanity draws us on? Are we to track his every turn? or is it perhaps superfluous and merely garrulous to spend our energies over and over again on similar encounters? For all their argument that follows is in accordance with what we have already investigated, and presents no fresh point in addition to what has gone before. If then we have succeeded in completely overthrowing his previous statements, the remainder fall along with them. But in case the contentious and obstinate should think that the strongest part of their case is in what I have omitted, for this reason it may perhaps be necessary to touch briefly upon what remains.

He says that the Lord did not exist before His own generation--he who cannot prove that He was in anything separated from the Father. And this he says, not quoting any Scripture as a warrant for his assertion, but maintaining his proposition by arguments of his own. But this characteristic has been shown to be common to all parts of the creation. Not a frog, not a worm, not a beetle, not a blade of grass, nor any other of the most insignificant objects, existed before its own formation: so that what by aid of his dialectic skill he tries with great labour and pains to establish to be the case with the Son, has previously been acknowleged to be true of any chance portions of the creation, and our author's mighty labour is to show that the Only-begotten God, by participation of attributes, is on a level with the lowest of created things. Accordingly the fact of the coincidence of their opinions concerning the Only-begotten God, and their view of the mode in which frogs come into being, is a sufficient indication of their doctrinal pravity. Next he urges that not to be before His generation, is equivalent in fact and meaning to not being ungenerate. Once more the same argument will fit my hand in dealing with this too,--that a man would not be wrong in saying the same thing of a dog, or a flea, or a snake, or any one you please of the meanest creatures, since for a dog not to exist before his generation is equivalent in fact and meaning to his not being ungenerate. But if, in accord with the definition they have so often laid down, all things that share in attributes share also in nature, and if it is an attribute of the dog, and of the rest severally, not to exist before generation, which is what Eunomius thinks fit to maintain also of the Son, the reader will by logical process see for himself the contusion of this demonstration.

5. (7)Eunomius again speaks of the Son as Lord and God, and Maker of all creation intelligible and sensible, having received from the Father the power and the commission ,for creation, being entrusted with the task of creation as if He were an artizan commissioned by some one hiring Him, and receiving His power of creation as a thing adventitious, ab extra, as a result of the power allotted to Him in accordance with such and such combinations and positions of the stars, as destiny decrees their lot in life to men at their nativity. Thus, passing by most of what Eunomius had written, he confutes his blasphemy that the Maker all things came into being in like manner with the earth and with angels, and that the subsistence of the Only-begotten differs not at all front the genesis of all things, and reproaches him with reverencing neither the Divine mystery nor the custom of the Church, nor following in his attempt to discover godliness any teacher of pious doctrine, but Manichaeus, Colluthus, Arius, Aetius, and those like to them, supposing that Christianity in general is folly, and that the customs of the Church and the venerable sacraments are a jest, wherein he differs in nothing from the pagans, who borrowed from our doctrine the idea of a great God supreme over all. So, too, this new idolater preaches in the same fashion, and in particular that baptism is "into an artificer and creator," not fearing the curse of those who cause addition or diminution to the Holy Scriptures. And he closes his book with showing him to be Antichrist.

Afterwards, however, he gives his discourse a more moderate turn, imparting to it even a touch of gentleness, and, though he had but a little earlier partitioned off the Son from the title of Existent, he now says,-- "We affirm that the Son is not only existent, and above all existent things, but we also call Him Lord and God, the Maker of every being(8), sensible and intelligible." What does he suppose this "being" to be? created? or uncreated? For if he confesses Jesus to be Lord, God, and Maker of all intelligible being, it necessarily follows, if he says it is uncreated, that he speaks falsely, ascribing to the Son the making of the uncreated Nature. But if he believes it to be created, he makes Him His own Maker. For if the act of creation be not separated from intelligible nature in favour of Him Who is independent and uncreated, there will no longer remain any mark of distinction, as the sensible creation and the intelligible being will be thought of under one head(9). But here he brings in the assertion that "in the creation of existent things He has been entrusted by the Father with the construction of all things visible and invisible, and with the providential care over all that comes into being, inasmuch as the power allotted to Him from above is sufficient for the production of those things which have been constructed(1)." The vast length to which our treatise has run compels us to pass over these assertions briefly but, in a sense, profanity surrounds the argument, containing a vast swarm of notions like venomous wasps. "He was entrusted," he says, "with the construction of things by the Father." But if he had been talking about some artizan executing his work at the pleasure of his employer, would he not have used the same language? For we are not wrong in saying just the same of Bezaleel, that being entrusted by Moses with the building of the tabernacle, he became the constructor of those things there(2) mentioned, and would not have taken the work in hand had he not previously acquired his knowledge by Divine inspiration, and ventured upon the undertaking on Moses' entrusting him with its execution. Accordingly the term "entrusted" suggests that His office and power in creation came to Him as something adventitious, in the sense that before He was entrusted with that commission He had neither the will nor the power to act, but when He received authority to execute the works, and power sufficient for the works, then He became the artificer of things that are, the power allotted to Him from on high being, as Eunomius says, sufficient for the purpose. Does he then place even the generation of the Son, by some astrological juggling(3), under some destiny, just as they who practise this vain deceit affirm that the appointment of their lot in life comes to men at the time of their birth, by such and such conjunctions or oppositions of the stars, as the rotation above moves on in a kind of ordered train, assigning to those who are coming into being their special faculties? It may be that something of this kind is in the mind of our sage, and he says that to Him that is above all rule, and authority, and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, there has been allotted, as though He were pent in some hollow spaces, power from on high, measured out in accordance with the quantity of things which come into being. I will pass over this part of his treatise also summarily, letting fall from a slight commencement of investigation, for the more intelligent sort of readers, seeds to enable them to discern his profanity. Moreover, in what follows, there is ready written a kind of apology for ourselves. For we cannot any longer be thought to be missing the intention of his discourse, and misinterpreting his words to render them subject to criticism, when his own voice acknowledges the absurdity of his doctrine. His words stand as follows:--"What? did not earth and angel come into being, when before they were not?" See how our lofty theologian is not ashamed to apply the same description to earth and angels and to the Maker of all! Surely if he thinks it fit to predicate the same of earth and its Lord, he must either make a god of the one, or degrade the other to a level with it.

Then he adds to this something by which his profanity is yet more completely stripped of all disguise, so that its absurdity is obvious even to a child. For he says,--"It would be a long task to detail all the modes of generation of intelligible objects, or the essences which do not all possess the nature of the Existent in common, but display variations according to the operations of Him Who constructed them." Without any words of ours, the blasphemy against the Son which is here contained is glaring and conspicuous, when he acknowledges that which is predicated of every mode of generation and essence in nowise differs from the description of the Divine subsistence(4) of the Only-begotten. But it seems to me best to pass over the intermediate passages in which he seeks to maintain his profanity, and to hasten to the head and front of the accusation which we have to bring against his doctrines. For he will be found to exhibit the sacrament of regeneration as an idle thing, the mystic oblation as profitless, and the participation in them as of no advantage to those who are partakers therein. For after those high-wrought aeons(5) in which, by way of disparagement of our doctrine, he names as its supporters a Valentinus, a Cerinthus, a Basilides, a Montanus, and a Marcion, and after laying it down that those who affirm that the Divine nature is unknowable, and the mode of His generation unknowable, have no right or title whatever to the name of Christians, and after reckoning us among those whom he thus disparages, he proceeds to develop his own view in these terms:--"But we, in agreement with holy and blessed men; affirm that the mystery of godliness does not consist in venerable names, nor in the distinctive character of customs and sacramental tokens, but in exactness of doctrine." That when he wrote this, he did so not under the guidance of evangelists, apostles, or any of the authors of the Old Testament, is plain to every one who has any acquaintance with the sacred and Divine Scripture. We should naturally be led to suppose that by "holy and blessed men" he meant Manichaeus, Nicolaus, Colluthus, Aetius, Arius, and the rest of the same band, with whom he is in strict accord in laying down this principle, that neither the confession of sacred names, nor the customs of the Church, nor her sacramental tokens, are a ratification of godliness. But we, having learnt from the holy voice of Christ that "except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit he shall not enter into the kingdom of God(6)," and that "He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, shall live for ever(7)," are persuaded that the mystery of godliness is ratified by the confession of the Divine Names--the Names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that our salvation is confirmed by participation in the sacramental customs and tokens. But doctrines have often been carefully investigated by those who have had no part or lot in that mystery, and one may hear many such putting forward the faith we hold as a subject for themselves in the rivalry of debate, and some of them often even succeeding in hitting the truth, and for all that none the less estranged from the faith. Since, then, he despises the revered Names, by which the power of the more Divine birth distributes grace to them who come for it in faith, and slights the fellowship of the sacramental customs and tokens from which the Christian profession draws its vigour, let us, with a slight variation, utter to those who listen to his deceit the word of the prophet:--"How long will ye be slow of heart? Why do ye love destruction and seek after leasing(8)?" How is it that ye do not see the persecutor of the faith inviting those who consent unto him to violate their Christian profession? For if the confession of the revered and precious Names of the Holy Trinity is useless, and the customs of the Church unprofitable, and if among these customs is the sign of the cross(9), prayer, baptism, confession of sins, a ready zeal to keep the commandment, right ordering of character, sobriety of life, regard to justice, the effort not to be excited by passion, or enslaved by pleasure, or to fall short in moral excellence,--if he says that none of such habits as these is cultivated to any good purpose, and that the sacramental tokens do not, as we have believed, secure spiritual blessings, and avert from believers the assaults directed against them by the wiles of the evil one, what else does he do but openly proclaim aloud to men that he deems the mystery which Christians cherish a fable, laughs at the majesty of the Divine Names, considers the customs of the Church a jest, and all sacramental operations idle prattle and folly? What beyond this do they who remain attached to paganism bring forward in disparagement of our creed? Do not they too make the majesty of the sacred Names, in which the faith is ratified, an occasion of laughter? Do not they deride the sacramental tokens and the customs which are observed by the initiated? And of whom is it so much a distinguishing peculiarity as of the pagans, to think that piety should consist in doctrines only? since they also say that according to their view, there is something more persuasive than the Gospel which we preach, and some of them hold that there is some one great God pre-eminent above the rest, and acknowledge some subject powers, differing among themselves in the way of superiority or inferiority, in some regular order and sequence, but all alike subject to the Supreme. This, then, is what the teachers of the new idolatry preach, and they who follow them have no dread of the condemnation that abideth on transgressors, as though they did not understand that actually to do some improper thing is far more grievous than to err in word alone. They, then, who in act deny the faith, and slight the confession of the sacred Names, and judge the sanctification effected by the sacramental tokens to be worthless, and have been persuaded to have regard to cunningly devised fables, and to fancy that their salvation consists in quibbles about the generate and the ungenerate,--what else are they than transgressors of the doctrines of salvation?

But if any one thinks that these charges are brought against them by us ungenerously and unfairly, let him consider independently our author's writings, both what we have previously alleged, and what is inferred in logical connection with our citations. For in direct contravention of the law of the Lord--(for the deliverance to us of the means of initiation constitutes a law),--he says that baptism is not into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as Christ commanded His disciples when He delivered to them the mystery, but into an artificer and creator, and "not only Father," he says, "of the Only-begotten, but also His God(1)." Woe unto him who gives his neighbour to drink turbid mischief(2)! How does, he trouble and befoul the truth by flinging his mud into it! How is it that he feels no fear of the curse that rests upon those who add aught to the Divine utterance, or dare to take aught away? Let us read the declaration of the Lord in His very words--"Go," He says, "teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Where did He call the Son a creature? Where did the Word teach that the Father is creator and artificer of the Only-begotten? Where in the words cited is it taught that the Son is a servant of God? Where in the delivery of the mystery is the God of the Son proclaimed? Do ye not perceive and understand, ye who are dragged by guile to perdition, what sort of guide ye have put in charge of your souls,--one who interpolates the Holy Scriptures, who garbles the Divine utterances, who with his own mud befouls the purity of the doctrines of godliness, who not only arms his own tongue against us, but also attempts to tamper with the sacred voices of truth, who is eager to invest his own perversion with more authority than the teaching of the Lord? Do ye not perceive that he stirs himself up against the Name at which all must bow, so that in time the Name of the Lord shall be heard no more, and instead of Christ Eunomius shall be brought into the Churches? Do ye not yet consider that this preaching of godlessness has been set on foot by the devil as a rehearsal, preparation, and prelude of the coming of Antichrist? For he who is ambitious of showing that his own words are more authoritative than those of Christ, and of transforming the faith from the Divine Names and the sacramental customs and tokens to his own deceit,--what else, I say, could he properly be called, but only Antichrist?


1. This twelfth book gives a notable interpretation of the words of the Lord to Mary, "Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father."

BUT let us see what is the next addition that follows upon this profanity, an addition which is in fact the key of their defence of their doctrine. For those who would degrade the majesty of the glory of the Only- begotten to slavish and grovelling conceptions think that they find the strongest proof of their assertions in the words of the Lord to Mary, which He uttered after His resurrection, and before His ascension into heaven, saying, "Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God(1)." The orthodox interpretation of these words, the sense in which we have been accustomed to believe that they were spoken to Mary, is I think manifest to all who have received the faith in truth. Still the discussion of this point shall be given by us in its proper place; but meantime it is worth while to inquire from those who allege against us such phrases as "ascending," "being seen," "being recognized by touch," and moreover "being associated with men by brotherhood," whether they consider them to be proper to the Divine or to the Human Nature. For if they see in the Godhead the capacity of being seen and touched, of being supported by meat and drink, kinship and brotherhood with men, and all the attributes of corporeal nature, then let them predicate of the Only- begotten God both these and whatsoever else they will, as motive energy and local change, which are peculiar to things circumscribed by a body. But if He by Mary is discoursing with His brethren, and if the Only-begotten has no brethren, (for how, if He had brethren, could the property of being Only-begotten be preserved?) and if the same Person Who said, "God is a Spirit(2)," says to His disciples, "Handle Me(3)," that He may show that while the Human Nature is capable of being handled the Divinity is intangible, and if He Who says, "I go," indicates local change, while He who contains all things, "in Whom," as the Apostle says, "all things were created, and in Whom all things consist(4)," has nothing in existent things external to Himself to which removal could take place by any kind of motion, (for motion cannot otherwise be effected than by that which is removed leaving the place in which it is, and occupying another place instead, while that which extends through all, and is in all, and controls all, and is confined by no existent thing, has no place to which to pass, inasmuch as nothing is void of the Divine fulness,) how can these men abandon the belief that such expressions arise from that which is apparent, and apply them to that Nature which is Divine and which surpasseth all understanding, when the Apostle has in his speech to the Athenians plainly forbidden us to imagine any such thing of God, inasmuch as the Divine power is not discoverable by touch(5), but by intelligent contemplation and faith? Or, again, whom does He Who did eat before the eyes of His disciples, and promised to go before them into Galilee and there be seen of them,--whom does He reveal Him to be Who should so appear to them? God, Whom no man hath seen or can see(6)? or the bodily image, that is, the form of a servant in which God was? If then what has been said plainly proves that the meaning of the phrases alleged refers to that which is visible, expressing shape, and capable of motion, akin to the nature of His disciples, and none of these properties is discernible in Him Who is invisible, incorporeal, intangible, and formless, how do they come to degrade the very Only-begotten God, Who was in the beginning, and is in the Father, to a level with Peter, Andrew, John, and the rest of the Apostles, by calling them the brethren and fellow-servants of the Only-begotten? And yet all their exertions are directed to this aim, to show that in majesty of nature there is as great a distance between the Father and the dignity, power, and essence of the Only-begotten, as there is between the Only- begotten and humanity. And they press this saying into the support of this meaning, treating the name of the God and Father as being of common significance in respect of the Lord and of His disciples, in the view that no difference in dignity of nature is conceived while He is recognized as God and Father both of Him and of them in a precisely similar manner.

And the mode in which they logically maintain their profanity is as follows;--that either by the relative term employed there is expressed community of essence also between the disciples and the Father, or else we must not by this phrase bring even the Lord into communion in the Father's Nature, and that, even as the fact(7) that the God over all is named as their God implies that the disciples are His servants so by parity of reasoning, it is acknowledged, by the words in question, that the Son also is the servant of God. Now that the words addressed to Mary are not applicable to the Godhead of the Only-begotten, one may learn from the intention with which they were uttered. For He Who humbled Himself to a level with human littleness, He it is Who spake the words. And what is the meaning of what He then uttered, they may know in all its fulness who by the Spirit search out the depths of the sacred mystery. But as much as comes within our compass we will set down in few words, following the guidance of the Fathers. He Who is by nature Father of existent things, from Whom all things have their birth, has been proclaimed as one, by the sublime utterance of the Apostle. "For there is one God," he says, "and Father, of Whom are all things(8)." Accordingly human nature did not enter into the creation from any other source, nor grow spontaneously in the parents of the race, but it too had for the author of its own constitution none other than the Father of all. And the name of Godhead itself, whether it indicates the authority of oversight or of foresight(9), imports a certain relation to humanity. For He Who bestowed on all things that are, the power of being, is the God and overseer of what He has Himself produced. But since, by the wiles of him that sowed in us the tares of disobedience, our nature no longer preserved in itself the impress of the Father's image, but was transformed into the foul likeness of sin, for this cause it was engrafted by virtue of similarity of will into the evil family of the father of sin: so that the good and true God and Father was no longer the God and Father of him who had been thus outlawed by his own depravity, but instead of Him Who was by Nature God, those were honoured who, as the Apostle says, "by nature were no Gods(1)," and in the place of the Father, he was deemed father who is falsely so called, as the prophet Jeremiah says in his dark saying, "The partridge called, she gathered together what she hatched not(2)." Since, then, this was the sum of our calamity, that humanity was exiled from the good Father, and was banished from the Divine oversight and care, for this cause He Who is the Shepherd of the whole rational creation, left in the heights of heaven His unsinning and supramundane flock, and, moved by love, went after the sheep which had gone astray, even our human nature(3). For human nature, which alone, according to the similitude in the parable, through vice roamed away from the hundred of rational beings, is, if it be compared with the whole, but an insignificant and infinitesimal part. Since then it was impossible that our life, which had been estranged from God, should of itself return to the high and heavenly place, for this cause, as saith the Apostle, He Who knew no sin is made sin for us(4), and frees us from the curse by taking on Him our curse as His own(5), and having taken up, and, in the language of the Apostle, "slain" in Himself "the enmity(6)" which by means of sin had come between us and God,--(in fact sin was "the enmity")--and having become what we were, He through Himself again united humanity to God. For having by purity brought into closest relationship with the Father of our nature that new man which is created after God(7), in Whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily(8), He drew with Him into the same grace all the nature that partakes of His body and is akin to Him. And these glad tidings He proclaims through the woman, not to those disciples only, but also to all who up to the present day become disciples of the Word,--the tidings, namely, that man is no longer outlawed, nor east out of the kingdom of God, but is once more a son, once more in the station assigned to him by his God, inasmuch as along with the first-fruits of humanity the lump also is hallowed(9). "For behold," He says, "I and the children whom God hath given Me(1)." He Who for our sakes was partaker of flesh and blood has recovered you, and brought you back to the place whence ye strayed away, becoming mere flesh and blood by sin(2). And so He from Whom we were formerly alienated by our revolt has become our Father and our God. Accordingly in the passage cited above the Lord brings the glad tidings of this benefit. And the words are not a proof of the degradation of the Son, but the glad tidings of our reconciliation to God. For that which has taken place in Christ's Humanity is a common boon bestowed on mankind generally. For as when we see in Him the weight of the body, which naturally gravitates to earth, ascending through the air into the heavens, we believe according to the words of the Apostle, that we also "shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air(3)," even so, when we hear that the true God and Father has become the God and Father of our First-fruits, we no longer doubt that the same God has become our God and Father too, inasmuch as we have learnt hat we shall come to the same place whither Christ has entered for us as our forerunner(4). And the fact too that this grace was revealed by means of a woman, itself agrees with the interpretation which we have given For since, as the Apostle tells us, "the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression(5)," and was by her disobedience foremost in the revolt from God, for this cause she is the first witness of the resurrection, that she might retrieve by her faith in the resurrection the overthrow caused by her disobedience, and that as, by making herself at the beginning a minister and advocate to her husband of the counsels of the serpent, she brought into human life the beginning of evil, and its train of consequences, so, by ministering(6) to His disciples the words of Him Who slew the rebel dragon, she might become to men the guide to faith, whereby with good reason the first proclamation of death is annulled. It is likely, indeed, that by more diligent students a more profitable explanation of the text may be discovered. But even though none such should be found, I think that every devout reader will agree that the one advanced by our opponents is futile, after comparing it with that which we have brought forward. For the one has been fabricated to destroy the glory, of the Only-begotten, and nothing more: but the other includes in its scope the aim of the dispensation concerning man. For it has been shown that it was not the intangible, immutable, and invisible God, but the moving, visible, and tangible nature which is proper to humanity, that gave command to Mary to minister the word to His disciples.

2. Then referring to the blasphemy of Eunomius, which had been refuted by the great Basil, where he banished the Only-begotten God to the realm of darkness, and the apology or explanation which Eunomius puts forth for his blasphemy, he shows that his present blasphemy is rendered by his apology worse than his previous one; and herein he very ably discourses of the "true" and the "unapproachable" Light.

Let us also investigate this point as well,--what defence he has to offer on those matters on which he was convicted of error by the great Basil, when he banishes the Only-begotten God to the realm of darkness, saying, "As great as is the difference between the generate and the ungenerate, so great is the divergence between Light and Light." For as he has already shown that the difference between the generate and the ungenerate is not merely one of greater or less intensity, but that they are diametrically opposed as regards their meaning; and since he has inferred by logical consequence from his premises that, as the difference between the light of the Father and that of the Son corresponds to ungeneracy and generation, we must necessarily suppose in the Son not a diminution of light, but a complete alienation from light. For as we cannot say that generation is a modified ungeneracy, but the signification of the terms ge'nnhsis and agennhsi'a are absolutely contradictory and mutually exclusive, so, if the same distinction is to be preserved between the Light of the Father and that conceived as existing in the Son, it will be logically concluded that the Son is not henceforth to be conceived as Light, as he is excluded alike from ungeneracy itself, and from the light which accompanies that condition,--and He Who is something different from light will evidently, by consequence, have affinity with its contrary,-- since this absurdity, I say, results from his principles, Eunomius endeavours to explain it away by dialectic artifices, delivering himself as follows: "For we know, we know the true Light, we know Him who created the light after the heavens and the earth, we have heard the Life and Truth Himself, even Christ, saying to His disciples, 'Ye are the light of the world(7),' we have learned from the blessed Paul, when he gives the title of 'Light unapproachable(8)' to the God over all, and by the addition defines and teaches us the transcendent superiority of His Light; and now that we have learnt that there is so great a difference between the one Light and the other, we shall not patiently endure so much as the mere mention of the notion that the conception of light in either case is one and the same." Can he be serious when he advances such arguments in his attempts against the truth, or is he experimenting upon the dulness of those who follow his error to see whether they can detect so childish and transparent a fallacy, or have no sense to discern such a barefaced imposition? For I suppose that no one is so senseless as not to perceive the juggling with equivocal terms by which Eunomius deludes both himself and his admirers. The disciples, he says, were termed light, and that which was produced in the course of creation is also called light. But who does not know that in these only the name is common, and the thing meant in each case is quite different? For the light of the sun gives discernment to the sight, but the word of the disciples implants in men's souls the illumination of the truth. If, then, he is aware of this difference even in the case of that light, so that he thinks the light of the body is one thing, and the light of the soul another, we need no longer discuss the point with him, since his defence itself condemns him if we hold our peace. But if in that light he cannot discover such a difference as regards the mode of operation, (for it is not, he may say, the light of the eyes that illumines the flesh, and the spiritual light which illumines the soul, but the operation and the potency of the one light and of the other is the same, operating in the same sphere and on the same objects,) then how is it that from the difference between the light of the beams of the sun and that of the words of the Apostles, he infers a like difference between the Only-begotten Light and the Light of the Father? "But the Son," he says, "is called the 'true' Light, the Father 'Light unapproachable.'" Well, these additional distinctions import a difference in degree only, and not in kind, between the light of the Son and the light of the Father. He thinks that the "true" is one thing, and the "unapproachable" another. I suppose there is no one so idiotic as not to see the real identity of meaning in the two terms. For the "true" and the "unapproachable" are each of them removed in an equally absolute degree from their contraries. For as the "true" does not admit any intermixture of the false, even so the "unapproachable" does not admit the access of its contrary. For the "unapproachable" is surely unapproachable by evil. But the light of the Son is not evil; for how can any one see in evil that which is true? Since, then, the truth is not evil, no one can say that the light which is in the Father is unapproachable by the truth. For if it were to reject the truth it would of course be associated with falsehood. For the nature of contradictories is such that the absence of the better involves the presence of its opposite. If, then, any one were to say that the Light of the Father was contemplated as remote from the presentation of its opposite, he would interpret the term "unapproachable" in a manner agreeable to the intention of the Apostle. But if he were to say that "unapproachable" signified alienation from good, he would suppose nothing else than that God was alien from, and at enmity with, Himself, being at the same time good and opposed to good. But this is impossible: for the good is akin to good. Accordingly the one Light is not divergent from the other. For the Son is the true Light, and the Father is Light unapproachable. In fact I would make bold to say that the man who should interchange the two attributes would not be wrong. For the true is unapproachable by the false, and on the other side, the unapproachable is found to be in unsullied truth. Accordingly the unapproachable is identical with the true, because that which is signified by each expression is equally inaccessible to evil. What is the difference then, that is imagined to exist in these by him who imposes on himself and his followers by the equivocal use of the term "Light"? But let us not pass over this point either without notice, that it is only after garbling the Apostle's words to suit his own fancy that he cites the phrase as if it came from him. For Paul says, "dwelling in light unapproachable(9)." But there is a great difference between being oneself something and being in something. For he who said, "dwelling in light unapproachable," did not, by the word "dwelling," indicate God Himself, but that which surrounds Him, which in our view is equivalent to the Gospel phrase which tells us that the Father is in the Son. For the Son is true Light, and the truth is unapproachable by falsehood; so then the Son is Light unapproachable in which the Father dwells, or in Whom the Father is.

3. He further proceeds notably to interpret the language of the Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word," and "Life" and "Light," and "The Word was made flesh," which had been misinterpreted by Eunomius; and overthrows his blasphemy, and flows that the dispensation of the Lord took place by loving-kindness, not by lack of power, and with the cooperation of the Father.

But he puts his strength into his idle contention and says, "From the facts themselves, and from the oracles that are believed, I present the proof of my statement." Such is his promise, but whether the arguments he advances bear out his professions, the discerning reader will of course consider. "The blessed John," he says, "after saying that the Word was in the beginning, and after calling Him Life, and subsequently giving the Life the further title of 'Light,' says, a little later, 'And the Word was made flesh(1).' If then the Light is Life, and the Word is Life, and the Word was made flesh, it thence becomes plain that the Light was incarnate." What then? because the Light and the Life, and God and the Word, was manifested in flesh, does it follow that the true Light is divergent in any degree from the Light which is in the Father? Nay, it is attested by the Gospel that, even when it had place in darkness, the light remained unapproachable by the contrary element: for "the Light," he says, "shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not(2)." If then the light when it found place in darkness had been changed to its contrary, and overpowered by gloom, this would have been a strong argument in support of the view of those who wish to show how far inferior is this Light in comparison with that contemplated in the Father. But if the Word, even though it be in the flesh, remains the Word, and if the Light, even though it shines in darkness, is no less Light, without admitting the fellowship of its contrary, and if the Life, even though it be in death, remains secure in Itself, and if God, even though He submit to take upon Him the form of a servant, does not Himself become a servant, but takes away the slavish subordination and absorbs it into lordship and royalty, making that which was human and lowly to become both Lord and Christ,--if all this be so, how does he show by this argument variation of the Light to inferiority, when each Light has in equal measure the property of being inconvertible to evil, and unalterable? And how is it that he also fails to observe this, that he who looked on the incarnate Word, Who was both Light and Life and God, recognized, through the glory which he saw, the Father of glory, and says, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father(3)"?

But he has reached the irrefutable argument which we long ago detected lurking in the sequel of his statements(4), but which is here proclaimed aloud without disguise. For he wishes to show that the essence of the Son is subject to passion, and to decay, and in no wise differs from material nature, which is in a state of flux, that by this means he may demonstrate His difference from the Father. For he says, "If he can show that the God Who is over all, Who is the Light unapproachable, was incarnate or could be incarnate, came under authority, obeyed commands, came under the laws of men, bore the Cross, let him say that the Light is equal to the Light." If these words had been brought forward by us as following by necessary consequence from premises laid down by Eunomius, who would not have charged us with unfairness, in employing an over-subtle dialectic to reduce our adversaries' statement to such an absurdity? But as things stand, the fact that they themselves make no attempt to suppress the absurdity that naturally follows from their assumption, helps to support our contention that it was not without due reflection that, with the help of truth, we censured life argument of heresy. For behold, how undisguised and outspoken is their striving against the Only-begotten God! Nay, by His enemies His work of mercy is reckoned a means of disparaging and maligning the Nature of the Son of God, as though not of deliberate purpose, but by a compulsion of His Nature he had slipped down to life in the flesh, and to the suffering of the Cross! And as it is the nature of a stone to fall downward, and of fire to rise upward, and as these material objects do not exchange their natures one with another, so that the stone should have an upward tendency, and fire be depressed by its weight and sink downwards, even so they make out that passion was part of the very Nature of the Son, and that for this cause He came to that which was akin and familiar to Him, but that the Nature of the Father, being free from such passions, remained unapproachable by the contact of evil. For he says, that the God Who is over all, Who is Light unapproachable, neither was incarnate nor could be incarnate. The first of the two statements was quite enough, that the Father did not become incarnate. But now by his addition a double absurdity arises; for he either charges the Son with evil, or the Father with powerlessness. For if to partake of our flesh is evil, then he predicates evil of the Only-begotten God; but if the lovingkindness to man was good, then he makes out the Father to be powerless for good, by saying that it would not have been in His power to have effectually bestowed such grace by taking flesh. And yet who in the world does not know that life-giving power proceeds to actual operation both in the Father and in the Son? "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them," He says, "even so the Son quickeneth whom He will(5),"--meaning obviously by "dead" us who had fallen from the true life. If then it is even so as the Father quickeneth, and not otherwise, that the Son brings to operation the same grace, how comes it that the adversary of God moves his profane tongue against both, insulting the Father by attributing to Him powerlessness for good, and the Son by attributing to Him association with evil. But "Light," he says, "is not equal to Light," because the one he calls "true," and the other "unapproachable." Is then the true considered to be a diminution of the unapproachable? Why so? and yet their argument is that the Godhead of the Father must be conceived to be greater and more exalted than that of the Son, because the one is called in the Gospel "true God(6)," the other "God(7)" without the addition of "true." How then does the same term, as applied to the Godhead, indicate an enhancement of the conception, and, as applied to Light, a diminution? For if they say that the Father is greater than the Son because He is true God, by the same showing the Son would be acknowledged to be greater than the Father, because the former is called "true Light(8)," and the latter not so. "But this Light," says Eunomius, "carried into effect the plan of mercy, while the other remained inoperative with respect to that gracious action." A new and strange mode of determining priority in dignity! They judge that which is ineffective for a benevolent purpose to be superior to that which is operative. But such a notion as this neither exists nor ever will be found amongst Christians,--a notion by which it is made out that every good that is in existent things has not its origin from the Father. But of goods that pertain to us men, the crowning blessing is held by all right-minded men to be the return to life; and it is secured by the dispensation carried out by the Lord in His human nature; not that the Father remained aloof, as heresy will have it, ineffective and inoperative during the time of this dispensation. For it is not this that He indicates Who said, "He that sent Me is with Me(9)," and "The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works(1)." With what right then does heresy attribute to the Son alone the gracious intervention on our behalf, and thereby exclude the Father from having any part or lot in our gratitude for its successful issue? For naturally the requital of thanks is due to our benefactors alone, and He Who is incapable of benefiting us is outside the pale of our gratitude. See you how the course of their profane attack upon the Only-begotten Son has missed its mark, and is working round in natural consequence so as to be directed against the majesty of the Father? And this seems to me to be a necessary result of their method of proceeding. For if he that honoureth the Son honoureth the Father(2), according to the Divine declaration, it is plain on the other side that an assault upon the Son strikes at the Father. But I say that to those who with simplicity of heart receive the preaching of the Cross and the resurrection, the same grace should be a cause of equal thankfulness to the Son and to the Father, and now that the Son has accomplished the Father's will(and this, in the language of the Apostle, is "that all men should be saved(3)"), they ought for this boon to honour the Father and the Son alike, inasmuch as our salvation would not have been wrought, had not the good will of the Father proceeded to actual operation for us through His own power. And we have learnt from the Scripture that the Son is the of the Father(4).

4. He then again charges Eunomius with having learnt his term agennhsi'a from the hieroglyphic writings, and from the Egyptian mythology and idolatry, and with bringing in Anubis, Osiris, and Isis to the creed of Christians, and shows that, considered as admitting His sufferings of necessity and not voluntarily, the Only-begotten is entitled to no gratitude from men: and that fire has none far its warmth, nor water for its fluidity, as they do not refer their results to self-determining power, but to necessity of nature(5).

Let us once more notice the passage cited. "If he can show," he says, "that the God Who is over all, Who is the Light unapproachable, was incarnate, or could be incarnate, .... then let him say that the Light is equal to the Light." The purport of his words is plain from the very form of the sentence, namely, that he does not think that it was by His almighty Godhead that the Son proved strong for such a form of loving-kindness, but that it was by being of a nature subject to passion that He stooped to the suffering of the Cross. Well, as I pondered and inquired how Eunomius came to stumble into such notions about the Deity, as to think that on the one side the ungenerate Light was unapproachable by its contrary, and entirely unimpaired and free from every passion and affection, but that on the other the generate was intermediate in its nature, so as not to preserve the Divine unsullied and pure in impassibility, but to have an essence mixed and compounded of contraries, which at once stretched out to partake of good, and at the same time melted away into a condition subject to passion, since it was impossible to obtain from Scripture premises to support so absurd a theory, the thought struck me, whether it could be that he was an admirer of the speculations of the Egyptians on the subject of the Divine, and had mixed up their fancies with his views concerning the Only-begotten. For it is reported that they say that their fantastic mode of compounding their idols, when they adapt the forms of certain irrational animals to human limbs, is an enigmatic symbol of that mixed nature which they call "daemon," and that this is more subtle than that of men and far surpasses our nature in power, but has the Divine element in it not unmingled or uncompounded, but is combined with the nature of the soul and the perceptions of the body, and is receptive of pleasure and pain, neither of which finds place with the "ungenerate God." For they too use this name, ascribing to the supreme God, as they imagine Him, the attribute of ungeneracy. Thus our sage theologian seems to us to be importing into the Christian creed an Anubis, Isis, or Osiris from the Egyptian shrines, all but the acknowledgment of their names: but there is no difference in profanity between him who openly makes profession of the names of idols, and him who while holding the belief about them in his heart, is yet chary of their names. If, then, it is impossible to get out of Holy Scripture any support for this impiety, while their theory draws all its strength from the riddles of the hieroglyphics, assuredly there can be no doubt what right-minded persons ought to think of this. But that this accusation which we bring is no insulting slander, Eunomius shall testify for us by his own words, saying as he does that the ungenerate Light is unapproachable, and has not the power of stooping to experience affections, but affirming that such a condition is germane and akin to the generate: so that man need feel no gratitude to the Only-begotten God for what He suffered, if, as they say, it was by the spontaneous action of His nature that He slipped down to the experience of affections, His essence, which was capable of being thus affected, being naturally dragged down thereto, which demands no thanks. For who would welcome as a boon that which takes place by necessity, even if it be gainful and profitable? For we neither thank fire for its warmth nor water for its fluidity, as we refer these qualities to the necessity of their several natures, because fire cannot be deserted by its power of warming, nor can water remain stationary upon an incline, inasmuch as the slope spontaneously draws its motion onwards. If, then, they say that the benefit wrought by the Son through His incarnation was by a necessity of His nature, they certainly render Him no thanks, inasmuch as they, refer what He did, not to an authoritative power, but to a natural compulsion. But if, while they experience the benefit of the gift, they disparage the lovingkindness that brought it, I fear lest their impiety should work round to the opposite error, and lest they should deem the condition of the Son, that could be thus affected, worthy of more honour than the freedom from such affections possessed by the Father, making their own advantage the criterion of good. For if the case had been that the Son was incapable of being thus affected, as they affirm of the Father, our nature would-still have remained in its miserable plight, inasmuch as there would have been none to lift up man's nature to incorruption by what He Himself experienced;--and so it escapes notice that the cunning of these quibblers, by the very means which it employs in its attempt to destroy the majesty of the Only-begotten God, does but raise men's conceptions of Him to a grander and loftier height, seeing it is the case that He Who has the power to act, is more to be honoured than one who is powerless for good.

5. Then, again discussing the true Light and unapproachable Light of the Father and of the Son, special attributes, community and essence, and showing the relation of "generate" and "ungenerate," as involving no opposition in sense(6), but presenting an opposition and contradiction admitting of no middle term, he ends the book.

But I feel that my argument is running away with me, for it does not remain in the regular course, but, like some hot-blooded and spirited colt, is carried away by the blasphemies of our opponents to range over the absurdities of their system. Accordingly we must restrain it when it would run wild beyond the bounds of moderation in demonstration of absurd consequences. But the kindly reader will doubtless pardon what we have said, not imputing the absurdity that emerges from our investigation to us, but to those who laid down such mischievous premises. We must, however, now transfer our attention to another of his statements. For he says that our God also is composite, in that while we suppose the Light to be common, we yet separate the one Light from the other by certain special attributes and various differences. For that is none the less composite which, while united by one common nature, is yet separated by certain differences and conjunctions of peculiarities(7). To this our answer is short and easily dismissed. For what he brings as matter of accusation against our doctrines we acknowledge against ourselves, if he is not found to establish the same position by his own words. Let us just consider what he has written. He calls the Lord "true" Light, and the Father Light "unapproachable." Accordingly, by thus naming each, he also acknowledges their community in respect to light. But as titles are applied to things because they fit them, as he has often insisted, we do not conceive that the name of "light" is used of the Divine Nature barely, apart from some meaning, but rather that it is predicated by virtue of some underlying reality. Accordingly, by the use of a common name, they recognize the identity of the objects signified, since they have already declared that the natures of those things which have the same name cannot be different. Since, then, the meaning of "Light" is one and the same, the addition of "unapproachable" and "true," according to the language of heresy, separates the common nature by specific differences, so that the Light of the Father is conceived as one thing, and the Light of the Son as another, separated one from the other by special properties. Let him, then, either overthrow his own positions to avoid making out by his statements that the Deity is composite, or let him abstain from charging against us what he may see contained in his own language. For our statement does not hereby violate the simplicity of the Godhead, since community and specific difference are not essence, so that the conjunction of these should render the subject composite(8). But on the one side the essence by itself remains whatever it is in nature, being what it is, while, on the other, every one possessed of reason would say that these--community and specific difference--were among the accompanying conceptions and attributes: since even in us men there may be discerned some community with the Divine Nature, but Divinity is not the more on that account humanity, or humanity Divinity. For while we believe that God is good, we also find this character predicated of men in Scripture. But the special signification in each case establishes a distinction in the community arising from the use of the homonymous term. For He Who is the fountain of goodness is named from it; but he who has some share of goodness also partakes in the name, and God is not for this reason composite, that He shares with men the title of "good." From these considerations it must obviously be allowed that the idea of community is one thing, and that of essence another, and we are not on that account any the more to maintain composition or multiplicity of parts in that simple Nature which has nothing to do with quantity, because some of the attributes we contemplate in It are either regarded as special, or have a sort of common significance.

But let us pass on, if it seems good, to another of his statements, and dismiss the nonsense that comes between. He who laboriously reiterates against our argument the Aristotelian division of existent things, has elaborated "genera," and "species," and "differentiae," and "individuals," and advanced all the technical language of the categories for the injury of our doctrines. Let us pass by all this, and turn our discourse to deal with his heavy and irresistible argument. For having braced his argument with Demosthenic fervour, he has started up to our view as a second Paeanian of Oltiseris(9), imitating that orator's severity in his struggle with us. I will transcribe the language of our author word for word. "Yes," he says, "but if, as the generate is contrary to the ungenerate, the Generate Light be equally inferior to the Ungenerate Light, the one will be found to be(1) light, the other darkness." Let him who has the leisure learn from his words how pungent is his mode of dealing with this opposition, and how exactly it hits the mark. But I would beg this imitator of our words either to say what we have said, or to make his imitation of it as close as may be, or else, if he deals with our argument according to his own education and ability, to speak in his own person and not in ours. For I hope that no one will so miss our meaning as to suppose that, while "generate" is contradictory in sense to "ungenerate," one is a diminution of the other. For the difference between contradictories is not one of greater or less intensity, but rests its opposition upon their being mutually exclusive in their signification: as, for example, we say that a man is asleep or not asleep, sitting or not sitting, that he was or was not, and all the rest after the same model, where the denial of one is the assertion of its contradictory. As, then, to live is not a diminution of not living, but its complete opposite, even so we conceived having been generated not as a diminution of not having been generated, but as an opposite and contradictory not admitting of any middle term, so that which is expressed by the one has nothing whatever to do with that which is expressed by the other in the way of less or more. Let him therefore who says that one of two contradictories is defective as compared with the other, speak in his own person, not in ours. For our homely language says that things which correspond to contradictories differ from one another even as their originals do. So that, even if Eunomius discerns in the Light the same divergence as in the generate compared with the Ungenerate, I will re- assert my statement, that as in the one case the one member of the contradiction has nothing in common with its opposite, so if "light" be placed on the same side as one of the two contradictories, the remaining place in the figure must of course be assigned to "darkness," the necessity of the antithesis arranging the term of light over against its opposite, in accordance with the analogy of the previous contradictory terms "generate" and "ungenerate." Such is the clumsy answer which we, who as our disparaging author say, have attempted to write without logical training, deliver in our rustic dialect to our new Paeanian. But to see how he contended with this contradiction, advancing against us those hot and fire- breathing words of his with Demosthenic intensity, let those who like to have a laugh study the treatise of our orator itself. For our pen is not very hard to rouse to confute the notions of impiety, but is quite unsuited to the task of ridiculing the ignorance of untutored minds.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/V, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.