On the Trinity, Books VI-VIII

Author: Hilary of Poitiers

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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 6-7 translated by the Rev. E. W. Watson, M.A., Warden of the Society of St. Andrew, Salisbury; Book 8 by Mr. E. N. Bennett, Fellow of Hertford, and revised by Mr. Watson.]


1. It is with a full knowledge of the dangers and passions of the time that I have ventured to attack this wild and godless heresy, which asserts that the Son of God is a creature. Multitudes of Churches, in almost every province of the Roman Empire, have already caught the plague of this deadly doctrine; error, persistently inculcated and falsely claiming to be the truth, has become ingrained in minds which vainly imagine that they are loyal to the faith. I know how hardly the will is moved to a thorongh recantation, when zeal for a mistaken cause is encouraged by the sense of numbers and confirmed by the sanction of general approval. A multitude under delusion can only be approached with difficulty and danger. When the crowd has gone astray, even though it know that it is in the wrong, it is ashamed to return. It claims consideration for its numbers, and has the assurance to command that its folly shall be accounted wisdom. It assumes that its size is evidence of the correctness of its opinions; and thus a falsehood which has found general credence is boldly asserted to have established its truth.

2. For my own part, it was not only the claim which my vocation has upon me, the duty of diligently preaching the Gospel which, as a bishop, I owe to the Church, that has led me on. My eagerness to write has increased with the increasing numbers endangered and enthralled by this heretical theory. There was a rich prospect of joy in the thought of multitudes who might be saved, if they could know the mysteries of the right faith in God, and abandon the blasphemous principles of bureau folly, desert the heretics and surrender themselves to God; if they would forsake the bait with which the fowler snares his prey, and soar aloft in freedom and safety, following Christ as Leader, prophets as instructors, apostles as guides, and accepting the perfect faith and sure salvation in the confession of Father and of Son. So would they, in obedience to the words of the Lord, He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him(1), be setting themselves to honour the Father, through honour paid to the Son.

3. For of late the infection of a mortal evil has gone abroad among mankind, whose ravages have dealt destruction and death on every hand. The sudden desolation of cities smitten, with their people in them, by earthquake to the ground, the terrible slaughter of recurring wars, the widespread mortality of an irresistible pestilence, have never wrought such fatal mischief as the progress of this heresy throughout the world. For God, unto Whom all the dead live, destroys those only who are self- destroyed. From Him Who is to be the Judge of all, Whose Majesty will temper with mercy the punishment allotted to the mistakes of ignorance, they who deny Him can expect not even judgment, but only denial.

4. For this mad heresy does deny; it denies the mystery of the true faith by means of statements borrowed from our confession, which it employs for its own godless ends. The confession of their misbelief, which I have already cited in an earlier book, begins thus:--"We confess one God, alone unmade, alone eternal, alone unoriginate, alone true, alone possessing immortality, alone good, alone mighty." Thus they parade the opening words of our own confession, which runs, "One God, alone unmade and alone unoriginate," that this semblance of truth may serve as introduction to their blasphemous additions. For, after a multitude of words in which an equally insincere devotion to the Son is expressed, their confession continues, "God's perfect creature, but not as one of His other creatures, His Handiwork, but not as His other works." And again, after an interval in which true statements are occasionally interspersed in order to veil their impious purpose of alleging, as by sophistry they try to prove, that He came into existence out of nothing, they add, "He, created and established before the worlds, did not exist before He was born." And lastly, as though every point of their false doctrine, that He is to be regarded neither as Son nor as God, were guarded impregnably against assault, they continue:-- "As to such phrases as from Him, and from the womb, and I went out from the Father and am come, if they be understood to denote that the Father extends a part and, as it were, a development of that one substance, then the Father will be of a compound nature and divisible and changeable and corporeal, according to them; and thus, as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be subjected to the properties of matter." But, as we are now about to cover the whole ground once more, employing this time the language of the Gospels as our weapon against this most godless heresy, it has seemed best to repeat here, in the sixth book, the whole heretical document, though we have already given a full copy of it in the fourth(2), in order that our opponents may read it again, and compare it, point by point, with our reply, and so be forced, however reluctant and argumentative, by the clear teaching of the Evangelists and Apostles, to recognise the truth. The heretical confession is as follows:--

5. "We confess one God, alone unmade, alone eternal, alone unoriginate, alone posessing immortality, alone good, alone mighty, Creator, Ordainer and Disposer of all things, unchangeable and unalterable, righteous and good, of the Law and the Prophets and the New Testament. We believe that this God gave birth to the Only-begotten Son before all worlds, through Whom He made the world and all things, that He gave birth to Him not in semblance, but in truth, following His own will, so that He is unchangeable and unalterable, God's perfect Creature, but not as one of His other creatures, His Handiwork, but not as His other works; not, as Valentinus maintained, that the Son is a development of the Father, nor, as Manichaeus has declared of the Son, a consubstantial part of the Father, nor, as Sabellius, who makes two out of One, Son and Father at once, nor, as Hieracas, a light from a light, or a lamp with two flames, nor, as if He was previously in being and afterwards born, or created afresh, to be a Son, a notion often condemned by thyself, blessed Pope, publicly in the Church, and in the assembly of the brethren. But, as we have affirmed, we believe that He was created by the will of God before times and worlds, and has His life and existence from the Father, Who gave Him to share His own glorious perfections. For, when the Father gave to Him the inheritance of all things, He did not thereby deprive Himself of attributes which are His without origination, He being the source of all things.

6. "So there are three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God, for His part, is the Cause of all things, utterly unoriginate and separate from all; while the Son, put forth by the Father outside time, and created and established before the worlds, did not exist before He was born, but, being born outside time before the worlds, came into being as the Only Son of the Only Father. For He is neither eternal, nor co-eternal, nor co-uncreate with the Father, nor has He an existence collateral with the Father, as some say who postulate two unborn principles. But God is before all things, as being indivisible and the beginning of all. Wherefore He is before the Son also, as indeed we have learnt from thee in thy public preaching. Inasmuch then as He has His being from God, and His glorious perfections, and His life, and is entrusted with all things, for this reason God is His Source. For He rules over Him, as being His God, since He is before Him. As to such phrases as from Him, and from the womb, and I went out from the Father and am come, if they be understood to denote that the Father extends a part and, as it were, a development of that one Substance, then the Father will be of a compound nature and divisible and changeable and corporeal, according to them; and thus, as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be subjected to the properties of matter(3)."

7. Who can fail to see here the slimy windings of the serpent's track: the coiled adder, with forces concentrated for the spring, concealing the deadly weapon of its poisonous fangs within its folds? Presently we shall stretch it out and examine it, and expose the venom of this hidden head. For their plan is first to impress with certain sound statements, and then to infuse the poison of their heresy. They speak us fair, in order to work us secret harm. Yet, amid all their specious professions, I nowhere hear God's Son entitled God; I never hear sonship attributed to the Son. They say much about His having the name of Son, but nothing about His having the nature. That is kept out of sight, that He may seem to have no right even to the name. They make a show of unmasking other heresies to conceal the fact that they are heretics themselves. They strenuously assert that there is One only, One true God, to the end that they may strip the Son of God of His true and personal Divinity.

8. And therefore, although in the two last books I have proved from the teaching of the Law and Prophets that God and God, true God and true God, true God the Father and true God the Son, must be confessed as One true God, by unity of nature and not by confusion of Persons, yet, for the complete presentation of the faith, I must also adduce the teaching of the Evangelists and Apostles. I must show from them that true God, the Son of God, is not of a different, an alien nature from that of the Father, but possesses the same Divinity while having a distinct existence through a true birth. And, indeed, I cannot think that any soul exists so witless as to fancy that, although we know God's self-revelations, yet we cannot understand them; that, if they can be understood, would not wish to understand, or would dream that human reason can devise improvements upon them. But before I begin to discuss the facts contained in these saving mysteries, I must first humble the pride with which these heretics rebuke the names of other heresies. I shall hold up to the light this ingenious cloak for their own impiety. I shall shew that this very means of concealing the deadliness of their teaching serves rather to reveal and betray it, and is a widely effectual warning of the true character of this honeyed poison.

9. For instance, these heretics would have it that the Son of God is not from God; that God was not born from God out of, and in, the nature of God. To this end, when they have solemnly borne witness to "One God, alone true," they refrain from adding "The Father." And then, in order to escape from confessing one true Godhead of Father anti of Son by a denial of the true birth, they proceed, "Not, as Valentinus maintained, that the Son is a development of the Father." Thus they think to cast discredit upon the birth of God from God by calling it a "development," as though it were a form of the Valentinian heresy. For Valentinus was the author of foul and foolish imaginations; beside the chief God, he invented a whole household of deities and countless powers called aeons, and taught that our Lord Jesus Christ was a development mysteriously brought about by a secret action of will. The faith of the Church, the faith of the Evangelists and Apostles, knows nothing of this imaginary development, sprung from the brain of a reckless and senseless dreamer. It knows nothing of the "Depth" and "Silence" and the thrice ten aeons of Valentinus. It knows none but One God the Father, from Whom are all things, and One Jesus Christ, our Lord, through Whom are all things, Who is God born from God. But it occurred to them that He, in being born as God from God, neither withdrew anything from the Divinity of His Author nor was Himself born other than God; that He became God not by a new beginning of Deity but by birth from the existing God; and that every birth appears, as far as human faculties can judge, to be a development, so that even that birth might be regarded as a development. And these considerations have induced them to make an attack upon the Valentinian heresy of development as a means of destroying faith in the true birth of the Son. For the experience of common life leads worldly wisdom to suppose that there is no great difference between a birth and a development. The mind of man, dull and slow to grasp the things of God, needs to be constantly reminded of the principle, which I have stated more than once(4), that analogies drawn from human experience are not of perfect application to the mysteries of Divine power; that their only value is that this comparison with material objects imparts to the spirit such a notion of heavenly things that we may rise, as by a ladder of nature, to an apprehension of the majesty of God. But the birth of God must not be judged by such development as takes place in human births. When One is born from One, God born from God, the circumstances of human birth enable us to apprehend the fact; but a birth which presupposes intercourse and conception and time and travail can give us no clue to the Divine method. When we are told that God was born from God, we must accept it as true that He was born, and be content with that. We shall, however, in the proper place discourse of the truth of the Divine birth, as the Gospels and the Apostles set it forth. Our present duty has been to expose this device of heretical ingenuity, this attack upon the true birth of Christ, concealed under the form of an attack upon a so-called development.

10. And then, in continuation of this same fraudulent assault upon the faith, their confession proceeds thus:--"Nor, as Manichaeus has declared of the Son, a consubstantial part of the Father." They have already denied that He is a development, in order to escape from the admission of His birth; now they introduce, labelled with the name of Manichaeus, the doctrine that the Son is a portion of the one Divine substance, and deny it, in order to subvert the belief in God from God. For Manichaeus, the furious adversary of the Law and Prophets, the strenuous champion of the devil's cause and blind worshipper of the sun, taught that That which was in the Virgin's womb was a portion of the one Divine substance, and that by the Son we must understand a certain piece of God's substance which was cut off, and made its appearance in the flesh. And so they make the most of this heresy that in the birth of the Son there was a division of the one substance and use it as a means of evading the doctrine of the birth of the Only-begotten, and the very name of the unity of substance. Because it is sheer blasphemy to speak of a birth re-suiting from division of the one substance they deny any birth; all forms of birth are joined in the condemnation which they pass upon the Manichaean notion of birth by severance. And again, they abolish the unity of substance, both name and thing, because the heretics hold that the unity is divisible; and deny that the Son is God from God, by refusing to believe that He is truly possessed of the Divine nature. Why does this mad heresy profess a fictitious reverence, a senseless anxiety? The faith of the Church does, as these insane propounders of error remind us, condemn Manichaeus, for she knows nothing of the Son as a portion. She knows Him as whole God from whole God, as One from One, not severed but born. She is assured that the birth of God involves neither impoverishment of the Begetter nor inferiority of the Begotten. If this be the Church's own imagining, reproach her with the follies of a wisdom falsely claimed; but if she have learned it from her Lord, confess that the Begotten knows the manner of His begetting. She has learnt from God the Only-begotten these truths, that Father and Son are One, and that in the Son the fulness of the Godhead dwells. And therefore she loathes this attribution to the Son of a portion of the one substance; and, because she knows that He was truly born of God, she worships the Son as rightful Possessor of true Divinity. But, for the present, let us defer our full answer to these several allegations, and hasten through the rest of their denunciations.

11. What follows is this:--"Nor, as Sabellius, who makes two out of One, Son and Father at once." Sabellius holds this in wilful blindness to the revelation of the Evangelists and Apostles. But what we see here is not one heretic honestly denouncing other. It is the wish to leave no point of union between Father and Son that prompts them to reproach Sabellius with his division of an indivisible Person; a division which does not result in the birth of a second Person, but cuts the One Person into two parts, one of which enters the Virgin's womb(5). But we confess a birth; we reject this confusion of two Persons in One, while yet we cleave to the Divine unity. That is, we hold that God from God means unity of nature; for that Being, Who, by a true birth from God, became God, can draw His substance from no other source than the Divine. And since He continues to draw His being, as He drew it at first, from God, He must remain true God for ever; and hence They Two are One, for He, Who is God from God, has no other than the Divine nature, and no other than the Divine origin. But the reason why this blasphemous Sabellian confusion of two Persons into One is here condemned is that they wish to rob the Church of her true faith in Two Persons in One God. But now I must examine the remaining instances of this perverted ingenuity, to save myself from the reputation of a censorious judge of sincere enquirers, moved rather by dislike than genuine fear. I shall shew, by the terms with which they wind up their confession, what is the deadly conclusion which they have skilfully contrived shall be its inevitable issue.

12. Their next clause is:--"Nor, as Hieracas, a light from a light, or a lamp with two flames, nor as if He was previously in being, and afterwards born, or created afresh, to be a Son." Hieracas ignores the birth of the Only-begotten, and, in complete unconsciousness of the meaning of the Gospel revelations, talks of two flames from one lamp. This symmetrical pair of flames, fed by the supply of oil contained in one bowl, is His illustration of the substance of Father and Son. It is as though that substance were something separate from Either Person, like the oil in the lamp, which is distinct from the two flames, though they depend upon it for their existence; or like the wick, of one material throughout and burning at both ends, which is distinct from the flames, yet provides them and connects them together. All this is a mere delusion of human folly, which has trusted to itself, and not to God, for knowledge. But the true faith asserts that God is born from God, as light from light, which pours itself forth without self-diminution, giving what it has yet having what it gave. It asserts that by His birth He was what He is, for as He is so was He born; that His birth was the gift of the existing Life, a gift which did not lessen the store from which it was taken; and that They Two are One, for He, from Whom He is born, is as Himself, and He that was born has neither another source nor another nature, for He is Light from Light. It is in order to draw men's faith away from this, the true doctrine, that this lantern or lamp of Hieracas is cast in the teeth of those who confess Light from Light. Because the phrase has been used in an heretical sense, and condemned both now and in earlier days, they want to persuade us that there is no true sense in which it can be employed. Let heresy forthwith abandon these groundless fears, and refrain from claiming to be the protector of the Church's faith on the score of a reputation for zeal earned so dishonestly. For we allow nothing bodily, nothing lifeless, to have a place among the attributes of God; whatever is God is perfect God. In Him is nothing but power, life, light, blessedness, Spirit. That nature contains no dull, material elements; being immutable, it has no incongruities within it. God, because He is God, is unchangeable; and the unchangeable God begat God. Their bond of union is not, like that of two flames, two wicks of one lamp, something outside Themselves. The birth of the Only-begotten Son from God is not a prolongation in space, but a begetting; not an extension(6), but Light from Light. For the unity of light with light is a unity of nature, not unbroken continuation.

13. And again, what a wonderful example of heretical ingenuity is this:--"Nor as if He were previously in being, and afterwards born or created afresh, to be a Son." God, since He was born from God, was assuredly not born from nothing, nor from things non-existent. His birth was that of the eternally living nature. Yet, though He is God, He is not identical with the pre-existing God; God was born from God Who existed before Him; in, and by, His birth He partook of the nature of His Source. If we are speaking words of our own, all this is mere irreverence; but if, as we shall prove, God Himself has taught us how to speak, then the necessity is laid upon us of confessing the Divine birth in the sense revealed by God. And it is this unity of nature in Father and in Son, this ineffable mystery of the living birth, which the madness of heresy is struggling to banish from belief, when it says, "Nor as if He were previously in being, and afterwards born, or created afresh, to be a Son." Now who is senseless enough to suppose that the Father ceased to be Himself; that the same Person Who had previously existed was afterwards born, or created afresh, to be the Son? That God disappeared, and that His disappearance was followed by an emergence in birth, when, in fact, that birth is evidence of the continuous existence of its Author? Or who is so insane as to suppose that a Son can come into existence otherwise than through birth? Who so void of reason as to say that the birth of God resulted in anything else than in God being born? The abiding God was not born, but God was born from the abiding God; the nature bestowed in that birth was the very nature of the Begetter. And God by His birth, which was from God into God, received, because His was a true birth, not things new- created but things which were and are the permanent possession of God. Thus it is not the pre-existent God that was born; yet God was born, and began to exist, out of and with the properties of God. And thus we see how heresy, throughout this long prelude, has been treacherously leading up to this most blasphemous doctrine. Its object being to deny God the Only- begotten, it starts with what purports to be a defence of truth, to go on to the assertion that Christ is born not from God but out of nothing, and that His birth is due to the Divine counsel of creation from the non- existent.

14. And then again, after an interval designed to prepare us for what is coming, their heresy delivers this assault;--"While the Son, put forth outside time, and created and established before the worlds, did not exist before He was born." This "He did not exist before He was born" is a form of words by which the heresy flatters itself that it gains two ends; support for its blasphemy, and a screen for itself if its doctrine be arraigned. A support for its blasphemy, because, if He did not exist before He was born, He cannot be of one nature with His eternal Origin. He must have His beginning out of nothing, if He have no powers but such as are coeval with His birth. And a screen for its heresy, for if this statement be condemned, it furnishes a ready answer. He that did exist, it will be said, could not be born; being in existence already, He could not possibly come into being by passing through the process of birth, for the very meaning of birth is the entry into existence of the being that is born. Fool and blasphemer! Who dreams of birth in the case of Him Who is the unborn and eternal? How can we think of God, Who is(7), being born, when being born implies the process of birth? It is the birth of God the Only- begotten from God His Father that you are striving to disprove, and it was your purpose to escape the confession of that truth by means of this "He did not exist before He was born;" the confession that God, from Whom the Son of God was born, did exist eternally, and that it is from His abiding nature that God the Son draws His existence through birth. If, then, the Son is born from God, you must confess that His is a birth of that abiding nature; not a birth of the pre-existing God, but a birth of God from God the pre-existent.

15. But the fiery zeal of this heresy is such that it cannot restrain itself from passionate outbreak. In its effort to prove, in conformity with its assertion that He did not exist before He was born, that the Son was born from the non-existent, that is, that He was not born from God the Father to be God the Son by a true and perfect birth, it winds up its confession by rising in rage and hatred to the highest pitch of possible blasphemy:--"As to such phrases as from Him, and from the womb, and I went out front the Father and am come, if they be understood to denote that the Father extends a part, and, as it were, a development of that one substance, then the Father will be of a compound nature and divisible and changeable and corporeal, according to them; and thus, as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be subjected to the properties of matter." The defence of the true faith against the falsehoods of heresy would indeed be a task of toil and difficulty, if it were needful for us to follow the processes of thought as far as they have plunged into the depths of godlessness. Happily for our purpose it is shallowness of thought that has engendered their eagerness to blaspheme. And hence, while it is easy to refute, the folly, it is difficult to amend the fool, for he will neither think out right conclusions for himself, nor accept them when offered by another. Yet I trust that they who in pious ignorance, not in wilful folly bred of self-conceit, are enchained by error, will welcome correction. For our demonstration of the truth will afford convincing proof that heresy is nothing else than folly.

16. You said in your unreason, and you are still repeating to-day, ignorant that your wisdom is a defiance of God, "As to such phrases as from Him, and from the womb, and I went out from the Father and am come," I ask you, Are these phrases, or are they not, words of God? They certainly are His; and, since they are spoken by God about Himself, we are bound to accept them exactly as they were spoken. Concerning the phrases themselves, and the precise force of each, we shall speak i in the proper place. For the present I will only put this question to the intelligence of every reader; When we see From Himself, are we to take it as equivalent to "From sortie one else," or to "From nothing," or are we to accept it as the truth? It is not "From some one else," for it is From Himself; that is, His Godhead has no other source than God. It is not "From nothing," for it is From Himself; a declaration of the nature from which His birth is. It is not "Himself," but From Himself; a statement that They are related as Father and Son. And next, when the revelation From the womb is made, I ask whether we can possibly believe that He is born from nothing, when the truth of His birth is clearly indicated in terms borrowed from bodily functions. It is not because He has bodily members, that God records the generation of the Son in the words, I bore Thee from the womb before the morning star (8). He uses language which assists our understanding to assure us that His Only-begotten Son was ineffably born of His own true Godhead. His purpose is to educate the faculties of men up to the knowledge of the faith, by clothing Divine verities in words descriptive of human circumstances. Thus, when He says, From the womb, He is teaching us that His Only-begotten was, in the Divine sense, born, and did not come into existence by means of creation out of nothing. And lastly, when the Son said, I went forth from the Father and am come, did He leave it doubtful whether His Divinity were, or were not, derived from the Father? He went out from the Father; that is, He had a birth, and the Father, and no other, gave Him that birth. He bears witness that He, from Whom He declares that He came forth, is the Author of His being. The proof and interpretation of all this shall be given hereafter.

17. But meanwhile let us see what ground these men have for the confidence with which they forbid us to accept as true the utterances of God concerning Himself; utterances, the authenticity of which they do not deny. What more grievous insult could be flung by human folly and insolence at God's self-revelation, than a condemnation of it, shewn in correction? For not even doubt and Criticism will satisfy them. What more grievous than this profane handling and disputing of the nature and power of God? Than the presumption of saying that, if the Son is from God, then God is changeable and corporeal, since He has extended or developed a part of Himself to be His Son? Whence this anxiety to prove the immutability of God? We confess the birth, we proclaim the Only-begotten, for so God has taught us. You, in order to banish the birth and the Only-begotten from the faith of the Church, confront us with an unchangeable God, incapable, by His nature, of extension or development. I could bring forward instances of birth, even in natures belonging to this world, which would refute this wretched delusion that every birth must be an extension. And I could save you from the error that a being can come into existence only at the cost of loss to that which begets it, for there are many examples of life transmitted, without bodily intercourse, from one living creature to another. But it would be impious to deal in evidences, when God has spoken; and the utmost excess of madness to deny His authority to give us a faith, when our worship is a confession that He alone can give us life. For if life comes through Him alone, must not He be the Author of the faith which is the condition of that life? And if we hold Him an untrustworthy witness concerning Himself, how can we be sure of the life which is His gift?

18. For you attribute, most godless of heretics, the birth of the Son to an act of creative will; you say that He is not born from God, but that He was created and came into existence by the choice of the Creator. And the unity of the Godhead, as you interpret it, will not allow Him to be God, for, since God remains One, the Son cannot retain His original nature in that state into which He has been born. He has been endowed, through creation, you say, with a substance different from the Divine, although, being in a sense the Only-begotten, He is superior to God's other creatures and works. You say that He was raised up, that He in His turn might perform the task committed to Him of raising up the created world; but that His birth did not confer upon Him the Divine nature. He was born, according to you, in the sense that He came into existence out of nothing. You call Him a Son, not because He was born from God, but because He was created by God. For you call to mind that God has deemed even holy men worthy of this title, and you consider that it is assigned to the Son in exactly the same sense in which the words, I have said, Ye are Gods, and all of you sons of the Most High (9), were spoken; that is, that He bears the name through the Giver's condescension, and not by right of nature. Thus, in your eyes, He is Son by adoption, God by gift of the title, Only-begotten by favour, First-born in date, in every sense a creature, in no sense God. For you hold that His generation was not a birth from God, in the natural sense, but the beginning of the life of a created substance.

19. And now, Almighty God, I first must pray Thee to forgive my excess of indignation, and permit me to address Thee; and next to grant me, dust and ashes as I am, yet bound in loyal devotion to Thyself, freedom of utterance in this debate. There was a time when I, poor wretch, was not; before my life and consciousness and personality began to exist. It is to Thy mercy that I owe my life; and I doubt not that Thou, in Thy goodness, didst give me my birth for my good, for Thou, Who hast no need of me, wouldst never have made the beginning of my life the beginning of evil. And then, when Thou hadst breathed into me the breath of life and endowed me with the power of thought, Thou didst instruct me in the knowledge of Thyself, by means of the sacred volumes given us through Thy servants Moses and the prophets. From them I learnt Thy revelation, that we must not worship Thee as a lonely God. For their pages taught me of God, not different from Thee in nature but One with Thee in mysterious unity of substance. I learnt that Thou art God in God, by no mingling or confusion but by Thy very nature, since the Divinity which is Thyself dwells in Him Who is from Thee. But the true doctrine of the perfect birth revealed that Thou, the Indwelt, and Thou, the Indweller, are not One Person, yet that Thou dost dwell in Him Who is from Thee. And the voices of Evangelists and Apostles repeat the lesson, and the very words which fell from the holy mouth of Thy Only-begotten are recorded, telling how Thy Son, God the Only- begotten from Thee the Unbegotten God, was born of the Virgin as man to fulfil the mystery of my salvation; holy Thou dwellest in Him, by virtue of His true generation from Thyself, and He in Thee, because of the nature given in His abiding birth from Thee.

20. What is this hopeless quagmire of error into which Thou hast plunged me? For I have learnt all this and have come to believe it; this faith is so ingrained into my mind that I have neither the power nor the wish to change it. Why this deception of an unhappy man, this ruin of a poor wretch in body and soul, by deluding him with falsehoods concerning Thyself? After the Red Sea had been divided, the splendour on the face of Moses, descending from the Mount, deceived me. He had gazed, in Thy presence, upon all the mysteries of heaven, and I believed his words, dictated by Thee, concerning Thyself. And David, the man that was found after Thine own heart, has betrayed me to destruction, and Solomon, who was thought worthy of the gift of Divine Wisdom, and Isaiah, who saw the Lord of Sabaoth and prophesied, and Jeremiah consecrated in the womb, before he was fashioned, to be the prophet of nations to be rooted out and planted in, and Ezekiel, the witness of the mystery of the Resurrection, and Daniel, the man beloved, who had knowledge of times, and all the hallowed band of the Prophets; and Matthew also, chosen to proclaim the whole mystery (1) of the Gospel, first a publican, then an Apostle, and John, the Lord's familiar friend, and therefore worthy to reveal the deepest secrets of heaven, and blessed Simon, who after his confession of the mystery was set to be the foundation-stone of the Church, and received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and all his companions who spoke by the Holy Ghost, and Paul, the chosen vessel, changed from persecutor into Apostle, who, as a living man abode under the deep sea (2) and ascended into the third heaven, who was in Paradise before his martyrdom, whose martyrdom was the perfect offering of a flawless faith; all have deceived me.

21. These are the men who have taught me the doctrines which I hold, and so deeply am I impregnated with their teaching that no antidote can release me from their influence. Forgive me, O God Almighty, my powerlessness to change, my willingness to die in this belief. These propagators of blasphemy, for so they seem to me, are a product of these last times, too modern to avail me. It is too late for them to correct the faith which I received from Thee. Before I had ever heard their names, I had put my trust in Thee had received regeneration from Thee and become Thine, as still I am. I know that Thou art omnipotent; I look not that Thou shouldst reveal to me the mystery of that ineffable birth which is secret between Thyself and Thy Only-begotten. Nothing is impossible with Thee, and I doubt not that in begetting Thy Son Thou didst exert Thy full omnipotence. To doubt it would be to deny that Thou an omnipotent. For my own birth teaches me that Thou art good, and therefore I am sure that in the birth of Thine Only-begotten Thou didst grudge Him no good gift. I believe that all that is Thine is His, and all that is His is Thine. The creation of the world is sufficient evidence to me that Thou art wise; and I am sure that Thy Wisdom, Who is like Thee, must have been begotten from Thyself. And Thou art One God, in very truth, in my eyes; I will never believe that in Him, Who is God from Thee, there is ought that is not Thine. Judge me in Him, if it be sin in me that, through Thy Son, I have trusted too well in Law and Prophets and Apostles.

22. But this wild talk must cease; the rhetoric of exposing heretical folly must give place to the drudgery of framing arguments. So, I trust, those among them who are capable of being saved will set their faces towards the true faith taught by the Evangelists and Apostles, and recognise Him Who is the true Son of God, not by adoption but by nature. For the plan of our reply must be that of first proving that He is the Son of God, and therefore fully endowed with that Divine nature in the possession of which His Sonship consists. For the chief aim of the heresy, which we are considering, is to deny that our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and truly the Son of God. Many evidences assure us that our Lord Jesus Christ is, and is revealed to be, God the Only-begotten, truly the Son of God. His Father bears witness to it, He Himself asserts it, the Apostles proclaim it, the faithful believe it, devils confess it, Jews deny it, the heathen at His passion recognised it. The name of God is given Him in the right of absolute ownership, not because He has been admitted to joint use with others of the title. Every work and word of Christ transcends the power of those who bear the title of sons; the foremost lesson that we learn from all that is most prominent in His life is that He is the Son of God, and that He does not hold the name of Son as a title shared with a widespread company of friends.

23. I will not weaken the evidence for this truth by intermixing words of my own. Let us hear the Father, when the baptism of Jesus Christ was accomplished, speaking, as often, concerning His Only-begotten, in order to save us from being misled by His visible body into a failure to recognise Him as the Son. His words are:--This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased (3). Is the truth presented here with dim outlines? Is the proclamation made in uncertain tones? The promise of the Virgin birth brought by the angel from the Holy Ghost, the guiding star of the Magi, the reverence paid Him in His cradle, the majesty, attested by the Baptist, of Him Who condescended to be baptized; all these are deemed an insufficient witness to His glory. The Father Himself speaks from heaven, and His words are, This is My Son. What means this evidence, not of titles, but of pronouns? Titles may be appended to names at will; pronouns are a sure indication of the persons to whom they refer. And here we have, in This and My, the clearest of indications. Mark the true meaning aid the purpose of the words. You have read, I have begotten sons, and have raised them up (4); but you did not read there My sons, for He had begotten Himself those sons by division among the Gentiles, and from the people of His inheritance. And lest we should suppose that the name Son was given as an additional title to God the Only-begotten, to signify His share by adoption in some joint heritage, His true nature is expressed by the pronoun which gives the indubitable sense of ownership. I will allow you to interpret the word Son, if you will, as signifying that Christ is one of a number, if you can furnish an instance where it is said of another of that number, This is My Son. If, on the other hand, This is My Son be His peculiar designation, why accuse the Father, when He asserts His ownership, of making an unfounded claim? When He says This is My Son, may we not paraphrase His meaning thus:--"He has given to others the title of sons, but He Himself is My own Son; I have given the name to multitudes by adoption, but this Son is My very own. Seek not for another lest you lose your faith that This is He. By gesture and by voice, by This, and My, and Son, I declare Him to you." And now what reasonable excuse remains for lack of faith? This, and nothing less than this, it was that the Father's voice proclaimed. He willed that we should not be left in ignorance of the nature of Him Who came to be baptized, that He might fulfil all righteousness; that by the voice of God we might recognise as the Son of God Him Who was visible as Man, to accomplish the mystery of our salvation.

24. And again, because the life of believers was involved in the confession of this faith,--for there is no other way to eternal life than the assurance that Jesus Christ, God the Only-begotten, is the Son of God-- the Apostles heard once more the voice from heaven repeating the same message, in order to strengthen this life-giving belief, in negation of which is death. When the Lord, apparelled in splendour, was standing upon the Mountain, with Moses and Elias at His side, and the three Pillars of the churches who had been chosen as witnesses to the truth of the vision and the voice, the Father spoke thus from heaven:-This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him (5). The glory which they saw was not sufficient attestation of His majesty; the voice proclaims, This is My Son. The Apostles cannot face the glory of God; mortal eyes grow dim in its presence. The trust of Peter and James and John fails them, and they are prostrate in fear. But this solemn declaration, spoken from the Father's knowledge, comes to their relief; He is revealed as His Father's own true Son. And over and above the witness of This and My to His true Sonship, the words are uttered, Hear Him. It is the witness of the Father from heaven, in confirmation of the witness borne by the Son on earth; for we are bidden to hear Him. Though this recognition by the Father of the Son removes all doubt, yet we are bidden also to accept the Son's self-revelation. When the Father's voice commands us to shew our obedience by hearing Him, we are ordered to repose an absolute confidence in the words of the Son. Since, therefore, the Father has manifested His will in this message to us to hear the Son, let us hear what it is that the Son has told us concerning Himself.

25. I can conceive of no man so destitute of ordinary-reason as to recognise in each of the Gospels confessions by the Son of the humiliation to which He has submitted in taking a body upon Him,--as for instance His words, often repeated, Father, glorify Me (6), and Ye shall see the Son of Man (7), and The Father is greater than I (8), and, more strongly, Now is My soul troubled exceedingly (9), and even this, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me (9)"? and many more, of which I shall speak in due time,-- and yet, in the face of these constant expressions of His humility, to charge Him with presumption because He calls God His Father, as when He says, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up (1), or, Ye have made my Father's house an house of merchandise (2). I can conceive of no one foolish enough to regard His assertion, consistently made, that God is His Father, not as the simple truth sincerely stated from certain knowledge, but as a bold and baseless claim. We cannot denounce this constantly professed humility as an insolent demand for the rights of another, a laying of hands on what is not His own, an appropriation of powers which only God can wield. Nor, when He calls Himself the Son, as in, For God sent not His Son into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (3), and in, Dost thou believe on the Son of God (4)? can we accuse Him of what would be an equal presumption with that of calling God His Father. But what else is it than such an accusation, if we allow to Jesus Christ the name of Son by adoption only? Do we not charge Him, when He calls God His Father, with daring to make a baseless claim? The Father's voice from heaven says Hear Him. I hear Him saying, Father I thank Thee (5), and Say ye that I blasphemed, because l said, I am the Son of God (6)? If I may not believe these names, and assume that they mean what they assert, how am I to trust and to understand? No hint is given of an alternative meaning. The Father bears witness from heaven, This is My Son; the Son on His part speaks of My Father's house, and My Father. The confession of that name gives salvation, when faith is demanded in the question, Dost thou believe an the Son of God? The pronoun My indicates that the noun which follows belongs to the speaker. What right, I demand, have you heretics to suppose it otherwise? You contradict the Father's word the Son's assertion; you empty language of its meaning, and distort the words of God into a sense they cannot bear. On you alone rests the guilt of this shameless blasphemy, that God has lied concerning Himself.

26. And thus, although nothing but a sincere belief that these names are truly significant,--that, when we read, This is My Son and My Father, the words really indicate Persons of Whom, and to Whom, they were spoken-- can make them intelligible, yet, lest it be supposed that Son and Father are titles the one merely of adoption, the other merely of dignity, let us see what are the attributes attached, by the Son Himself, to His name of Son. He says, All things are delivered Me of My Father, and no one knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any the Father save the Son, and he to Whom the Son will reveal Him (7). Are the words of which we are speaking, This is My Son and My Father, consistent, or are they not, with No one knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any the Father save the Son? For it is only by witness mutually borne that the Son can be known through the Father, and the Father through the Son. We hear the voice from heaven; we hear also the words of the Son. We have as little excuse for not knowing the Son, as we have for not knowing the Father. All things are delivered unto Him; from this All there is no exception. If They possess an equal might; if They share an equal mutual knowledge, hidden from us; if these names of Father and Son express the relation between Them, then, I demand, are They not in truth what They are in name, wielders of the same omnipotence, shrouded in the same impenetrable mystery? God does not speak in order to deceive. The Fatherhood of the Father, the Sonship of the Son, are literal truths. And now learn how facts bear out the verities which these names reveal.

27. The Son speaks thus:--For the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works which I do, bear witness of Me that the Father hath sent Me; and the Father Himself which hath sent Me hath borne witness of Me (8). God the Only-begotten proves His Sonship by an appeal not only to the name, but to the power; the works which He does are evidence that He has been sent by the Father. What, I ask, is the fact which these works prove? That He was sent. That He was sent, is used as a proof of His sonlike obedience and of His Father's authority: for the works which He does could not possibly be done by any other than Him Who is sent by the Father. Yet the evidence of His works fails to convince the unbelieving that the Father sent Him. For He proceeds, And the Father Himself which hath sent Me hath borne witness of Me; and ye have neither heard His voice nor seen His shape (9). What was this witness of the Father concerning Him? Turn over the pages of the Gospels and review their contents. Read us other of the attestations given by the Father beside those which we have heard already; This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased, and Than art My Son. John, who heard these words, needed them not, for He knew the truth already. It was for our instruction that the Father spoke. But this is not all. John in the wilderness was honoured with this revelation; the Apostles were not to be denied the same assurance. It came to them in the very same words, but with an addition which John did not receive. He had been a prophet from the womb, and needed not the commandment, Hear Him. Yes; I will hear Him, and will hear none but Him and His Apostle, who heard for my instruction. Even though the books contained no further witness, borne by the Father to the Son, than that He is the Son, I have, for confirmation of the truth, the evidence of His Father's works which He does. What is this modern slander that His name is a gift by adoption, His Godhead a lie, His titles a pretence? We have the Father's witness to His Sonship; by works, equal to the Father's, the Son bears witness to His own equality with the Father. Why such blindness to His obvious possession of the true Sonship which He both claims and displays. It is not through condescending kindness on the part of God the Father that Christ bears the name of Son; not by holiness that He has earned the title, as many have won it by enduring hardness in confession of the faith. Such sonship is not of right; it is by a favour, worthy of Himself, that God bestows the title. But that which is indicated by This, and My, and Hear Him, is different in kind from the other. It is the true and real and genuine Sonship.

28. And indeed the Son never makes for Himself a lower claim than is contained in this designation, given Him by His Father. The Father's words, This is My Son, reveal His nature; those which follow, Hear Him, are a summons to us to listen to the mystery and the faith which He came down from heaven to bring; to learn that, if we would be saved, our confession must be a copy of His teaching. And in like manner the Son Himself teaches us, in words of His own, that He was truly born and truly came;--Ye neither know Me, nor know ye whence I am, for I am not came of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, Whom ye know not, but I know Him, for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me (9a). No man knows the Father; the Son often assures us of this. The reason why He says that none knows Him but Himself, is that He is from the Father. Is it, I ask, as the result of an act of creation, or of a genuine birth, that He is from Him? If it be an act of creation, then all created things are from God. How then is it that none of them know the Father, when the Son says that the reason why He has this knowledge is that He is from Him? If He be created, not born, we shall observe in Him a resemblance to other beings who are from God. Since all, on this supposition, are from God, why is He not as ignorant of the Father as are the others? But if this knowledge of the Father be peculiar to Him, Who is from the Father, must not this circumstance also, that He is from the Father, be peculiar to Him? That is, must He not be the true Son born from the nature of God? For the reason why He alone knows God is that He alone is from God. You observe, then, a knowledge, which is peculiar to Himself, resulting from a birth which also is peculiar to Himself. You recognise that it is not by an act of creative power, but through a true birth, that He is from the Father; and that this is why He alone knows the Father, Who is unknown to all other beings which are from Him.

29. But He immediately adds, For I am from Him, and He hath sent Me, to debar heresy from the violent assumption that His being from God dates from the time of His Advent. The Gospel revelation of the mystery proceeds in a logical sequence; first He is born, then He is sent. Similarly, in the previous declaration, we were told of ignorance (1), first as to Who He is, and then as to whence He is. For the words, I am from Him, and He hath sent Me, contain two separate statements, as also do the words, Ye neither know Me, nor know ye whence I am. Every man is born in the flesh; yet does not universal consciousness make every man spring from God? How then can Christ assert that either He, or the source of His being, is unknown? He can only do so by assigning His immediate parentage to the ultimate Author of existence; and, when He has done this, He can demonstrate their ignorance of God by their ignorance of the fact that He is the Son of God. Let the victims of this wretched delusion reflect upon the words, Ye neither know Me, nor know ye whence I am. All things, they argue, are from nothing; they allow of no exception. They even dare to misrepresent God the Only-begotten as sprung from nothing. How can we explain this ignorance of Christ, and of the origin of Christ, on the part of the blasphemers? The very fact that, as the Scripture says, they know not whence He is, is an indication of that unknowable origin from which He springs. If we can say of a thing that it came into existence out of nothing, then we are not ignorant of its origin; we know that it was made out of nothing, and this is a piece of definite knowledge. Now He Who came is not the Author of His own being; but He Who sent Him is true, Whom the blasphemers know not. He it was Who sent Him; and they know not that He was the Sender. Thus the Sent is from the Sender; from Him Whom they know not as His Author. The reason why they know not Who Christ is, is that they know not from Whom He is. None can confess the Son who denies that He was born; none can understand that He was born who has formed the opinion that He is from nothing. And indeed He is so far from being made out of nothing, that the heretics cannot tell whence He is.

30. They are blankly ignorant who separate the Divine name from the Divine nature; ignorant, and content to be ignorant. But let them listen to the reproof which the Son inflicts upon unbelievers for their want of this knowledge, when the Jews said that God was their Father:--If God were your Father, ye would surely love Me; for I went forth from God, and am come; neither am I come of Myself, but He sent Me(2). The Son of God has here no word of blame for the devout confidence of those who combine the confession that He is true God, the Son of God, with their own claim to be God's sons. What He is blaming is the insolence of the Jews in daring to claim God as their Father, when meanwhile they did not love Him, the Son:--If God were your Father, ye would surely love Me; for I went forth from God. All, who have God for their Father through faith, have Him for Father through that same faith whereby we confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. But to confess that He is the Son in a sense which covers the whole company of saints; to say, in effect, that He is one of the sons of God;--what faith is there in that? Are not all the rest, feeble created beings though they be, in that sense sons? In what does the eminence of a faith, which has confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, consist, if He, as one of a multitude of sons, have the name only, and not the nature, of the Son? This unbelief has no love for Christ; it is a mockery of the faith for these perverters of the truth to claim God as their Father. If He were their Father, they would love Christ because He had gone forth from God. And now I must enquire the meaning of this going forth from God. His going forth is obviously different from His coming, for the two are mentioned side by side in this passage, I went forth from God and am come. In order to elucidate the separate meanings of I went forth from God and I am come, He immediately subjoins, Neither am I come of Myself, but He sent Me. He tells us that He is not the source of His own existence in the words, Neither am I come of Myself. In them He tells us that He has proceeded forth a second time from God(3), and has been sent by Him. But when He tells us that they who call God their Father must love Himself because He has gone forth from God, He makes His birth the reason for their love. Went forth carries back our thoughts to the incorporeal birth, for it is by love of Christ, Who was born from Him, that we must gain the right of devoutly claiming God for our Father. For when the Son says, He that hateth Me hateth My Father also(4), this My is the assertion of a relation to the Father which is shared by none. On the other hand, He condemns the man who claims God as his Father, and loves not the Son, as using a wrongful liberty with the Father's name; since he who hates Him, the Son, must hate the Father also, and none can be devoted to the Father save those who love the Son. For the one and only reason which He gives for loving the Son is His origin from the Father. The Son, therefore, is from the Father, not by His Advent, but by His birth(5); and love for the Father is only possible to those who believe that the Son is from Him.

31. To this the Lord's words bear witness;--I will not say unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and believe that I went forth from God, and am come from the Father into this world(6). A complete faith concerning the Son, which accepts and loves the truth that He went forth from God, has access to the Father without need of His intervention. The confession that the Son was born and sent from God wins for it direct audience and love from Him. Thus the narrative of His birth and coming must be taken in the strictest and most literal sense. I went forth from God, He says, conveying that His nature is exactly that which was given Him by His birth; for what being but God could go forth from God, that is, could enter upon existence by birth from Him? Then He continues, And am come from the Father into this world. To assure us that this going forth from God means birth from the Father, He tells us that He came from the Father into this world. The latter statement refers to His incarnation, the former to His nature. And again, His putting on record first the fact of His going forth from God, and then His coming from the Father, forbids us to identify the going with the coming. Coming from the Father, and going forth from God, are not synonymous; they might be paraphrased as 'Birth' and 'Presence,' and are as different in meaning as these. It is one thing to have gone forth from God, and entered by birth upon a substantial existence; another to have come from the Father into this world to accomplish the mysteries of our salvation.

32. In the order of our defence, as I have arranged it in my mind, this has seemed the most convenient place for proving that, thirdly(7), the Apostles believed our Lord Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, not merely in name but in nature, not by adoption but by birth. It is true that there remain unmentioned many and most weighty words of God the Only-begotten concerning Himself, in which the truth of His Divine birth is set so clearly forth as to silence any whisper of objection. Yet since it would be unwise to burden the reader's mind with an accumulation of evidence, and ample proof has been already given of the genuineness of His birth, I will hold back the remainder of His utterances till later stages of our enquiry. For we have so arranged I the course of our argument that now, after hearing the Father's witness and the Son's self-revelation, we are to be instructed by the Apostles' faith in the true and, as we must confess, the truly born Son of God. We must see whether they could find in the words of the Lord, I went forth from God, any other meaning than this, that there was in Him a birth of the Divine nature.

33. After many dark sayings, spoken in parables by Him Whom they already knew as the Christ foretold by Moses and the Prophets, Whom Nathanael had confessed as the Son of God and King of Israel, Who had Himself reproached Philip, in his question about the Father, for not perceiving, by the works which He did, that the Father was in Him and He in the Father; after He had already often taught them that He was sent from the Father; still, it was not till they had heard Him assert that He had gone forth from God that they confessed, in the words which immediately follow in the Gospel;--His disciples say unto Him, Now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now therefore we are sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee; by this we believe that Thou wentest forth from God(8). What was there so marvellous in this form of words, Went forth from God, which He had used? Had ye seen, O holy and blessed men, who for the reward of your faith have received the keys of the kingdom of heaven and power to bind and to loose in heaven and earth, works so great, so truly Divine, wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and do ye yet profess that it was not until He had first told you that He had gone forth from God that ye attained the knowledge of the truth? And yet ye had seen water at the marriage turned into the marriage wine; one nature becoming another nature, whether it were by change, or by development, or by creation. And your hands had broken up the five loaves into a meal for that great multitude, and when all were satisfied ye had found that twelve baskets were needed to contain the fragments of the loaves; a small quantity of matter, in the process of relieving hunger, had multiplied into a great quantity of matter of the same nature. And ye had seen withered hands recover their suppleness, the tongues of dumb men loosened into speech, the feet of the lame made swift to run, the eyes of the blind endowed with vision, and life restored to the dead. Lazarus, who stank already, had risen to his feet at a word. He was summoned from the tomb and instantly came forth, without a pause between the word and its fulfilment. He was standing before you, a living man, while yet the air was carrying the odour of death to your nostrils. I speak not of other exertions of His mighty, His Divine powers. And is it, in spite of all this, only after ye heard Him say, I went forth from God, that ye understood Who He is that had been sent from heaven? Is this the first time that the truth had been told you without a proverb? The first time that the powers of His nature made it manifest to you that He went forth from God? And this in spite of His silent scrutiny of the purposes of your will, of His needing not to ask you concerning anything as though He were ignorant, of His universal knowledge? For all these things, done in the power and in the nature of God, are evidence that He must have gone forth from God.

34. By this the holy Apostles did not understand that He had gone forth, in the sense of having been sent, from God. For they had often heard Him confess, in His earlier discourses, that He was sent; but what they hear now is the express statement that He had gone forth from God. This opens their eyes to perceive from His works His Divine nature. The fact that He had gone forth from God makes clear to them His true Divinity, and so they say, Now therefore we are sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee; by this we believe that Thou wentest forth from God. The reason why they believe that He went forth from God is that He both can, and does, perform the works of God. Their perfect assurance of His Divine nature is the result of their knowledge, not that He is come from God, but that He did go forth from God. Accordingly we find that it is this truth, now heard for the first time, which clenches their faith. The Lord had made two statements; I went forth from God, and I am come from the Father into this world. One of these, I am come from the Father into this world, they had often heard, and it awakens no surprise. But their reply makes it manifest that they now believe and understand the other, that is, I went forth from God. Their answer, By this we believe that Thou wentest forth from God, is a response to it, and to it only; they do not add, 'And art come from the Father into this world.' The one statement is welcomed with a declaration of faith; the other is passed over in silence. The confession was wrung from them by the sudden presentation of a new truth, which convinced their reason and constrained them to avow their certainty. They knew already that He, like God, could do all things; but His birth, which accounted for that omnipotence, had not been revealed. They knew that He had been sent from God, but they knew not that He had gone forth from God. Now at last, taught by this utterance to understand the ineffable and perfect birth of the Son, they confess that He had spoken to them without a proverb.

35. For God is not born from God by the ordinary process of a human childbirth; this is no case of one being issuing from another by the exertion of natural forces. That birth is pure and perfect and stainless; indeed, we must call it rather a proceeding forth than a birth. For it is One from One; no partition, or withdrawing, or lessening, or efflux, or extension, or suffering of change, but the birth of living nature from living nature. It is God going forth from God, not a creature picked out to bear the name of God. His existence did not take its beginning out of nothing, but went forth from the Eternal; and this going forth is rightly entitled a birth, though it would be false to call it a beginning. For the proceeding forth of God from God is a thing entirely different from the coming into existence of a new substance. And though our apprehension of this truth, which is ineffable, cannot be defined in words, yet the teaching of the Son, as He reveals to us that He went forth from God, imparts to it the certainty of an assured faith.

36. A belief that the Son of God is Son in name only and not in nature, is not the faith of the Gospels and of the Apostles. If this be a mere title, to which adoption is His only claim; if He be not the Son in virtue of having proceeded forth from God, whence, I ask, was it that the blessed Simon Bar-Jona confessed to Him, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God(9)? Because He shared with all mankind the power of being born as one of the sons of God through the sacrament of regeneration? If Christ be the Son of God only in this titular way, what was the revelation made to Peter, not by flesh and blood, but by the Father in heaven? What praise could he deserve for making a declaration which was universally applicable? What credit was due to Him for stating a fact of general knowledge? If He be Son by adoption, wherein lay the blessedness of Peter's confession, which offered a tribute to the Son to which, in that case, He had no more title than any member of the company of saints? The Apostle's faith penetrates into a region closed to human reasoning. He had, no doubt, often heard, He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and He that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me(1). Hence he knew well that Christ had been sent; he had heard Him, Whom he knew to have been sent, making the declaration, All things are delivered unto Me of the Father, and no one knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any one tire Father save the Son(2). What then is this truth, which the Father now reveals to Peter, which receives the praise of a blessed confession? It cannot have been that the names of 'Father' and 'Son' were novel to him; he had heard them often. Yet he speaks words which the tongue of man had never framed before:--Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. For though Christ, while dwelling in the body, had avowed Himself to be the Son of God, yet now for the first time the Apostle's faith had recognised in Him the presence of the Divine nature. Peter is praised not merely for his tribute of adoration, but for his recognition of the mysterious truth; for confessing not Christ only, but Christ the Son of God. It would clearly have sufficed for a payment of reverence, had he said, Thou art the Christ, and nothing more. But it would have been a hollow confession, had Peter only hailed Him as Christ, without confessing Him the Son of God. And so his words Thou art(3) declare that what is asserted of Him is strictly and exactly true to His nature. Next, the Father's utterance, This is My Son, had revealed to Peter that he must confess Thou art the Son of God, for in the words This is, God the Revealer points Him out, and the response, Thou art, is the believer's welcome to the truth. And this is the rock of confession whereon the Church is built. But the perceptive faculties of flesh and blood cannot attain to the recognition and confession of this truth. It is a mystery, Divinely revealed, that Christ must be not only named, but believed, the Son of God. Was it only the Divine name; was it not rather the Divine nature that was revealed to Peter? If it were the name, he had heard it often from the Lord, proclaiming Himself the Son of God. What honour, then, did he deserve for announcing the name? No; it was not the name; it was the nature, for the name had been repeatedly proclaimed.

37. This faith it is which is the foundation of the Church; through this faith the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. This is the faith which has the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatsoever this faith shall have loosed or bound on earth shall be loosed or bound in heaven. This faith is the Father's gift by revelation; even the knowledge that we must not imagine a false Christ, a creature made out of nothing, but must confess Him the Son of God, truly possessed of the Divine nature. What blasphemous madness and pitiful folly is it, that will not heed the venerable age and faith of that blessed martyr, Peter himself, for whom the Father was prayed that his faith might not fail in temptation; who twice repeated the declaration of love for God that was demanded of him, and was grieved that he was tested by a third renewal of the question, as though it were a doubtful and wavering devotion, and then, because this third trial had cleansed him of his infirmities, had the reward of hearing the Lord's commission, Feed My sheep, a third time repeated; who, when all the Apostles were silent, alone recognised by the Father's revelation the Son of God, and won the pre-eminence of a glory beyond the reach of human frailty by his confession of his blissful faith! What are the conclusions forced upon us by the study of his words? He confessed that Christ is the Son of God; you, lying bishop of the new apostolate, thrust upon us your modern notion that Christ is a creature, made out of nothing. What violence is this, that so distorts the glorious words? The very reason why he is blessed is that he confessed the Son of God. This is the Father's revelation, this the foundation of the Church, this the assurance of her permanence. Hence has she the keys of the kingdom of heaven, hence judgment in heaven and judgment on earth. Through revelation Peter learnt the mystery hidden from the beginning of the world, proclaimed the faith, published the Divine nature, confessed the Son of God. He who would deny all this truth and confess Christ a creature, must first deny the apostleship of Peter, his faith, his blessedness, his episcopate, his martyrdom. And when he has done all this, he must learn that he has severed himself from Christ; for it was by confessing Him that Peter won these glories.

38. Do you think, wretched heretic of today, that Peter would have been the more blessed now, if he had said, 'Thou art Christ, God's perfect creature, His handiwork, though excelling all His other works. Thy beginning was from nothing, and through the goodness of God, Who alone is good, the name of Son has been given Thee by adoption, although in fact Thou wast not born from God?' What answer, think you, would have been given to such words as these, when this same Peter's reply to the announcement of the Passion, Be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall not be, was rebuked with, Get thee behind Me, Satan, thou art an offence unto Me(4)? Yet(5) Peter could plead his human ignorance in extenuation of his guilt, for as yet the Father had not revealed all the mystery of the Passion; still, mere defect of faith was visited with this stern condemnation. Now, why was it that the Father did not reveal to Peter your true confession, this faith in an adopted creature? I fancy that God must have grudged him the knowledge of the truth; that He wanted to postpone it to a later age, and keep it as a novelty for your modern preachers. Yes; you may have a change of faith, if the keys of heaven are changed. You may have a change of faith, if there is a change in that Church against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. You may have a change of faith, if there shall be a fresh apostolate, binding and loosing in heaven what it has bound and loosed on earth. You may have a change of faith, if another Christ the Son of God, beside the true Christ, shall be preached. But if that faith which confesses Christ as the Son of God, and that faith only, received in Peter's person every accumulated blessing, then perforce the faith which proclaims Him a creature, made out of nothing, holds not the keys of the Church and is a stranger to the apostolic faith and power. It is neither the Church's(6) faith, nor is it Christ's.

39. Let us therefore cite every example of a statement of the faith made by an Apostle. All of them, when they confess the Son of God, confess Him not as a nominal and adoptive Son, but as Son by possession of the Divine nature. They never degrade Him to the level of a creature, but assign Him the splendour of a true birth from God. Let John speak to us, while he is waiting, just as he is, for the coming of the Lord; John, who was left behind and appointed to a destiny hidden in the counsel of God, for he is not told that he shall not die, but only that he shall tarry. Let him speak to us in his own familiar voice:--No one hath seen God at any time, except the Only-begotten Son, Which is in the bosom of the Father(7). It seemed to him that the name of Son did not set forth with sufficient distinctness His true Divinity, unless he gave an external support to the peculiar majesty of Christ by indicating the difference between Him and all others. Hence he not only calls Him the Son, but adds the further designation of the Only-begotten, and so cuts away the last prop from under this imaginary adoption. For the fact that He is Only-begotten is proof positive of His right to the name of Son.

40. I defer the consideration of the words, which is in the bosom of the Father, to a more appropriate place. My present enquiry is into the sense of Only-begotten, and the claim upon us which that sense may make. And first let us see whether the word mean, as you assert, a perfect creature of God; Only-begotten being equivalent to perfect, and Son a synonym for creature. But John described the Only-begotten Son as God, not as a perfect creature. His words, Which is in the bosom of the Father, shew that he anticipated these blasphemous designations; and, indeed, he had heard his Lord say, For God so loved the world that He gave His Only- begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life(8). God, Who loved the world, gave His Only-begotten Son as a manifest token of His love. If the evidence of His love be this, that He bestowed a creature upon creatures, gave a worldly being on the world's behalf, granted one raised up from nothing for the redemption of objects equally raised up from nothing, this cheap and petty sacrifice is a poor assurance of His favour towards us. Gifts of price are the evidence of affection the greatness of the surrender of the greatness of the love. God, Who loved the world, gave not an adopted Son, but His own, His Only- begotten. Here is personal interest, true Sonship, sincerity; not creation, or adoption, or pretence. Herein is the proof of His love and affection, that He gave His own, His Only-begotten Son.

41. I appeal not now to any of the titles which are given to the Son; there is no loss in delay when it is the result of an embarrassing abundance of choice. My present argument is that a successful result implies a sufficient cause; some clear and cogent motive must underlie every effectual performance. And so the Evangelist has been obliged to reveal his motive in writing. Let us see what is the purpose which he confesses;--But these things are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God(9). The one reason which he alleges for writing his Gospel is that all may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. If it be sufficient for salvation to believe that He is the Christ, why does he add The Son of God? But if the true faith be nothing less than the belief that Christ is not merely Christ, but Christ the Son of God, then assuredly the name of Son is not attached to Christ as a customary appendage due to adoption, seeing that it is essential to salvation. If then salvation consists in the confession of the name, must not the name express the truth? If the name express the truth, by what authority can He be called a creature? It is not the confession of a creature, but the confession of the Son, which shall give us salvation.

42. To believe, therefore, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is true salvation, is the acceptable service of an unfeigned faith. For we have no love within us towards God the Father except through faith in the Son. Let us hear Him speaking to us in the words of the Epistle;--Every one that loveth the Father loveth Him that is born from Him(1). What, I ask, is the meaning of being born from Him? Can it mean, perchance, being created by Him? Does the Evangelist lie in saying that He was born from God, while the heretic more correctly teaches that He was created? Let us all listen to the true character of this teacher of heresy. It is written, He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son(2). What will you do now, champion of the creature, conjurer up of a novel Christ out of nothing? Hear the title which awaits you, if you persist in your assertion. Or do you think that perhaps you may still describe the Father and the Son as Creator and Creature, and yet by an ingenious ambiguity of language escape being recognised as antichrist? If your confession embraces a Father in the true sense, and a Son in the true sense, then I am a slanderer, assailing you with a title of infamy which you have not deserved. But if in your confession all Christ's attributes are spurious and nominal, and not His own, then learn from the Apostle the right description of such a faith as yours; and hear what is the true faith which believes in the Son. The words which follow are these;--He that denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath both the Son and the Father(3). He that denies the Son is destitute of the Father; he that confesses and has the Son has the Father also. What room is there here for adoptive names? Does not every word tell of the Divine nature? Learn how completely that nature is present.

43. John speaks thus;--For we know that the Son of God is came, and was incarnate for us, and suffered, and rose again from tire dead and took us for Himself, and gave us a good understanding that we may know Him that is true, and may be in His true Son Jesus Christ. He is true and is life eternal and our resurrection(4). Wisdom doomed to an evil end, void of the Spirit of God, destined to possess the spirit and the name of Antichrist, blind to the truth that the Son of God came to fulfil the mystery of our salvation, and unworthy in that blindness to perceive the light of that sovereign knowledge! For this wisdom asserts that Jesus Christ is no true Son of God, but a creature of His, Who bears the Divine name by adoption. In what dark oracle of hidden knowledge was the secret learnt? To whose research do we owe this, the great discovery of the day? Were you he that lay upon the bosom of the Lord? You he to whom in the familiar intercourse of love He revealed the mystery? Was it you that alone followed Him to the foot of the Cross? And while He was charging you to receive Mary as your Mother, did He teach you this secret, as the token of His peculiar love for yourself? Or did you run to the Sepulchre, and reach it sooner even than Peter, and so gain this knowledge there? Or was it amid the throngs of angels, and sealed books whose clasps none can open, and manifold influences of the signs of heaven, and unknown songs of the eternal choirs, that the Lamb, your Guide, revealed to you this godly doctrine, that the Father is no Father, the Son no Son, nor nature, nor truth? For you transform all these into lies. The Apostle, by that most excellent knowledge that was granted him, speaks of the Son of God as true. You assert His creation, proclaim His adoption, deny His birth. While the true Son of God is eternal life and resurrection to us, for him, in whose eyes He is not true, there is neither eternal life nor resurrection. And this is the lesson taught by John, the disciple beloved of the Lord.

44. And the persecutor, who was converted to be an Apostle and a chosen vessel, delivers the very same message. What discourse is there of his which does not presuppose the confession of the Son? What Epistle of his that does not begin with a confession of that mysterious truth? When he says, We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son(5), and, God sent His Son to be the likeness of the flesh of sin(6), and again, God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son(7), is any loophole left for heretical misrepresentation? His Son, Son of God; so we read, but nothing is said of His adoption, or of God's creature. The name expresses the nature; He is God's Son, and therefore the Sonship is true. The Apostle's confession asserts the genuineness of the relation. I see not how the Divine nature of the Son could have been more completely stated. That Chosen Vessel has proclaimed in no weak or wavering voice that Christ is the Son of Him Who, as we believe, is the Father. The Teacher of the Gentiles, the Apostle of Christ, has left us no uncertainty, no opening for error in his presentation of the doctrine. He is quite clear upon the Subject of children by adoption; of those who by faith attain so to be and so to be named. in his own words, For as many as are led by tire Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father(8). This is the name granted to us, who believe, through the sacrament of regeneration; our confession of the faith wins us this adoption. For our work done in obedience to the Spirit of God gives us the title of sons of God. Abba, Father, is the cry which we raise, not the expression of our essential nature. For that essential nature of ours is untouched by that tribute of the voice. It is one thing for God to be addressed as Father; another thing for Him to be the Father of His Son.

45. But now let us learn what is this faith concerning the Son of God, which the Apostle holds. For though there is no single discourse, among the many which he delivered concerning the Church's doctrine, in which he mentions the Father without also making confession of the Son, yet, in order to display the truth of the relation which that name conveys with the utmost definiteness of which human language is capable, he speaks thus:-- What then? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us(9). Can Son, by any remaining possibility, be a title received through adoption, when He is expressly called God's own Son? For the Apostle, wishing to make manifest the love of God towards us, uses a kind of comparison, to enable us to estimate how great that love is, when He says that it was His own Son Whom God did not spare. He suggests the thought that this was no sacrifice of an adopted Son, on behalf of those whom He purposed to adopt, of a creature for creatures, but of His Son for strangers, His own Son for those to whom He had willed to give a share in the name of sons. Seek out the full import of the term, that you may understand the extent of the love. Consider the meaning of own; mark the genuineness of the Sonship which it implies. For the Apostle now describes Him as God's own Soil; previously he had often spoken of Him as God's Son, or Son of God. And though many manuscripts, through a want of apprehension on the part of the translators, read in this passage His Son, instead of His own, Son, yet the original Greek, the tongue in which the Apostle wrote, is more exactly rendered by His own than by His[1]. And though the casual reader may discern no great difference between His own and His, yet the Apostle, who in all his other statements had spoken of His Son, which is, in the Greek, to`n heautou^ huio'n, in this passage uses the words ho's ge tou^ idi'ou huio'n ouk ephei'sato, that is, Who spared not His own Son, expressly and emphatically indicating His true Divine nature. Previously he had declared that through the Spirit of adoption there are many sons; now his object is to point to God's own Son, God the Only-begotten.

46. This is no universal and inevitable error; they who deny the Son cannot lay the fault upon their ignorance, for ignorance of the truth which they deny is impossible. They describe the Son of God as a creature who came into being out of nothing. If the Father has never asserted this, nor the Son confirmed it, nor the Apostles proclaimed it, then the dating which prompts their allegation is bred not of ignorance, but of hatred for Christ. When the Father says of His Son, This is[2], and the Son of Himself, It is He that talketh with Thee[3], and when Peter confesses Thou art[4], and John assures us, This is the true God[5], and Paul is never weary of proclaiming Him as God's own Son, I can conceive of no other motive for this denial than hatred. The plea of want of familiarity with the subject cannot be urged in extenuation of their guilt. It is the suggestion of that Evil One, uttered now through these prophets and forerunners of his coming; he will utter it himself hereafter when he comes as Antichrist. He is using this novel engine of assault to shake us m our saving confession of the faith. His first object is to pluck from our hearts the confident assurance of the Divine nature of the Son; next, he would fill our minds with the notion of Christ's adoption, and leave no room for the memory of His other claims. For they who hold that Christ is but a creature, must regard Christ as Antichrist, since a creature cannot be God's own Son, and therefore He must lie in calling Himself the Son of God. Hence also they who deny that Christ is the Son of God must have Antichrist for their Christ.

47. What is the hope of which this futile passion of yours is in pursuit? What is the assurance of your salvation which emboldens you with blasphemous licence of tongue to maintain that Christ is a creature, and not a Son? It was your duty to know this mystery, from the Gospels, and to hold the knowledge fast. For though the Lord can do all things, yet He resolved that every one who prays for His effectual help must earn it by a true confession of Himself. Not, indeed, that the suppliant's confession could augment the power of Him, Who is the Power of God; but the earning was to be the reward of faith. So, when He asked Martha, who was entreating Him for Lazarus, whether she believed that they who had believed in Him should not die eternally, her answer expressed the trust of her soul;--Yea, Lord, I believe that Than art the Christ, the Son of God, Who art come into this world[6]. This confession is eternal life; this faith has immortality. Martha, praying for her brother's life, was asked whether she believed this. She did so believe. What life does the denier expect, from whom does he hope to receive it, when this belief, and this only, is eternal life? For great is the mystery of this faith, and perfect the blessedness which is the fruit of this confession.

48. The Lord had given sight to a man blind from his birth; the, Lord of nature had removed a defect of nature. Because this blind man had been born for the glory of God, that God's work might be made manifest in the work of Christ, the Lord did not delay till the man had given evidence of his faith by a confession of it. But though he knew not at the time Who it was that had bestowed the great gift of eyesight, yet afterwards he earned a knowledge of the faith. For it was not the dispelling of his blindness that won him eternal life. And so, when the man was already healed and had suffered ejection from the synagogue, the Lord put to him the question, Dost thou believe on the Son of God[7]? This was to save him from the thought of loss, in exclusion from the synagogue, by the certainty that confession of the true faith had restored him to immortality. When the man, his soul still unenlightened, made answer, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe on Him[8]? The Lord's reply was, Thou hast bath seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. For He was minded to remove the ignorance of the man whose sight he had restored, and whom He was now enriching with the knowledge of so glorious a faith. Does the Lord demand from this man, as from others, who prayed Him to heal them, a confession of faith as the price of their recovery? Emphatically not. For the blind man could already see when he was thus addressed. The Lord asked the question in order to receive the answer, Lord, I believe[9]. The faith which spoke in that answer was to receive not sight, but life[1]. And now let us examine carefully the force of the words. The Lord asks of the man, Dost thou believe an the Son of God? Surely, if a simple confession of Christ, leaving His nature in obscurity, were a complete expression of the faith, the terms of the question would have been, 'Dost thou believe in Christ?' But in days to come almost every heretic was to make a parade of that name, confessing Christ and yet denying that He is the Son; and therefore He demands, as the condition of faith, that we should believe in what is peculiar to Himself, that is, in His Divine Sonship. What is the profit of faith in the Son of God, if it be faith in a creature, when He requires of us faith in Christ, not the creature, but the Son, of God.

49. Did devils fail to understand the full meaning of this name of Son? For we are valuing the heretics at their true worth if we refute them no longer by the teaching of Apostles, but out of the mouth of devils. They cry, and cry often, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God most High[2]? Truth wrung this confession from them against their will; their reluctant obedience is a witness to the force of the Divine nature within Him. When they fly from the bodies they have long possessed, it is His might that conquers them; their confession of His nature is an act of reverence. These transactions display Christ as the Son of God both in power and in name. Can you hear, amid all these cries of devils confessing Him, Christ once styled a creature, or God's condescension in adopting Him once named?

50. If you will not learn Who Christ is from those that know Him, learn it at least from those that know Him not. So shall the confession, which their ignorance is forced to make, rebuke your blasphemy. The Jews did not recognise Christ, come in the body, though they knew that the true Christ must be the Son of God. And so, when they were employing false witnesses, without one word of truth in their testimony, against Him, their priest asked Him, Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed[3]? They knew not that in Him the mystery was fulfilled; they knew that the Divine nature was the condition of its fulfilment. They did not ask whether Christ be the Son of God; they asked whether He were Christ, the Son of God. They were wrong as to the Person, not as to the Sonship, of Christ. They did not doubt that Christ is the Son of God; and thus, while they asked whether He were the Christ, they asked without denying that the Christ is the Son of God. What, then, of your faith, which leads you to deny what even they, in their blindness, confessed? The perfect knowledge is this, to be assured that Christ, the Son of God, Who existed before the worlds, was also born of the Virgin. Even they, who know nothing of His birth from Mary, know that He is the Son of God. Mark the fellowship with Jewish wickedness in which your denial of the Divine Sonship has involved you! For they have put on record the reason of their condemnation:--And by our Law He aught to die, because He made Himself the Son of God[4]. Is not this the same charge which you are blasphemously bringing against Him, that, while you pronounce Him a creature, He calls Himself the Son? He confesses Himself the Son, and they declare Him guilty of death: you too deny that He is the Son of God. What sentence do you pass upon Him? You have the same repugnance to His claim as had the Jews. You agree with their verdict; I want to know whether you will quarrel about the sentence. Your offence, in denying that He is the Son of God, is exactly the same as theirs, though their guilt is less, for they sinned in ignorance. They knew not that Christ was born of Mary, yet they never doubted that Christ must be the Son of God. You are perfectly aware of the fact that Christ was born of Mary, yet you refuse Him the name of Son of God. If they come to the faith, there awaits them an unimperilled salvation, because of their past ignorance. Every gate of safety is shut to you, because you persist in denying a truth which is obvious to you. For you are not ignorant that He is the Son of God; you know it so well that you allow Him the name as a title of adoption, and feign that He is a creature adorned, like others, with the right to call Himself a Son. You rob Him, as far as you can, of the Divine nature; if you could, you would rob Him of the Divine name as well. But, because you cannot, you divorce the name from the nature; He is called a Son, but He shall not be the true Son of God.

51. The confession of the Apostles, for whom by a word of command the raging wind and troubled sea were restored to calm, was an opportunity for you. You might have confessed, as they did, that He is God's true Son; you might have borrowed their very words, Of a truth, this is the Son of God[5]. But an evil spirit of madness is driving you on to shipwreck of your life; your reason is distracted and overwhelmed, like the ocean tormented by the fury of the storm.

52. If this witness of the voyagers seem inconclusive to you because they were Apostles,--though to me it comes with the greater weight for the same reason, though it surprises me the less,--accept at any rate a corroboration given by the Gentiles. Hear how the soldier of the Roman cohort, one of the stern guard around the Cross, was humbled to the faith. The centurion sees the mighty workings of Christ's power; and this is the witness borne by him:--Truly this was the Son of God[6]. The truth was forced upon him, after Christ had given up the ghost, by the torn veil of the Temple, and the earth that shook, and the rocks that were rent, and the sepulchres that were opened, and the dead that rose. And it was the confession of an unbeliever. The deeds that were done convinced him that Christ's nature was omnipotent; he names Him the Son of God, being assured of His true Divinity. So cogent was the proof, so strong the man's conviction, that the force of truth conquered his will, and even he who had nailed Christ to the Cross was driven to confess that He is the Lord of eternal glory, truly the Son of God.


1. This is the seventh book of our treatise against the wild extravagance of modern heresy. In order of place it must follow its predecessors; in order of importance, as an exposition of the mysteries of the right faith, it precedes. and excels them all. I am well aware how hard and steep is the path of evangelical instruction up which we are mounting. The fears inspired by consciousness of my own incapacity are plucking me back, but the warmth of faith urges me on; the assaults of heresy heat my blood, and the dangers of the ignorant excite my compassion. I fear to speak, and yet I cannot be silent. A double dread subdues my spirit; it may be that speech, it may be that silence, will render me guilty of a desertion of the truth. For this cunning heresy has hedged itself round with marvellous devices of perverted ingenuity. First there is the semblance of devotion; then the language carefully chosen to lull the suspicions of a candid listener; and again, the accommodation of their views to secular philosophy; and finally, their withdrawing of attention from manifest truth by a pretended explanation of Divine methods. Their loud profession of the unity of God is a fraudulent imitation of the faith; their assertion that Christ is the Son of God a play upon words for the delusion of their hearers; their saying that He did not exist before He was born a bid for the support of the world's philosophers; their confession of God as incorporeal and immutable leads, by a display of fallacious logic, up to a denial of the birth of God from God. They turn our arguments against ourselves; the Church's faith is made the engine of its own destruction. They have contrived to involve us in the perplexing position of an equal danger, whether we reason with them or whether we refrain. For they use the fact that we allow certain of their assumptions to pass unchallenged as an argument on behalf of those which we do contradict.

2. We call to mind that in the preceding books the reader has been urged to study the whole of that blasphemous manifesto[1], and mark how it is animated throughout by the one aim of propagating the belief that our Lord Jesus Christ is neither God, nor Son of God. Its authors argue that He is permitted to use the names of God and of Son by virtue of a certain adoption, though neither Godhead nor Sonship be His by nature. They use the fact, true in itself, that God is immutable and incorporeal, as an argument against the birth of the Son from Him. They value the truth, that God the Father is One, only as a weapon against our faith in the Godhead of Christ; pleading that an incorporeal nature cannot be rationally conceived as generating another, and that our faith in One God is inconsistent with the confession of God from God. But our earlier books have already refuted and foiled this argument of theirs by an appeal to the Law and the Prophets. Our defence has followed, step by step, the course of their attack. We have set forth God from God, and at the same time confessed One true God; shewing that this presentation of the faith neither falls short of the truth by ascribing singleness of Person to the One true God, nor adds to the faith by asserting the existence of a second Deity. For we confess neither an isolated God, nor yet two Gods. Thus, neither denying that God is One nor maintaining that He is alone, we hold the straight road of truth. Each Divine Person is in the Unity, yet no Person is the One God. Next, our purpose being to demonstrate the irrefragable truth of this mystery by the evidence of the Evangelists and Apostles, our first duty has been to make our readers acquainted with the nature, truly subsisting and truly born, of the Son of God; to demonstrate that He has no origin external to God, and was not created out of nothing, but is the Son, born from God. This is a truth which the evidence adduced in the last book has placed beyond all doubt. The assertion that He bears the name of Son by virtue of adoption has been put to silence, and He stands forth as a true Son by a true birth. Our present task is to prove from the Gospels that, because He is true Son, He is true God also. For unless He be true Son He cannot be true God, nor true God unless He be true Son.

3. Nothing is more harassing to human nature than the sense of impending danger. If calamities unknown or unanticipated befall us, we may need pity, yet we have been free from care; no load of anxiety has oppressed us. But he whose mind is full of possibilities of trouble suffers already a torment in his fear. I who now am venturing out to sea, am a mariner not unused to shipwreck, a traveller who knows by experience holy brigands lurk in the forests, an explorer of African deserts aware of the danger from scorpions and asps and basilisks[2]. I enjoy no instant of relief from the knowledge and fear of present danger. Every heretic is on the watch, noting every word as it drops from my mouth. The whole progress of my argument is infested with ambuscades and pitfalls and snares. It is not of the road, of its hardness or steepness, that I complain; I am following in the footsteps of the Apostles, not choosing my own path. My trouble is the constant peril, the constant dread, of wandering into some ambush, of stumbling into some pit, of being entangled in some net. My purpose is to proclaim the unity of God, in the sense of the Law and Prophets and Apostles. Sabellius is at hand, eager with cruel kindness to welcome me, on the strength of this unity, and swallow me up in his own destruction. If I withstand him, and deny that, in the Sabellian sense, God is One a fresh heresy is ready to receive me, pointing out that I teach the existence of two Gods. Again, if I undertake to tell holy the Son of God was born from Mary, Photinus, the Ebion of our day, will be prompt to twist this assertion of the truth into a confirmation of his lie. I need mention no other heresies save one; all the world knows that they are alien from the Church. It is one that has been often denounced, often rejected, yet it preys upon our vitals still. Galatia[3] has reared a large brood of godless assertors of the unity of God. Alexandria[4] has sown broadcast, over almost the whole world, her denial, which is an affirmation, of the doctrine of two Gods. Pannonia[5] upholds her pestilent doctrine that the only birth of Jesus Christ was from the Virgin. And the Church, distracted by these rival faiths, is in danger of being led by means of truth into a rejection of truth. Doctrines are being forced upon her for godless ends, which, according to the use that is made of them, will either support or overthrow the faith. For instance, we cannot, as true believers, assert that God is One, if we mean by it that He is alone; for faith in a lonely God denies the Godhead of the Son. If, on the other hand, we assert, as we truly can, that the Son is God, we are in danger, so they fondly imagine, of deserting the truth that God is One. We are in peril on either hand; we may deny the unity or we may maintain the isolation. But it is a danger which has no terrors for the foolish things of the word[6]. Our adversaries are blind to the fact that His assertion that He is not alone is consistent with unity; that though He is One He is not solitary.

4. But I trust that the Church, by the light of her doctrine, will so enlighten the world's vain wisdom, that, even though it accept not the mystery of the faith, it will recognise that in our conflict with heretics we, and not they, are the true representatives of that mystery. For great is the force of truth; not only is it its own sufficient witness, but the more it is assailed the more evident it becomes; the daily shocks which it receives only increase its inherent stability. It is the peculiar property of the Church that when she is buffeted she is triumphant, when she is assaulted with argument she proves herself in the right, when she is deserted by her supporters she holds the field. It is her wish that all men should remain at her side and in her bosom; if it lay with her, none would become unworthy to abide under the shelter of that august mother, none would be cast out or suffered to depart from her calm retreat. But when heretics desert her or she expels them, the loss she endures, in that she cannot save them, is compensated by an increased assurance that she alone can offer bliss. This is a truth which the passionate zeal of rival heresies brings into the clearest prominence. The Church, ordained by the Lord and established by His Apostles, is one for all; but the frantic folly of discordant sects has severed them from her. And it is obvious that these dissensions concerning the faith result from a distorted mind, which twists the words of Scripture into conformity with its opinion, instead of adjusting that opinion to the words of Scripture. And thus, amid the clash of mutually destructive errors, the Church stands revealed not only by her own teaching, but by that of her rivals. They are ranged, all of them, against her; and the very fact that she stands single and alone is her sufficient answer to their godless delusions. The hosts of heresy assemble themselves against her; each of them can defeat all the others, but not one can win a victory for itself. The only victory is the triumph which the Church celebrates over them all. Each heresy wields against its adversary some weapon already shattered, in another instance, by the Church's condemnation. There is no point of union between them, and the outcome of their internecine struggles is the confirmation of the faith.

5. Sabellius sweeps away the birth of the Son, and then preaches the unity of God; but he does not doubt that the mighty Nature, which acted in the human Christ, was God. He shuts his eyes to the revealed mystery of the Sonship; the works done seem to him so marvellous that he cannot believe that He who performed them could undergo a true generation. When he hears the words, He that hath, seen Me hath seen the Father also[7], he jumps to the blasphemous conclusion of an inseparable and indistinguishable identity of nature in Father and Son, because he fails to see that the revelation of the birth is the mode in which Their unity of nature is manifested to. us. For the fact that the Father is seen in the Son is a proof of the Son's Divinity, not a disproof of His birth. Thus our knowledge of Each of Them is conditioned-by our knowledge of the Other, for there is no difference of nature between them and, since in this respect they are One, a reverent study of the character of Either will give us a true insight into the nature of Both For, indeed, it is certain that He, Who was in the form of God, must in His self-revelation present Himself to us in the exact aspect of the form of God[8]. Again, this perverse and insane delusion derives a further encouragement from the words, I and the Father are One[9]. From the fact of unity in the same nature they have impiously deduced a confusion of Persons; their interpretation, that the words signify a single Power, contradicts the tenour of the passage. For I and the Father are One does not indicate a solitary God. The use of the conjunction and shews clearly that more than one Person is signified; and are requires a plurality of subject. Moreover, the One is not incompatible with a birth. Its sense is, that the Two Persons have the one nature in common. The One is inconsistent with difference; the are with identity.

6. Set our modern heresy in array against the delusion, equally wild, of Sabellius; let them make the best of their case. The new heretics will advance the passage. The Father is greater than I[1]. Neglecting the mystery of the Divine birth, and the mystery of God's emptying Himself and taking flesh, they will argue the inferiority of His nature from His assertion that the Father is the greater. They will plead against Sabellius that Christ is a Son, in so far as One can be a Son who is inferior to the Father and needs to ask for restoration to His glory, and fears to die and indeed did die. In reply Sabellius will adduce His deeds in evidence of His Divine nature; and while our novel heresy, to escape the admission of Christ's true Sonship, will heartily agree with him that God is One, Sabellius will emphatically assert the same article of the faith, in the sense that no Son exists. The one side lays stress upon the action of the Son; the other urges that in that action God is manifest. the one will demonstrate the unity, the other disprove the identity. Sabellius will defend his position thus:--"The works that were done could have been done by no other nature than the Divine. Sins were remitted, the sick were healed, the lame ran, the blind saw, the dead lived. God alone has power for this. The words I and the Father are One could only have been spoken from self-knowledge; no nature, outside the Father's, could have uttered them. Why then suggest a second substance, and urge me to believe in a second God? These works are peculiar to God; the One God wrought them." His adversaries, animated by a hatred, equally venomous, for the faith, will argue that the Son is unlike in nature to God the Father:--"You are ignorant of the mystery of your salvation. You must believe in a Son through Whom the worlds were made, through Whom man was fashioned, Who gave the Law through Angels, Who was born of Mary, Who was sent by the Father, was crucified, dead and buried, Who rose again from the dead and is at the right hand of God, Who is the Judge of quick and dead. Unto Him we must use again, we must confess Him, we must earn our place in His kingdom." Each of the two enemies of the Church is fighting the Church's battle. Sabellius displays Christ as God by the witness of the Divine nature manifested in His works; Sabellius' antagonists confess Christ, on the evidence of the revealed faith, to be the Son of God.

7. Again, how glorious a victory for our faith is that in which Ebionin other words, Photinus--both wins the day and loses it! He castigates Sabellius for denying that the Son of God is Man, and in his turn has to submit to the reproaches of Arian fanatics for failing to see that this Man is the Son of God. Against Sabellius he calls the Gospels to his aid, with their evidence concerning the Son of Mary; Arius deprives him of this ally by proving that the Gospels make Christ something more than the Son of Mary. Sabellius denies that there is a Son of God; against him Photinus elevates man to the place of Son. Photinus will hear nothing of a Son born before the worlds; against him, Arius denies that the only birth of the Son of God was His human birth. Let them defeat one another to their hearts' content, for every victory which each of them wins is balanced by a defeat Our present adversaries are ranted in the matter of the Divine nature of the Son; Sabellius in the matter of the Son's revealed existence; Photinus is convicted of ignorance, or else of falsehood, in his denial of the Son's birth before the worlds. Meanwhile the Church, whose faith is based upon the teaching of Evangelists and Apostles, holds fast, against Sabellius, her assertion that the Son exists; against Arius, that He is God by nature; against Photinus, that He created the universe. And she is the more convinced of her faith, in that they cannot combine to contradict it. For Sabellius points to the works of Christ in proof of the Divinity of Him Who wrought them, though he knows not that the Son was their Author. The Arians grant Him tile name of Son, though they confess not that the true nature of God dwelt in Him. Photinus maintains His manhood, though in maintaining it he forgets that Christ was born as God before the worlds. Thus, in their several assertions and denials, there are points in which each heresy is in the right in defence or attack; and the result of their conflicts is that the truth of our confession is brought into clearer light.

8. I felt that I must spare a little space to point this out. It has been from no love for amplification, but that it might serve as a warning. First, I wished to expose the vague and confused character of this crowd of heresies, whose mutual feuds turn, as we have seen, to our advantage. Secondly, in my warfare against the blasphemous doctrines of modern heresy; that is, in my task of proclaiming that both God the Father and God the Son are God,--in other words, that Father and Son are One in name, One in nature, One in the kind of Divinity which they possess,--I wished to shield myself from any charge which might be brought against me, either as an advocate of two Gods or of one lonely and isolated Deity. For in God the Father and God the Son, as I have set them forth, no confusion of Persons can be detected; nor in my exposition of Their common nature can any difference between the Godhead of the One and of the Other be discerned. In the preceding book I have sufficiently refuted, by the witness of the Gospels, those who deny the subsistence of I God the Son by a true birth from God; my present duty is to shew that He, Who in the truth of His nature is Son of God, is also in the truth of His nature God. But this proof must not degenerate into the fatal profession of a solitary God, or of a second God. It shall manifest God as One yet not alone; but in its care to avoid the error of making Him lonely it shall not fall into the error of denying His unity.

9. Thus we have all these different assurances of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ:--His name, His birth, His nature, His power, His own assertion. As to the name, I conceive that no doubt is possible. It is written, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God(2). What reason can there be for suspecting that He is not what His name indicates? And does not this name clearly describe His nature? If a statement be contradicted, it must be for some reason. What reason, I demand, is there in this instance for denying that He is God? The name is given Him, plainly and distinctly, and unqualified by any incongruous addition which might raise a doubt. The Word, we read, which was made flesh, was none other than God. Here is no loophole for any such conjecture as that He has received this name as a favour or taken it upon Himself, so possessing a titular Godhead which is not His by nature.

10. Consider the other recorded instances in which this name was given by favour or assumed. To Moses it was said, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh(3). Does not this addition, to Pharaoh, account for the title? Did God impart to Moses the Divine nature? Did He not rather make Moses a god in the sight of Pharaoh, who was to be smitten with terror when Moses' serpent swallowed the magic serpents and returned into a rod, when he drove back the venomous flies which he had called forth, when he stayed the hail by the same power wherewith he had summoned it, and made the locusts depart by the same might which had brought them; when in the wonders that he wrought the magicians saw the finger of God? That was the sense in which Moses was appointed to be god to Pharaoh; he was feared and entreated, he chastised and healed. It is one thing to be appointed a god; it is another thing to be God. He was made a god to Pharaoh; he had not that nature and that name wherein God consists. I call to mind another instance of the name being given as a title; that where it is written, I have said, Ye are gods(4). But this is obviously the granting of a favour. I have said proves that it is no definition, but only a description by One Who chooses to speak thus, A definition gives us knowledge of the object defined; a description depends on the arbitrary will of the speaker. When a speaker is manifestly conferring a title, that title has its origin only in the speaker's words, not in the thing itself. The title is not the name which expresses its nature and kind.

11. But in this case the Word in very truth is God; the essence of the Godhead exists in the Word, and that essence is expressed in the Word's name. For the name Word is inherent in the Son of God as a consequence of His mysterious birth, as are also the names Wisdom and Power. These, together with the substance which is His by a true birth, were called into existence to be the Son of God(5); yet, since they are the elements of God's nature, they are still immanent in Him in undiminished extent, although they were born from Him to be His Son. For, as we have said so often, the mystery which we preach is that of a Son Who owes His existence not to division but to birth. He is not a segment cut off, and so incomplete, but an Offspring born, and therefore perfect; for birth involves no diminution of the Begetter, and has the possibility of perfection for the Begotten. And therefore the titles of those substantive properties(6) are applied to God the Only-begotten, for when He came into existence by birth it was they which constituted His perfection; and this although they did not thereby desert the Father, in Whom, by the immutability of His nature, they are eternally present. For instance, the Word is God the Only-begotten, and yet the Unbegotten Father is never without His Word. Not that the nature of the Son is that of a sound which is uttered. He is God from God, subsisting through a true birth; God's own Son, born from the Father, indistinguishable from Him in nature, and therefore inseparable. This is the lesson which His title of the Word is meant to teach us. And in the same way Christ is the Wisdom and the Power of God; not that He is, as He is often regarded(7), the inward activity of the Father's might or thought, but that His nature, possessing through birth a true substantial existence, is indicated by these names of inward forces. For an object, which has by birth an existence of its own, cannot be regarded as a property; a property is necessarily inherent in some being and can have no independent existence. But it was to save us from concluding that the Son is alien from the Divine nature of His Father that He, the Only-begotten from the eternal God His Father, born as God into a substantial existence of His own, has had Himself revealed to us under these names of properties, of which the Father, out of Whom He came into existence, has suffered no diminution. Thus He, being God, is nothing else than God. For when I hear the words, And the Word was God, they do not merely tell me that the Son was called God; they reveal to my understanding that He is God. In those previous instances, where Moses was called god and others were styled gods, there was the mere addition of a name by way of title. Here a solid essential truth is stated; The Word was God. That was indicates no accidental title, but an eternal reality, a permanent element of His existence, an inherent character of His nature.

12. And now let us See whether the confession of Thomas the Apostle, when he cried, My Lord and My God, corresponds with this assertion of the Evangelist. We see that he speaks of Him, Whom he confesses to be God, as My God. Now Thomas was undoubtedly familiar with those words of the Lord, Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is One. How then could the faith of an Apostle become so oblivious of that primary command as to confess Christ as God, when life is conditional upon the confession of the Divine unity? It was because, in the light of the Resurrection, the whole mystery of the faith had become visible to the Apostle. He had often heard such words as, I and the Father are One, and, All things that the Father hath are Mine, and, I in the Father and the Father in Me(8); and now he can confess that the name of God expresses the nature of Christ, without peril to the faith. Without breach of loyalty to the One God, the Father, his devotion could now regard the Son of God as God, since he believed that everything contained in the nature of the Son was truly of the same nature with the Father. No longer need he fear that such a confession as his was the proclamation of a second God, a treason against the unity of the Divine nature; for it was not a second God Whom that perfect birth of the Godhead had brought into being. Thus it was with full knowledge of the mystery of the Gospel that Thomas confessed his Lord and his God. It was not a title of honour; it was a confession of nature. He believed that Christ was God in substance and in power. And the Lord, in turn, shews that this act of worship was the expression not of mere reverence, but of faith, when He says, Because than hast seen, thou hast believed; blessed are they which have not seen, and have believed. For Thomas had seen before he believed. But, you ask, What was it that Thomas believed? That, beyond a doubt, which is expressed in his words, My Lord and my God. No nature but that of God could have risen by its own might from death to life; and it is this fact, that Christ is God, which was confessed by Thomas with the confidence of an assured faith. Shall we, then, dream that His name of God is not a substantial reality, when that name has been proclaimed by a faith based upon certain evidence? Surely a Son devoted to His Father, One Who did not His own will but the will of Him that sent Him, Who sought not His own glory but the glory of Him from Whom He came, would have rejected the adoration involved in such a name as destructive of that unity of God which had been the burden of His teaching. Yet, in fact, He confirms this assertion of the mysterious truth, made by the believing Apostle; He accepts as His own the name which belongs to the nature of the Father. And He teaches that they are blessed who, though they have not seen Him rise from the dead, yet have believed, on the assurance of the Resurrection, that He is God.

13. Thus the name which expresses His nature proves the truth of our confession of the faith. For the name, which indicates any single substance, points out also any other substance of the same kind; and, in this instance, there are not two substances but one substance, of the one kind. For the Son of God is God; this is the truth expressed in His name. The one name does not embrace two Gods; for the one name God is the name of one indivisible nature. For since the Father is God and the Son is God, and that name which is peculiar to the Divine nature is inherent in Each, therefore the Two are One. For the Son, though He subsists through a birth from the Divine nature, yet preserves the unity in His name; and this birth of the Son does not compel loyal believers to acknowledge two Gods, since our confession declares that Father and Son are One, both in nature and in name. Thus the Son of God has the Divine name as the result of His birth. Now the second step in our demonstration was to be that of shewing that it is by virtue of His birth that He is God. I have still to bring forward the evidence of the Apostles that the Divine name is used of Him in an exact sense; but for the present I purpose to continue our enquiry into the language of the Gospels.

14. And first I ask what new element, destructive of His Godhead, can have been imported by birth into the nature of the Son? Universal reason rejects the supposition that a being can become different in nature, by the process of birth, from the being to which its birth is due; although we recognise the possibility that from parents, different in kind, an offspring sharing the nature of both, yet diverse from either, may be propagated. The fact is familiar in the case of beasts, both tame and wild. But even in this case there is no real novelty; the new qualities already exist, concealed in the two different parental natures, and are only developed by the connexion. The birth of their joint offspring is not the cause of that offspring's difference from its parents. The difference is a gift from them of various diversities, which are received and combined in one frame. When this is the case as to the transmission and reception even of bodily differences, is it not a form of madness to assert that the birth of God the Only-begotten was the birth from God of a nature inferior to Himself? For the giving of birth is a function of the true nature of the transmitter of life; and without the presence and action of that true nature there can be no birth. The object of all this heat and passion is to prove that there was no birth, but a creation, of the Son of God; that the Divine nature is not His origin and that He does not possess that nature in His personal subsistence, but draws, from what was non-existent, a nature different in kind from the Divine. They are angry because He says, That which is barn of the flesh is flesh, and that which is barn of the Spirit is Spirit(9). For, since God is a Spirit, it is clear that in One born from Him there can be nothing alien or different froth that Spirit from which He was born. Thus the birth of God constitutes Him perfect God. And hence also it is clear that we must not say that He began to exist, but only that He was born. For there is a sense in which beginning is different from birth. A thing which begins to exist either comes into existence out of nothing, or developes out of one state into another, ceasing to be what it was before; so, for instance, gold is formed out of earth, solids melt into liquids, cold changes to warmth, white to red, water breeds moving creatures, lifeless objects torn into living. In contrast to all this, the Son of God did not begin, out of nothing, to be God, but was born as God; nor had He an existence of another kind before the Divine. Thus He Who was born to be God had neither a beginning of His Godhead, nor yet a development up to it. His birth retained for Him that nature out of which He came into being; the Son of God, in His distinct existence, is what God is, and is nothing else.

15. Again, any one who is in doubt concerning this matter may gain from the Jews an accurate knowledge of Christ's nature; or rather learn that He was truly born from the Gospel, where it is written, Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him because He not only broke the Sabbath, but said also that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God(1). This passage is unlike most others in not giving us the words spoken by the Jews, but the Apostle's explanation of their motive in wishing to kill the Lord. We see that no plea of misapprehension can excuse the wickedness of these blasphemers; for we have the Apostle's evidence that the true nature of Christ was fully revealed to them. They could speak of His birth:--He said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Was not His clearly a birth of nature from nature, when He published the equality of His nature by speaking of God, by name, as His own Father? Now it is manifest that equality consists in the absence of difference between those who are equal. Is it not also manifest that the result of birth must be a nature in which there is an absence of difference between Son and Father? And this is the only possible origin of true equality; birth can only bring into existence a nature equal to its origin. But again, we can no more hold that there is equality where there is confusion, than we can where there is difference. Thus equality, as of the image(2), is incompatible with isolation and with diversity; for equality cannot dwell with difference, nor yet in solitude.

16. And now, although we have found the sense of Scripture, as we understand it, in harmony with the conclusions of ordinary reason, the two agreeing that equality is incompatible either with diversity or with isolation, yet we must seek a fresh support for Our contention from actual words of our Lord. For only so can we check that licence of arbitrary interpretation whereby these bold traducers of the faith would even venture to cavil at the Lord's solemn self-revelation. His answer to the Jews was this:--The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth; and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath given all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him(3). The course of our argument, as I had shaped it in my mind, required that each several point of the debate should be handled singly; that, since we had been taught that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God in name, in birth, in nature, in power, in self-revelation, our demonstration of the faith should establish each successive point in that order. But His birth is a barrier to such a treatment of the question; for a consideration of it includes a consideration of His name and nature and power and self- revelation. For His birth involves all these, and they are His by the fact that He is born. And thus our argument concerning His birth has taken such a course that it is impossible for us to keep these other matters back for separate discussion in their turn.

17. The chief reason why the Jews wished to kill the Lord was that, in calling God His Father, He had made Himself equal with God; and therefore He put His answer, in which He reproved their evil passion, into the form of an exposition of the whole mystery of our faith. For just before this, when He had healed the paralytic and they had passed their judgment upon Him that He was worthy of death for breaking the Sabbath, He had said, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work(4). Their jealousy had been inflamed to the utmost by the raising of Himself to the level of God which was involved in this use of the name of Father. And now He wishes to assert His birth and to reveal the powers of His nature, and so He says, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do. These opening words of His reply are aimed at that wicked zeal of the Jews, which hurried them on even to the desire of slaying Him. It is in reference to the charge of breaking the Sabbath that He says, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. He wished them to understand that His practice was justified by Divine authority; and He taught them by the same words that His work must be regarded as the work of the Father, Who was working in Him all that He wrought. And again, it was to subdue the jealousy awakened by His speaking of God as His Father that He uttered those words, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do. Lest this making of Himself equal to God, as having the name and nature of God's Son, should withdraw men's faith from the truth that He had been born, He says that the Son can do nothing but what He sees the Father do. Next, in confirmation of the saving harmony of truths in our confession of Father and of Son, He displays this nature which is His by birth; a nature which derives its power of action not from successive gifts of strength to do particular deeds, but from knowledge. He shews that this knowledge is not imparted by the Father's performance of any bodily work, as a pattern, that the Son may imitate what the Father has previously done; but that, by the action of the Divine nature, He had come to share the subsistence of the Divine nature, or, in other words, had been born as Son from the Father. He told them that, because the power and the nature of God dwelt consciously within Him, it was impossible for Him to do anything which He had not seen the Father doing; that, since it is in the might of the Father that God the Only-begotten performs His works His liberty of action coincides in its range with His knowledge of the powers of the nature of God the Father; a nature inseparable from Himself, and lawfully owned by Him in virtue of His birth. For God sees not after a bodily fashion, but possesses, by His nature, the vision of Omnipotence.

18. The next words are, For what things soever He--the Father--doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. This likewise is added to indicate His birth; whatsoever and same to indicate the true Divinity of His nature. Whatsoever and same make it impossible that there should be any actions of His that are different from or outside, the actions of the Father. Thus He, Whose nature has power to do all the same things as the Father, is included in the same nature with the Father. But when, in contrast with this, we read that all these same things are done by the Son likewise, the fact that the works are like those of Another is fatal to the supposition that He Who does them works in isolation. Thus the same things that the Father does are all done likewise by the Son. Here we have clear proof of His true birth, and at the same time a convincing attestation of the Mystery of our faith, which, with its foundation in the Unity of the nature of God, confesses that there resides in Father and Son an indivisible Divinity. For the Son does the same things as the Father, and does them likewise; while acting in like manner He does the same things. Two truths are combined in one proposition; that His works are done likewise proves His birth; that they are the same works proves His nature.

19. Thus the progressive revelation contained in our Lord's reply is at one with the progressive statement of truth in the Church's confession of faith. Neither of them divides the nature, and both declare the birth. For the next words of Christ are, For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth; and He will skew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Rather raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. Can there be any other purpose in this revelation of the manner in which God works, except that of inculcating the true birth; the faith in a subsisting Son born from the subsisting God, His Father? The only other explanation is that God the Only-begotten was so ignorant that He needed the instruction conveyed in this showing; but the reckless blasphemy of the suggestion makes this alternative impossible. For He, knowing, as He does, everything that He is taught, has no need of the teaching. And accordingly, after the words, The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth, we are next informed that all this skewing is for our instruction in the faith; that the Father and the Son may have their equal share in our confession, and we be saved, by this statement that the Father shews all that He does to the Son, from the delusion that the Son's knowledge is imperfect. With this object He goes on to say, And He will skew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. We see that the Son has full knowledge of the future works which the Father will shew Him hereafter. He knows that He will be shewn how, after His Father's example, He is to give life to the dead. For He says that the Father will shew to the Son things at which they shall marvel; and at once proceeds to tell them what these things are;--For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. The power is equal because the nature is one and the same. The skewing of the works is an aid, not to ignorance in Him, but to faith in us. It conveys to the Son no knowledge of things unknown, but it imparts to us the confidence to proclaim His birth, by assuring us that the Father has shewn to Him all the works that He Himself can do. The terms used in this Divine discourse have been chosen with the utmost deliberation, lest any vagueness of language should suggest a difference of nature between the Two. Christ says that the Father's works were shewn Him, instead of saying that, to enable Him to perform them, a mighty nature was given Him. Hereby He wishes to reveal to us that this shewing was a substantive part of the process of His birth, since, simultaneously with that birth, there was imparted to Him by the Father's love a knowledge of the works which the Father willed that He should do. And again, to save us from being led, by this declaration of the shewing, to suppose that the Son's nature is ignorant and therefore different from the Father's, He makes it clear that He already knows the things that are to be shewn Him. So far, indeed, is He from needing the authority of precedent to enable Him to act, that He is to give life to whom He will. To will implies a free nature, subsisting with power to choose in the blissful exercise of omnipotence.

20. And next, lest it should seem that to give life to whom He will is not within the power of One Who has been truly born, but is only the prerogative of ingenerate Omnipotence, He hastens to add, For the _Father judgeth no man, but hath given all judgment to the Son. The statement that all judgment is given teaches both His birth and His Sonship; for only a nature which is altogether one with the Father's could possess all things; and a Son can possess nothing, except by gift. But all judgment has been given Him for He quickens whom He will. Now we cannot suppose that judgment is taken away from the Father, although He does not exercise it; for the Son's whole power of judgment proceeds from the Father's, being a gift from Him. And there is no concealment of the reason why judgment has been given to the Son, for the words which follow are, But He hath given all judgment to the Son, that all men may honour the Son even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father Which hath sent Him. What possible excuse remains for doubt, or for the irreverence of denial? The reason for the gift of judgment is that the Son may receive an honour equal to that which is paid to the Father; and thus he who dishonours the Son is guilty of dishonouring the Father also. How, after this proof, can we imagine that the nature given Him by birth is different from the Father's, when He is the Father's equal in work, in power, in honour, in the punishment awarded to gainsayers? Thus this whole Divine reply is nothing else than an unfolding of the mystery of His birth. And the only distinction that it is right or possible to make between Father and Son is that the Latter was born; yet born in such a sense as to be One with His Father.

21. Thus the Father works hitherto and the Son works. In Father and Son you have the names which express Their nature in relation to Each other. Note also that it is the Divine nature, that through which God works, that is working here. And remember, lest you fall into the error of imagining that the operation of two unlike natures is here described, how it was said concerning the blind man, But that the works of God may be made manifest in him, I must work the works of Him that sent Me(5). You see that in his case the work wrought by the Son is the Father's work; and the Son's work is God's work. The remainder of the discourse which we are considering also deals with works; but my defence is at present only concerned with assigning the whole work to Both, and pointing out that They are at one in Their method of working, since the Son is employed upon that work which the Father does hitherto. The sanction contained in this fact that, by virtue of His Divine birth, the Father is working with Him in all that He does, will save us from supposing that the Lord of the Sabbath was doing wrong in working on the Sabbath. His Sonship is not affected, for there is no confusion of His Divinity with the Father's, and no negation of it; His Godhead is not affected, for His Divine nature is untouched. Their unity is not affected, for no difference is revealed to sever Them; and Their unity is not presented in such a light as to contradict Their distinct existence. First recognise the Sonship of the Son; The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do Here His birth is manifest; because of it He can do nothing of Himself till He sees it bring done. He cannot be unbegotten, because He can do nothing of Himself; He has no power of initiation, and therefore He must have been born. But the fact that He can see the Father's works proves that He has the comprehension which belongs to the conscious Possessor of Divinity. Next, mark that He does possess this true Divine nature;--For what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. And now that we have seen Him endowed with the powers of that nature, note how this results in unity, how one nature dwells in the Two;--That all men may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. And then, lest reflection on this unity entangle you in the delusion of a solitary and self-contained God, take to heart the mystery of the faith manifested in these words, He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father Which hath sent Him. The rage and cunning of heresy may do their worst; our position is impregnable. He is the Son, because He can do nothing of Himself; He is God, because, whatever the Father does, He does the same; They Two are One, because He is equal in honour to the Father and does the very same works; He is not the Father, because He is sent. So great is the wealth of mysterious truth contained in this one doctrine of the birth! It embraces His name, His nature, His power, His self- revelation; for everything conveyed to Him in His birth must be contained in that nature from which His birth is derived. Into His nature no element of any substance different in kind from that of His Author is introduced, for a nature which springs from one nature only must be entirely one with that nature which is its parent. An unity is that which, containing no discordant elements, is one in kind with itself; an unity constituted through birth cannot be solitary; for solitude can have but a single occupant, while an unity constituted through birth implies the conjunction of Two.

22. And furthermore, let His own Divine words bear witness to Himself. He says, They that are of My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me is greater than all, and no man shall be able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one(6). What lethargy can blunt so utterly, the edge of our understanding as to render so precise a statement for one moment obscure to us? What proud sophistry can play such pranks with human docility as to persuade those, who have learnt from these words the knowledge of what God is that they must not recognise God in Him Whose Godhead was here revealed to them? Heresy ought either to bring forward other Gospels in support of its doctrine; or else, if our existing Gospels are the only documents which teach of God, why do they not believe the lessons taught? If they are the only source of knowledge, why not draw faith, as well as knowledge, from them? Yet now we find that their faith is held in defiance of their knowledge; and hence it is a faith rooted not in knowledge, but in sin; a faith of bold irreverence, instead of reverent humility, towards the truth confessedly known. God the Only-begotten, as we have seen, fully assured of His own nature, reveals with the utmost precision of language the mystery of His birth. He reveals it, ineffable though it is, in such wise that we can believe and confess it; that we can understand that He was born and believe that He has the nature of God and is One with the Father, and One with Him in such a sense that God is not alone nor Son another name for Father, but that in very truth He is the Son. For, firstly, He assures us of the powers of His Divine nature, saying of His sheep, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand. It is the utterance of conscious power, this confession of free and irresistible energy, that will allow no man to pluck His sheep from His hand. But more than this; not only has He the nature of God, but He would have us know that nature is His by birth from God, and hence He adds, That which the Father has given Me is greater than all. He makes no secret of His birth from the Father, for what He received from the Father He says is greater than all. And He Who received it, received it at His birth, not after His birth, and yet it came to Him from Another, for He received it(7). But He, Who received this gift from Another, forbids us to suppose that He Himself is different in kind from That Other, and does not eternally subsist with the same nature as that of Him Who gave the gift, by saying, No man shall be able to pluck them out of My, Father's hand. None can pluck them out of His hand, for He has received from His Father that which is greater than all things. What, then, means this contradictory assertion that none can pluck them from His Father's hand? It is the Son's hand which received them from the Father, the Father's hand which gave them to the Son: in what sense is it said that what cannot be plucked from the Son's hand cannot be plucked from the Father's hand? Hear, if you wish to know:--I and the Father are one. The Son's hand is the Father's hand. For the Divine nature does not deteriorate or cease to be the same in passing through birth: nor yet is this sameness a bar to our faith in the birth, for in that birth no alien element was admitted into His nature. And here He speaks of the Son's hand, which is the hand of the Father, that by a bodily similitude you may learn the power of the one Divine nature which is in Both; for the nature and the power of the Father is in the Son. And lastly, that in this mysterious truth of the birth you may discern the true and indistinguishable unity of the nature of God, the words were spoken, I and the Father are One. They were spoken that in this unity we might see neither difference nor solitude; for They are Two, and yet no second nature came into being through that true birth and generation.

23. There still remains, if I read them aright, the same desire in these maddened souls, though their opportunity for fulfilling it is lost. Their bitter hearts still cherish a longing for mischief which they can no longer hope to satisfy. The Lord is on His throne in heaven, and the furious hatred of heresy cannot drag Him, as the Jews did, to the Cross. But the spirit of unbelief is the same, though now it takes the form of rejecting His Godhead. They bid defiance to His words, though they cannot deny that He spoke them. They vent their hatred in blasphemy; instead of stones they shower abuse. If they could they would bring Him down from His throne to a second crucifixion. When the Jews were moved to wrath by the novelty of Christ's teaching we read, The Jews therefore took up stones to stone Him. He answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from the Father; far which of those works do ye stone Me? The Jews answered Him, For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy; and because Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God(8). I bid you, heretic, to recognise herein your own deeds, your own words. Be sure that you are their partner, for you have made their unbelief your pattern. It was at the words, I and the Father are One, that the Jews took up stones. Their godless irritation at the revelation of that saving mystery hurried them on even to an attempt to slay. There is no one whom you can stone; but is your guilt in denying Him less than theirs? The will is the same, though it is frustrated by His throne in heaven. Nay, it is you that are more impious than the Jew. He lifted his stone against the Body, you lift yours against the Spirit; he as he thought, against man, you against God; he against a sojourner on earth, you against Him that sits upon the throne of majesty; he against One Whom he knew not, you against Him Whom you confess; he against the mortal Christ, you against the Judge of the universe. The Jew says, Being Man; you say, 'Being a creature.' You and he join in the cry, Makest Thyself God, with the same insolence of blasphemy. You deny that He is God begotten of God; you deny that He is the Son by a true birth; you deny that His words, I and the Father are One, contain the assertion of one and the same nature in Both. You foist upon us in His stead a modern, a strange, an alien god; you make Him God of another kind from the Father, or else not God at all, as not subsisting by a birth from God.

24. The mystery contained in those words, I and the Father are One, moves you to wrath. The Jew answered, Thou, being a man makest Thyself God; your blasphemy is a match for his:--'Thou, being a creature, makest Thyself God.' You say, in effect, 'Thou art not a Son by birth, Thou art not God in truth; Thou art a creature, excelling all other creatures. But Thou wast not born to be God, for I refuse to believe that the incorporeal God gave birth to Thy nature. Thou and the Father are not One. Nay more. Thou art not the Son, Thou art not like God, Thou art not God.' The Lord had His answer for the Jews; an answer that meets the case of your blasphemy even better than it met theirs:--Is it not written in the Law, I said, Ye are gods? If, therefore, He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, say ye of Me, Whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into this world, that I have blasphemed, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of the Father, believe Me not; but if I do, and ye will not believe Me, believe the works, that ye may know and be sure that the Father is in Me, and I in Him(9). The matter of this reply was dictated by that of the blasphemous attack upon Him. The accusation was that He, being a man, made Himself God. Their proof of this allegation was His own statement, I and the Father are One. He therefore sets Himself to prove that the Divine nature, which is His by birth, gives Him the right to assert that He and the Father are One. He begins by exposing the absurdity, as well as the insolence, of such a charge as that of making Himself God, though He was a man. The Law had conferred the title upon holy men; the word of God, from which there is no appeal, had given its sanction to the public use of the name. What blasphemy, then, could there be in the assumption of the title of Son of God by Him Whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world? The unalterable record of the Word of God has confirmed the title to those to whom the Law assigned it. There is an end, therefore, of the charge that He, being a man, makes Himself God, when the Law gives the name of gods to those who are confessedly men. And further, if other men may use this name without blasphemy, there can obviously be no blasphemy in its use by the Man Whom the Father has sanctified,--and note here that throughout this argument He calls Himself Man, for the Son of God is also Son of Man--since He excels the rest, who yet are guilty of no irreverence in styling themselves gods. He excels them, in that He has been hallowed to be the Son, as the blessed Paul says, who teaches us of this sanctification:--Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, Which was made of the seal of David according to the flesh, and was appointed to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of sanctification(1). Thus the accusation of blasphemy on His part, in making Himself God, falls to the ground. For the Word of God has conferred this name upon many men; and He, Who was sanctified and sent by the Father, did no more than proclaim Himself the Son of God.

25. There remains, I conceive, no possibility of doubt but that the words, I and the Father are One, were spoken with regard to the nature which is His by birth. The Jews had rebuked Him because by these words He, being a man, made Himself God. The coarse of His answer proves that, in this I and the Father are One, He did profess Himself the Son of God, first in name, then in nature, and lastly by birth. For I and Father are the names of substantive Beings; One is a declaration of Their nature, namely, that it is essentially the same in Both; are forbids us to confound Them together; are one, while forbidding confusion, teaches that the unity of the Two is the result of a birth. Now all this truth is drawn out from that name, the Son of God, which He being sanctified by the Father, bestows upon Himself; a name, His right to which is confirmed by His assertion, I and the Father are One. For birth cannot confer any nature upon the offspring other than that of the parent from whom that offspring is born.

26. Once more, God the Only-begotten has summed up for us, in words of' His own, the whole revealed mystery of the faith. When He had given His answer to the charge that He, being a man, made Himself God, He determined to shew that His words, I and the Father are One, are a clear and necessary conclusion; and therefore He thus pursued His argument;--Ye say that I have blasphemed, because I said, I am the Son of God. If I do not the works of the Father, believe Me not; but if I do, and ye will not believe Me, believe the works, that ye may know and be sure that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. After this, heresy that still persists in its course perpetrates a wilful outrage in conscious despair; the assertion of unbelief is deliberate shamelessness. They who make it take pride in folly and are dead to the faith. for it is not ignorance, but madness, to contradict this saying. The Lord had said, I and the Father are One; and the mystery of His birth, which He revealed, was the unity in nature of Father and Son. Again, when He was accused for claiming the Divine nature, He justified His claim by advancing a reason; --If I do not the works of the Father, believe Me not. We are not to believe His assertion that He is the Son of God, unless He does His Father's works. Hence we see that His birth has given Him no new or alien nature, for His doing of the Father's works is to be the reason why we mast believe that He is the Son. What room is there here for adoption, or for leave to use the name, or for denial that He was born from the nature of God, when the proof that He is God's Son is that He does the works which belong to the Father's nature? No creature is equal or like to God, no nature external to His is comparable in might to Him; it is only the Son, born from Himself, Whom we can without blasphemy liken and equal to Him. Nothing outside Himself can be compared to God without insult to His august majesty. If any being, not born from God's sell, can be discovered that is like Him and equal to Him in power, then God, in admitting a partner to share His throne, forfeits His pre- eminence. No longer is God One, for a second, indistinguishable from Himself, has arisen. On the other hand, there is no insult in making His own true Son His equal. For then that which is like Him is His own; that which is compared with Him is born from Himself; the Power that can do His own works is not external to Him. Nay more, it is an actual heightening of His glory, that He has begotten Omnipotence, and yet not severed that Omnipotent nature from Himself. The Son performs the Father's works, and on that ground demands that we should believe that He is God's Son. This is no claim of mere arrogance; for He bases it upon His works, and bids us examine them. And He bears witness that these works are not His own, but His Father's. He would not have our thoughts distracted by the splendour of the deeds from the evidence for His birth. And because the Jews could not penetrate the mystery of the Body which He had taken, the Humanity born of Mary, and recognise the Son of God, He appeals to His deeds for confirmation of His right to the name;--But if I do them, and ye will not believe Me, believe the works. First, He would not have them believe that He is the Son of God, except on the evidence of God's works which He does. Next, if He does the works, yet seems unworthy, in His bodily humility, to bear the Divine name, He demands that they shall believe the works. Why should the mystery of His human birth hinder our recognition of His birth as God, when He that is Divinely born fulfils every Divine task by the agency of that Manhood which He has assumed? If we believe not the Man, for the works' sake, when He tells us that He is the Son of God, let us believe the works when they, which are beyond a doubt the works of God, are manifestly wrought by the Son of God. For the Son of God possesses, in virtue of His birth, everything that is God's; and therefore the Son's work is the Father's work because His birth has not excluded Him from that nature which is His source and wherein He abides, and because He has in Himself that nature to which He owes it that He exists eternally.

27. And so the Son, Who does the Father's works and demands of us that, if we believe not Him, at least we believe His works, is bound to tell us what the point is as to which we are to believe the works. And He does tell us in the words which follow:--But if I do, and ye will not believe Me, believe the works, that ye may know and be sure that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. It is the same truth as is contained in I am the Son of God, and I and the Father are One. This is the nature which is His by birth; this the mystery of the saving faith, that we must not divide the unity, nor separate the nature from the birth, but must confess that the living God was in truth born from the living God. God, Who is Life, is not a Being built up of various and lifeless portions; He is Power, and not compact of feeble elements, Light, intermingled with no shades of darkness, Spirit, that can harmonise with no incongruities. All that is within Him is One; what is Spirit is Light and Power and Life, and what is Life is Light and Power and Spirit. He Who says, I am, and I change not(2), can suffer neither change in detail nor transformation in kind. For these attributes, which I have named, are not attached to different portions of Him, but meet and unite, entirely and perfectly, in the whole being of the living God. He is the living God, the eternal Power of the living Divine nature; and that which is born from Him, according to the mysterious truth which He reveals, could not be other than living. For when He said, As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live through the Father(3), He taught that it is through the living Father that He has life in Himself. And, moreover, when He said, For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself(4), He bore witness that life, to the fullest extent, is His gift from the living God. Now if the living Son was born from the living Father, that birth took place without a new nature coming into existence. Nothing new comes into existence when the Living is begotten by the Living; for life was not sought out from the non-existent to receive birth; and Life, which receives its birth from Life, must needs, because of that unity of nature and because of the mysterious event of that perfect and ineffable birth, live always in Him that lives and have the life of the Living in Himself.

28. I call to mind that, at the beginning of our treatises, I gave the warning that human analogies correspond imperfectly to their Divine counterparts, yet that our understanding receives a real, if incomplete, enlightenment by comparing the latter with visible types. And now I appeal to human experience in the matter of birth, whether the source of their children's being remain not within the parents. For though the lifeless and ignoble matter, which sets in motion the beginnings of life, pass from one parent into the other, yet these retain their respective natural forces. They have brought into existence a nature one with their own, and therefore the begetter is bound up with the existence of the begotten; and the begotten, receiving birth through a force transmitted, yet not lost, by the begetter, abides in that begetter. This may suffice as a statement of what happens in a human birth. It is inadequate as a parallel to the perfect birth of God the Only-begotten; for humanity is born in weakness and from the union of two unlike natures, and maintained in life by a combination of lifeless substances. Again, humanity does not enter at once into the exercise of its appointed life, and never fully lives that life, being always encumbered with a multitude of members which decay and are insensibly discarded. In God, on the other hand, the Divine life is lived in the fullest sense, for God is Life; and from Life nothing that is not truly living can be born. And His birth is not by way of emanation but results from an act of power. Thus, since God's life is perfect in its intensity, and since that which is born from Him is perfect in power, God has the power of giving birth but not of suffering change. His nature is capable of increase(6), not of diminution, for He continues in, and shares the life of, that Son to Whom He gave in birth a nature like to, and inseparable from, His own. And that Son, the Living born from the Living, is not separated by the event of His birth from the nature that begat Him.

29. Another analogy which casts some light upon the meaning of the faith is that of fire as containing fire in itself and as abiding in fire. Fire contains the brightness of light, the heat which is its essential nature, the property of destroying by combustion the flickering inconstancy of flame. Yet all the while it is fire, and in all these manifestations there is but one nature. Its weakness is that it is dependent for its existence upon inflammable matter, and that it perishes with the matter on which it has lived. A comparison with fire gives us, in some measure, an insight into the incomparable nature of God; it helps us to believe in the properties of God that we find them, to a certain extent, present in an earthly element. I ask, then, whether in fire derived from fire there is any division or separation. When one flame is kindled from another, is the original nature cut off from the derived, so as not to abide in it? Does it not rather follow on, and dwell in the second flame by a kind of increase, as it were by birth? For no portion has been cut off from the nature of the first flame, and yet there is light from light. Does not the first flame live on in the second, which owes its existence, though not by division, to the first? Does not the second still dwell in the first, from which it was not cut off; from which it went forth, retaining its unity with the substance to which its nature belongs? Are not the two one, when it is physically impossible to derive light from light by division, and logically impossible to distinguish between them in nature.

30. These illustrations, I repeat, must only be used as aids to apprehension of the faith, not as standards of comparison for the Divine majesty. Our method is that of using bodily instances as a clue to the invisible. Reverence land reason justify us in using such help, which we find used in God's witness to Himself, while yet we do not aspire to find a parallel to the nature of God. But the minds of simple believers have been distressed by the mad heretical objection that it is wrong to accept a doctrine concerning God which needs, in order to become intelligible, the help of bodily analogies. And therefore, in accordance with that word of our Lord which we have already cited, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit(7), we have thought it expedient, since God is Spirit, to give to these comparisons a certain place in our argument. By so doing we shall avert from God the charge that He has deceived us in using these analogies; shewing, as we have done, that such illustrations from the nature of His creatures enable us to grasp the meaning of God's self-revelation to us.

31. We see how the living Son of the living Father, He Who is God from God, reveals the unity of the Divine nature, indissolubly One and the same, and the mystery of His birth in these words, I and the Father are One. Because the seeming arrogance of them engendered a prejudice against Him, He made it more clear that He had spoken in the conscious possession of Divinity by saying, Ye say that I have blasphemed because I said, I am the Son of God; thus shewing that the oneness of His nature with that of God was due to birth from God. And then, to clench their faith in His birth by a positive assertion, and to guard them, at the same time, from imagining that the birth involves a difference of nature, He crowns His argument with the words, Believe the works, that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. Does His birth, as here revealed, display His Divinity as not His by nature, as not His own by right? Each is in the Other; the birth of the Son is from the Father only; no alien or unlike nature has been raised to Godhead and subsists as God. God from God, eternally abiding, owes His Godhead to none other than God. Import, if you see your opportunity, two gods into the Church's faith; separate Son from Father as far as you can, consistently with the birth which you admit; yet still the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, and this by no interchange of emanations but by the perfect birth of the living nature. Thus you cannot add together God the Father and God the Son, and count Them as two Gods, for They Two are One God. You cannot confuse Them together, for They Two are not One Person. And so the Apostolic faith rejects two gods; for it knows nothing of two Fathers or two Sons. In confessing the Father it confesses the Son; it believes in the Son in believing in the Father. For the name of Father involves that of Son, since without having a son none can be a father. Evidence of the existence of a son is proof that there has been a father, for a son cannot exist except from a father. When we confess that God is One we deny that He is single; for the Son is the complement of the Father, and to the Father the Son's existence is due. But birth works no change in the Divine nature; both in Father and in Son that nature is true to its kind. And the right expression for us of this unity of nature is the confession that They, being Two by birth and generation, are One God, not one Person.

32. We will leave it to him to preach two Gods, who can preach One God without confessing the unity; he shall proclaim that God is solitary, who can deny that there are two Persons, Each dwelling in the Other by the power of Their nature and the mystery of birth given and received. And that man may assign a different nature to Each of the Two, who is ignorant that the unity of Father and of Son is a revealed truth. Let the heretics blot out this record of the Son's self-revelation I in the Father and the Father in Me; then, and not till then, shall they assert that there are two Gods, or one God in loneliness. There is no hint of more natures than one in what we are told of Their possession of the one Divine nature. The truth that God is from God does not multiply God by two; the birth destroys the supposition of a lonely God. And again, because They are interdependent They form an unity; and that They are interdependent is proved by Their being One from One. For the One, in begetting the One, conferred upon Him nothing that was not His own; and the One, in being begotten, received from the One only what belongs to one. Thus the apostolic faith, in proclaiming the Father, will proclaim Him as One God, and in confessing the Son will confess Him as One God; since one and the same Divine nature exists in Both, and because, the Father being God and the Son being God, and the one name of God expressing the nature of Both, the term 'One God' signifies the Two. God from God, or God in God, does not mean that there are two Gods, for God abides, One from One, eternally with the one Divine nature and the one Divine name; nor does God dwindle down to a single Person, for One and One can never be in solitude.

33. The Lord has not left in doubt or obscurity the teaching conveyed in this great mystery; He has not abandoned us to lose our way in dim uncertainty. Listen to Him as He reveals the full knowledge of this faith to His Apostles;--I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but through Me. If ye know Me, ye know My Father also; and from henceforth ye shall know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and ye have not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Rather? Dost than not believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth His works. Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe for the very works' sake(8). He Who is the Way leads us not into by-paths or trackless wastes: He Who is the Truth mocks us not with lies; He Who is the Life betrays us not into delusions which are death. He Himself has chosen these winning names to indicate the methods which He has appointed for our salvation. As the Way, He will guide us to the Truth; the Truth will establish us in the Life. And therefore it is all-important for us to know what is the mysterious mode, which He reveals, of attaining this life. No man cometh to the Rather but through Me. The way to the Father is through the Son. And now we must enquire whether this is to be by a course of obedience to His teaching, or by faith in His Godhead. For it is conceivable that our way to the Father may be through adherence to the Son's teaching, rather than through believing that the Godhead of the Father dwells in the Son. And therefore let us, in the next place, seek out the true meaning of the instruction given us here. For it is not by cleaving to a preconceived opinion, but by studying the force of the words, that we shall enter into possession of this faith.

34. The words which follow those last cited are, If ye know Me, ye know My Father also. It is the Man, Jesus Christ, Whom they behold. How can a knowledge of Him be a knowledge of the Father? For the Apostles see Him wearing the aspect of that human nature which belongs to Him; but God is not encumbered with body and flesh, and is incognisable by those who dwell in our weak and fleshly body. The answer is given by the Lord, Who asserts that under the flesh, which, in a mystery, He had taken, His Father's nature dwells within Him. He sets the facts in their due order thus;--If ye know Me, ye know My Father also; and from henceforth ye shall know Him, and have seen Him. He makes a distinction between the time of sight, and the time of knowledge. He says that from henceforth they shall know Him Whom they had already seen; and so shall possess. from the time of this revelation on-war I. the knowledge of that nature, on which, in Him, they long had gazed.

35. But the novel sound of these words disturbed the Apostle Philip. A Man is before their eyes; this Man avows Himself the Son of God, and declares that when they have known Him they will know the Father. He tells them that they have seen the Father, and that, because they have seen Him, they shall know Him hereafter. This truth is too broad for the grasp of weak humanity; their faith fails in the presence of these paradoxes. Christ says that the Father has been seen already and shall now be known; and this, although sight, is knowledge. He says that if the Son has been known, the Father has been known also; and this though the Son has imparted knowledge of Himself through the bodily senses of sight and sound, while the Father's nature, different altogether from that(9) of the visible Man, which they know, could not be learnt from their knowledge of the nature of Him Whom they have seen. He has also often borne witness that no man has seen the Father. And so Philip broke forth, with the loyalty and confidence of an Apostle, with the request, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. He was not tampering with the faith; it was but a mistake made in ignorance. For the Lord had said that the Father had been seen already and henceforth should be known but the Apostle had not understood that He had been seen. Accordingly he did not deny that the Father had been seen, but asked to see Him. He did not ask that the Father should be unveiled to his bodily gaze, but that he might have such an indication as should enlighten him concerning the Father Who had been seen. For he had seen the Son under the aspect of Man, but cannot understand how he could thereby have seen the Father. His adding, And it sufficeth us, to the prayer, Lard, shew us the Father, reveals clearly that it was a mental, not a bodily vision of the Father which he desired. He did not refuse faith to the Lord's words, but asked for such enlightenment to his mind as should enable him to believe; for the fact that the Lord had spoken was conclusive evidence to the Apostle that faith was his duty. The consideration which moved him to ask that the Father might be shewn, was that the Son had said that He had been seen, and should be known because He had been seen. There was no presumption in this prayer that He, Who had already been seen, should now be made manifest.

36. And therefore the Lord answered Philip thus;--Have I been so long time with you, and ye have not known Me, Philip? He rebukes the Apostle for defective knowledge of Himself; for previously He had said that when He was known the Father was known also. But what is the meaning of this complaint that for so long they had not known Him? It means this; that if they had known Him, they must have recognised in Him the Godhead which belongs to His Father's nature. For His works were the peculiar works of God. He walked upon the waves, commanded the winds, manifestly, though none could tell how, changed the water into wine and multiplied the loaves, put devils to flight, healed diseases, restored injured limbs and repaired the defects of nature, forgave sins and raised the dead to life. And all this He did while wearing flesh; and He accompanied the works with the assertion that He was the Son of God. Hence it is that He justly complains that they did not recognise in His mysterious human birth and life the action of the nature of God, performing these deeds through the Manhood which He had assumed.

37. And therefore the Lord reproached them that they had not known Him, though He had so long been doing these works, and answered their prayer that He would shew them the Father by saying, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. He was not speaking of a bodily manifestation, of perception by the eye of flesh, but by that eye of which He had once spoken;--Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look an the fields; for they are white to harvest(1). The season of the year, the fields white to harvest are allusions equally incompatible with an earthly and visible prospect. He was bidding them lift the eyes of their understanding to contemplate the bliss of the final harvest. And so it is with His present words, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. It was not the carnal body, which He had received by birth from the Virgin, that could manifest to them the image and likeness of God. The human aspect which He wore could be no aid towards the mental vision of the incorporeal God. But God was recognised in Christ, by such as recognised Christ as the Son on the evidence of the powers of His Divine nature; and a recognition of God the Son produces a recognition of God the Father. For the Son is in such a sense the Image, as to be One in kind with the Father, and yet to indicate that the Father is His Origin. Other images, made of metals or colours or other materials by various arts, reproduce the appearance of the objects which they represent. Yet can lifeless copies be put on a level with their living originals? Painted or carved or molten effigies with the nature which they imitate? The Son is not the Image of the Father after such a fashion as this; He is the living Image of the Living. The Son that is born of the Father has a nature in no wise different from His; and, because His nature is not different, He possesses the power of that nature which is the same as His own. The fact that He is the Image proves that God the Father is the Author of the birth of the Only-begotten, Who is Himself revealed as the Likeness and Image of the invisible God. And hence the likeness, which is joined in union with the Divine nature, is indelibly His, because the powers of that nature are inalienably His own.

38. Such is the meaning of this passage, Have I been so long time with you, and ye have not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Father? Dost thou not believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? It is only the Word of God, of Whom we men are enabled, in our discourse concerning Divine things, to reason. All else that belongs to the Godhead is dark and difficult, dangerous and obscure. If any man propose to express what is known in other words than those supplied by God, he must inevitably either display his own ignorance, or else leave his readers' minds in utter perplexity. The Lord, when He was asked to shew the Father, said, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. He that would alter this is an antichrist, he that would deny it is a Jew, he that is ignorant a Pagan. If we find ourselves in difficulty, let us lay the fault to our own reason; if God's declaration seem involved in obscurity, let us assume that our want of faith is the cause. These words state with precision that God is not solitary, and yet that there are no differences within the Divine nature. For the Father is seen in the Son, and this could be the case neither if He were a lonely Being, nor yet if He were unlike the Son. it is through the Son that the Father is seen: and this mystery which the Son reveals is that They are One God, but not one Person. What other meaning can you attach to this saying of the Lord's, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also? This is no case of identity; the use of the conjunction also shews that the Father is named in addition to the Son. These words, The Father also, are incompatible with the notion of an isolated and single Person. No conclusion is possible but that the Father was made visible through the Son, because They are One and are alike in nature. And, lest our faith in this regard should be left in any doubt, the Lord proceeded, How safest thou, Shew us the Father? The Father had been seen in the Son; how then could men be ignorant of the Father? What need could there be for Him to be shewn?

39. Again, the unity of Begetter and Begotten, manifested in sameness of nature and true oneness of kind, proves that the Father was seen in His true nature. And this is shewn by the Lord's next words, Believe not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? In no other words than these, which the Son has used, can the fact be state that Father and Son, being alike in nature, are inseparable. The Son, Who is the Way and the Truth and the Life, is not deceiving us by some theatrical transformation of names and aspects, when He, while wearing Manhood, styles Himself the Son of God. He is not falsely concealing the fact that He is God the Father(2); He is not a single Persons Who hides His features under a mask, that we may imagine that Two are present. He is not a solitary Being, now posing as His own Son, and again calling Himself the Father; tricking out one unchanging nature with varying names. Far removed from this is the plain honesty of the words. The Father is the Father, and the Son is the Son. But these names, and the realities which they represent, contain no innovation upon the Divine nature, nothing inconsistent, nothing alien. For the Divine nature, being true to itself, persists in being itself; that which is from God is God. The Divine birth imports neither diminution nor difference into the Godhead, for the Son is born into, and subsists with, a nature that is within the Divine nature and is like to it, and the Father sought out no alien element to be mingled in the nature of His Only-begotten Son, but endowed Him with all things that are His own, and this without loss to the Giver. And thus the Son is not destitute of the Divine nature, for, being God, He is from God and from none other; and He is not different from God, but is indeed nothing else than God, for that which is begotten from God is the Son, and the Son only, and the Divine nature, in receiving birth as a Son, has not forfeited its Divinity. Thus the Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Father, God is in God. And this is not by the combination of two harmonious, though different, kinds of being, nor by the incorporating power of an ampler substance exercised upon a lesser; for the properties of matter make it impossible that things which enclose others should also be enclosed by them. It is by the birth of living nature from living nature. The substance remains the same, birth causes no deterioration in the Divine nature; God is not born from God to be ought else than God. Herein is no innovation, no estrangement, no division. It is sin to believe that Father and Son are two Gods, sacrilege to assert that Father and Son are one solitary God, blasphemy to deny the unity, consisting in sameness of kind. of God from God.

40. Lest they, whose faith conforms to the Gospel, should regard this mystery as something vague and obscure, the Lord has expounded it in this order;--Dost thou not believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth His works. In what other words than these could, or can, the possession of the Divine nature by Father and Son be declared, consistently with prominence for the Son's birth? When He says, The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself, He neither suppresses His personality, nor denies His Sonship, nor conceals the presence in Himself of His Father's Divine nature. While speaking of Himself--and that He does so speak is proved by the pronoun I--He speaks as abiding in the Divine substance; while speaking not of Himself, He bears witness to the birth which took place in Him of God from God His Father. And He is inseparable and indistinguishable in unity of nature from the Father; for He speaks, though He speaks not of Himself. He Who speaks, though He speak not of Himself, necessarily exists, inasmuch as He speaks; and, inasmuch as He speaks not of Himself, He makes it manifest that His words are not His own. For He has added, But the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth His works. That the Father dwells in the Son proves that the Father is not isolated and alone; that the Father works through the Son proves that the Son is not an alien or a stranger. There cannot be one Person only, for He speaks not of Himself; and, conversely, They cannot be separate and divided when the One speaks through the voice of the Other. These words are the revelation of the mystery of Their unity. And again, They Two are not different One from the Other, seeing that by Their inherent nature Each is in the Other; and They are One, seeing that He, Who speaks, speaks not of Himself, and He, Who speaks not of Himself, yet does speak. And then, having taught that the Father both spoke and wrought in Him, the Son establishes this perfect unity as the rule of our faith;--But the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth His works. Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe far the very works' sake. The Father works in the Son; but the Son also works the works of His Father.

41. And so, lest we should believe and say that the Father works in the Son through His own omnipotent energy, and not through the Son's possession, as His birthright, of the Divine nature, Christ says, Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. What means this, Believe Me? Clearly it refers back to the previous, Shew us the Father. Their faith--that faith which had demanded that the Father should be shewn--is confirmed by this command to believe. He was not satisfied with saying, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. He goes further, and expands our knowledge, so that we can contemplate the Father in the Son, remembering meanwhile that the Son is in the Father. Thus He would save us from the error of imagining a reciprocal emanation of the One into the Other, by teaching Their unity in the One nature through birth given and received. The Lord would have us take Him at His word, lest our hold upon the faith be shaken by His condescension in assuming Humanity. If His flesh, His body, His passion seem to make His Godhead doubtful, let us at least believe, on the evidence of the works, that God is in God and God is flora God, and that They are One. For by the power of Their nature Each is in the Other. The Father loses nothing that is His because it is in the Son, and the Son receives His whole Sonship from the Father. Bodily natures are not created after such a fashion that they mutually contain each other, or possess the perfect unity of one abiding nature. In their case it would be impossible that an Only-begotten Son could exist eternally, inseparable from the true Divine nature of His Father. Yet this is the peculiar property of God the Only-begotten, this the faith revealed in the mystery of His true birth, this the work of the Spirit's power, that to be, and to be in God, is for Christ the same thing; and that this being in God is not the presence of one thing within another, as a body inside another body, but that the life and subsistence of Christ is such that He is within the subsisting God, and within Him, yet having a subsistence of His own. For Each subsists in such wise as not to exist apart from the Other, since They are Two through birth given and received, and therefore only one Divine nature exists. This is the meaning of the words, I and the Father are One, and He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also, and I in the Father and the Father in Me. They tell us that the Son Who is born is not different or inferior to the Father; that His possession, by right of birth, of the Divine nature as Son of God, and therefore nothing else than God, is the supreme truth conveyed in the mysterious revelation of the One Godhead in Father and Son. And therefore the doctrine of the generation of the Only- begotten is guiltless of ditheism, for the Son of God, in being born into the Godhead, manifested in Himself the nature of God His Begetter.


1. THE Blessed Apostle Paul in laying down the form for appointing a bishop and creating by his instructions an entirely new type of member of the Church, has taught us in the following words the sum total of all the virtues perfected in him:--Holding fast the word according to the doctrine of faith that he may be able to exhort to sound doctrine and to convict gainsayers. For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers(1). For in this way he points out that the essentials of orderliness and morals are only profitable for good service in the priesthood if at the same time the qualities needful for knowing how to teach and preserve the faith are not lacking, for a man is not straightway made a good and useful priest(2) by a merely innocent life or by a mere knowledge of preaching. For an innocent minister is profitable to himself alone unless he be instructed also; while he that is instructed has nothing to support his teaching unless he be innocent. For the words of the Apostle do not merely fit a man for his life in this world by precepts of honesty and uprightness, nor on the other hand do they educate in expertness of teaching a mere Scribe of the Synagogue for the expounding of the Law: but the Apostle is training a leader of the Church, perfected by the perfect accomplishment of: the greatest virtues, so that his life may be adorned by his teaching, and his teaching by his life. Accordingly he has provided Titus, the person to whom his words were addressed, with an injunction as to the perfect practice of religion to this effect:--In all things shewing thyself an ensample of good works, teaching with gravity sound words that cannot be condemned, that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing disgraceful or evil to say of us(3). This teacher of the Gentiles and elect doctor of the Church, from his consciousness of Christ who spoke and dwelt within him, knew well that the infection of tainted speech would spread abroad, and that the corruption of pestilent doctrine would furiously rage against the sound form of faithful words, and infusing the poison of its own evil tenets into the inmost soul, would creep on with deep-seated mischief. For it is of these that he says, Whose word spreadeth like a cancer(4), tainting the health of the mind, invaded by it with a secret and stealthy contagion. For this reason, he wished that there should be in the bishop the teaching of sound words, a good conscience in the faith and expertness in exhortation to withstand wicked and false and wild gainsayings. For there are many who pretend to the faith, but are not subject to the faith, and rather set up a faith for themselves than receive that which is given, being puffed up with the thoughts of human vanity, knowing the things they wish to know and unwilling to know the things that are true; since it is a mark of true wisdom sometimes to know what we do not like. However, this will-wisdom is followed by foolish preaching, for what is foolishly learnt must needs be foolishly preached. Yet how great an evil to those who hear is foolish preaching, when they are misled into foolish opinions by conceit of wisdom! And for this cause the Apostle described them thus: There are many unruly, vain talkers and deceivers(5). Hence we must utter our voice against arrogant wickedness and boastful arrogance and seductive boastfulness,-- yes, we must speak against such things through the soundness of our doctrine, the truth of our faith, the sincerity of our preaching, so that we may have the purity of truth and the truth of sound doctrine.

2. The reason why I have just mentioned this utterance of the Apostle is this; men of crooked minds and false professions, void of hope and venomous of speech, lay upon me the necessity of inveighing against them, because under the guise of religion they instil deadly doctrines, infectious thoughts and corrupt desires into the simple minds of their hearers. And this they do with an utter disregard of the true sense of the apostolic teaching, so that the Father is not a Father, nor the Son, Son, nor the Faith, the Faith. In resisting their wild falsehoods, we have extended the course of our reply so far, that after proving from the Law that God and God were distinct and that very God was in very God, we then shewed from the teaching of evangelists and apostles the perfect and true birth of the Only-begotten God; and lastly, we pointed out in the due course of our argument that the Son of God is very God, and of a nature identical with the Father's, so that the faith of the Church should neither confess that God is single nor that there are two Gods. For neither would the birth of God allow God to be solitary, nor would a perfect birth allow different natures to be ascribed to two Gods. Now in refuting their vain speaking we have a twofold object, first that we may teach what is holy and perfect and sound, and, that our discourse should not by straying through any by-paths and crooked ways, and struggling out of devious and winding tunnels, seem rather to search for the truth than declare it. Our second object is that we should reveal to the conviction of all men the folly and absurdity of those crafty arguments of their vain and deceitful opinions which are adapted to a plausible show of seductive truth. For it is not enough for us to have pointed out what things are good, unless they are understood to be absolutely good by our refutation of their opposites.

3. But as it is the nature and endeavour of the good and wise to prepare themselves wholly for securing either the reality or the opportunity of some precious hope lest their preparedness should in some respects fall short of that which they look for,--so in like manner those who are filled with the madness of heretical frenzy make it their chiefest anxiety to labour with all the ingenuity of their impiety against the truth of pious faith, in order that against those who are religious they may establish their own irreligion; that they may surpass the hope of our life in the hopelessness of their own, and that they may spend more thought over false than we spend over true teaching. For against the pious assertions of our faith they have carefully devised such objections of their impious misbelief, as first to ask whether we believe in one God, next, whether Christ also be God, lastly, whether the Father is greater than the Son, in order that when they hear us confess that God is one they may use our reply to shew that Christ cannot be God. For they do not enquire concerning the Son whether He be God; all they wish for in asking questions about Christ is to prove that He is not a Son, that by entrapping men of simple faith they may through the belief in one God divert them from the belief in Christ as God, on the ground that God is no longer one if Christ also must be acknowledged as God. Again with what subtlety of worldly wisdom do they contend when they say, If God is one, whosoever that other shall be shewn to be, he will not he God. For if there be another God He can no longer be one, since nature does not permit that where there is another there should be one only, or that where there is only one there should be another. Afterwards, when by the crafty cunning of this insidious argument they have misled those who are ready to believe and listen, they then apply this proposition (as if they could now establish it by an easier method), that Christ is God rather in name than in nature, because this generic name in Him can destroy in none that only true belief in one God: and they contend that through this the Father is greater than the Son, because, the natures being different, as there is but one God, the Father is greater from the essential character of His nature; and that the Other is only called Son while He is really a creature subsisting by the will of the Father, because He is less than the Father; and also that He is not God, because God being one does not admit of another God, since he who is less must necessarily be of a nature alien from that of the person who is greater. Again, how foolish they are in their attempts to lay down a law for God when they maintain that no birth can take place from one single being, because throughout the universe birth arises from the union of two; moreover, that the unchangeable God cannot accord from Himself birth to one who is born, because that which is changeless is incapable of addition, nor can the nature of a solitary and single being contain within itself the property of generation.

4. We, on the contrary, having by spiritual teaching arrived at the faith of the evangelists and apostles, and following after the hope of eternal blessedness by our confession of the Father and the Son, and having proved out of the Law the mystery of God and God, without overstepping the limits of our faith in one God, or failing to proclaim that Christ is God, have adopted this method of reply from the Gospels, that we declare the true nativity of Only-begotten God from God the Father, because that through this He was both very God and not alien from the nature of the One very God, and thus neither could His Godhead be denied nor Himself be described as another God, because while the birth made Him God, the nature within him of one God of God did not separate Him off as another God. And although our human reason led us to this conclusion, that the names of distinct natures could not meet together in the same nature, and not be one, where the essence of each did not differ in kind; nevertheless, it seemed good that we should prove this from the express sayings of our Lord, Who after frequently making known that the God of our faith and hope was One, in order to affirm the mystery of the One God, while declaring and proving His own Godhead, said, I and the Father are one; and, If ye had known Me, ye would have known My Father also; and, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also; and, Believe Me, that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father: or else believe for the very works' sake (6). He has signified His own birth in the name Father, and declares that in the knowledge of Himself the Father is known. He avows the unity of nature, when those who see Him see the Father. He bears witness that He is indivisible from the Father, when He dwells in the Father Who dwells in Him. He possesses the confidence of self-knowledge when He demands credit for His words from the operations of His power. And thus in this most blessed faith of the perfect birth, every error, as well that of two Gods as of a single God, is abolished, since They Who are one in essence are not one person, and He Who is not one person with HIM WHO IS, is yet so free from difference from Him that They Two are One God.

5. Now seeing that heretics cannot deny these things because they are so clearly stated and understood, they nevertheless pervert them by the most foolish and wicked lies so as afterwards to deny them. For the words of Christ, I and the Father are one(7), they endeavour to refer to a mere concord of unanimity, so that there may be in them a unity of will not of nature, that is, that they may be one not by essence of being, but by identity of will. And they apply to the support of their case the passage in the Acts of the Apostles, Now of the multitude of them that believed the heart and soul were one(8), in order to prove that a diversity of souls and hearts may be united into one heart and soul through a mere conformity of will. Or else they cite those words to the Corinthians, Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one(9), to shew that, since They are one in Their work for our salvation, and in the revelation of one mystery, Their unity is an unity of wills. Or again, they quote the prayer of our Lord for the salvation of the nations who should believe in Him: Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that shall believe on Me through their Word; that they all may be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us(1), to shew that since men cannot, so to speak, be fused back into God or themselves coalesce into one undistinguished mass, this oneness must arise from unity of will, while all perform actions pleasing to God, and unite one with another in the harmonious accord of their thoughts, and that thus it is not nature which makes them one, but will.

6. He clearly knows not wisdom who knows not God. And since Christ is Wisdom he must needs be beyond the pale of wisdom who knows not Christ or hates Him(2). As, for instance, they do who will have it that the Lord of Glory, and King of the Universe, and Only-begotten God is a creature of God and not His Son, and in addition to such foolish lies shew a still more foolish cleverness in the defence of their falsehood. For even putting aside for a little that essential character of unity which exists in God the Father and God the Son, they can be refuted out of the very passages which they adduce.

7. For as to those whose soul and heart were one, I ask whether they were one through faith in God? Yes, assuredly, through faith, for through this the soul and heart of all were one. Again I ask, is the faith one or is there a second faith? One undoubtedly, and that on the authority of the Apostle himself, who proclaims one faith even as one Lord, and one baptism, and one hope, and one God(3). If then it is through faith, that is, through the nature of one faith, that all are one, how is it that thou dost not understand a natural unity in the case of those who through the nature of one faith are one? For all were born again to innocence, to immortality, to the knowledge of God, to the faith of hope. And if these things cannot differ within themselves because there is both one hope and one God, as also there is one Lord and one baptism of regeneration; if these things are one rather by agreement than by nature, ascribe a unity of will to those also who have been born again into them. If, however, they have been begotten again into the nature of one life and eternity, then, inasmuch as their soul anti heart are one, the unity of will fails to account for their case who are one by regeneration into the same nature.

8. These are not our own conjectures which we offer, nor do we falsely put together any of these things in order to deceive the ears of our bearers by perverting the meaning of words; but holding fast the form of sound teaching we know and preach the things which are true. For the Apostle shews that this unity of the faithful arises from the nature of the sacraments when be writes to the Galatians. Fear as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither few nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus(4). That these are one amid so great diversities of race, condition, sex,--is it from an agreement of will or from the unity of the sacrament, since these have one baptism and have all put on one Christ? What, therefore, will a concord of minds avail here when they are one in that they have put on one Christ through the nature of one baptism?

9. Or, again, since he who plants and he who waters are one, are they not one because, being themselves born again in one baptism they form a ministry of one regenerating baptism? Do not they do the same thing? Are they not one in One? So they who are one through the same thing are one also by nature, not only by will, inasmuch as they themselves have been made the same thing and are ministers of the same thing and the same power.

10. Now the contradiction of fools always serves to prove their folly, because with regard to the faults which they contrive by the devices of an unwise or crooked understanding against the truth, while the latter remains unshaken and immovable the things which are opposed to it must needs be regarded as false and foolish. For heretics in their attempt to deceive others by the words, I and the Father are ones(5), that there might not be acknowledged in them the unity and like essence of deity, but only a oneness arising from mutual love and an agreement of wills--these heretics, I say, have brought forward an instance of that unity, as we have shewn above, even from the words of our Lord, That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us(6). Every man is outside the promises of the Gospel who is outside the faith in them, and by the guilt of an evil understanding has lost all simple hope. For to know not what thou believest demands not so much excuse as a reward, for the greatest service of faith is to hope for that which thou knowest not. But it is the madness of most consummate wickedness either not to believe things which are understood or to have corrupted the sense in which one believes.

11. But although the wickedness of man can pervert his intellectual powers, nevertheless the words retain their meaning. Our Lord prays to His Father that those who shall believe in Him may be one, and as He is in the Father and the Father in Him, so all may be one in Them. Why dost thou bring in here an identity of mind, why a unity of soul and heart through agreement of will? For there would have been no lack of suitable words for our Lord, if it were will that made them one, to have prayed in this fashion,--Father, as We are one in will, so may they also be one in will, that we may all be one through agreement. Or could it be that He Who is the Word was unacquainted with the meaning of words? and that He Who is Truth knew not how to speak the truth? and He Who is Wisdom went astray in foolish talk? and He Who is Power was compassed about with such weakness that He could not speak what He wished to be understood? He has clearly spoken the true and sincere mysteries of the faith of the Gospel. And He has not only spoken that we may comprehend, He has also taught that we may believe, saying, That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us. For those first of all is the prayer of whom it is said, That they all may be one. Then the promotion of unity is set forth by a pattern of unity, when He says, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us, so that as the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, so through the pattern of this unity all might be one in the Father and the Son.

12. But because it is proper to the Father alone and the Son that They should be one by nature because God is from God, and the Only-begotten from the Unbegotten can subsist in no other nature than that of His origin; so that He Who was begotten should exist in the substance of His birth, and the birth should possess no other and different truth of deity than that from which it issued; for our Lord has left us in no doubt as to our belief by asserting throughout the whole of the discourse which follows the nature of this complete unity. For the next words are these, That the world may believe that Thou didst send Me(7). Thus the world is to believe that the Son has been sent by the Father because all who shall believe in Him will be one in the Father and the Son. And how they will be so we are soon told,--And the glory which Than hast given Me I have given unto them(8). Now I ask whether glory is identical with will, since will is an emotion of the mind while glory is an ornament or embellishment of nature. So then it is the glory received from the Father that the Son hath given to all who shall believe in Him, and certainly not will. Had this been given, faith would carry with it no required, for a necessity of will attached to us would also impose faith upon us. However He has shewn what is effected by the bestowal of the glory received, That they may be one, even as We are one(9). It is then with this object that the received glory was bestowed, that all might be one. So now all are one in glory, because the glory given is none other than that which was received: nor has it been given for any other cause than that all should be one. And since all are one through the glory given to the Son and by the Son bestowed upon believers, I ask how can the Son be of a different glory from the Father's, since the glory of the Son brings all that believe into the unity of the Father's glory. Now it may be that the utterance of human hope in this case may be somewhat immoderate, yet it will not be contrary to faith; for though to hope for this were presumptuous, yet not tO have believed it is sinful, for we have one and the same Author both of our hope and of our faith. We will treat of this matter more clearly and at greater length in its own place, as is fitting. Yet in the meantime it is easily seen from our present argument that this hope of ours is neither vain nor presumptuous. So then through the glory received and given all are one. I hold the faith and recognise the cause of the unity, but I do not yet understand how it is that the glory given makes all one.

13. Now our Lord has not left the minds of His faithful followers in doubt, but has explained the manner in which His nature operates, saying, That they may be one, as We are one: I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in one(1). Now I ask those who bring forward a unity of will between Father and Son, whether Christ is in us to-day through verity of nature or through agreement of will. For if in truth the Word has been made flesh and we in very truth receive the Word made flesh as food from the Lord, are we not bound to believe that He abides in us naturally, Who, born as a man, has assumed the nature of our flesh now inseparable from Himself, and has conjoined the nature of His own flesh to the nature of the eternal Godhead in the sacrament by which His flesh is communicated to us? For so are we all one, because the Father is in Christ and Christ in us. Whosoever then shall deny that the Father is in Christ naturally must first deny that either he is himself in Christ naturally, or Christ in him, because the Father in Christ and Christ in us make us one in Them. Hence, if indeed Christ has taken to Himself the flesh of our body, and that Man Who was born froth Mary was induced Christ, and we indeed receive in a mystery the flesh of His body--(and for this cause we shall be one, because the Father is in Him and He in us), -- how can a unity of will be maintained, seeing that the special property of nature received through the sacrament is the sacrament of a perfect unity(2)?

14. The words in which we speak of the things of God must be used in no mere human and worldly sense, nor must the perverseness of an alien and impious interpretation be extorted from the soundness of heavenly words by any violent and headstrong preaching. Let us read what is written, let us understand what we read, and then fulfil the demands of a perfect faith. For as to what we say concerning the reality of Christ's nature within us, unless we have been taught by Him, our words are foolish and impious. For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him(3). As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false. He therefore Himself is in us through the flesh and we in Him, whilst together with Him our own selves are in God.

15. Now how it is that we are in Him through the sacrament of the flesh and blood bestowed upon us, He Himself testifies, saying, And the world will no longer see Me, but ye shall see Me; because I live ye shall live also; because I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you(4). If He wished to indicate a mere unity of will, why did He set forth a kind of gradation and sequence in the completion of the unity, unless it were that, since He was in the Father through the nature of Deity, and we on the contrary in Him through His birth in the body, He would have us believe that He is in us through the mystery of the sacraments? and thus there might be taught a perfect unity through a Mediator, whilst, we abiding in Him, He abode in the Father, and as abiding in the Father abode also in us; and so we might arrive at unity with tile Father, since in Him Who dwells naturally in the Father by birth, we also dwell naturally, while He Himself abides naturally in us also.

16. Again, how natural this unity is in us He has Himself testified on this wise,--He who eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him(5). For no man shall dwell in Him, save him in whom He dwells Himself, for the only flesh which He has taken to Himself is the flesh of those who have taken His. Now He had already taught before the sacrament of this perfect unity, saying, As the living Father sent Me, and I live through the Father, so he that eateth My flesh shall himself also live through Me(6). So then He lives through the Father, and as He lives through the Father in like manner we live through His flesh. For all comparison is chosen to shape our understanding, so that we may grasp the subject of which we treat by help of the analogy set before us. This is the cause of our life that we have Christ dwelling within our carnal selves through the flesh, and we shall live through Him in the same manner as He lives through the Father. if, then, we live naturally through Him according to the flesh, that is, have partaken of the nature of His flesh, must He not naturally have the Father within Himself according to the Spirit since He Himself lives through the Father? And He lives through the Father because His birth has not implanted in Him an alien and different nature inasmuch as His very being is from Him yet is not divided from Him by any barrier of an unlikeness of nature, for within Himself He has the Father through the birth in the power of the nature.

17. I have dwelt upon these facts because the heretics falsely maintain that the union between Father and Son is one of will only, and make use of the example of our own union with God, as though we were trailed to the Son and through the Son to the Father by mere obedience and a devout will, and none of the natural verity of communion were vouchsafed us through the sacrament of the Body and Blood; although the glory of the Son bestowed upon us through the Son abiding in us after the flesh, while we are united in Him corporeally and inseparably, bids us preach the mystery of the true and natural unity.

18. So we have made our reply to the folly of our violent opponents, merely to prove the emptiness of their falsehoods and so prevent them from misleading the unwary by the error of their vain and foolish statements. But the faith of the Gospel did not of necessity require our answer. The Lord prayed on our behalf for our union with God, but God keeps His own unity and abides in it. It is not through any mysterious appointment of God that they are one, but through a birth of nature, for God loses nothing in begetting Him from Himself. They are one, for the things which are not plucked out of His hand are not plucked out of the hand of the Father(7), for, when He is known, the Father is known, for, when He is seen, the Father is seen, for what He speaks the Father speaks as abiding in Him, for in His works the Father works, for He is in the Father and the Father in Him(8). This proceeds from no creation but from birth; it is not brought about by will but by power; it is no agreement of mind that speaks, it is nature; because to be created and to be born are not one and the same, any more than to will and to be able; neither is it the same thing to agree and to abide

19. Thus we do not deny a unanimity between the Father and the Son,-- for heretics are accustomed to utter this falsehood, that since we do not accept concord by itself as the bond of unity we declare Them to be at variance. But let them listen how it is that we do not deny such a unanimity. The Father and the Son are one in nature, honour, power, and the same nature cannot will things that are contrary. Moreover, let them listen to the testimony of the Son as touching the unity of nature between Himself and the Father, for He says, When that advocate is come, Whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth Who proceedeth front the Father, He shall testify of Me(9). The Advocate shall come and the Son shall send Him from the Father, and He is the Spirit of truth Who proceedeth from the Father. Let the whole following of heretics arouse the keenest powers of their wit; let them now seek for what lies they can tell to the unlearned, and declare what that is which the Son sends from the Father. He Who sends manifests His power in that which He sends. But as to that which He sends from the Father, how shall we regard it, as received or sent forth or begotten? For His words that He will send from the Father must imply one or other of these modes of sending. And He will send from the Father that Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father; He therefore cannot be the Recipient, since He is revealed as the Sender. It only remains to make sure of our conviction on the point, whether we are to believe an egress of a co-existent Being, or a procession of a Being begotten.

20. For the present I forbear to expose their licence of speculation, some of them holding that the Paraclete Spirit comes from the Father or from the Son. For our Lord has not left this in uncertainty, for after these same words He spoke thus,--I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak from Himself: but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak; and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and stroll declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, He shall receive of Mine and shall declare it unto you(1). Accordingly He receives from the Son, Who is both sent by Him, and proceeds from the Father. Now I ask whether to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father. But if one believes that there is a difference between receiving from the Son and proceeding from the Father, surely to receive from the Son and to receive from the Father will be regarded as one and the same thing. For our Lord Himself says, Because He shall receive of Mine and shall declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, He shall receive of Mine and shall declare it unto you. That which He will receive,--whether it will be power, or excellence, or teaching,--the Son has said must be received from Him, and again He indicates that this same thing must be received from the Father. For when tie says that all things whatsoever the Father hath are His, and that for this cause He declared that it must be received from His own, He teaches also that what is received from the Father is yet received from Himself, because all things that the Father hath are His. Such a unity admits no difference, nor does it make any difference from whom that is received, which given by the Father is described as given by the Son. Is a mere unity of will brought forward here also? All things which the Father hath are the Son's, and all things which the Son hath are the Father's. For He Himself saith, And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine(2). It is not yet the place to shew wily He spoke thus, For He shall receive of Mine: for this points to some subsequent time, when it is revealed that He shall receive. Now at any rate He says that He will receive of Himself, because all things that the Father had were His. Dissever if thou canst the unity of the nature, and introduce some necessary unlikeness through which the Son may not exist in unity of nature. For the Spirit of truth proceedeth from the Father and is sent from the Father by the Son. All things that the Father hath are the Son's; and for this cause whatever He Who is to be sent shall receive, He shall receive from the Son, because all things that the Father hath are the Son's. The nature in all respects maintains its law, and because Both are One that same Godhead is signified as existing in Both through generation and nativity; since the Son affirms that that which the Spirit of truth shall receive from the Father is to be given by Himself. So the frowardness of heretics must not be allowed an unchecked licence of impious beliefs, in refusing to acknowledge that this saying of the Lord,--that because all things which the Father hath are His, therefore the Spirit of truth shall receive of Him,--is to be referred to unity of nature.

21. Let us listen to that chosen vessel and teacher of the Gentiles, when he had already commended the faith of the people of Rome because of their understanding of the truth. For wishing to teach the unity of nature in the case of the Father and the Son, he speaks thus, But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God is in you. But if any have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead through sin, but the Spirit is life through righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Christ from the dead dwelleth in you; He Who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit Who dwelleth in you(3). We are all spiritual if the Spirit of God dwells in us. But this Spirit of God is also the Spirit of Christ, and though the Spirit of Christ is in us, yet His Spirit is also in us Who raised Christ from the dead, and He Who raised Christ from the dead shall quicken our mortal bodies also on account of His Spirit that dwelleth in us. We are quickened therefore on account of the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in us, through Him Who raised Christ from the dead. And since the Spirit of Him Who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us, and yet the Spirit of Christ is in us, nevertheless the Spirit Which is in us cannot but be the Spirit of God. Separate, then, O heretic, the Spirit of Christ from the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ raised from the dead from the Spirit of God Which raises Christ from the dead; when the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in us is the Spirit of God, and when the Spirit of Christ Who was raised from the dead is yet the Spirit of God Who raises Christ from the dead.

22. And now I ask whether thou thinkest that in the Spirit of God is signified a nature or a property belonging to a nature. For a nature is not identical with a thing belonging to it, just as neither is a man identical with what belongs to a man, nor fire with what belongs to fire itself, and in like manner God is not the same as that which belongs to God.

23. For I am aware that the Son of God is revealed under the title Spirit of God in order that we may understand the presence of the Farther in Him, and that the term Spirit of God may be employed to indicate Either, and that this is shewn not only on the authority of prophets but of evangelists also, when it is said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He hath anointed Me(4). And again, Behold My Servant Whom I have chosen, My beloved in Whom My soul is well pleased, I will put My Spirit upon Him(5). And when the Lord Himself bears witness of Himself, But if I in the Spirit of God cast out devils, then has the kingdom of God come upon you(6). For the passages seem without any doubt to denote either Father or Son, while they yet manifest the excellence of nature.

24. For I think that the expression 'Spirit of God' was used with respect to Each, lest we should believe that the Son was present in the Father or the Father in the Son in a merely corporeal manner, that is, lest God might be thought to abide in one position and exist nowhere else apart from Himself. For a man or any other thing like him, when he is in one place, cannot be in another, because what is in one place is confined to the place where it is: his nature cannot allow him to be everywhere when he exists in some one position. But God is a living Force, of infinite power, present everywhere and nowhere absent, and manifests His whole self through His own, and signifies that His own are naught else than Himself, so that where they are He may be understood to be Himself. Yet we must not think that, after a corporeal fashion, when He is in one place He ceases to be everywhere, for through His own things He is still present in all places, while the things which are His are none other than His own self. Now these things have been said to make us understand what is meant by 'nature.'

25. Now I think that it ought to be clearly understood that God the Father is denoted by the Spirit of God, because our Lord Jesus Christ declared that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him since He anoints Him and sends Him to preach the Gospel. For in Him is made manifest the excellence of the Father's nature, disclosing that the Son partakes of His nature even when born in the flesh through the mystery of this spiritual unction, since after the birth ratified in. His baptism this intimation of His inherent Sonship was heard as a voice bore witness from Heaven:--Thou art My Son; this day have begotten Thee(7). For not even He Himself can be understood as resting upon Himself or coming to Himself from Heaven, or as bestowing on Himself the title of Son: but all this demonstration was for our faith, in order that under the mystery of a complete and true birth we should recognise that the unity of the nature dwells in the Son Who had begun to be also man. We have thus found that in the Spirit of God the Father is designated; but we understand that the Son is indicated in the same way, when He says: But if I in the Spirit of God cast out devils, then has the kingdom of God come upon you. That is, He shews clearly that He, by the power of His nature, casts out devils, which cannot be cast out save by the Spirit of God. The phrase 'Spirit of God' denotes also the Paraclete Spirit, and that not only on the testimony of prophets but also of apostles, when it is said:--This is that which was spoken through the Prophet, It shall come to pass on the last day, saith the Lord, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and their sans and their daughters shall prophesy(8) And we learn that all this prophecy was fulfilled in the case of the Apostles, when, after the sending of the Holy Spirit, they all spoke with the tongues of the Gentiles.

26. Now we have of necessity set these things forth with this object, that in whatever direction the deception of heretics betakes itself, it might yet be kept in check by the boundaries and limits of the gospel truth. For Christ dwells in us, and where Christ dwells God dwells. And when the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, this indwelling means not that any other Spirit dwells in us than the Spirit of God. But if it is understood that Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, we must yet recognise this Spirit of God as also the Spirit of Christ. And since the nature dwells in us as the nature of one substantive Being, we must regard the nature of the Son as identical with that of the Father, since the Holy Spirit Who is both the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God is proved to be a Being of one nature. I ask now, therefore, how can They fail to be one by nature? The Spirit of Truth proceeds from the Father, He is sent by the Son and receives from the Son. But all things that the Father hath are the Son's, and for this cause He Who receives from Him is the Spirit of God but at the same time the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit is a Being of the nature of the Son but the same Being is of the nature of the Father. He is the Spirit of Him Who raised Christ from the dead; but this is no other than the Spirit of Christ Who was so raised. The nature of Christ and of God must differ in some respect so as not to be the same, if it can be shewn that the Spirit which is of God is not the Spirit of Christ also.

27. But you, heretic, as you wildly rave and are driven about by the Spirit of your deadly doctrine the Apostle seizes and constrains, establishing Christ for us as the foundation of our faith, being well aware also of that saying of our Lord, If a man love Me, he will also keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him(9). For by this He testified that while the Spirit of Christ abides in us the Spirit of God abides in us, and that the Spirit of Him that was raised from the dead differs not from the Spirit of Him that raised Him from the dead. For they come and dwell in us: and I ask whether they will come as alleges associated together and make Their abode, or in unity of nature? Nay, the teacher of the Gentiles contends that it is not two Spirits--the Spirits of God and of Christ--that are present in those who believe, but the Spirit of Christ which is also the Spirit of God. This is no joint indwelling, it is one indwelling: yet an indwelling under the mysterious semblance of a joint indwelling, for it is not the case that two Spirits indwell, nor is one that indwells different from the other. For there is in us the Spirit of God and there is also in us the Spirit of Christ, and when the Spirit of Christ is in us there is also in us the Spirit of God. And so since what is of God is also of Christ, and what is of Christ is also of God, Christ cannot be anything different from what God is. Christ, therefore, is God, one Spirit with God.

28. Now the Apostle asserts that those words in the Gospel, I and the Father are one(9), imply unity of nature and not a solitary single Being, as he writes to the Corinthians, Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man in the Spirit of God calleth Jesus anathema(1). Perceivest thou now, O heretic, in what spirit thou callest Christ a creature? For since they are under a curse who have served the creature more than the Creator--in affirming Christ to be a creature, learn what thou art, since thou knowest full well that the worship of the creature is accursed. And observe what follows, And no one can call Jesus Lord, but in the Holy Spirit(2). Dost thou perceive what is lacking to thee, when thou deniest Christ what is His own? If thou holdest that Christ is Lord through His Divine nature, thou hast the Holy Spirit. But if He be Lord merely by a name of adoption thou lackest the Holy Spirit, and art animated by a spirit of error: because no one can call Jesus Lord, but in the Holy Spirit. But when thou sayest that He is a creature rather than God, although thou stylest Him Lord, still thou dost not say that He is the Lord. For to thee He is Lord as one of a common class and by a familiar name, rather than by nature. Yet learn from Paul His nature.

29. For the Apostle goes on to say, Now there are diversities of gifts, but there is the same Spirit; and there are diversities of ministrations but one and the same Lord; and there are diversities of workings but the same God, Who worketh all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for that which profiteth(3). In this passage before us we perceive a fourfold statement: in the diversity of gifts it is the same Spirit, in the diversity of ministrations it is the very same Lord, in the diversity of workings it is the same God, and in the bestowal of that which is profitable there is a manifestation of the Spirit. And in order that the bestowal of what is profitable might be recognised in the manifestation of the Spirit, he continues: To one indeed is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith in the same Spirit; to another the gift of healing in the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues(4).

30. And indeed that which we called the fourth statement, that is the manifestation of the Spirit in the bestowal of what is profitable, has a clear meaning. For the Apostle has enumerated the profitable gifts through which this manifestation of the Spirit took place. Now in these diverse activities that Gift is set forth in no uncertain light of which our Lord had spoken to the apostles when He taught them not to depart from Jerusalem; but wait, said He, for the promise of the Father which ye heard from My lips: for John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, which ye shall also receive not many days hence(5). And again: But ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost cometh upon you; and ye shah be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth(6). He bids them wait for the promise of the Father of which they had beard from His lips. We may be sure that here(7) we have a reference to the Father's same promise. Hence it is by these miraculous workings that the manifestation of the Spirit takes place. For the gift of the Spirit is manifest, where wisdom makes utterance and the words of life are heard, and where there is the knowledge that comes of God-given insight, lest after the fashion of beasts through ignorance of God we should fail to know the Author of our life; or by faith in God, lest by not believing the Gospel of God, we should be outside His Gospel; or by the gift of healings, that by the cure of diseases we should bear witness to His grace Who bestoweth these things; or by the working of miracles, that what we do may be understood to be the power of God, or by prophesy, that through our understanding of doctrine we might be known to be taught of God; or by discerning of spirits, that we should not be unable to tell whether any one speaks with a holy or a perverted spirit; or by kinds of tongues, that the speaking in tongues may be bestowed as a sign of the gift of the Holy Spirit; or by the interpretation of tongues, that the faith of those that hear may not be imperilled through ignorance, since the interpreter of a tongue explains the tongue to those who are ignorant of it. Thus in all these things distributed to each one to profit withal there is the manifestation of the Spirit, the gift of the Spirit being apparent through these marvellous advantages vestowed upon each.

31. Now the blessed Apostle Paul in revealing the secret of these heavenly mysteries, most difficult to human comprehension, has preserved a clear enunciation and a carefully worded caution in order to shew that these diverse gifts are given through the Spirit and in the Spirit (for to be given through the Spirit and in the Spirit is not the same thing), because the granting of a gift which is exercised in the Spirit is yet bestowed through the Spirit. But he sums up these diversities of gifts thus: Now all these things worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one as He will(8). Now, therefore, I ask what Spirit works these things, dividing to each one according as He wills: is it He by Whom or He in Whom there is this distribution of gifts(9)? But if any one shall dare to say that it is the same Person which is indicated, the Apostle will refute so faulty an opinion, for he says above, And there are diversities of workings, but the same God Who worketh all things in all. So there is one Who distributes and another in Whom the distribution is vouchsafed. Yet know that it is always God Who worketh all these things, but in such a way that Christ works, and the Son in His working performs the Father's work. And if in the Holy Spirit thou confessest Jesus to be Lord, understand the force of that threefold indication in the Apostle's letter; forasmuch as in the diversities of gifts, it is the same Spirit, and in the diversities of ministrations it is the same Lord, and in the diversities of workings it is the same God; and again, one Spirit that worketh all things distributing to each according as He will. And grasp the idea if thou canst that the Lord in the distribution of ministrations, and God in the distribution of workings, are this one and the same Spirit Who both works and distributes as He will; because in the distribution of gifts there is one Spirit, and the same Spirit works and distributes.

32. But if this one Spirit of one Divinity, one in both God and Lord through the mystery of the birth, does not please thee, then point out to me what Spirit both works and distributes these diverse gifts to us, and in what Spirit He does this. But, thou must shew me nothing but what accords with our faith, because the Apostle shews us Who is to be understood, saying, For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ(9a). He affirms that diversities of gifts come from one Lord Jesus Christ Who is the body of all. Because after he had made known the Lord in ministration, and made known also God in workings, he yet shews that one Spirit both works and distributes all these things, distributing these varieties of His gracious gifts for the perfecting of one body.

33. Unless perchance we think that the Apostle did not keep to the principle of unity in that he said, And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord, and there are diversities of workings, but the same God(1). So that because he referred ministrations to the Lord and workings to God, be does not appear to have understood one and the same Being in ministrations and operations. Learn how these members which minister are also members which work, when he says, Ye are the body of Christ, and of Him members indeed. For God hath set same in the Church, first apostles, in whom is the word of wisdom; secondly prophets, in whom is the gift of knowledge thirdly teachers, in whom is the doctrine of faith; next mighty works, among which are the healing of diseases, the power to help,, governments by the prophets, and gifts of either speaking or interpreting divers kinds of tongues. Clearly these are the Church's agents of ministry and work of whom the body of Christ consists; and God has ordained them. But perhaps thou maintainest that they have not been ordained by Christ, because it was God Who ordained them. But thou shall hear what the Apostle says himself: Now to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. And again, He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things. And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and same, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministering(2). Are not then the gifts of ministration Christ's, while they are also the gifts of God?

34. But if impiety has assumed to itself that because he says, The same Lord and the same God(3), they are not in unity of nature, I will support this interpretation with what you deem still stronger arguments. For the same Apostle says, But for us there is one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through Him(4). And again, One Lord, one .faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is both through all, and in us all(5). By these words one God and one Lord it would seem that to God only is attributed, as to one God, the property of being God; since the property of oneness does not admit of partnership with another. Verily how rare and hard to attain are such spiritual gifts! How truly is the manifestation of the Spirit seen in the bestowal of such useful gifts! And with reason has this order in the distribution of graces been appointed, that the foremost should be the word of wisdom; for true it is, And no one can call Jesus Lord but in the Holy Spirit(6), because but through this word of wisdom Christ could not be understood to be Lord; that then there should follow next the word of understanding, that we might speak with understanding what we know, and might know the word of wisdom; and that the third gift should consist of faith, seeing that those leading and higher graces would be unprofitable gifts did we not believe that He is God. So that in the true sense of this greatest and most noble utterance of the Apostle no heretics possess either the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or the faith of religion, inasmuch as wilful wickedness, being incapable of understanding, is void of knowledge of the word and of genuineness of faith. For no one utters what he does not know; nor can he believe that which he cannot utter; and thus when the Apostle preached one God, a proselyte as He was from the Law, and called to the gospel of Christ, he has attained to the confession of a perfect faith. And lest the simplicity of a seemingly unguarded statement might afford heretics any opportunity for denying through the preaching of one God the birth of the Son, the Apostle has set forth one God while indicating His peculiar attribute in these words, One God the Father, of Whom are all thing, and we in Him(7), in order that He Who is God might also be acknowledged as Father. Afterwards, inasmuch as this bare belief in one God the Father would not suffice for salvation, he added, And one, our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through Him, shewing that the purity of saving faith consists in the preaching of one God and one Lord, so that we might believe in one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ. For he knew full well how our Lord had said, For this is the will of My Father, that every one that seeth the Son and believeth on Him should have eternal life(8). But in fixing the order of the Church's faith, and basing our faith upon the Father and the Son, he has uttered the mystery of that indivisible and indissoluble unity and faith in the words one God and one Lord.

35. First of all, then, O heretic that hast no part in the Spirit which spoke by the Apostle, learn thy folly. If thou wrongly employest the confession of one God to deny the Godhead of Christ, on the ground that where one God exists He must be regarded as solitary, and that to be One is characteristic and peculiar to Him Who is One,--what sense wilt thou assign to the statement that Jesus Christ is one Lord? For if, as thou assertest, the fact that the Father alone is God has not left to Christ the possibility of Godhead, it must needs be also according to thee that the fact of Christ being one Lord does not leave God the possibility of being Lord, seeing that thou wilt have it that to be One must be the essential property of Him Who is One. Hence if thou deniest that the one Lord Christ is also God, thou must needs deny that the one God the Father is also Lord. And what will the greatness of God amount to if He be not Lord, and the power of the Lord if He be not God: since it(viz., the greatness or power) causes that to be God which is Lord, and makes that Lord which is God?

36. Now the Apostle, maintaining the true sense of the Lord's saying, I and the Father are one(9), whilst He asserts that Both are One, signifies that Both are One not after the manner of the soleness of a single being, but in the unity of the Spirit; for one God the Father and one Christ the Lord, since Each is both Lord and God, do not yet admit in our creed either two Gods or two Lords. So then Each is one, and though one, neither is sole. We shall not be able to express the mystery of the faith except in the words of the Apostle. For there is one God and one Lord, and the fact that there is one God and one Lord proves that there is at once Lordship in God, and Godhead in the Lord. Thou canst not maintain a union of person, so making God single; nor yet canst thou divide the Spirit, so preventing the Two from being One(1). Nor in the one God and one Lord wilt thou be able to separate the power, so that He Who is Lord should not also be God, and He Who is God should not also be Lord. For the Apostle in the enunciation of the Names has taken care not to preach either two Gods or two Lords. And for this reason he has employed such a method of teaching as in the one Lord Christ to set forth also one God, and in the one God the Father to set forth also one Lord. And, not to misguide us into the blasphemy that God is solitary, which would destroy the birth of the Only-begotten God, he has confessed both Father and Christ.

37. Unless perchance the frenzy of utter desperation will venture to rush to such lengths that, inasmuch as the Apostle has called Christ Lord, no one ought to acknowledge Him as aught else save Lord, and that because He has the property of Lord He has not the true Godhead. But Paul knows full well that Christ is God, for he says, Whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ, Who is Gad over all(2). It is no creature here who is reckoned as God; nay, it is the God of things created Who is God over all.

38. Now that He Who is God over all is also Spirit inseparable from the Father, learn also from that very utterance of the Apostle, of which we are now speaking. For when he confessed one God the Father from Whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through Whom are all things; what difference, I ask, dirt he intend by saying that all things are from God and that all things are through Christ? Can He possibly be regarded as of a nature and spirit separable from Himself, He from Whom and through Whom are all things? For all things have come into being through the Son out of nothing, and the Apostle has referred them to God the Father, From Whom are all things, but also to the Son, through Whom are all things. And I find here no difference, since by Each is exercised the same power. For if with regard to the subsistence of the universe it was an exact sufficient statement that things created are from God, what need was there to state that the things which are from God are through Christ, unless it be one and the same thing to be through Christ and from God? But as it has been ascribed to Each of Them that They are Lord and God in such wise that each title belongs to Both, so too from Whom and through Whom is here referred to Both; and this to shew the unity of Both, not to make known God's singleness. The language of the Apostle affords no opening for wicked error, nor is his faith too exalted for careful statement. For he has guarded himself by those specially appropriate words from being understood to mean two Gods or a solitary God: for while he rejects oneness of person he yet does not divide the unity of Godhead. For this from Whom are all things and through Whom are all things, although it did not posit a solitary Deity in the sole possession of majesty, must yet set forth One not different in efficiency, since from Whom are all things and through Whom are all things must signify an Author of the same nature engaged in the same work. He affirms, moreover, that Each is properly of the same nature. For after announcing the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God, and after asserting the mystery of His inscrutable judgments and avowing our ignorance of His ways past finding out, he has yet made use of the exercise of human faith, and rendered this homage to the depth of the unsearchable and inscrutable mysteries of heaven, for of Him and through Him and in Him are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen(3). He employs to indicate the one nature, that which cannot but be the work of one nature.

39. For whereas he has specially ascribed to God that all things are from Him, and he has assigned as a peculiar property to Christ, that all things are through Him, and it is now the glory of God that from Him and through Him and in Him are all things; and whereas the Spirit of God is the same as the Spirit of Christ, or whereas in the ministration of the Lord and in the working of God, one Spirit both works and divides, They cannot but be one Whose properties are those of one; since in the same Lord the Son, and in the same God the Father, one and the same Spirit distributing in the same Holy Spirit accomplishes all things. How worthy is this saint of the knowledge of exalted and heavenly mysteries, adopted and chosen to share in the secret things of God, preserving a due silence over things which may not be uttered, true apostle of Christ! How by the announcement of his clear teaching has he restrained the imaginations of human wilfulness, confessing, as he does, one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ, so that meanwhile no one can either preach two Gods or one solitary God; although He Who is not one person cannot multiply into two Gods, nor on the other hand can They Who are not two Gods be understood to be one single person; while meantime the revelation of God as Father demonstrates the true nativity of Christ.

40. Thrust out now your quivering and hissing tongues, ye vipers of heresy, whether it be thou Sabellius or thou Photinus, or ye who now preach that the Only-begotten God is a creature. Whosoever denies the Son shall hear of one God the Father, because inasmuch as a father becomes a father only by having a son, this name Father necessarily connotes the existence of the Son. And again, let him who takes away from the Son the unity of an identical nature, acknowledge one Lord Jesus Christ. For unless through unity of the Spirit He is one Lord room will not be left for God the Father to be Lord. Again, let him who holds the Son to have become Son in time and by His Incarnation, learn that through Him are all things and we through Him, and that His timeless Infinity was creating all things before time was. And meanwhile let him read again that there is one hope of our calling, and one baptism, and one faith; if, after that, he oppose himself to the preaching of the Apostle, he, being accursed because he framed strange doctrines of his own device, is neither called nor baptized nor believing; because in one God the Father and in one Lord Jesus Christ there lies the one faith of one hope and baptism. And no alien doctrine can boast that it has a place among the truths which belong to one God and Lord and hope and baptism and faith.

41. So then the one faith is, to confess the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father through the unity of an indivisible nature, not confused but inseparable, not intermingled but identical, not conjoined but coexisting, not incomplete but perfect. For there is birth not separation, there is a Son not an adoption; and He is God, not a creature. Neither is He a God of a different kind, but the Father and Son are one: for the nature was not altered by birth so as to be alien from the property of its original. So the Apostle holds the faith of the Son abiding in the Father and the Father in the Son when he proclaims that for him there is one God the Father and one Lord Christ, since in Christ the Lord there was also God, and in God the Father there was also Lord, and They Two are that unity which is God, and They Two are also that unity which is the Lord, for reason indicates that there must be something imperfect in God unless He be Lord, and in the Lord unless He were God. And so since Both are one, and Both are implied under either name, and neither exists apart from the unity, the Apostle has not gone beyond the preaching of the Gospel in his teaching, nor does Christ when He speaks in Paul differ from the words which He spoke while abiding in the world in bodily form.

42. For the Lord had said in the gospels, Work not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which abideth unto life eternal, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him the Father, even God, hath sealed. They said therefore unto Him, What must we do that we may work the works of God? And He said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent(4). In setting forth the mystery of His Incarnation and His Godhead our Lord has also uttered the teaching of our faith and hope that we should work for food, not that which perisheth but that which abideth for ever; that we should remember that this food of eternity is given us by the Son of Man; that we should know the Son of Man as sealed by God the Father; that we should know that this is the work of God, even faith in Him Whom He has sent. And Who is it Whom the Father has sent? Even He Whom the Father has sealed. And Who is He Whom the Father has sealed? In truth, the Son of Man, even He who gives the food of eternal life. And further who are they to whom He gives it? They who shall work for the food that does not perish. Thus, then, the work for this food is at the same time the work of God, namely, to believe on Him Whom He has sent. But these words are uttered by the Son of Man. And how shall the Son of Man give the food of life eternal? Why, he knows not the mystery of his own salvation, who knows not that the Son of Man, bestowing food unto life eternal, has been sealed by God the Father. At this point I now ask in what sense are we to understand that the Son of Man has been sealed by God the Father?

43. Now we ought to recognise first of all that God has spoken not for Himself but for us, and that He has so far tempered the language of His utterance as to enable the weakness of our nature to grasp and understand it. For after being rebuked by the Jews for having made Himself the equal of God by professing to be the Son of God, He had answered that He Himself did all things that the Father did, and that He had received all judgment from the Father; moreover that He must be honoured even as the Father. And in all these things having before declared Himself Son, He had made Himself equal to the Father in honour, power and nature. Afterwards He had said that as the Father had life in Himself, so He had given the Son to have life in Himself, wherein He signified that by virtue of the mystery of the birth He possessed the unity of the same nature. For when He says that He has what the Father has, He means that He has the Father's self. For that God is not after human fashion of a composite being, so that in Him there is a difference of kind between Possessor and Possessed; but all that He is is life, a nature, that is, complete, absolute and infinite, not composed of dissimilar elements but with one life permeating the whole. And since this life was in such wise given as it was possessed, although the fact the it was given manifestly reveals the birth of the Recipient, it yet does not involve a difference of kind since the life given was such as was possessed.

44. Therefore after this manifold and precise revelation of the presence of the Father's nature in Himself, He goes on to say, For Him hath the Father sealed, even God(5). It is the nature of a seal to exhibit the whole form of the figure graven upon it, and that an impression taken from it reproduces it in every respect; and since it receives the whole of that which is impressed, it displays also in itself wholly whoever has been impressed upon it. Yet this comparison is not adequate to exemplify the Divine birth, because in seals there is a matter, difference of nature, and an act of impression, whereby the likeness of stronger natures is impressed upon things of a more yielding nature. But the Only-begotten God, Who was also through the Mystery of our salvation the Son of Man, desiring to point out to us the likeness of His Father's proper nature in Himself, said that He was sealed by God; because the Son of Man was about to give the food of eternal life, and that we thereby might perceive in Him the power of giving food unto eternity, in that He possessed within Himself all the fulness of His Father's form, even of the God Who sealed Him: so that what God had sealed should display in itself none other than the form of the God Who sealed it. These things indeed the Lord spoke to the Jews, who could not receive His saying because of unbelief.

45. But in us the preacher of the Gospel by the Spirit of Christ Who spoke through him, instils the knowledge of this His proper nature when he says, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to grasp a that He was equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant(6). For He, Whom God had sealed, could be naught else than the form of God, and that which has been sealed in the form of God must needs present at the same time imaged forth within itself all that God possesses. And for this cause the Apostle taught that He Whom God sealed is God abiding in the form of God. For when about to speak of the Mystery of the batty assumed and born in Him, he says, He thought it not a thing to grasp at that He was equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant(7). As regards His being in the form of God, by virtue of God's seal upon Him, he still remained God. But inasmuch as He was to take the form of a servant and become obedient unto death, not grasping at His equality with God, He emptied Himself through obedience to take the form of a slave. And He emptied Himself of the form of God, that is, of that wherein He was equal with God--not that He regarded His equality with God as any encroachment,--although He was in the form of God and equal with God and sealed by God as God.

46. At this point I ask whether He Who abides as God in the form of God is a God of another kind, as we perceive in the case of seals in respect of the likenesses which stamp and those which are stamped, since a steel die impressed upon lead or a gem upon wax shapes the figure cut in it or imprints that which stands in relief upon it. But if there be any one so foolish and senseless as to think that that, pertaining to Himself, which God fashions to be God, is aught but God, and that He Who is in the form of God is in any respect anything else save God after the mystery of His Incarnation and of His humility, made perfect through obedience even unto the death of the cross, he shall hear, by the confession of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth and of every tongue, that Jesus is in the glory of God the Father. If then, when His form had become that of a slave He abides in such glory, how, I ask, did He abide when in the form of God? Must not Christ the Spirit have been in the nature of Gods--for this is what is meant by 'in the glory of God'--when Christ as Jesus, that is, born as man, exists in the glory of God the Father?

47. In all things the blessed Apostle preserves the unchangeable teaching of the Gospel faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed as God in such wise that neither does the Apostle's faith, by calling Him a God of a different order, fall away to the confession of two Gods, nor by making God the Son inseparable from the Father does it leave an opening for the unholy doctrine of a single and solitary God. For when he says, in the form of God and in the glory of the Father the Apostle neither teaches that They differ one from another, nor allows us to think of Him as not existing. For He Who is in the form of God neither ends by becoming another God nor Himself loses His Godhead: for He cannot be severed from the form of God since He exists in it, nor is He, Who is in the form of God, not God Just as He Who is in the glory of God cannot be aught else than God, and, since He is God in the glory of God, cannot be proclaimed as another god and one different from the true God, seeing that by reason of the fact that He is in the glory of God He possesses naturally from Him in Whose glory He is, the property of divinity.

48. But there is no danger that the one faith will cease to be such through diversity in its preaching. The Evangelist had taught that our Lord said, He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father also(8). But has Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, forgotten or kept back the meaning of the Lord's words, when he says, Who is the image of the invisible God(9)? I ask whether He is the visible likeness of the invisible God, and whether the infinite God can also be presented to view under the likeness of a finite form? For a likeness must needs repeat the form of that of which it is the likeness. Let those, however, who will have a nature of a different sort in the Son determine what sort of likeness of the invisible God they wish the Son to be. Is it a bodily likeness exposed to the gaze, and moving from place to place with human gait and motion? Nay, but let them remember that according to the Gospels and the Prophets both Christ is a Spirit and God is a Spirit. If they confine this Christ the Spirit within the bounds of shape and body, such a corporeal Christ will not be the likeness of the invisible God, nor will a finite limitation represent that which is infinite.

49. But, as it is, neither did the Lord leave us in doubt: He who hath seen Me, hath seen the Father also; nor was the Apostle silent as to His nature, Who is the image of the invisible God. For the Lord had said, If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not(1), teaching them to see the Father in Himself in that He did the works of the Father; that through perceiving the power of His nature they might understand the nature of that power which they perceived. Wherefore the Apostle proclaiming that this is the image of God, says, Who is the image of the invisible God, the first- born of all creation; for in Him were all things made in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him and in Him, and He is before all, and for Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the Church, Who is the beginning, the first- born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fulness dwell, and through Him all things should be reconciled to Him(2). So through the power of these works He is the image of God. For assuredly the Creator of things invisible is not compelled by any necessity inherent in His nature to be the visible image of the invisible God. And lest He should be regarded as the likeness of the form and not of the nature, He is styled the likeness of the invisible God in order that we may understand by His exercise of the powers (not the invisible attributes) of the Divine nature, that that nature is in Him.

50. He is accordingly the first-born of every creature because in Him all things were created. And lest any one should dare to refer to any other than Him the creation of all things in Himself, he says, All things have been created through Him and in Him, and He is before all, and far Him all things consist. All things then consist for Him Who is before all things, and in Whom are all things. Now this indeed describes the origin of created things. But concerning the dispensation by which He assumed our body, he adds, And He is the head of the body, the Church: Who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead: that in all things He might have the pre- eminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fulness dwell, and that through Him all things should be reconciled to Him. The Apostle has assigned to the spiritual mysteries their material effects. For He Who is the image of the invisible God is Himself the head of His body, the Church, and He Who is the first-born of every creature is at the same time the beginning, the first born from the dead: that in all things He might have the pre-eminence, being for us the Body, while He is also the image of God, since He, Who is the first-born of created things, is at the same time the first-born for eternity; so that as to Him things spiritual, being created in the First-born, owe it that they abide, even so all things human also owe it to Him that in the First-born from the dead they are born again into eternity. For He is Himself the beginning, Who as Son is therefore the image, and because the image, is of God. Further He is the first-born of every created thing, possessing in Himself the origin of the universe: and again He is the head of His body, the Church, and the first-born from the dead, so that in all things He has the pre-eminence. And because all things consist for Him, in Him the fulness of the Godhead is pleased to dwell, for in Him all things are reconciled through Him to Him, through Whom all things were created in Himself.

51. Do you now perceive what it is to be the image of God? It means that all things are created in Him through Him. Whereas all things are created in Him, understand that He, Whose image He is, also creates all things in Him. And since all things which are created in Him are also created through Him, recognize that in Him Who is the image there is present the nature of Him, Whose image He is. For through Himself He creates the things which are created in Him, just as through Himself all things are reconciled in Him. Inasmuch as they are reconciled in Him, recognise in Him the nature of the Father's unity, reconciling all things to Himself in Him. Inasmuch as all things are reconciled through Him, perceive Him reconciling to the Father in Himself all things which He reconciled through Himself. For the same Apostle says, But all things are from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation: to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself(3). Compare with this the whole mystery of the faith of the Gospel. For He Who is seen when Jesus is seen, Who works in His works, and speaks in His words, also reconciles in His reconciliation. And for this cause, in Him and through Him there is reconciliation, because the Father abiding in Him through a like nature restored the world to Himself by reconciliation through and in Him.

52. Thus God out of regard for human weakness has not set forth the faith in bare and uncertain statements. For although the authority of our Lord's mere words of itself compelled their acceptance, He nevertheless has informed our reason by a revelation which explains their meaning, that we might learn to know His words, I and the Father are one(4), by means of that which was itself the cause of the unity in question. For in saying that the Father speaks in His words, and works through His working, and judges through His judgment, and is seen in His manifestation, and reconciles through His reconciliation, and abides in Him, while He in turn abides in the Father,--what more fitting words, I ask, could He have employed in His teaching to suit the faculties of our reason, that we might believe in Their unity, than those by which, through the truth of the birth and the unity of the nature, it is declared that whatever the Son did and said, the Father said and did in the Son? This says nothing of a nature foreign to Himself, or added by creation to God, or born into Godhead by a partition of God, but it betokens the divinity of One Who by a perfect birth is begotten perfect God, Who has so confident an assurance of His nature that He says, I in the Father and the Father in Me(5), and again, All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine(6). For nought of the Godhead is lacking in Him, in Whose working and speaking and manifestation God works and speaks and is beheld. They are not two Gods, Who in their working and words and manifestation put on a semblance of unity. Neither is He a solitary God. Who in the works and words and sight of God, Himself worked and spoke and was seen as God. The Church understands this. The Synagogue does not believe, philosophy does not know, that being One of One, Whole of Whole, God and Son, He has neither by His birth deprived the Father of His completeness, nor failed to possess the same completeness in Himself by right of His birth. And whosoever is caught in this folly of unbelief is a disciple either of the Jews or of the heathen.

53. Now that you may understand the saying of the Lord, when He said, All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine(7), learn the teaching and faith of the Apostle who said, Take heed lest any lead you astray through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world and not after Christ; for in Him dwelleth the fulness of Godhead bodily(8). That man is of the world and savours of the teaching of men and is the victim of philosophy, who does not know Christ to be the true God, who does not recognise in Him the fulness of Godhead. The mind of man knows only that which it understands, and the world's powers of belief are limited, since it judges according to the laws of the material elements that that alone is possible which it can see or do. For the elements of the world have come into being out of nothing, but Christ's continuity of existence did not begin in the non-existent, nor did He ever begin to exist, but He took from the beginning a beginning which is eternal. The elements of the world are either without life, or have issued out of this stage into life, but Christ is life, born to be living God from the living God. The elements of the world have been established by God, but they are not God: Christ as God of God is Himself wholly all that God is. The elements of the world, since they are within it, cannot possibly rise out of their condition and cease to be within it, but Christ, while having God within Himself through the Mystery, is Himself in God. The elements of the universe, generating from themselves creatures with a life like their own, do indeed through the exercise of their bodily functions bestow upon them from their own bodies the beginnings of life, but they are not themselves present as living beings in their offspring, whereas in Christ all the fulness of the Godhead is present in bodily shape.

54. Now I ask, whose Godhead is it whereof the fulness dwells in Him? If it be not that of the Father, what other God do you, misleading preacher of one God, thrust upon me as Him Whose Godhead dwells fully in Christ? But if it be that of the Father, inform me how this fulness dwells in Him in bodily fashion. If you hold that the Father abides in the Son in bodily fashion, the Father, while dwelling in the Son, will not exist in Himself. If on the other hand, and this is more true, the Godhead abiding in Him in bodily shape displays within Him the verity of the nature of God from God, inasmuch as God is in Him, abiding neither through condescension nor through will but by birth, true and wholly in bodily fulness according as He is; and inasmuch as, in the whole compass of His being, He was born by His divine birth to be God, and within the Godhead there is no difference or dissimilarity, except that in Christ He dwells in bodily form, and yet whatever dwells in Him bodily is according to the fulness of Godhead; why follow after the doctrines of men? Why cleave to the teaching of empty falsehoods? Why talk of 'agreement' or 'harmony of will' or 'a creature?' The fulness of Godhead dwells in Christ bodily.

55. The Apostle has herein held fast to the canon of his faith, by teaching that the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ bodily; and this, in order that the teaching of the faith might not degenerate into an unholy profession of a oneness of Persons or sinful frenzy break forth into the belief of two different natures. For the fulness of Godhead which dwells in Christ in bodily fashion is neither solitary nor separable; for the fulness in bodily form does not admit any partition from the other bodily fulness, and the indwelling Godhead cannot be regarded as also the dwelling-place of the Godhead. And Christ is so constituted that the fulness of Godhead dwells in Him in bodily fashion, and that this fulness must be held one in nature with Christ. Lay hands on every chance that offers for your quibbles, sharpen the points of your blasphemous wit. Name, at least, the imaginary being whose fulness of Godhead it is which dwells in Christ in bodily fashion. For He is Christ, and there is dwelling in Him in bodily fashion the fulness of Godhead.

56. And if you would know what it is to 'dwell in bodily fashion,' understand what it is to speak in one that speaks, to be seen in one who is seen, to work in one who works, to be God in God, whole of whole, one of one; and thus learn what is meant by the fulness of God in bodily shape. Remember, too, that the Apostle does not keep silence on the question, whose Godhead it is, which dwells fully in Christ in bodily fashion, for he says, For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity(9). So it is His Godhead that dwells in Christ in bodily fashion, not partially but wholly, not parcelwise but in fulness; and so dwelling that the Two are one, and so one, that the One Who is God does not differ from the Other Who is God: Both so equally divine, as a perfect birth engendered perfect God. And the birth exists thus in its perfection, because the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily in God born of God.

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/IX, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.