The Rule of truth requires that we should first of all things believe on God the Father and Lord n Omnipotent; that is, the absolutely perfect Founder of all things, who has suspended the heavens in lofty sublimity, has established the earth with its lower mass, has diffused the seas with their fluent moisture, and has distributed all these things, both adorned and supplied with their appropriate and fitting instruments. For in the solid vault of heaven He has both awakened the light-bringing Sunrisings; He has filled up the white globe of the moon in its monthly s waxings as a solace for the night; He, moreover, kindles the starry rays with the varied splendours of glistening light; and He has willed all these things in their legitimate tracks to circle the entire compass of the world, so as to cause days, months, years, signs, and seasons, and benefits of other kinds for the human race. On the earth, moreover, He has lifted up the loftiest mountains to a peak, He has thrown down valleys into the depths, He has smoothly levelled the plains, He has ordained the animal herds usefully for the various services of men. He has also established the oak trees of the woods for the future benefit of human uses. He has developed the harvests into food. He has unlocked the mouths of the springs, and has poured them into the flowing rivers. And after these things, lest He should not also provide for the very delights of the eyes, He has clothed all things with the various colours of the flowers for the pleasure of the beholders. Even in the sea itself, moreover, although it was in itself marvellous both for its extent and its utility, He has made manifold creatures, sometimes of moderate, sometimes of vast bodily size, testifying by the variety of His appointment to the intelligence of the Artificer. And, not content with these things, est perchance the roaring and rushing waters should seize upon a foreign element at the expense of its human possessor, He has enclosed its limits with shores;[4] so that when the raving billow and the foaming water should come from its deep bosom, it should return again unto itself, and not transgress its concealed bounds, but keep its prescribed laws, so that man might the rather be careful to observe the divine laws, even as the elements themselves observed them. And after these things He also placed man at the head of the world, arid man, too, made in the image of God, to whom He imparted mind, and reason, and foresight, that he might imitate God; and although the first elements of his body were earthly, yet the substance was inspired by a heavenly and divine breathing. And when He had given him all things for his service, He willed that he alone should be free. And lest, again, an unbounded freedom should fall into peril, He laid down a command, in which man was taught that there was no evil in the fruit of the tree; but he was forewarned that evil would arise if perchance he should exercise his free will, in the contempt of the law that was given. For, on the one hand, it had behoved him to be free, lest the image of God should, unfittingly be in bondage; and on the other, the law was to be added, so that an unbridled liberty might not break forth even to a contempt of the Giver. So that he might receive as a consequence both worthy rewards and a deserved punishment, having in his own power that which he might choose to do, by the tendency of his mind in either direction: whence, therefore, by envy, mortality comes back upon him; seeing that, although he might escape it by obedience, he rushes into it by hurrying to be God under the influence of perverse counsel. Still, nevertheless, God indulgently tempered his punishment by cursing, not so much himself, as his labours upon earth. And, moreover, what is required does not come without man's knowledge; but He shows forth man's hope of future discovery[1] and salvation in Christ. And that he is prevented from touching of the wood of the tree of life, is not caused by the malignant poison of envy, but lest, living for ever without Christ's previous pardon of his sins, he should always bear about with him for his punishment an immortality of guilt. Nevertheless also, in higher regions; that is, above even the firmament itself, regions which are not now discernible by our eyes, He previously ordained angels, he arranged spiritual powers, He put in command thrones and powers, and founded many other infinite spaces of heavens, and unbounded works of His mysteries; so that this world, immense as it is, might almost appear rather as the Latest, than the only work of corporeal things. And truly,[2] what lies beneath the earth is not itself void of distributed and arranged powers. For there is a place whither the souls of the just and the unjust are taken, conscious of the anticipated dooms of fixture judgment; so that we might behold the overflowing greatness of God's works in all directions, not shut up within the bosom of this world, however capacious as we have said, but might also be able to conceive of them beneath both the abysses and the depths I of the world itself. And thus considering the greatness of the works, we should worthily admire the Artificer of such a structure.


And over all these things He Himself, containing all things, having nothing vacant beyond Himself, has left room for no superior God, such as some people conceive. Since, indeed, He Himself has included all things in the bosom of perfect greatness and power, He is always intent upon His own work, and pervading all things, and moving all things, and quickening all things, and beholding all things, and so linking together discordant materials into the concord of all elements, that out of these unlike principles one world is so established by a conspiring union, that it can by no force be dissolved, save when He alone who made it commands it to be dissolved, for the purpose of bestowing other and greater things upon us. For we read that He contains all things, and therefore that there could have been nothing beyond Himself. Because, since He has not any beginning, so consequently He is not conscious of an ending; unless perchance--and far from us be the thought--He at some time began to be, and is not above all things, but as He began to be after something else, He would be beneath that which was before Himself, and would so be found to be of less power, in that He is designated as subsequent even in time itself. For this reason, therefore, He is always unbounded, because nothing is greater than He; always eternal, because nothing is more ancient than He. For that which is without beginning can be preceded by none, in that He has no time. He is on that account immortal, that He does not come to an end by any ending of His completeness. And since everything that is without beginning is without law, He excludes the mode of time by feeling Himself debtor to none. Concerning Him, therefore, and concerning those things which are of Himself, and are in Him, neither can the mind of man worthily conceive what they are, how great they are, and what they are like; nor does the eloquence of human discourse set forth a power that approaches the level of His majesty. For to conceive and to speak of His majesty, as well all eloquence is with reason mute, as all mind poor. For He is greater than mind itself; nor can it be conceived how great He is, seeing that, if He could be conceived, He would be smaller than the human mind wherein He could be conceived. He is greater, moreover, than all discourse, nor can He be declared; for if He could be declared, He would be less than human discourse, whereby being declared, He can both be encompassed and contained. For whatever could be thought concerning Him must be less than Himself; and whatever could be declared must be less than He, when compared in respect of Himself. Moreover, we can in some degree be conscious of Him in silence, but we cannot in discourse unfold Him as He is. For should you call Him Light, you would be speaking of His creature rather than of Himself--you would not declare Him; or should you call Him Strength, you would rather be speaking of and bringing out His power than speaking of Himself; or should you call Him Majesty, you would rather be describing His honour than Himself. And why should I make a long business of going through His attributes one by one? I will at once unfold the whole. Whatever in any respect you might declare of Him, you would rather be unfolding some condition and power of His than Himself. For what can you fittingly either say or think concerning Him who is greater than all discourses and thoughts? Except that in one manner--and how can we do this? how can we by possibility conceive how we may grasp these very things?--we shall mentally grasp what God is, if we shall consider that He is that which cannot be understood either in quality or quantity, nor, indeed, can come even into the thought itself. For if the keenness of our eyes grows dull on looking at the sun, so that the gaze, overcome by the brightness of the rays that meet it, cannot look upon the orb itself, the keenness of our mental perception suffers the same thing in all our thinking about God, and in proportion as we give our endeavours more directly to consider God, so much the more the mind itself is blinded by the light of its own thought. For--to repeat once more--what can you worthily say of Him, who is loftier than all sublimity, and higher than all height, and deeper than all depth, and clearer than all light, and brighter than all brightness, more brilliant than all splendour, stronger than all strength, more powerful, than all power, and more mighty than all might, and greater than all majesty, and more potent than all potency, and richer than all riches, more wise than all wisdom, and more benignant than all kindness, better than all goodness, juster than all justice, more merciful than all clemency? For all kinds of virtues must? needs be less than Himself, who is both. God and Parent of all virtues, so that it may truly be said that God is that, which is such that nothing can be compared to Him. For He is above all that can be said. For He is a certain Mind generating and filling all things, which, without any beginning or end of time, controls, by the highest and most perfect reason, the naturally linked causes of things, so as to result in benefit to all.


Him, then, we acknowledge and know to be God, the Creator of all things--Lord on account of His power, Parent on account of His discipline--Him, I say, who "spake, and all things were made; "(2) He commanded, and all things went forth: of whom it is written, "Thou hast made all things in wisdom;"(3) of whom Moses said, "God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath;"(4) who, according to Isaiah, "hath meted out the heaven with a span, the earth with the hollow of His hand;"(5) "who looketh on the earth, and maketh it tremble; whoboundeth the circle of the earth, and those that dwell in it like locusts; who hath weighed themountains in a balance, and the groves in scales,"(6)that is, by the sure test of divine arrangement; easily fall into ruins if it were not balanced with equal weights, He has poised this burden of the earthly mass with equity. Who says by the prophet, "I am God, and there is none beside me"(7) Who says by the same prophet "Because I will not give my majesty to another,"(8) that He may exclude all heathens and heretics with their figments; proving that that is not God who is made by the hand of the workman, nor that which is feigned by the intellect of a heretic. For he is not God for whose existence the workman must be asked. And He has added hereto by the prophet, "The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me, and where is the place of my rest?"(9) that He may show that He whom the world does not contain is much less contained in a temple; and He says these things not for boastfulness of Himself, but for our knowledge. For He does not desire from us the glory of His magnitude; but He wishes to confer upon us, even as a father, a religious wisdom. And He, wishing moreover to attract to gentleness our minds, brutish, and swelling, and stubborn with cloddish ferocity, says, "And upon whom shall my Spirit rest, save upon him that is lowly, and quiet, and that trembleth at my words?"(1)--so that in some degree one may recognise how great God is, in learning to fear Him by the Spirit given to him: Who, similarly wishing still more to come into our knowledge, and, by way of stirring up our minds to His worship, said, "I am the Lord, who made the light and created the darkness;"(2) that we might deem not that some Nature,--what I know not,--was the artificer of those vicissitudes whereby nights and days are controlled, but might rather, as is more true, recognise God as their Creator. And since by the gaze of our eyes we cannot see Him, we rightly learn of Him from the greatness, and the power, and the majesty of His works. "For the invisible things of Him," says the Apostle Paul," from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by those things which are made, even His eternal power and godhead;"(3) so that the human mind, learning hidden things from those that are manifest, from the greatness of the works which it should behold, might with the eyes of the mind consider the greatness of the Architect. Of whom the same apostle, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory."(4) For He has gone beyond the contemplation of the eyes who has surpassed the greatness of thought. "For," it is said," of Him, and through Him, and in Him are all things."(5) For all things are by His command, because they are of Him; and are ordered by His word as being through Him; and all things return to His judgment; as in Him expecting liberty when corruption shall be done away, they appear to be recalled to Him.


Him alone the Lord rightly declares good, of whose goodness the whole world is witness; which world He would not have ordained if He had not been good. For if "everything was very good,"(6) consequently, and reasonably, both those things which were ordained have proved that He that ordained them is good, and those things which are the work of a good Ordainer cannot be other than good; wherefore every evil is a departure from God. For it cannot happen that He should be the originator or architect of any evil work, who claims to Himself the name of "the Perfect," both Parent and Judge, especially when He is the avenger and judge of every evil work; because, moreover, evil does not occur to man from any other cause than by his departure from the good God. Moreover, this very thing is specified in man, not because it was necessary, but because he himself so willed it. Whence it manifestly appeared also what was evil; and lest there should seem to be envy in God, it was evident whence evil had arisen. He, then, is always like to Himself; nor does He ever turn or change Himself into any forms, lest by change He should appear to be mortal. For the change implied in turning from one thing to another is comprehended as a portion of a certain death. Thus there is never in Him any accession or increase of any part or honour, lest anything should appear to have ever been wanting to His perfection, nor is any loss sustained in Him, lest a degree of mortality should appear to have been suffered by Him. But what He is, He always is; and who He is, He is always Himself; and what character He has, He always has.(7) For increasing argues beginning, as well as losses prove death and perishing. And therefore He says, "I am God, I change not;"(8) in that, what is not born cannot suffer change, holding His condition always. For whatever it be in Him which constitutes Divinity, must necessarily exist always, maintaining itself by its own powers, so that He should always be God. And thus He says, "I am that I am."(9) For what He is has this name, because it always maintains the same quality of Himself. For change takes away the force of that name "That I Am;" for whatever, at any time, is changed, is shown to be mortal in that very particular which is changed. For it ceases to be that which it had been, and consequently begins to be what it was not; and therefore, reasonably, there remains always in God His position, in that without any loss arising from change, He is always like and equal to Himself. And what is not born cannot be changed: for only those things undergo change which are made, or which are begotten; in that those things which bad not been at one time, learn to be by coming into being, and therefore to suffer change by being born. Moreover, those things which neither have nativity nor maker, have excluded from themselves the capacity of change, not having a beginning wherein is cause of change. And thus He is declared to be one, having no equal. For whatever can be God, must as God be of necessity the Highest. But whatever is the Highest, must certainly be the Highest in such sense as to be without any equal. And thus that must needs be alone and one on which nothing can be conferred, having no peer; because there cannot be two infinites, as the very nature of things dictates. And that is infinite which neither has any sort of beginning nor end. For whatever has occupied the whole excludes the beginning of another. Because if He does not contain all which is, whatever it is--seeing that what is found in that whereby it is contained is found to be less than that whereby it is contained--He will cease to be God; being reduced into the power of another, in whose greatness He, being smaller, shall have been included. And therefore what contained Him would then rather claim to be God. Whence it results that God's own name also cannot be declared, because He cannot be conceived. For that is contained in a name which is, in any way, comprehended from the condition of His nature. For the name is the signification of that thing which could be comprehended from a name. But when that which is treated of is such that it cannot be worthily gathered into one form by the very understanding itself, how shall it be set forth fittingly in the one word of an appellation, seeing that as it is beyond the intellect, it must also of necessity be above the significancy of the appellation? As with reason when He applies and prefers from certain reasons and occasions His name of God, we know that it is not so much the legitimate propriety of the appellation that is set forth, as a certain significancy determined for it, to which, while men betake themselves, they seem to be able thereby to obtain God's mercy. He is therefore also both immortal and incorruptible, neither conscious of any kind of loss nor ending. For because He is incorruptible, He is therefore immortal; and because He is immortal, He is certainly also incorruptible,--each being involved by turns in the other, with itself and in itself, by a mutual connection, and prolonged by a vicarious concatenation to the condition of eternity; immortality arising from incorruption, as well as incorruption coming from immortality.


Moreover, if we read of His wrath, and consider certain descriptions of His indignation, and learn that hatred is asserted of Him, yet we are not to understand these to be asserted of Him in the sense in which they are human vices. For all these things, although they may corrupt man, cannot at all corrupt the divine power. For such passions as these will rightly be said to be in men, and will not rightly be judged to be in God. For man may be corrupted by these things, because he can be corrupted; God may not be corrupted by them, because He cannot be corrupted. These things, forsooth, have their force which they may exercise, but only where a material capable of impression precedes them, not where a substance that cannot be impressed precedes them. For that God is angry, arises from no vice in Him. But He is so for our advantage; for He is merciful even then when He threatens, because by these threats men are recalled to rectitude. For fear is necessary for those who want the motive to a virtuous life, that they who have forsaken reason may at least be moved by terror. And thus all those, either angers of God or hatreds, or whatever they are of this kind, being displayed for our medicine,--as the case teaches,--have arisen of wisdom, not from vice, nor do they originate from frailty; wherefore also they cannot avail for the corruption of God. For the diversity in us of the materials of which we consist, is accustomed to arouse the discord of anger which corrupts us; but this, whether of nature or of defect, cannot subsist in God, seeing that He is known to be constructed assuredly of no associations of bodily parts. For He is simple and without any corporeal commixture, being wholly of that essence, which, whatever it be,--He alone knows,--constitutes His being, since He is called Spirit. And thus those things which in men are faulty and corrupting, since they arise from the corruptibility of the body, and matter itself, in God cannot exert the force of corruptibility, since, as we have said, they have come, not of vice, but of reason.


And although the heavenly Scripture often turns the divine appearance into a human form,--as when it says, "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous;"(1) or when it says, "The Lord God smelled the smell of a good savour;"(2) or when there are given to Moses the tables "written with the finger of God;"(3) or when the people of the children of Israel are set free from the land of Egypt "with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm;"(4) or when it says, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things;"(5) or when the earth is set forth as "God's footstool;"(6) or when it says, "Incline thine ear, and hear,"(1)--we who say that the law is spiritual do not include within these lineaments of our bodily nature any mode or figure of the divine majesty, but diffuse that character of unbounded magnitude (so to speak) over its plains without any limit. For it is written, "If I shall ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I shall descend into hell, Thou art there also; and if I shall take my wings, and go away across the sea, there Thy hand shall lay hold of me, and Thy right hand shall hold me."(2) For we recognise the plan of the divine Scripture according to the proportion of its arrangement. For the prophet then was still speaking about God in parables according to the period of the faith, not as God was, but as the people were able to receive Him. And thus, that such things as these should be said about God, must be imputed not to God, but rather to the people. Thus the people are permitted to erect a tabernacle, and yet God is not contained within the enclosure of a tabernacle. Thus a temple is reared, and yet God is not at all bounded within the restraints of a temple. It is not therefore God who is limited, but the perception of the people is limited; nor is God straitened, but the understanding of the reason of the people is held to be straitened. Finally, in the Gospel the Lord said, "The hour shall come when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father;"(3) and gave the reasons, saying, "God is a Spirit; and those therefore who worship, must worship in spirit and in truth." (4) Thus the divine agencies are there(5) exhibited by means of members; it is not the appearance of God nor the bodily lineaments that are described. For when the eyes are spoken of, it is implied that He sees all things; and when the ear, it is set forth that He hears all things; and when the finger, a certain energy of His will is opened up; and when the nostrils, His recognition of prayers is shown forth as of odours; and when the hand, it is proved that He is the author of every creature; and when the arm, it is announced that no nature can withstand the power of His arm; and when the feet it is unfolded that He fills all things, and that there is not any place where God is not. For neither members nor the offices of members are needful to Him to whose sole judgment, even unexpressed, all things serve and are present. For why should He require eyes who is Himself the light? or why should He ask for feet who is everywhere? or why should He wish to go when there is nowhere where He can go beyond Himself? or why should He seek for hands whose will is, even when silent, the architect for the foundation of all things? He needs no ears who knows the wills that are even unexpressed; or for what reason should He need a tongue whose thought is a command? These members assuredly were necessary to men, but not to God, because man's design would be ineffectual if the body did not fulfil the thought. Moreover, they are not needful to God, whose will the works attend not so much without any effort, as that the works themselves proceed simultaneously with the will. Moreover, He Himself is all eye, because He all sees; and all ear, because He all hears; and all hand, because He all works; and all foot, because He all is everywhere. For He is the same, whatever it is. He is all equal, and all everywhere. For He has not in Him any diversity in Himself, being simple. For those are the things which are reduced to diversity of members, which arise from birth and go to dissolution. But things which are not concrete cannot be conscious of these things.(6) And what is immortal, whatever it is, that very thing is one and simple, and for ever. And thus because it is one it cannot be dissolved; since whatever is that very thing which is placed beyond the claim of dissolution, it is freed from the laws of death.


But when the Lord says that God is a Spirit, I think that Christ spoke thus of the Father, as wishing that something still more should be understood than merely that God is a Spirit. For although, in His Gospel, He is reasoning for the purpose of giving to men an increase of intelligence, nevertheless He Himself speaks to men concerning God, in such a way as they can as yet hear and receive; although, as we have said, He is now endeavouring to give to His hearers religious additions to their knowledge of God. For we find it to be written that God is called Love, and yet from this the substance of God is not declared to be Love; and that He is called Light, while in this is not the substance of God. But the whole that is thus said of God is as much as can be said, so that reasonably also, when He is called a Spirit, it is not all that He is which is so called; but so that, while men's mind by understanding makes progress even to the Spirit itself, being already changed in spirit, it may conjecture God to be something even greater through the Spirit. For that which is, according to what it is, can neither be declared by human discourse, nor received by human ears, nor gathered by human perceptions. For if "the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him, neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, nor the heart of man, nor even his mind has perceived;"(1) what and how great is He Himself who promises these things, in understanding which both the mind and nature of man have failed! Finally, if you receive the Spirit as the substance of God, you will make God a creature. For every spirit is a creature. And therefore, then, God will be made. In which manner also, if, according to Moses, you should receive God to be fire, in saying that He is a creature, you will have declared what is ordained, you will not have taught who is its ordainer. But these things are rather used as figures than as being so in fact. For as, in the Old Testament,(2) God is for this reason called Fire, that fear may be struck into the hearts of a sinful people, by suggesting to them a Judge; so in the New Testament He is announced as Spirit, that, as the Renewer and Creator of those who are dead in their sins, He may be attested by this goodness of mercy granted to those that believe.


This God, then, setting aside the fables and figments of heretics, the Church knows and worships, to whom the universal and entire nature of things as well visible as invisible gives witness; whom angels adore, stars wonder at, seas bless, lands revere, and all things under the earth look up to; whom the whole mind of man is conscious of, even if it does not express itself; at whose command all things are set in motion, springs gush forth, rivers flow, waves arise, all creatures bring forth their young, winds arc compelled to blow, showers descend, seas arc stirred up, all things everywhere diffuse their fruitfulness. Who ordained, peculiar to the protoplasts of eternal life, a certain beautiful paradise in the east; He planted the tree of life, and similarly placed near it another tree of the knowledge of good and evil, gave a command, and decreed a judgment against sin; He preserved the most righteous Noe from the perils of the deluge, for the merit of His innocence and faith; He translated Enoch: He elected Abraham into the society of his friendship; He protected Isaac: He increased Jacob; He gave Moses for a leader unto the people; He delivered the groaning children of Israel from the yoke of slavery; He wrote the law; He brought the offspring of our fathers into the land of promise; He instructed the prophets by His Spirit, and by all of them He promised His Son Christ; and at the time at which He had covenanted that He would give Him, He sent Him, and through Him He desired to come into our knowledge, and shed forth upon us the liberal stores of His mercy, by conferring His abundant Spirit on the poor and abject. And, because He of His own free-will is both liberal and kind, lest the whole of this globe, being turned away from the streams of His grace, should wither, He willed the apostles, as founders of our family, to be sent by His Son into the whole world, that the condition of the human race might be conscious of its Founder; and, if it should choose to follow Him, might have One whom even in its supplications it might now call Father instead of God.(3) And His providence has had or has its course among men, not only individually, but also among cities themselves, and states whose destructions have been announced by the words of prophets; yea, even through the whole world itself; whose end, whose miseries, and wastings, and sufferings on account of unbelief He has allotted. And lest moreover any one should think that such an indefatigable providence of God does not reach to even the very least things, "One of two sparrows," says the Lord, "shall not fall without the will of the Father; but even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."(4) And His care and providence did not permit even the clothes of the Israelites to be worn out, nor even the vilest shoes on their feet to be wasted; nor, moreover, finally, the very garments of the captive young men to be burnt. And this is not without reason; for if He embraces all things, and contains all things,--and all things, and the whole, consist of individuals,--His care will consequently extend even to every individual thing, since His providence reaches to the whole, whatever it is. Hence it is that He also sitteth above the Cherubim; that is, He presides over the variety of His works, the living creatures which hold the control over the rest being subjected to His throne:(5) a crystal covering being thrown over all things; that is, the heaven covering all things, which at the command of God had been consolidated into a firmament(6) from the fluent material of the waters, that the strong hardness that divides the midst of the waters that covered the earth before, might sustain as if on its back the weight of the superincumbent water, its strength being established by the frost. And, moreover, wheels lie below--that is to say, the seasons--whereby all the members of the world are always being rolled onwards; such feet being added by which those things do not stand still for ever, but pass onward. And, moreover, throughout all their limbs they are studded with eyes; for the works of God must be contemplated with an ever watchful inspection: in the heart of which things, a fire of embers is in the midst, either because this world of ours is hastening to the fiery day of judgment; or because all the works of God are fiery, and are not darksome, but flourish.(1) Or, moreover, lest, because those things had arisen from earthly beginnings, they should naturally be inactive, from the rigidity of their origin, the hot nature of an interior spirit was added to all things; and that this nature concreted with the cold bodies might minister(2) for the purpose of life equal measures for all.(3) This, therefore, according to David, is God's chariot. "For the chariot of God," says he, "is multiplied ten thousand times;"(4) that is, it is innumerable, infinite, immense. For, under the yoke of the natural law given to all things, some things are restrained, as if withheld by reins; others, as if stimulated, are urged on with relaxed reins. For the world,s which is that chariot of God with all things, both the angels themselves and the stars guide; and their movements, although various, yet bound by certain laws, we watch them guiding by the bounds of a time prescribed to themselves; so that rightly we also are now disposed to exclaim with the apostle, as he admires both the Architect and His works: "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how inscrutable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" And the rest.(6)


The same rule of truth teaches us to believe, after the Father, also on the Son of God, Christ Jesus, the Lord our God, but the Son of God--of that God who is both one and alone, to wit the Founder of all things, as already has been expressed above. For this Jesus Christ, I will once more say, the Son of this God, we read of as having been promised in the Old Testament, and we observe to be manifested in the New, fulfilling the shadows and figures of all the sacraments, with the presence of the truth embodied. For as well the ancient prophecies as the Gospels testify Him to be the son of Abraham and the son of David. Genesis itself anticipates Him, when it says: "To thee will I give it, and to thy seed."(7) He is spoken of when it shows how a man wrestled with Jacob; He too, when it says: "There shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a leader from between his thighs, until He shall come to whom it has been promised; and He shall be the expectation of the nations." 8 He is spoken of by Moses when he says: "Provide another whom thou mayest send."(9) He is again spoken of by the same, when he testifies, saying: "A Prophet will God raise up to you from your brethren; listen to Him as if to me."(10) It is He, too, that he speaks of when he says: "Ye shall see your life hanging in doubt night and day, and ye shall not believe Him."(11) Him, too, Isaiah alludes to: "There shall go forth a rod from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall grow up from his root."(12) The same also when he says: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son."(13) Him he refers to when he enumerates the healings that were to proceed from Him, saying: "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear: then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be eloquent."(14) Him also, when he sets forth the virtue of patience, saying: "His voice shall not be heard in the streets; a bruised reed shall He not destroy, and the smoking flax shall He not quench."(15) Him, too, when he described His Gospel: "And I will ordain for you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David."(16) Him, too, when he foretells that the nations should believe on Him: "Behold, I have given Him for a Chief and a Commander to the nations. Nations that knew not Thee shall call upon Thee, and peoples that knew Thee not shall flee unto Thee."(17) It is the same that he refers to when, concerning His passion, he exclaims, saying: "As a sheep He is led to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so He opened not His mouth in His humility."[1] Him, moreover, when he described the blows and stripes of His scourgings: "By His bruises we were healed."[2] Or His humiliation: "And we saw Him, and He had neither form nor comeliness, a man in suffering, and who knoweth how to bear infirmity."[3] Or that the people would not believe on Him: "All day long I have spread out my hands unto a people that believeth not."[4] Or that He would rise again from the dead: "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and one who shall rise to reign over the nations; on Him shall the nations hope, and His rest shall be honour."[5] Or when he speaks of the time of the resurrection: "We shall find Him, as it were, prepared in the morning." [6] Or that He should sit at the right hand of the Father: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I shall place Thine enemies as the stool of Thy feet."[7] Or when He is set forth as possessor of all things: "Ask of me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the boundaries of the earth for Thy possession." [8] Or when He is shown as Judge of all: "O God, give the King Thy judgment, and Thy righteousness to the King's Son."[9] And I shall not in this place pursue the subject further: the things which are announced of Christ are known to all heretics, but are even better known to those who hold the truth.


But of this I remind you, that Christ was not to be expected in the Gospel in any other wise than as He was promised before by the Creator, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament; especially as the things that were predicted of Him were fulfilled, and those things that were fulfilled had been predicted. As with reason I might truly and constantly say to that fanciful--I know not what--of those heretics who reject the authority of the Old Testament, as to a Christ feigned and coloured up from old wives' fables: "Who art thou? Whence art thou? By whom art thou sent? Wherefore hast thou now chosen to come? Why such as thou art? Or how hast thou been able to come? Or wherefore hast thou not gone to thine own, except that thou hast proved that thou hast none of thine own, by coming to those of another? What hast thou to do with the Creator's world? What hast thou to do with the Creator's man? What hast thou to do with the image of a body from which thou takest away the hope of resurrection? Why comest thou to another man's servant, and desirest thou to solicit another man's son? Why dost thou strive to take me away from the Lord? Why dost thou compel me to blaspheme, and to be impious to my Father? Or what shall I gain from thee in the resurrection, if I do not receive myself when I lose my body? If thou wishest to save, thou shouldest have made a man to whom to give salvation. If thou desirest to snatch from sin, thou shouldest have granted to me previously that I should not fall into sin. But what approbation of law dost thou carry about with thee? What testimony of the prophetic word hast thou? Or what substantial good can I promise myself from thee, when I see that thou hast come in a phantasm and not in a bodily substance? What, then, hast thou to do with the form of a body, if thou hatest a body? Nay, thou wilt be refitted as to the hatred of bearing about the substance of a body, since thou hast been willing even to take up its form. For thou oughtest to have hated the imitation of a body, if thou hatedst the reality; because, if thou art something else, thou oughtest to have come as something else, lest thou shouldest be called the Son of the Creator if thou hadst even the likeness of flesh and body. Assuredly, if thou hatedst being born because thou hatedst ' the Creator's marriage-union,' thou oughtest to refuse even the likeness of a man who is born by the 'marriage of the Creator.'"

Neither, therefore, do we acknowledge that that is a Christ of the heretics who was--as it is said--in appearance and not in reality; for of those things which he did, he could have done nothing real, if he himself was a phantasm, and not reality. Nor him who wore nothing of our body in himself, seeing "he received nothing from Mary ;" neither did he come to us, since he appeared "as a vision, not in our substance." Nor do, we acknowledge that to the Christ who chose an ethereal or starry flesh, as some heretics have pretended. Nor can we perceive any salvation of ours in him, if in him we do not even recognise the substance of our body; nor, in short, any other who may have worn any other kind of fabulous body of heretical device. For all such fables as these are confuted as well by the nativity as by the death itself of our Lord. For John says: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;"[10] so that, reasonably, our body should be in Him, because indeed the Word took on Him our flesh. And for this reason blood flowed forth from His hands and feet, and from His very side, so that He might be proved to be a sharer in our body by dying according to the laws of our dissolution. And that He was raised again in the same bodily substance in which He died, is proved by the wounds of that very body, and thus He showed the laws of our resurrection in His flesh, in that He restored the same body in His resurrection which He had from us. For a law of resurrection is established, in that Christ is raised up in the substance of the body as an example for the rest; because, when it is written that "flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of God,"[1] it is not the substance of the flesh that is condemned, which was built up by the divine hands that it should not perish, but only the guilt of the flesh is rightly rebuked, which by the voluntary daring of man rebelled against the claims of divine law. Because in baptism and in the dissolution of death the flesh is raised up and returns to salvation, by being recalled to the condition of innocency when the mortality of guilt is put away.


But lest, from the fact of asserting that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator, was manifested in the substance of the true body, we should seem either to have given assent to other heretics, who in this place maintain that He is man only and alone, and therefore desire to prove that He was a man bare and solitary; and lest we should seem to have afforded them any ground for objecting, we do not so express doctrine concerning the substance of His body, as to say that He is only and alone man, but so as to maintain, by the association of the divinity of the Word in that very materiality, that He was also God according to the Scriptures. For there is a great risk of saying that the Saviour of the human race was only man ; that the Lord of all, and the Chief of the world, to whom all things were delivered, and all things were granted by His Father, by whom all things were ordained, all things were created, all things were arranged, the King of all ages and times, the Prince of all the angels, before whom there is none but the Father, was only man, and denying to Him divine authority in these things. For this contempt of the heretics will recoil also upon God the Father, if God the Father could not beget God the Son. But, moreover, no blindness of the heretics shall prescribe to the truth. Nor, because they maintain one thing in Christ and, do not maintain another, they see one side of Christ and do not see another, shall there be taken away from us that which they do not see for the sake of that which they do. For they regard the weaknesses in Him as if they were a man's weaknesses, but they do not count the powers as if they were a God's powers. They keep in mind the infirmities of the flesh, they exclude the powers of the divinity; when if this argument from the infirmities of Christ is of avail to the result of proving Him to be man from His infirmities, the argument of divinity in Him gathered from His powers avails to the result also of asserting Him to be God from His works. For if His sufferings show in Him human frailty, why may not His works assert in Him divine power? For if this should not avail to assert Him to be God from His powers, neither can His sufferings avail to show Him to be man also from them. For whatever principle be adopted on one or the other side, will be found to be maintained.[2] For there will be a risk that He should not be shown to be man from His sufferings, if He could not also be approved as God by His powers. We must not then lean to one side and evade the other side, because any one who should exclude one portion of the truth will never hold the perfect truth. For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God Himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth Him to be the Son of God only, but also the Son of man; nor does it only say, the Son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of Him as the Son of God. So that being of both, He is both, lest if He should be one only, He could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that He must be believed to be God who is of God; but if he should not also be God when be is of God, no more should he be man although he should be of man. And thus both doctrines would be endangered in one and the other way, by one being convicted to have lost belief in the other. Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the Son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God. For in the manner that as man He is of Abraham, so also as God He is before Abraham himself. And in the same manner as He is as man the "Son of David,"[3] so as God He is proclaimed David's Lord. And in the same manner as He was made as man "under the law,"[4] so as God He is declared to be "Lord of the Sabbath."[5] And in the same manner as He suffers, as man, the condemnation, so as God He is found to have all judgment of the quick and dead. And in the same manner as He is born as man subsequent to the world, so as God He is manifested to have been before the world. And in the same way as He was begotten as man of the seed of David, so also the world is said to have been ordained by Him as God. And in the same way as He was as man after many, so as God He was before all. And in the same manner as He was as man inferior to others, so as God He was greater than all. And in the same manner as He ascended as man into heaven, so as God He had first descended thence. And in the same manner as He goes as man to the Father, so as the Son in obedience to the Father He shall descend thence. So if imperfections in Him prove human frailty, majesties in Him affirm divine power. For the risk is, in reading of both, to believe not both, but one of the two. Wherefore as both are read of in Christ, let both be believed; that so finally the faith may be true, being also complete. For if of two principles one gives way in the faith, and the other, and that indeed which is of least importance, be taken up for belief, the rule of truth is thrown into confusion; and that boldness will not confer salvation, but instead of salvation will effect a great risk of death from the overthrow of the faith.


Why, then, should we hesitate to say what Scripture does not shrink from declaring ? Why shall the truth of faith hesitate in that wherein the authority of Scripture has never hesitated ? For, behold, Hosea the prophet says in the person of the Father: "I will not now save them by bow, nor by horses, nor by horsemen; but I will save them by the Lord their God."[1] If God says that He saves by God, still God does not save except by Christ. Why, then, should man hesitate to call Christ God, when he observes that He is declared to be God by the Father according to the Scriptures? Yea, if God the Father does not save except by God, no one can be saved by God the Father unless he shall have confessed Christ to be God, in whom and by whom the Father promises that He will give him salvation: so that, reasonably, whoever acknowledges Him to be God, may find salvation in Christ God; whoever does not acknowledge Him to be God, would lose salvation which he could not find elsewhere than in Christ God. For in the same way as Isaiah says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and ye shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, interpreted, God with us;"[2] so Christ Himself says, "Lo, I am with you, even to the consummation of the world."[3] Therefore He is" God with us;" yea, and much rather, He is in us. Christ is with us, therefore it is He whose name is God with us, because He also is with us; or is He not with us? How then does He say that He is with us? He, then, is with us. But because He is with us He was called Emmanuel, that is, God with us. God, therefore, because He is with us, was called God with us, The same prophet says: "Be ye strengthened, ye relaxed hands, and ye feeble knees; be consoled, ye that are cowardly in heart; be strong; fear not. Lo, our God shall return judgment; He Himself shall come, and shall save you: then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be eloquent."[4] Since the prophet says that at God's advent these should be the signs which come to pass; let men acknowledge either that Christ is the Son of God, at whose advent and by whom these wonders of healings were performed; or, overcome by the truth of Christ's divinity, let them rush into the other heresy, and refusing to confess Christ to be the Son of God, and God, let them declare Him to be the Father. For, being bound by the words of the prophets, they can no longer deny Christ to be God. What, then, do they reply when those signs are said to be about to take place on the advent of God, which were manifested on the advent of Christ? In what way do they receive Christ as God? For now they cannot deny Him to be God. As God the Father, or as God the Son ? If as the Son, why do they deny that the Son of God is God? If as the Father, why do they not follow those who appear to maintain blasphemies of that kind ? unless because in this contest against them concerning the truth, this is in the meantime sufficient for us, that, being convinced in any kind of way, they should confess Christ to be God, seeing they have even wished to deny that He is God. He says by Habakkuk the prophet: "God shall come from the south, and the Holy One from the dark and dense mountain."[5] Whom do they wish to represent as coming from the south? If they say that it is the Almighty God the Father, then God the Father comes from a place, from which place, moreover, He is thus excluded, and He is bounded within the straitnesses of some abode; and thus by such as these, as we have said, the sacrilegious heresy of Sabellius is embodied. Since Christ is believed to be not the Son, but the Father; since by them He is asserted to be in strictness a bare man, in a new manner, by those, again, Christ is proved to be God the Father Almighty. But if in Bethlehem, the region of which local division looks towards the southern portion of heaven, Christ is born, who by the Scriptures is also said to be God, this God is rightly described as coming from the south, because He was foreseen as about to come from Bethlehem. Let them, then, choose of the two alternatives, the one that they prefer, that He who came from the south is the Son, or the Father; for God is said to be about to come from the south. If the Son, why do they shrink from calling Him Christ and God ? For the Scripture says that God shall come. If the Father, why do they shrink from being associated with the boldness of Sabellius, who says that Christ is the Father? unless because, whether they call Him Father or Son, from his heresy, however unwillingly, they must needs withdraw if they are accustomed to say that Christ is merely man; when compelled by the facts themselves, they are on the eve of exalting Him as God, whether in wishing to call Him Father or in wishing to call Him Son.


And thus also John, describing the nativity of Christ, says: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full Of grace and truth.". For, moreover, "His name is called the Word of God,"[2] and not without reason. "My heart has emitted a good word; "[3] which word He subsequently calls by the name of the King inferentially, "I will tell my works to the King."[3] For "by Him were made all the works, and without Him was nothing made."[4] "Whether" says the apostle "they be thrones or dominations, or powers, or mights, visible things and invisible, all things subsist by Him."[5] Moreover, this is I d which came unto His own, and His own received Him not. For the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not."[6] Moreover, this Word "was in the beginning with God, and God was the Word."[7] Who then can doubt, when in the last clause it is said, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," that Christ, whose is the nativity, and because He was made flesh, is man; and because He is the Word of God, who can shrink from declaring without hesitation that He is God, especially when he considers the evangelical Scripture, that it has associated both of these substantial natures into one concord of the nativity of Christ? For He it is who "as a bride-groom goeth forth from his bride-chamber; He exulted as a giant to run his way. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His return unto the ends of it."[8] Because, even to the highest, "not any one hath ascended into heaven save He who came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven."[9] Repeating this same thing, He says: "Father, glorify me with that glory wherewith I was with Thee before the world was."[10] And if this Word came down from heaven as a bridegroom to the flesh, that by the assumption of flesh He might ascend thither as the Son of man, whence the Son of God had descended as the Word, reasonably, while by the mutual connection both flesh wears the Word of God, and the Son of God assumes the frailty of the flesh; when the flesh being espoused ascending thither, whence without the flesh it had descended, it at length receives that glory which in being shown to have had before the foundation of the world, it is most manifestly proved. to be God. And, nevertheless, while the world itself is said to have been founded after Him, it is found to have been created by Him; by that very divinity in Him whereby, the world was made, both His glory and His authority are proved. Moreover, if, whereas it is the property of none but God to know the secrets of the heart, Christ beholds the secrets of the heart; and if, whereas it belongs to none but God to remit sins, the same Christ remits sins; and if, whereas it is the portion of no man to come from heaven, He descended by coming from heaven; and if, whereas this word can be true of no man, "I and the Father are one,"[11] Christ alone declared this word out of the consciousness of His divinity; and if, finally, the Apostle Thomas, instructed in all the proofs and conditions of Christ's divinity, says in reply to Christ, "My Lord and my God ;" [12] and if, besides, the Apostle Paul says, " Whose are the fathers, and of whom Christ came according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for evermore,"[13] writing in his epistles; and if the same apostle declares that he was ordained "an apostle not by men, nor of man, but by Jesus Christ;"[14] and if the same contends that he learned the Gospel not from men or by man, but received it from Jesus Christ, reasonably Christ is God. Therefore, in this respect, one of two things must needs be established. For since it is evident that all things were made by Christ, He is either before all things, since all things were by Him, and so He is justly God; or because He is man He is subsequent to all things, and justly nothing was made by Him. But we cannot say that nothing was made by Him, when we observe it written that all things were made by Him. He is not therefore subsequent to all things; that is, He is not man only, who is subsequent to all things, but God also, since God is prior to all things. For He is before all things, because all things are by Him, while if He were only man, nothing would be by Him; or if all things were by Him, He would not be man only, because if He were only man, all things would not be by Him; nay, nothing would be by Him. What, then, do they reply? That nothing is by Him, so that He is man only? How then are all things by Him? Therefore He is not man only, but God also, since all things are by Him; so that we reasonably ought to understand that Christ is not man only, who is subsequent to all things, but God also, since by Him all things were made. For how can you say that He is man only, when you see Him also in the flesh, unless because when both aspects are considered, both truths are rightly believed?


And yet the heretic still shrinks from urging that Christ is God, whom he perceives to be proved God by so many words as well as facts. If Christ is only man, how, when He came into this world, did He come unto His own, since a man could have made no world? If Christ was only man, how is the world said to have been made by Him, when the world was not by man, but man was ordained after the world? If Christ was only man, how was it that Christ was not only of the seed of David; but He was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us ? For although the Protoplast was not born of seed, yet neither was the Protoplast formed of the conjunction of the Word and the flesh. For He is not the Word made flesh, nor dwelt in us. If Christ was only man, how does He "who cometh from heaven testify what He hath seen and heard,"[1] when it is plain that man cannot come from heaven, because he cannot be born there? If Christ be only man, how are "visible things and invisible, thrones, powers, and dominions," said to be created by Him and in Him; when the heavenly powers could not have been made by man, since they must needs have been prior to man? If Christ is only man, how is He present wherever He is called upon; when it is not the nature of man, but of God, that it can be present in every place? If Christ is only man, why is a man invoked in prayers as a Mediator, when the invocation of a man to afford salvation is condemned as ineffectual? If Christ is only man, why is hope rested upon Him, when hope in man is declared to be accursed? If Christ is only man, why may not Christ be denied without destruction of the soul, when it is said that a sin committed against man may be forgiven? If Christ is only man, how comes John the Baptist to testify and say, "He who cometh after me has become before me, because He was prior to me;"[2] when, if Christ were only man, being born after John, He could not be before John, unless because He preceded him, in that He is God? If Christ is only man, how is it that "what things the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise,"[3] when man cannot do works like to the heavenly operations of God? If Christ is only man, how is it that "even as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself,"[4] when man cannot have life in him after the example of God the Father, because he is not glorious in eternity, but made with the materials of mortality? If Christ is only man, how does He say, "I am the bread of eternal life which came down from heaven,"[5] when man can neither be the bread of life, he himself being mortal, nor could he have come down from heaven, since no perishable material is established in heaven? If Christ is only man, how does He say that "no man hath seen God at any time, save He which is of God; He hath seen God?"[6] Because if Christ is only man, He could not see God, because no man has seen God; but if, being of God, He has seen God, He wishes it to be understood that He is more than man, in that He has seen God. If Christ is only man, why does He say, "What if ye shall see the Son of man ascending thither where He was before?"[7] But He ascended into heaven, therefore He was there, in that He returned thither where He was before. But if He was sent from heaven by the Father, He certainly is not man only; for man, as we have said, could not come from heaven. Therefore as man He was not there before, but ascended thither where He was not. But the Word of God descended which was there, --the Word of God, I say, and God by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. It was not therefore man that thus came thence from heaven, but the Word of God; that is, God descended thence.


If Christ is only man, how is it that He says, "Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: because I know whence I came, and whither I go; ye know not whence I came, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh?"[2] Behold, also He says, that He shall return thither whence He bears witness that He came before, as being sent,--to wit, from heaven. He came down therefore from whence He came, in the same manner as He goes thither from whence He descended. Whence if Christ were only man, He would not have come thence, and therefore would not depart thither, because He would riot have come thence. Moreover, by coming thence, whence as man He could not have come, He shows Himself to have come as God. For the Jews, ignorant and untaught in the matter of this very descent of His, made these heretics their successors, seeing that to them it is said, "Ye know not whence I come, and whither I go: ye judge after the flesh." As much they as the Jews, holding that the carnal birth of Christ was the only one, believed that Christ was nothing else than man; not considering this point, that as man could not come from heaven, so as that he might return thither, He who descended thence must be God, seeing that man could not come thence. If Christ is only man, how does He say, "Ye are from below, I am from above; ye are of this world, I am not of this world?"[3] But therefore if every man is of this world, and Christ is for that reason in this world, is He only man ? God forbid ! But consider what He says: "I am not of this world." Does He then speak falsely when He says "of this world," if He is only man ? Or if He does not speak falsely, He is not of this world; He is therefore not man only, because He is not of this world. But that it should not 1 be a secret who He was, He declared whence He was: "I," said He, "am from above," that is, from heaven, whence man cannot come, for he was not made in heaven. He is God, therefore, who is from above, and therefore He is not of this world; although, moreover, in a certain manner He is of this word: wherefore Christ is not God only, but man also. As reasonably in the way in which He is not of this world according to the divinity of the Word, so He is of this world according to the frailty of the body that He has taken upon Him. For man is joined with God, and God is linked with man. But on that account this Christ here laid more stress on the one aspect of His sole divinity, because the Jewish blindness contemplated in Christ the aspect alone of the flesh; and thence in the present passage He passed over in silence the frailty of the body, which is of the world, and spoke of His divinity alone, which is not of the world: so that in proportion as they had inclined to believe Him to be only man, in that proportion Christ might draw them to consider His divinity, so as to believe Him to be God, desirous to overcome their incredulity concerning His divinity by omitting in the meantime any mention of His human condition, and by setting before them His divinity alone. If Christ is man only, how does He say, "I proceeded forth and came from God,"[4] when it is evident that man was made by God, and did not proceed forth from Him ? But in the way in which as man He proceeded not from God, thus the Word of God proceeded, of whom it is said, "My heart hath uttered forth a good Word ;"[5] which, because it is from God, is with reason also with God. And this, too, since it was not uttered without effect, reasonably makes all things: "For all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made.''[6] But this Word whereby all things were made (is God). "And God," says he, "was the Word."[7] Therefore God proceeded from God, in that the Word which proceeded is God, who proceeded forth from God. If Christ is only man, how does He say, "If any man shall keep my word, he shall not see death for ever?"[8] Not to see death for ever! what is this but immortality? But immortality is the associate of divinity, because both the divinity is immortal, and immortality is the fruit of divinity. For every man is mortal; and immortality cannot be from that which is mortal. Therefore from Christ, as a mortal man, immortality cannot arise. "But," says He, "whosoever keepeth my word, shall not see death for ever;" therefore the word of Christ affords immortality, and by immortality affords divinity. But although it is not possible to maintain that one who is himself mortal can make another immortal, yet this word of Christ not only sets forth, but affords immortality: certainly He is not man only who gives immortality, which if He were only man He could not give; but by giving divinity by immortality, He proves Himself to be God by offering divinity, which if He were not God He could not give. If Christ was only man, how did He say, "Before Abraham was, I Am?"(1) For no man can be before Him from whom he himself is; nor can it be that any one should have been prior to him of whom he himself has taken his origin. And yet Christ, although He is born of Abraham, says that He is before Abraham. Either, therefore, He says what is not true, and deceives, if He was not before Abraham, seeing that He was of Abraham; or He does not deceive, if He is also God, and was before Abraham. And if this were not so, it follows that, being of Abraham, He could not be before Abraham. If Christ was only man, how does He say, "And I know them, and my sheep follow me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish?"(2) And yet, since every man is bound by the laws of mortality, and therefore is unable to keep himself for ever, much more will he be unable to keep another for ever. But Christ promises to give salvation for ever, which if He does not give, He is a deceiver; if He gives, He is God. But He does not deceive, for He gives what He promises. Therefore He is God who proffers eternal salvation, which man, being unable to keep himself for ever, cannot be able to give to another. If Christ is only man, what is that which He says, "I and the Father are one?"(3) For how can it be that "I and the Father are one," if He is not both God and the Son?--who may therefore be called one, seeing that He is of Himself, being both His Son, and being born of Him, being declared to have proceeded from Him, by which He is also God; which when the Jews thought to be hateful, and believed to be blasphemous, for that He had shown Himself in these discourses to be God, and therefore rushed at once to stoning, and set to work passionately to hurl stones, He strongly refuted His adversaries by the example and witness of the Scriptures. "If," said He, "He called them gods to whom the words of God were given, and the Scriptures cannot be broken, ye say of Him whom the Father sanctified, and sent into this world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God."(4) By which words He did not deny Himself to be God, but rather He confirmed the assertion that He was God. For because, undoubtedly, they are said to be gods unto whom the words of God were given, much more is He God who is found to be superior to all these. And nevertheless He refuted the calumny of blasphemy in a fitting manner with lawful tact.(5) For He wishes that He should be thus understood to be God, as the Son of God, and He would not wish to be understood to be the Father Himself. Thus He said that He was sent, and showed them that He had manifested many good works from the Father; whence He desired that He should not be understood to be the Father, but the Son. And in the latter portion of His defence He made mention of the Son, not the Father, when He said, "Ye say, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God." Thus, as far as pertains to the guilt of blasphemy, He calls Himself the Son, not the Father; but as pertaining to His divinity, by saying, "I and the Father are one," He proved that He was the Son of God. He is God, therefore, but God in such a manner as to be the Son, not the Father.


If Christ was only man, how is it that He Himself says, "And every one that believeth in me shall not die for evermore?"(7) And yet he who believes in man by himself alone is called accursed; but he who believes on Christ is not accursed, but is said not to die for evermore. Whence, if on the one hand He is man only, as the heretics will have it, how shall not anybody who believes in Him die eternally, since he who trusts in man is held to be accursed? Or on the other, if he is not accursed, but rather, as it is read, destined for the attainment of everlasting life, Christ is not man only, but God also, in whom he who believes both lays aside all risk of curse, and attains to the fruit of righteousness. If Christ was only man, how does He say that the Paraclete "shall take of His, those things which He shall declare?"(8) For neither does the Paraclete receive anything from man, but the Paraclete offers knowledge to man; nor does the Paraclete learn things future from man, but instructs man concerning futurity. Therefore either the Paraclete has not received from Christ, as man, what He should declare, since man could give nothing to the Paraclete, seeing that from Him man himself ought to receive, and Christ in the present instance is both mistaken and deceives, in saying that the Paraclete shall receive from Him, being a man, the things which He may declare; or He does not deceive us,--as in fact He does not,--and the Paraclete has received from Christ what He may declare. But if He has received from Christ what He may declare to us, Christ is greater than the Paraclete, because the Paraclete would not receive from Christ unless He were less than Christ. But the Paraclete being less than Christ, moreover, by this very fact proves Christ to be God, from whom He has received what He declares: so that the testimony of Christ's divinity is immense, in the Paraclete being found to be in this economy less than Christ, and taking from Him what He gives to others; seeing that if Christ were only man, Christ would receive from the Paraclete what He should say, not the Paraclete receive from Christ what He should declare. If Christ was only man, wherefore did He lay down for us such a rule of believing as that in which He said, "And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent?"(1) Had He not wished that He also should be understood to be God, why did He add, "And Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent," except because He wished to be received as God also? Because if He had not wished to be understood to be God, He would have added, "And the man Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent;" but, in fact, He neither added this, nor did Christ deliver Himself to us as than only, but associated Himself with God, as He wished to be understood by this conjunction to be God also, as He is. We must therefore believe, according to the rule prescribed,(2) on the Lord, the one true God, and consequently on Him whom He has sent, Jesus Christ, who by no means, as we have said, would have linked Himself to the Father had He not wished to be understood to be God also: for He would have separated Himself from Him had He not wished to be understood to be God. He would have placed Himself among men only, had He known Himself to be only man; nor would He have linked Himself with God had He not known Himself to be God also. But in this case He is silent about His being man, because no one doubts His being man, and with reason links Himself to God, that He might establish the formula of His divinity(2) for those who should believe. If Christ was only man, how does He say, "And now glorify me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was?" (3) If, before the world was, He had glory with God, and maintained His glory with the Father, He existed before the world, for He would not have had the glory unless He Himself had existed before, so as to be able to keep the glory. For no one could possess anything, unless he himself should first be in existence to keep anything. But now Christ has the glory before the foundation of the world; therefore He Himself was before the foundation of the world. For unless He were before the foundation of the world, He could not have glory before the foundation of the world, since He Himself was not in existence. But indeed man could not have glory before the foundation of the world, seeing that he was after the world; but Christ had--therefore He was before the world. Therefore He was not man only, seeing that He was before the world. He is therefore God, because He was before the world, and held His glory before the world. Neither let this be explained by predestination, since this is not so expressed, or let them add this who think so, but woe is denounced to them who add to, even as to those who take away from, that which is written. Therefore that may not be said, which may not be added. And thus, predestination being set aside, seeing it is not so laid down, Christ was in substance before the foundation of the world. For He is "the Word by which all things were made, and without which nothing was made." Because even if He is said to be glorious in predestination, and that this predestination was before the foundation of the world, let order be maintained, and before Him a considerable number of men was destined to glory. For in respect of that destination, Christ will be perceived to be less than others if He is designated subsequent to them. For if this glory was in predestination, Christ received that predestination to glory last of all; for prior to Him Adam will be seen to have been predestinated, and Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and many others. For since with God the order of all, both persons and things, is arranged, many will be said to have been predestinated before this predestination of Christ to glory. And on these terms Christ is discovered to be inferior to other men, although He is really found to be better and greater, and more ancient than the angels themselves. Either, then, let all these things be set on one side, that Christ's divinity may be destroyed; or if these things cannot be set aside, let His proper divinity be attributed to Christ by the heretics.

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