1 ON the other hand, the sacred doctrine teaches that he who is the supreme Source of good, and Cause of all things, is beyond all comprehension, and therefore inexpressible by word, or speech, or name; surpassing the power, not of language only, but of thought itself. Uncircumscribed by place, or body; neither in heaven, nor in ethereal space, nor in any other part of the universe; but entirely independent of all things else, he pervades the depths of unexplored and secret wisdom. The sacred oracles teach us to acknowledge him as the only true God, [1] apart from all corporeal essence, distinct from all subordinate ministration. Hence it is said that all things are from him, but not through him. [2] And he himself dwelling as Sovereign in secret and undiscovered regions of unapproachable light, ordains and disposes all things by the single power of his own will. At his will whatever is, exists; without that will, it cannot be. And his will is in every case for good, since he is essentially Goodness itself. But he through whom are all things, even God the Word, proceeding in an ineffable manner from the Father above, as from an everlasting and exhaustless fountain, flows onward like a river with a full and abundant stream of power for the preservation of the universal whole.

3 And now let us select an illustration from our own experience. The invisible and undiscovered mind within us, the essential nature of which no one has ever known, sits as a monarch in the seclusion of his secret chambers, and alone resolves on our course of action. From this proceeds the only-begotten word from its father's bosom, begotten in a manner and by a power inexplicable to us; and is the first messenger of its father's thoughts, declares his secret counsels, and, conveying itself to the ears of others, accomplishes his designs. And 4 thus the advantage of this faculty is enjoyed by all: yet no one has ever yet beheld that invisible and hidden mind, which is the I parent of the word itself. [3] In the same manner, or rather in a manner which far surpasses all likeness or comparison, the perfect Word of the Supreme God, as the only-begotten Son of the Father (not consisting in the power of utterance, nor comprehended in syllables and parts of speech, nor conveyed by a voice which vibrates on the air; but being himself the living and effectual Word of the most High, and subsisting personally as the Power and Wisdom of God), [4] proceeds from his Father's Deity and kingdom. [5] Thus, being the perfect Offspring of a perfect Father, and the common Preserver of all things, he diffuses himself with living power throughout creation, and pours from his own fullness abundant supplies of reason, [6] wisdom, light, and every other blessing, not only on objects nearest to himself, but on those most remote, whether in earth, or sea, or any other sphere of being. To all these 5 he appoints with perfect equity their limits, places, laws, and inheritance, allotting to each their suited portion according to his sovereign will. To some he assigns the super-terrestrial regions, to others heaven itself as their habitation: others he places in ethereal space, others in air, and others still on earth. He it is who transfers mankind from hence to another sphere, impartially reviews their conduct here, and bestows a recompense according to the life and habits of each. By him provision is made for the life and food, not of rational creatures only, but also of the brute creation, for the service of men; and while to the latter he 6 grants the enjoyment of a perishable and fleeting term of existence, the former he invites to a share in the possession of immortal life. Thus universal is the agency of the Word of God: everywhere present, and pervading all things by the power of his intelligence, he looks upward to his Father, and governs this lower creation, inferior to and consequent upon himself, in accordance with his will, as the common Preserver of all things. Interme- 7 diate, as it were, and attracting the created to the uncreated Essence, this Word of God exists as an unbroken bond between the two, uniting things most widely different by an inseparable tie. He is the Providence which rules the universe; the guardian and director of the whole: he is the Power and Wisdom of God the only-begotten God, the Word begotten of God himself. For "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him and without him was not any. thing made that hath been made"; as we learn from the words of the sacred writer? Through his vivifying power all nature grows and flourishes, refreshed by his continual showers, and invested 8 with a vigor and beauty ever new. Guiding the reigns of the universe, he holds its onward course in conformity to the Father's will and moves, as it were, the helm of this mighty ship. This glorious Agent, the only-begotten Son of the Supreme God, begotten by the Father as his perfect Offspring, the Father has given to this world as the highest of all goods infusing his word, as spirit into a lifeless body, into unconscious nature; imparting light and energy to that which in itself was a rude, inanimate, and formless mass, through the Divine power. Him therefore it is ours to acknowledge and regard as everywhere present, and giving life to matter and the elements of nature: [8] in him we see Light, even the spiritual offspring of inexpressible Light: one indeed in essence, as being the Son of one Father; but possessing in himself many and varied 9 powers. The world is indeed divided into many parts; yet let us not therefore suppose that there are many independent Agents nor, though creation's works be manifold, let us thence assume the existence of many gods. How grievous the error of those childish and infatuated advocates of polytheistic worship, who deify the constituent parts of the universe, and divide into many that system which is only 10 one! Such conduct resembles theirs who should abstract the eyes of an individual man, and term them the man himself, and the ears, another man, and so the head: or again, by an effort of thought should separate the neck, the breast and shoulders, the feet and hands,: or other members, nay, the very powers of sense, and thus pronounce an individual to be a multitude of men. Such folly must surely be rewarded with contempt by men of sense. Yet such is he who from the component parts of a single world can devise for himself a multitude of gods, or even deem that world which is the work of a Creator, and consists of many parts, to be itself a god: [9] not knowing that the Divine Nature can in no sense be divisible into parts; since, if compounded, it must be so through the agency of another power; and that which is so compounded can never be Divine. How indeed could it be so, if composed of unequal and dissimilar, and hence of worse and better elements? Simple, indivisible, uncompounded, the Divine Nature exists at an infinite elevation above the visible constitution of this world. And hence we are assured by the clear testimony of the sacred Herald, [10] that the Word of God, who is before all things, must be the sole Preserver of all intelligent beings: while God, who is above all, and the Author of the generation of the Word, being himself the Cause of all things, is rightly called the Father of the Word, as of his only-begotten Son, himself acknowledging no superior Cause. God, therefore, himself is One, and from him proceeds the one only-begotten Word, the omnipresent Preserver of all things. And as the many-stringed lyre is composed of different chords, both sharp and flat, some slightly, others tensely strained, and others intermediate between-the two extremes, yet all attuned according to the rules of harmonic art; even so this material world, compounded as it is of many elements, containing opposite and antagonist principles, as moisture and dryness, cold and heat, yet blended into one harmonious whole, may justly be termed a mighty instrument framed by the hand of God: an instrument on which the Divine Word, himself not composed of parts or opposing principles, but indivisible and uncompounded, performs with perfect skill, and produces a melody at once accordant with the will of his Father the Supreme Lord of all, and glorious to himself. Again, as there are manifold external and internal parts and members comprised in a single body, yet one invisible soul, one undivided and incorporeal mind pervades the whole; so is it in this creation, which, consisting of many parts, yet is but one: and so the One mighty, yea, Almighty Word of God, pervading all things, and diffusing himself with undeviating energy throughout this universe, is the Cause of all things that exist therein. Survey the compass of this visible world. Seest thou not how the same heaven contains within itself the countless courses and companies of the stars? Again, the sun is one, and yet eclipses many, nay all other luminaries, by the surpassing glory of his rays. Even so, as the Father himself is One, his Word is also One, the perfect Son of that perfect Father. Should any one object because they are not more, as well might he complain that there are not many suns, or moons, or worlds, and a thousand things beside; like the madman, who would fain subvert the fair and perfect course of Nature herself. As in the visible, so also in the spiritual world: in the one the same sun diffuses his light throughout this material earth; in the other the One Almighty Word of God illumines all things with in- 13 visible and secret power. Again, there is in man one spirit, and one faculty of reason, which yet is the active cause of numberless effects. The same mind, instructed in many things, will essay to cultivate the earth, to build and guide a ship, and construct houses: nay, the one mind and reason of man is capable of acquiring knowledge in a thousand forms: the same mind shall understand geometry and astronomy, and discourse on the rules of grammar, and rhetoric, and the healing art. Nor will it excel in science only, but in practice too: and yet no one has ever supposed the existence of many minds in one human form, nor expressed his wonder at a plurality of being in man, because he is thus capable of varied knowledge 14. Suppose one were to find a shapeless mass of clay, to mould it with his hands, and give it the form of a living creature; the head in one figure, the hands and feet in another, the eyes and cheeks in a third, and so to fashion the ears, the mouth and nose, the breast and shoulders, according to the rules of the plastic art. The result, indeed, is a variety of figure, of parts and members in the one body; yet must we not suppose it the work of many hands, but ascribe it entirely to the skill of a single artist, and yield the tribute of our praise to him who by the energy of a single mind has framed it all. The same is true of the universe itself, which is one, though consisting of many parts: yet surely we need not suppose many creative powers, nor invent a plurality of gods. Our duty is to adore the all-wise and all-perfect agency of him who is indeed the Power and the Wisdom of God, whose undivided force and energy pervades and penetrates the universe, creating and giving life to all things, and furnishing to all, collectively and severally, those manifold supplies of which he is himself the 15 source. Even so one and the same impression of the solar rays illumines the air at once, gives light to the eyes, warmth to the touch, fertility to the earth, and growth to plants. The same luminary constitutes the course of time, governs the motions of the stars, performs the circuit of the heavens, imparts beauty to the earth, and displays the power of God to all: and all this he performs by the sole and unaided force of his own nature. In like manner fire has the property of refining gold, and fusing lead, of dissolving wax, of parching clay, and consuming wood; producing these varied effects by one and the same burning power.

16 So also the Supreme Word of God, pervading all things, everywhere existent, everywhere present in heaven and earth, governs and directs the visible and invisible creation, the sun, the heaven, and the universe itself, with an energy inexplicable in its nature, irresistible in its effects. From him, as from an everlasting fountain, the sun, the moon, and stars receive their light: and he forever rules that heaven which he has framed as the fitting emblem of his own greatness. The angelic and spiritual powers, the incorporeal and intelligent beings which exist beyond the sphere of heaven and earth, are filled by him with light and life, with wisdom and virtue, with all that is great and good, from Iris own peculiar treasures. Once more, with one and the same creative skill, he ceases not to furnish the elements with substance, to regulate the union and combinations, the forms and figures, and the innumerable qualities of organized bodies; preserving the varied distinctions of animal and vegetable life, of the rational and the brute creation; and supplying all things to all with equal power: thus proving himself the Author, not indeed of the seven-stringed lyre, [11] but of that system of perfect harmony which is the workmanship of the One world-creating Word. [12]


AND now let us proceed to explain the 1 reasons for which this mighty Word of God descended to dwell with men. Our ignorant and foolish race, incapable of comprehending him who is the Lord of heaven and earth, proceeding from his Father's Deity as from the supreme fountain, ever present throughout the world, and evincing by the clearest proofs his providential care for the interests of man; have ascribed the adorable title of Deity to the sun, and moon, the heaven and the stars of heaven. Nor did they stop here, but deified the earth itself, its products, and the various substances by which animal life is sustained, and devised images of Ceres, of Proserpine, of Bacchus, (1) 2 and many such as these. Nay, they shrank not from giving the name of gods to the very conceptions of their own minds, and the speech by which those conceptions are expressed; calling the mind itself Minerva, and language Mercury, (2) and affixing the names of Mnemosyne and the Muses to those faculties by means of which science is acquired. Nor was even this enough: advancing still more rapidly in the career of impiety and folly, they deified their own evil passions, which it behooved them to regard with aversion, or restrain by the principles of self-control. Their very lust and passion and impure disease of soul, the members of the body which tempt to obscenity, and even the very uncontrol (3) in shameful pleasure, they described under the titles of Cupid, Priapus 3, Venus, (4) and other kindred terms. Nor did they stop even here. Degrading their thoughts of God to this corporeal and mortal life, they deified their fellow-men, conferring the names of gods and heroes on those who had experienced the common lot of all, and vainly imagining that the Divine and imperishable Essence could frequent the tombs and monuments of the dead. Nay, more than this: they paid divine honors to animals of various species, and to the most noxious reptiles: they felled trees, and excavated rocks; they provided themselves with brass, and iron, and other metals, of which they fashioned resemblances of the male and female human form, of beasts, and creeping things; and these they made the objects of 4 their worship. Nor did this suffice. To the evil spirits themselves which lurked within their statues, or lay concealed in secret and dark recesses, eager to drink their libations, and inhale the odor of their sacrifices, they ascribed the same divine honors. Once more, they endeavored to secure the familiar aid of these spirits, and the unseen powers which move through the tracts of air, by charms of forbidden magic, and the compulsion of unhallowed songs and incantations. Again, different nations have adopted different persons as objects of their worship. The Greeks have rendered to Bacchus, Hercules, AEsculapius, Apollo, and others who were mortal men, the titles of gods and heroes. The Egyptians have deified Horus and Isis, Osiris, and other mortals such as these. And thus they who boast of the wondrous skill whereby they have discovered geometry, astronomy, and the science of number, know not, wise as they are in their own conceit, nor understand how to estimate the measure of the power of God, or calculate his exceeding greatness above the nature of irrational and mortal beings. Hence 5 they shrank not from applying the name of gods to the most hideous of the brute creation, to venomous reptiles and savage beasts. The Phoenicians deified Melcatharus, Usorus, (5) and others; mere mortals, and with little claim to honor: the Arabians, Dusaris (6) and Obodas: the Getae, Zamolxis: the Cicilians, Mopsus: and the Thebans, Amphiaraus: (7) in short, each nation has adopted its own peculiar deities, differing in no respect from their fellow-mortals, being simply and truly men. Again, the Egyptians with one consent, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, nay, every nation beneath the sun, have united in worshiping the very parts and elements of the world, and even the produce of the ground itself. And, which is most surprising, though acknowledging the adulterous, unnatural, and licentious crimes of their deities, they have not only filled every city, and village, and district with temples, shrines, and statues in their honor, but have followed their evil example to the ruin of their own souls. We hear of gods and 6 the sons of gods described by them as heroes and good genii, titles entirely opposed to truth, honors utterly at variance with the qualifies they are intended to exalt. It is as if one who desired to point out the sun and the luminaries of heaven, instead of directing his gaze thitherward, should grope with his hands on the ground, and search for the celestial powers in the mud and mire. Even so mankind, deceived by their own folly and the craft of evil spirits, have believed that the Divine and spiritual Essence which is far above heaven and earth could be compatible with the birth, the affections, and death, of mortal bodies here below. To such a pitch of madness did they proceed, as to sacrifice the dearest objects of their affection to their gods, regardless of all natural ties, and urged by frenzied feeling to slay their only and best beloved children. For what can be a 7 greater proof of madness, than to offer human sacrifice, to pollute every city, and even their own houses, with kindred blood? Do not the Greeks themselves attest this, and is not all history filled with records of the same impiety? The Phoenicians devoted their best beloved and only children as an annual sacrifice to Saturn. The Rhodians, on the sixth day of the month Metageitnion, (8) offered human victims to the same god. At Salamis, a man was pursued in the temple of Minerva Agraulis and Diomede, compelled to run thrice round the altar, afterwards pierced with a lance by the priest, and consumed as a burnt offering on the blazing pile. In Egypt, human sacrifice was most abundant. At Heliopolis three victims were daily offered to Juno, for whom king Amoses, impressed with the atrocity of the practice, commanded the substitution of an equal number of waxen figures. In Chios, and again in Tenedos, a man was slain and offered up to Omadian Bacchus. At Sparta they immolated human beings to Mars. In Crete they did likewise, offering human sacrifices to Saturn. In Laodicea of Syria a virgin was yearly slain in honor of Minerva, for whom a hart is now the substitute. The Libyans and Carthaginians appeased their gods with human victims. The Dumateni of Arabia buried a boy annually beneath the altar. History informs us that the Greeks without exception, the Thracians also, and Scythians, were accustomed to human sacrifice before they marched forth to battle. The Athenians record the immolation of the virgin children of Leus, (9) and the daughter of Erechtheus. (10) Who knows not that at this day a human victim is offered in Rome itself at the festival of Jupiter Latiaris 8? And these facts are confirmed by the testimony of the most approved philosophers. Diodorus, the epitomizer of libraries, (11) affirms that two hundred of the noblest youths were sacrificed to Saturn by the Libyan people, and that three hundred more were voluntarily offered by their own parents. Dionysius, the compiler of Roman history, (12) expressly says that Jupiter and Apollo demanded human sacrifices of the so-called Aborigines, in Italy. He relates that on this demand they offered a proportion of all their produce to the gods; but that, because of their refusal to slay human victims, they became involved in manifold calamities, from which they could obtain no release until they had decimated themselves, a sacrifice of life which proved the desolation of their country. Such and so great were the evils which of 9 old afflicted the whole human race. Nor was this the full extent of their misery: they groaned beneath the pressure of other evils equally numerous and irremediable. All nations, whether civilized or barbarous, throughout the world, as if actuated by a demoniac frenzy, were infected with sedition as with some fierce and terrible disease: insomuch that the human family was irreconcilably divided against itself; the great system of society was distracted and torn asunder; and in every corner of the earth men stood opposed to each other, and strove with fierce contention on questions of law and government. Nay, more than this: with passions 10 aroused to fury, they engaged in mutual conflicts, so frequent that their lives were passed as it were in uninterrupted warfare. None could undertake a journey except as prepared to encounter an enemy in the very country and villages the rustics girded on the sword, provided themselves with armor rather than with the implements of rural labor, and deemed it noble exploit to plunder and enslave any who belonged to a neighboring state. Nay, 11 more than this: from the fables they had themselves devised respecting their own deities, they deduced occasions for a vile and abandoned life, and wrought the ruin of body and soul by licentiousness of every kind. Not content with this, they even overstepped the bounds which nature had defined, and together committed incredible and nameless crimes, "men with men (in the words of the sacred writer) working un-seemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due." Nor did they stop even here; but perverted 12 their natural thoughts of God, and denied that the course of this world was directed by his providential care, ascribing the existence and constitution of all things to the blind operation of chance, or the necessity of fate. Once more: believing that soul and body 13 were alike dissolved by death, they led a brutish life, unworthy of the name: careless of the nature or existence of the soul, they dreaded not the tribunal of Divine justice, expected no reward of virtue, nor thought of chastisement as the penalty of an evil life. Hence 14 it was that whole nations, a prey to wickedness in all its forms, were wasted by the effects of their own brutality: some living in the practice of most vile and lawless incest with mothers, others with sisters, and others again corrupting their own daughters. Some were found who slew their confiding guests; others who fed on human flesh; some strangled, and then feasted on, their aged men; others threw them alive to dogs. The time would fail me were I to attempt to describe the multifarious symptoms of the inveterate malady which had asserted its dominion over the whole human race. Such, and numberless others like these, 15 were the prevailing evils, on account of which the gracious Word of God, full of compassion for his human flock, had long since, by the ministry of his prophets, and earlier still, as well as later, by that of men distinguished by pious devotion to God, invited those thus desperately afflicted to their own cure; and had, by means of laws, exhortations, and doctrines of every kind, proclaimed to man the principles and elements of true godliness. But when for mankind, distracted and torn as I have said, not indeed by wolves and savage beasts, but by ruthless and soul-destroying spirits of evil, human power no longer sufficed, but a help was needed superior to that of man; then it was that the Word of God, obedient to his all-gracious Father's will, at length himself appeared, and most willingly made his abode amongst us.

16 The causes of his advent I have already described, induced by which he condescended to the society of man; not in his wonted form and manner, for he is incorporeal, and present everywhere throughout the world, proving by his agency both in heaven and earth the greatness of his almighty power, but in a character new and hitherto unknown. Assuming a mortal body, he deigned to associate and converse with men; desiring, through the medium of their own likeness, to save our mortal race.


1 AND now let us explain the cause for which the incorporeal Word of God assumed this mortal body as a medium of intercourse with man. How, indeed, else than in human form could that Divine and impalpable, that immaterial and invisible Essence manifest itself to those who sought for God in created and earthly objects, unable or unwilling otherwise to discern the Author and Maker of all things?

2 As a fitting means, therefore, of communication with mankind, he assumed a mortal body, as that with which they were themselves familiar; for like, it is proverbially said, loves its like. To those, then, whose affections were engaged by visible objects, who looked for gods in statues and lifeless images, who imagined the Deity to consist in material and corporeal substance, nay, who conferred on men the title of divinity, the Word of God presented him-3 self in this form. Hence he procured for himself this body as a thrice-hallowed temple, a sensible habitation of an intellectual power; a noble and most holy form, of far higher worth than any lifeless statue. The material and senseless image, fashioned by base mechanic hands, of brass or iron, of gold or ivory, wood or stone, may be a fitting abode for evil spirits: but that Divine form, wrought by the power of heavenly wisdom, was possessed of life and spiritual being; a form animated by every excellence, the dwelling-place of the Word of God, 4 a holy temple of the holy God. Thus the indwelling Word (1) conversed with and was known to men, as kindred with themselves; yet yielded not to passions such as theirs, nor owned, as the natural soul, subjection to the body. He parted not with aught of his intrinsic greatness, nor changed his proper Deity. For as the all-pervading radiance of the sun receives no stain from contact with dead and impure bodies; much less can the incorporeal power of the Word of God be injured in its essential purity, or part with any of its greatness, from spiritual contact with a human body. Thus, I say, did our common Saviour prove 5 himself the benefactor and preserver of all, displaying his wisdom through the instrumentality of his human nature, even as a musician uses the lyre to evince his skill. The Grecian myth tells us that Orpheus had power to charm ferocious beasts, and tame their savage spirit, by striking the chords of his instrument with a master hand: and this story is celebrated by the Greeks, and generally believed, that an unconscious instrument could subdue the untamed brute, and draw the trees from their places, in obedience to its melodious power. But he who is the author of perfect harmony, the all-wise Word of God, desiring to apply every remedy to the manifold diseases of the souls of men, employed that human nature which is the workmanship of his own wisdom, as an instrument by the melodious strains of which he soothed, not indeed the brute creation, but savages endued with reason; healing each furious temper, each fierce and angry passion of the soul, both in civilized and barbarous nations, by the remedial power of his Divine doctrine. Like a physician of perfect skill, he met the diseases of their souls who sought for God in nature and in bodies, by a fitting and kindred remedy, and showed them God in human form. And then, with no less care for the 6 body than the soul, he presented before the eyes of men wonders and signs, as proofs of his Divine power, at the same time instilling into their ears of flesh the doctrines which he himself uttered with a corporeal tongue. In short, he performed all his works through the medium of that body which he had assumed for the sake of those who else were incapable of apprehending his Divine nature. In all 7 this he was the servant of his Father's will, himself remaining still the same as when with the Father; unchanged in essence, unimpaired in nature, unfettered by the trammels of mortal flesh, nor hindered by his abode in a human body from being elsewhere present. (2)

8 Nay, at the very time of his intercourse with men, he was pervading all things, was with and in the Father, and even then was caring for all things both in heaven and earth. Nor was he precluded, as we are, from being present everywhere, or from the continued exercise of his Divine power. He gave of his own to man, but received nothing in return: he imparted of his Divine power to mortality, but derived no accession from mortality itself.

9 Hence his human birth to him brought no defilement; nor could his impassible Essence suffer at the dissolution of his mortal body. For let us suppose a lyre to receive an accidental injury, or its chord to be broken; it does not follow that the performer on it suffers: nor, if a wise man's body undergo punishment, can we fairly assert that his wisdom, or the soul within him, are maimed or burned.

10 Far less can we affirm that the inherent power of the Word sustained any detriment from his bodily passion, any more than, as in the instance we have already used, the solar rays which are shot from heaven to earth contract defilement, though in contact with mire and pollution of every kind. We may, indeed, assert that these things partake of the radiance of the light, but not that the light is contaminated, or the sun defiled, by this contact 11 with other bodies. And indeed these things are themselves not contrary to nature; but the Saviour, the incorporeal Word of God, being Life and spiritual Light itself, whatever he touches with Divine and incorporeal power must of necessity become endued with the intelligence of light and life. Thus, if he touch a body, it becomes enlightened and sanctified, is at once delivered from all disease, infirmity, and suffering, and that which before was lacking is 12 supplied by a portion of his fullness. And such was the tenor of his life on earth; now proving the sympathies of his human nature with our own, and now revealing himself as the Word of God: wondrous and mighty in his works as God; foretelling the events of the far distant future; declaring in every act, by signs, and wonders, and supernatural powers, that Word whose presence was so little known; and finally, by his Divine teaching, inviting the souls of men to prepare for those mansions which are above the heavens.


1 WHAT now remains, but to account for those which are the crowning facts of all; I mean his death, so far and widely known, the manner of his passion, and the mighty miracle of his resurrection after death: and then to establish the truth of these events by the clearest testimonies? For the reasons detailed above he used the instrumentality of a mortal body, as a figure becoming his Divine majesty, and like a mighty sovereign employed it as his interpreter in his intercourse with men, performing all things consistently with his own Divine power. Supposing, then, at the end of his sojourn among men, he had by any other means suddenly withdrawn himself from their sight, and, secretly removing that interpreter of himself, the form which he had assumed, had hastened to flee from death, and afterwards by his own act had consigned his mortal body to corruption and dissolution: doubtless in such a case he would have been deemed a mere phantom by all. Nor would he have acted in a manner worthy of himself, had he who is Life, the Word, and the Power of God, abandoned this interpreter of himself to corruption and death. Nor, again, would his warfare with the spirits of evil have received its consummation by conflict. with the power of death. The place of his retirement must have remained unknown; nor would his existence have been believed by those who had not seen him for themselves. No proof would have been given that he was superior to death nor would he have delivered mortality from the law of its natural infirmity. His name had never been heard throughout the world nor could he have inspired his disciples with contempt of death, or encouraged those who. embraced his doctrine to hope for the enjoyment of a future life with God. Nor would he have fulfilled the assurances of his own promise, nor have accomplished the predictions of the prophets concerning himself. Nor would he have undergone the last conflict of all; for this was to be the struggle with the power of death. For all these reasons, then, and 4 inasmuch as it was necessary that the mortal body which had rendered such service to the Divine Word should meet with an end worthy its sacred occupant, the manner of his death was ordained accordingly. For since but two alternatives remained: either to consign his body entirely to corruption, and so to bring the scene of life to a dishonored close, or else to prove himself victorious over death, and render mortality immortal by the act of Divine power; the former of these alternatives would have contravened his own promise. For as it is not the property of fire to cool, nor of light to darken, no more is it compatible with life, to deprive of life, or with Divine intelligence, to act in a manner contrary to reason. For how would it be consistent,with reason, that he who had promised life to others, should permit his own body, the form which he had chosen, to perish beneath the power of corruption? That he who had inspired his disciples with hopes of immortality, should yield this exponent of his Divine 5 counsels to be destroyed by death? The second alternative was therefore needful I mean, that he should assert his dominion over the power of death. But how? should this be a furtive and secret act, or openly performed and in the sight of all? So mighty an achievement, had it remained unknown and unrevealed, must have failed of its effect as regards the interests of men; whereas the same event, if openly declared and understood, would, from its wondrous character, redound to the common benefit of all. With reason, therefore, since it was needful to prove his body victorious over death, and that not secretly but before the eyes of men, he shrank not from the trial, for this indeed would have argued fear, and a sense of inferiority to the power of death, but maintained that conflict with the enemy which has rendered mortality immortal; a conflict undertaken for the life, the immortality, the salvation of all. 6 Suppose one desired to show us that a vessel could resist the force of fire; how could he better prove the fact than by casting it into the furnace and thence withdrawing it entire and unconsumed? Even thus the Word of God who is the source of life to all, desiring to prove the triumph of that body over death which he had assumed for man's salvation, and to make this body partake his own life and immortality, pursued a course consistent with this object. Leaving his body for a little while, (1) and delivering it up to death in proof of its mortal nature, he soon redeemed it from death, in vindication of that Divine power whereby he has manifested the immortality which he has promised to 7 be utterly beyond the sphere of death. The reason of this is clear. It was needful that l his disciples should receive ocular proof of the certainty of that resurrection on which he had taught them to rest their hopes as a motive for rising superior to the fear of death. It was indeed most needful that they who purposed to pursue a life of godliness should receive a clear impression of this essential truth: more needful still for those who were destined to declare his name in all the world, and to communicate to mankind that knowledge of God which he 8 had before ordained for all nations. For such the strongest conviction of a future life was necessary, that they might be able with fearless and unshrinking zeal to maintain the conflict with Gentile and polytheistic error: a conflict the dangers of which they would never, have been prepared to meet, except as habituated to the contempt of death. Accordingly, in arming his disciples against the power of this last enemy, he delivered not his doctrines in mere verbal precepts, nor attempted to prove the soul's immortality, by persuasive and probable arguments; but displayed to them in his own person a real victory over death. Such 9 was the first and greatest reason of our Saviour's conflict with the power of death, whereby he proved to his disciples the nothingness of that which is the terror of all mankind, and afforded a visible evidence of the reality of that life which he had promised; presenting as it were a first-fruit of our common hope, of future life and immortality in the presence of God. The second cause of his resurrection was, 10 that the Divine power might be manifested which dwelt in his mortal body. Mankind had heretofore conferred Divine honors on men who had yielded to the power of death, and had given the titles of gods and heroes to mortals like themselves. For this reason, therefore, the Word of God evinced his gracious character, and proved to man his own superiority over death, recalling his mortal body to a second life, displaying an immortal triumph over death in the eyes of all, and teaching them to acknowledge the Author of such a victory to be the only true God, even in death itself. I may 11 allege yet a third cause of the Saviour's death. He was the victim offered to the Supreme Sovereign of the universe for the whole human race: a victim consecrated for the need of the human race, and for the overthrow of the errors of demon worship. For as soon as the one holy and mighty sacrifice, the sacred body of our Saviour, had been slain for man, to be as a ransom for all nations, heretofore involved in the guilt of impious superstition, thenceforward the power of impure and unholy spirits was utterly abolished, and every earth-born and delusive error was at once weakened and destroyed. Thus, then, this salutary victim 12 taken from among themselves, I mean the mortal body of the Word, was offered on behalf of the common race of men. This was that sacrifice delivered up to death, of which the sacred oracles speak: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (2) And again, as follows: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb." They declare also the cause, saying: "He bears our sins, and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his bruises we were healed. All we as sheep have gone astray; every one has gone astray in this way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins.'' (3)

13 Such were the causes which led to the offering of the human body of the Word of God. But forasmuch as he was the great high priest, consecrated to the Supreme Lord and King, and therefore more than a victim, the Word, the Power, and the Wisdom of God; he soon recalled his body from the grasp of death, presented it to his Father as the first-fruit of our common salvation, and raised this trophy, a proof at once of his victory over death and Satan, and of the abolition of human sacrifices, for the blessing of all mankind.


1 AND now the time is come for us to proceed to the demonstration of these things; if indeed such truths require demonstration, and if the aid of testimony be needful to confirm the certainty of palpable facts. Such testimony, however, shall be here given; and let it be received with an attentive and gracious ear.

2 Of old the nations of the earth, the entire human race, were variously distributed into provincial, national, and local governments, (1) subject to kingdoms and principalities of many kinds. The consequences of this variety were war and strife, depopulation and captivity, which raged in country and city with unceasing fury. Hence, too, the countless subjects of history, adulteries, and rapes of women; hence the woes of Troy, and the ancient tragedies, so known 3 among all peoples. The origin of these may justly be ascribed to the delusion of polytheistic error. But when that instrument of our redemption, the thrice holy body of Christ, which proved itself superior to all Satanic fraud, and free from evil both in word and deed, was raised, at once for the abolition of ancient evils, and in token of his victory over the powers of darkness; the energy of these evil spirits was at once destroyed. The manifold forms of government, the tyrannies and republics, the siege of cities, and devastation of countries caused thereby, were now no more, and one God 4 was proclaimed to all mankind. At the same time one universal power, the Roman empire, arose and flourished, while the enduring and implacable hatred of nation against nation was now removed: and as the knowledge of one God, and one way of religion and salvation, even the doctrine of Christ, was made known to all mankind; so at the self-same period, the entire dominion of the Roman empire being vested in a single sovereign, profound peace reigned throughout the world. And thus, by the express appointment of the same God, two roots of blessing, the Roman empire, and the doctrine of Christian piety, sprang up together for the benefit of men. For before 5 this time the various countries of the world, as Syria, Asia, Macedonia, Egypt, and Arabia, had been severally subject to different rulers. The Jewish people, again, had established their dominion in the laud of Palestine. And these nations, in every village, city, and district, actuated by some insane spirit, were engaged in incessant and murderous war and conflict. But two mighty powers, starting from the same point, the Roman empire, which henceforth was swayed by a single sovereign, and the Christian religion, subdued and reconciled these contending elements. Our Saviour's mighty 6 power destroyed at once the many governments and the many gods of the powers of darkness, and proclaimed to all men, both rude and civilized, to the extremities of the earth, the sole sovereignty of God himself. Meantime the Roman empire, the causes of multiplied governments being thus removed, effected an easy conquest of those which yet remained; its object being to unite all nations in one harmonious whole; an object in great measure already secured, and destined to be still more perfectly attained, even to the final conquest of the ends of the habitable world, by means of the salutary doctrine, and through the aid of that Divine power which facilitates and smooths its way. And surely this must appear a wondrous 7 fact to those who will examine the question in the love of truth, and desire not to cavil at these blessings. (2) The falsehood of demon superstition was convicted: the inveterate strife and mutual hatred of the nations was removed: at the same time One God, and the knowledge of that God, were proclaimed to all: one universal empire prevailed; and the whole human race, subdued by the controlling power of peace and concord, received one another as brethren, and responded to the feelings of their common nature. Hence, as children of one God and Father, and owning true religion as their common mother, they saluted and welcomed each other with words of peace. Thus the whole world appeared like one well-ordered and united family: each one might journey unhindered as far as and whithersoever he pleased: men might securely travel from West to East, and from East to West, as to their own native country: in short, the ancient oracles and predictions of the prophets were fulfilled, more numerous than we can at present cite, and those especially which speak as follows concerning the saving Word. "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." And again, "In his days shall righteousness spring up; and abundance of peace." "And they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles: and nation shall not take up sword against nation, neither shall 8 they learn to war any more.'' (3) These words, predicted ages before in the Hebrew tongue, have received in our own day a visible fulfillment, by which the testimonies of the ancient oracles are clearly confirmed. And now, if thou still desire more ample proof, receive it, not in words, but from the facts themselves. Open the eyes of thine understanding expand the gates of thought; pause awhile, and consider; inquire of thyself as though thou weft another, and thus diligently examine the nature of the case. What king or prince in any age of the world, what philosopher, legislator, or prophet, in civilized or barbarous lands, has attained so great a height of excellence, I say not after death, but while living still, and full of mighty power, as to fill the ears and tongues of all mankind with the praises of his name? Surely none save our only Saviour has done this, when, after his victory over death, he spoke the word to his followers, and fulfilled it by the event, saying to them, "Go ye, and make disciples of all nations in my name.'' (4) He it was who gave the distinct assurance, that his gospel must be preached in all the world for a tes testimony to all nations, and immediately verified his word: for within a little time the world itself was filled with his doctrine. How, then, will those who caviled at the commencement of my speech be able to reply to this? For surely the force of ocular testimony is superior to any verbal argument. Who else than he, with an invisible and yet potent hand, has driven from human society like savage beasts that ever noxious and destructive tribe of evil spirits who of old had made all nations their prey, and by the motions of their images had practiced many a delusion among men? Who else, beside our Saviour, by the invocation of his name, and by unfeigned prayer addressed through him to the Supreme God, has given power to banish from the world the remnant of those wicked spirits to those who with genuine and sincere obedience pursue the course of life and conduct which he has himself prescribed? Who else but our Saviour has taught his followers to offer those bloodless and reasonable sacrifices which are performed by prayer and the secret worship of God? Hence is it that throughout the habitable world altars are erected, and churches dedicated, wherein these spiritual and rational sacrifices are offered as a sacred service by every nation to the One Supreme God. Once more, who but he, with invisible and secret power, has suppressed and utterly abolished those bloody sacrifices which were offered with fire and smoke, as well as the cruel and senseless immolation of human victims; a fact which is attested by the heathen historians themselves? For it was not till after the publication of the Saviour's Divine doctrine, about the time of Hadrian's reign, that the practice of human sacrifice was universally abandoned. Such and so manifest are the 11 proofs of our Saviour's power and energy after death. Who then can be found of spirit so obdurate as to withhold his assent to the truth, and refuse to acknowledge his life to be Divine? Such deeds as I have described are done by the living, not the dead; and visible acts are to us as evidence of those which we cannot see. It is as it were an event of yesterday that an impious and godless race disturbed and confounded the peace of human society, and possessed mighty power. But these, as soon as life departed, lay prostrate on the earth, worthless as dung, breathless, motionless, bereft of speech, and have left neither fame nor memorial behind. For such is the condition of the dead; and he who no longer lives is nothing: and how can he who is nothing be capable of any act? But how shall his existence be called in question, whose active power and energy are greater than in those who are still alive? And though he be invisible to the natural eye, yet the discerning faculty is not in outward sense. We do not comprehend the rules of art, or the theories of science, by bodily sensation; nor has any eye yet discerned the mind of man. Far less, then, the power of God: and in such cases our judgment is formed from apparent results. Even thus are we bound to judge of our Saviour's invisible power, and decide by its manifest effects whether we shall acknowledge the mighty operations which he is even now carrying on to be the works of a living agent; or whether they shall be ascribed to one who has no existence; or, lastly, whether the inquiry be not absurd and inconsistent in itself. For with what reason can we assert the existence of one who is not? Since all allow that that which has no existence is devoid of that power, and energy, and action, for these are characteristics of the living, but the contrary is characteristic of the dead.


1 AND now the time is come for us to consider the works of our Saviour in our own age, and to contemplate the living operations of the living God. For how shall we describe these mighty works save as living proofs of the power of a living agent, who truly enjoys the life of God? If any one inquire the nature 2 of these works, let him now attend. But recently a class of persons, impelled by furious zeal, and backed by equal power and military force, evinced their enmity against God, by destroying his churches, and overthrowing from their foundations the buildings dedicated to his worship. In short, in every way they directed their attacks against the unseen God, and assailed him with a thousand shafts of impious words. But he who is invisible avenged himself with an invisible hand. By the single fiat of his will his enemies were utterly destroyed, they who a little while before had been flourishing in great prosperity, exalted by their fellow men as worthy of divine honor, and blessed with a continued period of power and glory, (1) so long as they had maintained peace and amity with him whom they afterwards opposed. As soon, however, as they dared openly to resist his will, and to set their gods in array against him whom we adore; immediately, according to the will and power of that God against whom their arms were raised, they all received the judgment due to their audacious deeds. Constrained to yield and flee before his power, together they acknowledged his Divine nature, and hastened to reverse the measures which they had before essayed.

4 Our Saviour, therefore, without delay erected trophies of this victory everywhere, and once more adorned the world with holy temples and consecrated houses of prayer; in every city and village, nay, throughout all countries, and even in barbaric wilds, ordaining the erection of churches and sacred buildings to the honor of the Supreme God and Lord of all. Hence it is that these hallowed edifices are deemed worthy to bear his name, and receive not their appellation from men, but from the Lord himself, from which circumstances they are called churches (or houses of the 5 Lord). (2) And now let him who will stand forth and tell us who, after so complete a desolation, has restored these sacred buildings from foundation to roof? Who, when all hope appeared extinct, has caused them to rise on a nobler scale than heretofore? And well may it claim our wonder, that this renovation was not subsequent to the death of those adversaries of God, but whilst the destroyers of these edifices were still alive; so that the recantation of their evil deeds came in their own words and edicts. (3) And this they did, not in the sunshine of prosperity and ease (for then we might suppose that benevolence or clemency might be the cause), but at the very time that they were suffering under the stroke of Divine vengeance. Who, again, has been able to retain in 6 obedience to his heavenly precepts, after so many successive storms of persecution, nay, in the very crisis of danger, so many persons throughout the world devoted to philosophy, and the service of God and those holy choirs of virgins who had dedicated themselves to a life of perpetual chastity and purity? Who taught them cheerfully to persevere in the exercise of protracted fasting, and to embrace a life of severe and consistent self-denial? Who has persuaded multitudes of either sex to devote themselves to the study of sacred things, and prefer to bodily nutriment that intellectual food which is suited to the wants of a rational soul? (4) Who has instructed barbarians and peasants, yea, feeble women, slaves, and children, in short, unnumbered multitudes of all nations, to live in the contempt of death; persuaded of the immortality of their souls, conscious that human actions are observed by the unerring eye of justice, expecting God's award to the righteous and the wicked, and therefore true to the practice of a just and virtuous life? For they could not otherwise have persevered in the course of godliness. Surely these are the acts which our Saviour, and he alone, even now performs. And now let us pass from these topics, and endeavor by inquiries such as 7 these that follow to convince the objector's obdurate understanding. Come forward, then, whoever thou art, and speak the words of reason: utter, not the thoughts of a senseless heart, but those of an intelligent and enlightened mind: speak, I say, after deep solemn converse with thyself. Who of the sages whose names have yet been known to fame, has ever been fore-known and proclaimed from the remotest ages, as our Saviour was by the prophetic oracles to the once divinely-favored Hebrew nation? But his very birth-place, the period of his advent the manner of his life, his miracles, and words and mighty acts, were anticipated and recorded in the sacred volumes of these prophets.

8 Again, who so present an avenger of crimes against himself; so that, as the immediate consequence of their impiety, the entire Jewish people were scattered by an unseen power, their royal seat utterly removed, and their very temple with its holy things levelled with the ground? Who, like our Saviour, has uttered predictions at once concerning that impious nation and the establishment of his church throughout the world, and has equally verified both by the event? Respecting the temple of these wicked men, our Saviour said: "Your house is left unto you desolate": (5) and, "There shall not be left one stone upon another in this place, that shall not be thrown down." (6) And again, of his church he says: "I will build my church upon a rock, and the gates of hell 9 shall not prevail against it." (7) How wondrous, too, must that power be deemed which summoned obscure and unlettered men from their fisher's trade, and made them the legislators and instructors of the human race! And how clear a demonstration of his deity do we find in the promise so well performed, that he would make them fishers of men: in the power and energy which he bestowed, so that they composed and published writings of such authority that they were translated into every civilized and barbarous language,s were read and pondered by all nations, and the doctrines 14 contained in them accredited as the oracles of God! How marvelous his predictions of the future, and the testimony whereby his disciples were forewarned that they should be brought before kings and rulers, and should endure the severest punishments, not indeed as criminals, but simply for their confession of his name! Or who shall adequately describe the power with which he prepared them thus to suffer with a willing mind, and enabled them, strong in the armor of godliness, to maintain a constancy of spirit indomitable in the midst 11 of conflict? Or how shall we enough admire that steadfast firmness of soul which strengthened, not merely his immediate followers,. but their successors also, even to our present age, in the joyful endurance of every infliction, 1 and every form of torture, in proof of their devotion to the Supreme God? Again, what monarch has prolonged his government through so vast a series of ages? Who else has power to make war after death, to triumph over every enemy, to subjugate each barbarous and civilized nation and city, and to subdue his adversaries with an invisible and secret hand? Lastly, and chief of all, what slanderous lip shall dare to question that universal peace to which we have already referred; established by his power throughout the world. For thus the mutual concord and harmony of all nations coincided in point of time with the extension of our Saviour's doctrine and preaching in all the world: a concurrence of events predicted in long ages past by the prophets of God. The day itself would fail me, gracious emperor, should I attempt to exhibit in a single view those cogent proofs of our Saviour's Divine power which even now are visible in their effects; for no human being, in civilized or barbarous nations, has ever yet exhibited such power of Divine virtue as our Saviour. But why do I speak of men, since of the beings whom all nations have deemed divine, none has appeared on earth with power like to his? If there has, let the fact now be proved. Come forward, ye philosophers, and tell us what god or hero has yet been known to fame, who has delivered the doctrines of eternal life and a heavenly kingdom as he has done who is our Saviour? Who, like him, has persuaded multitudes throughout the world to pursue the principles of Divine wisdom, to fix their hope on heaven itself, and look forward to the mansions there reserved for them that love God? What god or hero in human form has ever held his course from the rising to the setting sun, a course co-extensive as it were with the solar light, and irradiated mankind with the bright and glorious beams of his doctrine, causing each nation of the earth to render united worship to the One true God? What god or hero yet, as he has done, has set aside all gods and heroes among civilized or barbarous nations has ordained that divine honors should be withheld from all, and chimed obedience to that command: and then, though singly conflicting with the power of all, has utterly destroyed the opposing hosts; victorious over the gods and heroes of every age, and causing himself alone, in every region of the habitable world, to be acknowledged by all people as the only Son of God? Who else has commanded the 14 nations inhabiting the continents and islands of this mighty globe to assemble weekly on the Lord's day, and to observe it as a festival, not indeed for the pampering of the body, but for the invigoration of the soul by instruction in Divine truth? What god or hero, exposed, as our Saviour was, to so sore a conflict, has raised the trophy of victory over every foe? For they indeed, from first to last, unceasingly assailed his doctrine and his people: but he who is invisible, by the exercise of a secret power, has raised his servants and the sacred houses of their worship to the height of glory.

But why should we still vainly aim at detailing those Divine proofs of our Saviour's power which no language can worthily express; which need indeed no words of ours, but themselves appeal in loudest tones to those whose mental ears are open to the truth? Surely it is a strange, a wondrous fact, unparalleled in the annals of human life; that the blessings we have described should be accorded to our mortal race, and that he who is in truth the only, the eternal Son of God, should thus be visible on earth.


THESE words of ours, however, [gracious] Sovereign, may well appear superfluous in your ears, convinced as you are, by frequent and personal experience, of our Saviour's Deity; yourself also, in actions still more than words, a her-aid of the truth to all mankind. Yourself, it may be, will vouchsafe at a time of leisure to relate to us the abundant manifestations which your Saviour has accorded you of his presence, and the oft-repeated visions of himself which have at-tended you in the hours of sleep. I speak not of those secret suggestions which to us are un-revealed: but of those principles which he has instilled into your own mind, and which are fraught with general interest and benefit to the human race. You will yourself relate in worthy terms the visible protection which your Divine shield and guardian has extended in the hour of battle; the ruin of your open and secret foes; and his ready aid in time of peril. To him you will ascribe relief in the midst of perplexity; defence in solitude; expedients in extremity; foreknowledge of events yet future; your fore thought for the general weal; your power to investigate uncertain questions; your conduct of most important enterprises; your administration of civil affairs; (1) your military arrangements, and correction of abuses in all departments; your ordinances respecting public right; and, lastly, your legislation for the common benefit of all. You will, it may be, also detail to us those particulars of his favor which are secret to us, but known to you alone, and treasured in your royal memory as in secret storehouses. Such, doubtless, are the reasons, and such the convincing proofs of your Saviour's power, which caused you to raise that sacred edifice which presents to all, believers and unbelievers alike, a trophy of his victory over death, a holy temple of the holy God: to consecrate those noble and splendid monuments of immortal life and his heavenly kingdom: to offer memorials of our Almighty Saviour's conquest which well become the imperial dignity of him by whom they are bestowed. With such memorials have you adorned that edifice which witnesses of eternal life: thus, as it were in imperial characters, ascribing victory and triumph to the heavenly Word of God: thus proclaiming to all nations, with clear and unmistakable voice, in deed and word, your own devout and pious confession of his name.

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