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Against Praxeas by Tertullian

Chapter XXIII.--More Passages from the Same Gospel in Proof of the Same Portion of the Catholic Faith Praxeas' Taunt of Worshipping Two Gods Repudiated.

Again, when Martha in a later passage acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, she no more made a mistake than Peter and Nathanæl had; and yet, even if she had made a mistake, she would at once have learnt the truth: for, behold, when about to raise her brother from the dead, the Lord looked up to heaven, and, addressing the Father, said -- as the Son, of course: |Father, I thank Thee that Thou always hearest me; it is because of these crowds that are standing by that I have spoken to Thee, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me.| But in the trouble of His soul, (on a later occasion,) He said: |What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause is it that I am come to this hour; only, O Father, do Thou glorify Thy name| -- in which He spake as the Son. (At another time) He said: |I am come in my Father's name.| Accordingly, the Son's voice was indeed alone sufficient, (when addressed) to the Father. But, behold, with an abundance (of evidence) the Father from heaven replies, for the purpose of testifying to the Son: |This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.| So, again, in that asseveration, |I have both glorified, and will glorify again,| how many Persons do you discover, obstinate Praxeas? Are there not as many as there are voices? You have the Son on earth, you have the Father in heaven. Now this is not a separation; it is nothing but the divine dispensation. We know, however, that God is in the bottomless depths, and exists everywhere; but then it is by power and authority. We are also sure that the Son, being indivisible from Him, is everywhere with Him. Nevertheless, in the Economy or Dispensation itself, the Father willed that the Son should be regarded as on earth, and Himself in heaven; whither the Son also Himself looked up, and prayed, and made supplication of the Father; whither also He taught us to raise ourselves, and pray, |Our Father which art in heaven,| etc., -- although, indeed, He is everywhere present. This heaven the Father willed to be His own throne; while He made the Son to be |a little lower than the angels,| by sending Him down to the earth, but meaning at the same time to |crown Him with glory and honour,| even by taking Him back to heaven. This He now made good to Him when He said: |I have both glorified Thee, and will glorify Thee again.| The Son offers His request from earth, the Father gives His promise from heaven. Why, then, do you make liars of both the Father and the Son? If either the Father spake from heaven to the Son when He Himself was the Son on earth, or the Son prayed to the Father when He was Himself the Son in heaven, how happens it that the Son made a request of His own very self, by asking it of the Father, since the Son was the Father? Or, on the other hand, how is it that the Father made a promise to Himself, by making it to the Son, since the Father was the Son? Were we even to maintain that they are two separate gods, as you are so fond of throwing out against us, it would be a more tolerable assertion than the maintenance of so versatile and changeful a God as yours! Therefore it was that in the passage before us the Lord declared to the people present: |Not on my own account has this voice addressed me, but for your sakes,| that these likewise may believe both in the Father and in the Son, severally, in their own names and persons and positions. |Then again, Jesus exclaims, and says, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me;| because it is through the Son that men believe in the Father, while the Father also is the authority whence springs belief in the Son. |And he that seeth me, seeth Him that sent me.| How so? Even because, (as He afterwards declares,) |I have not spoken from myself, but the Father which sent me: He hath given me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak.| For |the Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know when I ought to speak| the word which I actually speak. |Even as the Father hath said unto me, so do I speak.| Now, in what way these things were said to Him, the evangelist and beloved disciple John knew better than Praxeas; and therefore he adds concerning his own meaning: |Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God, and was going to God.| Praxeas, however, would have it that it was the Father who proceeded forth from Himself, and had returned to Himself; so that what the devil put into the heart of Judas was the betrayal, not of the Son, but of the Father Himself. But for the matter of that, things have not turned out well either for the devil or the heretic; because, even in the Son's case, the treason which the devil wrought against Him contributed nothing to his advantage. It was, then, the Son of God, who was in the Son of man, that was betrayed, as the Scripture says afterwards: |Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.| Who is here meant by |God?| Certainly not the Father, but the Word of the Father, who was in the Son of man -- that is in the flesh, in which Jesus had been already glorified by the divine power and word. |And God,| says He, |shall also glorify Him in Himself;| that is to say, the Father shall glorify the Son, because He has Him within Himself; and even though prostrated to the earth, and put to death, He would soon glorify Him by His resurrection, and making Him conqueror over death.
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