Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
Section 38. Other clear prophecies of the coming of God in the flesh. Christ's miracles unprecedented.
For if they do not think these proofs sufficient, let them be persuaded at any rate by other reasons, drawn from the oracles they themselves possess. For of whom do the prophets say: |I was made manifest to them that sought me not, I was found of them that asked not for me: I said Behold, here am I, to the nation that had not called upon my name; I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.| 2. Who, then, one might say to the Jews, is he that was made manifest? For if it is the prophet, let them say when he was hid, afterward to appear again. And what manner of prophet is this, that was not only made manifest from obscurity, but also stretched out his hands on the Cross? None surely of the righteous, save the Word of God only, Who, incorporeal by nature, appeared for our sakes in the body and suffered for all.3. Or if not even this is sufficient for them, let them at least be silenced by another proof, seeing how clear its demonstrative force is. For the Scripture says: |Be strong ye hands that hang down, and feeble knees; comfort ye, ye of faint mind; be strong, fear not. Behold, our God recompenseth judgment; He shall come and save us. 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 stammerers shall be plain.| 4. Now what can they say to this, or how can they dare to face this at all? For the prophecy not only indicates that God is to sojourn here, but it announces the signs and the time of His coming. For they connect the blind recovering their sight, and the lame walking, and the deaf hearing, and the tongue of the stammerers being made plain, with the Divine Coming which is to take place. Let them say, then, when such signs have come to pass in Israel, or where in Jewry anything of the sort has occurred.5. Naaman, a leper, was cleansed, but no deaf man heard nor lame walked. Elias raised a dead man; so did Eliseus; but none blind from birth regained his sight. For in good truth, to raise a dead man is a great thing, but it is not like the wonder wrought by the Saviour. Only, if Scripture has not passed over the case of the leper, and of the dead son of the widow, certainly, had it come to pass that a lame man also had walked and a blind man recovered his sight, the narrative would not have omitted to mention this also. Since then nothing is said in the Scriptures, it is evident that these things had never taken place before.6. When, then, have they taken place, save when the Word of God Himself came in the body? Or when did He come, if not when lame men walked, and stammerers were made to speak plain, and deaf men heard, and men blind from birth regained their sight? For this was the very thing the Jews said who then witnessed it, because they had not heard of these things having taken place at any other time: |Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.|