Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
Section 25. Marcellian illustration from 1 Cor. xii. 4, refuted.
25. Arius then raves in saying that the Son is from nothing, and that once He was not, while Sabellius also raves in saying that the Father is Son, and again, the Son Father , in subsistence One, in name Two; and he raves also in using as an example the grace of the Spirit. For he says, As there are |diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit,| so also the Father is the same , but is dilated into Son and Spirit.' Now this is full of absurdity; for if as with the Spirit, so it is with God, the Father will be Word and Holy Spirit, to one becoming Father, to another Son, to another Spirit, accommodating himself to the need of each, and in name indeed Son and Spirit, but in reality Father only; having a beginning in that He becomes a Son, and then ceasing to be called Father, and made man in name, but in truth not even coming among us; and untrue in saying I and the Father,' but in reality being Himself the Father, and the other absurdities which result in the instance of Sabellius. And the name of the Son and the Spirit will necessarily cease, when the need has been supplied; and what happens will altogether be but make-belief, because it has been displayed, not in truth, but in name. And the Name of Son ceasing, as they hold, then the grace of Baptism will cease too; for it was given in the Son . Nay, what will follow but the annihilation of the creation? for if the Word came forth that we might be created , and when He was come forth, we were, it is plain that when He retires into the Father, as they say, we shall be no longer. For He will be as He was; so also we shall not be, as then we were not; for when He is no more gone forth, there will no more be a creation. This then is absurd.