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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Part II. History of Arian Opinions.

Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius

Part II. History of Arian Opinions.

Arius's own sentiments; his Thalia and Letter to S. Alexander; corrections by Eusebius and others; extracts from the works of Asterius; letter of the Council of Jerusalem; first Creed of Arians at the Dedication of Antioch; second, Lucian's on the same occasion; third, by Theophronius; fourth, sent to Constans in Gaul; fifth, the Macrostich sent into Italy; sixth, at Sirmium; seventh, at the same place; and eighth also, as given above in §8; ninth, at Seleucia; tenth, at Constantinople; eleventh, at Antioch.

15. Arius and those with him thought and professed thus: God made the Son out of nothing, and called Him His Son;' The Word of God is one of the creatures;' and Once He was not;' and He is alterable; capable, when it is His Will, of altering.' Accordingly they were expelled from the Church by the blessed Alexander. However, after his expulsion, when he was with Eusebius and his fellows, he drew up his heresy upon paper, and imitating in the Thalia no grave writer, but the Egyptian Sotades, in the dissolute tone of his metre , he writes at great length, for instance as follows: --

Blasphemies of Arius.

God Himself then, in His own nature, is ineffable by all men. Equal or like Himself He alone has none, or one in glory. And Ingenerate we call Him, because of Him who is generate by nature. We praise Him as without beginning because of Him who has a beginning. And adore Him as everlasting, because of Him who in time has come to be. The Unbegun made the Son a beginning of things originated; and advanced Him as a Son to Himself by adoption. He has nothing proper to God in proper subsistence. For He is not equal, no, nor one in essence with Him. Wise is God, for He is the teacher of Wisdom . There is full proof that God is invisible to all beings; both to things which are through the Son, and to the Son He is invisible. I will say it expressly, how by the Son is seen the Invisible; by that power by which God sees, and in His own measure, the Son endures to see the Father, as is lawful. Thus there is a Triad, not in equal glories. Not intermingling with each other are their subsistences. One more glorious than the other in their glories unto immensity. Foreign from the Son in essence is the Father, for He is without beginning. Understand that the Monad was; but the Dyad was not, before it was in existence. It follows at once that, though the Son was not, the Father was God. Hence the Son, not being (for He existed at the will of the Father), is God Only-begotten , and He is alien from either. Wisdom existed as Wisdom by the will of the Wise God. Hence He is conceived in numberless conceptions : Spirit, Power, Wisdom, God's glory, Truth, Image, and Word. Understand that He is conceived to be Radiance and Light. One equal to the Son, the Superior is able to beget; but one more excellent, or superior, or greater, He is not able. At God's will the Son is what and whatsoever He is. And when and since He was, from that time He has subsisted from God. He, being a strong God, praises in His degree the Superior. To speak in brief, God is ineffable to His Son. For He is to Himself what He is, that is, unspeakable. So that nothing which is called comprehensible does the Son know to speak about; for it is impossible for Him to investigate the Father, who is by Himself. For the Son does not know His own essence, For, being Son, He really existed, at the will of the Father. What argument then allows, that He who is from the Father should know His own parent by comprehension? For it is plain that for that which hath a beginning to conceive how the Unbegun is, or to grasp the idea, is not possible.

16. And what they wrote by letter to the blessed Alexander, the Bishop, runs as follows: --

To Our Blessed Pope and Bishop, Alexander, the Presbyters and Deacons send health in the Lord.

Our faith from our forefathers, which also we have learned from thee, Blessed Pope, is this: -- We acknowledge One God, alone Ingenerate, alone Everlasting, alone Unbegun, alone True, alone having Immortality, alone Wise, alone Good, alone Sovereign; Judge, Governor, and Providence of all, unalterable and unchangeable, just and good, God of Law and Prophets and New Testament; who begat an Only-begotten Son before eternal times, through whom He has made both the ages and the universe; and begat Him, not in semblance, but in truth; and that He made Him subsist at His own will, unalterable and unchangeable; perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures; offspring, but not as one of things begotten; nor as Valentinus pronounced that the offspring of the Father was an issue ; nor as Manichæus taught that the offspring was a portion of the Father, one in essence ; or as Sabellius, dividing the Monad, speaks of a Son-and-Father ; nor as Hieracas, of one torch from another, or as a lamp divided into two ; nor that He who was before, was afterwards generated or new-created into a Son , as thou too thyself, Blessed Pope, in the midst of the Church and in session hast often condemned; but, as we say, at the will of God, created before times and before ages, and gaining life and being from the Father, who gave subsistence to His glories together with Him. For the Father did not, in giving to Him the inheritance of all things, deprive Himself of what He has ingenerately in Himself; for He is the Fountain of all things. Thus there are Three Subsistences. And God, being the cause of all things, is Unbegun and altogether Sole, but the Son being begotten apart from time by the Father, and being created and founded before ages, was not before His generation, but being begotten apart from time before all things, alone was made to subsist by the Father. For He is not eternal or co-eternal or co-unoriginate with the Father, nor has He His being together with the Father, as some speak of relations , introducing two ingenerate beginnings, but God is before all things as being Monad and Beginning of all. Wherefore also He is before the Son; as we have learned also from thy preaching in the midst of the Church. So far then as from God He has being, and glories, and life, and all things are delivered unto Him, in such sense is God His origin. For He is above Him, as being His God and before Him. But if the terms from Him,' and from the womb,' and I came forth from the Father, and I am come ' (Rom. xi.36; Ps. cx.3; John xvi.28), be understood by some to mean as if a part of Him, one in essence or as an issue, then the Father is according to them compounded and divisible and alterable and material, and, as far as their belief goes, has the circumstances of a body, Who is the Incorporeal God.

This is a part of what Arius and his fellows vomited from their heretical hearts.

17. And before the Nicene Council took place, similar statements were made by Eusebius and his fellows, Narcissus, Patrophilus, Maris, Paulinus, Theodotus, and Athanasius of [A]nazarba . And Eusebius of Nicomedia wrote over and above to Arius, to this effect, Since your sentiments are good, pray that all may adopt them; for it is plain to any one, that what has been made was not before its origination; but what came to be has a beginning of being.' And Eusebius of Cæsarea in Palestine, in a letter to Euphration the Bishop , did not scruple to say plainly that Christ was not true God . And Athanasius of [A]nazarba uncloked the heresy still further, saying that the Son of God was one of the hundred sheep. For writing to Alexander the Bishop, he had the extreme audacity to say: Why complain of Arius and his fellows, for saying, The Son of God is made as a creature out of nothing, and one among others? For all that are made being represented in parable by the hundred sheep, the Son is one of them. If then the hundred are not created and originate, or if there be beings beside that hundred, then may the Son be not a creature nor one among others; but if those hundred are all originate, and there is nothing besides the hundred save God alone, what absurdity do Arius and his fellows utter, when, as comprehending and reckoning Christ in the hundred, they say that He is one among others?' And George who now is in Laodicea, and then was presbyter of Alexandria, and was staying at Antioch, wrote to Alexander the Bishop; Do not complain of Arius and his fellows, for saying, |Once the Son of God was not,| for Isaiah came to be son of Amos, and, whereas Amos was before Isaiah came to be, Isaiah was not before, but came to be afterwards.' And he wrote to the Arians, Why complain of Alexander the Pope, saying, that the Son is from the Father? for you too need not fear to say that the Son was from God.' For if the Apostle wrote (1 Cor. xi.12), All things are from God,' and it is plain that all things are made of nothing, though the Son too is a creature and one of things made, still He may be said to be from God in that sense in which all things are said to be from God.' From him then those who hold with Arius learned to simulate the phrase from God,' and to use it indeed, but not in a good meaning. And George himself was deposed by Alexander for certain reasons, and among them for manifest irreligion; for he was himself a presbyter, as has been said before.

18. On the whole then such were their statements, as if they all were in dispute and rivalry with each other, which should make the heresy more irreligious, and display it in a more naked form. And as for their letters I had them not at hand, to dispatch them to you; else I would have sent you copies; but, if the Lord will, this too I will do, when I get possession of them. And one Asterius from Cappadocia, a many-headed Sophist, one of the fellows of Eusebius, whom they could not advance into the Clergy, as having done sacrifice in the former persecution in the time of Constantius's grandfather, writes, with the countenance of Eusebius and his fellows, a small treatise, which was on a par with the crime of his sacrifice, yet answered their wishes; for in it, after comparing, or rather preferring, the locust and the caterpillar to Christ, and saying that Wisdom in God was other than Christ, and was the Framer as well of Christ as of the world, he went round the Churches in Syria and elsewhere, with introductions from Eusebius and his fellows, that as he once made trial of denying, so now he might boldly oppose the truth. The bold man intruded himself into forbidden places, and seating himself in the place of Clergy , he used to read publicly this treatise of his, in spite of the general indignation. The treatise is written at great length, but portions of it are as follows: --

For the Blessed Paul said not that he preached Christ, His, that is, God's, own Power' or Wisdom,' but without the article, God's Power and God's Wisdom' (1 Cor. i.24), preaching that the own power of God Himself was distinct, which was con-natural and co-existent with Him unoriginately, generative indeed of Christ, creative of the whole world; concerning which he teaches in his Epistle to the Romans, thus, The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and divinity' (Rom. i.20). For as no one would say that the Deity there mentioned was Christ, but the Father Himself, so, as I think, His eternal power is also not the Only-begotten God (Joh. i.18), but the Father who begat Him. And he tells us of another Power and Wisdom of God, namely, that which is manifested through Christ, and made known through the works themselves of His Ministry.

And again: --

Although His eternal Power and Wisdom, which truth argues to be Unbegun and Ingenerate, would appear certainly to be one and the same, yet many are those powers which are one by one created by Him, of which Christ is the First-born and Only-begotten. All however equally depend upon their Possessor, and all His powers are rightly called His, who created and uses them; for instance, the Prophet says that the locust, which became a divine punishment of human sin, was called by God Himself, not only a power of God, but a great power (Joel ii.25). And the blessed David too in several of the Psalms, invites, not Angels alone, but Powers also to praise God. And while he invites them all to the hymn, he presents before us their multitude, and is not unwilling to call them ministers of God, and teaches them to do His will.

19. These bold words against the Saviour did not content him, but he went further in his blasphemies, as follows:

The Son is one among others; for He is first of things originate, and one among intellectual natures; and as in things visible the sun is one among phenomena, and it shines upon the whole world according to the command of its Maker, so the Son, being one of the intellectual natures, also enlightens and shines upon all that are in the intellectual world.

And again he says, Once He was not, writing thus: -- And before the Son's origination, the Father had pre-existing knowledge how to generate; since a physician too, before he cured, had the science of curing .' And he says again: The Son was created by God's beneficent earnestness; and the Father made Him by the superabundance of His Power.' And again: If the will of God has pervaded all the works in succession, certainly the Son too, being a work, has at His will come to be and been made.' Now though Asterius was the only person to write all this, Eusebius and his fellows felt the like in common with him.

20. These are the doctrines for which they are contending; for these they assail the ancient Council, because its members did not propound the like, but anathematized the Arian heresy instead, which they were so eager to recommend. This was why they put forward, as an advocate of their irreligion, Asterius who sacrificed, a sophist too, that he might not spare to speak against the Lord, or by a show of reason to mislead the simple. And they were ignorant, the shallow men, that they were doing harm to their own cause. For the ill savour of their advocate's idolatrous sacrifice betrayed still more plainly that the heresy is Christ's foe. And now again, the general agitations and troubles which they are exciting, are in consequence of their belief, that by their numerous murders and their monthly Councils, at length they will undo the sentence which has been passed against the Arian heresy . But here too they seem ignorant, or to pretend ignorance, that even before Nicea that heresy was held in detestation, when Artemas was laying its foundations, and before him Caiaphas's assembly and that of the Pharisees his contemporaries. And at all times is this gang of Christ's foes detestable, and will not cease to be hateful, the Lord's Name being full of love, and the whole creation bending the knee, and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (Phil. ii.11).

21. Yet so it is, they have convened successive Councils against that Ecumenical One, and are not yet tired. After the Nicene, Eusebius and his fellows had been deposed; however, in course of time they intruded themselves without shame upon the Churches, and began to plot against the Bishops who withstood them, and to substitute in the Church men of their own heresy. Thus they thought to hold Councils at their pleasure, as having those who concurred with them, whom they had ordained on purpose for this very object. Accordingly, they assemble at Jerusalem, and there they write thus: --

The Holy Council assembled in Jerusalem by the grace of God, &c....their orthodox teaching in writing , which we all confessed to be sound and ecclesiastical. And he reasonably recommended that they should be received and united to the Church of God, as you will know yourselves from the transcript of the same Epistle, which we have transmitted to your reverences. We believe that yourselves also, as if recovering the very members of your own body, will experience great joy and gladness, in acknowledging and recovering your own bowels, your own brethren and fathers; since not only the Presbyters, Arius and his fellows, are given back to you, but also the whole Christian people and the entire multitude, which on occasion of the aforesaid men have a long time been in dissension among you. Moreover it were fitting, now that you know for certain what has passed, and that the men have communicated with us and have been received by so great a Holy Council, that you should with all readiness hail this your coalition and peace with your own members, specially since the articles of the faith which they have published preserve indisputable the universally confessed apostolical tradition and teaching.

22. This was the beginning of their Councils, and in it they were speedy in divulging their views, and could not conceal them. For when they said that they had banished all jealousy, and, after the expulsion of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, recommended the reception of Arius and his friends, they shewed that their measures against Athanasius himself then, and before against all the other Bishops who withstood them, had for their object their receiving Arius and his fellows, and introducing the heresy into the Church. But although they had approved in this Council all Arius's malignity, and had ordered to receive his party into communion, as they had set the example, yet feeling that even now they were short of their wishes, they assembled a Council at Antioch under colour of the so-called Dedication and, since they were in general and lasting odium for their heresy, they publish different letters, some of this sort, and some of that and what they wrote in one letter was as follows: --

We have not been followers of Arius, -- how could Bishops, such as we, follow a Presbyter? -- nor did we receive any other faith beside that which has been handed down from the beginning. But, after taking on ourselves to examine and to verify his faith, we admitted him rather than followed him; as you will understand from our present avowals.

For we have been taught from the first, to believe in one God, the God of the Universe, the Framer and Preserver of all things both intellectual and sensible.

And in One Son of God, Only-begotten, who existed before all ages, and was with the Father who had begotten Him, by whom all things were made, both visible and invisible, who in the last days according to the good pleasure of the Father came down; and has taken flesh of the Virgin, and jointly fulfilled all His Father's will, and suffered and risen again, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and cometh again to judge quick and dead, and remaineth King and God unto all ages.

And we believe also in the Holy Ghost; and if it be necessary to add, we believe concerning the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting.

23. Here follows what they published next at the same Dedication in another Epistle, being dissatisfied with the first, and devising something newer and fuller:

We believe , conformably to the evangelical and apostolical tradition, in One God, the Father Almighty, the Framer, and Maker, and Provider of the Universe, from whom are all things.

And in One Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, Only-begotten God (Joh. i.18), by whom are all things, who was begotten before all ages from the Father, God from God, whole from whole, sole from sole , perfect from perfect, King from King, Lord from Lord, Living Word, Living Wisdom, true Light, Way, Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, both unalterable and unchangeable; exact Image of the Godhead, Essence, Will, Power and Glory of the Father; the first born of every creature, who was in the beginning with God, God the Word, as it is written in the Gospel, and the Word was God' (John i.1); by whom all things were made, and in whom all things consist; who in the last days descended from above, and was born of a Virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made Man, Mediator between God and man, and Apostle of our faith, and Prince of life, as He says, I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me' (John vi.38); who suffered for us and rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming again with glory and power, to judge quick and dead.

And in the Holy Ghost, who is given to those who believe for comfort, and sanctification, and initiation, as also our Lord Jesus Christ enjoined His disciples, saying, Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost' (Matt. xxviii.19); namely of a Father who is truly Father, and a Son who is truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost who is truly Holy Ghost, the names not being given without meaning or effect, but denoting accurately the peculiar subsistence, rank, and glory of each that is named, so that they are three in subsistence, and in agreement one .

Holding then this faith, and holding it in the presence of God and Christ, from beginning to end, we anathematize every heretical heterodoxy . And if any teaches, beside the sound and right faith of the Scriptures, that time, or season, or age , either is or has been before the generation of the Son, be he anathema. Or if any one says, that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or an offspring as one of the offsprings, or a work as one of the works, and not the aforesaid articles one after another, as the divine Scriptures have delivered, or if he teaches or preaches beside what we received, be he anathema. For all that has been delivered in the divine Scriptures, whether by Prophets or Apostles, do we truly and reverentially both believe and follow .

24. And one Theophronius , Bishop of Tyana, put forth before them all the following statement of his personal faith. And they subscribed it, accepting the faith of this man: --

God knows, whom I call as a witness upon my soul, that so I believe: -- in God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of the Universe, from whom are all things.

And in His Only-begotten Son, Word, Power, and Wisdom, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things; who has been begotten from the Father before the ages, perfect God from perfect God , and was with God in subsistence, and in the last days descended, and was born of the Virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made man, and suffered, and rose again from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, and sat down on the right hand of His Father, and cometh again with glory and power to judge quick and dead, and remaineth for ever:

And in the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth (Joh. xv.26), which also God promised by His Prophet to pour out (Joel ii.28) upon His servants, and the Lord promised to send to His disciples: which also He sent, as the Acts of the Apostles witness.

But if any one teaches, or holds in his mind, aught beside this faith, be he anathema; or with Marcellus of Ancyra , or Sabellius, or Paul of Samosata, be he anathema, both himself and those who communicate with him.

25. Ninety Bishops met at the Dedication under the Consulate of Marcellinus and Probinus, in the 14th of the Indiction , Constantius the most irreligious being present. Having thus conducted matters at Antioch at the Dedication, thinking that their composition was deficient still, and fluctuating moreover in their own opinions, again they draw up afresh another formulary, after a few months, professedly concerning the faith, and despatch Narcissus, Maris, Theodorus, and Mark into Gaul . And they, as being sent from the Council, deliver the following document to Constans Augustus of blessed memory, and to all who were there:

We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Maker of all things; from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named. (Eph. iii.15.)

And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and True Light; who in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin; who was crucified, and dead, and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father; and is coming at the consummation of the age, to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works; whose Kingdom endures indissolubly into the infinite ages ; for He shall be seated on the right hand of the Father, not only in this age but in that which is to come.

And in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete; which, having promised to the Apostles, He sent forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind of all things; through whom also shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

But those who say, that the Son was from nothing, or from other subsistence and not from God, and, there was time when He was not, the Catholic Church regards as aliens .

26. As if dissatisfied with this, they hold their meeting again after three years, and dispatch Eudoxius, Martyrius, and Macedonius of Cilicia , and some others with them, to the parts of Italy, to carry with them a faith written at great length, with numerous additions over and above those which have gone before. They went abroad with these, as if they had devised something new.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named.

And in His Only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made, in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word and Wisdom and Power and Life and True Light, who in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin, crucified and dead and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming at the consummation of the age to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works, whose Kingdom endures unceasingly unto the infinite ages; for He sitteth on the right hand of the Father not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.

And we believe in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete, which, having promised to the Apostles, He sent forth after the ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind of all things: through whom also shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

But those who say, (1) that the Son was from nothing, or from other subsistence and not from God; (2) and that there was a time or age when He was not, the Catholic and Holy Church regards as aliens. Likewise those who say, (3) that there are three Gods: (4) or that Christ is not God; (5) or that before the ages He was neither Christ nor Son of God; (6) or that Father and Son, or Holy Ghost, are the same; (7) or that the Son is Ingenerate; or that the Father begat the Son, not by choice or will; the Holy and Catholic Church anathematizes.

(1.) For neither is safe to say that the Son is from nothing, (since this is no where spoken of Him in divinely inspired Scripture,) nor again of any other subsistence before existing beside the Father, but from God alone do we define Him genuinely to be generated. For the divine Word teaches that the Ingenerate and Unbegun, the Father of Christ, is One .

(2.) Nor may we, adopting the hazardous position, There was once when He was not,' from unscriptural sources, imagine any interval of time before Him, but only the God who has generated Him apart from time; for through Him both times and ages came to be. Yet we must not consider the Son to be co-unbegun and co-ingenerate with the Father; for no one can be properly called Father or Son of one who is co-unbegun and co-ingenerate with Him . But we acknowledge that the Father who alone is Unbegun and Ingenerate, hath generated inconceivably and incomprehensibly to all: and that the Son hath been generated before ages, and in no wise to be ingenerate Himself like the Father, but to have the Father who generated Him as His beginning; for the Head of Christ is God.' (1 Cor. xi.3.)

(3.) Nor again, in confessing three realities and three Persons, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost according to the Scriptures, do we therefore make Gods three; since we acknowledge the Self-complete and Ingenerate and Unbegun and Invisible God to be one only , the God and Father (Joh. xx.17) of the Only-begotten, who alone hath being from Himself, and alone vouchsafes this to all others bountifully.

(4.) Nor again, in saying that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is one only God, the only Ingenerate, do we therefore deny that Christ also is God before ages: as the disciples of Paul of Samosata, who say that after the incarnation He was by advance made God, from being made by nature a mere man. For we acknowledge, that though He be subordinate to His Father and God, yet, being before ages begotten of God, He is God perfect according to nature and true , and not first man and then God, but first God and then becoming man for us, and never having been deprived of being.

(5.) We abhor besides, and anathematize those who make a pretence of saying that He is but the mere word of God and unexisting, having His being in another, -- now as if pronounced, as some speak, now as mental , -- holding that He was not Christ or Son of God or mediator or image of God before ages; but that He first became Christ and Son of God, when He took our flesh from the Virgin, not quite four hundred years since. For they will have it that then Christ began His Kingdom, and that it will have an end after the consummation of all and the judgment . Such are the disciples of Marcellus and Scotinus of Galatian Ancyra, who, equally with Jews, negative Christ's existence before ages, and His Godhead, and unending Kingdom, upon pretence of supporting the divine Monarchy. We, on the contrary, regard Him not as simply God's pronounced word or mental, but as Living God and Word, existing in Himself, and Son of God and Christ; being and abiding with His Father before ages, and that not in foreknowledge only , and ministering to Him for the whole framing whether of things visible or invisible. For He it is, to whom the Father said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness ' (Gen. i.26), who also was seen in His own Person by the patriarchs, gave the law, spoke by the prophets, and at last, became man, and manifested His own Father to all men, and reigns to never-ending ages. For Christ has taken no recent dignity, but we have believed Him to be perfect from the first, and like in all things to the Father .

(6.) And those who say that the Father and Son and Holy Ghost are the same, and irreligiously take the Three Names of one and the same Reality and Person, we justly proscribe from the Church, because they suppose the illimitable and impassible Father to be limitable withal and passible through His becoming man: for such are they whom Romans call Patripassians, and we Sabellians . For we acknowledge that the Father who sent, remained in the peculiar state of His unchangeable Godhead, and that Christ who was sent fulfilled the economy of the Incarnation.

(7.) And at the same time those who irreverently say that the Son has been generated not by choice or will, thus encompassing God with a necessity which excludes choice and purpose, so that He begat the Son unwillingly, we account as most irreligious and alien to the Church; in that they have dared to define such things concerning God, beside the common notions concerning Him, nay, beside the purport of divinely inspired Scripture. For we, knowing that God is absolute and sovereign over Himself, have a religious judgment that He generated the Son voluntarily and freely; yet, as we have a reverent belief in the Son's words concerning Himself (Prov. viii.22), The Lord created me a beginning of His ways for His works,' we do not understand Him to have been originated like the creatures or works which through Him came to be. For it is irreligious and alien to the ecclesiastical faith, to compare the Creator with handiworks created by Him, and to think that He has the same manner of origination with the rest. For divine Scripture teaches us really and truly that the Only-begotten Son was generated sole and solely . Yet , in saying that the Son is in Himself, and both lives and exists like the Father, we do not on that account separate Him from the Father, imagining place and interval between their union in the way of bodies. For we believe that they are united with each other without mediation or distance , and that they exist inseparable; all the Father embosoming the Son, and all the Son hanging and adhering to the Father, and alone resting on the Father's breast continually . Believing then in the All-perfect Triad, the most Holy, that is, in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and calling the Father God, and the Son God, yet we confess in them, not two Gods, but one dignity of Godhead, and one exact harmony of dominion, the Father alone being Head over the whole universe wholly, and over the Son Himself, and the Son subordinated to the Father; but, excepting Him, ruling over all things after Him which through Himself have come to be, and granting the grace of the Holy Ghost unsparingly to the saints at the Father's will. For that such is the account of the Divine Monarchy towards Christ, the sacred oracles have delivered to us.

Thus much, in addition to the faith before published in epitome, we have been compelled to draw forth at length, not in any officious display, but to clear away all unjust suspicion concerning our opinions, among those who are ignorant of our affairs: and that all in the West may know, both the audacity of the slanders of the heterodox, and as to the Orientals, their ecclesiastical mind in the Lord, to which the divinely inspired Scriptures bear witness without violence, where men are not perverse.

27. However they did not stand even to this; for again at Sirmium they met together against Photinus and there composed a faith again, not drawn out into such length, not so full in words; but subtracting the greater part and adding in its place, as if they had listened to the suggestions of others, they wrote as follows: --

We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and earth is named '

And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, who before all the ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made, in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word and Wisdom and True Light and Life, who in the last of days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin, and crucified and dead and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming at the consummation of the age, to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works; whose Kingdom being unceasing endures unto the infinite ages; for He shall sit on the right hand of the Father, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.

And in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete; which, having promised to the Apostles to send forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach and to remind them of all things, He did send; through whom also are sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

(1.) But those who say that the Son was from nothing or from other subsistence and not from God, and that there was time or age when He was not, the Holy and Catholic Church regards as aliens.

(2.) Again we say, Whosoever says that the Father and the Son are two Gods, be he anathema .

(3.) And whosoever, saying that Christ is God, before ages Son of God, does not confess that He has subserved the Father for the framing of the universe, be he anathema .

(4.) Whosoever presumes to say that the Ingenerate, or a part of Him, was born of Mary, be he anathema.

(5.) Whosoever says that according to foreknowledge the Son is before Mary and not that, generated from the Father before ages, He was with God, and that through Him all things were originated, be he anathema.

(6.) Whosoever shall pretend that the essence of God is dilated or contracted , be he anathema.

(7.) Whosoever shall say that the essence of God being dilated made the Son, or shall name the dilation of His essence Son, be he anathema.

(8.) Whosoever calls the Son of God the mental or pronounced Word , be he anathema.

(9.) Whosoever says that the Son from Mary is man only, be he anathema.

(10.) Whosoever, speaking of Him who is from Mary God and man, thereby means God the Ingenerate , be he anathema.

(11.) Whosoever shall explain I God the First and I the Last, and besides Me there is no God,' (Is. xliv.6), which is said for the denial of idols and of gods that are not, to the denial of the Only-begotten, before ages God, as Jews do, be he anathema.

(12.) Whosoever hearing The Word was made flesh,' (John i.14), shall consider that the Word has changed into flesh, or shall say that He has undergone alteration by taking flesh, be he anathema .

(13.) Whosoever hearing the Only-begotten Son of God to have been crucified, shall say that His Godhead has undergone corruption, or passion. or alteration, or diminution, or destruction, be he anathema.

(14.) Whosoever shall say that Let Us make man' (Gen. i.26), was not said by the Father to the Son, but by God to Himself, be he anathema .

(15.) Whosoever shall say that Abraham saw, not the Son, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, be he anathema .

(16.) Whosoever shall say that with Jacob, not the Son as man, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, has wrestled, be he anathema .

(17.) Whosoever shall explain, The Lord rained fire from the Lord' (Gen. xix.24), not of the Father and the Son, and says that He rained from Himself, be he anathema. For the Son, being Lord, rained from the Father Who is Lord.

(18.) Whosoever, hearing that the Father is Lord and the Son Lord and the Father and Son Lord, for there is Lord from Lord, says there are two Gods, be he anathema. For we do not place the Son in the Father's Order, but as subordinate to the Father; for He did not descend upon Sodom without the Father's will, nor did He rain from Himself, but from the Lord, that is, the Father authorising it. Nor is He of Himself set down on the right hand, but He hears the Father saying, Sit Thou on My right hand' (Ps. cx.1).

(19.) Whosoever says that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one Person, be he anathema.

(20.) Whosoever, speaking of the Holy Ghost as Paraclete, shall mean the Ingenerate God, be he anathema .

(21.) Whosoever shall deny, what the Lord taught us, that the Paraclete is other than the Son, for He hath said, And another Paraclete shall the Father send to you, whom I will ask,' (John xiv.16) be he anathema.

(22.) Whosoever shall say that the Holy Ghost is part of the Father or of the Son be he anathema.

(23.) Whosoever shall say that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are three Gods, be he anathema.

(24.) Whosoever shall say that the Son of God at the will of God has come to be, as one of the works, be he anathema.

(25.) Whosoever shall say that the Son has been generated, the Father not wishing it , be he anathema. For not by compulsion, led by physical necessity, did the Father, as He wished not, generate the Son, but He at once willed, and, after generating Him from Himself apart from time and passion, manifested Him.

(26.) Whosoever shall say that the Son is without beginning and ingenerate, as if speaking of two unbegun and two ingenerate, and making two Gods, be he anathema. For the Son is the Head, namely the beginning of all: and God is the Head, namely the beginning of Christ; for thus to one unbegun beginning of the universe do we religiously refer all things through the Son.

(27.) And in accurate delineation of the idea of Christianity we say this again; Whosoever shall not say that Christ is God, Son of God, as being before ages, and having subserved the Father in the framing of the Universe, but that from the time that He was born of Mary, from thence He was called Christ and Son, and took an origin of being God, be he anathema.

28. Casting aside the whole of this, as if they had discovered something better, they propound another faith, and write at Sirmium in Latin what is here translated into Greek .

Whereas it seemed good that there should be some discussion concerning faith, all points were carefully investigated and discussed at Sirmium in the presence of Valens, and Ursacius, and Germinius, and the rest.

It is held for certain that there is one God, the Father Almighty, as also is preached in all the world.

And His One Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, generated from Him before the ages; and that we may not speak of two Gods, since the Lord Himself has said, I go to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God' (John xx.17). On this account He is God of all, as also the Apostle taught: Is He God of the Jews only, is He not also of the Gentiles? yea of the Gentiles also: since there is one God who shall justify the circumcision from faith, and the uncircumcision through faith' (Rom. iii.29, 30); and every thing else agrees, and has no ambiguity.

But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin Substantia,' but in Greek Usia,' that is, to make it understood more exactly, as to Coessential,' or what is called, Like-in-Essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, and that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding; and because no one can declare the Son's generation, as it is written, Who shall declare His generation' (Is. liii.8)? for it is plain that the Father only knows how He generated the Son, and again the Son how He has been generated by the Father. And to none can it be a question that the Father is greater: for no one can doubt that the Father is greater in honour and dignity and Godhead, and in the very name of Father, the Son Himself testifying, The Father that sent Me is greater than I' (John x.29; xiv.28). And no one is ignorant, that it is Catholic doctrine, that there are two Persons of Father and Son, and that the Father is greater, and the Son subordinated to the Father together with all things which the Father has subordinated to Him, and that the Father has no beginning, and is invisible, and immortal, and impassible; but that the Son has been generated from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, and that His origin, as aforesaid, no one knows, but the Father only. And that the Son Himself and our Lord and God, took flesh, that is, a body, that is, man, from Mary the Virgin, as the Angel preached beforehand; and as all the Scriptures teach, and especially the Apostle himself, the doctor of the Gentiles, Christ took man of Mary the Virgin, through which He has suffered. And the whole faith is summed up , and secured in this, that a Trinity should ever be preserved, as we read in the Gospel, Go ye and baptize all the nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost' (Matt. xxviii.19). And entire and perfect is the number of the Trinity; but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, sent forth through the Son, came according to the promise, that He might teach and sanctify the Apostles and all believers .

29. After drawing up this, and then becoming dissatisfied, they composed the faith which to their shame they paraded with the Consulate.' And, as is their wont, condemning this also, they caused Martinian the notary to seize it from the parties who had the copies of it . And having got the Emperor Constantius to put forth an edict against it, they form another dogma afresh, and with the addition of certain expressions, according to their wont, they write thus in Isauria.

We decline not to bring forward the authentic faith published at the Dedication at Antioch ; though certainly our fathers at the time met together for a particular subject under investigation. But since Coessential' and Like-in-essence,' have troubled many persons in times past and up to this day, and since moreover some are said recently to have devised the Son's Unlikeness' to the Father, on their account we reject Coessential' and Like-in-essence,' as alien to the Scriptures, but Unlike' we anathematize, and account all who profess it as aliens from the Church. And we distinctly confess the Likeness' of the Son to the Father, according to the Apostle, who says of the Son, Who is the Image of the Invisible God' (Col. i.15).

And we confess and believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And we believe also in our Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, generated from Him impassibly before all the ages, God the Word, God from God, Only-begotten, light, life, truth, wisdom, power, through whom all things were made, in the heavens and on the earth, whether visible or invisible. He, as we believe, at the end of the world, for the abolishment of sin, took flesh of the Holy Virgin, and was made man, and suffered for our sins, and rose again, and was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and is coming again in glory, to judge quick and dead.

We believe also in the Holy Ghost, which our Saviour and Lord named Paraclete, having promised to send Him to the disciples after His own departure, as He did send; through whom He sanctifieth those in the Church who believe, and are baptized in the Name of Father and Son and Holy Ghost.

But those who preach aught beside this faith the Catholic Church regards as aliens. And that to this faith that is equivalent which was published lately at Sirmium, under sanction of his religiousness the Emperor, is plain to all who read it.

30. Having written thus in Isauria, they went up to Constantinople , and there, as if dissatisfied, they changed it, as is their wont, and with some small additions against using even Subsistence' of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they transmitted it to those at Ariminum, and compelled even those in the said parts to subscribe, and those who contradicted them they got banished by Constantius. And it runs thus: --

We believe in One God, Father Almighty, from whom are all things;

And in the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten from God before all ages and before every beginning, by whom all things were made, visible and invisible, and begotten as only-begotten, only from the Father only , God from God, like to the Father that begat Him according to the Scriptures; whose origin no one knows, except the Father alone who begat Him. He as we acknowledge, the Only-begotten Son of God, the Father sending Him, came hither from the heavens, as it is written, for the undoing of sin and death, and was born of the Holy Ghost, of Mary the Virgin according to the flesh, as it is written, and convened with the disciples, and having fulfilled the whole Economy according to the Father's will, was crucified and dead and buried and descended to the parts below the earth; at whom hades itself shuddered: who also rose from the dead on the third day, and abode with the disciples, and, forty days being fulfilled, was taken up into the heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, to come in the last day of the resurrection in the Father's glory, that He may render to every man according to his works.

And in the Holy Ghost, whom the Only-begotten Son of God Himself, Christ, our Lord and God, promised to send to the race of man, as Paraclete, as it is written, the Spirit of truth' (Joh. xvi.13), which He sent unto them when He had ascended into the heavens.

But the name of Essence,' which was set down by the Fathers in simplicity, and, being unknown by the people, caused offence, because the Scriptures contain it not, it has seemed good to abolish, and for the future to make no mention of it at all; since the divine Scriptures have made no mention of the Essence of Father and Son. For neither ought Subsistence to be named concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But, we say that the Son is Like the Father, as the divine Scriptures say and teach; and all the heresies, both those which have been afore condemned already, and whatever are of modern date, being contrary to this published statement, be they anathema .

31. However, they did not stand even to this: for coming down from Constantinople to Antioch, they were dissatisfied that they had written at all that the Son was Like the Father, as the Scriptures say;' and putting their ideas upon paper , they began reverting to their first doctrines, and said that the Son is altogether unlike the Father,' and that the Son is in no manner like the Father,' and so much did they change, as to admit those who spoke the Arian doctrine nakedly and to deliver to them the Churches with licence to bring forward the words of blasphemy with impunity . Because then of the extreme shamelessness of their blasphemy they were called by all Anomoeans, having also the name of Exucontian , and the heretical Constantius for the patron of their irreligion, who persisting up to the end in irreligion, and on the point of death, thought good to be baptized ; not however by religious men, but by Euzoius , who for his Arianism had been deposed, not once, but often, both when he was a deacon, and when he was in the see of Antioch.

32. The forementioned parties then had proceeded thus far, when they were stopped and deposed. But well I know, not even under these circumstances will they stop, as many as have now dissembled, but they will always be making parties against the truth, until they return to themselves and say, Let us rise and go to our fathers, and we will say unto them, We anathematize the Arian heresy, and we acknowledge the Nicene Council;' for against this is their quarrel. Who then, with ever so little understanding, will bear them any longer? who, on hearing in every Council some things taken away and others added, but perceives that their mind is shifty and treacherous against Christ? who on seeing them embodying to so great a length both their professions of faith, and their own exculpation, but sees that they are giving sentence against themselves, and studiously writing much which may be likely by their officious display and abundance of words to seduce the simple and hide what they are in point of heresy? But as the heathen, as the Lord said, using vain words in their prayers (Mat. vi.7), are nothing profited; so they too, after all this outpouring, were not able to quench the judgment pronounced against the Arian heresy, but were convicted and deposed instead; and rightly; for which of their formularies is to be accepted by the hearer? or with what confidence shall they be catechists to those who come to them? for if they all have one and the same meaning, what is the need of many? But if need has arisen of so many, it follows that each by itself is deficient, not complete; and they establish this point better than we can, by their innovating on them all and remaking them. And the number of their Councils, and the difference of their statements is a proof that those who were present at them, while at variance with the Nicene, are yet too feeble to harm the Truth.

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