Epistles On The Arian Heresy And The Deposition Of Arius by Alexander of Cappadocia
VI.--The Addition in the Codex, with a Various Reading.
God, therefore, wishing to visit His own form which He had fashioned after His own image and similitude, hath in these last times sent into the world His incorporeal and only Son, who being in the Virgin's womb incarnate, was born perfect man to raise erect lost man, re-collecting His scattered members. For why else should Christ have died? Was He capitally accused? And since He was God, why was He made man? Why did He who was reigning in heaven come down to earth? Who compelled God to come down to earth, to take flesh of the holy Virgin, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, to be nourished with milk, to be baptized in the Jordan, to be mocked of the people, to be nailed to the tree, to be buried in the bosom of the earth, and the third day to rise again from the dead; in the cause of redemption to give life for life, blood for blood, to undergo death for death? For Christ, by dying, hath discharged the debt of death to which man was obnoxious. Oh, the new and ineffable mystery! the Judge was judged. He who absolves from sin was bound; He was mocked who once framed the world; He was stretched upon the cross who stretched out the heavens; He was fed with gall who gave the manna to be bread; He died who gives life. He was given up to the tomb who raises the dead. The powers were astonished, the angels wondered, the elements trembled, the whole created universe was shaken, the earth quaked, and its foundations rocked; the sun fled away, the elements were subverted, the light of day receded; because they could not bear to look upon their crucified Lord. The creature, in amazement, said, What is this novel mystery? The judge is judged and is silent; the invisible is seen and is not confounded; the incomprehensible is grasped and is not indignant at it; the immeasurable is contained in a measure and makes no opposition; the impassable suffers and does not avenge its own injury; the immortal dies and complains not; the celestial is buried and bears it with an equal mind. What, I say, is this mystery? The creature surely is transfixed with amazement. But when our Lord rose from death and trampled it down, when He bound the strong man and set man free, then every creature wondered at the Judge who for Adam's sake was judged, at the invisible being seen, at the impassable suffering, at the immortal dead, at the celestial buried in the earth. For our Lord was made man; He was condemned that He might impart compassion; He was bound that He might set free; He was apprehended that He might liberate; He suffered that He might heal our sufferings; He died to restore life to us; He was buried to raise us up. For when our Lord suffered, His humanity suffered, that which He had like unto man; and He dissolves the sufferings of him who is His like, and by dying He hath destroyed death. It was for this cause that He came down upon earth, that by pursuing death He might kill the rebel that slew men. For one underwent the judgment, and myriads were set free; one was buried, and myriads rose again. He is the Mediator between God and man; He is the resurrection and the salvation of all; He is the Guide of the erring, the Shepherd of men who have been set free, the life of the dead, the charioteer of the cherubim, the standard-bearer of the angels, and the King of kings, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.