Chapter XXV. -- Texts Explained; Ninthly, John x.30; xvii.11, &c. Arian explanation, that the Son is one with the Father in will and judgment; but so are all good men, nay things inanimate; contrast of the Son. Oneness between Them is in nature, because oneness in operation. Angels not objects of prayer, because they do not work together with God, but the Son; texts quoted. Seeing an Angel, is not seeing God. Arians in fact hold two Gods, and tend to Gentile polytheism. Arian explanation that the Father and Son are one as we are one with Christ, is put aside by the Regula Fidei, and shewn invalid by the usage of Scripture in illustrations; the true force of the comparison; force of the terms used. Force of in us;' force of as;' confirmed by S. John. In what sense we are in God' and His sons.'
10. However here too they introduce their private fictions, and contend that the Son and the Father are not in such wise one,' or like,' as the Church preaches, but, as they themselves would have it . For they say, since what the Father wills, the Son wills also, and is not contrary either in what He thinks or in what He judges, but is in all respects concordant with Him, declaring doctrines which are the same, and a word consistent and united with the Father's teaching, therefore it is that He and the Father are One; and some of them have dared to write as well as say this . Now what can be more unseemly or irrational than this? for if therefore the Son and the Father are One and if in this way the Word is like the Father, it follows forthwith that the Angels too, and the other beings above us, Powers and Authorities, and Thrones and Dominions, and what we see, Sun and Moon, and the Stars, should be sons also, as the Son; and that it should be said of them too, that they and the Father are one, and that each is God's Image and Word. For what God wills, that will they; and neither in judging nor in doctrine are they discordant, but in all things are obedient to their Maker. For they would not have remained in their own glory, unless, what the Father willed, that they had willed also. He, for instance, who did not remain, but went astray, heard the words, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning ?' But if this be so, how is only He Only-begotten Son and Word and Wisdom? or how, whereas so many are like the Father, is He only an Image? for among men too will be found many like the Father, numbers, for instance, of martyrs, and before them the Apostles and Prophets, and again before them the Patriarchs. And many now too keep the Saviour's command, being merciful as their Father which is in heaven ,' and observing the exhortation, Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us ;' many too have become followers of Paul as he also of Christ . And yet no one of these is Word or Wisdom or Only-begotten Son or Image; nor did any one of them make bold to say, I and the Father are One,' or, I in the Father, and the Father in Me ;' but it is said of all of them, Who is like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord? and who shall be likened to the Lord among the sons of Gods ?' and of Him on the contrary that He only is Image true and natural of the Father. For though we have been made after the Image , and called both image and glory of God, yet not on our own account still, but for that Image and true Glory of God inhabiting us, which is His Word, who was for us afterwards made flesh, have we this grace of our designation.
11. This their notion then being evidently unseemly and irrational as well as the rest, the likeness and the oneness must be referred to the very Essence of the Son; for unless it be so taken, He will not be shown to have anything beyond things originate, as has been said, nor will He be like the Father, but He will be like the Father's doctrines; and He differs from the Father, in that the Father is Father , but the doctrines and teaching are the Father's. If then in respect to the doctrines and the teaching the Son is like the Father, then the Father according to them will be Father in name only, and the Son will not be an exact Image, or rather will be seen to have no propriety at all or likeness of the Father; for what likeness or propriety has he who is so utterly different from the Father? for Paul taught like the Saviour, yet was not like Him in essence .' Having then such notions, they speak falsely; whereas the Son and the Father are one in such wise as has been said, and in such wise is the Son like the Father Himself and from Him, as we may see and understand son to be towards father, and as we may see the radiance towards the sun. Such then being the Son, therefore when the Son works, the Father is the Worker , and the Son coming to the Saints, the Father is He who cometh in the Son , as He promised when He said, I and My Father will come, and will make Our abode with him ;' for in the Image is contemplated the Father, and in the Radiance is the Light. Therefore also, as we said just now, when the Father gives grace and peace, the Son also gives it, as Paul signifies in every Epistle, writing, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.' For one and the same grace is from the Father in the Son, as the light of the sun and of the radiance is one, and as the sun's illumination is effected through the radiance; and so too when he prays for the Thessalonians, in saying, Now God Himself even our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, may He direct our way unto you ,' he has guarded the unity of the Father and of the Son. For he has not said, May they direct,' as if a double grace were given from two Sources, This and That, but May He direct,' to shew that the Father gives it through the Son; -- at which these irreligious ones will not blush, though they well might.
12. For if there were no unity, nor the Word the own Offspring of the Father's Essence, as the radiance of the light, but the Son were divided in nature from the Father, it were sufficient that the Father alone should give, since none of originate things is a partner with his Maker in His givings; but, as it is, such a mode of giving shews the oneness of the Father and the Son. No one, for instance, would pray to receive from God and the Angels , or from any other creature, nor would any one say, May God and the Angel give thee;' but from Father and the Son, because of Their oneness and the oneness of Their giving. For through the Son is given what is given; and there is nothing but the Father operates it through the Son; for thus is grace secure to him who receives it. And if the Patriarch Jacob, blessing his grandchildren Ephraim and Manasses, said, God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which delivered me from all evil, bless the lads ,' yet none of created and natural Angels did he join to God their Creator, nor rejecting God that fed him, did he from Angel ask the blessing on his grandsons; but in saying, Who delivered me from all evil,' he shewed that it was no created Angel, but the Word of God, whom he joined to the Father in his prayer, through whom, whomsoever He will, God doth deliver. For knowing that He is also called the Father's Angel of great Counsel ,' he said that none other than He was the Giver of blessing, and Deliverer from evil. Nor was it that he desired a blessing for himself from God but for his grandchildren from the Angel, but whom He Himself had besought saying, I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me ' (for that was God, as he says himself, I have seen God face to face'), Him he prayed to bless also the sons of Joseph. It is proper then to an Angel to minister at the command of God, and often does he go forth to cast out the Amorite, and is sent to guard the people in the way; but these are not his doings, but of God who commanded and sent him, whose also it is to deliver, whom He will deliver. Therefore it was no other than the Lord God Himself whom he had seen, who said to him, And behold I am with thee, to guard thee in all the way whither thou goest;' and it was no other than God whom he had seen, who kept Laban from his treachery, ordering him not to speak evil words to Jacob; and none other than God did he himself beseech, saying, Rescue me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I fear him ;' for in conversation too with his wives he said, God hath not suffered Laban to injure me.'
13. Therefore it was none other than God Himself that David too besought concerning his deliverance, When I was in trouble, I called upon the Lord, and He heard me; deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue .' To Him also giving thanks he spoke the words of the Song in the seventeenth Psalm, in the day in which the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul, saying, I will love Thee, O Lord my strength; the Lord is my strong rock and my defence and deliverer .' And Paul, after enduring many persecutions, to none other than God gave thanks, saying, Out of them all the Lord delivered me; and He will deliver in Whom we trust .' And none other than God blessed Abraham and Isaac; and Isaac praying for Jacob, said, May God bless thee and increase thee and multiply thee, and thou shalt be for many companies of nations, and may He give thee the blessing of Abraham my father .' But if it belong to none other than God to bless and to deliver, and none other was the deliverer of Jacob than the Lord Himself and Him that delivered him the Patriarch besought for his grandsons, evidently none other did he join to God in his prayer, than God's Word, whom therefore he called Angel, because it is He alone who reveals the Father. Which the Apostle also did when he said, Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ .' For thus the blessing was secure, because of the Son's indivisibility from the Father, and for that the grace given by Them is one and the same. For though the Father gives it, through the Son is the gift; and though the Son be said to vouchsafe it, it is the Father who supplies it through and in the Son; for I thank my God,' says the Apostle writing to the Corinthians, always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you in Christ Jesus .' And this one may see in the instance of light and radiance; for what the light enlightens, that the radiance irradiates; and what the radiance irradiates, from the light is its enlightenment. So also when the Son is beheld, so is the Father, for He is the Father's radiance; and thus the Father and the Son are one.
14. But this is not so with things originate and creatures; for when the Father works, it is not that any Angel works, or any other creature; for none of these is an efficient cause , but they are of things which come to be; and moreover being separate and divided from the only God, and other in nature, and being works, they can neither work what God works, nor, as I said before, when God gives grace, can they give grace with Him. Nor, on seeing an Angel would a man say that he had seen the Father; for Angels, as it is written, are ministering spirits sent forth to minister ,' and are heralds of gifts given by Him through the Word to those who receive them. And the Angel on his appearance, himself confesses that he has been sent by his Lord; as Gabriel confessed in the case of Zacharias, and also in the case of Mary, bearer of God . And he who beholds a vision of Angels, knows that he has seen the Angel and not God. For Zacharias saw an Angel; and Isaiah saw the Lord. Manoah, the father of Samson, saw an Angel; but Moses beheld God. Gideon saw an Angel, but to Abraham appeared God. And neither he who saw God, beheld an Angel, nor he who saw an Angel, considered that he saw God; for greatly, or rather wholly, do things by nature originate differ from God the Creator. But if at any time, when the Angel was seen, he who saw it heard God's voice, as took place at the bush; for the Angel of the Lord was seen in a flame of fire out of the bush, and the Lord called Moses out of the bush, saying, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob ,' yet was not the Angel the God of Abraham, but in the Angel God spoke. And what was seen was an Angel; but God spoke in him . For as He spoke to Moses in the pillar of a cloud in the tabernacle, so also God appears and speaks in Angels. So again to the son of Nun He spake by an Angel. But what God speaks, it is very plain He speaks through the Word, and not through another. And the Word, as being not separate from the Father, nor unlike and foreign to the Father's Essence, what He works, those are the Father's works, and His framing of all things is one with His; and what the Son gives, that is the Father's gift. And he who hath seen the Son, knows that, in seeing Him, he has seen, not Angel, nor one merely greater than Angels, nor in short any creature, but the Father Himself. And he who hears the Word, knows that he hears the Father; as he who is irradiated by the radiance, knows that he is enlightened by the sun.
15. For divine Scripture wishing us thus to understand the matter, has given such illustrations, as we have said above, from which we are able both to press the traitorous Jews, and to refute the allegation of Gentiles who maintain and think, on account of the Trinity, that we profess many gods . For, as the illustration shows, we do not introduce three Origins or three Fathers, as the followers of Marcion and Manichæus; since we have not suggested the image of three suns, but sun and radiance. And one is the light from the sun in the radiance; and so we know of but one origin; and the All-framing Word we profess to have no other manner of godhead, than that of the Only God, because He is born from Him. Rather then will the Ario-maniacs with reason incur the charge of polytheism or else of atheism , because they idly talk of the Son as external and a creature, and again the Spirit as from nothing. For either they will say that the Word is not God; or saying that He is God , because it is so written, but not proper to the Father's Essence, they will introduce many because of their difference of kind (unless forsooth they shall dare to say that by participation only, He, as all things else, is called God; though, if this be their sentiment, their irreligion is the same, since they consider the Word as one among all things). But let this never even come into our mind. For there is but one form of Godhead, which is also in the Word; and one God, the Father, existing by Himself according as He is above all, and appearing in the Son according as He pervades all things, and in the Spirit according as in Him He acts in all things through the Word . For thus we confess God to be one through the Triad, and we say that it is much more religious than the godhead of the heretics with its many kinds , and many parts, to entertain a belief of the One Godhead in a Triad.
16. For if it be not so, but the Word is a creature and a work out of nothing, either He is not True God because He is Himself one of the creatures, or if they name Him God from regard for the Scriptures, they must of necessity say that there are two Gods , one Creator, the other creature, and must serve two Lords, one Unoriginate, and the other originate and a creature; and must have two faiths, one in the True God, and the other in one who is made and fashioned by themselves and called God. And it follows of necessity in so great blindness, that, when they worship the Unoriginate, they renounce the originate, and when they come to the creature, they turn from the Creator. For they cannot see the One in the Other, because their natures and operations are foreign and distinct . And with such sentiments, they will certainly be going on to more gods, for this will be the essay of those who revolt from the One God. Wherefore then, when the Arians have these speculations and views, do they not rank themselves with the Gentiles? for they too, as these, worship the creature rather than God the Creator of all , and though they shrink from the Gentile name, in order to deceive the unskilful, yet they secretly hold a like sentiment with them. For their subtle saying which they are accustomed to urge, We say not two Unoriginates ,' they plainly say to deceive the simple; for in their very professing We say not two Unoriginates,' they imply two Gods, and these with different natures, one originate and one Unoriginate. And though the Greeks worship one Unoriginate and many originate, but these one Unoriginate and one originate, this is no difference from them; for the God whom they call originate is one out of many, and again the many gods of the Greeks have the same nature with this one, for both he and they are creatures. Unhappy are they, and the more for that their hurt is from thinking against Christ; for they have fallen from the truth, and are greater traitors than the Jews in denying the Christ, and they wallow with the Gentiles, hateful as they are to God, worshipping the creature and many deities. For there is One God, and not many, and One is His Word, and not many; for the Word is God, and He alone has the Form of the Father. Being then such, the Saviour Himself troubled the Jews with these words, The Father Himself which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me; ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His Form; and ye have not His Word abiding in you; for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not .' Suitably has He joined the Word' to the Form,' to shew that the Word of God is Himself Image and Expression and Form of His Father; and that the Jews who did not receive Him who spoke to them, thereby did not receive the Word, which is the Form of God. This too it was that the Patriarch Jacob having seen, received a blessing from Him and the name of Israel instead of Jacob, as divine Scripture witnesses, saying, And as he passed by the Form of God, the Sun rose upon him .' And This it was who said, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,' and, I in the Father and the Father in Me,' and, I and the Father are one ;' for thus God is One, and one the faith in the Father and Son; for, though the Word be God, the Lord our God is one Lord; for the Son is proper to that One, and inseparable according to the propriety and peculiarity of His Essence.
17. The Arians, however, not even thus abashed, reply, Not as you say, but as we will ;' for, whereas you have overthrown our former expedients, we have invented a new one, and it is this: -- So are the Son and the Father One, and so is the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father, as we too may become one in Him. For this is written in the Gospel according to John, and Christ desired it for us in these words, Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name, those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are .' And shortly after; Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their Word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that Thou didst send Me .' Then, as having found an evasion, these men of craft add, If, as we become one in the Father, so also He and the Father are one, and thus He too is in the Father, how pretend you from His saying, |I and the Father are One,| and |I in the Father and the Father in Me,| that He is proper and like the Father's Essence? for it follows either that we too are proper to the Father's Essence, or He foreign to it, as we are foreign.' Thus they idly babble; but in this their perverseness I see nothing but unreasoning audacity and recklessness from the devil , since it is saying after his pattern, We will ascend to heaven, we will be like the Most High.' For what is given to man by grace, this they would make equal to the Godhead of the Giver. Thus hearing that men are called sons, they thought themselves equal to the True Son by nature such . And now again hearing from the Saviour, that they may be one as We are ,' they deceive themselves, and are arrogant enough to think that they may be such as the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son; not considering the fall of their father the devil ,' which happened upon such an imagination.
18. If then, as we have many times said, the Word of God is the same with us, and nothing differs from us except in time, let Him be like us, and have the same place with the Father as we have; nor let Him be called Only-begotten, nor Only Word or Wisdom of the Father; but let the same name be of common application to all us who are like Him. For it is right, that they who have one nature, should have their name in common, though they differ from each other in point of time. For Adam was a man, and Paul a man, and he who is now born is a man, and time is not that which alters the nature of the race . If then the Word also differs from us only in time, then we must be as He. But in truth neither we are Word or Wisdom, nor is He creature or work; else why are we all sprung from one, and He the Only Word? but though it be suitable in them thus to speak, in us at least it is unsuitable to entertain their blasphemies. And yet, needless though it be to refine upon these passages, considering their so clear and religious sense, and our own orthodox belief, yet that their irreligion may be shewn here also, come let us shortly, as we have received from the fathers, expose their heterodoxy from the passage. It is a custom with divine Scripture to take the things of nature as images and illustrations for mankind; and this it does, that from these physical objects the moral impulses of man may be explained; and thus their conduct shewn to be either bad or righteous. For instance, in the case of the bad, as when it charges, Be ye not like to horse and mule which have no understanding .' Or as when it says, complaining of those who have become such, Man, being in honour, hath no understanding, but is compared unto the beasts that perish.' And again, They were as wanton horses .' And the Saviour to expose Herod said, Tell that fox ;' but, on the other hand, charged His disciples, Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves .' And He said this, not that we may become in nature beasts of burden, or become serpents and doves; for He hath not so made us Himself, and therefore nature does not allow of it; but that we might eschew the irrational motions of the one, and being aware of the wisdom of that other animal, might not be deceived by it, and might take on us the meekness of the dove.
19. Again, taking patterns for man from divine subjects, the Saviour says; Be ye merciful, as your Father which is in heaven is merciful ;' and, Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect .' And He said this too, not that we might become such as the Father; for to become as the Father, is impossible for us creatures, who have been brought to be out of nothing; but as He charged us, Be ye not like to horse,' not lest we should become as draught animals, but that we should not imitate their want of reason, so, not that we might become as God, did He say, Be ye merciful as your Father,' but that looking at His beneficent acts, what we do well, we might do, not for men's sake, but for His sake, so that from Him and not from men we may have the reward. For as, although there be one Son by nature, True and Only-begotten, we too become sons, not as He in nature and truth, but according to the grace of Him that calleth, and though we are men from the earth, are yet called gods , not as the True God or His Word, but as has pleased God who has given us that grace; so also, as God do we become merciful, not by being made equal to God, nor becoming in nature and truth benefactors (for it is not our gift to benefit but belongs to God), but in order that what has accrued to us from God Himself by grace, these things we may impart to others, without making distinctions, but largely towards all extending our kind service. For only in this way can we anyhow become imitators, and in no other, when we minister to others what comes from Him. And as we put a fair and right sense upon these texts, such again is the sense of the lection in John. For he does not say, that, as the Son is in the Father, such we must become: -- whence could it be? when He is God's Word and Wisdom, and we were fashioned out of the earth, and He is by nature and essence Word and true God (for thus speaks John, We know that the Son of God is come, and He hath given us an understanding to know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ; this is the true God and eternal life ') and we are made sons through Him by adoption and grace, as partaking of His Spirit (for as many as received Him,' he says, to them gave He power to become children of God, even to them that believe on His Name '), and therefore also He is the Truth (saying, I am the Truth,' and in His address to His Father, He said, Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth '); but we by imitation become virtuous and sons: -- therefore not that we might become such as He, did He say that they may be one as We are;' but that as He, being the Word, is in His own Father, so that we too, taking an examplar and looking at Him, might become one towards each other in concord and oneness of spirit, nor be at variance as the Corinthians, but mind the same thing, as those five thousand in the Acts , who were as one.
20. For it is as sons,' not as the Son; as gods,' not as He Himself; and not as the Father, but merciful as the Father.' And, as has been said, by so becoming one, as the Father and the Son, we shall be such, not as the Father is by nature in the Son and the Son in the Father, but according to our own nature, and as it is possible for us thence to be moulded and to learn how we ought to be one, just as we learned also to be merciful. For like things are naturally one with like; thus all flesh is ranked together in kind ; but the Word is unlike us and like the Father. And therefore, while He is in nature and truth one with His own Father, we, as being of one kind with each other (for from one were all made, and one is the nature of all men), become one with each other in good disposition , having as our copy the Son's natural unity with the Father. For as He taught us meekness from Himself, saying, Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart ,' not that we may become equal to Him, which is impossible, but that looking towards Him, we may remain meek continually, so also here wishing that our good disposition towards each other should be true and firm and indissoluble, from Himself taking the pattern, He says, that they may be one as We are,' whose oneness is indivisible; that is, that they learning from us of that indivisible Nature, may preserve in like manner agreement one with another. And this imitation of natural conditions is especially safe for man, as has been said; for, since they remain and never change, whereas the conduct of men is very changeable, one may look to what is unchangeable by nature, and avoid what is bad and remodel himself on what is best.
21. And for this reason also the words, that they may be one in Us,' have a right sense. If, for instance, it were possible for us to become as the Son in the Father, the words ought to run, that they may be one in Thee,' as the Son is in the Father; but, as it is, He has not said this; but by saying in Us' He has pointed out the distance and difference; that He indeed is alone in the Father alone, as Only Word and Wisdom; but we in the Son, and through Him in the Father. And thus speaking, He meant this only, By Our unity may they also be so one with each other, as We are one in nature and truth; for otherwise they could not be one, except by learning unity in Us.' And that in Us' has this signification, we may learn from Paul, who says, These things I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos, that ye may learn in us not to be puffed up above that is written .' The words in Us' then, are not in the Father,' as the Son is in Him; but imply an example and image, instead of saying, Let them learn of Us.' For as Paul to the Corinthians, so is the oneness of the Son and the Father a pattern and lesson to all, by which they may learn, looking to that natural unity of the Father and the Son, how they themselves ought to be one in spirit towards each other. Or if it needs to account for the phrase otherwise, the words in Us' may mean the same as saying, that in the power of the Father and the Son they may be one, speaking the same things ; for without God this is impossible. And this mode of speech also we may find in the divine writings, as In God will we do great acts;' and In God I shall leap over the wall ;' and In Thee will we tread down our enemies .' Therefore it is plain, that in the Name of Father and Son we shall be able, becoming one, to hold firm the bond of charity. For, dwelling still on the same thought, the Lord says, And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given to them, that they may be one as We are one.' Suitably has He here too said, not, that they may be in Thee as I am,' but as We are;' now he who says as' , signifies not identity, but an image and example of the matter in hand.
22. The Word then has the real and true identity of nature with the Father; but to us it is given to imitate it, as has been said; for He immediately adds, I in them and Thou in Me; that they may be made perfect in one.' Here at length the Lord asks something greater and more perfect for us; for it is plain that the Word has come to be in us , for He has put on our body. And Thou Father in Me;' for I am Thy Word, and since Thou art in Me, because I am Thy Word, and I in them because of the body, and because of Thee the salvation of men is perfected in Me, therefore I ask that they also may become one, according to the body that is in Me and according to its perfection; that they too may become perfect, having oneness with It, and having become one in It; that, as if all were carried by Me, all may be one body and one spirit, and may grow up unto a perfect man .' For we all, partaking of the Same, become one body, having the one Lord in ourselves. The passage then having this meaning, still more plainly is refuted the heterodoxy of Christ's enemies. I repeat it; if He had said simply and absolutely that they may be one in Thee,' or that they and I may be one in Thee,' God's enemies had had some plea, though a shameless one; but in fact He has not spoken simply, but, As Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee, that they may be all one.' Moreover, using the word as,' He signifies those who become distantly as He is in the Father; distantly not in place but in nature; for in place nothing is far from God , but in nature only all things are far from Him. And, as I said before, whoso uses the particle as' implies, not identity, nor equality, but a pattern of the matter in question, viewed in a certain respect .
23. Indeed we may learn also from the Saviour Himself, when He says, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth .' For Jonah was not as the Saviour, nor did Jonah go down to hades; nor was the whale hades; nor did Jonah, when swallowed up, bring up those who had before been swallowed by the whale, but he alone came forth, when the whale was bidden. Therefore there is no identity nor equality signified in the term as,' but one thing and another; and it shews a certain kind of parallel in the case of Jonah, on account of the three days. In like manner then we too, when the Lord says as,' neither become as the Son in the Father, nor as the Father is in the Son. For we become one as the Father and the Son in mind and agreement of spirit, and the Saviour will be as Jonah in the earth; but as the Saviour is not Jonah, nor, as he was swallowed up, so did the Saviour descend into hades, but it is but a parallel, in like manner, if we too become one, as the Son in the Father, we shall not be as the Son, nor equal to Him; for He and we are but parallel. For on this account is the word as' applied to us; since things differing from others in nature, become as they, when viewed in a certain relation . Wherefore the Son Himself, simply and without any condition is in the Father; for this attribute He has by nature; but for us, to whom it is not natural, there is needed an image and example, that He may say of us, As Thou in Me, and I in Thee.' And when they shall be so perfected,' He says, then the world knows that Thou hast sent Me, for unless I had come and borne this their body, no one of them had been perfected, but one and all had remained corruptible. Work Thou then in them, O Father, and as Thou hast given to Me to bear this, grant to them Thy Spirit, that they too in It may become one, and may be perfected in Me. For their perfecting shews that Thy Word has sojourned among them; and the world seeing them perfect and full of God , will believe altogether that Thou hast sent Me, and I have sojourned here. For whence is this their perfecting, but that I, Thy Word, having borne their body, and become man, have perfected the work, which Thou gavest Me, O Father? And the work is perfected, because men, redeemed from sin, no longer remain dead; but being deified , have in each other, by looking at Me, the bond of charity .'
24. We then, by way of giving a rude view of the expressions in this passage, have been led into many words, but blessed John will shew from his Epistle the sense of the words, concisely and much more perfectly than we can. And he will both disprove the interpretation of these irreligious men, and will teach how we become in God and God in us; and how again we become One in Him, and how far the Son differs in nature from us, and will stop the Arians from any longer thinking that they shall be as the Son, lest they hear it said to them, Thou art a man and not God,' and Stretch not thyself, being poor, beside a rich man .' John then thus writes; Hereby know we that we dwell in Him and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit .' Therefore because of the grace of the Spirit which has been given to us, in Him we come to be, and He in us ; and since it is the Spirit of God, therefore through His becoming in us, reasonably are we, as having the Spirit, considered to be in God, and thus is God in us. Not then as the Son in the Father, so also we become in the Father; for the Son does not merely partake the Spirit, that therefore He too may be in the Father; nor does He receive the Spirit, but rather He supplies It Himself to all; and the Spirit does not unite the Word to the Father , but rather the Spirit receives from the Word. And the Son is in the Father, as His own Word and Radiance; but we, apart from the Spirit, are strange and distant from God, and by the participation of the Spirit we are knit into the Godhead; so that our being in the Father is not ours, but is the Spirit's which is in us and abides in us, while by the true confession we preserve it in us, John again saying, Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God .' What then is our likeness and equality to the Son? rather, are not the Arians confuted on every side? and especially by John, that the Son is in the Father in one way, and we become in Him in another, and that neither we shall ever be as He, nor is the Word as we; except they shall dare, as commonly, so now to say, that the Son also by participation of the Spirit and by improvement of conduct came to be Himself also in the Father. But here again is an excess of irreligion, even in admitting the thought. For He, as has been said, gives to the Spirit, and whatever the Spirit hath, He hath from the Word.
25. The Saviour, then, saying of us, As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they too may be one in Us,' does not signify that we were to have identity with Him; for this was shewn from the instance of Jonah; but it is a request to the Father, as John has written, that the Spirit should be vouchsafed through Him to those who believe, through whom we are found to be in God, and in this respect to be conjoined in Him. For since the Word is in the Father, and the Spirit is given from the Word, He wills that we should receive the Spirit, that, when we receive It, thus having the Spirit of the Word which is in the Father, we too may be found on account of the Spirit to become One in the Word, and through Him in the Father. And if He say, as we,' this again is only a request that such grace of the Spirit as is given to the disciples may be without failure or revocation . For what the Word has by nature , as I said, in the Father, that He wishes to be given to us through the Spirit irrevocably; which the Apostle knowing, said, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?' for the gifts of God' and grace of His calling are without repentance .' It is the Spirit then which is in God, and not we viewed in our own selves; and as we are sons and gods because of the Word in us , so we shall be in the Son and in the Father, and we shall be accounted to have become one in Son and in Father, because that that Spirit is in us, which is in the Word which is in the Father. When then a man falls from the Spirit for any wickedness, if he repent upon his fall, the grace remains irrevocably to such as are willing ; otherwise he who has fallen is no longer in God (because that Holy Spirit and Paraclete which is in God has deserted him), but the sinner shall be in him to whom he has subjected himself, as took place in Saul's instance; for the Spirit of God departed from him and an evil spirit was afflicting him . God's enemies hearing this ought to be henceforth abashed, and no longer to feign themselves equal to God. But they neither understand (for the irreligious,' he saith, does not understand knowledge' ) nor endure religious words, but find them heavy even to hear.