26. For behold, as if not wearied in their words of irreligion, but hardened with Pharaoh, while they hear and see the Saviour's human attributes in the Gospels , they have utterly forgotten, like the Samosatene, the Son's paternal Godhead , and with arrogant and audacious tongue they say, How can the Son be from the Father by nature, and be like Him in essence,' who says, All power is given unto Me;' and The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;' and The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand; he that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life;' and again, All things were delivered unto Me of My Father, and no one knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him;' and again, All that the Father hath given unto Me, shall come to Me .' On this they observe, If He was, as ye say, Son by nature, He had no need to receive, but He had by nature as a Son.' |Or how can He be the natural and true Power of the Father, who near upon the season of the passion says, Now is My soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour; but for this came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy Name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again .' And He said the same another time; Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me;' and When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit and testified and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me .'| Then these perverse men argue; If He were Power, He had not feared, but rather He had supplied power to others.' Further they say; If He were by nature the true and own Wisdom of the Father,' how is it written, And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man ?' In like manner, when He had come into the parts of Cæsarea Philippi, He asked the disciples whom men said that He was; and when He was at Bethany He asked where Lazarus lay; and He said besides to His disciples, How many loaves have ye ? How then,' say they, is He Wisdom, who increased in wisdom and was ignorant of what He asked of others?' This too they urge; |How can He be the own Word of the Father, without whom the Father never was, through whom He makes all things, as ye think, who said upon the Cross My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' and before that had prayed, Glorify Thy Name,' and, O Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.' And He used to pray in the deserts and charge His disciples to pray lest they should enter into temptation; and, The spirit indeed is willing,' He said, but the flesh is weak.' And, Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, nor the Angels, neither the Son .'| Upon this again say the miserable men, |If the Son were, according to your interpretation , eternally existent with God, He had not been ignorant of the Day, but had known as Word; nor had been forsaken as being coexistent; nor had asked to receive glory, as having it in the Father; nor would have prayed at all; for, being the Word, He had needed nothing; but since He is a creature and one of things originate, therefore He thus spoke, and needed what He had not; for it is proper to creatures to require and to need what they have not.|
27. This then is what the irreligious men allege in their discourses; and if they thus argue, they might consistently speak yet more daringly; Why did the Word become flesh at all?' and they might add; For how could He, being God, become man?' or, How could the Immaterial bear a body?' or they might speak with Caiaphas still more Judaically, Wherefore at all did Christ, being a man, make Himself God ?' for this and the like the Jews then muttered when they saw, and now the Ario-maniacs disbelieve when they read, and have fallen away into blasphemies. If then a man should carefully parallel the words of these and those, he will of a certainty find them both arriving at the same unbelief, and the daring of their irreligion equal, and their dispute with us a common one. For the Jews said; How, being a man, can He be God?' And the Arians, If He were very God from God, how could He become man?' And the Jews were offended then and mocked, saying, Had He been Son of God, He had not endured the Cross;' and the Arians standing over against them, urge upon us, How dare ye say that He is the Word proper to the Father's Essence, who had a body, so as to endure all this?' Next, while the Jews sought to kill the Lord, because He said that God was His own Father and made Himself equal to Him, as working what the Father works, the Arians also, not only have learned to deny, both that He is equal to God and that God is the own and natural Father of the Word, but those who hold this they seek to kill. Again, whereas the Jews said, Is not this the Son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how then is it that He saith, Before Abraham was, I am, and I came down from heaven ?' the Arians on the other hand make response and say conformably, How can He be Word or God who slept as man, and wept, and inquired?' Thus both parties deny the Eternity and Godhead of the Word in consequence of those human attributes which the Saviour took on Him by reason of that flesh which He bore.
28. Such error then being Judaic, and Judaic after the mind of Judas the traitor, let them openly confess themselves scholars of Caiaphas and Herod, instead of cloking Judaism with the name of Christianity, and let them deny outright, as we have said before, the Saviour's appearance in the flesh, for this doctrine is akin to their heresy; or if they fear openly to Judaize and be circumcised , from servility towards Constantius and for their sake whom they have beguiled, then let them not say what the Jews say; for if they disown the name, let them in fairness renounce the doctrine. For we are Christians, O Arians, Christians we; our privilege is it well to know the Gospels concerning the Saviour, and neither, with Jews to stone Him, if we hear of His Godhead and Eternity, nor with you to stumble at such lowly sayings as He may speak for our sakes as man. If then you would become Christians , put off Arius's madness, and cleanse with the words of religion those ears of yours which blaspheming has defiled; knowing that, by ceasing to be Arians, you will cease also from the malevolence of the present Jews. Then at once will truth shine on you out of darkness, and ye will no longer reproach us with holding two Eternals , but ye will yourselves acknowledge that the Lord is God's true Son by nature, and not as merely eternal , but revealed as co-existing in the Father's eternity. For there are things called eternal of which He is Framer; for in the twenty-third Psalm it is written, Lift up your gates, O ye rulers, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates ;' and it is plain that through Him these things were made; but if even of things everlasting He is the Framer, who of us shall be able henceforth to dispute that He is anterior to those things eternal, and in consequence is proved to be Lord not so much from His eternity, as in that He is God's Son; for being the Son, He is inseparable from the Father, and never was there when He was not, but He was always; and being the Father's Image and Radiance, He has the Father's eternity. Now what has been briefly said above may suffice to shew their misunderstanding of the passages they then alleged; and that of what they now allege from the Gospels they certainly give an unsound interpretation , we may easily see, if we now consider the scope of that faith which we Christians hold, and using it as a rule, apply ourselves, as the Apostle teaches, to the reading of inspired Scripture. For Christ's enemies, being ignorant of this scope, have wandered from the way of truth, and have stumbled on a stone of stumbling, thinking otherwise than they should think.
29. Now the scope and character of Holy Scripture, as we have often said, is this, -- it contains a double account of the Saviour; that He was ever God, and is the Son, being the Father's Word and Radiance and Wisdom ; and that afterwards for us He took flesh of a Virgin, Mary Bearer of God , and was made man. And this scope is to be found throughout inspired Scripture, as the Lord Himself has said, Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of Me .' But lest I should exceed in writing, by bringing together all the passages on the subject, let it suffice to mention as a specimen, first John saying, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made not one thing ;' next, And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of one Only-begotten from the Father ;' and next Paul writing, Who being in the form of God, thought it not a prize to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion like a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross .' Any one, beginning with these passages and going through the whole of the Scripture upon the interpretation which they suggest, will perceive how in the beginning the Father said to Him, Let there be light,' and Let there be a firmament,' and Let us make man ;' but in fulness of the ages, He sent Him into the world, not that He might judge the world, but that the world by Him might be saved, and how it is written Behold, the Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his Name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is God with us .'
30. The reader then of divine Scripture may acquaint himself with these passages from the ancient books; and from the Gospels on the other hand he will perceive that the Lord became man; for the Word,' he says, became flesh, and dwelt among us .' And He became man, and did not come into man; for this it is necessary to know, lest perchance these irreligious men fall into this notion also, and beguile any into thinking, that, as in former times the Word was used to come into each of the Saints, so now He sojourned in a man, hallowing him also, and manifesting Himself as in the others. For if it were so, and He only appeared in a man, it were nothing strange, nor had those who saw Him been startled, saying, Whence is He? and wherefore dost Thou, being a man, make Thyself God? for they were familiar with the idea, from the words, And the Word of the Lord came' to this or that of the Prophets . But now, since the Word of God, by whom all things came to be, endured to become also Son of man, and humbled Himself, taking a servant's form, therefore to the Jews the Cross of Christ is a scandal, but to us Christ is God's power' and God's wisdom ;' for the Word,' as John says, became flesh' (it being the custom of Scripture to call man by the name of flesh,' as it says by Joel the Prophet, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh;' and as Daniel said to Astyages, I do not worship idols made with hands, but the Living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh ;' for both he and Joel call mankind flesh).
31. Of old time He was wont to come to the Saints individually, and to hallow those who rightly received Him; but neither, when they were begotten was it said that He had become man, nor, when they suffered, was it said that He Himself suffered. But when He came among us from Mary once at the end of the ages for the abolition of sin (for so it was pleasing to the Father, to send His own Son made of a woman, made under the Law'), then it is said, that He took flesh and became man, and in that flesh He suffered for us (as Peter says, Christ therefore having suffered for us in the flesh ,' that it might be shewn, and that all might believe, that whereas He was ever God, and hallowed those to whom He came, and ordered all things according to the Father's will , afterwards for our sakes He became man, and bodily ,' as the Apostle says, the Godhead dwelt in the flesh; as much as to say, Being God, He had His own body, and using this as an instrument , He became man for our sakes.' And on account of this, the properties of the flesh are said to be His, since He was in it, such as to hunger, to thirst, to suffer, to weary, and the like, of which the flesh is capable; while on the other hand the works proper to the Word Himself, such as to raise the dead, to restore sight to the blind, and to cure the woman with an issue of blood, He did through His own body . And the Word bore the infirmities of the flesh, as His own, for His was the flesh; and the flesh ministered to the works of the Godhead, because the Godhead was in it, for the body was God's . And well has the Prophet said carried ;' and has not said, He remedied our infirmities,' lest, as being external to the body, and only healing it, as He has always done, He should leave men subject still to death; but He carries our infirmities, and He Himself bears our sins, that it might be shewn that He has become man for us, and that the body which in Him bore them, was His own body; and, while He received no hurt Himself by bearing our sins in His body on the tree,' as Peter speaks, we men were redeemed from our own affections , and were filled with the righteousness of the Word.
32. Whence it was that, when the flesh suffered, the Word was not external to it; and therefore is the passion said to be His: and when He did divinely His Father's works, the flesh was not external to Him, but in the body itself did the Lord do them. Hence, when made man, He said , If I do not the works of the Father, believe Me not; but if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works, that ye may know that the Father is in Me and I in Him.' And thus when there was need to raise Peter's wife's mother, who was sick of a fever, He stretched forth His hand humanly, but He stopped the illness divinely. And in the case of the man blind from the birth, human was the spittle which He gave forth from the flesh, but divinely did He open the eyes through the clay. And in the case of Lazarus, He gave forth a human voice as man; but divinely, as God, did He raise Lazarus from the dead . These things were so done, were so manifested, because He had a body, not in appearance, but in truth ; and it became the Lord, in putting on human flesh, to put it on whole with the affections proper to it; that, as we say that the body was His own, so also we may say that the affections of the body were proper to Him alone, though they did not touch Him according to His Godhead. If then the body had been another's, to him too had been the affections attributed; but if the flesh is the Word's (for the Word became flesh'), of necessity then the affections also of the flesh are ascribed to Him, whose the flesh is. And to whom the affections are ascribed, such namely as to be condemned, to be scourged, to thirst, and the cross, and death, and the other infirmities of the body, of Him too is the triumph and the grace. For this cause then, consistently and fittingly such affections are ascribed not to another , but to the Lord; that the grace also may be from Him , and that we may become, not worshippers of any other, but truly devout towards God, because we invoke no originate thing, no ordinary man, but the natural and true Son from God, who has become man, yet is not the less Lord and God and Saviour.
33. Who will not admire this? or who will not agree that such a thing is truly divine? for if the works of the Word's Godhead had not taken place through the body, man had not been deified; and again, had not the properties of the flesh been ascribed to the Word, man had not been thoroughly delivered from them ; but though they had ceased for a little while, as I said before, still sin had remained in him and corruption, as was the case with mankind before Him; and for this reason: -- Many for instance have been made holy and clean from all sin; nay, Jeremiah was hallowed even from the womb, and John, while yet in the womb, leapt for joy at the voice of Mary Bearer of God ; nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression ;' and thus man remained mortal and corruptible as before, liable to the affections proper to their nature. But now the Word having become man and having appropriated what pertains to the flesh, no longer do these things touch the body, because of the Word who has come in it, but they are destroyed by Him, and henceforth men no longer remain sinners and dead according to their proper affections, but having risen according to the Word's power, they abide ever immortal and incorruptible. Whence also, whereas the flesh is born of Mary Bearer of God , He Himself is said to have been born, who furnishes to others an origin of being; in order that He may transfer our origin into Himself, and we may no longer, as mere earth, return to earth, but as being knit into the Word from heaven, may be carried to heaven by Him. Therefore in like manner not without reason has He transferred to Himself the other affections of the body also; that we, no longer as being men, but as proper to the Word, may have share in eternal life. For no longer according to our former origin in Adam do we die; but henceforward our origin and all infirmity of flesh being transferred to the Word, we rise from the earth, the curse from sin being removed, because of Him who is in us , and who has become a curse for us. And with reason; for as we are all from earth and die in Adam, so being regenerated from above of water and Spirit, in the Christ we are all quickened; the flesh being no longer earthly, but being henceforth made Word , by reason of God's Word who for our sake became flesh.'
34. And that one may attain to a more exact knowledge of the impassibility of the Word's nature and of the infirmities ascribed to Him because of the flesh, it will be well to listen to the blessed Peter; for he will be a trustworthy witness concerning the Saviour. He writes then in his Epistle thus; Christ then having suffered for us in the flesh .' Therefore also when He is said to hunger and thirst and to toil and not to know, and to sleep, and to weep, and to ask, and to flee, and to be born, and to deprecate the cup, and in a word to undergo all that belongs to the flesh , let it be said, as is congruous, in each case Christ then hungering and thirsting |for us in the flesh;|' and saying He did not know, and being buffeted, and toiling |for us in the flesh;|' and being exalted too, and born, and growing |in the flesh;|' and fearing and hiding |in the flesh;|' and saying, |If it be possible let this cup pass from Me ,| and being beaten, and receiving, |for us in the flesh;|' and in a word all such things for us in the flesh.' For on this account has the Apostle himself said, Christ then having suffered,' not in His Godhead, but for us in the flesh,' that these affections may be acknowledged as, not proper to the very Word by nature, but proper by nature to the very flesh.
Let no one then stumble at what belongs to man, but rather let a man know that in nature the Word Himself is impassible, and yet because of that flesh which He put on, these things are ascribed to Him, since they are proper to the flesh, and the body itself is proper to the Saviour. And while He Himself, being impassible in nature, remains as He is, not harmed by these affections, but rather obliterating and destroying them, men, their passions as if changed and abolished in the Impassible, henceforth become themselves also impassible and free from them for ever, as John taught, saying, And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin .' And this being so, no heretic shall object, Wherefore rises the flesh, being by nature mortal? and if it rises, why not hunger too and thirst, and suffer, and remain mortal? for it came from the earth, and how can its natural condition pass from it?' since the flesh is able now to make answer to this so contentious heretic, I am from earth, being by nature mortal, but afterwards I have become the Word's flesh,' and He carried' my affections, though He is without them; and so I became free from them, being no more abandoned to their service because of the Lord who has made me free from them. For if you object to my being rid of that corruption which is by nature, see that you object not to God's Word having taken my form of servitude; for as the Lord, putting on the body, became man, so we men are deified by the Word as being taken to Him through His flesh, and henceforward inherit life everlasting.'
35. These points we have found it necessary first to examine, that, when we see Him doing or saying aught divinely through the instrument of His own body, we may know that He so works, being God, and also, if we see Him speaking or suffering humanly, we may not be ignorant that He bore flesh and became man, and hence He so acts and so speaks. For if we recognise what is proper to each, and see and understand that both these things and those are done by One , we are right in our faith, and shall never stray. But if a man looking at what is done divinely by the Word, deny the body, or looking at what is proper to the body, deny the Word's presence in the flesh, or from what is human entertain low thoughts concerning the Word, such a one, as a Jewish vintner , mixing water with the wine, shall account the Cross an offence, or as a Gentile, will deem the preaching folly. This then is what happens to God's enemies the Arians; for looking at what is human in the Saviour, they have judged Him a creature. Therefore they ought, looking also at the divine works of the Word, to deny the origination of His body, and henceforth to rank themselves with Manichees . But for them, learn they, however tardily, that the Word became flesh;' and let us, retaining the general scope of the faith, acknowledge that what they interpret ill, has a right interpretation .