Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.07 Book I Part 6

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.07 Book I Part 6

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.07 Book I Part 6

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§31. The Observations Made by Watching Providence are Sufficient to Give Us the Knowledge of Sameness of Being.

And yet, if he could see the consequences of his own statements, he would be led on by them to acquiesce in the doctrine of the Church. For if the maker's nature is an indication of the thing made, as he affirms, and if, according to his school, the Son is something made by the Father, anyone who has observed the Father's nature would have certainly known thereby that of the Son; if, I say, it is true that the worker's nature is a sign of that which he works. But the Only-begotten, as they say, of the Father's unlikeness, will be excluded from operating through Providence. Eunomius need not trouble any more about His being generated, nor force out of that another proof of the son's unlikeness. The difference of purpose will itself be sufficient to bring to light His alien nature. For the First Being is, even by our opponents' confession, one and single, and necessarily His will must be thought of as following the bent of His nature; but Providence shows that purpose is good, and so the nature from which that purpose comes is shown to be good also. So the Father alone works good; and the Son does not purpose the same things as He, if we adopt the assumptions of our adversary; the difference then, of their nature will be clearly attested by this variation of their purposes. But if, while the Father is provident for the Universe, the Son is equally provident for it (for `what He sees the Father doing that also the Son does'), this sameness of their purposes exhibits a communion of nature in those who thus purpose the same things. Why, then, is all mention of Providence omitted by him, as if it would not help us at all to that which we are searching for. Yet many familiar examples make for our view of it. Anyone who has gazed on the brightness of fire and experienced its power of warming, when he approaches another such brightness and another such warmth, will assuredly be led on to think of fire; for his senses through the medium of these similar phaenomena will conduct him to the fact of a kindred element producing both; anything that was not fire could not work on all occasions like fire. Just so, when we perceive a similar and equal amount of providential power in the Father and in the Son, we make a guess by means of what thus comes within the range of our knowledge about things which transcend our comprehension; we feel that causes of an alien nature cannot be detected in these equal and similar effects. As the observed phenomena are to each other, so will the subjects of those phenomena be: if the first are opposed to each other, we must reckon the revealed entities to be so too; if the first are alike, so too must those others be. Our Lord said allegorically that their fruit is the sign of the characters of trees, meaning that it does not belie that character, that the bad is not attached to the good tree, nor the good to the bad tree;-"by their fruits ye shall know them;"-so when the fruit, Providence, presents no difference, we detect a single nature from which that fruit has sprung, even though the trees be different from which the fruit is put forth. Through that, then, which is cognizable by our apprehension, viz., tile scheme or Providence visible in the Son in the same way as in the Father, the common likeness of the Only-begotten and the Father is placed beyond a doubt; and it is the identity of the fruits of Providence by which we know it.

§32. His Dictum that `The Manner of the Likeness Must Follow the Manner of the Generation' Is Unintelligible.

But to prevent such a thought being entertained, and pretending to be forced somehow away from it, he says that he withdraws from all these results of Providence, and goes back to the manner of the Son's generation, because "the manner of His likeness must follow the manner of His generation." What an irresistible proof! How forcibly does this verbiage compel assent! What skill and precision there is in the wording of this assertion! Then, if we know the manner of the generation, we shall know by that the manner of the likeness. Well, then; seeing that all, or at all events most, animals born by parturition have the same manner of generation, and, according to their logic, the manner of likeness follows this manner of generation, these animals, following as they do the same model in their production, will resemble entirely those similarly generated; for things that are like the same thing are like one another. If, then, according to the view of this heresy, the manner of the generation makes every thing generated just like itself, and it is a fact that this manner does not vary at all in diversified kinds of animals but remains the same in the greatest part of them, we shall find that this sweeping and unqualified assertion of his establishes, by virtue of this similarity of birth, a mutual resemblance between men, dogs, camels, mice, elephants, leopards, and every other animal which Nature produces in the same manner. Or does he mean, not, that things brought into the world in a similar way are all like each other, but that each one of them is like that being only which is the source of its life. But if so, he ought to have declared that the child is like the parent, not that the "manner of the likeness" resembles the "manner of the generation." But this, which is so probable in itself, and is observed as a fact in Nature, that the begotten resembles the begetter, he will not admit as a truth; it would reduce his whole argumentation to a proof of the contrary of what he intended. If he allowed the offspring to be like the parent, his laboured store of arguments to prove the unlikeness of the Beings would be refuted as evanescent and groundless.

So he says "the manner of the likeness follows the manner of the generation." This, when tested by the exact critic of the meaning of any ideahyperlink , will be found completely unintelligible. It is plainly impossible to say what a "manner of generation" can mean. Does it mean the figure of the parent, or his impulse, or his disposition; or the time, or the place, or the completing of the embryo by conception; or the generative receptacles; or nothing of that kind, but something else of the things observed in `generation.' It is impossible to findout what he means. The impropriety and vagueness of the word "manner" causes perplexity as to its signification here; every possible one is equally open to our surmises, and presents as well an equal want of connexion with the subject before us. So also with this phrase of his "manner of likeness;" it is devoid of any vestige of meaning, if we fix our attention on the examples familiarly known to us. For the thing generated is not to be likened there to the kind or the manner of its birth. Birth consists, in the case of animal birth, in a separation of body from body, in which the animal perfectly moulded in the womb is brought forth; but the thing born is a man, or horse, or cow, or whatever it may chance to be in its existence through birth. How, therefore, the "manner of the likeness of the offspring follows the manner of its generation" must be left to him, or to some pupil of his in, midwifery, to explain. Birth is one thing: the thing born is another: they are different ideas altogether. No one with any sense would deny that what he says is perfectly untrue in the case of animal births. But if he calls the actual making and the actual fashioning a "manner of the generation," which the "manner of the likeness" of the thing produced is to "follow," even so his statement is removed from all likelihood, as we shall see from some illustrations. Iron is hammered out by the blows of the artificer into some useful instrument. How, then, the outline of its edge, if such there happen to be, can be said to be similar to the hand of the worker, or to the manner of its fashioning, to the hammers, for instance, and the coals and the bellows and the anvil by means of which he has moulded it, no one could explain. And what can be said in one case fits all, where there is any operation producing a result; the thing produced cannot be said to be like the "manner of its generation." What has the shape of a garment got to do with the spool, or the rods, or the comb, or with the form of the weaver's instruments at all? What has an actual seat got to do with the working of the blocks; or any finished production with the build of him who achieved it?-But I think even our opponents would allow that this rule of his is not in force in sensible and material instances.

It remains to see whether it contributes anything further to the proof of his blasphemy. What, then, was he aiming at? The necessity of believing in accordance with their being in the likeness or unlikeness of the Son to the Father; and, as we cannot know about this being from considerations of Providence, the necessity of having recourse to the "manner of the generation," whereby we may know, not indeed whether the Begotten is like the Begetter (absolutely), but only a certain "manner of likeness" between them; and as this manner is a secret to the many, the necessity of going at some length into the being of the Begetter. Then has he forgotten his own definitions about the beings having to be known from their works? But this begotten being, which he calls the work of the supreme being, has as yet no light thrown upon it (according to him); so how can its nature be dealt with? And how can he "mount above this lower and therefore more directly comprehensible thing," and so cling to the absolute and supreme being? Again, he always throughout his discourse lays claim to an accurate knowledge of the divine utterances; yet here he pays them scant reverence, ignoring the fact that it is not possible to approach to a knowledge of the Father except through the Son. "No man knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal Himhyperlink ." Yet Eunomius, while on every occasion, where he can insult our devout and God-adoring conceptions of the Son, he asserts in plain words the Son's inferiority, establishes His superiority unconsciously in this device of his for knowing the Deity; for he assumes that the Father's being lends itself the more readily to our comprehension, and then attempts to trace and argue out the Son's nature from that.

§33. He Declares Falsely that `The Manner of the Generation is to Be Known from the Intrinsic Worth of the Generator'.

He goes back, for instance, to the begetting being, and from thence takes a survey of the begotten; "for," says he, "the manner of the generation is to be known from the intrinsic worth of the generator." Again, we find this bold unqualified generalization of his causing the thought of the inquirer to be dissipated in every possible direction; it is the nature of such general statements, to extend in their meanings to every instance, and allow nothing to escape their sweeping assertion. If then `the manner of the generation is to be known from the intrinsic worth of the generator,' and there are many differences in the worth of generators according to their many classificationshyperlink to be found (for one may be born Jew, Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond, free), what will be the result? Why, that we must expect to find as many "manners of generation" as there are differences in intrinsic worth amongst the generators; and that their birth will not be fulfilled with all in the same way, but that their nature will vary with the worth of the parent, and that some peculiar manner of birth will be struck out for each, according to these varying estimations. For a certain inalienable worth is to be observed in the individual parent; the distinction, that is, of being better or worse off according as there has fallen to each race, estimation, religion, nationality, power, servitude, wealth, poverty, independence, dependence, or whatever else constitutes the life-long differences of worth. If then "the manner of the generation" is shown by the intrinsic worth of the parent, and there are many differences in worth, we shall inevitably find, if we follow this opinion-monger, that the manners of generation are various too; in fact, this difference of worth will dictate to Nature the manner of the birth.

But if he should nothyperlink admit that such worth is natural, because they can be put in thought outside the nature of their subject, we will not oppose him. But at all events he will agree to this; that man's existence is separated by an intrinsic character from that of brutes. Yet the manner of birth in these two cases presents no variation in intrinsic character; nature brings man and the brute into the world in just the same way, i.e. by generation. But if he apprehends this native dignity only in the case of the most proper and supreme existence, let us see what he means then. In our view, the `native dignity' of God consists in godhead itself, wisdom, power, goodness, judgment, justice, strength, mercy, truth, creativeness, domination, invisibility, everlastingness, and every other quality named in the inspired writings to magnify his glory; and we affirm that everyone of them is properly and inalienably found in the Son, recognizing difference only in respect of unoriginateness; and even that we do not exclude the Son from, according to all its meanings. But let no carping critic attack this statement as if we were attempting to exhibit the Very Son as ungenerate; for we hold that one who maintains that is no less impious than an Anomoean. But since the meanings of `origin' are various, and suggest many ideas, there are some of them in which the title `unoriginate' is not inapplicable to the Sonhyperlink . When, for instance, this word has the meaning of `deriving existence from no cause whatever,' then we confess that it is peculiar to the Father; but when the question is about `origin' in its other meanings (since any creature or time or order has an origin), then we attribute the being superior to origin to the Son as well, and we believe that whereby all things were made is beyond the origin of creation, and the idea of time, and the sequence of order. So He, Who on the ground of His subsistence is not without an origin, possessed in every other view an undoubted unoriginateness; and while the Father is unoriginate and Ungenerate, the Son is unoriginate in the way we have said, though not ungenerate.

What, then, is that native dignity of the Father which he is going to look at in order to infer thereby the `manner of the generation.' "His not being generated, most certainly," he will reply. If, then, all those names with which we have learnt to magnify God's glory are useless and meaningless to you, Eunomius, the mere going through the list of such expressions is a gratuitous and superfluous task; none of these other words, you say, expresses the intrinsic worth of the God over all. But if there is a peculiar force fitting our conceptions of the Deity in each of these words, the intrinsic dignities of God must plainly be viewed in connexion with this list, and the likeness of the two beings will be thereby proved; if, that is, the characters inalienable from the beings are an index of the subjects of those characters. The characters of each being are found to be the same; and so the identity on the score of being of the two subjects of these identical dignities is shown most clearly. For if the variation in a single name is to be held to be the index of an alien being, how much more should the identity of these countless names avail to prove community of nature!

What, then, is the reason why the other names should all be neglected, and generation be indicated by the means of one alone? Why do they pronounce this `Ungeneracy' to be the only intrinsic character in the Father, and thrust all the rest aside? It is in order that they may establish their mischievous modehyperlink of unlikeness of Father and Son, by this contrast as regards the begotten. But we shall find that this attempt of theirs, when we come to test it in its proper place, is equally feeble, unfounded, and nugatory as the preceding attempts.

Still, that all his reasonings point this way, is shown by the sequel, in which he praises himself for having fittingly adopted this method for the proof of his blasphemy, and yet for not having all at once divulged his intention, nor shocked the unprepared hearer with his impiety, before the concatenation of his delusive argument was complete, nor displayed this Ungeneracy as God's being in the early part of his discourse, nor to weary us with; talk about the difference of being. The following are his exact words: "Or was it right, as Basil commands, to begin with the thing to be proved, and to assert incoherently that the Ungeneracy is the being, and to talk about the difference or the sameness of nature?" Upon this he has a long intervening tirade, made up of scoffs and insulting abuse (such being the weapons which this thinker uses to defend his own doctrines), and then he resumes the argument, and turning upon his adversary, fixes upon him, forsooth, the blame of what he is saying, in these words; "For your party, before any others, are guilty of this offence; having partitioned out this same being between Begetter and Begotten; and so the scolding you have given is only a halter not to be eluded which you have woven for your own necks; justice, as might have been expected, records in your own words a verdict against yourselves. Either you first conceive of the beings as sundered, and independent of each otherhyperlink ; and then bring down one of them, by generation, to the rank of Son, and contend that One who exists independently nevertheless was made by means of the Other existence; and so lay yourselves open to your own reproaches: for to Him whom you imagine as without generation you ascribe a generation by another:-or else you first allow one single causeless being, and then marking this out by an act of causation into Father and Son, you declare that this non-generated being came into existence by means of itself."

§34. The Passage Where He Attacks the `Omoouvsion', and the Contention in Answer to It.

I will omit to speak of the words which occur before this passage which has been quoted. They contain merely shameless abuse of our Master and Father in God, and nothing bearing on the matter in hand. But on the passage itself, as he advances by the device of this terrible dilemma a double-edged refutation, we cannot be silent; we must accept the intellectual challenge, and fight for the Faith with all the power we have, and show that the formidable two-edged sword which he has sharpened is feebler than a make-believe in a scene-painting.

He attacks the community of substance with two suppositions; he says that we either name as Father and as Son two independent principles drawn out parallel to each other, and then say that one of these existencies is produced by the other existence: or else we say that one and the same essence is conceived of, participating in both names in turn, both beinghyperlink Father, and becoming Son, and itself produced in generation from itself. I put this in my own words, thereby not misinterpreting his thought, but only correcting the tumid exaggeration of its expression, in such a way as to reveal his meaning by clearer words and afford a comprehensive view of it. Having blamed us for want of polish and for having brought to the controversy an insufficient amount of learning, he decks out his own work in such a glitter of style, and passes the nailhyperlink . to use his own phrase, so often over his own sentences, and makes his periods so smart with this elaborate prettiness, that he captivates the reader at once with the attractions of language; such amongst many others is the passage we have just recited by way of preface. We will, by leave, again recite it. "And so the scolding you have given is only a halter, not to be eluded, which you have woven for your own necks; justice, as might have been expected, records in your own words a verdict against yourselves."

Observe these flowers of the old Attic; what polished brilliance of diction plays over his composition; what a delicate and subtle charm of style is in bloom there! However, let this be as people think. Our course requires us again to turn to the thought in those words; let us plunge once more into the phrases of this pamphleteer. "Either you conceive of the beings as separated and independent of each other, and then bring down one of them, by generation, to the rank of Son, and contend that One who exists independently nevertheless was made by means of the Other existence." That is enough for the present. He says, then, that we preachhyperlink two causeless Beings. How can this man, who is always accusing us of levelling and confusing, assert this from our believing, as we do, in a single substance of Both. If two natures, alien to each other on the score of their being, were preached by our Faith, just as it is preached by the Anomoean school, then there would be good reason for thinking that this distinction of natures led to the supposition of two causeless beings. But if, as is the case, we acknowledge one nature with the differences of Person, if, while the Father is believed in, the Son also is glorified, how can such a Faith be misrepresented by our opponents as preaching Two First Causes? Then he says, `of these two causes, one is lowered' by us `to the rank of Son.' Let him point out one champion of such a doctrine; whether he can convict any single person of talking like this, or only knows of such a doctrine as taught anywhere at all in the Church, we will hold our peace. For who is so wild in his reasonings, and so bereft of reflection as, after speaking of Father and Son, to imagine in spite of that two ungenerate beings: and then again to suppose that the One of them has come into being by means of the Other? Besides, what logical necessity does he show for pushing our teaching towards such suppositions? By what arguments does he show that such an absurdity must result from it? If indeed he adduced one single article of our Faith, and then, whether as a quibble or with a real force of demonstration, made this criticism upon it, there might have been some reason for his doing so with a view to in validate that article. But when there is not, and never can be such a doctrine in the Church, when neither a teacher of it nor a hearer of it is to be found, and the absurdity cannot be shown, either, to be the strict logical consequence of anything, I cannot understand the meaning of his fighting thus with shadows. It is just as if some phenzy-struck person supposed himself to be grappling with an imaginary combatant, and then, having with great efforts thrown himself down, thought that it was his foe who was lying there; our clever pamphleteer is in the same state; he feigns suppositions which we know nothing about, and he fights with the shadows which are sketched by the workings of his own brain.

For I challenge him to say why a believer in the Son as having come into being from the Father must advance to the opinion that there are two First Causes; and let him tell us who is most guilty of this establishment of two First Causes; one who asserts that the Son is falsely so named, or one who insists that, when we call Him that, the name represents a reality? The first, rejecting a real generation of the Son, and affirming simply that He exists, would be more open to the suspicion of making Him a First Cause, if he exists indeed, but not by generation: whereas the second, making the representative sign of the Person of the Only-begotten to consist in subsisting generatively from the Father, cannot by any possibility be drawn into the error of supposing the Son to be Ungenerate. And yet as long as, according to you thinkers, the non-generation of the Son by the Father is to be held, the Son Himself will be properly called Ungenerate in one of the many meanings of the Ungenerate; seeing that, as some things come into existence by being born and others by being fashioned, nothing prevents our calling one of the latter, which does not subsist by generation, an Ungenerate, looking only to the idea of generation; and this your account, defining, as it does, our Lord to be a creature, does establish about Him. So, my very learned sirs, it is in your view, not ours, when it is thus followed out, that the Only-begotten can be named Ungenerate: and you will find that "justice,"-whatever you mean by that,-records in your own wordshyperlink a verdict against us.

It is easy also to find mud in his words after that to cast upon this execrable teaching. For the other horn of his dilemma partakes in the same mental delusion; he says, "or else you first allow one single causeless being, and then marking this out by an act of generation into Father and Son, you declare that this non-generated being came into existence by means of itself." What is this new and marvellous story? How is one begotten by oneself, having oneself for father, and becoming one's own son? What dizziness and delusion is here? It is like supposing the roof to be turning down below one's feet, and the floor above one's head; it is like the mental state of one with his senses stupified with drink, who shouts out persistently that the ground does not stand still beneath, and that the walls are disappearing, and that everything he sees is whirling round and will not keep still. Perhaps our pamphleteer had such a tumult in his soul when he wrote; if so, we must pity him rather than abhor him. For who is so out of hearing of our divine doctrine, who is so far from the mysteries of the Church, as to accept such a view as this to the detriment of the Faith. Rather, it is hardly enough to say, that no one ever dreamed of such an absurdity to its detriment. Why, in the case of human nature, or any other entity falling within the grasp of the senses who, when he hears of a community of substance, dreams either that all things that are compared together on the ground of substance are without a cause or beginning, or that something comes into existence out of itself, at once producing and being produced by itself?

The first man, and the man born from him, received their being in a different way; the latter by copulation, the former from the moulding of Christ Himself; and yet, though they are thus believed to be two, they are inseparable in the definition of their being, and are not considered as two beings, without beginning or cause, running parallel to each other; nor can the existing one be said to be generated by the existing one, or the two be ever thought of as one in the monstrous sensethat each is his own father, and his own son;but it is because the one and the other was a man that the two have the same definition of being; each was mortal, reasoning, capable of intuition and of science. If, then, the idea of humanityin Adam and Abel does not vary with the difference of their origin, neither the order nor the manner of their coming into existence making any difference in their nature, which is the same in both, according to the testimony of every one in his senses, and no one, not greatly needing treatment for insanity, would deny it; what necessity is there that against the divine nature we should admit this strange thought? Having heard of Father and Son from the Truth, we are taught in those two subjects the oneness of their nature; their natural relation to each other expressed by those names indicates that nature; and so do Our Lord's own words. For when He said, "I and My Father are onehyperlink ," He conveys by that confession of a Father exactly the truth that He Himself is not a first cause, at the same time that He asserts by His union with the Father their common nature; so that these words of His secure our faith from the taint of heretical error on either side: for Sabellius has no ground for his confusion of the individuality of each Person, when the Only-begotten has so distinctly marked Himself off from the Father in those words, "I and My Father;" and Arius finds no confirmation of his doctrine of the strangeness of either nature to the other, since this oneness of both cannot admit distinction in nature. For that which is signified in these words by the oneness of Father and Son is nothing else but what belongs to them on the score of their actual being; all the other moral excellences which are to be observed in them as over and abovehyperlink their nature may without error be set down as shared in by all created beings. For instance, Our Lord is called merciful and pitiful by the prophethyperlink , and He wills us to be and to be called the same;. "Be ye therefore mercifulhyperlink ," and "Blessed are the mercifulhyperlink ," and many such passages. If, then, any one by diligence and attention has modelled himself according to the divine will, and become kind and pitiful and compassionate, or meek and lowly of heart, such as many of the saints are testified to have become in the pursuit of such excellences, does it follow that they are therefore one with God, or united to Him by virtue of any one of them? Not so. That which is not in every respect the same, cannot be `one' with him whose nature thus varies from it. Accordingly, a man becomes `one' with another, when in will, as our Lord says, they are `perfected into oneshyperlink ,' this union of wills being added to the connexion of nature. So also the Father and Son are one, the community of nature and the community of will running, in them, into one. But if the Son had been joined in wish only to the Father, and divided from Him in His nature, how is it that we find Him testifying to His oneness with the Father, when all the time He was sundered from Him in the point most proper to Him of all?

§35. Proof Thai the Anomoean Teaching Lends Tomanichoeism.

We hear our Lord saying. "I and My Father are one," and we are taught in that utterance the dependence of our Lord on a cause, and yet the absolute identity of the Son's and the Father's nature; we do not let our idea about them be melted down into One Person, but we keep distinct the properties of the Persons, while, on the other hand, not dividing in the Persons the oneness of their substance; and so the supposition of two diverse principles in the category of Cause is avoided, and there is no loophole for the Manichaean heresy to enter. For the created and the uncreate are as diametrically opposed to each other as their names are; and so if the two are to be ranked as First Causes, the mischief of Manichaeism will thus under cover be brought into the Church. I say this, because my zeal against our antagonists makes me scrutinize their doctrine very closely. Now I think that none would deny that we were bringing this scrutiny very near the truth, when we said, that if the created be possessed of equal power with the uncreate, there will be some sort of antagonism between these things of diverse nature, and as long as neither of them fails in power, the two will be brought into a certain state of mutual discord for we must perforce allow that will corresponds with, and is intimately joined to nature; and that if two things are unlike in nature, they will be so also in will. But when power is adequate in both, neither will flag in the gratification of its wish; and if the power of each is thus equal to its wish, the primacy will become a doubtful point with the two: and it will end in a drawn battle from the inexhaustibleness of their powers. Thus will the Manichaean heresy creep in, two opposite principles appearing with counter claims in the category of Cause, parted and opposed by reason of difference both in nature and in will. They will find, therefore, that assertion of diminution (in the Divine being) is the beginning of Manichaeism; for their teaching organizes a discord within that being, which comes to two leading principles, as our account of it has shewn; namely the created and the uncreated.

But perhaps most will blame this as too strong a reductio ad absurdum, and will wish that we had not put it down at all along with our other objections. Be it so; we will not contradict them. It was not our impulse, but our adversaries themselves, that forced us to carry our argument into such minuteness of results. But if it is not right to argue thus, it was more fitting still that our opponents' teaching, which gave occasion to such a refutation, should never have been heard. There is only one way of suppressing the answer to bad teaching, and that is, to take away the subject-matter to which a reply has to be made. But what would give me most pleasure would be to advise those, who are thus disposed, to divest themselves a little of the spirit of rivalry, and not be such exceedingly zealous combatants on behalf of the private opinions with which they have become possessed, and convinced that the race is for their (spiritual) life, to attend to its interests only, and to yield the victory to Truth. If, then, one were to cease from this ambitious strife, and look straight into the actual question before us, he would very soon discover the flagrant absurdity of this teaching.

For let us assume as granted what the system of our opponents demands, that the having no generation is Being, and in like manner again that generation is admitted into Being. If, then, one were to follow out carefully these statements in all their meaning, even this way the Manichaean heresy will be reconstructed i seeing that the Manichees are wont to take as an axiom the oppositions of good and bad, light and darkness, and all such naturally antagonistic things. I think that any who will not be satisfied with a superficial view of the matter will be convinced that I say true. Let us look at it thus. Every subject has certain inherent characteristics, by means of which the specialty of that underlying nature is known. This is so, whether we are investigating the animal kingdom, or any other. The tree and the animal are not known by the same marks; nor do the characteristics of man extend in the animal kingdom to the brutes; nor, again, do the same symptoms indicate life and death; in every case, without exception, as we have said, the distinction of subjects resists any effort to confuse them and run one into another; the marks upon each thing which we observe cannot be communicated so as to destroy that distinction. Let us follow this out in examining our opponents' position. They say that the state of having no generation is Being; and they likewise make the having generation Being. But just as a man and a stone have not the same marks in defining the essence of the animate and that of the inanimate you would not give the same account of each), so they must certainly grant that one who is non-generated is to be known by different signs to the generated. Let us then survey those peculiar qualities of the non-generated Deity, which the Holy Scriptures teach us can be mentioned and thought of, without doing Him an irreverence.

What are they? I think no Christian is ignorant that He is good, kind, holy, just and hallowed, unseen and immortal, incapable of decay and change and alteration, powerful, wise, beneficent, Master, Judge, and everything like that. Why lengthen our discussion by lingering on acknowledged facts? If, then, we find these qualities in the ungenerate nature, and the state of having been generated is contraryhyperlink in its very conception to the state of having not been generated, those who define these two states to be each of them Being, must perforce concede, that the characteristic marks of the generated being, following this opposition existing between the generated and non-generated, must be contrary to the marks observable in the non-generated being; for if they were to declare the marks to be the same, this sameness would destroy the difference between the two beings who are the subject of these observations. Differing things must be regarded as possessing differing marks; like things are to be known by like signs. If, then, these men testify to the same marks in the Only-begotten, they can conceive of no difference whatever in the subject of the marks. But if they persist in their blasphemous position, and maintain in asserting the difference of the generated and the non-generated the variation of the natures, it is readily seen what must result: viz., that, as in following out the opposition of the names, the nature of the things which those names indicate must be considered to be in a state of contrariety to itself, there is every necessity that the qualities observed in each should be drawn out opposite each other; so that those qualities should be applied to the Son which are the reverse of those predicated of the Father, viz., of divinity, holiness, goodness, imperishability, eternity, and of every other quality that represents God to the devout mind; in fact, every negationhyperlink of these, every conception that ranks opposite to the good, must he considered as belonging to the generated nature.

To ensure clearness, we must dwell upon this point. As the peculiar phaenomena of heat and cold-which are themselves by nature opposed to each other (let us take fire and ice as examples of each), each being that which the other is not-are at variance with each other, cooling being the peculiarity of ice, heating of fire; so if in accordance with the antithesis expressed by the names, the nature revealed by those names is parted asunder, it is not to be admitted that the faculties attending these natural "subcontrarieshyperlink " are like each other, any more than cooling can belong to fire, or burning to ice. If, then, goodness is inseparable from the idea of the non-generated nature, and that nature is parted on the ground of being, as they declare, from the generated nature, the properties of the former will be parted as well from those of the latter: so that if the good is found in the first, the quality set against the good is to be perceived in the last. Thus, thanks to our clever systematizers, Manes lives again with his parallel line of evil in array over against the good, and his theory of opposite powers residing in opposite natures.

Indeed, if we are to speak the truth boldly, without any reserve, Manes, who for having been the first, they say, to venture to entertain the Manichaean view, gave his name to that heresy, may fairly be considered the less offensive of the two. I say this, just as if one had to choose between a viper and an asp for the most affection towards man; still, if we consider, there is some difference between bruteshyperlink . Does not a comparison of doctrines show that those older heretics are less intolerable than these? Manes thought he was pleading on the side of the Origin of Good, when he represented that Evil could derive thence none of its causes; so he linked the chain of things which are on the list of the bad to a separate Principle, in his character of the Almighty's champion, and in his pious aversion to put the blame of any unjustifiable aberrations upon that Source of Good; not perceiving, with his narrow understanding, that it is impossible even to conceive of God as the fashioner of evil, or on the other hand, of any other First Principle besides Him. There might be a long discussion on this point, but it is beside our present purpose. We mentioned Manes' statements only in order to show, that he at all events thought it his duty to separate evil from anything to do with God. But the blasphemous error with regard to the Son, which these men systematize, is much more terrible. Like the others, they explain the existence of evil by a contrariety in respect of Being; but when they declare, besides this, that the God of the universe is actually the Maker of this alien production, and say that this "generation" formed by Him into a substance possesses a nature foreign to that of its Maker, they exhibit therein more of impiety than the aforesaid sect; for they not only give a personal existence to that which in its nature is opposed to good, but they say that a Good Deity is the Cause of another Deity who in nature diverges from His; and they all but openly exclaim in their teaching, that there is in existence something opposite to the nature of the good, deriving its personality from the good itself. For when we know the Father's substance to be good, and therefore find that the Son's substance, owing to its being unlike the Father's in its nature (which is the tenet of this heresy), is amongst the contrary predicables, what is thereby proved? Why, not only that the opposite to the good subsists, but that this contrary comes from the good itself. I declare this to be more horrible even than the irrationality of the Manichees.

But if they repudiate this blasphemy from their system, though it is the logical carrying out of their teaching, and if they say that the Only-begotten has inherited the excellences of the Father, not as being really His Son, but -so does it please these misbelievers -as receiving His personality by an act of creation, let us look into this too, and see whether such an idea can be reasonably entertained. If, then, it were granted that it is as they think, viz., that the Lord of all things has not inherited as being a true Son, but that He rules a kindred of created things, being Himself made and created, how will the rest of creation accept this rule and not rise in revolt, being thus thrust down from kinship to subjection and condemned, though not a whit behind Him in natural prerogative (both being created), to serve and bend beneath a kinsman after all. That were like a usurpation, viz. not to assign the command to a superiority of Being, but to divide a creation that retains by right of nature equal privileges into slaves and a ruling power, one part in command, the other in subjection; as if, as the result of an arbitrary distributionhyperlink , these same privileges had been piled at random on one who after that distribution got preferred to his equals. Even man did not share his honour with the brutes, before he received his dominion over them; his prerogative of reason gave him the title to command; he was set over them, because of a variance of his nature in the direction of superiority. And human governments experience such quickly-repeated revolutions for this very reason, that it is impracticable that those to whom nature has given equal rights should be excluded from power, but her impulse is instinct in all to make themselves equal with the dominant party, when all are of the same blood.

How, too, will it be true that "all things were made by Him," if it is true that the Son Himself is one of the things made? Either He must have made Himself, for that text to be true, and so this unreasonableness which they have devised to harm our Faith will recoil with all its force upon themselves; or else, if this is absurdly unnatural, that affirmation that the whole creation was made by Him will be proved to have no ground to stand on. The withdrawal of one makes "all" a false statement. So that, from this definition of the Son as a created being, one of two vicious and absurd alternatives is inevitable; either that He is not the Author of all created things, seeing that He, who, they insist, is one of those works, must be withdrawn from the "all;" or else, that He is exhibited as the maker of Himself, seeing that the preaching that `without Him was not anything (made) that was made' is not a lie. So much for their teaching.


109 ennoiaj logon.

110 Matt. xi. 27.

111 'Epinoia is the opposite of ennoia, `the intuitive idea.

0' It means an "alterthought," and, with the notion of unnecessary addition, a `conceit.

0' Here it is applied to conventional, or not purely natural difference. See Introduction to Book XIII. for the fuller meaning of 'Epinoia.

112 mh dexoito. This use of the optative, where the subjunctive with ean might have been expected, is one of the few instances in Gregory's Greek of declension from Classic usage; in the latter, when ei with the optative does denote subjective possibility, it is only when the condition is conceived of as of frequent repetition, e.g. 1 Peter iii. 14. The optative often in this Greek of the fourth century invades the province of the subjunctive.

113 mh apemfainein.

114 See Note on 'Agennhtoj, p. 100.

115 anarxwj.

116 Reading ousan for ousian of Oehler and Migne.

117 ecouuxizei.

118 presbeuein. So Lucian. Diog. Laert., and Origen passim.

119 your own words, i.e. not ours, as you say. The Codex of Turin has toij hmeteroij, and hmin above: but Oehler has wisely followed that of Venice. Eunomius had said of Basil's party (§34) `justice records in your own words a verdict against yourselves.

0' `No,

0' Gregory answers; `your words (interpreting our doctrine) alone lend themselves to that.

0' But to change kaq' hmwn of the Codd. also to kaq' umwn would supply a still better sense.

120 John x. 30.

121 osa epiqewreitai th fusei.

122 Psalm ciii. 8.

123 Luke vi. 36.

124 Matthew v. 7.

125 John xvii. 23. "I in them, and thou in Me, that they may be perfected into one." (R.V.)

126 upenantiwj, i.e. as logical "contraries" differ from each other. This is not an Aristotelian, but a Neo-Platonic use of the word (i.e. Ammonius, a.d. 390, &c.). It occurs so again in this Book frequently.

127 apemfainonta.

128 upenantiwn.

129 plhn all' epeidh esti kai en qhrioij krioij.

130 arbitrary distribution, apoklhrwsewj: kat' apoklhrwsin "at random," is also used by Sextus Empiric. (a.d. 200), Clem. Alex., and Greg Naz.