Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.10 Book II Part 1

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.10 Book II Part 1

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.10 Book II Part 1

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Book II

§1. The Second Book Declares the Incarnation of God the Word, and the Faith Delivered by the Lord to His Disciples, and Asserts that the Heretics Who Endeavour to Overthrow This Faith and Devise Other Additional Names are of Their Father the Devil.

The Christian Faith, which in accordance with the command of our Lord has been preached to all nations by His disciples, is neither of men, nor by men, but by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who being the Word, the Life, the Light, the Truth, and God, and Wisdom, and all else that He is by nature, for this cause above all was made in the likeness of man, and shared our nature, becoming like us in all things, yet without sin. He was like us in all things, in that He took upon Him manhood in its entirety with soul and body, so that our salvation was accomplished by means of both:-He, I say, appeared on earth and "conversed with menhyperlink ," that men might no longer have opinions according to their own notions about the Self-existent, formulating into a doctrine the hints that come to them from vague conjectures, but that we might be convinced that God has truly been manifested in the flesh, and believe that to be the only true "mystery of godlinesshyperlink ," which was delivered to us by the very Word and God, Who by Himself spake to His Apostles, and that we might receive the teaching concerning the transcendent nature of the Deity which is given to us, as it were, "through a glass darklyhyperlink " from the older Scriptures,-from the Law, and the Prophets, and the Sapiential Books, as an evidence of the truth fully revealed to us, reverently accepting the meaning of the things which have been spoken, so as to accord in the faith set forth by the Lord of the whole Scriptureshyperlink , which faith we guard as we received it, word for word, in purity, without falsification, judging even a slight divergence from the words delivered to us an extreme blasphemy and impiety. We believe, then, even as the Lord set forth the Faith to His Disciples, when He said, "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghosthyperlink ." This is the word of the mystery whereby through the new birth from above our nature is transformed from the corruptible to the incorruptible, being renewed from "the old man," "according to the image of Him who createdhyperlink " at the beginning the likeness to the Godhead. In the Faith then which was delivered by God to the Apostles we admit neither subtraction, nor alteration, nor addition, knowing assuredly that he who presumes to pervert the Divine utterance by dishonest quibbling, the same "is of his father the devil," who leaves the words of truth and "speaks of his own," becoming the father of a liehyperlink . For whatsoever is said otherwise than in exact accord with the truth is assuredly false and not true.

§2. Gregory Then Makes an Explanation at Length Touching the Eternal Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Since then this doctrine is put forth by the Truth itself, it follows that anything which the inventors of pestilent heresies devise besides to subvert this Divine utterance,-as, for example, calling the Father "Maker" and "Creator" of the Son instead of "Father," and the Son a "result," a "creature," a "product," instead of "Son," and the Holy Spirit the "creature of a creature," and the "product of a product," instead of His proper title the "Spirit," and whatever those who fight against God are pleased to say of Him,-all such fancies weterm a denial and violation of the Godhead revealed to us in this doctrine. For once for all we have learned from the Lord, through Whom comes the transformation of our nature from mortality to immortality,-from Him, I say, we have learned to what we ought to look with the eyes of our understanding,-that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We say that it is a terrible and soul-destroying thing to misinterpret these Divine utterances and to devise in their stead assertions to subvert them,-assertions pretending to correct God the Word, Who appointed that we should maintain these statements as part of our faith. For each of these titles understood in its natural sense becomes for Christians a rule of truth and a law of piety. For while there are many other names by which Deity is indicated in the Historical Books, in the Prophets and in the Law, our Master Christ passes by all these and commits to us these titles as better able to bring us to the faith about the Self-Existent, declaring that it suffices us to cling to the title, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," in order to attain to the apprehension of Him Who is absolutely Existent, Who is one and yet not one. In regard to essence He is one, wherefore the Lord ordained that we should look to one Name: but in regard to the attributes indicative of the Persons, our belief in Him is distinguished into belief in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghosthyperlink ; He is divided without separation, and united without confusion. For when we hear the title "Father" we apprehend the meaning to be this, that the name is not understood with reference to itself alone, but also by its special signification indicates the relation to the Son. For the term "Father" would have no meaning apart by itself, if "Son" were not connoted by the utterance of the word "Father." When, then, we learnt the name "Father" we were taught at the same time, by the selfsame title, faith also in the Son. Now since Deity by its very nature is permanently and immutably the same in all that pertains to its essence, nor did it at any time fail to be anything that it now is, nor will it at any future time be anything that it now is not, and since He Who is the very Father was named Father by the Word, and since in the Father the Son is implied,-since these things are so, we of necessity believe that He Who admits no change or alteration in His nature was always entirely what He is now, or, if there is anything which He was not, that He assuredly is not now. Since then He is named Father by the very Word, He assuredly always was Father, and is and will be even as He was. For surely it is not lawful in speaking of the Divine and unimpaired Essence to deny that what is excellent always belonged to lt. For if He was not always what He now is, He certainly changed either from the better to the worse or from the worse to the better, and of these assertions the impiety is equal either way, whichever statement is made concerning the Divine nature. But in fact the Deity is incapable of change and alteration. So, then, everything that is excellent and good is always contemplated in the fountain of excellency. But "the Only-begotten God, Who is in the bosom of the Fatherhyperlink " is excellent, and beyond all excellency:-mark you, He says, "Who is in the bosom of the Father," not "Who came to be" there.

Well then, it has been demonstrated by these proofs that the Son is from all eternity to be contemplated in the Father, in Whom He is, being Life and Light and Truth, and every noble name and conception-to say that the Father ever existed by Himself apart from these attributes is a piece of the utmost impiety and infatuation. For if the Son, as the Scripture saith, is the Power of God, and Wisdom, and Truth, and Light, and Sanctification, and Peace, and Life, and the like, then before the Son existed, according to the view of the heretics, these things also had no existence at all. And if these things had no existence they must certainly conceive the bosom of the Father to have been devoid of such excellences. To the end, then, that the Father might not be conceived as destitute of the excellences which are His own, and that the doctrine might not run wild into this extravagance, the right faith concerning the Son is necessarily included in our Lord's utterance with the contemplation of the eternity of the Father. And for this reason He passes over all those names which are employed to indicate the surpassing excellence of the Divine naturehyperlink , and delivers to us as part of our profession of faith the title of "Father" as better suited to indicate the truth, being a title which, as has been said, by its relative sense connotes with itself the Son, while the Son, Who is in the Father, always is what He essentially is, as has been said already, because the Deity by Its very nature does not admit of augmentation. For It does not perceive any other good outside of Itself, by participation in which It could acquire any accession, but is always immutable, neither casting away what It has, nor acquiring what It has not: for none of Its properties are such as to be cast away. And if there is anything whatsoever blessed, unsullied, true and good, associated with Him and in Him, we see of necessity that the good and holy Spirit must belong to Himhyperlink , not by way of accretion. That Spirit is indisputably a princely Spirithyperlink , a quickening Spirit, the controlling and sanctifying force of all creation, the Spirit that "worketh all in all" as He willshyperlink . Thus we conceive no gap between the anointed Christ and His anointing, between the King and His sovereignty, between Wisdom and the Spirit of Wisdom, between Truth and the Spirit of Truth, between Power and the Spirit of Power, but as there is contemplated from all eternity in the Father the Son, Who is Wisdom and Truth, and Counsel, and Might, and Knowledge, and Understanding, so there is also contemplated in Him the Holy Spirit, Who is the Spirit of Wisdom, and of Truth, and of Counsel, and of Understanding, and all else that the Son is and is called. For which reason we say that to the holy disciples the mystery of godliness was committed in a form expressing at once union and distinction,-that we should believe on the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. For the differentiation of the subsistenceshyperlink makes the distinction of Personshyperlink clear and free from confusion, while the one Name standing in the forefront of the declaration of the Faith clearly expounds to us the unity of essence of the Personshyperlink Whom the Faith declares,-I mean, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. For by these appellations we are taught not a difference of nature, but only the special attributes that mark the subsistenceshyperlink , so that we know that neither is the Father the Son, nor the Son the Father, nor the Holy Spirit either the Father or the Son, and recognize each by the distinctive mark of His Personal Subsistencehyperlink , in illimitable perfection, at once contemplated by Himself and not divided from that with Which He is connected.

§3. Gregory Proceeds to Discuss the Relative Force of the Unnameable Name of the Holy Trinity and the Mutual Relation of the Persons, and Moreover the Unknowable Character of the Essence, Arid the Condescension on His Part Towards Us, His Generation of the Virgin, and His Second Coming, the Resurrection from the Dead and Future Retribution.

What then means that unnameable name concerning which the Lord said, "Baptizing them into the name," and did not add the actual significant term which "the name" indicates? We have concerning it this notion, that all things that exist in the creation are defined by means of their several names. Thus whenever a man speaks of "heaven" he directs the notion of the hearer to the created object indicated by this name, and he who mentions "man" or some animal, at once by the mention of the name impresses upon the hearer the form of the creature, and in the same way all other things, by means of the names imposed upon them, are depicted in the heart of him who by hearing receives the appellation imposed upon the thing. The uncreated Nature alone, which we acknowledge in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit, surpasses all significance of names. For this cause the Word, when He spoke of "the name" in delivering the Faith, did not add what it is,-for how could a name be found for that which is above every name? -but gave authority that whatever name our intelligence by pious effort be enabled to discover to indicate the transcendent Nature, that name should be applied alike to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whether it be "the Good" or "the Incorruptible," whatever name each may think proper to be employed to indicate the undefiled Nature of Godhead. And by this deliverance the Word seems to me to lay down for us this law, that we are to be persuaded that the Divine Essence is ineffable and incomprehensible: for it is plain that the title of Father does not present to us the Essence, but only indicates the relation to the Son. It follows, then, that if it were possible for human nature to be taught the essence of God, He "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truthhyperlink " would not have suppressed the knowledge upon this matter But as it is, by saying nothing concerning the Divine Essence, He showed that the knowledge thereof is beyond our power, while when we have learnt that of which we are capable, we stand in no need of the knowledge beyond our capacity, as we have in the profession of faith in the doctrine delivered to us what suffices for our salvation. For to learn that He is the absolutely existent, together with Whom, by the relative force of the term, there is also declared the majesty of the Son, is the fullest teaching of godliness; the Son, as has been said, implying in close union with Himself the Spirit of Life and Truth, inasmuch as He is Himself Life and Truth.

These distinctions being thus established, while we anathematize all heretical fancies in the sphere of divine doctrines, we believe, even as we were taught by the voice of the Lord, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, acknowledging together with this faith also the dispensation that has been set on foot on behalf of men by the Lord of the creation. For He "being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servanthyperlink ," and being incarnate in the Holy Virgin redeemed us from death "in which we were held," "sold under sinhyperlink ," giving as the ransom for the deliverance of our souls His precious blood which He poured out by His Cross, and having through Himself made clear for us the path of the resurrectionhyperlink from the dead, shall come in His own time in the glory of the Father to judge every soul in righteousness, when "all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnationhyperlink ." But that the pernicious heresy that is now being sown broadcast by Eunomius may not, by falling upon the mind of some of the simpler sort and being left without investigation, do harm to guileless faith, we are constrained to set forth the profession which they circulate and to strive to expose the mischief of their teaching.

§4. He Next Skilfully Confutes the Partial, Empty and Blasphemous Statement of Eunomius on the Subject of the Absolutely Existent.

Now the wording of their doctrine is as follows: "We believe in the one and only true God, according to the teaching of the Lord Himself, not honouring Him with a lying title (for He cannot lie), but really existent, one God in nature and in glory, who is without beginning, eternally, without end, alone." Let not him who professes to believe in accordance with the teaching of the Lord pervert the exposition of the faith that was made concerning the Lord of all to suit his own fancy, but himself follow the utterance of the truth. Since then, the expression of the Faith comprehends the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, what agreement has this construction of theirs to show with the utterances of the Lord, so as to refer such a doctrine to the teaching of those utterances? They cannot manage to show where in the Gospels the Lord said that we should believe on "the one and only true God:" unless they have some new Gospel. For the Gospels which are read in the churches continuously from ancient times to the present day, do not contain this saying which tells us that we should believe in or baptize into "the one and only true God," as these people say, but "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." But as we were taught by the voice of the Lord, this we say, that the word "one" does not indicate the Father alone, but comprehends in its significance the Son with the Father, inasmuch as the Lord said, "I and My Father are onehyperlink ." In like manner also the name "God" belongs equally to the Beginning in which the Word was, and to the Word Who was in the Beginning. For the Evangelist tells us that "the Word was with God, and the Word was Godhyperlink ." So that when Deity is expressed the Son is included no less than the Father. Moreover, the true cannot be conceived as something alien from and unconnected with the truth. But that the Lord is the Truth no one at all will dispute, unless he be one estranged from the truth. If, then, the Word is in the One, and is God and Truth, as is proclaimed in the Gospels, on what teaching of the Lord does be base his doctrine who makes use of these distinctive terms? For the antithesis is between "only" and "not only," between "God" and "no God," between "true" and "untrue." If it is with respect to idols that they make their distinction of phrases, we too agree. For the name of "deity" is given, in an equivocal sense, to the idols of the heathen, seeing that "all the gods of the heathen are demons," and in another sense marks the contrast of the one with the many, of the true with the false, of those who are not Gods with Him who is Godhyperlink . But if the contrast is one with the Only-begotten Godhyperlink , let our sages learn that truth has its opposite only in falsehood, and God in one who is not God. But inasmuch as the Lord Who is the Truth is God, and is in the Father and is one relatively to the Fatherhyperlink , there is no room in the true doctrine for these distinctions of phrases. For he who truly believes in the One sees in the One Him Who is completely united with Him in truth, and deity, and essence, and life, and wisdom, and in all attributes whatsoever: or, if he does not see in the One Him Who is all these it si in nothing that he believes. For without the Son the Father has neither existence nor name, any more than the Powerful without Power, or the Wise without Wisdom. For Christ is "the Power of God and the Wisdom of Godhyperlink ;" so that he who imagines he sees the One God apart from power, truth, wisdom, life, or the true light, either sees nothing at all or else assuredly that which is evil. For the withdrawal of the good attributes becomes a positing and origination of evil.

"Not honouring Him," he says, "with a lying title, for He cannot lie." By that phrase I pray that Eunomius may abide, and so hear witness to the truth that it cannot lie. For if he would be of this mind, that everything that is uttered by the Lord is far removed from falsehood, he will of course be persuaded that He speaks the truth Who says, "I am in the Father, and the Father in Mehyperlink ,"-plainly, the One in His entirety, in the Other in His entirety, the Father not superabounding in the Son, the Son not being deficient in the Father,-and Who says also that the Son should be honoured as the Father is honouredhyperlink , and "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Fatherhyperlink ," and "no man knoweth the Father save the Sonhyperlink ," in all which passages there is no hint given to those who receive these declarations as genuine, of any variationhyperlink of glory, or of essence, or anything else, between the Father and the Son.

"Really existent," he says, "one God in nature and in glory." Real existence is opposed to unreal existence. Now each of existing things is really existent in so far as it is; but that which, so far as appearance and suggestion go, seems to be, but is not, this is not really existent, as for example an appearance in a dream or a man in a picture. For these and such like things, though they exist so far as appearance is concerned, have not real existence. If then they maintain, in accordance with the Jewish opinion, that the Only-begotten God does not exist at all, they are right in predicating real existence of the Father alone. But if they do not deny the existence of the Maker of all things, let them be content not to deprive of real existence Him Who is, Who in the Divine appearance to Moses gave Himself the name of Existent, when He said, "I am that I amhyperlink ." But we should not have been His servants had we not believed that this is the living and true God, to Whom "every tongue maketh confession that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Fatherhyperlink ."

"God," he says, "Who is without beginning, eternally, without end, alone." Once more "understand, ye simple ones," as Solomon says, "his subtletyhyperlink ," lest haply ye be deceived and fall headlong into the denial of the Godhead of the Only-begotten Son. That is without end which admits not of death and decay: that, likewise, is called everlasting which is not only for a time. That, therefore, which is neither everlasting nor without end is surely seen in the nature which is perishable and mortal. Accordingly he who predicates "unendingness" of the one and only God, and does not include the Son in the assertion of "unendingness" and "eternity," maintains by such a proposition, that He Whom he thus contrasts with tire eternal and unending is perishable and temporary. But we, even when we are told that God "only hath immortalityhyperlink ," understand by "immortality" the Son. For life is immortality, and the Lord is that life, Who said, "I am the Lifehyperlink ." And if He be said to dwell "in the light that no man can approach untohyperlink ," again we make no difficulty in understanding that the true Light, unapproachable by falsehood, is the Only-begotten, in Whom we learn from the Truth itself that the Father ishyperlink . Of these opinions let the reader choose the more devout, whether we are to think of the Only-begotten in a manner worthy of the Godhead, or to call Him, as heresy prescribes, perishable and temporary.

§5. He Next Marvellously Overthrows the Unintelligible Statements of Eunomius Which Assert that the Essence of the Father is Not Separated or Divided, and Does Not Become Anything Else.

"We believe in God," he tells us, "not separated as regards the essence wherein He is one, into more than one, or becoming sometimes one and sometimes another, or changing from being what He is, or passing from one essence to assume the guise of a threefold personality for He is always and absolutely one, remaining uniformly and unchangeably the only God." From these citations the discreet reader may well separate first of all the idle words inserted in the statement without any meaning from those which appear to have some sense, and afterwards examine the meaning that is discoverable in what remains of his statement, to ascertain whether it is compatible with due reverence towards Christ.

The first, then, of the statements cited is completely divorced from any intelligible meaning, good or bad. For what sense there is in the words, "not separated, as regards the essence wherein He is one, into more than one, or becoming sometimes one and sometimes another, or changing from being what He is," Eunomius himself could not tell us, and I do not think that any of his allies could find in the words any shadow of meaning. When he speaks of Him as "not separated in regard to the essence wherein He is one," he says either that He is not separated from His own essence, or that His own essence is not divided from Him. This unmeaning statement is nothing but a random combination of noise and empty sound. And why should one spend time in the investigation of these meaningless expressions? For how does any one remain in existence when separated from his own essence? or how is the essence of anything divided and displayed apart? Or how is it possible for one to depart from that wherein he is, and become another, getting outside himself? But he adds, "not passing from one essence to assume the guise of three persons: for He is always and absolutely one, remaining uniformly and unchangeably the only God." I think the absence of meaning in his statement is plain to every one without a word from me: against this let any one argue who thinks there is any sense or meaning in what he says: he who has an eye to discern the force of words will decline to involve himself in a struggle with unsubstantial shadows. For what force has it against our doctrine to say "not separated or divided into more than one as regards the essence wherein He is one, or becoming sometimes one and sometimes another, or passing from one essence to assume the guise of three persons?"-things that are neither said nor believed by Christians nor understood by inference from the truths we confess. For who ever said or heard any one else say in the Church of God, that the Father is either separated or divided as regards His essence, or becomes sometimes one, sometimes another, coming to be outside Himself, or assumes the guise of three persons? These things Eunomius says to himself, not arguing with us but stringing together his own trash, mixing with the impiety of his utterances a great deal of absurdity. For we say that it is equally impious and ungodly to call the Lord of the creation a created being and to think that the Father, in that He is, is separated or split up, or departs from Himself, or assumes the guise of three persons, like clay or wax moulded in various shapes.

But let us examine the words that follow: "He is always and absolutely one, remaining uniformly and unchangeably the only God." If he is speaking about the Father, we agree with him, for the Father is most truly one, alone and always absolutely uniform dud unchangeable, never at any time present or future ceasing to be what He is. If then such an assertion as this has regard to the Father, let him not contend with the doctrine of godliness, inasmuch as on this point he is in harmony with the Church. For he who confesses that the Father is always and unchangeably the same, being one and only God, holds fast the word of godliness, if in the Father he sees the Son, without Whom the Father neither is nor is named. But if he is inventing some other God besides the Father, let him dispute with the Jews or with those who are called Hypsistiani, between whom and the Christians there is this difference, that they acknowledge that there is a God Whom they term the Highesthyperlink or Almighty, but do not admit that he is Father; while a Christian, if he believe not in the Father,no Christian at all.

§6. He Then Shows the Unity of the Son with the Gather and Eunomius' Lack of Understanding and Knowledge in Tire Scriptures.

What he adds next after this is as follows:-"Having no sharer," he says, "in His Godhead, no divider of His glory, none who has lot in His power, or part in His royal throne: for He is the one and only God, the Almighty, God of Gods, King of Kings, Lord of Lords." I know not to whom Eunomius refers when he protests that the Father admits none to share His Godhead with Himself. For if he uses such expressions with reference to vain idols and to the erroneous conceptions of those who worship them (even as Paul assures us that there is no agreement between Christ and Belial, and no fellowship between the temple of God and idolshyperlink ) we agree with him. But if by these assertions he means to sever the Only-begotten God from the Godhead of the Father, let him be informed that he is providing us with a dilemma that may be turned against himself to refute his own impiety. For either he denies the Only-begotten God to be God at all, that he may preserve for the Father those prerogatives of deity which (according to him) are incapable of being shared with the Son, and thus is convicted as a transgressor by denying the God Whom Christians worship, or if he were to grant that the Son also is God, yet not agreeing in nature with the true God, he would be necessarily obliged to acknowledge that he maintains Gods sundered from one another by the difference of their natures. Let him choose which of these he will,-either to deny the Godhead of the Son, or to introduce into his creed a plurality of Gods. For whichever of these he chooses, it is all one as regards impiety: for we who are initiated intothe mystery of godliness by the Divinely inspired words of the Scripture do not see between the Father and the Son a partnership of Godhead, but unity, inasmuch as the Lord hath taught us this by His own words, when He saith, "I and the Father are onehyperlink ," and "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Fatherhyperlink ." For if He were not of the same nature as the Father, how could He either have had in Himself that which was differenthyperlink ? or how could He have shown in Himself that which was unlike, if the foreign and alien nature did not receive the stamp of that which was of a different kind from itself? But he says, "nor has He a divider of His glory." Herein he speaks in accordance with the fact, even though he does not know what he is saying: for the Son does not divide the glory with the Father, but has the glory of the Father in its entirety, even as the Father has all the glory of the Son. For thus He spake to the Father "All Mine are Thine and Thine are Minehyperlink ." Wherefore also He says that He will appear on the Judgment Day "in the glory of the Fatherhyperlink ," when He will render to every man according to his works. And by this phrase He shows the unity of nature that subsists between them. For as "there is one glory of the sun and another glory of the moonhyperlink ," because of the difference between the natures of those luminaries (since if both had the same glory there would not be deemed to be any difference in their nature), so He Who foretold of Himself that He would appear in the glory of the Father indicated by the identity of glory their community of nature.

But to say that the Son has no part in His Father's royal throne argues an extraordinary amount of research into the oracles of God on the part of Eunomius, who, after his extreme devotion to the inspired Scriptures, has not yet heard, "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of Godhyperlink ," and many similar passages, of which it would not be easy to reckon up the number, but which Eunomius has never learnt, and so denies that the Son is enthroned together with the Father. Again the phrase, "not having lot in his power," we should rather pass by as un-meaning than confute as ungodly. For what sense is attached to the term "having lot" is not easy to discover from the common use of the word. Those cast lots, as the Scripture tells us, for the Lord's vesture, who were unwilling to rend His garment, but disposed to make it over to that one of their number in whose favour the lot should decidehyperlink . They then who thus cast lots among themselves for the "coat" may be said, perhaps, to "have had lot" in it. But here in the case of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as Their power resides in Their nature (for the Holy Spirit breathes "where He listethhyperlink ," and "worketh all in all as He willhyperlink ," and the Son, by Whom all things were made, visible and invisible, in heaven and in earth, "did all things whatsoever He pleasedhyperlink ," and "quickeneth whom He willhyperlink ," and the Father put "the times in His own powershyperlink ," while from the mention of "times" we conclude that all things done in time are subject to the power I of the Father), if, I say, it has been demonstrated that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit alike are in a position of power to do what They will, it is impossible to see what sense there can be in the phrase "having lot in His power." For the heir of all things, the maker of the ageshyperlink , He Who shines with the Father's glory and expresses in Himself the Father's person, has all things that the Father Himself has, and is possessor of all His power, not that the right is transferred from the Father to the Son, but that it at once remains in the Father and resides in the Son. For He Who is in the Father is manifestly in the Father with all His own might, and He Who has the Father in Himself includes all the power and might of the Father. For He has in Himself all the Father, and not merely a part of Him: and He Who has Him entirely assuredly has His power as well. With what meaning, then, Eunomius asserts that the Father has "none who has lot in His power," those perhaps can tell who are disciples of his folly one who knows how to appreciate language confesses that he cannot understand phrases divorced from meaning. The Father, he says, "has none Who has lot in His power." Why, who is there that says that the Father and Son contend together for power and cast lots to decide the matter? But the holy Eunomius comes as mediator between them and by a friendly agreement without lot assigns to the Father the superiority in power.

Mark, I pray you, the absurdity and childishness of this grovelling exposition of his articles of faith. What!He Who "upholds all things by the word of His powerhyperlink ," Who says what He wills to be done, and does what He wills by the very power of that command, He Whose power lags not behind His will and Whose will is the measure of His power (for "He spake the word and they were made, He commanded and they were createdhyperlink "), He Who made all things by Himself, and made them consist in Himselfhyperlink , without Whom no existing thing either came into being or remains in being,-He it is Who waits to obtain His power by some process of allotment! Judge you who hear whether the man who talks like this is in his senses. "For He is the one and only God, the Almighty," he says. If by the title of "Almighty" he intends the Father, the language he uses is ours, and no strange language: but if he means some other God than the Father, let our patron of Jewish doctrines preach circumcision too, if he pleases. For the Faith of Christians is directed to the Father. And the Father is all these-Highest, Almighty, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and in a word all terms of highest significance are proper to the Father. But all that is the Father's is the Son's also; so that, on this understandinghyperlink , we admit this phrase too. But if, leaving the Father, he speaks of another Almighty, he is speaking the language of the Jews or following the speculations of Plato,-for they say that that philosopher also affirms that there exists on high a maker and creator of certain subordinate gods. As then in the case of the Jewish and Platonic opinions he who does not believe in God the Father is not a Christian, even though in his creed he asserts an Almighty God, so Eunomius also falsely pretends to the name of Christian, being in inclination a Jew, or asserting the doctrines of the Greeks while putting on the guise of the title borne by Christians. And with regard to the next points he asserts the same account will apply. He says He is "God of Gods." We make the declaration our own by adding the name of the Father, knowing that the Father is God of Gods. But all that belongs to the Father certainly belongs also to the Son. "And Lord of Lords." The same account will apply to this. "And Most High over all the earth." Yes, for whichever of the Three Persons you are thinking of, He is Most High over all the earth, inasmuch as the oversight of earthly things from on high is exercised alike by the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. So, too, with what follows the words above, "Most High in the heavens, Most High in the highest, Heavenly, true in being what He is, and so continuing, true in words, true in works." Why, all these things the Christian eye discerns alike in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. If Eunomius does assign them to one only of the Persons acknowledged in the creed, let him dare to call Him "not true in words" Who has said, "I am the Truthhyperlink ," or to call the Spirit of truth "not true in words," or let him refuse to give the title of "true in works" to Him Who doeth righteousness and judgment, or to the Spirit Who worketh all in all as He will. For if he does not acknowledge that these attributes belong to the Persons delivered to us in the creed, he is absolutely cancelling the creed of Christians. For how shall any one think Him a worthy object of faith Who is false in words and untrue in works.

But let us proceed to what follows. "Above all rule, subjection and authority," he says. This language is ours, and belongs properly to the Catholic Church,-to believe that the Divine nature is above all rule, and that it has in subordination to itself everything that can be conceived among existing things. But the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost constitute the Divine nature. If he assigns this property to the Father alone, and if he affirms Him alone to be free from variableness and change, and if he says that He alone is undefiled, the inference that we are meant to draw is plain, namely, that He who has not these characteristics is variable, corruptible, subject to change and decay. This, then, is what Eunomius asserts of the Son and the Holy Spirit: for if he did not hold this opinion concerning the Son and the Spirit, he would not have employed this opposition, contrasting the Father with them. For the rest, brethren, judge whether, with these sentiments, he is not a persecutor of the Christian faith. For who will allow it to be right to deem that a fitting object of reverence which varies, changes, and is subject to decay? So then the whole aim ofone who flames such notions as these,-notions by which he makes out that neither the Truth nor the Spirit of Truth is undefiled, unvarying, or unchangeable,-is to expel from the Church the belief in the Son and in the Holy Spirit.


1 Bar. iii. 37.

2 Tim. iii. 16.

3 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

4 This is perhaps the force of twn olwn: "the Lord of the Old Covenant as well as of the New." But twn olwn may mean simply "the Universe."

5 S. Matt. xxviii. 19.

6 Cf. Col. iii. 10.

7 Cf. S. John viii. 44.

8 Or, somewhat more literally, "He admits of distinction into belie, in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, being divided," &c.

9 S. John i. 18.

10 That nature which transcends our conceptions (uperkeiment).

11 Or "be conjoined with such attribute:" autw probably refers, like peri auton kai en autw just above, to Qeoj or to Qeion, but it may conceivably refer to ei ti makarion, k.t.l.

12 hgemonikon. Cf. Ps. li. 12 in [LXX]. (Spiritus principalis in Vulg., "free spirit" in the "Authorised" Version, and in the Prayer-book Version).

13 Cf. 1 Cor. xii. 6.

14 upostasewn.

15 proswpwn.

16 proswpwn.

17 upostasewn.

18 upostasewj.

19 1 Tim. ii. 4.

20 Phil. ii. 6.

21 Or, "in which we were held by sin, being sold." The reference is to Rom. vii. 7 and Rom. vii. 14, but with the variation of upo thj amartiaj, for upo thn amartian, and a change in the order of the words.

22 A similar phrase is to be found in Book V. With both may be compared the language of the Eucharistic Prayer in the Liturgy of S. Basil (where the context corresponds to some extent with that of either passage in S. Gregory):-kai anastaj th trith hmera, kai odopoihsaj pash sarki thn ek nekrwn anastasin k.t.l.

23 S. John v. 29.

24 S. John x. 30.

25 S. John i. 1.

26 Or, possibly, "and the contrast he makes between the one and the many, &c. is irrelevant" (allwj antidiairei): the quotation is from Ps. xcvi. 6 [LXX.].

27 Cf. S. John i. 18, reading (as S. Gregory seems to have done) qeoj for uioj.

28 kai en proj ton patera ontoj. It may be questioned whether the text is sound: the phrase seems unusual; perhaps en has been inserted in error from the preceding clause kai en tw patri ontoj, and we should read "is in the Father and is with the Father" (cf. the 2nd verse of the 1st Epistle, and verses 1 and 2 of the Gospel of S. John).

29 Cor. i. 24.

30 S. John xiv. 10.

31 Cf. S. John v. 23.

32 S. John xiv. 9.

33 S. Matt. xi. 27.

34 parallagh (Cf. S. James i. 17).

35 Or "I am He that is," Ex. iii. 14.

36 The reference seems to be to Gal. iv. 8.

37 Thess. i. 10.

38 There is perhaps a reference here to Col. iii. 24.

39 Rom. i. 1.

40 Cf. Gal. iv. 8.

41 Cf. Phil. ii. 10, Phil. ii. 11.

42 Cf. Phil. ii. 10, Phil. ii. 11.

43 Prov. viii. 5 (Septuagint).

44 1 Tim. vi. 16.

45 S. John xiv. 6.

46 1 Tim. vi. 16.

47 S. John xiv. 11.

48 uyiston, whence the name of the sect.

49 Cf. 2 Cor. vi. 15, 2 Cor vi. 16.

50 S. John x. 30.

51 S. John xiv. 9.

52 S. John xvii. 10.

53 S. John xvii. 10.

54 S. Mark viii. 38.

55 1 Cor. xv. 41.

56 Col. iii. 1.

57 Cf. S. John xix. 23, John xix. 24.

58 S. John iii. 8.

59 Cf. 1 Cor. xii. 6 and 1 Cor. xii. 11.

60 Ps. cxxxv. 6.

61 S. John v. 21.

62 Acts i. 7.

63 Cf. Heb. i. 2.

64 Heb. i. 3.

65 Ps. cxlviii. 5, or Ps. xxxiii. 9 in [LXX.]

66 Cf. Col. i. 16 and Col. i. 17.

67 "If this is so:" i.e. if Eunomius means his words in a Christian sense.

68 S. John xiv. 6.