Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.17 Book IV Part 2

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.17 Book IV Part 2

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.17 Book IV Part 2

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§5. He Again Shows Eunomius, Constrained by Truth, in the Character of an Advocate of the Orthodox Doctrine, Confessing as Most Proper and Primary, Not Only the Essence of the Father, But the Essence Also of the Only Begotten.

It might, however, be useful to look at the sense of the utterance of Eunomius that is set before us in orderly sequence, recurring to the beginning of his statement. For the points we have now examined were an obvious incitement to us to begin our reply with the last passage, on account of the evident character of the contradiction involved in his words.

This, then, is what Eunomius says at the beginning:-

"Now, as these things are thus divided, one might reasonably say that the most proper and primary essence, and that which alone exists by the operation of the Father, admits for itself the appellations of `product of generation,' `product of making,' and `product of creation.'" First, then, I would ask those who are attending to this discourse to bear in mind, that in his first composition he says that the essence of the Father also is "most proper," introducing his statement with these words, "The whole account of our teaching is completed with the supreme and most proper essence." And here he calls the essence of the Only-begotten "most proper and primary." Thus putting together Eunomius' phrases from each of his books, we shall call him himself as a witness of the community of essence, who in another place makes a declaration to this effect, that "of things which have the same appellations, the nature also is not different" in any way. For our self-contradictory friend would not indicate things differing in nature by identity of appellation, but it is surely for this reason, that the definition of essence in Father and Son is one, that he says that the one is "most proper," and that the other also is "most proper." And the general usage of men bears witness to our argument, which does not apply the term "most proper" where the name does not truly agree with the nature. For instance, we call a likeness, inexactly, "a man," but what we properly designate by this name is the animal presented to us in nature. And similarly, the language of Scripture recognizes the appellation of "god" for an idol, and for a demon, and for the belly: but here too the name has not its proper sense; and in the same way with all other cases. A man is said to have eaten food in the fancy of a dream, but we cannot call this fancy food, in the proper sense of the term. As, then, in the case of two men existing naturally, we properly call both equally by the name of man, while if any one should join an inanimate portrait in his enumeration with a real man, one might perhaps speak of him who really exists and of the likeness, as "two men," but would no longer attribute to both the proper meaning of the word, so, on the supposition that the nature of the Only-begotten was conceived as something else than the essence of the Father, our author would not have called each of the essences "most proper." For how could any one signify things differing in nature by identity of names? Surely the truth seems to be made plain even by those who fight against it, as falsehood is unable, even when expressed in the words of the enemy, utterly to prevail over truth. Hence the doctrine of orthodoxy is proclaimed by the mouth of its opponents, without their knowing what they say, as the saving Passion of the Lord for us had been foretold in the case of Caiaphas, not knowing what he saidhyperlink . If, therefore, true propriety of essence is common to both (I mean to the Father and the Son), what room is there for saying that their essences are mutually divergent? Or how is a difference by way of superior power, or greatness, or honour, contemplated in them, seeing that the "most proper" essence admits of no diminution? For that which is whatever it is imperfectly, is not that thing "most properly," be it nature, or power, or rank, or any other individual object of contemplation, so that the superiority of the Father's essence, as heresy will have it, proves the imperfection of the essence of the Son. If then it is imperfect. it is not proper; but if it is "most proper" it is also surely perfect. For it is not possible to call that which is deficient perfect. But neither is it possible, when, in comparing them, that which is perfect is set beside that which is perfect, to perceive any difference by way of excess or defect: for perfection is one in both cases, as in a rule, not showing a hollow by defect, nor a projection by excess. Thus, from these passages Eunomius' advocacy in favour of our doctrine may be sufficiently seen-I should rather say, not his earnestness on our behalf, but his conflict with himself. For he turns against himself those devices whereby he establishes our doctrines by his own arguments. Let us, however, once more follow his writings word for word, that it may be clear to all that their argument has no power for evil except the desire to do mischief.

§6. He Then Exposes Argument About the "Generate," And the "Product of Making," And "Product of Creation," And Shows the Impious Nature of the Language of Eunomius and Theognostus on the "Immediate" And "Undivided" Character of the Essence, and Its "Relation to Its Creator and Maker."

Let us listen, then, to what he says. "One might reasonably say that the most proper and primary essence, and that which alone exists by the operation of the Father, admits for itself the appellations of `product of generation,' `product of making,' and `product of creation.'" Who knows not that what separates the Church from heresy is this term, "product of creation," applied to the Son? Accordingly, the doctrinal difference being universally acknowledged, what would be the reasonable course for a man to take who endeavours to show that his opinions are more true than ours? Clearly, to establish his own statement, by showing, by such proofs as he could, that we ought to consider that the Lord is created. Or omitting this, should he rather lay down a law for his readers that they should speak of matters of controversy as if they were acknowledged facts? For my own part, I think he should take the former course, and perhaps all who possess any share of intelligence demand this of their opponents, that they should, to begin with, establish upon some incontrovertible basis the first principle of their argument, and so proceed to press their theory by inferences. Now our writer leaves alone the task of establishing the view that we should think He is created, and goes on to the next steps, fitting on the inferential process of his argument to this unproved assumption, being just in the condition of those men whose minds are deep in foolish desires, with their thoughts wandering upon a kingdom, or upon some other object of pursuit. They do not think how any of the things on which they set their hearts could possibly be, but they arrange and order their good fortune for themselves at their pleasure, as if it were theirs already, straying with a kind of pleasure among non-existent things. So, too, our clever author somehow or other lulls his own renowned dialectic to sleep, and before giving a demonstration of the point at issue, he tells, as if to children, the tale of this deceitful and inconsequent folly of his own doctrine, setting it forth like a story told at a drinking-party. For he says that the essence which "exists by the operation of the Father" admits the appellation of "product of generation," and of "product of making," and of "product of creation." What reasoning showed us that the Son exists by any constructive operation, and that the nature of the Father remains inoperative with regard to the Personal existencehyperlink of the Son? This was the very point at issue in the controversy, whether the essence of the Father begat the Son, or whether it made Him as one of the external things which accompany His naturehyperlink . Now seeing that the Church, according to the Divine teaching, believes the Only-begotten to be verily God, and abhors the superstition of polytheism, and for this cause does not admit the difference of essences, in order that the Godheads may not, by divergence of essence, fall under the conception of number (for this is nothing else than to introduce polytheism into our life)-seeing, I say, that the Church teaches this in plain language, that the Only-begotten is essentially God, very God of the essence of the very God, how ought one who opposes her decisions to overthrow the preconceived opinion? Should he not do so by establishing the opposing statement, demonstrating the disputed point from some acknowledged principle? I think no sensible man would look for anything else than this. But our author starts from the disputed points, and takes, as though it were admitted, matter which is in controversy as a principle for the succeeding argument. If it had first been shown that the Son had His existence through some operation, what quarrel should we have with what follows, that he should say that the essence which exists through an operation admits for itself the name of "product of making"? But let the advocates of error tell us how the consequence has any force, so long as the antecedent remains un-established. For supposing one were to grant by way of hypothesis that man is winged, there will be no question of concession about what comes next: for he who becomes winged will fly in some way or other, and lift himself up on high above the earth, soaring through the air on his wings. But we have to see how he whose nature is not aerial could become winged, and if this condition does not exist, it is vain to discuss the next point. Let our author, then, show this to begin with, that it is in vain that the Church has believed that the Only-begotten Son truly exists, not adopted by a Father falsely so called, but existing according to nature, by generation from Him Who is, not alienated from the essence of Him that begat Him. But so long as his primary proposition remains unproved, it is idle to dwell on those which are secondary. And let no one interrupt me, by saying that what we confess should also be confirmed by constructive reasoning: for it is enough for proof of our statement, that the tradition has come down to us from our fathers, handled on, like some inheritance, by succession from the apostles and the saints who came after them. They, on the other hand, who change their doctrines to this novelty, would need the support of arguments in abundance, if they were about to bring over to their views, not men light as dust, and unstable, but men of weight and steadiness: but so long as their statement is advanced without being established, and without being proved, who is so foolish and so brutish as to account the teaching of the evangelists and apostles, and of those who have successively shone like lights in the churches, of less force than this undemonstrated nonsense?

Let us further look at the most remarkable instance of our author's cleverness; how, by the abundance of his dialectic skill, he ingeniously draws over to the contrary view the more simple sort. He throws in, as an addition to the title of "product of making," and that of "product of creation," the further phrase, "product of generation," saying that the essence of the Son "admits these names for itself"; and thinks that, so long as be harangues as if he were in some gathering of topers, his knavery in dealing with doctrine will not be detected by any one. For in joining "product of generation" with "product of making," and "product of creation," he thinks that he stealthily makes away with the difference in significance between the names, by putting together what have nothing in common. These are his clever tricks of dialectic; but we mere laymen in argumenthyperlink do not deny that, so far as voice and tongue are concerned, we are what his speech sets forth about us, but we allow also that our ears, as the prophet says, are made ready for intelligent hearing. Accordingly, we are not moved, by the conjunction of names that have nothing in common, to make a confusion between the things they signify: but even if the great Apostle names together wood, hay, stubble, gold, silver, and precious stoneshyperlink , we reckon up summarily the number of things he mentions, and yet do not fail to recognize separately the nature of each of the substances named. So here, too, when "product of generation" and "product of making" are named together, we pass from the sounds to the sense, and do not behold the same meaning in each of the names; for "product of creation" means one thing, and "product of generation" another: so that even if he tries to mingle what will not blend, the intelligent hearer will listen with discrimination, and will point out that it is an impossibility for any one nature to "admit for itself" the appellation of "product of generation," and that of "product of creation." For, if one of these were true, the other would necessarily be false, so that, if the thing were a product of creation, it would not be a product of generation, and conversely, if it were called a product of generation, it would be alienated from the title of "product of creation." Yet Eunomius tells us that the essence of the Son "admits for itself the appellations of `product of generation,' `product of making,' and `product of creation'"!

Does he, by what still remains, make at all more secure this headless and rootless statement of his, in which, in its earliest stage, nothing was laid down that had any force with regard to the point he is trying to establish? or does the rest also cling to the same folly, not deriving its strength from any support it gets from argument, but setting out its exposition of blasphemy with vague details like the recital of dreams? He says (and this he subjoins to what I have already quoted)-"Having its generation without intervention, and preserving indivisible its relation to its Generator, Maker, and Creator." Well, if we were to leave alone the absence of intervention and of division, and look at the meaning of the words as it stands by itself, we shall find that everywhere his absurd teaching is cast upon the ears of those whom he deceives, without corroboration from a single argument. "Its Generator, and Maker, and Creator," he says. These names, though they seem to be three, include the sense of but two concepts, since two of the words are equivalent in meaning. For to make is the same as to create, but generation is another thing distinct from those spoken of. Now, seeing that the result of the signification of the words is to divide the ordinary apprehension of men into different ideas, what argument demonstrates to us that making is the same thing with generation, to the end that we may accommodate the one essence to this difference of terms? For so long as the ordinary significance of the words holds, and no argument is found to transfer the sense of the terms to an opposite meaning, it is not possible that any one nature should be divided between the conception of "product of making," and that of "product of generation." Since each of these terms, used by itself, has a meaning of its own, we must also suppose the relative conjunction in which they stand to be appropriate and germane to the terms. For all other relative terms have their connection, not with what is foreign and heterogeneous, but, even if the correlative term be suppressed, we hear spontaneously, together with the primary word, that which is linked with it, as in the case of "maker," "slave," "friend," "son," and so forth. For all names that are considered as relative to another, present to us, by the mention of them, each its proper and closely connected relationship with that which it declares, while they avoid all mixture of that which is heterogeneoushyperlink . For neither is the name of "maker" linked with the word "son," nor the term "slave" referred to the term "maker," nor does "friend" present to us a "slave," nor "son" a "master," but we recognize clearly and distinctly the connection of each of these with its correlative, conceiving by the word "friend" another friend; by "slave," a master; by "maker," work; by "son," a father. In the same way, then, "product of generation" has its proper relative sense; with the "product of generation," surely, is linked the generator, and with the "product of creation" the creator; and we must certainly, if we are not prepared by a substitution of names to introduce a confusion of things, preserve for each of the relative terms that which it properly connotes.

Now, seeing that the tendency of the meaning of these words is manifest, how comes it that one who advances his doctrine by the aid of logical system failed to perceive in these names their proper relative sense? But he thinks that he is linking on the "product of generation" to "maker," and the "product of making" to "generator," by saying that the essence of the Son "admits for itself the appellations of `product of generation,' `product of making,' and `product of creation,'" and "preserves indivisible its relation to its Generator, Maker, and Creator." For it is contrary to nature, that a single thing should be split up into different relations. But the Son is properly related to the Father, and that which is begotten to him that begat it, while the "product of making" has its relation to its "maker"; save if one might consider some inexact use, in some undistinguishing way of common parlance, to overrule the strict signification.

By what reasoning then is it, and by what arguments, according to that invincible logic of his, that he wins back the opinion of the mass of men, and follows out at his pleasure this line of thought, that as the God Who is over all is conceived and spoken of both as "Creator" and as "Father," the Son has a close connection with both titles, being equally called both "product of creation" and "product of generation"? For as customary accuracy of speech distinguishes between names of this kind, and applies the name of "generation" in the case of things generated from the essence itself, and understands that of "creation" of those things which are external to the nature of their maker, and as on this account the Divine doctrines, in handing down the knowledge of God, have delivered to us the names of "Father" and "Son," not those of "Creator" and "work," that there might arise no error tending to blasphemy (as might happen if an appellation of the latter kind repelled the Son to the position of an alien and a stranger), and that the impious doctrines which sever the Only-begotten from essential affinity with the Father might find no entrance-seeing all this, I say, he who declares that the appellation of "product of making" is one befitting the Son, will safely say by consequence that the name of "Son" is properly applicable to that which is the product of making; so that, if the Son is a "product of making," the heaven is called "Son," and the individual things that have been made are, according to our author, properly named by the appellation of "Son." For if He has this name, not because He shares in nature with Him that begat Him, but is called Son for this reason, that He is created, the same argument will permit that a lamb, a dog, a frog, and all things that exist by the will of their maker, should be named by the title of "Son." If, on the other hand, each of these is not a Son and is not called God, by reason of its being external to the nature of the Son, it follows, surely, that He Who is truly Son is Son, and is confessed to be God by reason of His being of the very nature of Him that begat Him. But Eunomius abhors the idea of generation, and excludes it from the Divine doctrine, slandering the term by his fleshly speculations. Well, our discourse, in what precedes, showed sufficiently on this point that, as the Psalmist says, "they are afraid where no fear ishyperlink ." For if it was shown in the case of men that not all generation exists by way of passion, but that that which is material is by passion, while that which is spiritual is pure and incorruptible, (for that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit and not flesh, and in spirit we see no condition that is subject to passion,) since our author thought it necessary to estimate the Divine power by means of examples among ourselves, let him persuade himself to conceive from the other mode of generation the passionless character of the Divine generation. Moreover, by mixing up together these three names, of which two are equivalent, he thinks that his readers, by reason of the community of sense in the two phrases, will jump to the conclusion that the third is equivalent also. For since the appellation of "product of making," and "product of creation," indicate that the thing made is external to the nature of the maker, he couples with these the phrase, "product of generation," that this too may be interpreted along with those above mentioned. But argument of this sort is termed fraud and falsehood and imposition, not a thoughtful and skilful demonstration. For that only is called demonstration which shows what is unknown from what is acknowledged; but to reason fraudulently and fallaciously, to conceal your own reproach, and to confound by superficial deceits the understanding of men, as the Apostle says, "of corrupt mindshyperlink ," this no sane man would call a skilful demonstration.

Let us proceed, however, to what follows in order. He says that the generation of the essence is "without intervention," and that it "preserves indivisible its relation to its Generator, Maker, and Creator." Well, if he had spoken of the immediate and indivisible character of the essence, and stopped his discourse there, it would not have swerved from the orthodox view, since we too confess the close connection and relation of the Son with the Father, so that there is nothing inserted between them which is found to intervene in the connection of the Son with the Father, no conception of interval, not even that minute and indivisible one, which, when time is divided into past, present, and future, is conceived indivisibly by itself as the present, as it cannot be considered as a part either of the past or of the future, by reason of its being quite without dimensions and incapable of division, and unobservable, to whichever side it might be added. That, then, which is perfectly immediate, admits we say, of no such intervention; for that which is separated by any interval would cease to be immediate. If, therefore, our author, likewise, in saying that the generation of the Son is "without intervention," excluded all these ideas then he laid down the orthodox doctrine of the conjunction of Him Who is with the Father. When, however, as though in a fit of repentance, he straightway proceeded to add to what he had said that the essence "preserves its relation to its Generator, Maker, and Creator," he polluted his first statement by his second, vomiting forth his blasphemous utterance upon the pure doctrine. For it is clear that there too his "without intervention" has no orthodox intention, but, as one might say that the hammer is mediate between the smith and the nail, but its own making is "without intervention," because, when tools had not yet been found out by the craft, the hammer came first from the craftsman's hands by some inventive process, nothyperlink by means of any other tool, and so by it the others were made; so the phrase, "without intervention," indicates that this is also our author's conception touching the Only-begotten. And here Eunomius is not alone in his error as regards the enormity of his doctrine, but you may find a parallel also in the works of Theognostushyperlink , who says that God, wishing to make this universe, first brought the Son into existence as a sort of standard of the creation; not perceiving that in his statement there is involved this absurdity, that what exists, not for its own sake, but for the sake of something else, is surely of less value than that for the sake of which it exists: as we provide an implement of husbandry for the sake of life, yet the plough is surely not reckoned as equally valuable with life. So, if the Lord also exists on account of the world, and not all things on account of Him, the whole of the things for the sake of which they say He exists, would be more valuable than the Lord. And this is what they are here establishing by their argument, where they insist that the Son has His relation to His Creator and Maker "without intervention."

§7. He Then Clearly and Skilfully Criticises the Doctrine of the Impossibility of Comparison with the Things Made After the Son, and Exposes Idolatry Contrived & Eunomius, and Concealed by the Terminology of "Son" And "Only-Begotten," To Deceive His Readers.

In the remainder of the passage, however, he becomes conciliatory, and says that the essence "is not compared with any of the things that were made by it and after ithyperlink ." Such are the gifts which the enemies of the truth offer to the Lordhyperlink , by which their blasphemy is made more manifest. Tell me what else is there of all things in creation the admits of comparison with a different thing, seeing that the characteristic nature that appears in each absolutely rejects community with things of a different kindhyperlink ? The heaven admits no comparison with the earth, nor this with the stars, nor the stars with the seas, nor water with stone, nor animals with trees, nor land animals with winged creatures, nor four-footed beasts with those that swim, nor irrational with rational creatures. Indeed, why should one take up time with individual instances, in showing that we may say of every single thing that we behold in the creation, precisely what was thrown to the Only-begotten, as if it were something special-that He admits of comparison with none of the things that have been produced after Him and by Him? For it is clear that everything which you conceive by itself is incapable of comparison with the universe, and with the individual things which compose it; and it is this, which may be truly said of any creature you please, which is allotted by the enemies of the truth, as adequate and sufficient for His honour and glory, to the Only-begotten God! And once more, putting together phrases of the same sort in the remainder of the passage, he dignifies Him with his empty honours, calling Him "Lord" and "Only-begotten": but that no orthodox meaning may be conveyed to his readers by these names, he promptly mixes up blasphemy with the more notable of them. His phrase runs thus:-"Inasmuch," he says, "as the generated essence leaves no room for community to anything else (for it is only-begottenhyperlink ), nor is the operation of the Maker contemplated as common." O marvellous insolence! as though he were addressing his harangue to brutes, or senseless beings "which have no understandinghyperlink ," he twists his argument about in contrary ways, as he pleases; or rather he suffers as men do who are deprived of sight; for they too behave often in unseemly ways before the eyes of those who see, supposing, because they themselves cannot see, that they are also unseen. For what sort of man is it who does not see the contradiction in his words? Because it is "generated," he says, the essence leaves other things no room for community, for it is only-begotten; and then when he has uttered these words, really as though he did not see or did not suppose himself to be seen, he tacks on, as if corresponding to what he has said, things that have nothing in common with them, coupling "the operation of the maker" with the essence of the Only-begotten. That which is generated is correlative to the generator, and the Only-begotten, surely, by consequence, to the Father; and he who looks to the truth beholds, in co-ordination with the Son, not "the operation of the maker," but the nature of Him that begat Him. But he, as if he were talking about plants or seeds, or some other thing in the order of creation, sets "the operation of the maker" by the side of the existencehyperlink of the Only-begotten. Why, if a stone or a stick, or something of that sort, were the subject of consideration, it would be logical to pre-suppose "the operation of the maker"; but if the Only-begotten God is confessed, even by His adversaries, to be a Son, and to exist by way of generation, how do the same words befit Him that befit the lowest portions of the creation? how do they think it pious to say concerning the Lord the very thing which may be truly said of an ant or a gnat? For if any one understood the nature of an ant, and its peculiar ties in reference to other living things, he would not be beyond the truth in saying that "the operation of its maker is not contemplated as common" with reference to the other things. What, therefore, is affirmed of such things as these, this they predicate also of the Only-begotten, and as hunters are said to intercept the passage of their game with holes, and to conceal their design by covering over the mouths of the holes with some unsound and unsubstantial material, in order that the pit may seem level with the ground about it, so heresy contrives against men something of the same sort, covering over the hole of their impiety with these fine-sounding and pious names, as it were with a level thatch, so that those who are rather unintelligent, thinking that these men's preaching is the same with the true faith, because of the agreement of their words, hasten towards the mere name of the Son and the Only-begotten, and step into emptiness in the hole, since the significance of these titles will not sustain the weight of their tread, but lets them down into the pitfall of the denial of Christ. This is why he speaks of the generated essence that leaves nothing room for community, and calls it "Only-begotten." These are the coverings of the hole. But when any one stops before he is caught in the gulf, and puts forth the test of argument, like a hand, upon his discourse, he sees the dangerous downfall of idolatry lying beneath the doctrine. For when he draws near, as though to God and the Son of God, he finds a creature of God set forth for his worship. This is why they proclaim high and low the name of the Only-begotten, that the destruction may be readily accepted by the victims of their deceit, as though one were to mix up poison in bread, and give a deadly greeting to those who asked for food, who would not have been willing to take the poison by itself, had they not been enticed to what they saw. Thus he has a sharp eye to the object of his efforts, at least so far as his own opinion goes. For if he had entirely rejected from his teaching the name of the Son, his falsehood would not have been acceptable to men, when his denial was openly stated in a definite proclamation; but now leaving only the name, and changing the signification of it to express creation, he at once sets up his idolatry, and fraudulently hides its reproach. But since we are bidden not to honour God with our lipshyperlink , and piety is not tested by the sound of a word, but the Son must first be the object of belief in the heart unto righteousness, and then be confessed with the mouth unto salvationhyperlink , and those who say in their hearts that He is not God, even though with their mouths they confess Him as Lord, are corrupt and became abominablehyperlink , as the prophet says,-for this cause, I say, we must look to the mind of those who put forward, forsooth, the words of the faith, and not be enticed to follow their sound. If, then, one who speaks of the Son does not by that word refer to a creature, he is on our side and not on the enemy's; but if any one applies the name of Son to the creation, he is to be ranked among idolaters. For they too gave the name of God to Dagon and Bel and the Dragon, but they did not on that account worship God. For the wood and the brass and the monster were not God.

§8. He Proceeds to Show that There is No "Variance" In the Essence of the Father and the Son: Wherein He Expounds Many Forms of Variation and Harmony, and Explains the "Form," The "Seal," And the "Express Intake."

But what need is there in our discourse to reveal his hidden deceit by mere guesses at his intention, and possibly to give our hearers occasions for objection, on the ground that we make these charges against our enemies untruly? For lo, he sets forth to us his blasphemy in its nakedness, not hiding his guile by any veil, but speaking boldly in his absurdities with unrestrained voice. What he has written runs thus:-"We, for our part," he says, "as we find nothing else besides the essence of the Son which admits of the generation, are of opinion that we must assign the appellations to the essence itself, or else we speak of `Son' and `begotten' to no purpose, and as a mere verbal matter, if we are really to separate them from the essence; starting from these names, we also confidently maintain that the essences are variant from each otherhyperlink ."

There is no need, I imagine, that the absurdity here laid down should be refuted by arguments from us. The mere reading of what he has written is enough to pillory his blasphemy. But let us thus examine it. He says that the essences of the Father and the Son are "variant." What is meant by "variant"? Let us first of all examine the force of the term as it is applied by itselfhyperlink , that by the interpretation of the word its blasphemous character may be more clearly revealed. The term "variance" is used, in the inexact sense sanctioned by custom, of bodies, when, by palsy or any other disease, any limb is perverted from its natural co-ordination. For we speak, comparing the state of suffering with that of health, of the condition of one who has been subjected to a change for the worse, as being a "variation" from his usual health; and in the case of those who differ in respect of virtue and vice, comparing the licentious life with that of purity and temperance, or the unjust life with that of justice, or the life which is passionate, warlike, and prodigal of anger, with that which is mild and peaceful-and generally all that is reproached with vice, as compared with what is more excellent, is said to exhibit "variance" from it, because the marks observed in both-in the good, I mean, and the inferior-do not mutually agree. Again, we say that those qualities observed in the elements are "at variance" which are mutually opposed as contraries, having a power reciprocally destructive, as heat and cold, or dryness and moisture, or, generally, anything that is opposed to another as a contrary; and the absence of union in these we express by the term "variation"; and generally everything which is out of harmony with another in their observed characteristics, is said to be "at variance" with it, as health with disease, life with death, war with peace, virtue with vice, and all similar cases.

Now that we have thus analyzed these expressions, let us also consider in regard to our author in what sense he says that the essences of the Father and the Son are "variant from each other." What does he mean by it? Is it in the sense that the Father is according to nature, while the Son "varies" from that nature? Or does he express by this word the perversion of virtue, separating the evil from the more excellent by the name of "variation," so as to regard the one essence in a good, the other? a contrary aspect? Or does he assert that one Divine essence also is variant from another, in the manner of the opposition of the elements? or as war stands to peace, and life to death, does he also perceive in the essences the conflict which so exists among all such things, so that they cannot unite one with another, because the mixture of contraries exerts upon the things mingled a consuming force, as the wisdom of the Proverbs saith of such a doctrine, that water and fire never say "It is enoughhyperlink ," expressing enigmatically the nature of contraries of equal force and equal balance, and their mutual destruction? Or is it in none of these ways that he sees "variance" in the essences? Let him tell us, then, what he conceives besides these. He could not say, I take it, even if he were to repeat his wonted phrasehyperlink , "The Son is variant from Him Who begat Him"; for thereby the absurdity of his statements is yet more clearly shown. For what mutual relation is so closely and concordantly engrafted and fitted together as that meaning of relation to the Father expressed by the word "Son"? And a proof of this is that even if both of these names be not spoken, that which is omitted is connoted by the one that is uttered, so closely is the one implied in the other, and concordant with it: and both of them are so discerned in the one that one cannot be conceived without the other. Now that which is "at variance" is surely so conceived and so called, in opposition to that which is "in harmony," as the plumb-line is in harmony with the straight line, while that which is crooked, when set beside that which is straight, does not harmonize with it. Musicians also are wont to call the agreement of notes "harmony," and that which is out of tune and discordant "inharmonious." To speak of things as at "variance," then, is the same as to speak of them as "out of harmony." If, therefore, the nature of the Only-begotten God is at "variance," to use the heretical phrase, with the essence of the Father, it is surely not in harmony with it: and in harmoniousness cannot exist where there is no possibility of harmonyhyperlink . For the case is as when, the figure in the wax and in the graying of the signet being one, the wax that has been stamped by the signet, when it is fitted again. to the latter, makes the impression on itself accord with that which surrounds it, filling up the hollows and accommodating the projections of the engraving with its own patterns: but if some strange and different pattern is fitted to the engraving of the signet, it makes its own form rough and confused, by rubbing off its figure on an engraved surface that does not correspond with it. But He Who is "in the form of Godhyperlink " has been formed by no impression different from the Father, seeing that He is "the express image" of the Father's Personhyperlink , while the "form of God" is surely the same thing as His essence. For as, "being made in the form of a servanthyperlink ," He was formed in the essence of a servant, not taking upon Him the form merely, apart from the essence, but the essence is involved in the sense of "form," so, surely, he who says that He is "in the form of God" signified essence by "form." If, therefore, He is "in the form of God," and being in the Father is sealed with the Father's glory, (as the word of the Gospel declares, which saith, "Him hath God the Father sealedhyperlink ,"-whence also "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Fatherhyperlink ,") then "the image of goodness" and "the brightness of glory," and all other similar titles, testify that the essence of the Son is not out of harmony with the Father. Thus by the text cited is shown the insubstantial character of the adversaries' blasphemy. For if things at "variance" are not in harmony, and He Who is sealed by the Father, and displays the Father in Himself, both being in the Father, and having the Father in Himselfhyperlink , shows in all points His close relation and harmony, then the absurdity of the opposing views is hereby overwhelmingly shown. For as that which is at "variance" was shown to be out of harmony, so conversely that which is harmonious is surely confessed beyond dispute not to be at "variance." For as that which is at "variance" is not harmonious, so the harmonious is not at "variance." Moreover, he who says that the nature of the Only-begotten is at "variance" with the good essence of the Father, clearly has in view variation in the good itself. But as for what that is which is at variance with the good-"O ye simple," as the Proverb saith, "understand his craftinesshyperlink !"

§9. Then, Distinguishing Between Essence and Generation, He Declares the Empty and Frivolous Language of Eunomius to & Like a Rattle. He Proceeds to Show that the Language Used by the Great Basil on the Subject of the Generation of the Only-Begotten Has Been Grievously Slandered by Eunomius, and So Ends the Book.

I will pass by these matters, however, as the absurdity involved is evident; let us examine what precedes. He says that nothing else is found, "besides the essence of the Son, which admits of the generation." What does he mean when he says this? He distinguishes two names from each other, and separating by his discourse the things signified by them, he sets each of them individually apart by itself. "The generation" is one name, and "the essence" is another. The essence, he tells us, "admits of the generation," being therefore of course something distinct from the generation. For if the generation were the essence (which is the very thing he is constantly declaring), so that the two appellations are equivalent in sense, he would not have said that the essence "admits of the generation": for that would amount to saying that the essence admits of the essence, or the generation the generation,-if, that is, the generation were the same thing as the essence. He understands, then, the generation to be one thing, and the essence to be another, which "admits of generation": for that which is taken cannot be the same with that which admits it. Well, this is what the sage and systematic statement of our author says: but as to whether there is any sense in his words, let him consider who is expert in judging. I will resume his actual words.

He says that he finds "nothing else besides the essence of the Son which admits of the generation"; that there is no sense in his words however, is clear to every one who hears his statement at all: the task which remains seems to be to bring to light the blasphemy which he is trying to construct by aid of these meaningless words. For he desires, even if he cannot effect his purpose, to produce in his hearers by this slackness of expression, the notion that the essence of the Son is the result of construction: but he calls its construction "generation," decking out his horrible blasphemy with the fairest phrase, that if "construction" is the meaning conveyed by the word "generation," the idea of the creation of the Lord may receive a ready assent. He says, then, that the essence "admits of generation," so that every construction may be viewed, as it were, in some subject matter. For no one would say that that is constructed which has no existence, so extending "making" in his discourse, as if it were some constructed fabric, to the nature of the Only-begotten Godhyperlink . "If, then," he says, "it admits of this generation,"-wishing to convey some such meaning as this, that it would not have been, had it not been constructed. But what else is there among the things we contemplate in the creation which is without being made? Heaven, earth, air, sea, everything whatever that is, surely is by being made. How, then, comes it that he considered it a peculiarity in the nature of the Only begotten, that it "admits generation" (for this is his name for making) "into its actual essence," as though the humble-bee or the gnat did not admit generation into itselfhyperlink , but into something else besides itself. It is therefore acknowledged by his own writings, that by them the essence of the Only-begotten is placed on the same level with the smallest parts of the creation: and every proof by which he attempts to establish the alienation of the Son from the Father has the same force also in the case of individual things. What need has he, then, for this varied acuteness to establish the diversity of nature, when he ought to have taken the short cut of denial, by openly declaring that the name of the Son ought not to be confessed, or the Only-begotten God to be preached in the churches, but that we ought to esteem the Jewish worship as superior to the faith of Christians, and, while we confess the Father as being alone Creator and Maker of the world, to reduce all other things to the name and conception of the creation, and among these to speak of that work which preceded the rest as a "thing made," which came into being by some constructive operation, and to give Him the title of "First created," instead of Only-begotten and Very Son. For when these opinions have carried the day, it will be a very easy matter to bring doctrines to a conclusion in agreement with the aim they have in view, when all are guided, as you might expect from such a principle, to the consequence that it is impossible that He Who is neither begotten nor a Son, but has His existence through some energy, should share in essence with God. So long, however, as the declarations of the Gospel prevail, by which He is proclaimed as "Son," and "Only-begotten," and "of the Father," and "of God," and the like, Eunomius will talk his nonsense to no purpose, leading himself and his followers astray by such idle chatter. For while the title of "Son" speaks aloud the true relation to the Father, who is so foolish that, while John and Paul and the rest of the choir of the Saints proclaim these words,-words of truth, and words that point to the close affinity,-he does not look to them, but is led by the empty rattle of Eunomius' sophisms to think that Eunomius is a truer guide than the teaching of these who by the Spirit speak mysterieshyperlink , and who bear Christ in themselves? Why, who is this Eunomius? Whence was be raised up to be the guide of Christians?

But let all this pass, and let our earnestness about what lies before us calm down our heart, that is swollen with jealousy on behalf of the faith against the blasphemers. For how is it possible not to be moved to wrath and hatred, while our God, and Lord, and Life-giver, and Saviour is insulted by these wretched men? If he had reviled my father according to the flesh, or been at enmity with my benefactor, would it have been possible to bear without emotion his anger against those I love? And if the Lord of my soul, Who gave it being when it was not, and redeemed it when in bondage, and gave me to taste of this present life, and prepared for me the life to come, Who calls us to a kingdom, and gives us His commands that we may escape the damnation of hell,-these are small things that I speak of, and not worthy to express the greatness of our common Lord-He that is worshipped by all creation, by things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, by Whom stand the unnumbered myriads of the heavenly ministers, to Whom is turned all that is under rule here, and that has the desire of good-if He is exposed to reviling by men, for whom it is not enough to associate themselves with the party of the apostate, but who count it loss not to draw others by their scribbling into the same gulf with themselves, that those who come after may not lack a hand to lead them to destruction, is there any onehyperlink who blames us for our anger against these men? But let us return to the sequence of his discourse.

He next proceeds once mere to slander us as dishonouring the generation of the Son by human similitudes, and mentions what was written on these points by our fatherhyperlink , where he says that while by the word "Son" two things are signified, the being formed by passion, and the true relationship to the begetter, he does not admit in discourses upon things divine the former sense, which is unseemly and carnal, but in so far as the latter tends to testify to the glory of the Only-begotten, this alone finds a place in the sublime doctrines. Who, then, dishonours the generation of the Son by human notions? He who sets far from the Divine generation what belongs to passion and to man, and joins the Son impassibly to Him that begat Him? or he who places Him Who brought all things into being on a common level with the lower creation? Such an idea, however, as it seems,-that of associating the Son in the majesty of the Father,-this new wisdom seems to regard as dishonouring; while it considers as great and sublime the act of bringing Him down to equality with the creation that is in bondage with us. Empty complaints! Basil is slandered as dishonouring the Son, who honours Him even as he honours the Fatherhyperlink , and Eunomius is the champion of the Only-begotten, who severs Him from the good nature of the Father! Such a reproach Paul also once incurred with the Athenians, being charged therewith by them as "a setter forth of strange godshyperlink ," when he was reproving the wandering among their gods of those who were mad in their idolatry, and was leading them to the truth, preaching the resurrection by the Son These charges are now brought against Paul's follower by the new Stoics and Epicureans, who "spend their time in nothing else," as the history says of the Athenians, "but either to tell or to hear some new thinghyperlink ." For what could be found newer than this,-a Son of an energy, and a Father of a creature, and a new God springing up from nothing, and good at variance with good? These are they who profess to honour Him with due honour by saying that He is not that which the nature of Him that begat Him is. Is Eunomius not ashamed of the form of such honour, if one were to say that he himself is not akin in nature to his father, but has community with something of another kind? If he who brings the Lord of the creation into community with the creation declares that he honours Him by so doing, let him also himself be honoured by having community assigned him with what is brute and senseless: but, if he finds community with an inferior nature hard and insolent treatment, how is it honour for Him Who, as the prophet saith, "ruleth with His power for everhyperlink ," to be ranked with that nature which is in subjection and bondage? But enough of this.


44 S. John xi. 51.

45 upostasin.

46 At a later stage Gregory points out that the idea of creation is involved, if the thing produced is external to the nature of the Maker.

47 This phrase seems to be quoted from Eunomius. The reference to the "prophet" may possibly be suggested by Is. vi. 9-10: but it is more probably only concerned with the words wtia and akohn, as applied to convey the idea of mental alertness.

48 Cf. 1 Cor. iii. 12

49 E.g. "A thing made" suggests to us the thought of a "makers" "a maker" the thought of the thing made; and they suggest also a close connection as existing between the two correlative terms of one of which the name is uttered; but neither suggests in the same way any term which is not correlative, or with which it is not, in some manner, in pari materia.

50 Cf. Ps. liii. 6.

51 2 Tim. iii. 8.

52 It seems necessary for the sense to read ou di eterou tinoj organou, since the force of the comparison consists in the hammer being produced immediately by the smith: otherwise we must understand di eterou tinoj organou to refer to the employment of some tool not properly belonging to the texnh of the smith: but even so the parallel would be destroyed.

53 Theognostus, a writer of the third century, is said to have been the head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, and is quoted by S. Athanasius as an authority against the Arians. An account of his work is to be found in Photius, and this is extracted and printed with the few remaining fragments of his actual writings in the 3rd volume of Routh's Reliquioe Sacroe.

54 Oehler's proposal to read "vel invitis libris quod sententia flagitat tw/ di autou kai met' auton" does not seem necessary. authj and authn refer to ousia, the quotation being made (not verbally) from Eunonius, not from Theognostus, and following apparently the phrase about "preserving the relation," etc. If the clause were a continuation of the quotation from Theognostus, we should have to follow Oehler's proposal.

55 Reading, acccording to Cotelerius' suggestion, (mentioned with approval by Oehler, though not followed by him,) dwroforousin for doruforousin.

56 That is to say, because there is no "common measure" of the distinct natures.

57 Altering Oehler's punctuation: it is the fact that the essence is monogenhj which excludes all other things from community with it.

58 Ps. xxxii. 9.

59 upostase.

60 Cf. Is. xxix. 13.

61 Cf. Rom. x. 10.

62 Cf. Ps. xiii. 2.

63 The whole passage is rather obscure, and Oehler's punctuation renders it perhaps more obscure than that which is here adopted. The argument seems to be something like this:-"The generated essence is not compared with any of the things made by it, or after it, because being only-begotten it leaves no room for a common basis of comparison with anything else, and the operation of its maker is also peculiar to itself (since it is immediate, the operation in the case of other things being mediate). The essence of the Son, then, being so far isolated, it is to it that the appellations of gennhma, poihma, and ktisma are to be assigned; otherwise the terms `Son

0' and `Only-begotten

0' are meaningless. Therefore the Son, being in essence a poihma or ktisma, is alien from the Father Who made or created Him." The word parhllaxqai, used to express the difference of essence between the Father and the Son, is one for which it is hard to find an equivalent which shall suit all the cases of the use of the word afterwards instanced: the idea of "variation," however, seems to attach to all these cases, and the verb has been translated accordingly.

64 Following Oehler's suggestion and reading ef' eauthj.

65 Cf. Prov. xxx. 15 (LXX.).

66 The sense given would perhaps be clearer if we were to read (as Gulonius seems to have done) asunhqh for sunhqh. This might be interpreted, "He could not say, I take it, even if he uses the words in an unwonted sense, that the Son is at variance with Him Who begat Him." The sunhqh would thus be the senses already considered and set aside: and the point would be that such a statement could not be made without manifest absurdity, even if some out-of-the-way sense were attached to the words. As the passage stands, it must mean that even if Eunomius repeats his wonted phrase, that can suggest no other sense of "variance" than those enumerated.

67 The reading of Oehler is here followed: but the sense of the clause is not clear either in his text or in that of the Paris editions.

68 Phil. ii. 6.

69 Heb. i. 3.

70 Phil. ii. 7.

71 S. John vi 27.

72 S. John xiv. 9.

73 Cf. S. John xiv. 10.

74 Prov. viii. 5 (LXX.).

75 This whole passage, as it stands in Oehler's text, (which has here been followed without alteration,) is obscure: the connection between the clauses themselves is by no means clear; and the general meaning of the passage, in view of the succeeding sentences, seems doubtful. For it seems here to be alleged that Eunomius considered the kataskeuh to imply the previous existence of some material, so to say, which was moulded by generation-on the ground that no one would say that the essence, or anything else, was constructed without being existent. On the other hand it is immediately urged that this is just what would be said of all created things. If the passage might be emended thus:-in, wsper en upokeimenw tini pragmati pasa kataskeuh qewreitai, (ou gar an tij eipoi kataskeuasqai o mh ufesthken), outwj oion kataskeuasmati th tou monogenouj fusei proteinh tw logw thn poihsin-we should have a comparatively clear sense-"in order that as all construction is observed in some subject matter, (for no one would say that that is constructed which has not existence) so he may extend the process of `making

0' by his argument to the nature of the Only-begotten God, as to some product of construction." The force of this would be, that Eunomius is really employing the idea of "receiving generation," to imply that the essence of the Only-begotten is a kataskeuasma: and this, Gregory says, puts him at once on a level with the physical creation.

76 Oehler's punctuation seems faulty here.

77 Cf. 1 Cor. xiv. 2.

78 Reading ara tij for ara tij Oehler's text.

79 That is, by S. Basil: the reference seems to be to the treatise Adv. Eunomium ii 24 (p. 260 C. in the Benedictine edition), but the quotation is not exact.

80 Cf. S. John v. 23.

81 Acts xvii. 18.

82 Acts xvii. 21.

83 Ps. lxvi. 6 (LXX.).