Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10: 30.01.21 Tthe Holy Spirit Book III Pt 2

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10: 30.01.21 Tthe Holy Spirit Book III Pt 2

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 30.01.21 Tthe Holy Spirit Book III Pt 2

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Chapter X.

The Divinity of the Holy Spirit is supported by a passage of St. John. This passage was, indeed, erased by heretics, but it is a vain attempt, since their faithlessness could thereby more easily be convicted, The order of the context is considered in order that this passage may be shown to refer to the Spirit. He is born of the Spirit who is born again of the same Spirit, of Whom Christ Himself is believed to have been born and born again. Again, the Godhead of the Spirit is inferred from two testimonies of St. John; and lastly, it is explained how the Spirit, the water, and the blood are called witnesses.

59. Nor does the Scripture in this place alone bear witness to the Qeothj, that is, the Godhead of the Holy Spirit; but also the Lord Himself said in the Gospel: "The Spirit is God."hyperlink Which passage you, Arians, so expressly testify to be said concerning the Spirit, that you remove it from your copies,hyperlink and would that it were from yours and not also from those of the Church! For at the time when Auxentiushyperlink had seized the Church of Milan with the arms and forces of impious unbelief, the Church of Sirmiumhyperlink was attacked by Valens and Ursatius, when their priests [i.e. bishops] failed in faith; this falsehood and sacrilege of yours was found in the ecclesiastical books. And it may chance that you did the same in the past.

60. And you have indeed been able to blot out the letters, but could not remove the faith. That erasure betrayed you more. that erasure condemned you more; and you were not able to obliterate the truth, but that erasure blotted out your names from the book of life. Why was the passage removed, "For God is a Spirit," if it did not pertain to the Spirit? For if you will have it that the expression is used of God the Father, you, who think it should be erased, deny, in consequence, God the Father. Choose which you will, in each the snare of your own impiety will bind you if you confess yourselves to be heathen by denying either the Father or the Spirit to be God. Therefore your confession wherein you have blotted out the Word of God remains, while you fear the original.

61. You have blotted it out, indeed, in your breasts and minds, but the Word of God is not blotted out, the Holy Spirit is not blotted out, but turns away from impious minds; not grace but iniquity is blotted out; for it is written: "I am He, I am He that blot out thine iniquities."hyperlink Lastly, Moses, making request for the people, says: "Blot me out of Thy book, if Thou sparest not this people."hyperlink And yet he was not blotted out, because he had no iniquity, but grace flowed forth.

62. You are, then, convicted by your own confession that you cannot say it was done with wisdom but with cunning. For by cunning you know that you are convicted by the evidence of that passage, and that your arguments cannot apply against that testimony. For whence else could the meaning of that place be derived, since the whole tenour of the passage is concerning the Spirit?

63. Nicodemus enquires about regeneration, and the Lord replies: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again by water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."hyperlink And that He might show that there is one birth according to the flesh, and another according to the Spirit, He added: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, because it is born of the flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit, because the Spirit is God."hyperlink Follow out the whole course of the passage, and you will find that God has shut out your impiety by the fulness of His statement: "Marvel not," says He, "that I said, Ye must be born again. The Spirit breatheth where He listeth, and thou hearest His voice, but knowest not whence He cometh or whither He goeth, so is every one who is born of the Spirit."hyperlink

64. Who is he who is born of the Spirit, and is made Spirit, but he who is renewed in the Spirit of his mind?hyperlink This certainly is he who is regenerated by water and the Holy Spirit, since we receive the hope of eternal life through the layer of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.hyperlink And elsewhere the Apostle Peter says: "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."hyperlink For who is he that is baptized with the Holy Spirit but he who is born again through water and the Holy Spirit? Therefore the Lord said of the Holy Spirit, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again by water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And therefore He declared that we are born of Him in the latter case, through Whom He said that we were born in the former. This is the sentence of the Lord; I rest on what is written, not on argument.

65. I ask, however, why, if there be no doubt that we are born again by the Holy Spirit, there should be any doubt that we are born of the Holy Spirit, since the Lord Jesus Himself was both born and born again of the Holy Spirit. And if you confess that He was born of the Holy Spirit, because you are not able to deny it, but deny that He was born again, it is great folly to confess what is peculiar to God, and deny what is common to men. And therefore that is well said to you which was said to the Jews: "If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?"hyperlink

66. And yet we find each passage so written in Greek, that He said not, through the Spirit, but of the Spirit. For it stands thus: a0mh/n, a0mh/n, le/gw soi e0a\n mh/ tij genneqh=| e0c u$datoj kai Pneu/matoj, that is, of water and the Spirit. Therefore, since one ought not to doubt that "that which is born of the Spirit" is written of the Holy Spirit; there is no doubt but that the Holy Spirit also is God, according to that which is written, "the Spirit is God."

67. But the same Evangelist, that he might make it plain that he wrote this concerning the Holy Spirit, says elsewhere: "Jesus Christ came by water and blood, not in the water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth; for there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three are one."hyperlink

68. Hear how they are witnesses: The Spirit renews the mind, the water is serviceable for the layer, and the blood refers to the price. For the Spirit made us children by adoption, the water of the sacred Font washed us, the blood of the Lord redeemed us. So we obtain one invisible and one visible testimony in a spiritual sacrament, for "the Spirit Himself beareth witness to our spirit."hyperlink Though the fulness of the sacrament be in each, yet there is a distinction of office; so where there is distinction of office, there certainly is not equality of witness.

Chapter XI.

The objection has been made, that the words of St. John, "The Spirit is God," are to be referred to God the Father; since Christ afterwards declares that God is to be worshipped in Spirit and in truth. The answer is, first, that by the word Spirit is sometimes meant spiritual grace; next, it is shown that, if they insist that the Person of the Holy Spirit is signified by the words "in Spirit," and therefore deny that adoration is due to Him, the argument tells equally against the Son; and since numberless passages prove that He is to be worshipped, we understand from this that the same rule is to be laid down as regards the Spirit. Why are we commanded to fall down before His footstool? Because by this is signified the Lord's Body, and as the Spirit was the Maker of this, it follows that He is to be worshipped, and yet it does not accordingly follow that Mary is to be worshipped. Therefore the worship of the Spirit is not done away with, but His union with the Father is expressed, when it is said that the Father is to be worshipped in Spirit, and this point is supported by similar expressions.

69. But perhaps reference may be made to the fact that in a later passage of the same book, the Lord again said that God is Spirit, but spoke of God the Father. For you have this passage in the Gospel: "The hour now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for such also doth the Father seek. God is Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth."hyperlink By this passage you wish not only to deny the divinity of the Holy Spirit, but also, from God being worshipped in Spirit, deduce a subjection of the Spirit.

70. To which point I will briefly answer that Spirit is often put for the grace of the Spirit, as the Apostle also said: "For the Spirit Himself intercedeth for us with groanings which cannot be uttered;"hyperlink that is, the grace of the Spirit, unless perchance you have been able to hear the groanings of the Holy Spirit. Therefore here too God is worshipped, not in the wickedness of the heart, but in the grace of the Spirit. "For into a malicious soul wisdom does not enter,"hyperlink because "no one can call Jesus Lord but in the Holy Spirit."hyperlink And immediately he adds: "Now there are diversities of gifts."hyperlink

71. Now this cannot pertain to the fulness, nor to the dividing of the Spirit; for neither does the mind of man grasp His fulness, nor is He divided into any portions of Himself; but He pours into [the soul] the gift of spiritual grace, in which God is worshipped as He is also worshipped in truth, for no one worships Him except he who drinks in the truth of His Godhead with pious affection. And he certainly does not apprehend Christ as it were personally, nor the Holy Spirit personally.

72. Or if you think that this is said as it were personally of Christ and of the Spirit, then God is worshipped in truth in like manner as He is worshipped in Spirit. There is therefore either a like subjection, which God forbid that you should believe, and the Son is not worshipped; or, which is true, there is a like grace of Unity, and the Spirit is worshipped.

73. Let us then here draw our inferences and put an end to the impious questionings of the Arians. For if they say that the Spirit is therefore not to be worshipped because God is worshipped in Spirit, let them then say that the Truth is not to be worshipped, because God is worshipped in truth. For although there be many truths, since it is written: "Truths are minished from the sons of men;"hyperlink yet they are given by the Divine Truth, which is Christ, Who says: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."hyperlink If therefore they understand the truth in this passage from custom, let them also understand the grace of the Spirit, and there is no stumbling; or if they receive Christ as the Truth, let them deny that He is to be worshipped.

74. But they are refuted by the acts of the pious, and by the course of the Scriptures. For Mary worshipped Christ, and therefore is appointed to be the messenger of the Resurrection to the apostles,hyperlink loosening the hereditary bond, and the huge offence of womankind. For this the Lord wrought mystically, "that where sin had exceedingly abounded, grace might more exceedingly abound."hyperlink And rightly is a woman appointed [as messenger] to men; that she who first had brought the message of sin to man should first bring the message of the grace of the Lord.

75. And the apostles worshipped; and therefore they who bore the testimony of the faith received authority as to the faith. And the angels worshipped, of whom it is written: "And let all His angels worship Him."hyperlink

76. But they worship not only His Godhead but also His Footstool, as it is written: "And worship His footstool, for it is holy,"hyperlink Or if they deny that in Christ the mysteries also of His Incarnation are to be worshipped, in which we observe as it were certain express traces of His Godhead, and certain ways of the Heavenly Word; let them read that even the apostles worshipped Him when He rose again in the glory of His Flesh.hyperlink

77. Therefore if it do not at all detract from Christ, that God is worshipped in Christ, for Christ too is worshipped;hyperlink it certainly also detracts nothing from the Spirit that God is worshipped in the Spirit, for the Spirit also is worshipped, as the Apostle has said: "We serve the Spirit of God,"hyperlink for he who serves worships also, as it is said in an earlier passage: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."hyperlink

78. But lest any one should perchance seem to elude the instance we have adduced, let us consider in what manner that which the prophet says, "Worship His Footstool," appears to refer to the mystery of the divine Incarnation, for we must not estimate the footstool from the custom of men. For neither has God a body, neither is He other than beyond measure, that we should think a footstool was laid down as a support for His feet. And we read that nothing besides God is to be worshipped, for it is written: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." How, then, should the prophet, brought up under the Law, and instructed in the Law, give a precept against the Law? The question, then, is not unimportant, and so let us more diligently consider what the footstool is. For we read elsewhere: "The heaven is My throne, and the earth the footstool of My feet."hyperlink But the earth is not to be worshipped by us, for it is a creature of God.

79. Let us, however, see whether the prophet does not say that that earth is to be worshipped which the Lord Jesus took upon Him in assuming flesh. And so, by foot-stool is understood earth, but by the earth the Flesh of Christ, which we this day also adorehyperlink in the mysteries, and which the apostles, as we said above, adored in the Lord Jesus; for Christ is not divided but is one; nor, when He is adored as the Son of God, is He denied to have been born of the Virgin. Since, then, the mystery of the Incarnation is to be adored, and the Incarnation is the work of the Spirit, as it is written, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and that Holy Thing Which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,"hyperlink without doubt the Holy Spirit also is to be adored, since He Who according to the flesh was born of the Holy Spirit is adored.

80. And let no one divert this to the Virgin Mary; Mary was the temple of God, not the God of the temple. And therefore He alone is to be worshipped Who was working in His temple.

81. It makes, then, nothing against our argument that God is worshipped in Spirit, for the Spirit also is worshipped. Although if we consider the words themselves, what else ought we to understand in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the unity of the same power. For what is "must worship in Spirit and in truth"? If, however, you do not refer this to the grace of the Spirit, nor the true faith of conscience; but, as we said, personally (if indeed this word person is fit to express the Divine Majesty), you must take it of Christ and of the Spirit.

82. What means, then, the Father is worshipped in Christ, except that the Father is in Christ, and the Father speaks in Christ, and the Father abides in Christ. Not, indeed, as a body in a body, for God is not a body; nor as a confused mixture [confusus in confuso], but as the true in the true, God in God, Light in Light; as the eternal Father in the co-eternal Son. So not an ingrafting of a body is meant, but unity of power. Therefore, by unity of power, Christ is jointly worshipped in the Father when God the Father is worshipped in Christ. In like manner, then, by unity of the same power the Spirit is jointly worshipped in God, when God is worshipped in the Spirit.

83. Let us investigate the force of that word and expression more diligently, and deduce its proper meaning from other passages. "Thou hast," it is said, "made them all in wisdom."hyperlink Do we here understand that Wisdom was without a share in the things that were made? But "all things were made by Him."hyperlink And David says: "By the Word of the Lord were theheavens established."hyperlink So, then, he himself who calls the Son of God the maker even of heavenly things, has also plainly said that all things were made in the Son, that in the renewal of His works He might by no means separate the Son from the Father, but unite Him to the Father.

84. Paul, too, says: "For in Him were all things created in the heavens and in the earth, Visible and invisible."hyperlink Does he, then, when he says, "in Him," deny that they were made through Him? Certainly he did not deny but affirmed it. And further he says in another place: "One Lord Jesus, through Whom are all things."hyperlink In saying, then, "through Him," has he denied that all things were made in Him, through Whom he says that all things exist? These words, "in Him" and "with Him," have this force, that by them is understood one and like in all respects, not contrary. Which he also made clear farther on, saying: "All things have been created through Him and in Him;"hyperlink for, as we said above, Scripture witnesses that these three expressions, "with Him," and "through Him," and "in Him," are equivalent in Christ.hyperlink For you read that all things were made through Him and in Him.

85. Learn also that the Father was with Him, and He with the Father, when all things were being made. Wisdom says: "When He was preparing the heavens I was with Him, when He was making the fountains of waters."hyperlink And in the Old Testament the Father, by saying, "Let Us make,"hyperlink showed that the Son was to be worshipped with Himself as the Maker of all things. As, then, those things are said to have been created in the Son, of which the Son is received as the Creator; so, too, when God is said to be worshipped in truth by the proper meaning of the word itself often expressed after the same manner it ought to be understood, that the Son too is worshipped. So in like manner is the Spirit also worshipped because God is worshipped in Spirit, Therefore the Father is worshipped both with the Son and with the Spirit, because the Trinity is worshipped.

Chapter XII.

From the fact that St. Paul has shown that the light of the Godhead which the three apostles worshipped in Christ is in the Trinity, it is made clear that the Spirit also is to be worshipped. It is shown from the words themselves that the Spirit is intended by the apostles. The Godhead of the same Spirit is proved from the fact that He has a temple wherein He dwells not as a priest, but as God: and is worshipped with the Father and the Son; whence is understood the oneness of nature in Them.

86. But does any one deny that the Godhead of the eternal Trinity is to be worshipped? whereas the Scriptures also express the inexplicable Majesty of the Divine Trinity, as the Apostle says elsewhere: "Since God, Who said that light should shine out of darkness, shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."hyperlink

87. The apostles truly saw this glory, when the Lord Jesus on the mount shone with the light of His Godhead: "The apostles," it says, "saw it and fell on their face."hyperlink Do not you think that they even, as they fell, worshipped, when they could not with their bodily eyes endure the brightness of the divine splendour, and the glory of eternal light dulled the keenness of mortal sight? Or what else did they who saw His glory say at that time, except, "O come let us worship and fall down before Him"?hyperlink For "God shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."hyperlink

88. Who is He, then, Who shined that we might know God in the face of Jesus Christ? For he said, "God shined," that the glory of God might be known in the face of Jesus Christ. Whom else do we think but the manifested Spirit? Or who else is there besides the Holy Spirit to Whom the power of the Godhead may be referred? For they who exclude the Spirit must necessarily bring in another, who may with the Father and the Son receive the glory of the Godhead.

89. Let us then go back to the same words: "It is God Who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." You have Christ plainly set forth. For Whose glory is said to give light but that of the Spirit? So, then, he set forth God Himself, since he spoke of the glory of God; if of the Father, it remains that "He who said that light should shine out of darkness, and shine in our hearts," be understood to be the Holy Spirit, for we cannot venerate any other with the Father and the Son. If, then, you understand the Spirit, Him also has the Apostle called God; it is necessary, then, that you also confess the Godhead of the Spirit, who now deny it.

90. But how shamelessly do you deny this, since you have read that the Holy Spirit has a temple. For it is written: "Ye are the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit dwelleth in you."hyperlink Now God has a temple, a creature has no true temple. But the Spirit, Who dwelleth in us, has a temple. For it is written: "Your members are temples of the Holy Spirit."hyperlink

91. But He does not dwell in the temple as a priest, nor as a minister, but as God, since the Lord Jesus Himself said: "I will dwell in them, and will walk among them, and will be their God, and they shall be My people."hyperlink And David says: "The Lord is in His holy temple."hyperlink Therefore the Spirit dwells in His holy temple, as the Father dwells and as the Son dwells, Who says: "I and the Father will come, and will make Our abode with him."hyperlink

92. But the Father abides in us through the Spirit, Whom He has given us. How, then, can different natures abide together? Certainly it is impossible. But the Spirit abides with the Father and the Son. Whence, too, the Apostle joined the Communion of the Holy Spirit with the grace of Jesus Christ and the love of God, saying: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all."hyperlink

91. We observe, then, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit abide in one and the same [subject] through the oneness of the same nature. Therefore, He Who dwells in the temple has divine power, for as of the Father and of the Son, so are we also the temple of the Holy Spirit; not many temples, but one temple, for it is the temple of one Power.

Chapter XIII.

To those who object that Catholics, when they ascribe Godhead to the Holy Spirit, introduce three Gods, it is answered, that by the same argument they themselves bring in two Gods, unless they deny Godhead to the Son; after which the orthodox doctrine is set forth.

92. But what do you fear? Is it that which you have been accustomed to carp at? lest you should make three Gods. God forbid; for where the Godhead is understood as one, one God is spoken of. For neither when we call the Son God do we say there are two Gods. For if, when you confess the Godhead of the Spirit, you think that three Gods are spoken of, then, too, when you speak of the Godhead of the Son because you are not able to deny it, you bring in two Gods. For it is necessary according to your opinion, if you think that God is the name of one person, not of one nature, that you either say that there are two Gods, or deny that the Son is God.

93. But let us free you from the charge of ignorance, though we do not excuse you from fault For according to our opinion, because there is one God, one Godhead and oneness of power is understood. For as we say that there is one God, confessing the Father, and not denying the Son under the true Name of the Godhead; so, too, we exclude not the Holy Spirit from the Unity of the Godhead, and do not assert but deny that there are three Gods, because it is not unity but a division of power which makes plurality. For how can the Unity of the Godhead admit of plurality, seeing that plurality is of numbers, but the Divine Nature does not admit numbers?

Chapter XIV.

Besides the evidence adduced above, other passages can be brought to prove the sovereignty of the Three Persons. Two are quoted from the Epistles to the Thessalonians, and by collating other testimonies of the Scriptures it is shown that in them dominion is claimed for the Spirit as for the other Persons. Then, by quotation of another still more express passage in the second Epistle to the Corinthians, it is inferred both that the Spirit is Lord, and that where the Lord is, there is the Spirit.

94. God, then, is One, without violation of the majesty of the eternal Trinity, as is declared in the instance set before us. And not in that place alone do we see the Trinity expressed in the Name of the Godhead; but both in many places, as we have said also above, and especially in the epistles which the Apostle wrote to the Thessalonians, he most clearly set forth the Godhead and sovereignty of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For you read as follows: "The Lord make you to increase and abound In love one toward another, and toward all men, as we also do toward you, to the stablishing of your hearts without blame in holiness before God and our Father at the coming of the Lord Jesus."hyperlink

95. Who, then, is the Lord Who makes us to increase and abound before God and our Father at the coming of the Lord Jesus? He has named the Father and has named the Son; Whom, then, has he joined with the Father and the Son except the Spirit? Who is the Lord Who establishes our hearts in holiness. For holiness is a grace of the Spirit, as, too, is said farther on: "In holiness of the Spirit and belief of the truth."hyperlink

96. Who, then, do you think is here named Lord, except the Spirit? And has not God the Father been able to teach you, Who says: "Upon Whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding upon Him, this is He Who baptizeth in the Holy Spirit"?hyperlink For the Spirit descended in the likeness of a dove,hyperlink that He might both bear witness to His wisdom, and perfect the sacrament of the spiritual layer, and show that His working is one with that of the Father and the Son.

97. And that you should not suppose that anything had fallen from the Apostle by oversight, but that he knowingly and designedly and inspired by the Spirit designated Him Lord, Whom he felt to be God, he repeated the same in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, saying: "But the Lord direct your hearts in the love of God and in the patience of Christ."hyperlink If love be of God and patience of Christ, it ought to be shown Who is the Lord Who directs, if we deny that the direction is of the Holy Spirit.

98. But we cannot deny it, since the Lord said of Him: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He will lead you into all truth."hyperlink And David says of Him: "Thy good Spirit shall lead me into the right way."hyperlink

99. See what the voice of the Lord uttered concerning the Holy Spirit. The Son of God came, and because He had not yet shed forth the Spirit, He declared that we were living like little children without the Spirit. He said that the Spirit was to come Who should make of these little children stronger men, by an increase, namely, of spiritual age. And this He laid down not that He might set the power of the Spirit in the first place, but that He might show that the fulness of strength consists in the knowledge of the Trinity.

100. It is therefore necessary either that you mention some fourth person besides the Spirit of whom you ought to be conscious, or assuredly that you do not consider another to be Lord, except the Spirit Who has been pointed out.

101. But if you require the plain statement of the words in which Scripture has spoken of the Spirit as Lord, it cannot have escaped you that it is written: "Now the Lord is the Spirit."hyperlink Which the course of the whole passage shows to have been certainly said of the Holy Spirit. And so let us consider the apostolic statement: "As often as Moses is read," says he, "a veil is laid over their heart; but when they shall be turned to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."hyperlink

102. So he not only called the Spirit Lord, but also added: "But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. So we all with unveiled face, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are formed anew into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord the Spirit;"hyperlink that is, we who have been before converted to the Lord, so as by spiritual understanding to see the glory of the Lord, as it were, in the minor of the Scriptures, are now being transformed from that glory which converted us to the Lord, to the heavenly glory. Therefore since it is · the Lord to Whom we are converted, butthe Lord is that Spirit by Whom we are formed anew, who are converted to the Lord, assuredly the Holy Ghost is pointed out, for He Who forms anew receives those who are converted. For how should He form again those whom He had not received.

103. Though why should we seek for the expression of words, where we see the expression of unity? For although you may distinguish between Lord and Spirit, you cannot deny that where the Lord is, there too is the Spirit, and he who has been converted to the Lord will have been converted to the Spirit. If you cavil at the letter, you cannot injure the Unity; if you wish to separate the Unity, you confess the Spirit Himself as the Lord of power.

Chapter XV.

Though the Spirit be called Lord, three Lords are not thereby implied; inasmuch as two Lords are not implied by the fact that the Son in the same manner as the Father is called Lord in many passages of Scripture; for Lordship exists in the Godhead, and the Godhead in Lordship, and these coincide without division in the Three Persons.

104. But perhaps, again, you may say: If I call the Spirit Lord, I shall set forth three Lords. Do you then when you call the Son Lord either deny the Son or confess two Lords? God forbid, for the Son Himself said: "Do not serve two lords."hyperlink But certainly He denied not either Himself or the Father to be Lord; for He called the Father Lord, as you read: "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth."hyperlink And the Lord spoke of Himself, as we read in the Gospel: "Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye do well, for so I am."hyperlink But He spoke not of two Lords; indeed He shows that He did not speak of two Lords, when He warns them: "Do not serve two lords." For there are not two Lords where the Lordship is but one, for the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, and so there is one Lord.

105. Such, too, was the teaching of the Law: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord,"hyperlink that is, unchangeable, always abiding in unity of power, always the same, and not altered by any accession or diminution. Therefore Moses called Him One, and yet also relates that the Lord rained down fire from the Lord.hyperlink The Apostle, too, says: "The Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord."hyperlink The Lord rains down from the Lord; the Lord grants mercy from the Lord. The Lord is neither divided when He rains from the Lord, nor is there a separation when He grants mercy from the Lord, but in each case the oneness of the Lordship is expressed.

106. In the Psalms, too, you find: "The Lord said unto my Lord."hyperlink And he did not therefore deny that the Father was his Lord, because he spoke of the Son as his Lord; but therefore called the Son his Lord, that you might not think Him to be the Son, but the Lord of the prophet, as the Lord Himself showed in the Gospel, when He said: "If David in the Spirit called Him Lord, how is he his Son?"hyperlink David, not the Spirit, calls Him Lord in the Spirit. Or if they falsely infer from this that the Spirit called Him Lord, they must necessarily by a like sacrilege seem to assert that the Son of God is also the Son of the Spirit.

107. So, as we do not say that there are two Lords, when we so style both the Father and the Son, so, too, we do not say that there are three Lords, when we confess the Spirit to be Lord. For as it is profane to say that there are three Lords or three Gods, so, too, is it utter profanity to speak of two Lords or two Gods; for there is one God, one Lord, one Holy Spirit; and He Who is God is Lord, and He Who is Lord is God, for the Godhead is in the Lordship, and the Lordship is in the Godhead.

108. Lastly, you have read that the Father is both Lord and God: "O Lord my God, I will call upon Thee, hear Thou me."hyperlink You find the Son to be both Lord and God, as you have read in the Gospel, that, when Thomas had touched the side of Christ, he said, "My Lord and my God."hyperlink So in like manner as the Father is God and the Son Lord, so too the Son is God and the Father Lord. The holy designation changes from one to the other, the divine nature changes not, but the dignity remains unchangeable. For they are not [as it were] contributions gathered from bounty, but free-will gifts of natural love; for both Unity has its special property, and the special properties are bound together in unity.


77 S. John iii. 6. See below §63, n. 4.

78 "The charge is an admirable illustration of the groundlessness of such accusations of wilful corruption of Scripture. The words in question have no Greek authority at all, and are obviously a comment." Westcott on S. John v. 6.

79 Auxentius, a Cappadocian, was ordained priest a.d. 343 by Gregory, the violent opponent of St. Athanasius. After the synod of Milan a.d. 355, when the bishop of that see, Dionysius, having refused to renounce Athanasius andthe Nicene faith, was banished, Auxentius was forcibly intruded as bishop, and, in spite of the efforts of St. Hilary of Poitiers and other Catholics, maintained his position till his death in 374.

80 The reference must be to the synods of Sirmium. In one held a.d. 351, against Photinus, there was a great attempt to make the semi-Arians appear orthodox, and St. Hilary accepted, while St. Athanasius rejected, their formula. Another synod was held a.d. 357, when the aged Hosius was tormented into accepting a formula, called by St. Hilary the "Sirmian blasphemy." Another, no less injurious to the faith, was held in 358, by the desire of Constantius. During this time-but forgeries and the loss of some patristic writings make the history of the whole period somewhat uncertain-dates the weakness of Liberius, so that St. Ambrose may well speak of nutantibus sacerdotibus. See Hefele, Conc. Geschichte, I. on the Sirmian synods; Athanasius, Vol. IV. in this series, p. 464 ff.; Dict. Chr. Biog. III. 171, art. "Hosius;" Socrates, H. E., in this series, Vol. II. pp. 56, 57, 58.

81 Isa. xliii. 25.

82 Ex. xxxii. 32.

83 S. John iii. 5.

84 S. John iii. 6. This is the full reading of the passage according to St. Ambrose, referred to above in §59.

85 S. John iii. 7, John iii. 8.

86 Eph. iv. 23.

87 Tit. iii. 5.

88 Acts xi. 16.

89 S. John iii. 12.

90 1 John v. 6, 1 John v. 7, 1 John v. 8.

91 Rom. viii. 16,

92 S. John iv. 23, John iv. 24.

93 Rom. viii. 26.

94 Wisd. i. 4.

95 1 Cor. xii. 3.

96 1 Cor. xii. 4.

97 Ps. xii. [xi.] 1.

98 S. John xiv. 6.

99 S. John xx. 17 John xx. 18.

100 Rom. v. 20.

101 Heb. i. 6.

102 Ps. xcix. [xcviii.] 5.

103 S. Matt. xxviii. 17.

104 St. Ambrose here argues against Apollinarianism, who separated the two natures in Christ and taught that He should not be adored except in His Godhead, giving to the orthodox the nickname of anqrwpolatrai. The Apollinarians held that Christ was Qeoj sarkoforoj, as Nestortans made Him anqrwpoj Qeoforoj, instead of the proper Qeanqrwpoj. Apollinaris said Christ is oute anqrwpoj aploj, oute Qeoj, alla Qeou kai anqrwpou micij. He denied the complete human nature of our Lord, saying that the Logos supplied the place of the anima rationalis. This stunted humanity could not be accepted by the Church, as it would involve a merely partial redemption. Christ must be a perfect man, in order to be a perfect Redeemer.

The heresy was opposed by St. Athanasius, St. Basil, and others, condemned in synods at Alexandria 362, Rome 373 and probably 382, Antioch 378 or 379, and decisively at Constantinople in the second oecumenical council. See Dict. Chr. Biog.; Blunt, Dict. of Sects, etc.; Hefele on Council of Constantinople; St. Gregory of Nazianzus' Letters on the Apollinarian controversy in this series, p. 437 ff.

105 Phil. iii. 3.

106 Deut. vi. 13.

107 Isa. lxvi. 1.

108 There can be no doubt that St. Ambrose held what is known as the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and is here asserting the custom of his day, viz., that Christ was worshipped as indivisibly God and Man in that Sacrament. Similar expressions are to be found in other Fathers, and in St. Ambrose elsewhere; e.g. De Fide, V. 10; De Mysteriis, §§52-54, 58. Bishop Andrewes, formerly of Winchester (ob. a.d. 1626), refers to St. Ambrose as follows: "Nos vero et in Mysteriis Carnem Christi adaramus cunt Ambrosio, et non id, sed eum qui super altare colitur. Nec Carnero manducamus quin adoremus prius cum Augustino. ...El Sacramentum tamen nulli adaremus." Resp. ad Bellarmin, p. 195.

109 S. Luke i. 35.

110 Ps. civ. [ciii.] 24.

111 S. John i. 3.

112 Ps. xxxiii. [xxxii.] 6.

113 Col. i. 16.

114 1 Cor. viii. 6.

115 Col. i. 16.

116 Bk. II. 8, 9.

117 Prov. viii. 27.

118 Gen. i. 26.

119 2 Cor. iv. 6.

120 S. Matt. xvii. 6.

121 Ps. xcv. [xciv.] 6.

122 2 Cor. iv. 6.

123 1 Cor. iii. 16.

124 1 Cor. vi. 19.

125 Lev. xxvi. 12.

126 Ps. xi. [x.] 4.

127 S. John xiv. 23.

128 2 Cor. xiii. 14.

129 1 Thess. iii. 12, 1 Thess. iii. 13.

130 2 Thess. ii. 13.

131 S. John i. 33.

132 S. Luke iii. 22.

133 2 Thess. iii. 5.

134 S. John xvi. 12, John xvi. 13.

135 Ps. cxliii. [cxlii.] 10.

136 2 Cor. iii. 17.

137 2 Cor. iii. 15-17.

138 2 Cor. iii. 17, 2 Cor. iii. 18.

139 S. Matt. vi. 24.

140 S. Matt. xi. 25.

141 S. John xiii. 13.

142 Deut. vi. 4.

143 Gen. xix. 24.

144 2 Tim. i. 18.

145 Ps. cx. [cix.] 1.

146 S. Matt. xxii. 43, S. Matt. xxii. 45.

147 Ps. xxx. [xxix.] 2.

148 S. John xx. 28.