Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10: 30.01.34 Christian Faith Book III Pt 1

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10: 30.01.34 Christian Faith Book III Pt 1

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 10 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 30.01.34 Christian Faith Book III Pt 1

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Book III.

Chapter I.

Statement of the reasons wherefore the matters, treated of shortly in the two former, are dealt with more at length in the three later books. Defence of the employment of fables, which is supported by the example of Holy Writ, wherein are found various figures of poetic fable, in particular the Sirens, which are figures of sensual pleasures, and which Christians ought to be taught to avoid, by the words of Paul and the deeds of Christ.

1. Forasmuch as your most gracious Majesty had laid command upon me to write for your own instruction some treatise concerning the Faith, and had yourself called me to your presence and encouraged my timidity, I, being as one on the eve of battle,hyperlink composed but two books only, for the pointing out of certain ways and paths by which our faith progresses.

2. Seeing, however, that certain malicious minds, bent on sowing disputes, have not yet exhausted the force of their assaults, whilst your gracious Majesty's pious anxiety calls me to further labours, inasmuch as you desire to try in more things him whom you have proved in a few, I am resolved to deal somewhat more particularly with the matters whereof I have already treated in a few words, lest it should be thought, not that I have advanced those propositions in quietness and confidence, but that I, having asserted them, doubted and so abandoned their defence.

3. Again, seeing that we spoke of the Hydra and Scylla (I. vi. 46), and brought them in by way of comparison, to show how we must beware, whether of the ever-renewed outgrowths of infidelity, or the ill-omened shipwrecks made upon its shallows, if any one holds that such embellishments of an argument, borrowed from the romances of poets, are unlawful, and, from lack of opportunity to speak evil of my faith, assails something in my language, then let him know that not only phrases but complete verses of poetry have been woven into the text of Holy Writ.

4. Whence, for instance, came that verse, "His offspring truly are we,"hyperlink whereof Paul, by prophetic experience,hyperlink taught, makes use? The course of prophetic speech avoids neither the Giantshyperlink nor the Valley of the Titans,hyperlink and Isaiah spake of sirens and the daughters of ostriches.hyperlink Jeremiah also hath prophesied concerning Babylon, that the daughters of sirens shall dwell therein,hyperlink in order to show that the snares of Babylon, that is, of the tumult of this world, are to be likened to stories of old-time lust, that seemed upon this life's rocky shores to sing some tuneful song, but deadly withal, to catch the souls of youth,-which the Greek poet himself tells us that the wise man escaped through being bound, as it were, in the chains of his own prudence.hyperlink So hard a thing, before Christ's coming, was it esteemed, even for the stronger, to save themselves from the deceitful shows and allurements of pleasure.

5. But if the poet judged the enticement of worldly pleasure and licence destructive of men's minds and a sure cause of shipwreck, what ought we to think, for whom it hath been written: "Train not the flesh in concupiscence"?hyperlink And again: "I chastise my body and bring it into servitude, lest whilst I preach to others, I myself become a castaway."hyperlink

6. Truly, Christ won salvation for us, not by luxury but by fasting. Moreover, it was not to obtain favour for Himself, but to instruct us, that He fasted. Nor yet did He hunger because He was overcome by the weakness of the body, but by His hunger He proved that He had verily taken upon Himself a body; that so He might teach us that He had taken not only our body, but also the weaknesses of that body, even as it is written: "Surely He hath taken our infirmities and borne our sicknesses."hyperlink

Chapter II.

The incidents properly affecting the body which Christ for our sake took upon Him are not to be accounted to His Godhead, in respect whereof He is the Most Highest. To deny which is to say that the Father was incarnate. When we read that God is one, and that there is none other beside Him, or that He alone has immortality, this must be understood as true of Christ also, not only to avoid the sinful heresy above-mentioned (Patripassianism), but also because the activity of the Father and the Son is declared to be one and the same.

7. It was a bodily weakness, then, that is to say, a weakness of ours, that He hungered; when He wept, and was sorrowful even unto death, it was of our nature. Why ascribe the properties and incidents of our nature to the Godhead? That He was even, as we are told, "made," is a property of a body. Thus, indeed, we read: "Sion our mother shall say: `He is a man,' and in her He was made man, and the Most High Himself laid her foundations."hyperlink "He was made man," mark you, not "He was made God."hyperlink

8. But what is He Who is at once the Most High and man, what but "the Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus Who gave Himself as a ransom for us"?hyperlink This place indeed refers properly to His Incarnation, for our redemption was made by His Blood, our pardon comes through His Power, our life is secured through His Grace. He gives as the Most High, He prays as man. The one is the office of the Creator, the other of a Redeemer. Be the gifts as distinct as they may, yet the Giver is one, for it was fittinghyperlink that our Maker should be our Redeemer.

9. Who indeed can deny that we have plain evidence that Christ is the Most High? He who knows otherwise makes the sacrament of Incarnation to be the work of God the Father.hyperlink But that Christ is the Most High is removed beyond doubt by what Scripture hath said in another place, concerning the mystery of the Passion: "The Most High sent forth His Voice, and the earth was shaken."hyperlink And in the Gospel you may read: "And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His ways."hyperlink Who is "the Highest"? The Son of God. He, then, Who is the Most High God is Christ.

10. Again, whilst God is everywhere said to be One God, the Son of God is not separated from this Unity. For He Who is the Most High is alone, as it is written: "And let them know that Thy Name is the Lord: Thou alone art Most High over all the earth."hyperlink

11. And so the adversaries' injurious conclusion is rejected with contempt and disgrace, which they drew from the Scripture speaking of God: "Who alone hath immortality and dwelleth in light unapproachable;hyperlink for these words are written of God which Name belongs equally to Father and to Son.

12. If, indeed, wheresoever they read the Name of God, they deny that there is any thought of the Son [as well as the Father], they blaspheme, inasmuch as they deny the Son's Divine Sovereignty, and they shall appear as though they shared the sinful error of the Sabellians in teaching the Incarnation of the Father. Let them, indeed explain how they can fail to interpret in a sense blasphemous to the Father the words of the Apostle: "In Whom ye did also rise again, by faith in the working of God, Who raised Him from the dead."hyperlink Let them also take warning from what follows of what they are running upon-for this is what comes after: "And though ye were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He quickened us with Him, pardoning us all our offences, blotting out the handwriting of the Ordinance, which was opposed to us, and removed it from our midst, nailing it to His Cross, divesting Himself of the flesh."hyperlink

13. We are not, then, to suppose that the Father Who raised the flesh is alone [God]; nor, again, are we to suppose the like of the Son, Whose Bodyhyperlink was raised again. He Who raised, did surely also quicken; and He who quickened, also pardoned sins; He who pardoned sins, also blotted out the handwriting; He Who blotted out the handwriting, also nailed it to the Cross: He who nailed it to the Cross, divested Himself of the flesh. But it was not the Father Who divested Himself of the flesh; for not the Father, but, as we read, the Word was made flesh.hyperlink You see, then, that the Arians, in dividing the Father from the Son, run into danger of saying that the Father endured the Passion.

14. We, however, can easily show that the words treat of the Son's action, for the Son Himself indeed raised His own Body again, as He Himself said: "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it again."hyperlink And He Himself quickens us together with His Body: "For as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth Whom He will."hyperlink And He Himself hath granted forgiveness for sins, saying, "Thy sins be forgiven thee."hyperlink He too hath nailed the handwriting of the record to His Cross, in that He was crucified, and suffered in the body. Nor did any divest Himself of the flesh, save the Son of God, Who invested Himself therewith. He, therefore, Who hath achieved the work of our resurrection is plainly pointed out to be very God.

Chapter III.

That the Father and the Son must not be dividedhyperlink is proved by the words of the Apostle, seeing that it is befitting to the Son that He should be blessed, only Potentate, and immortal, by nature, that is, and not by grace, as even the angels themselves are immortal, and that He should dwell in the unapproachable light. How it is that the Father and the Son are alike and equally said to be "alone."

15. When, therefore, you read the Name "God," separate neither Father nor Son, for the Godhead of the Father and the Son is one and the same, and therefore separate them not, when you read the words "blessed and only Potentate,"hyperlink for the words are spoken of God, even as you may read: "I charge thee before God, Who quickeneth all things."hyperlink Christ also indeed doth quicken, and therefore the Name of God is meetly given both to the Father and to the Son, inasmuch as the effect of their activity is in agreement. Let us go on to the words following: "I Charge thee," he says, "before God, Who quickeneth all things, and Jesus Christ."hyperlink

16. The Word is in God, even as it is written: "In God will I praise His Word."hyperlink In God is His Eternal Power, even Jesus; in [speaking of] God, therefore, the Apostle hath witnessed to the unity of the Godhead, whilst by the Name of Christ he hath witnessed to the sacrament of the Incarnation.

17. Furthermore, to show that he hath spoken of the Incarnation of Christ, he added: "Who bore witness under Pontius Pilate with the good confession," [I charge thee] "keep undefiled the commandment, until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, Which in His own good time the blessed and only Potentate shall manifest, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who alone hath immortality, and dwelleth in light unapproachable, Whom no man hath seen, nor can see."hyperlink Those words, then, are written with regard to God, of which Name the dignity and truth are common to [both the Father and] the Son.

18. Why, then, should there be no thought of the Son in this place, seeing that all these things hold good of the Son also? If they do not so, then deny His Godhead, and so mayest thou deny what is proper to be said of God. His Blessedness cannot be denied, Who bestows blessings, for "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven."hyperlink He cannot but be called "Blessed," Who hath given us wholesome teaching, even as it is written: "Which is according to the Gospel of the beauty of the Blessed God."hyperlink His Power cannot be denied, of Whom the Father saith: "I have laid help upon One that is mighty."hyperlink And who dare refuse to acknowledge Him to be immortal, when He Himself bath made others also immortal, as it is written of the Wisdom of God: "By her shall I possess immortality."hyperlink

19. But the immortality of His Nature is one thing, that of ours is another. Things perishable are not to be compared to things divine. The Godhead is the one only Substance that death cannot touch, and therefore it is that the Apostle, though knowing both the [human] soul and angels to be immortal, declared that God only had immortality. In truth, even the soul may die: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die,"hyperlink and an angel is not absolutely immortal, his immortality depending on the will of the Creator.hyperlink

20. Do not hastily reject this, because Gabriel dies not, nor Raphaël, nor Uriel.hyperlink Even in their nature there is a capacity of sin, though not one of improvement by discipline,hyperlink for every reasonable creature is exposed to influences from without itself, and liable to judgment. It is on the influences which work upon us that the award of judgment, and corruption, or advance to perfection, do depend, and therefore Ecclesiastes saith: "For God shall bring all His work to judgment."hyperlink Every creature, then, has within it the possibility of corruption and death, even though it do not [at present] die or commit sin; nor, if in anything it deliver not itself over to sin, hath it this boon of its immortal nature, but of discipline or of grace. Immortality, then, that is of a gift is one thing: immortality without the possibility of change is another.hyperlink

21. Do we deny the immortality of Christ's Godhead,hyperlink because He tasted death for all in the flesh? Then is Gabriel better than Christ, for Gabriel never died, but Christ gave up the ghost. But the servant is not above his lord,hyperlink and we must discern the weakness of flesh from the eternity of Godhead. Christ's Death had its source in the flesh, immortality is of the nature of Christ's sovereignty. But if the Godhead brought it to pass that the flesh saw not corruption, the flesh being surely by nature liable to corruption, how could the Godhead itself have died?

22. And how is it that the Son dwelleth not in light unapproachable, if He is in the bosom of the Father, if the Father is Light, and the Son also is Light, because God is Light?hyperlink Or, if we suppose some other light, beside the Light of the Godhead, to be the unapproachable Light, is, then, this Light better than the Father, so that He is not in that Light, Who, as it is written, is both with the Father and in the Father?hyperlink Let men, therefore, not exclude the thought of the Son, when they read only of "God"-and let them not exclude that of the Father, when they read of "the Son" only.hyperlink

23. On earth, the Son is not withouthyperlink the Father, and thou thinkest that the Father is without the Son in heaven? The Son is in the flesh-(when I say "He is in the flesh" or "He is on earth," I speak as though we lived in the days whose story is in the Gospel, for now we no longer know Christ "after the flesh"hyperlink )-He is in the flesh, and He is not alone, as it is written: "And I am not alone, because the Father is with Me,"hyperlink and think you that the Father dwells alone in the Light?

24. Lest you should regard this argument as mere speculation take this sentence of authority. "No man," saith the Scripture,hyperlink "hath seen God at any time, save the Only-begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father; He hath revealed Him."hyperlink How can the Father be in solitude, if the Son be in the bosom of the Father? How doth the Son reveal Him, Whom He seeth not? The Father, then, exists not alone.

25. Observe now what the "solitude" of the Father and of the Son is. The Father is alone, because there is no other Father; the Son is alone, because there is no other Son; God is alone, because the Godhead of the Trinity is One.

Chapter IV.

We are told that Christ was only "made" so far as regards the flesh. For the redemption of mankind He needed no means of aid, even as He needed none in order to His Resurrection, whereas others, in order to raise the dead, had need of recourse to prayer. Even when Christ prayed, the prayer was offered by Him in His capacity as human; whilst He must be accounted divine from the fact that He commanded (that such and such things should be done). On this point the devil's testimony is truer than the Arians' arguments. The discussion concludes with an explanation of the reason why the title of "mighty" is given to the Son of Man.

26. It is now sufficiently made plain that the Father is not God in solitude, without the Son, and that the Son cannot be thought of as God alone, without the Father, for it is in respect of His fleshhyperlink that we read that the Son of God was "made," not in respect of His generation from God the Father.

27. Indeed, in what sense He was "made" He has declared by the mouth of the holy patriarch, saying: "For My soul is filled with sorrow to overflowing, and My life hath drawn near unto hell. I have been counted with them that go down into the pit; I have been made as a man free, without help, amongst the dead."hyperlink Here, then, we read: "I have been made as a man," not "I have been made as God;" and again: "My soul overfloweth with sorrows." "My soul," mark you, not "My Godhead." He was "made" in so far as that was concerned wherein He was due to hell,hyperlink wherein He was reckoned with others, for the Godhead admits of no likeness which may be ground for classing it with others. Yet mark how the majesty of Godhead shows itself in Christ, even in that flesh which was appointed to death. Although He was "made" as a man, and "made" as flesh, yet He was made free amongst the dead, "free, without help."

28. But how can the Son say here that He was without help, when it has already been said: "I have laid help upon One that is mighty"?hyperlink Distinguish here also the two natures present. The flesh hath need of help, the Godhead hath no need. He is free, then, because the chains of death had no hold upon Him. He was not made prisoner by the powers of darkness, it is He Who exerted power amongst them.hyperlink He is "without help," because He Himself, the Lord, hath by no office of messenger or ambassador, but by His own might, saved His people. How could He, Who raised others to life, require any help in order to raise His own body?

29. And though men also have raised the dead, still they did this not of their own power, but in the Name of Christ. To ask is one thing, to command is another; to obtain is different from bestowing.

30. Elijah, then, raised the dead, but he prayed-he did not command.hyperlink Elisha raised one to life after laying himself upon the dead body, in accordance with its posture;hyperlink and, again, the very contact of Elisha's corpse gave life to the dead, that the prophet might foreshow the coming of Him, Who, being sent in the likeness of sinful flesh,hyperlink should, even after His burial, raise the dead to life.

31. Peter, again, when he healed Aeneas, said: "In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise and walk."hyperlink Not in his own name, but in the Name of Christ. But "rise" is a command; on the other hand, it is an instance of confidence in one's right,hyperlink not an arrogant claim to power, and the authority of the command stood in the effective influence of the Name, not in its own might. What answer, then, make the Arians? Peter commands in the Name of Christ,-this on the one hand: on the other, they will have it that the Son of God did not command, but requested.

32. We read, they objected, of His uttering a prayer.hyperlink But take note of the difference. He prays as Son of Man, He commands as Son of God. Will you not ascribe unto the Son of God what even the devil has ascribed? Will you accuse yourselves of greater wickedness than Satan's? The devil saith: "If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread."hyperlink Satan saith "command," you say "entreat." The devil believes that, at the word of God's Son, the nature of an elementary substance may be exchanged for that of a composite one; you think that, unless the Son of God prefers a request, even His Will cannot be done. Again, the devil thinks that the Son of God is to be esteemed from His power,hyperlink you that He is to be esteemed from His infirmity. The devil's temptations are more tolerable than the Arians' disputings.

33. Let us not, then, be troubled if we find the Son of Man entitled "mighty" in one place, and yet in another, that the Lord of glory was crucified.hyperlink What might is greater than sovereignty over the powers of heaven? But this was in the hands of Him Who ruled over thrones, principalities, angels; for, although He was amongst the wild beasts, as it is written, yet angels ministered to Him, that you may perceive the difference between what is proper to the Incarnation, and what is proper to Sovereignty. So far as His flesh is concerned, then, He endures the assault of wild beasts; in regard of His Godhead,hyperlink He is adored by angels.

34. We have learnt, then, that He was made man, and that His being made must be referred to His manhood. Furthermore, in another passage of Scripture, you may read: "Who was made for Him of the seed of David,"hyperlink that is to say, in respect of the flesh He was "made" of the seed of David, but He was God begotten of God before the worlds.

Chapter V.

Passages brought forward from Scripture to show that "made" does not always mean the same as "created;" whence it is concluded that the letter of Holy Writ should not be made the ground of captious arguments, after the manner of the Jews, who, however, are shown to be not so bad as the heretics, and thus the principle already set forth is confirmed anew.

35. At the same time, becominghyperlink does not always imply creation; for we read: "Lord, Thou art become our refuge,"hyperlink and "Thou hast become my salvation."hyperlink Plainly, here is no statement of the fact or purpose of a creation, but God is said to have become my "refuge" and have turned to my "salvation,"hyperlink even as the Apostle hath said: "Who became for ushyperlink Wisdom from God, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption,"hyperlink that is, that Christ was "made" for us, of the Father, not created. Again, the writer has explained in the sequel in what sense he says that Christ was made Wisdom for us: "But we preach the Wisdom of God in doctrine of mystery, which Wisdom is hidden, foreordained by God before the existence of the worldhyperlink for our glory, and which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known they would never have crucified the Lord of glory."hyperlink When the mystery of the Passion is set forth, surely there is no speaking of an eternal process of generation.

36. The Lord's Cross, then, is my wisdom; the Lord's Death my redemption; for we are redeemed with His precious blood, as the Apostle Peter bath said.hyperlink With His blood, then, as man, the Lord redeemed us, Who also, as God, hath forgiven sins.hyperlink

37. Let us not, therefore, lay snares as it were in words, and eagerly seek out entanglements therein; let us not, because misbelievers make out the written word to mean that it means not, set forth only what this letter bears on the face of it, instead of the underlying sense. This way went the Jews to destruction, despising the deep-hidden meaning, and following only after the bare form of the word, for "the letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive."hyperlink

38. And yet, of these two grievous impieties, to ascribe to the Godhead what is true only of manhood is perchance more detestable than to attribute to spirit what belongs only to letter. The Jews feared to believe in manhood taken up into God, and therefore have lost the grace of redemption, because they reject that on which salvation depends; the Arians degrade the majesty of Godhead to the weakness of humanity. Detestable as are the Jews, who crucified the Lord's flesh, more detestable still do I hold them who have believed that the Godhead of Christ was nailed to the Cross. So one who ofttimes had dealings with Jews said: "An heretic avoid, after once reproving him"hyperlink

39. Nor, again, are these men careful to avoid doing dishonour to the Father, in their impious application of the fact, that Christ was "made" Wisdom for us, to His incomprehensible generation, that transcends all limits and divisions of time; for, leaving it out of account that dishonour done to the Son is an insult to the Father, they do even carry their blasphemy in assault upon the Father, of Whom it is written: "Let God be made truthful, but every man a liar."hyperlink If indeed they think that the Son is spoken of, they do not foreclose against His generation,hyperlink but in that they rest on the authority of this text they do confess that which they reject, namely, that Christ is God, and true God.

40. It would be a lengthy matter were I to pass in review each several place where we read of His being "made," not indeed by nature, but by way of gracious dispensation. Moses, for example, saith: "Thou art made my Helper and Protector, to save me;"hyperlink and David: "Be unto me for a God of salvation, and an house of refuge, that Thou mayest save me;"hyperlink and Isaiah: "He is become an Helper for every city that is lowly."hyperlink Of a surety the holy men say not to God: "Thou hast been created," but "By Thy grace Thou art made a Protector and Helper unto us."

Chapter VI.

In order to dispose of an objection grounded on a text in St. John, St. Ambrose first shows that the Arian interpretation lends countenance to the Manichaeans; then, after setting forth the different ways of dividing the words in this same passage, he shows plainly that it cannot, without dishonour to the Father, be understood with such reference to the Godhead as the Arians give it, and expounds the true meaning thereon.

41. We have no reason, therefore, to fear the argument which the Arians, in their reckless manner of expounding, use to construct, showing that the Word of God was "made," for, say they, it is written: "That which has been made in Him is life."hyperlink

42. First of all, let them understand that if they make the words "That which has been made" to refer to the Godhead, they entangle themselves in the difficulties raised by the Manichaeans, for these people argue: "If that which has been made in Him is life, then there is something which has not been made in Him, and is death," so that they may impiously bring in two principles. But this teaching the Church condemns.

43. Again, how can the Arians prove that the Evangelist actually said this? The most part of those who are learned in the Faith read the passage as follows: "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that has been made." Others read thus: "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Then they proceed: "What has been made," and to this they join the words "in Him;" that is to say, "But whatsover is has been made in Him." But what mean the words "in Him"? The Apostle tells us, when he says: "In Him we have our being, and live, and move."hyperlink

44. Howbeit, let them read the passage as they will, they cannot diminish the majesty of God the Word, in referring to His Person,hyperlink as subject, the words "That which was made,"hyperlink without also doing dishonour to God the Father, of Whom it is written: "But he who doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest that they are wrought in God."hyperlink See then-here we read of man's works being wrought in God, and yet for all that we cannot understand the Godhead as the subject of them. We must either recognize the works as wrought through Him, as the Apostle's affirmation showeth that "all things are through Him, and were created in Him, and He is before all, and all things exist together in Him,"hyperlink or, as the witness of the text here cited teaches us, we ought to regard the virtues whereby the fruit of life eternal is gained, as wrought in God-chastity, piety, devoutness, faith, and others of this kind, whereby the will of God is expressed.hyperlink

45. Just as the works, then, are the expression of the will and power of God the Father, so are they of Christ's, even as we read: "Created in Christ in good works;"hyperlink and in the psalm: "Peace be made in Thy power;"hyperlink and again: "In wisdom hast Thou made them all."hyperlink "In wisdom hast Thou made," mark you-not "Thou hast made wisdom;" for since all things have been made in wisdom, and Christ is the Wisdom of God, then this Wisdom is plainly not an accident, but a substance, and an everlasting one, but if the Wisdom hath been made, then is it made in a worse condition than all things, forasmuch as it could not, by itself, be made Wisdom. If, then, being made is oftentimes referred to something accidental, not to the essence of a thing, so may creation also be referred to some end had in view.hyperlink


1 Lat. "In procinctu," which is primarily a military phrase, procinctus meaning "girding up" or "girdle," the expression having reference to the girding on of armour for the battle. "Testamen tum facere in procinctu" means "to make one's will on the eve of battle." The expression passed into a proverb for readiness in general. E.g. "clementiam in procinctu habere," "to be ready to show mercy." Here, however, St. Ambrose uses the phrase more in its original sense, with reference to the impending conflict of the Goths and Romans, in which Gratian was expecting to take part, though, as a matter of fact, the battle of Hadrianople had been fought, and Valens was dead, before he arrived on the scene of action.

2 Acts xvii. 28.

3 Meaning that Paul, gifted with a prophet's insight into divine truth, recognized in these words of the heathen poet a testimony to God, and therefore had no scruples about citing them to this Athenian audience.

4 The Anakim, or "sons of Anak." Cf. Deut. ix. 2; Josh. xi. 21-22.

5 The Valley of Rephaim. 2 Sam. v. 18.

6 Isa. xiii. 22-a passage referring to the desolation of Babylon In this verse of Isaiah the LXX. has "onokentaupoi" and "exinoi" (onocentaurs and hedgehogs), the "sirens" (seirhnej) coming in ver. 21b, in combination with "demons" (daimonia). The Vulgate has in 22 "ululoe" (screechowls) and "sirenes," with "struthiones" (ostriches) and "pilosi" (hairy men) in 21b. A.V. has in 22 "wild beasts of the islands" and "dragons;" in 21b, "owls" (marg. "ostriches," the Hebrew meaning "daughters of the owl") and "satyrs." R.V. in 22, "wolves" and "jackals;" in 21b, "ostriches" and "satyrs" (marg. "he-goats"). The "sirens" then appear to be jackals-though the ground of the comparison is hard to find-the "daughters of sparrows" are ostriches (the Greek name for which means, literally, "sparrow-camel."

7 Jer. l. 39.-The LXX. (Jer. xxvii. 39) has "fugatepej seirhnwn;" the Vulg. "struthiones;" A.V. "owls." For the sirens, see Odyssey, XII. 39-54, 165-200.

8 Odyssey, XII. 178-180, 192-197.

9 Rom. xiii. 14-"Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."-A.V.

10 1 Cor. ix. 27.

11 Isa. liii. 4. Cf. S. Matt. viii. 17.

12 Ps. lxxxvii. 5. The R. V. renders "Yea of Zion it shall be said. This one and that one was born in her." The verse is rather prophetic of the universality of Christ's Church than of the Incarnation.

13 He could not "be made" God if we use the Name "God" in its proper sense, but St. Ambrose probably had in his mind the sense which the Arians attached to the name, as applicable to the Son. According to them, it was a sort of "courtesy-title."

14 1 Tim. ii. 5.

15 Cf. Anselm. "Cur Deus Homo?" I. 5; II. 6.

16 The Incarnation was a sacrament, being the outward visible sign of the divine love.

17 Ps. xviii. 7, Ps. xviii. 14.

18 S. Luke i. 76.

19 Ps. lxxxiii. 18.

20 1 Tim. vi. 16.

21 Col. ii. 12.

22 Col. ii. 13-14.

23 "Body"-in the orig. "templum." Cf. 1 Cor. vi. 19.

24 S. John i. 14.

25 S. John ii. 19.

26 S. John v. 21.

27 S. Luke v. 20.

28 That is, in respect of substance or natures though the Persons must be distinguished.

29 1 Tim. vi. 15.

30 1 Tim. vi. 13.

31 That is to say, God and Christ Jesus are united in the work of quickening.

32 Ps. lvi. 10.

33 1 Tim. vi. 13-16.

34 Ps. xxxii. 1.

35 1 Tim. i. 11.

36 Ps. lxxxix 19.

37 Wisd. viii. 13.

38 Ezek. xviii. 20.

39 "That is to say, immortality is not of the essential nature of an angel as it is of the essential Nature of God. For God's existence is such that He necessarily exists, He cannot but exist; His existence is not derived from another, but is from the power of His essential Nature, or rather is that very Nature. Not so with the angel, whose existence is a gift of God, and so the angel's existence is no part of the idea of an angel, but is a property which is, so to speak, added on from without and accessory to the conception of such a being. Hence, in so far as an angel's existence issues not of the mere force of his essential properties, but only of the Creator's Will, we may say that by virtue of the said Will, not by force of his own nature, he continues in existence, and so far is immortal, although in another sense immortality may be called a natural property of an angel, inasmuch as there is no created power whereby he may be destroyed, and nothing in him that renders him liable to be destroyed by God-nay rather, everything about him demands that, once he is created, he should be for ever preserved in being."-H.

40 Hurter observes that St. Ambrose understands mortality in a wide sense, as including the capacity of any and every sort of change. Immortality, then, in accordance with this definition, would connote perfect absence of change. Hurter cites St. Bernard, §81 in Cant.: "Omnis mutatio quoedam mortis imitatio ...Si tot mortes quot mutationes, ubi immortalitas?" and Plutarch, in Eusebius, Proepar. Ev. XI. 12. Plutarch's view perhaps owed something to study of the reliques of Herachtus. Many fathers expounded 1 Tim. vi. 16 on this definition of immortality as=immutability. This definition would exclude angels, who are naturally fallible (as the rebellion of Lucifer and the third part of the host of heaven proved)-or if they are now no longer fallible, they owe it not to their own natural constitution but to grace. In so far then as angels are mutable, whether for better or worse, they are not immortal.

41 Angels being by nature mutable, either for better or for worse, that is, capable of good or evil, and so of death, are de facto sinless, and hence need not, are not meet to be placed under, penal discipline. Or the meaning may be that the angelic nature was not created to be gradually taught in the way of holiness as human nature was.

42 Eccl. xii. 14. Hurter observes that Goal would not judge rational creatures, were they not capable of advance or retrogression, of becoming better or falling into degradation, and had, as a matter of fact, advanced or fallen back.

43 The Arians regarded the Son as immortal de gratia; the Orthodox esteem Him immortal de jure, with true, absolute immortality.

44 i.e. Is Christ God in the true sense of the Name, or not?

45 S. Matt. x. 24

46 1 John i. 5.

47 S. John i. I; John xvii. 5, John xvii. 21.

48 S. John xvi. 32.

49 l.c. S. John x. 30.

50 2 Cor. v. 16.

51 S. John viii 16.

52 S. John i. 18.

53 Greek echghsato, "explained," "expounded." The Incarnation has taught us something about God and about man that we never knew before and never could have known by ourselves.

54 Phil. ii. 7; Gal. iv. 4; S. John i. 1, John i. 2 cpd. with 14.

55 Ps. lxxxviii. 4. See the R.V.

56 "Due" by His own and the Father's Will. Some reference also, perhaps, to the preaching to the spirits in Hades, a necessary part of our Lord's work and ministry. 1 Pet. iii. 19.

57 Ps. lxxxix. 20. See ch. ii. p. 243.

58 1 Pet. iii. 19; Acts ii. 24.

59 1 Kings xvii. 20 ff.

60 2 Kings iv. 34.

61 Rom. viii. 3. Note "in the likeness of sinful flesh," not "in sinful flesh." Cf. Phil. ii. 7; for the miracle referred to, see 2 Kings xiii. 21.

62 Acts iii. 6; ix. 34.

63 See S. Mark xvi. 17, Mark xvi. 18.

64 S. John xi. 41.

65 S. Luke iv. 3.

66 Rom. i. 4.

67 1 Cor. ii. 8.

68 S. Mark i. 13. Cf. Eph. i. 21.

69 Rom. i. 3.

70 i.e. we are not to infer from the fact that the Word became flesh, that the Word is a created being. For that which becomes is already existing-that which is created did not exist before it was made.

71 Ps. xc. i. The R.V. runs: "Lord, thou hast been our refuge" (hast been, and still art).

72 Ps. cxviii. 14. The "becoming" is rather in us. It is we who have come into being, to find a refuge and salvation in the Lord.

73 Lat. "conversus and salutem."

74 1 Cor. i. 30.

75 Note that it is Christ Himself Who is our justification, etc., not a certain course of life; in other words the saving power is not so much in the mere example of Christ's life on earth, but primarily and necessarily in Himself, now seated in heaven at the Father's right hand, interceding for us, and communicating His grace, especially through the sacraments.

76 Cf. 1 Pet. i. 19-21; Eph. i. 4; Col. i. 26, Col. i. 27.

77 1 Cor. ii. 6 ff.

78 1 Pet. i. 19.

79 S. Mark ii. 8-12.

80 2 Cor. iii. 6.

81 Titus iii. 10.

82 Rom. iii. 4.

83 Because generation is quite distinct from absolute creation.

84 Ex. xv. 2.

85 Ps. xxxi. 3.

86 Isa. xxv. 4.

87 S. John i. 4. Observe that St. Ambrose follows a different punctuation to that of our Bible. St. Ambrose's stopping is the same as that adopted by Westcott (Commentary on S. John) and by Westcott and Hort in their edition of the Creek text of the N.T.

88 Acts xvii. 28.

89 Latin "substantia," which here seems to be used in the sense of the Greek "upostasij" The distinction of Persons without division of the Godhead is evidently what St. Ambrose here has in view.

90 Loc. cit.

91 S. John iii. 21.

92 Col. i. 16. See the Greek.

93 Or, "which are done in," i.e. "in accordance with, under the impulse of, the Will of God."

94 Eph. ii. 10.

95 Ps. cxxii. 7.

96 Ps. civ. 24.

97 A thing may be said to be "created" relatively, as well as absolutely-i.e. it may be "created" when newly appointed for a certain purpose, as when men were "created" consuls, which did not mean that before the convening of the centuries they were absolutely non-existent.