Early Church Fathers
178 These two senses of agennhton unbegotten and unmade were afterwards [but see notes on de Decr. 28] expressed by the distinction of nn and n, agennhton and agenhton. vid. Damasc. F. O. i. 8. p. 135. and Le Quien's note.
179 §20, note 5.
180 De Syn. §18, infr. ii. 37.
181 1 Cor. i. 24.
182 Gal. v. 15.
183 De Syn. 9, note 2.
184 The passage which follows is written with his de Decr. before him. At first he but uses the same topics, but presently he incorporates into this Discourse an actual portion of his former work, with only stroh alterations as an author commonly makes in transcribing. This, which is not unfrequent with Athan., shews us the care with which he made his doctrinal statements, though they seem at first sight written off. It also accounts for the diffuseness and repetition which might be imputed to his composition, what seems superfluous being often only the insertion of an extract from a former work.
185 De Syn. §47.
186 John v. 23.
187 Here he begins a close transcript of the de Decr. §30, the last sentence, however, of the paragraph being an addition.
188 For analogous arguments against the word agennhton, see Basil, contr. Eunom. i. 5. p. 215. Greg. Naz. Orat. 31. 23. Epiph. Hoer. 76. p. 941. Greg. Nyss. contr. Eunom. vi. p. 192, &c. Cyril. Dial. ii. Pseudo-Basil. contr. Eunom. iv. p. 283.
189 John xiv. 11; John xiv. 9; John x. 30. These three texts are found together frequently in Athan. particularly in Orat. iii. where he considers the doctrines of the `Image' and the perixwrhsij. vid. Index of Texts, also Epiph. Hoer. 64. 9. Basil. Hexaem. ix. fin. Cyr. Thes. xii. p. 111. [add in S. Joan, 168, 847] Potam. Ep. ap. Dacher. t. 3. p. 299. Hil. Trin. vii. 41. et supr.
190 Luke xi. 2.
191 De Syn. 28, note 5.
192 Here ends the extract from the de Decretis. The sentence following is added as a close.
193 treptoj, not `changeable' but of a moral nature capable of improvement. Arius maintained this in the strongest terms at starting. `On being asked whether the Word of God is capable of altering as the devil altered, they scrupled not to say, "Yea, He is capable."' Alex. ap. Socr. i. 6. p. 11.
194 Supr. §22. init.
195 Heb. xiii. 8.
196 Ps. cii. 26-28.
197 Deut. xxxii. 39; Mal. iii. 6.
198 Heb. i. 12.
199 §29, note.
200 Nic. Def. 21. note 9.
201 John xiv. 6.
202 De Syn. §16 fin.
203 Vid. de Syn. 4, note 6. and cf. Tertull. de Proescr. 19. Rufinus H. E. ii. 9. Vincent. Comm. 2. Hippolytus has a passage very much to the same purpose, contr. Noet. 9 fin.
204 Phil. ii. 9, Phil. ii. 10.
205 Ps. xlv. 7.
206 Of Nicomedia. vid. Theod. H. E. i. 5.
207 §39 end.
208 Is. i. 2. LXX.
209 Phil. ii. 8.
210 The Arians perhaps more than other heretics were remarkable for bringing objections against the received view, rather than forming a consistent theory of their own Indeed the very vigour and success of their assault upon the truth lay in its being a mere assault, not a positive and substantive teaching. They therefore, even more than others, might fairly be urged on to the consequences of their positions. Now the text in question, as it must be interpreted if it is to serve as an objection, was an objection also to the received doctrine of the Arians. They considered that our Lord was above and before all creatures from the first, and their Creator; how then could He be exalted above all? They surely, as much as Catholics, were obliged to explain it of our Lord's manhood. They could not then use it as a weapon against the Church, until they took the ground of Paul of Samosata.
211 Prov. viii. 30.
212 De Syn. 27 (15).
213 John xvii. 5.
214 Ps. xviii. 9, Ps. xviii. 13
215 [De Incar. 54, and note.]
216 Ps. lxxxii. 1; Heb. lxxxii. 1 LXX.
217 Col. i. 15. vid. infr. ii. §62.
218 In this passage Athan. considers that the participation ofthe Word is deification, as communion with the Son is adoption: also that the old Saints, inasmuch as they are called `gods' and `sons,' did partake of the Divine Word and Son, or in other words were gifted with the Spirit. He asserts the same doctrine very strongly in Orat. iv. §22. On the other hand, infr. 47, he says expressly that Christ received the Spirit in Baptism `that He might give it to man.' There is no real contradiction in such statements; what was given in one way under the Law, was given in another and fuller under the Gospel.
219 Matt. xi. 27.
220 John x. 35.
221 p. 157, note 6.
222 taij ennoiaij xrwmenoi, proj taj epinoiaj aphnthsamen. cf. omxi epinoia, paranoia d' mallon, &c. Basil. contr. Eunom. i. 6. init.
223 Phil ii. 5-11.
224 omioj kata panta, de Syn. 21, note 10.
225 p. 162, note 3.
226 Ps. liv. 1.
227 Ib. Ps. xx. 7.
228 Heb. i. 6.
229 Ps. lxxii. 17, Ps. lxxii. 5, LXX.
230 Scripture is full of misteries, but they are mysteries of fact, not of words. Its dark sayings or aenigmata are such, because in the nature of things they cannot be expressed clearly. Hence contrariwise. Orat ii. §77 fin. he calls Prov. viii. 22. an enigma, with an allusion to Prov. i. 6. Sept. In like manner S. Ambrose. says, Mare est scriptura divina, habens in se sensus profundos, et altitudinem propheticorum oenigmatum, &c. Ep. ii. 3. What is commonly called `explaining away' Scripture, is this transference of the obscurity from the subject to the words used.
231 John i. 1, John i. 14.
232 Phil ii. 6.
233 Heb. vi. 20; Heb. ix. 24.
234 When Scripture says that our Lord was exalted, it means in that sense in which He could be exalted; just as, in saying that a man walks or eats, we speak of him not as a spirit, but as in that system of things to which the ideas of walking and eating belong. Exaltation is not a word which can belong to God; it is unmeaning, and therefore is not applied to Him in the text in question. Thus, e.g. S. Ambrose: `Ubi humilatus, ibi obediens. Ex eo enim nascitur obedientia, ex quo humilitas et in eo desinit,' &c. Ap. Dav. alt. n. 39.
235 Ps. xxiv. 7.
236 Ps. lxxxix. 17, Ps. lxxxix. 18, LXX.
237 1 Cor. i. 30.
238 Infr. §43.
239 [De Incar. §46, 51, &c.]
240 ontwj en umin o qeoj. 1 Cor. xiv. 25. Athan. interprets en in not among; as also in 1 John iii. 24, just afterwards. Vid. en emoi. Gal. i. 24. entoj umwn, Luke xvii. 21, eskhnwsen en hmin, John i. 14, on which text Hooker says, `It pleased not the Wordor Wisdom of God to take to itself some one person among men,for then should that one have been advanced which was assumed and no more, but Wisdom, to the end she might save many, built her house of that Nature which is common unto all; she made not this or that man her habitation, but dwelt in us.' Eccl. Pol. v. 52. §3. S. Basil in his proof of the divinity of the Holy Spirit has a somewhat similar passage to the text, de Sp. S. c. 24.
241 John i. 12.
242 1 John iii. 24.
243 1 Phil. iii. 21.
244 It was usual to say against the Apollinarians, that, unless our Lord took on Him our nature; as it is, He had not purified and changed it, as it is, but another nature; `The Lord came not to save Adam as free from sin, that He should become like unto him; but as, in the net of sin and now fallen, that God's mercy might raise him up with Christ.' Leont. contr. Nestor. &c. ii. p. 996. Accordingly, Athan. says elsewhere, `Had not sinlessness appeared [cf. Rom. viii. 3, pemyaj] "in the nature which had sinned," how was sin condemned in the flesh?' in Apoll. ii. 6. `It was necessary for our salvation,' says S. Cyril, `that the Word of God should become man, that human flesh "subject to corruption" and "sick with the lust of pleasures," He might make His own; and. "whereas He is life and lifegiving," He might "destroy the corruption," &c. ...For by this means, might sin in our flesh become dead.' Ep. ad Success. i. p. 138. And S. Leo, `Non alterius naturae erat ejus caro quam nostra, nec alio illi quam caeteris hominibus anima est inspirata principio, quae excelleret, non diversitate generis, sed sublimitate virtutis.' Ep. 35 fin. vid. also Ep. 28. 3. Ep. 31. 2. Ep. 165. 9. Serm. 22. 2. and 25. 5. It may be asked whether this doctrine does not interfere with that of the immaculate conception [i.e. that Christ was conceived sinless]; but that miracle was wrought in order that our Lord might not be born in original sin, and does not affect, or rather includes, His taking flesh of the substance of the Virgin, i.e. of a fallen nature. If indeed sin were `of the substance' of our fallen nature, as some heretics have said, then He could not have taken our nature without partaking our sinfulness; but if sin be, as it is, a fault of the will, then the Divine Power of the Word could sanctfy the human will, and keep it from swerving in the direction of evil. Hence `We say not that Christ by the felicity of a flesh separated from sense could not feel the desire of sin, but that by perfection of virtue, and by a flesh not begotten through concupiscence of the flesh, He had not the desire of sin;' Aug. Op. Imperf. iv. 48. On the other hand, S. Athanasius expressly calls it Manichean doctrine to consider thn fusin of the flesh amartian, kai ou thn pracin. contr. Apoll. i. 12 fin. or fusikhn einai thn amartian. ibid. i. 14 fin. His argument in the next ch. is on the ground that all natures are from God, but God made man upright nor is the author of evil (vid. also Vit. Anton. 20); `not as if,' he says, `the devil wrought in man a nature (God forbid!) for of a nature the evil cannot be maker (dhmiourgoj) as is the impiety of the Manichees, but he wrought a bias of nature by transgression, and `so death reigned over all men.' Wherefore, saith he, `the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil;' what works? that nature, which God made sinless, and the devil biassed to the transgression of God's command and the finding out of sin which is death, did God the Word raise again, so as to be secure from the devil's bias and the finding out of sin. And therefore the Lord said, "The prince of this world cometh and findeth nothing in Me."' vid. also §19. Ibid. ii. 6. he speaks of the devil having `introduced the law of sin.' vid. also §9.
245 John i. 9.
246 prkophj `internal advance,' Luke ii. 52.
248 ekklhsiastikoj, vid. Serap. iv. 15. contr. Gent. 6. 7. 33.
249 Orat. ii. §8.
250 Eph. iv. 10, but anastaj for anabaj.
251 John i. 14.
252 In Apoll. i. 2.
253 It was a point in controversy with the extreme Monophysites, that is, the Eutychians, whether our Lord's body was naturally subject to death, the Catholics maintaining the affirmative, as Athanasius here. Eutyches asserted that our Lord had not a human nature, by which he meant among other things that His manhood was not subject to the laws of a body, but so far as He submitted to them, He did so by an act of will in each particular case; and this, lest it should seem that He was moved by the paqh against His will akousiwj; and consequently that His manhood was not subject to death. But the Catholics maintained that He had voluntarily placed Himself under those laws, and died naturally, vid. Athan. contr. Apol. i. 17, and that after the resurrection His body became incorruptible, not according to nature, but by grace. vid. Leont. de Sect. x. p. 530. Anast. Hodeg. c. 23. To express their doctrine of the uperfuej of our Lord's manhood the Eutychians made use of the Catholic expression `ut voluit.' vid. Athan. l.c. Eutyches ap. Leon. Ep. 21. `quomodo voluit et scit,' twice. vid. also Eranist. i. p. 11. ii. p. 105. Leont. contr. Nest i. p. 967. Pseudo-Athan. Serm. adv. Div. Hoer. §8. (t. 2. p. 570.)
254 Acts ii. 24.
255 elattwma, ad Adelph. 4.
256 At first sight it would seem as if S. Athanasius here used ousia essence for subsistence, or person; but this is not true except with an explanation. Its direct meaning is here, as usual, essence, though indirectly it comes to imply subsistence. He is speaking of that Divine Essence which, though also the Almighty Father's, is as simply and entirely the Word's as if it were only His. Nay, even when the Essence of the Father is spoken of in a sort of contrast to that of the Son, as in the phrase ousia ec ousiaj, harsh as such expressions are, it is not accurate to say that ousia is used for subsistence or person, or that two ousiai are spoken of (vid. de Syn. 52, note 8), except, that is, by Arians, as Eusebius, supr. Ep. Eus. §6 [or by Origen, Prolegg. ii. §3 (2) a.] Just below we find fusij tou logou, §51 init.
257 This was the question which came into discussion in the Nestorian controversy, when, as it was then expressed, all that took place in respect to the Eternal Word as man, belonged to His Person, and therefore might be predicated of Him; so that it was heretical not to confess the Word's body (or the body of God in the Person of the Word), the Word's death (as Athan, in the text), the Word's exaltation, and the Word's, or God's, Mother, who was in consequence called qeotokoj, which was the expression on which the controversy mainly turned. Cf. Orat. iii. 31, a passage as precise as if it had been written after the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies, though without the technical words then adopted.