Four discourses against the arians

Chapters XI-XIII
By Athanasius



9, 10.

Various texts which are alleged against the Catholic doctrine: e.g. Phil. ii.
9, 10. Whether the words 'Wherefore God hath highly exalted' prove moral
probation and advancement. Argued against, first, from the force of the word
'Son;' which is inconsistent with such an interpretation. Next, the passage
examined. Ecclesiastical sense of 'highly exalted,' and 'gave,' and
'wherefore;' viz. as being spoken with reference to our Lord's manhood.
Secondary sense; viz. as implying the Word's 'exaltation' through the
resurrection in the same sense in which Scripture speaks of His descent in the
Incarnation; how the phrase does not derogate from the nature of the Word.

37. BUT since they allege the divine oracles and force on them a
misinterpretation, according to their private sense[1], it becomes necessary
to meet them just so far as to vindicate these passages, and to shew that they


bear an orthodox sense, and that our opponents are in error. They say then,
that the Apostle writes, 'Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and
given Him a Name which is above every name; that in the Name of Jesus every
knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the
earth[2];' and David, 'Wherefore God even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the
oil of gladness above Thy fellows[3].' Then they urge, as something acute: 'If
He was exalted and received grace, on a 'wherefore,' and on a 'wherefore' He
was anointed, He received a reward of His purpose; but having acted from
purpose, He is altogether of an alterable nature.' This is what Eusebius and
Arius have dared to say, nay to write while their partizans do not shrink from
conversing about it in full market-place, not seeing how mad an argument they
rise. For if He received what He had as a reward of His purpose, and would not
have had it, unless He had needed it, and had His work to shew for it, then
having gained it from virtue and promotion, with reason had He 'therefore'
been called Son and God, without being very Son. For what is from another by
nature, is a real offspring, as Isaac was to Abraham, and Joseph to Jacob, and
the radiance to the sun; but the so called sons from virtue and grace, have
but in place of nature a grace by acquisition, and are something else besides
s the gift itself; as the men who have received the Spirit by participation,
concerning whom Scripture saith, 'I begat and exalted children, and they
rebelled against Me[6].' And of course, since they were not sons by nature,
therefore, when they altered, the Spirit was taken away and they were
disinherited; and again on (heir repentance that God who thus at the beginning
gave them grace, will receive them, and give light, and call them sons again.

38. But if they say this of the Saviour also, it follows that He is
neither very God nor very Son, nor like the Father, nor in any wise has God
for a Father of His being according to essence, but of the mere grace given to
Him, and for a Creator of His being according to essence, after the similitude
of all others. And being such, as they maintain, it will be manifest further
that He had not the name 'Son' from the first, if so be it was the prize of
works done and of that very same advance which He made when He became man, and
took the form of the servant; but then, when, after becoming 'obedient unto
death,' He was, as the text says, highly exalted,' and received that 'Name'
as a grace, 'that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow[7].' What then
was before this, if then He was exalted, and then began to be worshipped, and
then was called Son, when He became man? For He seems Himself not to have
promoted the flesh at all, but rather to have been Himself promoted through
it, if, according to their perverseness, He was then exalted and called Son,
when He became man. What then was before this? One must urge the question on
them again, to make it understood what their irreligious doctrine resuits
in[8]. For if the Lord be God, Son, Word, yet was not all these before He
became man, either He was something else beside these, and afterwards became
partaker of them for His virtue's sake, as we have said; or they must adopt
the alternative (may it return upon their heads!) that He was not before that
time, but is wholly man by nature and nothing more. But this is no sentiment
of the Church. but of the Samosatene and of the present Jews. Why then, if
they think as Jews, are they not circumcised with them too, instead of
pretending Christianity, while they are its foes? For if He was not, or was
indeed, but afterwards was promoted, how were all things made by Him, or how
in Him, were He not perfect, did the Father delight[9]? And He, on the other
hand, if now promoted, how did He before rejoice in the presence of the
Father? And, if He received His worship after dying, how is Abraham seen to
worship Him in the tent[10], and Moses in the bush? and, as Daniel saw,
myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands were ministering unto Him? And
if, as they say, He had His promotion now, bow did the Son Himself make
mention of that His glory before and above the world, when He said, 'Glorify
Thou Me, O Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world
was[11].' If, as they say, He was then exalted, bow did He before that 'bow
the heavens and come clown;' and again, 'The Highest gave His thunder[12]?'
Therefore, if, even before the world was made, the Son had


that glory, and was Lord of glory and the Highest, and descended from heaven,
and is ever to be worshipped, it follows that He had not promotion from His
descent, but rather Himself promoted the things which needed promotion; and
if He descended to effect their promotion, therefore He did not receive in
reward the name of the Son and God, but rather He Himself has made us sons of
the Father, and deifed men by becoming Himself man.

39. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and
then became man, and that to deify us[1], Since, if when He became man, only
then He was called Son and God, but before He became man, God called the
ancient people sons, and made Moses a god of Pharaoh (and Scripture says of
many, 'God standeth in the congregation of Gods[2]'), it is plain that He is
called Son and God later than they. How then are all things through Him, and
He before all? or how is He 'first-born of the whole creation[3],' if He has
others before Him who are called sons and gods? And how is it that those
first partakers[4] do not partake of the Word? This opinion is not true; it is
a device of our present Judaizers. For how in that case can any at all know
God as their Father? for adoption there could not be apart from the real Son,
who says, 'No one knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the
Son will reveal Him[4a].' And how can there be deifying apart from the Word
and before Him? yet, saith He to their brethren the Jews, 'If He called them
gods, unto whom the Word of God came[5].' And if all that are called sons and
gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the
Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they
all, and He Himself before all, or rather He Himself only is very Son[6], and
He alone is very God from the very God, not receiving these prerogatives as a
reward for His virtue, nor being another beside them, but being all these by
nature and according to essence. For He is Offspring of the Father's essence,
so that one cannot doubt that after the resemblance of the unalterable Father,
he Word also is unalterable.

40. Hitherto we have met their irrational conceits with the true
conceptions[1] implied in the Word 'Son,' as the Lord Himself has given us.
But it will be well next to cite the divine oracles, that the unalterableness
of the Son and His unchangeable nature, which is the Father's, as well as
their perverseness, may be still more fully proved. The Apostle then, writing
to the Philippians, says, 'Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not a prize to be equal with
God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the
likeness of men. And, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself.
becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also
highly exalted Him, and gave Him a Name which is above every name; that in the
Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,
and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father[2].' Can anything be plainer
and more express than this? He was not from a lower state pro-rooted: but
rather, existing as God, He took the form of a servant, and in taking it, was
not promoted but humbled Himself. Where then is there here any reward of
virtue, or what advancement and promotion in humiliation? For if, being God,
He became man, and descending from on high He is still said to be exalted,
where is He exalted, being God? this withal being plain, that, since God is
highest of all, His Word must necessarily he highest also. Where then could He
be exalted higher, who is in the Father and like the Father in all things[3]?
Therefore He is beyond the need of any addition; nor is such as the Arians
think Him. For though the Word has descended in order to be exalted, and so it
is written, yet what need was there that He should humble Himself, as if to
seek that which He had already? And what grace did He receive who is the Giver
of grace[4]? or how did He receive that Name for worship, who is always
worshipped by His Name? Nay, certainly before He became man, the sacred
writers invoke Him, 'Save me, O God, for Thy Name's sake[5]; 'and again,'
Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the
Name of the Lord our God[6].' And while He was wor-


shipped by the Patriarchs, concerning the Angels it is written, 'Let all the
Angels of God worship Him[7].'

41. And if, as David says in the 71st Psalm, 'His Name remaineth before
the sun, and before the moon, from one generation to another[8],' how did He
receive what He had always, even before He now received it? or how is He
exalted, being before His exaltation the Most High? or how did He receive the
right of being worshipped, who before He now received it, was ever worshipped?
It is not a dark saying but a divine mystery[9]. 'In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;' but for our sakes
afterwards the 'Word was made flesh[10].' And the term in question, 'highly
exalted,' does not signify that the essence of the Word was exalted, for He
was ever and is 'equal to God[1],' but the exaltation is of the manhood.
Accordingly this is not said before the Word became flesh; that it might be
plain that 'humbled' and 'exalted' are spoken of His human nature; for where
there is humble estate, there too may be exaltation; and if because of His
taking flesh 'humbled' is written, it is clear that 'highly exalted' is 'also
said because of it. For of this was man's nature in want, because of the
humble estate of the flesh and of death. Since then the Word, being the Image
of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent
for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through
death to the Father; therefore also, as man, He is said because of us and for
us to be highly exalted, that as by His death we all died in Christ, so again
in the Christ Himself we might be highly exalted, being raised from the dead,
and ascending into heaven, ' whither the forerunner Jesus is for us entered,
not into the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the
presence of God for us[2]. But if now for us the Christ is entered into
heaven itself, though He was even before and always Lord and Framer of the
heavens, for us therefore is that present exaltation written. And as He
Himself, who sanctifies all, says also that He sanctifies Himself to the
Father for our sakes, not that the Word may become holy, but that He Himself
may in Himself sanctify all of us, in like manner we must take the present
phrase, 'He highly exalted Him,' not that He Himself should be exalted, for He
is the highest, but that He may become righteousness for us[3], and we may be
exalted in Him, and that we may enter the gates of heaven, which He has also
opened for us, the forerunners saying, ' Lift up your gates, O ye rulers, and
be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in[4].'
For here also not on Him were shut the gates, as being Lord and Maker of all,
but because of us is this too written, to whom the door of paradise was shut.
And therefore in a human relation, because of the flesh which He bore, it is
said of Him, 'Lift up your gates,' and 'shall come in,' as if a man were
entering; but in a divine relation on the other hand it is said of Him, since
'the Word was God,' that He is the

Lord' and the 'King of Glory.' Such our exaltation the Spirit
foreannounced in the eighty-ninth Psalm, saying, 'And in Thy righteousness
shall they be exalted, for Thou art the glory of their strength[5].' And it
the Son be Righteousness, then He is not exalted as being Himself in need, but
it is we who are exalted in that Righteousness, which is He[6].

42. And so too the words 'gave Him' are not written because of the Word
Himself; for even before He became man He was worshipped, as we have said, by
the Angels and the whole creation in virtue of being proper to the Father; but
because of us and for us this too is written of Him. For as Christ died and
was exalted as man, so, as man, is He said to take what, as God, He ever had,
that even such a grant of grace might reach to us. For the Word was not
impaired in receiving a body, that He should seek to receive a grace, but
rather He deified that which He put on, and more than that, 'gave' it
graciously to the race of man. For as He was ever worshipped as being the Word
and existing in the form of God, so being what He ever was, though become man
and called Jesus, He none the less has the whole creation under foot, and
bending their knees to Him in this Name, and confessing that the Word's
becoming flesh, and undergoing death in flesh, has not happened against the
glory of His Godhead, but 'to the glory of God the Father.' For it is the
Father's glory that man, made and then lost, should


be found again; and, when dead, that he should be made alive, and should
become God's temple. For whereas the powers in heaven, both Angels and
Archangels, were ever worshipping the Lord, as they are now worshipping Him in
the Name of Jesus, this is our grace and high exaltation, that even when He
became man, the Son of God is worshipped, and the heavenly powers will not be
astonished at seeing all of us, who are of one body with Him[7], introduced
into their realms. And this had not been, unless He who existed in the form of
God had taken on Him a servant's form, and had humbled Himself, yielding His
body to come unto death.

43. Behold then what men considered the foolishness of God because of the
Cross, has become of all things most honoured. For our resurrection is stored
up in it; and no longer Israel alone, but henceforth all the nations, as the
Prophet hath foretold, leave their idols and acknowledge the true God, the
Father of the Christ. And the illusion of demons is come to nought, and He
only who is really God is worshipped in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ[8].
For the fact that the Lord, even when come in human body and called Jesus, was
worshipped and believed to be God's Son, and that through Him the Father was
known, shows, as has been said, that not the Word, considered as the Word,
received this so great grace, but we. For because of our relationship to His
Body we too have become God's temple, and in consequence are made God's sons,
so that even in us the Lord is now worshipped, and beholders report, as the
Apostle says, that God is in them of a truth[9]. As also John says in the
Gospel, 'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become children of
God[10];' and in his Epistle he writes, ' By this we know that He abideth in
us by His Spirit which He hath given us[11].' And this too is an evidence of
His goodness towards us that, while we were exalted because that the Highest
Lord is in us, and on our account grace was given to Him, because that the
Lord who supplies the grace has become a man like us, He on the other hand,
the Saviour, humbled Himself in taking 'our body of humiliation[1],' and took
a servant's form, putting on that flesh which was enslaved to sin[2]. And He
indeed has gained nothing from us for His own promotion: for the Word of God
is without want and full; but rather we were promoted from Him; for He is the
'Light, which lighteneth every man, coming into the world[3].' And in vain do
the Arians lay stress upon the conjunction wherefore,' because Paul has said,
'Wherefore, hath God highly exalted Him.' For in saying this he did not imply
any prize of virtue, nor promotion from advance[4], but the cause why the
exaltation was bestowed upon us. And what is this but that He who existed in
form of God, the Son of a noble[5] Father, humbled Himself and became a
servant instead of us and in our behalf? For if the Lord had not become man,
we had not been redeemed from sins, not raised from the dead, but remaining
dead under the earth; not exalted into heaven, but lying in Hades. Because of
us then and in our behalf are the words, 'highly exalted' and ' given.'

44. This then I consider the sense of this passage, and that, a very
ecclesiastical sense[6].


However, there is another way in which one might remark upon it, giving the
same sense in a parallel way; viz. that, though it does not speak of the
exaltation of the Word Himself, so far as He is Word[7] (for He is, as was
just now said, most high and like His Father), yet by reason of His becoming
man it indicates His resurrection from the dead. For after saying, 'He hath
humbled Himself even unto death,' He immediately added, 'Wherefore He hath
highly exalted Him;' wishing to shew, that, although as man He is said to have
died, yet, as being Life, He was exalted on the resurrection ; for 'He who
descended, is the same also who rose again[8].' He descended in body, and He
rose again because He was God Himself in the body. And this again is the
reason why according to this meaning he brought in the conjunction
'Wherefore;' not as a reward of virtue nor of advancement, but to signify the
cause why the resurrection took place; and why, while all other men from Adam
down to this time have died and remained dead, He only rose in integrity from
the dead. The cause is this, which He Himself has already taught us, that,
being God, He has become man. For all other men, being merely born of Adam,
died, and death reigned over them; but He, the Second Man, is from heaven, for
'the Word was made flesh[9],' and this Man is said to be from heaven and
heavenly[10], because the Word descended from heaven; wherefore He was not
held under death. For though He humbled Himself, yielding His own Body to come
unto death, in that it was capable of death[11], yet He was highly exalted
from earth, because He was God's Son in a body. Accordingly what is here said,
'Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him,' answers to Peter's words in the
Acts, 'Whom God raised up, having loosed the bonds of death, because it was
not possible that He should be holden of it[12].' For as Paul has written,
'Since being in form of God He became man, and humbled Himself unto death,
therefore God also hath highly exalted Him,' so also Peter says, 'Since, being
God, He became man, and signs and wonders proved Him to be-holders to be God,
therefore it was not possible that He should be holden of death.' To alan it
was not possible to succeed in this; for death belongs to man; wherefore, the
Word, being God, became flesh, that, being put to death in the flesh, He might
quicken all men by His own power.

45. But since He Himself is said to be 'exalted,' and God 'gave' Him, and
the heretics think this a defect[1] or affection in the essence[2] of the
Word, it becomes necessary to explain how these words are used. He is said to
he exalted from the lower parts of the earth, because death is ascribed even
to Him. Both events are reckoned His, since it was His Body[3], and none
other's, that was exalted from the dead and taken up into heaven. And again,
the Body being His, and the Word not being external to it, it is natural that
when the Body was exalted, He, as man, should, because of the body, be spoken
of as exalted. If then He did not become man, let this not be said of Him: but
if the Word became flesh, of necessity the resurrection and exaltation, as in
the case of a man, must be ascribed to Him, that the death which is ascribed
to Him may be a redemption of the sin of men and an abolition of death, and
that the resurrection and exaltation may for His sake remain secure for us. In
both respects he hath said of Him, 'God hath highly exalted Him,' and ' God
hath given to Him;' that herein moreover he may show that it is not the Father
that hath become flesh, but it is His Word, who has become man, and receives
after the manner of men from the Father, and is exalted by Him, as has been
said. And it is plain, nor would any one


dispute it, that what the Father gives, He gives through. the Son. And it is
marvellous and overwhelming verily; for the grace which the Son gives from the
Father, that the Son Himself is said to receive; and the exaltation, which the
Son bestows from the Father, with that the Son is Himself exalted. For He who
is the Son of God, became Himself the Son of Man; and, as Word, He gives from
the Father, for all things which the Father does and gives, He does and
supplies through Him; and as the Son of Man, He Himself is said after the
manner of men to receive what proceeds from Him, because His Body is none
other than His, and is a natural recipient of grace, as has been said. For He
received it as far as His man's nature[4] was exalted; which exaltation was
its being deified. But such an exaltation the Word Himself always had
according to the Father's Godhead and perfection, which was His[5].



PSALM XLV. 7, 8.

Whether the words 'therefore,' 'anointed,' &c., imply that the Word has been
rewarded. Argued against first from the weird 'fellows' or 'partakers.' He is
anointed with the Spirit in His manhood to sanctify human nature. Therefore
the Spirit descended on Him in Jordan, when in the flesh. And He is said to
sanctify Himself for us, and give us the glory He has received The word
'wherefore' implies His divinity. 'Thou hast loved righteousness,' &c., do not
imply trial or choice.

46. SUCH an explanation of the Apostle's words confutes the irreligious
men; and what the sacred poet says admits also the same orthodox sense, which
they misinterpret, but which in the Psalmist is manifestly religious. He says
then, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is
the sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,
therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above
Thy fellows[1].' Behold, O ye Arians, and acknowledge even hence the truth.
The Singer speaks of us all as 'fellows' or 'partakers' of the Lord: but were
He one of things which come out of nothing and of things originate, He Himself
had been one of those who partake. But, since he hymned Him as the eternal
God, saying, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' and has declared
that all other things partake of Him, what conclusion must we draw, but that
He is distinct from originated things, and He only the Father's veritable
Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which all things originate partake[2], being
sanctified by Him in the Spirit[3]? And therefore He is here 'anointed,' not
that He may become God, for He was so even before; nor that He may become
King, for He had the Kingdom eternally, existing as God's Image, as the sacred
Oracle shews; but in our behalf is this written, as before. For the
Israelitish kings, upon their being anointed, then became kings, not being so
before, as David, as Hezekiah, as Josiah, and the rest; but the Saviour on the
contrary, being God, and ever ruling in the Father's Kingdom, and being
Himself He that supplies the Holy Ghost, nevertheless is here said to be
anointed, that, as before, being said as man to be anointed with the Spirit,
He might provide for us men, not only exaltation and resurrection, but the
indwelling and intimacy of the Spirit. And signifying this the Lord Himself
hath said by His own mouth in the Gospel according to John, 'I have sent them
into the world, and for their sakes do I sanctify Myself, that they may be
sanctified in the truth[4].' In saying this He has shown that He is not the
sanctified, but the Sanctifier; for He is not sanctified by other, but Himself
sanctifies Himself, that we may be sanctified in the truth. He who sanctifies
Himself is Lord of sanctification. How then does this take place? What does He
mean but this? 'I, being the Father's Word, I give to Myself, when becoming
man, the Spirit; and Myself, become man, do I santify in Him, that henceforth
in Me, who am Truth (for "Thy Word is Truth "), all may be sanctified.'

47. If then for our sake He sanctifies Himself, and does this when He is
become man, it is very plain that the Spirit's descent on Him in Jordan was a
descent upon us, because of His bearing our body. And it did not take place
for promotion to the Word, but again for our sanctification, that we might
share His anointing, and of us it might be said, ' Know ye not that ye are
God's Temple, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you[5]?' For when the Lord, as
man, was washed in Jordan, it was we who were washed in Him and by Him[6]. And
when He received the Spirit, we it was who by Him were made recipients of It.
And moreover for this reason, not as Aaron or


David or the rest, was He anointed with oil, but in another way above all His
fellows, 'with the oil of gladness,' which He Himself interprets to be the
Spirit, saying by the Prophet, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the
Lord hath anointed Me[7];' as also the Apostle has said, 'How God anointed Him
with the Holy Ghosts.[8]' When then were these things spoken of Him but when
He came in the flesh and was baptized in Jordan, and the Spirit descended on
Him? And indeed the Lord Himself said, 'The Spirit shall take of Mine;' and 'I
will send Him ;' and to His disciples, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost[9].' And
notwithstanding, He who, as the Word and Radiance of the Father, gives to
others, now is said to be sanctified, because now He has become man, and the
Body that is sanctified is His. From Him then we have begun to receive the
unction and the seal, John saying, 'And ye have an unction from the Holy One;'
and the Apostle, 'And ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise[10].'
Therefore because of us and for us are these words. What advance then of
promotion, and reward of virtue or generally of conduct, is proved from this
in our Lord's instance? For if He was not God, and then had become God, if not
being King He was preferred to the Kingdom, your reasoning would have had some
faint plausibility. But if He is God and the throne of His kingdom is
everlasting, in what way could God advance? or what was there wanting to Him
who was sitting on His Father's throne? And if, as the Lord Himself has said,
the Spirit is His, and takes of His, and He sends It, it is not the Word,
considered as the Word and Wisdom, who is anointed with the Spirit which He
Himself gives, but the flesh assumed by Him which is anointed in Him and by
Him[11]; that the sanctification coming to the Lord as man, may come to all
men from Him. For not of Itself, saith He, doth the Spirit speak, but the Word
is He who gives It to the worthy. For this is like the passage considered
above; for as the Apostle has written, 'Who existing in form of God thought it
not a prize to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and took a servant's
form,' so David celebrates the Lord, as the everlasting God and King, but
sent to us and assuming our booty which is mortal. For this its his meaning in
the Psalm, 'All thy garments[12] smell of myrrh, aloes. and cassia ;' and it
is represented by Nicodemus and by Mary's company, when the one came bringing
'a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pounds weight;' and the
others[13] ' the spices which they had prepared' for the burial of the Lord's

48. What advancement then was it to the Immortal to have assumed the
mortal? or what promotion is it to the Everlasting to have put on the
temporal? what reward can be great to the Everlasting God and King in the
bosom of the Father? See ye not, that this too was done and written because of
us and for us, that us who are mortal and temporal, the Lord, become man,
might make immortal, and bring into the everlasting kingdom of heaven? Blush
ye not, speaking lies against the divine oracles? For when our Lord Jesus
Christ had been among us, we indeed were promoted, as rescued from sin; but He
is the same[1]; nor did He alter, when He became man (to repeat what I have
said), but, as has been written, ' The Word of God abideth for ever[2].'
Surely as, before His becoming man, He, the Word, dispensed to the saints the
Spirit as His own[3], so also when made man, He sanctifies all by the Spirit
and says to His Disciples,' Receive ye the Holy Ghost.' And He gave to Moses
and the other seventy; and through Him David prayed to the Father, saying, '
Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me[4].' On the other hand, when made man, He
said, ' I will send to you the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth[5];' and He sent
Him, He, the Word of God, as being faithful. Therefore 'Jesus Christ is the
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever[6],' remaining unalterable, and at once
gives and receives, giving as God's Word, receiving as man. It is not the Word
then, viewed as the Word, that is promoted; for He had all things and has them
always; but men, who have in Him and through Him their origin[7] of receiving


For, when He is now said to be anointed in a human respect, we it is who in
Him are anointed; since also when He is baptized, we it is who in Him are
baptized. But on all these things the Saviour throws much light, when He says
to the Father, 'And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given to them, that
they may be one, even as We are ones[8].' Because of us then He asked for
glory, and the words occur, 'took' and 'gave' and 'highly exalted,' that we
might take, and to us might be given, and we might be exalted. in Him; as also
for us He sanctifies Himself, that we might be sanctified in Him[9].

49. But if they take advantage of the word 'wherefore,' as connected with
the passage in the Psalm, 'Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee,'
for their own purposes, let these novices in Scripture and masters in
irreligion know, that, as Before, the word 'wherefore' does not imply reward
of virtue or conduct in the Word, but the reason why He came down to us, and
of the Spirit's anointing which took place in Him for our' sakes. For He says
not, 'Wherefore He anointed Thee in order to Thy being God or Kites or Son or
Word ;' for so He was before and is for ever, as has been shewn; but rather,
'Since Thou art God and King, therefore Thou wast anointed, since none bat
Thou couldest unite man to the Holy Ghost, Thou the Image of the Father, in
which[10] we were made in the beginning; for Thine is even the Spirit.' For
the nature of things originate could give no warranty for this, Angels having
transgressed, and men disobeyed[11]. Wherefore there was need of God and the
Word is God; that those who had become under a curse, He Himself might set
free. If then He was of nothing, He would not have been the Christ or
Anointed, being one among others and having fellowship as the rest[12]. But,
whereas He is God, as being Son of God, and is everlasting King, and exists as
Radiance and Expression[13] of the Father, therefore fitly is He the expected
Christ, whom the Father announces to mankind, by revelation to His holy
Prophets; that as through Him we have come to be, so also in Him all men might
be redeemed from their sins, and by Him all things might be ruled[I]. And this
is the cause of the anointing which took place in Him, and of the incarnate
presence of the Word[2], which the Psalmist foreseeing, celebrates, first His
Godhead and kingdom, which is the Father's, in these tones, 'Thy throne, 0
God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy
Kingdom[3] ; 'then announces His descent to us thus, 'Wherefore God, even Thy
God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy, fellows[4]."

50. What is there to wonder at, what to disbelieve, if the Lord who gives
the Spirit, is here said Himself to be anointed with the Spirit, at a time
when, necessity requiring it, He did not refuse in respect of His manhood to
call Himself inferior to the Spirit? For the Jews saying that He east out
devils in Beelzebub, He answered and said to them, for the exposure of their
blasphemy, 'But if 1 through the Spirit of God cast out demons[5].' Behold,
the Giver of the Spirit here says that He cast out demons in the Spirit; but
this is not said, except because of His flesh. For since man's nature is not
equal of itself to casting out demons, but only in power of the Spirit,
therefore as man He said, 'But if I through the Spirit of God cast out
demons.' Of course too He signified that the blasphemy offered to the Holy
Ghost is greater than that against His humanity, when He said, 'Whosoever
shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him;' such as
were those who said, 'is


not this the carpenter's son[6]?, but they who blaspheme against the Holy
Ghost, and ascribe the deeds of the Word to the devil, shall have inevitable
punishment[7]. This is what the Lord spoke to the Jews, as man; but to the
disciples shewing His Godhead and His majesty, and intimating that He was not
inferior but equal to the Spirit, He gave the Spirit and said, 'Receive ye the
Holy Ghost,' and 'I send Him,' and 'He shall glorify Me,' and 'Whatsoever He
heareth, that He shall speak[8].' As then in this place the Lord Himself, the
Giver of the Spirit, does not refuse to say that through the Spirit He casts
out demons, as man; in like manner He the same, the Giver of the Spirit.
refused not to say, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath
anointed Me[9],' in respect of His having become flesh, as John hath said;
that it might be shewn in both these particulars, that we are they who need
the Spirit's grace in our sanctification, and again who are unable to cast oat
demons without the Spirit's power. Through whom then and from whom behoved it
that the Spirit should be given but through the Son, whose also the Spirit is?
and when were we enabled to receive It, except when the Word became man? and,
as the passage of the Apostle shews, that we had not been redeemed and highly
exalted,, had not He who exists in form od God taken a servant's form, so
David also shews, that no otherwise should we have partaken the Spirit and
been sanctified, but that the Giver of the Spirit, the Word Himself, hast
spoken of Himself as anointed with the Spirit for us. And therefore have we
securely received it, He being said to i he anointed in the flesh; for the
flesh being first sanctified in Him[10], and He being said, as man, to have
received for its sake, we have the sequel of the Spirit grace, receiving 'out
of His fulness[11].'

51. Nor do the words, 'Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity,'
which are added in the Psalm, show, as again you suppose, that the Nature of
the Word is alterable, but rather by their very force signify His
unalterableness. For since of things originate the nature is alterable, and
the one portion had transgressed and the other disobeyed, as has been said,
and it is not certain how they will act, but it often happens that he who is
now good afterwards alters anti becomes different, so that one who was but
now righteous, soon is found unrighteous, wherefore there i was here also need
of one unalterable, that men might have the immutability of the righteousness
of the Word as an image and type for virtue[1]. And this thought commends
itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and
through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to
be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent's
deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the
Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam
had transgressed. i, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had
become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to
extend through all men, so that each of us may say, 'For we are not ignorant
of his devices[2]' Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature
unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and
Himself' sent, that, He, being and remaining the same[3], by taking this
alterable flesh, 'might condemn sin in it[4],' and might secure its freedom,
and its ability s henceforth 'to fulfil the righteousness of the law' in
itself, so as to be able to say, 'But we are not in the flesh but in the
Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us[6].'

52. Vainly then, here again, O Arians, have ye made this conjecture, and
vainly alleged the words of Scripture; for God's Word is unalterable, and is
ever in one state, not as it may happen[I], but as the Father is; since how.
He like the Father, unless He be thus? or how is all that is the Father's the
Son's also, if He has not the unalterableness and unchangeableness of the
Father[2]? Not as being subject to laws[2a], and biassed to one side, does He
love the one and hate the other, lest, if from fear of falling away He chooses
the one, We admit that He is alterable otherwise also; but, as being God and
the Father's Word, He is a just judge and lover of virtue, or rather its
dispenser. Therefore being just and holy by nature, on this account He is sail
to love righteousness and to hate iniquity; as much as to say, that He loves
and chooses the virtuous, and rejects and hates the unrighteous. And divine


says the same of the Father; 'The Righteous Lord loveth righteousness; Thou
hatest all them that work iniquity[3],' and 'The Lord loveth the gates of
Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob[4];' and, 'Jacob have I loved, but
Esau have I hated s;' and in Isaiah there is tile voice of God again saying,
'I the Lord love righteousness, and hate robbery of unrighteousness[6].' Let
them then expound those former words as these latter; for the former also are
written of the Image of God else, misinterpreting these as those, they will
conceive that the Father too is alterable. But since the very hearing others
say this is not without peril, we do well to think that God is said to love
righteousness and to hate robbery of unrighteousness, not as if biassed to one
side, and capable of the contrary, so as to select the latter and not choose
the farmer, for this belongs to things originated, but that, as a judge, He
loves and takes to Him the righteous and withdraws from the bad. It follows
then to think tile same concerning the Image of God also, that He loves and
hates no otherwise than thus. For such must be the nature of the Image as is
Its Father, though the Arians in their blindness fail to see either that image
or any other truth of the divine oracles. For being forced from the
conceptions or rather misconceptions[7] of their own hearts, they fall back
upon passages of divine Scripture, and here too from want of understanding,
according to their wont, they discern not their meaning; but laying down their
own irreligion as a sort of canon of interpretation[8], they wrest the whole
of the divine oracles into accordance with it. And so on the bare mention of
such doctrine, they deserve nothing but the reply, 'Ye do err, not knowing the
Scriptures nor the power of God[9];' and if they persist in it, they must be
put to silence, by the words, 'Render to' man 'the things that are' than's,
'and to God the things that are' God's[10].


Texts Explained; Thirdly, Hebrews i. 4.

Additional texts brought as objections; e.g. itch. i. 4; vii. 22. Whether the
word 'better' implies likeness to the Angels; and 'made' or 'become' implies
creation. Necessary tO consider the circumstances under which Scripture
speaks. Difference between 'better 'and 'greater; 'texts in proof. 'Made' or
'become' a general word. Contrast in Heb. i. 4, between the Son and the Works
in point of nature. The difference of the punishments under the two Covenants
shews the difference of the natures of the Son and the Angels. 'Become'
relates not to the nature of the Word, but to His manhood and office and
relation towards us. Parallel passages in which the term is applied to the
Eternal Father.

53. But it is written, say they, in the Proverbs, 'The Lord created me the
beginning of His ways, for His Works[1];' and in the Epistle to the Hebrews
the Apostle says, 'Being made so much better than the Angels, as He hath by
inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they[2].' And soon after,
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly[3] calling, consider the
Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to
Him that made Him[3].' And in the Acts, 'Therefore let all the house of Israel
know assuredly, that God bath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both
Lord and Christ[4].' These passages they brought forward at every turn,
mistaking their sense, under the idea that they proved that the Word of God
was a creature and work and one of things originate; and thus they deceive the
thoughtless, making the language of Scripture their pretence, but instead of
the true sense sowing upon it the poison of their own heresy. For had they
known, they would not have been irreligious against 'the Lord of glory[5],'
nor have wrested the good words of Scripture. If then henceforward openly
adopting Caiaphas's way, they have determined on judaizing, and are ignorant
of the text, that verily God shall dwell upon the earth[6], let them not
inquire into the Apostolical sayings; for this is not the manner of Jews. But
if, mixing themselves up with the godless Manichees[7], they deny that 'the
Word was made flesh,' and His Incarnate presence, then let them not bring
forward the Proverbs, for this is out of place with the Munichees. But if for
preferment-sake, and the lucre of avarice which follows[8], and the desire for
good repute, they venture not on denying the text, 'The Word was made flesh,'
since so it is written, either let them rightly interpret the words of
Scripture, of the embodied presence of the Saviour, or, if they deny their
sense, let them deny that the Lord became man at all. For it is unseemly,
while confessing that 'the Word became flesh,' yet to be ashamed at what is
written of Him, and on that account to corrupt the sense.

54. For it is written, 'So much better than


the Angels;' let us then first examine this. Now it is right and necessary,
as in all divine Scripture, so here, faithfully to expound the time of which
the Apostle wrote, and the person[1], and the point; lest the reader, from
ignorance missing either understood that inquiring eunuch, when he thus
besought Philip, 'I pray thee, of whom doth the Prophet speak this? of
himself, or of some other man 2? ' for he feared lest, expounding the lesson
unsuitably lethe person, he should wander from the right sense. And the
disciples, wishing to learn the time of what was Bretold, besought the Lord,
'Tell us,' said they, 'when shale these things be? and what is the sign of Thy
coming[3]?' And again, hearing from the Saviour the events of the end, they
desired to learn the time of it, that they might be kept from error
themselves, and might be able to teach others; as, for instance, when they had
learned, they set right the Thessalonians 4, who were going wrong. When then
one knows properly these points, his understanding of the faith is right and
healthy; but if he mistakes any such points, forthwith he falls into heresy.
Thus Hymenaeus and Alexander and their fellow[5] were beside the time, when
they said that the resurrection had already been; and the Galatians were after
the time, in making much of circumcision now. And to miss the person was the
lot of the Jews, and is still, who think that of one of themselves is said,
'Behold, the Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and they shall call his
Name Emmanuel, which is being interpreted, God with us[6];' and that, 'A
prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you 7,' is spoken of one of the
Prophets; and who, as to the words, 'He was led as a sheep to the
slaughter[8],' instead of'] learning from Philip, conjecture them spoken of
Isaiah or some other of the former Prophets 9.

55. (3.) Such has been the state of mind under which Christ's enemies have
fallen into their execrable heresy. For had they known the person, and the
subject, and the season of the Apostle's words, they would not have ex-pounded
of Christ's divinity what belongs to His manhood, nor in their folly have
committed so great an act of irreligion. Now this will be readily seen, if one
expounds properly the beginning of this lectin. For the Apostle says, 'God who
at sundry times and divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the
prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son[I];- then again
shortly after he says, 'when He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down on
the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the
Angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than
they[2].' It appears then that the Apostle's words make mention of that time,
when God spoke unto us by His Son, and when a purging of sins took place. Now
when did He speak unto us by His Son, and when did purging of sins take place?
and when did He become man? when, but subsequently to the Prophets in the
last days? Next, proceeding with his account of the economy in which we were
concerned, and speaking of the last times, he is naturally led to observe that
not even in the former times was God silent with men, but spoke to them by the
Prophets. And, whereas the prophets ministered, and the Law was spoken by
Angels, while the Son too came on earth, and that in order to minister, he was
forced to add, 'Become so much better than the Angels,' wishing to shew that,
as much as the son excels a servant, so much also the ministry of the Son is
better than the ministry of servants. Contrasting then the old ministry and
the new, the Apostle deals freely with the Jews, writing and saying, 'Become
so much better than the Angels.' This is why throughout he uses no comparison,
such as 'become greater, or 'more honourable,' lest we test we should think of
Him and them as one in kind, but '.better' is his word, by way of marking the
difference of the Son's nature from things originated. And of this we have
proof from divine Scripture; David, for instance, saying in the Psalm. 'One
day in Thy courts is better than a thousand 3: 'and Solomon crying out,
'Receive my instruction ant/not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are
not to be compared to it C Are not wisdom and stones of the earth different in
essence and separate in nature? Are heavenly courts at all akin to earthly
houses? Or is there any similarity between things eternal and spiritual, and
things temporal and mortal? And this is what Isaiah says, 'Thus saith the Lord
unto the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, anti choose the things that please Me,
and take hold of My Covenant; even unto them will I


give in Mine house, and within My walls, a place and a name better than of
sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be
cut off[5].' In like man-her there is nought akin between the Son and the
Angels; so that the word 'better' is not used to compare but to contrast,
because of the difference of His nature from them. And l therefore the Apostle
also himself, when he interprets the word 'better,' places its force in
nothing short of the Son's excellence over things originated, calling the one
Son, the other servants; the one, as a Son with the Father, sitting on the
right; and the others, as servants, standing before Him, and being sent, and
fulfilling offices.

56. Scripture, in speaking thus, implies, O Arians, not that the Son is
originate, but rather other than things originate, and proper to the Father,
being in His bosom. (4.) Nor[5a] does even the expression 'become,' which here
occurs, shew that the Son is originate, as ye suppose. If indeed it were
simply 'become' and no more, a case might stand for the Arians; but, whereas
they are forestalled with the word 'Son' throughout the passage, shewing that
He is other than things originate, so again not even the word 'become' occurs
absolutely[6], but 'better' is immediately subjoined. For the writer thought
the expression immaterial, knowing that in the case of one who was confessedly
a genuine Son, to say 'become' is the same with saying that He had been made,
and is, 'better.' For it matters not even if we speak of what is generate, as
'become' or 'made;' but on the contrary, things originate cannot be called
generate, God's handiwork as they are, except so far as after their making
they partake of the generate Son, and are therefore said to have been
generated also, not at all in their own nature, but because of their
participation of the Son in the Spirit[7]. And this again divine Scripture
recognises; for it says in the case of things originate, 'All things came to
be through Him, and without Him nothing came to be[8],' and 'In wisdom hast
Thou made them all[9];' but in the case of sons which are generate, 'To Job
there came to be seven sons and three daughters[10],' and, 'Abraham was an
hundred years old when there came to be to him Isaac his son[II];' and Moses
said[12], 'If to any one there come to be sons.' Therefore since the Son is
other than things originate, alone the proper offspring of the Father's
essence, this plea of the Arians about the word 'become' is worth nothing.

(5.) If moreover, baffled so far, they should still violently insist that
the language is that of comparison, and that comparison in consequence implies
oneness of kind, so that the Son is of the nature of Angels. they will in the
first price incur the disgrace of rivalling and repeating what Valentinus
held, and Carpocrates, and those other heretics, of whom the former said that
the Angels were one in kind with the Christ, and Carpocrates that Angels are
framers of the world[1]. Perchance it is under the instruction--of these
masters that they compare the Word of God with the Angels.

57. Though surely amid such speculations, they will be moved by the sacred
poet, saying, Who is he among the gods that shall be like unto the Lord[2],'
and, 'Among the gods there is none like unto Thee, O Lord[3].' However, they
must be answered, with the chance of their profiting by it, that comparison
confessedly does belong to subjects one in kind, not to those which differ. No
one, for instance, would compare God with man, or again man with brutes, nor
wood with stone, because their natures are unlike; but God is beyond
comparison, and man is compared to man, and wood to wood, and stone to stone.
Now in such cases we should not speak of 'better,' but of 'rather' and 'more;'
thins Joseph was comely rather than his brethren, and Rachel than Leah;
star[4] is not better than star, but is the rather excellent in glory; whereas
in bringing together things which differ in kind, then 'better' is used to
mark the difference, as has been said in the case of wisdom and jewels. Had
then the Apostle said, 'by so much has the Son precedence of the Angels,' or
'by so much greater,' you would have had a plea, as if the Son were compared
with the Angels; but, as it is:, in saying that lie is 'better,' and differs
as far as Son from servants, the Apostle shews that He is other than the
Angels in nature.


(6.) Moreover by saying that He it is who has 'laid the foundation of all
things[5],' he shows that He is other than all things originate. But if He be
other and different in essence from their nature, what comparison of His
essence can 6 there be, or what likeness to them? though, even if they have
any such thoughts, Paul shall refute them, who speaks to the very point, 'For
unto which of the Angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I
begotten Thee? And of the Angels He saith, Who maketh His Angels spirits, and
His ministers a flame of fire[7].'

58. Observe here, the word 'made' belongs to things originate, and he calls
them things made; but to the Son he speaks not of making, nor of becoming, hut
of eternity and kingship, and a Framer's office, exclaiming, 'Thy Throne, O
God, is for ever and ever;' and, 'Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the
foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thine hands; they
shall perish, but Thou remainest.' From which words even they, were they but
willing, might perceive that the Framer is other than things framed, the
former God, the latter things originate, made out of nothing. For what has
been said, 'They shall perish,' is said, not as if the creation were destined
for destruction, but to express the nature of things originate by the issue to
which they tend[8]. For things which admit of perishing, though through the
grace[9] of their Maker they perish not, yet have come out of nothing, and
themselves witness that they once were not. And on this account, since their
nature is such, it is said of the Son, 'Thou remainest,' to shew His eternity;
for not having the capacity of perishing, as things originate. have, but
having eternal duration, it is foreign to Him to have it said, 'He was not
before His generation,' but proper to Him to be always, and to endure together
with the Father. And though the Apostle had not thus written in his Epistle to
the Hebrews, still his other Epistles, and the whole of Scripture, would
certainly forbid their entertaining such notions concerning the Word. But
since he has here expressly written it, and, as has been above shown, the Son
is Offspring of the Father's essence, and He is Framer, and other things are
framed by Him. and He is the Radiance and Word and Image and Wisdom of the
Father, and things originate stand and serve in their place below the Triad,
therefore the Son is different in kind and different in essence from things
originate, and on the contrary is proper to the Father's especially it is that
the Son too says not, 'My Father is better than I[II],' lest we should
conceive Him to he foreign to His Nature, but 'greater,' not indeed in
greatness, nor in time, but because of His generation from the Father
Himself[12], nay, in saying 'greater 'He again shows that He is proper to His

59.[7]. And the Apostle's own reason for saying, 'so much better than the
Angels,' was not any wish in the first instance to compare the essence[1] of
the Word to things originate (for He cannot be compared, rather they are
incommensurable), but regarding the Word's visitation in the flesh, and the
Economy which He then sustained, he wished to show that He was not like those
who had gone before Him; so that, as much as He excelled in nature those who
were sent afore by Him, by so much also the grace which came from and through
Him was better than the ministry through Angels[2]. For it is the function of
servants, to demand the fruits and no more; but of the Son and Master to
forgive the debts and to transfer the vineyard.

(8.) Certainly what the Apostle proceeds to say shows the excellence of
the Son over things originate; 'Therefore we ought to give the more earnest
heed to the things which we have heard. lest at any time we should let them
slip. For if the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and every transgression
and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if
we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the
Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him[3].' But if the Son
were in the number of things originate, He was not better than they, nor did
disobedience involve increase of punishment because of Him; any more than in
the Ministry of Angels there was not, according to each Angel, greater or less
guilt in the transgressors, but the Law was one, and one was its vengeance on
transgressors. But, whereas the Word is not in the number of originate things,
but is Son of the Father, therefore, as He Himself is better and His acts
better and transcendent, so also the punishment is worse. Let thorn
contemplate then the grace which is through the Son, and let them acknowledge
the witness which He gives even from His works. that He is other than things
originated, and alone the very Son in the Father and the Father in Him.


And the Law(4) was spoken by Angels, and perfected no one(5), needing the
visitation of the Word, as Paul hath said; but that visitation has perfected
the work of the Father. And then, from Adam unto Moses death reigned(6); but
the presence of the Word abolished death(7). And no longer in Adam are we all
dying(8); but in Christ we are all reviving And then, from Dan to Beersheba
was the Law proclaimed, and in Judaea only was God known; but now, unto all
the earth has gone forth their voice, and all the earth has been filled with
the knowledge of God(9), and the disciples have made disciples of all the
nations(10), and now is fulfilled what is written, 'They shall be all taught
of God(11).' And then what was revealed was but a type; but now the truth has
been manifested. And this again the Apostle himself describes afterwards more
clearly, saying, 'By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament;'
and again, 'But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much
also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon
better promises.' And, 'For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in
of a better hope did.' And again he says, 'It was therefore necessary that the
patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the
heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these(12).' Both in the
verse before us, then, and throughout, does be ascribe the word 'better' to
the Lord, who is better and other than originated things. For better is the
sacrifice through Him, better the hope in Him; and also the promises through
Him, not merely as great compared with small, but the one differing from the
other in nature, because He who conducts this economy, is 'better' than things

60. (9.) Moreover the words 'He is become surety' denote the pledge in our
behalf which He has provided. For as, being the 'Word,' He 'became flesh' and
'become' we ascribe to the flesh, for it is originated and created, so do we
here the expression 'He is become,' expounding it according to a second sense,
viz. because He has become man. And let these contentious men know, that they
fail in this their perverse purpose; let them know that Paul does not signify
that His essence(2) has become, knowing, as he did, that He is Son and Wisdom
and Radiance and Image of the Father; but here too he refers the word 'become'
to the ministry of that covenant, in which death which once ruled is
abolished. Since here also the ministry through Him has become better, in that
'what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending
His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the
flesh(3),' ridding it of the trespass, in which, being continually held
captive, it admitted not the Divine mind. And having rendered the flesh
capable of the Word, He made us walk, no longer according to the flesh, but
according to the Spirit, and say again and again, 'But we are not in the flesh
but in the Spirit,' and, 'For the Son of God came into the world, not to judge
the world, but to redeem all men, and that the world might be saved through
Him(4).' Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but
now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the
body for all, has bestowed salvation to all(5). With a view to this has John
exclaimed, 'The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus
Christ(6).' Better is grace than the Law, and truth than the shadow.

61. (10.) 'getter' then, as has been said, could not have been brought to
pass by any other than the Son, who sits on the right hand of the Father, And
what does this denote but the Son's genuineness, and that the Godhead of the
Father is the same as the Son's(7)? For in that the Son reigns in His Father's
kingdom, is seated upon the same throne as the Father, and is contemplated in
the Father's Godhead, therefore is the Word God, and whose beholds the Son,
beholds the Father; and thus there is one God. Sitting then on the right, yet
He does not place His Father on the left(8); but whatever is right(9) and
precious in the Father, that also the Son has, and says, 'All things that the
Father hath are Mine(10).' Wherefore also the Son, though sitting on the
right, also sees the Father on the right, though it be as become man that He
says, 'I saw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand,
therefore I shall not fall(11).' This shews moreover that the Son is in the


and the Father in the Son; for the Father being on the right, the Son is on
the right; and while the Son sits on the right of the Father, the Father is in
the Son. And the Angels indeed minister ascending and descending; but
concerning the Son he saith, 'And let all the Angels of God worship Him(12).'
And when Angels minister, they say, 'I am sent unto thee.' and, 'The Lord has
commanded;' but the Son, though He say in human fashion, 'I am sent(13),' and
comes to finish the work and to minister, nevertheless says, as being Word and
Image, 'I am in the Father, and the Father in Me;' and, 'He that hath seen Me,
hath seen the Father;' and, 'The Father that abideth in Me. He doeth the
works(14);(1) for what we behold in that Judge are the Father's works.

(11.) What has been already said ought to shame those persons who are
fighting against the very truth; however, if, because it is written, 'become
better,' they refuse to understand 'become,' as used of the Son, as 'has been
and is(1);' or again as referring to the better covenant having come to be(2),
as we have said, but consider from this expression that the Word is called
originate, let them hear the same again in a concise form, since they have
forgotten what has been said.

62. If the Son be in the number of the Angels, then let tile word 'become'
apply to Him as to them, and let Him not differ at all from them in nature;
but be they either sons with Him, or be He an Angel with them; sit they one
and all together on the right hand of the Father, or be the Son standing with
them all as a ministering Spirit, sent forth to minister Himself as they are.
But if on the other hand Paul distinguishes the Son from things originate,
saying, 'To which of the Angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son?' and the
one frames heaven anti earth, but they are made by Him; and He sitteth with
the Father, but they stand by ministering, who does not see that he has not
used the word 'become' of the essence of the Word, but of the ministration
come through Him? For as, being the 'Word,' He 'became flesh,' so when become
man, He became by so much better in His ministry, than the ministry which came
by the Angels, as Son excels servants and Framer things framed. Let them cease
therefore to take the word 'become' of the substance of the Son, for He is
not one of originated things; and let them acknowledge that it is indicative
of His ministry and the Economy which came to pass.

(12.) But how He became better in His ministry, being better in nature
than things originate, appears from what has been said before, which, I
consider, is sufficient in itself to put them to shame. But if they carry on
the contest, it will be proper upon their rash daring to close with them, and
to oppose to them those similar expressions which are used concerning the
Father Himself. This may serve to shame them to refrain their tongue from
evil, or may teach them the depth of their folly. Now it is written, 'Become
my strong rock and house of defence, that Thou mayest save me(3).' And again,
'The Lord became a defence for the oppressed(4),' and the like which are found
in divine Scripture. If then they apply these passages to the Son, which
perhaps is nearest to the truth, then let them acknowledge that the sacred
writers ask Him, as not being originate, to become to them 'a strong rock and
house of defence;' and for the future let them understand 'become,' and 'He
made,' and 'He created,' of His incarnate presence. For then did He become 'a
strong rock and house of defence,' when He bore our sins in His own body upon
the tree, and said, 'Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest(5).'

63. But if they refer these passages to the Father, will they, when it is
here also written, 'Become' and 'He became,' venture so far as to affirm that
God is originate? Yea, they will dare, as they thus argue concerning His Word;
for the course of their argument carries them on to conjecture the same things
concerning the Father, as they devise concerning His Word. But far be such a
notion ever from the thoughts of all the faithful! for neither is the Son in
the number of things originated, nor do the words of Scripture in question,
'Become,' and 'He became,' denote beginning of being, but that succour which
was given to the needy. For God is always, and one and the same; but men have
come to be afterwards through the Word, when the Father Himself willed it; and
God is invisible and inaccessible to originated things, anti especially to men
upon earth. When then men in infirmity invoke Him, when in persecution they
ask help, when under injuries they pray, then the Invisible, being a lover of
man, shines forth upon them with His beneficence. which He exercises through
and in His proper Word. And forthwith the divine manifestation is made to
every one according to his need, and is made to the weak health, and to the
persecuted a 'refuge' and 'house of defence;' and to the injured He says,
'While thou speakest I


will say, Here I am(6).' Whatever defence then comes to each through the Son,
that each says that God has come to be to himself, since succour comes from
God Himself through the Word. Moreover the usage of men recognises this, and
every one will confess its propriety. Often succour comes from man to man; one
has undertaken toil for the injured, as Abraham for Lot; and another has
opened his home to the persecuted, as Obadiah to the sons of the prophets; and
another has entertained a stranger, as Lot the Angels; and another has
supplied the needy, as Job those who begged of him. And then, should one and
the other of these benefited persons say, 'Such a one became an assistance to
me,' and another 'and to me a refuge,' and 'to another a supply,' yet in so
saying would not be speaking of the original becoming or of the essence of
their benefactors, but of the beneficence coming to themselves from them; so
also when the saints say concerning God, 'He became' and 'become Thou,' they
do not denote any original becoming, for God is without beginning and
unoriginate, but the salvation which is made to be unto men from Him.

64. This being so understood, it is parallel also respecting the Son, that
whatever, and however often, is said, such as, 'He became' and 'become,'
should ever have the same sense: so that as, when we hear the words in
question, 'become better than the Angels' and 'He became,' we should not
conceive any original becoming of the Word, nor in any way fancy from such
terms that He is originate; but should understand Paul's words of His ministry
and Economy when He became man. For when 'the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us?' and came to minister and to grant salvation to all, then He became
to us salvation, and became life, and became propitiation; then His economy in
our behalf became much better than the Angels, and He became the Way and
became the Resurrection. And as the words 'Become my strong rock' do not
denote that the essence of God Himself became, but His lovingkindness, as has
been said, so also here the 'having become better than the Angels,' and, 'He
became,' and, 'by so much is Jesus become a better surety,' do not signify
that the essence of the Word is originate (perish the though!), but the
beneficence which towards us came to be through His becoming Man; unthankful
though the heretics be, and obstinate in behalf of their irreligion.