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Orth.—In our former discussions we have proved that God the Word is immutable, and became incarnate not by being changed into flesh, but by taking perfect human nature. The divine Scripture, and the teachers of the churches and luminaries of the world have clearly taught us that, after the union, He remained as He was, unmixed, impassible, unchanged, uncircumscribed; and that He preserved unimpaired the nature which He had taken. For the future then the subject before us is that of His passion, and it will be a very profitable one, for thence have been brought to us the waters of salvation.
Orth.—And I will answer, without making any objection to the change of method. He who has truth on his side, not only when he questions but also when he is questioned, is supported by the might of the truth. Ask then what you will.
Eran.—Who, according to your view, suffered the passion?
Eran.—Then a man gave us our salvation.
Eran.—Now define what you believe Christ to be.
Orth.—Incarnate Son of the living God.
Eran.—Then God underwent the passion.
Orth.—If He was nailed to the cross without a body, apply the passion to the Godhead; but if he was made man by taking flesh, why then do you exempt the passible from the passion and subject the impassible to it?
Eran.—But the reason why He took flesh was that the impassible might undergo the passion by means of the passible.
Eran.—Prove it; and remove the difficulty.
Eran.—It was the body that cast its evil eye upon the tree, and stretched forth its hands, and plucked the forbidden fruit. It was the mouth that bit it with the teeth, and ground it small, and then the gullet committed it to the belly, and the belly digested it, and delivered it to the liver; and the liver turned what it had received into blood and passed it on to the hollow vein1414
Orth.—You have given us a physiological disquisition on the nature of food, on all the parts that it goes through and on the modifications to which it is subject before it is assimilated with the body. But there is one point that you have refused to observe, and that is that the body goes through none of these processes which you have mentioned without the soul. When bereft of the soul which is its yoke mate the body lies breathless, voiceless, motionless; the eye sees neither wrong nor aright; no sound of voices reaches the ears, the hands cannot stir; the feet cannot walk; the body is like an instrument without music. How then can you say that only the body sinned when the body without the soul cannot even take a breath?
Orth.—Then I suppose we may say Blessed are the deaf; blessed are they that have lost their sight and have been deprived of their other faculties, for the souls of men so incapacitated have neither part nor lot in the wickedness of the body. And why, O most sagacious sir, have you mentioned those functions of the body which are culpable, and said nothing about the laudable? It is possible to look with eyes of love and of kindliness; it is possible to wipe away a tear of compunction, to hear oracles of God, to bend the ear to the poor, to praise the Creator with the tongue, to give good lessons to our neighbour, to move the hand in mercy, and in a word to use the parts of the body for complete acquisition of goodness.
Orth.—It seems to me that the soul takes the leading part in both, since it uses reasoning before the body acts.
Orth.—First of all the mind makes, as it were, a sketch of virtue or of vice, and then gives to one or the other form with appropriate material and colour, using for its instruments the parts of the body.
Orth.—If then the soul sins with the body; nay rather takes the lead in the sin, for to it is entrusted the bridling and direction of the animal part, why, as it shares the sin, does it not also share the punishment?
Orth.—At least in the life to come it will be sent with the body to Gehenna.
Eran.—That is what the divine Scripture says.
Orth.—How then do you say, God the Word tasted death? For if that which was created immortal is seen to be incapable of becoming mortal, how is it possible for him that is without creation and eternally immortal, Creator of mortal and immortal natures alike, to partake of death?
Orth.—But we have plainly shewn that it is in no wise possible for that which is by nature immortal to share death, for even the soul created together with, and conjoined with, the body and sharing in its sin, does not share death with it, on account of the immortality of its nature alone. But let us look at this same position from another point of view.
Eran.—There is every reason why we should leave no means untried to arrive at the truth.
Orth.—And who of men became his first disciples?
Orth.—And who received the sentence of death?
Eran.—Adam and all his race.
Orth.—And though this so came about we both acknowledge and declare that the Judge is just.
Orth.—But, being just, why did He not exact an account from him of his evil teaching?
Orth.—If then even the very inventor and teacher of iniquity did not incur death on account of the immortality of his nature, do you not shudder at the thought of saying that the fount of immortality and righteousness shared death?
Eran.—Had we said that he underwent the passion involuntarily, there would have been some just ground for the accusation which you bring against us. But if the passion which is preached by us was spontaneous and the death voluntary, it becomes you, instead of accusing us, to praise the immensity of His love to man. For He suffered because He willed to suffer, and shared death because He wished it.
Orth.—You seem to me to be quite ignorant of the divine nature, for the Lord God wishes nothing inconsistent with His nature, and is able to do all that He wishes, and what He wishes is appropriate and agreeable to His own nature.
Eran.—We have learnt that all things are possible with God.1417
Orth.—If you read what the just man said before, you will see the meaning of the one passage from the other, for he says “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh and hast fenced me with bones and sinews, thou hast granted me life and favour.”1419
“Having this in myself I know that thou canst do all things and that with thee nothing is impossible.”1420
Orth.—Then there are many things which He cannot do, for there are many kinds of transgression.
Orth.—Nor yet could the Father become Son.
Orth.—And the Father could never become Son?
Eran.—All this is impossible.
Orth.—And we shall find many other things of the same kind, which are similarly impossible, for the Eternal will not become of time, nor the Uncreate created and made, nor the infinite finite, and the like.
Orth.—Because each one of these proclaims the unchangeable and invariable character of God. For the impossibility of good becoming evil signifies the immensity of the goodness; and that He that is just should never become unjust, nor He that is true a liar, exhibits the stability and the strength that there is in truth and righteousness. Thus the true light could never become darkness; He that is could never become nonexistent, for the existence is perpetual and the light is naturally invariable. And so, after examining all other examples, you will find that the not being able is declaratory of the highest power. That things of this kind are impossible in the case of God, the divine Apostle also both perceived and laid down, for in his Epistle to the Hebrews1421
Eran.—This is quite true and in harmony with the divine words.
Orth.—Granted then that with God many things are impossible,—everything, that is, which is repugnant to the divine nature,—how comes it that while you omit all the other qualities which belong to the divine nature, goodness, righteousness, truth, invisibility, incomprehensibility, infinity, and eternity, and the rest of the attributes which we assert to be proper to God, you maintain that His immortality and impassibility alone are subject to change, and in them concede the possibility of variation and give to God a capacity indicative of weakness?
Orth.—And He was called Son of Man because He took a body and human soul.
Orth.—While, then, as man He underwent the passion, as God He remained incapable of suffering.
Orth.—Because the body which suffered was His body. But let us look at the matter thus; when we hear the divine Scripture saying “And it came to pass when Isaac was old his eyes were dim so that he could not see,”1427
Orth.—And yet the words used are significant of the health of the organ of sight.
Orth.—Yet we know that the power of the Spirit when given to purer souls inspires prophetic grace and causes them to see even hidden things, and, in consequence of their thus seeing, they are called seers and beholders.
Orth.—When we hear the story of the divine evangelists narrating how they brought to God a man sick of the palsy, laid upon a bed, do we say that this was paralysis of the parts of the soul or of the body?
Orth.—And when while reading the Epistle to the Hebrews we light upon the passage where the Apostle says “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed,”1430
Orth.—But we do not find these things distinguished in the divine Scripture, for in describing the blindness of Isaac he made no reference to the body, but spoke of Isaac as absolutely blind, nor in describing the prophets as seers and beholders did he say that their souls saw and beheld what was hidden, but mentioned the persons themselves.
Eran.—And very naturally; for God made us reasonable beings.
Orth.—In the case of Isaac, of the prophets, of the man sick of the palsy, and of the rest, we did so without destroying the natural union of the soul and of the body; we did not even separate the souls from their proper bodies, but by reason alone distinguished what belonged to the soul and what to the body. Is it not then monstrous that while we take this course in the case of souls and bodies, we should refuse to do so in the case of our Saviour, and confound natures which differ not in the same proportion as soul from body, but in as vast a degree as the temporal from the eternal and the Creator from the created?
Orth.—We deny that it was suffered by any other, but none the less, taught by the divine Scripture, we know that the nature of the Godhead is impassible. We are told of impassibility and of passion, of manhood and of Godhead, and we therefore attribute the passion to the passible body, and confess that no passion was undergone by the nature that was impassible.
Eran.—Then a body won our salvation for us.
Orth.—Yes; but not a mere man’s body, but that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. If you regard this body as insignificant and of small account, how can you hold its type to be an object of worship and a means of salvation? and how can the archetype be contemptible and insignificant of that of which the type is adorable and honourable?
Orth.—We, my good sir, do not divide the union but we regard the peculiar properties of the natures, and I am sure that in a moment you will take the same view.
Eran.—You talk like a prophet.
Orth.—Then these passages indicate the Godhead?
Orth.—And so with the text, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God,”1433
Orth.—But then you directly contradict the exclamation of the prophet “He fainteth not neither is weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”1435
Orth.—But did He do this by admitting the sufferings in His Godhead, or by permitting the passible nature to undergo its natural sufferings and by suffering proclaim that what was seen was no unreality, but was really assumed of human nature? But now let us look at the matter thus: we say that the divine nature was uncircumscribed.
Orth.—And uncircumscribed nature is circumscribed by none.
Orth.—And that which needs no transition needs not to travel.
Orth.—And that which does not travel does not grow weary.
Orth.—I think that even a barbarian might easily make this distinction. The union of unlike natures being conceded, the person of Christ on account of the union receives both; to each nature its own properties are attributed; to the uncircumscribed immunity from weariness, to that which is capable of transition and travel weariness. For travelling is the function of the feet; of the muscles to be strained by over exercise.
Eran.—There is no controversy about these being bodily affections.
Eran.—This distinction is not the teaching of the divine Scripture; it says that the Son of God died. So the Apostle;—“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.”1439
Eran.—To the body; without question.
Orth.—Now, in the passages which you have just read, the divine Scripture makes no mention of the body, but as far as the words used go, signifies soul as well as body. We however make the proper distinction and say that the souls of the patriarchs were immortal, and that only their bodies were buried in the double cave.1444
Orth.—But does it not seem to you impious and monstrous in the case of mere men to avoid the invariable connexion of soul and body, and in the case of scriptural references to death and burial, to distinguish in thought the soul from the body and connect them only with the body, while in trust in the teaching of the Lord you hold the soul to be immortal, and then when you hear of the passion of the Son of God to follow quite a different course? Are you justified in making no mention of the body to which the passion belongs, and in representing the divine nature which is impassible, immutable and immortal as mortal and passible? While all the while you know that if the nature of God the Word is capable of suffering, the assumption of the body was superfluous.
Eran.—Yes, I know this, but this does not give us what you promised.
Orth.—Yes: even these suggest what I promised to shew. The word brotherhood signifies kinship, and the kinship is due to the assumption of the nature, and the assumption openly proclaims the impassibility of the Godhead. But to understand this the more plainly read what follows.
Eran.—“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death…and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life subject to bondage.”1449
Orth.—Yet the divine Apostle teaches plainly that the Creator, pitying this nature not only seized cruelly by death, but throughout all life made death’s slave, effected the resurrection through a body for our bodies, and, by means of a mortal body, undid the dominion of death; for since His own nature was immortal He righteously wished to stay the sovereignty of death by taking the first fruits of them that were subject to death, and while He kept these first fruits (i.e. the body) blameless and free from sin, on the one hand He gave death license to lay hands on it and so satisfy its insatiability, while on the other, for the sake of the wrong done to this body, he put a stop to the unrighteous sovereignty usurped over all the rest of men. These firstfruits unrighteously engulfed He raised again and will make the race to follow them.
Orth.—Nay: does not the statement of the divine Apostle, that the reason of His making the children partakers of the flesh and blood was that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, distinctly signify the impassibility of the Godhead, and the passibility of the flesh, and that because the divine nature could not suffer He assumed the nature that could and through it destroyed the power of the devil?
Orth.—So with reason the Creator, with the intention of destroying either power, assumed the nature against which war was being waged, and, by keeping it clear of all sin, both set it free from the sovereignty of the devil, and, by its means, destroyed the devil’s dominion. For since death is the punishment of sinners, and death unrighteously and against the divine law seized the sinless body of the Lord, He first raised up that which was unlawfully detained, and then promised release to them that were with justice imprisoned.
Eran.—Yes; for how could a family sprung of mortal parents remain immortal? Adam after the transgression and the divine sentence, and after coming under the power of death, knew his wife, and was called father; having himself become mortal he was made father of mortals; reasonably then all who have received mortal nature follow their forefather.
Orth.—You have shewn very well the reason of our being partakers of death. The same however must be granted about the resurrection, for the remedy must be meet for the disease. When the head of the race was doomed, all the race was doomed with him, and so when the Saviour destroyed the curse, human nature won freedom; and just as they that shared Adam’s nature followed him in his going down into Hades, so all the nature of men will share in newness of life with the Lord Christ in His resurrection.
Orth.—Listen to the Apostle writing to the Romans, and through them teaching all mankind: “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”1450
Eran.—You have gone through long discussions on this point, and have strengthened your argument by scriptural testimony, but if the passion was really of the flesh, how is it that when he praises the divine love to men, the Apostle exclaims, “He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all,”1453
Orth.—Watch well your words. There is one Son of God, wherefore He is called only begotten.
Eran.—Then he says that He was delivered up.
Eran.—It has been agreed again and again that He took body and soul.
Orth.—Therefore the Apostle spoke of what relates to the body.
Eran.—The divide Apostle says distinctly “Who spared not his own Son.”
Orth.—Well; in the story of Abraham you were not content with the letter, but unfolded it and made the meaning clear. In precisely the same manner examine the meaning of the words of the Apostle. You will then see that it was by no means the divine nature which was not withheld, but the flesh nailed to the Cross. And it is easy to perceive the truth even in the type. Do you regard Abraham’s sacrifice as a type of the oblation offered on behalf of the world?
Orth.—You ought by all means to follow teachers of the Church, but, since you improperly oppose yourself to these, hear the Saviour Himself when addressing the Jews; “Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad.”1455
Orth.—Now compare the type with the reality and you will see the impassibility of the Godhead even in the type. Both in the former and in the latter there is a Father; both in the former and the latter a well beloved Son, each bearing the material for the sacrifice. The one bore the wood, the other the cross upon his shoulders. It is said that the top of the hill was dignified by the sacrifice of both. There is a correspondence moreover between the number of days and nights and the resurrection which followed, for after Isaac had been slain by his father’s willing heart, on the third day after the bountiful God had ordered the deed to be done, he rose to new life at the voice of Him who loves mankind.1456
Eran.—In your observations upon this type you represent Isaac as living again at the divine command. There is nothing therefore unseemly if, fitting the reality to the type, we declare that God the Word suffered and came to life again.
Orth.—I have said again and again that it is quite impossible for the type to match the archetypal reality in every respect, and this may also be easily understood in the present instance. Isaac and the lamb, as touching the difference of their natures, suit the image, but as touching the separation of their divided persons1457
Eran.—What Mosaic sacrifice foreshadows the reality?
Eran.—A serpent is plainly hateful, for it injures those who come within its reach, and often hurts people who do it no harm. A goat on the other hand comes, according to the Law, in the list of animals that are clean and may be eaten.
Orth.—Now hear the Lord likening the passion of salvation to the brazen serpent. He says: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”1464
Eran.—But the type of the two goats leads us to think of two persons.
Orth.—The passibility of the manhood and the impassibility of the Godhead could not possibly be prefigured both at once by one goat. The one which was slain could not have shewn the living nature. So two were taken in order to explain the two natures. The same lesson may well be learnt from another sacrifice.
Orth.—From that in which the lawgiver bids two pure birds be offered—one to be slain, and the other, after having been dipped in the blood of the slain, to be let go. Here also we see a type of the Godhead and of the manhood—of the manhood slain and of the godhead appropriating the passion.
Eran.—Though you urge any number of arguments, you will never induce me to divide the passion. I have heard the voice of the angel saying to Mary and her companions, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”1471
Orth.—This is quite in accordance with our common customs; we speak of the part by the name which belongs to all the parts. When we go into the churches where are buried the holy apostles or prophets or martyrs, we ask from time to time, “Who is it who lies in the shrine?” and those who are able to give us information say in reply, Thomas, it may be, the Apostle,1472
Orth.—In the first place, the tomb itself suffices to settle the question, for to a tomb is committed neither soul nor Godhead whose nature is uncircumscribed; tombs are made for bodies. Furthermore this is plainly taught by the divine Scripture, for so the holy Matthew narrates the event, “When the even was come there came a rich man of Arimathæa named Joseph who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: he went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered, and when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed.”1475
Eran.—In the passages we have just now read the Apostle does not mention a body, but Christ the Saviour of us all. You have brought evidence against your own side, and wounded yourself with your own weapon.
Orth.—You seem to have very quickly forgotten the long discourse in which I proved to you over and over again that the body is spoken of by the name of the person. This is what is now done by the divine Apostle, and it can easily be proved from this very passage. Now let us look at it. Why did the divine writer write thus to the Corinthians?
Eran.—As sufficient to prove the resurrection of us all.
Eran.—The reason of the incarnation, suffering, and death of the only begotten Son of God, was that He might destroy death. Thus, after rising, by His own resurrection He preaches the resurrection of all.
Orth.—But who, hearing of a resurrection of God, would ever believe that the resurrection of all men would be exactly like it? The difference of the natures does not allow of our believing in the argument of the resurrection. He is God and they are men, and the difference between God and men is incalculable. They are mortal, and subject to death, like to the grass and to the flower. He is almighty.
Orth.—Yes; and for this reason the suffering and the death and the resurrection are all of the body, and in proof of this the divine Apostle in another place promises renewal of life to all, and to them that believe in the resurrection of their Saviour, yet look upon the general resurrection of all as fable, he exclaims, “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ he not risen…your faith is vain, you are yet in your sins.”1483
Eran.—Then the Christ is only a man.
Orth.—God forbid. On the contrary, we have again and again confessed that He is not only man but eternal God. But He suffered as man, not as God. And this the divine Apostle clearly teaches us when he says “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”1485
Eran.—The Apostle proves the general resurrection by means of the Lord’s resurrection, and it is clear that in this case also what died and rose was a body. For he would never have attempted to prove the general resurrection by its means unless there had been some relation between the substance of the one and the other. I shall never consent to apply the passion to the human nature alone. It seems agreeable to my view to say that God the Word died in the flesh.
Orth.—Therefore He underwent change, for how otherwise could He being immortal submit to death? But we have agreed that the substance of the Trinity is immutable. Having therefore a nature superior to change, He by no means shared death.
Orth.—This agrees with what we have said, for we have learnt the rule of dogmas from the divine Scripture.
Orth.—Because we have not found this expression in the divine Scripture.
Eran.—If the passion is attributed to the Christ, and God the Word after being made man was called Christ, I hold that he who states God the Word to have suffered in the flesh is in no way unreasonable.
Orth.—But it calls God the Word only begotten Son.
Orth.—It nowhere so names the Holy Ghost.
Eran.—Because I do not find this term in the divine Scripture.
Orth.—But what name can properly be given to that which is neither begotten nor created?
Orth.—Then, my good sir, I maintain the same caution in the case of the passion of salvation; do you too avoid all the divine names which Scripture has avoided in the case of the passion, and do not attribute the passion to them.
Orth.—The passion is never connected with the name “God.”
Orth.—You affirm then a mode of passion, not impassibility. No one would ever say this even in the case of a human body. For who not altogether out of his senses would say that the soul of Paul died in flesh? This could never be said even in the case of a great villain; for the souls even of the wicked are immortal. We say that such or such a murderer has been slain, but no one would ever say that his soul had been killed in the flesh. But if we describe the souls of murderers and violators of sepulchres as free from death, far more right is it to acknowledge as immortal the soul of our Saviour, in that it never tasted sin. If the souls of them who have most greatly erred have escaped death on account of their nature, how could that soul, whose nature was immortal and who never received the least taint of sin, have taken death’s hook?
Orth.—But of what punishment are you not deserving, you who say that the soul, which is by nature created, is immortal, and are for making the divine substance mortal for the Word; you who deny that the soul of the Saviour tasted death in the flesh, and dare to maintain that God the Word, Creator of all things, underwent the passion?
Orth.—And what man in his senses would ever put up with such ridiculous riddles? Who ever heard of an impassible passion, or of an immortal mortality? The impassible has never undergone passion, and what has undergone passion could not possibly be impassible. But we hear the exclamation of the divine Paul: “Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.”1489
Orth.—We do say so; that God is absolutely immortal. He is immortal not by partaking of substance, but in substance; He does not possess an immortality which He has received of another. It is He Himself who has bestowed their immortality on the angels and on them that thou hast just now mentioned. How, moreover, when the divine Paul styles Him immortal and says that He only hath immortality, can you attribute to Him the passion of death?
Orth.—But over and over again we have confessed Him immutable. If being previously immortal He afterwards underwent death through the flesh, a change having preceded His undergoing death; if His life left Him for three days and three nights, how do such statements fall short of the most extreme impiety? For I think that not even they that are struggling against impiety can venture to let such words fall from their lips without peril.
Orth.—Both now and in our former investigations we have shewn that the soul does not share all the faculties of the body but that the body while it receives vital force has the sense of suffering through the soul. And even supposing us to grant that the soul shares in pain with the body we shall none the less find the divine nature to be impassible, for it was not united to the body instead of a soul. Or do you not acknowledge that He assumed a soul?
Orth.—And that He assumed a reasonable Soul?
Orth.—If then together with the body He assumed the soul, and we grant that the soul shared in suffering with the body, then the soul, not the Godhead, shared the passion with the body; it shared the passion, receiving pangs by means of the body. But possibly somebody might agree to the soul sharing suffering with the body, but might deny its sharing death, because of its having an immortal nature. On this account the Lord said “Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.”1490
Orth.—If you have such a detestation of the divine words which preach the mystery of the incarnation, why, like Marcion and Valentinus and Manes, do you not destroy texts of this kind? For this is what they have done. But if this seems to you rash and impious, do not turn the Lord’s words into ridicule, but rather follow the Apostles in their belief after the resurrection that the Godhead raised again the temple which the Jews had destroyed.
Eran.—If you have any good evidence to adduce, give over gibing and fulfil your promise.
Eran.—One quotation is not enough to settle the question.
Orth.—The Ethiopian eunuch had not read much of the Bible, but when he had found one witness from the prophets he was guided by it to salvation. But not all Apostles and prophets and all the preachers of the truth who have lived since then are enough to convince you. Nevertheless I will bring you some further testimony about the Lord’s body. You cannot but know that passage in the Gospel history where, after eating the passover with His disciples, our Lord pointed to the death of the typical lamb and taught what body corresponded with that shadow.1496
Orth.—Remember then what it was which our Lord took and broke, and what He called it when He had taken it.
Orth.—Then when exhibiting the type of the passion He did not mention the Godhead?
Orth.—But He did mention the body and blood.
Orth.—Come, then; look at this. When after the resurrection the doors were shut and the Lord came to the holy disciples and beheld them affrighted, what means did He use to destroy their fear and instead of fear to infuse faith?
Orth.—And I suppose what rose was what had died?
Orth.—Then according to your own argument the body suffered?
Orth.—When the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles, and that wonderful sight and sound collected thousands to the house, what did the chief of the apostles in the speech he then made say concerning the Lord’s resurrection?
Eran.—He quoted the divine David, and said that he had received promises from God that the Lord Christ should be born of the fruit of his loins and that in trust in these promises he prophetically foresaw His resurrection, and plainly said that His soul was not left in Hades and that His flesh did not see corruption.1501
Orth.—How comes it that you who attribute the passion, the death and the resurrection to the immutable and uncircumscribed Godhead have suddenly appeared before us in your right mind and now object to connecting the word resurrection with the soul?
Orth.—But the body does not obtain resurrection apart from a soul, but being renewed by the divine will, and conjoined with its yokefellow, it receives life. Was it not thus that the Lord raised Lazarus?
Orth.—This is more distinctly taught by the divine Ezekiel,1502
Eran.—I cannot brook these absurdities.
Orth.—Suppose any one to ask what is the animal which is at once reasonable and mortal, and suppose some one else to answer—man; which of the two would you call interpreter of the saying? The questioner or the answerer?
Orth.—Therefore you must not put the words “in the flesh” in it,—for this is your ingenious invention for decrying the Godhead of the Word—but must attribute the passion to the bare Godhead of the Word.
Orth.—Ah! but nothing must be added to the Apostle’s words.
Eran.—When we know the Apostle’s meaning there is nothing absurd in adding what is left out.
Orth.—But you have often divided them in our previous investigations, and you shall do the same thing now. Tell me; do you say that God the Word was only begotten Son?
Orth.—And the only begotten cannot have a brother?
Eran.—Of course not, for if He had had a brother He would not be called the only begotten.
Orth.—See how you have brought in again that division which you object to.
Eran.—Now you are getting the argument off the track because you want to shirk the question.
Orth.—Not at all, my friend. That will be settled too by the points we have investigated. Now look; when you were reminded of James the brother of the Lord, you said that the relationship referred not to the Godhead but to the flesh.
Orth.—And it is the same Lord in both cases. If then you are right in referring the relationship to the flesh you must also refer the passion to the flesh, for it is perfectly ridiculous to regard the relationship without distinction and to refer the passion to Christ without distinction.
Orth.—I follow too, and believe that He was “Lord of glory.” For the body which was nailed to the wood was not that of any common man but of the Lord of glory. But we must acknowledge that the union makes the names common. Once more: do you say that the flesh of the Lord came down from heaven?
Orth.—How, then, does the Lord say “If ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before,”1506
Eran.—The peculiar properties of the natures are shared by the person, for on account of the union the same being is both Son of man and Son of God, everlasting and of time, Son of David and Lord of David, and so on with the rest.
Orth.—Very right. But it is also important to recognise the fact that no confusion of natures results from both having one name. Wherefore we are endeavouring to distinguish how the same being is Son of God and also Son of man, and how He is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,”1508
Orth.—You say that the divine nature came down from heaven and that in consequence of the union it was called the Son of man. Thus it behoves us to say that the flesh was nailed to the tree, but to hold that the divine nature even on the cross and in the tomb was inseparable from this flesh, though from it it derived no sense of suffering, since the divine nature is naturally incapable of undergoing both suffering and death and its substance is immortal and impassible. It is in this sense that the crucified is styled Lord of Glory, by attribution of the title of the impassible nature to the passible, since, as we know, a body is described as belonging to this latter.
Eran.—That is very probable, but the exposition of the faith laid down by the Fathers in council at Nicæa says that the only begotten Himself, very God, of one substance with the Father, suffered and was crucified.
Orth.—You seem to forget what we have agreed on again and again.
Orth.—I mean that after the union the holy Scripture applies to one person terms both of exaltation and of humiliation. But possibly you are also ignorant that the illustrious Fathers first mentioned His taking flesh and being made man, and then afterwards added that He suffered and was crucified, and thus spoke of the passion after they had set forth the nature capable of passion.
Orth.—I have observed more than once that both the Divine and the human are ascribed to the one Person. It is in accordance with this position that the thrice blessed Fathers, after teaching how we should believe in the Father, and then passing on to the person of the Son, did not immediately add “and in the Son of God,” although it would have very naturally followed that after defining what touches God the Father they should straightway have introduced the name of Son. But their object was to give us at one and the same time instruction on the theology and on the œconomy,1511
Eran.—To the Godhead, as is plain.
Eran.—To the Godhead.
Orth.—Very well, then. And when we are told of passion and of the cross we must recognise the nature which submitted to the passion; we must avoid attributing it to the impassible, and must attribute it to that nature which was assumed for the distinct purpose of suffering. The acknowledgment on the part of the most excellent Fathers that the divine nature was impassible; and their attribution of the passion to the flesh is proved by the conclusion of the creed, which runs “But they who state there was a time when He was not, and before He was begotten He was not, and He was made out of the non-existent, or who allege that the Son of God was of another essence or substance mutable or variable, these the holy catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.” See then what penalties are denounced against them that attribute the passion to the divine nature.1512
Orth.—But what is the passion but mutation and variation? For if, being impassible before His incarnation, He suffered after His incarnation, He assuredly suffered by undergoing mutation; and if being immortal before He became man, He tasted death, as you say, after being made man, He underwent a complete alteration by being made mortal after being immortal. But expressions of this kind, and their authors with them, have all been expelled by the illustrious Fathers from the bounds of the Church, and cut off like rotten limbs from the sound body. We therefore exhort you to fear the punishment and abhor the blasphemy.
Now I will show you that in their own writings the holy Fathers have held the opinions we have expressed. Of the witnesses I shall bring forward some took part in that great Council; some flourished in the Church after their time; some illuminated the world long before. But their harmony is broken neither by difference of periods nor by diversity of language; like the harp their strings are several and separate but like the harp they make one harmonious music.
From his Epistle to the Smyrnæans:—
“They do not admit Eucharists and oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which of His goodness the Father raised.”1513
From his third book against heresies (Chap. xx.):—
“It is clear then that Paul knew no other Christ save Him that suffered and was buried and rose and was born, whom he calls man, for after saying, ‘If Christ be preached that He rose from the dead,’1514
Of the same from the same work. (Chapter xxi.):—
“For as He was Man that He might be tempted, so was He Word that He might be glorified. In His temptation, His crucifixion and His dying, the Word was inoperative; but in His victory, His patience, His goodness, His resurrection and His assumption it was co-operative with the manhood.”
Of the same from the fifth book of the same work:—
From his letter to a certain Queen:—
“So he calls Him ‘The firstfruits of them that slept,’1519
“By calling Him firstfruits He bore witness to what we have said, that the Saviour, after taking the flesh of the same material, raised it, making it firstfruits of the flesh of the just, in order that all we that believe might have expectation of our resurrection through trust in Him that is risen.”
Of the same from the same discourse:—
“And the body being, humanly speaking, a corpse, has in itself great power of life, for there flowed from it what does not flow from dead bodies—blood and water,—that we might know what vital force lies in the indwelling power in the body, so that it is a corpse evidently unlike others, and is able to pour forth for us causes of life.”1522
Of the same from the same discourse:—
From his book on the soul:—
“Their impious calumny can be refuted in a few words; they may be right, unless He voluntarily gave up His own body to the destruction of death for the sake of the salvation of men. First of all they attribute to Him extraordinary infirmity in not being able to repel His enemies assault.”
“Why do they, in the concoction of their earth-born deceits, make much of proving that the Christ assumed a body without a soul? In order that if they could seduce any to lay down that this is the case, then, by attributing to the divine Spirit variations of affection, they might easily persuade them that the mutable is not begotten of the immutable nature.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“As he writes he expressly describes the man who was crucified as Lord of Glory, declaring Him to be Lord and Christ, just as the Apostles with one voice when speaking to Israel in the flesh say ‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’1526
Of the same from the same work:—
“For if He is incorporeal and not subject to manual contact, nor apprehended by eyes of flesh, He undergoes no wound, He is not nailed by nails, He has no part in death, He is not hidden in the ground, He is not shut in a grave, He does not rise from a tomb.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“But had it been becoming to attribute to Him any kind of infirmity, any one might have said that it was natural to attach these qualities to the manhood, though not to the fulness of the Godhead, or to the dignity of the highest wisdom, or to Him who according to Paul is described as God over all.”1528
“This then is the manner of the infirmity according to which He is described by Paul as coming to death, for the man lives by God’s power when plainly associated with God’s spirit, since from the preceding statements He who is believed to be in Him is proved to be also the power of the Most High.”
“As by entering the Virgin’s womb He did not lessen His power, so neither by the fastening of His body to the wood of the cross is His spirit defiled. For when the body was crucified on high the divine Spirit of wisdom dwelt even within the body, trod in heavenly places, filled all the earth, reigned over the depths, visited and judged the soul of every man, and continued to do all that God continually does, for the wisdom that is on high is not prisoned and contained within bodily matter, just as moist and dry material are contained within their vessels and are contained by but do not contain them. But this wisdom, being a divine and ineffable power, embraces and confirms alike all that is within and all that is without the temple, and thence proceeding beyond comprehends and sways at once all matter.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“But if the sun being a visible body, apprehended by the senses, endures everywhere such adverse influences without changing its order, or feeling any blow, be it small or great; can we suppose the incorporeal Wisdom to be defiled and to change its nature because its temple is nailed to the cross or destroyed or wounded or corrupted? The temple suffers, but the substance abides without spot, and preserves its entire dignity without defilement.”
Of the same from his work on the titles of the Psalms of Degrees:—
“The Father who is perfect, infinite, incomprehensible, and is incapable alike of adornment or disfigurement, receives no acquired glory; nor yet does His Word, who is God begotten of Him, through whom are angels and heaven and earth’s boundless bulk and all the form and matter of created things; but the man Christ raised from the dead is exalted and glorified to the open discomfiture of His foes.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“Moreover the prophet Isaiah following the tracks of His sufferings, among other utterances exclaims with a mighty voice ‘And we saw Him and He had no form nor beauty. His form was dishonoured and rejected among the sons of men,’1529
“Whoever reached such a pitch of impiety as to think and say that the Godhead itself of one substance with the Father was circumcised, and from perfect became imperfect; and to deny that what was crucified on the tree was the body, asserting it on the contrary to be the very creative substance of wisdom?”
Of the same from the same treatise:—
“The Word associated with Himself and brought upon Himself what the humanity of the Word suffered, that we might be able to share in the Godhead of the Word. And marvellous it was that the sufferer and He who did not suffer were the same; sufferer in that His own body suffered and He was in it while suffering, but not suffering because the Word, being by nature God, was impassible. And He Himself the incorporeal was in the passible body, and the body contained in itself the impassible Word, destroying the infirmities of His body.”
“For being God and Lord of Glory, He was in the body ingloriously crucified; but the body suffered when smitten on the tree, and water and blood flowed from its side; but being temple of the Word, it was full of the Godhead. Wherefore when the sun saw its Creator suffering in His outraged body, it drew in its rays, and darkened the earth. And that very body with a mortal nature rose superior to its own nature, on account of the Word within it, and is no longer touched by its natural corruption, but clothed with the superhuman Word, became incorruptible.”
“Was what rose from the dead, man or God? Peter, the Apostle, who knows better than we, interprets and say, ‘and when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a sepulchre, but God raised Him from the dead.’1531
Of the same from the same work:—
“Life then does not die, but quickens the dead; for as the light is not injured in a dark place, so life cannot suffer when it has visited a mortal nature, for the Godhead of the Word is immutable and invariable as the Lord says in the prophecy about Himself ‘I am the Lord I change not.’”1535
Of the same from the same work:—
“Living He cannot die but on the contrary quickens the dead. He is therefore, by the Godhead derived from the Father, a fount of light; but He that died, or rather rose from the dead, our intercessor, who was born of the Virgin Mary, whom the Godhead of the Word assumed for our sake, is man.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“It came to pass that Lazarus fell sick and died; but the divine Man did not fall sick nor against His own will did He die, but of His own accord came to the dispensation of death, being strengthened by God the Word who dwelt within Him, and who said ‘No man taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.’1536
Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—
“For when the Word was conscious that in no other way could the ruin of men be undone save by death to the uttermost, and it was impossible that the Word who is immortal and Son of the Father should die, to effect His end He assumes a body capable of death, that this body, being united to the Word, who is over all, might, in the stead of all, become subject to death, and because of the indwelling Word might remain incorruptible, and so by the grace of the resurrection corruption for the future might lose its power over men. Thus offering to death, as a sacrifice and victim free from every spot, the body which He had assumed, by His corresponding offering He straightway destroyed death’s power over all His kind; for being the Word of God above and beyond all men, He rightly offered and paid His own temple and bodily instrument, as a ransom for all souls due to death. And thus by means of the like (body) being associated with all men, the incorruptible Son of God rightly clothed all men with incorruption by the promise of the resurrection, for the corruption inherent in death no longer has any place with men, for the sake of the Word who dwelt in them by the means of the one body.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“Wherefore, after His divine manifestations in His works, now also on behalf of all He offered sacrifice, yielding to death His own temple instead of all, that He might make all men irresponsible and free from the ancient transgression, and, exhibiting His own body as incorruptible firstfruits of the resurrection of mankind, might shew Himself stronger than death. For the body, as having a common substance—for it was a human body, although by a new miracle its constitution was of the Virgin alone—being mortal, died after the example of its like; but by the descent of the Word into it no longer suffered corruption, according to its own nature, but, on account of God the Word who dwelt within it, was delivered from corruption.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“Whence, as I have said, since it was not possible for the Word being immortal to die, He took upon Himself a body capable of death, in order that He might offer this same body for all, and He Himself in His suffering on behalf of all through His descent into this body might ‘destroy Him that hath the power of death.’”1540
Of the same from the same work:1541
“For the body in its passion, as is the nature of bodies, died, but it had the promise of incorruption through the Word that dwelt within it. For when the body died the Word was not injured; but He was Himself impassible, incorruptible, and immortal, as being God’s Word, and being associated with the body He kept from it the natural corruption of bodies, as says the Spirit to Him ‘thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.’”1542
“If any one say that, in the passion of the Cross, God the Son of God suffered pain, and not the flesh with the soul, which the form of the servant put on and assumed, as the Scripture saith, Let him be anathema.”
From his book on the Catholic faith:—
“There are some men who have reached such a pitch of impiety as to think that the Godhead of the Lord was circumcised, and from perfect was made imperfect; and that the divine substance, Creator of all things, and not the flesh, was on the tree.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“The flesh suffered; but the Godhead is free from death. He yielded His body to suffer according to the law of human nature. For how can God die, when the soul cannot die? ‘Fear not,’ He says, ‘them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.’1544
“It is perfectly well known to every one who has the least acquaintance with the meaning of the words of the Apostle that he is not delivering to us a mode of theology but is explaining the reasons of the œconomy,1545
“The saddest thing in what has befallen the churches is the boldness of the utterances of Apollinarius and his party. I cannot understand how your Holiness has allowed them to arrogate to themselves the power of assembling on the same terms with us.”
“I will no longer call this serious; it is indeed saddest of all that the only begotten God Himself, Judge of all who exist, the Prince of Life, the Destroyer of Death, is made by him mortal and alleged to receive suffering in His own Godhead. He represents the Godhead to have shared with the body in the dissolution of that three days death of the body, and so after the death to have been again raised by the Father.”
Of the same from his discourse about the Son:—
“It remained for us to treat of what was commanded Him and of His keeping the commandments and doing all things pleasing to Him; and further of His perfection, exaltation, and learning obedience by all that He suffered,1547
Of the same from his Easter Discourse (Or. ii.):—
“‘Who is this that cometh from Edom?’1548
From his catechetical oration:—
“And this is the mystery of the dispensation of God concerning the manhood and of the resurrection from the dead, not to prevent the soul from being separated from the body by death according to the necessary law of human nature, and to bring them together again through the resurrection.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“The flesh which received the Godhead, and which through the resurrection was exalted with the Godhead, is not formed of another material, but of ours; so, just as in the case of our own body, the operation of one of the senses moves to general sensation the whole man united to that part, in like manner just as though all nature were one single animal, the resurrection of the part pervades the whole, being conveyed from the part to the whole by what is continuous and united in nature. What then do we find extraordinary in the mystery that the upright stoops to the fallen to raise up him that lies low?”
Of the same from the same work:—
Of the same from his work against Eunomius:—
“’Tis not the human nature which raises Lazarus to life. ’Tis not the impassible power which sheds tears over the dead. The tear belongs to the man; the life comes from the very life. The thousands are not fed by human poverty; omnipotence does not hasten to the fig tree. Who was weary in the way, and who by His word sustains all the world without being weary? What is the brightness of His glory, what was pierced by the nails? What form is smitten in the passion, what is glorified for everlasting? The answer is plain and needs no interpretation.”
Of the same from the same treatise:—
“He blames them that refer the passion to the human nature. He wishes himself wholly to subject the Godhead itself to the passion, for the proposition being twofold and doubtful, whether the divinity or the humanity was concerned in the passion, the denial of the one becomes the positive condemnation of the other. While therefore they blame them who see the passion in the humanity, they will bestow unqualified praise on them that maintain the Divinity of the Son of God to be passible. But the point established by these means becomes a confirmation of their own absurdity of doctrine; for if, as they allege, the Godhead of the Son suffers while that of the Father in accordance with its substance is conserved in complete impassibility, it follows that the impassible nature is at variance with the nature which sustains suffering.”
“Whose then are the sufferings? Of the flesh. Therefore if you give to the flesh the suffering, give it also the lowly words; and ascribe the exalted words to Him to Whom you assign the miracles. For the God when He is in the act of working wonders naturally speaks in high and lofty language worthy of His works and the man when He is suffering fitly utters lowly words corresponding with His sufferings.”
“But when you give the sufferings to the flesh and the miracles to God, you must of necessity, though unwillingly, give the lowly words to the man born of Mary, and the high and lofty words becoming God, to the Word who existed in the beginning. The reason why I utter sometimes lofty words and sometimes lowly is that by the lofty I may show the nobility of the indwelling Word, and by the lowly make known the infirmity of the lowly flesh. So at one time I call myself equal to the Father and at another I call the Father greater; and in this I am not inconsistent with myself, but I shew that I am God and man; God by the lofty and man by the lowly. And if you wish to know in what sense my Father is greater than I, I spoke in the flesh and not in the person of the Godhead.”
“Ascribe not then the sufferings of the flesh to the impassible God, for I, O heretic, am God, and man; God, as the miracles prove; man as is shewn by the sufferings. Since then I am God and man, tell me, who was it who suffered? If God suffered, you have spoken blasphemy; but if the flesh suffered, why do you not attribute the passion to Him to whom you ascribe the dread? For while one is suffering another feels on dread; while man is being crucified God is not troubled.”
Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—
“And not to prolong what I am saying, I will shortly ask you, O heretic, did He who was begotten of God before the ages suffer, or Jesus who was born of David in the last days? If the Godhead suffered, thou hast spoken blasphemy; if, as the truth is, the manhood suffered, for what reason do you hesitate to attribute the passion to man?”
Of the same from his discourse concerning the Son:—
Of the same from his discourse on “The Son can do nothing of Himself”:1555
“For He had not such a nature as that His life could be held by corruption, since His Godhead was not forcibly reduced to suffering. For how could it? But the manhood was renewed in incorruption. So he says ‘For this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption.’1556
“Wherefore also the cross is boldly preached by us, and the Lord’s death confessed among us, though in nothing did the Godhead suffer, for the divine is impassible, but the dispensation was fulfilled by the body.”
“When therefore you hear of the Lord being betrayed, do not degrade the divine dignity to insignificance, nor attribute to divine power the sufferings of the body. For the divine is impassible and invariable. For if through His love to mankind He took on Him the form of a servant, He underwent no change in nature. But being what He ever was, he yielded the divine1557
“Of unreasoning beings the souls are not taken and replaced: they share in the corruption of the bodies, and are dissolved into dust. But after the Saviour at the time of the cross had taken the soul from His own body, He restored it to the body again when He rose from the dead. To assure us of this He uttered the words of the psalmist, the predictive exclamation, ‘Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell nor suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.’”1558
“He was bound, He was wounded, He was crucified, He was handled, He was marked with scars, He received a lance’s wound, and all these indignities were undergone by the body born of Mary, while that which was begotten from the Father before the ages none was able to harm, for the Word had no such nature. For how can any one constrain Godhead? How wound it? How make red with blood the incorporeal nature? How surround it with grave bands? Grant now what you cannot contravene and, constrained by invincible reason, honour Godhead.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“Observe how they spoke of His former age. Ask the heretic the question Does God dread? Does He draw back? Does He shrink? Does He sorrow? and if he says yes, stand off from him for the future, rank him down below with the devil, aye lower even than the devil, for even the devil will not dare to say this. But, should he say that each of these things is unworthy of God, reply—neither does God pray; for apart from these it will be yet another absurdity should the words be the words of God, for the words indicate not only an agony, but also two wills; one of the Son and another of the Father, opposed to one another. For the words ‘Not as I will, but as Thou wilt,’ are the words of one indicating this.”
Of the same from the same work:—
“For if this be spoken of the Godhead there arises a certain contradiction, and many absurdities are thereby produced. If on the contrary it be spoken of the flesh, the expressions are reasonable, and no fault can be found with them. For the unwillingness of the flesh to die incurs no condemnation; such is the nature of the flesh and He exhibits all the properties of the flesh except sin, and indeed in full abundance, so as to stop the mouths of the heretics. When therefore He says ‘If it be possible let this cup pass from me’ and ‘not as I will but as Thou wilt,’ He only shews that He is really clothed with the flesh which fears death, for it is the nature of the flesh to fear death, to draw back and to suffer agony. Now He leaves it abandoned and stripped of its own activity, that by shewing its weakness He may convince us also of its nature. Sometimes however He conceals it, because He was not mere man.”
From his discourse on the seals:—
“The Jews withstand the apparent, ignorant of the non-apparent; they crucify the flesh; they do not destroy the Godhead. For if my words are not destroyed together with the letter which is the clothing of speech, how could God the Word, the fount of life, die together with the flesh? The passion belongs to the body, but impassibility to the dignity.”
See then how they whose husbandry is in the East and in the West, as well as in the South and in the North, have all been shewn by us to condemn your vain heresy, and all openly to proclaim the impassibility of the divine Nature. See how both tongues, I mean both Greek and Latin, make one harmonious confession about the things of God.
Eran.—I am myself astonished at their harmony, but I observe a considerable difference in the terms they use.
Orth.—Do not be angry. The very force of their fight against their adversaries is the cause of their seeming immoderate. The same thing is to be observed in the case of planters; when they see a plant bent one way or another, they are not satisfied with bringing it to a straight line, but bend it still further in the opposite direction, that by its being bent still further from the straight it may attain its upright stature. But that you may know that the very promoters and supporters of this manifold heresy strive to surpass even the heretics of old by the greatness of their blasphemies, listen once more to the writings of Apollinarius which proclaim the impassibility of the divine nature, and confess the passion to be of the body.
Testimony of Apollinarius.
“John spoke of the temple which was destroyed, namely the body of Him that raised it, and the body is entirely united to Him and He is not another among them. And if the body of the Lord was one with the Lord, the properties of the body were constituted His properties on account of the body.”
“And the truth is that His conjunction with the body does not take place by circumscription of the Word, so that He has nothing beyond His incorporation. Wherefore even in death immortality abides with Him; for if He transcends this composition, so does He also the dissolution. Now death is dissolution. But He was not comprehended in the composition; had He been so, the universe would have been made void; nor in the dissolution did He, like the soul, suffer the deprivation which succeeds dissolution.”
“As the Saviour says that the dead bodies go forth from their tombs, though their souls do not go forth thence, just so He says that He Himself will rise from the dead, although it is only His body that rises.”
In another similar work he writes:—
“Of man is the rising from the dead; of God is the raising. Now Christ both rose and raised, for He was God and man. Had the Christ been only man He would not have quickened the dead, and if He had been only God, He would not on His own account apart from the Father have quickened any of the dead. But Christ did both; the same being is both God and man. If the Christ had been only man He would not have saved the world; if He had been only God He would not have saved it through suffering, but Christ did both, so He is God and man. If the Christ had been only man or if only God He could not have been a Mediator between men and God.”
“Now flesh is an instrument of life fitted to the capacity for suffering in accordance with the divine will. Words are not proper to the Flesh, nor are deeds. Being made subject to the capacity for suffering, as is natural to the flesh, it prevails over the suffering because it is the flesh of God.”
“The Son took flesh of the Virgin and travelled to the world. This flesh He filled with the Holy Ghost to the sanctification of us all. So He delivered death to death and destroyed death through the resurrection to the raising of us all.”
From his tract concerning the faith:—
And in his tract about the incarnation he further writes:—
You see now that one of the professors of vain heresy plainly preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, calls the body a temple, and persists in maintaining that this body was raised by God the Word.
Eran.—I have met with some of his writings, and found him to be a supporter of the doctrines of Arius.
Orth.—Yes; he did belong to that sect, but in his endeavour to prove that the Father was greater than the only begotten he declares the Godhead of the depreciated Son to be impassible and for this opinion he contended with long and extraordinary perseverance.
Testimony of Eusebius of Emesa:—
“Wherefore does he fear death? Lest he suffer anything from death? For what was death to Him? Was it not the severance of the power from the flesh? Did the power receive a nail that it should fear? If our soul suffers not the body’s infirmities when united with it, but the eye grows blind and yet the mind retains its force; and a foot is cut off and yet the reasoning power does not halt—and this nature evidences, and the Lord sets His seal on, in the words ‘Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul’ (and if they cannot kill the soul, it is not because they do not wish, but because they are not able, though they would like to make the soul share the suffering of the body yoked with it)—shall He who created the soul and formed the body suffer as the body suffers, although He does take upon Himself the body’s sufferings? But Christ suffered for us, and we lie not. ‘And the bread that I will give is my flesh.’1566
“He came to save our nature; not to destroy His own. If I consent to say that a camel flies, you directly count it strange, because it does not fit in with its nature; and you are quite right. And if I say that men live in the sea you will not accept it; you are quite right. It is contrary to nature. As then if I say strange things about these natures you count it strange; if I say that the Power which was before the ages, by nature incorporeal, in dignity impassible, which exists with the Father and by the Father’s side, on His right hand and in glory, if I say that this incorporeal nature suffers, will you not stop your ears? If you will not stop your ears when you hear this, I shall stop my heart. Can we do anything to an angel? Smite him with a sword? Or cut him in pieces? Why do I say to an angel? Can we to a soul? Does a soul receive a nail? A soul is neither cut nor burnt. Do you ask why? Because it was so created. Are His works impassible and He Himself passible? I do not reject the œconomy; on the contrary, I welcome the ill-treatment. Christ died for us and was crucified. So it is written; so the nature admitted. I do not blot out the words nor do I blaspheme the nature. But this is not true. Very well, then let something truer be said. The teacher is a benefactor, never harsh, never an enemy, unless the pupil be headstrong. Have you anything good to say? My ears are gratefully open. Does any one want to quarrel? Let him quarrel at his leisure. Could the Jews crucify the Son of God and make the power itself a dead body? Can the living die? The death of this power is its failure. Even when we die, our body is left. But if we make that power a dead body we reduce it to non-existence. I am afraid you cannot hear. If the body die, the soul is separated from it and remains; but if the soul die, since it has no body, it altogether ceases to exist. A soul by dying altogether ceases to be. For the death of the immortals is a contradiction of their existence. Consider the alternative; for I do not dare even to mention it. We say these things as we understand them, but if any one is contentions, we lay down no law. But I know one thing, that every man must reap the fruit of his opinions. Each man comes to God and brings before Him what he has said and thought about Him. Do not suppose that God reads books, or is troubled by having to recollect what you said or who heard you: all is made manifest. The judge is on the throne. Paulus1572
You see the other sect of your teachers, in which you supposed that you had learnt the suffering of the Godhead of the only Begotten, abhors this blasphemy, preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, and quits the ranks of them who dare to attribute the passion to it.
Orth.—Then, my good Sir, imitate the bees. As you flit in mental flight about the meads of the divine Scripture, among the fair flowers of these illustrious Fathers, build us in your heart the honey-comb of the faith. If haply you find anywhere herbage bitter and not fit to eat, like these fellows Apollinarius and Eusebius, but still not quite without something that may be meet for making honey, it is reasonable that you should sip the sweet and leave the poisonous behind, like bees who lighting often on baneful bushes leave all the deadly bane behind and gather all the good. We give you this advice, dear friend, in brotherly kindness. Receive it and you will do well. And if you hearken not we will say to you in the word of the apostle “We are pure.”1574