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things, must differ entirely from those things which were called out of nothing into being. This shows, likewise, that there is no separation between the Father and the Son, and that the idea of separation cannot even be conceived by the mind. The fact that the world was created out of nothing, shows that its creation is comparatively recent; for by the Father through the Son did all things which it contains receive their being. John, the pious apostle, perceiving the greatness of the Word of God above all created beings, could find no terms adequate to convey this truth, neither did he presume to apply the same epithet to the Maker as to the creature. The Son of God is not unbegotten, for the Father alone is unbegotten; but the manner in which the Son was begotten of God is inexplicable, and beyond the comprehension of the evangelist, and perhaps of angels. Therefore, I think that those should not be considered pious who presume to investigate this subject in disobedience to the injunction, Seek not what is too difficult for thee, neither inquire into what is too high for thee' (Ecclus. iii. 21). The knowledge of many things incomparably inferior is beyond the capacity of the human mind, and cannot therefore be attained. It has been said by Paul, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him' (1 Cor. ii. 9). God also said to Abraham, that the stars could not be numbered by him ;' and it is likewise said, ' Who shall number the grains of sand by the sea-shore, or the drops of rain?' (Ecclus. i. 2.) How then can any one, unless indeed his intellect be deranged, presume to inquire into the nature of the Word of God? It is said by the Spirit of prophecy, 'Who shall declare his generation?' (Isa. liii. 8). And, therefore, our Saviour, in order to benefit those who were as the columns of all the churches established in the world, delivered them from the trouble of striving after this knowledge, by telling them that it was beyond their comprehension, and that the Father alone could discern the Divine mystery; 'No

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1 The meaning of this difficult passage, according to Valesius, is this: St. John the evangelist, in speaking of the Son of God, took great care to use with respect to Him a different term from that which he applied to created beings. For of the Son he says, "Verbum erat apud Deum." (v.) But with respect to created beings he uses the expression “facta sunt.” (ἐγένετο.)

man,' said he, 'knoweth the Son but the Father, and no man knoweth the Father save the Son' (Matt. xi. 27).

"It was, I think, concerning this same subject that the Father said, 'My secret is for me and for mine.' It is evidently folly to imagine that the Son of God was created, and that he has only a temporary existence, although the senseless multitude who admit this hypothesis are incapable of perceiving its absurdity. For their assertion that he did not exist, must have reference to some determinate point of time, or to some particular period within the lapse of ages. If then it be true that all things were made by him, it is evident that all ages, time, all intervals of time, and all other periods comprehended within these terms, in which he is said not to have existed, were made by him. And is it not absurd to say that He did not at one period exist, who created all time, and ages, and seasons, within which the period in which he did not exist must necessarily be included? For it would be the height of ignorance, and contrary indeed to all reason, to affirm that any created thing whatever can be antecedent to its cause. The space of time during which they say the Son was still unbegotten of the Father was, according to their opinion, prior to the wisdom of God, by whom all things were created. They thus contradict those Scriptures which declare him to be the first-born of every creature. Conformable to this doctrine is the language of Paul, who has thus written concerning him; 'whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds' (Heb. i. 2). For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things' (Col. i. 16, 17). Since the hypothesis we have just examined is manifestly impious, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the Father is always the Father. The Father is the Father because he has a Son; hence it is that he is called a Father. Having a Son, he is perfectly a Father, nothing being wanted to complete the relation. He did not beget his only Son in time, or in any period of time, nor in any thing that had previous existence.

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"Is it not impiety to say that the wisdom of God was at one period not in existence? for it is written, "I was with Him being joined to Him, I was his delight' (Prov. viii.).

Has not the power of God always subsisted? Was the Word of God ever separated from God? or, can anything else be advanced by which the Son can be known, or the Father designated? If the reflection of the light should disappear, it is evident that its disappearance can only arise from the light itself being extinguished; so if there ever was a time in which the image of God did not exist, then God himself could not have existed. The supposition that the likeness of God does not exist implies that God himself has no existence, for the likeness is the exact reflection of himself. Hence it may be seen that the Sonship of our Saviour has nothing in common with the sonship of men. For if, as it has been shown, the nature of his existence cannot be expressed by language, and infinitely surpasses in excellence all things to which he has given being, so, his Sonship, being Divine, is unspeakably different from the sonship of those whom it has been His will to adopt as children. He is by nature immutable, perfect, and all-sufficient, whereas men are liable to change, and need His help. What further progression can be made by the wisdom of God? What can be added to his truth, or to his word? What augmentation of power can be given to life itself, or to the true light? And is it not still more contrary to nature to suppose that wisdom can be susceptible of folly? that the power of God can be converted into weakness? that reason itself can be rendered void by folly, or that darkness can be mixed with the true light? Does not the Apostle remark on this subject, What communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?' (2 Cor. vi. 14, 15); and Solomon said, that he could not comprehend the way of a serpent upon a rock,' (Prov. xxx. 19,) which according to St. Paul is Christ. Men and angels, who are his creatures, have received his blessing, enabling them to grow in virtue, in obedience to his commands, and in the power of avoiding sin.1 And it is on this account that our Lord, being by nature the Son of the Father, is worshipped by all. They having been delivered from the spirit of bondage, receive the


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1 Valesius observes that there is a difficulty in admitting that these two gifts of God have respect to the angels as well as to man. For the former are incapable of growth or diminution. He solves it, however, by referring it to the condition of the angels before they rebelled and fell from their high estate, when they were capable of virtue and vice, and of an increase or decrease in either.

spirit of adoption by means of progressing in virtue; and, according to the will of Him who is the Son of God by nature, they also became sons. His true and divine Sonship is expressly declared by Paul, who speaking of God says, that 'he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us, who are not by nature his sons' (Rom. viii. 32). It was to distinguish him from those who are not his own, that he called him his own Son. It is also written in the Gospel, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased' (Matt. iii. 17); and in the Psalms it is written that the Saviour said, "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son' (Psal. ii. 7).

"By showing that he is the true and legitimate Son, it follows that there can be no other sons besides himself. But what can these words signify, 'I conceived thee in my bosom before the star of morn,' unless they are meant to show that he was born according to the course of nature of the Father, not on account of superior natural endowments, or of acquired excellence, but simply according to the operations of nature? Hence it ensues that the filiation of the only begotten Son is immutable; while those who are not his children by nature, but who stand in that relation merely on account of their fitness as to character, and by the bounty of God, may fall away, as it is written in the word, 'The sons of God saw the daughters of men, and took them as wives,' and so forth (Gen. vi. 2). And God, speaking by Isaiah, said, 'I have begotten and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me' (Isa. i. 2). I might add many other things, dear brethren, but I fear that I shall cause weariness by admonishing those who are already well instructed, and who are of one mind with myself. You, having been taught of God, cannot be ignorant that the heresy against the religion of the Church which has just arisen, is the same as that propagated by Ebion and Artemas, and that it resembles that of Paul of Samosata,1 bishop of Antioch, who was excommunicated by a council of all the bishops. Lucius, his successor, remained

during three years out of communion with three bishops.

1 Paul of Samosata was condemned at the Council of Antioch, A. D. 265.

2 Or Lucianus. Baronius, in his Annals, A. D. 318, acquits him of the charge of favouring the Arian heresy. By άroovvaywyòs, here rendered

"Those amongst us who have imbibed their impious principles, and who now affirm that the Son did not at one period exist, may be regarded as scions of the same stock: I allude to Arius and Achillas, and to those who follow them. Three bishops in Syria,1 ordained no one knows how, side with them, and excite them to plunge deeper and deeper into iniquity. I refer their sentence to your decision. They commit to memory all that they can collect concerning the suffering, humiliation, debasement, and sorrows of our Saviour, which he underwent for our salvation: they pervert those passages to disprove his eternal existence and Divinity, while they reject all those which declare his glory and union with the Father; as for instance, the following words, 'My Father and I are one' (John x. 30). The Lord did not proclaim himself to be the Father, neither did he represent two persons as one; but he intended to show that the Son exactly resembles his Father, and is his true and perfect likeness. When, therefore, Philip, desirous of seeing the Father, said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father,' he said to him, 'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,' that is to say, hath seen the Divine image reflected, as in a pure and living mirror of the Divine nature; because he has seen the Father reflected in the Son. The same idea is conveyed in the Psalms, where the saints exclaim, 'In thy light we shall see light' (Psal. xxxv.). It is on this account that he who honoureth the Son, honoureth the Father. Every impious word which men dare to utter against the Son, is spoken also against the Father.

"After this no one can wonder at the false calumnies which, my beloved brethren, they propagate against me, and against our religious people. They not only deny the Divinity of Christ, but bring injurious charges against us. They cannot endure to be compared with the ancients, nor with the doctors who instructed us in our youth. They will not admit that any of our fellow-ministers possess even mediocrity of intelligence. They say that they themselves alone are wise and destitute of property; and that they alone are in possession

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out of communion," we must not understand that he was positively expelled from the church, but that he held schismatical assemblies.

1 He alludes to Eusebius of Cæsarea, Theodotus of Laodicea, and Paulinus of Tyre.

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