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of the true doctrines, which, say they, have never entered the mind of any other individuals under heaven. Oh what wicked arrogance! Oh what excessive folly! What false boasting, and melancholy delusion, joined to Satanic pride, retain dominion over their evil minds! They are not ashamed to oppose the perspicuous declaration of ancient and godly books, nor the unanimous decision of all our fellow ministers concerning the worship of Christ, which they have the audacity to oppose. Even devils are not guilty of impiety like this; for even they refrain from speaking blasphemy against the Son of God. These then were the subjects I had to argue, according to the ability I possess, with those uninstructed individuals who dishonour Christ with their ignorant discourse,1 and bring forward calumnies against our religion. These foolish people pretend that we who have rejected their impious and unscriptural blasphemy concerning the creation of Christ, have done so with the design of teaching that there are two unbegotten beings. For these ignorant persons contend that one of these two things must necessarily be true; either that Christ was created, or that there are two unbegotten beings. They are unable to comprehend that there is a vast distance between the Father who is uncreate, and the creatures, whether rational or irrational, which he created; and that the only begotten nature of him who is the Word of God stands, as it were, in the middle between the two, God having by him formed the creatures. The Father begat him; and it was of this that Christ testified when he said, 'Every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him' (1 John v. 1).

"We believe, as is taught by the apostolical church, in the only unbegotten Father, who is the Author of his own existence, who is immutable and invariable, and who subsists always in one state of being, which admits neither of progression nor of diminution; who gave the law, and the prophecies, and the gospel; who is the Lord of patriarchs and apostles, and of all saints: and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten, not out of what had no previous existence, but begotten of his Father, yet not after

1 ἀπαιδευτῷ ὕλη. He alludes to the sophistical arguments used by the Arians to disprove the Divinity of Christ. Some editions read vλáky, "with ignorant bayings," like dogs.

the manner of material bodies, by cutting, dividing, or wrenching, as Sabellius and Valentinus taught. He was begotten in an inexpressible and inexplicable manner, according to the saying which we quoted above, 'Who shall declare his generation?' No mortal intellect can comprehend the nature of his existence; just as the Father cannot be known; neither can the manner in which he was begotten of the Father be understood by any one. But those who are led by the Spirit of truth have no need to learn these things of me, for the words long since spoken by the Saviour yet sound upon our ears, 'No one knoweth the Father but the Son, and no one knoweth the Son but the Father.' We have learnt that the Son is immutable and unchangeable, all-sufficient and perfect, like the Father, differing only in this one respect, that the Father is unbegotten. He is the exact image of his Father. Everything is found in the image which exists in its archetype; and it was this that our Lord taught when he said, My Father is greater than I.' And accordingly we believe that the Son proceeded from the Father; for he is the reflection of the glory of the Father, and the figure of his substance. But let no one be led from this to the supposition that the Son is unbegotten, as is believed by some who are deficient in intellectual power: for to say that he was, that he has always been, and that he existed before all ages, is not to say that he is unbegotten.

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"The mind of man could not possibly invent a term expressive of what is meant by being unbegotten. I believe that you are of this opinion; and, indeed, I feel confident that you all take an orthodox view of this subject. For all the terms that have been devised appear to signify merely the production of time, but they are not adequate to express the Divinity and, as it were, the priority of the only begotten Son. They were used by the holy men who vainly endeavoured to clear up the mystery, and who pleaded a very reasonable apology for their failure, by informing their audiences that the subject was beyond their powers. If any one should say that knowledge in part 2 is abolished, and that words beyond the comprehension of man can be pronounced by human lips, it might clearly be

1 'YTоOTαois. See note on Socrates, Eccl. Hist. b. i. ch. 5.

2 Theodoret here is probably alluding to St. Paul's words, 1 Cor. xiii., "We know in part, and we prophesy in part."

proved that this expectation is far from being borne out by the following expressions, 'He who was, and who is, and who was before all ages.' And this has not the same signification as unbegotten. Therefore is honour due to the Father, as being the Author of his own existence: to the Son likewise must be given the glory which is due to him, he having been begotten of the Father from the beginning; therefore he must be worshipped. In speaking of him it must only be said that he was, and that he is, and that he has been from all ages. Let us not deny his Divinity, but ascribe to him a perfect and unerring resemblance to his Father. Let us testify that the Father alone is unbegotten, inasmuch as the Saviour says, 'My Father is greater than I' (John xiv. 28).

"Besides entertaining this pious opinion respecting the Father and the Son, we confess, according to the testimony of the Sacred Scriptures, the existence of the Holy Ghost, which truth has been upheld by the saints of the Old Testament, and by the learned divines of the New. We believe in one catholic and apostolical church, which cannot be destroyed even though all the world were to fight against it, and which never fails to defeat all the impious designs of heretics; for it is emboldened by the words of the Spouse, who said, 'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world' (John xvi. 33). Besides this, we receive the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstfruits. He possessed a true, not a supposititious body, he derived it from Mary the mother of God; for in the fulness of time he assumed the nature of man, for the remission of sins: he was crucified and died, yet his Godhead suffered no diminution. He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. In this epistle, I have only mentioned these things in a cursory manner. It would, I fear, be wearisome to you, who are already so well instructed, if I were to dwell more fully on each topic. These things we teach, these things we preach; they constitute the doctrine of the apostolic church, for which we are ready to die and little can be effected by those who would compel us by force to renounce them; for we will never relinquish our hope, even though we should be made to suffer tortures. Arius and Achillas, and also all those who join them in opposing the truth, have been expelled from the church, because

they reject our pious doctrines: for the blessed Paul said, 'If any of you preach any other gospel than that which you have received, let him be accursed, even though he should pretend to be an angel from heaven' (Gal. i. 8). But if any man teach

otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing,' (1 Tim. vi. 3, 4,) and so forth. Since, then, they1 have been condemned by the brethren, let none of you receive them, nor attend to what they say or write. They are deceivers, and propagate lies, and they never adhere to the truth. They go about to different cities with no other intent than to deliver letters under the pretext of friendship and the name of peace, and by hypocrisy and flattery to obtain other letters in return, in order to deceive a few foolish women, who are laden with sins. I beseech you, beloved brethren, to avoid those who have thus dared to act against Christ, who have publicly vilified the Christian religion, who have brought its professors before judicial tribunals, who have endeavoured to excite a persecution against us at a period of the most entire peace, and who have cast contempt on the unspeakable mystery of the generation of Christ. Unite unanimously in opposition to them, as some of our fellow-ministers have already done, who, being filled with indignation, wrote to me about them, and signed the formulary.

"I have sent you these signatures by my son Apion, the deacon; they are the signatures of the ministers in all Egypt and in Thebes, also of those in Libya, Pentapolis, Syria, Lycia, Pamphylia, Asia, Cappadocia, and in the other adjoining countries. You likewise must follow this example. Many attempts have been made by me to gain back those who have been led astray, and to discover the means of restoring the people who have been deceived by them; and I have found none more persuasive in leading them to repentance, than the manifestation of the union of our fellow-ministers. Salute one another, my brethren. I pray that you may be blessed by the Lord, my beloved, and that I may receive the fruit of your prayers, and of your love to Christ.

1 These words must be referred to Arius, Achillas, and their followers and adherents, including the bishops of Cæsarea, Tyre, and Laodicea, above mentioned.

"The following are the names of those who have been excommunicated among the presbyters, Arius; among the deacons, Achillas, Euzoius, Aithalis, Lucius, Sarmatis, Julius, Menas, another Arius, and Helladius."

Alexander wrote in the same strain to Philogonius, bishop of Antioch, to Eustathius, who then ruled the church of the Bereans, and to all those who defended the doctrines of the Apostles. But Arius could not quietly acquiesce in this: he therefore wrote to all those whom he thought were of his sentiments. In his letter to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, Arius confesses that the holy Alexander wrote nothing that was false. I shall here insert his letter, in order that the names of those who were implicated in his impiety may become generally known.



"ARIUS, unjustly persecuted by the Pope Alexander, on account of that all-conquering truth which you also uphold, sendeth greeting in the Lord to his very dear lord, the man of God, the faithful and orthodox Eusebius.

"Ammonius, my father, being about to depart for Nicomedia, I considered myself bound to salute you by him, and withal to address myself to that natural affection which you bear towards the brethren for the sake of God and of Christ, apprizing you that the bishop oppresses and persecutes us most severely, and that he causes us much suffering: he has driven us out of the city as atheists, because we do not concur in what he publicly preaches, namely, that the Father has always been, and that the Son has always been: that as the Father so is the Son; that the Son is unbegotten as the Father; that he is always being begotten, without having been begotten; that neither by thought nor by any interval does God precede the Son, God and the Son having always been; and that the Son proceeds from God. Eusebius, your brother bishop of Cæsarea, Theodotius, Paulinus, Athanasius, Gregory, Aetius, and all the bishops of the East, have been condemned 1 because they say that God had an existence prior to

1 We need not understand that they had been formally anathematized,

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