« Prev Texts Explained; Secondly, Psalm xlv. 7, 8.… Next »

Chapter XII.—Texts Explained; Secondly, Psalm xlv. 7, 8. Whether the words ‘therefore,’ ‘anointed,’ &c., imply that the Word has been rewarded. Argued against first from the word ‘fellows’ or ‘partakers.’ He is anointed with the Spirit in His manhood to sanctify human nature. Therefore the Spirit descended on Him in Jordan, when in the flesh. And He is said to sanctify Himself for us, and give us the glory He has received. The word ‘wherefore’ implies His divinity. ‘Thou hast loved righteousness,’ &c., do not imply trial or choice.

46. Such an explanation of the Apostle’s words confutes the irreligious men; and what the sacred poet says admits also the same orthodox sense, which they misinterpret, but which in the Psalmist is manifestly religious. He says then, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows20802080    Ps. xlv. 7, 8..’ Behold, O ye Arians, and acknowledge even hence the truth. The Singer speaks of us all as ‘fellows’ or ‘partakers’ of the Lord: but were He one of things which come out of nothing and of things originate, He Himself had been one of those who partake. But, since he hymned Him as the eternal God, saying, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,’ and has declared that all other things partake of Him, what conclusion must we draw, but that He is distinct from originated things, and He only the Father’s veritable Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which all things originate partake20812081    p. 156, note 4., being sanctified by Him in the Spirit20822082    It is here said that all things ‘originate’ partake the Son and are ‘sanctified’ by the Spirit. How a γέννησις or adoption through the Son is necessary for every creature in order to its consistence, life, or preservation, has been explained, p. 162, note 3. Sometimes the Son was considered as the special Principle of reason, as by Origen, ap. Athan. Serap. iv. 9. vid. himself. de Incarn. 11. These offices of the Son and the Spirit are contrasted by S. Basil, in his de Sp. S. τὸν προστάττοντα κύριον, τὸν δημιουργοῦντα λόγον, τὸ στερεοῦν πνεῦμα, &c. c. 16. n. 38.? And therefore He is here ‘anointed,’ not that He may become God, for He was so even before; nor that He may become King, for He had the Kingdom eternally, existing as God’s Image, as the sacred Oracle shews; but in our behalf is this written, as before. For the Israelitish kings, upon their being anointed, then became kings, not being so before, as David, as Hezekiah, as Josiah, and the rest; but the Saviour on the contrary, being God, and ever ruling in the Father’s Kingdom, and being Himself He that supplies the Holy Ghost, nevertheless is here said to be anointed, that, as before, being said as man to be anointed with the Spirit, He might provide for us men, not only exaltation and resurrection, but the indwelling and intimacy of the Spirit. And signifying this the Lord Himself hath said by His own mouth in the Gospel according to John, ‘I have sent them into the world, and for their sakes do I sanctify Myself, that they may be sanctified in the truth20832083    John xvii. 18, 19, vid. Cyril, Thesaur. 20..’ In saying this He has shown that He is not the sanctified, but the Sanctifier; for He is not sanctified by other, but Himself sanctifies Himself, that we may be sanctified in the truth. He who sanctifies Himself is Lord of sanctification. How then does this take place? What does He mean but this? ‘I, being the Father’s Word, I give to Myself, when becoming man, the Spirit; and Myself, become man, do I sanctify in Him, that henceforth in Me, who am Truth (for “Thy Word is Truth”), all may be sanctified.’

47. If then for our sake He sanctifies Himself, and does this when He is become man, it is very plain that the Spirit’s descent on Him in Jordan was a descent upon us, because of His bearing our body. And it did not take place for promotion to the Word, but again for our sanctification, that we might share His anointing, and of us it might be said, ‘Know ye not that ye are God’s Temple, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you20842084    1 Cor. iii. 16.?’ For when the Lord, as man, was washed in Jordan, it was we who were washed in Him and by Him20852085    Pusey on Baptism, 2nd Ed. pp. 275–293.. And when He received the Spirit, we it was who by Him were made recipients of It. And moreover for this reason, not as Aaron or 334David or the rest, was He anointed with oil, but in another way above all His fellows, ‘with the oil of gladness,’ which He Himself interprets to be the Spirit, saying by the Prophet, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me20862086    Isai. lxi. 1.;’ as also the Apostle has said, ‘How God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost.20872087    Acts x. 38.’ When then were these things spoken of Him but when He came in the flesh and was baptized in Jordan, and the Spirit descended on Him? And indeed the Lord Himself said, ‘The Spirit shall take of Mine;’ and ‘I will send Him;’ and to His disciples, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost20882088    John xvi. 14, 7; xx. 22..’ And notwithstanding, He who, as the Word and Radiance of the Father, gives to others, now is said to be sanctified, because now He has become man, and the Body that is sanctified is His. From Him then we have begun to receive the unction and the seal, John saying, ‘And ye have an unction from the Holy One;’ and the Apostle, ‘And ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise20892089    1 John ii. 20; Eph. i. 13..’ Therefore because of us and for us are these words. What advance then of promotion, and reward of virtue or generally of conduct, is proved from this in our Lord’s instance? For if He was not God, and then had become God, if not being King He was preferred to the Kingdom, your reasoning would have had some faint plausibility. But if He is God and the throne of His kingdom is everlasting, in what way could God advance? or what was there wanting to Him who was sitting on His Father’s throne? And if, as the Lord Himself has said, the Spirit is His, and takes of His, and He sends It, it is not the Word, considered as the Word and Wisdom, who is anointed with the Spirit which He Himself gives, but the flesh assumed by Him which is anointed in Him and by Him20902090    Elsewhere Athan. says that our Lord’s Godhead was the immediate anointing or chrism of the manhood He assumed, in Apollin. ii. 3, Orat. iv. §36. vid. Origen. Periarch. ii. 6. n. 4. And S. Greg. Naz. still more expressly, and from the same text as Athan. Orat. x. fin. Again, ‘This [the Godhead] is the anointing of the manhood, not sanctifying by an energy as the other Christs [anointed] but by a presence of Him whole who anointed, ὅλου τοῦ χρίοντος; whence it came to pass that what anointed was called man and what was anointed was made God.’ Orat. xxx. 20. Damasc. F. O. iii. 3. Dei Filius, sicut pluvia in vellus, toto divinitatis unguento nostram se fudit in carnem. Chrysolog. Serm. 60. It is more common, however, to consider that the anointing was the descent of the Spirit, as Athan. says at the beginning of this section, according to Luke iv. 18; Acts x. 38.; that the sanctification coming to the Lord as man, may come to all men from Him. For not of Itself, saith He, doth the Spirit speak, but the Word is He who gives It to the worthy. For this is like the passage considered above; for as the Apostle has written, ‘Who existing in form of God thought it not a prize to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and took a servant’s form,’ so David celebrates the Lord, as the everlasting God and King, but sent to us and assuming our body which is mortal. For this is his meaning in the Psalm, ‘All thy garments20912091    Ps. xlv. 8. Our Lord’s manhood is spoken of as a garment; more distinctly afterwards, ‘As Aaron was himself, and did not change on putting round him the high priest’s garment, but remaining the same, was but clothed,’ &c, Orat. ii. 8. On the Apollinarian abuse of the idea, vid. note in loc. smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia;’ and it is represented by Nicodemus and by Mary’s company, when the one came bringing ‘a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pounds weight;’ and the others20922092    John xix. 39; Luke xxiv. 1. ‘the spices which they had prepared’ for the burial of the Lord’s body.

48. What advancement then was it to the Immortal to have assumed the mortal? or what promotion is it to the Everlasting to have put on the temporal? what reward can be great to the Everlasting God and King in the bosom of the Father? See ye not, that this too was done and written because of us and for us, that us who are mortal and temporal, the Lord, become man, might make immortal, and bring into the everlasting kingdom of heaven? Blush ye not, speaking lies against the divine oracles? For when our Lord Jesus Christ had been among us, we indeed were promoted, as rescued from sin; but He is the same20932093    p. 159, note 8.; nor did He alter, when He became man (to repeat what I have said), but, as has been written, ‘The Word of God abideth for ever20942094    Isai. xl. 8. λόγος but ῥῆμα. LXX..’ Surely as, before His becoming man, He, the Word, dispensed to the saints the Spirit as His own20952095    §39, note 4., so also when made man, He sanctifies all by the Spirit and says to His Disciples, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost.’ And He gave to Moses and the other seventy; and through Him David prayed to the Father, saying, ‘Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me20962096    Ps. li. 11..’ On the other hand, when made man, He said, ‘I will send to you the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth20972097    John xv. 26.;’ and He sent Him, He, the Word of God, as being faithful. Therefore ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever20982098    Heb. xiii. 8.,’ remaining unalterable, and at once gives and receives, giving as God’s Word, receiving as man. It is not the Word then, viewed as the Word, that is promoted; for He had all things and has them always; but men, who have in Him and through Him their origin20992099    The word origin, ἀρχὴ, implies the doctrine, more fully brought out in other passages of the Fathers, that our Lord has deigned to become an instrumental cause, as it may be called, of the life of each individual Christian. For at first sight it may be objected to the whole course of Athan.’s argument thus;—What connection is there between the sanctification of Christ’s manhood and ours? how does it prove that human nature is sanctified because a particular specimen of it was sanctified in Him? S. Chrysostom explains, Hom. in Matt. lxxxii. 5. And just before, ‘It sufficed not for Him to be made man, to be scourged, to be sacrificed; but He assimilates us to Him (ἀναφύρει ἑαυτὸν ἡμῖν), nor merely by faith, but really, has He made us His body.’ Again, ‘That we are commingled (ἀνακερασθῶμεν) into that flesh, not merely through love, but really, is brought about by means of that food which He has bestowed upon us.’ Hom. in Joann. 46. 3. And so S. Cyril writes against Nestorius: ‘Since we have proved that Christ is the Vine, and we branches as adhering to a communion with Him, not spiritual merely but bodily, why clamours he against us thus bootlessly, saying that, since we adhere to Him, not in a bodily way, but rather by faith and the affection of love according to the Law, therefore He has called, not His own flesh the vine, but rather the Godhead?’ in Joann. lib. 10. Cap. 2. pp. 863, 4. And Nyssen, Orat. Catech. 37. Decoctâ quasi per ollam carnis nostræ cruditate, sanctificavit in æternum nobis cibum carnem suam. Paulin. Ep. 23. Of course in such statements nothing material is implied; Hooker says, ‘The mixture of His bodily substance with ours is a thing which the ancient Fathers disclaim. Yet the mixture of His flesh with ours they speak of, to signify what our very bodies through mystical conjunction receive from that vital efficacy which we know to be in His, and from bodily mixtures they borrow divers similitudes rather to declare the truth than the manner of coherence between His sacred and the sanctified bodies of saints.’ Eccl. Pol. v. 56. §10. But without some explanation of this nature, language such as S. Athanasius’s in the text seems a mere matter of words. vid. infr. §50 fin. of receiving them. 335For, when He is now said to be anointed in a human respect, we it is who in Him are anointed; since also when He is baptized, we it is who in Him are baptized. But on all these things the Saviour throws much light, when He says to the Father, ‘And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one21002100    John xvii. 22..’ Because of us then He asked for glory, and the words occur, ‘took’ and ‘gave’ and ‘highly exalted,’ that we might take, and to us might be given, and we might be exalted in Him; as also for us He sanctifies Himself, that we might be sanctified in Him21012101    Cyril, Thesaur. 20. p. 197..

49. But if they take advantage of the word ‘wherefore,’ as connected with the passage in the Psalm, ‘Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee,’ for their own purposes, let these novices in Scripture and masters in irreligion know, that, as before, the word ‘wherefore’ does not imply reward of virtue or conduct in the Word, but the reason why He came down to us, and of the Spirit’s anointing which took place in Him for our sakes. For He says not, ‘Wherefore He anointed Thee in order to Thy being God or King or Son or Word;’ for so He was before and is for ever, as has been shewn; but rather, ‘Since Thou art God and King, therefore Thou wast anointed, since none but Thou couldest unite man to the Holy Ghost, Thou the Image of the Father, in which21022102    §51, note 1. we were made in the beginning; for Thine is even the Spirit.’ For the nature of things originate could give no warranty for this, Angels having transgressed, and men disobeyed21032103    ἀγγέλων μὲν παραβαντων, ἀνθρώπων δὲ παρακουσαντων. vid. infr. §51. init. Cf. ad Afr. 7. vid. de Decr. 19, note 3. infr. Orat. ii. iii. Cyril. in Joann. lib. v. 2. On the subject of the sins of Angels, vid. Huet. Origen. ii. 5. §16. Petav. Dogm. t. 3. p. 87. Dissert. Bened. in Cyril. Hier. iii. 5. Natal. Alex. Hist. Æt. i. Diss. 7.. Wherefore there was need of God and the Word is God; that those who had become under a curse, He Himself might set free. If then He was of nothing, He would not have been the Christ or Anointed, being one among others and having fellowship as the rest21042104    De Decr. 10, note 4.. But, whereas He is God, as being Son of God, and is everlasting King, and exists as Radiance and Expression21052105    Heb. i. 3. of the Father, therefore fitly is He the expected Christ, whom the Father announces to mankind, by revelation to His holy Prophets; that as through Him we have come to be, so also in Him all men might be redeemed from their sins, and by Him all things might be ruled21062106    The word wherefore is here declared to denote the fitness why the Son of God should become the Son of man. His Throne, as God, is for ever; He has loved righteousness; therefore He is equal to the anointing of the Spirit, as man. And so S. Cyril on the same text, as in l. c. in the foregoing note. Cf. Leon Ep. 64. 2. vid. de Incarn. 7 fin. 10. In illud Omn. 2. Cyril. in Gen. i. p. 13.. And this is the cause of the anointing which took place in Him, and of the incarnate presence of the Word21072107    ἔνσαρκος παρουσία. This phrase which has occurred above, §8. is very frequent with Athan. vid. also Cyril. Catech. iii. 11. xii. 15. xiv. 27, 30, Epiph. Hær. 77. 17. The Eutychians avail themselves of it at the Council of Constantinople, vid. Hard. Conc. t. 2. pp. 164, 236., which the Psalmist foreseeing, celebrates, first His Godhead and kingdom, which is the Father’s, in these tones, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom21082108    Ps. xlv. 6.;’ then announces His descent to us thus, ‘Wherefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows21092109    Ib. 7.’

50. What is there to wonder at, what to disbelieve, if the Lord who gives the Spirit, is here said Himself to be anointed with the Spirit, at a time when, necessity requiring it, He did not refuse in respect of His manhood to call Himself inferior to the Spirit? For the Jews saying that He cast out devils in Beelzebub, He answered and said to them, for the exposure of their blasphemy, ‘But if I through the Spirit of God cast out demons21102110    Matt. xii. 28..’ Behold, the Giver of the Spirit here says that He cast out demons in the Spirit; but this is not said, except because of His flesh. For since man’s nature is not equal of itself to casting out demons, but only in power of the Spirit, therefore as man He said, ‘But if I through the Spirit of God cast out demons.’ Of course too He signified that the blasphemy offered to the Holy Ghost is greater than that against His humanity, when He said, ‘Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him;’ such as were those who said, ‘Is 336not this the carpenter’s son21112111    Matt. xii. 32; xiii. 55.?’ but they who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, and ascribe the deeds of the Word to the devil, shall have inevitable punishment21122112    [Cf. Prolegg. ch. iii. §1 (22).].. This is what the Lord spoke to the Jews, as man; but to the disciples shewing His Godhead and His majesty, and intimating that He was not inferior but equal to the Spirit, He gave the Spirit and said, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost,’ and ‘I send Him,’ and ‘He shall glorify Me,’ and ‘Whatsoever He heareth, that He shall speak21132113    John xx. 22; xvi. 13, 14..’ As then in this place the Lord Himself, the Giver of the Spirit, does not refuse to say that through the Spirit He casts out demons, as man; in like manner He the same, the Giver of the Spirit, refused not to say, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me21142114    Is. lxi. 1.,’ in respect of His having become flesh, as John hath said; that it might be shewn in both these particulars, that we are they who need the Spirit’s grace in our sanctification, and again who are unable to cast out demons without the Spirit’s power. Through whom then and from whom behoved it that the Spirit should be given but through the Son, whose also the Spirit is? and when were we enabled to receive It, except when the Word became man? and, as the passage of the Apostle shews, that we had not been redeemed and highly exalted, had not He who exists in form of God taken a servant’s form, so David also shews, that no otherwise should we have partaken the Spirit and been sanctified, but that the Giver of the Spirit, the Word Himself, hast spoken of Himself as anointed with the Spirit for us. And therefore have we securely received it, He being said to be anointed in the flesh; for the flesh being first sanctified in Him21152115    §48, note 7., and He being said, as man, to have received for its sake, we have the sequel of the Spirit grace, receiving ‘out of His fulness21162116    John i. 16..’

51. Nor do the words, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity,’ which are added in the Psalm, show, as again you suppose, that the Nature of the Word is alterable, but rather by their very force signify His unalterableness. For since of things originate the nature is alterable, and the one portion had transgressed and the other disobeyed, as has been said, and it is not certain how they will act, but it often happens that he who is now good afterwards alters and becomes different, so that one who was but now righteous, soon is found unrighteous, wherefore there was here also need of one unalterable, that men might have the immutability of the righteousness of the Word as an image and type for virtue21172117    Vid. de Incarn. 13. 14. vid. also Gent. 41 fin. and Nic. Def. 17, note 5. Cum justitia nulla esset in terra doctorem misit, quasi vivam legem. Lactant. Instit. iv. 25. ‘The Only-begotten was made man like us,…as if lending us His own stedfastness.’ Cyril. in Joann. lib. v. 2. p. 473; vid. also Thesaur. 20. p. 198. August. de Corr. et Grat. 10–12. Damasc. F. O. iv. 4. But the words of Athan. embrace too many subjects to illustrate distinctly in a note.. And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent’s deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, ‘For we are not ignorant of his devices.21182118    2 Cor. ii. 11.’ Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself sent, that, He, being and remaining the same21192119    §48, note 1., by taking this alterable flesh, ‘might condemn sin in it21202120    Rom. viii. 3; ib. 4.,’ and might secure its freedom, and its ability21212121    Cf. de Incarn. 7, Orat. ii. 68. henceforth ‘to fulfil the righteousness of the law’ in itself, so as to be able to say, ‘But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us21222122    Rom. viii. 9..’

52. Vainly then, here again, O Arians, have ye made this conjecture, and vainly alleged the words of Scripture; for God’s Word is unalterable, and is ever in one state, not as it may happen21232123    ἁπλῶς, οὐκ ἁπλῶς ὡρίσθη, ἀλλ᾽ ἀκριβῶς ἐξητάσθη. Socr. i. 9. p. 31., but as the Father is; since how is He like the Father, unless He be thus? or how is all that is the Father’s the Son’s also, if He has not the unalterableness and unchangeableness of the Father21242124    John xvii. 10, §35, note 2.? Not as being subject to laws21252125    Eunomius said that our Lord was utterly separate from the Father, ‘by natural law,’ νόμῳ φύσεως; S. Basil observes, ‘as if the God of all had not power over Himself, ἑαυτοῦ κύριος, but were in bondage under the decrees of necessity.’ contr. Eunom. ii. 30., and biassed to one side, does He love the one and hate the other, lest, if from fear of falling away He chooses the one, we admit that He is alterable otherwise also; but, as being God and the Father’s Word, He is a just judge and lover of virtue, or rather its dispenser. Therefore being just and holy by nature, on this account He is said to love righteousness and to hate iniquity; as much as to say, that He loves and chooses the virtuous, and rejects and hates the unrighteous. And divine Scripture 337says the same of the Father; ‘The Righteous Lord loveth righteousness; Thou hatest all them that work iniquity21262126    Ps. xi. 7; v. 5.,’ and ‘The Lord loveth the gates of Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob21272127    Ib. lxxxvii. 2.;’ and, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated21282128    Mal. i. 2, 3.;’ and in Isaiah there is the voice of God again saying, ‘I the Lord love righteousness, and hate robbery of unrighteousness21292129    Is. lxi. 8..’ Let them then expound those former words as these latter; for the former also are written of the Image of God: else, misinterpreting these as those, they will conceive that the Father too is alterable. But since the very hearing others say this is not without peril, we do well to think that God is said to love righteousness and to hate robbery of unrighteousness, not as if biassed to one side, and capable of the contrary, so as to select the latter and not choose the former, for this belongs to things originated, but that, as a judge, He loves and takes to Him the righteous and withdraws from the bad. It follows then to think the same concerning the Image of God also, that He loves and hates no otherwise than thus. For such must be the nature of the Image as is Its Father, though the Arians in their blindness fail to see either that image or any other truth of the divine oracles. For being forced from the conceptions or rather misconceptions21302130    ἐννοιῶν μᾶλλον δὲ παρανοιῶν, vid. §40, note 1. of their own hearts, they fall back upon passages of divine Scripture, and here too from want of understanding, according to their wont, they discern not their meaning; but laying down their own irreligion as a sort of canon of interpretation21312131    Instead of professing to examine Scripture or to acquiesce in what they had been taught, the Arians were remarkable for insisting on certain abstract positions or inferences on which they make the whole controversy turn. Vid. Socrates’ account of Arius’s commencement, ‘If God has a Son, he must have a beginning of existence,’ &c. &c., and so the word ἀγενητόν., they wrest the whole of the divine oracles into accordance with it. And so on the bare mention of such doctrine, they deserve nothing but the reply, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God21322132    Matt. xxii. 29.;’ and if they persist in it, they must be put to silence, by the words, ‘Render to’ man ‘the things that are’ man’s, ‘and to God the things that are’ God’s21332133    Ib. xxii. 21..


« Prev Texts Explained; Secondly, Psalm xlv. 7, 8.… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |