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Chapter XIV.—Texts explained; Fourthly, Hebrews iii. 2 Introduction; the Regula Fidei counter to an Arian sense of the text; which is not supported by the word ‘servant,’ nor by ‘made’ which occurs in it; (how can the Judge be among the ‘works’ which ‘God will bring into judgment?’) nor by ‘faithful;’ and is confuted by the immediate context, which is about Priesthood; and by the foregoing passage, which explains the word ‘faithful’ as meaning trustworthy, as do 1 Pet. iv. fin. and other texts. On the whole made may safely be understood either of the divine generation or the human creation.
1. I did indeed think that enough had been said already against the hollow professors of Arius’s madness, whether for their refutation or in the truth’s behalf, to insure a cessation and repentance of their evil thoughts and words about the Saviour. They, however, for whatever reason, still do not succumb; but, as swine and dogs wallow22102210 κυλιόμενοι, Orat. iii. 16. in their own vomit and their own mire, rather invent new expedients for their irreligion. Thus they misunderstand the passage in the Proverbs, ‘The Lord hath created me a beginning of His ways for His works22112211 Prov. viii. 22. Cf. i. 53 and infr. 19–72.,’ and the words of the Apostle, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him22122212 Heb. iii. 2.,’ and straightway argue, that the Son of God is a work and a creature. But although they might have learned from what is said above, had they not utterly lost their power of apprehension, that the Son is not from nothing nor in the number of things originate at all, the Truth witnessing22132213 Vid. infr. note on 35. it (for, being God, He cannot be a work, and it is impious to call Him a creature, and it is of creatures and works that we say, ‘out of nothing,’ and ‘it was not before its generation’), yet since, as if dreading to desert their own fiction, they are accustomed to allege the aforesaid passages of divine Scripture, which have a good meaning, but are by them practised on, let us proceed afresh to take up the question of the sense of these, to remind the faithful, and to shew from each of these passages that they have no knowledge at all of Christianity. Were it otherwise, they would not have shut themselves up in the unbelief22142214 Cf. Rom. xi. 32 of the present Jews22152215 τῶν νῦν ᾽Ιουδαίων, means literally ‘the Jews of this day,’ as here and Orat. i. 8. 10. 38. Orat. ii. 1. b. iii. 28. c. But elsewhere this and similar phrases as distinctly mean the Arians, being used in contrast to the Jews. Their likeness to the Jews is drawn out, Orat. iii. 27. de Decr. i., but would have inquired and learned22162216 ἐρωτῶντες ἐμανθάνον; and so μαθὼν ἐδιδάσκεν, Orat. iii. 9. de Decr. 7. supr. p. 13, note a. that, whereas ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,’ in consequence, it was when at the good pleasure of the Father the Word became man, that it was said of Him, as by John, ‘The Word became flesh22172217 John i. 14.;’ so by Peter, ‘He hath made Him Lord and Christ22182218 Acts ii. 36.’;—as by means of Solomon in the Person of the Lord Himself, ‘The Lord created me a beginning of His ways for His works22192219 Prov. viii. 22.;’ so by Paul, ‘Become so much better than the Angels22202220 Heb. i. 4.;’ and again, ‘He emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant22212221 Phil. ii. 7.;’ and again, ‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus, who was faithful to Him that made Him22222222 Heb. iii. 1, 2; Sent. D. 11..’ For all these texts have the same force and meaning, a religious one, declarative of the divinity of the Word, even those of them which speak humanly concerning Him, as having become the Son of man. But, though this distinction is sufficient for their refutation, still, since from a misconception of the Apostle’s words (to mention them first), they consider the Word of God to be one of the works, because of its being written, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ I have thought it needful to silence this further argument of theirs, taking in hand22232223 By λαυβάνοντες παρ᾽ αὐτῶν τὸ λῆμμα, ‘accepting the proposition they offer,’ he means that he is engaged in going through certain texts brought against the Catholic view, instead of bringing his own proofs, vid. Orat. i. 37. Yet after all it is commonly his way, as here, to start with some general exposition of the Catholic doctrine which the Arian sense of the text in question opposes, and thus to create a prejudice or proof against the latter. vid. Orat. i. 10. 38. 40. init. 53. d. ii. 5. 12. init. 32–34. 35. 44. init. which refers to the whole discussion, 18–43. 73. 77. iii. 18. init. 36. init. 42. 54. 51. init. &c. On the other hand he makes the ecclesiastical sense the rule of interpretation, τούτῳ [τῷ σκοπῷ, the general drift of Scripture doctrine] ὥσπερ κανόνι χρησάμενοι προσέχωμεν τῇ ἀνάγνωσει τῆς θεοπνεύστου γραφὴς, iii. 28. fin. This illustrates what he means when he says that certain texts have a ‘good,’ ‘pious,’ ‘orthodox’ sense, i.e. they can be interpreted (in spite, if so be, of appearances) in harmony with the Regula Fidei. vid. infr. §43, note; also notes on 35. and iii. 58., as before, their statement.
3492. If then He be not a Son, let Him be called a work, and let all that is said of works be said of Him, nor let Him and Him alone be called Son, nor Word, nor Wisdom; neither let God be called Father, but only Framer and Creator of things which by Him come to be; and let the creature be Image and Expression of His framing will, and let Him, as they would have it, be without generative nature, so that there be neither Word, nor Wisdom, no, nor Image, of His proper substance. For if He be not Son22242224 §22, note., neither is He Image22252225 i.e. in any true sense of the word ‘image;’ or, so that He may be accounted the ἀπαράλλακτος εἴκων of the Father, vid. de Syn. 23, note 1. The ancient Fathers consider, that the Divine Sonship is the very consequence (so to speak) of the necessity that exists, that One who is Infinite Perfection should subsist again in a Perfect Image of Himself, which is the doctrine to which Athan. goes on to allude, and the idea of which (he says) is prior to that of creation. A redundatio in imaginem is synonymous with a generatio Filii. Cf. Thomassin, de Trin. 19. 1.. But if there be not a Son, how then say you that God is a Creator? since all things that come to be are through the Word and in Wisdom, and without This nothing can be, whereas you say He hath not That in and through which He makes all things. For if the Divine Essence be not fruitful itself22262226 For καρπογόνος ἡ οὐσία, de Decr. 15. n. 9. γεννητικὸς, Orat. iii. 66. iv. 4. fin. ἄγονος. i. 14. fin. Sent. Dion. 15. 19. ἡ φυσικὴ γονιμότης, Damasc. F. O. i. 8. p. 133. ἄκαρπος, Cyr. Thes. p. 45. Epiph. Hær. 65 p. 609. b. Vid. the γέννησις and the κτίσις contrasted together Orat. i. 29. de Decr. 11. n. 6, de Syn. 51, n. 4. The doctrine in the text is shortly expressed, infr. Orat. iv. 4 fin. εἰ ἄγονος καὶ ἀνενέργητος, but barren, as they hold, as a light that lightens not, and a dry fountain, are they not ashamed to speak of His possessing framing energy? and whereas they deny what is by nature, do they not blush to place before it what is by will22272227 Orat. iii. 59, &c.? But if He frames things that are external to Him and before were not, by willing them to be, and becomes their Maker, much more will He first be Father of an Offspring from His proper Essence. For if they attribute to God the willing about things which are not, why recognise they not that in God which lies above the will? now it is a something that surpasses will, that He should be by nature, and should be Father of His proper Word. If then that which comes first, which is according to nature, did not exist, as they would have it in their folly, how could that which is second come to be, which is according to will? for the Word is first, and then the creation. On the contrary the Word exists, whatever they affirm, those irreligious ones; for through Him did creation come to be, and God, as being Maker, plainly has also His framing Word, not external, but proper to Him;—for this must be repeated. If He has the power of will, and His will is effective, and suffices for the consistence of the things that come to be, and His Word is effective, and a Framer, that Word must surely be the living Will22282228 Orat. iii. 63. c. of the Father, and an essential22292229 ἐνούσιος, infr. 28. energy, and a real Word, in whom all things both consist and are excellently governed. No one can even doubt, that He who disposes is prior to the disposition and the things disposed. And thus, as I said, God’s creating is second to His begetting; for Son implies something proper to Him and truly from that blessed and everlasting Essence; but what is from His will, comes into consistence from without, and is framed through His proper Offspring who is from It.
3. As we have shewn then they are guilty of great extravagance who say that the Lord is not Son of God, but a work, and it follows that we all of necessity confess that He is Son. And if He be Son, as indeed He is, and a son is confessed to be not external to his father but from him, let them not question about the terms, as I said before, which the sacred writers use of the Word Himself, viz. not ‘to Him that begat Him,’ but ‘to Him that made Him;’ for while it is confessed what His nature is, what word is used in such instances need raise no question22302230 §1, note 13.. For terms do not disparage His Nature; rather that Nature draws to Itself those terms and changes them. For terms are not prior to essences, but essences are first, and terms second. Wherefore also when the essence is a work or creature, then the words ‘He made,’ and ‘He became,’ and ‘He created,’ are used of it properly, and designate the work. But when the Essence is an Offspring and Son, then ‘He made,’ and ‘He became,’ and ‘He created,’ no longer properly belong to it, nor designate a work; but ‘He made’ we use without question for ‘He begat.’ Thus fathers often call the sons born of them their servants, yet without denying the genuineness of their nature; and often they affectionately call their own servants children, yet without putting out of sight their purchase of them originally; for they use the one appellation from their authority as being fathers, but in the other they speak from affection. Thus Sara called Abraham lord, though not a servant but a wife; and while to 350Philemon the master the Apostle joined Onesimus the servant as a brother, Bathsheba, although mother, called her son servant, saying to his father, ‘Thy servant Solomon22312231 1 Kings i. 19.;’—afterwards also Nathan the Prophet came in and repeated her words to David, ‘Solomon thy servant22322232 ver. 26..’ Nor did they mind calling the son a servant, for while David heard it, he recognised the ‘nature,’ and while they spoke it, they forgot not the ‘genuineness,’ praying that he might be made his father’s heir, to whom they gave the name of servant; for to David he was son by nature.
4. As then, when we read this, we interpret it fairly, without accounting Solomon a servant because we hear him so called, but a son natural and genuine, so also, if, concerning the Saviour, who is confessed to be in truth the Son, and to be the Word by nature, the saints say, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ or if He say of Himself, ‘The Lord created me,’ and, ‘I am Thy servant and the Son of Thine handmaid22332233 Ps. cxvi. 16.,’ and the like, let not any on this account deny that He is proper to the Father and from Him; but, as in the case of Solomon and David, let them have a right idea of the Father and the Son. For if, though they hear Solomon called a servant, they acknowledge him to be a son, are they not deserving of many deaths22342234 πολλάκις ἀπολωλέναι δίκαιοι, vid. infr. §28., who, instead of preserving the same explanation in the instance of the Lord, whenever they hear ‘Offspring,’ and ‘Word,’ and ‘Wisdom,’ forcibly misinterpret and deny the generation, natural and genuine, of the Son from the Father; but on hearing words and terms proper to a work, forthwith drop down to the notion of His being by nature a work, and deny the Word; and this, though it is possible, from His having been made man, to refer all these terms to His humanity? And are they not proved to be ‘an abomination’ also ‘unto the Lord,’ as having ‘diverse weights22352235 Prov. xx. 23.’ with them, and with this estimating those other instances, and with that blaspheming the Lord? But perhaps they grant that the word ‘servant’ is used under a certain understanding, but lay stress upon ‘Who made’ as some great support of their heresy. But this stay of theirs also is but a broken reed; for if they are aware of the style of Scripture, they must at once give sentence against22362236 Apol. c. Ar. 36. themselves. For as Solomon, though a son, is called a servant, so, to repeat what was said above, although parents call the sons springing from themselves ‘made’ and ‘created’ and ‘becoming,’ for all this they do not deny their nature. Thus Hezekiah, as it is written in Isaiah, said in his prayer, ‘From this day I will make children, who shall declare Thy righteousness, O God of my salvation22372237 Is. xxxviii. 19, LXX..’ He then said, ‘I will make;’ but the Prophet in that very book and the Fourth of Kings, thus speaks, ‘And the sons who shall come forth of thee22382238 2 Kings xx. 18; Is. xxxix. 7..’ He uses then ‘make’ for ‘beget,’ and he calls them who were to spring from him, ‘made,’ and no one questions whether the term has reference to a natural offspring. Again, Eve on bearing Cain said, ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord22392239 Gen. iv. 1, and infr. 44. note on Qanâ.;’ thus she too used ‘gotten’ for ‘brought forth.’ For, first she saw the child, yet next she said, ‘I have gotten.’ Nor would any one consider, because of ‘I have gotten,’ that Cain was purchased from without, instead of being born of her. Again, the Patriarch Jacob said to Joseph, ‘And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which became thine in Egypt, before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine22402240 Gen. xlviii. 5, LXX..’ And Scripture says about Job, ‘And there came to him seven sons and three daughters22412241 Job i. 2, LXX..’ As Moses too has said in the Law, ‘If sons become to any one,’ and ‘If he make a son22422242 Cf. Deut. xxi. 15; vid. Lev. xxv. 21, LXX..’ Here again they speak of those who are begotten, as ‘become’ and ‘made,’ knowing that, while they are acknowledged to be sons, we need not make a question of ‘they became,’ or ‘I have gotten,’ or ‘I made22432243 Serap. ii. 6. b..’ For nature and truth draw the meaning to themselves.
5. This being so22442244 That is, while the style of Scripture justifies us in thus interpreting the word ‘made,’ doctrinal truth obliges us to do so. He considers the Regula Fidei the principle of interpretation, and accordingly he goes on at once to apply it. vid. supr. §1, note 13., when persons ask whether the Lord is a creature or work, it is proper to ask of them this first, whether He is Son and Word and Wisdom. For if this is shewn, the surmise about work and creation falls to the ground at once and is ended. For a work could never be Son and Word; nor could the Son be a work. And again, this being the state of the case, the proof is plain to all, that the phrase, ‘To Him who made Him’ does not serve their heresy, but rather condemns it. For it has been shewn that the expression ‘He made’ is applied in divine Scripture even to children genuine and natural; whence, the Lord being proved to be the Father’s Son naturally and genuinely, and Word, and Wisdom, though ‘He made’ be used concerning Him, or ‘He became,’ this is not said of Him as if a work, but the saints make no question about using the expression,—for instance in the case of Solomon, and Heze351kiah’s children. For though the fathers had begotten them from themselves, still it is written, ‘I have made,’ and ‘I have gotten,’ and ‘He became.’ Therefore God’s enemies, in spite of their repeated allegation of such phrases22452245 λεξείδια, Orat. iii. 59. a Sent. D. 4. c., ought now, though late in the day, after what has been said, to disown their irreligious thoughts, and think of the Lord as of a true Son, Word, and Wisdom of the Father, not a work, not a creature. For if the Son be a creature, by what word then and by what wisdom was He made Himself22462246 Orat. iii. 62 init. infr. §22, note.? for all the works were made through the Word and the Wisdom, as it is written, ‘In wisdom hast Thou made them all,’ and, ‘All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made22472247 Ps. civ. 24; John i. 3..’ But if it be He who is the Word and the Wisdom, by which all things come to be, it follows that He is not in the number of works, nor in short of things originate, but the Offspring of the Father.
6. For consider how grave an error it is, to call God’s Word a work. Solomon says in one place in Ecclesiastes, that ‘God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil22482248 Eccles. xii. 14..’ If then the Word be a work, do you mean that He as well as others will be brought into judgment? and what room is there for judgment, when the Judge is on trial? who will give to the just their blessing, who to the unworthy their punishment, the Lord, as you must suppose, standing on trial with the rest? by what law shall He, the Lawgiver, Himself be judged? These things are proper to the works, to be on trial, to be blessed and to be punished by the Son. Now then fear the Judge, and let Solomon’s words convince you. For if God shall bring the works one and all into judgment, but the Son is not in the number of things put on trial, but rather is Himself the Judge of works one and all, is not the proof clearer than the sun, that the Son is not a work but the Father’s Word, in whom all the works both come to be and come into judgment? Further, if the expression, ‘Who was faithful,’ is a difficulty to them, from the thought that ‘faithful’ is used of Him as of others, as if He exercises faith and so receives the reward of faith, they must proceed at this rate to find fault with Moses for saying, ‘God faithful and true22492249 Combines Greek of Deut. xxxii. 4 and Ex. xxxiv. 6; cf. Rev. iii. 14.,’ and with St. Paul for writing, ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able22502250 1 Cor. x. 13..’ But when the saints spoke thus, they were not thinking of God in a human way, but they acknowledged two senses of the word ‘faithful’ in Scripture, first ‘believing,’ then ‘trustworthy,’ of which the former belongs to man, the latter to God. Thus Abraham was faithful, because He believed God’s word; and God faithful, for, as David says in the Psalm, ‘The Lord is faithful in all His words22512251 Ps. cxlv. 14. LXX.,’ or is trustworthy, and cannot lie. Again, ‘If any faithful woman have widows22522252 1 Tim. v. 16.,’ she is so called for her right faith; but, ‘It is a faithful saying22532253 Tit. iii. 8, &c.,’ because what He hath spoken has a claim on our faith, for it is true, and is not otherwise. Accordingly the words, ‘Who is faithful to Him that made Him,’ implies no parallel with others, nor means that by having faith He became well-pleasing; but that, being Son of the True God, He too is faithful, and ought to be believed in all He says and does, Himself remaining unalterable and not changed22542254 ἄτρεπτος καὶ μὴ ἀλλοιούμενος; vid. supr. de Decr. 14. it was the tendency of Arianism to consider that in the Incarnation some such change actually was undergone by the Word, as they had from the first maintained in the abstract was possible; that whereas He was in nature τρεπτὸς, He was in fact ἀλλοιούμενος. This was implied in the doctrine that His superhuman nature supplied the place of a soul in His manhood. Hence the semi-Arian Sirmian Creed anathematizes those who said, τὸν λόγον τροπὴν ὑπομεμενηκοτα, vid. De Syn. 27. 12). This doctrine connected them with the Apollinarian and Eutychian Schools, to the former of which Athan. compares them, contr. Apoll. i. 12. while, as opposing the latter, Theodoret entities his first Dialogue ῎Ατρεπτος in His human Economy and fleshly presence.
7. Thus then we may meet these men who are shameless, and from the single expression ‘He made,’ may shew that they err in thinking that the Word of God is a work. But further, since the drift also of the context is orthodox, shewing the time and the relation to which this expression points, I ought to shew from it also how the heretics lack reason; viz. by considering, as we have done above, the occasion when it was used and for what purpose. Now the Apostle is not discussing things before the creation when he thus speaks, but when ‘the Word became flesh;’ for thus it is written, ‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Jesus, who was faithful to Him that made Him.’ Now when became He ‘Apostle,’ but when He put on our flesh? and when became He ‘High Priest of our profession,’ but when, after offering Himself for us, He raised His Body from the dead, and, as now, Himself brings near and offers to the Father those who in faith approach Him, redeeming all, and for all propitiating God? Not then as wishing to signify the Essence of the Word nor His natural generation from the Father, did the Apostle say, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him’—(perish the thought! for the Word is not made, but makes)—but as signifying His 352descent to mankind and High-priesthood which did ‘become’—as one may easily see from the account given of the Law and of Aaron. I mean, Aaron was not born a high-priest, but a man; and in process of time, when God willed, he became a high-priest; yet became so, not simply, nor as betokened by his ordinary garments, but putting over them the ephod, the breastplate22552255 Exod. xxix. 5., the robe, which the women wrought at God’s command, and going in them into the holy place, he offered the sacrifice for the people; and in them, as it were, mediated between the vision of God and the sacrifices of men. Thus then the Lord also, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;’ but when the Father willed that ransoms should be paid for all and to all, grace should be given, then truly the Word, as Aaron his robe, so did He take earthly flesh, having Mary for the Mother of His Body as if virgin earth22562256 ἀνεργάστου γῆς is an allusion to Adam’s formation from the ground; and so Irenæus, Hær. iii. 21. fin. and many later fathers., that, as a High Priest, having He as others an offering, He might offer Himself to the Father, and cleanse us all from sins in His own blood, and might rise from the dead.
8. For what happened of old was a shadow of this; and what the Saviour did on His coming, this Aaron shadowed out according to the Law. As then Aaron was the same and did not change by putting on the high-priestly dress22572257 This is one of those distinct and luminous protests by anticipation against Nestorianism, which in consequence may be abused to the purpose of the opposite heresy. Such expressions as περιτιθέμενος τὴν ἐσθῆτα, ἐκαλύπτετο, ἐνδυσάμενος σῶμα, were familiar with the Apollinarians, against whom S. Athanasius is, if possible, even more decided. Theodoret objects Hær. v. 11. p. 422. to the word προκάλυμμα, as applied to our Lord’s manhood, as implying that He had no soul; vid. also Naz. Ep. 102. fin. (ed. 1840). In Naz. Ep. 101. p. 90. παραπέτασμα is used to denote an Apollinarian idea. Such expressions were taken to imply that Christ was not in nature man, only in some sense human; not a substance, but an appearance; yet pseudo-Athan. contr. Sabell. Greg. 4. has παραπεπετασμένην and κάλυμμα, ibid. init. S. Cyril. Hieros. καταπέτασμα, Catech. xii. 26. xiii. 32. after Hebr. x. 20. and Athan. ad Adelph. 5. e. Theodor. παραπέτασμα, Eran. i. p. 22. and προκάλυμμα, ibid. p. 23. and adv. Gent. vi. p. 877. and στολή, Eran. 1. c. S. Leo has caro Christi velamen, Ep. 59. p. 979. vid. also Serm. 22. p. 70. Serm. 25. p. 84., but remaining the same was only robed, so that, had any one seen him offering, and had said, ‘Lo, Aaron has this day become high-priest,’ he had not implied that he then had been born man, for man he was even before he became high-priest, but that he had been made high-priest in his ministry, on putting on the garments made and prepared for the high-priesthood; in the same way it is possible in the Lord’s instance also to understand aright, that He did not become other than Himself on taking the flesh, but, being the same as before, He was robed in it; and the expressions ‘He became’ and ‘He was made,’ must not be understood as if the Word, considered as the Word22582258 ᾗ λόγος ἐστι. cf. i. 43. Orat. ii. 74. e. iii. 38 init. 39. b. 41 init. 45 init. 52. b. iv. 23. f., were made, but that the Word, being Framer of all, afterwards22592259 The Arians considered that our Lord’s Priesthood preceded His Incarnation, and belonged to His Divine Nature, and was in consequence the token of an inferior divinity. The notice of it therefore in this text did but confirm them in their interpretation of the words made, &c. For the Arians, vid. Epiph. Hær. 69, 37. Eusebius too had distinctly declared, Qui videbatur, erat agnus Dei; qui occultabatur sacerdos Dei. advers. Sabell. i. p. 2. b. vid. also Demonst. i. 10. p. 38. iv. 16. p. 193. v. 3. p. 223. contr. Marc. pp. 8 and 9. 66. 74. 95. Even S. Cyril of Jerusalem makes a similar admission, Catech. x. 14. Nay S. Ambrose calls the Word, plenum justitiæ sacerdotalis, de fug. sæc. 3. 14. S. Clement Alex. before them speaks once or twice of the λόγος ἀρχιερεὺς, e.g. Strom. ii. 9 fin. and Philo still earlier uses similar language, de Profug. p. 466. (whom S. Ambrose follows), de Somniis p. 597. vid. Thomassin. de Incarn. x. 9. Nestorius on the other hand maintained that the Man Christ Jesus was the Priest, relying on the text which has given rise to this note; Cyril, adv. Nest. p. 64. and Augustine and Fulgentius may be taken to countenance him, de Consens. and Evang. i. 6. ad Thrasim. iii. 30. The Catholic doctrine is, that the Divine Word is Priest in and according to His manhood. vid. the parallel use of πρωτότοκος, infr. 62–64. ‘As He is called Prophet and even Apostle for His humanity,’ says S. Cyril Alex. ‘so also Priest.’ Glaph. ii. p. 58. and so Epiph. loc. cit. Thomassin loc. cit. makes a distinction between a divine Priesthood or Mediatorship, such as the Word may be said to sustain between the Father and all creatures, and an earthly one for the sake of sinners. vid. also Huet Origenian. ii. 3. §4, 5. For the history of the controversy among Protestants as to the Nature to which His Mediatorship belongs, vid. Petav. Incarn. xii. 3. 4. [Herzog-Plitt Art. Stancar.] was made High Priest, by putting on a body which was originate and made, and such as He can offer for us; wherefore He is said to be made. If then indeed the Lord did not become man22602260 [One of the few passages in which Ath. glances at the Arian Christology. A long note is omitted here on the subject of Or. i. 8, note 3.], that is a point for the Arians to battle; but if the ‘Word became flesh,’ what ought to have been said concerning Him when become man, but ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him?’ for as it is proper to the Word to have it said of Him, ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ so it is proper to man to ‘become’ and to be ‘made.’ Who then, on seeing the Lord as a man walking about, and yet appearing to be God from His works, would not have asked, Who made Him man? and who again, on such a question, would not have answered, that the Father made Him man, and sent Him to us as High Priest? And this meaning, and time, and character, the Apostle himself, the writer of the words, ‘Who is faithful to Him that made Him,’ will best make plain to us, if we attend to what goes before them. For there is one train of thought, and the lection is all about One and the Same. He writes then in the Epistle to the Hebrews thus; ‘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 had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of Angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved 353Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus; who was faithful to Him that made Him22612261 Heb. ii. 14–18; iii. 2..’
9. Who can read this whole passage without condemning the Arians, and admiring the blessed Apostle, who has spoken well? for when was Christ ‘made,’ when became He ‘Apostle,’ except when, like us, He ‘took part in flesh and blood?’ And when became He ‘a merciful and faithful High Priest,’ except when ‘in all things He was made like unto His brethren?’ And then was He ‘made like,’ when He became man, having put upon Him our flesh. Wherefore Paul was writing concerning the Word’s human Economy, when he said, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ and not concerning His Essence. Have not therefore any more the madness to say that the Word of God is a work; whereas He is Son by nature Only-begotten, and then had ‘brethren,’ when He took on Him flesh like ours; which moreover, by Himself offering Himself, He was named and became ‘merciful and faithful,’—merciful, because in mercy to us He offered Himself for us, and faithful, not as sharing faith with us, nor as having faith in any one as we have, but as deserving to receive faith in all He says and does, and as offering a faithful sacrifice, one which remains and does not come to nought. For those which were offered according to the Law, had not this faithfulness, passing away with the day and needing a further cleansing; but the Saviour’s sacrifice, taking place once, has perfected everything, and is become faithful as remaining for ever. And Aaron had successors, and in a word the priesthood under the Law exchanged its first ministers as time and death went on; but the Lord having a high priesthood without transition and without succession, has become a ‘faithful High Priest,’ as continuing for ever; and faithful too by promise, that He may hear22622262 Or, answer, vid. infr. iii. 27. and not mislead those who come to Him. This may be also learned from the Epistle of the great Peter, who says, ‘Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to a faithful Creator22632263 1 Pet. iv. 19..’ For He is faithful as not changing, but abiding ever, and rendering what He has promised.
10. Now the so-called gods of the Greeks, unworthy the name, are faithful neither in their essence nor in their promises; for the same are not everywhere, nay, the local deities come to nought in course of time, and undergo a natural dissolution; wherefore the Word cries out against them, that ‘faith is not strong in them,’ but they are ‘waters that fail,’ and ‘there is no faith in them.’ But the God of all, being one really and indeed and true, is faithful, who is ever the same, and says, ‘See now, that I, even I am He,’ and I ‘change not22642264 Vid. Jer. ix. 3. and xv. 18; Deut. xxxii. 20, LXX.; ib. xxxii. 39; Mal. iii. 6.;’ and therefore His Son is ‘faithful,’ being ever the same and unchanging, deceiving neither in His essence nor in His promise;—as again says the Apostle writing to the Thessalonians, ‘Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it22652265 1 Thess. v. 24.;’ for in doing what He promises, ‘He is faithful to His words.’ And he thus writes to the Hebrews as to the word’s meaning ‘unchangeable;’ ‘If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself22662266 2 Tim. ii. 13..’ Therefore reasonably the Apostle, discoursing concerning the bodily presence of the Word, says, an ‘Apostle and faithful to Him that made Him,’ shewing us that, even when made man, ‘Jesus Christ’ is ‘the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever22672267 Heb. xiii. 8.’ is unchangeable. And as the Apostle makes mention in his Epistle of His being made man when mentioning His High Priesthood, so too he kept no long silence about His Godhead, but rather mentions it forthwith, furnishing to us a safeguard on every side, and most of all when he speaks of His humility, that we may forthwith know His loftiness and His majesty which is the Father’s. For instance, he says, ‘Moses as a servant, but Christ as a Son22682268 Heb. iii. 5, 6.;’ and the former ‘faithful in his house,’ and the latter ‘over the house,’ as having Himself built it, and being its Lord and Framer, and as God sanctifying it. For Moses, a man by nature, became faithful, in believing God who spoke to Him by His Word; but22692269 Here is a protest beforehand against the Monophysite doctrine, but such anticipations of various heresies are too frequent, as we proceed, to require or bear notice. the Word was not as one of things originate in a body, nor as creature in creature, but as God in flesh22702270 θεὸς ἐν σαρκὶ, vid. λόγος ἐν σ. iii. 54. a. θ. ἐν σωματι, ii. 12. c. 15. a. λ. ἐν σώμ. Sent. D. 8 fin., and Framer of all and Builder in that which was built by Him. And men are clothed in flesh in order to be and to subsist; but the Word of God was made man in order to sanctify the flesh, and, though He was Lord, was in the form of a servant; for the whole creature is the 354Word’s servant, which by Him came to be, and was made.
11. Hence it holds that the Apostle’s expression, ‘He made,’ does not prove that the Word is made, but that body, which He took like ours; and in consequence He is called our brother, as having become man. But if it has been shewn, that, even though the word ‘made’ be referred to the Very Word, it is used for ‘begat,’ what further perverse expedient will they be able to fall upon, now that the present discussion has cleared up the word in every point of view, and shewn that the Son is not a work, but in Essence indeed the Father’s offspring, while in the Economy, according to the good pleasure22712271 κατ᾽ εὐδοκίαν Orat.iii. 64. init. of the Father, He was on our behalf made, and consists as man? For this reason then it is said by the Apostle, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him;’ and in the Proverbs, even creation is spoken of. For so long as we are confessing that He became man, there is no question about saying, as was observed before, whether ‘He became,’ or ‘He has been made,’ or ‘created,’ or ‘formed,’ or ‘servant,’ or ‘son of an handmaid,’ or ‘son of man,’ or ‘was constituted,’ or ‘took His journey,’ or ‘bridegroom,’ or ‘brother’s son,’ or ‘brother.’ All these terms happen to be proper to man’s constitution; and such as these do not designate the Essence of the Word, but that He has become man.
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