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On the Clause, and in One Lord Jesus Christ, with a Reading from the First Epistle to the Corinthians
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth11141114 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. Cyril omits the clause: as there be gods many and lords many.; yet to us there is One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and One Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him.
1. They who have been taught to believe “In One God the Father Almighty,” ought also to believe in His Only-begotten Son. For he that denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father11151115 1 John ii. 23.. I am the Door11161116 Ib. x. 9., saith Jesus; no one cometh unto the Father but through Me11171117 Ib. xiv. 6.. For if thou deny the Door, the knowledge concerning the Father is shut off from thee. No man knoweth the father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal Him11181118 Matt. xi. 27.. For if thou deny Him who reveals, thou remainest in ignorance. There is a sentence in the Gospels, saying, He that believeth not on the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.11191119 John iii. 36. For the Father hath indignation when the Only-begotten Son is set at nought. For it is grievous to a king that merely his soldier should be dishonoured; and when one of his nobler officers or friends is dishonoured, then his anger is greatly increased: but if any should do despite to the king’s only-begotten son himself, who shall appease the father’s indignation on behalf of his only-begotten son?
2. If, therefore, any one wishes to shew piety towards God, let him worship the Son, since otherwise the Father accepts not his service. The Father spake with a loud voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased11201120 Matt. iii. 17.. The Father was well pleased; unless thou also be well pleased in Him, thou hast not life. Be not thou carried away with the Jews when they craftily say, There is one God alone; but with the knowledge that God is One, know that there is also an Only-begotten Son of God. I am not the first to say this, but the Psalmist in the person of the Son saith, The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son11211121 Ps. ii. 7.. Heed not therefore what the Jews say, but what the Prophets say. Dost thou wonder that they who stoned and slew the Prophets, set at nought the Prophets’ words?
3. Believe thou In One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God. For we say “One Lord Jesus Christ,” that His Sonship may be “Only-begotten:” we say “One,” that thou mayest not suppose another: we say “One,” that thou mayest not profanely diffuse the many names11221122 τὸ πολυώνυμον, a word used by the Greek Poets of their gods, as by Homer (Hymn to Demeter, 18, 32) of Zeus, Κρόνου πολυώνυμος υἱός. Cf. Soph. Ant. 1115; Æschyl. Prom. V. 210. of His action among many sons. For He is called a Door11231123 John x. 7, 9. Cyril calls Christ a “spiritual,” or “rational” (λογική) door, and applies the same term to His sheep, below. Origen (In Evang. Joh. Tom. i. cap. 29): Θύρα ὁ Σωτηρ ἀναγέγραπται, ibid. φιλάνθρωπος δὲ ὢν…ποιμὴν γινεται.; but take not the name literally for a thing of wood, but a spiritual, a living Door, discriminating those who enter in. He is called a Way11241124 John xiv. 6., not one trodden by feet, but leading to the Father in heaven; He is called a Sheep11251125 Ib. i. 29; Is. liii. 7, 8; Acts viii. 32., not an irrational one, but the one which through its precious blood cleanses the world from its sins, which is led before the shearers, and knows when to be silent. This Sheep again is called a Shepherd, who says, I am the Good Shepherd11261126 John x. 11.: a Sheep because of His manhood, a Shepherd because of the loving-kindness of His Godhead. And wouldst thou know that there are rational sheep? the Saviour says to the Apostles, Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves11271127 Matt. x. 10, 16.. Again, He is called a Lion11281128 Gen. xlix. 9; Apoc. v. 5., not as a devourer of men, but indicating as it were by the title His kingly, and stedfast, and confident nature: a Lion He is also called in opposition to the lion our adver58sary, who roars and devours those who have been deceived11291129 1 Pet. v. 8.. For the Saviour came, not as having changed the gentleness of His own nature, but as the strong Lion of the tribe of Judah11301130 Ps. cxviii. 22., saving them that believe, but treading down the adversary. He is called a Stone, not a lifeless stone, cut out by men’s hands, but a chief corner-stone11311131 Is. xxviii. 16; 1 Pet. ii. 4–6., on whom whosoever believeth shall not be put to shame.
4. He is called Christ, not as having been anointed by men’s hands, but eternally anointed by the Father to His High-Priesthood on behalf of men11321132 The reading of the earlier Editions ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων is free from all difficulty, and so the more likely to have been substituted for what is at first sight more difficult ὑπὲρ ἄνθρωπον, the reading of Cod. Coislin. adopted by the Benedictine and subsequent Editors. The idea of a super-human Priesthood to which the Son in His Divine nature was anointed by the Father from eternity is repeated by Cyril in § 14 of this Lecture, and in Cat. xi. 1, 14. See Index, “Priesthood,” and the reference there given to a fuller consideration of the subject in the Introduction.. He is called Dead, not as having abode among the dead, as all in Hades, but as being alone free among the dead11331133 Ps. lxxxviii. 5.. He is called Son of Man, not as having had His generation from earth, as each of us, but as coming upon the clouds To Judge Both Quick and Dead11341134 John v. 27. Comparing what Cyril says here with Cat. iv. 15, and xv. 10, we see that he means to explain why Christ is called the “Son of Man” when “He cometh again from heaven,” and “no more from earth.” The preceding clause refers to His first coming in the flesh, as differing in the manner of His conception and birth from other men.. He is called Lord, not improperly as those who are so called among men, but as having a natural and eternal Lordship11351135 Cf. Athanas. (c. Arian. II. xv. 14), “That very Word who was by nature Lord, and was then made man, hath by means of a servant’s form been made Lord of all and Christ.”. He is called Jesus by a fitting name, as having the appellation from His salutary healing. He is called Son, not as advanced by adoption, but as naturally begotten. And many are the titles of our Saviour; lest, therefore, His manifold appellations should make thee think of many sons, and because of the errors of the heretics, who say that Christ is one, and Jesus another, and the Door another, and so on11361136 Cf. Irenæus (III. xvi. 8): “All therefore are outside the Dispensation, who under pretence of knowledge understand that Jesus was one, and Christ another, and the Only-begotten another (from whom again is the Word), and the Saviour another.” The Cerinthians, Ebionites, Ophites, and Valentinians are mentioned by Irenæus as thus separating the Christ from Jesus., the Faith secures thee beforehand, saying well, In One Lord Jesus Christ: for though the titles are many, yet their subject is one.
5. But the Saviour comes in various forms to
each man for his profit11371137 Cf. Athanas.
(Epist. X.): “Since He is rich and manifold, He
varies Himself according to the individual capacity of each
soul.”. For to those
who have need of gladness He becomes a Vine; and to those who want to
enter in He stands as a Door; and to those who need to offer up their
prayers He stands a mediating High Priest. Again, to those who
have sins He becomes a Sheep, that He may be sacrificed for them.
He is made all things to all men11381138 1 Cor. ix. 22.,
remaining in His own nature what He is. For so remaining, and
holding the dignity of His Sonship in reality unchangeable, He adapts
Himself to our infirmities, just as some excellent physician or
compassionate teacher; though He is Very Lord, and received not the
Lordship by advancement11391139 ἐκ
learn from Athanasius (c. Arian. i. 37, 38, 40), that from
St. Paul’s language Philipp. ii. 9: “Wherefore
also God highly exalted Him, &c.,” and from
Ps. xlv. 7: “Thou hast loved
righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” the
Arians argued that Christ first received Divine honour as Son and Lord
as the reward of His obedience as Man. Athanasius replies (c.
40): “He was not from a lower state promoted; but rather,
existing as God, He took the form of a servant, and in taking it was
not promoted but humbled Himself. Where then is there here any
reward of virtue, or what advancement (προκοπή) and promotion
The same doctrine had been previously held by the disciples of Paul of Samosata, who said that Christ was not originally God, but after His Incarnation was by advance (ἐκ προκοπῆς) made God, from being made by nature a mere man: see Athanas. (de Decretis, § 24, c. Arian. i. 38). S. Cyril refers to the error and uses the same word, in xi. 1, 7, 13, 15, 17, and xiv. 27., but has the dignity of His Lordship from nature, and is not called Lord improperly11401140 καταχρηστικῶς, i.e. in a secondary or metaphorical sense. Cf. vii. 5., as we are, but is so in verity, since by the Father’s bidding11411141 νεύματι, “command” or “bidding,” as expressed by nodding the head. He is Lord of His own works. For our lordship is over men of equal rights and like passions, nay often over our elders, and often a young master rules over aged servants. But in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ the Lordship is not so: but He is first Maker, then Lord11421142 Origen (De Principiis, I. ii. 10) had argued that “even God cannot be called omnipotent, unless there exist those over whom He may exercise His power,” and therefore creation must have been eternal, or God could not have been eternally Omnipotent. In other passages Origen declares it an impiety to hold that matter is co-eternal with God (De Princip. II. i. 4), and yet maintains that there were other worlds before this, and that there was never a time when there was no world existing.
Methodius, in a fragment of his work On things Created, preserved by Photius, and quoted by Bishop Bull (Def. Fid. Nic. II. xiii. 9), argues against these theories of Origen, that in John i. 2 the words “The same was in the beginning with God” indicate the authority (τὸ ἐξουσιαστικόν) of the Word which He had with the Father before the world came into existence; since from all eternity God the Father, together with His Word, possessed the Almighty power whereby whenever He would He could create worlds to rule over.
Dean Church remarks that “On the other hand Tertullian, contra Hermog. 3, considering the attributes in question to belong not to the Divine Nature, but Office, denies that God was Almighty (Lord?) from eternity; while the Greeks affirmed this (vid. Cyril Alex. in Joann. xvii. 8, p. 963; Athan. Orat. ii. 12–14), as understanding by the term the inherent but latent attribute of doing what He had not yet done, τὸ ἐξουσιαστικόν.”
Cleopas, the Jerusalem Editor, regards the passage as directed against Paul of Samosata, who asserted that Christ had become God, and received His kingdom and Lordship only after His Incarnation, and remarks:—“S. Cyril evidently regards the Lordship of Jesus Christ as twofold: one that which from eternity belonged to Him as God, which he calls natural, according to which ‘He was ever both Lord and King, as being by nature God’ (Cyril Alex. in Johann. cap. xvii.); and the other the Lordship in time relative to the creatures, by which He exercises dominion over the works created by Him, as being their Maker.“: first He made all things by the Father’s will, then, He is Lord of the things which were made by Him.
6. Christ the Lord is He who was born in the city of David11431143 Luke ii. 11.. And wouldest thou know 59that Christ is Lord with the Father even before His Incarnation11441144 Among those who denied the Divine præ-existence of Christ Cleopas enumerates Ebion, Carpocrates, Theodotus, Artemon, Paul of Samosata, Marcellus, and Photinus., that thou mayest not only accept the statement by faith, but mayest also receive proof from the Old Testament? Go to the first book, Genesis: God saith, Let us make man, not ‘in My image,’ but, in Our image11451145 Gen. i. 26.. And after Adam was made, the sacred writer says, And God created man; in the image of God created He him11461146 Ib. i. 27.. For he did not limit the dignity of the Godhead to the Father alone, but included the Son also: that it might be shewn that man is not only the work of God, but also of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Himself also Very God. This Lord, who works together with the Father, wrought with Him also in the case of Sodom, according to the Scripture: And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven11471147 Ib. xix. 24.. This Lord is He who afterwards was seen of Moses, as much as he was able to see. For the Lord is loving unto man, ever condescending to our infirmities.
7. Moreover, that you may be sure that this is He who was seen of Moses, hear Paul’s testimony, when he says, For they all drank of a spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ11481148 1 Cor. x. 4.. And again: By faith Moses forsook Egypt11491149 Heb. xi. 27., and shortly after he says, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt11501150 Heb. xi. 26. Quoting from memory Cyril mistakes the order of the two sentences.. This Moses says to Him, Shew me Thyself. Thou seest that the Prophets also in those times saw the Christ, that is, as far as each was able. Shew me Thyself, that I may see Thee with understanding11511151 Ex. xxxiii. 13. Cyril means that even before His Incarnation Christ was seen as far as was possible by Prophets such as Moses. This view was held by many of the Fathers before Cyril. See Justin M. (Tryph. § 56 ff.); Tertull. (adv. Praxean, § 16); Euseb. (Demonstr. Evang. V. 13–16).. But He saith, There shall no man see My face, and live11521152 Ex. xxxiii. 20.. For this reason then, because no man could see the face of the Godhead and live, He took on Him the face of human nature, that we might see this and live. And yet when He wished to shew even that with a little majesty, when His face did shine as the sun11531153 Matt. xvii. 2., the disciples fell down affrighted. If then His bodily countenance, shining not in the full power of Him that wrought, but according to the capacity of the Disciples, affrighted them, so that even thus they could not bear it, how could any man gaze upon the majesty of the Godhead? ‘A great thing,’ saith the Lord, ‘thou desirest, O Moses: and I approve thine insatiable desire, and I will do this thing11541154 Ex. xxxiii. 17. Gr. λόγον, “word,” in imitation of the Hebrew idiom. for thee, but according as thou art able. Behold, I will put thee in the clift of the rock11551155 Ex. xxxiii. 22.: for as being little, thou shalt lodge in a little space.’
8. Now here I wish you to make safe what I am going to say, because of the Jews. For our object is to prove that the Lord Jesus Christ was with the Father. The Lord then says to Moses, I will pass by before thee with My glory, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee11561156 Ex. xxxiii. 19. Literally “will call in the name of the Lord (Jehovah):” compare Gen. iv. 26.. Being Himself the Lord, what Lord doth He proclaim? Thou seest how He was covertly teaching the godly doctrine of the Father and the Son. And again, in what follows it is written word for word: And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, both keeping righteousness and shewing mercy unto thousands, taking away iniquities, and transgressions, and sins11571157 Ex. xxxiv. 5–7. For “keeping righteousness and shewing mercy,” the Hebrew has only “keeping mercy.”. Then in what follows, Moses bowed his head and worshipped11581158 Ex. xxxiv. 8. before the Lord who proclaimed the Father, and said: Go Thou then, O Lord, in the midst of us11591159 Ib. xxxiv. 9..
9. This is the first proof: receive
now a second plain one. The Lord said
unto my Lord, sit Thou on My right hand11601160 Ps. cx. 1. Heb. “An oracle of Jehovah
unto my lord.” Cyril’s argument is based upon the
common mistake of supposing that Κύριος represents the same
Hebrew word in both parts of the sentence.. The Lord
says this to the Lord, not to a servant, but to the Lord of all, and
His own Son, to whom He put all things in subjection. But when
He saith that all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is
excepted, which did put all things under Him, and what follows;
that God may be all in all11611161 1 Cor. xv. 27, 28.. The
Only-begotten Son is Lord of all, but the obedient Son of the Father,
for He grasped not the Lordship11621162 Cyril evidently
alludes to Philip. ii.
6, “Who being in
the form of God thought it not a prize to be on an equality with
God:” for the right interpretation of which passage, see
Dean Gwynn’s notes in the Speaker’s
Commentary., but received
it by nature of the Father’s own will. For neither did the
Son grasp it, nor the Father grudge to impart it. He it is who
saith, All things are delivered unto Me of My Father11631163 Matt. xi. 27; Luke x. 22. On this text Athanasius wrote a
special treatise (In illud ‘Omnia,’ &c.),
against the arguments of Arius, Eusebius, and their fellows, who
said,—“If all things were delivered (meaning by
‘all’ the Lordship of Creation), there was once a time when
He had them not. But it He had them not, He is not of the Father,
for if He were, He would on that account have had them
Again (contr. Arian. Orat. III. cap. xxvii. § 36), Athanasius argues: “Lest a man, perceiving that the Son has all that the Father hath, from the exact likeness and identity of what He hath, should wander into the impiety of Sabellius, considering Him to be the Father, therefore He has said, Was given unto Me, and I received, and Were delivered to Me, only to shew that He is not the Father, but the Father’s Word, and the Eternal Son, who, because of His likeness to the Father, has eternally what He has from Him, and because He is the Son, has from the Father what eternally He hath.”; “delivered unto Me, not as though 60I had them not before; and I keep them well, not robbing Him who hath given them.”
10. The Son of God then is Lord: He is Lord, who was born in Bethlehem of Judæa, according to the Angel who said to the shepherds, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that unto you is born this day in the city of David Christ the Lord11641164 Luke ii. 10, 11.: of whom an Apostle says elsewhere, The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching the gospel of peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all11651165 Acts x. 36.. But when he says, of all, do thou except nothing from His Lordship: for whether Angels, or Archangels, or principalities, or powers, or any created thing named by the Apostles, all are under the Lordship of the Son. Of Angels He is Lord, as thou hast it in the Gospels, Then the Devil departed from Him, and the Angels came and ministered unto Him11661166 Matt. iv. 11.; for the Scripture saith not, they succoured Him, but they ministered unto Him, that is, like servants. When He was about to be born of a Virgin, Gabriel was then His servant, having received His service as a peculiar dignity. When He was about to go into Egypt, that He might overthrow the gods of Egypt made with hands11671167 Isa. xix. 1. “Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and cometh unto Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence.” The prophecy was supposed by many of the Fathers to have been fulfilled by the flight into Egypt. Cf. Athanas. (Ep. LXI. ad Maximum, § 4): “As a child He came down to Egypt, and brought to nought its idols made with hands:” and (de Incarn. § 36): “Which of the righteous men or kings went down into Egypt, so that at his coming the idols of Egypt fell?” On the passage of Isaiah see Delitzsch, and Kay (Speaker’s Commentary)., again an Angel appeareth to Joseph in a dream11681168 Matt. ii. 13.. After He had been crucified, and had risen again, an Angel brought the good tidings, and as a trustworthy servant said to the women, Go, tell His disciples that He is risen, and goeth before you into Galilee; lo, I have told you11691169 Ib. xxviii. 7.: almost as if he had said, “I have not neglected my command, I protest that I have told you; that if ye disregard it, the blame may not be on me, but on those who disregard it.” This then is the One Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the lesson just now read speaks: For though there be many that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, and so on, yet to us there is One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and One Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him11701170 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6..
11. And He is called by two names, Jesus Christ; Jesus, because He saves,—Christ, because He is a Priest11711171 Compare Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. I. cap. iii.), a passage which Cyril seems to have followed in his explanation of the names ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ.’. And knowing this the inspired Prophet Moses conferred these two titles on two men distinguished above all11721172 For the common reading ἐγκρίτοις πάντων Cod. Mon. I. has ἐκκρίτοις π. which is required both by the construction and the sense. The change may have been caused by the occurrence of ἐγκρίτων just below.: his own successor in the government, Auses11731173 Eusebius (u.s): “His successor, therefore, who had not hitherto borne the name Jesus, but had been called by another name, Auses, which had been given him by his parents, he now called Jesus, bestowing the name upon him as a gift of honour far greater than any kingly diadem.” Auses is a common corruption of the name Oshea. See the note on the passage of Eusebius in this series., he renamed Jesus; and his own brother Aaron he surnamed Christ11741174 Eusebius: “He consecrated a man high-priest of God, in so far as that was possible, and him he called Christ.” Cf. Lev. iv. 5, 16; vi. 22: ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ Χριστός, that by two well-approved men he might represent at once both the High Priesthood, and the Kingship of the One Jesus Christ who was to come. For Christ is a High Priest like Aaron; since He glorified not Himself to be made a High Priest, but He that spake unto Him, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek11751175 Heb. v. 4, 5, 6. Cyril omits from his quotation the reference to Ps. ii. 7: “Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee.”. And Jesus the son of Nave was in many things a type of Him. For when he began to rule over the people, he began from Jordan11761176 Josh. iii. 1., whence Christ also, after He was baptized, began to preach the gospel. And the son of Nave appoints twelve to divide the inheritance11771177 Ib. xiv. 1.; and twelve Apostles Jesus sends forth, as heralds of the truth, into all the world. The typical Jesus saved Rahab the harlot when she believed: and the true Jesus says, Behold, the publicans and the harlots go before you into the kingdom of God11781178 Matt. xxi. 31.. With only a shout the walls of Jericho fell down in the time of the type: and because Jesus said, There shall not be left here one stone upon another11791179 Matt. xxiv. 2., the Temple of the Jews opposite to us is fallen, the cause of its fall not being the denunciation but the sin of the transgressors.
12. There is One Lord Jesus Christ, a wondrous name, indirectly announced beforehand by the Prophets. For Esaias the Prophet says, Behold, thy Saviour cometh, having His own reward11801180 Isa. lxii. 11: “Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him.”. Now Jesus in Hebrew is by interpretation Saviour. For the Prophetic gift, foreseeing the murderous spirit of the Jews against their Lord11811181 τὸ κυριοκτόνον τῶν ᾽Ιουδαίων., veiled His name, lest from knowing it plainly beforehand they might plot against Him readily. But He was openly called Jesus not by men, but by an Angel, who came not by his own authority, but was sent by the power of God, and said to Joseph, Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is con61ceivedin her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus11821182 Matt. i. 20.. And immediately he renders the reason of this name, saying, for He shall save His people from their sins. Consider how He who was not yet born could have a people, unless He was in being before He was born11831183 The Anathema appended to the Creed of Nicæa condemns those who said πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν. On this Eusebius of Cæsarea (Epist. § 9) remarks: “Moreover to anathematize ‘Before His generation He was not,’ did not seem preposterous, in that it is confessed by all, that the Son of God was before the generation according to the flesh.”. This also the Prophet says in His person, From the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of My name11841184 Isa. xlix. 1.; because the Angel foretold that He should be called Jesus. And again concerning Herod’s plot again he says, And under the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me11851185 Ib. xlix. 2..
13. Jesus then means according to the Hebrew “Saviour,” but in the Greek tongue “The Healer;” since He is physician of souls and bodies, curer of spirits, curing the blind in body11861186 τυφλῶν αἰσθητῶν., and leading minds into light, healing the visibly lame, and guiding sinners’ steps to repentance, saying to the palsied, Sin no more, and, Take up thy bed and walk11871187 John v. 14, 8.. For since the body was palsied for the sin of the soul, He ministered first to the soul that He might extend the healing to the body. If, therefore, any one is suffering in soul from sins, there is the Physician for him: and if any one here is of little faith, let him say to Him, Help Thou mine unbelief11881188 Mark ix. 24.. If any is encompassed also with bodily ailments, let him not be faithless, but let him draw nigh; for to such diseases also Jesus ministers11891189 Compare the fragment of the Apology of Quadratus presented to Hadrian 127 a.d., preserved by Eusebius (H.E. IV. iii.): “But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:—those that were healed, and those that arose from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after His death they were alive for a long while, so that some of them survived even to our times.” See the notes on the passage of Eusebius, in this series., and let him learn that Jesus is the Christ.
14. For that He is Jesus the Jews allow, but not further that He is Christ. Therefore saith the Apostle, Who is the liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ11901190 1 John ii. 22.? But Christ is a High Priest, whose priesthood passes not to another11911191 Heb. vii. 24., neither having begun His Priesthood in time11921192 On the opinion that Christ was from all eternity the true High Priest of the Creation, see Index, Priesthood, and the reference there given to the Introduction. Cf. x. 4: xi. 1. Athan (c. Arian. Or. ii. 12, J. H. N.)., nor having any successor in His High-Priesthood: as thou heardest on the Lord’s day, when we were discoursing in the congregation11931193 The word ‘synaxis’ was used by the early Christians to distinguish their assemblies from the Jewish ‘synagogue,’ a word formed from the same root and more regularly. ‘Synaxis’ came to be used more especially of a celebration of the Eucharist. See Suicer, Thesaurus, Σύναξις. on the phrase, After the Order of Melchizedek. He received not the High-Priesthood from bodily succession, nor was He anointed with oil prepared by man11941194 σκευαστῷ, Ex. xxx. 22–25: “a perfume compounded (μυρεψικόν ) after the art of the perfumer” (R.V.)., but before all ages by the Father; and He so far excels the others as with an oath He is made Priest: For they are priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him that said, The Lord sware, and will not repent11951195 Heb. vii. 21.. The mere purpose of the Father was sufficient for surety: but the mode of assurance is twofold, namely that with the purpose there follows the oath also, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong encouragement11961196 Ib. vi. 18. for our faith, who receive Christ Jesus as the Son of God.
15. This Christ, when He was come, the Jews denied, but the devils confessed. But His forefather David was not ignorant of Him, when he said, I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed11971197 Ps. cxxxii. 17. The “lamp for the Anointed” was commonly applied by the Fathers to John the Baptist. Compare John v. 35, and Bishop Westcott’s note there.: which lamp some have interpreted to be the brightness of Prophecy11981198 2 Pet. i. 19. The supposed reference in the Psalm to the lamp of prophecy is mentioned by Eusebius (Demonstr. Evang. IV. cap. 16)., others the flesh which He took upon Him from the Virgin, according to the Apostle’s word, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels11991199 2 Cor. iv. 7. The reference of the ‘lamp’ to Christ’s Incarnation is mentioned by Eusebius (u.s.) and other Fathers.. The Prophet was not ignorant of Him, when He said, and announceth unto men His Christ12001200 Amos. iv. 13: “and declareth unto man what is his thought.” For ו&x#o@”־המ, ‘what is his thought,’ the LXX. read וׂחישִֹמְ, ‘His Anointed,’ τὸν Χριστὸν αὐτοῦ.. Moses also knew Him, Isaiah knew Him, and Jeremiah; not one of the Prophets was ignorant of Him. Even devils recognised Him, for He rebuked them, and the Scripture says, because they knew that He was Christ12011201 Luke iv. 41.. The Chief-priests knew Him not, and the devils confessed Him: the Chief Priests knew Him not, and a woman of Samaria proclaimed Him, saying, Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ12021202 John iv. 29.?
16. This is Jesus Christ who came a High-Priest of the good things to come12031203 Heb. ix. 11.; who for the bountifulness of His Godhead imparted His own title to us all. For kings among men have their royal style which others may not share: but Jesus Christ being the Son of God gave us the dignity of being called Christians. But some one will say, The name of “Christians” is new, and was not in use aforetime12041204 οὐκ ἐπολιτεύετο, “was not in citizenship,” “not naturalised.” Cf. Sueton. Nero. cap. 16: “Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae et maleficae.”: and new-fashioned phrases are often objected to 62on the score of strangeness12051205 τὸ ξένον.. The prophet made this point safe beforehand, saying, But upon My servants shall a new name be called, which shall be blessed upon the earth12061206 Isa. lxv. 15, 16. The LXX. here depart from the meaning of the Hebrew: “He shall call His servants by another name: so that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth” (R.V.).. Let us question the Jews: Are ye servants of the Lord, or not? Shew then your new name. For ye were called Jews and Israelites in the time of Moses, and the other prophets, and after the return from Babylon, and up to the present time: where then is your new name? But we, since we are servants of the Lord, have that new name: new indeed, but the new name, which shall be blessed upon the earth. This name caught the world in its grasp: for Jews are only in a certain region, but Christians reach to the ends of the world: for it is the name of the Only-begotten Son of God that is proclaimed.
17. But wouldest thou know that the Apostles knew and preached the name of Christ, or rather had Christ Himself within them? Paul says to his hearers, Or seek ye a proof of Christ that speaketh in me12071207 2 Cor. xiii. 3.? Paul proclaims Christ, saying, For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake12081208 Ib. iv. 5.. Who then is this? The former persecutor. O mighty wonder! The former persecutor himself preaches Christ. But wherefore? Was he bribed? Nay there was none to use this mode of persuasion. But was it that he saw Him present on earth, and was abashed? He had already been taken up into heaven. He went forth to persecute, and after three days the persecutor is a preacher in Damascus. By what power? Others call friends as witnesses for friends but I have presented to you as a witness the former enemy: and dost thou still doubt? The testimony of Peter and John, though weighty, was yet of a kind open to suspicion: for they were His friends. But of one who was formerly his enemy, and afterwards dies for His sake, who can any longer doubt the truth?
18. At this point of my discourse I am truly filled with wonder at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit; how He confined the Epistles of the rest to a small number, but to Paul the former persecutor gave the privilege of writing fourteen. For it was not because Peter or John was less that He restrained the gift; God forbid! But in order that the doctrine might be beyond question, He granted to the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more, in order that we all might thus be made believers. For all were amazed at Paul, and said, Is not this he that was formerly a persecutor12091209 Acts ix. 21.? Did he not come hither, that he might lead us away bound to Jerusalem? Be not amazed, said Paul, I know that it is hard for me to kick against the pricks: I know that I am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God12101210 1 Cor. xv. 9.; but I did it in ignorance12111211 1 Tim. i. 13.: for I thought that the preaching of Christ was destruction of the Law, and knew not that He came Himself to fulfil the Law and not to destroy it12121212 Matt. v. 17.. But the grace of God was exceeding abundant in me12131213 1 Tim. i. 14..
19. Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Ghost bears witness, descending bodily in likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God12141214 ἡ θεοτόκος— Deipara. Gibbon (Chap. xlvii. 34) says, “It is not easy to fix the invention of this word, which La Croze (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 16) ascribes to Eusebius of Cæsarea and the Arians. The orthodox testimonies are produced by Cyril (of Alexandria) and Petavius (Dogmat. Theolog. tom. v. L. v. cap. 15, p. 254, &c.), but the veracity of the Saint is questionable, and the epithet of θεοτόκος so easily slides from the margin to the text of a Catholic ms.” This passage is justly described as “Gibbon’s calumny” by Dr. Newman: see his notes on the title θεοτόκος (Athan. c. Arian. Or. ii. cap. 12, n.; Or. iii. capp. 14, 29, 33). The word is certainly used by Origen (Deut. xxii. 13, Lommatzch. Tom. x. p. 378): “She that is already betrothed is called a wife, as also in the case of Joseph and the Theotokos.” Cf. Archelaus (Disput. cum Mane, cap. xxxiv. “qui de Maria Dei Genetrice natus est”); Eusebius (de Vita Constantini, III. cap. 43: “The pious Empress adorned with rare memorials the place of the travail of the Theotokos”). For other examples see Suicer’s Thesaurus, θεοτόκος, Pearson, Creed, Art. iii. notes l, m, n, o, and Routh, Reliq. Sacr. ii. p. 332. bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness. Egypt bears witness, which received the Lord while yet young in the body12151215 “Chrysostom describing the flourishing state of the Church in Egypt in those times, says: ‘Egypt welcomes and saves Him when a fugitive and plotted against, and receives a beginning as it were of its appropriation to Him, in order that when it shall hear Him proclaimed by the Apostles, it may in their day also be honoured as having been first to welcome Him’” (Cleopas).: Symeon bears witness, who received Him in his arms, and said, Now, Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people12161216 Luke ii. 29, 30.. Anna also, the prophetess, a most devout widow, of austere life, bears witness of Him. John the Baptist bears witness, the greatest among the Prophets, and leader of the New Covenant, who in a manner united both Covenants in Himself, the Old and the New. Jordan is His witness among rivers; the sea of Tiberias among seas: blind and lame bear witness, and dead men raised to life, and devils saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus? we know Thee, who Thou art, the Holy One of God12171217 Mark i. 24.. Winds bear witness, silenced at His bidding: five loaves multiplied into five 63thousand bear Him witness. The holy wood of the Cross bears witness, seen among us to this day, and from this place now almost filling the whole world, by means of those who in faith take portions from it12181218 See Cat. iv. 10, note 7.. The palm-tree12191219 The Bordeaux Pilgrim, who visited the Holy Places of Jerusalem, a.d. 333, c. speaks of this palm-tree as still existing. The longevity of the palm was proverbial: cf. Aristot. (De Longitudine Vitæ, c. iv. 2). on the ravine bears witness, having supplied the palm-branches to the children who then hailed Him. Gethsemane12201220 The same Pilgrim (as quoted by the Benedictine Editor) says, “There is also the rock where Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ.” Compare Cat. xiii. 38. bears witness, still to the thoughtful almost shewing Judas. Golgotha12211221 See Index, Golgotha., the holy hill standing above us here, bears witness to our sight: the Holy Sepulchre bears witness, and the stone which lies there12221222 See the passage of the Introduction referred to in Index, Sepulchre. to this day. The sun now shining is His witness, which then at the time of His saving Passion was eclipsed12231223 See Cat. ii. 15, note 8, and xiii. 25, 34, 38. On the supernatural character of the darkness mentioned in the Gospels see Meyer, Commentary, Matt. xxvii. 45. An eclipse of the sun was of course impossible, as the moon was full. Mr. J. R. Hind (Historical Eclipses, “Times,” 19th July, 1872) states that the solar eclipse, mentioned by Phlegon the freedman of Hadrian, which occurred on Nov. 24, a.d. 29, and was partial at Jerusalem, is “the only solar eclipse that could have been visible at Jerusalem during the period usually fixed for the ministry of Christ.” He adds, “The Moon was eclipsed on the generally received date of the Crucifixion, 3 April, a.d. 33. I find she had emerged from the earth’s dark shadow a quarter of an hour before she rose at Jerusalem (6:36 p.m.), but the penumbra continued upon her disc for an hour afterwards.” Thus the “darkness from the sixth hour unto the ninth” cannot be explained as the natural effect of an eclipse either solar or lunar.: the darkness is His witness, which was then from the sixth hour to the ninth: the light bears witness, which shone forth from the ninth hour until evening. The Mount of Olives bears witness, that holy mount from which He ascended to the Father: the rain-bearing clouds are His witnesses, having received their Lord: yea, and the gates of heaven bear witness [having received their Lord12241224 This clause is omitted in Codd. Mon. 1, 2, Roe, Casaub., and is probably repeated from the preceding line: such repetitions, however, are not uncommon in Cyril’s style.], concerning which the Psalmist said, Lift up your doors, O ye Princes, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in12251225 Ps. xxiv. 7. The first clause is mistranslated by the LXX. from whom Cyril quotes.. His former enemies bear witness, of whom the blessed Paul is one, having been a little while His enemy, but for a long time His servant: the Twelve Apostles are His witnesses, having preached the truth not only in words, but also by their own torments and deaths: the shadow of Peter12261226 Acts v. 15. bears witness, having healed the sick in the name of Christ. The handkerchiefs and aprons bear witness, as in like manner by Christ’s power they wrought cures of old through Paul12271227 Ib. xix. 12.. Persians12281228 The persecution of the Christians in Persia by Sapor II. is described at length by Sozomen (E.H. II. cc. ix.–xv., in this Series). It commenced in a.d. 343, and was going on at the date of these Lectures and long after. “During fifty years the Cross lay prostrate in blood and ashes” (Dict. Bib. ‘Sassanidæ’). Compare Neander, Church History, Tom. III. p 148, Bohn.) and Goths12291229 The Goths here mentioned are the Gothi minores dwelling on the north of the Danube, where Ulfilas, “the Apostle of the Goths” (311–381), converted many of his countrymen to Christianity. After suffering severe persecution, he was allowed by the Constantius to take refuge with his Arian converts in Mœsia and Thrace. This migration took place in 348 a.d., the same year in which Cyril’s Lectures were delivered., and all the Gentile converts bear witness, by dying for His sake, whom they never saw with eyes of flesh: the devils, who to this day12301230 See Index, Exorcism. are driven out by the faithful, bear witness to Him.
20. So many and diverse, yea and more than these, are His witnesses: is then the Christ thus witnessed any longer disbelieved? Nay rather if there is any one who formerly believed not, let him now believe: and if any was before a believer, let him receive a greater increase of faith, by believing in our Lord Jesus Christ, and let him understand whose name he bears. Thou art called a Christian: be tender of the name; let not our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, be blasphemed through thee: but rather let your good works shine before men12311231 Matt. v. 16. that they who see them may in Christ Jesus our Lord glorify the Father which is in heaven: To whom be the glory, both now and for ever and ever. Amen.
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