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Chapter XV.

St. Thomas also confessed the same faith as Peter after the Lord’s resurrection.

But I want still to add one more testimony from an Apostle for you: that you may see how what followed after the passion corresponded with what went before it. When then the Lord appeared in the midst of His disciples when the doors were shut, and wished to make clear to the Apostles the reality of His body, when the Apostle Thomas felt His flesh and handled His side and examined His wounds—what was it that he declared, when he was convinced of the reality of the body shown to him? “My Lord,” he said, “and my God.”24432443    S. John xx. 28. Did he say what you say, that it was a man and not God? Christ and not Divinity? He surely touched the body of his Lord and answered that He was God. Did he make any separation between man and God? or did he call that flesh Theotocos, to use your expression, i.e., that which received Divinity? or did he, after the fashion of your blasphemy, declare that He whom he touched was to be honoured not for His own sake, but for the sake of Him whom He had received into Himself? But perhaps God’s Apostle knew nothing of that subtle separation of yours, and had no experience of the fine distinctions of your judgment, as he was a rude countryman, ignorant of the dialectic art, and of the method of philosophic disputation; for whom the Lord’s teaching was amply sufficient, and as he was one who knew nothing whatever except what he learnt from the instruction of the Lord! And so his words contain heavenly doctrine; his faith is a Divine lesson. He had never learnt to separate, as you do, the Lord from His body: and had no idea how to rend God asunder from Himself. He was holy, straightforward, upright: filled with practical innocence, unalloyed faith, and pure knowledge: having a simple understanding joined with prudence, a wisdom entirely free from all evil, together with perfect simplicity: ignorant of any corruption, and free from all heretical perversity, and as one who had experienced in himself the force of the Divine lesson, he held fast everything which he had learnt. And so he—countryman and ignorant fellow as you fancy him—shuts you up with a brief answer, and destroys your position with a few words of his. What then did the Apostle Thomas touch when he drew near to handle his God? Certainly it was Christ without any doubt. But what did he exclaim? “My Lord,” he said, “and my God.” Now, if you can, separate Christ from God, and change this saying, if you are able to. Make use of all dialectic art—all the prudence of this world, and that foolish wisdom which consists in wordy subtlety. Turn yourself about in every direction, and draw in your horns. Do whatever you can with ingenuity and art. Say what you like, and do what you like; you cannot possibly get out of this without confessing that what the Apostle touched was God. And indeed, if the thing can possibly be done, perhaps you will want to alter the statement of the gospel story, so that we may not read that the Apostle Thomas touched the body of the Lord, or that he called Christ Lord and God. But it is absolutely impossible to alter what is written in the gospel of God. For “heaven and earth shall pass away, but the words” of God “shall not pass away.”24442444    S. Matt. xxiv. 35. For lo, even now he who then bore his witness, the Apostle Thomas, proclaims to you: “Jesus whom I touched is God. It is God whose limbs I handled. I did not feel what was incorporeal, not handle what was intangible: I touched not a Spirit with my hand, so that it might be believed that I said of it alone ‘It is God.’ For ‘a spirit,’ as my Lord Himself said, ‘hath not flesh and bones.’24452445    S. Luke xxiv. 39. I touched the body of my Lord. I handled flesh and bones. I put my fingers into the prints of the wounds: and I declared of Christ my Lord, whom I had handled: ‘My Lord and my God.’ For I know not how to make a separation between Christ and God, and I cannot insert blasphemous distinctions between Jesus and God, or rend my Lord asunder from Himself. Away from me, whoever is of a different opinion, and whoever says anything different. I know not that 572Christ is other than God. This faith I held together with my fellow apostles: this I delivered to the Churches: this I preached to the Gentiles: this I proclaim to thee also, Christ is God, Christ is God. A sound mind imagines nothing else: a sound faith says nothing else. The Deity cannot be parted from Itself. And since whatever is Christ is God, there can be found in God none other but God.”


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