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Chapter IX.

Again he convicts his opponent of deadly heresy by his own confession.

But why are we arguing about words, when the facts are clear enough? and seeking for a determination of the matter from the terms of the Creed, when the Creed itself deals with the question. Let us repeat the confession of the Creed, and of you yourself (for yours it is as well as the Creed’s, for you made it yours by confessing it), that you may see that you have departed not only from the Creed but from yourself. “I believe” then, says the Creed, “In one only true God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible: And in the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and the first-born of every creature: Begotten of Him before all worlds and not made; Very God of Very God; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom both the worlds were framed, and all things were made. Who for us came, and was born of the Virgin Mary.” “For us” then the Creed says, our Lord Jesus Christ “came and was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate; and was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures.” The Churches are not ashamed to confess this: the Apostles were not ashamed to preach it. You yourself, you, I say, whose every utterance is now blasphemy, you who now deny everything, you did not deny all these truths: that God was born; that God suffered, that God rose again. And what next? Whither have you fallen? What have you become? To what are you reduced? What do you say? What are you vomiting forth? What, as one says, even mad Orestes himself would swear to be the words of a madman.25562556    Persius Sat. iii. l. 116…“quod ipse non sani esse hominis non sanus juret Orestes.” For what is it that you say? “Who then is the Son of God who was born of the Christotocos? As for instance if we were to say I believe in God the Word, the only Son of God, begotten of His Father, Being of one substance with the Father, who came down and was buried, would not our ears be shocked at the sound? God dead?” And again: “Can it possibly be, you say, that He who was begotten before all worlds, should be born a second time, and be God?” If all these things cannot possibly be, how is it that the Creed of the Churches says that they did happen? How is it that you yourself said that they did? For let us compare what you now say with what you formerly said. Once you said: “I believe in God the Father Almighty; and in Jesus Christ His Son, Very God of Very God; Being of one substance with the Father; who for us came and was born of the Virgin Mary; and was crucified under Pontius Pilate; and was buried.” But now what is it that you say? “If we should say: I believe in God the Word, the only Son of God, Begotten of His Father; Being of one substance with the Father, who came down and was buried, would not our ears be shocked at the sound?” The bitterness indeed and blasphemy of your words might drive us to a furious and ferocious attack in answer; but we must somewhat curb the reins of our pious sorrow.


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