Chapter 1. Introduction. Reason for writing; certain personsindifferent about Arianism; Ariansnot Christians, because sectaries always take the name of their. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters Four Discourses Against the Arians. Reason for writing; certain persons indifferent about Arianism; Arians not .. These Orations and Discourses seem written to shew the vital importance of the. Look Inside The Orations of St Athanasius Against the Arians Although Arianism was condemned as heretical at the Council of Nicaea in , it continued to.
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Can anything be more irreligious? And let these contentious men knowthat they fail in this their perverse purpose; let them know that Paul does not signify that His essence has become, knowingas he did, that He is Son and Wisdom and Radiance and Image of the Father; but here too he refers the word ‘become’ to the ministry of that covenant, in which death which once ruled is abolished.
Unseemly is such an enquiry, both unseemly and very blasphemousyet parallel with theirs; for the answer they make abounds in irreligion. This will show them that they do but presume and venture on sophisms about God and Him who is from Him.
And signifying this the Lord Himself has 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 truth. But if they speak concerning God and His Word, let them complete their question and then ask, Was the God’who is,’ ever without Reason? For what have they discovered in this heresy like to the religious Faith, that they vainly talk as if its supporters said no evil?
How can He be really in the Fatherif His purpose is indeterminate?
Four Orations Against the Arians | work by Athanasius |
For it is unseemly, while confessing that ‘the Word became flesh,’ yet to be ashamed at what is written of Him, and on that account to corrupt the sense. These considerations encourage the faithfuland distress the hereticalperceiving, as they do, their heresy overthrown thereby.
Therefore, since all that remains is to say that from the devil came their mania for of such opinions he alone is sowerproceed we to resist him — for with him is our real conflict, and they are but instruments — that, the Lord aiding us, and the enemy, as he is wont, being overcome with arguments, they may be put to shame, when they see him without resource who sowed this heresy in them, and may learn, though late, that, as being Ariansthey are not Christians.
If then He was of nothing, He would not have been the Christ or Anointed, being one among others and having fellowship as the rest. For of this was man’s nature in want, because of the humble estate of the flesh and of death.
Now in such cases we should not speak of ‘better,’ but of ‘rather’ and ‘more;’ thus Joseph was comely rather than his brethren, and Rachel than Leah; star is not better than star, but is the rather excellent in glory ; whereas in bringing together things which differ in kind, then ‘better’ is used to mark the difference, as has been said in the case of wisdom and jewels.
Not any one man can they specify who has supplied it.
It does but remain, that they should deny Him also, orationa they understand not how God isand what the Father is, now that, foolish men, they measure by themselves the Offspring of the Father.
Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For such as is the Fathersuch must be the Image.
For who was ever yet a hearer of such a doctrine? Since then the Word, being the Image of the Father and immortaltook the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father; therefore also, as man, He is said because of us and for us to be highly exalted, that as by His death we all died in Christso again in the Athanasous Himself we might be highly exalted, being raised from the dead, and ascending into heaven, ‘whither the forerunner Jesus is for us entered, not into the figures of the truebut into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
As to their question whether the Word is alterableit is superfluous to examine it; it is enough simply to write down what they say, and so to show its daring irreligion. Let them cease therefore to take the word ‘become’ of the substance of the Sonfor He is not one of originated ariwns and let them acknowledge that it is indicative of His ministry and the Economy which came to pass. And though the Apostle had not thus written in his Epistle to the Hebrews, still his other Epistles, and the whole of Scripture, would certainly forbid their entertaining such notions concerning the Word.
Agaainst then for our sake He sanctifies Himself, and does this when He has 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. He is not the very and only Word of the Fatherbut is in name only called Word and Wisdom, and is called by grace Son and Power.
But neither can a Christian bear to hear this, nor can he consider the man who dared to say it sane in his understanding.
Discourse 1 Against the Arians
For wherefore a Son, if not from Him? Wherefore, as saith the Saviour, in that they gather not with us, they scatter with the devil, and keep an eye on those who slumber, that, by this second sowing of their own mortal poison, they may have companions in death.
Who told them, ‘Abandon the worship of the creation, and then draw near and worship a creature and a work? And ‘Unoriginate’ is a word of the Greeks, who know not the Son; but ‘Father’ has been acknowledged and vouchsafed by our Lord. Such has athanasiuz the state of mind under which Christ’s enemies have fallen into their execrable heresy.
And this is what Isaiah says, ‘Thus says the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My Covenant; even unto them will I give in Mine house, and within My walls, a rhe and a name better than of sons and of daughters: Now it is written, ‘Become my strong rock and house of defense, that You may save me. Accordingly this is not said before the Word became flesh; that it might be plain that ‘humbled’ and ‘exalted’ are spoken of His human nature ; for where there is humble estate, there too may be exaltation; and if because of His taking flesh ‘humbled’ is written, it is clear that ‘highly exalted’ is also said because of it.
If then they assume from human examples that generation implies time, why not from the same infer that it implies the Natural and the Properinstead of extracting serpent-like from the earth only what turns to poison?
He seems to allude to what may be called the liberal or indifferent feeling as swaying the person for whom he writes, also infr. Yet why should one dwell on its heinousness, when enough has gone before to show that their doctrine is a mere fantasy? For if the Lord had not become man, we had not been redeemed from sinsnot raised from the dead, but remaining dead under the earth; not exalted into heaven, but lying in Hades.
Nay, perhaps, as being alterable, and advancing daily, He is not perfect yet. One must urge the question on them again, to make it understood what their irreligious doctrine results in. For though He humbled Himself, yielding His own Body to come unto death, in that it was capable of deathyet He was highly exalted from earth, because He was God’s Son in a body.
And ever since has Arius’s error been reckoned for a heresy more than ordinary, being known as Christ’s foe, and harbinger of Antichrist.
Therefore it is more pious and more accurate to signify God from the Son and call Him Father, than to name Him from His works only and call Him Unoriginate.
Therefore did He make the Sonwhereas He was, or whereas He was not? And as the arixns ‘Become my strong rock’ do not denote that the essence of God Himself became, but His lovingkindness, as has been said, so also here the ‘having become better than the Angels,’ and, ‘He became,’ and, ‘by so much is Jesus become a better surety,’ do not signify that the essence of the Word is originate perish the thought!
About this page Source. Let them contemplate then the grace which is through the Sonand let them acknowledge the witness which He gives even from His works, that He is other than things originated, and alone the very Son in the Father and the Father in Him. This then I consider the sense of this passage, and that, a very ecclesiastical sense. Who, sooner than confess that the Son is the Father’s Imageconceive material and earthly ideas concerning the Father Himself, ascribing to Him severings and effluences and influences.
And, what is a remarkable evidence of ogations, those of the Greeks who even at this time come into the Churchon giving up the superstition of odationstake the name, not of their catechists, but of the Saviourand begin to be called Christians instead of Greeks: