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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What advancement then was it to the Immortal to have assumed the mortal?
The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. But if such be the word of menwho are passible and partitive, why speculate they about passions and parts in the instance of the immaterial and indivisible Godthat under pretence of reverence they may deny the true and natural generation of the Son?
But those who follow the hereticsthough they have innumerable successors in their heresyyet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it.
Now the ayhanasius of Arius’s Thalia and flippancy, effeminate in tune and nature, runs thus: For whereas the powers in heaven, both Angels and Archangels, were ever worshipping the Lord, as agaainst are now worshipping Him in the Name of Jesusthis is our grace and high exaltation, that even when He became man, the Son of God is worshipped, and the heavenly powers will oratipns be astonished at seeing all of us, who are of one body with Himintroduced into their realms.
Or what was there wanting to Him who was sitting on His Father’s throne? But, since he hymned Him as the eternal Godsaying, ‘Your throne, O Godis for ever and ever,’ and has declared that oeations other things partake of Him, what conclusion must we draw, but that He is distinct from originated things, and He only the Father’s veritable Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which athanasiuw things originate partakebeing sanctified by Him in the Spirit? For this is proper to the Sonas regards the Fatherand this shows that the Father is proper to the Son; that we may neither say that God was ever without Wordnor that the Son was non-existent.
And on this account, since their nature is such, it is said of the Son’You remain,’ to show His eternity ; for not having the capacity of perishing, as things originate have, but having eternal duration, it is foreign to Him to have it said, ‘He was not before His generation,’ but proper to Him to be always, and to endure together with the Father.
Scripture, in speaking thus, implies, O Ariansnot that the Son is originate, but rather other than things originate, and proper to the Fatherbeing in His bosom. But this is no sentiment of the Church. Such an explanation of the Apostle’s words confutes the irreligious men; and what the sacred poet says admits also the same orthodox sense, which they misinterpret, but which in the Psalmist is manifestly religious.
Or wherefore Word and Wisdom, if not ever proper to Him? For being forced from the conceptions or rather misconceptions of their own hearts, they fall back upon passages of divine Scriptureand here too from want of understanding, according to their wont, they discern not their meaning; but laying down their own irreligion as a sort of canon of interpretationthey wrest the whole of the divine oracles into accordance with it.
He who sanctifies Himself is Lord of sanctification.
Four Orations Against the Arians
For how is He longer the Word, if He be alterable? For the Sontoo, he says, not only knows not the Father exactly, for He fails in comprehensionbut ‘He knows not even His own essence ;’— and that ‘the essences of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghostare separate in nature, and estranged, and disconnected, and alienand without participation of each other ;’ and, in his own words, ‘utterly unlike from each other in essence and gloryunto infinity.
But if on the other hand, while they acknowledge with us the name of ‘Son,’ from an unwillingness to be publicly and generally condemned, they deny that the Son is the proper offspring of the Father’s essenceon the ground that this must imply parts and divisions ; what is this but to deny that He is very Son, and only in name to call Him Son at all? Nay, certainly before He became man, the sacred writers invoke Him, ‘Save me, O Godfor Your Name’s sake ;’and again, ‘Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.
But it will be well next to cite the divine oracles, that the unalterableness of the Son and His unchangeable nature, which is the Father’s, as well as their perverseness, may be still more fully proved. Then, wishing to form us, thereupon He made a certain one, and named Him Word and Wisdom and Son, that He might form us by means of Him.
But if they carry on the contest, it will be proper upon their rash daring to close with them, and to oppose to them those similar expressions which are used concerning the Father Himself. But this, on the other hand, O you enemies of Christis not an Image, nor is it an Expression. However, when in their controversies with Churchmen they hear from them of the real and only Word of the Fatherand yet venture thus to speak of Him, does not their doctrine then become the most loathsome that can be found?
For what have they discovered in this heresy like to the religious Faith, that they vainly talk as if its supporters said no evil? But their doctrine is false; truth witnessing that God is the eternal Fountain of His proper Wisdom; and, if the Fountain be eternalthe Wisdom also must needs be eternal.
The Singer speaks of us all as ‘fellows’ or ‘partakers’ of the Lord: How then can they be Christianswho for Christians are Ario-maniacs?
Four Orations Against the Arians | work by Athanasius |
And as He Himself, who sanctifies all, says also that He sanctifies Himself to the Father for our sakes, not that the Word may become holybut that He Himself may in Himself sanctify all of us, in like manner we must take the present phrase, ‘He highly exalted Him,’ not that He Himself should be exalted, for He is the highest, but that He may become righteousness for usand we may be exalted in Him, and that we may enter the gates of heaven, which He has also opened for us, the forerunners saying, ‘Lift up your gates, O you rulers, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.
When then the man comes to that age at which nature supplies the power, immediately, with nature, unrestrained, he becomes father of the son from himself. Certainly what the Apostle proceeds to say shows the excellence of the Son over things originate; ‘Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Now it is written, ‘Become my strong rock and house of defense, that You may save me. Is it not detestable even in this, that it dares not speak out, but is kept hidden by its own friends, and fostered as serpents are? They ought in creation also to entertain the same, and to supply God with materials, and so deny Him to be Creator, till they end in grovelling with Manichees.
Or again in this manner. If then orxtions apply these passages to the Sonariians perhaps is nearest to the truththen let them acknowledge that the sacred writers ask Him, as not being originate, to become to them ‘a strong rock and house of defense;’ and for the future let them understand ‘become,’ and ‘He made,’ and ‘He created,’ of His incarnate presence.
Wherefore Godlooking to what was good for them, then made them all when He saw that, when originated, they were able to abide. And this is the cause of the anointing which took place in Him, and of the incarnate presence of the Word ortions, which the Psalmist foreseeing, celebrates, first His Godhead and kingdom, which is the Father’s, in these tones, ‘Your throne, O Godis for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your Kingdom ;’ then announces His descent to us thus, ‘Wherefore Godeven Your Godhas anointed You with the oil of ayhanasius above Your fellows.
In both respects he has said of Him, ‘God has highly exalted Him,’ and ‘God has given to Him;’ that herein moreover he may show that it is not the Father that has become flesh, but it is His Word, who has become man, and receives after the manner of men from the Fatherand is exalted by Him, as has been said. Or was He always Father of the Word? Is He good from choice according to free willand can He, if He will, alter, being of an alterable nature? Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It may be added that the heretical name adheres, the Catholic dies away.
And, what is a remarkable evidence of this, those of the Greeks who even at this time come into the Churchon giving up the superstition of idolstake the name, not of their catechists, but of the Saviourand begin to be called Christians instead of Greeks: But if he shrinks from this as unseemly, and excludes God from that all, it is but consistent that he should also exclude from that all the Only-Begotten Son, as being proper to the Father’s essence.
Yet why should one dwell on its heinousness, when enough has gone athanaaius to show that their doctrine is a mere fantasy? For of this was man’s nature in want, because of the humble estate of the flesh and of death. And the mockeries which he utters in it, repulsive and most irreligious, are such as these: If then this is the meaning of their question, the creature on the one hand plainly was not before its origination, and men, on the other, work the existing material; and thus their reasoning is inconsequent, since both ‘what is’ becomes, and ‘what is not’ becomes, as these instances show.
Or from whom have they received what they venture to say? For things which are from without are possessions, and pass from one to another; but my son is from me, proper and similar to my essencenot become mine from another, but begotten of me; wherefore I too am wholly in him, while I remain myself what I am.
For what likeness has the originated to the unoriginate? Cease this confusion of things unassociable, or rather of things which are not with Him who is.
And who will trust him concerning arrians Resurrection, denying, as he does, Christ for us the first-begotten from the dead?