Golden Chain 12446
12501 Jn 5,1-13
AUG. After the miracle in Galilee, He returns to Jerusalem: After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
CHRYS. The feast of Pentecost. Jesus always went up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, that it might be seen that He was not an enemy to, but an observer of, the Law. And it gave Him the opportunity of impressing the simple multitude by miracles and teaching: as great numbers used then to collect from the neighboring towns.
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep-market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having Jive porches.
ALCUIN. The pool by the sheep-market, is the place where the priest washed the animals that were going to be sacrificed.
CHRYS. This pool was one among many types of that baptism, which was to purge away sin. First God enjoined water for the cleansing from the filth of the body, and from those defilements, which were not real, but legal, e.g. those from death, or leprosy, and the like. Afterwards infirmities were healed by water, as we read: In these (the porches) lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. This was a nearer approximation to the gift of baptism, when not only defilements are cleansed, but sicknesses healed. Types are of various ranks, just as in a court, some officers are nearer to the prince, others farther off. The water, however did not heal by virtue of its own natural properties, (for if so the effect would have followed uniformly,) but by the descent of an Angel: For all Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water. In the same way, in Baptism, water does not act simply as water, but receives first the grace of the Holy Spirit, by means of which it cleanses us from all our sins. And the Angel troubled the water, and imparted a healing virtue to it, in order to prefigure to the Jews that far greater power of the Lord of the Angels, of healing the diseases of the soul. But then their infirmities prevented their applying the cure; for it follows, Whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. But now every one may attain this blessing, for it is not an Angel which troubles the water, but the Lord of Angels, which works every where. Though the whole world come, grace fails not, but remains as full as ever; like the sun's rays which give light all day, and every day, and yet are not spent. The sun's light is not diminished by this bountiful expenditure: no more is the influence of the Holy Spirit by the largeness of its outpourings. Not more than one could be cured at the pool; God's design being to put before men's minds, and oblige them to dwell upon, the healing power of water; that from the effect of water on the body, they might believe more readily its power on the soul.
AUG. It was a greater act in Christ, to heal the diseases of the soul, than the sicknesses of the perishable body. But as the soul itself did not know its Restorer, as it had eyes in the flesh to discern visible things, but not in the heart wherewith to know God; our Lord performed cures which could be seen, that He might afterwards work cures which could not be seen. He went to the place, where day a multitude of sick. out of whom He chose one to heal: And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
CHRYS. He did not, however, proceed immediately to heal him, but first tried by conversation to bring him into a believing state of mind. Not that He required faith in the first instance, as He did from the blind man, saying, Believe you that I am able to do this? for the lame man could not well know who He was. Persons who in different ways had had the means of knowing Him, were asked this question, and properly so. But there were some who did not and could not know Him yet, but would be made to know Him by His miracles afterwards. And in their case the demand for faith is reserved till after those miracles have taken place: When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been a long time in that case, He said to him, Will you be made whole? He does not ask this question for His own information, (this were unnecessary,) but to bring to light the great patience of the man, who for thirty and eight years had sat year after year by the place, in the hope of being cured; which sufficiently explains why Christ passed by the others, and went to him. And He does not say, Do you wish Me to heal you? for the man had not as yet any idea that He was so great a Person. Nor on the other hand did the lame man suspect any mockery in the question, to make him take offense, and say, Have you come to vex me, by asking me if I would be made whole; but he answered mildly, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steps down before me. He had no idea as yet that the Person who put this question to him would heal him, but thought that Christ might probably be of use in putting him into the water. But Christ's word is sufficient, Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk.
AUG. Three distinct biddings. Rise, however, is not a command, but the conferring of the cure. Two commands were given upon his cure, take up your bed, and walk.
CHRYS. Behold the richness of the Divine Wisdom. He not only heals, but bids him carry his bed also. This was to show the cure was really miraculous, and not a mere effect of the imagination; for the man's limbs must have become quite sound and compact, to allow him to take up his bed. The impotent man again did not deride and say, The Angel comes down, and troubles the water, and he only cures one each time; do You, who are a mere man, think that you can do more than an Angel? On the contrary, he heard, believed Him who bade him, and was made whole: And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.
BEDE; There is a wide difference between our Lord's mode of healing, and a physician's. He acts by His word, and acts immediately: the other's requires a long time for its completion.
CHRYS. This was wonderful, but what follows more so. As yet he had no opposition to face. It is made more wonderful when we see him obeying Christ afterwards in spite of the rage and railing of the Jews: And on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him that was cured, It is the sabbath day, it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.
AUG. They did not charge our Lord with healing on the sabbath, for He would have replied that if an ox or an ass of theirs had fallen into a pit, would not they have taken it out on the sabbath day: but they addressed the man as he was carrying his bed, as if to say, Even if the healing could not be delayed, why enjoin the work? He shields himself under the authority of his Healer: He that made me whole, the Same said to me, Take up your bed, and walk: meaning, Why should not I receive a command, if I received a cure from Him?
CHRYS. Had he been inclined to deal treacherously, he might have said, If it is a crime, accuse Him Who commanded it, and I will lay down my bed. And he would have concealed his cure, knowing, as he did, that their real cause of offense was not the breaking of the Sabbath, but the miracle. But he neither concealed it, nor asked for pardon, but boldly confessed the cure. They then ask spitefully; What man is that who said to you, Take up your bed, and walk. They do not say, Who is it, who made you whole? but only mention the offense. It follows, And he that was healed wist not who it was, for Jesus had conveyed Himself away, a multitude being in that place. This He had done first, because the man who had been made whole, was the best witness of the cure, and could give his testimony with less suspicion in our Lord's absence; and secondly, that the fury of men might not be excited more than was necessary. For the mere sight of the object of envy, is no small incentive to envy. For these reasons He departed, and left them to examine the fact for themselves. Some are of opinion, that this is the same with the one who had the palsy, whom Matthew mentions. But he is not. For the latter had many to wait upon, and carry him, whereas this man had none. And the place where the miracle was performed, is different.
AUG. Judging on low and human notions of this miracle, it is not at all a striking display of power, and only a moderate one of goodness. Of so many, who lay sick, only one was healed; though, had He chosen, He could have restored them all by a single word. How must we account for this? By supposing that His power and goodness were asserted more for imparting a knowledge of eternal salvation to the soul, than working a temporal cure on the body. That which received the temporal cure was certain to decay at last, when death arrived: whereas the soul which believed passed into life eternal. The pool and the water seem to me to signify the Jewish people: for John in the Apocalypse obviously uses water to express people.
BEDE. It is fitly described as a sheep pool. By sheep are meant people, according to the passage, We are your people, and the sheep of your pasture.
AUG. The water then, i.e. the people, was enclosed within five porches, i.e. the five books of Moses. But those books only betrayed the impotent, and did not recover them; that is to say, the Law convicted the sinner, but did not absolve him.
BEDE. Lastly, many kinds of impotent folk lay near the pool: the blind, i.e. those who are without the light of knowledge; the lame, i.e. those who have not strength to do what they are commanded; the withered, i.e. those who have not the marrow of heavenly love.
AUG. So then Christ came to the Jewish people, and by means of mighty works, and profitable lessons, troubled the sinners, i.e. the water, and the stirring continued till He brought on His own passion. But He troubled the water, unknown to the world. For had they known Him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But the troubling of the water came on all at once, and it was not seen who troubled it. Again, to go down into the troubled water, is to believe humbly on our Lord's passion. Only one was healed, to signify the unity of the Church: whoever came afterwards was not healed, to signify that whoever is out of this unity cannot be healed. Wo to them who hate unity, and raise sects. Again, he who was healed had had his infirmity thirty and eight years: this being a number which belongs to sickness, rather than to health. The number forty has a sacred character with us, and is significative of perfection. For the Law was given in Ten Commandments, and was to be preached throughout the whole world, which consists of four parts; and four multiplied into ten, make up the number forty. And the Law too is fulfilled by the Gospel, which is written in four books. So then if the number forty possesses the perfectness of the Law, and nothing fulfills the Law, except the twofold precept of love, why wonder at the impotence of him, who was two less than forty? Some man was necessary for his recovery; but it was a man who was God. He found the man falling short by the number two, and therefore gave two commandments, to fill up the deficiency. For the two precepts of our Lord signify love; the love of God being first in order of command, the love of our neighbor, in order of performance. Take up your bed, our Lord said, meaning, When you were impotent, your neighbor carried you; now you are made whole, carry your neighbor. And walk; but whither, except to the Lord your God.
BEDE. What mean the words, Arise, and walk; except that you should raise yourself from your torpor and indolence, and study to advance in good works. Take up your bed, i.e. your neighbor by which you are carried, and bear him patiently thyself.
AUG. Carry him then with whom you walk, that you may come to Him with Whom you desire to abide. As yet however he wist not who Jesus was; just as we too believe in Him though we see Him not. Jesus again does not wish to be seen, but conveys Himself out of the crowd. It is in a kind of solitude of the mind, that God is seen: the crowd is noisy; this vision requires stillness.
12514 Jn 5,14-18
CHRYS. The man, when healed, did not proceed to the market place, or give himself up to pleasure or vain glory, but, which was a great mark of religion, went to the temple: Afterward Jesus finds him in the temple.
AUG. The Lord Jesus saw him both in the crowd, and in the temple. The impotent man does not recognize Jesus in the crowd; but in the temple, being a sacred place, he does.
ALCUIN. For; if we would know our Maker's grace, and attain to the sight of Him, we must avoid the crowd of evil thoughts and affections, convey ourselves out of the congregation of the wicked, and flee to the temple; in order that we may make ourselves the temple of God, souls whom God will visit, and in whom He will deign to dwell.
And (He) said to him, Behold, you are made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.
CHRYS. Here we learn in the first place, that his disease was the consequence of his sins. We are apt to bear with great indifference the diseases of our souls; but, should the body suffer ever so little hurt, we have recourse to the most energetic remedies. Wherefore God punishes the body for the offenses of the soul. Secondly, we learn, that there is really a Hell. Thirdly, that it is a place of lasting and infinite punishment. Some say indeed, Because we have corrupted ourselves for a short time, shall we be tormented eternally? But see how long this man was tormented for his sins. Sin is not to be measured by length of time, but by the nature of the sin itself. And besides this we learn, that if, after undergoing a heavy punishment for our sins, we fall into them again, we shall incur another and a heavier punishment still: and justly; for one, who has undergone punishment, and has not been made better by it, proves himself to be a hardened person, and a despiser; and, as such, deserving of still greater torments. Nor let it embolden us, that we do not see all punished for their offenses here: for if men do not suffer for their offenses here, it is only a sign that their punishment will be the greater hereafter. Our diseases however do not always arise from sins; but only most commonly so. For some spring from other lax habits: some are sent for the sake of trial, as Job's were. But why does Christ make mention of this palsied man's sins? Some say, because he had been an accuser of Christ. And shall we say the same of the man afflicted with the palsy? For he too was told, Your sins are forgiven you? The truth is, Christ does not find fault with the man here for his past sins, but only warns him against future. In heeling others, however, He makes no mention of sins at all: so that it would seem to be the case that the diseases of these men had arisen from their sins; whereas those of the others had come from natural causes only. Or perhaps through these, He admonishes all the rest. Or he may have admonished this men, knowing his great patience of mind, and that he w would bear an admonition. It is a disclosure too of His divinity, for He implies in saying, Sin no more, that He knew what sins He had committed.
AUG. Now that the man had seen Jesus, and knew Him to be the author of his recovers, ho was not slow in preaching Him to others: The man departed, and told the, Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole.
CHRYS. He was not so insensible to the benefit, and the advice he had received, as to have any malignant aim in speaking this news. Had it been done to disparage Christ, he could have concealed the cure, and put forward the offense. But he does not mention Jesus' saying, Take up your bed, which was an offense in the eyes of the Jews; but told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole.
AUG. This announcement enraged them, And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, because He had done these things on the sabbath day. A plain bodily work had been done before their eyes, distinct from the healing of the man's body, and which could not have been necessary, even if healing was; viz. the carrying of the bed. Wherefore our Lord openly says, that the sacrament of the Sabbath, the sign of observing one day out of seven, was only a temporary institution, which had attained its fulfillment in Him: But Jesus answered them, my Father works hitherto, and I work: as if He said, Do not suppose that My Father rested on the Sabbath in such a sense, as that from that time forth, He has ceased from working; for He works up to this time, though without labor, and so work I. God's resting means only that He made no other creature, after the creation. The Scripture calls it rest, to remind us of the rest we shall enjoy after a life of good works here. And as God only when He had made man in His own image and similitude, and finished all His works, and seen that they were very good, rested on the seventh day: so do you expect no rest, except you return to the likeness in which you were made, but which you have lost by sin; i.e. unless you do good works.
AUG. It may be said then, that the observance of the sabbath was imposed on the Jews, as the shadow of something to come; viz. that spiritual rest, which God, by the figure of His own rest promised to all who should perform good works.
AUG. There will be a sabbath of the world, when the six ages, i.e. the six days, as it were, of the world, have passed: then will come that rest which is promised to the saints.
AUG. The mystery of which rest the Lord Jesus Himself sealed by His burial: fore He rested in His sepulcher on the sabbath, having on the sixth day finished all His work, inasmuch as He said, It is finished. What wonder then that God, to prefigure the day on which Christ was to rest in the grave, rested one day from His works, afterwards to carry on the work of governing the world. We may consider too that God, when He rested, rested from the work of creation simply, i.e. made no more new kinds of creatures: but that from that time till now, He has been carrying on the government of those creatures. For His power, as respects the government of heaven and earth, and all the things that He had made, did not cease on the seventh day: they would have perished immediately, without His government: because the power of the Creator is that on which the existence of every creature depends. If it ceased to govern, every species of creation would cease to exist: and all nature would go to nothing. For the world is not like a building, which stands after the architect has left it; it could not stand the twinkling of an eye, if God withdrew His governing hand. Therefore when our Lord says, My Father works hitherto, he means the continuation of the work; the holding together, and governing of the creation. It might have been different, had He said, Works even now. This would not have conveyed the sense of confirming. As it is we find it, Until now; i.e. from the time of the creation downwards.
AUG. He says then, as it were, to the Jews, Why think you that I should not work on the sabbath? The sabbath day was instituted as a type of Me. You observe the works of God: by Me all things were made. The Father made light, but He spoke, that it might be made. If He spoke, then He made it by the Word; and I am His Word. My Father worked when He made the world, and He works until now, governing the world: and as He made the world by Me, when He made it, so He governs it by Me, now He governs it.
CHRYS. Christ defended His disciples, by putting forward the example of their fellow-servant David: but He defends Himself by a reference to the Father. We may observe too that He does not defend Himself as man, nor yet purely as God, but sometimes as one, sometimes as the other; wishing both to be believed, both the dispensation of His humiliation, and the dignity of His Godhead; wherefore He shows His equality to the Father, both by calling Him His Father emphatically. (My Father), and by declaring that He does the same things, that the Father does, (And I work). Therefore, it follows, the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father.
AUG. i.e. not in the secondary sense in which it is true of all of us, but as implying equality. For we all of us say to God, Our Father, Which art in heaven. And the Jews say, You are our Father. They were not angry then because He called God His Father, but because He called Him so in a sense different from men.
AUG. The words, My Father works hitherto, and I work, suppose Him to be equal to the Father. This being understood, it followed from the Father's working, that the Son worked: inasmuch as the Father does nothing without the Son.
CHRYS. Were He not the Son by nature, and of the same substance, this defense would be worse than the former accusation made. For no prefect could clear Himself from a transgression of the king's law, by urging that the king broke it also. But, on the supposition of the Son's equality to the Father, the defense is valid. It then follows, that as the Father worked on the Sabbath without doing wrong: the Son could do so likewise.
AUG. So, the Jews understood what the Arians do not. For the Arians say that the Son is not equal to the Father, and hence sprang up that heresy which afflicts the Church.
CHRYS. Those however who are not well-disposed to this doctrine, do not admit that Christ made Himself equal to the Father, but only that the Jews thought He did. But let us consider what has gone before. That the Jews persecuted Christ, and that He broke the sabbath, and said that God was His Father, is unquestionably true. That which immediately follows then from these premises, viz. His making Himself equal with God, is true also.
HILARY. The Evangelist here explains why the Jews wished to kill Him.
CHRYS. And again, had it been that our Lord Himself did not mean this, but that the Jews misunderstood Him, He would not have overlooked their mistake. Nor would the Evangelist have omitted to remark upon it, as he does upon our Lord's speech, Destroy this temple.
AUG. The Jews however did not understand from our Lord that he was the Son of God, but only that He was equal with God; though Christ gave this as the result of His being the Son of God. It is from not seeing this, while they saw at the same time that equality was asserted, that they charged Him with making Himself equal with God: the truth being, that He did not make Himself equal, but the Father had begotten Him equal.
12519 Jn 5,19-20
HILARY. He refers to the charge of violating the sabbath, brought against Him. My Father works hitherto, and I work; meaning that He had a precedent for claiming the right He did; and that what He did was in reality His Father's doing, who acted in the Son. And to quiet the jealousy which had been raised, because by the use of His Father's name He had made Himself equal with God, and to assert the excellency of His birth and nature, He says, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do.
AUG. Some who would be thought Christians, the Arian heretics, who say that the very Son of God who took our flesh upon Him, was inferior to the Father, take advantage of these words to throw discredit upon our doctrine, and say, You see that when our Lord perceived the Jews to be indignant, because He seemed to make Himself equal with God, He gave such an answer as showed that He was not equal. For they say, he who can do nothing but what he sees the Father do is not equal but inferior to the Father. But if there is a greater God, and a less God, (the Word being God,) we worship two Gods, and not one.
HILARY. Lest then that assertion of His equality, which must belong to Him, as by Name and Nature the Son, might throw doubt upon His Nativity, He says that the Son can do nothing of Himself.
AUG. As if He said: Why are you offended that I called God My Father, and that I make Myself equal with God? I am equal, but equal in such a sense as is consistent with His having begotten Me; with My being from Him, not Him from Me. With the Son, being and power are one and the same thing. The Substance of the Son then being of the Father, the power of the Son is of tile Father also: and as the Son is not of Himself, so He can not of Himself. The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do. His seeing and His being born of the Father are the same. His vision is not distinct from His Substance, but the whole together is of the Father.
HILARY. That the wholesome order of our confession, i.e. that we believe in the Father and the Son, might remain, He shows the nature of His birth; viz. that He derived the power of acting not from au accessible of strength supplied for each work, but by His own knowledge in the first instance. And this knowledge He derived not from any particular visible precedents, as if what the Father had done, the Son could do afterwards; but that the Son being born of the Father, and consequently conscious of the Father's virtue and nature within Him, could do nothing but what He saw the Father do: as he here testifies; God does not see by bodily organs, but by the virtue of His nature.
AUG. If we understand this subordination of the Son to arise from the human nature, it will follow that the Father walked first upon the water, and did all the other things which the Son did in the flesh, in order that the Son might do them. Who can be so insane as to think this?
AUG. Yet that walking of the flesh upon the sea was done by the Father through the Son. For when the flesh walked, and the Divinity of the Son guided, the Father was not absent, as the Son Himself said below, The Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. He guards however against the carnal. interpretation of the words, The Son can do nothing of Himself. As if the case were like that of two artificers, master and disciple, one of whom made a chest, and the other made another like it, by adding, For whatsoever things he does, these do the Son likewise. He does not say, Whatsoever the Father does, the Son does other things like them, but the very same things. The Father made the world, the Son made the world, the Holy Ghost made the world. If the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one, it follows that one and the same world was made by the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Ghost. Thus it is the very same thing that the Son does. He adds likewise, to prevent another error arising. For the body seems to do the same things with the mind, but it does not do them in a like way, inasmuch as the body is subject, the soul governing, the body visible, the soul invisible. When a slave does a thing at the command of his master, the same thing is done by both; but is it in a like way? Now in the Father and Son there is not this difference; they do the same things, and in a like way. Father and Son act with the same power; so that the Son is equal to the Father.
HILARY. Or thus; All things and the same, He says, to show the virtue of His nature, its being the same with God's. That is the same nature, which can do all the same things. And as the Son does all the same things in a like way, the likeness of the works excludes the notion of the worker existing alone g. Thus we come to a true idea of the Nativity, as our faith receives it: the likeness of the works bearing witness to the Nativity, their sameness to the Nature.
CHRYS. Or thus; That the Son can do nothing of Himself, must be understood to mean, that He can do nothing contrary to, or displeasing to, the Father. And therefore He does not say that He does nothing contrary, but that He can do nothing; in order to show His perfect likeness, and absolute equality to the Father. Nor is this a sign of weakness in the Son, but rather of goodness. For as when we say that it is impossible for God to sin, we do not charge Him with weakness, but bear witness to a certain ineffable goodness; so when the Son says, I can do nothing of myself, it only means, that He can do nothing contrary to the Father.
AUG. This is not a sign of failing in Him, but of His abiding in His birth from the Father. And it is as high an attribute of the Almighty that He does not change, as it is that Ho does not die. The Son could do what He had not seen the Father doing, if He could do what the Father does not do through Him; i.e. if He could sin: a supposition inconsistent with the immutably good nature which was begotten from the Father. That He cannot do; this then is to be understood of Him, not in the sense of deficiency, but of power.
CHRYS. And this is confirmed by what follows: For whatsoever be does these also do the Son likewise. For it the Father does all things by Himself, so does the Son also, if this likewise is to stand good. You see how high a meaning these humble words bear. He gives His thoughts a humble dress purposely. For whenever He expressed Himself loftily, He was persecuted, as an enemy of God.
AUG. Having said that He did the same A things that the Father did, and in a like way, He adds, For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that Himself does. And shows Him all things that Himself does: this has a reference to the words above; But what He sees the Father do. But again, our human ideas are perplexed, and one may say, So then the Father first does something, that the Son may see what He does; just as an artificer teaches his son his art, and shows him what he makes, that he may be able to make the same after him. On this supposition, when the Father does a thing, the Son does not do it; in that the Son is beholding what His Father does. But we hold it as a fixed and incontrovertible truth, that the Father makes all things through the Son, and therefore He must show them to the Son, before He makes them. And where does the Father show the Son what He makes, except in the Son I Himself, by whom He makes them? For if the Father makes a thing for a pattern, and the Son attends to the workmanship as it goes on, where is the indivisibility of the Trinity? The Father therefore does not show the Son what He does by doing it, but by showing does it, through the Son. The Son sees, and the Father shows, before a thing is made, and from the showing of the Father, and the seeing of the Son, that is made which is made; made by the Father, through the Son. But you will say, I show my Son what I wish him to make, and he makes it, and I make it through him. True; but before you do any thing, you show it to your son, that he may do it for your example, and you by him; but you speak to your son words which are not yourself; whereas the Son Himself is the Word of the Father; and could He speak by the Word to the Word? Or, because the Son was the great Word, were lesser words to pass between the Father and the Son, or a certain sound and temporary creation, as it were, to go out of the mouth of the Father, and strike the ear of the Son? Put away these bodily notions, and if you are simple, see the truth in simplicity. If you can not comprehend what God is, comprehend at least what He is not. You will have advanced no little way, if you think nothing that is untrue of God. See what I am saying exemplified in your own mind. You have memory, and thought, your memory shows to your thought Carthage: before you perceive what is in her, she shows it to thought, which is turned toward her: the memory then has shown, the thought has perceived, and no words have passed between them, no outward sign been used. But whatever is in your memory, you receive from without: that which the Father shows to the Son, He does not receive from without; the whole goes on within; there being no creature existing without, but what the Father has made by the Son. And the Father makes by showing, in that He makes by, the Son who sees. The Father's showing begets the Son's seeing, as the Father begets the Son? Showing begets seeing, not seeing showing. But it would be more correct, and more spiritual, not to view the Father as distinct from His showing, or the Son from His seeing.
HILARY. It must not be supposed that the Only Begotten God needed such showing on account of ignorance. For the showing here is only the doctrine of the nativity; the self-existing Son, from the self-existing Father.
AUG. For to see the Father is to see His Son. The Father so shows all His works to the Son, that the Son sees them from the Father. For the birth of the Son is in His seeing: He sees from the same source, from which He is, and is born, and remains.
HILARY. Nor did the heavenly discourse lack the caution, to guard against our inferring from these words any difference in the nature of the Son and the Father. For He says that the works of the Father were shown to Him, not that strength was supplied Him for the doing of them, in order to teach that this showing is substantially nothing else than His birth; for that simultaneously with the Son Himself is born the Son's knowledge of the works the Father will do through Him.
AUG. But now from Him whom we called co-eternal with the Father, who saw the Father' and existed in that He saw, we return to the things of time, And He will show him greater works than these. But if He will show him, i.e. is about to show him, He has not yet shown him: and when He does show him, others also will see; for it follows, That you may believe. It is difficult to see what the eternal Father can show in time to the co-eternal Son, Who knows all that exists within the Father's mind. For as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them even so the Son quickens whom He will. To raise the dead was a greater work than to heal the sick. But this is explained by considering that He Who a little before spoke as God, now begins to speak as man. As man, and therefore living in time, He will be strewn greater works in time. Bodies will rise again by the human dispensation by which the Son of God assumed manhood in time; but souls by virtue of the eternity of the Divine Substance. For which reason it was said before that the Father loved the Son, and showed Him what things soever He did. For the Father shows the Son that souls are raised up; for they are raised up by the Father and the Son, even as they cannot live, except God give them life. Or the Father is about to show this to us, not to Him; according to what follows, That you may believe. This being the reason why the Father would show Him greater things than these. But why did He not say, shall show you, instead of the Son? Because we are members of the Son, and He, as it were, learns in His members, even as He suffers in us. For as He says, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me: so if we ask Him, how He, the Teacher of all things, learns, He replies, When one of the least of My brethren learns, I learn.
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