Introduction; the Regula Fidei counter to an Arian sense of the text; which is not supported by the word ‘servant,’ nor by ‘made’ which occurs in it; (how can the Judge be among the ‘works’ which ‘God will bring into judgment?’) nor by ‘faithful;’ and is confuted by the immediate context, which is about Priesthood; and by the foregoing passage, which explains the word ‘faithful’ as meaning trustworthy, as do 1P 4,fin. and other texts. On the whole made may safely be understood either of the divine generation or the human creation.
1.I Did indeed think that enough had been said already against the hollow professors of Arius’s madness, whether for their refutation or in the truth’s behalf, to insure a cessation and repentance of their evil thoughts and words about the Saviour. They, however, for whatever reason, still do not succumb; but, as swine and dogs wallow1 in their own vomit and their own mire, rather invent new expedients for their irreligion. Thus they misunderstand the passage in the Proverbs, ‘The Lord hath created me a beginning of His ways for His works2 ,’ and the words of the Apostle, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him3 ,’ and straightway argue, that the Son of God is a work and a creature. But although they might have learned from what is said above, had they not utterly lost their power of apprehension, that the Son is not from nothing nor in the number of things originate at all, the Truth witnessing4 it (for, being God, He cannot be a work, and it is impious to call Him a creature, and it is of creatures and works that we say, ‘out of nothing,’ and ‘it was not before its generation’), yet since, as if dreading to desert their own fiction, they are accustomed to allege the aforesaid passages of divine Scripture, which have a good meaning, but are by them practised on, let us proceed afresh to take up the question of the sense of these, to remind the faithful, and to shew from each of these passages that they have no knowledge at all of Christianity. Were it otherwise, they would not have shut themselves up in the unbelief5 of the present Jews6 , but would have inquired and learned7 that, whereas ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,’ in consequence, it was when at the good pleasure of the Father the Word became man, that it was said of Him, as by John, ‘The Word became flesh8 ;’ so by Peter, ‘He hath made Him Lord and Christ9 ’;—as by means of Solomon in the Person of the Lord Himself, ‘The Lord created me a beginning of His ways for His works10 ;’ so by Paul, ‘Become so much better than the Angels11 ;’ and again, ‘He emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant12 ;’ and again, ‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus, who was faithful to Him that made Him13 .’ For all these texts have the same force and meaning, a religious one, declarative of the divinity of the Word, even those of them which speak humanly concerning Him, as having become the Son of man. But, though this distinction is sufficient for their refutation, still, since from a misconception of the Apostle’s words (to mention them first), they consider the Word of God to be one of the works, because of its being written, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ I have thought it needful to silence this further argument of theirs, taking in hand14 , as before, their statement).
2. If then He be not a Son, let Him be called a work, and let all that is said of works be said of Him, nor let Him and Him alone be called Son, nor Word, nor Wisdom; neither let God be called Father, but only Framer and Creator of things which by Him come to be; and let the creature be Image and Expression of His framing will, and let Him, as they would have it, be without generative nature, so that there be neither Word, nor Wisdom, no, nor Image, of His proper substance. For if He be not Son15 , neither is He Image16 . But if there be not a Son, how then say you that God is a Creator? since all things that come to be are through the Word and in Wisdom, and without This nothing can be, whereas you say He hath not That in and through which He makes all things. For if the Divine Essence be not fruitful itself17 , but barren, as they hold, as a light that lightens not, and a dry fountain, are they not ashamed to speak of His possessing framing energy? and whereas they deny what is by nature, do they not blush to place before it what is by will18 ? But if He frames things that are external to Him and before were not, by willing them to he, and becomes their Maker, much more will He first be Father of an Offspring from His proper Essence. For if they attribute to God the willing about things which are not, why recognise they not that in God which lies above the will? now it is a something that surpasses will, that He should be by nature, and should be Father of His proper Word. If then that which comes first, which is according to nature, did not exist, as they would have it in their folly, how could that which is second come to be, which is according to will? for the Word is first, and then the creation. On the contrary the Word exists, whatever they affirm, those irreligious ones; for through Him did creation come to be, and God, as being Maker, plainly has also His framing Word, not external, but proper to Him;—for this must be repeated. If He has the power of will, and His will is effective, and suffices for the consistence of the things that come to be, and His Word is effective, and a Framer, that Word must surely be the living Will19 of the Father, and an essential20 energy, and a real Word, in whom all things both consist and are excellently governed. No one can even doubt, that He who disposes is prior to the disposition and the things disposed. And thus, as I said, God’s creating is second to His begetting; for Son implies something proper to Him and truly from that blessed and everlasting Essence; but what is from His will, comes into consistence from without, and is framed through His proper Offspring who is from It.
3. As we have shewn then they are guilty of great extravagance who say that the Lord is not Son of God, but a work, and it follows that we all of necessity confess that He is Son. And if He be Son, as indeed He is, and a son is confessed to be not external to his father but from him, let them not question about the terms, as I said before, which the sacred writers use of the Word Himself, viz. not ‘to Him that begat Him,’ but ‘to Him that made Him;’ for while it is confessed what His nature is, what word is used in such instances need raise no question21 . For terms do not disparage His Nature; rather that Nature draws to Itself those terms and changes them. For terms are not prior to essences, but essences are first, and terms second. Wherefore also when the essence is a work or creature, then the words ‘He made,’ and ‘He became,’ and ‘He created,’ are used of it properly, and designate the work. But when the Essence is an Offspring and Son, then ‘He made,’ and ‘He became,’ and ‘He created,’ no longer properly belong to it, nor designate a work; but ‘He made’ we use without question for ‘He begat.’ Thus fathers often call the sons born of them their servants, yet without denying the genuineness of their nature; and often they affectionately call their own servants children, yet without putting out of sight their purchase of them originally; for they use the one appellation from their authority as being fathers, but in the other they speak from affection. Thus Sara called Abraham lord, though not a servant but a wife; and while to Philemon the master the Apostle joined Onesimus the servant as a brother, Bathsheba, although mother, called her son servant, saying to his father, ‘Thy servant Solomon22 ;’—afterwards also Nathan the Prophet came in and repeated her words to David, ‘Solomon thy servant23 .’ Nor did they mind calling the son a servant, for while David heard it, he recognised the ‘nature,’ and while they spoke it, they forgot not the ‘genuineness,’ praying that he might be made his father’s heir, to whom they gave the name of servant; for to David he was son by nature.
4. As then, when we read this, we interpret it fairly, without accounting Solomon a servant because we hear him so called, but a son natural and genuine, so also, if, concerning the Saviour, who is confessed to be in truth the Son, and to be the Word by nature, the saints say, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ or if He say of Himself, ‘The Lord created me,’ and, ‘I am Thy servant and the Son of Thine handmaid24 ,’ and the like, let not any on this account deny that He is proper to the Father and from Him; but, as in the case of Solomon and David, let them have a right idea of the Father and the Son. For if, though they hear Solomon called a servant, they acknowledge him to be a son, are they not deserving of many deaths25 , who, instead of preserving the same explanation in the instance of the Lord, whenever they hear ‘Offspring,’ and ‘Word,’ and ‘Wisdom,’ forcibly misinterpret and deny the generation, natural and genuine, of the Son from the Father; but on hearing words and terms proper to a work, forthwith drop down to the notion of His being by nature a work, and deny the Word; and this, though it is possible, from His having been made man, to refer all these terms to His humanity? And are they not proved to be ‘an abomination’ also ‘unto the Lord,’ as having ‘diverse weights26 ’ with them, and with this estimating those other instances, and with that blaspheming the Lord? But perhaps they grant that the word ‘servant’ is used under a certain understanding, but lay stress upon ‘Who made’ as some great support of their heresy. But this stay of theirs also is but a broken reed; for if they are aware of the style of Scripture, they must at once give sentence against27 themselves. For as Solomon, though a son, is called a servant, so, to repeat what was said above, although parents call the sons springing from themselves ‘made’ and ‘created’ and ‘becoming,’ for all this they do not deny their nature. Thus Hezekiah, as it is written in Isaiah, said in his prayer, ‘From this day I will make children, who shall declare Thy righteousness, O God of my salvation28 .’ He then said, ‘I will make;’ but the Prophet in that very book and the Fourth of Kings, thus speaks, ‘And the sons who shall come forth of thee29 .’ He uses then ‘make’ for ‘beget,’ and he calls them who were to spring from him, ‘made,’ and no one questions whether the term has reference to a natural offspring. Again, Eve on bearing Cain said, ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord30 ;’ thus she too used ‘gotten’ for ‘brought forth.’ For, first she saw the child, yet next she said, ‘I have gotten.’ Nor would any one consider, because of ‘I have gotten,’ that Cain was purchased from without, instead of being born of her. Again, the Patriarch Jacob said to Joseph, ‘And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which became thine in Egypt, before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine31 .’ And Scripture says about Job, ‘And there came to him seven sons and three daughters32 .’ As Moses too has said in the Law, ‘If sons become to any one,’ and ‘If he make a son33 .’ Here again they speak of those who are begotten, as ‘become’ and ‘made,’ knowing that, while they are acknowledged to be sons, we need not make a question of ‘they became,’ or ‘I have gotten,’ or ‘I made34 .’ For nature and truth draw the meaning to themselves.
5. This being so35 , when persons ask whether the Lord is a creature or work, it is proper to ask of them this first, whether He is Son and Word and Wisdom. For if this is shewn, the surmise about work and creation falls to the ground at once and is ended. For a work could never be Son and Word; nor could the Son be a work. And again, this being the state of the case, the proof is plain to all, that the phrase, ‘To Him who made Him’ does not serve their heresy, but rather condemns it. For it has been shewn that the expression ‘He made’ is applied in divine Scripture even to children genuine and natural; whence, the Lord being proved to be the Father’s Son naturally and genuinely, and Word, and Wisdom, though ‘He made’ be used concerning Him, or ‘He became,’ this is not said of Him as if a work, but the saints make no question about using the expression,—for instance in the case of Solomon, and Hezekiah’s children. For though the fathers had begotten them from themselves, still it is written, ‘I have made,’ and ‘I have gotten,’ and ‘He became.’ Therefore God’s enemies, in spite of their repeated allegation of such phrases36 , ought now, though late in the day, after what has been said, to disown their irreligious thoughts, and think of the Lord as of a true Son, Word, and Wisdom of the Father, not a work, not a creature. For if the Son be a creature, by what word then and by what wisdom was He made Himself37 ? for all the works were made through the Word and the Wisdom, as it is written, ‘In wisdom hast Thou made them all,’ and, ‘All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made38 .’ But if it be He who is the Word and the Wisdom, by which all things come to be, it follows that He is not in the number of works, nor in short of things originate, but the Offspring of the Father.
6. For consider how grave an error it is, to call God’s Word a work. Solomon says in one place in Ecclesiastes, that ‘God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil39 .’ If then the Word be a work, do you mean that He as well as others will be brought into judgment? and what room is there for judgment, when the Judge is on trial? who will give to the just their blessing, who to the unworthy their punishment, the Lord, as you must suppose, standing on trial with the rest? by what law shall He, the Lawgiver, Himself be judged? These things are proper to the works, to be on trial, to be blessed and to be punished by the Son. Now then fear the Judge, and let Solomon’s words convince you. For if God shall bring the works one and all into judgment, but the Son is not in the number of things put on trial, but rather is Himself the Judge of works one and all, is not the proof clearer than the sun, that the Son is not a work but the Father’s Word, in whom all the works both come to be and come into judgment? Further, if the expression, ‘Who was faithful,’ is a difficulty to them, from the thought that ‘faithful’ is used of Him as of others, as if He exercises faith and so receives the reward of faith, they must proceed at this rate to find fault with Moses for saying, ‘God faithful and true40 ,’ and with St. Paul for writing, ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able41 .’ But when the saints spoke thus, they were not thinking of God in a human way, but they acknowledged two senses of the word ‘faithful’ in Scripture, first ‘believing,’ then ‘trustworthy,’ of which the former belongs to man, the latter to God. Thus Abraham was faithful, because He believed God’s word; and God faithful, for, as David says in the Psalm, ‘The Lord is faithful in all His words42 ,’ or is trustworthy, and cannot lie. Again, ‘If any faithful woman have widows43 ,’ she is so called for her right faith; but, ‘It is a faithful saying44 ,’ because what He hath spoken has a claim on our faith, for it is true, and is not otherwise. Accordingly the words, ‘Who is faithful to Him that made Him,’ implies no parallel with others, nor means that by having faith He became well-pleasing; but that, being Son of the True God, He too is faithful, and ought to be believed in all He says and does, Himself remaining unalterable and not changed45 in His human Economy and fleshly presence.
7. Thus then we may meet these men who are shameless, and from the single expression ‘He made,’ may shew that they err in thinking that the Word of God is a work. But further, since the drift also of the context is orthodox, shewing the time and the relation to which this expression points, I ought to shew from it also how the heretics lack reason; viz. by considering, as we have done above, the occasion when it was used and for what purpose. Now the Apostle is not discussing things before the creation when he thus speaks, but when ‘the Word became flesh;’ for thus it is written, ‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Jesus, who was faithful to Him that made Him.’ Now when became He ‘Apostle,’ but when He put on our flesh? and when became He ‘High Priest of our profession,’ but when, after offering Himself for us, He raised His Body from the dead, and, as now, Himself brings near and offers to the Father those who in faith approach Him, redeeming all, and for all propitiating God? Not then as wishing to signify the Essence of the Word nor His natural generation from the Father, did the Apostle say, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him’—(perish the thought! for the Word is not made, but makes)—but as signifying His descent to mankind and High-priesthood which did ‘become’—as one may easily see from the account given of the Law and of Aaron. I mean, Aaron was not born a high-priest, but a man; and in process of time, when God willed, he became a high-priest; yet became so, not simply, nor as betokened by his ordinary garments, but putting over them the ephod, the breastplate46 , the robe, which the women wrought at God’s command, and going in them into the holy place, he offered the sacrifice for the people; and in them, as it were, mediated between the vision of God and the sacrifices of men. Thus then the Lord also, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;’ but when the Father willed that ransoms should be paid for all and to all, grace should be given, then truly the Word, as Aaron his robe, so did He take earthly flesh, having Mary for the Mother of His Body as if virgin earth47 , that, as a High Priest, having He as others an offering, He might offer Himself to the Father, and cleanse us all from sins in His own blood, and might rise from the dead.
8. For what happened of old was a shadow of this; and what the Saviour did on His coming, this Aaron shadowed out according to the Law. As then Aaron was the same and did not change by putting on the high-priestly dress48 , but remaining the same was only robed, so that, had any one seen him offering, and had said, ‘Lo, Aaron has this day become high-priest,’ he had not implied that he then had been born man, for man he was even before he became high-priest, but that he had been made high-priest in his ministry, on putting on the garments made and prepared for the high-priesthood; in the same way it is possible in the Lord’s instance also to understand aright, that He did not become other than Himself on taking the flesh, but, being the same as before, He was robed in it; and the expressions ‘He became’ and ‘He was made,’ must not be understood as if the Word, considered as the Word49 , were made, but that the Word, being Framer of all, afterwards50 was made High Priest, by putting on a body which was originate and made, and such as He can offer for us; wherefore He is said to be made. If then indeed the Lord did not become man51 , that is a point for the Arians to battle; but if the ‘Word became flesh,’ what ought to have been said concerning Him when become man, but ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him?’ for as it is proper to the Word to have it said of Him, ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ so it is proper to man to ‘become’ and to be ‘made.’ Who then, on seeing the Lord as a man walking about, and yet appearing to be God from His works, would not have asked, Who made Him man? and who again, on such a question, would not have answered, that the Father made Him man, and sent Him to us as High Priest? And this meaning, and time, and character, the Apostle himself, the writer of the words, ‘Who is faithful to Him that made Him,’ will best make plain to us, if we attend to what goes before them. For there is one train of thought, and the lection is all about One and the Same. He writes then in the Epistle to the Hebrews thus; ‘Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of Angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus; who was faithful to Him that made Him52 .’
9. Who can read this whole passage without condemning the Arians, and admiring the blessed Apostle, who has spoken well? for when was Christ ‘made,’ when became He ‘Apostle,’ except when, like us, He ‘took part in flesh and blood?’ And when became He ‘a merciful and faithful High Priest,’ except when ‘in all things He was made like unto His brethren?’ And then was He ‘made like,’ when He became man, having put upon Him our flesh. Wherefore Paul was writing concerning the Word’s human Economy, when he said, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him,’ and not concerning His Essence. Have not therefore any more the madness to say that the Word of God is a work; whereas He is Son by nature Only-begotten, and then had ‘brethren,’ when He took on Him flesh like ours; which moreover, by Himself offering Himself, He was named and became ‘merciful and faithful,’—merciful, because in mercy to us He offered Himself for us, and faithful, not as sharing faith with us, nor as having faith in any one as we have, but as deserving to receive faith in all He says and does, and as offering a faithful sacrifice, one which remains and does not come to nought. For those which were offered according to the Law, had not this faithfulness, passing away with the day and needing a further cleansing; but the Saviour’s sacrifice, taking place once, has perfected everything, and is become faithful as remaining for ever. And Aaron had successors, and in a word the priesthood under the Law exchanged its first ministers as time and death went on; but the Lord having a high priesthood without transition and without succession, has become a ‘faithful High Priest,’ as continuing for ever; and faithful too by promise, that He may hear53 and not mislead those who come to Him. This may be also learned from the Epistle of the great Peter, who says, ‘Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to a faithful Creator54 .’ For He is faithful as not changing, but abiding ever, and rendering what He has promised.
10. Now the so-called gods of the Greeks, unworthy the name, are faithful neither in their essence nor in their promises; for the same are not everywhere, nay, the local deities come to nought in course of time, and undergo a natural dissolution; wherefore the Word cries out against them, that ‘faith is not strong in them,’ but they are ‘waters that fail,’ and ‘there is no faith in them.’ But the God of all, being one really and indeed and true, is faithful, who is ever the same, and says, ‘See now, that I, even I am He,’ and I ‘change not55 ;’ and therefore His Son is ‘faithful,’ being ever the same and unchanging, deceiving neither in His essence nor in His promise;—as again says the Apostle writing to the Thessalonians, ‘Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it56 ;’ for in doing what He promises, ‘He is faithful to His words.’ And he thus writes to the Hebrews as to the word’s meaning ‘unchangeable;’ ‘If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself57 .’ Therefore reasonably the Apostle, discoursing concerning the bodily presence of the Word, says, an ‘Apostle and faithful to Him that made Him,’ shewing us that, even when made man, ‘Jesus Christ’ is ‘the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever58 ’ is unchangeable. And as the Apostle makes mention in his Epistle of His being made man when mentioning His High Priesthood, so too he kept no long silence about His Godhead, but rather mentions it forthwith, furnishing to us a safeguard on every side, and most of all when he speaks of His humility, that we may forthwith know His loftiness and His majesty which is the Father’s. For instance, he says, ‘Moses as a servant, but Christ as a Son59 ;’ and the former ‘faithful in his house,’ and the latter ‘over the house,’ as having Himself built it, and being its Lord and Framer, and as God sanctifying it. For Moses, a man by nature, became faithful, in believing God who spoke to Him by His Word; but60 the Word was not as one of things originate in a body, nor as creature in creature, but as God in flesh61 , and Framer of all and Builder in that which was built by Him. And men are clothed in flesh in order to be and to subsist; but the Word of God was made man in order to sanctify the flesh, and, though He was Lord, was in the form of a servant; for the whole creature is the Word’s servant, which by Him came to be, and was made.
11. Hence it holds that the Apostle’s expression, ‘He made,’ does not prove that the Word is made, but that body, which He took like ours; and in consequence He is called our brother, as having become man. But if it has been shewn, that, even though the word ‘made’ be referred to the Very Word, it is used for ‘begat,’ what further perverse expedient will they be able to fall upon, now that the present discussion has cleared up the word in every point of view, and shewn that the Son is not a work, but in Essence indeed the Father’s offspring, while in the Economy, according to the good pleasure62 of the Father, He was on our behalf made, and consists as man? For this reason then it is said by the Apostle, ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him;’ and in the Proverbs, even creation is spoken of. For so long as we are confessing that He became man, there is no question about saying, as was observed before, whether ‘He became,’ or ‘He has been made,’ or ‘created,’ or ‘formed,’ or ‘servant,’ or ‘son of an handmaid,’ or ‘son of man,’ or ‘was constituted,’ or ‘took His journey,’ or ‘bridegroom,’ or ‘brother’s son,’ or ‘brother.’ All these terms happen to be proper to man’s constitution; and such as these do not designate the Essence of the Word, but that He has become man.
The Regula Fidei must be observed; made applies to our Lord’s manhood; and to His manifestation; and to His office relative to us; and is relative to the Jews. Parallel instance in Gn 27,29 Gn 27,37. The context contradicts the Arian interpretation.
11(continued). The same is the meaning of the passage in the Acts which they also allege, that in which Peter says, that ‘He hath made both Lord and Christ that same Jesus whom ye have crucified.’ For here too it is not written, ‘He made for Himself a Son,’ or ‘He made Himself a Word,’ that they should have such notions. If then it has not escaped their memory, that they speak concerning the Son of God, let them make search whether it is anywhere written. ‘God made Himself a Son,’ or ‘He created for Himself a Word;’ or again, whether it is anywhere written in plain terms, ‘The Word is a work or creation;’ and then let them proceed to make their case, the insensate men, that here too they may receive their answer. But if they can produce nothing of the kind, and only catch at such stray expressions as ‘He made’ and ‘He has been made,’ I fear lest, from hearing, ‘In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth,’ and ‘He made the sun and the moon,’ and ‘He made the sea,’ they should come in time to call the Word the heaven, and the Light which took place on the first day, and the earth, and each particular thing that has been made, so as to end in resembling the Stoics, as they are called, the one drawing out their God into all things63 , the other ranking God’s Word with each work in particular; which they have well nigh done already, saying that He is one of His works.
12. But here they must have the same answer as before, and first be told that the Word is a Son, as has been said above64 , and not a work, and that such terms are not to be understood of His Godhead, but the reason and manner of them investigated. To persons who so inquire, the human Economy will plainly present itself, which He undertook for our sake. For Peter, after saying, ‘He hath made Lord and Christ,’ straightway added, ‘this Jesus whom ye crucified;’ which makes it plain to any one, even, if so be, to them, provided they attend to the context, that not the Essence of the Word, but He according to His manhood is said to have been made. For what was crucified but the body? and how could be signified what was bodily in the Word, except by saying ‘He made?’ Especially has that phrase, ‘He made,’ a meaning consistent with orthodoxy; in that he has not said, as I observed before, ‘He made Him Word,’ but ‘He made Him Lord,’ nor that in general terms65 , but ‘towards’ us, and ‘in the midst of’ us, as much as to say, ‘He manifested Him.’ And this Peter himself, when he began this primary teaching, carefully66 expressed, when he said to them, ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man manifested of God towards you by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know67 .’ Consequently the term which he uses in the end, ‘made’, this He has explained in the beginning by ‘manifested,’ for by the signs and wonders which the Lord did, He was manifested to be not merely man, but God in a body and Lord also, the Christ. Such also is the passage in the Gospel according to John, ‘Therefore the more did the Jews persecute Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but said also that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God68 .’ For the Lord did not then fashion Himself to be God, nor indeed is a made God conceivable, but He manifested it by the works, saying, ‘Though ye believe not Me, believe My works, that ye may know that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me69 .’ Thus then the Father has ‘made’ Him Lord and King in the midst of us, and towards us who were once disobedient; and it is plain that He who is now displayed as Lord and King, does not then begin to be King and Lord, but begins to shew His Lordship, and to extend it even over the disobedient.
13. If then they suppose that the Saviour was not Lord and King, even before He became man and endured the Cross, but then began to be Lord, let them know that they are openly reviving the statements of the Samosatene. But if, as we have quoted and declared above, He is Lord and King everlasting, seeing that Abraham worships Him as Lord, and Moses says, ‘Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven70 ;’ and David in the Psalms, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand71 ;’ and, ‘Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom72 ;’ and, ‘Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom73 ;’ it is plain that even before He became man, He was King and Lord everlasting, being Image and Word of the Father. And the Word being everlasting Lord and King, it is very plain again that Peter said not that the Essence of the Son was made, but spoke of His Lordship over us, which ‘became’ when He became man, and, redeeming all by the Cross, became Lord of all and King. But if they continue the argument on the ground of its being written, ‘He made,’ not willing that ‘He made’ should be taken in the sense of ‘He manifested,’ either from want of apprehension, or from their Christ-opposing purpose, let them attend to another sound exposition of Peter’s words. For he who becomes Lord of others, comes into the possession of beings already in existence; but if the Lord is Framer of all and everlasting King, and when He became man, then gained possession of us, here too is a way in which Peter’s language evidently does not signify that the Essence of the Word is a work, but the after-subjection of all things, and the Saviour’s Lordship which came to be over all. And this coincides with what we said before74 ; for as we then introduced the words, ‘Become my God and defence,’ and ‘the Lord became a refuge for the oppressed75 ,’ and it stood to reason that these expressions do not shew that God is originate, but that His beneficence ‘becomes’ towards each individual, the same sense has the expression of Peter also.
14. For the Son of God indeed, being Himself the Word, is Lord of all; but we once were subject from the first to the slavery of corruption and the curse of the Law, then by degrees fashioning for ourselves things that were not, we served, as says the blessed Apostle, ‘them which by nature are no Gods76 ,’ and, ignorant of the true God, we preferred things that were not to the truth; but afterwards, as the ancient people when oppressed in Egypt groaned, so, when we too had the Law ‘engrafted77 ’ in us, and according to the unutterable sighings78 of the Spirit made our intercession, ‘O Lord our God, take possession of us79 ,’ then, as ‘He became for a house of refuge’ and a ‘God and defence,’ so also He became our Lord. Nor did He then begin to be, but we began to have Him for our Lord. For upon this, God being good and Father of the Lord, in pity, and desiring to be known by all, makes His own Son put on Him a human body and become man, and be called Jesus, that in this body offering Himself for all, He might deliver all from false worship and corruption, and might Himself become of all Lord and King. His becoming therefore in this way Lord and King, this it is that Peter means by, ‘He hath made Him Lord,’ and ‘hath sent Christ;’ as much as to say, that the Father in making Him man (for to be made belongs to man), did not simply make Him man, but has made Him in order to His being Lord of all men, and to His hallowing all through the Anointing. For though the Word existing in the form of God took a servant’s form, yet the assumption of the flesh did not make a servant80 of the Word, who was by nature Lord; but rather, not only was it that emancipation of all humanity which takes place by the Word, but that very Word who was by nature Lord, and was then made man, hath by means of a servant’s form been made Lord of all and Christ, that is, in order to hallow all by the Spirit. And as God, when ‘becoming a God and defence,’ and saying, ‘I will be a God to them,’ does not then become God more than before, nor then begins to become God, but, what He ever is, that He then becomes to those who need Him, when it pleaseth Him, so Christ also being by nature Lord and King everlasting, does not become Lord more than He was at the time He is sent forth, nor then begins to be Lord and King, but what He is ever, that He then is made according to the flesh; and, having redeemed all, He becomes thereby again Lord of quick and dead. For Him henceforth do all things serve, and this is David’s meaning in the Psalm, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool81 .’ For it was fitting that the redemption should take place through none other than Him who is the Lord by nature, lest, though created by the Son, we should name another Lord, and fall into the Arian and Greek folly, serving the creature beyond the all-creating God82 .
15. This, at least according to my nothingness, is the meaning of this passage; moreover, a true and a good meaning have these words of Peter as regards the Jews. For Jews, astray from the truth, expect indeed the Christ as coming, but do not reckon that He undergoes a passion, saying what they understand not; ‘We know that, when the Christ cometh, He abideth for ever, and how sayest Thou, that He must be lifted up83 ?’ Next they suppose Him, not the Word coming in flesh, but a mere man, as were all the kings. The Lord then, admonishing Cleopas and the other, taught them that the Christ must first suffer; and the rest of the Jews that God was come among them, saying, ‘If He called them gods to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God84 ?’
16. Peter then, having learned this from the Saviour, in both points set the Jews right, saying, “O Jews, the divine Scriptures announce that Christ cometh, and you consider Him a mere man as one of David’s descendants, whereas what is written of Him shews Him to be not such as you say, but rather announces Him as Lord and God, and immortal, and dispenser of life. For Moses has said, ‘Ye shall see your Life hanging before your eyes85 .’ And David in the hundred and ninth Psalm, ‘The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool86 ;’ and in the fifteenth, ‘Thou shalt not leave my soul in hades, neither shalt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption87 .’ Now that these passages have not David for their scope he himself witnesses, avowing that He who was coming was His own Lord. Nay you yourselves know that He is dead, and His remains are with you. That the Christ then must be such as the Scriptures say, you will plainly confess yourselves. For those announcements come from God, and in them falsehood cannot be. If then ye can state that such a one has come before, and can prove him God from the signs and wonders which he did, ye have reason for maintaining the contest, but if ye are not able to prove His coming, but are expecting such an one still, recognise the true season from Daniel, for his words relate to the present time. But if this present season be that which was of old, afore-announced, and ye have seen what has taken place among us, be sure that this Jesus, whom ye crucified, this is the expected Christ. For David and all the Prophets died, and the sepulchres of all are with you, but that Resurrection which has now taken place, has shewn that the scope of these passages is Jesus. For the crucifixion is denoted by ‘Ye shall see your Life hanging,’ and the wound in the side by the spear answers to ‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter88 ,’ and the resurrection, nay more, the rising of the ancient dead from out their sepulchres (for these most of you have seen), this is, ‘Thou shall not leave My soul in hades,’ and ‘He swallowed up death in strength89 ,’ and again, ‘God will wipe away.’ For the signs which actually took place shew that He who was in a body was God, and also the Life and Lord of death. For it became the Christ, when giving life to others, Himself not to be detained by death; but this could not have happened, had He, as you suppose, been a mere man. But in truth He is the Son of God, for men are all subject to death. Let no one therefore doubt, but the whole house of Israel know assuredly that this Jesus, whom ye saw in shape a man, doing signs and such works, as no one ever yet had done, is Himself the Christ and Lord of all. For though made man, and called Jesus, as we said before, He received no loss by that human passion, but rather, in being made man, He is manifested as Lord of quick and dead. For since, as the Apostle said, ‘in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe90 .’ And so, since we men would not acknowledge God through His Word, nor serve the Word of God our natural Master, it pleased God to shew in man His own Lordship, and so to draw all men to Himself. But to do this by a mere man be-seemed not91 ; lest, having man for our Lord, we should become worshippers of man92 . Therefore the Word Himself became flesh, and the Father called His Name Jesus, and so ‘made’ Him Lord and Christ, as much as to say, ‘He made Him to rule and to reign;’ that while in the Name of Jesus, whom ye crucified, every knee bows, we may acknowledge as Lord and King both the Son and through Him the Father.”
17. The Jews then, most of them93 , hearing this, came to themselves and forthwith acknowledged the Christ, as it is written in the Acts. But, the Ario-maniacs on the contrary choose to remain Jews, and to contend with Peter; so let us proceed to place before them some parallel phrases; perhaps it may have some effect upon them, to find what the usage is of divine Scripture. Now that Christ is everlasting Lord and King, has become plain by what has gone before, nor is there a man to doubt about it; for being Son of God, He must be like Him94 , and being like, He is certainly both Lord and King, for He says Himself, ‘He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.’ On the other hand, that Peter’s there words, ‘He hath made Him both Lord and Christ,’ do not imply the Son to be a creature, may be seen from Isaac’s blessing, though this illustration is but a faint one for our subject. Now he said to Jacob, ‘Become thou lord over thy brother;’ and to Esau, ‘Behold, I have made him thy lord95 .’ Now though the word ‘made’ had implied Jacob’s essence and the coming into being, even then it would not be right in them as much as to imagine the same of the Word of God, for the Son of God is no creature as Jacob was; besides, they might inquire and so rid themselves of that extravagance. But if they, do not understand it of his essence nor of his coming into being, though Jacob was by nature creature and work, is not their madness worse than the Devil’s96 , if what they dare not ascribe in consequence of a like phrase even to things by nature originate, that they attach to the Son of God, saying that He is a creature? For Isaac said ‘Become’ and ‘I have made,’ signifying neither the coming into being nor the essence of Jacob (for after thirty years and more from his birth he said this); but his authority over his brother, which came to pass subsequently.
18. Much more then did Peter say this without meaning that the Essence of the Word was a work; for he knew Him to be God’s Son, confessing, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God97 ;’ but he meant His Kingdom and Lordship which was formed and came to be according to grace, and was relatively to us. For while saying this, he was not silent about the Son of God’s everlasting Godhead which is the Father’s; but He had said already, that He had poured the Spirit on us; now to give the Spirit with authority, is not in the power of creature or work, but the Spirit is God’s Gift98 . For the creatures arehallowed by the Holy Spirit; but the Son, in that He is not hallowed by the Spirit, but on the contrary Himself the Giver of it to all99 , is therefore no creature, but true Son of the Father. And yet He who gives the Spirit, the same is said also to be made; that is, to be made among us Lord because of His manhood, while giving the Spirit because He is God’s Word. For He ever was and is, as Son, so also Lord and Sovereign of all, being like in all things100 to the Father, and having all that is the Father’s101 as He Himself has said102 .