Athanasius 16215

Chapter XVI). Introductory to Proverbs VIII. 22, that the Son is Not a Creature.

Pr 8,22

Arian formula, a creature but not as one of the creatures; but each creature is unlike all other creatures; and no creature can create. The Word then differs from all creatures in that in which they, though otherwise differing, all agree together, as creatures; viz. in being an efficient cause; in being the one medium or instrumental agent in creation; moreover in being the revealer of the Father; and in being the object of worship.

18. (continued). Now in the next place let us consider the passage in the Proverbs, ‘The Lord created me a beginning of His ways for His works103 ;’ although in shewing that the Word is no work, it has been also shewn that He is no creature. For it is the same to say work or creature, so that the proof that He is no work is a proof also that He is no creature. Whereas one may marvel at these men, thus devising excuses to be irreligious, and nothing daunted at the refutations which meet them upon every point. For first they set about deceiving the simple by their questions104 ‘Did He who is make from that which was not one that was not or one that was105 ?’and, ‘Had you a son before begetting him106 ?’And when this had been proved worthless,next they invented the question, ‘Is the Unoriginate one or two107 ?’ Then, when in this they had been confuted, straightway they formed another, ‘Has He free-will and an alterable nature108 ?’ But being forced to give up this, next they set about saying, ‘Being made so much better than the Angels109 ;’ and when the truth exposed this pretence, now again, collecting them all together, they think to recommend their heresy by ‘work’ and ‘creature110 .’ For they mean those very things over again, and are true to their own perverseness, putting into various shapes and turning to and fro the same errors, if so be to deceive some by that variousness. Although then abundant proof has been given above of this their reckless expedient, yet, since they make all places sound with this passage from the Proverbs, and to many who are ignorant of the faith of Christians, seem to say somewhat it is necessary to examine separately, ‘He created’ as well as ‘Who was faithful to Him that made Him111 ;’ that, as in all others, so in this text also, they may be proved to have got no further than a fantasy.

19. And first let us see the answers, which they returned to Alexander of blessed memory, in the outset, while their heresy was in course of formation. They wrote thus: ‘He is a creature, but not as one of the creatures; a work, but not as one of the works; an offspring, but not as one of the offsprings112 .’ Let every one consider the profligacy and craft of this heresy; for knowing the bitterness of its own malignity, it makes an effort to trick itself out with fair words, and says, what indeedit means, that He is a creature, yet thinks to be able to screen itself by adding, ‘but not as one of the creatures.’ However, in thus writing, they rather convict themselves of irreligion; for if, in your opinion, He is simply a creature, why add the pretence113 , ‘but not as one of the creatures?’ And if He is simply a work, how ‘not as one of the works?’ In which we may see the poison of the heresy. For by saying, ‘offspring, but not as one of the offsprings,’ they reckon many sons, and one of these they pronounce to be the Lord; so that according to them He is no more Only begotten, but one out of many brethren, and is called114 offspring and son. What use then is this pretence of saying that He is a creature and not a creature? for though ye shall say, Not as ‘one of the creatures,’ I will prove this sophism of yours to be foolish. For still ye pronounce Him to be one of the creatures; and whatever a man might say of the other creatures, such ye hold concerning the Son, ye truly ‘fools and blind115 .’ For is any one of the creatures just what another is116 , that ye should predicate this of the Son as some prerogative117 ? And all the visible creation was made in six days:—in the first, the light which He called day; in the second the firmament; in the third, gathering together the waters, He bared the dry land, and brought out the various fruits that are in it; and in the fourth, He made the sun and the moon and all the host of the stars; and on the fifth, He created the race of living things in the sea, and of birds in the air; and on the sixth, He made the quadrupeds on the earth, and at length man. And ‘the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made118 ;’ and neither the light is as the night, nor the sun as the moon; nor the irrational as rational man; nor the Angels as the Thrones, nor the Thrones as the Authorities, yet they are all creatures, but each of the things made according to its kind exists and remains in its own essence, as it was made.

20. Let the Word then be excepted from the works, and as Creator be restored to the Father, and be confessed to be Son by nature; or if simply He be a creature, then let Him be assigned the same condition as the rest one with another, and let them as well as He be said every one of them to be ‘a creature but not as one of the creatures, offspring or work, but not as one of the works or offsprings.’ For ye say that an offspring is the same as a work, writing ‘generated or made119 .’ For though the Son excel the rest on a comparison, still a creature He is nevertheless, as they are; since in those which are by nature creatures one may find some excelling others. Star, for instance, differs from star in glory, and the rest have all of them their mutual differences when compared together; yet it follows not for all this that some are lords, and others servants to the superior, nor that some are efficient causes120 , others by them come into being, but all have a nature which comes to be and is created, confessing in their own selves their Framer: as David says in the Psalms, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handy work121 ;’ and as Zorobabel the wise says, ‘All the earth calleth upon the Truth, and the heaven blesseth it: all works shake and tremble at it122 .’ But if the whole earth hymns the Framer and the Truth, and blesses, and fears it, and its Framer is the Word, and He Himself says, ‘I am the Truth123 ,’ it follows that the Word is not a creature, but alone proper to the Father, in whom all things are disposed, and He is celebrated by all, as Framer; for ‘I was by Him disposing124 ;’ and ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work125 .’ And the word ‘hitherto’ shews His eternal existence in the Father as the Word; for it is proper to the Word to work the Father’s works and not to be external to Him.

21. But if what the Father worketh, that the Son worketh also126 , and what the Son createth, that is the creation of the Father, and yet the Son be the Father’s work or creature, then either He will work His own self, and will be His own creator (since what the Father worketh is the Son’s work also), which is absurd and impossible; or, in that He creates and worketh the things of the Father, He Himself is not a work nor a creature; for else being Himself an efficient cause127 , He may cause that to be in the case of things caused, which He Himself has become, or rather He may have no power to cause at all.

For how, if, as you hold, He is come of nothing, is He able to frame things that are nothing into being? or if He, a creature, withal frames a creature, the same will be conceivable in the case of every creature, viz. the power to frame others. And if this pleases you, what is the need of the Word, seeing that things inferior can be brought to be by things superior? or at all events, every thing that is brought to be could have heard in the beginning God’s words,‘Become’ and ‘be made,’ and so would have been framed. But this is not so written, nor could it be. For none of things which are brought to be is an efficient cause, but all things were made through the Word: who would not have wrought all things, were He Himself in the number of the creatures. For neither would the Angels be able to frame, since they too are creatures, though Valentinus, and Marcion, and Basilides think so, and you are their copyists; nor will the sun, as being a creature, ever make what is not into what is; nor will man fashion man, nor stone devise stone, nor wood give growth to wood. But God is He who fashions man in the womb, and fixes the mountains, and makes wood grow; whereas man, as being capable of science, puts together and arranges that material, and works things that are, as he has learned; and is satisfied if they are but brought to be, and being conscious of what his nature is, if he needs aught, knows to ask128 it of God.

22. If then God also wrought and compounded out of materials, this indeed is a gentile thought, according to which God is an artificer and not a Maker, but yet even in that case let the Word work the materials, at the bidding and in the service of God129 . But if He calls into existence things which existed not by His proper Word, then the Word is not in the number of things non-existing and called; or we have to seek another Word130 , through whom He too was called; for by the Word the things which were not have come to be. And if through Him He creates and makes He is not Himself of things created and made but rather He is the Word of the Creator God and is known from the Father’s works which He Himself worketh, to be ‘in the Father and the Father in Him,’ and ‘He that hath seen Him hath seen the Father131 ,’ because the Son’s Essence is proper to the Father, and He in all points like Him132 . How then does He create through Him, unless it be His Word and His Wisdom? and how can He be Word and Wisdom, unless He be the proper offspring of His Essence133 , and did not come to be, as others, out of nothing? And whereas all things are from nothing, and are creatures, and the Son, as they say, is one of the creatures too and of things which once were not, how does He alone reveal the Father, and none else but He know the Father? For could He, a work possibly know the Father, then must the Father be also known by all according to the proportion of the measures of each: for all of them are works as He is. But if it be impossible for things originate either to see or to know, for the sight and the knowledge of Him surpasses all (since God Himself says, ‘No one shall see My face and live134 ’), yet the Son has declared, ‘No one knoweth the Father, save the Son135 ,’ therefore the Word is different from all things originate, in that He alone knows and alone sees the Father, as He says, ‘Not that any one hath seen the Father, save He that is from the Father,’ and ‘no one knoweth the Father save the Son136 ,’ though Arius think otherwise. How then did He alone know, except that He alone was proper to Him? and how proper, if He were a creature, and not a true Son from Him? (For one must not mind saying often the same thing for religion’s sake). Therefore it is irreligious to think that the Son is one of all things; and blasphemous and unmeaning to call Him ‘a creature, but not as one of the creatures, and a work, but not as one of the works, an offspring, but not as one of the offsprings;’ for how not as one of these, if, as they say, He was not before His generation137 ? for it is proper to the creatures and works not to be before their origination, and to subsist out of nothing, even though they excel other creatures in glory; for this difference of one with another will be found in all creatures, which appears in those which are visible138 .

23. Moreover if, as the heretics hold, the Son were creature or work, but not as one of the creatures, because of His excelling them inglory, it were natural that Scripture should describe and display Him by a comparison in His favour with the other works; for instance, that it should say that He is greater than Archangels, and more honourable than the Thrones, and both brighter than sun and moon, and greater than the heavens. But he is not in fact thus referred to; but the Father shews Him to be His own proper and only Son, saying, ‘Thou art My Son,’ and ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased139 ’ Accordingly the Angels ministered unto Him, as being one beyond themselves; and they worship Him, not as being greater in glory, but as being some one beyond all the creatures, and beyond themselves, and alone the Father’s proper Son according to essence140 . For if He was worshipped as excelling them in glory, each of things subservient ought to worship what excels itself. But this is not the case141 ; for creature does not worship creature, but servant Lord, and creature God. Thus Peter the Apostle hinders Cornelius who would worship him, saying, ‘I myself also am a man142 .’ And an Angel, when John would worship him in the Apocalypse, hinders him, saying, ‘See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book: worship God143 .’ Therefore to God alone appertains worship, and this the very Angels know, that though they excel other beings in glory, yet they are all creatures and not to be worshipped144 , but worship the Lord. Thus Manoah, the father of Samson, wishing to offer sacrifice to the Angel, was thereupon hindered by him, saying, ‘Offer not to me, but to God145 .’ On the other hand, the Lord is worshipped even by the Angels; for it is written, ‘Let all the Angels of God worship Him146 ;’ and by all the Gentiles, as Isaiah says, ‘The labour of Egypt and merchandize of Ethiopia and of the Subeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thy servants;’ and then, ‘they shall fall down unto thee, and shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no God147 .’ And He accepts His disciples’ worship, and certifies them who He is, saying, ‘Call ye Me not Lord and Master? and ye say well, for so I am.’ And when Thomas said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God148 ,’ He allows his words, or rather accepts him instead of hindering him. For He is, as the other Prophets declare, and David says in the Psalm, ‘the Lord of hosts, the Lord of Sabaoth,’ which is interpreted, ‘the Lord of Armies,’ and God True and Almighty, though the Arians burst149 at the tidings.

24. But He had not been thus worshipped, nor been thus spoken of, were He a creature merely. But now since He is not a creature, but the proper offspring of the Essence of that God who is worshipped, and His Son by nature, therefore He is worshipped and is believed to be God, and is Lord of armies, and in authority, and Almighty, as the Father is; for He has said Himself, ‘All things that the Father hath, are Mine150 .’ For it is proper to the Son, to have the things of the Father, and to be such that the Father is seen in Him, and that through Him all things were made, and that the salvation of all comes to pass and consists in Him.

Chapter XVII). Introduction to Proverbs VIII. 22 Continued.

Pr 8,22

Absurdity of supposing a Son or Word created in order to the creation of other creatures; as to the creation being unable to bear God’s immediate hand, God condescends to the lowest. Moreover, if the Son a creature, He too could not bear God’s hand, and an infinite series of media will be necessary. Objected, that, as Moses who led out the Israelites was a man, so our Lord; but Moses was not the Agent in creation:—again, that unity is found in created ministrations, but all such ministrations are defective and dependent:—again, that He learned to create, yet could God’s Wisdom need teaching? and why should He learn, if the Father worketh hitherto? If the Son was created to create us, He is for our sake, not we for His.

24 (continued). And here it were well to ask them also this question151 , for a still clearer refutation of their heresy;—Wherefore, when all things are creatures, and all are brought into consistence from nothing, and the Son Himself, according to you, is creature and work, and once was not, wherefore has He made ‘all things through Him’ alone, ‘and without Him was made not one thing152 ?’ or why is it, when ‘all things’ are spoken of, that no one thinks the Son is signified in the number, but only things originate; whereas when Scripture speaks of the Word, it does not understand Him as being in the number of ‘all,’ but places Him with the Father, as Him in whom Providence and salvation for ‘all’ are wrought and effected by the Father, though all things surely might at the same command have come to be, at which He was brought into being by God alone? For God is not wearied by commanding153 , nor is His strength unequal to the making of all things, that He should alone create the only Son154 , and need His ministry and aid for the framing of the rest. For He lets nothing stand over, which He wills to be done; but He willed only155 , and all things subsisted, and no one ‘hath resisted His will156 .’ Why then were not all things brought into being by God alone at that same command, at which the Son came into being? Or let them tell us, why did all things through Him come to be, who was Himself but originate? How void of reason! however, they say concerning Him, that ‘God willing to create originate nature, when He saw that it could not endure the untempered hand of the Father, and to be created by Him, makes and creates first and alone one only, and calls Him Son and Word, that, through Him as a medium, all things might thereupon be brought to be157 .’ This they not only have said, but they have dared to put it into writing, namely, Eusebius, Arius, and Asterius who sacrificed158 .

25. Is not this a full proof of that irreligion, with which they have drugged themselves with much madness, till they blush not to be intoxicate against the truth? For if they shall assign the toil of making all things as the reason why God made the Son only, the whole creation will cry out against them as saying unworthy things of God; and Isaiah too who has said in Scripture, ‘The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary: there is no searching of His understanding159 .’ And if God made the Son alone, as not deigning to make the rest, but committed them to the Son as an assistant, this on the other hand is unworthy of God, for in Him there is no pride. Nay the Lord reproves the thought, when He says, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?’ and ‘one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father which is in heaven.’ And again, ‘Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them; are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith160 ?’ If then it be not unworthy of God to exercise His Providence, even down to things so small, a hair of the head, and a sparrow, and the grass of the field, also it was not unworthy of Him to make them. For what things are the subjects of His Providence, of those He is Maker through His proper Word. Nay a worse absurdity lies before the men who thus speak; for they distinguish161 between the creatures and the framing; and consider the latter the work of the Father, the creatures the work of the Son; whereas either all things must be brought to be by the with the Son, or if all that is originate comes to be through the Son, we must not call Him one of the originated things.

26. Next, their folly may be exposed thus:—if even the Word be of originated nature, how, whereas this nature is too feeble to be God’s own handy work, could He alone of all endure to be made by the unoriginate and unmitigated Essence of God, as ye say? for it follows either that, if He could endure it, all could endure it, or, it being endurable by none, it was not endurable by the Word, for you say that He is one of originate things. And again, if because originate nature could not endure to be God’s own handiwork, there arose need of a mediator162 , it must follow, that, the Word being originate and a creature, there is need of medium in His framing also, since He too is of that originate nature which endures not to be made of God, but needs a medium. But if some being as a medium be found for Him, then again a fresh mediator is needed for that second, and thus tracing back and following out, we shall invent a vast crowd of accumulating mediators; and thus it will be impossible that the creation should subsist, as ever wanting a mediator, and that medium not coming into being without another mediator; for all of them will be of that originate nature which endures not to be made of God alone, as ye say. How abundant is that folly, which obliges them to hold that what has already come into being, admits not of coming! Or perhaps they opine that they have not even come to be, as still seeking their mediator; for, on the ground of their so irreligious and futile notion163 , what is would not have subsistence, for want of the medium.

27. But again they allege this:—‘Behold, through Moses too did He lead the people from Egypt, and through him He gave the Law, yet he was a man; so that it is possible for like to be brought into being by like.’ They should veil their face when they say this, to save their much shame. For Moses was not sent to frame the world, nor to call into being things which were not, or to fashion men like himself, but only to be the minister of words to the people, and to King Pharaoh. And this is a very different thing, for to minister is of things originate as of servants, but to frame and to create is of God alone, and of His proper Word and His Wisdom. Wherefore, in the matter of framing, we shall find none but God’s Word; for ‘all things are made in Wisdom,’ and ‘without the Word was made not one thing.’ But as regards ministrations there are, not one only, but man out of their whole number, whomever the Lord will send. For there are many Archangels, many Thrones, and Authorities, and Dominions, thousands of thousands, and myriads of myriads, standing before Him164 , ministering and ready to be sent. And many Prophets, and twelve Apostles, and Paul. And Moses himself was not alone, but Aaron with him, and next other seventy were filled with the Holy Ghost. And Moses was succeeded by Joshua the son of Nun, and he by the Judges, and they not by one, but by a number of Kings. If then the Son were a creature and one of things originate, there must have been many such sons, that God might have many such ministers, just as there is a multitude of those others. But if this is not to be seen, but while the creatures are many, the Word is one, any one will collect from this, that the Son differs from all, and is not on a level with the creatures, but proper to the Father. Hence there are not many Words, but one only Word of the one Father, and one Image of the one God165 . ‘But behold,’ they say, ‘there is one sun only166 , and one earth.’ Let them maintain, senseless as they are, that there is one water and one fire, and then they may be told that everything that is brought to be, is one in its own essence; but for the ministry and service committed to it, by itself it is not adequate nor sufficient alone. For God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven, to give light upon the earth and to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.’ And then he says, ‘And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night167 .’

28. Behold there are many lights, and not the sun only, nor the moon only, but each is one in essence, and yet the service of all is one and common; and what each lacks, is supplied by the other, and the office of lighting is performed by all168 . Thus the sun has authority to shine throughout the day and no more; and the moon through the night; and the stars together with them accomplish the seasons and years, and become for signs, each according to the need that calls for it. Thus too the earth is not for all things, but for the fruits only, and to be a ground to tread on for the living things that inhabit it. And the firmament is to divide between waters and waters, and to be a place to set the stars in. So also fire and water, with other things, have been brought into being to be the constituent parts of bodies; and in short no one thing is alone, but all things that are made, as if members of each other, make up as it were one body, namely, the world. If then they thus conceive of the Son, let all men throw stones169 atthem, considering the Word to be a part of this universe, and a part insufficient without the rest for the service committed to Him. But if this be manifestly irreligious, let them acknowledge that the Word is not in the number of things originate, but the sole and proper Word of the Father, and their Framer. ‘But,’ say they, ‘though He is a creature and of things originate; yet as from a master and artificer has He170 learned to frame, and thus ministered171 to God who taught Him.’ For thus the Sophist Asterius, on the strength of having learned to deny the Lord, has dared to write, not observing the absurdity which follows. For if framing be a thing to be taught, let them beware lest they say that God Himself be a Framer not by nature but by science, so as to admitof His losing the power. Besides, if the Wisdom of God attained to frame by teaching, how is He still Wisdom, when He needs to learn? and what was He before He learned? For it was not Wisdom, if it needed teaching; it was surely but some empty thing, and not essential Wisdom172 , but from advancement it had the name of Wisdom, and will be only so long Wisdom as it can keep what it has learned. For what has accrued not by any nature, but from learning, admits of being one time unlearned. But to speak thus of the Word of God, is not the part of Christians but of Greeks.

29. For if the power of framing accrues to anyone from teaching, these insensate men are ascribing jealousy and weakness173 to God;—jealousy, in that He has not taught many how to frame, so that there may be around Him, as Archangels and Angels many, so framers many; and weakness, in that He could not make by Himself, but needed a fellow-worker, or under-worker; and that, though it has been already shewn that created nature admits of being made by God alone, since they consider the Son to be of such a nature and so made. But God is deficient in nothing: perish the thought! for He has said Himself, ‘I am full174 .’ Nor did the Word become Framer of all from teaching; but being the Image and Wisdom of the Father, He does the things of the Father. Nor hath He made the Son for the making of things created; for behold, though the Son exists, still175 the Father is seen to work, as the Lord Himself says, ‘My Father worketh hitherto and I work176 .’ If however, as you say, the Son came into being for the purpose of making the things after Him, and yet the Father is seen to work even after the Son, you must hold even in this light the making of such a Son to be superfluous. Besides, why, when He would create us, does He seek for a mediator at all, as if His will did not suffice to constitute whatever seemed good to Him? Yet the Scriptures say, ‘He hath done whatsoever pleased Hires177 ,’ and ‘Who hath resisted His will178 ?’ And if His mere will179 is sufficient for the framing of all things, you make the office of a mediator superfluous; for your instance of Moses, and the sun and the moon has been shewn not to hold. And here again is an argument to silence you. You say that God, willing the creation of originated nature, and deliberating concerning it, designs and creates the Son, that through Him He may frame us; now, if so, consider how great an irreligion180 you have dared to utter.

30. First, the Son appears rather to have been for us brought to be, than we for Him; for we were not created for Him, but He is made for us181 ; so that He owes thanks to us, not we to Him, as the woman to the man. ‘For the man,’ says Scripture, ‘was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.’ Therefore, as ‘the man is the image and glory of God, and the woman the glory of the man182 ,’ so we are made God’s image and to His glory; but the Son is our image, and exists for our glory. And we were brought into being that we might be; but God’s Word was made, as you must hold, not that He might be183 ; but as an instrument184 for our need, so that not we from Him, but He is constituted from our need. Are not men who even conceive such thoughts, more than insensate? For if for us the Word was made, He has not precedence185 of us with God; for He did not take counsel about us having Him within Him, but having us in Himself, counselled, as they say, concerning His own Word. But if so, perchance the Father had not even a will for the Son at all; for not as having a will for Him, did He create Him, but with a will for us, He formed Him for our sake; for He designed Him after designing usso that, according to these irreligious men, henceforth the Son, who was made as an instrument, is superfluous, now that they are made for whom He was created. But if the Son alone was made by God alone, because He could endure it, but we, because we could not, were made by the Word, why does He not first take counsel about the Word, who could endure His making, instead of taking counsel about us? or why does He not make more of Him who was strong, than of us who were weak? or why making Him first, does He not counsel about Him first? or why counselling about us first, does He not make us first, His will being sufficient for the constitution of all things? But He creates Him first, yet counsels first about us; and He wills us before the Mediator; and when He wills to create us, and counsels about us, He calls us creatures; but Him, whom He frames for us, He calls Son and proper Heir. But we, for whose sake He made Him, ought rather to be called sons; or certainly He, who is His Son, is rather the object of His previous thoughts and of His will, for whom He makes all us. Such the sickness, such the vomit186 of the heretics.

Chapter XVIII). Introduction to Pr 8,22 Continued.

Pr 8,22

Contrast between the Father’s operations immediately and naturally in the Son, instrumentally by the creatures; Scripture terms illustrative of this. Explanation of these illustrations; which should be interpreted by the doctrine of the Church; perverse sense put on them by the Arians, refuted. Mystery of Divine Generation. Contrast between God’s Word and man’s word drawn out at length. Asterius betrayed into holding two Unoriginates; his inconsistency. Baptism how by the Son as well as by the Father. On the Baptism of heretics. Why Arian worse than other heresies

Athanasius 16215