Cyril of Jerus. 1800
With A Lesson From The First General Epistle OF Peter, Beginning AT“Be sober, be vigilant”, to the end of the Epistle.
1. I Have long been wishing, O true-born and dearly beloved children of the Church, to discourse to you concerning these spiritual and heavenly Mysteries; but since I well knew that seeing is far more persuasive than hearing, I waited for the present season; that finding you more open to the influence of my words from your present experience, I might lead you by the hand into the brighter and more fragrant meadow of the Paradise before us; especially as ye have been made fit to receive the more sacred Mysteries, after having been found worthy of divine and life-giving Baptism1 . Since therefore it remains to set before you a table of the more perfect instructions, let us now teach you these things exactly, that ye may know the effect2 wrought upon you on that evening of your baptism.
2. First ye entered into the vestibule3 of the Baptistery, and there facing towards the West ye listened to the command to stretch forth your hand, and as in the presence of Satan ye renounced him. Now ye must know that this figure is found in ancient history. For when Pharaoh, that most bitter and cruel tyrant, was oppressing the free and high-born people of the Hebrews, God sent Moses to bring them out of the evil bondage of the Egyptians. Then the door posts were anointed with the blood of a lamb, that the destroyer might flee from the houses which had the sign of the blood; and the Hebrew people was marvellously delivered. The enemy, however, after their rescue, pursued after them4 , and saw the sea wondrously parted for them; nevertheless he went on, following close in their footsteps, and was all at once overwhelmed and engulphed in the Red Sea.
3. Now turn from the old to the new, from the figure to the reality. There we have Moses sent from God to Egypt; here, Christ, sent forth from His Father into the world: there, that Moses might lead forth an afflicted people out of Egypt; here, that Christ might rescue those who are oppressed in the world under sin: there, the blood of a lamb was the spell against5 the destroyer; here, the blood of the Lamb without blemish Jesus Christ is made the charm to scare6 evil spirits: there, the tyrant was pursuing that ancient people even to the sea; and here the daring and shameless spirit, the author of evil, was following thee even to the very streams of salvation. The tyrant of old was drowned in the sea; and this present one disappears in the water of salvation.
4. But nevertheless thou art bidden to say, with arm outstretched towards him as though he were present, “I renounce thee, Satan.” I wish also to say wherefore ye stand facing to the West; for it is necessary. Since the West is the region of sensible darkness, and he being darkness has his dominion also in darkness, therefore, looking with a symbolical meaning towards the West, ye renounce that dark and gloomy potentate. What then did each of you stand up and say? “I renounce thee, Satan,”—thou wicked and most cruel tyrant! meaning, “I fear thy might no longer; for that Christ hath overthrown, having partaken with me of flesh and blood, that through these He might by death destroy death7 , that I might not be made subject to bondage for ever.” “I renounce thee,”—thou crafty and most subtle serpent. “I renounce thee,”—plotter as thou an, who under the guise of friendship didst contrive all disobedience, and work apostasy in our first parents. “I renounce thee, Satan,”—the artificer and abettor of all wickedness.
5. Then in a second sentence thou art taught to say, “and all thy works.” Now the works of Satan are all sin, which also thou must renounce;—just as one who has escaped a tyrant has surely escaped his weapons also. All sin therefore, of every kind, is included in the works of the devil. Only know this; that all that thou sayest, especially at that most thrilling hour, is written in God’s books; when therefore thou doest any tiring contrary to these promises, thou shalt be judged as a transgressor8 . Thou renouncest therefore the works of Satan; I mean, all deeds and thoughts which are contrary to reason.
6. Then thou sayest, “And all his pomp9 .” Now the pomp of the devil is the madness of theatres10 , and horse-races, and hunting, and all such vanity: from which that holy man praying to be delivered says unto God, Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity11 . Be not interested in the madness of the theatre, where thou wilt behold the wanton gestures of the players12 , carried on with mockeries and all unseemliness, and the frantic dancing of effeminate men13 ;—nor in the madness of them who in hunts14 expose themselves to wild beasts, that they may pamper their miserable appetite; who, to serve their belly with meats, become themselves in reality meat for the belly of untamed beasts; and to speak justly, for the sake of their own god, their belly, they cast away their life headlong in single combats15 . Shun also horse-races that frantic and soul-subverting spectacle16 . For all these are the pomp of the devil.
7. Moreover, the things which are hung up at idol festivals17 , either meat or bread, or other such things polluted by the invocation of the unclean spirits, are reckoned in the pomp of the devil. For as the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist before the invocation of the Holy and Adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, while after the invocation the Bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ18 , so in like manner such meats belonging to the pomp of Satan, though in their own nature simple, become profane by the invocation of the evil spirit.
8. After this thou sayest. “and all thy service19 .” Now the service of the devil is prayer in idol temples; things done in honour of lifeless idols; the lighting of lamps20 , or burning of incense by fountains or rivers21 , as some persons cheated by dreams or by evil spirits do [resort to this22 ], thinking to find a cure even for their bodily ailments. Go not after such things. The watching of birds, divination, omens, or amulets, or charms written on leaves, sorceries, or other evil arts23 , and all such things, are services of the devil; therefore shun them. For if after renouncing Satan and associating thyself with Christ24 , thou fall under their influence, thou shall find25 the tyrant more bitter; perchance, because he treated thee of old as his own, and relieved thee from his hard bondage, but has now been greatly exasperated by thee; so thou wilt be bereaved of Christ, and have experience of the other. Hast thou not heard the old history which tells us of Lot and his daughters? Was not he himself saved with his daughters, when he had gained the mountain, while his wife became a pillar of salt, set up as a monument for ever, in remembrance of her depraved will and her turning back. Take heed therefore to thyself, and turn not again to what is behind26 , having put thine hand to the plough, and then turning back to the salt savour of this life’s doings; but escape to the mountain, to Jesus Christ. that stone hewn without hands27 , which has filled the world.
9. When therefore thou renouncest Satan, utterly breaking all thy covenant with him, that ancient league with hell28 , there is opened to thee the paradise of God, which He planted towards the East, whence for his transgression our first father was banished; and a symbol of this was thy turning from West to East, the place of lights29 . Then thou weft told to say, “I believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and in one Baptism of repentance30 .” Of which things we spoke to thee at length in the former Lectures, as God’s grace allowed us.
10. Guarded therefore by these discourses, be sober. For our adversary the devil, as was just now read, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour31 . But though in former times death was mighty and devoured, at the holy Layer of regeneration God has wiped away every tear from off all faces32 . For thou shalt no more mourn, now that thou hast put off the old man; but thou shall keep holy-day33 , clothed in the garment of salvation34 , even Jesus Christ.
11. And these things were done in the outer chamber. But if God will, when in the succeeding lectures on the Mysteries we have entered into the Holy of Holies35 , we shall there know the symbolical meaning of the things which are there performed. Now to God the Father, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be glory, and power, and majesty, forever and ever. Amen).
1 This general title of the five following Lectures is omitted in many Mss. “In Cod. Ottob. at the end of the special title of this first Mystagogic Lecture, after the words “to the end of the Epistle,” there follows the statement “Of the same author Cyril, and of John the Bishop” (Bened. Ed).. See Index, Authenticity.
2 This Lecture was delivered on the Monday after Easter in the Holy Sepulchre: see Cat. xviii 33.
3 th;n e[mfasin thvn. . . . gegenhmevnhn, is found in all the Mss. “Nevertheless it would seem that we ought to read tw`n . . . . gegenhmevnwn,which Grodecq either read or substituted” (Ben. Ed).. With the proposed reading the meaning would be — “the significance of the things done to you,” which agrees better with the meaning of e[mfasi".
4 to John proauvlion, called below in § 11 “he outer chamber.” Cf. Procat. § 1, note 3. It appears from Tertullian, De Cororna § 3 that the renunciation was made first in the Church, and afterwards in the Baptistery: “When we are going to enter the water, at that moment as well as just before in the Church under the hand of the President, we solemnly profess that we disown the devil, and his pomp, and his angels.”
5 (Ex 14,9 Ex 14,23.
7 fugadeuthvrion, the word commonly used in the Septuagint for “a city of refuge.” But the Verb fugadeuvw is Transitive in 2M 9,4, as well as in Xenophon and Demosthenes. The application of the blood of Christ in Baptism is represented by marking the sign of the Cross on the forehead. Compare the lines of Prudentius quoted by the Benedictine Editor:
“Passio quae nostram defendit sanguine frontem,
Corporeamque domum signato collinit ore.”
8 Heb 2,14, 15.
9 (Ga 2,18,
10 Herod. 11. 58: “The Egyptians were the first to introduce solemn assemblies (panhguvri") and processions (pompav").” At Rome the term “pompa” was applied especially to the procession with which the Ludi Circenses were opened and also to any grand ceremony or pageant.
11 qeatromaniai. Cf: Tertull. Apologet. 38; “We renounce all your spectacles.... Among us nothing is ever said, or seen, or heard, which has anything in common with the madness of the Circus. the immodesty of the theatre. the atrocities of the arena, the useless exercises of the wrestling-ground.” He calls the theatre “that citadel of all impurities,” De Spectaculis, c. 10, “immodesty’s peculiar abode,” c. 17, and gives a vivid description of the rage and fury of the Circus in c. 16.
12 (Ps 119,17.
13 mivmwn, the name either of a species of low comedy, “consisting more of gestures and mimicry than of spoken dialogue,” or of the persons who acted in them. Cyril’s description of the coarse and indecent character of the mimes is more than justified by the impartial testimony of Ovid, Trist. 2,497:
“Quid si scripsissem mimos obscoena jocantes,
Qui semper vetiti crimen amoris habent;
In quibous assidue cultus procedit adulter,
Verbaque dat stulto callida nupta viro.
Nubilis hos virgo, matronaque, virque, puerque
Nubilis hos virgo, matronaque, virque, puerque
Spectat, et e magna parte Senatus adest.
Nec satis incestis temerari vocibus aures;
Assuescunt oculi multa pudenda pati.”
A theatre is mentioned as one of the buildings erected by Hadrian in his new City Aelia Capitolina built on the site of Jerusalem and that theatrical performances were continued in the time of Cyril we know from the accusation that in a time of famine he had sold one of the Church vestments, which was afterward, used upon the stage.
14 Lactantius, Epitome, § 63: “Hictrionici etiam impundici gestus, quibus infames foeminas imitantur, libidines, quae saltando exprimunt, docent”.”
15 kunhgesivai", the so-called “venationes” of the Circus in which the “bestiarii” fought with wild beasts.
16 The “bestiarii” were feasted in public on the day before their encounter with the beasts. See Tertull). Apologet. § 42: “I do not recline in public at the feast of Bacchus, after the manner of the beast-fighters at their last banquet.” lb. § 9: “Those also who dine on the flesh of wild beasts from the arena, who have keen appetites for bear and stag.” These latter, however, were chiefly the poor, to whom flesh was a rarity: Apuleius Metam. 4,14, quoted by Oehler.
17 yuca;" eAEktrachvlizon, an allusion to the risk of a broken neck in the chariot-race. Tertull). de Spectacutis, § 9: “Equestriarism was formerly practised in a simple way on horseback, and certainly its ordinary use was innocent: but when it was dragged into the games, it passed from a gift of God into the service of demons.” The presiding deity of the chariot-race was Poseidon (Hom). Il. xxiii, 307; Pind). Ol. 1,63 Pyth. 6,50; Soph. (Edip. Col 712), and both this and the other shows of the Circus, and of the theatre, were connected with the worship of the gods of Greece and Rome, and therefore forbidden as idolatrous: “What high religious rites, what sacrifices precede, intervene, and follow, how many guilds, how many priesthoods, how many services are set astir” (Tert). de Spect. § 7).
18 panhguvresi. The Panegyris was strictly a religious festival, but was commonly accompanied by a great fair or market, in which were sold not only such things as the worshippers might need for their offerings, e.g. frankincense, but also the flesh of the animals which had been sacrificed. Cf). Dictionary of Greek and Rm Antiq.“Panegyris.” Tertull). Apolog. § 42: “We do not go to your spectacles: yet the articles that are sold there, if I need them, I shall obtain more readily at their proper places. We certainly buy no frankincense.”
19 Compare St. Paul’s argument against meats offered to idols, : and on Cyril’s Eucharistic doctrine, see notes on CVat. xxii.
20 The for of renunciation before Baptism is given in the Apostolic Constitutions, VII. 41: “I renounce Satan, and his works, and his pomps, and his services, and his angels, and his inventions, and all things that are under him.” Cf. Tertull). De Spectaculis, § 4: “When on entering the water, we make profession of the Christian faith in the words of its rule, we bear public testimony that we have renounced the devil, his pomp, and his angels.”
21 Herod. ii. 62: “At Sais, when the assembly takes place for the sacrifices (to Minerva, or Neith), there is one night on which the inhabitants all burn a multitude of lights in the open air round their houses. . . . these burn the whole night, and give to the festival the name of the Feast of Lamps ( Lncnokaivh).”
22 Fountains and rivers had each its own deity or nymph, to whom sacrifices were offered, and incense burned.
23 e J" tou`to dievbhsan. These words are omitted in many Mss., and regarded by the Benedictine Editor as a spurious addition made to complete the construction. The words h) toiau`ta at the end of the sentence are better omitted, as in servile good Mss.
24 Cat. iv. 37: Apost. Const. vi.:
“Be not a diviner, for that leads to idolatry. . . . Thou shalt not use enhancements or purgations for thy child. Thou shalt not be a soothsayer nor a diviner by great or little birds. Nor shalt thou learn wicked arts; for all these things has the Law forbidden.” Dt 18,10-11.
25 Apost. Const. 7,41: “And after his renunciation let him in his association (suntassovmeno") say, I associate myself with Christ.”
26 peiraqhvsh (Cod. Mon. 1) is a better reading than peirasqhvsh. Cf.Plat). Laches, 188 E: tw`n e(rgwn eAEpeiravqhn.
27 (Ph 3,13. On the pillar of salt, see Wisd. 10,7: “Of whose wickedness even to this day the wast land that smoketh testimony, . . . and a standing pillar of salt monument of an unbelieving soul.” Joseph). Ant. I. 11,4: “Moreover I have seen it, for it remains even unto this day.” Bp. Lightfoot, Clem. Rm Ep. ad Cor. xi. remarks that the region abounds in pillars of salt, and “Mediaeval and even modern travellers have delighted to identify one or other of these with Lot’s wife.”
28 Da 2,35 Da 2,45.
29 (Is 28,15).
30 Cf. S. Amros). De Mysteriis, c. 2,7: “Ad orientem converteris; qui enim renunciat diabolo ad Christum convertitur:” “Where he plainly intimates. . . . that turning to the East was a symbol of their aversion from Satan and conversion unto Christ, that is, from darkness to light, from serving idols, to serve Him, who is the Sun of Righteousness and Fountain of Light” (Bingh). Ant.xi. 7,7).
31 Cf). Didaché. 7,1; Justin M). Apolog. I. c. 61 A; Swainson, Creeds, c. 3,on the short Baptismal Professions. “The writings of S. Cyprian distinctly tell us, that in his day the form of interrogation at Baptism was fixed and definite. He speaks of the “Usitata et legitma verba interrogationis,” — and we know as distinctly that the interrogation included the words,
"Dost thou believe in God the Father, in His Son Christ, in the Holy spirit? Dost thou believe in remission of sins and eternal life through the Church?”
32 (1P 5,9,
33 (Is 25,8 Ap 7,17,
35 (Is 59,10.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death? &c. .... for ye are not under the Law, but under grace.
1). These daily introductions into the Mysteries1 , and new instructions, which are the announcements of new truths, are profitable to us; and most of all to you, who have been renewed from an old state to a new. Therefore, I shall necessarily lay before you the sequel of yesterday’s Lecture, that ye may learn of what those things, which were done by you in the inner chamber2 , were symbolical.
2. As soon, then, as ye entered, ye put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds3 . Having stripped yourselves, ye were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree4 . For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, ye may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the aid man, which waxeth corrupt in the lusts of deceit5 . May the soul which has once put him off, never again put him on, but say with the Spouse of Christ in the Song of Songs, I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on6 ? O wondrous thing! ye were naked in the sight of all, and were not ashamed7 ; for truly ye bore the likeness of the first-formed Adam, who was naked in the garden, and was not ashamed.
3. Then, when ye were stripped, ye were anointed with exorcised oil8 , from the very hairs of your head to your feet, and were made partakers of the good olive-tree, Jesus Christ. For ye were cut off from the wild olive-tree9 , and grafted into the good one, and were made to share the fatness of the true olive-tree. The exorcised oil therefore was a symbol of the participation of the fatness of Christ, being a charm to drive away every trace of hostile influence. For as the breathing of the saints, and the invocation of the Name of God, like fiercest flame, scorch and drive out evil spirits10 , so also this exorcised oil receives such virtue by the invocation of God and by prayer, as not only to burn and cleanse away the traces of sins, but also to chase away all the invisible powers of the evil one.
4. After these things, ye were led to the holy pool11 of Divine Baptism, as Christ was carried from the Cross to the Sepulchre which is before our eyes And each of you was asked, whether he believed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and ye made that saving confession, and descended three times into the water, and ascended again; here also hinting by a symbol at the three days burial of Christ12 . For as our Saviour passed three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, so you also in your first ascent out of the water, represented the first day of Christ in the earth, and by your descent, the night; for as he who is in the night, no longer sees, but he who is in the day, remains in the light, so in the descent, as in the night, ye saw nothing, but in ascending again ye were as in the day. And at the self-same moment ye were both dying and being born; and that Water of salvation was at once your grave and your mother. And what Solomon spoke of others will suit you also; for he said, in that case, There is a time to bear and a time to die13 ; but to you, in the reverse order, there was a time to die and a time to be born; and one and the same time effected both of these, and your birth went hand in hand with your death.
5. O strange and inconceivable thing! we did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again; but our imitation was in a figure, and our salvation in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things He has freely bestowed upon us, that we, sharing His sufferings by imitation, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and suffered anguish; while on me without pain or toil by the fellowship of His suffering He freely bestows salvation.
6. Let no one then suppose that Baptism is merely the grace of remission of sins, or further, that of adoption; as John’s was a baptism14 conferring only remission of sins: whereas we know full well, that as it purges our sins, and ministers15 to us the gift of the Holy Ghost, so also it is the counterpart16 of the sufferings of Christ. For this cause Paul just now cried aloud and said, Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into His death17 . These words he spoke to some who were disposed to think that Baptism ministers to us the remission of sins, and adoption, but has not further the fellowship also, by representation, of Christ’s true sufferings.
7. In order therefore that we might learn, that whatsoever things Christ endured, For Us and for Our Salvation18 He suffered them in reality and not in appearance, and that we also are made partakers of His sufferings, Paul cried with all exactness of truth, For if we have been planted together with the likeness of His death, we shall be also with the likeness of His resurrection. Well has he said, planted together19 . For since the true Vine was planted in this place, we also by partaking in the Baptism of death have been planted together with Him. And fix thy mind with much attention on the words of the Apostle. He said not, “For if we have been planted together with His death,” but, with the likeness of His death. For in Christ’s case there was death in reality, for His soul was really separated from His body, and real burial, for His holy body was wrapt in pure linen; and everything happened really to Him; but in your ease there was only a likeness of death and sufferings, whereas of salvation there was not a likeness but a reality.
8. Having been sufficiently instructed in these things, keep them, I beseech you, in your remembrance; that I also, unworthy though I be, may say of you, Now I love you20 , because ye always remember me, and hold fast the traditions, which I delivered unto you. And God, who has presented you as if were alive from the dead21 , is able to grant unto you to walk in newness of life22 : because His is the glory and the power, now and for ever. Amen).
2 The renunciation and the profession of faith were made in the outer chamber or vestibule of the Baptistery.
3 (Col 3,9,
4 Col 2,15. Cyril’s use of this passage agrees best with the interpretation that Christ, having been clothed with the likeness of sinful flesh during His life on earth, submitted therein to the assaults of the powers of evil, but on the Cross threw off form Himself both it and them.
5 (Ep 4,22,
6 (Ct 5,3 Ct 5,
7 See Dict. Christ. Antiq. “Baptism,” § 48: The Unclothing of the Catechumens: Bingh). Ant. XI. 11,1: All “persons were baptized naked, either in imitation of Adam in Paradise, or our Saviour upon the Cross, or to signify their putting off the body of sin, and the old man with his deeds.”
8 Apost. Const. 7,22: “But thou shalt beforehand anoint the person with holy oil (eAElaivw), and afterward baptize him with water, and n the conclusion shat seal him with the ointment (muvrw), that the anointing (crivsma) may be a participation of the Holy Spirit, and the water a symbol of the death, and the ointment the seal of the Covenants. But if there be neither oil nor ointment, water suffices both for anointing, and for a seal, and for a confession of Him who died, or indeed is dying with us.” The previous anointing “with oil sanctified by prayer” is mentioned in the Clementine Recognitions, III. c. 67, and in the Pseudo-Justin, Quoestiones ad Orthodoxos, Qu. 137. It was not however universal, and seems to have been unknown in Africa, not being mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (Poed. II. c. 8,On the use of ointments), nor Tertullian, nor Augustine.
9 On the significance of the wild olive-tree, see Irenaeus, V. 10.
10 See Index, “Exorcism.”
11 kalumbhvqran. The pool or piscina was deep enough for total immersion, and large enough for many to be baptized at once. Cf. Bingh). Ant. VIII. 7,2; XI. 11,2, 3;. For engravings of the very ancient Baptisteries at Aquileia and Ravenna, shewing the form of the font or piscina, see Dict. Christian Ant.“Baptistery.”
12 The same significance is attributed to the trine immersion by many Fathers, Burt a different explanation is given by Tertullian (Adv. Praxean, c. xxvi).: “Not once only, but three times, we are immersed into the several Persons at the mention of their several names.” Gregory of Nyssa (On the Baptism of Christ, p. 520 in this Series) joins both reasons together: “By doing this thrice we represent for ourselves that grace of the Resurrection which was wrought in three days: and this we do, not receiving the Sacrament in silence, but while there are spoken over us the Names of the Three Sacred Persons on whom we believed, &c.” Compare p. 529. Cf). Apost Const. VIII. § 47, Can. 50: “If any Bishop or Presbyter does not perform the three immersions of one initiation, but one immersion made into the death of Christ, let him be deprived.”
Milles in his note on this passage mentions that “this form of Baptism is still used in the Greek Church. See Eucholog. p. 355. Ed. Jac. Goar. and his notes p. 365”.
13 Qo 3,2.
14 Tertullian (De Baptismo, c. 10) denies that John’s Baptism availed for the remission of sins: “If repentance is a thing human, its baptism must necessarily be of the same nature: else if it had been celestial, it would have given both the Holy Spirit and the remission of sins.” Cyril’s doctrine is more in accordance with the language of the Fathers generally, and of St. Mc 1,4 Lc 3,3.
16 aAEntivtupon. The “Antitype” is here the sign or memorial of that which is past, and no longer actually present: see note 6 on 21,1. Cf. He 9,24.
17 (Rm 6,3 In the following sentence several Mss. have a different reading: “Theses things perhaps he said to some who were disposed to think that Baptism ministers remission of sins only, and not adoption, and that further it has not the fellowship, &c.” Against this reading, approve by Milles, the Benedictine Editor argues that in Rm 6,3, 4, there is no reference to adoption, but only to the fellowship of Chris’s Passion, and that Cyril quotes the passage only to prove the latter, the gift of adoption being generally admitted, and therefore not in question.
18 This clause is contained in the Nicene Creed, and in that which was offered to the Council by Eusebius as the ancient Creed of Caesarea. It probably formed part of the Creed of Jerusalem, though it is not found in the titles of the Lectures, nor specially explained.
19 Ib. 6,5. Cyril gives the phrase “planted together” a special application to those who had been baptized in the same place where Christ had been buried.
20 (1Co 11,2: Now I praise you, &c.
21 Rm 5,13.
22 Rm 5,4.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, &c. .... that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
1). Having been baptized into Christ, and put on Christ1 , ye have been made comformable to the Son of God; for God having foreordained us unto adoption as sons2 , made us to be conformed to the body of Christ’s glory3 . Having therefore become partakers of Christ4 , ye are properly called Christs, and of you God said, Touch not My Christs5 , or anointed. Now ye have been made Christs, by receiving the antitype6 of the Holy Ghost; and all things have been wrought in you by imitation7 , because ye are images of Christ. He washed in the river Jordan, and having imparted of the fragrance8 of His Godhead to the waters, He came up from them; and the Holy Ghost in the fulness of His being9 lighted on Him, like resting upon like10 . And to you in like manner, after you had come up from the pool of the sacred streams, there was given an Unction11 , the anti-type of that wherewith Christ was anointed; and this is the Holy Ghost; of whom also the blessed Esaias, in his prophecy respecting Him, said in the person of the Lord, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. because He hath anointed Me: He hath sent Me to preach glad tidings to the poor12 .
2. For Christ was not anointed by men with oil or material ointment, but the Father having before appointed Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, anointed Him with the Holy Ghost, as Peter says, Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Ghost13 David also the Prophet cried, saying, Thy throne, O God, is far ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom; Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God even Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows14 . And as Christ was in reality crucified, and buried, and raised, and you are in Baptism accounted worthy of being crucified, buried, and raised together with Him in a likeness, so is it with the unction also. As He was anointed with an ideal15 oil of gladness, that is, with the Holy Ghost, called oil of gladness, because He is the author of spiritual gladness, so ye were anointed with ointment, having been made partakers and fellows of Christ).
3. But beware of supposing this to be plait ointment. For as the Bread of the Eucharist. after the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is mere bread no longer16 , but the Body of Christ, so also this holy ointment is no more simple ointment, nor (so to say) common, after invocation, but it is Christ’s gift of grace, and, by the advent of the Holy Ghost, is made fit to impart His Divine Nature17 . Which ointment is symbolically applied to thy forehead and thy other senses18 ; and while thy body is anointed with the visible ointment, thy soul is sanctified by the Holy and life-giving Spirit.
4. And ye were first anointed on the forehead, that ye might be delivered from the shame, which the first man who transgressed bore about with him everywhere; and that with unveiled face ye might reflect as a mirror the glory of the Lord19 . Then on your ears; that ye might receive the ears which are quick to hear the Divine Mysteries, of which Esaias said, The Lord gave me also an ear to hear20 ; and the Lord Jesus in the Gospel, He that hath ears to hear let him hear21 . Then on the nostrils; that receiving the sacred ointment ye may say, We are to God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved22 . Afterwards on your breast; that having put on the breast-plate of righteousness, ye may stand against the wiles of the devil23 . For as Christ after His Baptism, and the visitation of the Holy Ghost, went forth and vanquished the adversary, so likewise ye, after Holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the whole armour of the Holy Ghost, are to stand against the power of the adversary, and vanquish it, saying, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me24 .
5. Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.
6. Moreover, you should know that in the old Scripture there lies the symbol of this Chrism. For what time Moses imparted to his brother the command of God, and made him High-priest, after bathing in water, he anointed him; and Aaron was called Christ or Anointed, evidently from the typical Chrism. So also the High-priest, in advancing Solomon to the kingdom, anointed him after he had bathed in Gihon25 . To them however these things happened in a figure, but to you not in a figure, but in truth; because ye were truly anointed by the Holy Ghost. Christ is the beginning of your salvation; for He is truly the First-fruit, and ye the mass26 ; but if the First-fruit be holy, it is manifest that Its holiness will pass to the mass also.
7. Keep This unspotted: for it shall teach you all things, if it abide in you, as you have just heard declared by the blessed John, discoursing much concerning this Unction27 . For this holy thing is a spiritual safeguard of the body, and salvation of the soul. Of this the blessed Esaias prophesying of old time said, And on this mountain,—(now he calls the Church a mountain elsewhere also, as when he says, In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be manifest28 ;)—on this mountain shall the Lord make unto all nations a feast; they shall drink wine, they shall drink gladness, they shall anoint themselves with ointment29 . And that he may make thee sure, hear what he says of this ointment as being mystical; Deliver all these things to the nations, for the counsel of the Lord is unto all nations30 . Having been anointed, therefore, with this holy ointment, keep it unspotted and unblemished in you, pressing forward by good works, and being made well-pleasing to the Captain of your salvation, Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen).
1 (Ga 3,27,
2 (Ep 1,5,
3 (Ph 3,21,
4 (He 3,14,
5 (Ps 105,15.
6 aAEntivtupon. Cat. 20,6; 23,20. Twice in this section as in He 9,24 (aAEntivtupa tw`n aAElhqinw`n), aAEntivtupon is the copy or figure representing the original pattern (tuvpo" Ac 7,44). Otherwise (as in Cat. 10,11; 13,19; 22,3) tuvpo" is the figure to be subsequently realised in the antitype.
7 eiAEkonikw`". . . . eivkovne" tou` Cristou`.
8 Crwvtwn, literally “tinctures.” The Ben. Ed. writes: “For fwvtwn we have written cswvtwn with Codd. Coisl. Ottob. Roe, Casaub., &c. . . But we must write crwvtwn from crw`ta, not crw`twn from crw`te". Authors use the word crw`ta to signify the effluence of an odour. So Gregory of Nyssa takes it in his 3rd Homily on the Song of Songs, p. 512; and S. Maximus in Question 37 on Scripture: ‘crw`ta we say is the godliness (euqsebeian) whereby S. Paul was to theone a savour of life unto life0’. . . In the Procatechesis, § 15, Cyril calls the waters of Baptism u Jdavtwn cristofovrwn eAEcovntwn euAEwdivan. If however any one prefers the reading fwvtwn, he may defend himself by the authority of Epiphanius, who in the Exposition of the Faith, c. 15, says that Christ descending into the water gave rather than received,. . . . illuminating them, and empowering them for a type of what was to be accomplished in Him.” According to the Ebionite Gospel of St. Matthew in Epiphanius (hoer. 30,Ebionitoe. c. 13), when Jesus came up out of the water a great light shone around the place: a tradition to which the Benedictine Editor thinks the reading fwvtwn may refer. Justin M. (Dialog. c. lxxxviii).: “When Jesus had stepped into the water, a fire was kindled in the Jordan.” Otto quotes the legend, as found in Orac. Sibyll. 7,81–83:—
[O" se Lovgon yevnnhse Pathvr Pneu`mj o[rnin a[fhken,
jOxu;n aAEpaggelth`ra lovgwn, Lovgon u(dasin a Jgoi`"
jRaivnwn, so;n Bavptisma dij ou| puro;" eAExefaavnqh".
9 ouAEsiwvdh" eAEpifoivhsi" eAEgevneto. The Benedictine Editor understands this phrase as an allusion to the descent of the Holy Ghost on Jesus in a substantial bodily form. So Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. 44,17), says that the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles ouAEsiwdw`" kai; swmatikw`". But Anastasius Sinaita interprets ouAEsiwdw`" in this latter passage as meaning “in the essence and reality of His (Divine ) Person:” and this latter sense agreeing with the frequent use of ouAEsiwdh" by Athanasius is well rendered by Canon Mason (The Relation of Confirmation to baptism, p. 343, “in the fulness of His being.”
10 Cf. Greg. Naz). Orat. xxxix: “The Sprit also bears witness to His Godhead, for he comes to that which is like Himself.”
11 Cf. Tertullian, De Baptismo, c. 7: “Exinde egressi de lavacro perungimur benedictâ unetione.” It is clear that the Unction mentioned in these passages was conferred at the same time and place as Baptism. Whether it formed part of that Sacrament, or was regarded by Cyril as a separate and independent rite, has been made a matter of controversy. See Index, “Chrism.”
12 (Is 61,1,
13 Ac 10,38.
14 (Ps 45,6-7.
15 nohtw` cannot here be translated “spiritual” because of pneumativkh`" immediately following. Cf. 1,4, note.
16 Compare xix. 7; 23,7, 19: and the section on “Eucharist” in the Introduction.
17 Cristou` cavpisma kai; Pneuvmato" aAEgivou parousiva th`" auAEtou` Qeovhto" eAEnerghtiko;n ginovmenon. The meaning of this passage seems to have been obscured by divergent views of the order and construction of the words. In the Oxford translation, followed by Dr. Pusey (Real Presence, p. 357), the Chrism is “the gift of Christ, and by the presence of His godhead it caused in us the Holy Ghost.”” The order of the operations proper to the two Divine Persons seems thus to be inverted.
According to the Benedictine Editor, and Canon Mason (Relation of Confirmation to Baptism, p. 344), it is “Christ’s gracious gift, and is made effectual to convey the Holy Ghost by the presence of His own Godhead,” — i.e. apparently, the Godhead of the Holy Ghost conveys the Holy Ghost.
But according to the context “the presence” must be that of the Divine Person who has been invoked, namely the Holy Ghost: and this is clearly expressed in the order of the words Pneuvmato" a Jgivou parousiva th`" auAEtou` qeovthto" eAEnerghtikovn. The connexion of the words Pn. a Jg. parousiva is put beyond doubt by the Invocation in the Liturgy of S. James quoted in Myst. V. 7, note 8. The true meaning thus seems to be that the Chrism is Christ’s gift of grace, and imparts His Divine nature by the presence of the Holy Ghost after the Invocation. This meaning is confirmed by the formula given in Apost. Const. 7,44, for the consecration of the Chrism: “Grant also now that this ointment may be made effectual in the baptized, that the sweet savour of Thy Christ may remain firm and stable in him, and that, having died with Him, he may rise again and live with Him.” The Chrism is thus regarded as “the Seal” which confirms the proper benefits of Baptism.
18 eAEpiv metwvpon kai; tw`n a[llwn sou aiAEsqhthrivwn. The forehead may be regarded as representing the sense of touch; or we may translate, according to the idiomatic use of a[llo", “thy forehead and thine organs of sense besides.” See Winer, Grammar of N. T. Greek, P. III. Sect. 59,7: Riddell, Digest of Platonic Idioms, § 46.
19 (2Co 3,18.
20 (Is 50,4,
21 (Mt 11,15.
22 (2Co 2,15.
23 (Ep 6,14, and Ep 6,11.
24 (Ph 4,13.
25 (1R 1,39).
26 Rm 11,16.
27 (1Jn 2,20: But ye have an unction (cpi`sma) from the Holy One.
28 (Is 2,2,
29 Is 25,6. The Septuagint differs much from the Hebrew, both here and in the following verse). R.C. “And in this mountain shall the Lord of host make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.”
30 Is 5,7. R.V. “And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.”
Cyril of Jerus. 1800