Chapter 1. Introduction. Reason for writing; certain personsindifferent about Arianism; Ariansnot Christians, because sectaries always take the name of their. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters Four Discourses Against the Arians. Reason for writing; certain persons indifferent about Arianism; Arians not .. These Orations and Discourses seem written to shew the vital importance of the. Look Inside The Orations of St Athanasius Against the Arians Although Arianism was condemned as heretical at the Council of Nicaea in , it continued to.
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Nor let them make a jest of it, when they feel shame at their disgraceful appellation; rather, if they be ashamed, let them hide their faces, or let them recoil from their own irreligion. Therefore He is beyond the need of any addition; nor is such as the Arians think Him. And when He received the Spiritwe it was who by Him were made recipients of It. Or when had He not delight, that a man should dare to say, ‘the Image is out of nothing,’ and ‘The Father had not delight before the Image was originated?
For if the doctrine of God is now perfect in a Triad, and this is the true and only Religion, and this is the good and the truthit must have been always so, unless the good and the truth be something that came after, and the doctrine of God is completed by additions.
How can He be really in the Fatherif His purpose is indeterminate? And what is this but that He who existed in form of Godthe Son of a noble Father, humbled Himself and became a servant instead afians us and in our behalf? For things which are from without are possessions, and pass from one to another; but my son is from me, proper and similar to my essencenot become mine from another, but begotten of me; wherefore I too am wholly in him, while I remain myself what I am.
For from athanasus one question the whole case on both athanasiuz may be determined, what is fitting to say — He was, or He was not; always, or before His birth; eternalor from this and from then; trueor by adoption, and from participation and in idea ; to call Him one of things originated, or to unite Him to the Father; to consider Him unlike the Father in essenceor like and proper to Him; a creature, or Him through whom the creatures were originated; that He is the Father’s Word, or that there is another word beside Him, and that by this other He was originated, and by another wisdom; and that He is only named Wisdom and Word, and has become a partaker of this wisdom, and second to it?
How shall the alterable possibly be like the Unalterable? Therefore it is more pious and more accurate to signify God from the Son and call Him Father, than to name Him from His works only and call Him Unoriginate.
And as He Himself, who sanctifies all, says also tahanasius He sanctifies Himself to the Father for our sakes, not that the Word may become holybut that He Himself may in Himself sanctify all of us, in like manner we must take the present phrase, ‘He highly exalted Him,’ not that He Himself should be exalted, for He is the athanassius, but that He may become righteousness for usand we may be exalted in Him, arianz that we may enter the gates of heaven, which He has also opened for us, the forerunners saying, ‘Lift up your gates, O you rulers, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.
The Singer speaks oraions us all as ‘fellows’ or ‘partakers’ of the Lord: It does but remain, that they should deny Him also, because they understand not how God is aganst, and what the Father is, now that, foolish men, they measure by themselves the Offspring of the Father.
For what can they say from it, but that ‘God was not always a Father, but became so afterwards; the Son was not agains, for He was not before His generation; He is not from the Fatherbut He, as others, has come into subsistence out of nothing; He is not proper to the Father’s essencefor He is a creature and work?
Thhe with such an initiation we too, being numbered among works, are made sons, and using the name of the Fatheracknowledge from that name the Word also in the Father Himself. For if the Lord had not become man, we had not been redeemed tue sinsnot raised from the dead, but remaining dead under the earth; not exalted into heaven, but lying in Hades.
For ‘therefore,’ says he, ‘as foreknowing that He would be good, did God by anticipation bestow on Him this glorywhich afterwards, as man, He attained from virtue.
But those who follow the heretics, though they have innumerable successors in their heresy, yet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it. This being so understood, it is parallel also respecting the Sonthat whatever, and however often, is said, such as, ‘He became’ and ‘become,’ should ever have the same sense: But if such be the word of menwho are passible and partitive, why athansius they athaansius passions and parts in the instance of the immaterial and indivisible Godthat under pretence of reverence they may deny the true and natural generation of the Son?
But if they take advantage of the word ‘wherefore,’ as connected with the passage in the Psalm, ‘Wherefore Godorattions Your Godhas anointed You,’ for their ariams purposes, let these fhe in Scripture and masters in irreligion knowthat, as before, the word ‘wherefore’ does not imply reward of virtue or conduct in the Word, but the reason why He came down to us, and of the Spirit’s anointing which took place in Him for our sakes.
Accordingly, should any one, not aware of their craft, answer, ‘the Unoriginated is one,’ immediately they spirit out their own venom, saying, ‘Therefore the Son is among things originated,’ and well have we said, ‘He was not before His generation. For how in that case can any at all know God as their Father? And as a vesture shall Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed, but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail. Or why blaspheme the Word as after times, by whom even the ages were made?
But such heretics no Christian would bear; it belongs to Greeks, to introduce an originated Triad, and to level It with againsr originate; for these do admit of deficiencies and additions; but the faith of Christians acknowledges the blessed Triad as unalterable and perfect and ever what It was, neither adding to It what is more, nor imputing to It any loss for both ideas are irreligiousand therefore it dissociates It from all things generated, and it guards as ortions and worships the unity of the Godhead Itself; and shuns the Arian blasphemiesand confesses and acknowledges that the Son was ever; for He is eternalas is the Father oration, of whom He is the Eternal Word, — to which subject let us now return again.
But if they ask according as Asterius ruled it, as if ‘what is not a work but was always’ tje unoriginate, then orstions must constantly be told that the Son as well as the Father must in this sense be called unoriginate.
Discourse 1 Against the Arians
For this assault upon the Son makes the blasphemy recoil upon the Father; as if He devised for Himself a Wisdom, and Word, and Son from without ; for whichever of these titles you use, you denote the offspring from the Fatheras has been said.
To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally. For it is plain that not at all times shall we athaasius the Father in the Sonbecause the Son is ever altering, arrians is of changing nature. These are portions of Arius’s fables as they occur in that jocose composition.
However, when in their controversies with Churchmen they hear from them of the real and only Word of the Fatherand yet venture thus to speak of Him, does not their doctrine then become the most loathsome that can be found? If then He is tye a Son, but a work made out of nothing, they have but to prove it; and then they are at liberty, as if imagining about a athanasiuw, to cry out, ‘There was once when He was not;’ for things atganasius are originated were not, and have come to be.
And He, on the other hand, if now promoted, how did He before rejoice in the presence of the Father? For the Father is unalterable and unchangeable, and is always in the same state and the same; but if, as they hold, the Son is alterable, and not always the same, but of an ever-changing nature, how can such a one be the Father’s Image, not having the likeness of His unalterableness?
And, as Daniel saw, myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands were ministering unto Him? But if they say this of the Saviour also, it againt that He is neither very God nor very Son, nor like the Fathernor in any wise has God for a Father of His being according to essencebut of the mere grace given to Him, and for a Creator of His being according to essenceafter the similitude of all others. But what is not from our fathers, but has come to ariians in this day, how can it be but that of which the blessed Paul has foretold, that ‘in the latter times some shall depart from the sound faithgiving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, in the againsr of liars; cauterized in their own conscienceand turning from the truth?
So that this their objection does not hold; and naturally; for denying the Logos they in consequence ask questions which are illogical. For he, earnest as he is in his advocacy of the Arian heresyand maintaining that the Unoriginate is one, runs counter to them in saying, that the Wisdom of God is unoriginate and without beginning also. For if He received what He had as a reward of His purpose, and would not have had it, unless He had needed it, and had His work to show for it, then having gained it from virtue and promotion, with reason had He ‘therefore’ been called Son and Godwithout being very Son.
Four Orations Against the Arians | work by Athanasius |
Still Arianism was contrasted with other heresies on this point, as in these two respects; 1. It is not the Word then, viewed as the Word, that is promoted; for He had all things and has them athanasiks but men, who have in Him and through Him their origin of receiving them.
Further, Asterius, the unprincipled sophist, the patron too of this heresyhas added in his own treatise, that what is not made, but is ever, is ‘unoriginate. But this is not so: For brutes and men, after a Creator has begun them, are begotten by succession; and the son, having been begotten of a father who was otations son, becomes accordingly in his turn a father to a son, in inheriting from his father that by which he himself athanasiys come to be.
Four Orations Against the Arians
For ever habited in cloke and vest, he was pleasant of address, ever persuading souls and flattering; wherefore what was his very first work but to withdraw from the Church in one body as many as seven hundred women who professed agwinst Now when did He athanasous unto us by His Son, and when did purging of sins take place? For after making mention of the creation, he naturally speaks of the Framer’s Power as athanasus in it, which Power, I say, is the Word of Godby whom all things have been made.
And is it not a grievous errorto have material thoughts about what is immaterial, and because of the weakness of their oations nature to deny what is natural and proper to the Father?
But, since he hymned Him as the eternal Godsaying, ‘Your throne, O Godwgainst for ever and ever,’ and has declared that all other things partake of Him, what conclusion must we draw, but that He is distinct from originated things, and He only the Father’s veritable Word, Radiance, and Wisdom, which all things originate partakebeing sanctified by Him in the Spirit?
But if they do not dare to say this openly, and the Son is confessed to be, not from without, but a natural offspring from the Fatherand that there is nothing which is a restraint to God for not as man is He, but more than the sun, or rather the God of the sunit follows that the Word is from Him and is ever co-existent with Him, through whom also the Father caused that all things which were not should be.
For if every interval in the ages is measured, and of all the ages the Word is King and Maker, therefore, whereas no interval at all exists prior to Himit athwnasius madness to say, ‘There was once when the Everlasting was not,’ and ‘From nothing is the Son. But ye not only by Catholics but also by heretics, those who agree athnaasius you and those who disagree, are called Pelagians; as even by heresies are Arians called Arians.