« PreviousContinue »
or determination, or establishment, He was not, for He is not ingenerate. And we are persecuted for saying, The Son has an origin, but God is unoriginate; for this we are under persecution, and for saying that He is out of nothing, inasmuch as He is neither part of God, nor of any subject matter. Therefore we are persecuted; the rest thou knowest. I pray that thou be strong in the Lord, remembering our afflictions, fellow-Lucianist, truly named Eusebius ?."
2. The second letter is written in the name of himself and his partisans of the Alexandrian Church; who, finding themselves excommunicated, had withdrawn to Asia, where they had a field for propagating their opinions. It was composed under the direction of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and is far more temperate and cautious than the former.
“To. Alexander, our blessed Pope and Bishop, the Priests and Deacons send health in the Lord. Our hereditary faith, which thou too, blessed Pope, hast taught us, is this :—We believe in One God, alone ingenerate, alone everlasting, alone unoriginate, alone truly God, alone immortal, alone wise, alone good, alone sovereign, alone judge of all, ordainer, and dispenser, unchangeable and unalterable, just and good, of the Law and the Prophets, and of the New Covenant. We believe that this God gave birth to the Only-begotten Son before age-long times, through whom He has made those ages themselves, and all things else; that He generated Him, not in semblance, but in truth, giving Him a real subsistence (or hypostasis), at His own will, so as to be unchangeable and unalterable, God's perfect creature, but not as other creatures, His production, but not as other productions; nor as Valentinus maintained, an offspring (probole); nor again, as Manichæus, a consubstantial part; nor, as Sabellius, a Son-Father, which is to make two out of one; nor, as Hieracas, one torch from another, or a flame divided into two; nor, as if He were previously in being, and afterwards generated or created again to be a Son, a notion condemned by thyself, blessed Pope, in full Church and among the assembled Clergy; but, as we affirm, created at the will of God before times and before ages, and having life and being from the Father, who gave subsistence as to Him, so to His glorious perfections. For, when the Father gave to Him the inheritance of all things, He did not thereby deprive Himself of attributes, which are His ingenerately, who is the Source of all things.
8 These words are selected by Arius, as being found in Scripture; [Vide Heb. i. 5. Rom. i. 4. Prov. viii. 22, 23.]
9 [i. e. the pious, or rather, the orthodox.]
“So there are Three Subsistences (or Persons); and, whereas God is the Cause of all things, and therefore unoriginate simply by Himself, the Son on the other hand, born of the Father time-apart, and created and established before all periods, did not exist before He was born, but being born of the Father time-apart, was brought into substantive existence (subsistence), He alone by the Father alone. For He is not eternal, or co-eternal, or co-ingenerate with the Father; nor hath an existence together with the Father, as if there were two ingenerate Origins; but God is before all things, as being a Monad, and the Origin of all;--and therefore before the Son also, as indeed we have learned from thee in thy public preaching. Inasmuch then as it is from God that He hath His being, and His glorious perfections, and His life, and His charge of all things, for this reason God is His Origin, as being His God and before Him. As to such phrases as 'from Him,' and 'from the womb;' and 'issued forth from the Father, and am come,' if they be understood, as they are by some, to denote a part of the consubstantial, and a probole (offspring), then the Father will be of a compound nature, and divisible, and changeable, and corporeal; and thus, as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be subjected to the properties of matter. I pray for thy health in the Lord, blessed Pope"."
3. About the same time Arius wrote his Thalia, or song for banquets and merry-makings, from which the following is extracted. He begins thus :-“ According to the faith of God's elect, who know God, holy children, sound in their creed, gifted with the Holy Spirit of God, I have received these things from the partakers of wisdom, accomplished, taught of God, and altogether wise. Along their track I have pursued my course with like opinions,—1, the famous among men, the much-suffering for God's glory; and, taught of God, I have gained wisdom and knowledge.” After this exordium, he proceeds to declare, " that God made the Son the origin (or beginning) of creation, being Himself unoriginate, and adopted Him to be His Son; who, on the other hand, has no property of divinity in His own Hypostasis, not being equal, nor consubstantial with Him; that God is invisible, not only to the creatures created through the Son, but to the Son Himself; that there is a Trinity, but not with an equal glory, the Hypostases being incommunicable with each other, One infinitely more glorious than the other; that the Father is foreign in substance to the Son, as existing unoriginate; that by God's will the Son became Wisdom, Power, the Spirit, the Truth, the Word, the Glory, and the Image of God; that the Father, as being Almighty, is able to give existence to a being equal to the Son, though not superior to Him; that, from the time that He was made, being a mighty God, He has hymned the praises of His Superior; that He cannot investigate His Father's nature, it being plain that the originated cannot comprehend the unoriginate; nay, that He does not know His own ?."
i Before age-long periods, apo xpóvwv aiwviwv; giving Him a real subsistence, 'mootÞoavta; Son-Father, vio atópa [Vide Ath. Tr. p. 97, k and p. 514, 0; also Didym. de Trin. iii. 18]; gave subsistence, as to Him, so to His glorious perfections, τάς δόξας συνυποστήσαντος αυτώ; Three Subsistences, τρεις υποστάσεις ; born titne-apart, άχρόνως γεννηθείς; of a compound nature, ovvetos. The texts to which Arius refers are Ps. cx. 3, and John xvi. 23.
4. On the receipt of the letter from Arius, which was the first document here exhibited, Eusebius of Nicomedia addressed a letter to Paulinus of Tyre, of which the following is an extract:-“We have neither heard of two Ingenerates, nor of One divided into two, subjected to any material affection; but of One Ingenerate, and one generated by Him really; not from His sub
2 Incommunicable, ανεπίμικτοι, (this is in opposition to the περιχώρησις, or co-inherence); foreign in substance févos Kat' ovolav; investigate, ets xvido au.
stance, not partaking of the nature of the Ingenerate at all, but made altogether other than He in nature and in power, though made after the perfect likeness of the character and excellence of His Maker. . . But, if He were of Him in the sense of “from Him,' as if a part of Him,or from the effluence of His substance", He would not be spoken of in Scripture) as created or established ... for what exists as being from the Ingenerate ceases to be created or established, as being from its origin ingenerate. But, if His being called generate suggests the idea that He is made out of the Father's substance, and has from Him a sameness of nature, we know that not of Him alone does Scripture use the word “generate, but also of things altogether unlike the Father in nature. For it says of men, 'I have begotten sons and exalted them, and they have set Me at nought;' and, “Thou hast left the God who begat thee;' and in other instances, as 'Who has given birth to the drops of dew?'... Nothing is of His substance; but all things are made at His will.”
5. Alexander, in his public accusation of Arius and his party to Alexander of Constantinople, writes thus :“They say that once the Son of God was not, and that He, who before had no existence, was at length made, made such, when He was made, as any other man is by nature. Numbering the Son of God among created things, they are but consistent in adding that He is of an alterable nature, capable of virtue and vice. ... When it is urged on them that the Saviour differs from others,
3 Generated, yeyovós ; effluence of His substance, tĘ åtroppolas tñs ovolas ; being from the Ingenerate, ek toû à yeyvýtov únápxov.