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likewise the Son; but how could we, in this case, conceive of him who is begotten as the brother of him who begets him? The Father and the Son are not begotten ék Tivos åpxîs poütapxotons, so that they would be brothers, but the Father is the point of departure and the begetter (upxò kai yevvýtop) of the Son: the former is Father only; the latter, Son only. When we now designate the generation by the Father as eternal, we do so with the strictest truth; for the essence or being of the Father was never incomplete, and the Son was not begotten as one human being is begotten by another, so that he would be posterior to the Father, but he is eternal as the eternal God, whose Son he is. Men beget in time, because their nature is not perfect, but God's nature is dei TéMELOS (c. Ar. 1. 14). If God had not always been the Father, and had only become so in time, he would be mutable, whereas we know that he is eternally the same (1. c. 22, 28). It is only folly to suppose that God is like a man. But as the foolish questions which the Arians ask may mislead the simple, we must ofler a reply. They say to a woman: Hadst thou a son before thou broughtest forth? Then the Son of God did not exist before he was begotten (1. c. 22). So, too, they may ask a mechanic: Canst thou furnish an article without materials ? Then neither can God do it. But they compare God to a man, only when we speak of his Son. When we assert that God creates, they refrain from such comparisons. Now even as God is not like man when he creates, so he is not like man when he begets (c. Ar. 1. 23).
2. “ The Son," the Arians again held, “ was not begotten of the essence or being of the Father, but proceeded from an external source, and was created out of nothing, for the essence or being of God is indivisible.” Here, too, Athanasius shows that the premises are false, since the divine act of generation does not resemble that of a man, and the limitations of the human body do not occur in God. He does not consist of parts like a man.
If the Sou proceeds from an external source (Ew Jev), then this source or object,
whatever it may be, intervenes between him and God, and is nearer to God than he is; Christ is then the Son of this object, which is distinct from the nature of God. And yet, as God terms him his own son (comp. toll idiou vioû, Ronn. viii. 32, and matépa idov John v. 19), he cannot proceed from a foreign source, bat necessarily derives his origin from the essence or being of God (c. Ar. 1. 28, 15).
3. The Arians further alleged : “ The Son came into being, like all things else, by the purpose and will of God” (Bouahdel και θελήσει γεγενήσαι τον υιον υπό του πατρός, c. Αr. 3. 59). Athanasius maintains that this proposition depends on the foregoing, when he says: τα γάρ μη όντα ποτέ άλλ' έξωθεν επιγινόμενα και δημιουργός βουλεύεται ποιήσαι (1. c. 61), and charges his opponents with the adoption of the heresy of the Goostic Valentinus. His mode of argumentation here, however, as in some other cases, is comparatively undecided and feeble, as in his age theological science exhibited many defects, which have since been supplied.
4. In connection with these three propositions, the Arians also set forth the following: “ The Son does not possess an equality and a unity of essence or being with the Father." He is not like the Father in essence, they alleged, inasmuch as the Logos must, like other creatures, be unlike God (úkdóτριος και ανόμοιος κατά πάντα της του πατρός ουσίας και ιδιόTITOS, C. Ar. 1. 6). Athanasius replies by referring to passages like John xiv. 9 and Heb. i. 3, “ Ile that hath seen me, hath seen the Father"; " who being the brightness of his glory," etc. The conditious and limitations of human nature should not be transferred to God. While human beings beget others in succession (katà dadoxov), and no human being is exclusively (kupíws) a father or a son, the Father is Father only, the Son a son only. He who should ask why the Son did not, in his turn, beget a son, might with equal propriety ask why the Father had not himself a father before him (c. dr. 1. 21, 22). The Arians also denied that the Son was one in essence or being with the Father (dinρημένον είναι καθ' εαυτόν και αμέτοχον κατά πάντα του παVOL. XXI. No. 81.
Tpòs Tòv vióv, c. Ar. 1. 6). Athanasius replies: Who, that hears the words of the Lord and Saviour: “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me," and "I and my Father are one” (John xiv. 11; x. 30), will dare to put asunder what the Lord and Saviour has joined together and declared to be indivisible (de Decr. 2)? The Arians bad interpreted such passages as referring to oneness of the will, and adduced the circumstance that the Son was one with the Father in thought, judgment, and will. But Athanasius replied: Then all the angels in heaven, yea, the sun, moon, and stars may be said to be one with God, since God's will was always their own, and their judgment and purposes coincided with his own. And yet, what angel would presume to say: "I and the Father are one" (c. Ar. 3. 10) ? Consequently, the equality and unity in question must be understood of the very nature and being of the Son, that is, substantially, and not merely ethically. As the essence of the Father and the Son is one and the same, the Father visits saints when the Son does, and hence the latter says: “ We (I and the Father) will come unto him," etc. (John xiv. 23). When the Father confers grace and peace, the Son confers them too, as Paul always expresses himself:
Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” If such divine gifts proceed in common from the Father and the Son, we have in this fact the evidence of the oneness of the Father and the Son (1. c. 11, 12).
5. The Arians also said: “ The Son of God, like all creatures, was subject to change, and really mutable, with respect to his nature ; but with respect to his free will he remained good during his own pleasure.” They added, that, as God bad foreseen that he would remain good, he had, by way of anticipation, bestowed the glory on bim which men receive only after they have demonstrated their virtuous tendencies (c. Ar. 1.5). Athanasius refutes these views by referring to the Son's equality of nature or being with the Father. If the Father, he says, is unchangeable, and, accordingly, always remains the same, it necessarily follows that his
image (2 Cor. iv. 4; Col. i. 15; Heb. i. 3) must also remain the same, and undergo no change; as he is begotten of the essence of the Father, he will always correspond in his whole nature and being to that divine essence. The Arians indeed make this assertion only for the purpose of severing the image from the Father, and reducing the Son to the rank of a creature (c. Ar. 1. 22). Now if the Son were mutable, how could we through him know the Father who is immutable? For he says:
“ He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father” (John xiv. 9), l. c. 35. The image of him who changes not (toll åtpétTOU), must consequently also be unchangeable (åvallowtos). To this the holy scriptures expressly give testimony, for we read in Heb. xii. 8: “ Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” and David thus gives praise to him : “ Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth ..... thou shalt endure .... thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Ps. cii. 25 – 27). How could he be the Logos and the Truth of God, if he were subject to change? Or how could be be the Wisdom of God, if he did not always remain the same? For that which is true (ånés) must continue to be the same (l. c. 36).
6. Lastly, the Arians held that the Son does not possess a perfect knowledge of the Father, inasmuch as be is himself of a different nature; they even maintained that the Son bad not a perfect knowledge of himself. “ The Father," said Arius in his Thalia, “is invisible to the Son; the Logos cannot fully and precisely behold and know his Father; the measure of his knowledge corresponds to his faculty of perception (αναλόγως τους ιδίοις μέτρους οίδε και Brértel), as our own knowledge corresponds in degree to our ability (dúvapis). Indeed, the Son does not only not know the Father precisely in consequence of the limits of his powers of comprehension (λείπει αυτώ εις το καταλαβεϊν), but he has also no perfect knowledge of his own nature or essence” (c. Ar. 1. 6, 9; de Syn. 15). The Arians reached this conclusion by assuming that the Son, as a creature,
could not possibly fathom the infinite nature of the Creator of all. Athanasius arrived at opposite results in accordance with his system that no difference in essence or being existed between the Father and the Son. In opposition to the Arian statement which was subversive of all revelation, he appealed to the saying of Christ : “ As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father” (John x. 15), and reasoned thus: If the Son does not know the Father, then, neither does the Father know the Son; it must follow that none of the revelations which Jesus Christ has given us respecting the Father can be worthy of our confidence (ad Episc. Aeg. et Lib. 16).
Thus 'Arius developed bis fundamental principle to its last results — the destruction of Christianity itself; but by this process he in reality pronounced judgment against bimself in the eyes of all who had through Christ found peace in the knowledge of God. It may indeed be objected that Arius had simply denied that Christ knew God perfectly and precisely (Tele'ws, úkpißôs), while the revelations which he did give, might nevertheless be true, and proceed from his own knowledge, and that all must concede that the revelations which Christ has given in the scriptures by no means furnish us with entire objective truth or an absolute knowledge of God. However, it may be replied, that we, as creatures of limited powers, are not, here below, competent to comprehend perfect and complete truth, and that the latter is, accordingly, not presented to us; but when Christ reveals such knowledge as we may comprehend, it must be assumed that he himself was competent to know God perfectly, as, otherwise, those portions of truth which he did disclose, would have, to his own mind, exhibited obscurity or uncertainty.
5. THE APPEAL OF ATHANASIUS TO THE ESTABLISHED
Doctrine or THE Church.
Arius was compelled to appeal to the authority of earlier teachers in order to escape the odium of having introduced