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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But if he shrinks from this as unseemly, and excludes God from that all, it is but consistent that he should also exclude from that all the Only-Begotten Son, as being proper to the Father’s essence.

If indeed it were simply ‘become’ and no more, a case might stand for the Arians ; but, whereas they are forestalled with the word ‘Son’ throughout the passage, showing that He is other than things originate, so again not agqinst the word ‘become’ occurs absolutelybut ‘better’ is immediately subjoined. This is sufficient from us in answer to their first question. They do not explain who it is they ask about, so as to allow of an answer, but they say abstractedly, ‘He who is,’ ‘him who is not.

See ye not, that this too was done and written because of us and for us, that us who are mortal and temporal, the Lord, become man, might make immortaland bring into the everlasting kingdom of heaven? But, observe, say they, God was always a Maker, nor is the power of framing adventitious to Him; does it follow then, that, because He is the Framer of all, therefore His works also are eternaland is it wicked to athanaius of them too, that they were not before origination?

However, that as before they may pass judgment on themselves, it is well to meet them on the same ground, thus: And this had not been, unless He who existed in the form of God had taken on Him a servant’s form, and oratoins humbled Himself, yielding His body to come unto death. Or again in this manner.

Four Orations Against the Arians

For he who thus speaks of that which is proper to the Father’s essencealready blasphemes the Father Himself ; since he really thinks of Him what he falsely imagines of His offspring. Though surely amid such speculations, they will be moved by the sacred poet, saying, ‘Who is he among the gods that shall be like the Lord ,’ and, ‘Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord.

Edited by Philip Schaff againxt Henry Wace. And hence a man may marvel, that, whereas many have written many treatises and abundant homilies upon the Old Testament and the New, yet in none of them is a Thalia found; nay nor among the more respectable of the Gentiles, but among those only who sing such strains over their cups, amid cheers and jokes, when men are merry, that the rest may laugh; till this marvellous Arius, taking no grave pattern, and ignorant even of what is respectable, while he stole largely from other heresies, would be original in the ludicrous, with none but Sotades for his rival.

For being forced from the conceptions or rather misconceptions of their own hearts, they fall back upon passages of divine Scriptureand here too from want of understanding, according to their wont, they discern not their meaning; but laying down their own irreligion as lrations sort of canon of interpretationthey wrest the whole of the divine oracles into accordance with it.

Unless perhaps, as accident in essenceso they would have it, viz.

CHURCH FATHERS: Four Discourses Against the Arians (Athanasius)

And ever since has Arius’s error been reckoned for a heresy more than ordinary, being known as Christ’s foe, and harbinger of Antichrist. For, behold, we take divine Scriptureand thence discourse with freedom of the religious Faith, and set it up as a light upon its candlestick, saying: Since then the Word, being the Image of the Father and immortaltook the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father; therefore also, as man, He is said because of us and for us to be highly exalted, that as by His death we all died in Christso again in the Christ Himself we might be highly exalted, being raised from the dead, and ascending into heaven, ‘whither the forerunner Jesus is for us entered, not into the figures of the truebut into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.


But those who follow the heretics, though they have innumerable successors in their heresy, yet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it.

If it be something external provided by the FatherHe will not now be partaker of the Fatherbut of what is external to Him; and no longer will He be even second after the Fathersince He has before Him this other; nor can He be called Son of the Fatherbut of that, as partaking which He has been called Son and God.

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. For the fact that the Lord, even when come in human body and called Jesus, was worshipped and believed to be God’s Son, and that through Him the Father was knownshows, as has been said, that not the Word, considered as the Word, received this so great gracebut we.

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 though we have a succession of teachers and become their disciples, yet, because we are taught by them the things of Christ, we both are, and are called, Christians all the same.

When then the man comes to that age at which nature supplies the power, immediately, with nature, unrestrained, he becomes father of the son from himself. The Singer speaks of us all as ‘fellows’ or ‘partakers’ of the Lord: And therefore the Apostle also himself, when he interprets the word ‘better,’ places its force in nothing short of the Son’s excellence over things originated, calling the one Son, the other servants; the one, as a Son with the Fathersitting on the right; and the others, as servants, standing before Him, and being sent, and fulfilling offices.

For such as is the Fathersuch must be the Image. For in that the Son reigns in His Father’s kingdom, is seated upon the same throne as the Fatherand is contemplated in the Father’s Godhead, therefore is the Word Godand whoever beholds the Sonbeholds the Father; and thus there is one God. And hence one might marvel at the obstinacy which is added to their irreligion, that, whereas the term ‘unoriginate’ has the aforesaid good sense, and admits of being used religiouslythey, in their own heresybring it forth for the dishonour of the Sonnot having read that he who honours the Son honours the Fatherand he who dishonours the Sondishonours the Father.

What then was before this? Wherefore, as says the Saviourin that they gather not with us, they scatter with the deviland keep an eye on those who slumber, that, by this second sowing of their own mortal poison, they may have companions in death. They shall perish, but You remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment. But if they say this of the Saviour also, it follows 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 as to what is proper to the Father’s essence for this we have already found to be the Sonwhat daring is it in irreligion to say that ‘This comes from nothing,’ and that ‘It was not before generation,’ but was adventitiousand can at some time cease to be again? And when were we enabled to receive It, except when the Word became man? Of all other heresies which have departed from the truth it is acknowledged that they have but devised a madnessand their irreligiousness has long since become notorious to all men.


The Apostle then, writing to the Philippians, says, arianss this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of Godthought it not a prize to be equal with God ; but emptied Himself, taking the athabasius of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. If then for our sake He sanctifies Himself, and does this when He has become man, it is very plain that the Spirit’s descent agwinst Him in Jordan was a descent upon us, because of His bearing our body.

He has [elsewhere] insisted that the enforcement of the symbol was but the rejection of the heresy, and accordingly he is here content to bring out the Catholic sense, as feeling that, if persons understood and embraced it, they would not scruple at the word. That then the Son comes not of nothing but is eternal and from the Fatheris certain even from the nature of the case; and the question of the heretics to parents exposes their perverseness; for they confess the point ariaans nature, and now have been put to shame on the point of time.

For must not He be perfect who is equal to God? Or rather they took some words of Scripture, and made their own deductions from them; viz. And since to be agianst no one of us would ever call affection or division of God’s essence for it has been shown and acknowledged that God is participated, and to be participated is the same thing as to beget ; athaansius that which is begotten is neither affection nor division of that blessed essence.

But if He is Son, as the Father says, and the Scriptures proclaim, and ‘Son’ is nothing else than what is generated from the Father; and what is generated from the Father is His Word, and Wisdom, and Radiance; what is to be said but that, in maintaining ‘Once the Son was not,’ they rob God of His Word, like plunderers, and openly predicate of Him that He was once without His proper Word and Wisdom, and that the Light was once without radiance, and the Fountain was once barren and dry?

And as the word ‘Unoriginate’ is specified relatively to things originated, so the word ‘Father’ is indicative of the Son. For since of things originate the nature is alterable, and the one portion had transgressed and the other disobeyed, as has been said, and it is not certain how they will act, but it often happens againts he who is now good afterwards alters and becomes different, so that one who was but now righteous, soon is found unrighteous, wherefore there was here also need of one unalterable, that men might have the immutability of the righteousness of the Word as an image and type for virtue.

Moreover the usage of men recognises this, and every one will confess its propriety. As we said above, so now we repeat, that the divine generation must not be compared to the nature of mennor the Son considered to be part of God athahasius, nor the generation to imply any passion whatever; God is not as man; for men beget passibly, having a transitive nature, which waits for periods by reason of its weakness.

Perhaps on seeing the counter absurdities which beset themselves, they may cease to fight against the truth. How can He be really in the Fatherif His purpose is indeterminate? Behold then what men considered the foolishness of God because of the Cross, has become of all things most honoured.