"كتابات الآباء "
ON LUKE X.
22 (MATT. XI. 27)
ON LUKE X. 22 (MATT. XI. 27)
1. This text refers not to the eternal Word but to the Incarnate.
"All things were delivered to Me by My Father. And none knoweth Who
the Son is, save the Father; and Who the Father is, save the Son,
and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal Him."
And from not perceiving this they of the sect of Arius, Eusebius and
his fellows, indulge impiety against the Lord. For they say, if all
things were delivered (meaning by ' all' the Lordship of Creation),
there was once a time when He had them not. But if He had them not.
He is not of the Father, for if He were, He would on that account
have had them always, and would not have required to receive them.
But this point will furnish all the clearer an exposure of their
folly. For the expression in question does not refer to the Lordship
over Creation, nor to presiding over the works of God, but is meant
to reveal in part the intention of the Incarnation
(<greek>ths</greek> <greek>oikonomias</greek>). For if when He was
speaking they 'were delivered to Him, clearly before He received
them, creation was void of the Word. What then becomes of the text
"in Him all things consist" (Col. i. 17)? But if simultaneously with
the origin of the Creation it was all ' delivered' to Him, such
delivery were superfluous, for ' all things were made by Him' (Job.
i. 3), and it would be unnecessary for those things of which the
Lord Himself was the artificer to be delivered over to Him. For in
making them He was Lord of the things which were being originated.
But even supposing they were ' delivered' to Him after they were
originated, see the monstrosity. For if they 'were delivered,' and
upon His receiving them the Father retired, then we are in peril of
falling into the fabulous tales which some tell, that He gave over
[His works] to the Son, and Himself departed. Or if, while the Son
has them, the Father has them also, we ought to say, not 'were
delivered,' but that He took Him as partner, as Paul did Silvanus.
But this is even more monstrous; for God is not imperfect, nor
did He summon the Son to help Him in His need; but, being Father of
the Word, He makes all things by His means, and without delivering
creation over to Him, by His means and in Him exercises Providence
over it, so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the
Father (Matt. x. 29), nor is the grass clothed without God (ib. vi.
30), but at once the Father worketh, and the Son worketh hitherto
(cf. Job. v. 17). Vain, therefore, is the opinion of the impious.
For the expression is not what they think, but designates the
2. Sense in which, and end far which all things were delivered to
the Incarnate Son.
For whereas man sinned, and is fallen, and by his fall all things
are in confusion: death prevailed from Adam to Moses (cf. Rom. v.
14), the earth was cursed, Hades was opened, Paradise shut, Heaven
offended, man, lastly, corrupted and brutalised (cf. Ps. xlix. 12),
while the devil was exulting against us ;--then God, in His
loving-kindness, not willing man made in His own image to perish,
said, ' Whom shall I send, and who will go?' (Isa. vi. 8). But while
all held their peace, the Son said, ' Here am I, send Me.' And
then it was that, saying Go Thou,' He ' delivered' to Him man, that
the Word Himself might be made Flesh, and by taking the Flesh,
restore it wholly. For to Him, as to a physician, man 'was
delivered' to heal the bite of the serpent; as to life, to raise
what was dead; as to light, to illumine the darkness; and, because
He was Word, to renew the rational nature (<greek>to</greek>
<greek>logikon</greek>). Since then all things 'were delivered' to
Him, and He is made Man, straightway all things were set right and
perfected. Earth receives blessing instead of a curse, Paradise was
opened to the robber, Hades cowered, the tombs were opened and the
dead raised, the gates of Heaven were lifted up to await Him that
'cometh from Edom' (Ps. xxiv. 7, Isa. lxiii. I). Why, the Saviour
Himself expressly signifies in what sense' all thin s were
delivered' to Him, when He continues, as Matthew tells us: 'Come
unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest' (Matt. xi. 28). Yes, ye 'were delivered' to Me to give rest to
those who had laboured, and life to the dead. And what is written in
John's Gospel harmonises with this: 'The Father loveth the Son, and
hath given all things into His hand' (Job. iii. 35). Given, in order
that, just as all things were made by Him, so in Him all things
might be renewed. For they were not ' delivered' unto Him, that
being poor, He might be made rich, nor did He receive all things
that He might receive power which before He lacked: far be the
thought: but in order that as Saviour He might rather set all things
right. For it was fitting that while 'through Him' all things came
into being at the beginning, 'in Him' (note the change of phrase)
all things should be set rig.hi (cf. Joh. i. 3, Eph. i. 10). For at
the beginning they came into being 'through' Him; but afterwards,
all having fallen, the Word has been made Flesh, and put it on, in
order that 'in Him' all should be set right. Suffering Himself, He
gave us rest, hungering Himself, He nourished us, and going down
into Hades He brought us back thence. For example, at the time of
the creation of all things, their creation consisted in a fiat, such
as 'let [the earth] bring forth,' 'let there be' (Gen. i. 3, 11),
but at the restoration it was fitting that all things should be
'delivered' to Him, in order that He might be made man, and all
things be renewed in Him. For man, being in Him, was quickened for
this was why the Word' was united to man, namely, that against man
the curse might no longer prevail. This is the reason why they
record the request made on behalf of mankind in the seventy-first
Psalm: 'Give the King Thy judgment, O God (Ps. lxxii. x): asking
that both the judgment of death which hung over us may be delivered
to the Son, and that He may then, by dying for us, abolish it for us
in Himself. This was what He signified, saying Himself, in the
eighty-seventh Psalm: 'Thine indignation lieth hard upon me' (Ps.
lxxxviii. 7). For He bore the indignation which lay upon us, as also
He says in the hundred and thirty-seventh: 'Lord, Thou shall do
vengeance for me' (Ps. cxxxviii. 8, LXX.).
3. By 'all things' is meant the redemptive attributes and power
Thus, then, we may understand all things to have been delivered to
the Saviour, and, if it be necessary to follow up understanding by
explanation, that hath been delivered unto Him which He did not
previously possess. For He was not man previously, but became man
for the sake of saving man. And the Word was not in the beginning
flesh, but has been made flesh subsequently (cf. Joh. i. I sqq.), in
which Flesh, as the Apostle says, He reconciled the enmity which was
against us (Col. i. 20, ii. 14, Eph. ii. 15, 16) and destroyed the
law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might make the two
into one new man, making peace, and reconcile both in one body to
the Father. That, however, which the Father has, belongs also to the
Son, as also He says in John, 'All things whatsoever the Father hath
are Mine' (Joh. xvi. 15), expressions which could not be improved.
For when He became that which He was not, ' all things were
delivered ' to Him. But when He desires to declare His unity with
the Father, He teaches it without any reserve, saying: 'All things
whatsoever the Father hath are Mine.' And one cannot but admire the
exactness of the language. For He has not said 'all things
whatsoever the Father hath, He hath given to Me,' lest He should
appear at one time not to have possessed these things; but 'are
Mine.' For these things, being in the Father's power, are equally in
that of the Son. But we must in turn examine what things 'the Father
hath.' For if Creation is meant, the Father had nothing before
creation, and proves to have received something additional from
Creation; but far be it to think this. For just as He exists before
creation, so before creation also He has what He has, which we also
believe to belong to the Son (Job. xvi. 15). For if the Son is in
the Father, then all things that the Father has belong to the Son.
So this expression is subversive of the perversity of the heterodox
in saying that 'if all things have been delivered to the Son, then
the Father has ceased to have power over what is delivered, having
appointed the Son in His place. For, in fact, the Father judgeth
none, but hath given all judgment to the Son' (Joh. v. 21). But '
let the mouth of them that speak wickedness be stopped' (Ps. lxiii.
11), (for although He has given all judgment to the Son, He is not,
therefore, stripped of lordship: nor, because it is said that all
things are delivered by the Father to the Son, is He any the less
over all), separating as they clearly do the Only-begotten from God,
Who is by nature inseparable from Him, even though in their madness
they separate Him by their words, not perceiving, the impious men,
that the Light can never be separated from the sun, in which it
resides by nature. For one must use a poor simile drawn from
tangible and familiar objects to put our idea into words, since it
is over bold to intrude upon the incomprehensible nature [of God].
4. The text John xvi. 15, shews clearly the essential relation of
the Son to the Father.
As then the light from the Sun which illumines the world could never
be supposed, by men of sound mind, to do so without the Sun, since
the Sun's light is united to the Sun by nature; and as, if the
Light were to say I have received from the Sun the power of
illumining all things, and of giving growth and strength to them by
the heat that is in me, no one will be mad enough to think that the
mention of the Sun is meant to separate him from what is his nature,
namely the light; so piety would have us perceive that the Divine
Essence of the Word is united by nature to His own Father. For the
text before us will put our problem in the clearest possible light,
seeing that the Saviour said, 'All things whatsoever the Father hath
are Mine ;' which shews that He is ever with the Father. For
'whatsoever He hath' shews that the Father wields the Lordship,
while 'are Mine' shews the inseparable union. It is necessary, then,
that we should perceive that in the Father reside Everlastingness,
Eternity, Immortality. Now these reside in Him not as adventitious
attributes, but, as it were, in a well-spring they reside in Him,
and in the Son. When then you wish to perceive what relates to the
Son, learn what is in the Father, for this is what you must believe
to be in the Son. If then the Father is a thing created or made,
these qualities belong also to the Son. And if it is permissible to
say of the Father 'there was once a time when He was not,' or ' made
of nothing,' let these words be applied also to the Son. But if it
is impious to ascribe these attributes to the Father, grant that it
is impious also to ascribe them to the Son. For what belongs to the
Father, belongs to the Son. For he that honoureth the Son, honoureth
the Father that sent Him, and he that receiveth the Son, receiveth
the Father with Him, because he that hath seen the Son hath seen the
Father (Matt. x. 40; John xiv. 9). As then the Father is not a
creature, so neither is the Son; and as it is not possible to say of
Him 'there was a time when He was not,' nor 'made of nothing,' so it
is not proper to say the like of the Son either. But rather, as the
Father's attributes are Everlastingness, Immortality, Eternity, and
the being no creature, it follows that thus also we must think of
the Son. For as it is written (Joh. v. 26), 'As the Father hath life
m Himself, so gave He to the Son also to have life in Himself.' But
He uses the word 'gave' in order to point to the Father who gives.
As, again, life is in the Father, so also is it in the Son, so as to
shew Him to be inseparable and everlasting. For this is why He
speaks with exactness, 'whatsoever the Father hath,' in order namely
that by thus mentioning the Father He may avoid being thought to be
the Father Himself. For He does not say ' I am the Father,' but
'whatsoever the Father hath.'
5. The same text further explained.
For His Only-begotten Son might, ye Arians, be called 'Father' by
His Father, yet not in the sense in which you in your. error might
perhaps understand it, but (while Son of the Father that begot Him)
'Father of the coming age' (Isa. ix. 6, LXX.). For it is necessary
not to leave any of your surmises open to you. Well then, He says by
the prophet, 'A Son is born and given to us, whose government is
upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Angel of Great
Counsel, mighty God, Ruler, Father of the coming age' (Isa. ix. 6).
The Only-begotten Son of God, then, is at once Father of the coming
age, and mighty God, and Ruler. And it is shewn clearly that all
things whatsoever the Father hath are His, and that as the Father
gives life, the Son likewise is able to quicken whom He will. For
'the dead,' He says, 'shall hear the voice of the Son, and shall
live' (cf. John v. 25), and the will and desire of Father and Son is
one, since their nature also is one and indivisible. And the Arians
torture themselves to no purpose, from not understanding the saying
of our Saviour, 'All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine.'
For from this passage at once the delusion of Sabellius can be
upset, and it will expose the folly of our modern Jews. For this is
why the Only begotten, having life in Himself as the Father has,
also knows alone Who the Father is, namely, because He is in the
Father and the Father in Him. For He is His Image, and consequently,
because He is His Image, all that belongs to the Father is in Him.
He is an exact seal, shewing in Himself the Father; living Word and
true, Power, Wisdom, our Sanctification and Redemption (I Cot. i.
30). For 'in Him we both live and move and have our being' (Acts
xvii. 28), and 'no man knoweth Who is the Father, save the Son, and
Who is the Son, save the Father' (Luke x. 22).
6.The Trisagion wrongly explained by Arians. Its true
And how do the impious men venture to speak folly, as they ought
not, being men and unable to find out how to describe even what is
on the earth? But why do I say ' what is on the earth?' Let them
tell us their own nature, if they can discover how to investigate
their own nature? Rash they are indeed, and self-willed, not
trembling to form opinions of things which angels desire to look
into (I Pet. i. x2), who are so far above them, both in nature and
in rank. For what is nearer [God] than the Cherubim or the Seraphim?
And yet they, not even seeing Him, nor standing on their feet, nor
even with bare, but as it were with veiled faces, offer their
praises, with untiring lips doing nought else but glorify the divine
and ineffable nature with the Trisagion. And nowhere has any one of
the divinely speaking prophets, men specially selected for such
vision, reported to us that in the first utterance of the word Holy
the voice is raised aloud, while in the second it is lower, but in
the third, quite low,--and that consequently the first utterance
denotes lordship, the second subordination, and the third marks a
yet lower degree. But away with the folly of these haters of God and
senseless men. For the Triad, praised, reverenced, and adored, is
one and indivisible and without degrees
(<greek>askhmatistos</greek>). It is united without confusion, just
as the Monad also is distinguished without separation. For the fact
of those venerable living creatures (Isa. vi.; Rev. iv. 8) offering
their praises three times, saying 'Holy, Holy, Holy,' proves that
the Three Subsistences are perfect, just as in saying 'Lord,'
they declare the One Essence. They then that depreciate the
Only-begotten Son of God blaspheme God, defaming His perfection and
accusing Him of imperfection, and render themselves liable to the
severest chastisement. For he that blasphemes any one of the
Subsistences shall have remission neither in this world nor in that
which is to come. But God is able to open the eyes of their heart to
contemplate the Sun of Righteousness, in order that coming to know
Him whom they formerly set at nought, they may with unswerving piety
of mind together with us glorify Him, because to Him belongs the
kingdom, even to the Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.