Prof. Jaroslav Skira (Regis College) - Trinity & Church to 1054AD Syllabus



Note: The full electronic versions of most of the texts can be found at Early Church Fathers (CCEL). These readings are adapted from the translations found at this site.

Week 9. The West
- Ambrose & Augustine.

- Photocopies handed out in class.

Some Study Guidelines / Questions:
1. Note the doctrinal developments as expressed in the Creed from Nicea to Constantinople I.
2. Are the authors beginning to employ some of the "new" terminology/concepts being used in christology in the East?
3. What two main elements comprise human nature? Which heresies (described in these texts) deny or downplay one the elements of human nature?
4. In Augustine, how is Christ's preexistence related to created humanity? How does he explain the sending of the Son?
5. Why is Mary's virginity constantly stressed in these texts?
6. How to they account for the possibility of suffering in the Son of God?
7. Do these authors have a doctrine of theopoiesis?




Note: Review the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed from last week's class.


Ambrose of Milan (+397)

On the Death of his Brother

Book 1

11. [Jesus Christ] wept for what affected us, not himself; for the Godhead sheds no tears; but he wept in that nature in which he was sad; he wept in that in which he was crucified, in that in which he died, in that in which he was buried. He wept in that which the prophet this day brought to our minds: "Mother Sion shall say, a human was made in her, and the Most High himself established her" (Ps 87.5). He wept in that nature in which he called Sion Mother, born in Judaea, conceived by the Virgin. But according to his divine nature he could not have a mother, for he is the creator of his mother. So far as he was made, it was not by divine but by human generation, because he was made human, God was born.

12. But you read in another place: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Is 9.6). In the word child is an indication of age, in that of Son is the "fulness of the divinity" (Col 2.9). Made of his mother, born of the Father yet the same person was both born and given. You must not think of two but of one. For one is the Son of God, born of the Father and sprung from the Virgin, differing in order, but in name agreeing in one, ... for "a human being was made in her and the Most High established her." Human indeed in the body, the most high in power. And though he be God and human in diversity of nature, yet is he at the same time one in each nature. One property, then, is peculiar to God's own nature, another he has in common with us, but in both is he one, and in both is he perfect [=communion of properties].

13. Therefore it is no subject of wonder that God made him to be both Lord and Christ (Acts 2.36). God made him Jesus, him, that is, who received the name in his bodily nature. God made him of whom also the patriarch David writes: "Mother Sion shall say, a human, yes, a human is made in her." But being made human, he is unlike the Father, not in Godhead but in his body; not separated from the Father, but differing in office, abiding united in power, but separated in the mystery of the passion.

Book 2

46. Why should more be said? By the death of one the world was redeemed. For Christ, had he willed, need not have died, but he neither thought that death should be shunned as though there were any cowardice in it, nor could he have saved us better than by dying. And so his death is the life of all. We are signed with the sign of his death, we show forth his death when we pray; when we offer the sacrifice we declare his death, for his death is victory, his death is our mystery, his death is the yearly recurring solemnity of the world. What now should we say concerning his death, since we prove by this divine example that death alone found immortality, and that death itself redeemed itself. Death, then, is not to be mourned over, for it is the cause of salvation for all; death is not to be shunned, for the Son of God did not think it unworthy of him, and did not shun it. The order of nature is not to be loosed, for what is common to all cannot admit of exception in individuals.


Ambrose, On the Sacrament of the Incarnation

Chapter 5

39. He was, therefore, immortal in death and incapable of suffering even as he suffered; for the affliction of death did not grasp him since he was God, and at the same time the lower world saw him since he was a human being. In the end he "gave up his spirit" (Mt 27.50), but he gave it up like one who is in charge of laying down and assuming a body, and so he did not lose the spirit. [He was crucified and underwent the pains of the passion]; he became the sin of all and washed away the sins of humanity. Finally he died ... so that his death might become the life of those who have died.

Chapter 7

65-66. When he took on the flesh of the human being, it follows that he took on the perfection and plenitude of becoming flesh; for there is nothing imperfect in Christ. ... He assumed a soul, but he assumed and took on a perfect, human, rational soul. I say took on a soul for the Word of God did not become alive in its flesh by replacing its soul. The Word, rather, assumed both our flesh and our soul by assuming human nature perfectly. ... What good is it, however, if he did not redeem me totally? But the one who says, "Are you angry with me, who healed a man totally on the Sabbath?" (Jn 7.23) did redeem me completely.

76. God the Word was not in its flesh to replace the soul that is rational and capable of comprehending God. The Word of God took on both a soul that is rational and capable of understanding, human, and of the same substance [~homoousios?] as our souls, and flesh that is like ours and of the same substance as ours, and thus became a perfect human being, but without any stain of sin. ... His flesh and soul, therefore, are of the same substance as our soul and flesh.


Ambrose, Concerning the Faith (Book 3)

Chapter 2

7. It was a bodily weakness, then, that is to say, a weakness of ours, that he hungered; when he wept, and was sorrowful even unto death, it was of our nature (cf. MT 4.2; Jn 11.35; MT 26.38). Why ascribe the properties and incidents of our nature to the divinity? That he was even, as we are told, "made," is a property of a body (see Jn 1.14). Thus, indeed, we read: "Sion our mother shall say: 'He is a human being,' and in her he was made a human, and the Most High himself laid her foundations" (Ps 87.5). "He was made a human being," mark you, not "God was made."

8. But what is he who is at once the Most High and human, what but "the Mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for us"? (1 Tim 2.5-6) This place indeed refers properly to his incarnation, for our redemption was made by his blood, our pardon comes through his power, our life is secured through his grace. He gives as the Most High; he prays as a human. The one is the office of the Creator, the other of a Redeemer. Be the gifts as distinct as they may, yet the giver is one, for it was fitting that our maker should be our redeemer (see Heb 2.10).

Chapter 5

35. At the same time, becoming does not always imply creation for we read: "Lord, You have become our refuge," (Ps 90.1) and "You have become my salvation" (Ps 118.14). Plainly, here is no statement of the fact or purpose of a creation, but God is said to have become my "refuge" and has turned to my "salvation," even as the Apostle has said: "Who became for us Wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," (1 Cor 1.30) that is, that Christ was "made" for us, not created of the Father. Again, the writer has explained in the sequel in what sense he says that Christ was made Wisdom for us: "But we preach the Wisdom of God in doctrine of mystery, which Wisdom is hidden, foreordained by God before the existence of the world for our glory, and which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known they would never have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor 2.7-8). When the mystery of the passion is set forth, surely there is no speaking of an eternal process of generation.

36. The Lord's cross, then, is my wisdom; the Lord's death my redemption; for we are redeemed with his precious blood, as the Apostle Peter said (1 Pet 1.19). With his blood, then, as man, the Lord redeemed us, who also, as God, has forgiven sins (see Mk 2.8-12).

Chapter 7

46. Hereby we are brought to understand that the prophecy of the incarnation, "The Lord created me the beginning of his ways for his works," (Prov 8.22) means that the Lord Jesus was created of the Virgin for the redeeming of the Father's works. Truly, we cannot doubt that this is spoken of the mystery of the incarnation, for as much as the Lord took upon him our flesh, in order to save the works of his hands from the slavery of corruption, so that he might, by the sufferings of his own body, overthrow him who had the power of death (Heb 2.14). For Christ's flesh is for the sake of things created, but his Godhead existed before them, seeing that he is before all things, while all things exist together in him (Col 1.17).

47. His divinity, then, is not by reason of creation, but creation exists because of the divinity; even as the apostle showed, saying that all things exist because of the Son of God, for we read as follows: "But it was fitting that he, through whom and because of whom are all things, after bringing many sons to glory, should, as captain of their salvation, be made perfect through suffering" (Heb 2.10). Has he not plainly declared that the Son of God, who, by reason of his divinity, was the Creator of all, did in after time, for the salvation of his people, submit to the taking on of the flesh and the suffering of death?

48. Now for the sake of what works the Lord was "created" of a virgin, he himself, whilst healing the blind man, has shown, saying: "In him must I work the works of the one who sent me" (Jn 9.4). Furthermore, he said in the same Scripture, that we might believe him to speak of the incarnation: "As long as I am in this world, I am the Light of this world," (Jn 9.5) for, so far as he is man, he is in this world for a season, but as God he exists at all times. In another place, too, he says: "Lo, I am with you even unto the end of the world" (MT 28.20).

49. Nor is there any room for questioning with respect to "the beginning," seeing that when, during his earthly life, he was asked, "who are you?" He answered: "The beginning, even as I tell you" (Jn 8.25). This refers not only to the essential nature of the eternal divinity, but also to the visible proofs of virtues, for hereby has he proved himself the eternal God, in that he is the beginning of all things, and the author of each several virtue, in that he is the head of the Church, as it is written: "Because he is the head of the Body, of the Church, who is the beginning, first-begotten from the dead" (Eph 4.15).

50. It is clear, then, that the words "beginning of his ways," which, as it seems, we must refer to the mystery of the putting on of his body, are a prophecy of the incarnation. For Christ's purpose in the incarnation was to pave for us the road to heaven. Mark how he says: "I go up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (Jn 20.17). Then, to give you to know that the Almighty Father appointed his [sic.] ways to the Son, after the incarnation, you have in Zechariah the words of the angel speaking to Joshua clothed in filthy garments: "Thus said the Lord Almighty: 'If you will walk in my ways and observe my precepts'" (Zech 3.7). What is the meaning of that filthy garb save the putting on of the flesh?

Chapter 15

... The Arians, inasmuch as they assert the Son to be "of another substance," plainly acknowledge substance in God. The only reason why they avoid the use of this term is that they will not, as Eusebius of Nicomedia has made it evident, confess Christ to be the true Son of God.

123. How can the Arians deny the substance of God? How can they suppose that the word "substance," which is found in many places of Scripture, ought to be debarred from use, when they themselves do, yet, by saying that the Son is of another substance, admit substance in God?

124. It is not the term itself, then, but its force and consequences, that they shun, because they will not confess the Son of God to be true [God]. For though the process of the divine generation cannot be comprehended in human language, still the fathers judged that their faith might be appropriately distinguished by the use of such a term, as against that of "heterousios," following the authority of the prophet, who said: "who has stood in the truth (substantial) of the Lord, and seen his Word?" (Jer 23.18) Arians, therefore, admit the term "substance" when it is used so as to square with their blasphemy. In contrary fashion, when it is adopted in accordance with the pious devotion of the faithful, they reject and dispute against it.

125. What other reason can there be for their unwillingness to have the Son spoken of as "homoousios," of the same substance, with the Father, but that they are unwilling to confess him the true Son of God? This is betrayed in the letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia. "If," writes he, "we say that the Son is true God and uncreated, then we are on the way to confessing him to be of one substance (homoousios) with the Father." When this letter had been read before the Council assembled at Nicea, the Fathers put this word in their exposition of the faith. Because they saw that it daunted their adversaries; in order that they might take the sword, which their opponents had drawn, to smite off the head of those opponents' own blasphemous heresy.

126. Vain, however, is their plea, that they avoid the use of the term, because of the Sabellians [modalists], whereby they betray their own ignorance, for a being is of the same substance (homoousion) with another, not with itself. Rightly, then, do we call the Son "homoousios" (of the same substance), with the Father, for as much as that term expresses both the distinction of persons and the unity of nature.

127. Can they deny that the term "ousia" is met with in Scripture, when the Lord has spoken of bread, that is, "epiousioi [subsistence]" (MT 6.11)? What does "ousia" mean, whence comes the name, but from "ousiaei," that which endures for ever? For he who is, and is for ever, is God; and therefore the divine substance, abiding everlastingly, is called ousia. Bread is epiousioi, because, taking the substance of abiding power from the substance of the Word, it supplies this to heart and soul, for it is written: "And bread strengthens man's heart" (Ps 104.15).

Chapter 8

105. But in the faith of the Church one and the same is both Son of God the Father and Son of David. For the mystery of the incarnation of God is the salvation of the whole of creation, according to that which is written: "That without God he should taste death for every human;" (Heb 2.9) that is, that every creature might be redeemed without any suffering at the price of the blood of the Lord's divinity. As it stands elsewhere: "Every creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption" (Rom 8.21).

106. It is one thing to be named Son according to the divine substance, it is another thing to be so called according to the adoption of human flesh. For, according to the divine generation, the Son is equal to God the Father; and, according to the adoption of a body, he is a servant to God the Father. "For," it says, "he took upon him the form of a servant" (Phil 2.7). The Son is, however, one and the same. On the other hand, according to his glory, he is Lord to the holy patriarch David, but his Son in the line of actual descent, ... acquiring for himself the rights that go with the adoption into our race.

107. ... To whom is this said, if not to Christ, who being in the form of God, emptied himself and took upon him the form of a servant [kenosis]. But what can be in the form of God, except that which exists in the fulness of divinity?

108. Learn, then, what this means: "He took upon him the form of a servant." It means that he took upon him all the perfections of humanity in their completeness, and obedience in its completeness. ... "Servant" means the human being in whom he was sanctified; it means the human in whom he was anointed; it means the human in whom he was made under the law, made of the Virgin; and, to put it briefly, it means the human in whose person he has a mother ... .


Ambrose, On the Holy Spirit

Book 1, Chapter 9

105. But what wonder, since both the Father and the Son are said to be Spirit. Of which we shall speak more fully when we begin to speak of the unity of the name. Yet since the most suitable place occurs here, that we may not seem to have passed on without a conclusion, let them read that both the Father is called Spirit, as the Lord said in the Gospel, "for God is Spirit;" (Jn 4.24) and Christ is called Spirit, for Jeremiah said: "The Spirit before our face, Christ the Lord" (Lam 4.20).

106. So, then, both the Father is Spirit and Christ is Spirit, for that which is not a created body is spirit, but the Holy Spirit is not commingled with the Father and the Son, but is distinct from the Father and from the Son. For the Holy Spirit did not die, who could not die because he had not taken flesh upon him, and the eternal divinity (ROM 1.20) was incapable of dying, but Christ died according to the flesh.

107. For of a truth he died in that which he took of the Virgin, not in that which he had of the Father, for Christ died in that nature in which he was crucified. But the Holy Spirit could not be crucified, who had not flesh and bones, but the Son of God was crucified, who took flesh and bones, that on that cross the temptations of our flesh might die. For he took on him that which he was not that he might hide that which he was; he hid that which he was that he might be tempted in it, and that which he was not might be redeemed, in order that he might call us by means of that which he was not to that which he was.

109. ... Therefore do you also crucify sin, that you may die to sin; he who dies to sin lives to God. Do you live to him who spared not his own Son, that in his body he might crucify our passions. For Christ died for us, that we might live in his revived body. Therefore not our life but our guilt died in him, "who," it is said, "bore our sins in his own body on the tree; that being set free from our sins we might live in righteousness, by the wound of whose blows we are healed" (1 Pet 2.24).


Ambrose, On Repentance

Book 1, Chapter 3

12. Interpreting which truth, the apostle says: "For God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (ROM 8.3-4). He does not say "in the likeness of flesh," for Christ took on himself the reality not the likeness of flesh; nor does he say in the likeness of sin, for he did not sin, but was made sin for us (see 2 Cor 5.21). Yet he came "in the likeness of sinful flesh" that is, he took on him the likeness of sinful flesh, the likeness, because it is written: "He is a human being, and who shall know him?"(Jer 17.9 [LXX]). He was man in the flesh, according to his human nature, that he might be recognized, but in power was above man, that he might not be recognized, so he has our flesh, but has not the failings of this flesh.

13. For he was not begotten, as is every man, by intercourse between male and female, but born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin; he received a stainless body, which not only no sins polluted, but which neither the generation nor the conception had been stained by any admixture of defilement. For we men are all born under sin, and our very origin is in evil, as we read in the words of David: "For lo, I was conceived in wickedness, and in sin did my mother beget me" (Ps 51.5). Therefore the flesh of Paul was a body of death, as he himself says: "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (ROM 7.24) But the flesh of Christ condemned sin, which he felt not at his birth, and crucified by his death, so that in our flesh there might be justification through grace, in which before there had been pollution by guilt.


Augustine of Hippo (+430)

On Perseverance (Second Book, On Predestination of Saints)

Chapter 67

67.a. There is no more eminent instance, I say, of predestination than the Mediator [Jesus] himself. If any believer wishes thoroughly to understand this doctrine, let him consider him, and in him he will find himself also. The believer, I say; who in him believes and confesses the true human nature that is our own, however singularly elevated by assumption by God the Word into the only Son of God, so that he who assumed, and what he assumed, should be one person in Trinity. For it was not a Quaternity that resulted from the assumption of humanity, but it remained a Trinity, inasmuch as that assumption ineffably made the truth of one person in God and human. Because we say that Christ was not only God, as the Manichean heretics contend; nor only human, as the Photinian heretics assert; nor in such wise man as to have less of anything which of a certainty pertains to human nature - whether a soul, or in the soul itself a rational mind, or flesh not taken of the woman, but made from the Word converted and changed into flesh - all which three false and empty notions have made the three various and diverse parties of the Apollinarian heretics. But we say that Christ was true God, born of God the Father without any beginning of time; and that he was also true or real human, born of human mother in the certain fulness of time; and that his humanity, whereby he is less than the Father, does not diminish anything from his divinity, whereby he is equal to the Father. For both of them are One Christ - who, moreover, most truly said in respect of the God, "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10.30) and most truly said in respect of the man, "My Father is greater than I" (Jn 14.28).

67.b. He, therefore, who made of the seed of David this righteous man, who never should be unrighteous, without any merit of his preceding will, is the same who also makes righteous men of unrighteous, without any merit of their will preceding; that he might be the head, and they his members. He, therefore, who made that man with no precedent merits of his, neither to deduce from his origin nor to commit by his will any sin which should be remitted to him, the same makes believers on him with no preceding merits of theirs, to whom he forgives all sin. He who made him such that he never had or should have an evil will, the same makes in his members a good will out of an evil one. Therefore he predestinated both him and us, because both in him that he might be our head, and in us that we should be his body, he foreknew that our merits would not precede, but that his doings should.


Augustine, City of God

Book 21, Chapter 15

a. Nevertheless, in the "heavy yoke that is laid upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb to the day that they return to the mother of all things," (Sir 40.1) there is found an admirable though painful reminder teaching us to be sober-minded, and convincing us that this life has become penal in consequence of that outrageous wickedness which was perpetrated in Paradise, and that all to which the New Testament invites belongs to that future inheritance which awaits us in the world to come, and is offered for our acceptance, as the earnest that we may, in its own due time, obtain that of which it is the pledge.

b. Now, therefore, let us walk in hope, and let us by the spirit mortify the deeds of the flesh, and so make progress from day to day. For "the Lord knows them that are his" (2 Tim 2.19) and "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God" (ROM 8.14) but by grace, not by nature. For there is but one Son of God by nature, who in his compassion became Son of Man for our sakes, that we, by nature sons and daughters of human beings, might by grace become through him sons and daughters of God. For he, abiding unchangeable, took upon him our nature, that thereby he might take us to himself; and, holding fast his own divinity, he became partaker of our infirmity, that we, being changed into some better thing, might, by participating in his righteousness and immortality, lose our own properties of sin and mortality, and preserve whatever good quality he had implanted in our nature perfected now by sharing in the goodness of his nature. For as by the sin of one human we have fallen into a misery so deplorable, so by the righteousness of one human, who also is God, shall we come to a blessedness inconceivably exalted.

c. Nor ought any one to trust that he has passed from the one human being to the other until he shall have reached that place where there is no temptation, and have entered into the peace which he seeks in the many and various conflicts of this war, in which "the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh" (Gal 5.17). Now, such a war as this would have had no existence if human nature had, in the exercise of free will, continued steadfast in the uprightness in which it was created. But now in its misery it makes war upon itself, because in its blessedness it would not continue at peace with God; and this, though it be a miserable calamity, is better than the earlier stages of this life, which do not recognize that a war is to be maintained. For better is it to contend with vices than without conflict to be subdued by them. Better, I say, is war with the hope of peace everlasting than captivity without any thought of deliverance. We long, indeed, for the cessation of this war, and, kindled by the flame of divine love, we burn for entrance on that well-ordered peace in which whatever is inferior is for ever subordinated to what is above it. But if (which God forbid) there had been no hope of so blessed a consummation, we should still have preferred to endure the hardness of this conflict, rather than, by our non-resistance, to yield ourselves to the dominion of vice.


Augustine, On the Trinity

Book 1, Chapter 6

9. They who have said that our Lord Jesus Christ is not God, or not very God, or not with the Father the One and only God, or not truly immortal because changeable, are proved wrong by the most plain and unanimous voice of divine testimonies; as, for instance, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" [John's prologue]. For it is plain that we are to take the Word of God to be the only Son of God, of whom it is afterwards said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," on account of that birth of his incarnation, which was wrought in time of the Virgin. But herein is declared, not only that he is God, but also that he is of the same substance with the Father; because, after saying, "And the Word was God," it is said also, "The same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made." Not simply "all things;" but only all things that were made, that is; the whole creature. From which it appears clearly, that he himself was not made, by whom all things were made. And if he was not made, then he is not a creature; but if he is not a creature, then he is of the same substance with the Father. For all substance that is not God is creature; and all that is not creature is God. And if the Son is not of the same substance with the Father, then he is a substance that was made: and if he is a substance that was made, then all things were not made by him; but "all things were made by Him," therefore he is of one and the same substance with the Father. And so he is not only God, but also very God. And the same John most expressly affirms this in his epistle: "For we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know the true God, and that we may be in His true Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

Book 2, Chapter 5

9.a. Perhaps some one may wish to drive us to say, that the Son is sent also by himself, because the conception and childbirth of Mary is the working of the Trinity, by whose act of creating all things are created. And how, he will go on to say, has the Father sent Him, if he sent himself? To whom I answer first, by asking him to tell me, if he can, in what manner the Father has sanctified him, if he had sanctified himself? For the same Lord says both; "Say that of Him," he says, "whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, you blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God;" while in another place He says, "And for their sake I sanctify myself." I ask, also, in what manner the Father delivered Him, if He delivered Himself? For the Apostle Paul says both: "Who," he says, "spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all;" while elsewhere he says of the Saviour Himself, "Who loved me, and delivered himself for me." He will reply, I suppose, if he has a right sense in these things, because the will of the Father and the Son is one, and their working indivisible. In like manner, then, let him understand the incarnation and nativity of the Virgin, wherein the Son is understood as sent, to have been wrought by one and the same operation of the Father and of the Son indivisibly; the Holy Spirit certainly not being thence excluded, of whom it is expressly said, "She was found with child by the Holy Ghost." For perhaps our meaning will be more plainly unfolded, if we ask in what manner God sent the Son. God commanded that he should come, and he, complying with the commandment, came. Did God then request, or did God only suggest? But whichever of these it was, certainly it was done by a word, and the Word of God is the Son of God. Wherefore, since the Father sent him by a word, his being sent was the work of both the Father and the Word; therefore the same Son was sent by the Father and the Son, because the Son himself is the Word of the Father. For who would embrace so impious an opinion as to think the Father to have uttered a word in time, in order that the eternal Son might thereby be sent and might appear in the flesh in the fullness of time?

b. But assuredly it was in that Word of God itself which was in the beginning with God and was God, namely, in the wisdom itself of God, apart from time, at what time that wisdom must needs appear in the flesh. Therefore, since without any commencement of time, the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, it was in the Word itself without any time, at what time the Word was to be made flesh and dwell among us. And when this fullness of time had come, "God sent His Son, made of a woman," that is, made in time, that the Incarnate Word might appear to humanity; while it was in that Word himself, apart from time, at what time this was to be done; for the order of times is in the eternal wisdom of God without time. Since, then, that the Son should appear in the flesh was wrought by both the Father and the Son, it is aptly said that he who appeared in that flesh was sent, and that he who did not appear in it, sent him; because those things which are transacted outwardly before the bodily eyes have their existence from the inward structure (apparatus) of the spiritual nature, and on that account are filly said to be sent. Further, that form of human which he took is the person of the Son, not also of the Father; on which account the invisible Father, together with the Son, who with the Father is invisible, is said to have sent the same Son by making him visible. But if he became visible in such way as to cease to be invisible with the Father, that is, if the substance of the invisible Word were turned by a change and transition into a visible creature, then the Son would be so understood to be sent by the Father, that he would be found to be only sent; not also, with the Father, sending. But since he so took the form of a servant, as that the unchangeable form of God remained, it is clear that that which became apparent in the Son was done by the Father and the Son not being apparent; that is, that by the invisible Father, with the invisible Son, the same Son Himself was sent so as to be visible. Why, therefore, does he say, "Neither came I of myself?" This, we may now say, is said according to the form of a servant, in the same way as it is said, "I judge no man."

Book 13, Chapter 11

15. But what is meant by "justified in his blood?" (ROM 5.9) What power is there in this blood, I beseech you, that they who believe should be justified in it? And what is meant by "being reconciled by the death of God's Son?" (ROM 5.10) Was it indeed so, that when God the Father was angry with us, he saw the death of the Son for us, and was kindly disposed towards us? Was then the Son already so far kindly disposed towards us, that God even deigned to die for us; while the Father was still so far angry, that except the Son die for us, God would not be appeased? And what, then, is that which the same teacher of the Gentiles himself says in another place: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us, the God that spared not his [sic.] own Son, but delivered him up for us all ... (ROM 8.31ff.). Pray, unless the Father had been already appeased, would he have delivered up his own Son, not sparing him for us? Does not this opinion seem to be as it were contrary to that? In the one, the Son dies for us, and the Father is reconciled to us by his death; in the other, as though the Father first loved us, God on our account does not spare the Son, but for us delivers him up to death. But I see that the Father loved us also before, not only before the Son died for us, but before God created the world; the apostle himself being witness, who says, "According as God has chosen us before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1.4). Nor was the Son delivered up for us as it were unwillingly, the Father not sparing him; for it is said also concerning God, "who loved me, and delivered up himself for me" (Gal 2.20). Therefore together both the Father and the Son, and the Spirit of both, work all things equally and harmoniously; yet we are justified in the blood of Christ, and we are reconciled to God by the death of God's Son.

Chapter 17

22. There are many other things also in the incarnation of Christ, displeasing as it is to the proud, that are to be observed and thought of advantageously. And one of them is, that it has been demonstrated to humans what place they have in the things which God has created; since human nature could so be joined to God, that one person could be made of two substances, and thereby indeed of three: God, soul, and flesh, so that those proud malignant spirits, who interpose themselves as mediators to deceive, although as if to help, do not therefore dare to place themselves above humans because they have not flesh; and chiefly because the Son of God deigned to die also in the same flesh, lest they, because they seem to be immortal, should therefore succeed in getting themselves worshipped as gods. Further, that the grace of God might be commended to us in the human Christ without any precedent merits; because not even he himself obtained by any precedent merits that he should be joined in such great unity with the true God, and should become the Son of God, one Person with God; but from the time when he began to be human, from that time he is also God; whence it is said, "The Word was made flesh" (Jn 1.14). Then, again, there is this, that the pride of human, which is the chief hindrance against his cleaving to God, can be confuted and healed through such great humility of God. Persons learn also how far they have gone away from God; and what it is worth to them as a pain to cure them, when they return through such a Mediator, who both as God assists humans by divinity, and as human agrees with humans by his weakness. For what greater example of obedience could be given to us, who had perished through disobedience, than God the Son obedient to God the Father, even to the death of the cross? (Phil 2.8) Where could the reward of obedience itself be better shown, than in the flesh of so great a Mediator, which rose again to eternal life? It belonged also to the justice and goodness of the Creator, that the devil should be conquered by the same rational creature which he rejoiced to have conquered, and by one that came from that same race which, by the corruption of its origin through one, he held altogether.

Chapter 18

23.a. For assuredly God could have taken upon the divinity to be human, that in that humanity God might be the Mediator between God and humans, from some other source, and not from the race of that Adam who bound the human race by his sin; as God did not create him whom God first created, of the race of someone else. Therefore God was able, either so, or in any other mode that God would, to create yet one other, by whom the conqueror of the first might be conquered. But God judged it better both to take upon man through whom to conquer the enemy of the human race, from the race itself that had been conquered; and yet to do this of a virgin, whose conception, not flesh but spirit, not lust but faith, preceded.

23.b. Nor did that concupiscence of the flesh intervene, by which the rest of human beings, who derive original sin, are propagated and conceived; but holy virginity became pregnant, not by conjugal intercourse, but by faith - lust being utterly absent - so that that which was born from the root of the first human might derive only the origin of race, not also of guilt. For there was born, not a nature corrupted by the contagion of transgression, but the one only remedy of all such corruptions. There was born, I say, a human having nothing at all, and to have nothing at all, of sin; through whom they were to be born again so as to be freed from sin, who could not be born without sin. ... It was necessary, therefore, that this carnal concupiscence should be entirely absent, when the offspring of the Virgin was conceived; in whom the author of death was to find nothing worthy of death, and yet was to slay him in order that he might be conquered by the death of the author of life: the conqueror of the first Adam, who held fast the human race, conquered by the second Adam, and saving the Christian race, freed the human race from guilt, through him who was not in guilt, although he was of the race; that that deceiver might be conquered by that race which he had conquered by guilt. And this was so done, in order that humans may not be lifted up, but "that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord" (2 Cor 10.17). For he who was conquered was only human; and he was therefore conquered, because he lusted proudly to be a god. But he who conquered was both human and God; and therefore he so conquered, being born of a virgin, because God in humility did not, as God governs other saints, so govern that human, but bore him [as a Son]. These so great gifts of God, and whatever else there are, which it is too long for us now upon this subject both to inquire and to discuss, could not exist unless the Word had been made flesh.