Home>Proof of the Gospel – EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA

Proof of the Gospel


(A.D. 312)

“The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the (b) presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies.  The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had (c) not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions.”

Translated by W.J. FERRAR
Scanned by Roger Pearse

The Macmillan Company.  New York 1920


313 – The Year of Constantine’s Cooperation

BOOK I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X


It is a high privilege to have been allowed to provide a translation of the Demonstratio; for in default of a better it must for some time fill the vacant place in English bookshelves beside the noble edition of the Praeparatio, which was the work of Archdeacon Gifford’s declining years.

Yet it is an appalling thought that this translation, continuing as it does the work of Gifford, should in any sense be thought to seek comparison with it. The writer has but endeavoured according to his powers, and amid other absorbing duties, to fill a recognized gap, by giving a faithful rendering of the words of Eusebius, so that it may be possible for the English student to become acquainted with all that remains of the work to which the Praeparation was the Introduction.

He has erred perhaps rather in the direction of literal exactness than of free paraphrase, especially in doctrinal sections, thinking it primarily necessary to make it clear what Eusebius actually said.

Limitations of space have made it impossible to reproduce the long passages from the Old Testament upon which Eusebius based his arguments. To have retained them in full would have been interesting because of their variations from the text of the LXX : but this consideration was hardly important enough to make their inclusion essential.

The translator would gratefully record his indebtedness to the Rev. W. K. Lowther Clarke, the Secretary of S.P.C.K., for his constant interest, scholarly guidance, and invaluable suggestions during the progress of the work: but for his help it would be far more imperfect than it is.


East Finchley.
Easter, 1920.












§ 8. MSS., ETC









D.C.B. Smith and Wace, Dictionary of Christian Biography, 1877-1887.

D.C.A. Smith and Cheetham, Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, 1875-1880.

D.A.C.   Hastings’ Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, 1915-1918.

H.D.B.   Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, 1898-1906.

E.R.E.   Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.

Enc. Bib.   Encyclopedia Biblica.

S.   Swete’s Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, vols. i., ii., and iii. 4th edn. 1912.

W.H. Westcott and Hort’s New Testament in Greek, 1882.

G.P.E.   E. H. Gifford’s edition of Praeparatio Evangelica. Text, Translation, and Notes. (Oxford, 1903.)

Eus., H.E. The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius.



The Demonstratio Evangelica (Ευαγγελικης Αποδειξεως δεκα λογοι) originally consisted of twenty books, of which only ten remain. It was the concluding portion of the complete work, which included the Praeparatio. At the beginning of the latter Eusebius stated his object to be “to shew the nature of Christianity to those who know not what it means”1 the purpose of its pages was to give an answer to all reasonable questions both from Jewish or Greek inquirers about Christianity, and its relation to other religions. Thus the Praeparatio was intended to be “a guide, by occupying the place of elementary instruction and introduction, and suiting itself to our recent converts from among the heathen.”2

The Demonstratio, Eusebius promises in the same passage, will go further. It will adapt itself “to those who have passed beyond this, and are already in a state prepared for the reception of the higher truths.” It will “convey the exact knowledge of the most stringent proofs of God’s mysterious dispensation in regard to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”3 All apologetics, no doubt, have a double object, to convince the unbeliever and to strengthen the faithful. And it would certainly be an error to discriminate the stress on either of these objects too sharply in the case of any particular work. It is true from Justin to Butler that evidential works circulate as widely (or indeed more widely) in the Church as manuals of teaching than in the world as weapons of defence. But we can recognize a difference of |x emphasis in the tone and scope of apologetic works, dependent on the circumstances and environment of the age of their production, which inclines the balance perceptibly either in the direction of apology proper, or in that of dogmatic instruction. The Demonstratio then would seem to be of the latter class, rather than of the former. It is a manual of instruction for the faithful, rather than a challenge to the unbelieving.

This impression, however, must be balanced by the fact that certain sections of the argument seem to be deliberately planned to convince the unbeliever, notably where Eusebius restricts himself to unfolding the unique beauty of our Lord’s Humanity in His Life and Work; and while reserving his “prophetic” arguments for the edification of the faithful, speaks of Him from the human and historic level, ως περι ανδρος κοινου, και τοις λοιποις παραπλησιου (102 b). Or when in the same book he constructs his powerful reductio ad absurdum of the suggestion that Christ was a wizard or a charlatan.

The studied statements at the opening of the whole work give then the impression that the central object of Eusebius, in relation to the circumstances of his time, differed materially from that of the earlier Apologists like Justin and Aristides. They provided a reasoned defence of Christianity for the consideration of the rulers of the heathen world, and endeavoured to meet the. subtle criticism of pagan philosophers with convincing force. He aims primarily at strengthening the convictions of those already convinced. He desires to provide a completer enlightenment for those who are already members of the Church of Christ.

Though certain passages both in the Praeparatio and the Demonstratio speak of pagan persecution in the present tense (Praep. Ev. 584 a, b, Dem. 82 c), and if the tense is pressed must have been written before the close of the Diocletian and Galerian Terror by the Edict of Milan, A.D. 312 (Eus., H.E. x. 5), other passages present the picture, frequent in the earlier apologies, of a Church at peace and developing in all parts of the Empire (Praep. Ev. 9 d, Dem. 103 c, 138 b). This discrepancy we will examine below. But assuming that the work appeared after the persecution it will be recognized that the moment was |xi opportune for the publication of a book, “shewing what Christianity is to them that do not know,” and for offering a deep and sound foundation for the faith of the half-convinced. For years the martyrs had been prominent in the world’s eyes. The Church as a whole had been super naturally loyal. The future seemed to be with the no longer despised Christians. There must have been many thoughtful people ready to examine their claims, and to inquire into the secret of their constancy. Many again, conquered by the bright spectacle of their endurance, had already entered the Church’s gate led chiefly by faith and hope, and were now ripe to sit at the feet of teachers who could philosophically unveil her heavenly knowledge.

Nor should we suppose that, though the Imperial Government had decided that the coercion of so powerful a mass of conviction was impossible, the prejudice of pagan priest hoods and of the leaders of philosophy was inclined to yield without every effort that criticism, ridicule, and conservative tradition could exert. Celsus had been followed as protagonist against Christianity by Porphyry, and it was against him that the polemical weapons of the Demonstratio were forged. Porphyry had a very intimate knowledge of the Christian faith. He had possibly been a convert (Soc., H.E. iii. 23) and a pupil of Origen (Eus., H.E. vi. 19). He had written a book, Contra Christianos, full of acute criticisms, some of which the mind of the later Church has justified and accepted. There are quotations from this work in Praep. Ev. 28 c, 29 b, 179 d, 237 a to 241 b; and allusions to Porphyry in Praep. Ev. 143 c, 144 b, 190 a; Dem. Ev. 134. The high level of the attack would account for the comprehensiveness, the massive learning, and the dignity of the rejoinder, which gathers together and sums up the labours of previous Apologists. But, as we shall see, Eusebius did not set out to refute the arguments of Porphyry point by point, as Origen dealt with Celsus, or Justin with the Jew Trypho. He preferred to confront followers of the acute critic with the fact of Christianity as a blessed and growing power. He aimed at showing the supernatural agreement of its Founder’s life and death with the prophecies. He felt that on the flowing tide of divine power he could afford to disregard the eddying currents that ran impotently across it. Eusebius indeed wrote a |xii definite rejoinder to Porphyry, the kata_ Porfori/ou, a work in twenty-five books; this in all probability was later in his life.4 In this book it is quite likely that he attempted to meet the objections of Porphyry seriatim. His aim in the Demonstraiio was of a more general character.

To sum up, it was the cessation of persecution, the profound impression made on the educated and uneducated alike by the imperial change of front, the proud sense within the Church itself that its patience had triumphed, combined with the presence of the opposing criticism of the cultured, which may be said to have been the occasion for the great literary effort, which is called by Lightfoot “probably the most important apologetic work of the Early Church.”5


This question is involved in conflicting internal evidence. Is the Demonstratio earlier or later than the History, which is generally dated A.D. 325? The passage ει γουν τι δυναται η ημετερα ιστοπια (Dem. 273 d) proves nothing, for we must translate with Lightfoot, not “my history,” but “my personal observation.” Neither can the passage in the History (H.E. i. 2 ad fin.) be safely regarded as referring to the Demonstratio. There is a direct reference to the Quaestiones ad Stephanum in Dem. 353 c, but this does not prove that the whole of the latter work was anterior to the Demonstratio, for the Quaestiones have a cross-reference to the Demonstratio in col. 912 – ωσπερ ουν συνεστησαμεν εν ταις ευαγγελικαις αποδειξεσιν. It is suggested by Lightfoot that this part of the Quaestiones, the epitome or εκλογη εν συντομω, was added at a later date, in which case the Demonstratio would come between the Quaestiones and the Epitome.

Evidence from the mention of contemporary events is again conflicting, if we are seeking the date of the work as a whole. There is an obvious contrast between passages that speak of the Church as still undergoing persecution, e. g. Dem. 119 b, ο και εστιν εις δευρο θεωρουντας ενεργουμενον, ef. 182 d (εισετι και νυν) and 82 c, and those which in the manner of the earlier Apologists represent it as progressing and flourishing – e.g. Dem. 103 c and Praep. Ev. 9 d.  The |xiii usual explanation of these discrepancies is to suppose that different sections of the work took shape at different times, the former towards the end of the Terror, the latter after its conclusion. (Gifford, Praeparatio, Tom. iii. pars. i. p. xii.)

But there seems nothing unreasonable in supposing that an historical writer, engaged in defending Christianity on the ground of its endurance and success, while surveying in one coup d’oeil the three centuries of its past struggle, might very naturally refer to a persecution, that had but recently relaxed its pressure, as present. If this be thought probable we may consider the whole work to have been written between A.D. 314 and A.D. 318. For the more than probable allusion in Praep. Ev. 135 c to the punishment by Licinius of the Antiochene theosophical impostors, described in H.E. ix. 11, would place the date after A.D. 314, whereas the theological language would seem to be too unguarded to allow it to be likely that it was penned near the time when the decision of the Arian controversy was imminent. And Arius was already attracting attention in A.D. 319. (Bright: Church of the Fathers, i. 56.)


Books I and II form an Introduction, for the opening of Book III regards them as “prolegomena.” They describe the simplicity of Christian teaching, challenge the assumption that Christianity rests not on reason but on faith, and in claiming to use the Jewish scriptures, while rejecting the Jewish religion, establish the thesis that Christianity is a republication of the primitive religion of the patriarchs, from which the Mosaic religion was a declension, allowed by God because of the deterioration of the Jews under the assaults of the daemons during their exile in Egypt. Abundant prophetic evidence is given in Book II, that the coming of Messiah would synchronize with the downfall of the Jewish state, and the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Book III treats of Christ’s Humanity, and is perhaps the most modern part of the argument. By an elaborate rc.ditdio ul. absitrdum the impossibility of Jesus Christ being aught but Perfect Man and Divine also is dramatically and cogently shown. |xiv

Books IV and V deal with the Divinity of Christ as Son and Logos, and it is in them that passages of an Arian ring have roused the anger of orthodox commentators.

Book VI and the following books deal with our Lord’s Incarnate life as the fulfilment of prophecy. Book X reaches the Passion and is especially occupied with Judas and the Betrayal.

We may suppose with Lightfoot that the remainder of the work shewed the agreement of the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the foundation and growth of the Church with the predictions of the Jewish prophets.

A fragment of Book XV relates to the four kingdoms of the Book of Daniel, and suggests that that section of the work dealt with the doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church.


The Demonstratio comes at the end of a long series of apologetical works, and embodies and codifies their results. It is the work of a man of extraordinarily wide scholarship, which marshals and buttresses with additional support the “loci communes” of his predecessors. Eusebius is no adventurer breaking fresh ground.

A comparison of the Demonstratio with the Trypho or the contra Celsum reveals only a more systematic application of the argument from prophecy used by Justin and Origen. In some cases the prophecies are explained in almost identical language. We may instance the exegesis of Psalm xxii. in Book X with that of Justin, in Trypho, cc. 98-106, the references to Isaiah vii. 14, where he uses the language of Origen, contra Celsum, i. 35, points out that Jesus Christ alone suits the passage, and quotes Deut. xxii. 23, 24 in support of the translation of νεανις. The question of the Christian’s rejection of the Jewish Law and his acceptance of the Jewish scriptures had been handled by Justin, and the most striking portion of the Demonstratio, the argument in Book III, that Christ was no sorcerer, may be said to have been suggested by Origen, contra Celsum, ii. 48, and Justin, 1st Apol. c. 30. His explanation of the Old Testament Theophanies is that of the earlier Apologists, his insistence that Christianity rests on reason as well as |xv faith, and his allegorical method, are plainly those of Origen and the Alexandrian school. It could hardly have been otherwise. After two centuries of defensive warfare against Jews and Greeks, the lines of controversy were clearly defined, and the apologetic writer but reiterated in a new form against the critics of his own day, what his predecessors hud said against a previous generation of critics. His “loci communes” were well known to the Catechist, just as the ordinary course of instruction to candidates for Confirmation follows a definite line to-day. The most he could achieve was to present in a systematic form such a codification of existing arguments as the circle around him required.

Yet the Praeparatio opens with a remarkable claim to originality of method. Eusebius contrasts the “more logical” nature of his proofs with “refutations and contradictions of opposing arguments, exegesis of scripture, and controversial advocacy” (Praep. Ev. i. 3). Here alluding to a mass of evidential literature he proposes to reject “all deceitful and sophistical plausibilities” in favour of the evidence of the fulfilment of the Jewish prophecies in Christ, and the developing life of His Church. But this is very much what the earlier Apologists set out to do. In what sense can Eusebius say: “The purpose, however, which we have in hand is to be worked out in a way of our own” (Praep. Ev. 7 a)?

Lightfoot argues that Eusebius is referring to the use of lengthy quotations, by means of which religious ideals, that clash with Christianity, may be allowed to speak for themselves, as is stated in Praep. Ev. 16 d. “I shall not set down my own words, but those of the very persons who have taken the deepest interest in the worship of them whom they call Gods.” But he admits that there was little originality in this method of controversy. It had been employed by the earlier Apologists.

The real claim of Eusebius seems to be made clear by the context. He quotes 1 Cor. ii. 14; iii. 6; and 2 Cor. iii. 5 as guides for avoiding “deceitful and sophistical plausibilities” and for the use of proofs free from ambiguity. And he contrasts the value of “words” with that of the evidence of “works” on which he prefers to rely. By “works” he means the power of Christ as a living, moving |xvi energy in human life. The exact fulfilment of Christ’s anticipations, the triumph of His Church as foretold in Matt. xvi. 18, the fate of the Jews, and the wonderful fulfilment of the predictions of the Hebrew prophets are the “works” upon which Eusebius proposes to base his “demonstration.”

But even so it can hardly be said that there was anything novel in such an intention, looking back to the apologies of Justin, Athenagoras, Aristides and Tatian. There is a series of chapters in Justin which reads almost like an outline sketch of the Demonstratio. Eusebius, therefore, can hardly have meant that the method which he adopted was new in the sense that it had not been used before. What then did he mean? Surely he must have had in his mind the methods or evidential writers of his own day. He must have been thinking of dialectical encounters with literary opponents. He may only have intended to stress his determination to abstain in the Demonstratio from meeting the objections of Porphyry and his followers point by point, as Origen had dealt with Celsus. If the method of Origen had made a deep impression on the educated world, and if Eusebius was regarded in any sense as belonging to the school of Origen, it was natural for him to state definitely that he proposed in his new work to follow a different course from Origen’s. Origen’s method was to follow every turn of the trail of a slippery foe: his opponent, so to say, made the game. Eusebius wished it to be understood that he started with a well-ordered programme of Scriptural exposition, and did not intend to be drawn aside into detailed controversy on points that had been raised by individual controversialists.

This intention, however fitfully and diffusely it is carried through, can never be said to be lost sight of in the Demonstratio. We have a constant recurrence to the massive evidence of a growing and flourishing Church, a changed society, a converted character. The heart of the argument is the connection of this external evidence with the Divine and Human Person of Christ.

The lever that is intended to move the mind to realize the uniqueness of Christ is the exposition of a series of prophecies, whose selection, systematic arrangement and treatment confers on Eusebius, if not the crown of originality, |xvii at least the praise of having carefully codified the work of his predecessors.

The Demonstratio then, like all the best apologetic work of the early Church, is based on the continuous living evidence of the action of a Divine Power. “The help,” says Eusebius, “which comes down from the God of the Universe supplies to the teaching and Name of our Saviour its irresistible and invincible force, and its victorious power against its enemies” (Praep. Ev. 9 d).

Compared with the Octavius, the Trypho, or the contra Celsum the Demonstratio may seem cold and academic, for it lacks the charm and interest of the dialogue-form. Where they are redolent of the open air, and the marketplace, it suggests the lecture-hall and the pulpit. Much of the warmth, directness, and reality has evaporated from the appeal of Eusebius. These are obvious criticisms. But it must be remembered that Eusebius wrote for the cultured people of his own age. His method and manner are less perhaps the result of his own temperament than the production of a stately and courtly entourage. As the heir of the apologetic of the market-place, and of a struggling sect of believers, he was called by the genius of his own time to reproduce in a polished and rhetorical style, for an educated circle, the old arguments which had welled forth from the lips of the infant Church in spontaneous freedom and life. There can be no doubt that the world for which they were intended received in the Praeparatio and the Demonstratio what was for it the most unanswerable defence of the Christian Religion.


The Third Book of the Demonstratio seems to claim special consideration. As a piece of apologetic it is extraordinarily full and to the point. It seizes the real salients in the evidential controversy, and is occupied with topics which must always come foremost in the defence of Christianity. It is no argument in the air, it comes down to meet the ordinary unbeliever in the crowd, and begins by speaking to him of Christ as “one bearing ordinary humanity and like the rest.” Upon the acknowledged basis of the beauty of His human life, and the perfection of His ethical teaching |xviii better understood and more universally acknowledged by non-Christians in the modern world than they were then except by a few thinkers like Porphyry, the argument passes to the Miracles, which are the evidence that Christ is something more than human, to hypotheses which professed to account for them, viz. invention and sorcery, and to the question of the credibility of the witnesses to our Lord’s abnormal acts. It is remarkable that one who could be so diffuse should, in so short a space, have combined so many arguments in one connected scheme; and still more that he should have made central the points that are central, viz. the historical Person of Christ, His Ethics, His miraculous Power, and the credibility of the Gospel-writers, treated as involving generally all belief in witness to historical facts.

The great mass of the Demonstratio is an elaborate rechauffee of past apologetics, but in this book we feel the touch of something fresh, free, original, something that springs from keen, personal interest, warm perception, and ardent conviction. It is not sword-play, but actual warfare, and there are rapier-strokes of satire, which the hand of Swift might have dealt. In literary quality, as well as in appositeness to the subject discussed, the book is remarkable. Its finish, completeness in itself, and contrast with the Demonstratio as a whole might suggest that it was a separate essay, written in actual controversy with an opponent who drew out Eusebius’ keenest logic and dialectical skill, and that this essay was eventually incorporated in the greater but more academic work.

Its argument may be summarized as follows:

[[87-102]] Jesus claimed in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke iv. 21) to be the fulfilment of the prophecy of a Saviour (Isa. lxi. i). Moses’ prophecy of a successor “like himself” (Deut. xviii. 15), who should come at the fall of the Jewish kingdom (Gen. xlix. 10), Isaiah’s “Root of Jesse” (Isa. xi. 1), Micah’s prediction of Bethlehem (Micah v. 2), Isaiah’s “suffering servant” (Isa. liii. 3-8), who died that He might rise to rule over the world through His Church, are only fulfilled in Christ.

[[102-107c]] Reply to attacks upon Christ as (i) deceiver; (ii) wizard.– First on the basis of mere humanity (ως περι κοινου και τοις λοιποις παραβλησιου) Christ must be realized as the best |xix man who ever lived. Consider the ethical outcome of His teaching, in purity, meekness, sanity of mind, benevolence, love of truth. He called back the lost ideals of Abraham, and gave them to the whole world; their value is admitted, for even the Greek oracles praise Abraham’s monotheism. He abjured a sacrificial worship, but so did Porphyry (de Abst. ii. 34) and Apollonius of Tyana. He taught that the world was created and would one day be destroyed, even as Plato did, and also the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul, and thus made His poor disciples wiser than supercilious philosophers, who seem proud to claim identity with the flea, the worm, and the fly. He stressed a divine judgment, punishment, and an eternal life with God. He recognized angels and daemons, helpers and foes of the soul just as the Hebrews did. All this is ethically sound.

[[107d-125b]] But there was a divine side to Christ, as is shown by His Miracles of mercy and love; He died voluntarily, rose again, and ascended to heaven. The miraculous in the life of Christ is in line with the miraculous in Christianity. Those who deny it must either prove that it was invented, or the result of sorcery. Now the type of teaching Christ gave His disciples is utterly opposed to their inventing falsehoods. It was ascetic, and made truth and purity the first essentials of conduct. If you admit the fanciful hypothesis that He really taught them fraud and specious lying you are landed in absurdities. Deceit could afford no corporate cohesion, κακω κακος ου φιλος, ουδε αγαθω: and again, what had they to expect but a death like His? After His death, too, they only honoured Him the more! They were even ready to die for Him. It is inconceivable that they knew Him to be really vicious. And equally impossible that, if they were, they should propose to convert the whole world, and actually do so, poor and uneducated as they were. You must imagine them meeting secretly after the Crucifixion, admitting Christ’s deceit, and yet conspiring to propagate the Gospel-story: “Let us see,” they say, “that our freak lasts even to death. There is nothing ridiculous in dying for nothing at all.” “What could be finer than to make both gods and men our enemies for no possible reason? . . . And suppose we convince no one. we shall have the satisfaction of drawing |xx down upon ourselves in return for our inventions the retribution for our deceit.” Such theories are ridiculous, for there is no doubt that persecution and death faced the Apostles. Yet there was no traitor among them after the Ascension. And they actually succeeded in their adventure. Now this hypothesis of a conspiracy to deceive might be used with equal force with regard to Moses, or the Greek philosophers, and indeed all those whose lives history records.

The simplicity, devotion, and ascetic lives of the Apostles guarantee their honesty. They faced all for truth and the Name of Christ. The Gospels reveal their modesty and straightforwardness in unexpected ways. It has been well said: “We must put complete confidence in the disciples of Jesus, or none at all”; distrust of them logically means distrust of all writers. Why allow invidious distinctions? The Passion is the crowning crux, how could they have invented a story which would handicap all their efforts? That they gave a true account of it really authenticates their accounts of the Miracles, and glorious manifestations of Christ.

The evidence of Josephus, too, may be called in with good effect. (See note on this passage.)

[[125b-141a]] Against the alternative view that Christ was a sorcerer.- The suggestion is opposed to the whole trend of His teaching and manner of life. He was unworldly, pure, and retiring; sorcerers are the reverse. If He had been one His followers would have resembled Him, but the great mark of the whole Christian Church is its abhorrence of magic. No Christian has ever admitted himself to be a sorcerer even to escape death. And this argument may be extended-in all ways the virtues of Christians vouch for the character of their Master. They afford “clear evidence of the nurture of His words.” The Greeks boast of the self-sacrifice of Democritus and Krates, but Christian zealots can be counted by the myriad. They know what Plato alone knew about God, but he was confessedly unable to make God known, whereas it is the common task of the Christians.

But was Christ’s sorcery self-taught, or learned from others ? If the former then it showed something of the nature of supernatural power, if the latter, meaning that He was taught it in Egypt, what a strange thing that Christ |xxi should so utterly outstrip His teachers, and institute a new nation and new laws, as He has done. Once more note that He paid no court to the daemons, and that they even now shudder at His Name. Think of His union with the Father, His purity, justice and truth, His perfect character, and you will laugh at the suggestion. The very drumons hear witness to him in the Oracles quoted by Porphyry as “a man signal in holiness.” His grandeur is shown by His choice of poor men for apostles, “because maybe he had in mind to do the most unlikely things.” And what a design it was-to rule the whole world! And His followers were to do the work simply “in His Name.” That alone explains their success. They had to preach the paradox, that God came on an embassy in a human body, and died on a Cross! The only explanation of their success is His co-operation with them, for the Gospel in itself is not plausible. The Power He gave them to work miracles amazed their hearers, and induced them to yield to the message: without His Power they could never have succeeded.

And you may add to this the providential preparation of the world for the preaching of the Gospel through the establishment of the Roman Empire, whose Heads both by their leniency and severity have assisted the divine purpose of spreading the Gospel. [[141a]]

Such a summary as the above is but a sorry skeleton. It is void of all the life and vividness, the subtle turns, the satirical touches of the argument. But it reveals on what ground the writer really rested in his defence of Christianity. His apology is seen to be not abstract and a priori, but almost modern in its hold on historical fact. Let us consider the points that stand out.

(i) There is the argument from Prophecy. It is fashionable to say that the Apologists were deluded in their persistent efforts to link the Gospel facts with prophetic predictions. No doubt they were in a sense deluded, and the greater part of the Demonstratio is a monument to the delusion. But yet, though the method is changed, there is still an argument from prophecy. The lines of optimistic hope for mankind that run through the Hebrew prophets |xxii do meet at the feet of Christ. He alone satisfies their majestic anticipations.

“We may say,” writes Prof. W. E. Barnes, in his essay On the Permanent Value of the Old Testament,6 “that the prophets saw, each under a form suited to his own age, a vision of God’s presence with men, realised to a new degree, and ‘specialised’ (if the word may be used) in Israel through the instrumentality of a visible leader of Israel. The ideas of a chosen people and of a chosen leader upon whom the Spirit of God rests are found in those prophetic passages.” The prophecies to which he alludes are Micah iv. 8 to v. 6; Isa. ix. 1-7, xi. i-io, Hi. 13 to liii. 12; Jer. xxiii. 15, 16. It is worthy of remark that in selecting five passages of typical Messianic prophecy, the fourth-century and the twentieth-century scholar choose three out of the five the same.

(ii) The historical Personality of Jesus as perfect Man stands out in a very modern way. The εν ανθρωποις πολιτευσαμενον και παθοντα of the Creed of Caesarea, upon which Eusebius had been brought up, had not failed of its effect; neither had his patient study of the Gospels. Whatever his theory of the union of the Divinity with the Humanity, he had a very clear and a very true conception of the Humanity of our Lord. He speaks of the Man Christ Jesus almost as One Whom he has known. Ho follows Him on His works of mercy. He catches the spirit of His words. He feels their supreme truth, their unexampled beauty, their divine audacity, their kingly authority. He imagines correctly Christ’s effect upon His followers, he argues back from the ideals of the followers to the uniqueness of the Master.

It is quite remarkable that Eusebius should start with the human Christ, and describe him as the best man that ever lived, before introducing the conception forced upon him by the Miracles that He was divine as well. It was the method of the Master Himself, and therefore the right one.

(iii) Eusebius’ view of the value of the witness of the writers of the Gospels, and of the first teachers of Christianity, has been a feature of many volumes of evidences to |xxiii the days of Butler and Paley and our own time. But it may be doubted whether the argument from the simplicity and transparent honesty of these “unlearned and ignorant men” has ever been more cogently put, their bravery, their persistence, their devotion, their facing the certainty of “labours, dangers and sufferings,” the magnificence of the design with which they set out, the paradox they were called to preach, the divine power that made them triumph.

In the last fifty years of New Testament criticism how often has it been evident that these books and their writers were being put to tests, from which all other records were exempt. This, too, Eusebius deprecated. Criticism should treat all alike, and to treat all as the Gospels have been treated would leave history a mass of questionable documents and disputed statements.

(iv) There is an ethical stress of deep significance in the whole book. The Humanity of Christ and His teaching are made to challenge the unbeliever first of all by their moral value; it is claimed for them that they satisfy, and more than satisfy, human aspirations after goodness. The Miracles are presented as worked for moral ends. It is the ethical interest that gives the fire of indignation and the sting of satire to the arguments that Christ is neither charlatan nor sorcerer. Again and again the purity and self-control, the justice and love of truth, the unselfishness and benevolence of the Christian teaching, and of its result in countless lives that philosophy would have been powerless to affect, are dwelt upon. As we have seen, Eusebius reads back from the lives of Christians the character of Christ – that is to say, he finds in actual life around him something of the moral ideal that he knows to be summed up in Christ from Whom the life of men around receives it. He shews throughout a very real appreciation of the bearing of faith on conduct. The life of the Christian is the ultimate Court of Appeal for the reality of Christ. Ethical value demonstrates a divine power as its spring and source. They that overcome the world prove the truth of the Gospel. Eusebius is defending the Gospel of a divine Christ; the merely human Christ is One Whose character implies the divine as well; and He is the source and stay of moral progress. Eusebius realized this; the |xxiv world of our day doubts it. But as has been well said: “There is no proof that the ethical principles have existed effectively in the past except in connection with Christian doctrine, so there is little probability that they can ever exist in the future, for the mass of men at least, except in dependence on a living Christ.”7


Eusebius was in his day the leading representative of ecclesiastical conservatism. That is to say, his theology was, allowing for the difference of period, almost precisely that of Origen. For as Dr. Bigg 8 has remarked : “What struck later ages as the novelty and audacity of Origen’s doctrine was in truth its archaism and conservatism.” This system of doctrine had captured the Eastern Church, and men like Eusebius had absorbed it from the lips of those who had sat at the feet of Origen himself. It was in accord with the general outlook of cultured men. It appeared to be the logical development of orthodox thought. It is true that elements that had been prominent in heretical teaching were included in it, but they were the good elements, and their carefully limited position in the system made them innocuous. It was the unfolding of the Logos-doctrine on a basis loyal to Scripture and the Rule of Faith. The Logos-theology was the natural way then to think about the immanence of God. It had been appropriated for the Christian Religion long ago by the Apologists. The theology based upon it stood not only for a fascinating idealistic faith, but also for (the strongest bulwark against what orthodoxy dreaded most-the heresies which tended to make the divine Persons but temporary manifestations of one Godhead, viz. Modalism or Sabellianism. The Logos-theology stressed the unchangeable-ness of the Father, and His distinction from the Son, one in essence though They might be. For the moment the distinction of the Son from the Father was more important to the Church than the question how far such a distinction implied subordination and inferiority. Justin had not  |xxv shirked the phrase δευτερος θεος, neither did Origen. As Dr. Sanday has said: “The reaction against Sabellianism (which became a general term including all forms of Monarchianism) had not a little to do with the exaggerations on the other side; and in particular the dread of this form of error contributed to the rapid rise and spread of Arianism.”9 The point where Arianism touched this established and somewhat quiescent theology was exactly where Origen had discouraged speculation. He had given to the Church the doctrine of the eternal generation, but pronounced its comprehension beyond human reason. Arians claimed the right to open a door that was shut. But the disciples of Origen were not perhaps so much disposed to quarrel with adventurers into the uncharted realms “of the ineffable relations of the Godhead before the remotest beginnings of time,”10 provided they held some form of the Logos-doctrine, as they were to withstand those who rejected it altogether. And their own language is to a later age sometimes indistinguishable from Arianism. Of such a theology the doctrinal parts of the Demonstratio may be considered representative. Let us briefly examine it.

As Harnack says : “Eusebius was more convinced than Origen that the idea of deity was completely exhausted in that of the strictly one and unchangeable ον the πρωτη ουσια; he separated the δευτερος θεος much further from God than the Apologists.”11 We therefore find the utmost emphasis laid on the Absolute Character of Cod the Unbegotten. He is “the One αρχη born before the first, earlier than the Monad” (745 b). He precedes the Son in existence (147), is “the greater God, and as such alone holds the name in His own right” (κυριως) (226). He is as the Sun to the world, too mighty to mingle with created things directly, requiring a Mediator, through whom to create and govern the created world (154).

Therefore by His own will He begets the Logos, “the first-born Wisdom altogether formed of Wisdom, and Reason and Mind, or rather Wisdom itself, Reason itself, and Mind itself” (146,1). He “alone bears the inconceivable image in Himself through which He is God, and also because of |xxvi His appointment to guide the Universe” (146 c); i.e. He is divine by essence as well as by office.

Eusebius uses the well-worn similes of the Apologists: the relation of the Father to the Son is as light to its ray, as myrrh to its scent, as a king to his portrait. But there is the important difference sufficiently stressed, that having been begotten the Son exists apart from the Father in His own essence (147). Yet worship is due to Him as δευτερος θεος because the greater God dwells in Him (226 d), as the image of a king is honoured not for its own sake, but for the sake of the king. So the words, “They shall know Thee the only true God” cannot be referred to the Logos or Holy Spirit, but only to the Unbegotten (231).

In the work of creation He stands “midway between the begotten and the Unbegotten.” As with Origen and the Neoplatonists He is the “idea of the world,” the basis (θεμελιος) for all created things (213). And it is because of His connection with the world that lower predicates are attached to Him – He is now God’s δημιουργημα (146 b) and υπουργος (257 b) ; the “second cause ” (216 b); “a second Lord” (227 d), and is said “to have attained secondary honours” (δευτερειων ηξιωσθαι) (227 d). So the Father is “Lord and God” of the Son (233 a).

In the Incarnation Eusebius teaches the distinctive doctrine of Origen that the Logos associates Himself with a pure, unfallen human soul. “He remains Himself immaterial and unembodied as He was before with the Father” (169 b). “No evil deed can harm Him, because He is not really embodied” (168). “He shared His own gifts with men, and received nothing in return” (ib.).

His Body is hut the earthen lamp through which His light shines (188). He comes to republish the true doctrine, from which man has fallen away through the deceptions of the dnemons, to establish a Church to preach it, and to bring man back to God. Once Eusebius uses the word συναποθεοω, “to deify men with Himself” as the object of the Incarnation (170). Five reasons are given for the Death on the Cross (167). It is chiefly the decisive triumph over the daemons, but it is also an expiatory sacrifice for the sins of men. “He offered Himself and the Humanity He assumed to the higher and greater God.” In His earthly life Christ now revealed the Humanity and |xxvii now the Divinity (165); and it is possible for Eusebius, leaving the Logos in the background, to devote part of a Book to meeting the common man on his own ground, and to treat of the perfection of Christ’s life and teaching as merely human.

The missing Books no doubt dealt with the Risen and Ascended Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are only hints on these topics in the Books before us. He is “Priest of the obedient to the Father” (164 d). There is a passage (220 a) which especially rouses the anger of de Billy, a famous student of the Greek Fathers in the sixteenth century. It is the interpretation of Ps. cix. : “The Lord said unto My Lord,” where the first Lord is said to mean the Father, and the second the Son, Who is thus confessed by the Holy Spirit in David, to be his Lord: “Quod quidem credere quid aliud est quam horrendae impietatis crimine se astringere!” (Billius, Obs. Sac. I. 29, p. 48).

It is clear that the theology of Origen is presented here either directly or by implication: Origen taught that God is the only real essence, that by the necessity of His Nature He reveals Himself; that by an act of will He eternally begets the Logos, which is His Consciousness, and also the Idea of the World; that the Logos being the Image of God is essentially God, not begotten in time nor out of the nonexistent; that He is no impersonal Force, but a Second Person in the Godhead. That as the Idea of the World He is subordinate, and in His office to creation both κτισμα and δημιουργημα; that His Incarnation is a Union (almost docetic) with an unfallen soul, with which He lives and which He draws up to Himself by bonds of mutual love; that His work on earth is chiefly the republication of truth to enlighten men blinded by daemons; that His Death was complete Victory over them, and also sacrificial; that the Humanity was gradually deified until at last the man Jesus passed into the Logos, and that this deification is the destiny of all who share the Logos now.

Such is a bald summary of perhaps the greatest theological system of antiquity, and it is obvious how it lies behind and beneath all that Eusebius says. Like Origen, he rests on Biblical exegesis and is dominated by the Rule of Faith; like Origen, he refrains from speculation on the mystery of the coming-into-being (ουσιωσις) of the Logos. He expresses |xxviii the point-of-view of a dominant theology in an assured tone. He speaks as one who voices the opinion of the great mass of cultured believers; for Origen was in possession, and Arius and the Homoousians were alike innovators.

The Creed of the Church of Caesarea, which Eusehius presented at Nicaea as an eirenicon to be accepted by both parties, embodied this theology. “It bears,” says Dr. Bright, “a considerable resemblance to that which the Council ultimately framed: it was emphatic on the personal distinctions in the Holy Trinity, asserting each Person to be and to exist as truly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; it recognizes “One Lord Jesus Christ as ‘the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Only-begotten Son, First-born of all Creation, Begotten before all ages, and through Whom all things come into being,’ and it mentioned also His becoming ‘incarnate for our salvation, His Life among men, His Passion, Resurrection on the third day, Ascension to the Father, and future Coming in glory to judge (the) quick and dead,’ and concluded as then quoted, with ‘We believe also in one Holy Spirit’; yet it was not sufficiently explicit as to the main point at stake, His eternal relation to the Father.” 12

This deficiency was to be supplied by the inclusion of the Homoousion. The Son must be defined as “of the same essence” as the Father. No statement that He was begotten before time was adequate. The Logos must be distinctly separated from the created Universe. And this the Homoousion alone would effect for minds of that day. But it was unfortunately a suspected term. It had been anathematized at the Council of Antioch (A.D. 269) when employed by Paul of Samosata. Athanasius used it sparingly in its hour of victory. Later on the Semi-Arians rejected it as savouring of Sabellianism. No wonder it seemed to steady conservatives like Eusebius, who did not wish to define the ineffable, to head straight for Modalistic views. How could two “of the same essence” be aught but one under different aspects? The doctrinal trend of Eusebius, as Harnack recognizes, was to widen the gulf between the πρωτη αιτια and the Logos, rather than to lessen it. The |xxix  Homoousion seemed perilously like filling it up. But with the necessary limitations he could conscientiously sign it. Safeguarded from Sabellian implications it was harmless. The theology of the Demonstratio shows quite clearly how and in what sense the word could be used credally by an exponent of the Origenic theology without any violence to conscience. It makes his attitude throughout the momentous days at Nicea intelligible and creditable to him as a peacemaker. The letter 13 he wrote to his diocese becomes no mere shuffling apology, but an honest statement. He makes it perfectly clear in what sense he understands the Homoousion. He explains that he has signed on the representation of the Emperor that “consubstantial” implied nothing physical, but must be regarded as having “a divine and mysterious signification.” Thus, he says that it does not imply that the Son is “a part of the Father,” nor does “Begotten, not made,” mean more than that the Son does not form part of the created Universe, and “does not resemble in any respect the creatures which He has made, but that to the Father alone, Who begat Him, He is in all points perfectly like; for He is of the essence and of the substance of none save the Father.”

He also said that he agreed to the anathemas on those who said that the Son “came out of the non-existent,” or that “there was a time when He was not,” because of the un-Scriptural nature of such expressions. Finally, he definitely asserted that the new formula was in agreement with the Creed that he had originally proposed.

Acquaintance with the Demonstratio guarantees the sincerity of the statement. If the Homoousion was to be understood as explained by Constantine, signing it involved no violent wrench with the past. It was capable of being transplanted into the creed of Eusebius. Even Origen had used the word in the sense now applied to it. If Eusebius signed with reluctance, he signed with sincerity.

There is a statement of Harnack’s that the Logos-doctrine as held by Eusebius “effaced the historical Christ.” It would give the impression that theologians of the school of Origen necessarily followed the Gnostics |xxx in all their flights. If Hellenic speculation had been the only wing of their theology, they might logically have held a faith of mere abstractions. But the school, like its master, was marked by its devotion to Scriptural exegesis. It was Biblical to the core. Hence such a statement as Harnack’s in the face of the earlier part of the Demonstratio appears grotesque and exaggerated. At any rate Eusebius’ hold on the Gospel history was firm and sure. No one can read the third Book without realizing that Eusebius had an interest in the earthly life of our Lord that effectually neutralized the dangers of Gnostic abstract speculation. He had an evangelical sense of the value of all the words and deeds of the Incarnate Christ. His picture of Jesus Christ is not a mass of high-sounding phrases and Biblical images, it is the work of a pastor of souls, who, however abstract his formal theology may be, understands quite well, that it is the concrete historical facts that move men, not the philosophical theories that underlie them, and that the Word took flesh and wrought the Creed of Creeds, that He might enter in at the doors, not only of the lowly, but of all who are formed of human elements.


It will be useful, perhaps, to bring together here the passages in the Demonstratio which allude to the Eucharist. They are all incidental to the argument, and therefore doctrinally all the more interesting. They express the common sense of the Eastern Church on the subject in a spontaneous way.

(i) 37 b. sqq.-Jesus the Lamb of God by His sacrifice frees us from the Mosaic Law. “We are therefore right in celebrating daily His memory, and the Memorial of His Body and Blood (την τουτου μνημην του τε σωματος αυτου και του αιματος την υπομνησιν οσημεραι επιτελουντες).” “Thus we enter on a greater sacrifice and priestly act (θυσια and ιερουργια) than that of the ancients.” The earlier sacrifices were “weak and beggarly elements,” mere symbols and images (συμβολα και εικονες), not embracing truth itself.

We notice here the use of the words μνημη, υπομνησις, θυσια and ιερουργια, and the application of συμβολα και |xxxi εικονες in a depreciatory sense to the Jewish sacrifices, as not “embracing the truth.” The words are later on applied to the Sacraments, in the sense that they do embrace truth. (See Note on passage.)

A little lower it proceeds –

“We have received through Christ’s mystic dispensation the symbols that are true, and archetypal of the images that preceded them” (τα αληθη και των εικονων τα αρχετυπα). For Christ offered to the Father “a wonderful sacrifice and unique victim” (θυμα και σφαγιον), and “delivered us a memory (μνημη) to offgr continually to God in place of a sacrifice (προσφερειν αντι θυσιας).”

This (μνημη is “celebrated on a table by means of the symbols of His Body and His saving Blood (επι τραπεζης δια συμβολων του τε σωματος αυτου και του σωτηριου αιματος).” It fulfils Ps. xxiii. 5. “Thus in our rites we have been taught to offer through our whole lives bloodless and reasonable and acceptable sacrifices through His Supreme High Priest.” (Cf. Pss. 1. 14, 15; cxli. 2; li. 17; Mal. i. 11.) It is our sacrifice of praise: “we sacrifice in a new way according to the new covenant, the pure sacrifice.” “A contrite heart” has been called a sacrifice to God (Ps. li. 17). And we burn the incense, “the sweet-smelling fruit of excellent theology, offering it by means of our prayers.” “So we sacrifice and burn incense, celebrating the memory of the great sacrifice in the mysteries which He has delivered to us, and bringing to God our Thanksgiving for our Salvation (την υπερ σωτηριας ημων ευχαριστιαν) by means of pious hymns and prayers, dedicating ourselves wholly to Him and His High Priest, the Word Himself, making our offering in body and soul (ανακειμενοι).”

Here we have συμβολον used in the sacramental sense; and the inner nature of the sacrifice is stressed; the real sacrifice is the contrite heart offered through the Great High Priest, and the incense (non-existent materially in the service then) is the θεολογια of the worshipper. It is a choral, prayerful self-dedication and Eucharist.

(ii) 223 b. – Christ fulfilled the priesthood of Melchizedek, not Aaron. “And our Saviour Jesus, the Christ of God, after the manner of Melchizedek still even now accomplishes by means of His ministers the rites of His |xxxii priestly work amongst men.” Like Melchizedek, Christ first and His priests after Him “accomplishing their spiritual sacrificial work according to the laws of the Church, represent with wine and bread the mysteries of His Body and saving Blood” (οινω και αρτω του τε σωματος αυτου και του σωτηριου αιματος αινιττονται τα μυστηρια).

(iii) 380 d. – The expressions in Zech. ix. 9 and 15, are allusions to the Eucharist, and point to the joy given by the mystic wine, and the glory and purity of the mystic food. “For He delivered the symbols (συμβολα) of His divine dispensation to his disciples, bidding them make the image of His own Body (την εικονα του ιδιου σωματος ποιεσθαι).” Rejecting the Mosaic sacrifices, He delivered them bread to use as a symbol of His Body (αρτω χρησθαι συμβολω του ιδιου σωματος).

This further illustrates the use of συμβολον.

We gather from these passages: – (i) That the Mosaic Sacrifice, the Sacrifice on the Cross, and the Eucharistic Sacrifice are intimately related. The latter is a Memorial of the Sacrifice of the Cross in a far higher sense than the Jewish sacrifices were foreshadowings uf it. They were but symbols that were unreal, the Eucharist is a symbol but it “embraces reality,” i.e. it includes what it represents. It is the archetype of which they were symbols.

(ii) The Eucharist is nothing, if it is not inward. It is a means for the offering of a contrite heart, and the incense of true knowledge of God. It is no mere outward act; in and through the outward act is the inner oblation.

(iii) Though in line with the Mosaic system the Eucharist is far more in line with the primeval offering of blessing made by Melehizedek with bread and wine, not with animal victims.

(iv) The Eucharist we gather was celebrated daily, and with music.

[Cf. Darwell Stone, A History of the Doctrine of the Eucharist, London, 1909, vol. i 109-111. A. Harnack, History of Dogma, iv. 291.]

§ 8. MSS., ETC.

The earliest MS. of the Demonstratio is the Codex known as the Medicean or “Parisinus 469,” of the twelfth century, |xxxiii registered in the Catalogue of the Library of Paris, vol. ii. p. 65. It is deficient at the beginning and end, beginning with the words η παιδισκη σοι, p. 17, and ending at της σωτηρος ημων παρακελευσεως, p. 688. These deficiencies were supplied by J. A. Fabricius in his Delectus argumentorum et syllabus scriptorum, qui veritatem religionis Christianae adversos atheos . . . asseruerunt, who used a copy that had been made by Stephen Bergler, at Hamburg, in 1725, from a MS. in the possession of Nicholas Mavrocordato, Prince of Wallachia, who collected many Greek MSS. from Mount Athos and other monasteries. The MS. was unfortunately lost at the death of the Prince. Bergler gave no information about its age or condition. It was almost certain that it was either derived from Parisinus 469 before its mutilation, or from a MS. of the same family.

There are four other MSS. of the Demonstratio at Paris, parchments of the sixteenth century numbered 470, 471, 472 and 473 in the Catalogue, vol. ii. pp. 65, 66. And there is at St. John’s College, Oxford, a parchment MS. of the fifteenth century (No. 41 in the Catalogue of O. Coxius, p. 12). As all these have the same deficiencies, there is little doubt that they come from the common source, Parisinus 469.

There is a sixth MS. in the Ambrosian Library, at Milan, of the fifteenth century, of the same family (Montfaucon in Bibliothcca Bibliothecarum, vol. i. p. 527). And a seventh was possessed by T. F. Mirandola, and was used by Donatus of Verona for his Latin version, first published at Rome in 1498.

Of the four later Paris MSS., 473 bears the date 1543, and was written at Venice (or 1533 according to Montfaucon, Diario Italico, p. 408) by Valeriano of Forli. One of the four was no doubt the foundation of Stephen’s Paris edition of 1548.

The Oxford MS. was collated by Gaisford with this edition of Robert Stephen in 1548 with the minutest care. But in the opinion of Dindorf his work added little to the elucidation of the text, beyond the correction of a few slight mistakes of copying, the divergencies in the quotations from the LXX being probably changes made by later scribes in order to bring the quotations into agreement with the accepted text. |xxxiv

Dindorf’s conclusion is that a satisfactory text is secured by the use of the Parisinus 469, on which his own edition (Teubner series) is based. It is, he says, comparatively free from the errors of transcribers, with the exception of some lacunae; (pp. 195 d, 210 a, 217 b), and from the frequent interpolations of the Praeparatio and the History, because the Demonstratio, having fewer readers, was seldom copied. There is, therefore, little room in the study of the text for conjectural emendation.

The first Edition of the Greek was that of Robert Stephen, 1548.

Viguier’s Praeparatio was published at Paris in 1628, with the Demonstratio and other works of Eusebius, and the Latin translation of Donatus.

Gaisford’s edition (2 vols., Oxford) appeared in 1852 with critical apparatus and the same Latin translation.

The Demonstratio forms vol. xxii. of the Greek Patrology of Migne (1857), who uses the Paris edition of 1628 with the same translation.

The most recent text is W. Dindorf’s in the Teubner Series (Leipzig, 1867), from whose Preface the data of the above are drawn.

The Latin version of Donatus (Rome, 1498) was reprinted at Basle in 1542, 1549, 1559 and 1570, and with the Scholia of J. J. Grynaeus at Paris in 1587. It is remarkable for its omissions and alterations of passages doctrinally suspected.

The present translation is made from the text of Gaisford (Oxford, 1852), with reference to Migne.


The Contents of the First Book of the Proof of the Gospel of Our Saviour

1. The Object and Contents of the Work.
2. The Character of the Christian Religion.
3. That the System of Moses was not Suitable for All Nations.
4. Why is it we reject the Jews’ Way of Life, though we accept their Writings?
5. The Character of the New Covenant of Christ. |xxxv
6. The Nature of the Life according to the New Covenant proclaimed by Christ.
7. How Christ having first fulfilled the Law of Moses became the Introducer of a New and Fresh System.
8. That the Christian Life is of Two Distinct Characters.
9. Why a Numerous Offspring is not as Great a Concern to us as it was to them of Old Time.
10. Why we are not bidden to burn Incense and to sacrifice the Fruits of the Earth to God, as were the Men of Old Time.

The Contents of Book II

1. That we have not embraced the Prophetic Hooks of the Hebrews without Aim and Object.
2. That their Prophets gave their Host Predictions for us of the Foreign Nations.

1, 2, 3. From Genesis.
4. From Deuteronomy.
5. From Psalm xxi.
6. From Psalm xlvi.
7. From Psalm lxxxv.
8. From Psalm xcv.
9. From Zechariah.
10, 11. From Isaiah.

3. That the same Prophets foretold that at the Coming of Christ All Nations would learn the Knowledge and Holiness of the God, Who formerly was only known to the Hebrews.

12. From Psalm ii.
13. From Psalm lxxi.
14. From Psalm xcvii.
15. From Genesis.
16, 17. From Zephaniah.
18. From Zecheriah.
19, 20, 21, 22, 23. From Isaiah.

4. That the Call of the Gentiles coming to pass through Christ, there would be a Decline in the Jewish Nation from its Godly Holiness.

24, 25. From Jeremiah.
26. From Amos.
27. From Mienh.
28. From Zecheriah. |xxxvi
29. From Malachi.
30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. From Isaiah.

5. That the Divine Promises did not extend to the whole Jewish Nation, but only to a few of them.

36, 37, 38, 39, 40,41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49. From Isaiah.
50, 51. From Micah.
52. From Zephaniah.
53. From Zechariah.
54, 55. From Jeremiah.
56, 57, 58, 59, 60. From Ezekiel.

The Contents of Book III

1. That the Prophets made Mention of the Gospel of Christ.
2. That they prophesied of Christ.
3. How we should reply to those who suppose Him to have been a Deceiver.
4. Of His Diviner Works.
5. Against those that disbelieve the Account of our Saviour’s Miracles, given by His Disciples.
6. That He worked not His Miracles by Sorcery, but by Divine Virtue and Power.
7. That from this Working they who love Truth perceive also the Power of His Divinity.

The Contents of Book IV

1. Of the Mystical Dispensation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Son of God.
2. That we hold that the Son of God was before the Whole Creation.
3. That we rightly teach that there are not many Sons of the Supreme God, but One only, God of God.
4. That the Only-begotten Son of God must be considered necessarily anterior to the Whole Universe.
5. That we hold that there are Numberless Divine Created Powers, but One alone of the Son, whereby we describe Him as the Image of God the Father.
6. That from the First Constitution of the Universe, the |xxxvii Christ of God has been the Invisible Guardian of Godly Souls.
7. That to the Hebrews alone of Old was the Knowledge of the True God revealed, being known by the Manifestation of Christ.
8. That the Other Nations assigned to Certain Angels, worshipped the Stars of Heaven.
9. Of the Hostile Power opposed to God, and of its Ruler, and how the Whole Race of Mankind was in Subjection thereto.
10. That the Only-Begotten Son of God of Necessity made His Entry among Mankind.
11. That He passed through the Life of Men.
12. That the Laws of Loving-kindness called Him even to them that had been long Dead.
13. That even when He was made Man He continued in the Nature that cannot suffer, nor be harmed, nor be embodied.
14. That renewing Humanity He afforded to us all the Hope of Eternal Good.
15. What the Advent of Christ is meant to shew forth, and that He is called God and Lord, and High Priest of the God of the Universe by the Hebrew Prophets.
16. In which Prophetic Scriptures the Christ is foretold by Name.

From Psalm ii.
From Psalm xix.
From Psalm xxvii.
From Psalm lxxxiii.
From Psalm lxxxviii.
From Psalm cxxxi.
From Amos.
From Habakkuk.
From the Lamentations of Jeremiah.
From the First Hook of Kings.
From Psalm xlv.

17. That the Name of Jesus was also honoured among the Ancient Saints.

From Exodus.
From Zechariah. |xxxviii

The Contents of Book V

How the Hebrew Prophets predicted the Future, and shed the Light of True Theology. And how many Prophetic Voices made Mention of the Divine Pre-existence of the Saviour.

1. From the Proverbs.
2. From Psalm xlv.
3. Psalm cix.
4. Isaiah.
5. Psalm xxxii.
6. Isaiah.
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Genesis.
13, 14, 15, 16, 17. Exodus.
18. From Numbers.
19. Joshua, son of Nave.
20. Job.
21. Psalm xc.
22. Hosea.
23. Amos.
24. Obadiah.
25, 26, 27. Zechariah.
28, 29. Malachi.

The Contents of Book VI

Of His Sojourn among Men from the following Scriptures.

1. From Psalm xvii.
2. From Psalm xlvi.
3. From Psalm xlix.
4. From Psalm lxxxiii.
5. From Psalm xcv.
6. From Psalm xcvii.
7. From Psalm cvi.
8. From Psalms cxvi. and cxvii.
9. From Psalm cxliii.
10. From Psalm cxlvii.
11. From the Second Book of Kings.
12. From the Third Book of Kings.
13. From Micah.
14. From Habakkuk. |xxxix
15. From the same.
16, 17, 18. From Zechariah.
19. From Baruch.
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. From Isaiah.

The Contents of Book VII

1. What the Character of God’s Sojourn among Men was from the following Scriptures.

1, 2, 3. From Isaiah.

2. Where it was prophesied that Christ should be horn.

4. From Micah.
5. From Psalm cxxxi.

3. From what Tribe it was announced that He should spring from the following Scriptures.

6. From the Second Book of Chronicles.
7. From Psalm lxxi.
8. From Isaiah.
9. From Jeremiah.
10. From Genesis.

The Contents of Book

Of the Date of His appearing among Men from the following Scriptures.

1. From Genesis.
2. From Daniel.
3. From Micah.
4. From Zechariah.
5. From Isaiah.

The Contents of Book IX

Of the Things to be done in Connection with His Incarnation from the following Scriptures.

1. From Numbers.
2. From Isaiah.
3. From Numbers.
4. From Hosea.
5, 6. From Isaiah.
7. From Psalm xc.
8. From Isaiah.  |xl
9. From Psalm lxvii.
10. From Isaiah.
11. From Deuteronomy.
12. From Job.
13, 14, 15, 16. From Isaiah.
17. From Zechariah.
18. From Psalm cxvii.

The Contents of Book X

Of the Conspiracy of Judas the Traitor and those with Him. to be formed against Christ, from the following Scriptures.

1. From Psalm xl.
2. From Psalm liv.
3. From Psalm cviii.
4. From Zechariah.
5. From Jeremiah.

Of the Events at the Time of His Passion.

6. From Amos.
7. From Zechariah.
8. From Psalm xxi.

The above list of chapters was given at the beginning of each book. It was lost from the Paris Codex for Book I together with the first pages of that book, and from the copies, one of which Robert Stephen used in his edition of 1545. In the Paris edition of 1628, the editor composed the headings of the first three chapters, and supplied the others from a second catalogue, which is given at the head of each chapter throughout the work. Though no doubt the catalogue was complete in the Mavrocordato Codex, Stephen Bergler omitted to give it in the portion of the work which he supplied for the edition of Fabricius.

The headings of the separate chapters, which are in our translation given in their places and form a second catalogue, are much fuller than the introductory list, being enriched by outlines of the prophetic passages that are used.

[Footnotes have been renumbered and moved to the end]

1. [1] Gifford, Praeparatio Evangelica, p. i. a, hereafter often cited as G.P.E.

2. [2] G.P.E., p. 3 b.

3. [3] G.P.E., p. 3 c.

4.  [1] Lightfoot, D.C.B. ii. 329.

5.  [2] Ibid. 331.

6.  [1] Cambridge Theological Essays (London 1906), p. 350.

7.  [1] J. F. Bethune-Baker, “Christian Doctrines and their Ethical Significance,” in Cambridge Theological Essays (London 1906), p. 571.

8.  [2] C. Bigg, The Christian Platonists of Alexandria.

9.  [1] Christologies, Ancient and Modern, p. 40.

10.  [2] Stanley, Eastern Church, iii. 80.

11.  [3] History of Dogma, iii. 136 (note).

12.  [1] W. Bright, Church of the Fathers, i. vi. 88. The creed is given. Theodoret, H. E. i. 1.

13.  [1] Theodoret, H.E. i. 12.

THIS translation was published by SPCK in 1920 in two hardback volumes.  It was republished in 1981, and is currently in print in a single volume paperback for $25,  published by Wipf & Stock, March 2001, ISBN: 0927022494; available from various sites online, although not Amazon, e.g. Pentecostal Publishing.

This transcription is not as complete as it might be.  In particular, it omits the bible references, almost all the footnotes, and a certain number of the references to the Greek text.  This is because it has been a struggle to transcribe.

Some months ago, a fellow-enthusiast for scanning patristic material, Peter Kirby mentioned online that he intended to scan the only English translation of Eusebius’ Demonstratio Evangelica. By coincidence, I had just obtained a photocopy of the SPCK edition. As this was a work in which I was interested, I contacted him and offered my help.  He began work on the introduction, while I scanned book 2.  Neither of us much enjoyed the experience.  The SPCK edition was hard to scan, and manual corrections of the interminable footnotes, and manually incorporating the marginal scripture references and Greek edition codes took forever.  After these, Peter began work on Book 1, while I started on Book 3.  Neither of us ever finished.  Instead, more pressing (and achievable) tasks were undertaken.  However the intention remained, and a 2-inch deep pile of photocopies on the side kept looking at me.

On New Year’s Eve 2002, I decided to try to place at least the English  text online.  This could be scanned and proofed and formatted far more quickly, ignoring marginal material, and all the footnotes.  After all, it is better to have the text only, than nothing.  This I have proceeded to do, completing on the 3rd January 2003.

Naturally I haven’t discarded the material done so far.  I reformatted and completed the material scanned by Peter into the standard format I use on these pages.  I found that the book 2 text had actually been lost, but fortunately a proofed but unformatted copy was still on my hard disk.  Likewise I used the material already proofed for book 3.  I scanned book 1 myself, and experimented with marking up the Greek location numbers in Green.  I quickly found this slowed matters to a crawl, and desisted.  Greek text was a problem — Peter had done his into HTML characters, while mine was a mix of Symbol and SPIonic.

All these inconsistencies remain in the scanned text.  I apologise for them.  It would have been possible, but tedious, to remove them.  However, I felt that it was better to include material from footnotes etc which was available, and put up with the incomplete nature of it.  The reader should be aware that, apart from the intro and book 2, the selection of footnotes, scripture references, Greek locations is sporadic, and its absence indicative of nothing but transcription difficulties.

The footnotes are primarily in Greek, and consist of variants in the biblical text, with that of Westcott & Hort.  Other footnotes consist of quotations from Shakespear, or common-place comments on the fathers.  If you want the extra material, either contact me with an offer of help, or else support the reprint and buy a copy!  The printed text is cheap, and much handier than a pile of print-offs.

I have included the SPCK catalogue of publications for 1920.  It is useful to see a list of all this material, which is now in the public domain, and it probably helps those looking for such things as English translations of the Fathers.

I am aware that the quality is probably not all that high.  However, I have little belief that the text will appear online, unless these shortcuts are taken.  I hope readers will be understanding; and if you find errors, by all means send them in to me at rpearse@tertullian.org.

1st-3rd January 2003


“The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the (b) presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies. The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had (c) not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions.”





SEE now, Theodotus,3 miracle of bishops, holy man of God, I am carrying through4 this great work with the help of God and our Saviour the Word of God, after completing at the cost of great labour my Preparation for the Gospel {2} in fifteen books.

Grant then, dear friend, my request, and labour with rue henceforward in your prayers in my effort to present the Proof of the Gospel from the prophecies extant among the Hebrews from the earliest times. I propose to adopt this method. I propose to use as witnesses those men, beloved by God, whose fame you know to be far-spread in the world: {2} Moses, I mean, and his successors, who shone forth with resplendent godliness, and the blessed prophets and sacred writers. I propose to shew, by quotations from them, how they forestalled events that came to the light long ages after their time, the actual |2  circumstances of the Saviour’s own presentment of the Gospel, and the things which in our own day are being fulfilled by the Holy Spirit before our very eyes. It shall be my task to prove that they saw that which was not present as present, and that which as yet was not in existence as actually existing; and not only this, but that they foretold in writing the events of the future for posterity, so that by their help others can even now know what is coming, and look forward daily to the fulfilment of their oracles. What sort of fulfilment, do you ask? {3} They are fulfilled in countless and all kinds of ways, and amid all circumstances, both generally and in minute detail, in the lives of individual men, and in their corporate life, now nationally in the course of Hebrew history, and now in that of foreign nations. Such things as civic revolutions, changes of times, national vicissitudes, the coming of foretold prosperity, the assaults of adversity, the enslaving of races, the besieging of cities, the downfall and restoration of whole states, and countless other things that were to take place a long time after, were foretold by these writers.

But it is not now the time for me to provide full proof of this. I will postpone most of it for the present, and perhaps, from the truth of what I shall put before you, there will be some guarantee of the possibility of proving what is passed over in silence.


The Object and Contents of the Work.

IT seems now time to say what I consider to be desirable at present to draw from the prophetic writings for the proof of the Gospel. {4} They said that Christ, (Whom they named) the Word of God, and Himself both God and Lord, and Angel of Great Counsel, would one day dwell among men, and would become for all the nations of the world, both Greek and Barbarian, a teacher of true knowledge of God, and of such duty to God the Maker of the Universe, as the preaching of the Gospel includes. They said that He would become a little child, and would be called the Son of Man, as born of the race of Mankind. They foretold the |3 wondrous fashion of His birth from a Virgin, and—strangest of all—they did not omit to name Bethlehem5 the place of His birth, which is to-day so famous that men still hasten from the ends of the earth to see it, but shouted it out with the greatest clearness. As if they stole a march on history these same writers proclaimed the very time of His appearance, the precise period of His sojourn on earth.

It is possible for you, if you care to take the trouble, to see with your eyes, comprehended in the prophetic writings, all the wonderful miracles of our Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, that are witnessed to by the heavenly Gospels, and to hear His divine and perfect teaching about true holiness. How it must move our wonder, when they unmistakably proclaim the new ideal of religion preached by Him to all men, the call of His disciples, and the teaching of the new Covenant. {5} Yes, and in addition to all this they foretell the Jews’ disbelief in Him, and disputing, the plots of the rulers, the envy of the Scribes, the treachery of one of His disciples, the schemes of enemies, the accusations of false witnesses, the condemnations of His judges, the shameful violence, unspeakable scourging, ill-omened abuse, and, crowning all, the death of shame. They portray Christ’s wonderful silence, His gentleness and fortitude, and the unimaginable depths of His forbearance and forgiveness.

The most ancient Hebrew oracles present all these things definitely about One Who would come in the last times, and Who would undergo such sufferings among men, and they clearly tell the source of their foreknowledge. They bear witness to the Resurrection from the dead of the Being Whom they revealed, His appearance to His disciples, His gift of the Holy Spirit to them, His return to heaven, His establishment as King on His Father’s throne and His glorious second Advent yet to be at the consummation of the age. In addition to all this you can hear the wailings and lamentations of each of the prophets, wailing and lamenting characteristically over the calamities which will overtake the Jewish people because of their impiety to Him Who had been foretold. {6} How their kingdom, that had continued from the days of a remote ancestry to their own, would be utterly destroyed after their sin against |4 Christ; how their fathers’ Laws would be abrogated, they themselves deprived of their ancient worship, robbed of the independence of their forefathers, and made slaves of their enemies, instead of free men; how their royal metropolis would be burned with fire, their venerable and holy altar undergo the flames and extreme desolation, their city be inhabited no longer by its old possessors but by races of other stock,6 while they would be dispersed among the Gentiles through the whole world, with never a hope of any cessation of evil, or breathing-space from troubles. And it is plain even to the blind, that what they saw and foretold is fulfilled in actual facts from the very day the Jews laid godless hands on Christ, and drew down on themselves the beginning of the train of sorrows.

But the prophecies of these inspired men did not begin and end in gloom, nor did their prescience extend no further than the reign of sorrow. They could change their note to joy, and proclaim a universal message of good tidings to all men in the coming of Christ: they could preach the good news that though one race were lost every nation and race of men would know God, escape from the daemons,7 cease from ignorance and deceit and {7} enjoy the light of holiness: they could picture the disciples of Christ filling the whole world with their teaching, and the preaching of their gospel introducing among all men a fresh and unknown ideal of holiness: they could see churches of Christ established by their means among all nations, and Christian people throughout the whole world bearing one common name: they could give assurance that the attacks of rulers and kings from time to time against the Church of Christ will avail nothing to cast it down, strengthened as it is by God. If so many things were proclaimed by the Hebrew divines, and if their fulfilment is so clear to us all to-day, who would not marvel at their inspiration? Who will not agree that their religious and philosophic teaching and beliefs must be sure and true, since their proof is to be found not |5 in artificial arguments, not in clever words, or deceptive syllogistic reasoning, but in simple and straightforward teaching, whose genuine and sincere character is attested by the virtue and knowledge of God evident in these inspired men? Men who were enabled not by human but by divine inspiration to see from a myriad ages back {8} what was to happen long years after, may surety claim our confidence for the belief which they taught their pupils.

Now I am quite well aware, that it is usual in the case of all who have been properly taught that our Lord and Saviour Jesus is truly the Christ of God to persuade themselves in the first place that their belief is strictly in agreement with what the prophets witness about Him. And secondly, to forewarn all those, with whom they may enter on an argument, that it is by no means easy to establish their position by definite proofs. And this is why in attacking this subject myself I must of course endeavour, with God’s help, to supply a complete treatment of the Proof of the Gospel from these Hebrew theologians. And the importance of my writing docs not lie in the fact that it is, as might be suggested, a polemic against the Jews. Perish the thought, far from that! For if they would fairly consider it, it is really on their side. For as it establishes Christianity on the basis of the antecedent prophecies, so it establishes Judaism from the complete fulfilment of its prophecies. To the Gentiles too it should appeal, if they would fairly consider it, because of {9} the extraordinary foreknowledge shown in the prophetic writers, and of the actual events that occurred in agreement with their prophecies. It should convince them of the inspired and certain nature of the truth we hold: it should silence the tongues of false accusers by a more logical method of proof, which slanderers contend that we never offer, who in their daily arguments with us keep pounding away with all their might with the implication forsooth that we are unable to give a logical demonstration of our case, but require those who come to us to rest on faith alone. |6

My present work ought to have something to say to a calumny like this, as it will assuredly rebut the empty lies and blasphemy of godless heretics against the holy prophets by its exposition of the agreement of the new with the old. My argument will dispense with a longer systematic interpretation of the prophecies, and will leave such a task to any who wish to make the study, and are able to expound such works. And I shall take as my teacher the sacred command which says “sum up many things in few words,” and aspire to follow it. I shall only offer such help in regard to the texts, and to the points which bear on the subject under consideration, as is absolutely necessary for their clear interpretation.

{10} But I will now cease my Introduction and begin my Proof. As we have such a mob of slanderers flooding us with the accusation that we are unable logically to present a clear demonstration of the truth we hold, and think it enough to retain those who conic to us by faith alone, and as they say that we only teach our followers like irrational animals to shut their eyes and staunchly obey what we say without examining it at all, and call them therefore “the faithful” because of their faith as distinct from reason, I made a natural division of the calumnies of our position in my “Preparation” of the subject as a whole. On the one side I placed the attacks of the polytheistic Gentiles, who accuse us of apostasy from our ancestral gods, and make a great point of the implication, that in recognizing the Hebrew oracles we honour the work of Barbarians more |7 than those of the Greeks. And on the other side I set the accusation of the Jews, in which they claim to be justly incensed against us, because we do not embrace their manner of life, though we make use of their sacred writings. Such being the division, I met the first so far as I could in my Preparation for the Gospel by allowing that we were originally Greeks, or men of other nations who had absorbed Greek ideas, and enslaved by ancestral ties in the deceits of polytheism. But I went on to say that our conversion was due not to emotional and unexamined impulse, {11} but to judgment and sober reasoning, and that our devotion to the oracles of the Hebrews thus had the support of judgment and sound reason.

And now I have to defend myself against the second class of opponents, and to embark on the investigation it requires. It has to do with those of the Circumcision, it has not yet been investigated, but I hope in time to dispose of it in the present work on the Proof of the Gospel. And so now with an invocation of the God of Jews and Greeks alike in our Saviour’s Name we will take as our first object of inquiry, what is the character of the religion set before Christians. And in this same inquiry we shall record the solutions of all the points investigated.


The Character of the Christian Religion.

I HAVE already laid down in my Preparation that Christianity is neither a form of Hellenism, nor of Judaism, but that it is a religion with its own characteristic stamp, and that this is not anything novel or original, but something of the greatest antiquity, something natural and familiar to the godly men {12} before the times of Moses who |8 are remembered for their holiness and justice. But now let us consider the nature of Hellenism and Judaism, and inquire under which banner we should find these pre-Mosaic saints, whose godliness and holiness is attested by Moses himself. Judaism would be correctly defined as the polity constituted according to the Law of Moses, dependent on the one, omnipotent God. Hellenism you might summarily describe as the worship of many Gods according to the ancestral religions of all nations. What then would you say about the pre-Mosaic and pre-Judaic saints, whose lives are recorded by Moses, Enoch for instance, of whom he says:

“And Enoch pleased God.”

Or Noah, of whom he says again:

“And Noah was a man righteous in his generation ”

Or Seth, and Japheth, of whom he writes:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Seth (Shem), . . . and may God make room for Japheth.”

Add to these Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, include as is right the patriarch Job, and all the rest who lived according to the ideals of these men; they must, you may think, have been either Jews or Greeks. But yet they could not properly be called Jews, inasmuch as the system of Moses’ Law had not yet been brought into being. {13} For if (as we have admitted) Judaism is only the observance of Moses’ Law, and Moses did not appear until long after the date of the men named, it is obvious that those whose holiness he records who lived before him, were not Jews. Neither can we regard them as Greeks, inasmuch as they were not under the dominion of polytheistic superstition. For it is recorded of Abraham that he left his father’s house and his |9 kindred altogether, and cleaved to the One God alone, Whom he confesses when he says:

“I will stretch out (my hand) to the most-high God, who created the heaven and the earth.”

And Jacob is recorded by Moses as saying to his house and all his people:

“2. Remove the strange gods from your midst, 3. and let us arise and go to Bethel, and make there an altar to the Lord that heard me in the day of affliction, who was with me, and preserved me in the way wherein I went. 4. And they gave to Jacob the strange gods, which were in their hands, and the ear-rings in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the terebinth that is in Shechem, and destroyed them to this day.”

These men, then, were not involved in the errors of idolatry, moreover they were outside the pale of Judaism; yet, though they were neither Jew nor Greek by birth, we know them to have been conspicuously pious, holy, and just. {14} This compels us to conceive some other ideal of religion, by which they must have guided their lives. Would not this be exactly that third form of religion midway between Judaism and Hellenism, which I have already deduced, as the most ancient and most venerable of all religions, and which has been preached of late to all nations through our Saviour. Christianity would therefore be not a form of Hellenism nor of Judaism, but something between the two, the most ancient organization for holiness, and the most venerable philosophy, only lately codified as the law for all mankind in the whole world. The convert from Hellenism to Christianity does not land in Judaism, nor does one who rejects the Jewish worship become ipso facto a Greek. From whichever side they come, whether it be Hellenism or Judaism, they find their place in that intermediate law of life preached by the godly and holy men of old lime, which our Lord and Saviour has raised up anew after its long sleep, in accordance with Moses’ own prophecies, and those of the other prophets on the point. Yes, Moses himself writes prophetically in the oracles |10 addressed to Abraham, that in days to come {15} not only Abraham’s descendants, his Jewish seed, but all the tribes and nations of the earth will be counted worthy of God’s blessing on the common basis of a piety like Abraham’s.

“1. And the Lord said to Abram, Go forth out of thy land, and from thy kindred, and from the house of thy father, and come hither into the land which I shall shew thee. 2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed, 3. and I will bless those that bless thee, and I will curse those that curse thee, and in thee all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed.”

And again God said:

“Shall I hide from Abraham my servant that I shall do? For Abraham shall become a great and numerous nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

How could all the nations and families of the earth be blessed in Abraham, if there was no connection between him and them, either of spiritual character or physical kinship? There was assuredly no physical kinship between Abraham and the Scythians, or the Egyptians, or the Aethiopians, or the Indians, or the Britons, or the Spaniards: such nations and others more distant than they could not surely hope to receive any blessing because of any physical kinship to Abraham. It was quite as unlikely that all the nations would have any common claim to share the spiritual blessings of Abraham. {16} For some of them practised marriage with mothers and incest with daughters, some of them unmentionable vice. The religion of others lay in slaughter, and the deification of animals, idols of lifeless wood, and superstitions of deceiving spirits. Others burned their old men alive, and commended as holy and good the customs of delivering their dearest to the flames, or feasting on dead bodies. Men brought up in such savage ways |11 could not surely share in the blessing of the godly, unless they escaped from their savagery, and embraced a way of life similar to the piety of Abraham. For even he, a foreigner and a stranger to the religion which he afterwards embraced, is said to have changed his life, to have cast away his ancestral superstition, to have left his home and kindred and fathers’ customs, and the manner of life in which he was born and reared, and to have followed God, Who gave him the oracles which are preserved in the Scriptures.

If Moses then, who came after Abraham and established a polity for the Jewish race on the basis of the law which he gave them, had laid down the kind of laws which were the guide of godly men before his own time, and such as it was possible for all nations to adopt, so that it should be possible for all the tribes and nations of the world to worship according to Moses’ enactments; {17} which is the same as saying that the oracles foretold that through Moses’ lawgiving men of all nations would worship God and follow Judaism, being brought to it by the law, and would be blessed with the blessing of Abraham—then it would have been right for us to be keeping the enactments of Moses. But if the’ polity of Moses was not applicable to the other nations, but only to the Jews and not to all of them, but only to the inhabitants of Judaea, then it was altogether necessary to set up another kind of religion different from the law of Moses, that all the nations of the world might take it as their guide with Abraham, and receive an equal share of blessing with him.


That the System of Moses was not Suitable for All Nations.

THAT the enactments of Moses, as I said, were only applicable to the Jews, but not to all of them, and certainly not to the dispersed (among the Gentiles), only in fact to the inhabitants of Palestine, will be plain to you if you reflect thus. For the law of Moses says: |12

{18} “Thrice in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God.”

And it defines more exactly at what place they should all meet, when it says:

“Three times in the year shall thy males appear before the Lord, thy God, in the place which the Lord shall choose.”

You see that it does not bid them meet in each city, or in any indefinite place, but “in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose.” There thrice a year it enacts that they must assemble together, and it determines the times, when they must meet at the place where the rites of the worship there are to be celebrated. One season is that of the Passover, the second,’ fifty days later, is called the Feast of Pentecost, and the third is in the seventh month after the Passover, on the Day of Atonement, when all the Jews still perform their fast. And a curse is laid on all who do not obey what is enacted. It is plain that all who were to meet at Jerusalem thrice in the year and perform their rites would not be able to live far from Judaea: but they live all round its boundaries. If then it would be impossible even for the lews whose home is the farthest from Palestine to obey their law, {19} it would be absurd to hold that it could be applicable to all nations and to men in the uttermost parts of the earth.

Hear now in what way women after childbirth are bidden by the same Lawgiver to go and present their offerings to God, as follows:

“And the Lord spake to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whatsoever woman shall have conceived and borne a male-child shall be unclean seven days.”

And he adds after saying something else:

“6. And when the days of her purification shall have been fulfilled for a son or a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of a year old without blemish for a whole burnt-offering, and a young pigeon or a turtle-dove for a sin-offering to the door of the tabernacle of witness to the priest, 7. she shall present [them] before the Lord. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and shall purify her from the issue of her blood; this is the law of her who bears a male or a female.” |13

Again, in addition to this the same law bids those who have contracted defilement by mourning or touching a corpse only to be purified by the ashes of an heifer, and to abstain from their accustomed work for seven days. This is what it says:

“10. And it shall be a perpetual statute to the children of Israel and to the proselytes in the midst of them. 11. He that touches the dead body of any soul of man shall be unclean seven days, 12. shall be purified on the third day and shall be made clean on the seventh day. {20} And if he be not purified on the third day, and on the seventh day, he shall not be clean. 13. Every one who touches the dead body of a soul of a man, if he shall have died, and he be not purified, he has defiled the tabernacle of the witness of the Lord. That soul shall be cut off from Israel, because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him. He is unclean, uncleanness is on him. 14. And this is the law: if a man die in a house, everyone that goeth into that house, and all the things that are in the house, are unclean seven days. 15. And every open vessel which is not bound with a fastening, shall be unclean; 16. and every one who shall touch on the face any man slain by the sword, or a corpse, or a human bone, or a sepulchre, shall be unclean seven clays. 17. And they shall take for the unclean of the burnt ashes of purification, and shall pour it into a vessel, 18. and shall take hyssop. And a clean man shall clip it, and sprinkle it on the house and the furniture and the souls that are therein, and on him that has touched the human bone, or the slain man, or the dead, or the sepulchre. 19. And the clean man shall sprinkle it on the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day, {21} and he shall wash his garments, and shall wash [his body] with water, and shall be unclean until the evening. 20. And a man, if he be defiled, and not purified, that soul shall be cast out of the congregation, because the water of purification has not been sprinkled on him; and this shall be a perpetual law to you.” |14

When Moses made this law he even determined the ritual of the sprinkling with water. He said that a red heifer without spot must be completely burnt, and that a portion of its ashes must be cast into the water, with which those who had been defiled by a corpse were to be purified. Where the heifer is to be burnt, where the woman is to bring her offerings after childbirth, where she is to celebrate the other rites, is not in doubt. It is not to be done indifferently in every place, but only in that place which he defines. This is plain from his enactment, when he says:

“And there shall be a place, which the Lord your God shall choose, in which his name shall be called upon, there shall ye bear whatsoever I bid you to-day.”

And he explains in accurate order, adding:

“13. Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy whole burnt-offerings in any place, which thou mayst see, 14. but in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, in one of thy cities; there shall thou offer thy whole burnt-offerings, and there shall thou do whatsoever I bid you to-day.”

And he makes this addition:

{22} 17. Thou shall not be able to eat in all thy cities the tenth of thy corn and wine and oil, the firstborn of thy herd and thy flock, and all thy vows whatsoever thou hast vowed, and thy thank-offerings, and the firstfruits of thine hands. 18. But before the Lord shall thou eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself, thou and thy sons and thy daughter, and thy servant, and thy maid, and the stranger8  {1} that is in thy cities.”

And proceeding he confirms the statement, where he says:

“But thou shall take thy holy things, if thou hast any, and thy vows, and shall come to the place, which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself.”

And again:

“Thou shall tithe a tenth of all the produce of thy seed, the produce of thy field year by year. And thou |15 shall eat it in the place {2a} which the Lord thy God shall choose to have his name called on there.”

And then in considering what ought to be done if the place designated by him were far off, and the yield of fruit large, how the year’s fruits for the whole burnt-offering could be carried to the place of God, he lays down the following law:

“23. And if the journey be too far for thee, and thou art not able to bring them, because the place is far from thee, which the Lord your God shall choose to have his name called on there, because the Lord thy God shall bless thee; 24. and thou shall sell them for money, {2b} and shall take the money in thy hands, and shall go to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose. 25. And thou shall give the money for whalsoever thy soul desireth for oxen or sheep, or wine, or slrong drink, or for whalsoever thy soul desireth and thou shall consume it there before the Lord.”

And he again sets his seal on the actual place, when he says:

“19. Every firstborn that shall be born of thy kine and sheep, thou shall offer the males to the Lord thy God; thou shall not work with thy firstborn calf, and thou shall not shear thy firstborn sheep: 20. thou shall eat it before the Lord year by year, {2c} in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou and thy house.”

Next notice how he arranges the celebration of the feasts, not anywhere in the land, but only in the appointed place. For he says:

“Observe the month of new corn, and thou shall keep the Passover lo the Lord thy God, sheep and bulls, in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose.”

And he again reminds them, saying:

“5. Thou shall not be able to sacrifice the passover {2d} in any of the cities which the Lord thy God gives thee; 6. But in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, to have his name called on there, thou shall sacrifice the passover at even at the setting of the sun |16 at the time when them earnest out of Egypt. 7. And thou shalt boil and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose.”

Such, then, is the law of the Feast of the Passover. Hear that of Pentecost:

“9. Seven weeks in full shalt thou number to thyself, from when thou beginnest to put the sickle in the corn, 10. and thou shalt keep a feast of weeks to the Lord thy God, according as thy hand has power in whatsoever things the Lord thy God gives thee to bless thee. 11. And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, thy servant, and thy maid, {3a} and the Levite that is in thy cities, and the proselyte; and the orphan, and the widow that is among you, in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself, to have his name called on there.”

And hear where he commands the third feast to be celebrated:

“13. And thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles when thou gatherest in from thy corn-floor and from thy wine-press, 14. and shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy servant, and thy maid, and the widow, {3b} in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself.”

As he is so insistent on the selected place, and says so many times that they are to meet there in all their tribes and in all their families, the law could hardly apply to those living even a little way from Judaea, and still less to the nations of the whole world, especially as he allows no pardon to those who transgress his ordinances, and invokes a curse on those who do not carry them all out to the minutest detail, in the following words:

{3c} Cursed is he who continueth not in all things written in this law to do them.”

Consider, again, other instances of the impossibility of all men following the law of Moses. He makes a distinction between voluntary transgressions and those hard to evade, and after assigning penalties to sins which deserve |17 the severest punishment, he provides laws by which those who sin unwittingly are to receive different treatment. One of these runs as follows:

“27. And if a soul of the people of the land shall sin unwittingly by doing anything contrary to the commandments of the Lord that ought not to be done, and shall transgress, 28. and his sin shall be known to him, wherein he hath sinned [in it], then shall he bring [his gift] a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, {3d} he shall bring it for his sin that he hath sinned 29. in the place where they slay the whole burnt-offerings, 30. and the priest shall take of the blood.”

You see here how one who has sinned unintentionally is required to present himself at the place where the whole burnt-offerings are sacrificed. And this is the place the law has already so often mentioned, when it says:

“The place which the Lord thy God shall choose.”

But, indeed, the Lawgiver himself perceived the impossibility for all mankind to carry out the law, and clearly noted it by not promulgating his law universally for all, but with this limitation:

“If a soul sin unwittingly of the people of the land.”

And he lays down a second law which says: {4a}

“And if a soul hear the voice of the swearing of an oath, and he is a witness or has seen or been conscious of it, if he do not report it, he shall bear the iniquity.”

What is he to do? He is to take the victim in his hands and go with all speed to the purification. And of course that must take place where the whole burnt-offerings are sacrificed.

And once more a third law:

“2. The soul, it says, which shall touch any unclean thing, or carcases of unclean cattle, and should take from it, he also himself is defiled and transgresses, 3. or if he touch the uncleanness of a man, and by all the uncleanness that he touches be defiled, and {4b} know it not, and afterwards should know it and transgress.” |18

Here the only thing necessary for the polluted person is for him to go once more to the sacred place, and offer for the sin which he has sinned a female animal from his flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for his sin. And the law was the same in the case of a soul, which shall “swear pronouncing with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; and when he knoweth of it and is guilty in one of those things, and shall confess the sin that he hath sinned:”he too, the law says, taking the same offering, is to go with all speed to the sacred place, and the priest is to pray on his behalf for the sin, and his sin shall be forgiven. And another law besides those I have quoted makes this provision:

“The soul which shall be really unconscious, and shall sin unwittingly in any of the holy things of the Lord, even he shall bear a ram for his transgression to the Lord. [And he shall bear it again to the high-priest to the place, that is to say the chosen place.”

And he adds a sixth law in these words:

{4d} And the soul which shall sin and do one thing against the commandments of the Lord, which it is not right to do, and hath not known it, and shall have transgressed and contracted guilt, he shall even bring a ram to the High Priest, and the priest shall make atonement for his trespass of ignorance, and he knew it not, and it shall be forgiven him.”

The following is a seventh, law:

“2. The soul which shall have sinned and surely overlooked the commandments of the Lord, and shall deal falsely in the affairs of his neighbour in the matter of a deposit, or concerning association (in business), or plunder, or has in any way wronged his neighbour, 3. or has found that which was lost, and has lied concerning it, and shall have sworn unjustly concerning any one of all the things, whatsoever a man may do, so as to sin thereby; 4. it shall come to pass, whenever he so hath sinned and transgressed, that he shall restore the plunder he has seized, or redress the injustice he has |19 committed, or restore the deposit which was entrusted to him, {5a} 5. or the lost article he has found of any kind, about which he swore unjustly, he shall even restore it in full, and shall add to it the fifth part.”

Here, again, after confession and reparation the transgressor had to go with all speed, putting everything else on one side, to the place, which the Lord our God should choose, and offer for his sin an unblemished ram, and the priest was to pray for him before the Lord, and he would be forgiven.{5b}

In this careful way our wonderful Moses distinguished sins done unwittingly and ignorantly from intentional offences, on which in the government of his people he set rigorous penalties. For he that would not pardon the unwitting offender before he had confessed his offence, exacted a small penalty from him in the sacrifice ordained, by requiring him to repair with all speed {5c} to the sacred place fostered both the religious spirit and watchfulness of those who worshipped God by his rule, and of course restrained even more the desires of willing offenders. What, then, must be our conclusion from all this, when, as we have said, we find Moses summing up his whole system with a curse, where he says:

“Cursed is everyone, who shall not remain in all the things written in this law. to do them “?

Was it, then, meant that Moses’ future disciples from the ends of the earth must do all these things, if they were to escape the curse and receive the blessing promised to Abraham? Were they to go thrice a year to Jerusalem, {5d} and were the female worshippers of all nations, fresh from the pangs of childbirth, to undertake so long a journey, to offer the sacrifice ordained by Moses for each one of their children? Were those who had touched a dead body, or had forsworn themselves, or had sinned against their will, to come from the ends of the earth, to run and hasten to the purification that was required by the law, in order to escape the visitation of the curse? Of course it is clear to you that it was hard enough to follow Moses’ rule of life for those who lived round Jerusalem, or only inhabited Judaea, and that it was quite out of the question for the |20 other nations to fulfil it.

Hence, of course, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Son of God, said to His disciples after His Resurrection:

{6a} Go and make disciples of all the nations,” and added: “Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.”

For He did not bid them to teach the laws of Moses to all nations, but whatsoever He Himself had commanded: that is to say, the contents of the Gospels. And agreeably to this His disciples and apostles in considering the requirements of the Gentiles decided that Moses’ enactments were unsuitable to their needs, since neither they themselves nor their fathers had found them easy to be kept. As St. Peter says in the Acts: {6b}

“Now therefore why do ye attempt to lay a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

And agreeably to this Moses himself for this very reason said that another prophet would be raised up “like unto him”; and publishes the good news that he should be a lawgiver for all the nations. He speaks of Christ in a riddle. He orders his followers to obey him in these prophetic words.

{6c} 15. A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you from your brethren, like unto me, ye shall hear him [whatsoever he saith unto you]. 19. And it shall |21 be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cast out of its race.”

And that this prophet, who is clearly the Christ, should come forth from the Jews and rule all nations, he proclaims again when he says:

{6d} 5. How fair are thy dwellings, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel, 6. as shady groves, and as a garden by a river, and as tents which God pitched. 7. There shall come a man out of his seed, and he shall rule over many nations, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

He makes it clear from which tribe of all the twelve that comprised the Hebrew race, namely the tribe of Judah, Christ the Lawgiver of the Gentiles according to the prophecy should arise. He is clear as to the date, for it would be after the cessation of the Jewish monarchy which had been handed down from their forefathers.

“A ruler shall not fail from Juda, nor a prince from his loins, until there come the things stored up for him; and he is the expectation of the nations.”

What “expectation” could this be, but that expressed in the promise to Abraham that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed? Moses has, therefore, made |22  it quite plain from his own words that he was quite well aware of the failure of the law he had laid down to apply to all nations, and that another prophet would be necessary for the fulfilment of the oracles given to Abraham. And this was He, of Whom his prophecy proclaimed the good news that one should arise from the tribe of Judah and rule all nations.


Why it is we reject the Jews’ Way of Life, though we accept their Writings.

THESE, then, are the reasons why we have accepted and loved as belonging to ourselves the sacred books of the Hebrews, including as they do prophecies relating to us Gentiles. And the more so, since it was not Moses only who foretold the coming of the Lawgiver of the Gentiles after him, but really the whole succession of the prophets, who proclaimed the same truth with one voice, as David, when he said:

“Appoint, O Lord, a Lawgiver over them: let the nations know that they are but men.”

See how he too speaks of a second Lawgiver of the nations. And in the same spirit in another (psalm) he calls on the Gentiles to sing, not the ancient song of Moses, but a new song, when he says:

“1. Sing to the Lord a new song; | sing to the Lord all the whole earth: | 3. proclaim among the nations his glory, | among all peoples his wonders: | 4. For great is the Lord, and very worthy to be praised, | he is terrible above all gods. | 5. For all the gods of the nations are demons, | but it is the Lord that made the heavens. | 7. Bring to the Lord ye families of the nations; | 8. bring to the Lord glory to his name.”

And again: .

“10. Say among the nations, The Lord is King. | |23 For he has established the world, that it shall not be shaken.”

And again:

“1. Sing to the Lord a new song, | for he hath done marvellous things, | 2. The Lord hath made known his salvation; | Before the nations he hath revealed righteousness. | 3. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”

And notice how he ordains the new song not for the Jewish race only; the ancient song of Moses suited them, but for all the nations. This new song is called by Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, “a new covenant”where he says:

“31. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: 32. not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt: for they abode not in my covenant, and I disregarded them, saith the Lord. 33. For this is my, covenant which I will make with the house of Israel, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their minds, and on their hearts I will write (them), and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

You see here that he distinguishes two covenants, the old and the new, and says that the new would not be like the old which was given to the fathers. For the old covenant was given as a law to the Jews, when they had fallen from the religion of their forefathers, and had embraced the manners and life of the Egyptians, and had declined to the errors of polytheism, and the idolatrous superstitions of the Gentiles. It was intended to raise up the fallen, and to set on their feet those who were lying on their faces, by suitable teaching.

“For the law, it is said, is not for the righteous, but for the unjust and disorderly, for the unrighteous and for sinners, and for those like them.”

But the new covenant leads those who, through our Saviour |24 by the grace and gift of God are raised up, to a rapid march into the kingdom promised by God. It summons all men equally to share together the same good things. This “new covenant” Isaiah, another of the Hebrew prophets, calls the “new law,”when he says:

“3. For out of Sion shall go forth a law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And all the nations shall go, and all the peoples shall be gathered together, and shall say, Let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob.”

This law going forth from Sion, different from the law enacted in the desert by Moses on Mount Sinai, what can it be but the word of the Gospel, “going forth from Sion” through our Saviour Jesus Christ, and going through all the nations? For it is plain that it was in Jerusalem and Mount Sion adjacent thereto, where our Lord and Saviour for the most part lived and taught, that the law of the new covenant began and from thence went forth and shone upon all, according to the commands which He gave his disciples when He said:

“Go ye, and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.”

What could He mean but the teaching and discipline of the new covenant? Since, then, I have proved my facts, let us proceed to investigate together the character of the new covenant, and the new song and the new law that were foretold.


The Character of the New Covenant of Christ.

I HAVE now proved that the old covenant and the law given by Moses was only applicable to the Jewish race, and only to such of them as lived in their own land. It did not apply to other nations of the world nor to Jews |25 inhabiting foreign soil. And I have shown that the ideal of the new covenant must be helpful to the life of all nations: the members of its kingdom are to be restricted in no way whatever. Considerations of country, race or locality, or anything else are not to affect them in any way at all. The law and life of our Saviour Jesus Christ shows itself to be such, being a renewal of the ancient pre-Mosaic religion, in which Abraham, the friend of God, and his forefathers are shown to have lived. And if you cared to compare the life of Christians and the worship introduced among all nations by Christ with the lives of the men who with Abraham are witnessed to by Scripture as holy and righteous, you would find cne and the same ideal. For they too turned their backs on the errors of polytheism, they relinquished idolatrous superstition, they looked beyond the whole of the visible creation and deified neither sun nor moon, nor any part of the whole. They raised themselves to the Supreme God, Himself the Highest, the Creator of heaven and earth. And Moses himself bears this out in his history of ancient times when he records Abraham’s saying:

“I will stretch forth my hand unto God most high, who hath created the heaven and the earth.”

And when, before this, he introduces Melchizedek, whom he calls the priest of the Most High God, blessing Abraham as follows:

“Blessed be Abraham by God most high, who hath created the heaven and the earth.”

And you would find that Enoch and Noah were reckoned just and well pleasing to God in the same way as Abraham. Job, ton, a just, true, blameless, devout man, averse from everything evil, is recorded as pre-Mosaic. He underwent a |26 trial of his utter devotion to the God of the Universe when he lost everything he had, and left the greatest example of holiness to posterity, when he spoke these philosophic words:

“21. I myself came forth naked from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I depart. The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away. As the Lord pleased, so it came to pass. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

That he said this as a worshipper of the God of the universe is made quite clear when he goes on to say:

“4. For he is wise in mind and mighty and great; 6. Who shakes the (earth) under heaven from its foundation and its pillars totter. 7. Who commands the sun and it rises not, and he seals up the stars; 8. Who alone has stretched out the heaven.”

If then the teaching of Christ has bidden all nations now to worship no other God but Him whom the men of old and the pre-Mosaic saints believed in, we are clearly partakers of the religion of these men of old time. And if we partake of their religion we shall surely share their blessing. Yes, and equally with us they knew and bore witness to the Word of God, Whom we love to call Christ. They were thought worthy in very remarkable ways of beholding His actual presence and theophany.

Remember how Moses calls the Being, Who appeared to the patriarchs, and often delivered to them the oracles afterwards written down in Scripture, sometimes God and Lord, and sometimes the Angel of the Lord. He clearly implies that this was not the Omnipotent God, but a secondary Being, rightly called the God and Lord of holy men, but the Angel of the Most High His Father. Thus he says:

“10. And Jacob went forth … to Charran, 11. and came to a certain place, and he slept there. . . . And he |27 took of the stones of the place, and put it at his head, and lay down to sleep in that place, 12. and he dreamed: and behold, a ladder fixed on the earth whose top reached to heaven, and the angels of God ascended and descended on it. 13. And the Lord stood upon it, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: fear not, the earth, the land on which thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed: 14 and thy seed shall be as the sand of the earth.”

To which he adds:

“16. And Jacob arose in the morning, and took the stone, which he had put under his head, and set it up as a pillar.”

Then further on he calls this God and Lord Who appeared to him the Angel of God. For Jacob says:

“11. For the Angel of God said to me in a dream, Jacob. And I said, What is it? “

And then:

“12. I have seen, he says, all that Laban does to thee. I am the God that was seen by thee in the place of God, where thou anointedst for me there a pillar, and thou vowedst to me there a vow.”

This same being who appeared to Abraham is called Lord and God. He teaches the saint mysteriously of His Father’s rule, and speaks some things, as it were, of another God, which I will examine in their place. Then, again, it is impious to suppose that the Being who answered Job after his severe trial was the same. For when He shows Himself first in the whirlwind and the clouds He reveals Himself as the God of the Universe, but He goes on to reveal Himself in a way which makes Job say:

“4. Hear me, O Lord, and I will speak. 5. I heard of thee before by the hearing of the ears, but now mine eye hath seen thee.”

And if it is not possible for the Most High God, the |28 Invisible, the Uncreated, and the Omnipotent to be said to be seen in mortal form, the Being Who was seen must have been the Word of God, Whom we call Lord as we do the Father. But it is needless for me to labour the point, since it is possible to find instances in Holy Scripture. These I will collect at leisure in connection with my present work to prove that He Who was seen by the patriarchal saints was none other than the Word of God.

Therefore besides the conception of the Creator of the Universe, we and they have inherited also the conception of Christ in common. Hence you can find instances of the pre-Mosaic saints being called “Christs,” just as we are called Christians. Hear what the oracle in the Psalms says about them:

“12. When they were few in numbers, very few, and strangers in the land, 13. and they went from nation to nation, from (one) kingdom to another people: 14. He suffered no man to wrong them, and he reproved kings for their sakes, saying: 15. ‘Touch not my Christs, and do no evil to my prophets.'”

The whole context shows that this must be referred to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: they therefore shared the name of Christ with us.


The Nature of the Life according to the New Covenant proclaimed to All Men by Christ.

JUST as a life of virtue and a system of holiness is through the teaching of Christ preached to all nations without any reference to the Mosaic legislation, so by these men of old time the same independent ideal of holiness was upheld. They cared nothing for circumcision, nor do we. They did not abstain from eating certain beasts, neither do we. For instance, Moses introduces Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, uncircumdsed, not anointed with prepared |29 ointment according to Moses, knowing naught of the Sabbath, paying no heed whatever to the commandments afterwards given by Moses to the whole Jewish race, hut living exactly according to the Gospel of Christ. And yet Moses says he was the priest of the Most High God, and the superior of Abraham. For he is introduced as blessing Abraham. Such too was Noah, a just man in his generation, whom as a kindling seed of the human race Almighty God preserved in the destruction by the flood when all men on earth were destroyed. He again was quite ignorant of Jewish customs, he was uncircumcised, he did not follow the Mosaic law in any point, yet he is recognized as conspicuously just. And Enoch before him, who is said to have pleased God, and to have been translated, so that his death was not seen, was another like person, uncircumcised, with no part or lot in the law of Moses, living a distinctly Christian rather than a Jewish life.

And Abraham himself, coming later than those already named, being younger than they according to the age men reached in those times, though an old man in reality, was the first to receive circumcision as a seal, for the sake of his descendants, and he left it to those who should be born of him according to the flesh as a sign of their descent from him. He too before he had a son, and before he was circumcised, by his rejection of idolatry, and his confession of the one omnipotent God, yea, by his virtuous life alone is shown to be one who lived as a Christian, not as a Jew. For he is represented as having kept the commandments and the precepts and the ordinances of God before the enactments of Moses. That is why God giving the oracle to Isaac says:

“And I will give to thy seed all this land, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Because Abraham thy father heard my voice, and kept my commandments, and my laws, and my judgments, and my statutes.”

So there were before the Mosaic law other commandments of God, and ordinances not like those of Moses, other laws and precepts of Christ, by which they were justified. Moses |30 clearly shews that these were not the same as his own enactments, when he says to the people:

“Hear, Israel, the ordinances and the judgments, all that I speak in your ears this day, and ye shall learn them, and observe to do them. The Lord your God made a covenant with you in Choreb; the Lord did not make this covenant with your fathers, but with you.”

See how distinctly he alludes to this covenant, when he says God did not give the same covenant to their fathers. For if he had said that absolutely no covenant was given to their fathers it would have been a false statement. For Holy Scripture testifies that a covenant of some kind was given both to Abraham and Noah. And so Moses adds that one “not the same” was given to their fathers, implying that other greater and glorious covenant, by which they were shown forth as friends of God. So Moses records that Abraham by his faith in Almighty God attained righteousness when he says:

“Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

This text shews clearly that he received the sign of circumcision after his attainment of righteousness and after the witness to his holiness, and that this added nothing at all to his justification.

Again, you would find Joseph in pre-Mosaic times in the palaces of the Egyptians living in freedom not burdened by Judaism. Moses himself, the leader and lawgiver of the Jews, lived from his babyhood with the daughter of the King of Egypt, and partook of the Egyptian food without question. What is to be said of Job the thrice-blessed, the true, the blameless, the just, the holy, what was the cause of his holiness and justice, was it Moses’ commandments? Certainly not. Was it the keeping of the Sabbath, or any other Jewish observance? How could that be, if Job was earlier than the time of Moses and his legislation? For Moses was seventh from Abraham, and Job fifth, preceding him by two generations. And if you regard his life, you will see it was untouched by the Mosaic legislation, but not foreign to the teaching of our Saviour. Thus in reviewing his life in his apology to his friends he says: |31

“12. For I saved the poor from the hand of the powerful, and I helped the orphan who had no helper. The mouth of the widow blessed me, 14. and I was clad in righteousness. I put on judgment as a cloak, 15. an eye was I to the blind, a foot to the lame, 16. I was a father of the weak.”

This surely is exactly the same teaching which is preached to us all in the Gospel. Then again as one well acquainted with the words, “Weep with those that weep,” and “Blessed are they that weep, for they shall laugh”; and “If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it,”which are included in the Gospel teaching, he shews his sympathy for the miserable by saying:

“25. And I wept for every weak one—I groaned when I saw a man in difficulties.”

Then, again, this holy man forestalls the Gospel teaching, which forbids unseemly laughter, when he says:

“5. But if I had gone with scorners, and if my foot has hasted to deceit 6. For I am weighed in a just balance, and the Lord knows my innocence.”

And where the Mosaic law says “Thou shall not commit adultery,”and assigns death as the punishment of adulterers, He who draws out the law of the Gospel teaching, says: “It was said to them of old time, Thou shall not commit adultery; but I say unto you, thou shall not desire at all.”

Look well at the man of whom we are speaking; he was so good a Christian in his life that he restrained even his looks when they were wayward, and made it his boast so to do— for he says:

“9. And if my heart has followed my eye for the wife of another man.”  

And he gives the reason, as he continues:

“11. For the spirit of a man is not to be stayed, in the case of defiling another man’s wife. 12. For it is a fire burning on every side, and where it enters, it utterly destroys.” |32

Here he shows his incorruptibility:

“7. If, too, I have touched gifts with my hands; 8. then let me sow, and others eat, and let me be uprooted from the earth.”

How he treated his servants we may learn from his teaching here:

“13. And if I have trifled with the cause of my servant, or handmaiden, when they pleaded with me.”

And again he gives the reason:

“14. What, then, should I do, if the Lord should try me? … 15. Were not they also formed as I was in the womb? Yea, we were formed in the same womb.”

He adds:

“16. I did not cause the eye of the widow to fail. 17. And if I did eat my morsel alone, and did not share it with the orphan, … 19. and if I saw the naked perishing, and did not clothe him.”

And again he proceeds:

“24. And if I trusted in a precious stone, 25. and if I rejoiced when my wealth was great, and if I laid my hand on unnumbered (treasures).”

And again he gives the reason:

“26. Do we not see the sun waxing and waning, and the moon eclipsed? “

So, again, whereas the teaching of the Gospel says:

“43. It was said to them of old time, Thou shall love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies”: Job wonderfully anticipating the command by his own original teaching actually carried it out, for he says:

“29. And if I, too, was glad at the fall of my enemies, and said in my heart, It is well—30. then let my ear hear my curse.”

And he adds:

“But the stranger did not remain outside, and my door was opened to all that came,”

showing himself no stranger in spirit to Him, who said, “I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”Then hear what he says about offences done unintentionally: |33

“33. Or if too, having sinned unintentionally, I hid my sin. 34. For I did not stand in awe of a great multitude, so as not to speak boldly before them. And if I did not let the poor depart (from my door) with an empty bosom . . . 35. And if I had not feared the hand of the Lord. And as to the written charge which I had against any . . . 37. I did not rend it and return it, taking nothing from the debtor.”

So and in such ways the pre-Mosaic saints (for from the record of one we may imagine the life of all), waged their renowned contests for good, and were reckoned friends of God, and prophets. What need had they of the commandments of Moses, which were given to weak and sinful men? From all this it is abundantly proved that the Word of God announced to all nations the ancient form of their ancestors’ religion, as the new covenant does not differ from the form of holiness, which was very ancient even in the time of Moses, so that it is at the same time both old and new. It is, as I have shown, very, very old; and, on the other hand, it is new through having been as it were hidden away from men through a long period between, and now come to life again by the Saviour’s teaching.

And it was in this intermediate period, while the ideal of the new covenant was hidden from men, and as it were asleep, that the law of Moses was interposed in the interval. It was like a nurse and governess of childish and imperfect souls. It was like a doctor to heal the whole Jewish race, worn away by the terrible disease of Egypt. As such it offered a lower and less perfect way of life to the children of Abraham, who were too weak to follow in the steps of their forefathers. For through their long sojourn in Egypt, after the death of their godly forefathers, they adopted Egyptian customs, and, as I said, fell into idolatrous superstition. They aimed no higher than the Egyptians, they became in all respects like them, both in worshipping idols, |34 and in other matters. Moses tore them from their godless polytheism, he led them back to God, the Creator of all things; he drew them up as it were from an abyss of evil, but it was natural for him to build first this step of holiness at the threshold and entrance of the Temple of the more Perfect. Therefore he forbade them to murder, to commit adultery, to steal, to swear falsely, to work uncleanness, to lie with mother, sister or daughter, to do many actions which till then they had done without restraint. He rescued them from their wild and savage life, and gave them a polity based on better reason and good law as the times went, and was the first lawgiver to codify his enactments in writing, a practice which was not yet known to all men. He dealt with them as imperfect, and when he forbade idolatry, he commanded them to worship the One Omnipotent God by sacrifices and bodily ceremonies. He enacted that they should conduct by certain mystic symbols the ritual that he ordained, which the Holy Spirit taught him in a wonderful way was only to be temporary: he drew a circle round one place and forbade them to celebrate his ordinances anywhere, except in one place alone, namely at the Temple in Jerusalem, and never outside it. And to this day it is forbidden for the children of the Hebrews outside the boundaries of their ruined mother-city to sacrifice according to the law, to build a temple or an altnr, to anoint kings or priests, to celebrate the Mosaic gatherings and feasts, to be cleansed from pollution, to be loosed from offences, to bear gifts to God, or to propitiate Him according to the legal requirements.

And therefore, of course, they have fallen under Moses’ curse, attempting to keep it in part, but breaking it in the whole, as Moses makes absolutely clear:

“Accursed is he, who does not continue in all the things written in this law, to do them.”

And they have come to this impasse, although Moses himself foresaw by the Holy Spirit, that, when the new covenant was revived by Christ and preached to all nations, his own legislation would become superfluous, he rightly confined its influence to one place, so that if they were ever deprived |35 of it, and shut out of their national freedom, it might not be possible for them to carry out the ordinances of his law in a foreign country, and as of necessity they would have to receive the new covenant announced by Christ. Moses had foretold this very thing, and in due course Christ sojourned in this life, and the teaching of the new covenant was borne to all nations, and at once the Romans besieged Jerusalem, and destroyed it and the Temple there. At once the whole of the Mosaic law was abolished, with all that remained of the old covenant, and the curse passed over to those who became lawbreakers, because they obeyed Moses’ law, when its time had gone by, and still clung ardently to it, for at that very moment the perfect teaching of the new Law was introduced in its place. And, therefore, our Lord and Saviour rightly says to those who suppose that God ought only to be worshipped in Jerusalem, or in certain mountains, or some definite places:

“1The hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. For God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

So He said, and presently, not long after, Jerusalem was besieged, the holy place and the altar by it and the worship conducted according to Moses’ ordinances were destroyed, and the archetypal holiness of the pre-Mosaic men of God reappeared. And the blessing assured thereby to all nations came, to lead those who came to it from the first step and from the first elements of the Mosaic worship to a better and more perfect life. Yes, the religion of those blessed and godly men, who did not worship in any one place exclusively, neither by symbols nor types, but as our Lord and Saviour requires “in spirit and in truth,” by our Saviour’s appearance became the possession of all the nations, as the prophets of old foresaw. For Zephaniah says the very same thing:

“The Lord shall appear against them, and shall utterly destroy all the gods of the nations of the earth. |36 And they shall worship him each one from his own place.”

Malachi as well contends against those of the circumcision, and speaks on behalf of the Gentiles, when he says:

“10. I have no pleasure (in you), saith the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. 11. For from the rising of the sun even to the setting my name has been glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering.”

By “the incense and offering to be offered to God in every place,”what else can he mean, but that no longer in Jerusalem nor exclusively in that (sacred) place, but in every land and among all nations they will offer to the Supreme God the, incense of prayer and the sacrifice called “pure,” because it is not a sacrifice of blood but of good works? And Isaiah literally shouts and cries his prophecy to the same effect:

“19. There shall be an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt. . . . And the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians … 20. And he shall send to them a man who shall save them, . . . 21, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall offer sacrifice, and vow vows to the Lord and pay (them). And they shall he turned to the Lord, and he shall hear them and heal them.”

Do we not say truly then that the prophets were inspired to foretell a change of the Mosaic Law, nay its end and conclusion? Moses lays down that the altar and the |37 sacrifices should be nowhere else on earth but in Judaea, and there only in one city. But this prophecy says that an altar to the Lord shall be set up in Egypt, and that Egyptians shall celebrate their sacrifices to the Lord of the prophets and no longer to their ancestral gods. It foretells that Moses shall not be the medium of their knowledge of God, nor any other of the prophets, but a man fresh and new sent from God. Now if the altar is changed contrary to the commandment of Moses, it is beyond doubt necessary that the Law of Moses should be changed also. Then, too, the Egyptians, if they “sacrifice to the Supreme God,” must be admittedly worthy of the priesthood. And if the Egyptians are priests Moses’ enactments about the Levites and the Aaronic succession would be useless to the Egyptians. The time, therefore, will have come when a new legislation will be needed for their support. What follows? Have I spoken at random? Or have I proved my contention? Behold how to day, yes in our own times, our eyes see not only Egyptians, but every race of men who used to be idolaters, whom the prophet meant when he said “Egyptians,” released from the errors of polytheism and the daemons, and calling on |38 the God of the prophets! They pray no longer to lords many, but to one Lord according to the sacred oracle; they have raised to Him an altar of unbloody and reasonable sacrifices according to the new mysteries of the fresh and new covenant throughout the whole of the inhabited world, and in Egypt itself and among the other nations, Egyptian in their superstitious errors. Yes, in our own time the knowledge of the Omnipotent God shines forth, and sets a seal of certainty on the forecasts of the prophets. You see this actually going on, you no longer only expect to hear of it, and if you ask the moment when the change began, for all your inquiry you will receive no other answer but the moment of the appearance of the Saviour. For He it was, of Whom the prophet spoke, when he said that the Supreme God and Lord would send a man to the Egyptians, to save them, as also the Mosaic oracles taught in these words: “A man shall come forth from his seed, and shall rule over many nations”; among which nations the Egyptians would certainly be numbered. But a great deal could be said on these points, and with sufficient leisure one could deal with them more exhaustively. Suffice it to say now, that we must hold to the truth, that the prophecies have only been fulfilled after the coming of Jesus our Saviour. For it is through Him that in our day that old system of Abraham, the most ancient and venerable form of religion, is followed by the Egyptians, the Persians, the Syrians and the Armenians. The Barbarians from the end of the earth, those of them who were of old the most uncivilized and wild, yea, they that inhabit the isles, for prophecy thought well even to mention them, follow it as well. And who would not be struck by the extraordinary change—that men who for ages have paid divine honour to wood and stone and daemons, wild beasts that feed on human flesh, poisonous reptiles, animals of every kind, repulsive monsters, fire and earth, and the lifeless elements of the universe should after our Saviour’s coming pray to the |39 Most High God, Creator of Heaven and earth, the actual Lord of the prophets, and the God of Abraham and his forefathers? That men a little while before involved in marriage with mothers and daughters, in unspeakable vice and all sorts of vileness, men who lived like wild beasts, now converted by the divine power of our Saviour, and become like different beings, should crowd the public schools and learn lessons of virtue and purity. That not men only, but women, poor and rich, learned and simple, children even and slaves, should be taught in their daily occupation in town or country the loftiest ethics, which forbids to look with eyes unbridled, to be careless even in words, or to follow the path of custom and fashion. That they should learn the true ideal of worshipping the Supreme God, and serving Him in every place, according to the prophecy, which says: “And they shall worship Him each from his own place.”Every one, then, whether Greek or Barbarian, is worshipping the Supreme God, not running to lerusalem, nor made holy with bloody sacrifices, but staying at home in his own land, and offering in spirit and in truth his pure and bloodless offering. And theirs is the new covenant, not according to the old. Do not allow the covenant of the pre-Mosaic Saints to be called “the old covenant,”but that which was given to the Jews by the Law of Moses. For the text which says that the new will be quite unlike the old clearly implies which one was the old:

“I will make a new covenant, not according to the covenant I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt.”

“Not according to the covenant of the Mosaic Law,”he says. For that was introduced to the Jews at the exodus from Egypt. It might have seemed that he was introducing a new covenant opposed to the religious ideals of the Abrahamic Saints, if he had not distinctly said:

“Not according to the covenant, which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt.” |40

He prophesied that the new covenant would not be according to the one enacted at the time of the Exodus and the wanderings in the wilderness, hut according to the ancient one under which the pre-Mosaic saints flourished. And, therefore, for the future you may confidently classify the ideals of religions worshippers under three heads, not two: the completely idolatrous, who have fallen into the errors of polytheism; those of the circumcision, who by the aid of Moses have reached the first step of holiness; and thirdly, those who have ascended by the stair of Gospel teaching. If you regard this as a mean between the other two, you will no longer suppose that perverts from Judaism necessarily fall into Hellenism, nor that those that forsake Hellenism are, therefore, Jews. Recognizing the third division in the middle, you will see it standing up on high, as if it were set on a very lofty mountain ridge, with the others left below on each side of the height. For as it has escaped Greek godlessness, error, superstition, unbridled lust and disorder, so it has left behind Jewish unprofitable observances, designed by Moses to meet the needs of those who were like infants and invalids. And as it stands on high, hear what it says as it proclaims the law, which suits not Jews alone, but Greeks and barbarians, and all nations under the sun:

“O man! and all the human race! the Law of Moses, beginning from one race of men, first called the whole race of the Jews, because of the promise given to their holy forefathers, to the knowledge of the one God, and released its servants from bitter slavery to the daemons. But I am the herald to all men and to the nations of the whole world of a loftier knowledge of God and holiness; I call them to live according to the ideals of those of Abraham’s day, and men still more ancient of pre-Mosaic date, with whom many of all races are recorded to have shone in holiness as lights in the world.

And again:

The Law of Moses required all who desired to be holy to speed from all directions to one definite place; but I, giving freedom to all, teach men not to look for |41 God in a corner of the earth, nor in mountains, nor in temples made with hands, but that each should worship and adore Him at home.

And again:

The old law commanded that God should be worshipped by the sacrifice of slain beasts, of incense and fire and divers other similar external purifications. Hut I, introducing the rites of the soul, command that God should be glorified with a clean heart and a pure mind, in purity and a life of virtue, and by true and holy teaching.

And again:

Moses forbade the men of his time who were defiled with blood to kill; but I lay down a more perfect law for those who have him for a schoolmaster and have kept the earlier commandment—when I ordain that men must not be slaves to anger.

And once more:

The Law of Moses enacted to adulterers and the impure that they must not commit adultery, or indulge in vice, or pursue unnatural pleasures, and made death the penalty of transgression; but I do not wish my disciples even to look upon a woman with lustful desire.

And again, it said:

Thou shall not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths; but I say unto you, Swear not at all, but let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

And again, it commanded resistance against the unjust, and reprisal, when it said:

An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thec on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And he who will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

And again, it exhorts to love your friend, and to hate your enemies; but I in my excess of goodwill and forbearance lay down the law:

Pray for persecutors, that you may be children |42 of your Father in heaven, who letteth his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

And, moreover, the Mosaic Law was suited to the hardness of heart of the vulgar, gave ordinances corresponding to those under the rule of sense, and provided a form of religion, reduced and inferior to the old. But I summon all to the holy and godly life of the holy men of the earlier days. And in fine, it promises, as to children, a land flowing with milk and honey, while I make citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven those who are worthy to enter therein.

Such was the message to all nations given by the word of the new covenant by the teaching of Christ. And the Christ of God bade His disciples teach them to all nations, saying:

“Go ye into all the world, and make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to observe whatsoever I have commanded you.”

And in giving them to all men both Greeks and barbarians to keep He clearly revealed the nature of Christianity, the nature of Christians, and the nature of the Teacher of the words and instruction, our Lord and Saviour the Christ of God Himself. He set up this new and perfect system throughout the whole world, that such teaching and such wisdom might be the food, not only of men but of women, of rich and poor alike, and of slaves with their masters. And yet the introducer of this new law is represented as having lived in all ways according to the Law of Moses. And this is a wonderful fact, that though He was going to come forward as the legislator of a new polity, according to the Gospel of His new covenant, He did not revolt from Moses as opposed to him and contrary. If He had thought good to command things opposed to Moses, He would have afforded to godless sectaries against Moses and the prophets material for much scandal, and to those of the circumcision a specious handle for attacking Him, particularly in view of the fact that they actually contrived their plot against His life as a transgressor and breaker of the law. |43


How Christ, having first fulfilled the Law of Moses, became the Introducer of a New and Fresh System.

AND now having lived in all ways according to the Law of Moses, He made use of His Apostles as ministers of the new legislation, on the one hand teaching them that they must not consider the Law of Moses either foreign or unfriendly to their own religion, on the other as being the author and introducer of a legislation new and salutary for all men, so that He did not in any way break Moses’ enactments, but rather crowned them, and was their fulfilment, and then passed on to the institution of the Gospel Law. Hear Him speaking in this strain:

3. “I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it.”

For if He had been a transgressor of the Law of Moses, He would reasonably have been considered to have rescinded it and given a contrary law: and if He had been wicked and a law-breaker He could not have been believed to be the Christ. And if He had rescinded Moses’ Law, He could never have been considered to be One foretold by Moses and the prophets. Nor would His new Law have had any authority. For He would have had to embark on a new Law, in order to escape the penalty of breaking the old. But as a matter of fact He has rescinded nothing |44 whatever in the Law, but fulfilled it. It is, as one might say, Mosaically perfect. Yet since it was no longer possible for the causes I have stated already to accommodate the Law of Moses to the needs of the other nations, and it was necessary, thanks to the love of God the All-good, “that all men should be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth,” He laid down a law suitable and possible for all. Nor did He forbid His Apostles to preach Moses’ Law to all men, except when it was likely to be a stumbling-block to them, as the apostle says:

“For that which was impossible by the law, in that it was weak, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” etc.

And it was “impossible “for all the nations to go up thrice a year to Jerusalem as the Law of Moses required, for a woman after childbirth to hasten there from the ends of the earth to pay the fees of her purification, and in many other ways, which you can arrive at for yourselves at your leisure. Since then it was not possible for the nations living outside Judaea to keep these things even if they wished, our Lord and Saviour could hardly be said to have rescinded them, but was the fulfilment of the Law, and gave a proof to those who could see, that He was indeed the Christ of God foretold by the old Jewish prophets. This He did, when He gave to all nations through His own disciples enactments that suited them. And, therefore, we reject Jewish customs, on the ground that they were not laid down for us, and that it is impossible to accommodate them to the needs of the Gentiles, while we gladly accept the Jewish prophecies as containing predictions about ourselves. Thus the Saviour on the one side is our teacher, and on the other the fulfilment of the Law of Moses, and of the prophets who followed him.

For since as yet the prophecies lacked the fulfilment of their conclusions and of their words, He must necessarily fulfil them. As for example the prophecy in Moses says:

“A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever that prophet shall speak to you.”

He fulfilled what remained to be fulfilled in this prophecy, |45 appearing as the second Lawgiver after Moses, giving to men the Law of the Supreme God’s true holiness. For Moses does not say simply “a prophet,”but adds “like unto me”: (“For a prophet,” he says, “shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me. Him shall ye hear”), and this can only menu that He who was foretold would be equal to Moses. And Moses was the giver of the Law of holiness of the Supreme God. So He that was foretold, to be like Moses, would probably be like him in being a Lawgiver. And though there were many prophets in later days, none of them is recorded to have been “like Moses.”

For they all referred their hearers to him. Even Scripture bears witness that “a prophet has not arisen like Moses”: neither Jeremiah, nor Isaiah, nor any other of the prophets was like him, because not one of them was a Lawgiver. When the expectation was that a prophet who was also a Lawgiver like Moses should arise, Jesus Christ came giving a Law to all nations, and accomplishing what the Law could not. As He said:

“it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, Thou shalt not desire to.” And, “It was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill, but I say unto you, Thou shalt not be angry.” And, “No more in Jerusalem, but in every place must you worship.” And, “Worship not with incense and sacrifices, but in spirit and in truth.” And all such things that are recorded of His teaching are surely the laws of a Lawgiver very wise and very perfect.

Wherefore Holy Scripture says His hearers were “astounded,” because He taught them “as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and the Pharisees”—an oracle which supplied what was lacking to the fulfilment of the prophecy of Moses. And the same can be said of the other prophecies about Him, and the calling of the Gentiles. He was, therefore, the fulfiller of the Law and the prophets since He brought the predictions referring to Himself to a conclusion.

He ordained that the former Law should stand till He came, and He was revealed as the originator of the second Law of the new covenant preached to all nations, as being |46 responsible for the Law and influence of the two religions, I mean Judaism and Christianity. And it is wonderful that divine prophecy should accord:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, choice, a cornerstone; precious, and he that believes on him shall not be ashamed.”

Who could be the corner-stone but He, the living and precious stone Who supports by His teaching two buildings and makes them one? For He set up the Mosaic building, which was to last till His day, and then fitted on to one side of it our building of the Gospel. Hence He is called the corner-stone. And it is said in the Psalms: “22. The stone which the builders refused, the same is become the head of the corner. 23. This is of the Lord, and it is marvellous in our eyes.”

This oracle too indubitably indicates the Jewish conspiracy against the subject of the prophecy, how He has been set at naught by the builders of the old wall, meaning the Scribes and Pharisees, the High-Priests and all the rulers of the Jews. And it prophesied that though He should be despised and cast out He would become the head of the corner, regarding Him as the originator of the new covenant, according to the above proofs.

So then we are not apostates from Hellenism who have embraced Judaism, nor are we at fault in accepting the law of Moses and the Hebrew Prophets, and we do not live as Jews, but according to the system of the men of God who lived before Moses. Nay, we claim that in this |47 we authenticate Moses and the succeeding prophets, in that we accept the Christ foretold by them, and obey His laws, and endeavour prayerfully to tread in the steps of His teaching, for so we do what Moses himself would approve. For he says, in foretelling that God will raise up a prophet like himself, “and every soul which doth not hear that prophet shall be cast out from its race.”Therefore the Jews, because they rejected the prophet, and did not hearken to His holy words, have suffered extreme ruin according to the prediction. For they neither received the law of Christ of the new covenant, nor were they able to keep the commands of Moses without some breach of his law; and so they fell under the curse of Moses, in not being able to carry out what was ordained by him, being exiled as they were from their mother-city, which was destroyed, where alone it was allowed to celebrate the Mosaic worship. Whereas we, who accept Him that was foretold by Moses and the prophets, and endeavour to obey Him prayerfully, must surely be fulfilling the prophecy of Moses, where he said: “And every soul, which doth not hear that prophet, shall be cast out from its race.”And we heard just now what the ordinances of the prophet were, which we must obey, their wisdom, perfection and heavenliness, which he thought fit to inscribe, not on tables of stone like Moses, nor yet with ink and parchment, but on the hearts of his pupils, purified and open to reason. On them he wrote the laws of the new covenant, and actually fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah.

“I will make a new covenant, not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers. For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel, I will give my laws into their mind, and upon their heart I will write them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. |48


That the Christian Life is of Two Distinct Characters.

THE one wrote on lifeless tables, the Other wrote the perfect commandments of the new covenant on living minds. And His disciples, accommodating their teaching to the minds of the people, according to the Master’s will, delivered on the one hand to those who were able to receive it, the teaching given by the perfect master to those who rose above human nature. While on the other the side of the teaching which they considered was suitable to men still in the world of passion and needing treatment, they accommodated to the weakness of the majority, and handed over to them to keep sometimes in writing, and sometimes by unwritten ordinances to be observed by them. Two ways of life were thus given by the law of Christ to His Church. The one is above nature, and beyond common human living; it admits not marriage, child-bearing, property nor the possession of wealth, but wholly and permanently separate from the common customary life of mankind, it devotes itself to the service of God alone in its wealth of heavenly love! And they who enter on this course, appear to die to the life of mortals, to bear with them nothing earthly but their body, and in mind and spirit to have passed to heaven. Like some celestial beings they gaze upon human life, performing the duty of a priesthood to Almighty God for the whole race, not with |49 sacrifices of bulls and blood, nor with libations and unguents, nor with smoke and consuming fire and destruction of bodily things, but with right principles of true holiness, and of a soul purified in disposition, and above all with virtuous deeds and words; with such they propitiate the Divinity, and celebrate their priestly rites for themselves and their race. Such then is the perfect form of the Christian life. And the other more humble, more human, permits men to join in pure nuptials and to produce children, to undertake government, to give orders to soldiers fighting for right; it allows them to have minds for farming, for trade, and the other more secular interests |50 as well as for religion: and it is for them that times of retreat and instruction, and days for hearing sacred things are set apart. And a kind of secondary grade of piety is attributed to them, giving just such help as such lives require, so that all men, whether Greeks or barbarians, have their part in the coming of salvation, and profit by the teaching of the Gospel.


Why a Numerous Offspring is not as Great a Concern to us as it was to them of Old Time.

This being so, the question naturally arises, if we claim that the Gospel teaching of our Saviour Christ bids us worship God as did the men of old, and the pre-Mosaic men of God, and that our religion is the same as theirs, and our knowledge of God the same, why were they keenly concerned with marriage and reproduction, while we to some extent disregard it? And again, why are they recorded as propitiating God with animal sacrifices, while we are forbidden to do so, and are told to regard it as impious. For those two things alone, which are by no means unimportant, would seem to conflict with what 1 have said; they would imply that in these matters we have not preserved the ancient ideal of religion. But it is possible for us to refute this charge by a study of the Hebrew writings. The men renowned for piety before Moses are recorded as having lived when human life was first beginning and organizing itself, while we live when it is nearing its end. And so they were anxious for the increase of their descendants, that men might multiply, that the human race might grow and flourish at that time, and reach its height; but these things are of little moment to us, who believe the world to be perishing and running down and reaching its last end, since it is expressly said that the gospel teaching will be at the door before the |51 consummation of life, while a new creation and the birth of another age at no distant time is foretold. Such is one reply, and this is a second. The men of old days lived an easier and a freer life, and their care of home and family did not compete with their leisure for religion; they were able to worship (iod without distraction from their wives and children and domestic cares, and were in no way drawn by external things from the things that mattered most. But in our days there are many external interests that draw us away, and involve us in uncongenial thoughts, and seduce us from our zeal for the things which please God. The word of the Gospel teaching certainly gives this as the cause of the limitation of marriage, when it says:

29. But this 1 say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth that they who have wives be as though they had none. 30. And those that wept as though they wept not, and they that rejoice as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy as though they possessed not; 31. and they that use this world as not abusing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away. 32. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he that is married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and is divided. 34. And the unmarried woman and the virgin careth for the things of the Lord how she may please the Lord), that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35. And this I speak for your profit; not that I may cast a cord upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. |52

This expressly attributes the decrease of marriage to the evils of the time and of external circumstances, such as did not affect the ancients.

And I might give this third reason why the godly men of old were so devoted to the procreation of children. The rest of mankind were increasing in evil, they had fallen into an uncivilized, inhuman, and savage mode of life, they had given themselves up completely to godlessness and impiety, while they themselves, a very scanty remnant, had divorced themselves from the life of the many, and from common association with other men. They were living apart from other nations and in isolation, and were organizing a new kind of polity; they were evolving a life of true wisdom and religion, unmingled with other men. They wished to hand on to posterity the fiery seed of their own religion; they did not intend that their piety should fail and perish when they themselves died, and so they had foresight for producing and rearing children. They knew they could be the teachers and guides of their families, and considered it their object to hand on to posterity the inheritance of their own good qualities. Hence many prophets and righteous men, yea, even our Lord and Saviour Himself, with His apostles and disciples, have come from their line.

And if some of them turned out wicked, like straw growing up with the corn, we must not blame the sowers, nor those who tended the crop, just as we should admit that even some of our Saviour’s disciples have erred from the right way through self-will. And this explanation of the ancient men of God begetting children cannot be said to apply to the Christians to-day, when by God’s help through our Saviour’s Gospel teaching we can see with our own eyes many peoples and nations in city and country and field all hastening together, and united in running to learn the godly course of the teaching of the Gospel, for whom I am glad to say we are able to provide teachers and preachers of the word of holiness, free from all ties of life and anxious thoughts. And in our day these men are necessarily devoted to |53 celibacy that they may have leisure for higher things; they have undertaken to bring up not one or two children but a prodigious number, and to educate them in godliness, and to care for their life generally. On the top of all this, if we carefully examine the lives of the ancient men of whom I am speaking, we shall find that they had children in early life, but later on abstained and ceased from having them. For it is written that “Enoch pleased God after Methusaleh was born.” Scripture expressly records that he pleased God after the birth of his son, and tells nothing of his having children afterwards. And Noah, that just man, who was saved alone with his family when the whole world was destroyed, after the birth of his children, though he lived many years more, is not related to have begotten more children. And Isaac is said, after becoming the father of twins by one wife, to have ceased cohabitation with her. Joseph again (and this was when he lived among the Egyptians) was only the father of two sons, and married to their mother only, while Moses himself and Aaron his brother are recorded as having had children before the appearance of God, but after the giving of the divine oracles as having begotten no more children. What must I say of Melchisedek? He had no son at all, no family, no descendants. And the same is true of Joshua, the successor of Moses, and many other prophets.

If there is any question about the families of Abraham and Jacob, a longer discussion will be found in the book I wrote about the polygamy and large families of the ancient men of God. To this I must refer the student, only warning him that according to the laws of the new covenant the producing of children is certainly not forbidden, but the provisions are similar to those followed by the ancient men of God. “For a bishop,” says the Scripture, “must be the husband of one wife.” Yet it is fitting that |54 those in the priesthood and occupied in the service of God, should abstain after ordination from the intercourse of marriage. To all who have not undertaken this wondrous priesthood, Scripture almost completely gives way, when it says: “Marriage is honourable, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” This, then, is my answer to the first question.


Why we are not bidden to burn Incense and to sacrifice the Fruits of the Earth to God as were the Men of Old Time.

I SHOULD give the following reply to those who ask why we do not sacrifice animals to Almighty God, as the men of God of old did, whom we claim to imitate. Greek ideas, and what is actually found in the sacred books of the Hebrews, do not agree about the cultus of the ancient primitive men. The Greeks say that early men did not ever sacrifice animals, nor burn incense to the gods, but “herbage, which they lifted up in their hands as the bloom of the productive power of nature,” and burnt grass and leaves and roots in the fire to the sun and the stars of heaven. And that in the next stage men launching far into wickedness stained the altars with the sacrifice of animals, and that this was a sacrifice sinful, unrighteous, and quite displeasing to God. For man and beast in no way differ in their reasonable soul. So they said that those who offer animals are open to the charge of murder, the soul being one and the same in man and brute. This was the view of the ancient Greeks, but it does not agree with the Hebrew Scriptures. They record that the first men, as soon as they |55 were created, honoured God with animal sacrifices at the very creation of their life. For they say:

“And it came to pass after some days that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to the Lord. And Abel also brought of the first-born of his sheep.. . . And God looked upon Abel and his gifts. But Cain and his sacrifices be regarded not.”

Here you will understand that he who sacrificed an animal is said to have been more accepted by God than he who brought an offering of the fruits of the earth. Noah again brought to the altar his first-fruits of all clean cattle, and of all clean fowls; Abraham also is described as sacrificing: so that if we accept the evidence of Holy Scripture, the first sacrifices thought of by the ancient men of God were those of animals.

And this thought, I hold, was not due to accident, nor was its source in man, but it was divinely suggested. For when they saw since they were holy, brought nigh to God, and enlightened by the Divine Spirit in their souls that there was need of great stress on the cleansing of the sons of men, they thought that a ransom was due to the source of life and soul in return for their own salvation. And then as they had nothing better or more valuable than their own life to sacrifice, in place of it they brought a sacrifice through that of the unreasoning beasts, providing a life instead of their own life. They did not consider this was sinful or unrighteous. They had not been taught that the soul of the brutes was like man’s, which has discourse of reason: they had only learned that it was the animal’s blood, and that in the blood is the principle of life, which they offered themselves, sacrificing as it were to God one life instead of another. |56

Moses makes this abundantly clear, when he says:

“For the life of all flesh is the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your sins: for the blood shall make atonement for the soul. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood.”

Note carefully in the above the words, “I gave to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for the blood shall make atonement for the soul.”

He says clearly that the blood of the victims slain is a propitiation in the place of human life. And the law about sacrifices suggests that it should be so regarded, if it is carefully considered. For it requires him who is sacrificing always to lay his hands on the head of the victim, and to bear the animal to the priest held by its head, as one offering a sacrifice on behalf of himself. Thus he says in each case:

“He shall bring it before the Lord. And he shall lay his hands on the head of the gift.”

Such is the ritual in every case, no sacrifice is ever brought up otherwise. And so the argument holds that the victims are brought in place of the lives of them who bring them. In teaching that the blood of the brutes is their life, it in no way implies that they share in the essence of thought and reason, for they are composed of matter and body, in the same way as the vegetation of the earth and plants. Thus Moses tells that God said in one creative word:

“Let the earth bring forth herb of grass and the fruit tree.”

And again in like manner:

“Let the earth bring forth four-footed things, and creeping things, and wild beasts of the earth after their kind.”

We must, therefore, regard the brutes as akin in kind and nature and essence to the vegetation of the earth and the plants, and conclude that those who sacrifice them commit no sin. Noah indeed was told to eat flesh, as the herb of the field.

While then the better, the great and worthy and divine sacrifice was not yet available for men, it was necessary for |57 them by the offering of animals to pay a ransom for their own life, and this was fitly a life that represented their own nature. Thus did the holy men of old, anticipating by the Holy Spirit that a holy victim, dear to God and great, would one day come for men, as the offering for the sins of the world, believing that as prophets they must perform in symbol his sacrifice, and shew forth in type what was yet to be. But when that which was perfect was come, in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, the former sacrifices ceased at once because of the better and true Sacrifice.

This Sacrifice was the Christ of God, from far distant times foretold as coming to men, to be sacrificed like a sheep for the whole human race. As Isaiah the prophet says of him:

“As a sheep he was led to slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers.”

And he adds:

“4. He bears our sins and is pained for us; yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering and in affliction. 5. Hut he was wounded on account of our sins, and he was made sick on account of our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripe we are healed. … 6. And the Lord hath given him up for our iniquities … .9 for he did no sin himself, nor was guile found in his mouth.”

Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, speaks similarly in the person of Christ: “I was led as a lamb to the slaughter.”

John Baptist sets the seal on their predictions at the appearance of our Saviour. For beholding Him, and pointing Him out to those present as the one foretold by the prophets, he cried: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgive ness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him |58 are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself. And any Jews, of course, who have taken refuge in Christ, even if they attend no longer to the ordinances of Moses, but live according to the new covenant, are free from the curse ordained by Moses, for the Lamb of God has surely not only taken on Himself the sin of the world, but also the curse involved in the breach of the commandments of Moses as well. The Lamb of God is made thus both sin and curse—sin for the sinners in the world, and curse for those remaining in all the things written in Moses’ law. And so the Apostle says: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”; and “Him that knew no sin, for our sakes he made sin.”For what is there that the Offering for the whole world could not effect, the Life given for the life of sinners, Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb to the sacrifice, and all this for us and on our behalf? And this was why those ancient men of God, as they had not yet the reality, held fast to their symbols. This is exactly what our Saviour teaches, saying:

“Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

And we, who have received both the truth, and the archetypes of the early copies through the mysterious dispensation of Christ, can have no further need for the things of old. |59

He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Hirn as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses’ law, as Moses foretells: “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” This He suffered “being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes.”And then “He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,”and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice.

This also the wondrous David inspired by the Holy Spirit to foresee the future, foretold in these words:

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me |, and heard my calling |. 2. And he brought me up out of a pit of misery |, and from miry clay |. And he set my feet on a rock | and ordered my steps aright |. 3. And he hath put a new song in my mouth |, a hymn to our God. |”

And he shews clearly what “the new song” is when he goes on to say:

“7. Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not ; |60 but a body hast them prepared me |; whole burnt-offering; and sin offering thou didst take no pleasure in |. 8. Then said I, Lo, I come: | in the volume of the book it is written of me |, to do thy will, O God, I desired. |”

And he adds: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation.” He plainly teaches that in place of the ancient sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings the incarnate presence of Christ that was prepared was offered. And this very thing He proclaims to his Church as a great mystery expressed with prophetic voice in the volume of the book. As we have received a memorial of this offering which we celebrate on a table by means of symbols of His Body and saving Blood according to the laws of the new covenant, we are taught again by the prophet David to say:

“5. Thou hast prepared a table before me in the face of my persecutors |. Thou hast anointed my head with oil |, and thy cup cheers me as the strongest (wine). |”

Here it is plainly the mystic Chrism and the holy Sacrifices |61 of Christ’s Table that are meant, by which we are taught to offer to Almighty God through our great High Priest all through our life the celebration of our sacrifices, bloodless, reasonable, and well-pleasing to Him. And this very thing the great prophet Isaiah wonderfully foreknew by the Holy Spirit, and foretold. And he therefore says thus:

“O Lord, my God, I will glorify thee, I will hymn thy name, for thou hast done marvellous things.”

And he goes on to explain what these things so truly “wonderful” are:

“And the Lord of Sabaoth shall make a feast for all the nations. They shall drink joy, they shall drink wine, they shall be anointed with myrrh (on this mountain). Impart thou all these things to the nations. For this is God’s counsel upon all the nations.”

These were Isaiah’s “wonders.”the promise of the anointing with ointment of a good smell, and with myrrh made not to Israel but to all nations. Whence not unnaturally through the chrism of myrrh they gained the name of Christians. But he also prophesies the “wine of joy “to the nations, darkly alluding to the sacrament of the new covenant of Christ, which is now openly celebrated among the nations. And these unembodied and spiritual sacrifices the oracle of the prophet also proclaims, in a certain place:

“Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and give the Highest thy vows: And call upon me in the clay of thy affliction, and I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.”

And again:

“The lifting up of my hands is an evening sacrifice.”And once more: “The sacrifice of God is a contrite spirit.”

And so all these predictions of immemorial prophecy are being fulfilled at this present time through the teaching of our Saviour among all nations. Truth bears witness with the prophetic voice with which God, rejecting the Mosaic sacrifices, foretells that the future lies with us: |62

“Wherefore from the rising of the sun unto the setting my name shall be glorified among the nations. And in every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a pure offering.”

We sacrifice, therefore, to Almighty God a sacrifice of praise. We sacrifice the divine and holy and sacred offering. We sacrifice anew according to the new covenant the pure sacrifice. But the sacrifice to God is called “a contrite heart.””A humble and a contrite heart thou wilt not despise.”Yes, and we offer the incense of the prophet, in every place bringing to Him the sweet-smelling fruit of the sincere Word of God, offering it in our prayers to Him. This yet another prophet teaches, who says: “Let my prayer be as incense in thy sight.”

So, then, we sacrifice and offer incense: On the one hand when we celebrate the Memorial of His great Sacrifice according to the Mysteries He delivered to us, and bring to God the Eucharist for our salvation with holy hymns and prayers; while on the other we consecrate ourselves to Him alone and to the Word His High Priest, devoted to Him in body and soul. Therefore we are careful to keep our bodies pure and undefiled from all evil, and we bring our hearts purified from every passion and stain of sin, and worship Him with sincere thoughts, real intention, and true beliefs. For these arc more acceptable to Him, so we are taught, than a multitude of sacrifices offered with blood and smoke and fat.

[All footnotes, biblical references, and indications of the numbering of the Greek text (beyond the first few) have reluctantly been omitted]

1. [1] The Title: “son of Pamphilus” either by adoption, or E. assumed the name from affection (G.P.E. vol. iii. p. 2). Genitive of kinship cannot mean “friend of P.”

2. [2] The paging in the margin is that of J. A. Fabricius, who first edited the opening of the work (pp. 1, 4-17, 18) from the Mavrocordato Codex; R. Stephen (1545) and the Paris edilion (1628) derive from the Paris Codex (469) which had lost the beginning of the work up to η παιδισκη και ο προσηλυτος (page 14 of this translation). [[On odd-numbered pages, the Fabricius pagination is in parentheses on the right of the line. On even-numbered pages, the pagination is on the left.]]

3. [3] Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, about A.D. 310-340: the Praeparatio is dedicated to him. See also H.E. vii. 32, 23 for a panegyric of him.

4. [4] εξανυεται. Lit., is being brought to a conclusion. The introduction was written last.

5. [1] For Bethlehem as a place of pilgrimage see also 97 c (and note) and 341 b, and Origen, c. Cels. i. 51.

6. [1] αλλοφυλων: so Fabricius.

7. [2] δαιμονων αποφυγην. See Harnack : Expansion of Christianity. Excursus on “The Conflict with Demons.” E. T. i. 152-180. For daemons as fallen angels, heathen gods, and oracles, cf. P.E. 329. See Jewish legends, Book of Jubilees, 10 3.6.8; 15; 22 17; 1 Enoch 6; 15 8.9.11; 167; 69 2.3; 86, 106 13.14 etc.

8. 1 It is at this point that the Paris Codex 469, the basis of the edition of Stephen, and the Paris edition of 1628 begins.  Up to this point we are dependent on the edition of the lost Mavrocordato Codex by Fabricius and on his paging.  The paging is now that of Stephen and starts here as page 1.


“The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the (b) presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies. The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had (c) not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions.”



That we have not embraced the Prophetic Books of the (43) Hebrews with so much Zeal without Aim or Object.

IN my survey of the ideal of true religion brought before all men by the Gospel teaching and of the Life in Christ in the previous book, I have argued and I (b) believe demonstrated the impossibility of all the nations living by the Jewish law, even if they wished. My present object is to resume the argument at a point further back,1 to return to the evidence of the prophetic books, and to give a more complete answer to the charges of those of the Circumcision, who say that we have no (c) share whatever in the promises of their Scriptures. They hold that the prophets were theirs, that the Christ, Whom they love to call Saviour and Redeemer, was foretold to them, and that it is to be expected that the written promises will be fulfilled for them. They despise us as being of alien races, about which the prophets are unanimous in foretelling evil. I propose to meet these attacks by evidence derived straight from their own prophetic books, (d)

With regard to the Christ of God having been promised in their land, and His advent preaching salvation to Israel, we should be the last to deny it ; all would agree that this is the plain teaching of all their writings. But with regard to the Gentiles being debarred from the expected benefits in Christ, on the ground that the promise was limited to Israel, it is quite impossible to yield to what they advance against the evidence of Holy Scripture. |64


(44) That their Prophets gave their Best Predictions for Us of the Foreign Nations.

(b) IN the first place, as it is their constant habit to pick out the prophecies which are more favourable to themselves, and to have them ever on their lips, I must array against them my proofs from the prophecies about the Gentiles, making it clear how full they are of predictions of good and salvation for all nations, and how strongly they asserted that their promises to the Gentile world could only be fulfilled by the coming of the Christ. When we shall have reached that point of the argument, I think I shall have proved that it is untrue to say that the hope of the Messiah was more proper for them than for us. (c) Then having demonstrated that for Jews and Greeks the hope of the promise was on an equality, so that those of the Gentiles would be saved through Christ would be in exactly the same position as the Jews, I shall proceed to show with superabundance of evidence,2 that the divine oracles foretold that the Advent of Christ and the call of the Gentiles would be accompanied by the total collapse and ruin of the whole Jewish race, and prophesied good fortune only for a scanty few easy to number, while their city (d) with its temple would be captured, and all its holy things taken away—prophecies which have all been exactly fulfilled. How under one head and at the same time holy Scripture can foretell for Israel at Christ’s coming both a ransom from evil and the enjoyment of prosperity, and also adversity and the overturning of the worship of God, I will make clear when the proper time comes. For the present let us go on with our first task viz., to select a few statements to prove my contentions from a great number of prophecies.

Inasmuch, then, as they always use in argument with us the prophecies about themselves, which are most favourable, as if the privileges of the old dispensation were limited to them, it is time for us to array against them the |65 promises about the Gentiles, as contained in their own prophets.

1. From Genesis. (45)

How the Nations of the World will be blessed in the same Way as those named after Abraham.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xviii. 27.]

The oracle says that God will not hide from the man dear to Him a mystery that is hidden and secret to many, but will reveal it to him. And this was the promise that (b) all the nations should be blessed, which had of old been hidden through all the nations in Abraham’s day being given over to unspeakably false superstition, but is now unveiled in our time, through the Gospel teaching of our Saviour that he who worships God in the manner of Abraham will share His blessing. We must not suppose (c) that this oracle referred to Jewish proselytes, since we have very fully shown in the preceding book the impossibility of all nations following the law of Moses. And as I have proved in the same book that the blessing on all nations given to Abraham could only apply to the Christians of all nations, I will refer those interested to the former passage.

2. From the same.

That all the Nations of the Earth will be blessed in the Seed that is to come from the Line of Isaac.

The Lord conferring with Isaac, after saying other things, (d) proceeds —

[Passage quoted, Gen. xxvi. 3.]

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born of the seed of Isaac, according to the flesh, in Whom all the nations of the earth are blessed, in learning through Him of Almighty God, and in being taught through Him to bless men dear to God. So there is reciprocal blessing, they enjoying the same blessing as the men they bless, according to God’s saying to Abraham : ” Blessed be they [[Num. xxiv. 9]] that bless thee.”3 |66

(46) 3. From the same.

Of many Nations, and Multitudes of Nations, arising out of Jacob, although only the Nation of the Jews has come forth from him.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xxxv. 11.]

As it is quite certain that only one nation, that of the Jews, arose from Jacob, how can this oracle speak truly of a multitude of nations? Since the Christ of God being born of the seed of Jacob brought together many multitudes of nations by His Gospel teaching, in Him and (b) through Him the prophecy has attained its natural fulfilment already, and will attain it still more.

4. From Deuteronomy.

The Joy in God of the Nations.

[Passage quoted, Deut. xxxii. 43.]

(c) Instead of “Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people,” Aquila 4 reads, “Cry out, nations of his people.” And Theodotion,5 “Exult, ye nations of his people.”

5. From Psalm xxi.

How from the ends of the Earth, and from all Nations there shall be a Turning to God, and how the Generation to come and the People that shall be begotten shall learn Righteousness.

[ Passage quoted, Ps. xxi. 28. 32.]

This is clear enough to need no interpretation. |67

6. From Psalm xlvi. (47)

An Announcement of Holiness and Purity to the Nations, and the Kingdom of God over the Nations.

[Passages quoted, Ps. xlvi. i, 2 and 8 ]

This is clear, and needs no interpretation.

7. From Psalm lxxxv.

The holiness of the nations.

[Passage quoted, Ps. lxxxv. 8-10.]

8. From Psalm xcv.

Of the Holiness of all the Heathen, and of the new Song, and of the Kingdom of God, and of the Happiness of the World.

[Passages quoted, Ps. xcv. 1-4, 7, and 10.]

This is clear.

9. From Zechariah.

Of all the Nations, and of the Egyptians the most superstitious of them all, of the Knowledge of the only true God, and of the spiritual Worship and Festival according to the divine Law.

[Passage quoted, Zech. xiv. 16-19.]

(48) This passage clearly implies the calling of all the Gentiles, if we only regard the sense of what is said about Jerusalem and the tabernacle, to which I will give the proper interpretation in its right place.

10. From Isaiah.

Of the Choice of the Apostles, and the Calling of the Gentiles. 

[Passage quoted, Isa. ix. 1-2.]

11. From the same.

Of the Calling of the Gentiles. 

[ Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. 1.]

In which he adds more about the Gentiles and about (c) Christ. |68

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. 6.]

And you could yourself find many such passages, dispersed through the prophets in the promises to the nations, which there is no time now to select or interpret. Those that I have chosen are sufficient to prove my point. And this was simply to demonstrate to the Circumcision, who proudly and boastfully claim, that God has preferred them (d) before all other nations, and given them a peculiar privilege in His divine promises, that nothing of the kind is to be found in the divine promises themselves.

And now that I have proved the inclusion of the Gentiles in the divine promises, I would ask you to consider the reason of their being called and admitted to the promises. For it will be good for us to realize the reason why they can be said to be associated in their benefits. This can only be the coming of Christ, through Whom those of the Circumcision also agree that they look for their own redemption. I have then only to prove that the hope (49) of the call of the Gentiles was nothing else but the Christ of God, looked for as the Saviour, not only of the Jews, but of the whole Gentile world. And for the present I will give the mere texts of the prophets without interpretation, as I shall be able to interpret them individually at leisure more broadly 6 altogether, when with God’s help I have collected the predictions about the nations.


12. From Psalm ii.

(c) Of the Plotting against Christ, and He 7 that is called the Son of God, receiving His Portion and the Gentiles from the Father.

[Passages quoted, Ps. ii. 1, 2, and 7, 8.] |69

13. From Psalm lxxi.

Of Christ’s Kingdom, and the Call of the Gentiles, and the (50) Blessing of all the Tribes of the Earth. 

[Passages quoted, Ps. lxxi. 1, 2, 8, 11, 17, 19.]

14. From Psalm xcvii.

Of the new Song, and of the Arm of the Lord, and of the Shewing of His Salvation to all Nations ; the Salvation of the Son is shewn by the Name in the Hebrew.

15. From Genesis.

How after the Cessation of the Kingdom of the Jews, the (c) Christ Himself coming will be the Expectation of the Gentiles.

“There shall not fail a prince from Juda, nor a governor from his loins, until he come in whom it is laid up,8 and he is the expectation of the Gentiles.” [[Gen. xlix. 10]]

16. From Zephaniah.

A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (d) Destruction of Idolatry, and of the Piety of the Nations towards God.

[Passage quoted, Zeph. ii. 11.]

17. From the same.

A Shewing forth of the Day of Christ’s Resurrection, and (51) the Gathering of Nations, and of all Men knowing God, and Turning to Holiness, and how the Ethiopians will bring Sacrifices to him.

[Passage quoted, Zeph. iii. 8.]

18. From Zechariah.

A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (b) Fleeing of many Nations to Him, and how the Peoples of the Nations shall be established in the Lord.

[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 10.] |70

19. From Isaiah.

(c) A Shelving forth of the Birth of Christ coming from the Root of David, and the Call by Him of all the Nations. 

[Passages quoted, Isa. xi. i, 10.]

20. From the same.

(52) A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (d) Benefits brought by him to all the Nations. 

[Passages quoted, Isa. xlii. 1-4 and 6-9.]

21. From the same.

(b) A Shewing forth of Christ and his Birth, and the Call of the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. i.]

22. From the same.

(c) The Shewing forth of the Coming of Christ and of the Call of the Gentiles. 

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix, 7.]

23. From the same.

(53) A Shewing forth of Christ, and the Call of the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Isa. lv. 3-5.]

And now that we have learned from these passages that the presence of Christ was intended to be the salvation not only of the Jews, but of all nations as well, let me prove my third point, that prophecies not only foretold that good things for the nations would be associated with the date of His appearance, but also the reverse for the Jews. Yes, the Hebrew oracles foretell distinctly the fall and ruin of the Jewish race through their disbelief in Christ, so that we should no longer appear equal to them, but better than they. And I will now, present the bare quotations from the prophets without any comment on them, because they are quite clear, and because I intend at my leisure to examine them thoroughly. |71


24. From Jeremiah. (d)

Shewing forth the Refusal of the Jewish Race, and the (54) Substitution of the Gentiles in their Place. 

[Passage quoted, Jer. vi. 16.]

25. From the same.

Shewing forth of the Piety of the Nations, and Accusation of the Impiety of the Jewish Race. Prediction of the Evils to overtake them after the Coining of Christ.

[Passage quoted, Jer. xvi. 19-xvii. 4.] 9

26. From Amos.

(d) Concerning the Dispersion of the Jewish Race among all the Nations, and the Renewing of Christ’s Coming and Kingdom, and the Call of all the Nations consequent upon it. 

[Passage quoted, Amos ix. 9.]

27. From Micah.

(55) Accusation of the Rulers of the Jewish People, and a Shewing forth of the Desolation of their Mother-city, and the Appearance of Christ and of the House of God His Church, the. Entrance of His Word and His Law, and its Shewing to all Nations.10

[Passages quoted, Mic. iii. 9-iv. 2.]

28. From Zechariah.

Shewing forth of Christ’s Appearing, and the Destruction of the warlike Preparation of the Jews, and the Peace of the. Nations, and the Kingdom of the Lord unto the Ends of the World.

[Passage quoted, Zech. ix. 9-10.]

29. From Malachi.

(56) Rebuke of the Jewish Race, and Refusal of the Mosaic outward Worship, and of the spiritual Worship delivered by Christ to all Nations.

[Passage quoted, Mal. i. 10-12.] |72

30. From Isaiah.

(b) The Apostasy of the Jewish Race and the Revelation of the Word of God, and of the new Law, and of His House, and the Shewing forth of the Piety of all the Nations. 

[Passages quoted, Isa. i. 8, 21, 30; ii. 2-4.]

(57) 31. From the same.

The Destruction of the Glory of the People of the Jews, and the Turning of the Nations from Idolatry to the God of the Universe, and the Prophecy of the Desolation of the Jewish Cities, and of their Unfaithfulness to their God. 

[Passage quoted, Isa. xvii. 5-11.]

32. From the same.

Shewing forth of the destruction of the Jewish cities, and of the joy of the Gentiles in God.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xxv. 1-8.]

(d) 33. From the same.

The Message of good News to the Church of the Nations desolate of old, and the Rejection of the Jewish Nation, and Accusation of their Sins, and the Call of all the Gentiles. 

[Passages quoted, Isa. xliii. 18-25 ; xlv. 22-25]

34. From the same.

Shewing forth of the Coming of Christ to Men. And Reproof of the Jewish Race, and Promise of good Things to all Nations.

[Passages quoted, Isa. 1. 1, 2, 10 ; li. 4, 5.]

(59) 35. From the same.

Reproof of the Sins of the Jewish People, and their Fall from Piety, and the Shewing forth of the Call of all the Gentiles.

[Passages quoted, Isa. lix. 1-11, 19.]

(d) But although there are a number of prophecies on this subject, I will be content with the evidence I have |73 produced, and I will return to them again and explain 11 them at the proper time, as I consider that by the use of these numerous texts and of their evidence I have given adequate proof that the Jews hold no privilege beyond other nations. For if they say that they alone partake of the blessing of Abraham, the friend of God, by reason of their descent from him, it can be answered that God promised to the Gentiles that He would give them an equal share of the blessing not only of Abraham but of Isaac and Jacob also, since He expressly predicted that all nations would be blessed like them, and summoned the rest of the nations under one and the same (rule of) joy as the blessed and the godly, in saying: “Rejoice ye Gentiles [[Deut. xxxii. 43; Ps. xlvii. 9]] with his people,” and : “The princes of the peoples were gathered together with the God of Abraham.”

And if it is on the kingdom of God they plume them- (60) selves, as being His portion, it can be answered that God prophesies that He will reign over all other nations. For he says : “Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is [[Ps. xcvi. 10]] King.” And again: “God reigneth over all the nations.”

And if they say that they were chosen out to act as [[Ps. xlvii. 8]] priests and to offer worship to God, it can be shewn that the Word promised that He would give to the Gentiles an equal share in His service, when He said: “Render to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the nations, render to the Lord glory and honour: bring sacrifices and come into [[Ps. xcvi. 7.]] his courts.” To which the oracle in Isaiah may be con- (b) joined, which says: “There shall be an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt . . . and the Egyptians will know the Lord. And they shall do sacrifice, and say prayers to the Lord, and offer.” And in this you will understand [[Isa.xix.19]] that it is prophesied that an altar will be built to the Lord away from Jerusalem in Egypt, and that the Egyptians will there offer sacrifice, say prayers and give gifts to the Lord. Yes, and not only in Egypt, but in the true Jerusalem itself, whatever it is thought to be, all the nations, and the (c) Egyptians forsooth, the most superstitious of them all, are invited to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, as a feast of the heart.12 |74 

And if it was true long ago: “Jacob is become the portion of the Lord, and Israel the rope of his inheritance.” [[Deut. xxx ii. 9]] Yet afterwards it was also said that all the nations would be given to the Lord for His inheritance, the Father saying to him : ” Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance.” [[Ps. ii. 8]] And it is also prophesied that He shall rule from sea to sea and to the ends of the world : “All the Gentiles shall serve him, and in him shall the tribes of the earth be blessed.” [[ Ps. lxxii. ii, 17]] And the reason of this (d) was that the Supreme God should make known His salvation before all nations. And I have already noted before that the name of Jesus translated from Hebrew into Greek would give “salvation,” so that “the salvation of God” is simply the appellation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

And Simeon bears witness to this in the Gospel, when he takes the infant in his hands, I mean of course Jesus, and prays:

(61) “Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word :
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles.” [[ Luke ii.29]]

And this same salvation the Psalmist meant, when he said:

“The Lord declared his salvation, in the sight of the heathen he openly shewed his righteousness.”

And, according to Isaiah, it will be when they behold this very salvation that all men will worship the supreme God, (b) Who has bestowed His salvation on all ungrudgingly. And they will worship Him not in Jerusalem below, which is in Palestine, but each from his own place, and all who are in the isles of the Gentiles; and then, too, the oracle shall be fulfilled which said that all men should call no longer on their ancestral gods, nor on idols, nor on daemons, but on the Name of the Lord, and shall serve Him under one yoke, and shall offer to Him from the furthest rivers of Ethiopia the reasonable and bloodless sacrifices of the new Covenant of Christ, to be sacrificed not in Jerusalem below, nor on the altar there, but in the aforesaid borders of Ethiopia.

(c) And if it be admitted to be a noble privilege to be and |75 to be reckoned the people of God, and if this one thing is the noblest of the divine promises, that God should say of those who are worthy of Him, “I will be their God, and [[Jer. xxxi. 33.] they shall be my people,” Israel was naturally proud in days of old of being the only people of God, but now the Lord has come to sojourn with us and promises graciously to extend this privilege to the Gentiles, saying:

“Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you, [[Zech. ii. 10.]] and many nations shall flee unto the Lord, and they shall be to him a people.”

On which I may aptly quote : “And I will say to a people (d) that were not my people, Ye are my people. And they [[Hos.ii. 23.]] shall say, Thou art the Lord our God.” And if it is the Christ and no one else Who is prophesied as springing from the root of Jesse, and this at least is so strongly held by the Hebrews themselves, that not one of them questions its truth at all, consider how He is proclaimed as about to arise to reign not over Israel but over the Gentiles, and how the Gentiles arc said to be about to hope in Him, and not Israel, inasmuch as He is the expectation of the Gentiles. Wherefore He is said “to be about to bring [[Isa. xlii. 1, 6]] judgment to the Gentiles,” and “to be for a light to the Gentiles.” And again it is said: “In his name shall the Gentiles trust,” and that He shall be given for salvation not only to the Jews but to all men, even to those at the ends of the earth. Wherefore it was said to Him by the Father that sent Him down : (62)

“I gave thee for a covenant of the race, for a light of [[Isa. xlix. 8.]] the Gentiles, to establish the earth, and to inherit the waste heritages.” He says He is “a witness to the Gentiles,” meaning that nations which have never before learned anything about Christ, when they knew His dispensation, and the might that was in Him, have called on Him, and that the peoples who did not before of old know Him, have taken refuge in Him.

But why need I say more, since it is possible from these prophetic sayings which I have laid before you, and from others to be found in Holy Scripture which I will record at leisure, for any one who wishes, to collect the words of the (b) prophets, and by their aid to put to silence those of the Circumcision, who say the promises of God were given to them alone, and that we who are of the Gentiles are |76 supernumerary 13 and alien to the divine promises? For I have proved, on the contrary, that it was prophesied that all the Gentiles would benefit by the coming of Christ, while the multitudes of the Jews would lose the promises given to their forefathers through their unbelief in Christ, few of (c) them believing in our Lord and Saviour, and therefore attaining the promised spiritual redemption through Him.

About which the wonderful Apostle teaches something when he says :

“27. Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand ot the sea, the remnant 14 shall be saved : 28. For finishing the word and cutting it short in righteousness, because a word cut short 15 will the Lord do upon the earth. 29. And as Isaiah said before, If the Lord of Sabaoth had not left to us a seed, we should have [[Rom. ix. 27-29]] been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrah.”

(d) To which he adds after other things:

“1. Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2. God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew. Know ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he intercedes with God, speaking of Israel,16 3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I only am left, and they seek my life to take it awny.17 4. But what saith the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself 7000 men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. 5. Even so then at this present time [[Rom. xi. 1-5.]] also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

(63) In these words the Apostle clearly separates, in the falling away of the whole Jewish people, himself and the Apostles and the Evangelists of our Saviour like Himself and all the |77 Jews now who believe in Christ, as the seed named by the prophet in the words: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left unto us a seed.” And he implies that they also are that which is styled in the other prophecies “the remnant,” which he says was preserved by the election of grace. And with reference to this remnant I will now return to the prophets and explain what they say, so that the argument may be based on more evidence, that God did not promise to the whole Jewish nation absolutely that (b) the coming of Christ would be their salvation, but only to a small and quite scanty number who should believe in our Lord and Saviour, as has actually taken place in agreement with the predictions.

36. From Isaiah.

That the Divine Promises did not extend to the whole (c) Jewish Nation, but only to a few of them.

[Passage quoted Isa. i. 7-9.]

This great and wonderful prophet at the opening of his own book here tells us that the whole scheme of his prophecy includes a vision and a revelation against Judaea and Jerusalem, then he attacks the whole race of the Jews, (d) first saying:

” 3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s manger, but Israel doth not know, my people doth not understand.” [[Isa. i. 3]]

And then he laments the whole race, and adds :

“4. Woe, race of sinners, a people full of iniquity, an evil seed, unrighteous children.”

Having brought these charges against them in the beginning of his book, and shewn beforehand the reasons for the later predictions that he is to bring against them, he goes on to say, “Your land is desolate,” though it was not desolate at the time when he prophesied : “Your cities are burnt with fire.” Nor had this yet taken place, and strangers had not devoured their land. And yet he says, “Your land, (64) strangers devour it before your eyes,” and that which follows. But if you came down to the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of those He sent, and to the present time, you would find all the sayings fulfilled. For the daughter of |78 Zion (by whom was meant the worship celebrated on Mount Zion) from the time of the coming of our Saviour has (b) been left as a tent in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, or as anything that is more desolate than these. And strangers devour the land before their eyes, now exacting tax and tribute,18 and now appropriating for themselves the land which belonged of old to Jews. Yea, and the beauteous Temple of their mother-city was laid low, being cast down by alien peoples, and their cities were burnt with fire, and Jerusalem became truly a besieged city. But (c) since, when all this happened, the choir of the Apostles, and those of the Hebrews who believed in Christ, were preserved from among them as a fruitful seed, and going through every race of men in the whole world, filled every city and place and country with the seed of Christianity and Israel, so that like corn springing from it, the churches which are founded in our Saviour’s name have come into being, the divine prophet naturally adds to his previous threats against them: “We should have been as Sodom, (d) and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Which the holy Apostle in the Epistle to the Romans more clearly defines and interprets.

[The passages Rom. ix. 17-29 and xi. 1-5, already quoted 62 c, d, are repeated.]

And to shew that the prophecy can only refer to the (b) time of our Saviour’s coming, the words that follow the text—”unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah,” naming the whole people of the Jews as the people of Gomorrah, and their rulers as the princes of Sodom—imply a rejection of the Mosaic worship, and introduce in the prediction about them the characteristics of the covenant announced to all men by our Saviour, I mean regeneration by water,19 and the word and law completely new. For it says :

(c) “Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give heed to the law of God, ye people of Gomorrah, [[Isa. i. 10.]] What is the multitude of your sacrifices to me?” .

and that which follows. Thus it takes away what belongs |79 to the Mosaic law, and introduces in its place another mode of the forgiveness of sins, through the washing of salvation and the life preached in accordance with it, saying :

“Wash you, be ye clean ; take away the evils from [[Isa. i. 16.]] your souls.”

And the prophet himself at once supplies the reason, why he called them rulers of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah: “For your hands are full of blood.” And again a little further on :

“They have proclaimed their sin as Sodom and (d) made it manifest. Woe to their soul, because they have taken evil counsel with themselves, saying,20 We will bind the just, for he is burdensome to us.” [[Isa. iii. 9.]]

Since he so very clearly mentions some one’s blood, and a plot against some one just man, what could this be but the plot against our Saviour Jesus Christ, through which21 and after which all the things aforesaid overtook them ?

37. From the same Isaiah.

[Passage quoted Isa. iv. 2.]

And the meaning of “the remnant of Israel” the prophet (66) himself clearly explains by the words, “All who are registered in Jerusalem, and called holy.” It will be clear to you, if you run through the whole course of this section, what that day is, in which it is said God will glorify and exalt the remnant of Israel and those who are called holy and to be written in (the book of) life. For in the begin- (b) ning of his complete book the prophet having seen the vision against Judah and Jerusalem, and numbered in many words the sins of the whole people of the Jews, and uttered threats and spoken about their ruin and the complete desolation of Jerusalem, brings his vision about them to an end with the words :

” 30. For they shall be as a terebinth that has cast her leaves, and as a garden without water. 31. And their strength shall be as a thread of tow, and their works as sparks of fire, and the transgressors and the [[Isa. i. 30]] sinners shall be burnt together, and there shall be none (c) to quench them.” |80

And having inscribed here the prediction against them, he “lowers his tone”22: and making another start he enters on a second subject, and as a preface, so to say, employs such words as these, “The word which came to Isaiah the (d) son of Amos concerning Judah and Jerusalem”; or, as Symmachus 23 interpreted it, “on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem.” From which one would perhaps expect that he was about to change to more favourable prophecies about the same peoples on whom his former predictions had showered sadness. But the succeeding passages would certainly not confirm the expectation, since they contain nothing at all that is good with regard to the race of the Jews, or that which is called Israel, neither for Judah nor Jerusalem. On the contrary, they bring many charges and accusations against Israel, and gloomy threats against Jerusalem, and prophesy for all the Gentiles salvation in their call and in the knowledge of the Supreme God. While in addition to this they tell of the coining of a new Mount, and the manifesting of another House of God, besides the one in Jerusalem. For he says after speaking about Judaea and Jerusalem:

(67) “2. In the last days the Mount of the Lord shall be manifest, and the house of the Lord upon the tops of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, 3. and all nations shall come to it, and shall say, Come and let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob.”  [[Isa. ii. 2.]]

Such are his prophecies about all the Gentiles. Hear what he proceeds to add about the Jews:

” 6. For he has rejected his people, the house of the God of Jacob,24 for the land is filled as at the beginning with auguries, as the land of strangers, and many |81 children of strangers are born to them. 7. For the land was filled with silver and gold, and there was (b) no end of their treasures.”

And that which follows after this, to which he adds:

“9. And they worshipped that which their own fingers had made, and a man bowed down, and was humbled, and I will not reject them. 10. And now enter ye into the rocks, and hide yourselves in the earth from the face of the fear of the Lord, and from the face of his glory, when he arises to shake the earth.”

And in this he teaches that there will be a Resurrection of the Lord, at which all the land of the Jewish people (c) will be shattered. For the whole portion refers to them, in the following sections as well, saying : “For the day of the Lord of Sabaoth shall be upon every one that is proud and insolent, and upon every one that is lofty and exalted.” And that which follows. Wherefore it is on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, that the prophet having first addressed those who lift themselves up against the knowledge of God, says: “On this very day”; “the Lord shall be exalted in that very day, and they shall hide all the work of their hands, bearing them into the caves,” (d) clearly showing the destruction of the idols, which the Jews themselves and all other men cast away after the appearance of the Saviour, despising all superstitions :

” 20. On that day, he says, a man shall cast away his abominations of gold and silver which they made to worship vanities.”

Thus speaking, it would seem, generally about all men, because of the coming call of the Gentiles. But he alludes particularly again to the Jewish race under one head as follows:

“Behold now, the Lord, the Lord of Sabaoth, will take away from Judaea and from Jerusalem the strong man and strong woman, the strength of bread, and the strength of water, 2. The giant and the strong man, and the man of war, and the judge, and the prophet, and (68) the counsellor, and elder, and captain of fifty, 3. And the wonderful counsellor, and the clever artificer, and the wise hearer.” [[Isa.iii.1-3.]]

And that which follows. Stop at this point, and set |82 beside the above the introduction to the prophecy, in which it was said: “The word that came from the Lord to Isaiah the son of Amoz on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem,” and see how much more in accordance with what follows “against” is than “for,” unless indeed some hidden meaning is contained in the words. For how could one about to take away from Judah and Jerusalem strong (b) man and strong woman, the strength of bread and the strength of water, and all things that of old were beautiful among them, introduce his prophecy by saying it was “for” Judah and Jerusalem ? And how could that which follows again be “for” them :

“Jerusalem is forsaken, and Judaea hath fallen, and their tongues [have spoken] with iniquity, disbelieving [[Isa. iii. 8.]] the things of the Lord ” ?

Nay, rather, at a time when it should be necessary for the Mountain of the Lord to be proclaimed to all the Gentiles, and the House of God on the Mount, when all (c) the Gentiles meet and say: “Come and let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob”: the Scripture using such accusations of the Jewish race, and threatening them so sorely, adds thereto all the sayings I have quoted, and teaches that of the whole Jewish race which will fall away from the holiness of God, there will be left over some of them not immersed in their common evils; and further, that being saved as it were from the sinful and lawless, and embracing piety in sincerity and truth, they will be reckoned worthy of (d) God’s Scripture, and will be called holy servants of God. And it means by these, the apostles, disciples, and evangelists of our Saviour, and all the others of the Circumcision, who believed on Him, at the time of the falling away of their whole race. Scripture darkly implies this, when it says: “In that day”—i.e. the day in which plainly all the aforesaid things shall take place connected with the calling of the Gentiles, and the falling away of the Jews—”God shall shine gloriously in counsel on the earth, to uplift and to glorify the remnant of Israel, and there shall be a remnant in Sion, and a remnant in [[Isa. iv. 2.]] Jerusalem, and all who are written for life in Jerusalem (69) shall be called holy.”

And it was these, who came forth from Judaea and |83 Jerusalem that the preface meant the prophecy to allude to, when it said: “For Judaea and Jerusalem,” yea, both the actual Jerusalem, and the figurative Jerusalem thought of as analagous to it. And which of the apostles of our Saviour or of His evangelists, beholding the inspired power (b) by which “their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words to the ends of the earth,” and by which all the Churches of Christ from that day to this have their words and teaching on their lips, and the laws of Christ of the new covenant preached by them, would not bear witness to the truth of the prophecy, which says that God openly will exalt and glorify in counsel and with glory the remnant of Israel through all the world, and that the remnant in Sion and the remnant in Jerusalem shall be (c) called holy, all they who are written in the book of life? Instead of the reading of the LXX, “in counsel with glory,” Aquila and Theodotion agree in interpreting “for power and glory” indicating the power given to the apostles by God, and their consequent glory with God— according to the words: “The Lord will give a word to [[Ps. lxviii.11] the preachers with much power.”

And this which has really come to pass :

” 9. Ye shall hear indeed, and shall not understand : and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. 10. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and they hear (d) with heavy ears, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should ever see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,25 and turn, and I should heal them.26 11. And I said, Until when, O Lord? And he said, Until the cities be desolated that none dwell in them, and houses that no men be in them, and the earth be left desolate. 12. And afterwards God will increase men, and they that are left on the earth shall be increased.” [[Isa. vi. 9.]]

And notice here how they that are left again on the earth, all the rest of the earth being desolate, alone are said to multiply. These must surely be our Saviour’s Hebrew disciples, going forth to all men, who being left behind (70) like a seed have brought forth much fruit, namely, the Churches of the Gentiles throughout the whole world. And see, too, how at the same time he says that only those will multiply who are left behind from the falling away of |84 the Jews, while the Jews themselves are utterly desolate: “Their land,” he says, “shall be left unto them desolate.” And this was also said to them before by the same prophet : “Your land is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire, your country strangers devour it before your eyes.”

(b) And when was this fulfilled, except from the times of our Saviour? For up to the time they had not yet dared to do impiety to Him, their land was not desolate, their cities were not burned with fire, nor did strangers devour their land. But from that inspired word, by which our Lord and Saviour Himself predicted what was about to fall on them, saying : “Your house is left unto you desolate,” from that moment and not long after the prediction they were besieged by the Romans and brought to desolation. (c) And the word of prophecy gives the cause of the desolation, making the interpretation almost certain, and showing the cause of their falling away. For when they heard our Saviour teaching among them, and would not listen with their mind’s ear, nor understood Who He was, seeing Him with their eyes, but not beholding Him with the eyes of their spirit, ” they hardened their heart, and all but closed [[Isa. vi. 10.]] the eyes of their mind, and made their ears heavy.”

As the prophecy says, because of this He says that their cities would be made desolate so that none should dwell in them, and their land should become desolate, and only (d) a few of them be left behind, kept like fruitful and spark-like seed, who it is said, should go forth to all men, and multiply on the earth.

But also even after the departure of those who are clearly the apostles of our Saviour, he says that “a tenth” will still remain on Jewish soil:

“And again it shall be for a spoil, as a terebinth, and [[Isa. vi. 13.]] as an acorn, when it falls out of its husk.”

The Scripture, as I suppose, means by this, that after the first siege, which they are recorded to have undergone (71) in the time of the apostles, and of Vespasian, Emperor of the Romans, being a second time besieged again under Hadrian they were completely debarred from entering the place, so that they were not even allowed to tread the soil of Jerusalem.27 And this he darkly suggests in the |85 words : “And again it shall be for a spoil, as a terebinth, and as an acorn when it falls out of its husk ” : [[Isa. vii 21.]]

21. “And it shall come to pass in that day, a man will nourish a heifer and two sheep. 22. And it shall come to pass from their drinking much milk, every one left on the land shall eat butter and honey.”

Here if you inquire to what day the prophet looks forward, (b) you will find it to be the very time of the appearance of our Saviour. For when the prophet says: ” Behold a virgin shall ,be with child, and shall bring forth a son,” 28 though he interposes many things, yet he prophesies of the things that will come to pass on that very day, that is to say about the time of our Saviour’s appearance.

For he says that unseen powers, and foes and enemies, (c) allegorically designated flies and bees, will attack the land of the Jews, and that the Lord with the razor of its foes will shave the head of the Jewish race, as if it were one great body, and the hairs from its feet, and its beard—in a word its whole glory. And this being done in the day prophesied when He shall be born of a virgin, he foretells that a man who is left from the destruction of the whole race, that is to say all of them who believe in the Christ of God, shall nourish a heifer of the bulls and two sheep, and from their producing very much milk shall eat butter and honey : and you will understand that this is mystically fulfilled in our Saviour’s apostles. For each one of them (d) in the churches which he established by Christ’s help, nourished two sheep, that is to say two orders of disciples coming like sheep into the sheepfold of Christ, the one as yet probationary, the other already enlightened by baptism,29 and in addition to these one heifer, the ecclesiastical rule of those who preside with their inspired food of the word, and produced from them a fruitful increase of milk and honey from the food they have laboured to provide. |86

(72) That holy Scripture often likens the multitudes of less perfect disciples to sheep I need not say; every scripture teaches it. And its comparison of the perfect man, who being the leader works the body of the Church as a farmer, to the work of bulls on the soil, the holy apostle uses, when he says:

“Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes ? 30 That he that ploweth should plow in hope, and that he that thresheth, should thresh in hope of partaking.” [[I Cor ix 9.]]

And if any one is disgusted with such metaphorical interpretation, let him beware lest refusing to regard figuratively what are called flies, or bees, or a razor, or a beard, (b) or hairs on the feet, he falls into absurd and inconsistent mythology. But if these things can only be figuratively understood, the same may certainly be said of the following :

“18. In that day the mountains shall be consumed, and the hills, and forests, and shall be devoured from soul to body. And he that flees shall be as one that fleeth from burning flame, 19. and they that are left of them shall be a number, and a little child 31 shall write them. 20. And it shall come to pass in that (c) day, the remnant of Israel shall no more be added, and they that are saved of Jacob shall no more trust in those that wronged them, and they shall trust in the God the holy one of Israel in truth, 21. and the remnant of Israel shall turn32 to the mighty God. 22. And though the people of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant of them shall be saved. 23. For he will finish the account, and cut it short in righteousness, for God will make a short account in the whole world.” [[Isa. x. 18.]]

And notice here, that in his denunciations of gloom, he says :

“He that fleeth shall be as one that fleeth from a burning flame; and their remnant shall be a number, (d) and a little child shall write them”—

by which, he emphasizes the scanty number of those of the Circumcision who will escape destruction, and the |87 burning of Jerusalem. “And they who are left,” he says, “will be a number”: that is they will be amenable to number, or few and easily numbered. As many, then, as those who believed in our Lord and Saviour were in comparison of the whole Jewish race, who also were thought worthy of being enrolled by Him, as the verse shews, which says: “And a little child shall write them.” Having told us before Who the little child was, where he said: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son.” And: “Before the child shall (73) know to call on its father or mother.”

And since in this place he says: “A little child shall write them,” it can be seen why he said in the previous one : “And these shall be a remnant in Sion, and a remnant in Jerusalem, all shall be called holy, and shall be written in [the book of] life.” As therefore among them a remnant is named, and it is they who were written in [the book of] life, so also here “the remnant from them shall be a number, and a little child shall write them.” And this “remnant from Israel, and they that are saved from Jacob no more” he says “shall be with those that do them wrong, but shall (b) trust in the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” So note if it is not with this very trust that they who went forth from the Jewish race, those who were left behind in the falling away of Israel, the disciples and apostles of our Saviour, taking no notice of the rulers of this world, or of the rulers of the people of the Circumcision who did them wrong of old, went forth to all the nations, preaching the word of Christ, and by their trust in God (for according to the prophecy “they were trusting in God, the holy one of Israel, in truth,” for they (c) gave up their whole selves in hope, without deceit or hypocrisy, but with truth) not only went forth from their own land, but prospered in that whereto they were sent. And this same remnant was like the seed of the falling away of Jacob that trusted in the strength of God, and this remnant of the whole race that once was as the sand of the sea, but not as the stars of the heaven, was thought worthy of salvation by God, as the Apostle bore witness saying :

“Isaiah cries concerning Israel, If the number of the (d) children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.”

For of the promises gives by the oracle to Abraham |88 concerning those who were to come after him that “they shall be as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand of the sea,” the friends of God are meant, on the one hand shining like the heavenly lights, such as were those of old, the prophets and our Saviour’s apostles, to whom He bore witness saying : “Ye are the light of the world” ; but, on the other, the earth-born who lie upon the ground are compared to the sand of the shore. The prophetic word speaks rightly in the above, first where the whole multitude of Israel’s sons, fallen from (74) their true and magnificent virtue to the ground, is compared to the sand of the sea, and then when it says only the remnant shall be saved. But I have now dealt sufficiently with the question of the remnant. And he says that this will come to pass, when “the Lord cutting short and completing his word shall accomplish it through the whole world” : clearly pointing to the Gospel preaching, by which, the whole Mosaic circle of symbols and signs and bodily (b) ordinances being taken away, the complete word of the Gospel given to all men has confirmed the truth of the prophecy.

“10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and one arising to rule the Gentiles. In him shall the Gentiles hope, and his rest shall be glory, 11. And it shall be in that clay, the Lord shall again shew his hand, to be jealous and to seek 33 the remnant remaining from his people, which is left by the Assyrians, and from Egypt, (c) and Babylon, and Ethiopia, and from the Elamites, and from the East, and from the isles of the sea.34 12And he will raise a standard to the nations, and will gather together 35 the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners [[Isa. xi. 10.]] of the earth.”

As certain events were many times foretold as about to take place on a definite day, that is to say, when a certain time had come, I have by the use of reasoning proved that the said events must follow the appearance of God, for when He appears, the whole Jewish race falling away, holy Scripture makes it clear that a scanty few of them will be left behind, (d) while the passage now in our hands shews in the clearest way both the day, and the time meant by it, and the events |89 that were to follow it. For it prophesies the birth of the Christ of the seed of David, and at the same time foretells the falling away of the Jews. For it says thus :

“Behold, the Lord, the Lord of Sabaoth, will mightily confound the glorious ones, and the lofty men shall be humbled, and the lofty shall fall by the sword, and [[Isa. x. 33.]] Libanus shall fall with the lofty.”

By Libanus here Jerusalem is meant, as I have shewn elsewhere, which Scripture threatens shall fall with all its venerable and glorious men within it. And having thus begun, it says afterwards : “And a rod shall come out of (75) the stem of Jesse, and a flower shall spring up from his [[Isa. xi. 1]] root.”

By showing very clearly that the birth of Christ should be from the root of Jesse, who was the father of David, it explains upon what birth the call of the Gentiles should follow, which it had previously only given obscurely in the prophetic manner. For “the wolf shall feed with the Iamb, and the leopard shall lie clown with the kid,” and such passages, are only intended to shew the change of savage and uncivilized nations in no way differing from wild beasts to a holy, mild, and social way of life. And this is what it (b) teaches afterwards without disguise, in the words : “The whole [earth] shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” And moreover the prophetic word proceeds to interpret itself:

“And there shall be in that day a root of Jesse, and one arising to rule the Gentiles. In him shall the Gentiles trust, and his rest shall be glory.”

Since, then, it had predicted the falling away of the Jewish race in a veiled way, and then the calling of the Gentiles, first in a veiled way and then openly, it is natural for it (c) in returning to the same topic to mention those of the Circumcision who should believe in Christ, that it may not seem to shut them altogether from hope in Christ.

“For there shall be,” it says, “one to arise to rule over the Gentiles.”

Who could this be Who is to arise, but the root of Jesse, whom it so clearly says is to reign over the Gentiles, but not over Israel ? Since then it had taught in various ways of the conversion of the Gentiles consequent upon the birth and growth of Him Who came from the root of |90 Jesse, and had then nothing bright to say of those of the Circumcision, it naturally here supplies the gap in the prediction, saying, “And it shall come to pass in that day,” (d) i.e. in the time of him that is born of the root of Jesse, the Lord moreover shall put forth His power,36 to be jealous for and to seek the remnant remaining of His people that were left of such and such enemies. In place of which Aquila has read :

“And it shall be in that day, the Lord will shew his hand a second time, to possess the remnant of his people, which shall be left by the Assyrians,” etc.

And you will understand this, if you consider that the enemies of the people of God are certain intelligent and spiritual beings, either evil daemons, or powers opposed to the word of holiness, who in invisible leadership of the (76) nations named, in days of old laid siege to the souls of Israel, involved them in various passions, seducing them 37 and enslaving them to a life like that of the other nations. When, then, you may almost say that the whole people was taken captive in soul by these powers, they who were kept safe and intact, unwounded and undespoiled according to (b) the prophecy received the message, that they should see the hand of the Lord, and become His possession, according to the words of the oracle, “the Lord will add to shew his hand, to be jealous for the remnant remaining of his people.”

But what will the Lord add ? Surely to those to whom once long before He had proclaimed by the prophets “the hand of the Lord has been added,” yea, to those who are, as it were, preserved in the fall of the whole people He proclaims that He will add what was lacking to the former. And these are the mysteries of the new covenant, shewn by the hand of the Lord to the remnant of the people. (c) But He also says that “He will be jealous of the remnant that is left of the people.” Instead of which Aquila and Theodotion agree in reading : “that He must acquire the remnant of His people, whatever is left from the Assyrians, and the other nations that were their enemies.”

And this remnant which is left of His people “shall lift |91 up” he says “a standard to the Gentiles.” Through them clearly the Lord will shew His sign among all the Gentiles, and through them will gather together the lost (d) of Israel and the scattered abroad of Judah from the four corners 38 of the earth to the Christ of God, who take refuge in Him through the preaching of His apostles, saying that those gathered together come from them who of old were exiled and cut off from the figurative Israel and Judah. The ideals of such souls shew them to be the true Israel of God, for in contrast to them the weak and sinful nature of Israel according to the flesh makes Him prophetically call them : “Rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah.” [[Rom. xi 5.]]

Thus the “remnant according to the election of grace,” and that which is called in the prophecy, “the remnant that is left of the people,” has proclaimed the sign of the Lord to all the Gentiles, and has joined to God as one people, that is drawn to Him, the souls of the Gentiles that are brought out of destruction to the knowledge of the Lord, a people which from the four corners of the earth even now is welded together by the power of Christ.39 And these same refugees from the lost race of the Jews, (77) the disciples and apostles of our Saviour belonging to different tribes, thought worthy of one calling, and one grace and one Holy Spirit, will cast away all the love, which the tribes of the Hebrew race had to them, as the prophecy says. Bound together, then, by the same mind and will, they have not only traversed the continent, but the isles of the Gentiles also, making plunder of all the (b) souls of men everywhere, and bringing them into captivity to the obedience of Christ, according to the oracle, which said :

“And they shall fly in the ships of strangers ; they shall at the same time spoil the sea, and them from the sun-rising.” [[Isa xi. 14.]]

And the remainder of this prophecy you will examine as I have done, testing each passage by yourself, and while you reject everything inconsistent and unworthy in it, yet you will recognize the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit of (c) God itself suggests your meditation. For time does not |92 allow me to linger on these subjects, as I must press on to complete the task before me.

“13. And I will command evils for the whole world, and their sins for the unholy, and I will destroy the pride of the lawless, and will humble the pride of the insolent, 14. and they that are left shall be more precious than gold unsmelted, and a man shall be more precious than the stone of Suphir.” And afterwards (d) it adds: “And they that are left shall be as a fleeing [[Isa.xiii. 11.]] fawn, or as a straying sheep.”

In this too the Scripture shews most plainly the small number of the saved in the time of the ruin of the wicked, so that it is not possible to expect that absolutely all the circumcised without exception and the whole Jewish race will attain to the promises of God.

“4. And there shall be in that day a failing of the glory of Jacob, and the riches of his glory shall be (78) shaken. 5. And it shall be as when one gathers standing corn, and reaps the grain of the ears; 6. And it shall be as when one gathers ears in a rich valley, and stubble is left. Or as the berries of an olive tree are left, two or three on the topmost bough, or four or five on its branches, thus saith the Lord God of Israel. 7. In that day a man shall trust in him that made him, and his eyes shall look on the Holy One of Israel, 8. and they shall not trust in the altars, nor in the work [[Isa.xvii.4. ]] of their hands, which their own fingers have made.”

And in this it is clearly prophesied how Israel’s glory (b) and all her riches will be taken away, and how but a few, easily numbered, like the few berries on the branch of an olive tree, are said to be left; and these would be those of them who are believers in our Lord. And immediately after what is said about these, there is a prophecy of the whole race of mankind turning away from the error of idolatry, and coming to know the God of Israel.

“Hear ye isles,40 which are forsaken and tortured, (c) hear, what I heard from the Lord of Sabaoth: the God [[Isa. xxi.10.]] of Israel has announced (it) to us.

Note the way in this passage also in which he does not call those of the Circumcision to hear the unspeakable |93 words, but those only, whom he calls “forsaken and tortured,” as were those in the apostolic age who bewailed and lamented the evil of the life of men.

“4 b. The lofty men of the earth mourned, 5. and the earth waxed lawless through her inhabitants.41 6b. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth shall be poor, (d) and few men shall be left.” [[Isa.xxiv.4.]]

Here again having rebuked the transgressors of the law of the covenant of God who belong to the people of the circumcision, and threatened them with what was written, he prophesies that some few men of them will be left. And these would be those named of the apostle “the remnant according to the election of grace.”

” 12. Cities shall be left desolate, and houses deserted shall fall to ruin. 13. All these things shall come to pass in the earth in the midst of the nations, as if one should strip an olive tree, so shall they be stripped. (79) 14. But when the vintage is stopped, then shall they cry aloud, and the remnant on the earth shall rejoice [[Isa. xxiv. 12]] with the glory of God.”

And here they who are left alone are said to rejoice, all the others being delivered to the woes prophesied.

” 3. The crown of pride, the hirelings of Ephraim shall he beaten down. 4. And the fading flower of glorious hope on the top of the high mountain shall be as the early fig: he that sees it will desire to swallow (b) it, before he takes it into his hand. 5. In that clay the Lord shall be the crown of hope, the garland of glory to the remnant of his people; for they shall be left in [[Is. xxviii. 3.]] the spirit of judgment.”

And here he prophesies that the Lord will be “a crown of hope and glory” to the remnant of his people, not to all their nation, but to those only signified by the remnant, and names the others in contrast to the remnant of his people “a crown of shame and hirelings of Ephraim.”

“And they that are left in Judaea, shall take root (c) downwards, and bear fruit upwards, because there shall be a remnant from Jerusalem, and the preserved from Mount Sion. The zeal of the Lord of Sabaoth will [[Isa.xxxvii. 31.]] do this.” |94

He prophesies that those of the Jewish race that are left according to the election of grace, will cast root downwards and bear fruit upwards, shewing very clearly the (d) election of the apostles and disciples of our Saviour. For they, being left from those of the Circumcision, thrust down into the earth the roots of their teaching, so that they have fixed and rooted their teaching throughout the whole world : and they have exhorted men to bear both seed and fruit upwards towards the heavenly promises.

Thus those men themselves, who were left of the Jewish race, when the rest were destroyed, alone are said to be saved. The zeal of the Lord has accomplished this. The zeal of the Lord elected them, in order to provoke the wicked of the Circumcision to jealousy, and He provoked them to jealousy, according to the saying of Moses :

“They have provoked me to jealousy by that which is not God,42 and I will provoke them to jealousy by [[Deut. xxxii. 8.]] that which is not a people. By a foolish people I will anger them.”

“8. Thus saith the Lord, as a grape-stone shall be (80) found in the cluster, and they shall say, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I for the sake of him that serves me, for his sake I will not destroy all. 9. And I will lead out the seed of Jacob and Juda, and they shall inherit my holy mountain : and my chosen and my servants shall inherit it and dwell there. 10. And there shall be in the forest a fold43 of sheep, and the valley of Achor shall be a resting-place for the herds of my people, who have sought me.

(b) “11. But ye are they that have left me, and forget my holy mountain and prepare a table for chance, 12. and fill up the drink-offering to the Demon.44 I will deliver you up to the sword, ye shall all fall by slaughter, because I called you and ye did not hear, and did evil [[Isa. lxv. 8.]] before me, and chose that which I willed not.”

In this passage the Scripture distinguishes, and says that but a small seed from Jacob will attain the promises, and that the elect are those that dwell in the wood. It points here to the calling of the Gentiles, in which the elect of |95 the Lord and the seed of Jacob are [included], and these (c) would be the apostles and disciples of our Saviour, and the rest beyond them are subject to the before-mentioned threats, Scripture stating as clearly as possible, that the whole Jewish nation could not attain the promises of God, but only the seed which is named, and those called “the elect of God.” For many are called, but few are chosen. [[Matt. xx.16.]] On them Scripture now proceeds to prophesy that a new name shall be conferred, saying to the wicked :

“For your name shall be left,45 as a loathing for my (d) chosen, and the Lord shall destroy you : but my servants shall be called by a new name.” [[Is. Ixv. 15.]]

And this new name, which was not known to them of old time, what could it be but the name of “Christians,” blessed through all the world, formed from the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ?

50. From Micah.

[Passage quoted, Micah ii. 11.]

Micah, too, agrees with the passages from Isaiah in stating (81) that God will not receive all without qualification, but only those who are left. And as in Isaiah “their remnant” was called “a seed,” so now those of them that are to be saved are called “a drop.” And the choir of the apostles is shewn forth by those figures, as being a drop and a seed from the Jewish race, a drop from which all they that have known the Christ of God through the whole world and received His teaching, have been made worthy of the congregation foretold, having obtained redemption from their enemies.

“2. And thou Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, art the (b) least among the thousands of Juda. Out of thee shall come forth my leader, to be for a prince to Israel, and his goings forth from the beginning are from the days of eternity. 3. Therefore shall he give them until the time of her that brings forth. She shall bring forth, and the [[Micah v. 2, 3]] remainder of their brethren shall turn.”

And after a little he adds :

“7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, as dew falling |96 from the Lord, and as lambs on the pasture; that none (c) may assemble or resist among the sons of men. 8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among cattle 46 in the forest, and as a lion’s whelp in the pastures of sheep : as when he goes through and chooses and carries off, and there is none to deliver. 9. Thine hand shall be exalted against them that afflict thee, and all thine enemies shall [[Micah v. 7.]] be utterly destroyed.”

Nothing surely could be more clear than this; at one and the same time it proclaims the birth of the Saviour at Bethlehem,47 and His existence before eternity,48 His Birth of the Virgin, the call of His apostles and disciples, and their preaching of the Christ carried throughout all the world. For when this Ruler, Whose goings forth the Scripture says are from eternity, shall have gone forth from Bethlehem, and when the holy maiden who was to bear Him shall have brought Him forth, it does not say that all they of the Circumcision will be saved, but only they that are left, who will be also a remnant of Jacob, and will be given as dew to all the Gentiles. For the remnant of Jacob, he says, shall be among the nations, as dew falling from the Lord, and as (82) lambs in a pasture. Instead of which Aquila translates, “as drops on the grass,” and Theodotion, “as snow on grass.” And again, instead of “so that none may assemble or resist among the sons of men, and no son of men attack,” Theodotion reads “who shall not wait for man, and shall not hope in the son of man.” And Aquila “who shall not await a man, and shall not be concerned with the sons of men.” 49

Through which the whole hope of the apostles of our Saviour is [shown to be] not in man, but in their Lord and Saviour, and He was the Word of God. And it says lower down :

(b) “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the cattle of the forest, and as a lion’s whelp in the |97 pastures of sheep; as when he goes through, and chooses, and spoils, and there is none to save.”

By which I think is meant the bravery and intrepidity of the apostles’ preaching. They threw themselves like a lion and a lion’s whelp on the thicket of the Gentiles and on the flocks of human sheep, they parted the worthy from the (c) unworthy, and subjected them to the word of Christ.

And then His victories are proclaimed to Him : “Thy hand shall be exalted against them that trouble thee, and all thy enemies shall be destroyed.”

And we can see this with our own eyes.50 For though many have afflicted the word of Christ, and are even now contending with it, yet it is lifted above them and become stronger than them all. Yes, verily, the hand of Christ is raised against all that afflicted Him, and all His enemies who from time to time rise up against His Church are said to be “utterly destroyed.”

52. From Zephaniah.

[Passage quoted, Zeph. iii. 9.]

And in this passage the Lord promised that there will be (83) left for Him a people meek and lowly, meaning none others but they of the Circumcision who believed in His Christ. And He again proclaimed that only the remnant of Israel should be saved, with those called from the other nations, as He shewed in the beginning of the prophecy.

53. From Zechariah.

[Passage quoted, Zech. xiv. 1, 2.] 51

The fulfilment of this also agrees with the passages quoted on the destruction of the whole Jewish race, which came upon them after the coming of Christ. For Zechariah (c) writes this prophecy after the return from Babylon, foretelling the final siege of the people by the Romans, through which the whole Jewish race was to become subject to their |98 enemies : he says that only the remnant of the people shall be saved, exactly describing the apostles of our Saviour.

54. From Jeremiah.

[Passage quoted Jer. iii. 14-16.]

Here again he prophesies that the conversion of Israel will be at the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, in which He will choose one from a city, and two from a family, very few and small in number, to be shepherds of the nations that have believed on Him and of the nations that have been increased upon the earth through their destined call by them. No more, he says, will they say “the ark of the covenant of the Lord”—for they will no longer run after the more external worship, having received a new covenant.

(84) 55. From the same.

[Passage quoted, Jer. v. 6-10.]

Here once more the charge against their whole race is shewn, and the siege that came on them, and the remnant again, which he names “the foundation” as belonging to the Lord. Because being inspired and strengthened by their faith in the Christ of God, they did not undergo such sufferings as the rest of their race.

56. From Ezekiel

[Passage quoted, Ezek. vi. 7.]

This also seems to me to agree with the passages from the other prophets. For whom could you call the “saved” but those called by the others “a remnant, and the drop, and the dew of that people,” by which was signified the band of the Apostles of our Saviour? They truly being saved from the destruction of all their race, even in their (d) scattering remembered God, so that it must be agreed that what was written referred to them.

57. From the same.

[Passage quoted, Ezek. xi. 16.]

And here he has called the same men by another name, meaning by “a little sanctuary,” those of them who shall be saved and survive. |99

58. From the same. (85)

[Passage quoted, Ezek. xii. 14-16.]

In the dispersion of the whole people He says that even now few in number will be left for Himself, meaning the same men as in the preceding prophecy. (b)

59. From the same.

[ Passage quoted, Ezek. xiv. 21.]

This in no way differs from the preceding.

60. From the same.

[Passage quoted, Ezek. xx. 36.]

Here, again, is a clear witness that but few will come under God’s staff, and that this will be when the rest of Israel has fallen away from the promises.

But now that I have proved that the divine prophecies did not foretell good things to all the members of the Jewish race universally and indiscriminately whatever happened, to the evil and unholy and those who were the reverse, but to few of them and those easily numbered, in fact to those of them who believed in our Lord and Saviour, or those justified before His coming, I consider that I have shewn sufficiently, that the divine promises were fulfilled (d) not indiscriminately to all the Jews, and that the oracles of the prophets are not more applicable to them than to those of the Gentiles who have received the Christ of God. And the full meaning of the divine promises I will unfold in the fitting place.

I have but collected these passages, as I was bound to do, in order to refute the impudent assertions of those of the Circumcision, who, in their brainless boasting, say that the Christ will come for them only, and not for all mankind. I wished also to prove that my study of their sacred books (86) had been to good purpose. In the previous book I have already accounted for our not becoming Jews, although we have this delight in their prophetic writings. And I explained there also, as far as was possible, what kind of a life the Christian life is which is preached to all nations, and the ancient character of the ideal of the system of the |100 (b) Gospel. So now that this preliminary work is done, it is high time to attack more mysterious subjects, those which are concerned with the mystical dispensation relating to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ of God : so that we may learn why He made His appearance to all men now, and not before, and the reason why He began the call of the Gentiles, not in days long past, but now after the length of ages; and many other things which are germane to the mysterious theology of His Person.

(c) Now, therefore, let us discuss the subject of His Incarnation, which is my first topic at this second beginning of my work, which is addressed to unbelievers, calling on Him Who is, indeed, the Word of God to aid us.

[Footnotes have been renumbered at placed at the end.  Greek page locations are in (), scripture refs in [[]].  This page was scanned at a time when I thought it possible to include all the notes etc, so this is a complete representation of this book.]

1.  1 a1nwqen e0panalabw&n to_n lo&gon, e0pa&neimi e0pi/. Cf. e0panabebhko&j, P. E. 130b.

2. 1 e0k periousi/aj : generally a rhetorical figure—”from superabundant evidence.” Gifford [P. E. 64 a, 2] quotes Plato, Theat.: “sparring for mere amusement.”

3. 1 The words of Balaam. Cf. Gen. xii. 3.

4. 1 Aquila, a Jewish proselyte, probably of Hadrian’s time (A.I). 117-138), who produced a Greek version of O.T. which occupies the third column of Origen’s Hexapla. His version is slavishly literal, and attempts to give a word for word translation, thus throwing great light on the then state of the Hebrew text. The Fathers on the whole regard the version as having an anti-Christian bias. Deutsch (Dict. Bib. III. 1642) would identify A. with Onkelos.

5. 2 Theodotion, like A. first mentioned by Irenaeus (iii. xxi. 1, p. 215), probably an Ephesian Jewish proselyte. He wrote his version probably about A.D. 180 (it is a very vexed question) or earlier. It occupies the sixth column of the Hexapla.

6. 1 ei\s pla&toj.

7. 2 Nominative.

6. 1 ei\s pla&toj.

7. 2 Nominative.

8. 1 See note, p. 21.

9. 1 Jer. xvii. 1-4 is wanting from LX, but given in some codices with asterisks. Sec also 484 c.

10. 2 twn eqnwn apantwn.

11. exomalisomen.

12. 2 thn kata dianoian qewroumenhn skhnophgianOr, “the Feast of Tabernacles in a spiritual sense.”

13. 1 perittouV einai

14. 2 kataleimmaLXX : D.F. K. L.P.— upoleimma —Aleph A.B.

15. 3 R.V. ” For the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short.” en . . . suntetmhmenonOmitted by Aleph A.B. 47. W. H. retain with Western and Syrian.

16. 4 W. H.: kata tou Israhl. E. legwn peri tou Israhl.

17. 5 W.H.: omit tou labein authn.

18. 1 dasmouV kai forouV.  

19. 2 ton dia loutrou paliggeietiaV.

20. 1 LXX takes kaq eautwn with eiponteV.

21. 2 Paris text has di on – on – autouV.

22.  1 ‘upostolh xrhtai, “a lowering of diet,” Plut. 2, 129 c. ; “an evasion,” Hesych. cf. Heb. x. 39.

23. 2 Symmachus, author of the third great Jewish version of the O.T., which comes in Origen’s Hexapla after that of Aquila. Eusebius (H.E. vi. 17. Dem. Ev. 316c) makes him an Ebionite Christian, and is followed by Jerome. Epiphanius’ statement that he was a Samaritan Jew is to be rejected (see Gwynne’s art. in D.C.B. iv. p. 749). He probably lived in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and wrote his version aiming at the same literal accuracy as Aquila, but at more refinement of expression.

24. 3 LXX : oikon tou Israhl.

25. 1 S.: kai thi kardiai sunwsin.

26. 2 S.: iasomaiE.: iaswmai.

27. 1 Cf. H.E. iv. c. 6 ; Tertullian, Apol. c. 16. Origen, c. Celsum viii. ad fin.; Gregory Naz., Orat. xii. After the founding of Aelia Capitolina, Milman says, “An edict was issued prohibiting any Jew from entering the new city on pain of death, or approaching its environs so as to contemplate even at a distance its sacred height.”— History of the Jews, Book XVIII. ad fin.

28. 1 Isa. vii. 14. Cf. 98 a, and Origen, c. Celsum, i35.

29. 2 to men eiseti stoixeioumenon, to de hdh dia tou loutrou pefwtismenon.

30. 1 W.H. add : di hmaV gar egrafh.

31. 2 E. adds mikron.

32. 3 S.: estaiE.: anastreyei.

33. 1 E. adds kai zhthsai.

34. 2 LXX : kai ex ArabiaV. E.: kai apo twn nhswn thV qalasshV.

35. 3 E. omits touV apolomenouV Israhl, kai(S.)

36. 1 Lit. “moreover shall add to shew his hand.”

37. 2 ‘uposuronteVCf. P.E. 317 a, Of the Serpent.

38. 1 Lit. wings.

39. 2 efelkusamenon ena laon sunhxe twi qewi . . . . sugkrotoumenon.

40. 1 S. omits nhsoi.

41. 1 Omission in E of 5 b, 6 a, owing to error of scribe because of touV katoikountaV authn (5 a) and oi katoikounteV authn (6 a).

42. 1 S. adds: Parwxunnan me en toiV eidwloiV autwn—”They have provoked me with their idols.”

43. 2 LXX : pl.

44. 3 LXX : tw daimoni . . . thi tuchi.

45. 1 S.: kataleiyete

46. 1 LXX : ‘wV lewn en kthnesin en twi drumwi.

47. 2 Cf. 97 c, 275 a, 340 d, and Origen c. Celsum 453.

48. 3 thn pro aiwnoV ousiwsincf. P.E. 314 b, 554 c and 541 a: “It is literally the act which gives to einai te kai thn ousian.” [G.]

49. 4 ou peri uiouV anqrwpwn.

50. 1 Interesting as an echo of recent persecution.

51. 2 Zech. xiv. This is a post-exilic prophecy of an eschatological nature, being one of the fragments appended to Zechariah. It is dependent on Ezekiel xxxviii. Zechariah’s prophecies are confined to cc. i.-viii., and his activity, according to Zech. i. 1 and vii. 1; was from the second to the fourth year of Darius. [See Hastings, D.B. iv. 967.]


I HAVE now adequately completed the prolegomena1 to (87) my Proof of the Gospel: I have shewn the nature of our Saviour’s Gospel teaching, and given the reason of our regard for the oracles of the Jews, while we reject their rule of life. And I have also made it clear that their (88) prophetic writings in their foresight of the future recorded our own calling through Christ, so that we make use of them not as books alien to us, but as our own property. And now it is time for me to embark on my actual work, and to begin to treat of the promises. How these were actually concerned with the human dispensation of Jesus the Christ of God, and the teaching of the Hebrew prophets on the theology based on His Person, and predictions of His appearance among men, which I shall (b) shew immediately from their clear fulfilment can only apply to Him alone. But I must first of necessity consider the fact that the prophets definitely made mention 2 of the Gospel of the Christ.


That the Prophets made Mention of the Gospel of the Christ.

MY witness of this shall be from the words of Isaiah, who cries in the Person of Christ: |102

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim (c) deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the [[Isa. lxi. i.]] blind.”

Our Saviour, after reading this prophecy through in the Synagogue one day to a multitude of Jews, shut the book [[Luke iv. 21]] and said: “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” And beginning His own teaching from that point He began to preach the Gospel to the poor, putting in the forefront of His blessings: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs [[Matt. v. 3.]] is the kingdom of heaven.” Yea, and to those who were (d) hampered by evil spirits, and bound for a long time like slaves by daemons, He proclaimed forgiveness, inviting all to be free and to escape from the bonds of sin, when He [[Matt. xi.28.]] said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.”

And to the blind He gave sight, giving the power of seeing to those whose bodily vision was destroyed, and dowering with the vision of the light of true religion those who of old in their minds were blind 3 to the truth. The prophecy before us shews it to be essential that Christ Himself should be the originator and leader of the Gospel activity, and the same prophet foretells that after Him His own disciples should be ministers of the same system: (89)

“How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good [[Isa. lii. 7; Rom. x.]] tidings of good things, and of those that bring good tidings of peace.”

Here he says very particularly that it is the feet of those who publish the good news of Christ that are beautiful. For how could they not be beautiful, which in so small, so short a time have run over the whole earth, and filled every place with the holy teaching about the Saviour of the world?

(b) And that they did not use human words to persuade their hearers, but that it was the power of God that worked with them in the Gospel preaching, again another prophet says:

“The Lord will give a word to those that bring good [[Ps. lxviii.11.]] tidings with much power.”  |103

And again Isaiah:

“9. Go up to the high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings in Zion, lift up thy voice with strength thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem; lift it up, be not afraid, Say to the cities of Juda, Behold your God, 10. Behold the Lord comes with strength,4 and his arm with power. Behold his reward is with him, (c) and his work before him. 11. As a shepherd feeds his flock, and gathers the lambs in his arms, and comforts those that are great with young.” [[Isa. xl. 9.]]

We shall know in what sense this is to be taken, when we have reached a further point on the road of Gospel teaching. But at least it is established that the voices of the prophets witnessed to the Gospel, and even to the name of the Gospel, and you have clear and definite proofs from whom the Gospel will take its origin, that is to say from Christ Himself, and by whom it will be preached, that it will be through His Apostles. At least (we are told) by what power it will gain the mastery, that it will not be (d) human: since this is established by the words: “The Lord will give a word to those that bring good tidings with much power.” So then it only remains to quote a few out of the many other ancient Hebrew prophecies concerning Christ, that you may know what the good tidings were that would be preached in after days, and may realize the wonderful foreknowledge of future events in the prophets, and the fulfilments of their predictions, how they stand fulfilled in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ of God.


That the Hebrew Prophets prophesied of Christ.

MOSES was the first of the prophets to tell the good news (90) that another prophet like unto himself would arise. For since his legislation was only applicable to the Jewish race, and only to that part of it resident in the land of Judaea or its neighbourhood, and not to those living far away abroad |104 (as has been seen in my previous book); and as it was surely necessary that He Who was not only the God of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles, should provide helpful means for all the Gentiles to know Him and to become holy in their lives, He makes known by the oracle accordingly (b) that another prophet will arise from the Jewish race, no whit inferior to His own dispensation. And God Himself names him in this manner:

“A prophet will I raise up to them from their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my word in his mouth, and he shall speak to them according to what I command him. And whatsoever man shall not hear that prophet[‘s words], whatsoever he shall speak in [[Deut.xviii.18]] my name, I will take vengeance on him.”

And Moses speaks similar words when interpreting the oracle of God to the people:

(c) “A prophet shall the Lord thy God raise up of your brethren like unto me. Him shall ye hear according to all things that ye asked of the Lord God in Horeb [[Deut.xviii.15]] in the day of the assembly.”

Was then any of the prophets after Moses, Isaiah, say, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, or Daniel, or any of the twelve, like Moses in being a lawgiver? Not one. Did any of them behave like Moses? One cannot affirm it. For each of (d) them from the first to the last referred their hearers to Moses, and based their rebukes of the people on their breaches of the Mosaic law, and did nothing but exhort them to hold fast to the Mosaic enactments. You could not say that any of them was like him: and yet Moses speaks definitely of one who should be. Whom then does the oracle prophesy will be a prophet like unto Moses, but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and none other?

We must consider thoroughly why this was said. Moses was the first leader of the Jewish race. He found them attached to the deceitful polytheism of Egypt, and was the first to turn them from it, by enacting the severest punishment (91) for idolatry. He was the first also to publish the theology of the one God, bidding them worship only the Creator and Maker of all things. He was the first to draw up for the same hearers a scheme of religious life, and is acknowledged to have been the first and only lawgiver of their religious polity. But Jesus Christ too, like Moses, |105 only on a grander stage, was the first to originate the teaching according to holiness for the other nations, and first accomplished the rout of the idolatry that embraced (b) the whole world. He was the first to introduce to all men the knowledge and religion of the one Almighty God. And He is proved to be the first Author and Lawgiver of a new life and of a system adapted to the holy.

And with regard to the other teaching on the genesis of the world, and the immortality of the soul, and other doctrines of philosophy which Moses was the first to teach (c) the Jewish race, Jesus Christ has been the first to publish them to the other nations by His disciples in a far diviner form. So that Moses may properly be called the first and only lawgiver of religion to the Jews, and Jesus Christ the same to all nations, according to the prophecy which says of Him:

“Set, O Lord, a lawgiver over them: that the Gentiles may know themselves to be but men.” 5 [[Ps. ix. 20.]]

Moses again by wonderful works and miracles authenticated (d) the religion that he proclaimed: Christ likewise, using His recorded miracles to inspire faith in those who saw them, established the new discipline of the Gospel teaching. Moses again transferred the Jewish race from the bitterness of Egyptian slavery to freedom: while Jesus Christ summoned the whole human race to freedom from their impious Egyptian idolatry under evil daemons. Moses, too, promised a holy land and a holy life therein under a blessing to those who kept his laws: while Jesus Christ says likewise: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” promising a far better land in truth, and a holy and godly, not the land of Judaea, which in no way excels the rest (of the earth), but the heavenly country which suits souls that (92) love God, to those who follow out the life proclaimed by Him. And that He might make it plainer still, He proclaimed the kingdom of heaven to those blessed by Him. And you will find other works done by our Saviour with greater power than those of Moses, and yet resembling the works which Moses did. As, for example, Moses fasted forty days continuously, as Scripture witnesses, saying: “And (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and (b) |106 [[Exod. xxxiv. 28.]] forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water.” And Christ likewise: For it is written: “And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil; and in those days he did eat nothing.” [[Luke iv. 1.]]

Moses again fed the people in the wilderness: for Scripture says: Behold, I give 6 you bread from heaven.” [[Exod. xvi.4.]] And after a little:

“It came to pass as the dew ceased round about the camp, and behold on the face of the wilderness a small (c) thing, like white coriander seed, as frost upon the ground.” [[Exod. xvi.14.]]

And our Lord and Saviour likewise says to.His disciples:

” 8. O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10. Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?” [[Matt. xvi.8.]]

Moses again went through the midst of the sea, and led the people; for Scripture says:

(d) “And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord carried back the sea with a strong south wind all the night, and the water was divided. And the children of Israel passed through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the water was a wall to them on the right and a wall on the left.” [[Exod.xiv.21-22]]

In the same way, only more divinely, Jesus the Christ of God walked on the sea, and caused Peter to walk on it. For it is written:

“25. And in the fourth watch of the night he went unto them, walking on the sea. 26. And when they saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled.” [[Matt. xiv. 25.]]

And shortly after:

“28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water.”

Moses again made the sea dry with a strong south wind. (93) For Scripture says: “Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord drave back the sea with a strong |107 south wind,” and he adds: “The waves were congealed in the midst of the sea.” In like manner, only much more grandly, our Saviour “rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Again when Moses descended from the Mount, his face was seen full of glory: for it is written:

“And Moses descending from the Mount did not know that the appearance of the skin of his face was (b) glorified while He spake to him. And Aaron and all the elders [of the children] of Israel saw Moses, and the appearance of the skin of his face was glorified.” [[Exod. xxxiv. 29.]]

In the same way only more grandly our Saviour led His disciples “to a very high mountain,7 and he was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments were white like the light.” [[Matt. xvii.2.]]

Again Moses cleansed a leper: for it is written: ” And behold Miriam (was) leprous (as white) as snow.” [[Num. xii.10.]]

And a little further on: “And Moses cried to the Lord: O God, I pray thee to heal her.”

And in the same way, but with more superb power, the (c) Christ of God, when a leper came to him, saying: “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean; answered: I will; be thou clean. And his leprosy was cleansed.” [[Matt. viii.2.]]

Moses, again, said that the law was written with the finger of God: for it is written:

“And he gave to Moses, when he ceased speaking to him in Mount Sinai, the two tables of witness, stone tables written with the finger of God.” [[Exod.xxxi.18.]]

And in Exodus: “The magicians therefore said to Pharaoh, (d) It is the finger of God.” [[Exod. viii.19.]]

In like manner Jesus, the Christ of God, said to the Pharisees: “If I by the finger of God 8 cast out devils.” [[Matt. xii.27]] Moreover, Moses changed the name of Nave to Jesus, and likewise the Saviour changed that of Simon to Peter. And Moses set up seventy men as leaders to the people. For Scripture says:

“16. Bring together to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, 9 17. and I will take of the spirit that is upon |108 thee, and I will put it upon them. … 24. And he brought together seventy men.” 10 [[Num. xi.16]]

Likewise our Saviour “chose out His seventy disciples,11 and sent them 12 two and two before his face.” [[Luke x.1.]] Moses (94) again sent out twelve men to spy out the land, and likewise, only with far higher aims, our Saviour sent out twelve Apostles to visit all the Gentiles. Moses again legislates saying:

[[Deut. v. 17]] ” Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not forswear thyself.” 13 

But our Saviour, extending the law, not only forbids to kill, but also to be angry: instead of “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” He forbids to look on a woman with unbridled lust. Instead of “Thou shalt not steal,” He enjoins that we should give what is our own to the needy. And transcending the law against false swearing, He lays down the rule of not swearing at all. But why need I seek further (b) for proof that Moses and Jesus our Lord and Saviour acted in closely similar ways, since it is possible for any one who likes to gather instances at his leisure? Even when they say that no man knew the death of Moses, or his sepulchre, so (none saw) our Saviour’s change after His Resurrection into the divine. If then no one but our Saviour can be shewn to have resembled Moses in so many ways, surely it only remains for us to apply to Him, and to none other, the prophecy of Moses, in which he foretold that God (c) would raise up one like unto himself, saying:

“18. I will raise a prophet to them of their brethren like thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them, as I shall bid him. 19. And [[Deut.xviii.18]] whatever man will not hear whatsoever words that prophet saith, I will take vengeance on him.”

And Moses himself, interpreting the words to the people, said:

(d) “15. A prophet shall the Lord thy God raise up to |109 thee of thy brethren, like me; him ye shall hear; 16. according to all things which you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly.” [[Deut.xviii 15.]]

But the Old Testament 14 clearly teaches that, of the prophets after Moses, no one before our Saviour was raised up like unto Moses, when it says:

“And there has not arisen yet a prophet like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face in all his signs and wonders.” [[Deut.xxxiv. 10.]]

I have then proved that the Divine Spirit prophesied through Moses of our Saviour, if He alone and none other has been shewn to fulfil the requirements of Moses’ words. But note another recorded prophecy. We know that many (95) multitudes among all the nations call our Lord and Saviour Lord, though He was born according to the flesh of the seed of Israel, confessing Him as Lord because of His divine power. And this also Moses knew by the Divine Spirit, and proclaimed in this manner in writing:

“There shall come a man from his seed” (He means Israel’s), “and he shall be Lord over the Gentiles, and his kingdom shall be exalted.” [[Num.xxiv.7.]]

Now if none other of the kings and rulers of those of the Circumcision has ever at any period been Lord of many Gentiles (and no record suggests it) while truth cries and (b) shouts of our Saviour’s unique rule, that many multitudes from all nations confess Him to be Lord not only with their lips but with the most genuine affection,15 what can hinder us from saying that He is.the one foretold by the prophet? That Moses’ prediction was not indefinite, and that he did not see his prophecy in the shadows of illimitable and unmeasured time, but circumscribed the fulfilment of his predictions with the greatest accuracy by temporal limits, hear how he speaks prophetically about Him: (c) “There shall not fail a prince from Juda, and a leader from his loins until he come in whom it is laid up,16 and he is the expectation of the Gentiles”— [[Gen. xlix.10.]] which means that the order and succession of rulers and leaders of the Jewish race will not fail until the coming of the Prophesied, but that when there is a failure of their |110 rulers the Prophesied will come. By Judah here he does (d) not mean the tribe of Judah, but since in later days the whole race of the Jews came to be called after the kingly tribe, as even now we call them Jews, in a very wonderful and prophetic way he named the whole Jewish race, just as we do when we call them Jews.

Next he says that the rulers and heads of their race will not fail, before the Prophesied appear: and that on his arrival the Jewish state will be at once dissolved, and that he will be no longer the expectation of the Jews, but of the Gentiles. Now you could not apply this prophecy (96) to any of the prophets, but only to our Lord and Saviour. For immediately on his appearance the kingdom of the Jews was taken away. For at once their king in the direct line failed, who ruled them according to their own laws, Augustus then being the first Roman Emperor, and Herod, who was of an alien race, becoming their king.17 And while they failed, the expectation of the Gentiles throughout the whole world appeared according to the divine prophecy, (b) so that even now all men of all nations who believe in Him place the hope of godly expectation in Him.

All these good tidings, and many others besides these, does Moses give us concerning the Christ. And Isaiah definitely foretells in words akin to his of one who shall rise from the seed and line of King David:

“A rod shall come forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall spring forth from his root, and the spirit of God shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding.” [[Isa. xi. 1.]]

And then he proceeds in prophetic style to paint the (c) change that will transform all races of men, both Greek and barbarian, from savagery and barbarism to gentleness and mildness. For he says:

“And the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the |111 leopard shall lie down with the goat, and the calf and the bull and lion shall feed together.” [[Isa. xi. 6.]]

And similar things, which he at once makes clear by interpretation, saying:

“And he that arises to rule the Gentiles, on him shall the Gentiles trust.”

Thus he has made it clear that the unreasoning animals, (d) and the wild beasts mentioned in the passage, represent the Gentiles, by reason of their being by nature like wild beasts; and he says that one arising from the seed of Jesse, from whom the genealogy of our Lord and Saviour runs, will rule over the Gentiles; on Him the nations that now believe in Him fix their hope, agreeably to the prediction, “And it shall be that he who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust.” And the words “In him shall the Gentiles trust” are the same as “And he will be the expectation of the Gentiles.” For there is (97) no difference between saying “In him shall the Gentiles trust” and “He shall be the expectation of the Gentiles.” And the same Isaiah, continuing, prophesies these things about Christ:

“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased, he shall bring judgment to the nations.” [[Isa. xlii. 1.]]

And he adds: “Till he place judgment upon the earth, and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”

Here, then, the second time the prophet states that the Gentiles will hope in Christ, having said above “In Him shall the Gentiles trust.” Though here it is “In His name shall the Gentiles trust.” And it was said also to David, that “of the fruit of thy body shall one be raised (b) up,” about Whom God says further on: ” He shall call on me, Thou art my father; and I will make him my first-born.” [[Ps. cxxxii.11]] And about Him he says again, “And he shall rule from the one sea to the other, and from the rivers even unto the ends of the world.” [[Ps.lxxxviii.26.]] And once more, “All the Gentiles shall serve him, and all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in him.” [[Ps. lxxi.8.]] And moreover, the definite place of His prophesied birth is foretold by Micah, saying: [[Ps. lxxi.11 and 17.]] “And thou, Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, art the least that can be among the thousands of Judah. Out of thee shall come a leader, who shall feed my people Israel. And (c) |112 his goings forth are from the beginning from the days of eternity.” [[Micah v.2; Matt.ii.6.]]

Now all agree that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem,18 and a cave 19 is shewn there by the inhabitants to those who come from abroad to see it. The place of His birth then was foretold. And the miracle of His birth Isaiah teaches sometimes mysteriously, and sometimes more plainly: mysteriously, when he says:

“Lord, who hath believed our report? And the arm of the Lord to whom hath it been revealed? we (d) proclaimed him before as a child, as a root in a thirsty soil.” [[Isa. liii. 1.]]

Instead of which Aquila interpreted thus: “And he shall be proclaimed as a suckling before his face, and as a root from an untrodden ground.” And Theodotion: “And he shall go up as a suckling before him, and as a root in a thirsty land.”

For in this passage, the prophet having mentioned “the Arm of the Lord,” which was the Word of God, says: “In his sight we have proclaimed (him) as a sucking child, and one nurtured at the breast, and as a root from untrodden ground.” The child that is “a suckling and nurtured at the breast” exactly therefore shews forth the (98) birth of Christ, and “the thirsty and untrodden land” the Virgin that bare Him, whom no man had known, from whom albeit untrodden sprang up “the blessed root,” and “the sucking child that was nurtured by the breast.” But this prophecy was darkly and obscurely given: the same prophet explains his meaning more plainly, when he says: “Behold a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name God with us,” [[Isa. vii. 14.]] for Emmanuel signifies this.

(b) Such were the thoughts of Hebrews long ago about the birth of Christ among men. Do they, then, describe in |113 their prophecy some famous prince or tyrant, or some one in any other class of those who have great power in earthly things? One cannot say so, for no such man appeared. But as He was in His life, so they prophesied that He would be, in no way failing in truth. For Isaiah said: “We proclaimed him before, as a child, as a root in thirsty soil.” [[Is. liii. 2.]] And then he proceeds saying:

“2. He hath no form or glory, and we saw him, and he had no form or beauty, 3. And his form was dishonourable and slight even compared with the sons of (c) men, a man in suffering, and knowing to bear sickness he was dishonoured, and not esteemed.” What remains for him to say?

Surely, if they predicted His tribe and race and manner of birth, and the miracle of the Virgin, and His manner of life, it was impossible for them to pass over in silence that which followed, namely His Death: and what does Isaiah prophesy about it?

“3. A man” he says “in suffering, and knowing to bear sickness,20 he was dishonoured and not esteemed. 4. This man bears our sins, and is pained for our sake. And we thought him to be in trouble, in suffering, and in evil; 5. He was wounded for our sins, and bruised (cl) for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripe we are healed. 6. All we as sheep have gone astray,21 and the Lord delivered him for our sins, and he because of his affliction opens not his mouth. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers, so he opens not his mouth.22 8. Who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.” [[Isa. liii. 3-8.]]

In this he shews that Christ, being apart from all sin, will receive the sins of men on Himself. And therefore (99) He will suffer the penalty of sinners, and will be pained on their behalf; and not on His own. And if He shall be wounded by the strokes of blasphemous words, this also will be the result of our sins. For He is weakened through our sins, so that we, when He had taken on Him our faults and the wounds of our wickedness, might be |114 healed by His stripes. And this is the cause why the Sinless shall suffer among men: and the wonderful prophet, (b) in no way shrinking, clearly rebukes the Jews who plotted his death; and complaining bitterly of this very thing he says: “For the transgressions of my people he was led to death.” And then because total destruction overtook them immediately, and not a long time after their evil deed to Christ, when they were besieged by the Romans, he does not pass this over either, but adds: “And I will give the wicked for his tomb, and the rich for his death.”

It would have sufficed for him to have concluded the prophecy at this point, if he had not seen that something (c) else would happen after the death of Christ. But as He after His death and entombment is to return and rise again almost at once, he adds this also concerning Him, saying next:

“The Lord also is pleased to purify him from his stroke—if ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a life-long seed. And the Lord wills to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light.” [[Isa. liii. 10.]]

He said above: “A man stricken, and knowing to bear weakness”; and now after his death and burial, he says: “The Lord wishes to cleanse him from his strokes.” And (d) how will this be done? “If ye offer,” he says, “for sin, your soul shall see a seed that prolongs its days.” For it is not allowed to all to see the seed of Christ that prolongs its days, but to those only who confess and bring the offerings for sins to God. For the soul of these only shall see the seed of Christ prolonging its days, be it His eternal life after death, or the word sown by Him through the whole world, which will prolong its days and endure for ever.

And as he said above: “And we reckoned him to be in trouble,” so, now, after His slaughter and death, he says: “And the Lord wills to take his life away from its (100) trouble, and to give it light.” Since then the Lord, the Almighty God, willed to cleanse Him from this stroke, and to show Him light, if He willed He would most certainly do what He willed; for there is nothing that He wills which is not brought to pass: but He willed to cleanse Him and to give Him light; therefore he accomplished it, He cleansed Him and gave Him light. And since He willed |115 it, and being willing took away the travail of His soul, and shewed Him light, the prophet rightly proceeds with the words: “Therefore he shall inherit from many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong.” [[Isa. liii.12.]]

Here it remained for him to mention the heritage of (b) Christ, in agreement with the Second Psalm, in which the prophetic word foretells the plot that was hatched against Him, giving His name:

“2. The kings of the earth stood up,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against his Christ.” [[Ps. ii. 2.]]

And it adds next:

“3. The Lord said to me, Thou art my son,
To-day I have begotten thee;
Ask of me and I shall give thee the Gentiles for thine inheritance

And the bounds of the earth for thy possession.” It was to these Gentiles that the Prophet darkly referred, (c) saying: “He shall inherit from many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong.” [[Isa. liii. 12.]] For he rescued the subject souls from the opposing powers, which of old ruled over the Gentiles, and divided them as spoils among his disciples. Wherefore Isaiah says of them: “And they shall rejoice before thee, as they who divide the spoils.”[[Isa. ix. 3.]]

And the Psalmist:

“12. The Lord will give a word to the preachers with much power.
13. The king of the powers of the beloved, in the beauty of his house divideth the spoils.” [[Ps. lxvii.12.]]

He rightly, therefore, says this also of Christ: “Therefore (d) he shall have the inheritance of many, and divide the spoils of the strong.” And shortly after he tells us why, saying:

“Because his soul was delivered to death, and he was reckoned among the transgressors, and he himself bare the sins of many, and was delivered for their iniquities.”

For it was as a meet return for all this, because of His obedience and long-suffering, that the Father gave Him what we have seen, for He was obedient to the Father even unto death. Wherefore it is prophesied that He should receive the inheritance of many, and should be |116 reckoned with the transgressors not before but after His being delivered to death. For therefore He is said “to receive the inheritance of many, and to share the spoil of the strong.” And I consider that it is beyond doubt that in these words the resurrection from the dead of the (101) subject of the prophecy is shewn. For how else can we regard Him as led as a sheep to the slaughter, and delivered to death for the sins of the Jewish people, numbered with transgressors, and delivered to burial, then cleansed by the Lord, and seeing light with Him, and receiving the inheritance of many, and dividing the spoils with his friends? David, too, prophesying in the Person of Christ says somewhere of His Resurrection after death:

(b) “10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades,
Neither wilt thou give thine Holy one to see corruption.” [[Ps.xvi. 10.]]

And also:

“4. Lord, Thou hast brought my soul out of Hades, Thou hast kept my life from them that go down into the pit.” [[Ps. xxx. 4.]]

And also:

“14. Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death. 15. That I may tell all thy praises.” [[Ps. ix. 14.]]

I consider that not even the most obtuse can look these things in the face 23 (and disregard them). And the conclusion of the prophecy of Isaiah, tells of the soul once sterile and empty of God, or perhaps of the Church of the (c) Gentiles, agreeably to the view I have taken. For since Christ has borne all for its sake, he rightly goes on after the predictions about them, to say:

“Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for more are the children of the desolate, than of her that hath a husband,24 for the Lord has said, Enlarge the place of thy tent, and the skins of thy hangings 25 peg down, do not spare. Widen thy cords, and strengthen thy pins: spread out still more to the right and left, and thy seed shall inherit the heathen.” [[Is. liv. 1.]] |117

This is the good news the Word gives the Church (d) gathered from the Gentiles scattered throughout the world and stretching from sunrise to sunset, shewn forth very clearly when it says: “And thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles.”

And now, though this part of my subject needs more elaboration, I will conclude it, as I have said sufficient for the present. You yourself will be able at your leisure to make selections relating to the subject, and this present work on the Proof of the Gospel will adduce and interpret individual details in their place. Meantime, for the present what has been said will suffice, on the predictions (and foreknowledge) of the prophets about our Saviour, and that it was they who proclaimed the good news that the good things of the future were coming for all men. (102) They foretold the coming of a prophet and the religion of a lawgiver like Moses, his race, his tribe, and the place he should come from, and they prophesied the time of his appearance, his birth, and death, and resurrection, as well as his rule over all the Gentiles, and all those things have been accomplished, and will continue to be accomplished in the sequence of events, since they find their completion in our Lord and Saviour alone.

But such arguments from the sacred oracles are only (b) intended for the faithful. Unbelievers in the prophetic writings I must meet with special arguments. So that I must now argue about Christ as about an ordinary man and one like other men,26 in order that when He has been shewn to be far greater and more excellent in solitary preeminence than all the most lauded of all time, I may then take the opportunity to treat of His diviner nature, and shew from clear proofs, that the power in Him was not (c) of mere humanity. And after that I will deal with the theology of His Person, so far as I can envisage it.

Since then many unbelievers call Him a wizard and a deceiver, and use many other blasphemous terms, and cease not yet to do so, I will reply to them, drawing my |118 arguments, not from any source of my own, but from His own words and teaching.


Addressed to those that suppose that the Christ of God was a Deceiver.

(d) THE questions I would ask them are these: whether any other deceiver, such as He is supposed to have been, is ever reported to have become as a teacher the cause of meekness, “sweet reasonableness,” 27 purity, and every virtue in those that he deceived? Whether it is right to call by these names one that did not permit men to gaze on women with unbridled lust, whether He was a deceiver Who taught philosophy in its highest form in that He trained His disciples to share their goods with the needy, and set (103) industry and benevolence in the front rank? Whether He was a deceiver Who wakened 28 (men) from common, vulgar, and noisy company, and taught them to enjoy only the study of holy oracles?

He dissuaded from everything false, and exhorted men to honour truth before all, so that so far from swearing false oaths, they should abstain even from true ones. “For let your Yea be yea, and your Nay, nay.” How could He be justly called a deceiver? And why need I say more, since it may be known from what I have already said what kind of ideal of conduct He has shed forth (b) on life, from which all lovers of (ruth would agree that He was no deceiver, but in truth something divine, and the author of a holy and divine philosophy, and not one of the common vulgar type?

He has been proved in the first book of this work to have been the only one to revive the life of the old Hebrew saints, long perished from amongst men, and to have spread it not among a paltry few but through the (c) whole world: from which it is possible to shew that men 29 |119 in crowds 30 through all the world (are following the way) of those holy men of Abraham’s day, and that there are innumerable lovers of their godly manner of life from Barbarians as well as Greeks.

Such then is the more ethical side of His teaching. But let us also examine whether the word deceiver applies to Him in relation to His most central doctrines. Is it not a fact that He is recorded Himself to have been devoted to the One Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and earth and the whole Universe, and to have led His disciples to Him, and that even now the words of His teaching lead up the (d) minds of every Greek and Barbarian to the Highest God, outsoaring all visible Nature? But surely He was not a deceiver in not allowing the real deceiver, fallen headlong 31 from the loftiest and the only true theology, to worship many gods? Remember that this was no novel doctrine or one peculiar to Him, but one dear to the Hebrew saints of long ago, as I have shewn in the Preparation, from whom lately the sons 32 of our modern philosophers have derived great benefit, expressing approval of their teaching. Yes, and the most erudite of the Greeks pride themselves, forsooth, on the fact that the oracles of their own gods mention the Hebrews in terms like these. 33 (104)

“The Chaldeans alone possess wisdom, and the Hebrews,
Who worship in holy wise, God their King, self-born.”

Here the writer called them Chaldeans because of Abraham, who it is recorded was by race a Chaldean. If, then, in the ancient days the sons of the Hebrews, to whose (b) eminent wisdom even the oracles bear witness, directed men’s worship only towards the One God, Creator of all things, why should we class Him as a deceiver and not as a |120 wonderful teacher of religion Who, with invisible and inspired power, pressed forward and circulated among all men the very truths which in days of old were only known to the godly Hebrews, so that no longer as in ancient days some few men easily numbered hold true opinions about God, but many multitudes of barbarians who were once like (c) wild beasts, as well as learned Greeks, are taught simply by His power a like religion to that of the prophets and just men of old?

But let me now examine the third point—whether this is the reason why they call Him a deceiver, viz. that He has not ordained that God should be honoured with sacrifices of bulls or the slaughter of unreasoning beasts, or by blood, or fire, or by incense made of earthly things. That He thought these things low and earthly and quite unworthy of the immortal nature, and judged the most (d) acceptable and sweetest sacrifice to God to be the keeping of His own commandments. That He taught that men purified by them in body and soul, and adorned with a pure mind and holy doctrines would best reproduce the likeness of God, saying expressly: “Be ye perfect, as your Father is perfect.”

Now if any Greek is the accuser, let him realize that his accusations would not please his own teachers, who, it may be, assisted by us, for they have come after us in time, I mean after the gifts to us of our Saviour’s teaching, have expressed such sentiments as these in their writings— listen.

That we ought not to burn as Incense, or offer in Sacrifice, any of the Things of Earth to the. Supreme God.

(105) From Porphyry 34 On Vegetarianism

[II. 34. Cf. Praep. Evan. IV. p. 149 B.]

To the supreme God, as a certain wise man has said, we must neither offer by fire, nor dedicate any of the things |121 known by sense. (For everything material is perforce impure to the immaterial.) Wherefore not even speech is germane to Him, whether of the speaking voice, or of the voice within when defiled by the passion of the soul. By (b) pure silence and pure thoughts of Him we will worship Him. United therefore with Him and made like Him, we must offer our own “self-discipline” 35 as a holy sacrifice to God. That worship is at once a hymn of praise and our salvation in the passionless state of the virtue of the soul. And in the contemplation of God this sacrifice is perfected.

From the Theology of Apollonius of Tyana 36 (Praep. Ev. p. 150).

In this way then, I think, one would best shew the the proper regard for the deity, and thereby beyond all other men secure His favour and good will, if to Him, Whom we called the First God, and Who is One and separate (c) from all others, and to Whom the rest must be acknowledged |122 inferior, he should sacrifice nothing at all, neither kindle fire nor dedicate anything whatever that is an object of sense—for He needs nothing even from beings that are greater than we are; nor is there any plant at all, which the earth sends up, nor animal which it, or the air, sustains, to which there is not some defilement attached—but should ever employ towards Him only that better speech: I mean (d) the speech which passes not through the lips, and should ask good things from the noblest of beings by what is noblest in ourselves, and this is the mind, which needs no instrument. According to this, therefore, we ought not to offer sacrifice to the great God, that is over all.37

If then these are the conclusions of eminent Greek philosophers and theologians, how could he be a deceiver who delivers to his pupils not words only but acts, which are far more important than words, to perform, by which they may serve God according . to right reason? The manner and words of the recorded sacrifices of the (106) ancient Hebrews have been already dealt with in the first Book of the present work, and with that we will be satisfied. And now, since besides what I have so far examined, we know that Christ taught that the world was created,38 and that the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and stars, are the work of God, and that we must not worship them but their Maker, we must inquire if we are deceived, in accepting this way of thinking from Him.

It was certainly the doctrine of the Hebrews, and the (b) most famous philosophers agreed with them, in teaching that the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and stars, indeed the whole universe, came into being through the Maker of all things. And Christ also taught us to expect a consummation and transformation of the whole into something better, in agreement with the Hebrew Scriptures. And what of that? Did not Plato 39 know the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and other stars to be of a dissoluble and corruptible nature, and if he did not say they would actually be |123 dissolved, it was only because (he thought that) the One Who put them together did not will it?

And though He willed us to be part of such a natural (c) order, yet He taught us to think that we have a soul immortal and quite unlike the unreasoning brutes, bearing a resemblance to the powers of God; and He instructed every barbarian and common man to be assured, and to think that this is so. Has He not made those, who hold His views through the whole world wiser than the philosophers with their eyebrows raised,40 who claim that in essence the human soul is identical with that of the flea, the worm, and the fly; yea, that the soul of their most philosophic brethren, so far as essence and nature go, differs not at all from the soul of a serpent, or a viper, or a bear, or a leopard, or a pig?

And if moreover He persisted in reminding men of a (d) divine judgment, and described the punishments and inevitable penalties of the wicked, and God’s promises of eternal life to the good, the kingdom of heaven, and a blessed life with God, whom did He deceive?—nay, rather, whom did He not impel to follow virtue keenly, because of the prizes looked for by the holy, and whom did He not divert from all manner of sin through the punishment prepared for the wicked?

In His doctrinal teaching, we learn that below the Highest: God there are Powers, by nature unembodied and spiritual, (107) possessing reason and every virtue, a choir around the Almighty, many of whom are sent by the will of the Father even unto men on missions of salvation. We are taught to recognize and honour them according to the measure of their worth, but to render the honour of worship to Almighty God alone.

In addition to this He has taught us to believe that there are enemies of our race flying in the air (hat surrounds the earth, and that there dwell with the wicked powers of daemons, evil spirits and their rulers, whom we are taught (b) to flee from with all our strength, even if they usurp for themselves without limit God’s Name and prerogatives. |124  And that they are to be shunned even more because of their warfare and enmity against God, according to the proofs I have given at great length in the Praeparatio.41 Whatever teaching of this kind is found in the doctrine of our Saviour is exactly the same religious instruction as the godly men and prophets of the Hebrews gave.

If, then, these doctrines are holy, useful, philosophic and full of virtue, on what fair ground can the name of deceiver (c) be fastened on their teacher?

But the above inquiry has had to do with Christ as if He only possessed ordinary human nature, and has shewn forth His teaching as weighty and useful—let us proceed and examine its diviner side.


Of the Diviner Works of Christ.

WE must now proceed to review the number and character of the marvellous works He performed while living among men: how He cleansed by His divine power those leprous (d) in body, how He drove demons out of men by His word of command, and how again He cured ungrudgingly those who were sick and labouring under all kinds of infirmity. As, for instance, one day He said to a paralytic, “Arise, take up thy bed, and walk,” [[Matt iv.10]] and he did what he was told. Or [[Mark ii. 11.]] as again bestowed on the blind the boon of seeing the light; and once, too, a woman with an issue of blood, worn down for many long years by suffering, when she saw great crowds surrounding Him, which altogether prevented her approaching Him in order to kneel and beg from Him the cure of her suffering, taking it into her head that if she could (108) only touch the hem of His garment she would recover, she stole through, and taking hold of His garment, at the same moment took hold of the cure of her illness. She became whole that instant, and exhibited the greatest example of our Saviour’s power. And another, a man 42 of courtly |125 rank, who had a sick son, besought Jesus, and at once John v. received him safe and well.

Another, again, had a sick daughter, and he was a chief ruler of a Synagogue of the Jews, and He (restored her) though she was even now dead. Why need I tell how (b) a man four days dead was raised up by the power of Jesus? Or how He took His way upon the sea, as upon the earth we tread, while His disciples were sailing? — and how when they were overtaken by the storm He rebuked the sea, and the waves, and the winds, and they all were still at once, as fearing their Master’s voice?

When He filled to satisfaction five thousand men in addition to another great crowd of women and children, with loaves five in number, and had so much over that there was enough to (c) fill twelve baskets to take away, whom would He not astonish, and whom would He not impel to an inquiry of the true source of His unheard-of power? But in order not to extend my present argument to too great length, to sum all up I will consider His Death, which was not the common death of all men. For. He was not destroyed by disease, nor by the cord,43 nor by fire, nor even on the trophy 44 of the Cross were His legs cut with steel like those of the others who were evil-doers; neither, in a word, did He reach His end by suffering from any man any of the usual forms of violence which destroy life. But as if He were only handing His (d) life over willingly to those who plotted against His body, as soon as He was raised from the earth He gave a cry upon the tree, and commended His Spirit to His Father, saying these words: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”; thus uncompelled and of His own free will He departed from the body. And His body having then been taken by His friends, and laid in the fitting tomb,45 on the third day He again took back again the body which He had willingly resigned before when He departed.

And He shewed Himself again in flesh and blood, the very self He was before, to His own disciples, after staying a brief while with whom, and completing a short time, He returned where He was before, beginning His way to the (109) |126 heavens before their eyes. And giving them instructions on what was to be done, He proclaimed them teachers of the highest religion to all the nations. Such were the far-famed wonders of (our Saviour’s) power. Such were the proofs of His divinity. And we ourselves have marvelled at them with reverent reasoning, and received them after subjecting them to the tests and inquiries of a critical judgment. We have inquired into and tested them not only by other plain facts which make the whole subject clear, by which our Lord is still wont to shew to those, whom He thinks worthy, some slight evidences of His power,46 but also by the more logical (b) method which we are accustomed to use in arguing with those who do not accept what we have said, and either completely disbelieve in it, and deny that such things were done by Him at all, or hold that if they were done, they were done by wizardry for the leading astray of the spectators, as deceivers often do. And if I must be brief in dealing with these opponents, at least I will be earnest, and refute them in some way or other.


Against those that disbelieve the Account of Our Saviour’s Miracles given by His Disciples.

(c) Now if they say that our Saviour worked no miracle at all, nor any of the marvels to which His friends bore witness, let us see if what they say will be credible, if they have no rational explanation why the disciples and the Master were associated. For a teacher always promises some special form of instruction, and pupils always, in pursuit of that instruction, come and commit themselves to the teacher. |127

What cause then shall we assign to the union of the (d) disciples with Christ and of Christ with them, what lay at the root of their earnestness, and of what instruction did they rank Him as Master?

Is not the answer clear? It was only and altogether the instruction which they carried to other men, when they had learned it from Him. And His precepts were those of a philosopher’s life, which He outlined when He said to them: “Provide neither gold nor silver 47 in your girdles, nor a staff for the road,” [[Matt. x. 9.]] and similar words, that they should commit themselves to all-governing Providence, and take no care for their needs, and bade them to aim higher than the Jews under Moses’ commandments, to whom he gave a law as to men prone to murder. “Do (110) not kill,” and likewise, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” as to men who were lascivious and lecherous, and again, “Thou shalt not steal,” as to men of the type of slaves; but our Saviour taught that they must regard such laws as not applying to them, and aim above all at a soul free from passion, cutting away from the depths of their minds as from the roots the shoots of sin: they must try to (b) master anger and every base lust, and more, they must never ruffle the sublime calm of the soul with anger: they must not look upon a woman with unbridled lust, and so far from stealing they must lavish their own property on the needy: they must not be proud of not defrauding one another, but consider rather that they must bear no malice against those who defrauded them. But why should I collect everything that He taught and that they learned? (c) He commanded them besides all this to hold so fast to truth, that so far from swearing falsely they should not need to swear at all, and to contrive to exhibit a life more faithful than any oath, going so far only as Yea and Nay, and using the words with truth.

I would ask, then, where would be the sense in suspecting that hearers of such teaching, who were themselves masters in such instruction, invented their account of their Master’s work? How is it possible to think that they were all in (d) agreement to lie, being twelve in number especially chosen, and seventy besides, whom He is said to have sent two |128 and two before His face into every place and country into which He Himself would come? But no argument can prove that so large a body of men were untrustworthy, who embraced a holy and godly life, regarded their own affairs as of no account, and instead of their dearest ones —I mean their wives, children, and all their family—chose a life of poverty, and carried to all men as from one mouth a consistent account of their Master. Such would be the right and obvious and true argument; let us examine that which opposes it. Imagine the teacher and his disciples. Then admit the fanciful hypothesis that he teaches not the aforesaid things, hut doctrines opposed to them, that is to say, to transgress, to be unholy, to be unjust, to be covetous and fraudulent, and anything else that is evil; that he recommends them to endeavour so to do without being found out, and to hide their disposition quite cleverly with a screen of holy teaching and a novel profession of godliness. Let the pupils pursue these, and more vicious ideals still, with the eagerness and (b) inventiveness of evil: let them exalt their teacher with lying words, and spare no falsity: let them record in fictitious narrative his miracles and works of wonder, so that they may gain admiration and felicitation for being the pupils of such a master. Come, tell me, if such an enterprise engineered by such men would hold together? (c) You know the saying, “The rogue is neither dear to rogue nor saint.”1 Whence came, among a crew of so many, a harmony of rogues? Whence their general and consistent evidence about everything, and their agreement even unto death? Who, in the first place, would give heed to a wizard giving such teaching and commands? Perhaps you will say that the rest were wizards no less than their guide. Yes—but surely they had all seen the end of their (d) teacher, and the death to which He came. Why then after seeing His miserable end did they stand their ground? Why did they construct a theology about Him when He was dead? Did they desire to share His fate? No one surely on any reasonable ground would choose such a punishment with his eyes open.

And if. it be supposed that they honoured Him, while |129 He was still their comrade and companion, and as some might say their deceitful cozener, yet why was it that after His death they honoured Him far more than before? For while He was still with men they are said to have once deserted Him and denied Him, when the plot was engineered against Him, yet after He had departed from men, they chose willingly to die, rather than to depart from their good witness about Him. Surely if they (112) recognized nothing that was good in their Master, in His life, or His teaching, or His actions—no praiseworthy deed, nothing in which He had benefited them, but only wickedness and the leading astray of men, they could not possibly have witnessed eagerly by their deaths to His glory and holiness, when it was open to them all to live on untroubled, and to pass a life of safety by their own hearths with their dear ones. How could deceitful and shifty men have thought it desirable to die for some one else, especially, if one may say so, for a man who they knew had been of no service to them, but their teacher in all evil? For (b) while a reasonable and honourable man for the sake of some good object may with good reason sometimes undergo a glorious death, yet surely men of vicious nature, slaves to passion and pleasure, pursuing only the life of the moment and the satisfactions which belong to it, are not the people to undergo punishment even for friends and relations, far less for those who have been condemned for crime. How then could His disciples, if He was really a deceiver and a wizard, recognized by them as such, with their own minds enthralled by still worse viciousness, (c) undergo at the hands of their fellow-countrymen every insult and every form of punishment on account of the witness they delivered about Him?—this is all quite foreign to the nature of scoundrels.

And once more consider this. Granted that they were deceitful cozeners, you must add that they were uneducated, and quite common men, and Barbarians to boot, with no knowledge of any tongue but Syrian—how, then, did they go into all the world? Where was the intellect to sketch out 48 so daring a scheme? What was the power that |130 enabled them to succeed in their adventure? For I will admit that if they confined their energies 49 to their own (d) country, men of no education might deceive and be deceived, and not allow a matter to rest.50 But to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain, all this I for my part will not admit (113) to be the work of mere men, far less of poor and ignorant men, certainly not of deceivers and wizards.51

I ask you how these pupils of a base and shifty master, who had seen His end, discussed with one another how they should invent a story about Him which would hang together? For they all with one voice bore witness that He cleansed lepers, drove out demons, raised the dead (b) to life, caused the blind to see, and worked many other |131 cures on the sick—and to crown all they agreed in saying that He had been seen alive after His death first by them. If these events had not taken place in their time, and if the tale had not yet been told, how could they have witnessed to them unanimously, and guaranteed their evidence by their death, unless at some time or other they had met together, made a conspiracy with the same intent, and come to an agreement with one another with regard to their lies and inventions about what had never taken place? What speech shall we suppose was made at their covenant? Perhaps it was something like this:

“Dear friends, you and I are of all men the best-informed with regard to the character of him, the deceiver and master of deceit of yesterday, whom we have all seen undergo the extreme penalty, inasmuch as we were initiated into his mysteries.52 He appeared a holy man to the people, and yet his aims were selfish beyond those of the people, and he has done nothing great, or worth a resurrection, if one leaves out of account the craft and guile of his disposition, and the crooked teaching he gave us and its vain deceit. In return for which, come, let us join hands, and all together make a compact to carry to all men a tale of deceit in which we all agree, and let us say that we have seen him bestow sight on the blind, which none of us ever heard he did, and giving hearing to the deaf, which none of us ever heard tell of: (let us say) he cured lepers, and raised the dead. To put it in a word, we must insist that he really did and said what we never saw him do, or heard him say. But since his last end was a notorious and well-known death, as we cannot disguise the fact, yet we can slip out even of this difficulty by determination, if quite shamelessly we bear witness that he joined us after his resurrection from the dead, and shared our usual home and food. Let us all be impudent and determined, and let us see that our freak lasts even to death. There is nothing ridiculous in dying for nothing at all. And why should we dislike for no good reason undergoing scourging and bodily |132 torture, and if need be to experience imprisonment, dishonour, and insult for what is untrue? Let us now (b) make this our business. We will tell the same falsehoods, and invent stories that will benefit nobody, neither ourselves, nor those we deceive, nor him who is deified53 by our lies. And we will extend our lies not only to men of our own race, but go forth to all men, and fill the whole world with our fabrications about him. And then let us lay down laws for all the nations in direct opposition to the opinions they have held for ages about their ancestral gods. Let us bid the Romans first of all not to worship the gods (c) their forefathers recognized. Let us pass over into Greece, and oppose the teaching of their wise men. Let us not neglect the Egyptians, but declare war on their gods, not going back to Moses’ deeds against them of old time for our weapons, but arraying against them our Master’s death, to scare them;54 so we will destroy the faith in the gods which from immemorial time has gone forth to all men, not by words and argument, but by the power of our Master Crucified.

Let us go to other foreign lands, and overturn all their (d) institutions. None of us must fail in zeal; for it is no petty contest that we dare, and no common prizes lie before us—but most likely the punishments inflicted according to the laws of each land: bonds, of course, torture, imprisonment, fire and sword, and wild beasts. We must greet them all with enthusiasm, and meet evil bravely, having our Master as our model. For what (115) could be finer than to make both gods and men our enemies for no reason at all, and to have no enjoyment of any kind, to have no profit of our dear ones, to make no money, to have no hope of anything gocd at all, but just to be deceived and to deceive without aim or object? This is our prize, to go straight in the teeth of all the nations, to war on the gods that have been acknowledged by them all for ages, to say that our Master, who (was crucified) 55 before our very eyes was God, and to represent Him as God’s Son, for Whom we are ready to |133 die, though we know we have learned from Him nothing either true or useful. Yes, that is the reason we must (b) honour Him the more—His utter uselessness to us—we must strain every nerve to glorify His name, undergo all insults and punishments, and welcome every form of death for the sake of a lie. Perhaps truth is the same thing as evil, and falsehood must then be the opposite of evil. So let us say that He raised the dead, cleansed lepers, drove out daemons, and did many other marvellous works, knowing all the time that He did nothing of the kind, while we invent everything for ourselves, and deceive those we can. And suppose we convince nobody, at any rate we shall have the satisfaction of (c) drawing down upon ourselves, in return for our inventions, the retribution for our deceit.”

Now is all this plausible? Docs such an account have the ring of truth? Can any one persuade himself that poor and unlettered men could make up such stories, and form a conspiracy to invade the Roman Empire? Or that human nature, whose characteristic clement is self-preservation, would ever be able for the sake of nothing at all to undergo a voluntary death? (or) that our Saviour’s (d) disciples reached such a pitch of madness, that, though they had never seen Him work miracles, they with one consent invented many, and having heaped together a mass of lying words about Him were ready to suffer death to uphold them? What is that you suggest? That they never looked forward to or expected to suffer anything unpleasant because of their witness 56 to Jesus, and so they had no fear in going forth to preach about Him? What, you think it unlikely, that men who announced to Romans, Greeks, and Barbarians the total rout of their gods, would expect to undergo extreme sufferings on behalf of their (116) Master? At least the record about them is clear in shewing, that after the Master’s death they were taken by plotters, who first imprisoned them, and afterwards released them, bidding them speak to none about the Name of Jesus. And discovering that after this they had publicly discussed the questions about Him before the multitude, they took them in charge and scourged them as a punishment |134 for their teaching. It was then Peter answered them, and said: “It is right to obey God rather than men.” [[Acts v. 29.]] And after this Stephen was stoned to death for boldly addressing the Jewish populace, and an extraordinary (b) persecution arose against those who preached in Jesus’ Name.

Herod again later on, the King of the Jews, killed James the brother of John with the sword, and cast Peter into prison, as is written in the Acts of the Apostles. [[Acts xii.1-3]] And yet, though they had suffered thus, the rest of the disciples held tenaciously to Jesus, and were still more diligent in preaching to all of Him and His miracles.

Afterwards James, the Lord’s brother, whom of old the people of Jerusalem called “the Just” for his extraordinary (c) virtue, being asked by the chief priests, and teachers of the Jews what he thought about Christ, and answering that He was the Son of God, was also stoned by them.57 Peter was crucified head downwards at Rome,58 Paul beheaded,59 and John exiled to an island. Yet though they suffered thus, not one of the others gave up his intention, (d) but they made their prayer to God that they themselves might suffer a like fate for their religion, and continued to bear witness to Jesus and His marvellous works with yet more boldness.

And even supposing that they combined together to invent falsehoods, it is surely wonderful that so large a number of conspirators should continue to agree about their inventions even to death, and that not one of them in alarm at what happened to those who had been already killed ever severed himself from the association, or preached against the others, and brought to light their conspiracy; nay, the very one who dared to betray his Master while He lived, dying by his own hand, at once paid the penalty for his treachery.

(117) And would it not be a most inexplicable thing that shifty and unlettered men, unable to speak or understand any other language but their own, should not only take it into their heads to dare to go forth to the whole circle60 of the nations, but that having gone forth they should |135 succeed in their undertaking. And note, what a remarkable thing it is that they all agreed in every point in their account of the acts of Jesus. For if it is true that in all matters of dispute, either in legal tribunals or in ordinary (b) disagreements, the agreement is decisive (in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established), 61 [[Deut. xiv.15; 2 Cor.xiii.1]] surely the truth must be established in their case, there being twelve apostles and seventy disciples, and a large number apart from them, who all shewed an extraordinary agreement, and gave witness to the deeds of Jesus, not without labour, and by bearing torture, all kinds of outrage and death, and were in all things borne witness to by God, Who even now empowers the Word they preached, and will do so for ever.

I have thus concluded the working out of what would (c) follow if for the sake of argument a ridiculous hypothesis were supposed. This hypothesis was, to make suppositions contrary to the records, and to argue that Jesus was a teacher of impure words, injustice, covetousness, and all kinds of intemperance, that the disciples, profiting by such instruction from Him, surpassed all men in cupidity and wickedness. It was, indeed, the height of absurdity, equivalent to saying that when Moses said in his laws: “Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness,” he should be calumniated and accused falsely of speaking in irony and pretence, and of really desiring that (d) his hearers should kill and commit adultery, and do the opposite to what his laws commanded, and of merely putting on the appearance and disguise of a holy life for a pretence. In this way, too, any one might slander the records of all the Greek philosophers, their strenuous life and sayings, with the calumny that their disposition and mode of life was contrary to their writings, and that their choice of a philosopher’s life was but a hypocritical pretence. And in this way, to speak generally, (118) one might slander all the records of the ancients, annul |136 their truth, and turn them upside down. But just as no one who had any sense would not scruple to set down one who acted thus as a madman, so also (should it be) with regard to our Saviour’s words and teaching, when people try to pervert the truth, and suggest that He really believed the opposite to what He taught. But my argument has been, of course, purely hypothetical, with the object of shewing the inconsistency of the contrary, by proving too much would follow from granting for the moment an absurd supposition.

This line of argument, then, being refuted, let me recur to the truth of the sacred writings, and consider the character of the disciples of Jesus. From the men as they stand, surely any sensible person would be inclined to consider them worthy of all confidence; they were admittedly poor men without eloquence, they fell in love with holy and philosophic instruction, they embraced and persevered in a strenuous and a laborious life, with fasting and abstinence from wine and meat, and much bodily restriction besides, with prayers and intercessions to God, (c) and, last but not least, excessive purity, and devotion botli of body and soul.

And who would not admire them, cut off by their divine philosophy even from lawful nuptials, not dragged in the train of sensual pleasure, not enslaved by the desire of children and descendants, since they did not yearn for mortal but immortal progeny? And who would not be astonished at their indifference to money, certified by their not turning from but welcoming a Master, Who forbade the possession of gold and silver, Whose law did not even allow the acquisition of a second coat? Why, any one only hearing such a law might reject it as too heavy, but these men are shewn to have carried out the words in fact. For once, when a lame man was begging from Peter’s companions (it was a man in extreme need who begged for food), Peter, not having anything to give him, confessed that he had no belongings in silver or gold, and said: (119) “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I unto thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ,62 arise and walk.” [[Acts iii. 6.]]

When the Master gave them gloomy prophecies, if they |137 gave heed to the things He said to them: “Ye shall have tribulation,” [[John xvi. 33.]] and again: “Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice” [[John xvi. 20]]—the strength and depth of their nature is surely plain, since they did not fear the discipline of the body, nor run after pleasures. And the Master also, as One Who would not soothe them by deceit Himself, was like them in renouncing His property, and in His prophecy of the future, so open and so true, fixed in their minds the choice of His way of life. These were (b) the prophecies of what would happen to them for His Name’s sake—in which He bore witness, saying that they should be brought before rulers, and come even unto kings, and undergo all sorts of punishments, not for any fault, nor on any reasonable charge, but solely for this—His Name’s sake. And we who see it now fulfilled ought to be struck by the prediction; for the confession of the Name of Jesus ever inflames the minds of rulers. And (c) though he who confesses Christ has done no evil, yet they punish him with every contumely “for His Name’s sake,” as the worst of evil-doers, while if a man swears away the Name, and denies that he is one of Christ’s disciples, he is let off scot-free, though he be convicted of many crimes.63 But why need I attempt to describe further the character of our Saviour’s disciples? Let what I have said suffice to prove my contention. I will add a few words (d) more, and then pass to another class of slanderers.

The Apostle Matthew, if you consider his former life, did not leave a holy occupation, but came from those occupied in tax-gathering and over-reaching one another. [[Luke v. 27: Mark]] None of the evangelists has made this clear, neither his fellow-apostle John, nor Luke, nor Mark, but [[Matthew ii. 14.]] himself,64 who brands his own life, and becomes his own accuser. Listen how he dwells emphatically on his own name in the Gospel written by him,65 when he speaks in this way: |138

(120) “9. And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 10. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.” [[Matt.ix.9.]]

And again further on, when he gives a list of the disciples, he adds the name “Publican” to his own. For he says:

(b) “Of the twelve apostles the names are these: First, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican.” [[Matt. x.2-3.]]

Thus Matthew, in excess of modesty, reveals the nature of his own old life, and calls himself a publican, he does not conceal his former mode of life, and in addition to this he places himself second after his yoke-fellow. For he is paired with Thomas, Peter with Andrew, James with John, and Philip with Bartholomew, and he puts Thomas before himself, preferring his fellow-apostle to himself, while the (c) other evangelists have done the reverse. If you listen to Luke, you will not hear him calling Matthew a publican, nor subordinating him to Thomas, for he knows him to be the greater, and puts him first and Thomas second. Mark has done the same. Luke’s words are as follows:

“And when it was day, he called his disciples unto him, and chose twelve whom he also named apostles, Simon whom he also called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas.” [[Luke vi.13]]

(d) So Luke honoured Matthew, according to what they delivered, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word. And you would find John like Matthew. For in his epistles he never mentions his own |139 name, or call himself the Elder, or Apostle, or Evangelist; and in the Gospel, though he declares himself as the one whom Jesus loved, he does not reveal himself by name. Neither did Peter permit himself to write a Gospel through (121) his excessive reverence.66 Mark, being his friend and companion, is said to have recorded the accounts of Peter about the acts of Jesus, and when he comes to that part of the story where Jesus asked whom men said that He was, and what opinion His disciples had of Him, and Peter had replied that they regarded Him as (the) Christ, he writes that Jesus answered nothing, and said naught to him, except that He charged them to say nothing to any one about Him.

For Mark was not present when Jesus spoke those words; and Peter did not think it right to bring forward on his own testimony what was said to him and concerning him by Jesus. But Matthew tells us what was actually said to him, in these words:

“15. But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon (b) Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18. And I also say unto thee. That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever things 67 thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever things thou shall loose on earth shall be [[Matt. xvi.15]] loosed in heaven.”

Though all this was said to Peter by Jesus, Mark does not record it, because, most likely, Peter did not include it in his teaching—see what he says in answer to Jesus’ question: (c) “Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ. And [[Mark viii.29.]] he straitly charged them that they should tell no man.” About this event Peter for good reasons thought it best to keep silence. And so Mark also omitted it, though he made known to all men Peter’s denial, and how he wept |140 about it bitterly. You will find Mark gives this account of him:

“66. And as Peter was in the court,68 there cometh one of the maids of the high priest; 67. and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68. But he denied saying (I know not) 69 neither understand what thou sayest; and he went into the outside porch, and the cock crew. 69. And the maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean. 71. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72. And the second time the cock crew.” [[Mark xiv.66.]]

(122) Mark writes thus, and Peter through him bears witness about himself. For the whole of Mark’s Gospel is said to be the record of Peter’s teaching. Surely, then, men who refused (to record) what seemed to them to spread their good fame, and handed down in writing slanders against themselves to unforgetting ages, and accusations of sins, which no one in after years would ever have known of unless he had heard it from their own voice, by thus placarding themselves, may justly be considered to have (b) been void of all egoism and false speaking, and to have given plain and clear proof of their truth-loving disposition. And as for such people who think they invented and lied, and try to slander them as deceivers, ought they not to become a laughing-stock, being convicted as friends of envy and malice, and foes of truth itself, who take men that have exhibited in their own words good proof of their integrity, and their really straightforward and sincere (c) character, and suggest that they are rascals and clever sophists, who invent what never took place, and ascribe gratuitously to their own Master what He never did?

I think then it has been well said: “One must put complete confidence in the disciples of Jesus, or none at all.” And if we are to distrust these men, we must distrust |141 all writers, who at any time have compiled, either in Greece or other lands, lives and histories and records of men of their own times, celebrated for noble achievements,70 or else we should be considering it reasonable to believe others, (d) and to disbelieve them only.71 And this would be clearly invidious. What! Did these liars about their Master, who handed down in writing the deeds He never did, also falsify the account of His Passion? I mean His betrayal by one of His disciples, the accusation of the false witnesses, the insults and the blows on His face, the scourging of His back, and the crown of acanthus set on His head in contumely, the soldier’s purple coat thrown round Him like a cloak, and finally His bearing72 the very trophy of the Cross, His being nailed to it, His hands and feet pierced, His being given vinegar to drink, struck on the cheek with a reed, and reviled by those who looked on. Were these things and everything like them in the Gospels, (123) also invented by the disciples, or must we disbelieve in the glorious and more dignified parts, and yet believe in these as in truth itself? And how can the opposite opinion be supported? For to say that the same men both speak the truth, and at the same time lie, is nothing else but predicating contraries about the same people at the same time.

What, then, is the disproof? That if it was their aim to deceive, and to adorn their Master with false words, they would never have written the above accounts, neither would they have revealed to posterity that He was pained and (b) troubled and disturbed in spirit, that they forsook Him and fled, or that Peter, the apostle and disciple who was chief of them all, denied Him thrice though untortured and |142 unthreatened by rulers. For surely if their aim was solely to present the more dignified side of their Master they would have had to deny the truth of such things, even when stated by others. And if their good faith is evident in (c) their gloomier passages about Him, it is far more so in the more glorious. For they who had once adopted the policy of lying would have the more shunned the painful side, and either passed it over in silence, or denied it, for no man in an after age would be able to prove that they had omitted them.

Why, then, did they not lie, and say that Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss, when he dared to give the sign of treachery, was at once turned into a stone? 73 and that the man who dared to strike Him had his right hand at once dried up; and that the high priest Caiaphas, as he conspired with the false witnesses against Him, lost the (d) sight of his eyes? And why did they not all tell the lie that nothing disastrous happened to Him at all, but that He vanished laughing at them from the court, and that they who plotted against Him, the victims of an hallucination divinely sent, thought they were proceeding against Him still though He was no longer present? 74 But what? Would it not have been more impressive, instead of making up these inventions of His miraculous deeds, to have written that He experienced nothing of the lot of human beings or mortals, but that after having settled all things with power (124) divine He returned to heaven with diviner glory? For, of course, those who believed their other accounts would have believed this.

And surely they who have set no false stamp 75 on anything that is true in the incidents of shame and gloom, ought to be regarded as above suspicion in other accounts wherein they have attributed miracles to Him. Their evidence then may be considered sufficient about our (b) Saviour. And here it will not be inappropriate for me to make use of the evidence of the Hebrew Josephus 76 as |143 well, who in the eighteenth chapter of The Archaeology of the Jews, in his record of the times of Pilate, mentions our Saviour in these words:

“And Jesus arises at that time, a wise man, if it is befitting to call him a man. For he was a doer of no common works, a teacher of men who reverence truth. And he gathered many of the Jewish and many of the Greek race. This was Christus; and when Pilate (c) condemned him to the Cross on the information of our rulers, his first followers did not cease to revere him. For he appeared to them the third day alive again, the divine prophets having foretold this, and very many other things about him. And from that time to this the tribe of the Christians has not failed.” 77

If, then, even the historian’s evidence shews that He attracted to Himself not only the twelve Apostles, nor the seventy disciples, but had in addition many Jews and Greeks, He must evidently have had some extraordinary power beyond that of other men. For how otherwise could (d) He have attracted many Jews and Greeks, except by wonderful miracles and unheard-of teaching? And the evidence of the Acts of the Apostles goes to shew that there were many myriads of Jews who believed Him to be the Christ of God foretold by the prophets. And history also assures us that there was a very important Christian Church in Jerusalem, composed of Jews, which existed until the siege of the city under Hadrian.78 The bishops, too, who stand first in the line of succession there are said to have been Jews, whose names are still remembered by |144 (125) the inhabitants.79 So that thus the whole slander against His disciples is destroyed, when by their evidence, and apart also from their evidence, it has to be confessed that many myriads of Jews and Greeks were brought under His yoke by Jesus the Christ of God through the miracles that He performed.

Such being my answer to the first division of the unbelievers, now let us address ourselves to the second body, (b) This consists of those, who while they admit that Jesus worked miracles, say that it was by a species of sorcery that deceived those who looked on, like a magician or enchanter. He impressed them with wonder.


Against Those who think that the Christ of God was a Sorcerer.

OF course, such opponents must first of all be asked how they would reply to what has been already said. The question is about the possibility of a teacher of a noble and virtuous way of life, and of sane and reasonable doctrines, such as I have described, being a mere sorcerer in character. And supposing He was a magician and (c) enchanter, a charlatan and a sorcerer, how could He have become the source to all the nations of such teaching, as we ourselves see with our eyes, and hear even now with our ears? What sort of a person was He Who undertook to unite things which have never before been united? For a sorcerer being truly unholy and vile in his nature, dealing with things forbidden and unholy, always acts for the sake of base and sordid gain. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, the Christ of God, was surely not open to such a charge. In (d) what sense could such a thing be said of One Who said to His disciples, according to their written record: ” Provide neither gold nor silver in your girdles, nor a staff for the Matt.x.10. road, nor shoes”? How could they have heeded His sayings, and thought fit to hand them down recorded in |145 writing, if they had seen their Master bent on making money, and Himself doing the opposite of what He taught others? They would soon have ridiculed Him and His words and left their discipleship in natural disgust, if they had seen Him laying down such noble laws for them, and Himself the Lawgiver in no way following His own words. Once more, sorcerers and real charlatans devote themselves (126) to the forbidden and the unholy in order to pursue vile and unlawful pleasures, with the object of ruining women by magic, and seducing them to their own desires. But our Lord and Saviour is devoted to purity beyond the power of words to say, for His disciples record that He forbade them to look on a woman with unbridled lust, saying:

” It was said to them of old time, Thou shall not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” [[Matt. v.27]]

And on one occasion when they saw Him conversing with (b) a woman of Samaria when it was the only possible way to aid and save many, they wondered that He spoke with the woman, thinking they saw something marvellous, such as they had never before seen. And surely our Saviour’s words commend a serious and severe tone of behaviour: while of His purity the great evidence is that teaching of His, in which He taught men to attain purity by cutting away from the depth of the heart the lustful desires:

“There are some eunuchs who so were born, and there are eunuchs who we’re made eunuchs of men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” [[Matt, xii.19.]]

The sorcerer again and the true charlatan courts notoriety (c) and ostentation in all his enterprises and actions, and always makes a boast of knowing more and having more than other people. But that our Lord and Saviour was not thirsty for notoriety, or a braggart or ostentatious, is shewn by His bidding those He cured to tell no one, and not to reveal Him to the crowd, so that He might escape notice, and also from His seeking periods of retirement in |146 (d) the mountains, and shunning the vicious society of the crowd in cities. If then He neither devoted Himself to teaching for glory, nor money, nor pleasure, what ground of suspicion remains for considering Him a charlatan and a sorcerer? But once more think of this point. A sorcerer, when he shares the fruits of his wickedness with others, makes men resemble himself: how can he help making sorcerers and charlatans and enchanters in all ways like himself? But who has ever so far found the whole body of Christians from His teaching given to sorcery or enchantment? (127) No one would suggest that, but rather that it has been concerned with philosophic words, as we have shewn. What, then, could you rightly call One Who was the source to others of a noble and pure life and of the highest holiness, but the prince of philosophers and the teacher of holy men? And I suppose so far as every master is better than his pupils, our Lord and Saviour must be considered, so far from being a charlatan and a sorcerer, but philosophic and truly holy (b) If, then, He was such, He could only have attempted His miracles by divine and unspeakable power and by the highest piety towards the Supreme God, Whom He is proved to have honoured and worshipped as His Father in the highest degree, from the accounts of Him. And the disciples, who were with Him from the beginning, with those who inherited their mode of life afterwards, are to such an incalculable extent removed from base and evil suspicion (of sorcery), that they will not allow their sick (c) even to do what is exceedingly common with non-Christians, to make use of charms written on leaves or amulets, or to pay attention to those promising to soothe them with songs of enchantment, or to procure ease for their pains by burning incense made of roots and herbs, or anything else of the kind. |147

All these things at any rate are forbidden by Christian teaching, neither is it ever possible to see a Christian using an amulet, or incantations, or charms written on curious leaves, or other things which the crowd consider quite permissible. What argument, then, can rank the disciples of such a Master with the disciples of a sorcerer and charlatan?

And yet the one great proof of the worth of any one who (d) promises to effect anything is found in the circle of his pupils. In the arts and sciences it is so, men always claim him who was the source of their skill to be greater than themselves; so medical students would witness to the excellence of their instructor in their own subject, geometricians will not regard any other as their master but a geometrician, and arithmeticians any but one skilled in arithmetic. In the same way, also, the best witnesses to a sorcerer are his pupils, who it may be presumed will themselves share in the character of their master. And yet through all these (128) years no disciple of Jesus has been proved a sorcerer, although rulers and kings from time to time have attempted by means of torture to extract the exactest information about our religion. No, in spite of all, none has admitted himself to be a sorcerer, though had he done so he might have gone free, and without any danger, only being compelled by them to offer sacrifice. And if not one of our own people has ever been convicted of sorcery, nor any of those ancient disciples of Jesus, it follows that their Master could not have been a sorcerer.

But that my argument may not be based solely on the (b) unwritten, hear the proofs also that I draw from the written record. The first disciples of Jesus in the Book of their own Acts, describe without doubt how the Gentiles thronging to their teaching (were so impressed), that many of those |148 with a bad reputation for sorcery, changed their ways to such an extent that they had the courage to bring the forbidden books into the midst, and commit them to the fire in the sight of all. Hear how the Scripture describes it:

“And many of those who used curious arts, brought their books, and burned them before all, and they reckoned the price of the books, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” [[Acts xix 19]]

It shews what our Saviour’s disciples were, it shews the extraordinary influence of their words when they addressed their audience, that they so touched the depths of their souls, caught hold of and pierced the individual conscience, that men no longer hid anything away in concealment, but brought their forbidden things to light, and (d) themselves completed the indictment of themselves and their own former wickedness. It shews what their pupils were like, how pure and honourable in disposition, determined that nothing evil in them should lurk below the surface, and how boldly they prided themselves on their change from the worse to the better. Yes, they who gave their magic books to the flames, and voted for their complete destruction, left no one in any doubt that they would never again have anything to do with sorcery, and from that day forth were pure from the slightest suspicion of it.

If, then, our Saviour’s disciples are seen to have been like this, must not their Master have been so long before them?

(129) And if in the widest sense you wish to deduce from the character of His followers the character of their Head, you have to-day a myriad disciples of the teaching of Jesus, great numbers of whom have declared war against the natural pleasures of the body, and guard their minds from the stroke of every base passion, and when they grow old in temperance provide bright evidence of the nurture of His words. And not men only live the life of wisdom in this wise for His sake, but innumerable myriads of women, too, throughout the world, like priestesses of the Supreme God, embracing the highest wisdom, enraptured with the love of (b) heavenly wisdom, have lost all joy of bodily progeny, and spending all their care on the soul, have devoted themselves entirely body and soul alike to the King of kings, the Supreme God, practising complete purity and virginity. |149

Of one shepherd, we know, who left his own country for the sake of philosophy the sons of Greece are ever carrying the story hither and thither. This was their Democritus. And Krates is the second man who is a miracle among (b) them, because, forsooth! he resigned his property to the citizens, and boasted that “Krates himself had freed himself.” But the zealots of the teaching of Jesus are myriads in number, not one or two, who have sold their goods and given them to the poor and needy, a fact to which I can witness, as I am specially concerned in such matters, and can see the results of the discipleship of Jesus not only in their words, but in their works as well.

But why need I tell how many myriads of actual barbarians, and not Greeks only, learning from the teaching of Jesus to despise every form of polytheistic error, have borne witness to their knowledge of the one God as Saviour and Creator of the Universe? Whom long ago, Plato was the only philosopher who knew, but confessed that he dare not carry His Name to all, saying in so many words: “To discover the Father and Creator of the Universe is a hard matter, and when He is found it is impossible to tell of Him to all.” [[Timaeus p. 28]] Yes, to him the discovery seemed a |150 hard matter, for it is indeed the greatest thing of all, and it seemed to him impossible to speak of Him to all, because he did not possess so great a power of holiness as the (130) disciples of Jesus, to whom it has become easy by the cooperation of their Master to discover and to know the Father and Creator of all, and having discovered Him to bear forth that knowledge, to unveil it, to supply it, and to preach it to all men among all races of the world, with the result that even now at the present time owing to the instruction given by these men there are among all the nations of the earth many multitudes not only of men, but of women and children, slaves and country-folk, who are so far away from fulfilling Plato’s dictum, that they know (b) the One God to be the Maker and Creator of the Universe, worship Him only, and base their whole theology on Christ. This, then, is the success of the new modern sorcerer; such are the sorcerers who spring from Him Who is reckoned a charlatan; and such are the disciples of Jesus, from whose character we may deduce that of their Master.

But once more, let us follow the argument in this direction: You say, my friend, that He was a sorcerer, and dub Him a clever enchanter and deceiver. Would . you say, then, that He was the first and only discoverer of the (c) business, or that we must not, as would be done in similar cases, look for the original source of His work directly in His own teaching? For if nobody taught Him, and He was Himself the first and only discoverer of the enterprise, if He had no benefit at all from the teaching of others, if he did not share in the feast of the ancients, we ought surely to ascribe divinity to Him, as One Who (d) without books, or education, or teachers, self-taught, self-educated, is assumed to have discovered such a new world. We know that it is impossible to acquire the knowledge of a lower-class trade, or of the art of reasoning, or indeed of the elements of knowledge without the help of a guide or teacher, unless the learner transcends the powers of ordinary people. I am sure we have not yet had a teacher of literature who was self-taught, nor an orator who had not been to school, nor a physician “born and not made,” nor a carpenter, nor any other kind of craftsman; and these |151 things are relatively insignificant and human; what does it mean, then, to suggest that the Teacher of true religion to men, Who worked such miracles in the period of His earthly life, and did the extraordinary prodigies which I have lately described, was born actually endowed with (131) such power, and had not to share the feast of the ancients, nor to take advantage of the instruction of modern teachers, who had done like things before Him? What is it but to witness and confess that He was indeed divine, and that He altogether transcended humanity?

And supposing you say that He had foregathered with masters of deceit, and was acquainted with the wisdom of the Egyptians, and the secret knowledge of their ancient teachers, and that collecting His equipment from them, He appeared in the character that His story exhibits. (b) How is it, then, I reply, that no others have appeared greater than He, and no teachers antecedent to Him in time, either in Egypt, or anywhere else? Why has not their fame among all men preceded this accusation of Him, and why is not their glory even now celebrated in strains like ours? And what enchanter from the remotest age, either Greek or Barbarian, has ever been the Master of so many pupils, the prime mover of such laws and (c) teaching, as the power of our Saviour has shewn forth, or is recorded to have worked such cures, and bestowed such marvellous blessings, as our Saviour is reported to have done? Who has had friends and eye-witnesses of his deeds, ready to guarantee by the proof of fire and sword the truth of their witness, like the disciples of our Saviour, who have borne all insults, submitted to all forms of torture, and at last have sealed their witness about Him with their very blood?

Then, moreover, let him who supports the contention opposed to mine, inform me if any enchanter that ever existed has ever even taken it into his head to institute a new nation called after his own name? To go beyond the (d) mere conception, and to succeed in effecting it, is surely beyond the power of humanity.

What sorcerer has ever thought of establishing laws against idolatry in direct opposition to the decrees of kings, |152 ancient legislators, poets, philosophers, and theologians, and of giving them power, and of promulgating them so that they should last on unconquered and invincible for long ages? But our Lord and Saviour did not conceive and not dare to attempt, neither did he attempt and not succeed.

(132) With one word and voice He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all the nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” [[Matt. xxviii. 19.]] and He joined the effect to His Word; and in a little while every race of the Greeks and Barbarians was being brought into discipleship, and laws were spread among all nations opposed to the superstition of the ancients, laws inimical to daemons, and to all the deceits of polytheism, laws that have made Scythians, Persians, and the other barbarians temperate, and revolutionized every lawless and uncivilized custom, laws that have overturned the immemorial habits of the Greeks themselves, (b) and heralded a new and real religion. What similar daring has been shewn by the ancient sorcerers before the time of Jesus, or even after Him, which would make it plausible that He was assisted in His sorcery by others? And if the only answer to this is that no one has ever been like Him, for no one was the source of His virtue, surely it is time to confess that a strange and divine Being has sojourned in our humanity, by Whom alone, and for the first time in (c) man’s history, things unrecorded before in human annals have been effected.

In such wise I will conclude this part of the subject. But I must again attack my opposer, and inquire if he has ever seen or heard of sorcerers and enchanters doing their sorcery without libations, incense, and the invocation and presence of daemons. But no one surely could venture to cast this aspersion on our Saviour, or on His teaching, or on those even now imitating His life. It must be clear even to the blind that we who follow Jesus arc totally opposed to such agencies, and would sooner dare to sacrifice our (d) soul to death than an offering to the dremons, yea, would |153 sooner depart from life than remain alive under the tyranny of evil daemons. Who does not know how we love by the mere Name of Jesus and the purest prayers to drive away all the work of the daemons? The mere word of Jesus and His teaching has made us all far stronger than this invisible Power, and has trained us to be enemies and foes of daemons, not their friends or associates, and certainly not their slaves and tributaries. And how could He Who (133) has led us on to this, Himself be the slave of the daemons? How could He sacrifice to evil spirits? Or how could He have invoked the daemons to aid Him in His Miracles, when even to-day every daemon and unclean spirit shudders  at the Name of Jesus as at something that is likely to punish and torment its own nature, and so departs and yields to the power of His Name alone? So was it of old in the days when He sojourned in this life: they could not bear His Presence, but cried, one from, one side and one from another: “Come, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, (b) Son of God? Art thou come to torment us before the time?” [[Matt. viii.29.]]

And a man whose mind was wholly devoted to sorcery, and in every way involved in the quest of the forbidden, would surely be (would he not?) unholy in his ways; scandalous, base, atheistic, unjust, irreligious. And if He were such, from what source, or by what means, could He teach others about religion, or temperance, or the knowledge of God, or about the tribunal and judgment of Almighty God? Would He not rather commend the (c) opposites of these, and act according to His own wickedness, deny God and God’s Providence, and God’s Judgment, and revile teaching about virtue and the immortality of the soul? And if one could see such a character in our Lord and Saviour, there would be no more to say. But (d) if instead we see Him calling on God the Father, the Creator of all things, in every act and word, and training His pupils to resemble Him, if He being pure Himself teaches purity, if He is a maker and herald of justice, truth, philanthropy, and every virtue, and the introducer of the worship of God the King of kings, surely it follows from this that He cannot be suspected of working His |154 miracles by sorcery, and that we must admit that they were the result of unspeakable and truly inspired power. (134)

But if you are so far gone in folly as not to pay any heed to temperate argument and logical consistency of thought, and are not impressed by probable proofs, because you suspect me perhaps to be a special pleader—at least you will hear your own daemons, the gods I mean who give the oracles, hear them bearing witness to our Saviour, not like you of His sorcery, but of His holiness, His wisdom, and His Ascension into Heaven. What could be a more persuasive testimony than that written by our enemy 80 in the third chapter of his book, Concerning Philosophy from Oracles, where he thus speaks in so many words.


Oracles about Christ.

“WHAT I am about to say may seem surprising to some. It is that the gods have pronounced Christ to have been most holy and immortal, and they speak of Him reverently.”

And lower down he adds:

“To those asking the question, ‘Is Christ a God?’ the oracle replied:

That the soul goes forth immortal after (its severance from) the body.
Thou knowest, severed from wisdom it ever roams.
That soul is the soul of a man signal in holiness.” |155

He certainly says here that He was most holy, and that His soul, which the Christians ignorantly worship, like the souls of others, was made immortal after death. And when asked, “Why did He suffer?” the oracle replied:

The body of the weak has ever been exposed to torments,
But the soul of holy men takes its place in heaven.”

And he adds after the oracle:

“Christ, then, was holy, and like the holy, went to the (d) heaven. Wherefore you will say no evil about Him, but pity the folly of men.”

So says Porphyry even now. Was He then a charlatan, my friend? Perhaps the friendly words of one of your kidney may put you out of countenance. For you have our Saviour Jesus, the Christ of God, admitted by your own teachers to be, not an enchanter or a sorcerer, but holy, wise, the justest of the just, and dwelling in the vaults of heaven. He, then, being such, could only have done |156 His miracles by a divine power, which also the holy writings bear witness that He had, saying that the Word of God and the highest Power of God dwelt in man’s shape and form, nay, even in actual flesh and body therein, and performed all the functions of human nature. (135) And you yourself may realize the divine elements of this power, if you reflect on the nature and grandeur of a Being who could associate with Himself poor men of the lowly fisherman’s class, and use them as agents in carrying through a work that transcends all reason. For having conceived the intention, which no one ever before had done, of spreading His own laws and a new teaching among all nations, and of revealing Himself as the teacher of the religion of One Almighty God to all the races of men, He (b) thought good to use the most rustic and common men as ministers of His own design, because maybe He had in mind to do the most unlikely things. For how could men unable even to open their mouths be able to teach, even if they were appointed teachers to only one person, far less to a multitude of men? How should they instruct the people, who were themselves without any education?

But this was surely the manifestation of the divine will and of the divine power working in them. For when He called them, the first thing He said to them was: ” Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” [[Mark i. 17.]] And (c) when He had thus acquired them as His followers, He breathed into them His divine power, He filled them with strength and bravery, and like a true Word of God and as God Himself, the doer of such great wonders, He made them hunters of rational and thinking souls, adding power to His words: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” and sent them forth fitted already to be workers and teachers of holiness to all the nations, declaring (d) them heralds of His own teaching. And who would not be amazed and naturally inclined to disbelieve a thing so extraordinary, for none of those who have ever won fame among men—no king, no legislator, no philosopher, no Greek, no barbarian—are recorded to have ever conceived such a design, or dreamed of anything at all resembling it? For each one of them has been satisfied, if he could establish his own system over his own land only, and if he were able to enforce desirable laws within the limits of his own race. |157 Whereas He, who conceived nothing human or mortal, see (136) how truly He speaks with the voice of God, saying in these very words to those disciples of His, the poorest of the poor: “Go forth, and make disciples of all the nations.” [[Matt.xxviii. 19.]] “But how,” the disciples might reasonably have answered the Master, “can we do it? How, pray, can we preach to Romans? How can we argue with Egyptians? We are men bred up to use the Syrian tongue only, what language shall we speak to Greeks? How shall we persuade Persians, Armenians, Chaldrearis, Scythians, Indians, and other (b) barbarous nations to give up their ancestral gods, and worship the Creator of all? What sufficiency of speech have we to trust to in attempting such work as this? And what hope of success can we have if we dare to proclaim laws directly opposed to the laws about their own gods that have been established for ages among all nations? By what power shall we ever survive our daring attempt?”

But while the disciples of Jesus were most likely either saying thus, or thinking thus, the Master solved their difficulties, by the addition of one phrase, saying they should (c) triumph “In MY NAME.” For He did not bid them simply and indefinitely make disciples of all nations, but with the necessary addition of ” In my Name.” And the power of His Name being so great, that the apostle says: “God has given him a name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth,” [[Phil. ii. 9.]] He shewed the virtue of the power in His Name concealed (d) from the crowd when He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all nations in my Name.” He also most accurately forecasts the future when He says: “For this gospel must first be preached to all the world, for a witness to all nations.” [[Matt.xxiv.14.]]

These words were said in a corner of the earth then, and only those present heard it. How, I ask, did they credit them, unless from other divine works that He had done they had experienced the truth in His words? Not one of them disobeyed His command: but in obedience to (137) His Will according to their orders they began to make disciples of every race of men, going from their own country to all races, and in a short time it was possible to see His words realized. |158

The Gospel, then, in a short time was preached in the whole world, for a witness to the heathen, and Barbarians and Greeks alike possessed the writings about Jesus in their ancestral script and language. And yet who would not quite reasonably be at a loss to explain how the disciples of Jesus gave this teaching? Did they go into the (b) middle of the city, and stand there in the Agora, and call on the passers-by with a loud voice, and then address the populace? And what were the arguments in their address, which would have any chance of persuading such an audience? How could untrained speakers, quite deficient in education, give addresses at all?

Perhaps you suggest they did not speak in public, but in private to those they met. If so, with what arguments could they have persuaded their hearers?—for they had (c) a most difficult task, unless they were ready to deny the shameful death of Him they preached. And suppose they concealed it, and passing over the nature and number of His sufferings at the hands of the Jews, retailed simply the noble and the glorious incidents (I mean His miracles and mighty works, and His philosophic teaching), they had even so no light problem to solve in gaining easily the adherence of listeners, who spoke strange tongues, and then for the first time heard novelties talked of by men who brought with them nothing sufficient to authenticate |159 what they said. Yet such a Gospel would, perhaps, have (d) seemed more plausible.

But in fact they preached, first, that God came on an embassy in a man’s body, and was actually the Word of God by nature, and had wrought the wonders He did as God. And next—a tale opposed to this, that He had undergone insult and contumely, and at last the Cross, the most shameful punishment and the one reserved for the most criminal of mankind; who would not have had ground for despising them as preaching an inconsistent message?

And who could be so simple, as to believe them easily when they said that they had seen Him after His death risen to life from the dead, One Who was unable to defend Himself when alive? Who would have believed common and uneducated men who told them they must (138) despise their fathers’ gods, condemn the folly of all who lived in the ages past, and put their sole belief in them and the commands of the Crucified—because He was the only-beloved and only-begotten Son of the One Supreme God? I myself, when I frankly turn the account over in my own mind, have to confess that I find in it no power to persuade, no dignity, no credibility, not even enough plausibility, to convince iust one of the most simple, (b) But when I turn my eyes away to the evidence of the power of the Word, what multitudes it has won, and what enormous churches have been founded by those unlettered and mean disciples of Jesus, not in obscure and unknown places, but in the most noble cities—I mean in Royal Rome, in Alexandria, and Antioch, throughout the whole of Egypt and Libya, Europe and Asia, and in villages and (c) country places and among the nations—I am irresistibly forced to retrace my steps, and search for their cause, and to confess that they could only have succeeded in their daring venture, by a power more divine, and more strong than man’s, and by the co-operation of Him Who said to them: “Make disciples of all the nations in my Name.”

And when He said this He appended a promise, that would ensure their courage and readiness to devote themselves to carrying out His commands. For He said to |160 them: “And lo! I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the world.” Moreover, He is said to have breathed into them a holy Spirit, yea to have given them divine and miraculous power—first saying: “Receive ye Holy Spirit,” [[John xx.22]] and then: “Heal the sick, cleanse lepers, cast out demons; freely ye have received, freely give.” [[Matt. x. 8.]]

You yourself will recognize what power their word has had, for the Book of the Acts agrees with their having these powers, and gives consistent evidence, where these men are reported by their power of working miracles by (139) the Name of Jesus to have astonished the spectators present.

They amazed the spectators first most probably by the miracles themselves; they then found men bent on inquiring Who He was, Whose power and Name had caused the wonder; then they taught them and found that their faith had preceded the teaching. For without persuasion by words, being first convinced by works, they were easily brought into the state that the words required. For some are said to have been about to offer sacrifices and libations to the disciples of Jesus, as if they had been gods. [[Acts xiv. 12.]] And the exhibition of their miracles so struck their minds, that they called one (b) Hermes and the other Zeus. And, of course, whatever they told about Jesus to men in such a state, was naturally after that considered the truth, and thus their evidence for His Resurrection after death was not given by simple or unproven words, but came with the persuasion of the very working, since they could shew forth the works of One living still.

And if they preached that He was God, and the Son of God, being with the Father before He came to earth, to this truth they were equally open, and would certainly have (c) thought anything opposed to it incredible and impossible, reckoning it impossible to think that what was done was the work of a human being, but ascribing it to God without any one telling them.

Here, then, in this and nothing else is the answer to our question, by what power the disciples of Jesus convinced |161 their first hearers, and how they persuaded Greeks as well as barbarians to think of Him as of the Word of God, and how in the midst of cities, as well as in the country, they (d) instituted places of instruction in the religion of the One Supreme God.

And yet all must wonder, if they consider and reflect, that it was not by mere human accident, that the greater part of the nations of the world were never before under the one empire of Rome, but only from the times of Jesus. For His wonderful sojourn among men synchronized with Rome’s attainment of the acme of power, Augustus then first being supreme ruler over most of the nations, in whose time, Cleopatra being captured, the succession of the Ptolemies was dissolved in Egypt. And from that day (140) to this, the kingdom of Egypt has been destroyed, which had lasted from immemorial time, and so to say from the very beginnings of humanity. Since that day the Jewish people have become subject to the Romans, the Syrians likewise, the Cappadocians and Macedonians, the Bithynians and Greeks, and in a word all the other nations who are under Roman rule. And no one could deny that the synchronizing of this with the beginning of the teaching about our Saviour is of God’s arrangement, if he considered the difficulty of the disciples taking their journey, had the (b) nations been at variance one with another, and not mixing together because of varieties of government. But when these were abolished, they could accomplish their projects quite fearlessly and safely, since the Supreme God had smoothed the way before them, and subdued the spirit of the more superstitious citizens under the fear of a strong central government.

For consider, how if there had been no force available to hinder those who in the power of polytheistic error were contending with Christian education, that you would have long ago seen civil revolutions, and extraordinarily bitter persecutions and wars, if the superstitious had had (c) the power to do as they willed with them.

Now this must have been the work of God Almighty, this subordination of the enemies of His own Word to a |162 greater fear of a supreme ruler. For He wills it daily to advance, and to spread among all men. And, moreover, that it might not be thought to prosper through the leniency of rulers, if some of them under the sway of evil designed (d) to oppose the Word of Christ, He allowed them to do what was in their hearts, both that his athletes might display their holiness, and also that it might be made evident to all that the triumph of the Word was not of the counsel of men, but of the power of God. Who would not wonder at what ordinarily happened in times like those? For the athletes of holiness of old shone forth clear and glorious to the eyes of all, and were thought worthy of the prizes of God; while the enemies of holiness paid their meet penalty, driven mad with divine scourges, afflicted with (141) terrible and vile diseases in their whole body, so that at last they were forced to confess their impiety against Christ. And all the rest who were worthy of the Divine Name, and gloried in their Christian profession, passing through a short discipline of trial, exhibited the nobility and sincerity of their hearts, received back again once more their own liberty, while through them the word of salvation shone out daily more brightly, and ruled even in the midst of foes.

And not only did they struggle against visible enemies, (b) but against the invisible, such evil daemons and their rulers as haunt the nebulous air around the earth, whom also Christ’s true disciples by purity of life and prayer to God and by His Divine Name drove off, giving proofs of the miraculous signs, which of old were said to have been done by Him, and also, to eyes that could see, of His divine power still active.

And now that these preliminary topics are concluded, in their right order, I must proceed to handle the more mystical theology about Him, and consider Who He was that performed miracles through the visible humanity (of Jesus).

[Footnotes up to p.145 renumbered and placed here at the end.  Footnotes after that omitted as tedious to transcribe and of limited value to the general reader.]

1. 1 Books I. and II. are the “prolegomena.” The Demonstratio itself begins here. Eusebius claims by his arguments to have established the Christian use of the O.T., since Christianity is its real fulfilment. The way is now clear for the work itself, h9 au0th_ 9upo&qesij, which is an examination of the prophetic witness to Christ, and of the correspondence of Jesus Christ with that witness, as described in the Gospels, and as evident in the effects of His coming on the world of heathenism.

2. 2 pare/labon = state concisely.

3. 1 Following Gaisford, who for a0nable/pousi suggests a0mbluw&ttousiDiodatus had evidently read—a0naph&roij ou]si.

4. 1 LXX: i0dou_ ku&rioj. ku&rioj meta_ i0sxu&oj e1rxetai.

5. 1 S.: oi9 a1nqrwpoi. Prayer Book Version: ” Put them in fear.”

6. 1 S. reads for di/dwmi (“give”), u3w—”rain down.”

7. 1 W.H. add kat0 i0di/an.

8. 2 E.: e0n daktu&lw| Qeou~. W.H.: e0n pneu&mati Qeou~.

9. 3 S. adds: “whom you yourself know to be elders of the people and their scribes, and thou shall bring them to the tabernacle of witness, and they shall stand there with thee. And I will descend and speak there with thee.”

10. 1 S. “He brought the seventy men” follows in verse 24.

11. 2 E.: maqhta&j. W.H.: e9te/rouj

12. 3 E. omits autou&j.

13. 4 S. reads: “Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shall not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness (yeudomarturu&seij for e0piorkh&seij) against thy neighbour.”

14. 1 h9 palaia_ grafh&, or “ancient records.”

15. 2 diaqe/sei gnhsiwta&th.

16. 3 See note, page 21.

17. 1 The ancestor of the Herods was Antipater, governor of Judaea under Alexander Jannaeus (104-78 B.C.). Nicolaus of Damascus, Herod’s minister, represented him as a Jew, but Josephus states that he was an Idumaean of high birth. (Jos., B.J. i. 6. 2; Ant. xiv. 8. 1.) The stories of his servile and Philistine origin, common among Jews and Christians, have no foundation: e.g. Just. Mart., Tryph. 52: 9Hrw&dhn 0Askalwi/tthn: Julius Africannus ap Eus., H.E. i. 7. 11. See Schürer, History of the Jewish People, i. 314 n.

18. 1 Cf. I. i.

19. 2 o0ligosto_j ei] tou~ ei]nai; cf. Origen, contra Celsum, li. §51. “The cave is shewn where He was born, and the manger in which He was swaddled; and that which is widely spoken of in those places, even among aliens from the faith, viz. that Jesus . . . was born in that cave.’ Earlier Apologists, e.g. Justin, do not mention the cave. Helena, A.D. 326, “left a fruit of her piety to posterity” in two churches which she built, “one at the cave of the nativity.” Eus., Vita Const, cc. 42, 43; cf. Dem. p. 1.

20. 1 E. omits: o3ti a0pe/straptai to& pro&swpon au0tou~.

21. 2 E. omits: a1nqrwpoj th~| o9dw~| au0tou~ e0planh&qh.

22. 3 E. omits: 0En th~| tapeinw&sei h9 kri/sij au0tou~ h0rqh.

23. 1 a0ntible/yaiCf. P.E. 289 B, from Orig., Tom. iii. in Gen. a0ntible/pein h9donh~| — to resist pleasure.

24. 2 LXX: kai\ tw~n au0lai/wn sou.

25. 3 E.: kai\ ta_j de/rreij tw~n au0lai/wn.

26. 1 Unbelievers in the prophecies must be approached by another method. To them E. must speak of Christ, w9j peri\ a0ndro_j koinou~ kai\ toi~j loipoi~j paraplhsi/ouThe uniqueness of His Humanity will point the way to the revelation of His Divinity, as foretold by the prophets. Of what nature then was His power? Was it wizardry?

27. 1 e0pieikei/aj.

28. 2 Or “reassembled.”

29. 3 Reading a0nqrw&pouj au0tou_j kaq (Paris ed.), and supplying, “are following the way of”: “Plura mihi videnter emendationis egere” (Gaisford).

30. 1 e0pi\ spei/raj: spei~ra, equivalent of Roman “manipulus” (Polyb. xi. 23. 1). In Acts x. 1 a larger body, probably “a cohort.”

31. 2 traxhlisqe/nta. Cp. Heb. iv. 13. The spirit of Heathenism was the true deceiver which had deluded an originally monotheistic world into polytheism.

32. 3 i.e. followers of Porphyry.

33. 4 Cf. Sib. Or. iii. 218 seq. for an eulogy of the Jews: “There is on earth a city, Ur of the Chaldees, from which springs a race of upright men, ever given to wise counsel and good works.” See Bate, The Sibylline Oracles, S.P.C.K., pp. 31-36, for an account of the Sibyl in early Christian literature.

34. 1 Porphyry (Malchus, Vit. Plot. vii. 107) “the soberest of the Neoplatonic philosophers” (Cheetham), succeeded Plotinus. He was born A. D. 232 at Batanea, probably of a Tyrian family, Vit. Plot. 8; Jerome, Praef. in Gal.; Chrysost. Hom. on 1 Cor. vi. p. 58. He met Origen (Vincent Lerin. Commonit. i. 23) and afterwards ridiculed his method (Eus., HE. vi19). He was a pupil of Longinus at Athens (Eus., P. E. x. 3. 1). He joined Plotinus at Rome, and earlier in Eusebius’ life lived in Sicily. He died about 305. His philosophy was intensely ethical, and emphasized personal access to God, in faith, truth, love, and hope. He was hostile to Christianity, though he reverenced Christ as a man, and wrote a work called To the Christians, His chief remaining works are De Abstinentia, Lives of Plotinus and Pythagoras, Letters to Marcellus, Anebo and Sententiae. See also note p. 155.

35. 1 a0gwgh&n.

36. 2 Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius. See Praep. Evan. p. 150, where G. quotes from Ritter and Preller “a brief summary of Suidas of the life of this notorious philosopher and imposter.” He flourished in the reigns of Caius, Claudius, and Nero, and until the time of Nerva, in whose reign he died. After the example of Pythagoras he kept silence five years: then he sailed away to Egypt, afterwards to Babylon to visit the Magi, and thence to the Arabians: and from all those he collected the innumerable juggleries ascribed to him. He composed Rites, or concerning Sacrifice, A Testament, Oracles, Epistles, Life of Pythagoras. The life by Philostratus, written at the request of the wife of the Emperor Septimius Severus, is accessible in Phillimore’s edition and in the Loeb Series. (See Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, pp. 40, 399, 472, 518.) “As against unmodified Judaism the Christians could find support for some of their own positions in the appeal to religious reformers like Apollonius of Tyana; who condemning blood-offerings as he did on more radical grounds than themselves was yet put forward by the apologists of paganism as a half-divine personage.”—T. WHITTAKER, The Neo-Platonists, p. 138.

37. 1 Gifford’s translation.

38. 2 genhto_j o9 ko&smoj, cf. note by Gifford in P. E. 18 c. 3 on distinction between a0ge&nhtoj (uncreated) and a0ge/nnhtoj (unbegotten).

39. 3 E. quotes Phaedo, 96 A. (P. E. 26) on the research into the natural laws of growth and decay; cf. Republ. viii. 546.

40. 1 taj o0fru~j a0naspako&twn, cf. P. E. 135 d of theosophical philosophers, 224 a from Oenomaus — to draw up the eyebrows, and so put on a grave important air. Ar. Ach. 1069, Dem. 442, 11, etc. (L. and S.) This satirical account echoes the irony of Plato.

41. 1 See chiefly, P. E., Books iv. v. and vi.

42. 2 Basiliko_j a0nh_r.

43. 1 Or “choked by a cord.”

44. 2 to_ tro&paion: the other reading is to_n tro&pon which hardly yields sense.

45. 3 Or “buried in the fitting way.”

46. 1 l. c. The Lord’s miracles have been tested both by their agreement with what the Christian recognizes as miraculous in a minor degree still, and also by a logical method that should appeal to the unbeliever. (There seems to be something corrupt in the text.) For the continuance of miraculous powers in the third century, cf. Origen c. Cels. i. 13, also i. 9 (pp. 411, 405).

47. 1 W.H. add mhde\ xalko&n.

48. 1 e0fanta&sqhsan, cf: P.E. 17 c, of learning God’s greatness from His works: here it has the Aristotelian sense of something imagined.

49. 1 Kalindoume/noi; cf. e0kalindou~nto, P. E. 511, a, 1. Lit.: “rolling about,” so in common idiom “busied.” So Dem. 403, 9; Xen. Cyr. I. 4, 5; Isoc. 295 B.

50. 2 e0f0 h9suxi/aj. Cf. Arist. Vesp. 1517.

51. 3 Cf. H.E. iii. i, which gives the tradition that the apostles evangelized the whole world: Thomas receiving Parthia, Andrew Scythia, John Asia, Peter the Jews of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia; Paul, preaching from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and ii. 16 makes Mark the apostle of Egypt, and v. 10 tells how Pantaenus (circa 160) went to India, and found a Church that had been founded by Bartholomew.

Harnack regards all traditions of apostolic missions as legendary, except those of Paul, Peter, and “perhaps John of Ephesus,” but accepts the Mission of Pantaenus (Expansion of Christianity, I. pp. 439-441). For earlier statements of the diffusion of Christianity cf. Justin, Trypho, c. cxvii.; Tertullian Apol. xxxvii., adv. Jud. 7: “The haunts of the Britons inaccessible to the Romans subjugated to Christ.” About A.D. 150 the Church of Edessa counted the king among its members (see F. C. Burkitt, Early Christianity outside the Roman Empire, p. 11, Cambridge, 1899) and Persia, Media, Parthia and Bactria were evangelized. Origen (185-254) visited the Arabian Churches more than once. In Africa, Egypt, Cyrene, and Carthage were evangelized before 200. In Gaul there were strong Churches, e. g. Lyons and Vienne. (G. P. Fisher, History of the Church, pp. 46, 47. London, 1892.)

52. 1 oi[a mu&stai tw~n a0porrh&twn au0tou~ gegenhme/noi.

53. 1 e0kqeiazo&menon; cf. P. E. 41 a, 780 b.

54. 2 w3spe/r ti fo&bhtron.  

55. 3 staurwqe/nta supplied by Gaisford.

56. 1 u9p0 au0tou~ (P.). Amended to u9pe/r by Gaisford.

57. 1 See Eus., H.E. ii. 23.

58. 2 Ibid. ii. 25.

59. 3 Ibid. iii. 23.

60. 4 peri/dojCf. HE. 72b.

61. 1 S. (Deut. xix. 15): e0pi\ sto&matoj du&o martu&rwn, kai\ e0pi\ sto&matoj triw~n martu&rwn sth&setai pa~n r9h~ma.

W.H. (2 Cor. xiii. 1): e0pi sto&matoj du&o martu&rwn kai\ triw~n staqh&setai pa~n r9h~ma.

E.: e0pi\ sto&matoj d’ ou]n du&o kai\ triw~n martu&rwn suni/statai pa~n r9h~ma.

62. 1 W.H. add tou~ Nazwrai/ou.

63. 1 Cf. Tertull., Apol. c. 2: “Illud solum expectatur quod odio publico necessarium est, confessio nominis, non examinatio criminis.”

64. 2 W.H.: lego&menonE.: o0no&mati.

65. 3 That Matthew “wrote in Hebrew the Gospel that hears his name” is stated by Eus., H.E. iii. 24. And the words of Papias that “Matthew compiled the Logia in Hebrew, while they were interpreted by each man according to his ability,” are quoted, H.E. iii. 39. It is agreed that E. was wrong in thinking our Matthew a translation of the Hebrew Logia. But there is no doubt a strong Matthaean element in the non-Marcan, and even in some of the Marcan, constituents of our Matthew. See J. V. Bartlet (Hastings’ D.B. vol. iii. p. 296 sq.), who postulates Palestinian catechetical Matthaean Logia, earlier than the matter used by Mark in its Petrine form, taking written form as the main constituent in our Gospel, which was composed either before or after A.D. 70, as the basis of them and the Marcan memoirs of Peter (ib. p. 304). If this be so, the argument of E. as to Matthew’s modesty would to a slight extent hold good.

66. 1 eu0la&beia: cf. Hebrews xii. 29, meta_ eu)labei/aj kai\ de/ouj.

67. 2 W.H.: o# e0a&n and singular participles. E.: o#sa a!n and pl.

68. 1 E. changes order of words: Verses 67 and 69 read ei0j th_n e1cw pro&aulin, for e1cw ei0j to_ proau&lion (68). W.H. add ka&tw (66).

69. 2 Paris Text adds ou!te oi]da.

70. 1 It is certainly true that modern Criticism has judged the Gospels by canons that would be considered unduly rigorous in other fields of history. But the enormous importance of the issues has made this inevitable, and the Church has not shrunk from the minutest examination of her documents. I do not know the author of the saying: ” One must …. at all.”

71. 2 The xlamu&j was the short military cloak. It is used by Plutarch (Peric 35, Lysander 13) for the “paludamentum,” or general’s cloak, and also for the royal cloak. The xitw&n was the soldier’s frock worn under the outer garment. E. says the “frock” was used in mockery for a (royal) cloak.

72. 3 e0pikomi/zontausually “carry to ” There seems no force here in the e0pi/.

73. 1 Possibly E. is condemning by implication some absurd tales in the Apocryphal Gospels.

74. 2 As the Docetists taught.

75. 3 Paraxara&cantej cf. P.E. 495 a. A word used both literally and metaphorically of “marking with a false stamp,” ” falsifying.”

76. 4 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. iii. 3. The passage is also quoted, H.E. I. 11. 6, 7. It is found in all MSS. of Josephus, none being earlier than

the eleventh century. But it is not quoted by Origen (contra Celsum, i. 47, and the extant part of Comm. in AJatt. Tom. x. 17), and his use of Ant. xx. 9, for Josephus’ evidence to Christ seems to count against his knowledge of this passage. W. E. Barnes’ recent reexamination of the question makes out a strong case for its authenticity. (See H. St. J. Thackeray in Hastings’ D.B. extra vol., p. 471, and, on the other side, W. E. Barnes, The Testimony of Josephus to Christ, 1920, S.P.C. K.)

77. 1 E. has e0kei=non for tou~tonsebome/nwn for dexome/nwntou~ ‘Ioudai/koi for ‘Ioudai/oujtw~n par’ h(mi=n a)rxo&ntwn for tw~n prw&twn a)ndrw~n par’ h(mi=n.   d’qen ei0j e1ti for ei0s-e0ti de—and a0po_ tou~de tw~n xr: ou)k e0pi/lipe for tw~n xr: a)po_ tou~de w&nomasme/non ou)k e0pe/lipe.

78. 2 A.D. 130. Cf. H.E. iv. 6, “eighteenth year of Hadrian.” In his Chronicon Eusebius puts the rebellion in Hadrian’s sixteenth year. Hadrian reigned from A.D. 117 to A.D. 138.

79. 1 See Eus., H.E. iv. 5.

[Note to the online text: From p.145 onwards I have omitted all but one of the footnotes as having very little value to the vast majority of the readers]

80. 2 Porphyry: see notes, pp. 120 and 155. “The Neoplatonists praised Christ while they disparaged Christianity” (Aug., De Consensu Evang. i. 15), D.C.B. iv. 442. … Augustine (De Civ. Dei, XIX. c. 23, 2).



Of the Mystical Dispensation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, (144) the Christ of God.

As I have treated at sufficient length the topics connected with the Incarnation of our Saviour in the preceding Book, (b) the third Book of the Proof of the Gospel, it is now the place to approach more recondite doctrine, I mean the more mystical theology of His Person.

Now common to all men is the doctrine of God, the First and the Eternal, Alone, Unbegotten and Supreme Cause of the Universe, Lord of lords, and King of kings. But the doctrine of Christ is peculiar and common to the Hebrews and ourselves, and, though following their (c) own scriptures, they confess it equally with us. yet they fall far asunder from us, in not recognizing His Divinity, nor knowing the cause of His coming, nor grasping at what period of time it was predicted that He should come. For while they look forward to His Coming even now, we preach that He has come once already, and believing the predictions and teaching of the inspired prophets, pray that we may behold His second Coming in divine glory.

The account of our Lord is of two kinds: the one may (d) be called the later, brought but recently before mankind, the other is older than all time and all eternity.

For since God, Who is alone good and the Source and Spring of everything good, had willed to make many partakers of His own treasures, He purposed to create the whole reasoning creation, (comprising) unembodied, intelligent and divine powers, angels and archangels, spirits immaterial and in all ways pure, and souls of men as well endued with undetermined liberty of Free-willed Choice |164 between right and wrong, and to give them whatever bodily organs they were to possess, suitable to the variety of their lives, with countries and places natural to them all. (For to those who had remained good He gave the best places, and to those who did not He gave fit abodes, places of discipline for their perverse inclinations.)

He, foreseeing the future in His foreknowledge, as God must, and aware that as in a vast body all these things about to be would need a head, thought that He ought to subordinate them all to One Governor of the Whole Creation, ruler and king of the Universe, as also the holy oracles of the earliest Hebrew theologians and prophets mystically teach. From which it is to be learned, that there is one principle of the Universe, nay more, one even before the principle, and born before the first, and of earlier being than the Monad, and greater than every Name, Who cannot be named, nor explained, nor sought out, the good, the cause of all, the Creator, the Beneficent, the Prescient, the Saving, Himself the One and Only God, from Whom are all things, and for Whom are all things: “For in him we live and move, and have our being.”

And the fact that He wills it, is the sole cause of all things that exist coming into being and continuing to be. For it comes of His will, and He wills it, because He happens to be good by nature. For nothing else is essential by nature to a good person except to will what is good. And what He wills, He can effect. Wherefore, having both the will and the power, He has ordained for Himself, without let or hindrance, everything beautiful and useful both in the visible and invisible world, making His own Will and Power as it were a kind of material and substratum of the genesis and constitution of the Universe, so that it is no longer reasonable to say that anything that exists must have come from the non-existent, for that which came from the non-existent would not be anything. For how could that which is non-existent cause something else to exist? Everything that has ever existed or now exists derives its being from the One, the only existent and pre-existent Being, Who also said: “I am the existent,” because, you will see, as the Only Being, and the Eternal |165 Being, He is Himself the cause of existence to all those to whom He has imparted existence from Himself by His Will and His Power, and gives existence to all things, and their powers and forms, richly and ungrudgingly from Himself.


That we hold that the Son of God was before the Whole Creation.

AND then He makes first of all existences next to Himself (146) His child, the first-born Wisdom, altogether formed of Mind and Reason and Wisdom, or rather Mind itself, Reason itself, and Wisdom itself, and if it be right to conceive anything else among things that have come into being (b) that is Beauty itself, and Good itself, taking it from Himself, He lays it Himself as the first foundation of what is to come into being afterwards, lie is the perfect creation of a perfect Creator, the wise edifice of a wise Builder, the good Child of a good Father, and assuredly to them that afterwards should receive existence through Him, friend and guardian, saviour and physician, and helmsman holding the rudder-lines of the creation of the universe. In agreement with which the oracles in theological phrase call Him, “God-begotten,” as alone bearing (c) in Himself the image of the Godhead, that cannot be explained in word, or conceived in thought, through which image (they say that) He is God, and that lie is called so, because of this primary likeness, and also for this reason, too, that He was appointed by the Father His good Minister, in order that as if by one all-wise and living instrument, and rule of art and knowledge, the universe might be guided by Him, bodies and things without body, things living and things lifeless, the reasoning with the irrational, mortal with immortal, and whatever else coexists and is woven in with them, and as if by one force running (d) through the whole, all things might be harmonized together, |166 by one living active law and reason existing in all and extending through all things, in one all-wise bond—yea, by the very Word of God and His law, united and bound in one.


That we rightly teach that there are not many sons of the Supreme God, but One only, God of God.

(147) AND as the Father is One, it follows that there must be (b) one Son and not many sons, and that there can be only one perfect God begotten of God, and not several. For in multiplicity will arise otherness and difference and the introduction of the worse. And so it must be that the One God is the Father of one perfect and only-begotten Son, and not of more Gods or sons. Even so, light being of one essence, we are absolutely obliged to regard the perfect thing that is begotten of light to be one also. For what other thing would it be possible to conceive of as begotten of light, but the ray only, which proceeds from it, and fills and enlightens all things? Everything surely (c) that is foreign to this would be darkness and not light. And analogously to this there can be nothing like unto, nor a true copy of, the Supreme Father, Who is unspeakable light, except as regards this one thing only, Whom we are able to call the Son. For He is the radiance of the eternal light, and the unblurred mirror of the activity of God, and the image of His goodness. Wherefore it was said: ” Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” [[Heb. i. 3.]] Except that the radiance is inseparable from the light of sense, while the Son exists in Himself in His own essence apart from the Father. And the ray has its range of activity solely from the light, whereas (d) the Son is something different from a channel of energy, having His Being in Himself. And, moreover, the ray is coexistent with the light, being a kind of complement thereof; (for there could be no light without a ray:) they exist together and simultaneously. But the Father precedes |167 the Son, and has preceded Him in existence, inasmuch as He alone is unbegotten. The One, perfect in Himself and first in order as Father, and the cause of the Son’s existence, receives nothing towards the completeness of His Godhead from the Son: the Other, as a Son begotten of Him that caused His being, came second to Him, Whose Son He is, receiving from the Father both His Being, and the character of His Being. And, moreover, the ray does (148) not shine forth from the light by its deliberate choice, but because of something which is an inseparable accident of its essence: but the Son is the image of the Father by intention and deliberate choice. For God willed to beget a Son, and established a second light, in all things made like unto Himself. Since, then, the unbegotten and eternal light is one, how could there be any other image of it, except the ray, which itself is light, preserving in all respects its likeness to its prototype? And how could (b) there be an image of the One itself, unless it were the same as it in being one? So that a likeness is implied not only of the essence of the first, but also one of numerical quantity, for one perfect Being comes of the one eternal light, and the first and only-begotten Issue was not different or many, and it is this very Being to Which, after that Being which had no origin or beginning, we give the names of God, the Perfect, the Good: for the Son of a Father who is One must be also One. For we should (c) have to agree that from the one fragrance of any particular object that breathes it forth, the sweet odour shed forth on all is one and the same, not diverse and many. So it is right to suppose that from the first and only Good, Which is Almighty God, is supplied an odour divine and life-giving, perceptible by mind and understanding, which is one and not many. For what variation could there be from this complete likeness to the Father, except one that was a declension and an inferiority; a supposition that we must not admit into our theology of the Son: for He is (d) a breath of the power of God, and a pure effluence of the glory of the Creator. For a fragrant breath is poured forth from any sweet-scented substance, say from myrrh or any of the flowers and odorous plants that spring from the earth, beyond the original substance into the surrounding atmosphere, and fills the air far and wide as it is shed |168  forth, without any deprivation, or lessening, or scission, or division of the said substance. For it still remains in its own place, and preserves its own identity, and though begetting this fragrant force it is no worse than it was before, while the sweet odour that is begotten, possessing its own character, imitates in the highest degree possible the nature (149) of that which produced it by its own [fragrance]. But these are all earthly images and touched with mortality, parts of this lower corrupt and earthly constitution, whereas the scope of the theology we are considering far transcends all illustrations, and is not connected with anything physical, but imagines with the acutest thought a Son Begotten, not at one time non-existent, and existent at another afterwards, but existent before eternal time, and pre-existent, and ever with the Father as His Son, and yet not Unbegotten, but (b) begotten from the Father Unbegotten, being the Only-begotten, the Word, and God of God, Who teaches that He was not cast forth from the being of the Father by separation, or scission, or division, but unspeakably and unthinkably to us brought into being from all time, nay rather before all times, by the Father’s transcendent and inconceivable Will and Power. “For who shall describe his generation?” he says, and “As no one knoweth the Father save the Son, so no one knoweth the Son save the Father that begat Him.”


That the Only-begotten Son of God must be considered necessarily Anterior to the Whole Universe.

BUT it seemed good to the Father, source of all goodness, that (His) One only-begotten and beloved Son should be the Head of the Creation cf all things begotten, when He (d) was about to create One Universe, like a body one and vast consisting of many limbs and parts. . . 

And that He should not govern it from above, as merely |169  depending on the greater Headship of the Divinity of the Father (for the Head of Christ is the Father), but as leader of and antecedent to all things after Him, being verily all the while the lasting agent of His Father’s commands, and of the creation that was yet to be.

And therefore it is we say that He first before all things was made by the Father, as something one in form, the instrument of every existence and nature, alive and living, nay divine, lifegiving and all-wise, begetting good, Choregus of Light, Creator of the Heaven, Architect of the Universe, (150) Maker of Angels, Ruler of Spirits, Instrument of the Salvation of Souls, Source of Growth to bodies, all things foreseeing, guiding, healing, ruling, judging, proclaiming the religion of the Father.


That we hold that there are Numberless Divine Created Powers but One Alone of the Son, whereby We describe Him as the Image of God the. Father.

WHEREFORE we must recognize with awe throughout the whole of the sphere of creation generally one divine Power, and not suppose there to be many. For the general creative Power is One, and One is the Word, Creator of the Universe, in the beginning with God: Whom it truly behoves us not to ignore, but to worship and honour worthily, because not only at the beginning of the Creation did all things exist through Him, but since then for ever and now as well, and without Him nothing was made. For if there is life in things that exist, that life was what was begotten in Him. (For from Him and through Him is the life-power and the soul-power of all things.) Be it rhythm, beauty, harmony, order, blending of qualities, substance, quality, quantity, the one Word of the Universe holds all in union and order, and One Creative power of God is at the Head of all. And as in our own bodies there are great and various differences in |170 the parts, but one creative power in the whole (for the nature of the head is not dependent on one power of God, that of the eyes on another, and that of ears and feet on other distinct powers), so also there is one general identical divine power governing the whole Universe, creative of the (151) heaven and the stars, the living things in earth and air and sea, the elements generally and individually, and all kinds of natural things in their genera and species. So there is not one force productive of fire, another of water, another again of earth and of air. But one and the same wisdom is craftsman of the whole, I mean this very creative Word of God of our theology, Who is the Maker of the Universe. The friendship of the elements for one another bears witness to this, proving the constitution of the Universe to be kindred and related and as it were the work of one Architect by the (b) mixing of blended qualities. Earth, for instance, the heavy element, floats on water, and is not drawn down below by its natural solidity, but always remaining on the surface and not immersed, bears witness to the Word of God and the Will and Power of God. The union of wet with dry, again, without producing corruption, and without completely swamping everything, being hindered by the awful will of God, shews the power of the Word of God, Who is One and the same.

And what of fire? Although its nature is burning and (c) destructive, it lurks in logs, and is mingled in all living bodies; it is combined elementarily with earth and air and water, and thus supplying by proportion and measure to all things what they need in so far as it can aid each sister element, and forgetting its own proper power, does it not seem another instance of subservience to the Word of God and His Power?

When you behold the regular succession of day and night, the waxing and waning of hours and seasons, the circles of the years and the cycles of time, the wheelings of the (d) stars, the courses of the sun and the changes of the moon, the sympathy and antipathy of all things, and the one Cosmos formed of all, would you think it right to say that Unreason, and Chance, and random forces were the cause of all, or rather the Word which is truly God’s Word and God’s Wisdom and God’s Power, and would you not hymn Its praise as one and not many? Then, again, in a man one |171 soul and one power of reason may be creative of many things, since one and the same faculty by concentration can be applied to agriculture, to ship-building, to steering and to house-building. And the one mind and reasoning faculty in a man can acquaint him with many different spheres of knowledge, for the same man will know geometry and astronomy, and will lecture on grammar and medicine, and will excel in intellectual pursuits and handicraft as well. And yet no one has ever yet supposed that there are more souls than one in one body, or has thought it strange that man should have many faculties, through his interest in many studies.

And again, if one should find a shapeless piece of clay, and then softening it in his hands give it the shape of an animal, moulding with plastic art the head into one form, the hands and feet differently, the eyes again otherwise, and the cheeks as well, ears and mouth, nose, chest and shoulders, would you say, when many forms and limbs and parts have been framed in the one body, that one must reckon there to have been the same number of makers, or rather praise the craftsman of the whole complete figure, who worked out the whole thing with one reasoning faculty and one power? Why, then, in the case of the Universe, which consists of a unity in many parts, must we suppose many creative powers, and name many gods, and not confess that that which is truly “the power of God and the wisdom of God” in one power and goodness supports and gives life to all things at the same time, and gives to all from itself their various supplies? So also the light of the sun is one, and the same rays at one and the same time irradiate the air, enlighten the eyes, warm the touch, enrich the earth, cause plants to grow, are the foundation of time, the guide of the stars, the patrol of the heavens, the joy of the Cosmos, shew the clear power of God in the whole Universe, and fulfil all those effects with one pulse of their being.

Fire, again, by its nature purifies gold, and melts lead: wax it dissolves, clay it hardens, wood it dries, by one burning force accomplishing so many changes. And thus, too, the heavenly Word of God, the Creator of sun and heaven and of the whole Cosmos, present in all things with effective power, and reaching through all things, showers light on sun and moon and stars from Its own eternal force, |172 and having first formed the heaven to be the meetest likeness of Its own greatness rules over it for ever, and fills the powers of angels and spirits beyond the heaven and the Cosmos, and the beings who have mind and reason, at once (153) with life, and light, and wisdom, and all virtue, and every good thing from Its own treasures, with one and the same creative art. And It never ceases to bestow their special being to the elements, their mixings, combinations, forms, shapes and fashions, and their many qualities, in the animal and vegetable world, and in souls, and in bodies rational and irrational, varying Its gifts now in one way now in another, and supplying all things to all together at the same time, and dowering all mankind with self-conscious mind able to (b) contemplate Its wisdom, standing close by all and shewing beyond all doubt that the one Cosmos is the work of the one Cosmos-making Word.

Such, then, was the Son, sole-begotten of His will, Master of fair crafts and Creator of all tilings, Whom the Highest God, God and Father of the Creator Himself first before all begat, setting in Him and through Him the creative proportions of things about to be, and casting in Him the seeds of (c) the constitution and the government of the Universe. Do you not see with your eyes the whole Cosmos, which one heaven encircles, and the myriad dances and circlings of the stars around it? One sun again, and not many suns, veils the flashings of all things with excess of light. So, then, since the Father is one, the Son must be one also. And if one should find fault because there are not many, let such an one see that he find not fault because He made not more suns than one, or moons, or universes, or anything else, like a maniac attempting to turn what is right and good in nature out of its course. |173


That from the First Constitution of the Universe the Christ of God has been the Invisible Guardian of Godly Souls.

THUS, then, as the one sun among things visible lights the whole Cosmos of sense, so also among the things of thought the one perfect Word of God gives light to the immortal and unembodied powers, the myriad existences of mind and reason, like stars and founts of light. And since it behoved that the law over all through the Universe, and the Word of God in all and reaching through all, should be one, so that in Him the likeness to the Father even in all respects might be preserved, in virtue, in power, in essence, in the number of the Monad and the Unit, since the essence of things about to be begotten would be of many forms and many kinds, subject through weakness of nature to many changes and variations, one at one time, another at another, and would fail of the highest power of the Father through the exceeding greatness of His nature inexpressible and infinitely vast to all, and fated for ever being itself but a begotten thing to be unable to mingle with the unbegotten and incomprehensible Godhead, or to look up and gaze upon the unspeakable flashings pouring out from the eternal light, it was above all necessary that the Father all-good and the Saviour of the Universe, that the nature of things soon to be might not in exile from His fellowship be deprived of the greatest good, should interpose the divine, all-strong, and all-virtuous power of His only-begotten and first-born Son. For though He was in the most certain and the closest association with the Father, and equally with Him rejoiced in that which is unspeakable, yet He could descend with all gentleness, and conform Himself in such ways as were possible, to those who were far distant from His own height, and through their weakness crave amelioration and aid |174 (d) from a secondary Being, that they might behold the flashings of the sun falling quietly and gently on them, though they are not able to delight in the fierce might of the sun because of their bodily weakness.

Suppose, as the hypothesis of an argument, that the sun all-glowing came down from heaven and lived among men, it would be impossible for anything on earth to remain uhdestroyed, for everything alive and dead would be destroyed together by the rushing stroke of light, swiftly enough would he make blind the eyes of those that see, being far more the source of harm and destruction than of (155) usefulness to all, not that it is his nature so to be, but that he would become such to those who would be unable from their own weakness to support his surpassing glare.

Why, then, are you surprised to learn the like about God (Whose work is the sun, and the whole heaven, and the Cosmos)? That it is impossible for any that exist to have fellowship in His unspeakable and inexplicable Power and Essence save for One alone, Whom the Father Himself in His Foreknowledge of the Universe established before all things, so that the nature of begotten things might not altogether through their own lack of energy and strength fall away, being severed from the Father’s (b) unbegotten and incomprehensible Essence, but might endure and increase and be nourished, enjoying that mediated supply, which the Only-begotten Word of God ceases not to provide to all, and passing everywhere and through all provides for the salvation of all equally, whether they have reason or not, whether they be mortal or immortal, of heaven or of earth, both divine and invisible powers, and, in a word, of all things whatsoever that shared in being through His agency, and far more peculiarly still of those who possess reason and thought, for which things’ sake (c) He does not at all despise the human race, but rather honours and cares for it, for the sake of the kinship and connection of their reason with Himself, inasmuch as it was said in the holy oracles that they were formed after His likeness. Yea, He, as being the Word of God, made |175 His own image, all that is of thought and reason, the foundation of His own creation from the beginning, and set man, therefore, in a kingly and ruling relation to all living things on earth, and sent him forth free and with the power of undetermined choice between his good and evil inclinations. But man using his free-will badly, turning (d) from the right road, went wrong, caring neither for God nor Lord, nor distinguished between holy and unholy, with all manner of rude and dissolute actions, living the life of the irrational beasts. Then surely the All-Good, the King of kings, the Supreme, God Almighty, that the men on earth might not be like brute beasts without rulers and guardians, set over them the holy angels to be their leaders and governors like herdsmen and shepherds, and set over all, and made the head of all His Only-begotten and Firstborn Word. He gave Him for His own portion the angels (156) and archangels, and the divine powers, and the immaterial and transcendent spirits, yea, verily, of things on earth as well the souls among men beloved by God, called by the names of the Hebrews, Jacob and Israel.


That to the Hebrews alone of Old was the Knowledge of the True God revealed, being known by the Manifestation of the Christ.

INTO this truth Moses, the first mystic theologian, initiated the Hebrews of old, saying:

“7. Ask thy father, and he shall announce to thee, thine elders, and they shall tell thee. 8. When the Most High divided the nations, when he distributed the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. 9. His people Israel became the portion of the Lord: Israel was the line of his inheritance.” |176

In these words surely he names first the Most High God, the Supreme God of the Universe, and then as Lord His Word, Whom we call Lord in the second degree after the God of the Universe. And their import is that all the nations and the sons of men, here called sons of Adam, were distributed among the invisible guardians of the nations, that is the angels, by the decision of the Most (d) High God, and His secret counsel unknown to us. Whereas to One beyond comparison with them, the Head and King of the Universe, I mean to Christ Himself, as being the Only-begotten Son, was handed over that part of humanity denominated Jacob and Israel, that is to say, the whole division which has vision and piety.

For the one engaged in the contest of the practice of virtue, even now struggling and contending in the gymnasium of holiness, was called in Hebrew nomenclature Jacob: while he that has won victory and the prize of God is called Israel, one like that actual famed forefather of the whole race of the Hebrews, and his true sons and their descendants, (157) and their forefathers, all prophets and men of God. Do not suppose, I beg you, that the multitude of the Jews are thus referred to, but only those of the distant past, who were made perfect in virtue and piety.

These, then, it was, whom the Word of God, the Head and Leader of all, called to the worship of the Father alone, Who is the Most High, far above all things that are seen, beyond the heaven and the whole begotten essence, calling them quietly and gently, and delivering to them the worship of God Most High alone, the Unbegotten and the Creator of the Universe.


That the Other Nations, assigned to Certain Angels, worshipped only the Stars of Heaven.

(c) BUT the angel-guardians and shepherds of the other races allowed them, inasmuch as they were not able with their mind to see the invisible, nor to ascend so high through |177 their own weakness, to worship tilings seen in the heavens, the sun and moon and stars. For these, indeed, being the most wonderful of the things of the phenomenal world, invited upwards the eyes of those who see, and as near as possible to heaven, being as it were in the precincts of the King’s court, manifesting the glory of Him that is the Source of all by the analogy of the vastness and beauty of created visible things. “For his invisible things,” as the divine Apostle says, “from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” And this again the great Moses mystically says. For in exhorting the portion of the Lord to grasp with clear mind and pure soul that which is known to the mind only and unembodied, he prohibits all terror of the things seen in heaven, adding that “The Lord thy God has divided them for all the nations.” And it is worth realizing why he says that they were divided. Since unseen by us they that bear the earthy and daemonic nature are everywhere wanderers, flying through the air around the earth unknown and undistinguished by men, and the good spirits and powers and, indeed, the divine angels themselves are ever at variance with the worse, there was but one way for those who failed of the highest religion of the Almighty to prosper, namely to choose the best of things visible in heaven. For there was no slight danger, lest seeking after God, and busy with the unseen world, they should turn towards the opposing daemonic powers amid the stress of things obscure and dark. So all the most beautiful visible created things were delivered to them who yearned for nothing better, since to some extent the vision of the unseen shone in them, reflected as in a mirror. |178


Of the Hostile Power opposed to God, and of its Ruler, and how the Whole Race of Mankind was in Subjection thereto.

SUCH was their position. While those on the side of the opposing rebel power were either daemons, or vile spirits immersed more or less in wickedness, with the cunning ruler of them all the mighty daemon, who first failed of their reverence of the Divinity and fell from their own portion, when envy of man’s salvation drew them the (d) contrary way, plotting with all sorts of evil devices against all the nations, and even against the Lord’s portion in their jealousy of the good. It is this godless and unholy scheme of the great Daemon, which the prophetic spirit in Isaiah reproves in this way, saying:

“13. I will act in strength, and in the wisdom of understanding I will take away the boundaries of the nations, and will diminish their strength, 14. and I will shake inhabited cities. And the whole inhabited world I will take in my hand as a nest, and I will take them even as eggs that have been left; and none shall escape me or say me nay.”

These are the words of God’s antagonist, boasting in the strength of his wickedness, as he threatens to steal and obliterate the divisions of the nations delivered by the Most High to the angels, and loudly cries that he will spoil the earth, and shake the whole race of men, and change them from their former good order. But hear the same prophecy speak about him again, how he thought about himself and (b) how he bragged:

“How has Lucifer that rose at morn fallen from heaven: He is crushed to earth that sent to all the nations. But thou saidst in thy heart, ‘I will go up to heaven, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven. … I will ascend above the clouds, I will be |179 like the Most High.’ But now thou shalt go down to hell, and to the foundations of the earth.”

Truly Scripture shews many things at once in this, the madness of the said spirit, his fall from the better to the worse, and the end of his fall. And having uttered terrible threats against all mankind, he discovered that men could be caught otherwise by his weapons, since they possessed in their power of free choice the ever-ready possibility of falling into evil from their own thoughts. Then he turned the conditions of states from the better to the worse, and drew away the souls of the multitude by the bait of pleasure to every form of wickedness, and left no sort of device untried, and with base myths of the gods and impure stories he tempted his victims with what they loved and with what gave them pleasure, using the artful deceit of the daemons. And in this way he took the whole world and held it captive, and obliterated the boundaries of the nations, as he had threatened to do when he said: “I will remove the boundaries of the nations, and I will diminish their strength, and I will take the whole world in my hand as a nest.” And from that day forward he ruled all men with deceit, and the evil demons were arrayed under their king in every place and city and land. And thus the whole of human life was enslaved by earthly powers and evil spirits instead of the earlier ministers of God, and all gave themselves over in throngs and swiftly to the snares of pleasure; so that they soon overleapt the bounds even of nature, in unnatural offences of one kind or another, and they not only did things of which it is wrong even to think, but connected them with their conceptions of their own gods, and worked their lust with all the more freedom as a thing supposed to please the gods. Hence soon, according to the holy Apostle, they took no heed of the works of God still bright in heaven. |180

” They became vain in their reasonings: and their senseless heart was darkened. 22. Professing themselves (b) to be wise, they became fools. 23. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and of birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.” [[Rom. i. 21.]]

And that in the earliest age those upon earth worshipped only the lights of heaven, and knew no image, nor were concerned with the error of the daemons, there is satisfactory proof to be found in the evidence of those, who are strangers to my argument, which I drew upon in the first book of the Preparatio (which I wrote) before the present treatise; (c) they clearly prove that the earliest men did not serve idols fashioned by hand from lifeless matter, nor even invisible daemons, but only those beings, which are said in Holy Scripture to have been distributed among the nations. It is time for the Greeks themselves, therefore, whose statements I have arranged in the work mentioned, to agree that the superstition connected with idols was something more recent and novel, being introduced subsequently to the worship of the ancients, as well as the devotion to unseen spirits. All this was the work of the said antagonist of God, who plotted against all those on earth. And all (d) the tribe of unclean spirits co-operated with him. Yea, he surely, the prince of evil himself, worked this result, fulfilling in very deed, in the madness of strange pride, the threats he had uttered against all men, raising the godless cry, “I will be like the Most High,” and with the aid of impure and evil daemons offering oracles and cures and such like in response to human sorcery.


That the Only-begotten Son of God made His Entry among Mankind of Necessity.

(161) THEY that were their guardian angels before were unable to defend in any way the subject nations now involved in |181 such a flood of evil. They took care of the rest of the created world. They guarded the other parts of the Cosmos, (b) and served according to their wont the will of God the Creator of all. But they did not realize the fall of mortal men through the undetermined human choice of evil. Wherefore a sickness great and hard to heal overcame all on the face of the earth, the nations being driven now one way now another by the evil spirits, and falling into a depthless abyss of evil. Yea, now some thought it good to feast on the bodies of their dearest, like wild beasts that devour the raw flesh of men, and to lie shamelessly with (c) mothers, sisters and daughters, to strangle their old men, and cast their bodies to the dogs and birds. Why should I recall the cruel and terrible human sacrifices of the “gods,” I mean the evil daemons, into which they maddened the human race? I have dealt sufficiently with them previously in the Prolegomena to the present treatise. But it was when evils of such magnitude had fallen on the (d) whole world from the wicked and vile spirits and their king, and none of the guardian angels was able to defend them from the evils, that He, God the Word, the Saviour of the Universe, by the good will of His Father’s love to man, that the human race so dear to Him might not be seethed in the gulf of sin, sent forth at last some few and watery rays of His own light to shine through the prophet Moses and the godly men before and after him, providing a cure for the evil in man by the holy Law. It is exactly this that the Word says to the race of the Hebrews when giving the law by Moses:

“Ye shall not do according to the devices of Egypt, (162) in which ye dwelt, and according to the devices of the land of Canaan, into which I bring you shall ye not do, and ye shall not walk in their ordinances, ye shall observe my judgments, and ye shall keep my ordinances. I am the Lord your God.” [[Lev. xviii. 2.]]

Then, having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he adds:

“Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; (b) |182 for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed (their) iniquity upon it, and the land is aggrieved with them that dwell upon it.”

And again, he says:

“And when thou shalt have entered into the land which the Lord thy God gives thee, thou shalt by no means learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found in thee one who purges his son or his daughter in the fire, one who uses divination, and who deals in the omens, a sorcerer using incantations, a divining spirit, an observer of auguries, a questioner of the dead. For every one that doeth these things is an abomination to the Lord thy God. For because of these abominations the Lord will destroy them from before thy face. Thou shalt be perfect before the Lord thy God.”

These and many other holy teachings and commands God the Word gave to them of old by Moses, as delivering the elementary truths at the entry of the life of holiness, by means of symbols, and worship of a shadowy and external character, in bodily circumcision, and other things of that kind, which were completed on the earth. But since as time went on none of the prophets who succeeded Moses had the power to cure the evils of life owing to excess of wickedness, and the activity of the daemons daily waxed greater, so that even the Hebrew race was hurried along in the destruction of the godless, at last the Saviour and Physician of the Universe comes down Himself to men, bringing reinforcement to His angels for the salvation of men, since the Father had promised Him that He would give Him this boon, as He therefore teaches in the Psalms, when He says:

” 7. The Lord said to me, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee, 8. Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, And utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.” |183

And thus He no longer claimed as under His own authority just and clear-sighted Israel, nor His own proper portion only, but all the nations on the earth, which before were allotted to many angels, and were involved in all sorts of wickedness, and He came announcing to all the knowledge and love of His Father, and promising the remission and forgiveness of their former ignorance and sins, which He also announced clearly when He said: “The strong have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And He came, too, as overseer of His own angels, who were first set over the nations: and they at once very distinctly recognized their helper and Lord, and came gladly and ministered to Him, as the Holy Scripture teaches, saying: “And angels came and ministered to him,” and when, too, “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God said, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men.’ ” These, then, as being His own angels He thus received, since they were in need of His help, but those that of old had flown around the pursuits of men, the malicious daemons who both visibly and invisibly had tyrannized over those on earth, and the tribes of wild and merciless spirits, with their leader in all evil, that cunning and baneful one He put to flight and subdued with mighty and divine power, as certain of them that recognized Him said: “What have we to do with thee, Son of God? Hast thou come to torment us before the time?”

And these by His deeds and words He mightily plagued, while He healed and cured the whole human race with the gentle and kind medicines of His words, and with the tonic of His teaching. He freed them from all sorts of sicknesses and suffering of body as well as soul, He set all that came to Him free from age-long superstition, and the fears of polytheistic error, and from a low and dissolute life. He converted and changed those who listened to Him from lust to purity, from impiety to piety, from injustice to justice, yea, verily from the power of the malicious daemons to the divine acceptance of true holiness. In addition to all this He threw open the gates of |184 heavenly life and of His holy teaching to all the nations of the world, and so greatly condescended, as not only to extend His saving hand to the sick and grievously afflicted, but also to save the half-dead from the very gates of death, and to loose from the bonds of death those who had been a long time dead and buried. And for this reason especially there was need for Him to be active, even as far as the resting-places of the dead, that He might be Lord not only of the living but of the dead as well.

So long, then, as He is with the Father, and steers the Providence of the Universe with divine power, the Divine Word and Wisdom and Power oversees and protects the heaven itself and the earth likewise, and the things by nature included in them, as well as the divine and unembodied essences beyond the heaven. He is their Ruler and Head and King, and is already hymned as God and Lord in the sacred oracles, and He gives light to the unembodied and purely rational natures. And He is called Sun of Righteousness, and the True Light, carrying out and co-operating in His leather’s commands, wherefore He is also styled minister of the Father and Creator, but since He alone in His ordained rank knows how to serve God, and stands midway between the unbegotten God and the things after Him begotten, and has received the care of the Universe, and is Priest to the Father on behalf of all who are obedient, and alone shews Himself favourable and merciful to all, He is called as well Eternal High Priest, and also the Anointed (Christ) of the Father, for so among the Hebrews they were called Christs, who long ago symbolically presented a copy of the first (Christ). And when as Captain of the Angels He heads them, He is called: “The Angel of Great Counsel,” and as Leader of the Armies of Heaven: “Captain of the Host of the Lord.”

But now descending to our world, receiving our rational nature, for the sake of His own likeness to it by the goodwill of the Father, as He is like to rule over infants and as it were over the flocks, He is named Shepherd of the Sheep, while as promising to care for sick souls, He would rightly be called Saviour and Physician. And this of course is the meaning of the name “Jesus” in Hebrew. |185

And since He needed a human organism, so that He could show Himself to men, and give true teaching of the knowledge of the Father and of holiness, He did not even refuse the way of the Incarnation; but assuming our nature in a moment He came among men, shewing the great Miracle to all of God in Man. So that He did not take command (b) imperceptibly and obscurely as a being without flesh or body, but seen by the very eyes of flesh, and allowing the eyes of men to see miracles even beyond the power of man, and moreover giving His teaching by tongue and articulate sound to the bodily ears, He manifested Himself—and truly it was a divine and miraculous thing, such as never before or since is recorded to have happened—the Saviour and the Benefactor, too, of all. So, then, God the Word was called the Son of Man, and was named Jesus, because He made His approach to us to cure and to heal the souls of men. And therefore in Hebrew the name Jesus is (c) interpreted Saviour. And He led the life which we lead, in no way forsaking the being that He had before, and ever in the Manhood retaining the Divinity.

Immediately, therefore, at the first moment of His descent among men, He mingles with God the divine glory of our human birth, for while He is born like us, and arrayed like men with mortality, yet as One Who is not man, but God, He is born into the phenomenal world from an undefiled and umvedded maiden, and not of sexual union and corruption.


That He passed through the Life of Men. (d)

AND He lived His whole life through in the same manner, now revealing His nature as like our own, and now that of God the Word, doing great works and miracles as God, |186 (166) and announcing beforehand predictions of the future, and shewing clearly by His deeds God the Word Who was not seen by the multitude, and He made the end of His life, when He departed from men, in tune with and similar to its beginning.


That the Laws of Loving-kindness called Him even to them that had been long dead.

Now the laws of love summoned Him even as far as Death and the dead themselves, so that He might summon the souls of those who were long time dead. And so because He cared for the salvation of all for ages past, and that “He might bring to naught him that hath the power of death,” as Scripture teaches, here again he underwent the dispensation in His mingled Natures: as Man, he left His Body to the usual burial, while as God He departed from it. For He cried with a loud cry, and said to the Father: “I commend my spirit,” and departed from the body free, in no wise waiting for death, who was lagging as it were in fear to come to Him; nay, rather, He pursued him from behind and drove him on, trodden under His feet and fleeing, and He burst the eternal gates of his dark realms, and made a road of return back again to life for the dead there bound with the bonds of death. Thus, too, His own body was raised up, and many bodies of the sleeping saints arose, and came together with Him into the holy and real City of Heaven, as rightly is said by the holy words: “Death has prevailed and swallowed men up”; and again: “The Lord God has taken away every tear from every face.”

And the Saviour of the Universe, our Lord, the Christ of God, called Victor, is represented in the prophetic predictions as reviling death, and releasing the souls that are bound there, by whom He raises the hymn of victory, and He says these words: |187

“From the hand of Hades I will save them, and from death I will ransom their souls. O Death, where is thy victory? O Death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”

Such was the dispensation that brought Him even unto death, of which one that wishes to seek for the cause, can find not one reason but many. For firstly, the Word teaches by His death that He is Lord both of dead and living; and secondly, that He will wash away our sins, being slain, and becoming a curse for us; thirdly, that a victim of God and a great sacrifice for the whole world might be offered to Almighty God; fourthly, that thus He might work out the destruction of the deceitful powers of the daemons by unspeakable words; and fifthly also, that shewing the hope of life with God after death to His friends and disciples not by words only by deeds as well, and affording ocular proof of His message, He might make them of good courage and more eager to preach both to Greeks and Barbarians the holy polity which He had established. And so at once He filled with His own divine power those very friends and followers, whom He had selected for Himself on account of their surpassing all, and had chosen as His apostles and disciples, that they might teach all races of men His message of the knowledge of God, and lay down one way of religion for all the Greeks and Barbarians; a way which announced the defeat and rout of the daemons, and the check of polytheistic error, and the true knowledge of the one Almighty God, and which promised forgiveness of sins before committed, if men no longer continued therein, and one hope of salvation to all by the all-wise and all-good polity that He had instituted. |188


That even when He was made Man, He remained in the Nature that cannot suffer, or be harmed, or embodied.

AND since this is so, there is no need to be disturbed in mind on hearing of the Birth, human Body, Sufferings and Death of the immaterial and unembodied Word of God. For just as the rays of the sun’s light undergo no suffering, though they fill all things, and touch dead and unclean bodies, much less could the unembodied Power of God suffer in its essence, or be harmed, or ever become worse than itself, when it touches a body without being really embodied. For what of this? Did He not ever and everywhere reach through the matter of the elements and of bodies themselves, as being the creative Word of God, and imprint the words of His own wisdom upon them, impressing life on the lifeless, form on that which is formless and shapeless by nature, stamping His own beauty and unembodied ideas on the qualities of matter, moving things by their own nature lifeless and immovable, earth, air, fire, in a wise and harmonious motion, ordering all things out of disorder, increasing and perfecting them, pervading all things with the divine power of reason, extending through all places and touching all, but yet receiving hurt from naught, nor defiled in His own nature. And the same is true of His relation to men (as well as nature). Of old He appeared to a few easily numbered, only the prophets who are recorded and the just men, now to one, now to another, but finally to us all, to the evil and unholy, to the Greeks as well as the Hebrews, He has offered Himself as Benefactor and Saviour through the surpassing goodness and love of the Father, Who is all-good, distinctly announcing it thus: “They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Yea, the Saviour of all cried unto all, saying: ” Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, |189 and I will refresh you.” He called and healed ungrudgingly through the human organism which He had assumed, like a musician showing his skill by means of a lyre, and exhibited Himself as an example of a life wholly wise, virtuous, and good, unto the souls diseased in human bodies, just as the most clever physicians heal men with (169) remedies akin to and resembling them. For, now, He taught them truths not shared by others, but laid down as laws by Him or by the Father in far distant periods of time for the ancient and pre-Mosaic Hebrew men of God. And now He cared as kindly for their bodies as for their souls, allowing them to see with eyes of physical sight the things done by Him in the flesh, and giving His teaching to their physical ears again with a tongue of flesh. He fulfilled all things by the Humanity that He had taken, (b) for those who only in that way were able to appreciate His Divinity. In all this, then, for the advantage and profit of us all the all-loving Word of God ministered to His Father’s Counsels, remaining Himself immaterial and unembodied, as He was before with the Father, not changing His essence, not dissolved from His own nature, not bound with the bonds of the flesh, not falling from divinity, and neither losing the characteristic power of the Word, nor (c) hindered from being in the other parts of the Universe, while He passed His life where His earthly vessel was. For it is the fact that during the time in which He lived as a man, He continued to fill all things, and was with the Father, and was in Him too, and had care of all things collectively even then, of things in heaven and on earth, not being like ourselves debarred from ubiquity, nor hindered from divine action by His human nature. But He shared His own gifts with man, and received nothing from mortality in return . He supplied something of His (d) divine power to mortals, not taking anything in return for His association with mortals. He was, therefore, not defiled by being born of a human body, being apart from body, neither did He suffer in His essence from the mortal, being untouched by suffering. As when a lyre is struck, or its strings torn asunder, if so it chance, it is unlikely that he who played it suffers, so we could not say truly that, when some wise man is punished in his body, that the wisdom in him, or the soul in his body, is struck or burned. |190 (170) Much less is it reasonable to say that the nature or power of the Word received any hurt from the sufferings of the body. For it was granted in our illustration of light that the rays of the sun sent down to earth from heaven are not defiled by touching all the mud and filth and garbage. We are not even debarred from saying that these things are illuminated by the rays of light. Whereas it is impossible to say that the sun is defiled or rendered muddy (b) by contact with these materials. And these things could not be said to be foreign to one another. Whereas the immaterial and unembodied Word of God, having His life and reason and everything we have said in Himself, if He touch aught with divine and unembodied power, the thing touched must necessarily live and exist with the light of reason. Thus therefore, also, whatever body He touches, that body is made holy and illuminated at once, and all disease and weakness and all such things depart. Its emptiness is exchanged for the fullness of the Word. And (c) this was why a dead body, though but a small part of it came in contact with the power of the Word, was raised up to life, and death fled from life, and darkness was dissolved by light, the corruptible put on incorruption, and the mortal immortality.


That renewing Humanity He afforded to us all the Hope of Eternal Good.

(d) Now it was actually the case that the whole Humanity was absorbed by the Divinity, and moreover the Word of God was God as He had previously been man, and He deified humanity with Himself, being the firstfruits of our |191 hope, since He thought actual manhood worthy of eternal life with Him, and of fellowship in the blessed Godhead, and afforded to us all equally this mighty proof of an immortality and kingdom with Him.


What the Advent of Christ is meant to shew forth, and that (171) He is called God and Lord and High Priest of the God of the Universe by the Hebrew Prophets.

THIS then was the object of His coming to men, to bring back (b) that which had of old wandered away from the knowledge of the Father to its own way, and to crown that which was thought worthy of being made in His own image as a relation and a friend with the joy of His own life, and to show that the humanity was beloved by and belonged to the Father, since for its sake the Word of God Himself consented to become man. And now to speak briefly, the doctrine connected with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in its wonderful dispensation, shall be supported from the Hebrew prophecies, as presently their evidence will (c) shew; the new Scriptures shall prove the old, and the Gospels set their seal on the prophetic evidence.

But if this is so, it is now time to discuss His Name, why He is called Jesus and Christ, and saluted beforehand by name by so many prophecies. And first, let us inquire the meaning of the name Christ, before we begin a detailed collection of the prophetic passages connected with the present question I think it convenient to consider first the name “Christ,” and to distinguish the conception it (d) conveys, so that we may be well acquainted with all the questions usually associated with the subject. |192

Another writer, you will remember, whose ideas spring from modern times and our own day, has said that Moses was the first of all lawgivers to appoint that those who were to act as priests to God must be anointed with prepared myrrh, since he thought that their bodies ought to smell sweet and have a good odour: for as everything ill-smelling is dear to vile and impure powers, so contrariwise the sweet-smelling is dear to the powers that love good. And he therefore made the law as well that the priests should use every day in the Temple prepared incense, (172) that sweet smells might abound. So that while the air was mingled with it, and dispersed evil smells, a kind of divine effluence might mingle with those who prayed. And that for the same reason flagrant anointing oil was made by the perfumer’s art, for all to use who were going to take the leading place in the State on public occasions, and that Moses first gave the name of “Christ” to those thus anointed. And that this chrism was not only conferred on chief priests, but afterwards on prophets and kings, (b) who alone were allowed to be anointed with the sacred unguent.

This account seems, no doubt, very obvious, but it is far removed from the actual intention of the divine and sublime prophet. For we may be sure that that wonderful man, and truly great Hierophant, knowing that the whole of earthy and material being was distinguished in its qualities alone, in no sense honoured one form above another, for he knew that all things were the product of one matter, never stable, having no firmness in its nature, which is (c) ever in flux, and hastening to its own destruction. He, therefore, made no choice of bodies for their sweetness, nor preferred the pleasure of the senses for its own sake. For this would be the condition of a soul fallen to the ground and under the power of bodily pleasure. There are, we know, many men effeminate in body, and in other ways vicious and lustful, who make use of superfluous unguents and a variety of things, but carry souls full of every horrible and offensive stench, while on the other hand the men of God, breathing out virtue, send forth a (d) fragrance that comes from purity, justice, and all holiness |193 far better than the scents of earth, and hold the smell of material bodies of no account.

And the prophet, well understanding this, had none of these ideas that have been suggested about unguents or incense, but presented the images of greater and divine things, so far as he could, in an outward way to those who could learn the divine in that way only and no other. And that is exactly what the divine oracle is reported to have expressed, when it said: “See thou make (all) things according to the type shewn in the Mount.”: Therefore, when completing the symbols of the other things, which it is usual to call types, it appointed the anointing with the unguent. The account of it loftily and mysteriously expressed as it is, so far as I can explain it, had this meaning, that the only good and only truly sweet and noble, the cause of all life, and the gift bestowed on all in their being and their well-being, that this One Being was believed by the Hebrew reason to be the first cause of all, and Itself the highest and the All-Ruling and the All-Creating God.

It is thus the power of this Being, the all strong, the all-good, the source of all beauty in the highest unbegotten Godhead, the Divine Spirit (which by the use of a proper and natural analogy) it culls the (Oil of God), and therefore it calls one who partakes of it Christ and Anointed. Do not think of oil as. pity in this connection, nor as sympathy for the unfortunate, but as that which the fruit of the tree affords, something unmixed with any damp matter, nourisher of light, healer of toilers, disperser of weariness, that which makes those who use it of a cheerful countenance, streaming with rays like light, making bright and shining the face of him who uses it, as holy Scripture says: “That he may rejoice my face with oil.”

Therefore the prophetic word by this analogy referring to the highest power of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, calls Him the Christ and the Anointed, Who is the first and only one to be anointed with this oil in its fullness, and is the sharer of the Father’s divine fragrance communicable to none other, and is God the Word sole-begotten of Him, and is declared to be God of God by His communion |194 with the Unbegotten that begat Him, both the First and the Greater. Wherefore in the Psalms the oracle says thus to this same Being anointed of the Father: (d)

“7. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:
A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom:
8. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated injustice:
Wherefore God, thy God,
Hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”[[Ps. xliv. 7.]]

But the nature of the oil of olive is one, whereas the nature of the unguent shews a union of many in one. And so the original and unbegotten power of Almighty God, insofar as it is conceived of as simple, uncompounded, and unmingled with any other essence, is metaphorically compared with the simple essence of the olive oil. But insofar as it is inclusive of many ideas in the same, ie. the (174) creative or kingly, the conceptions of providence, judgment, and countless others, such power as inclusive of many good qualities is more suitably likened to the unguent, which the holy Scriptures teach us that the true and only High Priest of God uses. And Moses himself having first been thought worthy to view the divine (realities) in secret, and the mysteries concerning the first and only Anointed High Priest of God, which were celebrated before him in His Theophanies, is (b) ordered to establish figures and symbols on earth of what he had seen with his mind in visions, so that they who were worthy might have the symbols to occupy them, previously to the full vision of the truth.

And when afterwards he set apart from all men on earth one man who was fit to act as priest to God Himself, he from the first called him Christ, transferring the name from its spiritual meaning, and shewed that He was greater than (c) the rest of mankind by the sweet-smelling unction, clearly and emphatically proclaiming that the whole nature of the begotten, much more human nature, lacks the power of the Unbegotten, and craves the fragrance of the better. But it is allowed to no man to reach the Highest and the First; this prize is given to the Only-begotten and the Firstborn |195 only. For those after Him there is only one way of grasping good, through the mediation of a second principle. So the symbol of Moses was of the Holy Spirit. “And there are diversities of gifts, hut the same spirit”: of which Spirit he thought that prophets and kings before all others ought to be ambitious to partake, as being consecrated to God not for themselves only, but for all the people.

But now let us inquire somewhat more exactly about the symbols of Moses being symbols of the more divine(realities), and about the possibility of those who were endued with the Holy Spirit without the unction of earth being called Christs.

David in Psciv. when touching the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the very men who were his godly ancestors, who lived before Moses’ day, calls them Christs, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in which they shared, and for that alone. And when he tells how they were hospitably received by foreigners, and bow they found God was their Saviour when plots were laid against them, following Moses’ account, he names them prophets also and Christs, although Moses had then not yet appeared among men, nor was his law about the prepared unguent laid down. Hear what the Psalm says:

“5. Remember the wonderful works, that he hath done,
His wonders and the judgments of his mouth
6. Ye seed of Abraham, his servants,
Ye children of Jacob, his chosen,
7. The Lord himself is your God,
His wonders are in all the world.
8. He remembered his covenant for ever
The law which he gave to a thousand generations,
9. Which he commanded to Abraham,
And the oath which he sware unto Isaac,
10. And established it to Jacob for a law,
And to Israel for an everlasting covenant.
11. Saying ‘ To you I will give the land of Canaan,
The lot of your inheritance.’—
13. And they went from one nation to another,
From one kingdom to another people.
14. He suffered no man to do them wrong,
And reproved kings for their sake: |196
15. ‘Touch not my Christs,
And do my prophets no harm.’ “

So David wrote. And Moses informs us what kings He reproved, saying:

“And God afflicted Pharaoh with great plagues because of Sarra, Abraham’s wife.”

And again he writes about the King of Gerar:

“And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said, Behold thou diest for the woman thou hast taken; for she is the wife of Abraham.”

Of whom he says further on:

“And now give back the woman to her husband, for he is a prophet, and will pray for you.”

You see from these instances how David, or rather the Holy Spirit Who spoke through him, called the godly men of old and the prophets Christs, though they were not anointed with the earthly unguent. For how could they have been, since it was in after years that Moses commanded the unction of the High Priest?

Now listen to Isaiah prophesying in the clearest words thus about Christ, as one to be sent by God to men as their Redeemer and Saviour, and coming to preach forgiveness to those in bondage of spirit, and recovery of sight to the blind. For here again the prophet teaches that the Christ has been anointed not with a prepared unguent, but with the spiritual and divine anointing of His Father’s Divinity, conferred not by man but by the Father. He says then in the person of Christ:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me. He has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to heal the broken in heart, and recovery of sight to the blind.”

Let this point then be regarded as certain, that Isaiah, equally with David, prophesies that He that should come to mankind to preach liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind would not be anointed with a prepared unguent, but with an anointing of the power of His Father Unbegotten and Perfect. And according to the manner of |197 prophecy the prophet speaks of the future as past, and as one predicting about himself.

So far, then, we have learned that they who are called “Christs” in the highest sense of the term are anointed by God, not by men, and with the Holy Spirit, not with a prepared unguent.

It is now time to see how the teaching of the Hebrews shews that the true Christ of God possesses a divine nature higher than humanity. Hear, therefore, David again, where he says that he knows an Eternal Priest of God, and calls (c) Him his own Lord, and confesses that He shares the throne of God Most High in the 109th Psalm, in which he says as follows—

“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, | till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. | 2. The Lord shall send the rod of power for thee out of Zion, | and thou shalt rule in the midst of thine enemies. | 3. With thee is dominion in the day of thy power, | in the brightness of thy saints. | I begat thee from my womb before the Morning Star. 4. The Lord sware and will not repent, | Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.” | [[Ps. cix. i.]]

And note that David in this passage, being king of the (d) whole Hebrew race, and in addition to his kingdom adorned with the Holy Spirit, recognized that the Being of Whom he speaks Who was revealed to him in the spirit, was so great and surpassingly glorious, that he called Him his own Lord. For he said “The Lord said to my Lord.” Yea: for he knows Him as eternal High Priest, and Priest of the Most High God, and throned beside Almighty God, and His Offspring. Now it was impossible for Jewish priests to be consecrated to the service of God without anointing, wherefore it was usual to call them Christs. The Christ, then, mentioned in the Psalm will also be a priest. For how (177) could He have been witnessed to as priest unless He had previously been anointed? And it is also said that He is made a priest forever. Now this would transcend human nature. For it is not in man to last for ever,3 since our race is mortal and frail. Therefore the Priest of God, spoken of in this passage, Who by the confirmation of an oath received a perpetual and limitless priesthood from God, was |198 greater than man. “For the Lord sware,” he said, “and will not repent, Thou art a priest after the order of Melchizedek.” For as Moses relates that this Melchizedek was priest of the Most High God, not anointed with a prepared unguent, since he was priest of the Most High God long before the Institution of the Law, and far above the famous Abraham in virtue—for he says, “And Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, blessed Abraham.” “And without any contradiction,” says the apostle, “the less is blessed by the greater.” As therefore, Melchizedek, whoever he was, is introduced as one who acts as priest to the Most High God, without having been anointed with a prepared unguent, He that is prophesied of by David as of the order of Melchizedek. is also spoken of as a great Being surpassing everyone in nature, as being Priest of the supreme God, and sharing the throne of His unbegotten power, and as the Lord of the prophet; and He is not simply “priest,” but “eternal priest of the Father.” And the divine apostle also says, examining the implications of these passages:

“17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18. That of two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation.”

And again:

“21. For those priests were made without an oath: but this with an oath by him that said unto him: ‘The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.'”


“23. They truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death. 24. But this man because he continueth ever hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

In this a divine Power is represented as being in existing things, and underlying things that are only grasped by the mind, Which according to the Hebrew oracles is Priest to the God of the Universe, and is established in the office of |199 priesthood to the Most High, not by earthy and human unguent, but by holy and divine virtue and power. The Object of the Psalmist’s prophecy therefore is presented distinctly as an eternal Priest, and Son of the Most High God, as begotten by the Most High God, and sharing the throne of His Kingdom. And the Christ foretold by Isaiah has been shewn not to have been begotten by man but by the Father, and to have been anointed by the Divine Spirit, and to have been sent to deliver men from captivity. This Being, then, it was that Moses had seen by the help of the Divine Spirit, when he established figures and symbols of Him, as suitable for men, anointing and hallowing the priest selected from among men with prepared unguents as yet, and not with the Holy Spirit, and calling him Christ and anointed, as a representation of the true. And who could give better evidence of this than Moses himself? In his own writings he distinctly says that the God and Lord Who answered him bade him establish a more material worship on earth according to the spiritual and heavenly vision that had been shewn him, which should form an image of the spiritual and immaterial worship. And so he is said to have sketched a kind of copy of the order of the angels of heaven and the powers divine, since the oracle said to him, “Thou shalt make all things according to the pattern shewed thee in the Mount.” So then he introduces the High Priest, as he did all the other elements, and anointed him with earth-born unguents, working out a Christ and a High Priest of shadow and symbol, a copy of the Heavenly Christ and High Priest.

Thus I think I have clearly proved that the essential Christ was not man, but Son of God, honoured with a scat on the right hand of His Father’s Godhead, far greater not only than human and mortal nature, but greater also than every spiritual existence among things begotten.

But moreover, according to what was previously said, the same David in Ps. xliv., using as inscription the words “Concerning the beloved, and those to be changed,” |200 speaks of one and the same Being as God and King and Christ, writing thus:

” 1. My heart has uttered a good matter: I declare my works to the King: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer, 2. Thou art more beautiful than the sons of men.”

To which he adds:

” 6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom: 7. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, wherefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Now look a little more carefully, and see how in the inscription of the Psalm he prefaces that the subject is ” concerning the beloved,” adding the words “for instruction” to prepare the hearers for what he is about to say. He shews also the reason of the Incarnation of the Word, with the words:

” For the end, for the changed, with a view to understanding, for the beloved.”

And whom could you better regard as “those to be changed,” for whom the Psalm is spoken, than those who are going to be changed from their former life and conversation, to be transformed and altered by Him Whom the prophecy concerns? And this was the beloved of God, on whose behalf the Psalm’s preface advises us to have understanding with regard to the prophecy. And if you were at a loss about the Person of this Beloved One, with whom the prophecy in the Psalm is concerned, the word that faces you at the very beginning will inform you, which says: “My heart hath produced a good word.” It may surely be said that by this is meant the Word that was in the beginning with God, Whom the great Evangelist John shewed forth as God, saying: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And the words, “My heart hath produced a good word,” if it be spoken in the person of the Supreme God and Father, would suggest the Only-begotten Word of God, as being the Son of the Father, not by projection, nor by division, or scission, or |201 diminution, or any conceivable mode of bodily birth; for such ideas are blasphemous, and very remote from the ineffable generation. And we must understand this according to our previous interpretation; as when it was said that He was born from the womb of God before the Morning Star, and we understood it figuratively, so we must understand this similar statement only in a spiritual sense. For in the words “My heart has produced a good word,” the (180) Holy Spirit inspires this saying also as purely spiritual. To which it seems right forme to add what I am accustomed to quote in every question that is debated about His Godhead, that reverent saying: “Who shall declare his generation?” even if the holy Scriptures are wont in our human and earthly language to speak of His Birth, and use the word “womb.”

For such expressions are connected with mental imagery alone, and are accordingly subject to the laws of metaphor. And so the words, “My heart hast produced a good word,” (b) may be explained as referring to the constitution and coming into being of the primal Word, since it would not be right to suppose any heart, save one that we can understand to be spiritual, to exist in the case of the Supreme God.

One might also say that the Psalmist referred to “the Word that was in the beginning with God, “a Word rightly named “good” as being the offspring of a Father All-Good. And if we read a little further on in the Psalm we shall find that the subject of the prophecy, this very “beloved of God,” is anointed, once more not as by Moses, nor as by any human being, but by the Most High and Supreme God and (c) Father Himself. As he says further on, “Wherefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” And by what name else could one call Him that is here acknowledged to have been anointed by the Supreme God Himself, but Christ? So we have here in this passage two names of the subject of the prophecy, Christ and the Beloved, the author of this (d) anointing being one and the same: and it shews the reason why |202 He is said to be anointed with the oil of gladness, which will be plain to you, when we proceed a little further, and still more if you take into account the whole intention of the passage. For the Psalm addresses the subject of the prophecy, Christ the Beloved of God, in the words quoted a little before, in which it was said: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated injustice: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” See, then, if these words are not addressed directly to God: He says,

“For thou, o( Qeo&j,” instead of w} Qee/. “Thy throne is for ever and ever, and a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.” And then, “Thou, O God, hast loved righteousness and hated injustice; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed thee,” and established Thee as Christ above all. The Hebrew shews it even more clearly, which Aquila most accurately translating has rendered thus: “Thy throne, God, is for ever and still, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved justice and hated impiety: wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness apart from thy fellows.” Instead therefore of “God, thy God” the actual Hebrew is, “O God, thy God.” So that the whole verse runs: “Thou hast, O God, loved justice and hated impiety: therefore in return, O God, the highest and greater God, Who is also thy God”—so that the Anointer, being the Supreme God, is far above the Anointed, He being God in a different sense. And this would be clear to any one who knew Hebrew. For in the place of the first name, where Aquila has “Thy throne, O God,” clearly replacing o( Qeo&j by Qee/, the Hebrew has Elohim. And also for “Therefore, O God, he has anointed thee” the Hebrew has Elohim, which Aquila shewed by the vocative w} Qee/.

Instead of the nominative case of the noun, which would be “Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee—” the Hebrew with extreme accuracy has Eloach, which is the vocative case of Elohim, meaning “O God,” whereas the |203 nominative Elohim means “God.” So that the interpretation which says “Therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed,” is accurate.

And so the oracle in this passage is clearly addressing God, and says that He has been anointed with the oil of gladness beyond any of those who have ever borne the same name as He. Therefore in these words you have it clearly stated that God was anointed and became the Christ, not with prepared unguent nor at the hands of man, but in a way different from other men. And this is He Who was the Beloved of the Father, and His Offspring, and the eternal Priest, and the Being called the Sharer of the Father’s Throne. And Who else could He be but the Firstborn Word of God, He that in the beginning was God with God, (182) reckoned as God through all the inspired Scriptures, as my argument as it proceeds further will abundantly prove?

Now after this preliminary study of the coming into being and the appellation of the Christ, it remains for us to take up our previous subject, and consider in what a number of prophetic predictions the Christ was foretold by name.


From Psalm ii.

In which Scriptures the Christ is foretold by Name as plotted against by Kings and Rulers, Nations and Peoples, being begotten of God Himself, and called the Son of Man, receiving the Inheritance of the Nations and of the Ends of the Earth from His Father.

[Passages quoted, Ps. ii. 1, 2, 7, 8 ]

IN these words the Holy Spirit very clearly addresses (d) Christ, and calls Him the Son of God, as has been said before, and at the same time indicates that there will be a plot against Him, and foretells the calling of the Gentiles as brought about through Him. And all this the course of events has shewn to be exactly fulfilled by the actual |204 facts in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For even now nations, rulers, peoples and kings have not yet ceased their combined attack on Him and His teaching. And if the Jews prefer to refer these predictions to some time yet to come, they ought to agree that their expected Christ will again be plotted against, according to the present (183) oracle: “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ.” Which they would never grant, inasmuch as they expect the coming Christ to be a great Ruler, and an eternal King, and their Ransomer. But supposing their Christ should indeed come and suffer the same as He Who has already come, why ought we to believe or disbelieve in theirs rather than ours?

And if they cannot give an answer to this, but proceed (b) to refer the oracle to David or some one of the Jewish kings of his stock, even then we can shew, that neither David nor any other celebrated Hebrew is recorded to have been proclaimed as Son of God by the oracle, nor as begotten of God, as was the subject of the prophecy in the Psalm, nor to have ruled over nations, kings, rulers and people while involved in plots. Wherefore if none of them (c) is found so to have done, whereas all this agrees in actual fact in His case, both in His patience long ago, and in the attack made on Him to-day as the Christ of God by kings and rulers, nations and peoples, what hinders Him from being the subject of the prophecy in the words which said, “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ”?

And what follows in the Psalm would agree with Him alone, where it says: “The Lord said to me, Thou art my Son. To-day have I begotten thee. Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and (d) the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.” For surely only in Him has this part of the prophecy received an indubitable fulfilment, since the voice of His disciples has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. And the passage distinctly names Christ, saying as in His own person, that He is the Son of God, when it says: “The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son. To-day I have begotten thee.” With which you may |205 compare the words in the Proverbs, also spoken in His own Person: “Before the mountains were established, before all the hills he brings me forth.” And also the address by the Father to Him in Psalm cix.: “I begat thee from my womb before the Morning Star.” Understand then how the holy Scriptures prophesy that one and the same Being, Christ by name, Who is also Son of God, is to be plotted against by men, to receive the nations for His inheritance, and to rule over the ends of the earth, shewing His dispensation among men by two proofs: the one being the attacks upon Him, and the other the subjection of the nations to Him.

Psalm xix.

Christ named, receiving all His Requests from His Father.

“5. The Lord fulfil all thy requests. | 6. Now I know (b) that the Lord has saved His Christ, | and will hear him from his holy heaven. | “

Since it is now my object to shew in how many places the Christ is mentioned by name in the prophecies, I naturally set before you those which plainly foretell the Christ. And all this Psalm voices a prayer as spoken by holy men to the Person of Christ. For since for our sakes (c) and on our behalf He received insult when He had become man, we are taught to join our prayers with His as He prays and supplicates the Father on our behalf, as one who repels attacks against us both visible and invisible. And so we speak to Him as such in the Psalm.

“1. The Lord hear thee in the day of affliction |, the name of the God of Jacob shield thee. 2. May he send thee help from his holy (place) |, and strengthen thee from Zion. |”

And then, since it is fitting for Him, as being our great High Priest, to offer the spiritual sacrifices of praise and (d) words to God on our behalf, and since as a priest He offered both Himself, and the Humanity which He assumed on earth as a whole burnt-offering for us, to God and the Father, we therefore say to Him:

” 4. May he remember all thy sacrifice, | and fatten thy burnt sacrifice. | ” |206

And since all that He plans is saving and useful to the world, we rightly call on Him:

“5. The Lord give thee thy heart’s desire,”


“And fulfil all thy mind.”

And afterwards remembering His Resurrection from the dead, we say:

(185) “6. We will exult in thy salvation.”

For what else could the salvation of Christ be, but His Resurrection from the dead, by which also He raises all the fallen? Next we say:

“8b. And we will triumph in the name of our God: and the Lord fulfil all thy requests.”

And to crown all we are taught to say:

“7. Now I know that the Lord has saved his Christ.”

As if we had not known it before, we understand His Salvation in perceiving the power of His Resurrection.

Psalm xxvii.

Christ named as having the Father as His Lord and Shield.

(b) “8. The Lord is the strength of his people, | and is the shield of salvation of his Christ.”

The Psalm we are considering also is referred to Christ, including the prayer of Christ which He prayed at the time of His Passion, and therefore in the opening of the Psalm He says:

“1. To thee, O Lord, have I cried: My God, | be not silent before me, | Lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. |”

(c) And at the end He prophesies His Resurrection, saying:

“6. Blessed be the Lord, for He hath hearkened to the voice of my prayer. | 7. The Lord is my helper and my defender; | my heart hoped in him, and I was helped: | and my flesh has revived, | and I will gladly give him praise: |”

To which the divine and prophetic Spirit adds:

” 8. The Lord is the strength of his people, and the shield | of his Christ.”

Teaching us that all the wonders of Christ written in the |207 holy Scriptures, done for man’s salvation, whether teachings (d) or writings, or the mysteries of His Resurrection now referred to, were all done by the will and power of the Father defending His own Christ as with a shield in all His marvellous and saving words and works.

Psalm lxxxiv.

Christ described by Name as God the Overseer, and the One Day of His Resurrection, and the One House of God, His Church.

“9. Behold, O God, our defender, | and look upon (186) the face of thy Christ. | 10. For one day in thy courts is better than a thousand. | I have chosen to abase myself in the house of rny God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners | .”

They who know the Christ of God to be the Word, the Wisdom, the True Light and the Life, and then realize that He became man, are struck by the miracle of His Will, so that they exclaim:

“And we saw him, | and he had no form nor beauty. [Isa. liii. 2.] 3. But his form was ignoble, and inferior to that of the sons of men. He was a man in suffering, and (b) knowing the bearing of affliction, because he turned away his face, he was dishonoured.”

They rightly call on God to look upon the Face of the Christ, dishonoured and insulted for our sake, and to be merciful to us for His sake. “For He bore our sins, and on our behalf is pained.” Thus they beseech, altogether desiring and expressing in their prayer the desire to see the face of the glory of Christ, and to behold the day of His light. And this was the day of His Resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly Holy Day and the Lord’s Day, is better than any number (c) of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic Law for Feasts, New Moons and Sabbaths, which the Apostle teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality. And this Lord’s Day of our Saviour is alone said to shew its light not in |208 every place but only in the courts of the Lord. And these must mean the Churches of Christ throughout the world, which are courts of the one House of God, in which he (d) who knows these things loves and chooses to be abased, prizing far more the time spent in them than that spent in the tabernacles of sinners. Unless we are to understand that everyone who chooses the synagogues of the Jews, which deny the Christ of God, or those of godless sectaries and other unbelieving heathen, professes them to be better than the Churches of Christ.

Psalm lxxxviii.

Christ named as made of None Account, and suffering shamefully, and His People reviled by the Enemy in Exchange for Him.

(187) “39. But thou hast cast off and made of no account, | thou hast rejected thy Christ, | 40. and overthrown the covenant of thy servant, | Thou hast desecrated his sanctuary even to the ground. | “

And the context. To which he adds:

“51. Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants, | which I have borne in my bosom, even (the reproach) of many nations, | 52. wherewith thine enemies, O Lord, have reviled, | wherewith they have reviled those who suffer in exchange for thy Christ.”  

Christ is here clearly mentioned by name, and the circumstances attending His Passion predicted. If I had time (b) I could shew by examining the whole Psalm that what is expressed can only apply to our Lord and Saviour, and no one else. But when Christ is named the second time here it refers to some one else than Him, in exchange for whom He is the one taken, and the Church is plainly meant, and indeed those who are called Christ’s enemies have reviled it, and even now revile it. Yea, every one opposed to Christ’s teaching is wont to revile us about the Sufferings of our Saviour, which He underwent for us, and especially about His Cross and Passion. |209

Psalm cxxxi.

Christ named as rising from the Seed of David, called the (c) Horn of David, bringing to Shame the Jews His Enemies, restoring the Sanctuary of the Father.

“11. The Lord sware to David the truth, and he will never set him at naught, | of the fruit of thy body I will set upon thy seat.”

And lower down,

“17. There will I lift up the horn of David, | I have prepared a lantern for my Christ: | 18. As for his enemies I will clothe them with shame, j but upon himself shall blossom my holiness. | “

Now here the Lord swears about one of the seed of David, (d) Whom He calls His seed and horn. And again addressing Christ by name, He says that He has prepared a lantern for Him, which seems to refer to the prophetic word, which shewed the coming of Christ before, Who alone, like the light of the sun, has now risen on all men through the whole world. And David Himself was prepared as a lantern for the Christ, taking the place of a lantern in comparison with the perfect light of the sun. And then He says: “I will lift up the horn,” shewing the place where He means Christ to be born. For when David is praying that he may behold before in spirit the place of Christ’s birth, and saying: (188)

“3. I will not go into the tabernacle of my house, | I will not climb to the couch of my bed. | 4. I will not give sleep to my eyes, nor slumber to my eyelids, | nor rest to my temples, | 5. until I find a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. |”

—the Holy Spirit reveals the place as Bethlehem. Therefore he proceeds:

“6. Behold we heard of it in Ephralha | (that is, Bethlehem), and we found it in the fields of the wood. | 7. We will go into his tabernacle, we will worship (b) in the place, where his feet stood. | ” |210

And suitably after this revelation He adds:

“There will I lift up the horn of David, I have prepared a lantern for my Christ.”

(c) Maybe also the Body assumed by Christ at Bethlehem may be meant, since the Divine Power inhabiting it through His body as through an earthen vessel, like a lamp, shot forth to all men the rays of the Divine Light of the Word.

From Amos.

Christ announced by Name by God, and made known to All Men as liberating the Jewish Race.

[Passage quoted, Amos. iv. 12—v. 2.]

God now proclaiming the Christ by name the seventh time is said to “strengthen the thunder” and “to create the wind,” the proclamation of the Gospel being called thunder from its being heard by all men, and similarly the spirit that Christ breathed on His apostles is meant; and also the Saviour’s sojourn among men has clearly fulfilled the prophecy in which God is said to make “morning” and “mist” together, morning for those that receive salvation, but for the Jews that disbelieve in Him the contrary. On (189) whom also Scripture foretells an extreme curse, adding a lamentation for the Jewish race, which actually overtook them immediately after their impiety against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For of a truth from that day to this the House of Israel has fallen, and the vision once shewn by God and the rejection have been brought to pass, concerning the falling of their house in Jerusalem, and against their whole state, that it should not be possible for any one to lift them up, who will never more be lifted up. (b) “There is,” he says, “therefore no one to lift her up.” For since they did not accept the Christ of God when He came, perforce He left them and turned to all the Gentiles, telling the cause of his turning, when He said with tears, as if almost apologizing:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto her, how often |211 would I have gathered thy children together, even as a bird gathereth her nestlings under her wings, and ye would not: behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

From Habakkuk.

Christ is named as preserved by His Father and saving His Own Christs.

“Thou wentest forth for the safety of thy people to save thy Christs: Thou hast brought death on the heads of transgressors.”

Aquila: “Thou wentest forth for the safety of thy people, for the safety of thy people with thy Christ.” As Aquila renders by the singular instead of the plural, saying that the Supreme God has made salvation for the people “with Christ,” I have rightly set down the passage, which clearly supports my position. But there would be according to the Septuagint version more persons who are called Christs from Him and for the sake of Whom it is said: “Touch not my Christs, and do my prophets no harm,” who believed on Him, and were thought worthy of the holy anointing of regeneration in Christ, and who were able to pay with the holy apostle: “We are become partakers of Christ.”

From the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

Christ is named as plotted against by the Jews, and made known to the Gentiles.

“20. The breath of our countenance, the Lord Christ was taken in their destructions, of whom we said, In his shadow we shall live among the Gentiles.”

The inspired prophets of God, knowing the future by the Holy Spirit, foretold that they themselves would live, and that their words would work among the Gentiles as the words of living men, but not in Israel. They said again that the Christ (Whom they named) as being He from Whom the prophetic spirit was supplied to them, would be taken in their snares. The snares of whom? Plainly of the Jews who plotted against Him. And notice here that the prophecy says that the Christ will be taken, |212 which would not correspond with the second Coming of Christ, which the prophecies predict will be glorious and bring in the Divine Kingdom. Wherefore it seems that (c) the Jews are wrong in taking the sayings about His second Appearance, as if they were about His first Coming, which the sense will in no way allow. Since it is impossible to regard Him as at one and the same time glorious and without glory, honoured and kingly, and then without form or beauty, but dishonoured more than the sons of men; and again, as the Saviour and Redeemer of Israel, while plotted against by them, and led as a sheep to the (d) slaughter, delivered to death by their sins. The prophecies about the Christ should be divided, as our investigation of the facts shews, into two classes: the first which are the more human and gloomy will be agreed to have been fulfilled at His first Coming, the second the more glorious and divine even now await His second Coming for their fulfilment. And a clear proof of the former is the actual progress of the knowledge of God through Him in all nations, which many prophetic voices foretell in various strains, like the one before us, in which it is said: “Of whom we said, In his shadow we will live among the Gentiles.”

From the 1st Book of Kings [ 1 Samuel].

Christ is named as exalted by the Lord and Father.

“The Lord has ascended to the heavens and has thundered: he will judge the extremities of the earth, and he gives strength to our kings, and will exalt the horn of his Christ.”

The words mean the return of Christ (Who is named) or of God to heaven, and His Teaching heard like thunder by all, and Holy Scripture foretells His future Judgment of all afterwards. And after this it is said that the Lord will give strength to our kings. And these would be the apostles of Christ, of Whom it is written in Ps. lxvii.: “The Lord will give a word to the preachers of the Gospel with much power.” Here, also, he mentions Christ by name, humanly known as our Saviour, Whose horn he says shall be exalted, meaning His invisible Power and Kingdom. For it is usual for Scripture to call a kingdom a “horn,” |213 It is found also in Ps. lxxxviii.: “And in my Name shall his horn be exalted.”

From the 1st Book of Kings [1 Samuel].

Christ is named as receiving a faithful House from His Father, that is the Church, and as a Faithful High Priest for All Time leading His Church.

“Behold, the days come when I will destroy thy seed, and the seed of thy father’s house. And thou shalt not have an old man in thy house for ever.”

The oracle speaks these words to Eli, but adds these others:

“And I will raise up to myself a faithful priest, who shall do all that is in my heart and in my soul; and I will build him a sure house, and he shall dwell before my Christ for ever” (v. 35).

The divine Word after threatening doom and rejection on those who do not worship in the right way, promises that He will raise up another priest of another tribe, who He also says will come before His Christ, or “will walk in the person of my anointed,” as Aquila has translated it, or as Symmachus, “will continue before his Christ.” And who could this be? Surely every one who is enrolled in holiness in the priesthood of the Christ of God, to Whom the Supreme God promises that He will build the House of His Church, as a wise Architect and Builder, not meaning any house but the Church established in Christ’s Name throughout the whole world, wherein every one who is consecrated priest of the Christ of God is said in the spiritual worship to offer things acceptable and well-pleasing to God: the sacrifices of the blood of bulls and goats offered in the old religion of types, being admitted by the prophecy of Isaiah to be hateful to God.

Such are the many instances of the prediction of the Christ by name; but, as in most cases, the Sufferings of Christ are conjoined to His Name, we must return to what was said before about His Divinity, which I have showed previously to be touched on in the 45th Psalm, entitled FOR THE BELOVED, where Scripture, after first describing Him as King, proceeds to say other things about the Divinity of Christ: |214

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom: Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated injustice: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

For, as I have already shewn, these words clearly imply that the God referred to is one and the same Being, Who loved righteousness and hated iniquity; and that because of this He was anointed by another greater God, His Father, with a better and more excellent unction than that foreshadowed by the types, which is called “the oil of gladness.” And what else could He be properly named but Christ, Who is anointed with this oil, not by man but by God Most High? The same Person, therefore, is shewn to be called God, as indeed I have already shewn in the proper places. And we should here again remember Isaiah, who said:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for whose sake he hath anointed me. He has sent me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and sight to the blind.”

And we have already shewn that the priests from among men, who in long distant times were consecrated to the service of God, were anointed with a prepared unguent. But he that is spoken of in the prophecy is said to have been anointed with the Divine Spirit. And this passage in its entirety was referred to Jesus the only true Christ of God, Who one day took the prophecy in the Jewish synagogue, and after reading the selected portion, said that what He had read was fulfilled in Himself. For it is written, that having read it:

“And closing the book, and giving it to the minister, he sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened upon him, 21. And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

With all this we should again compare the records of Moses, who when he established his own brother as High Priest, according to the pattern that had been shewn to him, agreeably to the oracle which said to him: “Thou |215 shalt make all things according to the pattern shewn to thee in the Mount,” plainly shews that he had perceived with the eyes of the mind and by the Divine Spirit the great High Priest of the Universe, the true Christ of God, Whose image he represented together with the rest of the material and figurative worship, and honoured the person named with the name of the real Christ.

And this has the support of the inspired apostle, who says when treating of the law of Moses: “Who serve under the example and shadow of heavenly things.” And again: “For the law having a shadow of good things to come.” And again: “16. Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, 17. which are a shadow of things to come.” For if the enactments relating to the difference of foods, and the holy days and the Sabbath, like shadowy things, preserved a copy of other things, that were mystically true, you will say not without reason that the High Priest also represented the symbol of another High Priest, and that he was called Christ, as the pattern of that other, the only real Christ: and so far was he from being the real one, that the real Christ hears from the Supreme God: “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.” And: “Be thou ruler in the midst of thine enemies.” And: “The Lord sware, and will not repent. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” By which He was revealed clearly as eternal Priest, existing as Offspring and Son of God before the Morning Star and before the whole creation. And the Christ of Moses, like one who has acted the character in a drama for a short time, retires as one reckoned among mortals, and hands on the reality to the only true and real. While the real Christ needing not the Mosaic unction, nor prepared oil, nor earthly material, yet has filled the world with His goodness and His name, establishing the race of Christians, named after Him, among all nations. But Moses’ Christ, not that he was ever plainly so called among men, except through the writings of Moses—he, I say, some time long |216 after the Exodus from Egypt purified with certain lustrations and sacrifices of blood was anointed with prepared oil, Moses anointing him. But the Christ, archetypal, and real from the beginning, and for infinite ages whole through the whole, and Himself ever like Himself in all ways, and changing not at all, was ever anointed by the Supreme God, with His unbegotten Divinity, both before His sojourn among men, and after it likewise, not by man or by any material substance existing among men.

And as we are examining His Name, the seal of all we have said may be found in the oracle of Solomon the wisest of the wise, where he says in the Song of Songs: “Thy name is as ointment poured forth.” Yea, he being supplied with divine wisdom, and thought worthy of more mystic revelations about Christ and His Church, and speaking of Him as Heavenly Bridegroom, and her as Bride, speaks as if to Him, and says, “Thy name, O Bridegroom, is ointment,” and not simply ointment, but “ointment poured forth.” And what name could be more suggestive of. ointment poured forth than the Name of Christ? For there could be no Christ, and no Name of Christ, unless ointment had been poured forth. And in what has gone before I have shewn of what nature the ointment was with which Christ was anointed. So now that we have completed our examination of the Name Christ, let us proceed to consider the Name of Jesus.


That the Name of Jesus was also honoured among the Ancient Friends of God.

MOSES was also the first to use the Name Jesus, when he changed the name of his successor and altered it to Jesus. For it is written: “These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, and Moses called Nauses, the son of Nave, Jesus, and sent them.” And notice how the prophet, who was deeply versed in the significance of |217 names, and had gone to the roots of the philosophy of the changed names of the inspired men in his record, and the reasons why their names were changed, introduces Abraham as receiving as a reward of virtue from God a complete change of name from that of his father, the meaning of which it is now the time to explain at length. And so, also, in naming Sara Sarra, and Isaac called before his birth “the laugh,” and Jacob given as a reward of his struggle the name of Israel, and in exhibiting in many other cases connected with the power and significance of names superhuman insight in his inspired wisdom and knowledge, when no one of those before him had ever used the name Jesus, he first of all, impelled by the Holy Spirit, gives the name of Jesus to him whom he is about to constitute the successor of his rule over the people, changing the other name he had used before. He did not consider the name of his forefather given him when he was born sufficient (for his parents called him Nauses). But being the prophet of God he changed the name received by birth, and called the man Jesus at the bidding of the Holy Spirit; that he might lead the whole people after his own death, (with the knowledge that) when the law laid down by Moses some day should be changed and have an end, and should pass away like Moses himself, that no one else but Jesus the Christ of God would lead that other polity, which would be better than the former. And so Moses, the most wonderful of all the prophets, understanding by the Holy Spirit both the names of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, honoured the choicest of all his rulers by bestowing them as kingly crowns, naming worthily the two leaders and rulers of the people the high priest and his own successor, Christ and Jesus, calling Aaron Christ, and Nauses Jesus, as his successor after his death. In this manner, then, the writings of Moses himself are adorned with the names of our Saviour Jesus Christ. |218

From Exodus.

How Jesus, the Successor of Moses, called the Angel, and about to be the Leader of the People, is said to bear the Name of Christ.

“20. And behold, I send my angel before thy face, that he may keep thee in the way, that he may bring thee into the land which I have prepared for thee. Take heed to thyself and hearken unto him and disobey him not; for he will not give way to thee, for my name is upon him.”

“With my Name, who teach you these things,” says the Lord Himself, is he inscribed, who is to lead the people into the land of promise. And if He was Jesus and none other, it is plain how He says that His name is set on Him. Nor is it strange that he calls him Angel, since it is said of John also, who was but a man: “Behold, I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.”

From Zechariah.

That Jesus, the Son of Josedek the High Priest, was a Figure and Type of Our Saviour. Who turned to God the Slavery that of Old ruled the Souls of Men

[Passages quoted, Zech. iii. i—6, 9; vi. 9-13.]

In this passage too the prophet-high-priest called Jesus presents, I think, a very clear picture and plain symbol of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being honoured by bearing His Name, and made the leader of the return of the people from the Babylonian captivity. Since, also, our Saviour Jesus Christ is said by the Prophet Isaiah to have been sent to preach liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to comfort all that mourn, and to give to all that mourn in Zion glory for dust, the ointment of gladness. You have, therefore, her two great High Priests, first the Christ in Moses, and second the Jesus of whom I am speaking, both bearing in themselves the signs of the truth concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

But Aaron, the “Christ” in Moses’ writings, having freed the people from slavery in Egypt, and led them in |219 freedom and with all carefulness in their journey from Egypt, seems to present a picture of the real Lord, Who has redeemed us, who are of all nations, from Egyptian idolatry; while the Jesus in the prophet, the High Priest who was at the head of the return from Babylon to Jerusalem, also presents a figure of Jesus our Saviour, Whom we have as a great High Priest, that has passed through the heavens, through Whom also we ourselves, redeemed as it were in this present life from Babylon, that is from confusion and slavery, are taught to hasten to the heavenly city, the true Jerusalem.

Jesus too, since he bore in himself the image of the true, was naturally clad in filthy garments, and the devil is said to stand at his right hand and to oppose him, since also Jesus, truly our Saviour and Lord, descending into our state of slavery took away our sins, and washed away the stains of humanity, and underwent the shame of the Passion, through His love for us. Wherefore, Isaiah says:

“He bears our sins, and is pained for us, and we thought him to be in labour, and smitten, and afflicted: He was wounded for our sins, and weakened for our iniquities.”

And John the Baptist also, seeing the Lord, said: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins, of the world.” Paul also, writing in the same way about Him, says: “Him that knew no sin made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” and “Christ has ransomed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” All these things the inspired prophet referred to when he said, “And Jesus was clad in filthy garments.” But He put them from Him by His Ascension into the heavens, and the return from our condition of slavery to His own glory, and He is crowned with the diadem of His Father’s Divinity, and is girt with the bright robe of His Father’s light, and is glorified with the divine Mitre, and the other high priestly adornments. Nor is it difficult to explain the part about the devil, who even now is opposed to the teaching of Christ, and to His Church established throughout the whole world, and has ever been opposed to our Saviour, and marched |220 against Him before, when He came to save us from our slavery to himself. He tempted Him also the first time, and the second time again, when by the Passion he arranged a plot against Him. But in all battles He triumphed over the devil, and all the unseen enemies and foes led by him, and made us who were slaves His own people, and built of us, as of living stones, the house of God, and the state of holiness, so that He exactly agrees with the oracle, which says:

“Behold a man, whose name is the Branch. And he shall spring up from below, and shall build the house of the Lord. And he shall receive virtue, and shall sit and rule upon his throne.”

Note, therefore, with care, in what manner in speaking mystically of the Jesus of days of old, who bears the image of the true, he says: “Behold a man, whose name is the Branch.” And a little later, it is said to Jesus himself then present, as if concerning some one else who was the Branch: “Hear, Jesus, the High Priest, thou and thy neighbour, for the men are diviners. Behold, I bring my servant the Branch.”

If, then, the speech related to some one yet to come, who was more truly called the Branch than he that bore the name then, he must have been only an image of him that was yet to come, as he is not only called Jesus in figure, but the Branch as well, if this was said to him when present: “Behold a man, whose name is the Branch.” He was, therefore, naturally because he was the image thought worthy of the name of the Saviour, as well as of the Branch: for the name of Jesus translated into Creek means “Salvation of God.” For in Hebrew “Isoua” is “salvation,” and the son of Nave is called by the Hebrews Joshua, Joshua being “Salvation of Jab,” that is, Salvation of God. It follows that wherever the Salvation of God is named in the Greek versions, you are to understand that nothing but Jesus is meant. Having now brought to this point what I had to say concerning the Name of our Saviour, I will take up the argument from another starting-point, and pass on to the more important prophetic proofs about Him.



Two ways of considering our Saviour Jesus Christ have (202) been illustrated in the previous book of the Proof of the Gospel: the first takes us above nature and beyond it: on its road we defined Him to be the Only-begotten Son of (b) God, or the Word Who is of the essence of God, the secondary cause of the Universe, or a spiritual substance, and the firstborn nature of God all-perfect, His holy and perfect Power before things created, or the spiritual image of the Unbegotten nature. The second was akin and more familiar to ourselves; on its road we defined Christ as the Word of God, proclaiming in human nature the holiness of the Father, according as He appeared in human form long before to those with Abraham, that famous ruler of the men of God, and was predicted to (c) appear again among men by human birth, and with flesh like ours, and to suffer the extremest shame.

This being so, the argument will proceed in its natural order, if I proceed to display the prophetic evidence about Him, if, that is to say, we make our chief aim to discover what was essential in the promises made, and justify the Divinity ascribed to Him in the Gospels from the ancient prophetic evidence. And it will be necessary (d) first to discuss the nature of prophetic inspiration among the Hebrews, from whom we learned beforehand what they proclaimed.

Greeks and Barbarians alike testify to the existence of oracles and oracular responses in all parts of the earth, and they say that they were revealed by the foresight of the Creator for the use and profit of men, so that there need be no essential difference between Hebrew prophecy (203) |222 and the oracles of the other nations. For as the Supreme God gave oracles to the Hebrews through their prophets, and suggested what was to their advantage, so also He gave them to the other nations through their local oracles. For He was not only the God of the Jews, but of the rest of mankind as well; and He cared not more for these than those, but His Providence was over all alike, just as He has given the sun ungrudgingly for all, and not for the Hebrews only, and the supply of needs according to the seasons, and a like bodily constitution for all, and one (b) mode of birth, and one kind of rational soul. And, thus, they say he provided ungrudgingly for all men the science of foretelling the future, to some by prophets, to some by oracles, to some by the flight of birds, or by inspecting entrails, or by dreams, or omens contained in word or sound, or by some other sign. For these they say were bestowed on all men by the Providence of God, so that the prophets of the Hebrews should not seem to have an advantage over the rest of the world.

(c) This, then, is their contention. Mine will meet it in this manner. If any argument could prove that the gods, or divine powers, or good daemons really presided over the oracles named, or over the omens from birds, or any of those referred to, I should have to yield to what was stated, that the Supreme God had given these things as well as the Hebrew prophecy to those who used them, for their good. But if by complete demonstration, and by the |223 confessions of the Greeks themselves already given, that (d) they were daemons, and not good ones but the source of all harm and vice, how can they be the prophets of God? And my argument in The Preparation for the Gospel has convicted them of worthlessness, from the human sacrifices connected with their rites from ancient days in every place and city and country, from their deceiving their questioners through ignorance of the future, through the many falsehoods in which they have been convicted, sometimes directly, sometimes through the ambiguity of the oracles given, by which they have been proved over and over again to have involved their suppliants in a host of evils. And they have been before shewn to be a vile and unclean crowd from their delight in the low and lustful odes sung about them, the hymns, and recitals of myths, the improper (204 ) and harmful stories, which they were convicted of having stamped as the truth, though they knew that they told against them.

And the final proof of their weak nature is shewn by their extinction and ceasing to give responses as of old: an extinction which can only be dated from the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ. For from the time when the word of Gospel teaching began to pervade all nations, from (b) that time the oracles began to fail, and the deaths of daemons are recorded. All these reasons and many others like them were used then in that part of The Preparation of the Gospel, which is concerned in proving the wickedness of the doemons. And if they are so wicked, what possible ground can there be for thinking that the oracles of the daemons are prophecies of the Supreme God, or for comparing their position with that of God’s prophets; of what sort (c) were the predictions they gave to their questioners, those even which seemed to have some foundation? Were they not about low and common men, boxers for instance, and such people, whom they ordered to be honoured with sacrifices? What was their position about human sacrifice? For this question is the touchstone of the whole matter. What evil thing could surpass in absurdity the idea that the Gods, the very Saviours of men, and the good daemons, could command their suppliants and holy inquirers to slaughter their dearest, as if they were mere animals, actually (d) thirsting for human blood more than any wild beasts, and, |224 could be convicted of being neither more nor less than drinkers of blood, cannibals, and friends of destruction. Or let him speak who will, if he has anything holy or worthy of the name of virtue to tell about them, any prophecies or predictions affecting mankind as a whole, any laws or enactments for the State, laying down general rules for human life, any philosophical doctrines and instruction provided by the gods for the lovers of philosophy. But it would be impossible to say that any such advantage ever accrued to human life from the famous oracles. (205) For if this had been the case, men having their laws laid down for them by the gods would not have used different and irreconcileable systems of law. For if the gods existed and were good they must surely have inspired the same enactments: they must have inspired pure and most just legal systems: and where would have been the need of Solon or Draco or any of the other Greek or barbarian legislators, if the gods were present and gave all necessary commands through the oracles? And if it should be said (b) that they alone are meant, who established laws for each separate race of men, I should ask who that god was, and what was his character, who, for instance, ordered the Scythians to devour human beings, or laid down laws to others that they should lie with their mothers and daughters, or enacted as, a good thing that they should throw their aged people to the dogs, or allowed men to marry their sisters and to defile one another. But why should I enumerate the lawless stones of Greeks and Barbarians, in order to prove that they were not gods, but (c) vicious and evil daemons, these famous oracle-mongers of theirs, driving the thrice-wretched race of men to incredible depths of unnatural crime, whereas the famous Greek gods and oracles are not proved to have brought any advantage or profit whatever for their souls’ health to those who sought their aid? And if it was open to them to use their own gods for teachers, why did the Greeks ever leave what did them good at home and make for foreign lands, as if they wanted to enjoy the merchandise of learning from (d)  somewhere else? |225

And if it had been the gods or the good daemons, who gave the answers, sometimes shewing their own power by foreknowledge or in some other unexpected way, sometimes teaching true wisdom by the infallible truth of their instruction, what could have prevented the sons of the philosophers being instructed by them, and why did various schools of philosophy arise from the deep oppositions of those who procured conceptions of teaching, one from one source, one from another? And even if the multitude had given them no heed, yet surely religious and godly men would have procured infallible truth from the gift of the gods. Who, then, were they? Whoever (206) you say they were, those who take the other view will expose them as deceivers.

But it seems probable that the oracles were given by daemons, and were genuine up to the point of discovering a thief, or the loss of property, and things of that kind, which it was not unlikely that beings who passed their time in the air should have knowledge of: but they were never responsible for a good and wise philosophic saying, or for a state, or for a law laid down by right reason; nay, more, (b) if I may speak quite frankly, one ought to consider them all instigators of evil; for when they listened either to the odes and hymns and recitals of men, or to the secret rites of the mysteries, retailing their own Adulteries and unnatural crimes, their marriage of mothers and lawless union with sisters, and the many contests of the gods, enmities and wars of gods against gods, not one of them has ever, so far (c) as I know, been angry at what was said, as if it were only suitable for lustful, and not for pure, minds to think and say such things. And why need I enlarge, when from one most significant example I can crowd into one view their cruelty, inhumanity and real viciousness? I refer to the human sacrifices. Surely to delight not only in the slaughter of irrational beasts, but also in the destruction of men, overshot the highest limit of cruelty. |226

For, as I said in the Preparation, my evidence is drawn (d) from the Greek philosophers and writers themselves, who conclusively prove that the evil daemons perverted the human race by their involved intrigues, now by oracles, now by omens from birds, or signs or sacrifices or things of the kind. Wherefore it is altogether to be denied that the oracles came from the Supreme God. And so it is not allowable to class them with the Hebrew Prophets, whose first Hierophant and divine teacher was Moses. See, what (207) a wealth of good he brought to human life. First he produced a sacred writing of evangelical and true doctrines about God the Maker and Creator of all things, and about the secondary Cause of the rational and spiritual essences after Him, and about the creation of the world and of man; and then he moved the obedient spirits of good men to ambition, by outlining like figures of virtue the stories of (b) the holy and godly Hebrews of long ago; he began the teaching of a legislation divine and suitable to the light they then had, and introduced a godly worship, and revealed predictions of all that was to take place in after years, as I hope presently to shew. Such was Moses. And following his steps the prophets who succeeded him foretold some things incidentally to inquirers if anything was asked relating to their daily life; but their prophecy in its main purpose (c) was concerned with great issues.

For they did not reckon it worthy of their divine duty to deal with those who sought oracles about daily matters or that actual time, or about slight and trivial things, but the illumination of the Holy Spirit in them including in its vast scope the whole race of mankind, promised no prediction about any particular man who was sick, nor about this present life so open to accidents and sufferings, nor about any one dead, nor, in a word, about ordinary and common (d) things, which when present make the soul no better, and when absent cause it no harm or loss. And, as I said, when their predictions referred to such things, it was not in the line of their main meaning, but as accompanying a greater conception. And the causes which were at the root of their prophetic inspiration involved a greater scheme than the things instanced. |227

If, then, one were to explore carefully the whole circuit of the writings of Moses and his successors, one would find it included exhortation and teaching of duty to the God of the Universe, Who is the Creator of all things, and the knowledge and divine teaching relating to the highest secondary Cause, and prohibition of all polytheistic error, (208) and then the memorial of the godly men of old days who began the said religion, and predictions and proclamations of those who would live in after days, as they themselves had lived, through the appearance and presence of God among men, I mean of the secondary Lord and God after the Supreme Father, Who Himself would become the Teacher of the same religion, and be revealed as Saviour (b) of the life of men, through Whom they foretold that the ideals of the ancient godly Hebrews would be handed on to all nations. This was the Gospel that Moses foretold, as well as the sons of the other prophets, who all spake as with one mouth. And this was the reason of the descent of the Holy Spirit to men, to teach men the knowledge of God, and the loftiest theology of the Father and the Son, to train them in every form of true religion, to give a record of those who lived well long ago, and those who afterwards fell away from the religion of their forefathers, and to exhibit the case against them at great length: and then (c) to prophesy the coming of the Saviour and Teacher of the whole race of mankind, and to herald the sharing of the religion of the ancient Hebrews by all nations.

These were the unanimous proclamations of the prophets of old clays inscribed on table’s and in sacred books: yea, these very things, which we see even now after long ages in process of fulfilment; they all in the power of the Holy (d) Spirit with one voice foretold would come to all men a light of true religion, purity of mind and body, a complete purging of the heart, which having first gained themselves by discipline, they urged upon the obedient, prohibiting their converts from every lustful action, and teaching them not to imitate the lawless ways of polytheistic error, and to avoid with one consent all intercourse with daemons, the popular human sacrifices of days gone by, and the base and secret tales about the gods. Against these they warned |228 them and counselled them to set their hearts only on God (209) the Creator of all things, Who is as it were the Overseer and Judge of all human doings, and to remember the future Coming among men of the Christ of God, the Saviour of the whole human race, established to be the Teacher of the true religion to Greeks and Barbarians alike. This was the vast difference between those who were possessed by the Holy Spirit and those who pretended to prophesy under the influence of daemons.

Then, too, the evil daemon, being akin to darkness, (b) involved the soul in darkness and mist by its visitation, and stretched out him who was under its power like a corpse, divorced from his natural faculties of reason, not following his own words or actions, completely insensible and demented, in accordance with which perhaps they, may have called such a condition “Manteia,” as being a form of “Mania,” whereas the truly divine Spirit, Which is of the nature of light, or rather light itself, brings at once a new and bright daylight to every soul on whom It comes, (c) revealing it as far more clear and thoughtful than ever it was before, so that it is sober and wide awake, and above all can understand and interpret prophecies. Wherefore we seem rightly and truly to call such men prophets, because the Holy Spirit gives them a sure knowledge and light on the present, as well as a true and accurate knowledge of the future. See, then, if it is not a far better and truer argument, which says that the Holy Spirit visits souls purified and prepared with rational and clear minds to (d) receive the divine, than that of those who shut up the |229 divine in lifeless matter and dusky caves, and in the impure souls of men and women; yea, and rest it on crows and hawks and other birds, on goats and other beasts, ay, even on the movements of water, the inspection of entrails, the blood of hateful and ugly monsters, and in the bodies of poisonous creeping things, like snakes and weasels, and such things, by the help of which these strange people understood that the Supreme God revealed a knowledge of (210) future events. But this was the way of men who had no conception of the nature of God, and no idea of the power of the Holy Spirit, Who does not delight in lurking in lifeless things, or irrational beasts, nor even in rational beings, except … in such virtuous souls, as my argument just now described the Hebrew prophets as possessing, whom we reckon worthy of the Holy Spirit, because of their great contribution to the progress of humanity throughout the world.

And if sometimes the knowledge of contemporaneous (b) events, unimportant and of no moment, followed them like a shadow, and the foretelling of the unknown opportunely to inquirers, it was because they were obliged to give such help to their neighbours of old time, to prevent those who were hungry for predictions having an excuse for turning to the oracles of foreign races through a lack of prophets at home.

But I will close here my vindication of the divine power of the Hebrew Prophets. For it is right for us to obey (c) them, if they teach us, as men inspired and wise, not according to humanity but by the breath of the Holy Spirit, and to submit to the discipline of their doctrine, and holy and infallible theology, which no longer involves any suspicion, that they include any elements alien to virtue and truth.

So, then, it now remains for me to take up the thread of my argument from the beginning, and rest the theology of our Saviour Jesus Christ on the prophetic evidence.

The Gospel evidence gives this theology of Christ: “In (d) the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, |230 and without him was not anything made.” It calls Him also “Rational Light,” and it calls Him Lord, as if He were also God. And the prophetic Paul, as a disciple and apostle of Christ, agrees with this theology when he says this about Him: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, because in him were created all things, things in heaven and things in earth, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

He is also called “Power of God” and “Wisdom of God.” It is our present task, therefore, to collect these same expressions from the prophetic writings of the Hebrews, so that by their agreement in each separate part the demonstration of the truth may be established. And we must recognize that the sacred oracles include in the Hebrew much that is obscure both in expression and in meaning, and are capable of various interpretations in Greek because of their difficulty. The Seventy Hebrews in concert have translated them together, and I shall pay the greatest attention to them, because it is the custom of the Christian Church to use their work. But wherever necessary, I shall call in the help of the editions of the later translators, which the Jews are accustomed to use to-day, so that my proof may have stronger support from all sources. With this introduction, it now remains for me to treat of the inspired words. |231


That the Most Wise Solomon in the Proverbs knew of a Firstborn Power of God, which He calls the Wisdom and Offspring of God: just as we glorify It.

Passage quoted, Prov. viii. 12-31.]

THE divine and perfect essence existing before things begotten, the rational and Firstborn image of the Unbegotten nature, the true and Only-begotten Son of the God of the Universe, being One with many names, and One called God by many titles, is honoured in this passage under the style and name of Wisdom, and we have learned to call Him Word of God, Light, Life, Truth, and, to crown all, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Now, therefore, in the passage before us, He passes through the words of the wise Solomon, speaking of Himself as the living Wisdom of God and self-existent, saying: “I, Wisdom, have dwelt with counsel and knowledge, and I have called upon understanding,” and that which follows. He also adds, as who has undertaken the government and providence of the Universe: “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes become great.” Then saying that He will record the things of ages past, He goes on to say: “The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways for his works, he established me before time was.” By which He teaches both that He Himself is begotten, and not the same as the Unbegotten, one called into being before all ages, set forth as a kind of foundation for all begotten things. And it is probable that the divine apostle started from this when he said of Him: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, for all things were created in him, of things in heaven and things in earth.” For He is called “Firstborn of every creature,” in accordance with the words: “The Lord created me as the beginning of his road to his works.” And He would naturally be considered the image of God, as being That which was begotten of the nature of the Unbegotten. And, therefore, the passage before |232 us agrees, when it says: “Before the mountains were established, and before all the hills, he begets me.”

Hence we call Him Only-begotten Son, and the Firstborn Word of God, Who is the same as this Wisdom. In what sense we say that He is the Begotten of God would require a special study, for we do not understand this unspeakable generation of His as involving a projection, a separation, a division, a diminution, a scission, or anything (c) at all which is involved in human generation. For it is not lawful to compare His unspeakable and unnameable generation and coming into being with these things in the world of begotten things, nor to liken Him to anything transitory and mortal, since it is impious to say that in the way in which animals are produced on earth, as an essence coming from an essence by change and division, divided and separated, the Son came forth out of the Father. For the Divine is without parts, and indivisible, not to be cut, or (d) divided, or extended, or diminished, or contracted, It cannot become greater, or worse or better than Itself, nor has it within Itself anything different from Itself that it could send forth. For everything that is in anything is either in it as (1) accident, as white is in a body, or (2) as a thing in something different from it, as a child is in the womb of its mother, or (3) as the part is in the whole, as the hand, foot and finger exist in the body, being parts of the whole body, and if either of them undergo any maiming or cutting or division, the whole of the body is rendered useless and mutilated, as a part of it has been cut off. But surely it (214) would be very impious to employ a figure and comparison of this kind in the case of the Unbegotten nature of the God of the Universe, and of the generation of His Only-begotten and Firstborn (Son).

For the Son was certainly not Unbegotten for ages infinite and without beginning within the Father, as one thing within another that differs from itself, being a part of Him which afterwards was changed and cast out from Him; for such a being would be subject to change; and there would also be according to this two Unbegotten Beings, He that cast forth and He that was cast forth. And which condition would be the better? Would not that before the change which caused a division by the (b) sending forth? It is, then, impossible to conceive of the |233 Son coming from the Father as a part or a limb that had always previously been united to Him, afterwards separating and coming apart from the whole. For these are unspeakable and quite impious ideas, proper enough to the relations of material bodies, but foreign to a nature without body or matter. And, therefore, here again we had best say: Who shall declare His generation?

It is equally perilous to take the opposite road, and say thus without qualification that the Son was begotten of things that were not, similarly to the other begotten beings; for the generation of the Son differs from the Creation (c) through the Son. But yet as Holy Scripture first says that He is the Firstborn of every creature, speaking in His Person, “The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways,” and then says that He is the Begotten of the Father in the words: “Before all the hills he begets me”; here we, too, may reasonably follow and confess that He is before all ages the Creative Word of God, One with the Father, (d) Only-begotten Son of the God of the Universe, and Minister and Fellow-worker with the Father, in the calling into being and constitution of the Universe.

For if there is anything in the nature of the Universe left unexplained and inconceivable for us, and we know that there are many, such things as are promised to the godly — which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man—according to the holy apostle, much further beyond our conception, unexplained and unnamed, inconceivable and unimaginable must be that which concerned the generation of the Only-begotten of God, since we have nothing else to say or to think of Him, except, “Who shall declare his generation?” And if one, greatly (215) daring, were led to compare things in all ways inconceivable with visible and physical likenesses, one perchance might say that, like a fragrance or a ray of light, the Son underlay from infinite ages or rather before all ages the Father’s Unbegotten Nature and ineffable Essence, and was one with Him, and was always united to the Father, as fragrance to an ointment and the ray to the light, but not (b) analogously in all senses to such likenesses, as was said before. For lifeless bodies hold their accidents in qualities; and the ray being of one origin with the nature of light, and being in essence the same as light, could not exist |234 outside that in which it is. Whereas the Word of God has Its own essence and existence in Itself, and is not identical with the Father in being Unbegotten, but was begotten of the Father as His Only-begotten Son before all ages; while the fragrance being a kind of physical effluence of that from which it comes, and not filling the air around it by itself apart from its primary cause, is seen to be itself also a physical thing. We will not, then, conceive thus about the theory of our Saviour’s coming-into-being. For neither was He brought into being from the Unbegotten Being by way of any event, or by division, nor was He eternally coexistent with the Father, since the One is Unbegotten and the other Begotten, and one is Father and the other Son. And all would agree that a father must exist before and precede his son. Thus also would the image of God be a kind of living image of the living God, in a mode once more that is beyond our words and reasoning, and existing in Itself immaterially and unembodied, and unmixed with anything opposite to Itself, but not such an image as we connote by the term, which differs in its essential substance and its species, but one which itself contains the whole of its species, and is like in its own essence to the Father, and so is seen to be the liveliest fragrance of the Father, in a mode once again beyond our words and reasoning. For everything that is true about Him could not be spoken in human words, and could not be reasoned with the reasoning of men according to strict logic. But the Scriptures give us such instruction as it is good for us to hear. Has not the holy apostle described himself and those like him as “a fragrance of Christ,” by their participation in the Spirit of Christ; and is not the heavenly Bridegroom in the Canticles addressed as “Ointment poured forth”? Wherefore all things visible and invisible, embodied and unembodied, rational and irrational participating in that outpouring of Him in due proportion are thought worthy of His presence, and have their lot in the communion of the divine Word. Yes, the whole universe imparts a share of His divine breath to those whose rational perception is not |235 maimed, so that bodies by nature earthy and corruptible give forth an immaterial and uncorrupted fragrance; for as the God of the Universe wells down from above, Who, being Father of the Only-begotten Word, Himself must be the first and chief and only true good begetting good, so taking the second place the Son draws His supplies from the primary and original Essence, Who also is alone called the fragrance of His Father’s Essence by us who use the Scripture that teaches us concerning Him, that He is “a breath of the power of God, and a pure effluence of the glory of the Almighty, and a radiance of the everlasting light, and an unsullied mirror of the action of God, and an image of his goodness.”

But with regard to these questions, let men decide them as they will. It is enough for me to repeat again that true and blessed saying, and so conclude my quest, the saying which I have often repeated: “Who shall describe His generation? “For of a truth the generation of the Only-begotten of God is seen to be beyond the reach not only of men, but of the powers that are beyond every being, as also our Lord and Saviour Himself says in mystic language this very thing to His own disciples. “No one knows the Father save the Son.” To which he adds “and no one knows the Son save the Father.” Since then the theology both of the Father and of the Son is equally unknown to all but Themselves, let us heed Wisdom speaking as it were in secrets in the passage of Solomon set before us: “Before the mountains were established, and the earth formed, and before all the hills he begets me.” And also He says that He was present with the Father when He formed the Heaven. “For when he formed the heaven, I was present with him.” And He reveals the eternity from endless ages of His presence with the Father, where He adds: “I was by him in harmony, I was that in which he delighted, and I daily delighted in his presence.” And we must either understand the abysses and founts of waters, the mountains and hills, and the other things which in this place are designated by common words, to refer to the constitution of the Universe, referring to the whole by |236 its part, or interpreting more metaphorically, we must transfer the meaning to spiritual essences and divine powers, all of whom the Firstborn Wisdom and the Only-begotten and First-begotten Word of the Father, Whom we call Christ, preceded; so the apostle teaches us, who says, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” And He is called hero probably by the Name of Wisdom, as He Who —— the all-wise and prudent plans of the only wise Father . . . .

[There is a long lacuna at the end of this chapter, noted in the Paris MS., “e0llei/pei polla&“]


[From Psalm xliv.]

. . . And in the second place he honours Him with the kingly sceptre. In the third he witnesses to the perfection of His virtue. And then in addition he teaches that He, this same Person, was anointed as God and King by the Highest God, and so that He was Christ. For what else could one be called, who was anointed not by men, but by Almighty God Himself? Of Him therefore he says, “O God (addressing the anointed one), thou hast loved righteousness and hated injustice; wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee.” As if he were to say, “The Almighty God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” So that this ointment mentioned was nothing common or earthy, nothing resembling that ordained by the Mosaic Law, fashioned of corruptible matter, with which it was the custom to anoint Hebrew priests and kings. Hence we call him properly both Christ and God, being the only one anointed with the immaterial and divine ointment of holy joy and gladness not by men nor by human agencies but by the Creator of the Universe Himself. Wherefore He only has a just, an indefeasible, a good and peculiar right to the title of Christ beyond those who are called His fellows. And who could His “fellows” be but those who are able to say: “We are partakers of Christ,” |237 of whom it is said, “Touch not my Christs, and do my prophets no harm.” So then as Christ by this is clearly revealed as Beloved, and as God, and as King, it is time to inquire, how so great a Being can be said to have enemies, and who they are, and for what cause He sharpened his arrows and sword against them, so that He subjected many peoples to Himself not by array of soldiers, but by truth, gentleness and righteousness.

A careful inquirer would do well to refer this to our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ of God, and to turn back again to the record, relating to His Presence among men, by which He routed the hostile invisible powers of evil and corrupt daemons and of wicked and impure spirits, and won very many peoples for Himself out of all nations. Whom also it were fitting to call for this reason the true Christ of God, as one not anointed with common oil like the priests of old days, for we have no record of anything of the kind about Him, but with a better divine unction, in reference to which Isaiah says: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me.” Wherefore also this one Christ is more famous among all, through all the world, than all those who ever were anointed with material ointment among the Hebrews; and has filled the whole world with those who are called Christians after Him. Now in the preceding book I have dealt sufficiently with the questions why we say He was anointed, what the unction was, and the mode of His anointing. Such grace was poured on His lips and on His teaching that in a short time it filled every place with the religion proclaimed by Him; so that now among all nations among those who receive His teaching, agreeably to the prophecy before us, He is clad with the glory of a king and of God, and is called Christ by all men.

And it is clear who are His enemies, not only those who were such of old, but those who are ever fighting against His word, whether they be men, or invisible powers, whom everywhere He has cleared away with unseen and hidden power, and has made all sorts of people from all nations subject to Him.

And that which follows in the Psalm, “Myrrh, aloes and |238 cassia from his garments,” and the other words besides, which speak as of a princess leaving her father’s house, and being wedded to Him who has been foreshewn to be Christ and King and God, and calling Him her Lord, (b) might be referred to the Church of the nations, forsaking ancestral daemonic error, and purified and brought into the communion of the divine Word, if time allowed them to have their true interpretation.


(d) That the same Prophet also plainly confesses Two Lords in Ps. cix.: the One, the First and Highest God; the Other, Whom He calls His Own Lord, and that He was begotten by God before the Foundation of the World, and He knows the Second God, and that He is the High Priest Eternal of the Father, shares the Throne of the God of the Universe, holding the same Faith as We about Christ.

[Passage quoted, Ps. cix. 1-5.]

THE Lord upon thy right hand! The Psalmist here calls “Lord,” our Lord and Saviour, the Word of God, “firstborn of every creature,” the Wisdom before the ages, the Beginning of the Ways of God, the Firstborn and Only-begotten Offspring of the Father, Him Who is honoured with the Name of Christ, teaching that He both shares the seat (220) and is the Son of the Almighty God and Universal Lord, and the Eternal High-Priest of the Father. First, then, understand that here this Second Being, the Offspring of God, is addressed. And since prophecy is believed by us to be spoken by the Spirit of God, see if it is not the case that the Holy Spirit in the prophet names as His own Lord (b) a Second Being after the Lord of the Universe, for he says, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” The Hebrews named the First Person Lord, as being universally the Lord of all, by the unspeakable Name expressed in the four letters. They did not call the Second Person Lord in a like sense, but only used the word as a special title. Naturally, then, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ Himself, |239 the Son of God, when He inquired of the Pharisees, “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?” on their saying, “The son of David,” asked, “How then can David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand”? practically interpreting the text as not only calling Him the Lord of David, but the Lord also of the Spirit in the prophet. And if the prophetic Spirit, which we believe to be the Holy Spirit, confesses Him to be Lord, Who He teaches shares the Father’s Throne, and not generally but as “His own Lord,” how incomparably more certain is it that the rational powers, who corne after the Holy Spirit, must say the same, and the whole visible creation, embodied and unembodied, of which of course the only Sharer of the Father’s Throne would be marked out as Lord, by Whose agency all things came into being, as the holy apostle says: “In him all things were created, of things in heaven, and things in earth, visible and invisible.” For He alone would have the authority of likeness to the Father, as being the only Person shewn to be throned with Him.

It is therefore plain that it would be wrong to allot to any among begotten beings the sitting at the right hand of the Almighty’s rule and kingdom, except to Him alone Whom I have shewn in many ways, by what I have laid before you, to be God. Understand then, that the Highest and Almighty Lord bestows on one and the same being the words, “Sit thou on my right hand,” and also, “Before the morning-star I have begotten thee,” and He delivers with an oath of confirmation the honour unshakeable and immutable of the continuous priesthood for ever and ever, “The Lord swore and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever.” And who could be supposed—leaving human beings out of account — even of those of the nature of |240 angels, to have been begotten of God, and made a priest for ever, but He alone Who also said in the former (b) prophecy, “The Lord created me as the beginning of the way for his works, before the ages he established me, in the beginning before the mountains were established, before all the hills he begets me.” Give your careful attention to understanding the relations of the present Psalm to the words quoted in the previous passage; in this one the Most High God establishes to share His own throne the Second Lord, who is our Lord, saying, “Sit thou on my right hand,” while in the preceding one the Scripture said that (c) His throne would remain for ever and ever, calling Him at the same time God when it says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” Again, in the passage before us, it says, “The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion,” and in the other, “The sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom”; and once more this passage says, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet, and thou shalt rule in the midst of thine enemies,” and the former one, “Thy arrows are sharp, O mighty one, in the heart of the (d) king’s enemies.” So that what is said about His enemies in both is in agreement. Who, then, seeing with his eyes in the midst of cities, villages and countries throughout the world the Churches of our Saviour, the peoples ruled by Him, and the vast multitudes of those sanctified by Him encircled on all sides by enemies and foes of the teaching of Christ, some visible among men, some invisible and beyond the power of sight, would not wonder at this oracie addressed to the person of the subject of the prophecy, which says, “Rule in the (222) midst of thine enemies”? And while in the previous passage we read, “Anointed with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”—it being the Hebrew custom to anoint priests —the passage before us now pronounces Him priest in clearer terms, adding more teaching about Him, by which we learn that He unlike all previous priests is the Eternal Priest, an idea which cannot be associated with mere (b) humanity. He says that He is made a priest after the order of Melchizedek, in contradistinction to the ordinance of |241 the Mosaic priesthood, held either by Aaron or any of his descendants, none of whom were priests until they had been anointed with a prepared ointment, and so became, as by type and symbol, a kind of shadowy and symbolical Christ. He was one of course that because of his mortality could not extend his priesthood long, and moreover was only consecrated for Jewish people, not for the other nations. He did not enter on his priestly duty under an oath of God, but was only honoured by the judgment of men, so that it was sometimes the case that something unworthy of God’s service was found in them, as is recorded of Eli. And moreover besides all this, that ancient priest of the Mosaic order could only be selected from the tribe of Levi. It was obligatory without exception that he should be of the family descending from Aaron, and do service to God in outward worship with the sacrifices and blood of irrational animals. But he that is named Melchizedek, which in Greek is translated “king of righteousness,” who was king of Salem, which would mean “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without line of descent, not having, according to the account, “beginning of years, nor end of life,” had no characteristics shared by the Aaronic priesthood. For he was not chosen by men, he was not anointed with prepared oil, he was not of the tribe of those who had not yet been born; and strangest of all, he was not even circumcised in his flesh, and yet he blesses Abraham, as if he were far better than he; he did not act as priest to the Most High God with sacrifices and libations, nor did he minister at the Temple in Jerusalem. How could he? it did not yet exist. And he was such of course because there was going to be no similarity between our Saviour Christ and Aaron, for He was neither to be designated priest after a period when He was not priest, nor was He to become priest, but be it. For we should notice carefully in the words, “Thou art a priest for ever,” He does not say, “Thou shalt be what thou wert not before,” any more than, “Thou wert that before, which thou art not now”—but by Him Who said, “I am that I am,” it is said, “Thou art, and remainest, a priest for ever.”

Since, then, Christ neither entered on His priesthood in time, nor sprang from the priestly tribe, nor was anointed with prepared and outward oil, nor will ever reach the |242 end of His priesthood, nor will be established only for the Jews but for all nations, for all these reasons He is rightly said to have forsaken the priesthood after Aaron’s type, and to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. And the fulfilment of the oracle is truly wondrous, to one who recognizes how our Saviour Jesus the Christ of God even now performs through His ministers even to-day i sacrifices after the manner of Melchizedek’s. For just as he, who was priest of the Gentiles, is not represented as offering outward sacrifices, but as blessing Abraham only with wine and bread, in exactly the same way our Lord and Saviour Himself first, and then all His priests among all nations, perform the spiritual sacrifice according to the customs of the Church, and with wine and bread darkly express the mysteries of His Body and saving Blood. This by the Holy Spirit Melchizedek foresaw, and used the figures of what was to come, as the Scripture of Moses witnesses, when it says:

“And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of the Most High God, and he blessed Abraham.”

And thus it followed that only to Him with the addition of an oath:

“The Lord God sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Hear, too, what the apostle also says about this:

“17. Wherein God willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of the kingdom the immutability of his counsel mediated it by an oath: 18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.”

And he adds:

“23. And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they were hindered from continuing. 24. But he, because he abideth, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25. Wherein he is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto (b) God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession |243 for them. 26. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”

And he adds:

“1. Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such an high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, 2. a minister of the holy things, and of the true tabernacle, which God has pitched, and not man.”

So says the apostle.

The Psalm too, continuing, shews in veiled phrase even the Passion of the Subject of the prophecy, saying: “He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up his head.” And another Psalm shews “the brook” to mean the time of temptations: “Our soul hath passed through the brook, yea, our soul has passed through the deep waters.” He drinks, then, in the brook, it says, that cup, evidently, of which He darkly spoke at the time of His Passion, when He said: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And also, “If it be not possible for it to pass from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”

It was, then, by drinking this cup that He lifted up His head, as the apostle also says, for when he was “Obedient to the Father unto death, even the death of the cross, therefore,” he says, “God hath highly exalted him,” raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His right hand, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name which is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. And He hath put all things in subjection under his feet, according to the promise made to Him, which He expresses through the Psalmist, saying, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feel. Be thou ruler in the midst of thine enemies.”

It is plain to all that to-day the power of our Saviour and the word of His teaching rule over all them that have believed in Him, in the midst of His enemies and foes. |244


That Isaiah also the Greatest of the Prophets dearly knew Him to be God in God, agreeing in His Words with Us Who glorify the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlv. 12-13.]

IN these words God the Creator of the Universe first foretells by the prophet a King and Saviour who will come to build up a holy constitution, and ransom all men who are enslaved by the errors of daemons. And next in order the prophetic Spirit darkly tells of the subjection of the different nations, which shall be subject to the One of Whom he prophesies, and how they will worship Him as God, how they will pray in His name, because of the greater God dwelling in Him, that is to say the Most High Father and God of the Universe. And this is how it is expressed.

“14. Thus saith the Lord: Egypt hath laboured for thee, and the merchandise of the Ethiopians, and the Sabeans, great in stature, shall pass over to thee, and shall be thy servants; and they shall follow thee bound in fetters, and shall worship thee anew, and shall pray in thy name, because God is in thee, and there is no God but thee. 15. For thou art God, and we knew it not, God of Israel, Saviour. 16. All that are opposed to Him shall be ashamed and confounded, and shall walk in shame.”

This is the prophecy. And I do not think that any one, however deficient in judgment he may be, can fail to see how clearly and plainly the words evidently refer to God, Israel’s Saviour, and another God in Him. “The just,” he says, “shall worship thee, and make their prayers in thee. Because God is in thee, and there is no God but thee. For thou art God, and we knew it not, the God of Israel, the Saviour.” And the words “we knew it not” spoken in the person of those of old who did not know Him, only |245 occur in the Septuagint, for the Hebrew is different, and translated by Aquila, “God then is strong and hidden, God that saves Israel,” and by Theodotion, “Therefore a strong secret God preserves Israel.” It is remarkable how he calls Christ a hidden God, and gives the reason clearly, why he calls Him God alone among the ones begotten after the First and Unbegotten, viz. the dwelling of the Father in Him.

“For in him” according to the holy apostle “it pleased that all the fullness of the godhead should dwell.” This the passage plainly expresses when it says “God is in thee, and there is no God but thee.” Instead of, “But thee” Theodotion has “But him,” translating: “There is no God but him,” that is to say, “But the God that is in thee, by whom thou also art God.”

According to Aquila it runs thus: “But a strong one is in thee, and there is none beside thee: God the strong and the one that hides himself preserving Israel.” And Symmachus, “God is in thee alone, and there is no other and exists no other God, verily thou art a hidden God, God preserving Israel,” in which the words clearly shew the reason of the Christ of God being God. It is where he says, “God is in thee and therefore thou art a strong and hidden God.” According to this, then, the true and only God must be One, and alone owning the Name in full right. While the Second, by sharing in the being of the True God, is thought worthy to share His Name, not being God in Himself, nor existing apart from the Father Who gives Him Divinity, not called God apart from the Father, but altogether being, living and existing as God, through the presence of the Father in Him, and one in being with the Father, and constituted God from Him and through Him, and holding His being as well as His Divinity not from Himself but from the Father. Wherefore we are |246 taught to honour Him as God after the Father, through the Father dwelling in Him, as we see these prophecies before us intend.

For as the image of a king would be honoured for the sake of him whose lineaments and likeness it bears (and though both the image and the king received honour, one person would be honoured, and not two; for there would not be two kings, the first the true one, and the one represented by the image, but one in both forms, not only conceived of, but named and honoured), so I say the Only-begotten Son, being the only image of the Unseen (227) God, is rightly called the image of the Unseen God, through bearing His likeness, and is constituted God by the Father Himself: thus He is, with regard to essence, and gives an image of the Father that grows from His nature and is not something added to Him, because of the actual source of His existence. Wherefore He is by nature both God and Only-begotten Son, not being made such by adoption like those who were without, who only acquire an accidental right to the Name of God. But He (b) is celebrated as Only-begotten Son by nature and as our God, but not as the first God, but as the first Only-Begotten Son of God, and therefore God.

And the general cause also of His being God, would be the fact that He alone is Son of God by nature, and is called Only-begotten, and that He completely preserves the living and vivid spiritual image of the One God, being made in all things like the leather, and bearing the likeness of His actual Divinity. Thus therefore Him also, as being the only Son and the only image of God, endued with the powers of the Father’s Unbegotten and eternal essence (c) according to the example of likeness, and fashioned to the extremest accuracy of likeness by the Father Himself, Who is the most skilled and the wisest delineator and maker of life conceivable, the holy Scriptures salute as God, as One worthy of receiving this Name of the Father with His other (names), but as one Who receives it, and does not |247 possess it in His own right. For the One gives, and the Other receives; so that strictly the First is to be reckoned God, alone being God by nature, and not receiving (divinity) from another. And the Other is to be thought of as secondary, and as holding a Divinity received from the Father, as an image of God, the Divinity in both being conceived of as one in type, God in Himself being one without beginning and unbegotten, but He is seen through the Son as by a mirror and image. And this is exactly the teaching of the prophetic oracle, which says that He is only to be worshipped as God, because the Father dwells in Him. For it says, “In thee shall they pray, because God is in thee, and Thou thyself art God, the Saviour of Israel, and therefore Thou art a strong and a hidden God. Since God is in Thee, and there is none beside Him.”

Instead of “Egypt laboured,” the Hebrew has, and the other translators render, “Labour of Egypt,” so that the passage runs: “The Labour of Egypt and the merchandise of the Aethiopians shall worship Thee and be Thy slaves, and the Sabeans,” by which I understand to be meant barbarous and obscure nations, in fact all those that long ago were a prey to daemonic superstition. For as the Egyptians seemed to be the most superstitious of all nations, and to have begun the errors of idolatry, it is natural that they should be represented as first coming under the yoke of Christ, and should represent all the rest of idolatry. And this was fulfilled in our Lord and Saviour, by the worship and service rendered to Him in all nations by many multitudes of nations throughout the world.

And I understand that the Ethiopians and Sabeans here foretold as worshipping Christ are also meant in Ps. lxxi., where it is said: “The Ethiopians shall fall down before him, and the kings of Arabia and Saba shall bring gifts, and shall worship him.” And it is plain from the context that it is Christ Who it is there predicted will also be the Object of their worship. |248


Psalm xxxii.

How David equally with Us knows the Word of God, Who is of His Essence, to be by the Command of the Father Creator of All Things; and how the Same Prophet witnesses that the Same Word of God was sent by the Father for the Saving of Men, and how He prophesies that in a Short Time the Whole World would be filled by His Teaching.

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made firm, and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth.”

And in Ps. cvi. it is said:

“He sent his word and healed them, and saved them from their destruction.”

And again in Ps. cxlvii.:

“He sendeth his oracle upon earth, his word runneth swiftly.”

Now it is evident that with the Psalm before us which says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made firm,” (229) the holy gospel exactly agrees when it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made.” The Gospel rightly calls Him God: for this same being who is now regarded as God, has been called in our previous quotations, the Word, the Wisdom and the Offspring of God, and the Priest, the Christ, King, Lord, God, and the Image of God. And (b) that He is other than the Father, and His Minister, so that He as the greater can bid Him to create, is added in the Psalm before us:

“8. Let all the earth fear the Lord, | and let all the dwellers on earth be moved by him. | 9. For he spake, and they were created, | he commanded and they were made. | “

For it is plain that a speaker must speak to some one else, and one who issues a command must issue it to another beside himself. And clearly since our Saviour’s Incarnation |249 many multitudes from all the earth, that is to say from all the nations of the earth, have ceased to fear daemons as before, and have feared the Lord Jesus, and all the inhabitants of the world have been moved at the Name of Christ, agreeably to the oracle which here says, “Let the earth fear the Lord: By him shall be moved all the inhabitants of the world.” These, then, come from Ps. ii. and xxx. And you would find similar prophecies also in Ps. cxlviii., which teaches that not only things in earth, but also things in heaven, the whole creation in a word, came into being by the command of God. For it says:

“1. Praise the Lord from the heavens, | praise him in the height; | 2. Praise him all ye angels of his, | praise him all his powers, | 3. Praise him sun and moon, | Praise him all ye stars and light, | . . . 5. For he spake, and they were made, | he commanded, and they were created.”

For if He commanded, Who was great enough to receive such a command, but the Word of God, who in many ways has been proved to be God in this treatise, and naturally called the Word of God, because the Almighty has set in Him the words that make and create all things, delivering to Him the task of governing all things and steering them by reason and in order?

For of course no one should imagine that the Word of God is like to articulate and spoken speech, which among men consists of syllables, and is compounded of nouns and verbs: for we know that our speech consists essentially of sounds and syllables and their significations, and is produced by the tongue and the organs of the throat and mouth, whereas that of the eternal and unembodied nature, totally divorced from all our conditions, could not possibly involve anything human: It uses the name of speech and nothing more. Since we must not in the case of the God of the Universe postulate a voice that depends on the movements of the air, nor words, nor syllables, nor tongue, nor mouth, nor anything indeed that is human and mortal. |250

For His must be a Word of the soul, and quite incapable of existence or being apart from the soul. For human speech is in itself without essence and substance, and regarded generally is a self-movement and activity of thought. But the Word of God is other than this: It has its own substance (c) in Itself altogether divine and spiritual, It exists in Itself, It is active also in Itself, and being divorced from matter and body, and made like to the nature of the first Unbegotten and Only God, It carries in Itself the meaning of all begotten things, and the ideas of things visible, being Itself without body and invisible. Wherefore the divine oracles call It Wisdom and the Word of God.


That Isaiah, as well as David, acknowledges Two Lords, and the (231) Second, as in David, is the Creator, as We also confess.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlviii. 12-15.]

(b) SEE now how He that says, “I am the first, and I am the last. He that established the earth and the heaven,” clearly confesses that He was sent by “the Lord, the Lord,” calling the Father Lord twice, and you will have undeniable evidence of what we seek. And He says that He is first among beings begotten in all reverence, since He allots Being, original, unbegotten, and beyond the first, to the Father. For the customary meaning of first in the sense of “first of a greater number,” superior in honour and order, (c) would not be applicable to the Father. For the Almighty God of course is not the first of created things, since the idea of Him does not admit of a beginning. He must be beyond and above the first, as Himself generating and establishing the First, and the Divine Word alone is to be called the First of all begotten things. So if we ask with reference to the words, “He spake and they were made, he commanded and they were created,” to which of the begotten beings He gave the command to create, we see now clearly that it was given to Him, Who said, “My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has |251 made the heaven strong”: Who also confesses that He was sent by One greater than Himself, when He says: “Now (d) the Lord, the Lord has sent me, and his Spirit.” And it must be the Word of God Who said also, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made firm,” if we compare the Psalm. And yet though the Word of God is Himself proclaimed divine by the word “Lord,” He still calls One Higher and Greater His Father and Lord, using with beautiful reverence the word Lord twice in speaking of Him, so as to differentiate His title. For He says here, “The Lord, the Lord has sent me,” as if the Almighty God were in a special sense first and true Lord both of His Only- (232) begotten Word and of all begotten things after Him, in relation to which the Word of God has received dominion and power from the Father, as His true and Only-begotten Son, and therefore Himself holds the title of Lord in a secondary sense.


From Genesis.

That Moses, God’s Greatest Servant, knows the Father and God of the Universe to have been associated with Another in the Creation of Man: And that. We have learned already that this Being was the Divine Word.

“AND God said, Let us make man in our image, and likeness.” And also: “And God said, It is not good for man to be alone, let us make a helper for him.” And he at once shews that the Being addressed is not an angel of God, so that it may not be thought that this was said to angels, with the words: “And God made man, in the image of God he made him.” |252


From the same.

That Moses clearly without Veil reveals God to be Two Lords,

“THE sun arose on the earth, and Lot entered Segor, and the Lord rained upon Sodom brimstone and fire from the Lord.”

It is clear here that the second “Lord” refers to him that was sent by the greater Lord to punish the ungodly. Yet if we unreservedly confess two Lords, we do not regard them both as God in the same sense. We are taught in all reverence to admit an order, that One is the Most High Father and God and Lord, and God and Lord of the Second: but that the Word of God is the Second Lord, Lord of those below Him, and yet not equally with the greater. For the Word of God is not Lord of the Father, nor God of the Father, but His Image, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Lord and God of those that come after Him; whereas the Father is Father and Lord and God even of the Son. Wherefore a reverent theology in our opinion rightly recurs to one Source of being and to one God.


From the same.

That the Same Servant of God shews a Second Being called God and Lord, and relates that He was seen in Human Shape and Form and answered Them of Old Time.

[Passages quoted, Gen. xii. 7; xvii. 1; xviii. 1, 17.]

AND again he adds to this, as if speaking of Another:

“For I knew that he will establish his children, and his house after him, and they will keep the ways of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, so that the |253 Lord will bring on Abraham what things he spake to him.”

The Lord Who answers, Who is recorded to have said this to Abraham, is represented as clearly confessing another Lord to be his Father and the Maker of all things. At least Abraham, who as a prophet has a clear conception of the speaker, prophetically continues with the words:

“Wilt thou destroy the righteous man with the wicked, and shall the righteous be as the wicked? If there be fifty righteous in the city, wilt thou destroy them? Wilt thou not spare [all] the place, because of the fifty righteous? Be it far from thee to fulfil this word, and destroy the righteous with the wicked, and that the righteous should be as the wicked. In no way let him, that judgeth all the earth, not do judgment.”

I hardly think that this could have been said suitably to angels or to any of God’s ministering spirits. For it could not be regarded as a minor duty to judge all the earth. And he is no angel who is named in the previous passage, but One greater than an angel, the God and Lord who was seen beside the before-mentioned oak with the two angels in human form. Nor can it be thought that Almighty God Himself is meant. For it is impious to suggest that the Divine changes and puts on the shape and form of a man. And so it remains for us to own that it is the Word of God who in the preceding passage is regarded as divine: whence the place is even to-day honoured by those who live in the neighbourhood as a sacred place in honour of those who appeared to Abraham, and the terebinth can still be seen |254 there. For they who were entertained by Abraham, as represented in the picture, sit one on each side, and he in the midst surpasses them in honour. This would be our Lord and Saviour, Whom though men knew Him not they worshipped, confirming the Holy Scriptures. He then thus in person from that time sowed the seeds of holiness among men, putting on a human form and shape, and revealed to the godly ancestor Abraham Who He was, and shewed him the mind of His Father.


From the same.

That the same Prophet shews more clearly in the Matter of Jacob the said Person to be Lord, Whom also He calls God, and an Angel of God Most High, in addressing Him.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xxviii. 10-19.]

THIS Being who here answers him at such length, you will find, if you read on, to be Lord and God, and the Angel of God, from the words Jacob himself says to his wives:

“And the angel of the Lord said to me in sleep, Jacob. And I said, Here am I.”

And also:

“I have seen, he says, all that Laban doeth to thee. I am the God, that was seen of thee in the place where thou anointedst the pillar for me, and offeredst prayer to me.”

Therefore He that said before, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy Father, and the God of Isaac, to whom godly |255 Jacob raises the pillar, was indeed God and Lord: for we must believe that which He Himself says. Not of course the Almighty, but the Second to Him, Who ministers for His Father among men, and brings His Word. Wherefore Jacob here calls Him an Angel: “The Angel of God said to me, speaking in my sleep, ‘ I am the God who was seen by thee in this place.’ ” So the same Being is clearly called the Angel of the Lord, and God and Lord in this place. And by Isaiah the Prophet he is called “Angel of Great Counsel,” as well as God and Ruler and Potentate, where His Incarnation is prophesied in the words:

“For unto us a child is born, and to us a son is given, on whose shoulder shall be the rule, and his name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel, Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Potentate, the Father of the Age to Come.”


That Jacob also beholds the Before-named as Both God and Lord, and also as an Angel in Human Form in Common with Abraham, in the Course of the History that so tells.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xxxii. 22-31.]

IT was said to Moses, No one shall see My face and live. ( But here Jacob saw God not indefinitely but face to face. ( And being preserved, not only in body but in soul, he was thought worthy of the name of Israel, which is a name borne by souls, if the name Israel is rightly interpreted “Seeing God.” Yet he did not see the Almighty God. For He is invisible, and unalterable, and the Highest of all Being could not possibly change into man.

But he saw Another, Whose name it was not yet the time to reveal to curious Jacob. And if we were to suppose that he saw an angel, or that one of the divine spirits in heaven whose duty it is to bring oracles to the holy, we should |256 clearly be wrong; firstly, because He is called Lord and God, for certainly Holy Scripture calls him God in distinct terms, and names Him Lord, honouring Him with the name signified by the Tetragram, which the Hebrews only apply to the unspeakable and secret name of God: and secondly, because when Scripture desires to speak of angels, it clearly distinguishes them as such, as when the God and Lord Who replies to Abraham no longer thinks the sinners of Sodom worthy of His presence, and Holy Scripture says:

“And the Lord departed, and ceased speaking with Abraham. And the two angels departed to Sodom at evening.”

And to Jacob:

” There came two angels of God: and he saw them, and said, It is the camp of God. And he called the name of that place, Encampments.”

Here, then, the godly man clearly distinguished the nature of the visions, since he now called the name of the place Encampments, from his seeing the encampments of the angels. Whereas when he communes with God, he calls the name of the place, Sight of God, adding, “For I have seen God face to face.”

And when an angel appears to Moses, Holy Scripture also makes it plain, saying: “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush.” But when it refers to the actual being who replies, it calls him God and Lord, and no longer an angel. It is equally clear in its distinction between the angel and the Lord in the account of what happened at the Red Sea, where it says:

“And the angel of the Lord that went before the children of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud also removed from before them.”

And as in the former passage the Lord is introduced as answering the men of the old time in human form, so also is He here by the cloud. For it is said afterwards:

“And it came to pass in the morning-watch, that the Lord looked upon the camp of the Egyptians in a pillar of fire and cloud. And God answered Moses in the pillar of the cloud through the whole of the wanderings in the wilderness.”

So Scripture is quite exact when the nature of an angel is meant, for it calls him neither God nor Lord, |257 but simply Angel. But when it knows that He that appears was Lord and God, it clearly uses those terms. And that by Lord and God they do not mean the First Cause, the passages of Holy Scripture clearly shew which call Him the Angel of God, Who had previously been called Lord and God in the part concerning Jacob. It only remains for Him then to be God and Lord among beings, after the Almighty God of the Universe. And He would thus be the Word of God before the ages, greater than all angels, but less than the First Cause.

CHAPTER 12 (d)

Thai again in the Story of Jacob the Story supposes a Secondary God.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xxxv. 1-3.]

HERE the very God of the Universe, the only Unbegotten (239) and Most High (not seen, for He answers Jacob invisibly, and moving him by His unspeakable power), speaks clearly of Another than Himself. God then said to him, “Make an altar to the God that appeared to thee.” I have already shewn Who this was that was described before as appearing to him, and proved that it was the Word of God.


From Exodus.

That the Almighty God, being He that answered Moses by an Angel, teaches that He was seen by the Fathers, not by means of an Angel, but by His Son.

[Passages quoted, Exod. iii. 1, 2, 4, 5, 14; vi. 2-4.]

IN the case of the Prophets, Isaiah, say, or Jeremiah, or those like them, a man was seen, and God prophesied |258 through him that was seen, as by an instrument; and now the Person of Christ, now that of the Holy Spirit, and now that of Almighty God, answered through the prophet. So we must suppose the Most High and Almighty God now prophesies the things before us to Moses who is under (240) instruction by the angel that appeared to him. The intention of which must have been of this nature: “To you, O prophet, as one being instructed and not fit for aught but angelic visions, hitherto I have willed to send my angel; and I make my Name clear to thee alone, teaching thee that I am what I am, and that my Name is the Lord; but I not only showed this to thy fathers, but I gave them a greater gift, I appeared to them.” I have already shewn Who it was that appeared to the fathers, when I shewed that (b) the angel of God was called God and Lord. It will naturally be asked how He that is beyond the universe, Himself the only Almighty God, appeared to the fathers. And the answer will be found if we realize the accuracy of Holy Scripture. For the Septuagint rendering, “I was seen of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, being their God.” Aquila says, “And I was seen by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as a sufficient God,” clearly shewing that the Almighty God Himself, Who is One, was not seen in His own Person; (c) and that He did not give answers to the fathers, as He did to Moses by an angel, or a fire, or a bush, but “as a sufficient God”: so that the Father was seen by the fathers through the Son, according to His saying in the Gospels, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” For the knowledge of the Father was revealed in Him and by Him. But in cases when He appeared to save men, He was seen in the human form of the Son, giving an earnest before the time to the godly of that salvation which should come (d) through Him to all men; whereas when He was going to be the avenger and chastiser of the wicked Egyptians, He appeared no longer as a sufficient God, but as an angel ministering punishment, and in form of fire and flame, ready at once to devour them like wild and thorny undergrowth. So they say that the bush darkly refers to the |259 wild, savage, and cruel character of the Egyptians, and the fire to the avenging power of the chastisement that overtook them. (241)

CHAPTER 14 (b)

That God the Word appeared in the Form of a Cloud to Moses and All the People, as in Human Form to the Patriarchs.

[Passages quoted, Exod. xix. 9; xxxiii. 9; Num.xii. 5.]

The people then beheld the pillar of cloud, and it spoke (c) to Moses. But who was the speaker? Obviously the pillar of cloud, which before appeared to the fathers in a human form. And I have already shewn that this was not the Almighty God, but another Being Whom we name, as the Word of God, the Christ Who was seen for the sake of the multitude of Moses and the people in a pillar of cloud, because it was not possible for them to see Him like their (d) fathers in human shape. For, surely, it was reserved for the Perfect to be able to see beforehand His future Incarnate appearance among men, and since it was impossible then for the whole people to bear it, He was seen now in fire in order to inspire fear and wonder, and now in a cloud, as it were in a shadowy and veiled form ruling them, as He was also seen, by Moses for their sake.

CHAPTER 15    (242)

That it was not an Angel, who gave Answers to Moses, but Some One More Excellent than an Angel.

[Passages quoted, Exod. xxiii. 20, 21; xxxii. 34; xxxiii. i.]

IT will be plain to all that these could not be the words of a mere angel of God. But of what God could they (c) be, but of the One seen by the forefathers, whom Jacob |260 clearly called the Angel of God? And He we know was the Word of God, being called both the Servant of God, and God Himself and Lord.


(d) That the same Lord teaches of another Lord, namely, His Son. (243)

[Passage quoted, Exod. xx. 2, 5, 7.]

From the Decalogue.

HERE, too, the Lord Himself teaches in the passage before us about another Lord. For He says: “I am the Lord thy God,” and adds: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God.” The second Lord is here mystically instructing His Servant about the Father, that is to say, the God of the Universe. And you could find many other similar instances occurring in Holy Scripture, in which God gave answers as if about another God, and the Lord Himself as if about another Lord.


That this Lord again Who gave Answers to Moses, knowing another Lord Greater than Himself as Father, called Him the True God.

(d) [Passages quoted, Exod. xxxiii. 17-18; xxxiv. 5-8.]

NOTICE, then, here how the Lord that descended in the cloud, and stood by Moses in the name of the Lord, called Another beside Himself, Who is twice called Lord, in a common form of reduplication, as one reckoned as God to be His own Master and Master of all others, and His Own Father, and that here it is not Moses, as might be supposed, but the Lord Himself Who calls another Lord His Father; for He speaks first, and say to Moses: “I |261 will pass before thee in my glory, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” And when He has so said, Scripture goes on in narrative form: “And the Lord descended in a cloud, and stood beside him there, and called on the name of the Lord.”

Thus the Lord Himself in fulfilment of His promise descends and passes before the face of Moses. And the Lord Himself calls and says: “O Lord, the God of pity and mercy,” and that which follows, clearly teaching His servant Who He was, and teaching mystically the knowledge of a Lord greater than Himself. And Moses implies this, when in his prayer for the people he records the words of the Lord before us, that the Lord spoke them, and not he himself, when he says:

“And now let the hand of the Lord be exalted, as thou saidst, The Lord is long-suffering and very pitiful and true, taking away sins and injustice, and iniquity, and will not clear the guilty with purification, avenging the sins of fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.”

Notice the way in which the Lord Himself addressing the Father in these words as “long-suffering and of tender mercy,” calls Him also “true,” agreeing with the words: “That they may know thee the only true God,” spoken in the Gospels by the same Being, our Saviour. Yea, with exceeding reverence He calls the Father the only true God, given meet honour to the Unbegotten Nature, of which Holy Scripture teaches us He is Himself the Image and the Offspring.


From Numbers.

That Holy Scripture teaches that God was seen by Israel, darkly meaning the Word of God.

IN the Book of Numbers Moses prays, saying: “Since thou art the Lord of this people that art seen of them face to face.” |262

For which Aquila substitutes: “Since thou art the Lord in the hearts of this people, which sees thee, O Lord, face to face.” And Symmachus: “Since thou art, O Lord.”

And it is said in Exodus: “And Moses, and Aaron, and Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and saw the place where the God of Israel stood.” Instead of which Aquila says: “And they saw the God of Israel.” And Symmachus: “And they saw in a vision the God of Israel.”

From the text: “No man has seen God at any time,” perhaps it might be thought that the above quotation contradicts the Saviour’s words, as implying that the invisible is visible. But if they be understood, like our former quotations, of the Word of God, Who was seen by the fathers “in many ways and in sundry manners,” no contradiction is involved.

The God of Israel here seen is shewn to be the same Being Who was seen by Israel, when a man wrestled with Him, Who first changed his name from Jacob to Israel, saying: “Thou hast power with God,” and when, also, Jacob appreciating His divine power called the place of the struggle the Sight of God, saying: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” I showed in the proper place that this was no other than the Word of God.

CHAPTER 19 (246)

From Joshua, the son of Nave.

That God the Word, Who answered Moses, appeared also to the Forefathers of Old Time, and to Joshua, Moses’ Successor, in Human Form.

[Passage quoted, Josh. v. 13-15.]

THE same words, you will remember, were said by the same Lord to Moses at the beginning of the vision of the Bush, for Scripture says: |263

“4. And when the Lord saw that he drew nigh to see, He called him from the midst of the Bush, saying, Moses, Moses, come not near here; loose thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”

So, then, the command that was given shews that the God Who answered on both occasions was one and the same. Though here He prophesies through the Chief and Captain of His power, and to Moses by the vision of the angel. And of the heavenly armies, celestial powers and invisible spirits, holy angels and archangels ministering to God the King of kings and the Lord of lords (as Daniel says: “Thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him”), what other could be highest of all but the Word of God, His Firstborn Wisdom, His Divine Offspring? Rightly, then, He is here called Chief Captain of the Power of the Lord, as also elsewhere “Angel of Great Counsel,” “Throned with the Father,” “Eternal and Great High Priest.” And it has been proved that the same Being is both Lord and God, and Christ anointed by the Father with the oil of gladness. Thus, appearing to Abraham by the oak in human form, He reveals Himself in a calm and peaceful guise, foreshowing by it His future Coming to save mankind; He appeared to Jacob, as to an athlete and a champion destined to wrestle with enemies, in the form of a man, and to Moses and the people in the form of cloud and fire, and led them, shewing Himself terrible and shadowy.

And as Joshua, the successor of Moses, was about to fight against the former possessors of Palestine his enemies, foreign and most ungodly races, He rightly appears to him with a sword drawn and pointed against the enemy, shewing by the vision that He Himself is about to attack the ungodly with an unseen sword and with divine power, the fellow-soldier and the fellow-combatant of His people. Wherefore He gives Himself the name of Chief and Captain of the Lord to suit the occasion. |264


How the Creator of the Universe, the Word of God, answered Job, and is said to have appeared to Him, just as He (b) did to the Fathers.

[Passages quoted, Job xxxviii. 1, 4, 7, 8, 14-17; xlii. 4-6.]

IT is easy to distinguish that the words before us are the Words of the Lord the Creator, not only from what has previously been considered but from the impression they make on you. And, moreover, that the passages: “Hast thou gone to the source of the sea, and trodden in the footprints of the deep?” and: “Do the gates of death open to thee for fear, and did the fortress of hell quake when they saw thee?” prophesy our Saviour’s descent into Hades I will prove in the proper place, only now . remarking that it is more reasonable to refer this passage to God the Word than to the God of the Universe.

(248) Job certainly afterwards bears witness that he has seen with his own eyes, as the fathers did the Lord Who spoke to him through the whirlwind and the clouds, saying:

“Hear me, Lord, that I also may speak: and I will ask thee, and teach thou me. I have heard of thee by the report of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee; wherefore I have humiliated myself and have melted, and I reckon myself dust and ashes.”

But how could a soul clothed in flesh and mortal eyes (b) behold the Most High God, the Being beyond the Universe, the Unchangeable and Unbegotten Essence, unless we could say that here also God the Word proved to be Lord in varying instances shews Himself as passing from His own proper majesty? This we may learn to be so from the oracles themselves, in which the Lord again narrating the story of the devil, under the name of the Dragon, to Job, insisted, Do not you fear because he is prepared for me? For what Lord ought we to think that the Dragon (c) was prepared, but our Saviour the Divine Word? He it was that destroyed the Prince of this world, who of old besieged the human race, loosing the pains of death, as |265 He Himself also shews, saying: “Didst thou come to the spring of the sea, and troddest thou the traces of the depth? Did the doors of death open to thee in fear, and the warders of hell seeing thee tremble?” and He naturally gave this answer to Job after the great trial and contest through which He had gone, teaching him that though he has struggled more than his share, a greater and sterner (d) battle and contest is reserved for the Lord Himself against the time of His Coming to earth to die.


From Psalm xc.

That this Psalm knows Two Lords. 

[Passage quoted, Ps. xc. 9-13.]

THESE are the words that the devil uses in the Temptation (249) of our Saviour. Notice, then, how the Psalm says to the Lord Himself: “For thou, O Lord my hope, hast made the Most High thy refuge.” For Thou Thyself, he says, my hope, O Lord, hast made thy refuge One greater than Thyself, God Himself the Most Highest over all and Thine own Father; wherefore evils shall not come upon Thee, (b) and no scourge shall come nigh Thy dwelling. And although wicked men attempt to scourge Thee, when Thou shalt become man, and to put Thee to death, yet for all that the scourge of God shall not come nigh Thy dwelling, that is Thy body, which Thou shalt wear for our sakes having become man. In the same way you will refer to Him all the remainder of the Psalm, which I will consider also in its fit place. |266


From Hosea.

About the Word of God and about the Father, as about a Lord.

[Passage quoted, Hos. xi. 9.]

IN these words God the Word says when He has become man to those who confess Him to be a holy man, but not God: “I am God and not a holy man among you.” And, then, having called Himself God, He shews the Almighty Lord and God, His Father, adding: “I will go behind the Lord.” And the words: “I will not enter into the city,” are of one who refuses to take part in the common and vulgar life of men, from which also He dissuades his own disciples: “Go not on a road of the Gentiles, and enter not into a city of the Samaritans.”

CHAPTER 23      (250)

From Amos.

(b) Of Our Saviour as of a Lord, and of His Father as of God, and. of the Destruction of the Jewish People.

[Passage quoted, Amos iv. ii.]

AND here the Lord Himself says that some God has caused the destruction of Sodom, since He Himself must plainly be a different Being from the One of Whom He speaks. Therefore two Lords stands out in the destruction (c) of Sodom and Gomorrah, when the Lord rained the fire of the Lord on them. You also, he says, will suffer a destruction such as Sodom underwent for its unnatural wickedness, and even so did not turn to Me. Scripture generally regards the future as past, so that we must understand the past to be meant in spite of the tense. The future “I will overthrow” must be understood for the past “I overthrew,” and “ye will not turn,” for “ye did turn.” |267

This is levelled at the Jewish race, and only received its fulfilment in their case, after their plot against our Saviour, (d) Their ancient holy place, at any rate, and their Temple are to this day as much destroyed as Sodom. Yet though they have suffered in accordance with the prediction, they have not hitherto turned to Christ, on Whose account they have suffered so much. And so the prophecy before us is justly inspired to say: “And neither so have ye returned to me, saith the Lord.”

CHAPTER 24 (251)

From Obadiah.

Of the Two Lords, Father and Son, and of the Call (b) of the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Obad. 1.]

THE Lord God has heard a report from the Lord. And this report was about the call of the Gentiles.


From Zechariah.

That God the Word being Lord confesses that He was sent (c) by a Greater Lord.

[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 8.]

IF, then, the Lord that sent (Him) is Lord Almighty, and He that says He was sent is so also, surely there are Two; And He that was sent as Almighty Lord of the nations says clearly, “He sent me.” |268


The same, and concerning the Call of the Gentiles. 

[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 10, 11.]

AND this prophecy is like the former one, telling of the coming of the Christ to men, and the call of the Gentiles to salvation through Him.

“For I the Lord myself will come,” He says, “and at My coming no longer Israel of old, nor one single nation of the earth alone, but many nations shall take refuge in the greater and high Lord, the God of Me Myself and of the Universe, to Whom fleeing the nations shall reap the great harvest of being called and actually becoming the people of God, and of dwelling in the midst of her that is called the daughter of Zion.”

So it is common in Holy Scripture to call the Church of God on earth, as being as it were a daughter of the heavenly Zion. And this good news is told in the oracle which says:

“Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Zion, because I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee.” For we believe that God the Word dwells in the midst of the Church. As indeed He promised when He said, ” Lo, I am with you all the days, until the end of the world”—and, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And when, He says:

“I the Lord Myself, do come and dwell in the midst of youthou shalt receive a greater knowledge of God, for I the Lord will refer the cause of My being sent to men to My Father who sent Me. Thou shalt know that the Lord Almighty has sent Me unto you.”

And then in such words as these the Lord Himself speaks about another Lord and God, “And I will strengthen them in the Lord their God, and in my name shall they boast, saith the Lord.” Who then are those who boast in the Lord? |269


How again the Lord narrates concerning another Lord, and this is clearly His Father. (253)

[Passage quoted, Zech. iii. 1.]

AND here again the Lord says that another Lord will rebuke the devil. The Lord that is speaking with Him is not himself the rebuker, but tells of another Lord. Wherein I consider there is clear proof of the existence of two Lords, the Father and God of the Universe, and One after the Father, Who has received the lordship and dominion of all things begotten.

CHAPTER 28     (b)  

From Malachi.

That the Almighty God calls the Angel of the Covenant Christ, and the same Being Lord.

[Passage quoted, Mal. iii. 1-2.]

THIS, too, is like the former prophecies. For the Lord God (c) Himself, the Almighty, says that a Lord will come in His own temple, speaking of another: And He surely means God the Word. And after this also He names Him “the Angel of the Covenant” of Whom, too, Almighty God teaches that He will Him send forth before His face, saying, “Behold, I send forth my angel before my face.” And this same Being, Whom He has called “My angel,” He calls Lord directly after, and adds, “The Lord shall suddenly come, and the Angel of the Covenant.” Thus having (d) referred to one and the same Being, He proceeds, “Behold he comes, and who will abide the day of his coming?” meaning His Second and Glorious Coming. And the Lord who makes this prophecy is God, the Sovereign of the Universe. |270


That the God of the Universe names Christ the Sun of Righteousness.

[Passage quoted, Mal. iv. 2.]

HE that has often been named Lord, and God, and Angel, and Chief Captain, Christ and Priest, and Word and Wisdom of God, and Image, this same Being is now called Sun of Righteousness. And we see that the Father that begat Him proclaims that He will rise not on all, but only on those that fear His Name, giving them the light of the Sun of Righteousness as a reward for their fear. He, then, must be God the Word, Who said, “I am the Light of the world”; for He was “the light that lighteth every man coming into the world.” He of course, and not the sun of nature, perceptible to all alike whether they have reason or not, He that is divine and spiritual, and the cause of all virtue and justice, God says in this passage, will rise only on those that fear Him, hiding Himself from the unworthy. Concerning which He says somewhere else, “And the sun shall set upon the prophets that deceive my people.”


From Jeremiah.

That God the Word, being Lord, prays to His Father, prophesying the Conversion of the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Jer. xvi. 19-21.]

THE Lord prays to another Lord, clearly His Father and the God of the Universe, and says in the opening of His prayer, “O Lord, thou art my strength,” and that which follows. And He clearly prophesies the conversion of the Gentiles from idolatrous error to godly religion. And this prophecy, moreover, has been shewn most clearly to have been fulfilled after the Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ to men.

But now that we have, by thirty prophetic quotations in all, learned that our Lord and Saviour the Word of God is (b) God, a Second God after the Most High and Supreme, we will pass to another topic in connection with the theology of His Person, and prove from the holy books of the Hebrews that it was necessary for this same God to come to men.




(237) IN my fifth book of the Proof of the Gospel the doctrine of the Father and the Son has been clearly defined in the confession of one Almighty God, and in the proof of a Second Being coming after Him as Head of all begotten things, Whom the Holy Scriptures named of old the Firstborn Wisdom of God, the Only-begotten Son, God of God, the Angel of Great Counsel, the Leader of the Host of Heaven, the Minister of the Father, yea, even Lord of the Universe, Word of God and Power of God, and if now the witness of the prophets should shew that they foretold that God intended to come to men, it will be abundantly evident to whom we must apply this prediction, especially as. according to what I have said already, the Word of God, under the Name of Lord and God, appeared to human eyes, to the pious men of Abraham’s day, made in the form and likeness of man.

So let us now examine any such predictions of the Hebrew oracles, that now the Ford, now God, would descend to men and again ascend in their sight, and the causes of His descent: and you will note that some prophecies arc veiled and some clearly expressed. I hold that the secret prophecies were delivered in a disguised form because of the Jews, as the predictions concerning them were unfavourable; because they would most probably have destroyed the writing, if it had plainly foretold their final ruin; just as history shows that they attacked the prophets, because they rebuked them. But the prophecies that are clear include beyond all doubt |2 the call of the Gentiles, and announce the promises of the reward of holiness not only to the Jewish race, but to all men throughout the world. As this is so, we must now hear the divine oracles.


(238)    Of the Sojourn of the Word of God with Men.

From Psalm xvii.

The Shewing forth of the Coming of God to Men, and the Consequent Call of the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Ps. xvii. 9-11.]

I CONSIDER that we have here an express prophecy of God’s Descent from heaven. For after telling many divine truths he adds the above. In saying “He bowed the heavens and came down,” he notes that humiliation of the Divine Glory, which the divine apostle expressed, when he said:

“Who being in the form of God, did not consider it a prize to be equal with God, but emptied himself, and took the form of a servant.”

And by the words, “He rode upon Cherubim and flew,” I believe he presents darkly the return to Divine Glory, which He made surrounded by troops of angelic and divine powers. And this also seems to be intended by, “He flew upon the wings of the wind.” And by, “making darkness his secret-place, and darkness under his feet,” is signified the hidden and secret dispensation, under which He accomplished all this. What shall we understand by “round about him was his tabernacle” but His Holy Catholic Church, either the earthly, or the heavenly? And afterwards at the end of the same Psalm, there is a prophecy of the rejection of the former people coincident with the call of the Gentiles:

” 43. Save me from the gainsayings of the people, thou wilt make me the head of the Gentiles. A people whom I have not known shall serve me.
“44. At the hearing of the ear they obeyed me: the strange children lied to me. |3
“45. The strange children waxed old: and grew lame from their paths.”

I will examine in the proper place what meaning is to be attributed to this.


Psalm xlvi.

The Ascent of God Who had First descended, and the Calling of all the Gentiles thereafter, to know the One and Only God.

[Passage quoted, Ps. xlvi. 1-9.]

WHAT can the Ascension of the Lord God here mentioned imply, but a Descent previous to His Ascension, after which the calling of all the Gentiles is again prophesied, and good news of joy and gladness announced to all nations in their future knowledge of God, when the Lord Himself, He that is the one Most High God and King of all the earth, is said to subdue the peoples under us. And who are meant by “us”? Surely those who give the prophecy: which will be clearly seen to be fulfilled, when all the nations that believe in Christ are subdued to the teaching of the prophets.

Or they might be spoken in the person of our Saviour’s apostles, who also could say, “He has chosen out an inheritance for us.” And what else could be understood by “his inheritance,” but the calling of all nations, which the Christ of God shewed forth Himself, when He said: “The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son: to-day have I begotten thee . . . Desire of me and I shall give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the bounds of the earth for thy possession? “This inheritance, then, that was given Him by the Father He subordinated to His apostles and prophets, by subduing those that believed on Him to their words agreeably to the above prophecies.

And the Word of God, of Whom I have discoursed so much, after accomplishing all things in His appearance among men, “ascended with a shout.” This is interpreted by the apostle, who says: “That he ascended, what is it but |4 that he also descended first to the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same as He Who ascended far above all heavens.” And he says that He ascended with a shout, because of the companies of angels proclaiming His Divinity as He went up, who also said: “Open your gates, ye rulers, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.”

And you would not err in identifying the sound of the trumpet with the preaching of the Gospel heard in all the world. For as the trumpet is the loudest of all musical instruments, it seems a fit symbol to shew forth that the teaching given to all men about Christ is proclaimed in stronger and louder tones than any other teaching has ever been, by which as by a trumpet for the hearing of all men the Holy Spirit shouts and cries what follows in this Psalm, “Sing to the Lord, sing, sing to our King, sing, That God is King “not only of the Jewish race in the future, he says, but “of all the earth, sing with understanding.”

No more the daemons of old, he says, no more the earth-bound and weak spirits, but God Himself rules over all the nations, God Himself, Who sits upon His holy seat.

I have already in the preceding book treated of the throne of God the Word, on which the Father bade Him sit, “Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.” And we can still more clearly refer the words, “The princes of the peoples were gathered together with the God of Abraham,” to the Gentile rulers of the Christian Church coming into the inheritance of God’s pious prophets of old, who, waxing strong by the power of the Saviour, have been lifted up, no man being able to cast them down or humble them because of the right hand of God that raises them and gives them power. But of this I will give fuller treatment when I have leisure. |5


From Psalm xlix.

How it is said that God will come dearly to Men, and will call all Races of Men io Himself.

[Passage quoted, Ps. xlix. 1-14.]

HERE the divine prediction clearly prophesies that God will come manifestly, meaning none other but the Word of God. And it shews the reason of His coming, again emphasizing the calling of all nations of the world. For it says, “He (d) has called the earth from the rising of the sun to the setting”; and it teaches that the rejection of the outward worship according to the Mosaic Law will follow hard after His Manifestation and the calling of the Gentiles, a worship which actually ceased after the manifestation of the Word of God to all men. For from that day to this all men throughout all the world have been called, and all the nations of the east and west. And the Jewish worship has ceased (262) and been abolished, all men being called to worship according to the new Covenant of the preaching of the Gospel, and not according to the Law of Moses. We might also apply these prophecies to our Saviour’s second and glorious Coming.


From Psalm lxxxiii.

That God is said to be about to be seen on Earth through the Manifestation of the Christ to Men.

[Passage quoted, Ps. Ixxxiii. 7.]

AFTER saying that the God of gods shall be seen, he prays that His Manifestation may take place quickly, teaching in what manner He will be seen in the words, “Look on the lace of thy Christ,” as if he said more clearly, “Manifest thyself to us in the person of Christ.” For since “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father that sent me,” He naturally promises that the God of God who dwells in Christ will manifest Himself in the Person of Christ. |6


From Psalm xcv.

The Coining of Christ on Earth, and His Kingdom over the Gentiles, and the New Song which shall be given, not to Israel but to the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Ps. xcv. 1-13.]

(b) HERE again the Coming of the Lord to men is foretold, and that a new song shall be sung at His Coming, by which is meant the new Covenant, by the whole earth, not by the Jewish race; and that the good news will be no longer for Israel, but for all the nations, since it says that the Lord Who is to come will be their King. But who could this be but God the Word, Who, intending to judge the world in righteousness and the human race in truth, reckons all men in the world equally worthy of His call, and of the salvation of God consequent thereon?


From Psalm xcvii.

The New Song, the Knowledge of the Heathen of the Lord’s Righteousness and His Own Coming as Judge of the Universe.

[Passage quoted, Ps. xcvii. 1-8.]

IT is prophesied here that the Coming of the Lord will be the cause of great benefits to the nations, which have been proved to have actually accrued to them, through the manifestation of our Saviour. For of a truth from then and not before the new song of the new Covenant has been sung among all men, and His wonders have been known (264) and heard by all men through the written gospels. Yea, and salvation also, by the Resurrection of the Lord from the dead, has been revealed to all nations, and the true righteousness, by which it has been clearly proved, that God is not the God of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles. “Since there is one God,” in the words of the holy apostle, |7 “who will judge the circumcision from their faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.” And the words, “for he cometh to judge the earth,” might refer also to His second Coming.”


From Psalm cvii.

The Word of God sent forth for the Healing and Salvation of Souls Long Time afflicted with Evil.

[Passages quoted, Ps. cvii. 15-19, 32-36.]

THIS clearly gives the good news of the Descent of God the Word from heaven, Who is named, and of the result of His Coming. For it says, “He sent his Word and healed them.” And we say distinctly that the Word of God was He that was sent as the Saviour of all men, Whom we are taught by the Holy Scriptures to reckon divine. And it (265) darkly suggests that He came down even unto death for the sake of those who had died before Him, and in revealing the redemption of those to be saved by Him it shews the reason of His Coming. For He saved without aid from any one those that had gone before Him even to the gates of death, healed them and rescued them from their destruction. And this He did simply by breaking what are called the gates of death, and crushing the bars of iron. And (b) then the prophecy proceeds to predict the state of desolation of those who rejected Him when He came. For it says, “He turned rivers into a wilderness, and rivers of waters into thirst, a fruitful land into saltness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein”: which you will understand if you behold Jerusalem of old, the famous city of the Jewish race, her glory and her fruitfulness, despoiled now of her holy citizens and pious men. For (c) after the coming of Christ she became as the prophet truly says without fruit or water, and quite deserted, “saltness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” |8

To this is added quite in the prophetic manner a veiled prediction of the change of the long-time desert and thirsty land, referring either to the individual soul, or to the turning of the Gentile Church to holiness, and of its fertility in divine words. This is clearly predicted in a veiled way, when it says, “He made the desert into pools of water,” and that which follows. But to understand this one must have wisdom from God; according to the monition at the end of the Psalm, which says, “Who is wise, and he will (d) keep this? “and that which follows.


From Psalms cxvii. and cxviii.

The Calling of the Gentiles, God Manifested, and Pressed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

[Passages quoted, Pss. cxvii. 1 and cxviii. 25.]

(266) HOLY Scripture records that this prophecy was fulfilled when our Lord and Saviour Christ entered Jerusalem, and a great multitude of men and children went before Him (b) crying with joy, “Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.” For instead of, “O Lord, save us,” as expressed in the Psalm, they cried out the Hebrew “Hosanna,” which is translated by “save.” And the words, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” explain the words that follow, “The Lord is God and hath appeared to us.” It was, then, one and the same Lord God that appeared to them, that is to say the Word of God, as He Who is therefore blessed, because He came among men in the name of the Lord His Father that sent Him. It was therefore in reproof of the Jews that disbelieved in Him, that He said: “I came in the name of my Father, and ye received me not. But if one come in his own name, him will ye receive.” So the Holy Spirit suitably addresses the opening verses of the Psalm not to the Jewish people, but to all the nations. |9


From Psalm cxliii.

The Descent of the Lord from Heaven for Men’s Salvation, (d) and the New Song sung thereafter, which is the Song of the New Covenant.

[Passages quoted, Ps. cxliii. 3, 5, 9.]

I CONSIDER this to be connected with my present subject. (267) For in his wonder at the knowledge of God the Word coming to men, the Psalmist is astonished above measure at the love by which He descends from His Divinity, and lessens His natural Majesty, and reckons the human race worthy of bearing Him. So here he prays, saying, “Lord, bow the heavens and descend.” While in the Seventeenth Psalm it is written, “And he bowed the heavens, and descended, and it was dark under his feet. And he rode upon Cherubim, and flew, he flew upon the wings of the winds,” wherein there is a prophecy of His Ascension (b) from earth to heaven. And when there is a fit opportunity I will shew that we must understand the Descent and Ascension of God the Word not as of one moving locally, but in the metaphorical sense which Scripture intends in the use of such conventional terms.

But we should also note here the new Covenant, into which the Coming of Christ was about to invite men. And the new Covenant is that which succeeds the old and is given to all nations. And so the oracle before us says, “O God, I will sing a new song to thee.” The words, (c) “Touch the mountains and they shall smoke,” I think are a veiled prophecy of the burning and abolition of all forms of idolatry, which had its chief seats among the ancients in mountains, it being a common charge against the Jews themselves, that they worshipped idols on every high mountain in imitation of foreign nations. |10


(d) From Psalm cxlvii.

The Word of God sent on Earth, and in a Short Time running through All Nations.

[Passage quoted, Ps. cxlvii. 12, 15.]

“HE that sendeth his word on earth, until his word runs swiftly.” He that sends is evidently distinct from Him that (268) is sent. You have then, here, both the Sender, the Almighty God, and also the Word that was sent, Who having many names is called by the holy oracles now Wisdom, now Word, now God, and also Lord. And as you know how in a very short time the word of His teaching has filled the whole world, I am sure you will wonder at the fulfilment of the prophecy, “Till his word runs swiftly.”


From the Second Book of Kings [= 2 Samuel].

(c) The Lord descending from Heaven, Leader of the Nations that before knew Him not, and about to cast off the Jewish Nation.

[Passages quoted, 2 Sam. xxii. 1, 10-12, 44-46.]

(d) THE God that bowed the heavens and came down, Who mounted upon the man whom He had chosen, called here Cherubim by Scripture, flew up with Him making His Ascension with the divine spirits as His bodyguard, and these are called the wings of the winds. And it suggests that this was done darkly and in obscurity by some secret and hidden words, when it says, “And he made darkness his secret place.” What follows agrees with the Incarnation of Christ and shews the opposition of the Jewish people to Him, and the obedience of the Gentiles to His teaching. |11

You will find similar sayings in the Seventeenth Psalm, about which I have already given my views.


From the Third Book of Kings [ = First Book of Kings].

God descending from Heaven, and dwelling with Men on Earth.

[Passage quoted, 1 Kings viii. 26, 27.]

THIS is also found in the same words in Chronicles. God then promised David He would raise up a king from His body, and would be His father, so that the offspring of the seed of David should be called the Son of God, and should have His throne in an eternal kingdom. This was prophesied to David by Nathan in the Second Book of Kings as follows:

“And it shall come to pass when thy days shall have been fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, who shall come from thy body, and I will prepare his kingdom. He shall build a house to my name, and I will establish his throne for ever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.”

The same is also said in Chronicles. And in the 88th Psalm it is written:

“27. He shall call on me, Thou art my Father, my God and the helper of my salvation. | 28. And I will will make him my firstborn, | high among the kings of the earth. | 29. I will keep my mercy for him for ever, | and my covenant shall stand fast with him, | 30. and I will make his seed last for ever and ever, | and his: throne as the days of heaven.” |

And again:

“4. I have sworn | to David my servant, | 5. I will prepare thy seed for ever, | and I will build thy throne from generation to generation.” | |12

And once more:

“36. I have sworn once by my holiness that I will not lie to David. | 37. His seed shall remain for ever, | and his throne is as the sun before me, | 38. and as the moon that is established for ever.” |

And Psalm 131, too, when it records this, refers the matter to Christ. Hear what it says:

“1. Remember, Lord, David and all his gentleness; |
2. how he sware to the Lord and vowed a vow unto the God of Jacob.” |

To which he adds afterwards:

“11. The Lord sware the truth to David, and he will not abolish him. | Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy seat.” |

And a little lower down he names more definitely Him that is to arise of the fruit of David’s body, as follows:

“17. There will I raise up the horn of David, I have prepared a lantern for my Christ. | 18. His enemies I will clothe with shame; | but on him shall his glory flower.” |

And so Solomon being unique in wisdom, understanding this oracle given to his father, and perceiving it to be no slight thing, but something beyond human nature, and more suitable to God than to himself, son of David though he was, and knowing who was meant by God by the Firstborn, and who was clearly foretold as the Son of God, was overjoyed at the message, and prayed that the words of the prophecy might be confirmed, and that He that was foretold might come, calling Him Firstborn and Son of God. So he says, “And now, O God of Israel, let thy word be confirmed which thou spakest to thy servant David my father: Shall God truly dwell with men on earth, if the heaven and the heaven of heavens will not suffice thee? ” |13


From Micah.

Concerning the Descent from Heaven to Men, and concerning the Fall of the Jewish Nation at His Coming, and the Incorporation of All the Other Nations.

[Passage quoted, Micah i. 2-5.] (271)

HERE, too, in this passage the Descent of the Lord coming forth from His place is proclaimed plainly. This must mean (b) the Word of God, Whom I have proved in the previous books to be alone God and Lord after the Supreme and Almighty God. His place you would rightly understand to be the kingdom of heaven, and the glorious throne of His Divinity, of which the prophet sang in praise of God, saying, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” on which the Father bade Him sit as being His Only-begotten Son, saying, “Sit thou on my right hand.” For I have already shewn (c) that these words can only be referred to our Saviour, God the Word. So, then, the prophecy before us says that He conies forth from His place, and will descend upon the high-places of the earth. How are we to understand this? Shall we take it literally of the hills and mountains of Israel, which are the subjects of so many prophecies, Jerusalem itself and Mount Sion, in which our Lord and Saviour spent so much time? If so, their destruction and ruin at (d) the descent of Christ would be prophesied. And it is the fact that after the Saviour’s coming and the treatment He received all the hills mentioned were besieged, and utterly desolated. But the rulers of the Jewish people as well, and their kingdom that existed previously, their sacrificial system and the seats of their teachers, here called Mountains metaphorically, are said to be shaken by the Descent of the Lord from heaven. And who could deny that this was fulfilled after the time of our Saviour Jesus Christ, when he sees all these things not only shaken, but abolished? And the valleys even now melting are the Jewish synagogues established in all cities instead of Jerusalem and Mount (272) Sion, which are full of lamentation and wailing, and melting as wax at the fire with grief and extreme sorrow for the |14 desolation of their homes and their long and lasting slavery. And the coming of the Word of God regarded in another light took place not in chasms and valleys, nor in lowly and earth-bound thoughts, but in exalted souls. And so the Lord Himself is said in a wider metaphor to be about to descend on the high-places of earth. Then the mountains shaken under Him will be those very heights whither He “was led by the spirit to be tempted of the devil,” “when the devil leadeth him to an exceeding high mountain, and he was with the wild beasts.” Or the mountains again might represent in metaphor the idolatry practised formerly on mountains, and the principalities and powers working there invisibly, which our Saviour’s teaching was to shake and overthrow in no small degree. For His inspired word and His miraculous and wondrous strength have insensibly destroyed the powers which from far ages have attacked mankind. In like manner also the hills melting like wax from the presence of the fire would be the infernal and earth-bound daemons, against whom He sent forth fire to consume their lust, saying, “I came to cast fire upon the earth, and what will I if it be already kindled?” Burned by which fire, and unable to bear the torture of its unseen flame, they withdrew from the bodies of men, and acknowledged that which controlled them and drove them out, crying, “Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Son of God? Hast thou come to torment us before the time? We know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” And these He chiefly chastised, and destroyed their princes, because not content with the corruption of the other nations, whereby they had cast them all into the errors of polytheism, they had also plotted against God’s ancient people, those of the Circumcision, and had endeavoured to seduce even them from their God to all manner of impiety. And this was the chief reason why the Lord descended from heaven. Wherefore He says next, “For the iniquity of Jacob is all this done, and for the transgression of my people Israel.” And then He gives an additional reason for the Descent of the Word, recounting the impiety of the Jews, and the destruction falling upon them, and heralding the calling of all nations throughout the world. For these things’ sake the Word of God came down from heaven to earth. Hear this passage: |15

“5. For the impiety of the House of Jacob is all this done, and for the transgression of the House of Israel. What is the impiety of the House of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the sin of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? 6. And I will make Samaria a lodge of the field, and a plantation of a vineyard, and I will draw down to chaos the stones thereof, and will hide the foundations thereof.”

And He adds:

“12. Evil hath descended from the Lord on the gates of Jerusalem, the noise of chariots and horsemen.”

And again:

“15. O glory of the daughter of Jerusalem, shave and cut off thy choice children. Enlarge thy widowhood, as an eagle, when thy captives are led from thee.”

And moreover:

“Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be as a granary, and the mount of the house as a grove of the wood.”

Sion and Jerusalem and the so-called “mount of the house” are what were represented before in, “And the mountains shall be shaken from beneath him, and the valleys shall be melted as wax before the fire for the iniquity of Jacob.” For the mountains and the dwellers thereon were besieged for the iniquity they had wrought against Him soon and not long after Mount Sion was burned and left utterly desolate, and the Mount of the House of God became as a grove of the wood.

If our own observation has any value, we have seen in our own time Sion once so famous ploughed with yokes of oxen by the Romans and utterly devastated, and Jerusalem, as the oracle says, deserted like a lodge. And this has come to pass precisely because of their impieties, for the |16

sake of which the Heavenly Word has come forth from His own place.

And I have already said that the Word of God came down from heaven and descended on the high places of the earth for other reasons, both that the mountains which of old lifted themselves up and exalted themselves against the knowledge of God might be shaken beneath Him (that is to say the opposing powers, which before His coming enslaved the Hebrew race as well as the rest of mankind in the practice of impiety and idolatry), and also that the evil daemons called valleys (through their living in gloomy chasms, and in the recesses of the body) might melt as wax before the fire and flee away from men by the power of the divine Word. And there was another additional reason by no means fortuitous for the descent of the Lord from heaven, which this prophecy recognizes, namely that all the nations on earth, the daemons being banished and the ruling spirits shaken, recovering from the cruel and ceaseless tyranny which had long afflicted them, might attain the knowledge of Almighty God. And the voice of the same prophet proclaims the same things further on as follows, uniting them in the same manner under one head:

“And in the last days the Mount of the Lord shall be glorious, prepared upon the tops of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and peoples shall haste unto it, and many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and the house of the God of Jacob, and they will shew us his way, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Sion shall come forth a law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, and he will judge in the midst of the nations.”

One can learn at one’s leisure in what sense such prophecies of the Call of the Gentiles are to be understood, and that they were only fulfilled after the coining of our Saviour. And the opening of the prophecy is in full agreement with I the truth that the Lord descended not only for the salvation of the Jewish race, but for that of all nations, in proclaiming to all peoples and all the inhabitants of the earth, saying, “Hear all peoples, and let the earth attend, and all that are |17  therein.” And it darkly foretold the witness of the Passion of our Lord, adding, “And the Lord our God shall be for a witness.”

And after this the same prophet, having prepared the way by telling of what related to the fact of the Descent of God the Word from heaven, and foretold what should be the causes of His coining, proceeds to relate His birth among men, and to name the place where He should be born, in the following words:

“2. And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, art the least to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall come forth for me a leader, to be for a ruler in Israel, and his goings-forth are from the beginning from the days of eternity.”

Note with care how he says that the goings forth of Him that shall appear at Bethlehem are from above and from eternity, by which he shews the pre-existence and essential origin of Him that is to come forth from Bethlehem. Now if any person can apply the oracle to any one but Jesus, let him shew who it is; but if it is impossible to find any one but our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Person after the date of this prophecy Who came forth thence and attained to fame, what should hinder us from acknowledging the truth of the prophecy, which directs its prediction on Him only? For He alone of all men is known to have come forth from the before-named Bethlehem after the date of the prophecy, putting on a human shape, and what had been foretold was fulfilled at His coming. For at once and not after a long time the woes that were foretold fell on the Jewish nation, and blessings in accordance with the prophecies on the nations as well, and He Himself, our Lord and Saviour Who came from Bethlehem, was shewn to be the ruler of the spiritual Israel, such being the name of all people of vision and piety. Note too that it is said that the goings-forth of His Divine Pre-existence are from the beginning and from the days of eternity, which would not agree with mere humanity.

Then the word of the prophet, a little further on, suggests again the curtailing and abolition of the ancient ritual of the Law, speaking in the person of the people: |18

“6. Wherewithal shall I reach the Lord, and lay hold of my God most high?. Shall I reach him by whole burnt-offerings, by calves a year old? 7. Should I give my firstborn for my ungodliness, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”

And he makes this answer to them in the person of God:

“8. Has it not been told thee, O man, what is good? And what does the Lord require of thee, but to do judgment, and to love mercy, and to be ready to walk after thy God? “

You have then in this prophecy of the Descent of the Lord among men from heaven, many other things foretold at the same time, the rejection of the Jews, the judgment on their impiety, the destruction of their royal city, the abolition of the worship practised by them of old according to the Law of Moses; and on the other hand, promises of good for the nations, the knowledge of God, a new ideal of holiness, a new law and teaching coming forth from the land of the Jews. I leave you to see, how wonderful a fulfilment, how wonderful a completion, the prophecy has reached after the Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.


From Habakkuk.

That it was prophesied that the Word of God that cometh will come and will not tarry.

[Passage quoted, Hab. ii. 2.]

AND here it is clearly foretold that the subject of the prophecy who is coming will come. Who could this be but he who is referred to above in the words, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the Lord God also has shone upon us”? With which also Zechariah agrees, when he says: “Behold a man, the Dawn is his name, and |19 he shall rise from below.” The same prophet, too, noting the time adds, “At eventide it shall be light. If he delays, wait for him.” Instead of which Aquila reads, “If he tarry expect him, for he that cometh will come, and will not tarry.” And the Epistle to the Hebrews has this in mind when it says:

“Cast not away then your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, doing the will of God, ye may receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that cometh will come, and will not tarry. And the just shall live by my faith. And if he draw back, my soul hath no pleasure in him.”

And note how clearly the Epistle arranges what was obscure in the prophetic writing, because of the inversion of the clauses. For the prophecy says,” He that cometh will come and will not tarry, and adds, “If he draw back, my soul hath no pleasure in him,” and this addition would seem to refer to him that cometh and doth not tarry, which is absurd. For how could it be said of him that God takes no pleasure in him? But the placing side by side of the divided clauses by a change in the arrangement of them preserves the sense. For after, “Yet a little while and he that cometh will come and shall not tarry,” it adds next, “The just shall live by my faith. Then what was first in the prophecy it places second in, “And if he draw back my soul taketh no pleasure in him.” For as Scripture has already once foretold through the prophecy, that the light promised, to all nations by Christ’s Coming “shall rise late and in the evening, and shall not deceive” (for so Aquila interprets instead of “come to nothing,”) it next exhorts to patience, because the coming of the subject of the prophecy is to be late and in the evening, in the words, “If he tarry await him, or if he delay expect him, for he that cometh |20 will come and will not tarry,” and encourages the hearer to trust the prediction, saying, that he that trusts it, shewn by his very faith to he just, shall live the life according to God, as on the other hand he that does not trust, drawing back through lack of boldness, and putting no faith in the words, “My soul hath no pleasure in him.” So, then, if we follow this course and place the first clause last, and the last first, we shall preserve the sense of the passage, putting, “The just shall live by my faith,” after, “For he that cometh will come and will not tarry,” by transposing the clauses, and (278) adding to this, “If he draw back my soul taketh no pleasure in him.” And Aquila agrees with this interpretation saying, “If he delay, expect him, for he that cometh will come, and will not tarry. Lo, if he be sluggish, my soul is not true in him, and the just shall live by his faith.”


From the same.

That the Heating about the Descent of the Lord from Heaven is Terrible, and His Works Wonderful, and at His Coming the Whole Earth shall be filed with His Praise, when the Word of His New Covenant shall pervade all Men.

[Passage quoted, Hab. iii. 2-5.]

(d) LISTENING to himself, or rather to the divine prophetic spirit within him, which said of the subject of the prophecy, “He that cometh will come, and will not tarry, and the just shall live by my faith,” and believing as a just man in the oracle, the holy prophet says in the passage before us, “O Lord, I have heard thy report, and I was afraid,” and the words that follow in which he clearly announces that God will come to men.

And who could this be who was known of old, and was to be known afterwards when the time drew near, and (279) was to be shewn forth at the date predicted, but that same Being before shewn to be the second Lord of the Universe, who agreeably to the prophecy at the end of the ages has |21 been proclaimed for all to hear? It was surely His works that are written in the Holy Gospels, and it was clearly His Birth from the Virgin Tabernacle whence he sprang, and how “being in the form of God, he thought it not a thing to be grasped at to be equal with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” and it was the miracles He performed among men, and the insults offered to Him by the Jewish race that the prophet anticipated with the eyes of his soul; and learning of the Holy Spirit his Teacher what would accrue to minds purified from sin, he confessed that he was astonished and afraid at what he heard, and said, “Lord, I have heard thy report, and I was afraid, I understood thy works, and was astonished.”

Our Lord and Saviour, too, the Word of God Himself, “was known between two lives.” The word zww~n is plural and accented with circumflex on the last syllable as the plural of the singular noun zwh& (life). It is not zw&wn accented acute on the penultimate from zw~on (a living creature), but with circumflex on the last syllable (zww~n) from nominative plural zwai/ (lives). He says, therefore, He was known between two lives. One life is that according to God, the other that according to man; the one mortal, the other eternal. And the Lord having experienced both, is rightly said to have been made known between two lives in the LXX translation. Aquila translates differently: “In the nearing of the years, cause it to live.” What does “it” mean here but “thy work”? And Theodotion says: “In the midst of the years, cause him to live,” and Symmachus renders: “Within the years, revive him.” They all by the use of zw&wson (cause to live) shew clearly that the word in the original does not refer to irrational or rational animals. And so following the rendering of the Septuagint, “He was made known between two lives,” and not the commentators who have preceded me, I understand that the two lives of the Subject of the prophecy are referred to, the Divine and the Human. |22

To this the prophet adds: “When my soul is troubled thou wilt in wrath remember mercy,” teaching that when he foresaw the time of the Passion of the Subject of the prophecy he was troubled in spirit. Yet at that very time, he says, in which I was troubled in spirit, though at no other time such anger ever threatened men for the impiety dared against their Lord, the Lord of Love Himself in place of wrath remembered mercy, as the Son of the good Father. For His Passion became to all the world the ground of God’s salvation and mercy.

To this is added: “God will come from Thaeman.” And Thaeman translated into Greek is “consummation,” so that it means simply, “God will come at the consummation.” For at the consummation of the age and in these last days the kindness of the God of the Universe has been made evident to us through our Saviour.

But perhaps he foretells also His Second Coming in glory, in which case a fresh beginning is made at’ “God will come from Thaeman,” as shewing that at the consummation of the age He will come from the southern part of the heaven. For Thaeman is translated “south.” Wherefore Theodotion translates thus: “God will come from the south.” And you will understand the sentence that follows if you compare with it these words in Zechariah:

“8. I saw the night, and behold a man sitting on a bay horse, and he stood in the midst of the shady mountains.”

I believe this rider on the bay horse who stands in the midst of the shady mountains to be the same person mentioned in the prophecy before us, which says that the Holy One will come from a thick and shady mountain. |23

In each passage shady mountains are mentioned, and I believe they refer to the Paradise of God, which He planted eastward in Eden, or perhaps to the Heavenly Jerusalem. For “there are mountains around it, and the Lord is in the midst of his people.” And these mountains are said to be shady, because they are full of divine powers and holy spirits, as of trees planted there and far-spreading. But in Zechariah clearly the vision was of a man riding on a bay horse, by which the Incarnation of our Saviour was meant, and the flesh in which He rode: while here “God a Holy One” is named. For to mark that it was from God that He made His approach to men, and that He arrived from diviner regions, it is said, “God came from Thaeman, and the Holy One from a thick and shady mountain.” And then it adds: “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise, and his ray shall be as light.” In which both the glory of His Heavenly Kingdom is shewn, and also the increase of the praise of the teaching about Him that will be spread through all the earth. And the expression, “horns in his hands,” shews the symbols of His rule, wherewith He drives away the invisible and opposing powers by pushing and butting them. And agreeing with this he adds: “He made the love of his power strong”: and the greatest sign of His strong affection and love to men was “that his Word should go before his face,” meaning the Gospel of Salvation, which should come forth and scour the plains, so that soon all the world should be filled with the salvation offered by Him to all men according to the prophecy which said, “Before his face shall his Word go forth, and shall go out into the plains.” His Word will bring a further and more exact fulfilment to this prophecy and its context at His Second Coming, which it is not now the place to expound. |24


From Zechariah.

That the Almighty Lord states that He is sent by Another Almighty Lord for the Destruction of the Wicked.

[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 8.]

IN these words the Almighty Lord Himself says that He has been sent, and teaches who it was that sent Him, saying, “And ye shall know that the Almighty Lord has sent me.” Here, then, you have clearly two Persons using one Name, the Almighty Lord that sent, and Him that is sent having the same Name as the Sender. And whom else could you suppose Him that is sent to be, but Him that we have so often called God the Word, Who states that He is sent by the Father, and says clearly, “After his glory he has sent me,” shewing that though pre-existing in the glory of the Father He was sent afterwards unto the nations that spoiled you? For the Word of God was sent unto the nations, who before were hostile to the people of God, and subjected them to Himself, making a spoil of them by His disciples, who belonged to the Jewish nation, which the Gentiles had long spoiled enslaving it to their own idolatry. This, then, He says that the nations will suffer, as He ordained. For as they perverted the people of God from their ancestral religion, and made them a spoil for their own daemons, so some day shall they be made spoils from their fathers’ idolatry to them who of old have served them, and be brought under the yoke of the Jewish religion. And the Lord says that this will be done by Himself, as He will be sent by His Father to accomplish it. It might also be said that certain invisible spiritual powers are meant by the nations which spoiled and enslaved the souls of men, which the Word of God here says He loves as the apple of His eye. And the proof of His great love to the human race is that He did not draw back, though He was the Word of God and in the glory of the Father, but agreed to live with men and govern them. |25


From the same.

How the Lord foretells that He will come from Heaven and dwell among Men, and that the Nations will flee to Him, and He states that the was sent by Another Almighty Lord stronger than Himself.

[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 10.]

As it is now my object to unfold from the prophets the second cause of our Lord’s living our life on earth, the prophecy before us appears to state it so clearly that it hardly needs any elaboration. You will notice that He gives the cause of His coming, where He says, “And many nations shall flee unto the Lord in that day, and they shall be to me for a people.” And the Word announces this to the daughter of Sion, calling the Church of God by this name, through her seeming to be the daughter of the heavenly Jerusalem, she that is the mother of the Saints, according to the holy apostle. Or the Church of God might be called the daughter of Sion for another reason as one separated from the former congregation of the Jews by the apostles and evangelists, who also were the children of a mother divorced for her own impiety, and a widow because she had driven away her Husband, Who rebuked her by the prophets and said, “Hast thou not called me as a husband, and father, and leader of thy virginity?” And accusing their mothers ways also to them that were born of her He says: “Where is the bill of thy mother’s divorcement, by which I rejected her?” And again: “Judge the cause of your mother, judge it, because she is not my wife, and I am not her husband.”

So, then, this prophecy rightly announces the presence of the Lord to those who had rejected their mother (calling them) the daughter of the Lord. And it is the Church of the Gentiles that is reckoned by the apostles of our Saviour to have taken the place of her that before was daughter. |26


From the same.

Of the Coming of the Lord, and of the Events of His Passion.

[Passage quoted, Zech. xiv. 1-10.]

AFTER the first siege of Jerusalem, and its total destruction and desolation by the Babylonians, and after the Return of the Jews from their enemies’ land to their own, which came to pass in the time of Cyrus king of Persia, when Jerusalem has just been restored, and the Temple and its Altar renewed by Darius the Persian, the present prophecy foretells a second siege of Jerusalem which is to take place afterwards, which it suffered from the Romans, after its inhabitants had carried through their outrage on our Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus the coming of our Saviour and the events connected therewith are very clearly shewn in this passage—I mean what was done at the time of His Passion, and the siege that came on the Hebrew race directly after, the taking of Jerusalem, the call of the Gentiles also, and the knowledge attained by all nations of the one and only God. But the inspired prophet pathetically bewails the woes of the Jews as those of his own people, and begins his prophecy with a cry against them. He means by “days of the Lord,” here as well as in other places, the time of our Lord’s presence among men. And he clearly shews how the Lord Himself, as being the true Light, will become some day the maker of His own days, and will shine on all men in the world, all the nations receiving Him and the rays of His light, when all nations are enlightened, according to the words, “I have set Thee for a light to the Gentiles, for a covenant of my race,” and the Jewish nation through their unbelief will fall into great trouble.

For such is the meaning of “Behold the days of the Lord come, and thy spoils shall be divided within thee, and I will gather all the Gentiles to Jerusalem to war. And the city shall be taken, the houses plundered, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go into captivity.” |27

And after the siege of Jerusalem, and the captivity of the Jews which succeeds it, he next adds a prophecy of good things for all: “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” And again: “There shall be one Lord, and his name one, encircling all the earth and the wilderness.”

But who would not be surprised at the fulfilment of a prophecy which revealed that the Jewish people would undergo these sufferings in the days of the Lord? For as soon as Jesus our Lord and Saviour had come and the Jews had outraged Him, everything that had been predicted was fulfilled against them without exception 500 years after the prediction: from the time of Pontius Pilate to the sieges under Nero, Titus and Vespasian they were never free from all kinds of successive calamities, as you may gather from the history of Flavius Josephus. It is probable that half the city at that time perished in the siege, as the prophecy says. And not long after, in the reign of Hadrian, there was another Jewish revolution, and the remaining half of the city was again besieged and driven out, so that from that day to this the whole place has not been trodden by them.

Now if any one supposes that this was fulfilled in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, let him inquire if the rest of the prophecy can be referred to the times of Antiochus —I mean the captivity undergone by the people, the standing of the Lord’s feet on the Mount of Olives, and whether the Lord became King of all the earth in that day, and whether the name of the Lord encircled the whole earth and the desert during the reign of Antiochus. And how can the fulfilment of the remainder of the prophecy in the days of Antiochus be asserted? But, according to my interpretation, they are fulfilled both literally and also in another sense. For after the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, their city, Jerusalem itself, and the whole system and institutions of the Mosaic worship were destroyed; and at once they underwent captivity in mind as well as body, in refusing to accept the Saviour and Ransomer of the souls of men, Him Who came to preach release to those enslaved by evil daemons, and giving of sight to those blind in mind. And while they suffered through their unbelief, those of |28 them who recognized their Ransomer became His own disciples, apostles and evangelists, and many others of the Jews believed on Him, of whom the apostle says, “So also now there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” And “If the Lord of Sabaoth had not left unto us a seed we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorra.” They were preserved safe from the metaphorical siege, and also from the siege literally understood. For the apostles and disciples of our Saviour, and all the Jews that believed on Him, being far from the land of Judaea, and scattered among the other nations, were enabled at that time to escape the ruin of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And the prophecy anticipated and foretold this where it said, “And the remnant of my people shall not be utterly destroyed.” To which it adds afterwards, “And the Lord shall go forth, and shall fight for those nations, as a day of his battle in the day of war.” For which nations will the Lord fight, but for those that shall besiege Jerusalem? The passage shews that the Lord Himself will fight for the besiegers, being among them and drawn up with them, like their general and commander warring against Jerusalem. For it does not say that the Lord will fight against the nations. With whom and against whom, then, will He fight? Surely against Jerusalem and her inhabitants, concerning whom it is spoken.

And the words, “And his feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem to the eastward,” what else can they mean than that the Lord God, that is to say the Word of God Himself, will stand, and stand firm, upon His Church, which is here metaphorically called the Mount of Olives? For as “My Beloved had a vineyard,” and “There was a vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth,” are used in a figurative sense of “the house of Israel and the plant of Judah His beloved vine,” so also we may say in the same sense that the Church of the (d) Gentiles has become an olive-garden to the Master, which of old He planted with wild olives, and grafted them on the apostolic roots of the good olive after cutting away the old branches, as the apostle teaches. And the Lord planted it for Himself, saying as much in the prophecy: “The Lord hath called thy name a beautiful and shady olive.” For when the first vineyard should have brought forth |29 grapes it brought forth thorns, and not justice but a cry, God rightly withdrew from it as unfruitful, its mound and its wall, and gave it to its enemies, “to rob and to tread down,” according to the prophecy of Isaiah, but established another field for Himself, here named “the olive-garden,” as that which had obtained God’s mercy, and been planted by Christ with ever-flourishing plants, that is with souls that are holy and nourish the light, which can say, “I am like a fruitful olive-tree in the house of God.”

And this Mount of Olives is said to be over against Jerusalem, because it was established by God after the fall of Jerusalem, instead of the old earthly Jerusalem and its worship. For as Scripture said above with reference to Jerusalem: “The city shall be taken, and the nations that are her enemies and foes shall be gathered together against her, and her spoils shall be divided,” it could not say that the feet of the Lord should stand upon Jerusalem. How could that be, once it were destroyed? But it says that they will stand with them that depart from it to the mount opposite the city called the Mount of Olives. And this, too, the prophet Ezekiel anticipates by the Holy Spirit and foretells. For he says:

“22. And the Cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels beside them, 23. and the glory of the God of Israel was on them above them, and he stood on the mount which was opposite to the city.”

Which it is possible for us to see literally fulfilled in another way even to-day, since believers in Christ all congregate from all parts of the world, not as of old time because of the glory of Jerusalem, nor that they may worship in the ancient Temple at Jerusalem, but they rest there that they may learn both about the city being taken and devastated as the prophets foretold, and that they may worship at the Mount of Olives opposite to the city, whither the glory of the Lord migrated when it left the former city. There |30 stood in truth according to the common and received account the feet of our Lord and Saviour, Himself the Word of God, through that tabernacle of humanity He had borne up the Mount of Olives to the cave that is shewn there; there He prayed and delivered to His disciples on the summit of the Mount of Olives the mysteries of His end, and thence He made His Ascension into heaven, as Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles, saying that while the apostles were with Him on the Mount of Olives:

“While they beheld he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And as they gazed steadfastly into heaven while he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This same Jesus that is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

To which he adds: “Then they returned from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is opposite to Jerusalem.” The Mount of Olives is therefore literally opposite to Jerusalem and to the east of it, but also the Holy Church of God, and the mount upon which it is founded, of which the Saviour teaches: “A city set on a hill cannot be hid,” raised up in place of Jerusalem that is fallen never to rise again, and thought worthy of the feet of the Lord, is figuratively not only opposite to Jerusalem, but east of it as well, receiving the rays of the divine light, and become |31 much before Jerusalem, and near to the Sun of Righteousness Himself, of Whom it is said: “And on them that fear me shall the sun of righteousness arise.”

And if it says next: “That the Mount of Olives shall be divided, half of it to the east and towards the sea, a very great chasm, and half of it shall lean towards the north, and half of it towards the south,” it possibly shews the expansion1 of the Church throughout the whole inhabited world, for it has filled the east, and the western and eastern nations; it stretches to the western sea, and the isles therein; yea, it has reached to west and south, and to north and north-east. On all sides and everywhere the Church figuratively called the Olive of the Lord is planted. And it is possible that by its division is figuratively meant the schisms and heresies and moral declensions in everyday life that have taken place in the Church of Christ, and are even now taking place; for it says, the mountain shall be divided, half of it towards the east and the sea, a very great chasm, and half of it shall lean towards the north, and half of it towards the south, as being divided into four parts, two of which are worthier and better, and two the reverse. And note in this passage how the part to the east and the part to the south may refer to two sections of those who have made progress in the things of God, the first those who are perfected in knowledge and reason and the other graces of the Holy Spirit; and the second, those who live a good life but pass their time in ways self-chosen. And the other two parts separated from the first, one to the sea and one towards the north, both signify tendency to evil. For “from the face of the north,” he says, “shall be burned the evil of all the inhabitants of the earth,” while the Dragon is said to have his home in the sea. So that, probably, two kinds of character in those that fall away from the Church, the morally sinful, and the one who slips away from healthy and orthodox knowledge, are here |32 figuratively represented by the prophecy as divisions in the Mount of Olives.

To this he adds afterwards: “And the valley of my mountains shall be closed up, and the cleft of my mountains shall be joined unto Asael, and shall be closed up as it was blocked up in the days of the earthquake in the days of Ozias king of Judah.”

What can God’s “valley of mountains” mean here, but the outward Jewish worship according to the Mosaic Law practised for long ages before in Jerusalem, which the present prophecy foretells is to be cut off, as if it were closed up, saying: “And the valley of my mountains shall be closed up, and the cleft of mountains shall be joined unto Asael, and shall be closed up”? Instead of which Symmachus translated: “And the valley of my mountains shall be closed up, and also the cleft of mountains shall approach that which is beside it, and shall be closed up,” shewing the cause of the closing up of the valley. And what was this’, but that it came near and approached what was beside it? And this mount of the Lord was the before-named Mount of Olives, which is called Asael in the Septuagint. And this word means in Hebrew “Work of God.”

And so, he says, the ancient valley coming near to the mountains, and to the Christian Church, and to the work of God, will be closed up and shut off, as it was closed up before the earthquake in the days of Ozias king of Judah. Though I have set myself to the task of inquiring, and gone through the Holy Scripture to discover if the valley mentioned here was “closed up before the earthquake” in the days of Ozias, I have found nothing in the Books of Kings, for there was no physical earthquake in his time, nor is anything recorded in those books such as is here told about the valley.

But Ozias is described as at first having been righteous, and then it is related that he was lifted up in mind, and dared to offer sacrifice to God Himself, and that his face (b) became leprous in consequence. This is what the Book |33 of Kings establishes. But Josephus carefully studied the additional comments of the expounders as well, and a Hebrew of the Hebrews as he was, hear his description of the events of those times. He tells how:

“Though the priests urged Ozias to go out of the Temple and not to break the law of God, he angrily threatened them with death, unless they held their peace. And meanwhile an earthquake shook the earth, and a bright light shone through a breach in the Temple, and struck the king’s face, so that at once it became leprous. And before the city at the place called Eroga, the western half of the Mount was split asunder, and rolling four stadia stopped at the eastern mountain, so as to block up the royal approach and gardens. [Jos., Ant. ix. 10, 4.]

This I take from the work of Josephus on Jewish Antiquities. And I found in the beginning of the Prophet Amos the statement that he began to prophesy “in the days of Ozias, king of Judah, two years before the earthquake.” What earthquake he does not clearly say. But I think the same prophet further on suggests this earthquake, when he says: “I saw the Lord standing on the altar. And He said, Strike the altar, and the doors shall be shaken, and strike the heads of all, and the remnant I will slay with the sword.”

Here I understand a prediction of the earthquake, and of the destruction of the ancient solemnities of the Jewish race, and of the worship practised by them in Jerusalem, the ruin that should overtake them after the coming of our Saviour, when, since they rejected the Christ of God, the true High Priest, leprosy infected their souls, as in the days of Ozias, when the Lord Himself standing on the altar gave leave to him that struck, saying: “Strike the altar.” For He shewed this in effect, when He said: “Your house |34 is left unto you desolate.” Concurrently, too, with His Passion “The veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom,” as Josephus records as happening also in the time of Ozias. Then, first the courts were shaken, when the earth was shaken at the time of His Passion, and not long after, they underwent their final ruin, the striker received authority and struck upon the heads of all.

And so we see how at this time the valley of the mountains of God was closed up, as was done in the days of Ozias. Actually and literally in the siege by the Romans, in the course of which I believe such things happened, and figuratively, also, when the outward and lower worship of the Mosaic Law was prevented any longer from activity by the earthquake which according to his prophecy came upon the Jewish race, and by the other causes recorded.

After this the prophecy recurring to the Coming of the Lord announces it more clearly, saying: “And the Lord my God shall come, and all His holy ones with Him,” referring either to His apostles and disciples as holy ones, or certain invisible powers and ministering spirits, of whom it was said: “And angels came and ministered to him.” And then of the Corning of the Lord, he says: “It shall be day, and it shall not be light, and cold and frost shall I be for one day.” Instead of which Symmachus translated:

“And in that day there shall be no light, but frost and cold shall be for one day, which is known to the Lord, not day nor night, but at eventide it shall be light.”

See how clearly this description of the day of our Saviour’s Passion, a day in which “there shall be no light,” was fulfilled, since “from the sixth hour to the ninth hour there was darkness over all the earth.” And also the “frost and cold,” since according to Luke:

“They led Jesus to the palace of the high priest. And Peter followed afar off. And while they kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, he sat clown, according to Mark, with the others to warm himself. And John, too, especially mentions the cold, saying, The servants and the ministers stood, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves.”

And this day, he says, was known to the Lord, and was not |35 night. It was not day, because, as has been said already, “there shall be no light”; which was fulfilled, when “from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.” Nor was it night, because “at eventide it shall be light” was added, which also was fulfilled when the day regained its natural light after the ninth hour. And this was fulfilled figuratively as well, generally in the Jewish race, darkness, cold, and frost coming on them after their outrage on the Christ, their understanding being darkened, so that the light of the Gospel should not shine in their hearts, and their love to God waxing cold, and then at eventide the light of the knowledge of the Christ arose, so that they who sat of old in darkness and the shadow of death saw a great light, in the words of the prophet Isaiah.

And in that day it says: “Living water shall come forth out of Jerusalem.” This is that spiritual, sweet, life-giving and saving drink of the teaching of Christ, of which He speaks in the Gospel according to John, when instructing the Samaritan woman:

“If thou knewest who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

This was the living water, then, that came forth from Jerusalem? For it was thence that its Gospel went forth, and its heralds filled the world, which is meant by the words: “The living water shall go forth to the first sea and the last sea,” by which is meant the bounds of the whole world, that toward the Eastern Ocean being called “the first sea,” that toward the West being meant by “the last sea,” which, indeed, the living water of saving Gospel teaching has filled. Of which He also taught, when He said: “Whosoever shall drink of the water, which I shall give him, shall never thirst.” And again He says: “Rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly, springing |36 up into everlasting life.” And again: “If any thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”

Then after the refreshing saving spiritual blood has fallen on every race of mankind from Jerusalem, which is more clearly described in another place in the words: “A law shall go forth from Sion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, and it shall judge in the midst of the nations,” it says: “The Lord shall be King.” He shall not be King in Jerusalem, nor of the Jewish race; but, over all the earth in that day. And this agrees with what I have quoted from the Psalms, where it was said: “The Lord reigneth over the nations,” and also: “Tell it among the nations, the Lord reigneth.” The prophecy is that this will be fulfilled in the days of the Lord. For the whole prophecy opens with: “Behold, the days of the Lord come, and these things shall come to pass.” And what is meant by “these things,” but the siege of Jerusalem, and the passing of the Lord to the Mount of Olives, according to the words, “The Lord shall come,” and the events of the day of His Passion, and the living water, flowing in all the world, and to crown all, the Kingdom of the Lord ruling over all the nations, and His One Name, filling all the earth—in short, what I have briefly shown to be fulfilled?

It is also quite clear that the name “Christian,” derived from the name of the Christ of God, has filled the whole world. This, too, the prophecy foretells, when it says: “And his name shall be one, encircling all the earth,, and the wilderness.” And you can test each expression at leisure for yourself, and carry the interpretation still further. |37


From Baruch.

It is prophesied that the God of the Prophets, having laid down the Complete Way of Knowledge by the Mosaic Law to the Jews, will some Day afterwards be seen on Earth, and mingle among Men.

[Passage quoted, Baruch iii. 29-37.]

I NEED add nothing to these inspired words, which so (295) clearly support my argument. (c)


From Isaiah.

It is prophesied that the Christ will come into Egypt, and What Things will come to pass at His Coming. (d)

[Passage quoted, Isa. xix. 1-4 and the context.]

HERE the prophecy before us states that the Second after (296) the God and Lord of the Universe, I mean the Word of God, will come into Egypt, and will come not imperceptibly nor invisibly, nor without any bodily vesture, but riding on a light cloud, or better “on light thickness”: for such is said to be the meaning of the Hebrew word. Let the sons of the Hebrews tell us, then, on what occasion after Isaiah’s time the Lord visited Egypt, and what Lord he was. For . the Supreme God is one: let them say how He is said to ride on “light thickness,” and to alight locally on any part of the earth. And let them interpret “light thickness,” and (b) explain why the Lord is said not to visit Egypt without it. And also when the words of the prophecy are recorded to have been fulfilled, the shaking of the idols of Egypt made by hand, I mean, and the warring of Egyptians with Egyptians through the Coming of the Lord. And their gods, that is to say the daemons, that were so mighty of old, when did they have power no more, and refrain from answering their (c) |38 inquirers through fear of the Lord? And into the hands of what cruel lord, let them say, and of what kings was Egypt delivered after the coming of the Lord that was foretold, and why when the Lord came they were delivered to evil rulers? And let him, who likes, interpret the rest of the prophecy in the same way. But I contend that it can only be understood consistently, of the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ to men. For He, being Word of God and (d) Power of God, fulfilled the aforesaid prediction both literally and metaphorically, visiting the land of the Egyptians on a light cloud. The name, “light cloud,” is allegorically given to the visitation He made by means of the Body, which He took of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit, as the Hebrew original and Aquila clearly suggests, when he says, “Behold the Lord rides on light thickness, and conies to Egypt,” naming the body that came from the Holy Spirit, “light thickness.” And surely this part of the prophecy was literally fulfilled, when the Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said: “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there (297) until I tell thee.” For then, the Lord God the Word, uniting with the child’s growth, and present in the Flesh that had been furnished Him of the Holy Virgin, visited the land of the Egyptians. (His flesh was “thick” as representing bodily substance, “light” again through its being better than ours, and it is called “a light cloud “because it was not formed of the sensuous passions of corruption, but of the Holy Spirit.) But the cause of His journey thither is as follows. When it is remembered that the first origin of idolatrous error was in Egypt, and the Egyptians seemed to (b) be the most superstitious of men, and bitter enemies of the people of God, and as far removed from the prophets as possible, we can see why the Power of God came to them first of all. And therefore the word of Gospel teaching has waxed stronger among the Egyptians than among any other men. Hence this prophecy foretells that the Lord will |39 sojourn among them. But it does not say that the Egyptians will come to the land of the Jews, nor worship him at Jerusalem, nor become Jewish proselytes there according to the enactments of Moses, nor sacrifice at the altar in Jerusalem. It says naught of this, but that the Lord will (c) Himself visit the Egyptians, and will think these men worthy of His Presence, and will be the occasion of great blessings to them. For His sojourn would accomplish those very things, which we see to have been actually fulfilled after the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Let us see what these were. The evil and noxious daemons who infested Egypt before, inhabiting images for long ages, and enslaving (d) the souls of the Egyptians with all manner of deceitful superstition, when they became aware of a strange divine power sojourning among them, were all at once disturbed and tossed to and fro, and their heart and power of thought was minished within them, yielding to and conquered by the invisible power that drave on them and consumed them with its sacred word as with fire. Yea, the daemons suffered thus invisibly when our Saviour Jesus Christ sojourned in Egypt in flesh and blood; and, again, when afterwards His |40 (298) Gospel was preached openly to the Egyptians as well as to the other nations, for His unseen power was with His Apostles imperceptibly working with them, co-operating, announcing by their tongues His holy teaching, exhorting men to worship only the one and true God, and rescuing the victims from the daemons that of old had been deceived by them. Hence, soon among the Egyptians as among (b) other nations, revolution and civil war arose, between those who gave up polytheistic error and turned to the Word of Christ, and those who warred with them, urged on by their own daemons, so that brothers were parted one from the other, and the dearest fought together because of the Gospel of Christ, for the oracle says, “And Egyptians shall rise against Egyptians, and a man shall fight with his brother, and a (c) man with his neighbour.” And our Saviour Himself confirms the prophet’s prediction, saying in the Gospels:

“Brother shall deliver brother to death, and father child, and children shall rise up against their parents and slay them.”

And again:

“Think not that I came to give peace on earth. I say not so unto you, but division. For there shall be from this time five in one house divided, three against two and two against three: For the father shall be divided from his son, and the son from his father, the mother against her daughter, and the daughter against her mother, the mother-in-law against the bride, and the bride against her mother-in-law.”

(d) How do those words differ from the prophet’s cry concerning the coming of the Lord to Egypt: “Egyptians shall rise against Egyptians, and man shall war against his brother”? 

And the law of the new Covenant of Christ was raised against the law of polytheistic superstition, when the law of idolatrous nations warred against the teaching of Christ, and the city and polity of the Church of Christ took the |41  place of the polities of the heathen nations. And this explains “city against city, and law against law.” It is the fact also that all the Egyptian idolaters, and the spirit of idolatry working in them, are even now conscious of their confusion, and though they make many plans against the teaching of Christ, to quench it, and abolish it from among (299) men, yet they are ever scattered by God, as it is said in the prophecy, “And the spirit of the Egyptians shall be disturbed within them, and I will scatter their counsel.”

And they who make many inquiries and ask endless questions against us of the oracles and diviners of their gods, and of the daemons that haunt the idols, and the familiar spirits who were of old so powerful among them, get no more profit of them. For Scripture says:

“And they will inquire of their gods, and their idols, (b) and the familiar spirits.”

But when they flee, it says, to them that falsely appear to be gods, they will receive no help, for then will God chiefly deliver them to cruel kings and rulers, when under the influence of their daemons, and in their power, they arouse persecutions against the Churches of Christ. And, please, notice the fact, that until the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ all Egypt had its own kings, as a separate (c) and responsible state, and the Egyptians were autonomous and free, and their dynasty was great and famous through long ages, and it was after that date, when Augustus, in whose time our Lord was born, being the first Roman to subjugate Egypt, captured Cleopatra the last of the Ptolemies, that they came under the Roman power, laws, and enactments, losing their former autonomy and freedom. So that here also the prophecy is true, regarding first the governors (d) and rulers sent out to those places, and the other officials in their several positions, saying, “And I will deliver Egypt into the hand of cruel rulers,” and also in what follows regarding the general conduct of the government.

Instead of which Aquila says, “And a mighty king shall reign over them.” And Symmachus, “And a strong king shall reign over them.” Thus the kingdom of Rome seems to be meant, which has bound with bridle and bond not only the Egyptians, the most superstitious of men, but all other men as well, so that they dare no longer to blaspheme against the Church of our Saviour Jesus Christ. And after (300) |42 this the prophecy proceeds to darker and disguised sayings, which require longer and more profound allegorical interpretation, which in the proper place shall receive their proper exposition at leisure when with God’s help I treat of the promises.


From the same.

A Promise of Good Things to the Church of the Gentiles, that before was deserted, and to Sick Souls the Manifest (c) Presence of God, and Marvellous Saving Acts.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xxxv. 1-7.]

HERE also the Coming of God for salvation, bringing many blessings, is precisely foretold. The prophet says that there will be a cure for the deaf, sight for the blind, yea, even healing for the lame and tongue-tied, and this was only fulfilled at the Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, by Whom the eyes of the blind were opened, and the deaf regained their hearing; why need I say, how many palsied and deaf and lame also received physical cure by the hands of His (301) disciples? And how many others, afflicted with various diseases and maladies, received of Him healing and salvation, according to the inspired prediction of prophecy, and according to the unimpeachable testimony of the Holy Gospels? And the prophecy here disguises under the name of “desert” the Church of the Gentiles, which for long years deserted of God is being evangelized by those of whom we are speaking, and it says that besides other blessings the glory of Libanus will be given to the desert. Now it is customary to call (b) Jerusalem Lebanon allegorically, as I will show, when I have time, by proofs from Holy Scripture. This prophecy before us, therefore, teaches that by God’s presence with men the glory of Libanus will be given to that which is called “desert,” that is to say, the Church of the Gentiles. And for, “And the honour of Carmel,” Aquila says, “the |43 beauty of Carmel, and of Sharon, they shall see the glory of (c) the Lord.” Symmachus, “The grace of Carmel and of the plain, those shall see the glory of the Lord.” And Theodotion, “The beauty of Carmel and of Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord.” In which I think the prophet means, figuratively, not that Jerusalem, nor Judaea, but the land of the Gentiles will be counted worthy of divine knowledge. For Carmel, and that which is called Sharon were places that belonged to foreign races. That would be the literal meaning: but figuratively, even to-day, they that were before so blinded in soul, as to bow down to wood and stone and other lifeless substances, earth-bound daemons, (d) and evil spirits instead of the God of the Universe, and they that were deaf in the ears of their mind, and lame, and palsied in all their life, are even now being released from all these and many other sufferings and weaknesses by the teaching of our Saviour Jesus Christ, receiving far better healing and benefit than that of the body, and shewing forth clearly the divine and superhuman power of the presence of the Word of God among men.


From the same.

How the First and Everlasting Word of God, the Creator of (302) the Universe, confesses that He is even now sent by the (b) Lord His Father.

[Passage quoted, Isa. xlviii. 12 and 16.]

You have here the Lord sent and the Lord sending, that is to say the Father and God of the Universe, entitled Lord twice as was usual. |44


From the same.

How the Lord rebukes the Jewish People, because They will not receive Him when He comes, nor hear His Call, and what He will suffer at Their Hands.

[Passages quoted, Isa. 1. 1, 2 a, b.]

HERE the Lord Himself recording plainly His Coming among (303) men rebukes the Jewish people, because they will not receive Him when He comes, nor hear Him when He calls. And He teaches, as if by way of apology, that this is the cause of their own rejection. “For when I came,” He says, “I was not among you as a man: I called, and there was none that heard: therefore,” He says, “ye were sold for your sins, inasmuch as ye were of yourselves divorced from my call, not that I had given you a bill of divorcement.” This is clearly (b) addressed to the Jews, and at the same time reveals their outrages on Him at His Passion, when it says: “I gave my back to scourges, and my cheeks to blows,” and that which follows. But these words shall be properly interpreted at leisure.


From the same.

How the Same Lord that spake in the Prophets will come Among Men and be seen by Their Eyes, and be known to the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Isa. lii. 5-10.]

THE prophecy of Christ’s Passion immediately succeeds this in one and the same passage, which I shall expound at leisure. One and the same Lord, who said in the previous (304) quotation to the Jewish people, “You were sold for your sins, and for your iniquities I sent away your mother, because I came, and there was no man: I called and there was none |45 to hear,” says in the passage before us to the Jews again: “Because of you my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.”

Then, as though having another people besides them, he adds, “Therefore my people shall know my name,” and teaches that not another, but the same Lord that spoke in the prophets, will sojourn some day in our life, saying, “I am he that speak; I will come.” And the words, “As a season upon the mountains, as the feet of one preaching a message of peace, as one preaching good things, I will make thy salvation known, saying, Sion, thy God reigneth,” the other translators make it clearer. For Aquila says: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that preacheth the gospel, who publisheth peace, who preacheth the gospel of good things, publishing salvation, saying to Sion, Thy God reigneth.”

And Symmachus says, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him that preacheth the gospel, making peace known, publishing good things, making salvation known, saying to Sion, Thy God reigneth”: and instead of “The voice of thy guards is lifted, and they shall rejoice with the voice together, because they shall see eye to eye.” Symmachus translates thus: “The voice of thy guards; they have raised their voice. Together, will they praise: For they will see openly.” By “guards” would here be meant the holy apostles of our Saviour, who also saw openly Him that was foretold, and raised their voice preaching to all the world. Sion and Jerusalem that here have the good news told them the apostle knew to be heavenly, when he said, “But Jerusalem that is above is free, that is the mother of us,” and, “Ye have come to Mount Sion, and the city of the: living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” Sion might also mean the Church established by Christ in every part of the world, and Jerusalem the holy constitution which, once established of old time among the ancient Jews alone, was driven into the wilderness by their impiety, and then again was restored far better than before through the coming of our Saviour. Therefore the prophecy says, “Let the waste places of (305) |46 Jerusalem break forth into joy together, for the Lord has pitied her, and saved Jerusalem.”

Nor would you be wrong in calling Sion the soul of every holy and godly man, so far as it is lifted above this life, having its city in heaven, seeing the things beyond the world. For it means “a watch-tower.” And in so far as (b) such a man remains calm and free from passion, you could call him Jerusalem—for Jerusalem means “Vision of Peace.”

After this the call of the Gentiles to the worship of God is very clearly shown in the words, “And the Lord God will reveal His holy arm before all nations; and the high places of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” And consider that the arm of the Lord is nothing else but the Word and Wisdom, and the Lord Himself, Who is the Christ of God.

It is easy to shew this from many instances. In the Exodus you have Israel saved by the arm of God from (c) slavery to the Egyptians. While the prophecy before us says that that same arm of the Lord, which of old appeared to save His people will be revealed to all nations, as if it formerly were hidden from them. And “the salvation, which “he says “all the high places of the earth shall see,” and which he mentioned before when he said, “I will make my salvation known,” know that it is the Hebrew for the name of Jesus.


From the same.

How, again, the Coming of God the Word and the Gathering of All Nations is foretold.

[Passage quoted, Isa. lxvi. 18, 19.]

HERE also the Coming of the Lord to men is exactly foretold. And as it said, “He will come as fire,” our Saviour rightly says, “I came to cast fire on the earth, and what will I, if it be already kindled?” You may say His “chariots” are His attendant divine powers, and the holy angels chosen |47 to minister to Him, of whom it is said, “and angels came and ministered to Him,” and His holy apostles and disciples, borne up by whom, the Word of God with divine invisible power ran through all the world. One might also literally in another way connect fire and chariots with His coming, through the siege that attacked Jerusalem after our Saviour’s Advent, for the Temple was burned with fire not long after, and was reduced to extreme desolation, and the city was encircled by the chariots and camps of the enemy, after which too the promises to the Gentiles were fulfilled in harmony with the prophecy. Who would not wonder hearing the Lord say by the prophet, “I come to bring together all nations and tongues,” and then seeing throughout the whole inhabited world the congregations welded together in the Name of Christ through the Coming and the Call of our Saviour Jesus Christ, with the tongues of all nations in varying dialects calling on one God and Lord? To crown all, who beholding all them that believe in Christ using as a seal the sign of salvation, would not rightly be astounded hearing the Lord saying in days of old, “And they shall come and see my glory, and I will leave my sign upon them”?

We see in part, indeed, now with our own eyes the fulfilment of the holy oracles as to the first Epiphany of our Saviour to man. May it be seen completely as well in His second glorious Advent, when all nations shall see His glory, and when He comes in the heavens with power and great glory.

To that day the remainder of the prophecy must be referred, as I shall show in my own argument.

As I have in this Book collected so many passages concerning the prophecies of the coming of God, my next task should be to connect with them an account of what was foretold as to the nature of His entry into human life.

[Note to the online text: volume 2 commences with book 6, so the page numbering starts again at 1]


(308)  WE have learned in the preceding Book from the words of the prophets that God would come to men and would live among men on earth, and that the two chief signs of His presence would be the calling of the nations of the world to receive the true knowledge of God, and the ruin and desolation of the Jews through their unbelief in Him ; and we have investigated how the prophecies were fulfilled. (309) We will now attempt in this Seventh Book of The Proof of the Gospel to treat in due order of the way in which He says that He is to make His entrance into humanity. So then our present object is to see what kind of prophecies were made of God’s coming among men, where it was predicted He should be born, and from what race it was proclaimed that He should come.


(b) From Isaiah.

The Manner of the Lord’s Stay among Men.

A prediction of the Jews’ unbelief in Christ, and the sign (c) that was given them by the Lord. It was this : A Virgin giving birth to God, at Whose Birth the complete destruction of the Jewish race was foretold, the subjection of their land to foreign enemies, and the flourishing of that, which before was desert, under divine cultivation. Thus the Church of the Gentiles was shewn forth. As the great Evangelist St. John, teaching of our Lord and Saviour as the very Word of God full of supernatural power, begins his holy Gospel, by setting side by side His Divinity and His |49 Humanity in His presence among men, saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him,” and adding after this, “and the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us”; so in the same strain the inspired prophet, about to proclaim God born of a Virgin, tells first the vision of His Divine glory, when he thus describes the Being of God:

“1. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and exalted. And the house was full of his glory. 2. And Seraphim stood round about him: each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. 3. And they (310) cried one to another and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord of Sabaoth, the whole earth is full of his glory.”

And he adds also:

“8. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go to this people? And I said, Behold, Here am I. Send me. 9. And he said, Go and say to this people, Ye shall hear indeed, but shall not understand; and ye shall see indeed, but not perceive. 10. For this people’s heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 11. And I said, How long, O Lord? And He said, Until the cities be deserted, by reason of their being uninhabited, and the houses by reason of there being no man.”

What Lord may we say the prophet saw but Him Whom we have proved to have been seen and known by the fathers with Abraham in previous days? He, we have already learned, was both God and Lord, and Angel and Captain of the Lord’s power as well. So then in approaching the account of His Coming to men the prophecy before us tells first of His divine kingdom, in which it says that the prophet saw Him sitting on a throne high and exalted. This is that throne which is mentioned in the Psalm of the Beloved, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” on which the Most High Creator of the Universe, His God and Father, bade his Only-begotten sit, saying, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I |50 make thine enemies thy footstool.” John the Evangelist supports my interpretation of this passage, when he quotes the words of Isaiah, where it is said, “For this people’s heart is become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed,” referring them to Christ, saying, “This said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and bare witness of him.” The prophet then seeing our Saviour sitting on His Father’s throne in the divine and glorious kingdom, and moved by the Holy Spirit, and being about to describe next His coming among men and His Birth of a Virgin, foretells that His knowledge and praise would be over all the earth, by introducing the song of the Seraphim (311) round His throne: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, the whole earth is full of his glory. And who are the Seraphim around the Christ of God? Perhaps the choirs of angels and divine powers, perhaps the prophets and apostles. For the translation of Seraphim is “Rule of His Mouth.” The prophets and apostles would bear this name, because from their mouth were the firstfruits of the preaching of salvation. So also the powers of the Holy Spirit are called (b) “Wings,” as hiding the beginning and the end of the knowledge of God, as being secret and inconceivable in nature, but they reveal the central parts of his dispensation, since these alone are knowable by men; that which is beyond and that which comes after them is left unsaid. And the divine and heavenly powers are signified by the Seraphim, according to another rendering of the word, as (c) “fires.” As it is said, “He maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire.” These cry and shout one to another according to their power, shewing forth the holiness of the Being acclaimed as God, and, strangest of all, they do not acclaim His Godhead because heaven and the things of heaven alone are full of His glory, but because all the earth also shares in His power by His Coming from heaven to men as prophesied, in the prediction which follows, announcing His Birth of a Virgin and His glory spread through all the earth.

Lord of Sabaoth is translated “Lord of Powers.” And He is the Captain of the Powers of the Lord, Whom also the divine powers salute as Lord of Sabaoth in the 23rd Psalm, |51 foretelling His return from earth to heaven: “Lift up your gates, ye princes, and be lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Powers, He is the King of glory.”

In the Hebrew He is here again called Lord of Sabaoth. (312) And since He is the King of glory, and by His sojourn here the whole earth would be filled with His glory, both in the psalm and in the prophecy the fulfilment is rightly placed in the present: in the prophecy in the words, “The whole earth is full of his glory,” in the psalm at the beginning where it says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and all that dwell therein.” After this prophecy, the prophet next proceeds to bear witness, that though the whole earth shall be full of His glory, yet the Jewish race shall not participate, where he says, “And the Lord said (that is to say, the Lord of Sabaoth in the vision), Whom shall I send, and who will go to this people? And I said, Behold, here am I. Send me. And He said, Go and say to this people, Ye shall hear, and shall not understand. And ye shall see and not perceive: For this people’s heart is become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed, lest they should hear with their ears, and see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” Here he expressly foretells the opposition of the Jews to Him, and how they will see Him, and not understand Who He is; how they will hear Him, speaking and teaching them, but will be quite unable to grasp Who it is that speaks with them, or the new teaching He offers them. And John the Evangelist witnesses to the fulfilment of these words referring to Our Saviour, where he says, “Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on Him, that Isaiah the prophet’s words might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

“Therefore they were not able to believe, because again Isaiah said, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Isaiah, when he saw His glory, and bare witness of Him.” Thus the Evangelist |52 most certainly referred the Theophany in Isaiah to Christ, and to the Jews who did not receive the Lord that was seen by (313) the prophet according to the prediction about Him. To the prophet, then, who had seen the Lord of Sabaoth the oracle says that he is to tell the Jewish race, that they shall see Him at some future time, but shall not understand Who He is, and shall hear Him speak and teach among them, but shall not know Him, because of the hardening of their hearts. Then Isaiah, after the prophecy here quoted, describes in the course of his record the enemy’s attack on Ahaz, who at that time held the kingdom of the Jewish people, and declares that the destruction of their visible (b) enemies will be at no distant date. And he shews that the defeat of their spiritual and unseen foes will be as complete, those daemons and unseen powers, of whom I treated at the beginning of this work, for having involved not only the Jewish race but the whole of mankind in every form of evil, and especially in godless idolatry; and that could only be achieved by the sojourn of the Word of God among men as prophesied, and His receiving His earthly tabernacle (c) from a pure Virgin. Why this was necessary, it is now the time to explain.

Concerning the Sojourn of Our Saviour.

Since the apostle said, “By man death entered into the world,” it was surely essential that the victory over death should be achieved by man as well, and the body of death be shewn to be the body of life, and the reign of sin that before ruled in the mortal body be destroyed, so that it should no longer serve sin but righteousness. And since long ago man fell through the sins of the flesh, the standard of victory over his enemies was rightly upraised again by one that was sinless and undefiled of all evil. And who were these enemies, but they who of old had overcome the human race by the pleasures of the flesh? And moreover men required that the Word of God coming to dwell with |53 them, and to give holy teaching to their earthly ears, and to shew the power of God clearly to their eyes by signs and (314) wonders, should accomplish His work through our natural equipment, for it is only possible for men to see bodily things with their eyes, and to hear that which is spoken by the tongue. It was then in order that we might receive the knowledge of spiritual and unembodied things by our bodily senses that God the Word employed a speech that was akin and familiar to us, and shewed forth all the salvation given through Him to those who themselves could (b) hear and see His divine words and works. And this He did, not being like ourselves bound down by the limitations of the body, nor experiencing aught below or above His Divinity, nor hampered as a human soul is by the body so as to be unable to act as God, or to be omnipresent as the Word of God, and to fill all things and to extend through all: but He incurred no stain or corruption or pollution from the body He had taken, because, as the Word of God, He remained by nature without body, or substance, or flesh, and went through the whole dispensation of His Incarnation with divine power and in ways unknown to us, sharing (c) what belonged to Him, but not receiving what belonged to others. What, then, was there to fear in the dispensation of the Incarnation, since the undefiled was incapable of defilement, and the pure of being soiled by the flesh, and the passionless Word of God of corruption by the proper nature of the body, any more than the rays of the sun are harmed by touching corpses and all sorts of bodily things? Nay, on the contrary, the corruptible was transformed by the divine Word, and was made holy and immortal, even (d) as He willed: yea, and so it ministered to the divine purpose and works of the Spirit. And all this was done by a loving God and by the Word of God for the curing and salvation of all men, in accordance with the words of the prophets who had foretold from ancient days His wondrous Birth of a Virgin. And quite necessarily the prophet prefaces Christ’s Birth of a Virgin by an exhortation to attention, crying aloud to his hearers, “If ye will not believe, neither (315) shall ye understand.”

And then he adds the following words: |54

“10. And the Lord added to speak unto Ahaz saying, 11. Ask for thyself a sign from the Lord thy God in the depth or in the height. 12. And Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt God. 13. And he said, Hear now, house of David; is it a small thing to you to strive with man, and how do ye strive with the Lord? 14. Therefore the Lord shall give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel: 15. Butter and honey shall he eat, before he knows to choose the good and refuse the evil. 16. Wherefore before the child know good or evil, he does not obey wickedness, that he should choose the good. And the earth shall be forsaken, on account of that which thou fearest, of her two kings.”

Such is the prophecy. But the opening of the prophecy (c) is worthy of our study, which bears witness to those that read it, “If ye do not believe, neither will ye understand.” And it is above all necessary to note that the words shew that its readers need not only intellect but faith, and not only faith but intellect. Hence the Jews who do not believe in Christ, though they are even now hearers of these words, have not even yet understood Him of Whom the prophecy was given, so that in their case the prediction has its primary fulfilment. For though they hear daily with their ears the prophecies about Christ, they hear them not (d) with the ears of their mind. And the sole cause of their ignorance is unbelief, as the prophecy truly reveals of them and to them. For it says, “If ye will not believe, neither shall ye understand.”

And if they say that she who conceived is called not a virgin but a young woman in Scripture (for so it is said it is explained among them) what worthy sign of the promise of God, we answer, would this be, if like all women after union with a man a young woman were naturally to conceive? And how could he that were born of her be God? And not simply God, but “God with us”? For that is the meaning of Emmanuel, which name it says the child is to be called. “For behold a virgin,” it says, “shall conceive (316) and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel, which is interpreted God with us.” Where would be |55 God’s struggle, where His labour and difficulty, if a woman were to bring forth in the accustomed manner?

For in our versions translated by the Seventy, men of Hebrew race, experts in the accuracy of their knowledge of their national language, we find: “Is it a small thing for you to contend with man? And how will ye contend with God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, who (b) shall be called God with us.” (For as I said this is the meaning of Emmanuel.) And in the versions of the Jews according to the transcript of Aquila [Aquila was a proselyte, and not a Jew by birth] we have a rendering to the same effect, “Hear then, house of David; is it a small thing with you to weary men that ye would weary my God also? Therefore He will give you this sign: Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call His name Emmanuel.” In Symmachus it stands thus— [Symmachus is said to have been an Ebionite. There was a sect of the Jews so designated said to have believed in Christ, to which Symmachus belonged, and his rendering is as follows]—”Hear, house of David, is it not enough for you to weary men, that ye weary my God? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you this sign: “Behold a young woman conceives and bears a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel.” For since the hardness of the Jewish (d) character and their disinclination for holiness caused sweat and toil, and no common labour and struggle to the prophets of old time, therefore he says, “Is it not enough for you to weary the prophets of God, and to contend with men: but now will ye even weary my God, and contend even with my God also?” Such is Theodotion’s translation. Thus the prophet calls the God, Who is like to be wearied |56 and challenged to contend, his own God, and not the God of those whom he addresses, which he could hardly do if he referred to the Supreme God of the Jews, among whom it had been handed down from their Fathers that they must (317) preserve the worship of God the Creator of all things. And what could the contest and labour or the toil of this God in the prophecy refer to but His entry by human birth, as I and the Septuagint interpret it, of a virgin, or even according to the current Jewish rendering, of a young woman? For you will find in Moses the phrase “young woman “used of one who is undoubtedly a virgin, at least he uses the word of one who has been violated by one person after her betrothal to another.

(b) But also Emmanuel, the child of the Virgin, is to be endowed with more than human power, He is to choose the good before He knows evil, and to refuse evil in choosing the good: and this not in manhood but in childhood. Therefore it runs, “Before the child knows good or evil, he shall refuse evil in choosing the good,” which shews that He is completely immune from evil. And He (c) bears a greater than any human name, God with us. And this is why the sign connected with Him is said to have depth, and also height: depth, by reason of His descent to humanity, and His presence here even unto death: height, by reason of the restitution of His divine glory from the depth, or because of the divine nature of His pre-existence. Emmanuel can only be He Who has already |57 been proved to be God the Lord, Who was seen by Abraham in human shape. And if the Jews refer the prophecy to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, saying that his birth was thus (d) predicted to his father, we answer that Hezekiah was not God with us, nor was any sign shewn forth in him of a divine nature. Nor was there any divine struggle or labour attendant on his birth. Hezekiah, moreover, can be shewn to be excluded by the date of the prophecy. For this prophecy was given about future events when his father Ahaz was actually king, whereas Hezekiah is known to have been born before Ahaz came to the throne. And if the prophecy we are considering has no reference to him, it is still further from referring to any other Jew who lived after its date, except to the birth of the true Emmanuel, that is, (318) God born with us, and to the sojourn among men of our Saviour the Word of God. For the land of the Jews was left desolate by the loss of its two kings, as the oracle said would come to pass as follows: “The land shall be deserted from the face of two kings”; and this actually and literally took place. For in the time of King Ahaz and Isaiah son of Amos at the date of this prophecy, the king of Syria in Damascus, and the king of Israel in Samaria, not the king (b) who ruled at Jerusalem, but the king of the multitude of Jews who revolted from the law of God, made a compact one with another, and besieged them that were under the sovereignty of David’s successors. The prophecy foretells the destruction of both these kings, both the Jew and the one of foreign race, who had combined together against the Lord’s people, and says that they will swiftly be severed and give up the war: and that their kingdom and succession (c) will be completely destroyed and extinguished after the birth of Him who is foretold as “God with us.”

Now recognize at what date the kingdoms of Damascus and Judaea both ceased to exist, and at what period the land of the Jews was left without a king, as well as the land of the Damascenes, once so powerful, formerly the great overlord of all Syria. For the probability is that at the time of their destruction Emmanuel would be born, and He that was foretold would come. If we to-day could see the (d)  kingdoms referred to still in existence, it would be vain to inquire further, we could only extend our hopes into the future; but if their destruction is actually evident, so that |58 our time sees no kingdom either of Damascus or of Judaea, it is clear that the prophecy has been fulfilled which said, “And the land shall be deserted from the face of two kings, whom thou fearest, from their face,”—kings being used for “kingdoms.” For Symmachus says, “The land shall be left, from which you suffer ill, by the face of her two kings.” And Aquila, “The land shall be left, which thou disdainest, from the face of her two kings.” And Theodotion translates thus, “The land shall be left, which thou hatest, from the face of her two kings.” Do you see how it is prophesied that the land shall be left kingless? What land, but that of Damascus, and that of Israel? For the kings to whom the prophecy refers ruled these lands. It was their lands that Ahaz despised or hated, wearied and suffering under their attacks. When then did they fall? For if this part of the prophecy was fulfilled, the foregoing part must have also taken place, and this was, that a Virgin should bear “God with us.”

Now if we inquire of history it is abundantly clear that the line of kings of Damascus was uninterrupted up to the date of the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The holy apostle mentions Aretas, King of Damascus, and the kingship of the Jews continued untouched even until then, though it was irregular: for Herod and his successors in the time of our Saviour did not inherit the throne as being of David’s line.

And it was after His Appearing, and the preaching of the Gospel of the Virgin’s Son to all mankind, that the land was “left of the face of two kings.” For from that date by the rule of the Roman Emperor over all nations, all local dominion in city and state ceased, and the prophecy before us in common with the others was fulfilled. |59

Such was the literal fulfilment. But the prophecy also shews figuratively the stability, the calmness and peace of every soul, who receives the God that was born, Emmanuel Himself. For now that the one Christ, and the Word (d) proclaimed by Him, rule as kings over the souls of men, the old enemies have been put to flight, the two forms of sin, the one that leads men into idolatry and into a diversity of varied beliefs, the other that tempts them to moral ruin. Of these I say the earthly kings of old above-named were symbols. Of these the king of Damascus was the picture of the Gentile errors with regard to idols. And the other, of those who had rebelled from Jerusalem, that is to say from the worship of God according to the Law.

That we should understand the passage figuratively can (320) also be seen from what follows, where it is prophesied that in the time of Emmanuel certain flies and bees will attack the Jews, some from Egypt, some from Assyria, and that a man will shave their head and feet and beard, and that a man will nourish a heifer and two sheep, and other things destined to happen at one and the same time, which it is impossible to understand literally, but only figuratively. (b)

This, then, is so. And the proof that the Scripture before us foretold the manner of the Birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, is supported by the Evangelist, who wrote:

“18. The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19. And Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20. And while he thus intended, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him saying, Joseph, Son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21. And she shall bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins. 22. And all this was done that the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel, which is being interpreted, God with us.” |60

And thus according to our teaching the reality of the divine foreknowledge is confirmed by the course of events, otherwise the truth of the prophecy could not have been shewn. Let us now consider the important things which it is said in the next part of the prophecy will happen in that day, that is to say at the time of Christ’s appearing.

(321 )   [Passage quoted, Isa. vii. 18-25.]

Such are the events included by this prophecy in its prediction of the day of Emmanuel. I will now go through the revelations they give us, epitomizing their meaning. “The Lord,” it says, “will hiss for flies in that day, which shall rule over part of the river of Egypt, and for the bee which is in the land of the Assyrians.”

The souls of the men who before worshipped idols, or the impure and horrid powers, I think, are called flies, and flies of Egypt, as delighting in sacrifices and the blood of idols. And the bee is an animal armed with a sting, that knows how to rule and to obey and to fight, and can defend itself and wound its enemies. These two then combining together, the one from the land of the Rulers (which is the meaning of “Assyrians”) the other from the land of the idolaters, will be bidden, it says, as by the hissing of the Lord God of the Universe, to rule the whole of Judaea, because of their unbelief in Christ, in the day of Emmanuel. And it means by this that a foreign military power will occupy Jerusalem and Judaea. This too our Saviour foretold more definitely, when He said, “And Jerusalem shall be trodden by the Gentiles.” This was fulfilled not long after our Saviour spoke, when the Romans took the city, and settled strangers there, and established them on its site.

It is also said that the same Lord will shave with the razor of the Assyrian king, that is to say with the discipline of the Prince of this world, the head and the feet and the beard of what can only mean the Jewish race. That is to say He will take away their order and beauty by the might (322) of some universal Empire, He disguises the Romans in this way. For I believe that under the name of Assyrians he means the rule of races, that gain Empire at each period |61 of history, because Assyrians in Hebrew means Rulers. And the Romans are now such Rulers.

And in truth the God of the Universe has taken away all the glory of the Jews, which was as their hair, and all their manhood, signified by their beard and the hairs of their feet, by means of the Roman razor, that is to say their (b) statecraft and military power. And it was only after the Birth of our Saviour, Emmanuel Himself, that God took away all their glory through the Roman rule.

Aquila translates, “By the kingdom of Assyria,” for “of the king of Assyria,” Theodotion and Symmachus, “By the king of the Assyrians,” making it clear that there is no threat to shave the head of the king of Assyria, but that by means of his razor and by means of the king of Assyria the things prophesied will fall on the Jewish nation. And the event (c) justified the prophecy. And one could note carefully at leisure many other sayings in the prophecies apparently directed against the Assyrians, which are quite inapplicable to them, since they refer to the rule of the dominant nation at some particular period. We have thus already seen the Persians called Assyrians by the Hebrews; and so we may conclude that the prophecy here refers to the Roman Empire. For (d) we see them as Rulers under the Rule of God in the period after our Saviour’s coming. Yet no one must understand me to say that every reference to the Assyrians in Holy Scripture refers to the Romans; that would be foolish and absurd. But I will shew in the proper place that there are certain prophecies concerned with the witness to Christ, which are to be understood of the Romans under the name of Assyrians, since the meaning of the word always implies the dominant Power of an epoch.

For my part, and I have thoroughly reasoned out the grounds of my opinion, I am persuaded that the only (323) reason why the prophetic writings abstain from naming the Romans is that the teaching of our Saviour Jesus Christ was going to shine throughout the Roman Empire on all mankind, and that the books of the prophets would be popular in Rome itself, and among all the nations under Roman rule. It was therefore to prevent any offence being taken by the rulers of the Empire from a too clear reference to them, that the prophecy was cloaked in riddles, in many (b) other contexts, notably in the visions of Daniel, just as in |62 the prophecy we are considering, in which it calls them Assyrians, meaning Rulers.

It is then with their razor that it prophesies that after the birth of Emmanuel the whole order of the Jews will be abolished.

And also on that day, I mean the day of Emmanuel, or of Christ’s Appearing, “A man, it says, will rear a heifer, and two sheep. And it shall come to pass from the abundance of milk, he that is left on the land shall eat butter and honey.” By this he suggests the hunger and extreme penury of the Jews, not enjoying their natural food of corn, neither ploughing, sowing, nor reaping, possessing no flocks of sheep nor herds of cattle, but only possessing two sheep and a heifer to provide them with milk. Or perhaps he means figuratively, that those Jews left in the land, the choir of apostles and evangelists of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, each one of whom was a remnant according to the election of grace, and therefore called “he that is left” in the land, will rear a heifer and two sheep, three orders in each church, one of rulers, two of subordinates, since the Church of Christ’s people is divided into two divisions, the faithful, and those not yet admitted to the laver of regeneration, to whom the holy apostle says, “I have fed you with milk, not with strong meat”; while he aptly calls those who are in a state of greater perfection a heifer, because they are the offspring of the more perfect bulls, like the apostle himself, who says of his own labour and that of his fellow-workers, “Does God take care for oxen, or is this said altogether for our sakes?” Thus the whole order of the leaders of the Church is called a heifer, for they are occupied in ploughing and sowing the souls of men, being the offspring of the ways and teaching of the apostles, who are said so to abound in virtue, that they provide of their fruitfulness fruitful and spiritual milk in elementary teaching, and nourish many besides themselves.

And it predicts also of those that shall be left in the land, that something else will happen in that day, that is to say at the time of Emmanuel’s presence. What is it? Every place, it says, of the people of the Circumcision, where there were 1000 vines for 1000 shekels, shall be dry and thorny. For with arrow and bow they shall come there |63 (obviously the enemy) and the land shall be dry and thorny.

And note that everything the prophecy predicts will fall on the Jewish race in the day of Emmanuel, I mean at the time when the spiritual light of our Saviour’s gifts shines on all men. He says that unclean and hostile powers which worked of old among the Gentiles, in Egypt and the land of the Assyrians, when the Lord hisses, and as it were urges them on and encourages them, will come upon their land, because they deserved the visitation. And it says that these powers will rest in valleys, and in caves of the rocks, in caverns, and in all their clefts, both figuratively understood of their souls, their bodily senses, their reason, and their divided minds, and directly in a literal sense of the whole country. Who would not wonder, when he sees how enemies have taken possession of every part of Judaea, and how foreigners and idolaters rest in all their cities and country? And the prophecy says that He will not only treat them thus, but will shave their head, the hairs of their feet and their beard, that is to say the whole order that of old was theirs, with the razor of the king of the Assyrians, as I have interpreted him.

At the same day and at the same time he threatens that he will plunge them into an extreme poverty of godly riches, so that they are devoid of rational bread, and of solid spiritual food, and are all content to be nourished with the milk of infants, and with elementary teaching. And to crown all, their vines will be dry. For when, as the same prophet says, their farmer and master expected them to bring forth a bunch of grapes, and they brought forth thorns, and not justice, but a cry, it is said that he will take away his mound and destroy the wall, and turn the vineyard into a dry place, and will deliver it to enemies, who, he says, will come there with arrow and bow, receiving their authority from God, Who delivers it to them not unjustly, but most justly, because all their land is become dry and thorny. Therefore, then, since they have made themselves dry and thorny, men will come, he says, with arrow and bow, with authority against them. Wonder not if this is expressed in dark and riddling figures. For I have already attributed the cause of such economy of Scripture to the desire to hide the final destruction of the |64 Jewish race, so that they might preserve the Scriptures for our benefit and use. For if the prophets had openly predicted destruction for them, and prosperity for the Gentiles, none of the Jews would have loved them, but they would have destroyed their writings as hostile and opposed to them, and it would have been impossible for us Gentiles to have made use of the prophetic evidence about our Saviour and ourselves. But yet when all this shall have happened to the Jewish race in Emmanuel’s day, according to my interpretation of the prophecy, a scanty remnant of them is said to be left, of which the apostle says: “There was a remnant according to the election of grace.” This it is surely, which shall rear a red heifer and two sheep, and from the abundance of their milk feed on butter and honey. And I have shewed according to my second interpretation that this describes the whole apostolic choir of the disciples of our Saviour Jesus Christ. But as those who are left behind are thus described in the prophecy, so also when the whole land of the Jewish nation and their vineyard has been transformed into sand and thorns, and therefore delivered to the enemy, it is prophesied in direct opposition to this that every arable (326) mountain shall be ploughed. And I think that the Church of our Saviour Jesus Christ is thus suggested, of which He also says: “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” For I think that the exalted, high, and lofty constitution of the Church is here called a mountain. It is, then, this arable mountain that it says shall be ploughed, so that no fear may attack it, and that it shall be so far changed from its former desolation, aridity, and thorns, as to be fit for “a pasture for sheep, and a place for cattle to tread.”

(b) And we can remember, that the Church of Christ which of old was dry and thorny, has undergone by His grace such a transformation, that it grows such a crop of the grass and fodder of spiritual harvest, that the sheeplike and simpler souls can delight in it, and that those who have reached a more perfect development, here called bulls, can plough and till it, as I shewed that the holy apostle taught, when he said:

“Doth God take care for oxen, or doth he say it altogether for your sakes? For your sakes was it |65 written, that he that plougheth should plough in hope, (c) and he that harroweth in hope to share therein.”

Thus the land that was before desert and dry has been transformed after the coming of Christ, so that it is fit for those, whom I understand as the bulls, to cultivate suitably.

And notice how the Virgin Birth is prophesied under the same figure, by which at the same time the prophecy says that the land that of old bore fruit worth a thousand shekels will be dry and thorny, and all the land because it is so dry and thorny will be delivered to those that attack it with (d) arrow and bow; while to every mountain the opposite will happen. They will be transformed from their previous dry and thorny state into a pasture of flocks and a place for cattle to tread, and no fear shall enter there. Whereby I think our Saviour’s Virgin Birth is clearly meant, and all that happened after it both to the whole Jewish community and to the other nations. The prophecy plainly foretells the change of each of these divisions to the opposite of what they were before, the change of the Jewish nations from better to worse, and the change of the Gentile Church from its old desolation to a divine fruit-fulness, both of which are to be brought to pass according to the prophecy at the same time, that of the appearance of (327) Emmanuel, and are shewn to have actually been fulfilled after our Saviour’s birth, and at no other time, both by the events in Jewish history which have been clearly told, and by the existence of the Gentile Church.

For if after the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ Himself the kingdoms of Damascus and Judaea had not come to an end, and if we could not see with our own eyes their lands released from them, and given over to foreign idolaters to inhabit; and, moreover, if the old (b) stately beauty of their very Temple had not become sand and thorns, and if no impure idolaters had come as their enemies to attack them with bow and arrow, urged on by the Lord Himself from abroad, and stayed in their country making every place and every city their own; and on the other side, if by the teaching of our Saviour no nations brought to believe in Him had changed from the sands |66 and thorns of their ancient barrenness and brought forth a holy and godly spiritual harvest; and again, if they who saw Christ with their eyes had not rejected Him, if they who heard Him speak had not turned a deaf ear to Him, and if the rest of the prophecy could not be proved to have been most exactly fulfilled from the days of Jesus our Saviour—then He would not be the subject of the prophecy. But if the fulfilment of the prophecies is. as the saying is, clear to a blind man, as only brought to pass from the period of His coming, why need we any longer be in doubt about the Virgin Birth, or refuse by wise reasoning to base our belief in that which was the beginning of this matter, on the evidence of what we can even now see? And what do we even now see, but the Jews’ disbelief in Him, so clearly fulfilling the oracle, which said: “Hearing ye shall hear and not understand, and seeing ye shall see and not perceive, for the heart of this people is waxed hard,” and the siege of Jerusalem, and the total desolation of their ancient Temple, and the settling of foreign races on their land, enslaving them with stings, that is to say with harsh enactments—for this is meant by the figures of the flies and bees—and above all the transformation of the heathen world from its former desolation into the field of God. Who would not be struck with astonishment at these spectacles? And who would not agree that the prediction is truly inspired, when he heard that these words were consigned to books and taken care of by our ancestors a thousand years ago, and only brought to a fulfilment after our Saviour’s coming? If, then, the prediction was wonderful, and the result of the prediction yet more wonderful, and beyond all reason, why should we disbelieve that the actual entrance of Him that was foretold was allotted a miraculous and superhuman kind of birth, especially as the clear evidence of the other miracles, as marvellous (as the Birth itself) in their sequence from that Birth compels us to accept the evidence of the other wonders connected with Him. |67

But following this, after, For a pasture of flocks, and a place for cattle to tread, a second prediction is attached, to the foregoing: “And the Lord said to me, Take a book (c) for thyself,” which we will consider, when I have quoted it.

From the same.

Concerning a New Writing, that is to say the New Covenant; a Prophetess is said to conceive of the Holy Spirit and bear a Son, Who, conquering Foes and Enemies, shall be rejected by the Jews, and will be a Saviour to the Gentiles. And what the Nation of the Jews will suffer after their Disbelief in Him, is shewn at the Same Time.

[Passage quoted, Isa. viii. 1-4.]

This prophecy is connected with the preceding. For she that was there called a Virgin, and was said to bear God with us, is here called a Prophetess. And if it be asked whence she should conceive being unmarried, the prophecy now gives teaching on this point, for it says: “And I went in to the prophetess; and she conceived and bare a son.” This must be understood of the Holy Spirit, under Whose Divine influence the prophet spoke. The Holy Spirit then Himself confesses that He went in to the prophetess: and this is clearly fulfilled in the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, when:

“The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house and lineage of David. And he said to her, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.”

And again:

“Fear not, for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bear a son, and shall call his name Jesus. And Mary said, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” He answered, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Wherefore the holy thing that is born shall be called Son of God.” |68

(d) And in the preceding prophecy, coincident with the birth of Emmanuel, before the Child knows good or evil, it is said that the land is forsaken by the two kings that are attacking it, namely the kings of Samaria and Damascus; while in this prophecy it says that before the Child calls on His father or mother, He shall take the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria, whose kings He previously prophesied would be destroyed at the birth of Emmanuel.

I have already pointed out that actually in the time of Ahaz two kings made a covenant and attacked those ruled by David’s successors; the one, ruler of the idolatrous Gentiles of Damascus; the other, king of the Jewish people in the city of Palestine called Samaria, which we (330) call Sebaste. Concerning whom God said to Ahaz: “Fear not, let thy heart not be sick, for these two smoking firebrands.” And he foretells that the destruction of these men will be immediate, and proceeds to prophesy that on the birth of God with us, both their kingdoms will be utterly extinguished and destroyed. And we know from history that until the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ (b) the kingdoms of Judaea and Damascus continued, but that after His appearance to all men, they ceased in accordance with the prophecy, for the Roman Empire absorbed them concurrently with the preaching of our Saviour.

And after this literal prediction the prophecy passes to a figurative and generally more spiritual form of revelation, and it understands two ranks of invisible enemies and hostile daemons, warring in different ways against humanity, one active always and everywhere in promoting idolatry and false beliefs among mankind, the other occasioning the (c) corruption of morals. And taking the type of idolatrous error in the king of Damascus, and of the decline of the pure and healthy life in the king of Samaria, it says that the earth, meaning thereby the men who inhabit it, will only be released from their power, when God appears on earth as Emmanuel. When He has shone forth and ruled over the soul of man, none of the old tyrants will be left. Thus, then, you will understand that here it refers to the (d) same beings, when it says: “He will take the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria,” for our Saviour Jesus Christ’s power conquers completely all our unseen |69 enemies, who for long ages besieged all men with their aforesaid godless and harmful activities. And in the literal sense as well you may see the power of Damascus destroyed concurrently with the Birth and appearance of our Saviour, and the spoils of Samaria taken, that is to say their kingdoms, which continued up to the time stated, but in the fulfilment of the divine prediction have ceased from then till now. (331)

Some say, interpreting otherwise, that the Magi, who came from the East to worship Christ, the young Child, are meant by the “power of Damascus”: and you might say more universally that all who have rejected godless, polytheistic idolatry, and obeyed the word of Christ, especially if they be furnished with this world’s reason and wisdom, are those meant by the “power of Damascus.” And by the “spoils of Samaria” you will in this case understand our Saviour’s Jewish apostles and disciples, (b) whom as it were He took as His spoils from the hostile Jews who attacked Him, and armed for the conflict with the king of the Assyrians, by whom again the Prince of this world is figuratively meant. But as Aquila has translated more clearly: “The adversary of the king of the Assyrians” by “In the face of the king of the Assyrians,” it is worth considering whether here the Roman Empire is not meant, if the translation given a little before of “Assyrians” as “rulers or ruled” be correct. As then (c) here, also, the king of the Assyrians is connected with the appearing of our Saviour, it is probable that here also the Roman Empire is intended, through their being directed by God to subject the nations to themselves. It is therefore prophesied that the child that is born will take the power of Damascus, and the spoils of Samaria, and will deliver them against the face of the Assyrians, and before the eyes of those ruled by God, and that He will do this at the time of His Birth, directing the fate of humanity with secret divine power, while physically still a babe. (d)

The prophet commands all this to be delivered in a new and great book in the writing of a man, by which is meant the new Covenant. And he adds as witnesses of his sayings a priest and a prophet: his word thus teaching us, of the necessity of using in Christian evidences the witness of the sacrificial system in the law, and of the prophets who |70 succeeded it; and he desires, for other reasons, that there should be eye-witnesses of the Child’s birth, that we might be able to understand what is prophesied of Him. For it was said above: “For if ye will not believe, neither will ye understand,” and (he writes) that the one should have (332) “the Light of God” (this is the meaning of Uriah), and that the other being “the Son of Blessing” should bear the “memory of God in himself” (this is the meaning of Zachariah son of Barachiah).

Such is my exposition of the passages, and if any of the Jews does not agree with me, let him point out to me who at any time was born in this nation as Emmanuel, and how the prophet, came in to the prophetess, and who she was, and how she conceived immediately, and who was the child that was born of the prophetess, whom the Lord (b) Himself named: “Take the spoil speedily, keenly rob,” and why the child was so called. They must shew, too, that the child, before he called on his father and mother, took the power of Damascus, and the spoils of Samaria against the king of the Assyrians. For we, understanding these sayings both literally and figuratively, hold that they were fulfilled in our Saviour’s Birth, shewing that you must deal with the prophecies first in their literal and (c) obvious sense, and next allegorically. Immediately after the aforesaid words another prophecy follows in disguised language.

[Passage quoted, Isa. viii. 5-8.]

It is clear that the only way to preserve the sense of this passage is to explain it figuratively. Thus it means by the water of Siloam that goes softly, the Gospel teaching of the word of salvation. For Siloam means “sent.” And this would be God the Word, sent by the Father, of Whom Moses also says, A ruler shall not fail from Juda, nor a prince from his loins, until he come for whom it is stored up, and he is the expectation of nations. For instead for whom it is stored up, the Hebrew has “Siloam,” the word (333) of prophecy using the same word Siloam there and here, which means “the one that is sent.”

And Raashim again was king of the idolatrous Gentiles in Damascus, as was also the son of Romelias of the Jews |71 in Samaria who deserted the Jewish worship of their ancestors. And so God threatens that on those who will not accept Siloam, that is to say Emmanuel, who is sent to them, and the Son born of the prophetess, and His pleasant and fruitful Word, but reject it, though it flows softly and (b) gently, and choose for their own selves the prince of idolatrous Gentiles or the leaders of the apostasy of God’s people, He will bring the strong and full flood of the river, which the word of the prophecy interprets for us to be the king of the Assyrians: meaning here again either figuratively the Prince of this world, or the power of Rome actually dominant, to which they were delivered who rejected the said water of Siloam that went softly, and (c) embraced beliefs utterly hostile to good teaching. At once surely and without delay on those who rejected the Gospel of our Saviour, and refused the water of Siloam that went softly, the Roman army came under God’s direction through all their valleys, trod down all their walls, took away from Judaea every man who could raise his head, or was able to do anything at all, and so great was their camp that it filled the whole breadth of Judrea. (d)

So the prophecy was literally fulfilled against them. Learn why it was if you desire to know. Because Emmanuel, God with us, the Child of the Virgin, was not with them, for if they had had Him, they would not have suffered thus. Wherefore the prophet next cries to the Gentiles, saying, “Emmanuel, God with us: know ye nations and yield.” And this I have interpreted, so as to shew that most prophecies can be explained either literally or figuratively. Hence we must proceed to consider the remainder of the prophecy before us in both ways. And if the Jews say that even now (334) we are to expect the fulfilment in the future, expecting these things to be accomplished actually and literally by the Christ they look for, let us ask them, how he that is to come will take the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria against the king of the Assyrians, inasmuch as Samaria at the present time is destroyed, and no longer exists, and the power that bore the name of Damascus is abolished, and so is the Assyrian Empire, which the Medes (b) and Persians destroyed and superseded between them? And as none of these people hold empire, how is it possible to look for their destruction in the future? |72

Neither is it possible to claim that they were fulfilled at any other time in the distant past. No Hebrew sprung from the union of a prophetess with the prophet Isaiah ever (c) took the spoils of Samaria and the power of Damascus warring against the king of Assyria, as the literal sense would imply. So that everything compels us to agree that the fulfilment has only been in the way I have described, and at no other time than that of the appearance of Jesus our Saviour, in Whose day I have proved that the things aforesaid were fulfilled.

And there was therefore written according to the prophecy on His appearing a new book, the word of the new Covenant containing the birth of the Son of the prophetess, (d) Who also has literally by secret and divine power delivered the kingly power of both Damascus and Samaria and their spoils as explained by me into the hands of the Roman Empire: and figuratively of course as well, He has drawn up His Jewish disciples, claiming them as it were for His spoils, girding them with arms of spiritual strength, against the face of the said king of the Assyrians, and made them into heavy-armed soldiers, as His own soldiers. But those who refused the fruitful and life-giving water of His own teaching, which goes softly, and preferred what is hostile and opposed to God, He has handed over to the king of (335) the Assyrians, by whom they are even now enslaved. For verily He has gone up all their valleys, and all their walls, and taken away from Judaea every ruler and king, denominated “head,” and every one capable of doing anything, with the result that from that time to this they have possessed no head, no able man of God, as were their ancient saints, whether eminent for prophecy, or even for righteousness and godliness.

And it is evident that their whole country is even now (b) subject to their enemies, and that this was all completed when Emmanuel came. Thus, then, the Hebrew Scriptures contain the double message that Emmanuel would be rejected by the Jews and cause their great miseries, and that He would be accepted by us Gentiles and prove Himself our source of salvation and of the knowledge of God. Wherefore the next saying is, “God is with us: know ye Gentiles and yield.” How truly do we yield, we Gentiles that believe on Him, vanquished by the truth and power of Him |73 Who is God with us, and conquered we obey Him (c) everywhere alike, even though we dwell in the very ends of the earth, according to the prophecy which says, “Obey even at the ends of the earth.” Yet though we obey Him and hear His call, the prophecy as it proceeds must refer to those nations that do not yet believe, saying, “Ye that were strong be vanquished. For if ye again be strong, ye shall again be vanquished, and whatever word ye take, shall not remain among you, for God is with us. Thus saith the Lord to them that disbelieve with strong hand.” (d)

In which words the prophecy says clearly to them that are restive under and rebel against Christ’s teaching and put no trust in His strong hand, that they will have no strength if they attempt to war with the God with us, and that whatever counsel they take against Him shall not abide with them, because Emmanuel is with us, and it is easy for us who see the threats directed against us and the attacks of rulers in these days, to realize the truth of the conclusion, and that they can never carry out their threats because God is with us. (336)

From the same.

That tlie Son to be Born of the Virgin prophesied of, or Prophetess, is Called God, Angel of Great Counsel, and by Other Strange Names, and that His Birth is the Occasion of the Light of Holiness to the Gentiles.

[Passage quoted, Isa. ix. 1-7.]

This is the third prophecy of the Child, making known the same thing in different ways. As our present object is to exhibit the manner of God’s coming to men, note the number of ways in which He is shewn forth. First, He was set before us under the name of Emmanuel, God born of a Virgin; secondly, as the Child of the prophetess and the Holy Spirit, being none other than the before-named; thirdly, in the present passage, being one and the same as in the former, wherein His Name is said to be, according to the Septuagint, Angel of Great Counsel, and as some of |74 the copies have, “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, (337) Potentate, Prince of Peace, Father of the World to Come.” In the Hebrew, as Aquila says:

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and a measure was upon his shoulders. And his name was called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty, Powerful, Father, even Prince of Peace, and of his peace there is no end.”

And as Symmachus:

“For a youth is given to us, a son is given us; and his instructions shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Miraculous, Counselling, Strong, Powerful, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, and of his (b) peace there is no end.”

In the Septuagint it is not simply Angel, but that he should be born as Angel of Great Counsel, and Wonderful Counsellor, and Mighty God, and Potentate, and Prince of Peace, and Father of the World to Come, and it was there prophesied that He should be a Child. He is referred to that was previously called differently the Word of God, and God and Lord, and also named the Angel of His Father, and the Captain of the Lord’s Host. But who can this be who, in Aquila’s version and those even now current among (c) the Hebrews, is “begotten among men, and become a child, Wonderful and Strong, Counsellor, Powerful, and Father, yea even Prince of peace, Whose peace, he says, will never end?” or in that of Symmachus, “Miraculous, Counselling, Strong, Powerful, Eternal Father, Prince of peace, and that endless and infinite”; or in Theodotion’s “Counselling wonderfully, Strong, Powerful, Father, Prince of peace, for increasing instruction, of Whose peace there is no end.”

And that which follows I leave you to consider by yourself, only remarking that this Being Who is called Eternal Father, (d) and Prince of Endless Peace, and Angel of Great Counsel is prophesied of as being begotten and becoming a child, and on His birth among men wills that they shall be burnt with fire who grudge the salvation He wins for the Gentiles, be they evil daemons, or be they wicked men, of whom He says, “That every garment and raiment wrought by guile, they will repay with interest.” And who can these be, but |75 those of whom it was elsewhere spoken in the person of our Saviour, “They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots “? And they who are partakers of their sin, who will also desire, when they shall see their own judgment at some future time, that they had been burnt with fire before they sinned, before the Angel of Great Counsel had been sinned against by them?

Now consider yourself whether it does not overstep the limits of human nature that His peace should be said to be endless, and that He should be called Eternal Father; and also that He should be called not simply Angel, but Angel of Great Counsel, and Mighty God, and the other names in the list. And it says too that the kingdom of David will be restored by Him, which you will understand thus: there were many promises given to David, in which it was said:

“And I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers: he shall call upon me, Thou art my father, my God, and the helper of my salvation, And I will make him my firstborn, high above the kings of the earth. For ever I will keep my mercy for him, and my covenant shall stand firm with him, and I will make his seed for ever and ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.”

And again:

“Once have I sworn by my holiness, I will not fail David, his seed shall remain for ever, and his throne is as the sun before me, and as- the moon established for ever.”

God promised all this to David in the Psalms, but through the sins of his successors the opposite actually happened— for the kings of David’s seed lasted until Jeremiah, and ceased on the siege of the holy city by the Babylonians, so that from that date neither the throne of David nor his seed ruled the Jewish nation. And the Holy Spirit thus foretells the failure of the promises made to David in the same passage of the Psalm:

“But thou hast rejected, and made of no account, thou hast cast down thy Christ: Thou hast destroyed the covenant of thy servant, and cast his glory to the ground, thou hast broken down all his strongholds.” |76

And a few verses later:

“Thou hast broken down his throne to the ground, thou hast lessened the days of his time, thou hast proved dishonour upon him”;

a course of events which has been begun and carried to its conclusion from the Babylonian captivity of the Jews up to (339) the Roman Empire and Tiberius. For no one of the seed of David appears to have sat on the throne of the Hebrews in the intervening period up to the coining of Christ. But when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who was of David’s seed, was proclaimed King of all the world, that very throne of David, as though renewed from its degradation and fall, was restored in the divine kingdom of our (b) Saviour, and will last for ever; and even now, like the sun in God’s Presence, is lighting the whole world with the rays of His teaching, according to the witness of the Psalm and the prophecy before us, which says concerning the Child that should be born, on the throne of David (that is to say, the eternal and lasting throne promised to David), He should sit in His kingdom, to guide it, and uphold it in (c) justice and judgment from now even for ever. The Angel Gabriel should be a sufficient teacher that this was fulfilled, when he said in his sacred words to the Virgin:

“Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God; and behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” [[Luke.i. 30.]]

(d) And the prophet expecting this birth of Christ in the aforesaid Psalm, and regarding its postponement and delay as if it were the cause of the fall of David’s throne, cries in disgust, “But thou hast refused, and made of no account, and cast off thy Christ.” And he prays as though doubting the Divine Being, that the promise may be somehow swiftly fulfilled: “Where is thine ancient pity, Lord, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? “which same things his prophecy most clearly says will be fulfilled at the birth of the Angel of Great Counsel. “Wherefore they will wish,” he says, “to have been burnt with fire, those before named |77 for unto us a child is born, and to us a son is given, the Angel of Great Counsel.” To us, that is, who in Galilee of the Gentiles have believed on Him, to whom He has brought light and joy, and the new and fresh drink of the mystery of the new Covenant: according to the prophecy which says:

“First drink this, drink quickly—land of Zabulon, (340) and land of Nephthalim, and the rest who dwell by the coast, across Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: O people that sat in darkness, behold a great light, and to them that sat in darkness and the shadow of death a light is risen.”

These are they who from the Gentiles believed in the Christ of God, and the disciples and apostles of our Saviour, whom He called from the land of Zabulon and Nephthalim, and chose for the preachers of His Gospel. To them therefore who believed, the Angel of Great Counsel is given as a son to bring them salvation, but to them who disbelieved (b) fire and burning.

He says that the ground of this whole dispensation is the zeal of the Lord, “The zeal of the Lord of Sabaoth will do this.” What is the character of this zeal? Is it not that recorded by Moses, where he says:

“They have provoked me to jealousy, but not according to God. They have angered me with their idols. And I will provoke them to jealousy by a nation which is not. By a foolish nation I will anger them “? [[Deut.xxxii. 21.]]

But as I have by God’s help solved the problems of the (c) sojourn on earth of Him that was prophesied, and also the character of His coming from prophetic evidence, it is now the time to investigate the place where He should be born, His race, and the Hebrew tribe from which it was predicted He should come. These, then, shall be our next subjects. |78


From Micah.

(341) Of the Place of the Birth of the God fore-announced, and how He will come forth from Bethlehem, a Town of Palestine, being from Eternity, as Governor of the Race of the Holy, and how it is foretold that the Lord will feed them that have believed in Him unto the Ends of the Earth.

[Passage quoted, Micah v. 2-6.]

EMMANUEL, which is interpreted God with us, has been clearly shewn in the passages quoted to have been born of (b) the Virgin, and the Angel of Great Counsel to have become a child. But the place of His Birth had also to be pointed out. It was therefore prophesied that a ruler would come forth from Bethlehem, whose goings forth were from eternity. And this could not be referred to a human being, but only to the nature of Emmanuel and the Angel of Great Counsel.

For eternal existence can be assumed only of God. A person who exists from eternity, then, is predicted as about to come forth from Bethlehem, a Jewish town not far from (c) Jerusalem. And we find that the only famous man who was born there was David, and then later our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ of God, and besides them no other. But David, who came before the date of the prophecy, was dead many years before the prediction: nor were his goings forth from the days of eternity. It only remains that the words were fulfilled in Him that was born afterwards from Bethlehem, the true Emmanuel, God the Word going forth before the whole creation, and called (d) “God with us,” especially as His Birth at Bethlehem undoubtedly shewed God’s Presence, by the wonders connected with it: for St. Luke writes its record thus:

[Passage quoted, Luke ii. 1-18.]

So Luke writes. And Matthew tells the story of our Saviour’s birth as follows:

[Matt. ii. 1-12.] |79

I have quoted these passages in full to shew that what happened at Bethlehem at the Birth of our Saviour furnishes adequate evidence that He was the Person meant by the prophecy. And to this day the inhabitants of the place, who have received the tradition from their fathers, confirm the truth of the story by shewing to those who visit Bethlehem because of its history the cave in which the (c) Virgin bare and laid her infant, as the prophecy says:

“Therefore he shall give them until the time of her that brings forth: She shall bring forth, and the rest of their brethren shall turn to them.”

And by “her that brings forth “he means accordingly her that in the former prophecies was called a Virgin, and the prophetess who was delivered of Emmanuel and the Angel of Great Counsel. For until her day and that of Him she bare the old conditions of the nation were unaltered, the prescription being laid down until the time of “her that (d) brings forth, “that is, until the miraculous Birth of Him that was born of the Virgin; but after His day their kingdom was taken away, and the remnant of their brethren, those, that is to say, who believed in the Christ of God, became apostles and disciples and evangelists of our Saviour, whom, when they turn to Him, the Lord Himself is said to feed, not as before by angels or men that served him, but by Himself personally, so that thus they might be glorified to the ends of the earth. For they were glorified when “their voice went into all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” It is clear what a great flock of spiritual human sheep has been won for the Lord throughout the whole world by the apostles: and this flock the Lord Himself is (314) said personally to look after and feed with His strength, being both Shepherd and Lord of the flock, so that the sheep are protected by the strong hand and mighty arm of their Master and Shepherd, from danger of attack from wild and savage beasts.

Such is the character of the events at Bethlehem, and of the Coming of the God that was fore-announced. But the account of the Coming from Heaven to men of the Lord and (b) |80 Shepherd Himself I have already quoted from the prophecy we have before us, in which it is said:

“Hear all peoples, and let the earth attend, and all that are therein, and the Lord shall he a witness to you, the Lord from his holy house. Wherefore behold the Lord, the Lord comes forth from his place, and shall descend,”

(and that which follows); to which he adds, “For the sin of Jacob is all this done, and for the transgression of the house of Israel.” But it is clear, from what the same prophet goes (c) on to say, that it was not only because of the sin of the Jews, that the Lord came down, but also for the salvation and calling of all nations. For he proceeds to say:

“And the mountain of the Lord shall be visible to the end of the days, and many peoples shall haste to it, and many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord.”

And therefore, after the proclamation that the Eternal shall come forth from Bethlehem, he says that he will no more rule only over Israel, but over all men together even unto the ends of the earth; for he says:

(d) “And he shall stand and see, and shall feed his flock with the strength of the Lord, and they shall live in the glory of the name of the Lord God: wherefore now they shall be glorified even unto the ends of the earth, and this shall be peace.”

Who shall have this peace, but the earth, in which the flocks of the Lord shall be glorified? And it is plain to all that this was fulfilled after the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

For before Him there was great variety of government, all nations being under tyrannical or democratic constitutions, as for instance, Egypt was ruled by its own king, (345) and so were the Arabs, the Idumueans, the Phoenicians, the Syrians and the other nations; there were risings of nations against nations and cities against cities, there were countless sieges and enslavements carried through in every place and country, until the Lord and Saviour came, and concurrently with His coming, the first Roman Emperor, (b) Augustus, conquered the nations, variety of government was almost completely ended, and peace was spread through all the world, according to the prophecy before us which |81 expressly says of Christ’s disciples: “Wherefore they shall be glorified to the ends of the earth, and this shall be peace.”

And the oracle in the Psalms, which says about Christ, “There shall rise in his days justice and peace,” is in agreement with this. And I think that is why He is called “Prince of Peace” in the prophecy that I quoted before this. And I would ask you to notice that the prophet we are considering says at the outset that the Lord will come from heaven, and that the subject of the prophecy will only pasture his flock after His birth at Bethlehem. And (c) the Evangelist, whose words I have cited, furnishes the evidence that this was the case with regard to our Lord and Saviour.

The Christ is called the governor and shepherd of Israel, in accord with the custom of Holy Scripture to give the name of the true Israel figuratively to all who see God and live according to His Will: just as contrariwise it calls the Jews, when they sin, by names that suit their ways, Canaanites, and seed of Canaan not Judah, Rulers of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah. Though, of course, (d) also, all our Saviour’s life was literally passed with the Jewish race, and He was the Leader of many gathered out of Israel, as many of the Jews as knew Him and believed in Him.

Such, then, was the fulfilment of the prophecy quoted. But one must start fresh in considering that which succeeds it, which runs thus:

“When the Assyrian shall attack your land, and come against your country, there shall be raised up against him seven shepherds, and eight ‘bites’ of men,”

with that which follows, whose meaning we are not now called upon to unfold.

Now it might be said that after the expedition of the Assyrians into Judaea, when they overcame the Jews, the number of rebellions against them is shewn by the seven shepherds and the eight “bites”: and that historians of (346) Assyria would know this, and at the end of their rule the one foretold was born at Bethlehem, after the seven shepherds and the eight “bites” had happened to the |82 Assyrians in the period after their expedition against Judaea. But we must not now devote more time to what would entail a long inquiry.

From Psalm cxxxi.

To David, inquiring where should be the Birthplace of the Predicted God, Ephratha, which is Bethlehem, is made known by the Holy Spirit.

(c) [Passages quoted, Ps. cxxxi. 1-7, 10, 11, 17.]

This prophecy agrees with the preceding in stating that the God about whom the prophecy is made will come forth from Bethlehem. And it is about this place that David first prays God to teach him, since he does not know it, (347) and then after his prayer he is taught. For when he has received the oracle addressed to him in the Psalm which said: “Of the fruit of thy body I will set upon thy seat,” and, “There will I raise up a horn for David, I have prepared a lantern for my Christ,” he rightly falls down before God, and there fallen to the earth worships, and with yet greater intensity of prayer swears that he will not enter the tabernacle of his house, nor allow his eyes to sleep, nor his eyelids to slumber, nor ascend the couch of his bed, (b) but will lie on the ground worshipping and adoring, until he finds a place for the Lord, and a tabernacle for the God of Jacob—that is, until he learns by the Lord’s revelation to him the birthplace of the Christ.

So having prayed and desired to learn it, not long after he beholds by the Holy Spirit what will be in the future; for God has promised to His people that he will hear them even while they speak. So his prayer being heard he (c) is favoured with an oracle which cries “Bethlehem,” that being the place of the Lord, and the tabernacle of the God of Jacob. And so when the Holy Spirit prophesied that this was within him, he, listening to his inner voice, adds: “Lo, we heard of it in Ephratha.” And Ephratha is the same as Bethlehem, as is clear from Genesis, where it is said of Rachel, “And they buried her in the Hippodrome of Ephratha,” and this is Bethlehem. And the previous prophecy ran: “And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha.” |83 “Behold,” he says, “we have heard it! “—evidently (d) meaning the birth of Christ and the entering of the God of Jacob into His tabernacle. For what else could the tabernacle of the God of Jacob be but the Body of Christ, which was born at Bethlehem, in which, as in a tabernacle, the divinity of the Only-begotten dwelt? And the habitation is not said to be simply of God, but is qualified as of the God of Jacob, that we may know that it is the God that dwells therein, Who was seen by Jacob in human form and shape, wherefore he was deemed worthy of the name, Seer of God, f6r such is the translation of his name. And I have established in the early part of this work that He that was seen by Jacob was none other than the Word of God. Bethlehem was therefore revealed to David when he prayed and desired to know the place and the habitation of the Lord and God of Jacob, wherefore he said: “Behold, we heard it at Ephiatha,” and added: “Let us worship at (348) the place where his feet stood.” Therefore in these words the Lord God of Jacob Himself foretold that His own place and habitation would be in Ephratha, which is Bethlehem, agreeing with the prophecy of Micah, which said: “And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, out of thee shall come a governor, and his goings forth are from eternity,” which, when we lately examined, we found could only apply to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who was born at Bethlehem according to the predictions. For (b) it is certain that no one else can be shewn to have come forth from there with glory after the date of the prophecy: there was no king, or prophet, or any other Hebrew saint who can be shewn to have been of David’s seed, and also born at Bethlehem, except our Lord and Saviour, the Christ of God. We must, therefore, own that He, and no one else, is the subject of this prophecy, and (c) for the additional reason that further on the same Psalm proves it, calling Him Christ by name, where it says: “For the sake of David thy servant, turn not away the face of thy Christ.” And again: “There will I raise up a horn for David, I have prepared a lantern for my Christ, his enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him my holiness shall flower.” Where else does he say: “I will raise up a horn for David,” but in Bethlehem—Ephratha? (d) For it was there the horn of David, the Christ according |84 to the flesh, arose like a great light, and there the God of the Universe prepared the lantern of the Christ. And the human tabernacle was the lantern as it were of his spiritual light, through which, like an earthen vessel, as if through a lantern, He poured forth the rays of His own light on all who were oppressed by ignorance of God and thick darkness.

Yes, indeed, I think that it was clearly revealed here that the God of Jacob, from the beginning the Eternal, would dwell among men, and that He would be born nowhere else but in the place at Bethlehem, near Jerusalem, in the spot that is even now pointed out, for there no one is witnessed to by all the inhabitants as having been (349) born there in accordance with the Gospel story, no one remarkable or famous among all men, except Jesus Christ. And Bethlehem is translated, “House of Bread,” bearing the name of Him Who came forth from it, our Saviour, the true Word of God, and nourisher of spiritual souls, which He Himself shews by saying: “I am the Bread that came down from heaven.” And since it was David’s mother-town as well, the Son of David according to the (b) flesh rightly made His entrance from it according to the predictions of the prophets, so that the reason is clear why He chose Bethlehem for His mother-town.

But He is said to have been brought up at Nazara, and also to have been called a Nazarene We know that the Hebrew word “Naziraion” occurs in Leviticus in connection with the ointment which they used for unction. And the ruler there was a kind of image of the great and (c) true High Priest, the Christ of God, being a shadowy type of Christ. So there it is said about the High Priest according to the Septuagint: “And he shall not defile him that is sanctified to his God, because the holy oil of his God hath anointed him”: where the Hebrew has nazer for oil. And Aquila reads: “Because the separation, the oil of God’s unction, is on him”; and Symmachus: “Because the pure oil of his God’s anointing is on him “: and Theodotion: “Because the oil nazer anointed by his God is upon him.” So that nazer according to the Septuagint is “holy,” according to Aquila “separation,” according to Symmachus “pure,” and the name Nazarene will therefore mean either holy, or separate, or pure. But the ancient |85 priests, who were anointed with prepared oil, which Moses (d) called Nazer, were called for that reason Nazarenes; while our Lord and Saviour having naturally holiness, purity, and separation from sin, needed no human unguent, yet received the name of Nazarene among men, not because He was a Nazarene in the sense of being anointed with the oil called Nazer, but because He naturally had the qualities it symbolized, and also because He was called Nazarene from Nazara, where He was brought up by His parents according to the flesh and passed His childhood. And so it is said (350) in Matthew:

“Being warned of God in a dream [Joseph is referred to] he departed into the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazara, that the saying of the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

For it was altogether necessary that He Who was a Nazarene naturally and truly, that is holy, and pure and separate from men, should be called by the name. But since, needing no human unction, He did not receive the name from the oil nazer, He acquired it from the place named (b) Nazara.

This proof being thus complete, let us now investigate from what race, and from which Hebrew tribe, it was foretold that the Saviour of our souls, the Christ of God, should come. And I will first quote the Gospel passages about it, and then add the prophets’ evidence to theirs, like seals that agree together. Matthew thus gives the genealogy of Christ according to the flesh: |86

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Juda,” and that which follows.

And the apostle agrees with this, when he says:

“Separated to the gospel of God, which he had before promised by his prophets in the holy scriptures concerning his son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh.”

These words would agree with the corresponding predictions.


From the Second Book of Chronicles.

From what Race and from what Hebrew Tribe it was foretold that the Christ should come.

[Passages quoted, 1 Chron. xvii. 11-13; Ps. lxxxviii. 26; verses 4, 35, 29; and cxxxi. 11.]

THERE is no doubt that Solomon was the son of David and his successor in the kingdom. And he first built the Temple of God at Jerusalem, and perhaps the Jews understand him to be the subject of the prophecy. But we may fairly ask them whether the oracle applies to Solomon, which says, “And I will set up his throne for ever,” and also where God sware with the affirmation of an oath by his holy one, “The throne of him that is foretold, shall be as the sun, and the days of heaven.” For if the years of the reign of Solomon are reckoned, they will be found to be forty and no more. Even if the reigns of all his successors be added up, they do not altogether come to 500 years. And even if we suppose that their line continued down to the final attack on the Jewish nation by the Romans, how can they fulfil a prophecy which says, “Thy throne shall |87 remain for ever, and be as the sun and the days of heaven “? And the words, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son,” how can they refer to Solomon, for his history tells us much about him that is foreign and opposed to the adoption of God? Nay, hear the indictment against him:

“And Solomon loved women, and took many strange wives, even the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, and Idumaeans, Syrians and Chatteans, and Amorites, from the nations of whom the Lord said to the children of Israel, that they should not go in to them.”

And in addition to this:

“And his heart was not right with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father; and Solomon went after Astarte, the abomination of the Sidonians, and after their king, the idol of the sons of Ammon. And Solomon did evil before the Lord.”

And again further on he adds:

“And the Lord raised Satan against Solomon, Ader the Idumaean.”

Now who would venture to call God his father, who, lay under such grievous charges, and to call himself the firstborn son of the God of the Universe? Or how could these sayings apply first to David, and then to his seed? But they do not even apply to David, if you reflect. Therefore we require some one else, here revealed, to arise from the seed of David. But there was no other born of him, as is recorded, save only our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ of God, Who alone of the kings of David’s line is called through the whole world the Son of David according to His earthly birth, and Whose Kingdom continues and will continue, lasting for endless time. It is attacked by many, but always by its divine superhuman power proves itself inspired and invincible as the prophecy foretold. And if you hear God swear by His holy one, hear Him swear as Father by the Word of God, existing before all ages, His Holy and Only-begotten Son, of Whose divinity the passages I have quoted have spoken in many ways, by Whom His God and Father swears as by His dearly beloved, that He would glorify Him that was of the seed of David for ever. |88

And this came to pass when the Word became flesh, and took and made divine Him that was of David’s seed. Wherefore he calls him Son, saying, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.” And again, “And 1 will make him my firstborn.” From this it is then clearly explained that the firstborn Son of God will be of the seed of David, so that the Son of David is one and the same as the Son of God, and the Son of God one and the same as the Son of David. And thus it was prophesied that the Firstborn of the whole creation, Himself the Son of God, was to become Son of man.

The Scripture of the Gospel sets its seal on this oracle, where it says that the Angel Gabriel, standing by the holy Virgin, spake thus concerning our Saviour:

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David, and he shall rule over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

And after a little, Zacharias the father of John, prophesies thus concerning Christ in the same gospel:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people, and hath raised a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his son, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets from ages past.”

The fact that our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ of God, and none other, has received the throne promised for ever to David, has then been adequately proved by the prophecies quoted, and by the words of Gabriel and Zachariah, in which He is regarded as of the seed of David according to the flesh.

But the reason why the holy evangelists give the genealogy of Joseph, although our Saviour was not His son, but the son of the Holy Ghost and the holy Virgin, and how the mother of our Lord herself is proved to be of the race and seed of David, I have treated fully in the First Book of my Questions and Answers concerning the genealogy of our Saviour, and must refer those interested to that book, as the present subject is now occupying me. |89

From Psalm lxxii.

Of Solomon and of His Seed that is to come. 

[Passages quoted, Ps. lxxii., i, 5-8, 16b.]

As this Psalm is addressed to Solomon, the first verse of (354) the Psalm must be referred to him, and all the rest to the son of Solomon, not Rehoboam, who was king of Israel after him, but Him that was of his seed according to the flesh, the Christ of God: for all who are acquainted with the Holy Scriptures will agree that it is impossible to connect (c) what is said in this Psalm with him or his successors, because of what they reveal about him. Nay, how is it possible to apply to Solomon, or his son Rehoboam, the burden of the whole Psalm?—for instance, “He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” And “He shall remain as long as the sun, and before the moon for ever,” and other similar statements. Yet the words at the beginning of the Psalm are at once seen to apply to Solomon, which say, “O God, thou wilt give judgment to the king.” And the addition, “And thy justice to the king’s son,” to the Son of Solomon, not his (d) firstborn who succeeded him in the kingdom (for he only ruled the Jewish nation seventeen years, being a wicked king), nor any of the successors of Rehoboam, but only to one of the seed of David, who could thus be called the son both of David and Solomon. And this is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For His Kingdom and its throne will stand as long as the sun. And He alone of men, as the Word of God, existed before the moon and the creation of (355) the world, and He alone came down like dew from heaven on all the earth: and it was said in our quotation a little above, that He had risen on all men and that His justice would remain even until the consummation of life, which is called the removal of the moon. And our Saviour’s power is supreme from the eastern sea to the west, beginning its |90 (b) activity at the river, which is either the Sacrament of Baptism, or from Jordan, where He first appeared to benefit mankind. Yea, from that time His kingdom has spread and extended through the whole world. And Jerusalem being meant by Libanus, as is made clear by many prophecies, because of its ancient altar and temple, and the offerings thereon to the honour of God like Libanus, the Church of the Gentiles the fruit of Christ is said to be (c) about to be exalted above Libanus. And if the studious consider this Psalm in its literal sense at leisure, they will find that its contents only apply to our Lord, and not to Solomon of old, or any of his successors on the throne of Judaea, who reigned but a few years, and only over the Jewish land.

(d)       From Isaiah.

Of Jesse, and the Seed to be born of Him. 

[Passage quoted, Isa. xi. 1-10.]

(356) This Jesse was David’s father. As, then, in the preceding prophecies it was foretold that one should come forth of the fruit and seed of David, and also of the seed of Solomon, in the same way here it is prophesied that one will come forth of the seed of Jesse, that is to say of David, many years after the death of both David and Solomon. And this (b) passage decides the quibble of the Jews already noticed with regard to Solomon. For Isaiah writes this prophecy about some one other than him many years after the death of Solomon, who should arise from the stem of Jesse, and the seed of David. And I do not think it can be doubted that the words apply only to our Saviour, the Christ of God, considering the promise in the prediction, which says, “And (c) there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that riseth to rule the nations, in him shall the nations trust,” and the way in which our Saviour fulfils them.

For He alone, after His Resurrection from the dead, intended here I think by the word “Arise,” ruled not only the Jews but all nations, so that the prophecy does not lack fulfilment, as it is quite clear that the words, “In Him |91 shall the Gentiles trust,” are fulfilled in Him, as well as the other prophecies.

And the references to the animals and wild beasts becoming tame and laying aside their fierce and untameable nature through His sojourn here will be allegorically understood of men’s rough and wild ways and fierce characters being changed by Christ’s teaching from irrational savagery. They must certainly be allegorically understood, especially (d) if one understands the root of Jesse mentioned by the prophet, and the rod, figuratively, and expounds in an intelligible way, “Justice shall be the girdle of his loins, and truth the girdle of his reins.” For if one can only interpret this allegorically it follows that one must treat the passages that refer to the animals necessarily in a figurative way as well.

From Jeremiah. (357)

A Righteous Rising from the Seed of David upspringing, and the same a King of Men, and a New Name to be given to those ruled by Him, and the Forgiveness of their Former Sins.

[Passages quoted, Jer. xxiii. 6-8, xxx. 8, 9.]

Jeremiah prophesies thus long after the death of David and even the time of Solomon concerning a king who is to arise from the seed of David, whom he first calls “the rising,” not simply but with the adjective “just,” as though he were to shine forth from the sun of righteousness, of whom I treated in my evidences about the Second Cause, where I shewed that the pre-existent Word of God besides (d) many other names was called Sun of Righteousness, quoting the prophecy which said, “To them that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise.” Therefore the prophecy in the present passage is that God will raise up “a righteous rising” to David, in the sense of a sun of righteousness. And he calls the same Being an understanding king, and one who does judgment and justice on the earth. He gives him too the same name as David, who died very long before. For you must note carefully how at the beginning |92 he says, “And I will raise up to David a righteous rising,” (358) and adds at the end, “And I will raise up David to be his king.” Whose, but David’s?—for it was to him that he said He would raise up a righteous rising.

And Zechariah prophesying of the same Being likewise calls Him “arising,” saying, “Behold I will raise up my servant, the rising,” and also, “Behold a man whose name 8. is ‘The Rising,’ and beneath him springs righteousness.”

But no one, it is certain, arose after the time of Jeremiah among the Jews who could be called “a righteous rising” and “an understanding king doing judgment and righteousness on the earth.” For if it be suggested that Jesus son of Josedec is meant, it must be answered that the (‘-‘) prophecy is inapplicable to him. For he was neither of David’s seed nor did he reign as king. How could this apply to him, “And I will raise up David to be his king,” when he was of the tribe of Levi, and of high-priestly rank, and of another tribe than David, and is never recorded to have been king? We conclude that, as no other can be discovered, we must agree that the subject of this prophecy (c) can only be our Lord and Saviour, called in other places “the light of the world,” and “the light of the nations.” He therefore must be the subject of this prophecy, and the prediction is absolutely true. For He alone of David’s seed and figuratively named after his ancestor, for David means “strong-handed,” preached judgment and justice by His teaching to all men on earth, and alone of all that ever lived is king not of one land only, but of the whole world, and alone has caused righteousness to arise over all the world, according to what is said of Him in the Psalm: “Righteousness shall arise in his days, and abundance of peace.”

And Judah and Israel were to be saved in His days, that (d) is to say all the Jews who through Him reached holiness, His apostles, disciples and evangelists, or perhaps all who represent the Jew mystically understood and the true Israel which sees God spiritually.

“For he is not a Jew,” the apostle says, “that is one outwardly, nor circumcision the outward circumcision in the flesh, but he is a Jew which is one in secret, and circumcision is of the heart in the spirit not the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.” |93

It is these, then, the secret Jew and the true Israel, that he says are through Christ’s calling to be named by a new name, neither Jew nor Israel, but one quite different from these. For He says that the Lord will call them by the (359) name of Josedekeim, which means, “The Lord’s just ones.”

And I ask you to consider whether this name Josedekeim, by which the disciples of Jesus are called by God, be not formed from Joshua; they would thus be named by men from the name of Christ which is Greek (i. e. Christians), and by the prophets, from Jesus, in the Hebrew tongue, because they are saved by Him, Josedekeim. So it is said, “And this is the name by which the Lord shall call them, (h) Josedekeim among the prophets.” So, then, we see that the people that are to become through the subject of the prophecy the spiritual Jews and the true Israel, will be called Josedekeim from Joshua, and they will be called by this name, he says, not by men, but by God, and by His prophets. For you must note carefully the passage that says, “And this is the name which the Lord shall call them, Josedekeim by his prophets.” And its translation in Greek is. as I said, “God’s just ones.” And God promises that (c) He will break from those who are thus to be saved the old heavy yoke of bitter daemons and shatter the bonds of the sins by which they were held of old, so that they will no more serve strange gods, but bear fruit and please Him only. Compare with this the oracle in the Second Psalm concerning the Coming of Christ and the calling of the Gentiles, which says: “Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast off their yoke from us.” To which, I think, this we are considering is akin when it says:

“In that day, saith the Lord, I will break the yoke from off their necks, and shatter their bonds, and they (d) shall not serve other gods, but shall serve the Lord their God.”

But in proof that it was predicted that the Christ of God should be born of the fruit of David’s body, and of the seed of Solomon, as actually was the case, since the Holy Scriptures call Him David as well as by many other names, I have given sufficient confirmation.

And it should raise no question, that He is said to come from the tribe of Judah, for that was the tribe to which David belonged. |94

But I will give the oracle of Moses that states this, though it is already proved sufficiently. It runs thus:

From Genesis.

How from the Tribe of Judah shall be born the Christ of God, and shall be established as the Expectation of Nations.

[Passage quoted, Gen. xlix. 8-10.]

The whole Hebrew race consisted of twelve tribes, one of which had Judah for its ancestor and head, to whom the above words were addressed, telling him that the Christ should spring from him. And if you compare with this prophecy the other prophecies I have quoted, you will find all through them that the same Being is proclaimed by a sign common to all. For one said of Him that springs from the root of Jesse, “And there shall be one arising to rule the nations, on him shall the nations trust.” Another said of the son of Solomon, “He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the world, and in him all nations shall be blessed.” And the one before us similarly says, “Until he come for whom it is laid up, and he shall be the expectation of nations.”

If, then, the predictions about the nations are in accord, and the previous ones have been proved to refer to our Saviour, nothing prevents us referring this one to Him as well, if these prophecies are agreed to be in harmony, especially with regard to the fact that the kings and rulers of the Jewish nation continued in the same line of succession until the period of Christ’s appearing, but failed directly He appeared, and by the prediction of Jacob the expectation of the nations demanded a satisfaction.

Christ therefore is foretold here also, as destined to come from the tribe of Judah, and since He has been shewn to have been born of David, Solomon, and the root of Jesse, it is evident He came from the same tribe as they. For David was son of Jesse, and Solomon of David, both of the tribe of Judah. Our Lord and Saviour must therefore spring from it, as the wonderful evangelist Matthew states |95 in his geneaology, “The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob begat Judah.”

And now that I have adequately proved these points, it is time to consider the period of the fulfilment of the prophecies.



(362) I HAVE proved by how many prophecies the coming of the Word of God to men was foretold, and that it was announced by the Hebrew prophets whence He should (b) come, and where and how He should be seen by men on earth, and that He was actually the Person, the eternal pre-existent Son of God, Whom we have learned to recognize by the other names of God and Lord and Chief Captain, and Angel of Great Counsel and High Priest. And I begin at this point, in continuance of the preceding proof, to give the evidence with reference to the period of His Appearing drawn again from prophetic predictions.

(363) The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the (b) presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies. They suggest other signs of the same times as well, an abundance of peace, the overturning in nation and city of immemorial local and national forms of government, the |97 conquest of polytheistic and daemonic idolatry, the knowledge of the religion of God the one Supreme Creator. The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had (c) not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions. I have already, you will remember, accounted for the Christ coming in these last times and not long ago, but I will here shortly repeat myself. In the old days the souls of men were tyrannized over by squalid folly and sin, and a strange godlessness ruled (d) over all human life, so that men were like wild and untamed beasts. They knew nothing of cities, or constitutions, or laws, nor anything honourable or progressive; they set no store on arts and sciences, they had no conception of virtue and philosophy, they lived in lonely deserts, in mountains, caves, and villages; they preyed on their neighbours like robbers, and gained their livelihood mostly by tyrannizing over those weaker than themselves. But though they did not know the Supreme God, nor the path of true religion, yet inspired by conceptions of natural religion they agreed in self-taught principles about the (364) existence of a divine power, regarded it as and called it God, and considered the name one of salvation and beneficence, but they were not yet able to realize anything beyond a Being transcending the world of visible nature. Wherefore some of them—

25. “worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator; 21. and they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; 23. and they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.”

And so they made images of their kings and tyrants long dead, and paid them divine honours, and by imputing divinity to them sanctified their wicked and lustful deeds as works of the gods. |98

How could the wise and good word of Christ, instilling the (c) quintessence of wisdom, be in harmony with men in that condition, and involved in such depths of evil? So that holy and all-seeing Justice, pruning them like a wild and dangerous wood, now afflicted them by floods, now by fire, now delivered them to wars, butchery and sieges at one another’s hands, urged on as they were to war against (d) each other by those very daemons whom they regarded as their gods, with the result that human life in those days admitted no neighbourly intercourse, mutual association or union. Those were few, as might be expected in such days, and easily numbered, who, as the Hebrew oracles tell us, were found to be godly; with such, Justice met by the use of oracles and theophanies, she took them by the hand and cared for them with the elementary but helpful Mosaic legislation.

But when at last by the legislation laid down for them, and by the later teaching of the prophets poured out like a sweet smell upon all men, the character of the people became civilized, and constitutions and legal systems were (365) established among most nations, and the name of virtue and philosophy became popularly honoured, as if their old savagery had ceased and their wild and cruel life were transferred to something gentler: then at length, at the fitting time, the perfect and heavenly teacher of perfect and heavenly thoughts and teaching, the leader to the (b) true knowledge of God, God the Word, revealed Himself, at the time announced for His Incarnation, preaching the Gospel of the Father’s love, the same for all nations, whether Greeks or Barbarians, to every race of men, moving all to a common salvation in God, promising the truth and light of true religion, the kingdom of Heaven, and eternal life to all.

Such, then, is my account of the reasons why the Christ (c) of God shone forth on all men now and not long ago. |99

We will now, retracing our steps, examine in detail the signs portending His Coming, first noting what is said in the Gospels about the date of His Birth. Matthew then records the date of His appearance in the flesh, thus: “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judrea, in the days of Herod the king”; and a little later, he says: “Hearing that Archelaus reigned over Judaea, instead of Herod his father.” And Luke shewed the date of His teaching and (d) manifestation, saying :

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, Herod tctrarch of Galilee, and his brother, Philip, tetrarch of Ituraea and the land of Trachonitis; and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being High Priests.”

With these we shall do well to compare the prophecy of Jacob given by Moses to this effect.

CHAPTER 1   (366)

Of the Time of His Appearance among Men. How at the Time which the Hebrews fail of their Kingdom, the Expectation of the Gentiles shall approach, which also came to pass at Our Saviour’s Appearing.

From Genesis.

1. “Jacob called his sons and said, Come together (b) and hear what shall befall you at the end of the days. Come together and hear, ye sons of Jacob, hear your father.”

Then, after rebuking his elder sons, one for one thing, one for another, as being unworthy because of their sins (c) of the prophecy about to be given, he prophesies thus to his fourth son, as having shewn himself a better man than his brothers:

8. ” Judah, thy brethren shall praise the, | thy hands shall be on the back of thy enemies, | the sons of thy father shall bow down to thee. | 9. Judah is a  lion’s |100 whelp, | Thou hast sprung up, my son, from a slip. | Lying down thou didst sleep as a lion and a whelp, | Who shall arouse thee? | 10. A ruler shall not fail from Judah, | nor a governor from his loins, | until the things laid up for him come, | and he is the expectation of the nations.”

First, consider what is meant by “the things laid up for him,” and see if they be not the prophecies about the calling of the Gentiles, that God gave to those with Abraham. For it is written, that God said to Abraham :

“And thou shalt be blessed, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

And again:

“Abraham,” he says, “shall become a great and mighty nation, and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

Similar oracles were spoken to Isaac in this wise :

“And I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and in thy seed shall all nations of the world be blessed.”

And also to Jacob this is said :

“I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac, fear not.”

And then :

“And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

And at another time God said to him :

“I am thy God, increase and multiply: nations and assemblies of nations shall come out of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.”

Jacob, who knew the predictions of God concerning the calling of the nations, having twelve sons, called them all together to his deathbed, to discover in the line of which son God’s predictions would be fulfilled. And, then, having laid rebukes on the three first for their wrongdoings, he tells them also that the fulfilment of the prophecies will not come about through them because of their wicked deeds. But coming to the fourth, who was |101 Judah, he at once prophesies to him that the oracle, which says, “kings shall come from thy loins,” will be fulfilled in his descendants. For it was plain that the kingly family was established in the tribe of Judah: and (c) he shews at the same lime at what period the prophecies of God and the promises to the Gentiles will fall due, and he teaches that one will come forth from him who will cause all nations and tribes to be admitted to the blessings of Abraham. All these things, then, were “the things laid up for him,” that is to say, the ancient prophecies concerning the nations, and the words, “kings shall come (d) out of thee,” whereby his tribe has precedence of those of his brethren, as royal and pre-eminent.

Directly the whole nation was organized in the time of Moses God gave his tribe the chief rank among the tribes. For it is written:

“And the Lord spake to Moses and Aaron, saying, Let the children of Israel encamp fronting one another, every man keeping his own rank, according to their standards, according to the houses of their families before the Lord, around the tabernacle of witness; and they that encamp first towards the east, shall be the order of the camp of Judah with their host.”  

And later in the part that refers to the renewing of the sanctuary:

“The Lord said to Moses, One prince each day shall offer their gifts. And he that offered the first day was Naason, son of Aminadab, prince of the tribe of Judah.”

And in the Book of Joshua, son of Nave, when the land of promise was divided by lot among the other tribes, the tribe of Judah took its own portion of the land without casting lots, and first of all. And, moreover, “After the death of Joshua the children of Israel inquired of the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanite, leading our fighting against him? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up. Behold, I have given the land into his hands.” These words, then, make it clear that God (b) |102 ordained the tribe of Judah to be the head of all Israel, and the account goes on: “And Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanite and Perizzite into his hand.” And also: “And the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it, and the sons of Judah came down from fighting against the Canaanite.” And again: “And Judah went up with Symeon, his brother.” And then: “And the Lord was with Judah, and gave him the Mount as his portion.” And after this: “And the sons of Joseph went up, they also who were in Bethel, and Judah with (c) them.” And in the Book of Judges, when different men at different times were at the head of the people, though individually the Judges were of different tribes, yet speaking generally the tribe of Judah was head of the whole people, and much more so in the times of David and his successors, who belonged to the tribe of Judah, and continued to rule until the Babylonian Captivity, after which the leader of those who returned from Babylon to their own land was Zerubbabel, the son of Salathiel, of the tribe of Judah, who also built the Temple. Hence, too, the Book of Chronicles, when giving the genealogies of the twelve tribes of Israel, (d) begins with Judah. And you will see it follows from this that, in the days that succeeded, the same tribe had the headship, although different individuals had temporary leadership, whose tribes it is impossible to decide with accuracy, because there is no sacred book handed down to give the history of the period from then to the time of our Saviour. But it is true to say that the tribe of Judah continued so long as the free and autonomous constitution of the whole nation lasted under its own leaders and kings. And this was the case from the beginning until the time of Augustus, (369) when, after our Saviour’s appearance among men, the whole nation became subject to Rome. And then instead of their ancestral and constitutional rulers they were ruled first by Herod, a foreigner, and next by the Emperor Augustus. And so long as there had not yet failed a prince from Judah, nor a leader from his loins, the dates of the prophecies are given from the reigns of the kings. Thus Isaiah prophesies in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. As did Hosea. Amos, in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of (b) Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel; and Zephaniah |103 in the days of Josiah, son of Amos, king of Judah. And Jeremiah too. But when a prince failed from Judah, and a governor from his loins, when the expectation of the Gentiles foretold in Christ was just about to shine on human life, there were no longer any rulers styled kings in Judah or governors in Israel. And since they had failed at the appointed time in accordance with prophecy, Augustus first, and then Tiberius, was called king of the Jewish nation, in common with the other nations, and under (c) them were procurators and tetrarchs of Judaea, and Herod of course, who, as I have already said, was not a Jew by birth, and received his authority over the Jews from Rome.

After these observations, we will now attempt a consideration of the prophecy: “Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee.” Jacob had twelve sons, the fourth being Judah, who as I have said already, was the one and only head of the Hebrew tribes. But it will be evident, that (d) the words addressed to him by his father did not refer to him as an individual man, if we consider the words of Holy Scripture, and especially the speech of Jacob to his sons:

“And Jacob called his sons to him, Come together and I will tell you what shall come to pass in the last days. Gather together and hear, ye sons of Jacob, hear Israel your father.”

For he clearly promises here to predict what will happen to them a long time afterwards, or, in his own words, in the last days. And for other reasons what Jacob said could not apply to the first individual who bore the name of Judah. His brethren did not praise him: for what great deed of his could they have done so? It would have been more applicable, if it had been addressed to Joseph, for (370) we know that Judah himself with his other brethren bowed down to him, except of course that this happened before the prophecy; but afterwards there is no record of anything of the kind connected with Joseph, or Judah. And the words, “Thou didst fall and sleep as a lion and a lion’s whelp,” seem to call for a wider interpretation than one concerning Judah. The words that follow, too: “There shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a governor from his loins, until that come which is laid up for him, and he is |104 (b) the expectation of nations,” seem to me to give in a disguised form the time of the coming of the subject of the prophecy. For the one event, he says, will not take place, until the other does. The kings and rulers of the Jewish nation, that is, will not cease before the expectation of the nations shall come, and that which is laid up for the subject of the prophecy. Theodotion agrees with this rendering of the Septuagint, but Aquila thus translates:

“The sceptre shall not be removed from Judah, and he who knoweth exactly from between his feet, until also there come to him a congregation of people.”

(c) And this saying, “There shall not fail a prince from Judah,” cannot be referred to Judah as an individual man any more than, “Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee.” For there were rulers and governors of the Jewish nation at many times who were not descended from him. Moses, for instance, its first ruler, was not of the tribe of Judah but of Levi. Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim; after whom their ruler was Deborah, of the tribe of Ephraim, and Barak

(d).of the tribe of Naphthali, then Gedeon of Manasseh, then Gedeon’s son, and after him Thola of the same tribe, then Esebon of Bethlehem, and then Ailon of Zabulon, Labclon of Ephraim, and Samson of Dan; then there being no regular ruler, Eli the priest, of the tribe of Levi, was their leader, All these Judges judged Israel, not in the line of succession from Judah, but one from one tribe and one from another. And they were followed by the first king, Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin. How, then, can the words, “there shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a governor (371) from his loins,” be referred, as one would suppose they should be, to rulers and governors of the tribe of Judah, when from the time of Jacob’s death, for nearly a thousand years, they do not appear to have been drawn from the tribe of Judah only, but some from one tribe, some from another, up to the time of David? And if it be true that David and his successors sprung from the tribe of Judah ruled the Jewish nation, after so many others, yet we must remember that they did not continue to rule the (b) whole people for the whole of those five hundred years, but only three tribes, and not the whole of them, for during their reigns other kings governed the larger part of the nation— that is to say, the whole of the other nine tribes. For after |105 the death of Solomon, since the whole nation was divided from Judah, the successors of David, as I said, did not rule the whole Jewish nation up to the time of the Babylonian Captivity. And in their times the heads of Samaria, which was the name of the State held by the nine tribes, were not drawn from Judah, but now from one tribe, now from (c) another, the first being Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, and those immediately after him, so that in the period between David and the Babylonian Captivity, kings of the line of Judah never ruled the whole nation.

There is no need to add that after the return from Babylon for more than five hundred years again until the birth of Christ the Jewish constitution was aristocratic, the high priests, for the time being, acting as heads of the State, none of whom came from the tribe of Judah. So from all these reasons it is proved that there is no reference here to Judah the original individual, to his descendants, nor in the oracle that said: “A prince shall not fail from Judah, (d) nor a governor from his loins,” but that the only consistent interpretation of the passage is the one I have already given, that we must understand it of the tribe as a whole. The tribe most certainly was leader of the whole nation from the very beginning, from Moses’ own time. And in accordance with such headship, as being designed by God from the outset, the country is even now called Judaea after the tribe, and the whole race are known as Jews. We must, therefore, understand it to mean what would be expressed more clearly, if it were said that the tribe of Judah would never lose its headship of the whole nation. So Symmachus says: “The power shall not be taken away (372) from Judah,” shewing of course the authority and the royal position of what was afterwards to be the tribe of Judah. From it neither “the sceptre,” as Aquila says, this being the symbol of royal rule, nor “the power,” according to Symmachus, shall be taken away, the prophecy affirms, “until he come,” it says, “for whom it is laid up, and he shall be the expectation of the nations.” What expectation was this, but that of which Abraham and those after him had received the prophecies? First, is it not very striking that (b) though there were twelve Hebrew tribes, the race even now |106 has its name from none but Judah? It can only be explained by the prophetic oracle, which attached the royal position to the tribe, of Judah. And it is for this same reason that their fatherland is called Judaea. For why was not the nation called after the eldest of the twelve, I mean (c) Reuben, according to the divine law of primogeniture? Why not from Levi, who was greater than Judah in order of birth, and also in receiving the priesthood? Why not, even more, was the race and the country not called after Joseph, from his acquiring rule not only over the whole of Egypt, but over his own relations, and because his descendants, long years after, were to rule as many as nine tribes of the nation, on whose account it was far more probable that the whole race and the country would have been named after their ancestor? And who would not agree (d) that they might reasonably have been called from Benjamin, since their famous mother-city and the all-holy Temple of of God was in the portion of his tribe? But yet, in spite of all, the name of the Lord and of the whole nation was . drawn from none of them but Judah, as the prophecy foretold. I have, therefore, referred the words, “A prince shall not fail from Judah,” to the tribe, and only in that sense is the prediction true. For from the time of Moses there has not failed a continued line of rulers of part of the nation, drawn as I said from different tribes, but the tribe of Judah has all along stood forth as the head of the whole (373) nation. An illustration will make what I have said clear. Just as the procurators and governors appointed in the Roman Empire over nations, their praefects and military chiefs, and their highest kings, are not all drawn from |107 Rome nor from the seed of Remus and Romulus, but from many different races, and yet all their kings and the rulers and governors below them are all called Romans, and their power is named Roman, and the rule of them all generally has this appellation, in the same way we (b) should think of the Hebrew state, where you have the name of the tribe of Judah applied generally to the whole nation, though there be kings and governors of divisions from different tribes, but all honoured with the name of Judah. We understand then that the prophet’s words: “Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee,” were to be applied to the whole tribe. For he knew that being marked out for precedence it would be honoured more than the other tribes, and since it was best in warfare, and the sole leader of the whole nation in operations against the enemy, he rightly continues: “Thy hands shall be on the back of thy (c) enemies.” Then for its ruling and royal position he calls it, “a lion’s” whelp.” And as ancestor and prophet, glorying in the reputation of the tribe, he adds: “From a seed, my son, thou hast ascended”; while the words: “Falling down thou hast slept as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp,” shew its character of terror and bravery, its utter fearlessness of external attack, and contempt of its foes. He being such, (d) or rather, his tribe being such, who, he says, shall arouse it? He suggests that the Person who is to remove the tribe in question from its throne, and move it from its royal position, will be some one great, wonderful, unusual, and hard to imagine. Then he tells us who it is to be, telling us that it is He Who is the Expectation of nations, of Whom it is predicted that He will only appear among men, when the ruler fails, and the governor is changed, and the tribe of Judah is removed from its position of power. Who is this, but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?—at Whose birth, as the prophecy before us (374) predicted, the rulers and governors set over their nation from the Jews themselves would fail, the tribe of Judah lose the dominant and royal position that it had held over the nation for so long, and be subject to the Romans, their rulers from that day to this, who overcame the Jewish |108  (b) nation together with the rest of the world, and under whom Herod, a man of alien birth apart from their race, was appointed king by Augustus and the Roman Senate. For Herod was son of Antipater, and Antipater belonged to Ascalon, and was son of some temple-server at the Temple of Apollo, who married a woman named Kuprine, of Arab race, and begat Herod. He, you will remember, being sprung from this family, got rid of and slew Hyrcanus, the last of the line of ruling high-priests, with (c) whom the government of the Jews by native rulers came to an end, Herod being, as I say, the first foreigner to be called the King of the Jews. In his time Jesus Christ was born, and at one and the same time the position of the tribe of Judah was taken away, the authority of the kingdom of the Jews destroyed, and the prophecy preceding this fulfilled: “There shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a governor from his loins, until there come the things laid up for him,” who, he says, will not only be the expectation of the Jews, but of the Gentiles. As, therefore, the expectation of the call of the Gentiles, prophesied long (d) before to Abraham, was “laid up,” until the rulers and governors of the Jewish race should have ceased, and their independent government should have been changed to submission to Rome, and to the Gentile Herod, the Evangelist Luke, noting the date of the cessation of Jewish rulers, tells us that the teaching of Christ began in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea; and Matthew says the same |109 in a disguised form. For having described the birth of our Lord and Saviour, he adds: “And when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judrea, in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is that which is born king of the Jews?” wherein he shews clearly enough both that they were under (375) foreign rule, and also the calling of the foreign nations from the East by God. For foreigners ruled over the Jews, and foreigners coming from the East recognized and worshipped the Christ of God, Who had been prophesied of old. The prophecy of Jacob is thus seen clearly to have been fulfilled, being brought to pass at the end of the national existence of the Jews, even as he predicted to his sons, saying: “Come together, that I may announce to you, what shall happen to you at the end of the days.” (b) For we must understand by the end of the days the end of the national existence of the Jews. What, then, did he say they must look for? The cessation of the rule of Judah, the destruction of their whole race, the failing and ceasing of their governors, and the abolition of the dominant kingly position of the tribe of Judah, and the rule and kingdom of Christ, not over Israel but over all nations, according to the words, “This is the expectation of the nations.”

And who would not agree that all this has been definitely (c) fulfilled in the coming of our Saviour, when they who of old before Christ’s birth, with their native rulers and governors and wise hearers of the holy oracles, prided themselves in their own kings, high priests and prophets, and when the tribe of Judah, being the royal tribe, the conqueror of their enemies, the leader and ruler of the whole nation, with its men of old renown has from that day to this lain under the heel of Rome? For the Christ of God was definitely manifested, and from that day the said expectation of the Gentiles is preached to all nations, (d) Or who can deny, that concurrently with the appearance of our Saviour Jesus the solemnities of the Jews, their city with its Temple and the worship performed therein, have come to an end, together with their native rulers and governors, and that from that time the hope and expectation of the nations through all the world has been made known, since the things laid up in the Lord |110 have come. What are these things, but those set forth by Judah?—

“Thy brethren shall praise thee, thy hands shall be on the back of thine enemies, lion of the tribe of Judah. O my son, thou hast ascended from a seed, falling thou hast slept as a lion and as a lion’s whelp: who shall awake thee?”

(376) But the words, “The things laid up for him,” have another sense; let us now consider them, only premising that the Holy Scriptures are accustomed to give the Christ different names. Sometimes they call Him Jacob:

“Jacob, my son, I will help thee; Israel, my chosen, my soul hath received him, he shall bring judgment unto the nations,”

and that which follows. To which is added, “Till he place judgment on the earth, and in his name shall the Gentiles (b) hope.” Sometimes they name Him Solomon or David: Solomon as in the 71st Psalm, inscribed to Solomon, whose contents evidently refer to Christ. For the words, “He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the world’s end, and all the nations shall serve him,” and the contents of the Psalm that follow, can only apply to the Christ. Christ, again, is called David in the 88th Psalm, for expressions therein are only applicable to Him, and not to David, for instance:

“He shall call me, Thou art my father, and I will make him my firstborn, high above the kings of the earth. I will keep my mercy for him for ever.”

(c) And again:

“His seed shall remain for ever, and his throne is as the sun before me, and as the moon fixed in the heaven.”

So, then, besides the many other names given to Christ by the Holy Scriptures, it is possible that He may be called Judah also in the passage before us, especially as He sprang from the tribe of Judah. For the apostle certifies the fact (d) that our Lord and Saviour sprang from the tribe of Judah. For Him, then, were “the things laid up for Judah” figuratively intended in the prophecy. And what were they? First, the praise of His brethren; second, to lay his hands on the back of His enemies; third, to be worshipped by the sons of His Father. And they came to pass, |111 for His performance of miracles and wondrous prodigies aroused wonder, and He was praised and worshipped by His own disciples and apostles, whom He shrank not from calling brethren, saying by the Psalm, “I will declare thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the Church I will praise thee,” and also when He bids the women with Mary announce the news to them as His brethren, for He says, “Make known to my brethren that I ascend to my Father, (377) and your Father, and to my God, and your God.” Thus then, His brethren at first praised Him only as a remarkable man because of His miracles, believing Him most likely to be one of the prophets; but when meanwhile they saw His wonderful miracles, and how He destroyed the enemy and the avenger, and death the prince of this world, together with the other unseen hostile powers, thenceforth they (b) believed Him to be God and worshipped Him. And the hands of our Saviour were upon the back of His enemies, when He directed all His deeds and powers and miracles to the destruction of the daemons and evil spirits. Yea, when too He spread out His hands on the Cross, even then His hands were on the back of His enemies, since they fled and turned their backs on Him, and even more, when yielding up His spirit to the Father, disembodied and (c) stripped of that flesh, which He had assumed, He went to the place of His enemies, having life in Himself, to loose death, and the powers arrayed against Him, which perhaps at first conceived that He was an ordinary man and like all men, and so encircled Him and attacked Him as they would any one else, but when they knew that He was superhuman and divine, they turned their backs and fled from Him, so that He laid His hands on them, and drave them on with His divine and sharpened arrows, as is here said, “Thy hands shall be on the backs of thy enemies.” |112

And if to-day many enemies of our Saviour attempt from (d) time to time to war against His Church, these too He routs with invisible hand and divine power, even as it is said of them, “His hands shall be on the back of his enemies.” And since also He has received the trophies of victory over His enemies, the words, “The sons of thy father shall worship thee,” are also fulfilled: that is to say, all the angels of heaven, and the ministering spirits, and the divine powers, and on earth the apostles and evangelists, and after them those of all nations who through Him are enrolled under the one and only true God and Father, have learned that Christ is God the Word, and have consented to worship (378) Him as God.

But as it was necessary for the mysteries of both His Birth and Death to be included in the prophecy concerning Him, Jacob rightly proceeds to add to what has gone before:

“Judah is a lion’s whelp. From a seed, my son, thou hast ascended, falling down thou hast slept as a lion and a lion’s whelp: who shall arouse thee?”

He calls Him then a lion’s whelp because of His being born of the royal tribe. For He was of the seed of (b) David according to the flesh. “From a shoot thou hast grown, my son,” he says, because He was born of the seed and root of Jacob who foretold it, being primarily God the Word, and becoming secondarily the Son of man, through the dispensation He undertook for us. And the words, “Falling down thou didst sleep as a lion and a whelp,” are significant of His Death, because Scripture is accustomed, |113 as is shewn in many other places, from the conviction of their kinship to call death a sleep. And “Who shall awake him?” is a wonderful reference to His Resurrection from the dead. For he who said, “Who will awake him?” (c) knew quite well that He would be awaked. And it is remarkable that he should add, “Who then shall do this and raise him up? “so as to impel us to ask who it was that raised up our Lord Who died on our behalf. For Who else was it, but the God of the Universe, His Father, to Whom the Saviour’s Resurrection is solely to be attributed, according to the Scripture which says, “Whom the Father raised from the dead “?

Instead of, “Judah is a lion’s whelp, from a shoot, my (d) son, thou hast ascended, falling down thou hast slept,” Aquila says more plainly, “Judah is a lion’s cub, from destruction, my son, hast thou ascended, bending thou hast laid down.” And Symmachus says, “Judah is a lion’s whelp, from capture, my son, hast thou ascended, having knelt thou hast been established.” By which the Resurrection of the dead is clearly meant, and the escape of our Saviour from Hades, as from a trap for wild beasts. The kneeling and the being established instead of falling, signify death by the kneeling, and not being dragged away like the souls of other men by “being established.” All this then was laid up before for Christ. But while this remained unfulfilled, the Jewish nation lasted, and their rulers and governors and they who were wise interpreters of the sacred oracles about the Christ stood out among them; but when (379) that which had been laid up for Judah had come, and He appeared on earth of Whom it was foretold that He should spring from the seed and shoot of the prophet himself, after falling down and sleeping, or “kneeling,” according to Symmachus, He was established and raised up, laying His hands on the back of His unseen spiritual enemies; and His brothers and disciples first praising Him and wondering, afterwards were convinced that He was God, and worshipped Him as God; then were fulfilled the things laid up for Him, for because of this the answer was given, “Until there come the things laid up for him.” For (b) from that day to this, the things laid up for Him being come, the rulers and governors of the Jewish nation have ceased, the rulers of the Gentiles have been placed at their |114 head, and the nations on the other hand knowing the Christ of God have made Him their Saviour and Hope. After all this there follows:

“Binding his foal to the vine, and the foal of the ass to the branch, he shall wash his robe in wine, and his garment in the blood of the grape. His eyes shall be cheering from wine, and his teeth white as milk.”

Here I should understand by the foal, the choir of apostles and disciples of our Saviour, and by the vine to which the foal is bound, His divine and invisible power, as He Himself taught when He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” And the branch of the said vine is the teaching of the Word of God, by which He bound the foal of the ass—that is to say, the new people of the Gentiles, (d) the offspring of His Apostles. And you may say that this was literally fulfilled, when, according to Matthew, the Lord said to His disciples:

“Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them and bring them to me.”

And there is real food for wonder if one studies the account in the prediction of the prophet, that he should have foreseen by the Holy Spirit, that the subject of his prophecy would not come riding on chariots and horses like some distinguished man, but on an ass and a foal, like a poor common man of the people. And this raised another prophet’s wonder, who said: (380)

“Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion, behold thy King cometh unto thee meek, sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”

And the words, “He will wash his garments in wine, and in the blood of the grape his girdle,” will shew you surely how as in a secret way He suggests His mystic Passion, in which He washed His garment and vesture with the washing wherewith He is revealed to wash away the old stains of them that believe in Him. For with the wine which was indeed the symbol of His blood. He cleanses them that are baptized into His death, and believe on His |115 blood, of their old sins, washing them away and purifying (b) their old garments and vesture, so that they, ransomed by the precious blood of the divine spiritual grapes, and with the wine from this vine, “put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man which is renewed into knowledge in the image of Him that created him.”

The words, “His eyes are cheerful from wine, and his teeth white as milk,” again I think secretly reveal the (c) mysteries of the new Covenant of our Saviour. “His eyes are cheerful from wine,” seems to me to shew the gladness of the mystic wine which He gave to His disciples, when He said, “Take, drink; this is my blood that is shed for you for the remission of sins: this do in remembrance of me.” And, “His teeth are white as milk,” shew the brightness and purity of the sacramental food. For again, He gave Himself (d) the symbols of His divine dispensation to His disciples, when He bade them make the likeness of His own Body. For since He no more was to take pleasure in bloody sacrifices, or those ordained by Moses in the slaughter of animals of various kinds, and was to give them bread to use as the symbol of His Body, He taught the purity and brightness of such food by saying, “And his teeth are white as milk.” This also another prophet has recorded, where he says, “Sacrifice and offering hast thou not required, but a body hast thou prepared for me.”

But these matters should be examined at leisure, for they require deeper criticism and longer interpretation. For the present I must refuse to enter on that great task, in order that I may incorporate in this work the evidence that the time of the Saviour’s Coming from above was known to the (381) ancient prophets, and clearly handed down in writing. |116


From Daniel.

How after the Period of Seven Times Seventy Years, or 490 Years, the Christ having appeared to Men, the Jewish Prophets and their surpassing Temple Worship will be dissolved, and They Themselves will be taken by Mutual Sieges as by a Flood, and their Holy Temple undergo its Final Desolation.

[Passage quoted, Dan. ix. 20-27.] (Given in full on account of wide divergence from S.)

(c) “20. AND while I yet spake and prayed and confessed my sins and the sins of my people Israel, and casting my misery before the holy Mount of my God, 21. and while I yet spake in prayer, behold the man Gabriel, whom I had seen at the beginning came flying, and he touched me about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22. And he instructed me and spake with me, saying, O (d) Daniel, 23. I am now come forth to impart to thee understanding. At the beginning of thy supplication the word came forth, and I am come to tell thee, for thou art a man greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, understand the vision, for thou art a man greatly beloved. 24. Seventy weeks have been decided on for thy people, and for the holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. 25. And |117 thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the Prince shall be seven (382) weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then it shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted. 26. And after the sixty-two weeks, the Anointing shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him, and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary together with the coming prince; they shall be cut off in a flood, and, to the end of the war which is rapidly completed, in desolations. 27. And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be an (b) abomination of desolations: and at the end of time shall an end be put to the desolation.

When the captivity of the Jewish people at Babylon was near its end, the Archangel Gabriel, one of the holy ministers of God, appeared to Daniel as he prayed, and told him that the restoration of Jerusalem was to follow without the slightest delay, and he defines the period after the restoration by numbering the years, and foretells that after the predetermined time it will again be destroyed, and that after the second capture and siege it will no longer have (c) God for its guardian, but will remain desolate, with the worship of the Mosaic Law taken away from it, and another new Covenant with humanity introduced in its place. This was what the Angel Gabriel revealed to the prophet as by secret oracles. So then he says to Daniel:

“I am now come forth to impart to thee understanding, at the beginning of thy supplication the word came forth, and I am come to tell thee, for thou art a man greatly beloved. Consider the matter, understand the vision”; (d)

clearly urging him to a deeper consideration and understanding of the meaning of his words. He calls it then a vision from its involving deeper consideration, and more |118 than common understanding: wherefore we, too, if we call on Him who gives understanding, and pray that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, should trust confidently in the vision of this passage:

“Seven times seventy weeks,” he says, “have been decided on for this people and for thy holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgression, and to blot out iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the people, and to anoint the most holy.”

(383) It is quite clear that seven times seventy weeks reckoned in years amounts to 490. That was therefore the period determined for Daniel’s people, which limited the total length of the Jewish nation’s existence. And he no longer calls them here “God’s people,” but Daniel’s, saying, “thy people.” Just as when they sinned and worshipped idols in the wilderness, God called them no more His people, but Moses’, saying, “Go, descend, for thy people has sinned.” (b) In the same way here too he explains why the definite limit of time is determined for them. It was that they might know they were no longer worthy to be called the people of God. And he adds, “And for thy holy city”: where we hear again the unusual “thy,” for he says, “for thy people, and for thy holy city,” as much as to say, “the city you think to be holy.” The original Hebrew and the other translators (c) agree in the addition of “thy” both to the people and the city. For Aquila has, “On thy people, and on thy sacred city”; and Symmachus, “Against thy people, and thy holy city”: wherefore in accurate codices of the Septuagint “thy” is added with an asterisk. For since Daniel had often called the people “the people of God “in the words of his prayer, and the place of the city “the holy place of (d) God,” the One who answers in contrast says that neither people nor city are God’s, but “thine,” who hast prayed and spoken thus of the people and the place and the city. Daniel’s words run thus: “16. Let thy anger be turned away, even thy anger from Jerusalem thy city, thy holy mountain.” And, “Thy people is a source of ridicule to all that are round about them.” And again, “17. Shew thy face upon the desolation of thy sanctuary.” And once more, “18. Behold the ruin of thy city, which is called by thy |119 name,” followed by, “19. That thy name may be named upon thy city, and upon thy people.” After this prayer he adds: “20. And while I was yet speaking and praying, behold Gabriel, whom I saw in my vision, came flying, and touched me, and said what is written above.” (384)

The prophet then clearly called the city not a city pure and simple but “God’s city,” and the sanctuary, “God’s sanctuary,” and the people “God’s people,” from his feeling for the people. But Gabriel does not describe them in this way; on the contrary, he says, “for thy people,” and “for thy holy city,” shewing in so many words that city, people, and sanctuary were unworthy to be called God’s.

So, then, he first defines the length of time determined (b) for the people, and then for the city. And it is seen to be the period from the restoration of Jerusalem, which was in the reign of Darius, King of Persia, until the reign of Augustus, Emperor of Rome, and of Herod the foreign King of the Jews, in whose times our Saviour’s Birth is recorded, as the prophecy goes on to shew. And he adds next:

“For sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out iniquities, and to make atonement for (c) iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the most holy.”

Instead of, “For sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions,” Aquila translated, “For ending disobedience, and for completing transgression.” I think that our Saviour’s words to the Jews, “Ye have filled up the measure of your fathers,” are parallel to this. For the transgression of the Jewish nation culminated in the plot they dared to make against Him, and what Aquila calls their “disobedience “to God reached its end. For many times of old the long-suffering of God had borne with their transgressions before the Saviour came, as is shewn by the prophet’s words: but just as in the case of the ancient (d) foreign inhabitants of the land of promise it was said to Abraham, “The sins of the Amorites are not yet fulfilled,” and if they were not yet fulfilled they could not yet be driven from their native land, but when they were fulfilled, they were then destroyed by Joshua, the successor of Moses: so also you will understand in the case of the |120 before-mentioned people. For while their sins were not fulfilled, the patience and long-suffering of God bore with them, calling them many times to repentance by the prophets. (385) But when, as our Saviour said, they had filled up the measure of their fathers, then the whole collected weight worked their destruction at one time, as our Lord taught again when He said:

“All the blood poured forth from the foundation of the world, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias, shall come upon this generation.”

For presuming last of all to lay their hands on the Son of God they completed their disobedience and completed their sins, according to Aquila’s translation, or according to the Septuagint, “Their sin was bound and sealed.” But since He came not only for the falling but for the rising again of many in Israel, as is said of Him, “Behold, he is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel,” Daniel rightly proceeds to add, “And for the blotting out of (c)  transgressions and for making atonement for iniquities.” For since it was impossible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sins, and the whole race of mankind needed a living and true offering, of which the Mosaically designed propitiation was a type, and our Lord and Saviour was this Lamb of God, as it was said of Him, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world; and again, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world “; He brings redemption (d) also, according to Paul’s words, “Who is become wisdom to us from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”—he naturally teaches that His coining is at once the fulfilment and the completion of the sin of those who have sinned against Him, at the same time as it is the blotting out and purification of sins, and the propitiation for the transgressions of them that believe in Him.

And Aquila to the words, “For the fulfilling of their disobedience and the completion of their sin,” added, “For the propitiation of their transgression,” clearly suggesting that He would be the propitiation for all transgressions of old time done in ignorance. Next to this comes, “For the bringing in of everlasting righteousness.” The Word of |121 God is in truth Himself eternal Righteousness, Who is made unto us by God Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption, in the words of the Apostle. But further by His own Presence also He shared Righteousness with all men, shewing by His works that God is not only the God of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles: for (386) there is one God, Who will judge the Circumcision from their faith, and the Uncircumcision by faith. Wherefore Peter wondering at those with Cornelius being thought worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit says, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” And Paul also says that the Gospel is of righteousness, saying, “For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. For the righteousness of God is revealed in it.” And it is said of Christ in the Psalms: (b) “In His days shall arise righteousness, and abundance of peace.” And His coming shewed clearly the righteousness of God, who reckoned the whole of mankind worthy of the calling of God. Such was not the Mosaic dispensation, which was given to the Jews only: wherefore having appeared for a time it has passed away. But the (c) righteousness proclaimed by our Saviour is fitly called eternal righteousness, as Gabriel said, “And to bring in eternal righteousness.”

Instead of “Seal the vision and the prophet,” Aquila gives, I think, a more suitable rendering, viz. “And for fulfilling vision and prophet.” For our Lord Jesus Christ did not come as it were to seal up the visions of the prophets, for He rather opened and explained those that were of old obscure and sealed, tearing away so to say the seals impressed on them, and taught His disciples the meaning of the Holy Scriptures. Hence He says, “Behold, (d) the lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed, and he has opened the seals that were set on the book,” in John’s Apocalypse. What are these seals but the obscurities of the prophets? Isaiah knew them well and definitely says too: “And these words shall be as the words of the sealed book.” The Christ of God did not come then to shut up the vision and the prophet, but rather to open them and bring them to the light. Hence I prefer Aquila’s rendering, |122 (387) “For fulfilling the vision and the prophet.” And it agrees also with our Saviour’s words, “I have not come to destroy the law or the prophets, I have not come to destroy but to fulfil.” “For the end of the law is Christ,” and all the prophecies concerning Him we know remained unfulfilled and uncompleted, until He came and brought fulfilment to the prophecies about Himself. It is possible, too, for the version of the Septuagint, “To seal up the vision and the prophet,” to bear this meaning: “For the Law and the prophets continued until John,” and from his day the ancient inspiration of the Jewish race has ceased, and its predictions of the Christ, and they who in the Holy (b) Scriptures saw genuine visions have come to an end, as if divine grace were shut up and bound with seals: and so it is the case that from that day there has been no activity of prophet or seer among them; this has altogether ceased from the time named till our own day.

He proceeds, “And to anoint the Most Holy”; and this also is plain for the same reason, that until the time of our Saviour the Most Holy, the High Priests were anointed (c) following the ritual performed according to the Mosaic Law, but from that date they have ceased to be, as the prophecy foretells. So too the words of Jacob to Judah foretold the cessation of the princes and rulers of the Jewish nation, as I have already stated. Now since the prophets’ and priests’ primacy of the people was very much later than that of the kings, the oracle in the prophecy first quoted foretells the destruction of the princes and governors of the Jewish nation, while the one we are considering predicts (d) the cessation of the prophets and priests as well, who were of old their chief ornament, which the Coming of our Saviour actually fulfilled. And as Aquila translates, “For the anointing the most consecrated,” it might be thought that the ancient Jewish High Priest was meant, since many of the inferior priests were called “holy,” but only the High Priest “Most Holy.” And this idea at first sight is tempting. For up to the times of our Saviour the High Priests in continuous line at the same time ruled the people, (388) as they continuously performed the service of God according to the ritual ordained by Moses; but from our Saviour’s times their order was first thrown into confusion, and shortly afterwards altogether abolished. But as I find |123 nowhere in the Holy Scriptures the High Priest called “Most Holy,” I am of opinion that in this passage only the Only-begotten Word of God is meant, who is properly and truly worthy of that name. For if men excel and reach all attainable virtue they should be content to be called “holy,” sharing and participating in the character of Him Who said, “Be ye holy, for I the Lord am Holy.” But what human being could rightly be called “Most Holy,” except the one Beloved Son of the Father, called Holy of holies as also King of kings and Lord of lords? For to Him only, as excelling whoever of Moses’ ordaining that were anointed with earthly and manufactured oil, was it said, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy fellows.”

Being anointed wherewith, He says in His own Person in Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me.” Since, then, it is evident that our Saviour was anointed uniquely beyond all that ever were with the excellent spiritual, or rather divine unction, He is rightly called “Holy of holies,” as one might say, “High Priest of high priests,” and “Sanctified of the sanctified” according to the oracle of Gabriel. (d)

And all these things were fulfilled when the seventy weeks were completed at the date of our Saviour’s Coming. So when the aforesaid Angel had given this summary prediction to the prophet, he again returns to the subject of the seventy weeks, explaining accurately and in detail at what point the weeks must begin to be counted, and what will happen at the time said. He therefore says: “And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, and then it shall return, and the street and wall shall be built.” (389) And with regard to this I think it right not to leave unknown the studies of a predecessor on this subject, but to quote from them as suitable to my readers. For it is a good saying that “the goods of friends are common.” 1 And as it is right to use what others have expressed well in a right spirit, and not to deprive fathers of their children, |124 or the first begetters of their own offspring, I will quote his exact words. This extract from Africanus is to be found in the Fifth Book of his Chronography, and it runs as follows:

(b) “The section thus expressed gives much strange information. But here I will make the necessary examination of the times and the matters connected with them. It is clear, then, that the coming of the Christ is foretold as to occur after seventy weeks. For in the time of our Saviour, or after His time, sins are done away and transgressions ended. And by this remission iniquities are blotted out (c) by a propitiation together with unrighteousness, eternal righteousness is published beyond that of the law, visions and prophecies (last) until John, and the Holy of holies is anointed. For these things existed in expectation only before our Saviour’s Coming. And the angel explains we must count the numbers, that is to say the seventy weeks, which are 490 years, from the going forth of the word of answer and from the building of Jerusalem. This took place in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, King of Persia. For Nehemiah his cup-bearer made the reques