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The Son and Holy Ghost alone see the Father.
Himself, when at His crucifixion, His flesh was nailed to the tree, seeing Mary His mother according to the flesh, and John His dearest disciple, says to him, Behold thy mother; John 19, and to her, Behold thy son: teaching her the parental affection due to him, and indirectly explaining that which is said in Luke, and His father and His mother marvelled at Luke 2, Him: words which heretical schools catch at, as if He were begotten of a man and a woman. For like as Mary was Joseph, called the mother of John, from her parental affection to him, received not from having given him birth: so was Joseph called the Griesfather of Christ, not as being really so, (for he knew her not, reads as says the Gospel, till she had brought forth her first-born Son,) Cyril. but on account of his care in nurturing Him.
10. Thus much then, in the way of a digression, to put you in remembrance. However, I will add yet another text in proof that God is called the father of men, but in an improper sense. Considering Isaiah says to God, Thou art our Father, Is. 63, though Abraham be ignorant of us; and Sara travailed not with Is. 51,2. us, is it necessary to pursue the enquiry? And when the Psalmist says, They shall be troubled from His countenance, Ps.67,6. the Father of the fatherless, and Judge of the widows, is it Sept. not evident at once to all, that when God is called the Father of orphans who have lately lost their own fathers, He is thus named, not as having begotten them of Himself, but as tending and shielding them? Of men, then, He is, in an improper sense, the Father, as has been said: but only of Christ the Father by nature and not by adoption: moreover, of men in time, but of Christ before all time, as Christ Himself says, And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine John 17, own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the5. world was.
11. We believe then in One God the Father, the Unsearch- (5.) able, and the Ineffable: whom none of men hath seen, but John 1, the Only-begotten hath declared Him for He which is of 18. God, He hath seen the Father: whose countenance the 46. Angels continually behold, yet behold, according to the Mat. 18, measure of their respective orders; but the undimmed vision of the Father is reserved in its purity for the Son with the Holy Ghost.
12. At this point, recollecting what I have been just saying
God our Father through adoption and our own choice. LECT. concerning God being called the Father of men, I am greatly amazed at men's insensibility. For while God has with unspeakable loving-kindness deigned to be called their Father,He in heaven, they upon earth; He the Maker of Eternity, Is. 40, they the production of time; He who holdeth the earth in the hollow of His hand, they upon the earth as grasshoppers,— yet man, having forsaken his heavenly Father, has said to a Jer. 2, stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth; and methinks, for this cause the Psalmist says to Ps. 45, human nature, Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house, whom thou hast chosen for thy father, whom thou hast coveted, to thy destruction.
13. And not only stocks and stones, but even Satan himself, some have ere now chosen for their father, even the destroyer John 8, of souls: these men the Lord thus reproves, Ye do the deeds of your father; that is, of the devil, who is the father of men, not by nature, but by deceit; for like as Paul for his godly 1 Cor. teaching was called the father of the Corinthians, thus also the devil is called the father of those who of their own choice Ps. 50, consent with him. For they are not to be tolerated who pervert the text, By this we know the children of God, and 3, 10. the children of the devil, as if by a law of nature some among men were to be saved, and some to perish: whereas neither του γινώxo, do we come to such holy sonship of necessity, but of choice; nor was it by nature that the traitor Judas was the son of text, the devil and of perdition: else he would never at all have cast out levils in the name of Christ, for Satan casteth not ἐστι, in out Sat nor on the other hand would Paul have turned this are manifest. from persecuting to preaching the Gospel; but the adoption aurižeú is at our choice, as saith John, But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name. For not before faith, but from faith, we of our own choice have been counted worthy to become the sons of God.
(6.) 14. Knowing this then, let us walk spiritually, that we Rom. 8, may be counted worthy of God's adoption: for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. it avails us nought to possess the name of Christians, unless John 8, the works follow; lest to us also the words apply, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Duty of honouring and obeying our earthly parents. 85
For if we call on the Father, who without respect of person 1 Pet. 1, judgeth according to every man's work, let us pass the time of 17. our sojourning here in fear; not loving the world, neither the 1 John things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Therefore, my beloved children, let us offer glory to our Father which is in heaven, through our works: that they may see our good works, and Mat. 5, glorify our Father which is in heaven; casting all our care 1 Pet. 5, upon Him; for our Father knoweth what things we have need of
15. And while we honour our Heavenly Father, let us also (7.) honour the fathers of our flesh: since the Lord hath evidently g so appointed in the Law and the Prophets, saying, Honour Exod. thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee, and thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. This command claims especial attention from those here present, who actually have fathers and mothers. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well Col. 3, pleasing to the Lord. For the Lord said not, He who loveth father or mother is not worthy of me, lest thou shouldest 37. from ignorance understand badly a good word, but added, more than Me. For when our fathers upon earth have views at variance with those of our Father which is in heaven, then we must obey this word: when, however, not hindered by them in respect of godliness, but from want of affectionate. feeling, and forgetfulness of their benefits to us, we despise them, then that oracle will have place, which saith, He that Exod. curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
21, 17. Mat. 15,
16. The first virtuous observance in a Christian is, to 4. honour his parents, to requite their troubles, and with all his might to provide for their comfort: (for though we ziyır. กระ should repay them ever so much, yet we never can be what τούτους they have been to us:) so that they enjoying comfort of our providing, may establish us in blessings, which Jacob the supplanter knew the value of, when he appropriated them: Thayaand that our Heavenly Father approving our virtuous course, aigroiv. may count us worthy to shine with the just as the sun, in the Mat. 13, kingdom of our Father: to whom be glory, with the Onlybegotten, our Saviour Jesus Christ, with the Holy and lifegiving Spirit, now and ever, to all eternity. Amen.
ON THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD".
JER. Xxxii. 18, 19.
The Great, the Mighty God; the Lord of Hosts is His Name, great in counsel, and mighty in work.
1. By belief" in One God," we utterly eradicate the misVIII. belief in many gods, using it as a weapon against the Greeks, and every opposing power of heretics: and by adding, "in One God the Father," we oppose those of the circumcision, who deny the Only-begotten Son of God. For, as I said yesterday, even before we speak plainly concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, yet by our speaking of God the Father, we have already implied that He is the Father of a Son; that as we understand that God is, so we may understand that He has a Son. Now we add to this, that He is also " Almighty;" and that, because of Greeks and Jews together, and all heretics.
2. For some of the Greeks have said that God is the soul of the world. Others again, that His power reaches only to heaven, but not to the earth as well. And some, going into Ps.36,5. the same error, and perverting the text which says, And Thy faithfulness unto the clouds, have dared to bound God's providence by the limits of the clouds and the heaven, and to despoil God of the things on earth; forgetting that Psalm Ps. 139, which saith, If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I go down to hell, Thou art there. For if nothing is higher than heaven, and if hell is deeper than earth, He who is master of the lower regions, must reach the earth also.
a Eis rò, Пavrongariga, Omnipoten- and English versions of the Creed. tem, or Almighty, according to the Latin
God has dominion over idolaters, heretics, and the devil. 87
3. And heretics again, as was said before, acknowledge not One Almighty God. For He is Almighty, whose might is over all things, who has power over all things. But they who say that there is one God, the Lord of the soul, and another the Lord of the body, make neither of them perfect, because each lacks what the other has. For how is he Almighty, who has power over the soul, but not over the body? or how is he Almighty, who being the Lord of bodies, has no power over spirits? But the Lord confutes these men, saying on the contrary, Rather fear ye Him which is able to destroy both body Mat. 10, and soul in hell: for unless the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ had power over both, how should He subject both to punishment? for how shall He be able to take what is another's, and cast it into hell, except He first bind the strong Mat. 12, man, and spoil his goods?
4. But according to Holy Scripture, and the doctrines of (2.) truth, there is but One God, who has dominion over all things by His power, and suffers many things of His will. For He has dominion even over the idolaters, but He suffers them of His forbearance; and over even the heretics who deny Him, but He suffers them of His patience; over the devil too, but He suffers with him, of His patience, not from want of power, as if foiled. He is the commencement of the Lord's creation, Job 40, 14.Sept. being made to be mocked, not by Himself, (that were unsuit-40, 19 able,) but by the Angels whom He has made and He has English permitted him to live, for two objects; that his defeat might increase his infamy, and that men might be crowned. Allwise providence of God! by which a wicked purpose is converted into a means of salvation for the faithful. For as He took the unbrotherly purpose of Joseph's brethren as the groundwork of His own scheme, and after suffering them to sell their brother, from hatred, took occasion thereby to give him the kingdom whom He would; so He suffers the devil to wrestle with us, that they who conquer him may be crowned, and that upon the victory, he may have worse shame, as conquered by the weaker, and men greater glory, as conquering one who was once Archangel.
5. Nothing then is excepted from the range of God's power, for Scripture says of Him, For all things serve Thee. Ps. 119, One and all serve Him; yet in this number His One Only