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Fathers Of The Church, Catholic Edition


Parentage, Birth, and Education

At Antioch at the close of the fourth century there were living a husband and wife, opulent and happy in the enjoyment of all the good things of this life, one thing only excepted. They were childless. Married at seventeen, the young bride lived for several years in the enjoyment of such pleasures as wealth and society could give. At the age of twenty-three she was attacked by a painful disease in one of her eyes, for which neither the books of older authorities nor later physiological discoveries could suggest a remedy. One of her domestic servants, compassionating her distress, informed her that the wife of Pergamius, at that time in authority in the East, had been healed of a similar ailment by Petrus, a famous Galatian solitary who was then living in the upper story of a tomb in the neighbourhood, to which access could only be obtained by climbing a ladder. The afflicted lady, says the story which her son himself repeats, hastened to climb to the recluse's latticed cell, arrayed in all her customary elaborate costume, with earrings, necklaces, and the rest of her ornaments of gold, her silk robe blazing with embroidery, her face smeared with red and white cosmetics, and her eyebrows and eyelids artificially darkened. "Tell me," said the hermit, on beholding his brilliant visitor, "tell me, my child, if some skilful painter were to paint a portrait according to his art's strict rules and offer it for exhibition, and then up were to come some dauber dashing off his pictures on the spur of the moment, who should find fault with the artistic picture, lengthen the lines of brows and lids, make the face whiter and heighten the red of the cheeks, what would you say? Do you not think the original painter would be hurt at this insult to his art and these needless additions of an unskilled hand." These arguments, we learn, led eventually to the improvement of the young Antiochene gentlewoman both in piety and good taste and her eye is said to have been restored to health by the imposition of the sign of the cross. Not impossibly the discontinuance of the use of cosmetics may have helped, if not caused, the cure.

Six years longer the husband and wife lived together a more religious life, but still unblessed with children. Among the ascetic solitaries whom the disappointed husband begged to aid him in his prayers was one Macedonius, distinguished, from the simplicity of his diet, as "the barley eater." In answer to his prayers, it was believed, a son was at last granted to the pious pair. The condition of the boon being that the boy should be devoted to the divine service, he was appropriately named at his birth "Theodoretus," or "Given by God." Of the exact date of this birth, productive of such important consequences to the history and literature of the Church, no precise knowledge is attainable. The less probable year is 386 as given by Garnerius, the more probable and now generally accepted year 393 follows the computation of Tillemont.

While yet in his swaddling bands the little Theodoret began to receive training appropriate to his high career, and, as he himself tells us, with the pardonable exaggeration of enthusiasm, was no sooner weaned than he began to learn the apostolic teaching. Among his earliest impressions were the lessons and exhortations of Peter of Galatia, to whom his mother owed so much, and of Macedonius "the barley eater," who had helped to save the Antiochenes in the troubles that arose about the statues. Of the latter Theodoret quotes the earnest charges to a holy life, and in his modesty expresses his sorrow that he had not profited better by the solitary's solemn entreaties. If however Macedonius was indeed quite ignorant of the Scriptures, it may have been well for the boy's education to have been not wholly in his hands. It is not impossible that he may have had a childish recollection of Chrysostom, who left Antioch in 398. To Peter he used to pay a weekly visit, and records how the holy man would take him on his knees and feed him with bread and raisins. A treasure long preserved in the household of Theodoret's parents was half Peter's girdle, woven of coarse linen, which the old man had one day wound round the loins of the boy. Frequently proved an unfailing remedy in various cases of family ailment, its very reputation led to its loss, for all the neighbours used to borrow it to cure their own complaints, and at last an unkind or careless friend omitted to return it.

When a stripling Theodoret was blessed by the right hand of Aphraates the monk, of whom he relates an anecdote in his Ecclesiastical History, and when his beard was just beginning to grow was also blessed by the ascetic Zeno. At this period he was already a lector and was therefore probably past the age of eighteen. By this time his general education would be regarded as more or less complete, and to these earlier years may be traced the acquaintance which he shows with the writings of Homer, Thucydides, Plato, Euripides, and other Greek classics. Lighter literature, too, will not have been excluded from his reading, if we accept the genuineness of the famous letter on the death of Cyril, and may infer that the dialogues of Lucian are more likely to have amused the leisure hours of a lad at school and college than have intruded on the genuine piety and marvellous industry of the Bishop of Cyrus.

Theodoret was familiar with Greek, Syriac, and Hebrew, but is said to have been unacquainted with Latin. Such I presume to be an inference from a passage in one of his works in which he tells us "The Romans indeed had poets, orators, and historians, and we are informed by those who are skilled in both languages that their reasonings are closer than the Greeks and their sentences more concise. In saying this I have not the least intention of disparaging the Greek language which is in a sense mine, or of making an ungrateful return to it for my education, but I speak that I may to some extent close the lips and lower the brows of those who make too big a boasting about it, and may teach them not to ridicule a language which is illuminated by the truth.' But it is not clear from these words that Theodoret had no acquaintance with Latin. His admiration for orthodox Western theology as well as his natural literary and social curiosity would lead him to learn it. In the Ecclesiastical History (III. 16) there is a possible reference to Horace.

Theodoret's chief instructor in Theology was the great light of the school of Antioch, Theodorus, known from the name of the see to which he was appointed in 392, "Mopsuestia," or "the hearth of Mopsus," in Cilicia Secunda. He also refers to his obligations to Diodorus of Tarsus. Accepting 393 as the date of his birth and 392 as that of Theodore's appointment to his see, it would seem that the younger theologian must have been rather a reader than a hearer as well of Theodore as of Diodore. But Theodore expounded Scripture in many churches of the East. The friendship of Theodoret for Nestorius may have begun when the latter was a monk in the convent of St. Euprepius at the gates of Antioch. It is recorded that on one occasion Theodore gave offence while preaching at Antioch by refusing to give to the blessed Virgin the title theotokos. He afterwards retracted this refusal for the sake of peace. The original objection and subsequent consent have a curious significance in view of the subsequent careers of his two famous pupils. Of the school of Antioch as distinguished from that of Alexandria it may be said broadly that while the latter shewed a tendency to syntheticism and to unity of conception, the former, under the influence of the Aristotelian philosophy, favoured analytic processes. And while the general bent of the school of thinkers among whom Theodoret was brought up inclined to a recognition of a distinction between the two natures in the Person of Christ, there was much in the special teaching of its great living authority which was not unlikely to lead to such division of the Person as was afterwards attributed to Nestorius. Such were the influences under which Theodoret grew up.

On the death of his parents he at once distributed all the property that he inherited from them, and embraced a life of poverty, retiring, at about the age of three and twenty, to Nicerte, a village three miles from Apamea, and seventy-five from Antioch, in the monastery of which he passed seven calm and happy years, occasionally visiting neighbouring monasteries and perhaps during this period paying the visit to Jerusalem which left an indelible impression on his memory. "With my own eyes," he writes, "I have seen that desolation. The prediction rang in my ears when I saw the fulfillment before my eyes and I lauded and worshipped the truth." Of the peace of Theodoret's earlier manhood Dr. Newman says in a sentence less open to criticism than another which shall be quoted further on, "There he laid deep within him that foundation of faith and devotion, and obtained that vivid apprehension of the world unseen and future which lasted him as a secret spring of spiritual strength all through the conflict and sufferings of the years that followed."


Episcopate at Cyrus

Cyrus or Cyrrhus was a town of the district of Syria called after it Cyrestica. The capital of Cyrestica was Gindarus, which Strabo describes as being in his time a natural nest of robbers. Cyrus lies on a branch of the river OEnoparas, now Aphreen, and the site is still known as Koros. A tradition has long obtained that it received the name of Cyrus from the Jews in honour of their great benefactor, but this is more than doubtful. The form Cyrus may have arisen from a confusion with a Cyrus in Susiana. The Cyrestica is a fertile plain lying between the spurs of the Alma Dagh and the Euphrates, irrigated by three streams and blessed with a rich soil. The diocese, which was subject to the Metropolitan of Hierapolis, contained some sixteen hundred square miles and eight hundred distinct parishes each with its church. But Cyrus itself was a wretched little place scantily inhabited. Before it was beautified by the munificence of Theodoret it contained no buildings of any dignity or grace. The people of the town as well as of the diocese seem to have been poor in orthodoxy as well as in pocket, and the rich soil of the district grew a plentiful crop of the tares of Arianism, Marcionism, Eunomianism and Judaism.

Such was the diocese to which Theodoret, in spite of his honest nolo episcopari, was consecrated at about the age of thirty, a.d. 423. Of the circumstances of this consecration we have no evidence. Garnerius conjectures that he must have been ordained deacon by Alexander who succeeded Porphyrius at Antioch. He was probably appointed, if not consecrated, to succeed Isidorus at Cyrus, by Theodotus the successor of Alexander on the patriarchal throne of Antioch. In this diocese certainly for five and twenty years, perhaps for five and thirty, with occasional intervals he worked night and day with unflagging patience and perseverance for the good of the people committed to his care, and in the cause of his Master and of the truth. The ecclesiastic of these early times is sometimes imagined to have been a morose and ungenial ascetic, wasting his energies in unprofitable hair-splitting, and taking little or no interest in the every day needs of his contemporaries. In marked contrast with this imaginary bishop stands out the kindly figure of the real bishop of Cyrus, as the modest statements and hints supplied by his own letters enable us to recall him.

As an administrator and man of business he was munificent and efficient. Stripped, as we have already learnt, of his family property by his own act and will, he must have been dependent in his diocese on the revenues of his see. From these, which cannot have been small, he was able to spend large sums on public works. Cyrus was adorned with porticoes, with two great bridges, with baths, and with an aqueduct, all at Theodoret's expense. On assuming the administration of his diocese he took measures, he tells us, to secure for Cyrus "the necessary arts," and from these three words we need not hesitate to infer that architects, engineers, masons, sculptors, and carpenters, would be attracted "from all quarters" to the bishop's important works. And for this increased population it is interesting to note that Theodoret provided competent practitioners in medicine and surgery, in which it would seem he was not himself unskilled. His keen interest in the temporal needs of his people is shown by the efforts he made to obtain relief for them from the cruel pressure of exorbitant taxation. So unendurable was the tale of imposts under which they groaned that in many cases they were deserting their farms and the country, and he earnestly appeals to the empress Pulcheria and to his friend Anatolius to help them. The tender sympathy felt by him for all those afflicted in body and estate, as well as in mind, is shown in his letters on behalf of Celestinianus, or Celestiacus, a gentleman of position at Carthage, who had suffered cruelly during the attack of the Vandals, and in the admirable and touching letters of consolation addressed to survivors on the deaths of relatives. That these should have been religiously preserved need excite no surprise. Of the terms on which he lived with his neighbours we can form some idea from the justifiable boast contained in his letter to Nomus. In the quarter of a century of his episcopate, he writes, he never appeared in court either as prosecutor or defendant; his clergy followed his admirable example; he never took an obol or a garment from any one; not one of his household ever received so much as a loaf or an egg; he could not bear to think that he had any property beyond his few poor clothes. Yet he was always ready to give where he would not receive, and in addition to all the diocesan and literary work which he conscientiously performed, he spent more time than he could well afford in all sorts of extra diocesan business which his position thrust in his way.

As a shepherd of souls he was unceasing in his efforts to win heathen, heretics and Jews to the true faith. His diocese, when he assumed its government, was a very hotbed of heresy. Nevertheless in the famous letter to Leo he could boast that not a tare was left to spoil the crop. His fame as a preacher was great and wide, and makes us the more regret that of the discourses which in turn roused, cheered, and blamed, so little should survive. The eloquence, so to say, of his extant writings, gives indications of the force of spoken utterances not less marked by learning and literary skill. Two of his letters give vivid pictures of the enthusiasm of oriental auditories in Antioch, once so populous and so keen in theological interest, where now, amid a people numbering only about a fiftieth part of their predecessors of the fifth century, there is not a single church. We see the patriarch John in a frenzy of gladness at Theodoret's sermons, clapping his hands and springing again and again from his chair; we see the heads of the congregation receiving the bishop of Cyrus with frantic delight as he came down from the pulpit, flinging their arms round him, kissing now his head, now his breast, now his hands, now his knees, and hear them exclaiming, "This is the Voice of the Apostle!" But Theodoret had to encounter sometimes the fury of opposition. Again and again in his campaign against heretics and unbelievers he was stoned, wounded, and brought nigh unto death. "He from whom no secrets are hid knows all the bruises my body has received, aimed at me by ill-named heretics, and what fights I have fought in most of the cities of the East against Jews, heretics, and heathen."


Relations with Nestorius and to Nestorianism

Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, was bound by ties of close friendship both to Theodoret and to John, patriarch of Antioch. In August, 430, the western bishops, under Pope Celestine, assembled in council at Rome, condemned Nestorius, and threatened him with excommunication. Shortly afterwards a council of Orientals at Alexandria, summoned by Cyril, endorsed this condemnation and despatched it to Constantinople. Then John received from Celestine and Cyril letters announcing their common action. When the couriers conveying these communications reached Antioch they found John surrounded by Theodoret and other bishops who were assembled possibly for the ordination of Macarius, the new bishop of Laodicea. John took counsel with his brother bishops, and a letter was despatched in their common name to Nestorius, exhorting him to accept the term theotokos, round which the whole war waged; pointing out the sense in which it could not but be accepted by every loyal Christian, and imploring him not to embroil Christendom for a word. This letter has been generally attributed to Theodoret. But while the conciliatory sage of Cyrus was endeavouring to formulate an Eirenicon, the ardent Egyptian made peace almost impossible by the publication of his famous anathematisms. John and his friends were distressed at the apparent unorthodoxy of Cyril's condemnation of Nestorius, and asked Theodoret to refute Cyril. The strong language employed in Letter CL. conveys an idea of the heat of the enthusiasm with which Theodoret entered on the task, and his profound conviction that Cyril, in blind zeal against imaginary error on the part of Nestorius, was himself falling headlong into the Apollinarian pit. An eager war of words now waged over Nestorius between Cyril and Theodoret, each denouncing the other for supposed heresy on the subject of the incarnation; and, with deep respect for the learning and motives of Theodoret, we may probably find a solution of much that he said and did in the fact that he misunderstood Nestorius as completely as he did Cyril. Cyril, nursed in the synthetic principles of the Alexandrian school, could see only the unity of the two natures in the one Person. To him, to distinguish, as the analysis of Theodoret distinguished, between God the Word and Christ the Man, was to come perilously near a recognition of two Christs, keeping up as it were a mutual dialogue of speech and action. But Cyril's unqualified assertion that there is one Christ, and that Christ is God, really gave no ground for the accusation that to him the manhood was an unreality. Yet he and Theodoret were substantially at one. Theodoret's failure to apprehend Cyril's drift was no doubt due less to any want of intelligence on the part of the Syrian than to the overbearing bitterness of the fierce Egyptian.

On the other hand Theodoret's loyal love for Nestorius led him to give his friend credit for meaning what he himself meant. While he was driven to contemplate the doctrines of Cyril in their most dangerous exaggeration, he shrank from seeing how the Nestorian counter statement might be dangerously exaggerated. Theodoret, as Dr. Bright remarks, "uses a good deal of language which is prima facie Nestorian; his objections are pervaded by an ignoratio elenchi, and his language is repeatedly illogical and inconsistent; but he and Cyril were essentially nearer to each other in belief than at the time they would have admitted, for Theodoret virtually owns the personal oneness and explains the phrase God assumed man' by He assumed manhood.'" Cyril "in his letter to Euoptius earnestly disclaims both forms of Apollinarianism-the notion of a mindless manhood in Christ and the notion of a body formed out of Godhead. In his reply (on Art iv.) he admits the language appropriate to each nature."

Probably both the Egyptian and the Syrian would have found no difficulty in subscribing the language of our own judicious divine; "a kind of mutual commutation there is whereby those concrete names, God and Man, when we speak of Christ, do take interchangeably one another's room, so that for truth of speech it skilleth not whether we say that the Son of God hath created the world and the Son of Man by his death hath saved it or else that the Son of Man did create, and the Son of God died to save the world. Howbeit, as oft as we attribute to God what the manhood of Christ claimeth, or to man what his Deity hath right unto, we understand by the name of God and the name of Man neither the one nor the other nature, but the whole person of Christ, in whom both natures are. When the Apostle saith of the Jews that they crucified the Lord of Glory, and when the Son of Man being on earth affirmeth that the Son of Man was in heaven at the same instant, there is in these two speeches that mutual circulation before mentioned. In the one there is attributed to God or the Lord of Glory death, whereof divine nature is not capable; in the other ubiquity unto man, which human nature admitteth not. Therefore by the Lord of Glory we must needs understand the whole person of Christ, who being Lord of Glory, was indeed crucified, but not in that nature for which he is termed the Lord of Glory. In like manner by the Son of Man the whole person of Christ must necessarily be meant, who being man upon earth, filled heaven with his glorious presence, but not according to that nature for which the title of Man is given him. Without this caution the Fathers whose belief was divine and their meaning most sound, shall seem in their writing one to deny what another constantly doth affirm. Theodoret disputeth with great earnestness that God cannot be said to suffer. But he thereby meaneth Christ's divine nature against Apollinarius, which held even Deity itself passible. Cyril on the other side against Nestorius as much contendeth that whosoever will deny very God to have suffered death doth forsake the faith. Which notwithstanding to hold were heresy, if the name of God in this assertion did not import as it doth the person of Christ, who being verily God suffered death, but in the flesh, and not in that substance for which the name of God is given him."

As to the part played by Theodoret throughout the whole controversy we may conclude that though he had to own himself beaten intellectually, yet the honours of the moral victory remain with him rather than with his illustrious opponent. Not for the last time in the history of the Church a great duel of dialectic issued in a conclusion wherein of the champion who was driven to say, "I was wrong," the congregation of the faithful has yet perforce felt that he was right.

The end is well known. Theodosius summoned the bishops to Ephesus at the Pentecost of 431. There arrived Cyril with fifty supporters early in June; there arrived Theodoret with his Metropolitan Alexander of Hierapolis, in advance of the rest of the Orientals. The Cyrillians were vainly entreated to wait for John of Antioch and his party, and opened the Council without them. When they arrived they would not join the Council, and set up their own "Conciliabulum" apart. Under the hot Levantine sun of July and August the two parties denounced one another on the one side for not accepting the condemnation of Nestorius, which the Cyrillians had passed in the beginning of their proceedings, on the other for the informality and injustice of the condemnation. Then deputies from the Orientals, of whom Theodoret was one, hurried to Constantinople, but were allowed to proceed no further than Chalcedon. The letters written by Theodoret at this time to his friends among the bishops and at the court, and his petitions to the Emperor, leave a vivid impression of the zeal, vigour and industry of the writer, as well as of the extraordinary literary readiness which could pour out letter after letter, memorial after memorial, amid all the excitement of controversy, the weariness of travel, the sojourning in strange and uncomfortable quarters, and the tension of anxiety as to an uncertain future.

Though Nestorius was deposed his friends protested that they would continue true to him, and Theodoret was one of the synod held at Tarsus, and of another at Antioch, in which the protest against Cyril's action was renewed. But the oriental bishops were now themselves undergoing a process of scission, John of Antioch and Acacius of Beroea heading the peacemakers who were anxious to come to terms with Cyril, while Alexander of Hierapolis led the irreconcilables. Intellectually Theodoret shrank from concession, but his moral instincts were all in favour of peace. He himself drew up a declaration of faith which was presented by Paul of Emesa to Cyril, which Cyril accepted. But still true to his friend, Theodoret refused to accept the deposition of Nestorius and his individual condemnation, and it was not till several years had elapsed that, moved less by the threat of exile and forfeiture, as the imperial penalty for refusing to accept the position, than by the entreaties of his beloved flock and of his favourite ascetic solitaries that he would not leave them, Theodoret found means of attaching a meaning to the current anathemas on Nestorianism, not, as he said, on Nestorius, which allowed him to submit. He even entered into friendly correspondence with Cyril. But the truce was hollow. Cyril was indignant to find that Theodoret still maintained his old opinions. At last the protracted quarrel was ended by Cyril's death in June, 444.

On the famous letter over which so many battles of criticism have been fought we have already spoken. If it was really written by Theodoret, there is no reason why we should damn it as "a coarse and ferocious invective." If genuine, it was clearly a piece of grim pleasantry dashed off in a moment of excitement to a personal friend, and never intended for the publicity which has drawn such severe blame upon its writer.

But though the death of Cyril might appear to bring relief to the Church and Empire as well as to his individual opponents, it was by no means a ground of unmixed gratification to Theodoret. Dioscorus, who succeeded to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, however Theodoret in the language of conventional courtesy may speak of the new bishop's humble mindedness, inherited none of the good qualities of Cyril and most of his faults. Theodoret, naturally viewed with suspicion and dislike as the friend and supporter of Nestorius, gave additional ground for ill-will and hostility by action which brought him into individual conflict with Dioscorus. He accepted the synodical letters issued at Constantinople at the time of Proclus, and so seemed to lower the dignity of the apostolic sees of Antioch and Alexandria; he also warmly resented the tyrannical treatment of his friend Irenaeus, bishop of Tyre. Irenaeus had indeed in the earlier days of his banishment to Petra after his first condemnation in 435 attacked Theodoret for not being thoroughly Nestorian, but Theodoret was able to claim Irenaeus as not objecting to the crucial term theotokos, reasonably understood, and accepted him as unquestionably orthodox. When therefore Dioscorus, the Archimandrite Eutyches, and his godson the eunuch Chrysaphius attacked Domnus for consecrating Irenaeus to the Metropolitan see of Tyre, Theodoret indignantly protested and counselled Domnus as to how he had best reply. But Dioscorus and his party had now the ear, and guided the fingers, of the imperial weakling at Constantinople, and the deposition of Irenaeus (Feb. 17, 448) was followed after a year's successful intrigues by the autograph edict of Theodosius confining Theodoret within the limits of his own diocese as a vexatious and turbulent busybody.


Under the Ban of Theodosius and of the Latrocinium

Theodoret was at Antioch when Count Rufus brought him the edict. His friends would have detained him, but he hurried away. On reaching Cyrus he wrote to his friend Anatolius warmly protesting against the cruel and unjust action taken against him, and informing the patrician that Euphronius, a military officer, had travelled hard on the track of Rufus to ask for a written acknowledgment of the receipt of the edict of relegation. The letters written at this crisis by the indignant pen of the maligned scholar and saint have a peculiar value, at once biographical, literary, and theological. To Eusebius bishop of Ancyra he sends an important catalogue of his works. To Dioscorus, the chief of the cabal against him, he sends a summary of his views on the incarnation and the nature of our Lord, couched in such terms as might perhaps in earlier days have shortened his great controversy with Cyril. But the opponents of Theodoret were not in a mood to be moved by any formulation of the terms of his faith. Dioscorus received the letter with insult, and publicly joined in the shout of anathema which he permitted to be raised against his hated brother. The condemnation of Eutyches by Flavian's Constantinopolian Synod had roused the Eutychian party to leave no stone unturned to secure its reversal and crush it and all who upheld it. Of the latter Theodoret was the most prominent, the ablest and perhaps the holiest. Hence he was the natural representative and personification of the doctrines that Dioscorus sought to decry and degrade. The sixth Council of Ephesus met in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on August 8, 449. Eutyches was acquitted. Flavian was condemned. Ibas of Edessa, Domnus of Antioch, and Theodoret of Cyrus were deprived of their sees. The disgraceful scenes of violence which marked every stage of this shameful ecclesiastical gathering have been described again and again with the vivid detail rendered possible by the exactitude of contemporary narrative, but, inasmuch as Theodoret was condemned in his absence we are concerned here less with the manner in which his condemnation was brought about than with the steps he took to protest against and to reverse it.

On theindictment of an Antiochene presbyter named Pelagius, Theodoret was condemned as an enemy of God, a disseminator of poison, a false teacher deserving to be burnt. In support of the accusation was quoted the careful theological statement addressed by Theodoret to the monks in the Euphratensis and the Osrhoene which appears as Letter CLI., as well as citations from his works at large. Dioscorus described the absent defendant as a blasphemous enemy of God and the Emperor whose life had been spent in damning souls. Theodoret was sentenced not merely to deposition from his see but to degradation from the priesthood and to excommunication, and his books were ordered to be burnt. So the great council ended with the deposition of Flavian of Constantinople, Eusebius of Dorylaeum, Daniel of Carrae, Irenaeus of Tyre, Aquilinus of Biblus, and Domnus of Antioch as well as of Theodoret. Eutyches the heretic Archimandrite was restored and Dioscorus seemed master of Christendom. One word of manly Latin had broken in on the supple suffrages of the servile orientals, the "Contradicitur" of Hilarius the representative of the Church of Rome.

To that church, and to its illustrious bishop, Theodoret naturally turned in his hour of need. He implored his friend Anatolius to get him permission to plead his own cause in person in the West, or if not to let him retire to his old home at Nicerte. The latter alternative was conceded. In this retreat he received many proofs of the affectionate regard of his friends and offers of more practical help than his modest necessities demanded. Thence products of his facile pen travelled far and wide. The whole series of letters written at this period gives touching testimony to the gentle and forgiving spirit of the sorely tried bishop. There is nothing of the bitterness and fierce anger which appear sometimes in the earlier controversy with Cyril. He is refined, not soured, by adversity, and, though he never approached nearer to canonization than the acquisition of the inferior title of Blessed, he appears in these dark days as no unworthy specimen of the suffering saint. The chief interest of these letters is in truth moral, spiritual and theological. Theodoret did appeal to the Pope. It is quite true that the church of Rome had many claims to honour and regard, as Theodoret himself felicitously and opportunely points out, and that the present occupant of its throne was a man of unblemished orthodoxy and of commanding personal dignity.


Theodoret and Chalcedon

Now, not for the last time in history, an important part was played by a horse. In July, 450, Theodosius, while hunting in the neighbourhood of his capital, was thrown from the saddle into a stream, hurt his spine, and a few days afterwards died. With him died the cause of Eutyches and of Chrysaphius. The eunuch was promptly executed, and at last a Council was conceded to reconsider and rectify the crimes and blunders of the Latrocinium. But the Empress and her venerable husband did not wait for the Council to undo some of the wrong done to Theodoret, and the large place he filled in the eyes and estimation of the oriental world is shewn by the interest shewn at Constantinople in his behalf. The decree of relegation appears to have been rescinded, and he was free to present himself at the synod. On the first assembling of the five hundred bishops, under the presidency of the imperial Commissioners, the minutes of the Latrocinium were read; the presence of Dioscorus was protested against by the Roman representation as having dared to hold a synod unauthorized by Rome; and the claim of Theodoret to sit and vote, allowed both by the imperial Commissioners and by the westerns, since Leo had accepted him as an orthodox bishop, was vehemently resisted by the Eutychians. He entered, but at first did not vote, and his enemies at last succeeded in wringing from him a personal anathema not only of Nestorianism, but of Nestorius. The scenes reported in detail are too characteristic alike of the earlier Councils and of Theodoret to be omitted.

"The illustrious Presidents and the honorable Assessors ordered that the most religious bishop Theodoret should enter, that he might be a partaker of the Council, because the holy Archbishop Leo had restored the bishopric to him; and the most sacred and pious Emperor determined that he was to be present at the Holy Council. And on the entrance of the most religious Theodoret, the most religious bishops of Egypt, Illyricum and Palestine called out: Have mercy upon us! The faith is destroyed. The Canons cast him out. Cast out the teacher of Nestorius.' The most religious bishops of the East and those of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace shouted out: We had to sign a blank paper; we were scourged, and so we signed. Cast out the Manichaeans; cast out the enemies of Flavian; cast out the enemies of the faith.' Dioscorus, the most religious bishop of Alexandria said: Why is Cyril being cast out, who is anathematized by Theodoret?' The Eastern and Pontic and Asian and Thracian most religious bishops shouted out: Cast out Dioscorus the murderer. Who does not know the deeds of Dioscorus?' The Egyptian and the Illyrian and the Palestinian most religious bishops shouted out: Long years to the Empress!' The Eastern and the most religious bishops with them shouted out: Cast out the murderers!' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops with them shouted out: The Empress has cast out Nestorius. Long years to the orthodox Empress! The Council will not receive Theodoret.' Theodoret, the most religious bishop, came up into the midst and said: I have offered petitions to the most godlike, most religious and Christ-loving masters of the world, and I have related the disasters which have befallen me, and I claim that they shall be read.' The most illustrious Presidents and the most honourable Assessors said: Theodoret, the most religious bishop, having received his proper place from the holy Archbishop of the renowned Rome, now occupies the place of an accuser. Wherefore, that there be no confusion in our proceedings, allow the things which have had a beginning to be finished. No prejudice will accrue to anyone from the appearance of the most religious Theodoret. Every argument for you and for him, if you desire to make one on one side or the other is of course reserved.' And after Theodoret, the most religious bishop, had sat down in the midst, the Eastern, and the most religious bishops who were with them, shouted out: He is worthy! He is worthy!' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops who were with them shouted out: Do not call him a bishop! He is not a bishop! Cast out the fighter against God! Cast out the Jew!' The Easterns and the most religious bishops who were with them shouted out: The orthodox for the Council! Cast out the rebels! Cast out the murderers!' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops who were with them shouted out: Cast out the fighter against God! Cast out the insulter of Christ! Long years to the Empress! Long years to the Emperor! Long years to the orthodox Emperor! Theodoret has anathematized Cyril.' The Easterns and the most religious bishops who were with them shouted out: Cast out the murderer Dioscorus!' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops with them shouted out: Long years to the Assessors! He has not the right of speech. He is expelled from the whole Synod!' Basil, the most religious bishop of Trajanopolis, in the province of Rhodope, rose up and said: Theodoret has been condemned by us.' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops with them shouted out: Theodoret has accused Cyril. We cast out Cyril if we receive Theodoret. The Canons cast out Theodoret. God has turned away from him.' The most illustrious Presidents and the most honourable Assessors said: The vulgar cries are not worthy of bishops, nor will they assist either side. Suffer, therefore, the reading of all the documents.' The Egyptians and the most religious bishops with them shouted out: Cast out one man, and we will all hear. We shout out in the cause of Religion. We say these things for the sake of the orthodox Faith.' The most illustrious Presidents and the honourable Assessors said: Rather acquiesce, in God's name, that the hearing of the documents should take place, and concede that all shall be read in proper order.' And at last they were silent, and Constantine, the most holy Secretary and Magistrate of the Divine Synod, read these documents."

One more sad incident must be given-the demand made at the eighth session that Theodoret should pronounce a curse on his ancient friend. "The most reverend bishops all stood before the rails of the most holy altar, and shouted "Theodoret must now anathematize Nestorius." Theodoret, the most reverend bishop, passed into the midst, and said: "I have made my petition to the most divine and religious Emperor, and I have laid documents before the most reverend bishops occupying the place of the most sacred Archbishop Leo; and if you think fit, they shall be read to you, and you will know what I think.' The most reverend bishops shouted We want nothing to be read-only anathematize Nestorius.' Theodoret, the most reverend bishop, said: I was brought up by the orthodox, I was taught by the orthodox, I have preached orthodoxy, and not only Nestorius and Eutyches, but any man who thinks not rightly, I avoid and count him an alien.' The most reverend bishops shouted out: Speak plainly; anathema to Nestorius and his doctrine-anathema to Nestorius and to those who defend him.' Theodoret, the most reverend bishop said: Of a truth I say nothing except so far as I know it to be pleasing to God. First I will convince you that I am here, not because I care for my city, not because I covet rank. Because I have been falsely accused, I come to satisfy you that I am orthodox, and that I anathematize Nestorius and Eutyches, and every one who says that there are two Sons.' Whilst he was speaking, the most reverend bishops shouted out: Speak plainly; anathematize Nestorius and those who think with him.' Theodoret, the most reverend bishop, said: Unless I set forth at length my faith I cannot speak. I believe'-And whilst he spoke the most reverend bishops shouted: He is a heretic! He is a Nestorian! Away with the heretic! Anathema to Nestorius and to any one who does not confess that the Holy Virgin Mary is the Parent of God, and who divides the only begotten Son to two Sons.' Theodoret, the most reverend bishop, said, Anathema to Nestorius and to whoever denies that the Holy Virgin Mary is the Parent of God, and who divides the only begotten Son into two Sons. I have subscribed the definition of faith, and the epistle of the most holy Archbishop Leo."


Retirement after Chalcedon, and Death

Some doubt hangs over the question whether after his vindication at Chalcedon Theodoret resumed his labours at Cyrus, or occupied himself with literary work in the congenial seclusion of Nicerte. Garnerius makes it about the time of his quitting Chalcedon that Sporacius charged him with the duty of writing on the Heresies, and if so his five books on this subject would seem to have constituted the first fruit of his comparative leisure. Sporacius he styles his "Christ-loving Son," and no doubt owed something to the aid of the influential "Comes domesticorum," who was present at Chalcedon, when the question of his admission to the Council was being agitated. To this period has also been referred his commentary on the Octateuch. On Dr. Newman's statement that Theodoret made over the charge of his diocese to Hypatius (one of his chorepiscopi, who had been entrusted with his appeal to Pope Leo) and retired into his monastery, and there regaining the peace which he had enjoyed in youth, passed from the peace of the Church to the peace of eternity, Canon Venables remarks that there is no authority for so pleasing a picture, and that Tillemont contradicts it altogether. Garnerius quotes his congratulation to Sabinianus on leaving Perrha as suggestive of what conduct he might have preferred.

It is at least certain that during this period he received a long and sympathetic letter from Leo, from which it is clear that the Roman bishop reposed great confidence in him. It is characteristic of one in whom the mere man was merged in the theologian and ecclesiastic that, as of the year of his birth, so of the year of his death, we have no specific information, and are compelled to form our conclusions on evidence which though valuable, is not overwhelming. Theodorus Lector, the composer of the Historia Tripartita, in the 6th century, states that Theodoret prepared a sepulchral urn for the burial of the famous ascetic Jacobus; that he predeceased Jacobus; but that Jacobus was buried in it. Evagrius mentions Jacobus Syrus as still living when the Emperor Leo sent his Circular Letter to the bishops in 458, though then he must have been in extreme old age. And Gennadius, who lived not long after Theodoret, says that he died in the reign of Leo. The evidence is not strong. Theodoret may have died some years before Jacob. But Gennadius probably knew. On the whole we may conclude that there is some probability that Theodoret survived till 458; none that he lived longer. Like Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland, to whom, in his isolation, Dean Stanley compares him, Theodoret must have expired with the cry of "Peace, Peace," in his heart, if not on his lips. Garnerius is careful to prove that he died in "the peace of the Church," and appeals in support of this contention to the laudatory testimony of Popes Vigilius, Pelagius I., Pelagius II., and Gregory the Great. The peace of the Church, in the narrower sense, has not always been accorded to holy men and women who have assuredly departed this life in the faith and fear of their Lord. In its truer and holier connotation it coincides with a state in which we trust we may contemplate the godly old man of Cyrus, forgetting the storms that had beaten now and again on the life he was leaving behind him, and stepping quietly into the calm of the windless haven of souls,-the Peace not of man, but of God.


The Condemnation of "the Three Chapters."

A sketch of the life of Theodoret might well be supposed to terminate with his death. But it can hardly be regarded as complete without a brief supplementary notice of the posthumous controversy which has contributed to his fame in ecclesiastical history. The Council of Chalcedon was designed to give rest to the Church, and to undo a great wrong, and catholic common sense has since vindicated its decisions. But it was not to be supposed that the opinions and passions which had achieved a combined triumph at Ephesus in 449 would die away and disappear in consequence of the imperial and synodical action of 451. The face of the world was changing. The vandal Genseric captured and pillaged Rome. The Teutonic races were pushing to a foremost place, and accepting first of all an Arian Christianity. Clovis represented orthodoxy almost alone. Theodoric, the Arian Ostrogoth, mastered Italy. Then the turning tide saw Rome once again a city of sole empire, but not the chief city. The victories of Belisarius made of Rome a suburb of Constantinople, and empire and theology swayed and were swayed by the policy of Justinian and the palace plots of Theodora. All through monophysitism had had its friends and defenders. Metropolitans, monks, and mobs had anathematized one another for nearly a century. At Alexandria Dioscorus had won almost a local canonization, and the patriarch Timotheus, nicknamed "the Cat," had left a strong monophysite party, consolidated under Peter the Stutterer as the "acephali." At Antioch Peter the Fuller had anathematized all who refused to accept the Shibboleth he appended to the Trisagion, "who wast crucified on our account." Leo, Marcian's successor on the Eastern throne, had followed Marcian's theology, and Zeno, Leo; but the usurper Basiliscus had seen elements of strength in a bold bid for monophysite support. Zeno, on the fall of Basiliscus, had attempted to atone the disunited sections of Christendom by the henoticon, or edict of unity, but the henoticon had been for years a watchword of division. Anastasius had favoured the Eutychians. And in his reign Theodoret had been twice condemned, at the synods of Constantinople and Sidon, in 499 and 512.

Justin I., the unlettered barbarian, supported the Chalcedonians, but in 544 Belisarius had made the Eutychian Vigilius bishop of Rome. When Justinian aspired to become a second Constantine, and give theological as well as civil law to the world, it was proposed to condemn in a fifth oecumenical council certain so-called Nestorian writings, on the plea that such a condemnation might reconcile the opponents of Chalcedon. The writings in question were the Letter of Ibas of Edessa to Maris, praising Theodore of Mopsuestia; the works of Theodore himself, and the writings of Theodoret against Cyril. These three literary monuments were known as "the Three Chapters." Of the controversy of the Three Chapters it has been said that it "filled more volumes than it was worth lines." The Council satisfied nobody. Pope Vigilius, detained at Constantinople and Marmora with something of the same violence with which Napoleon I. detained Pius VI. at Valence, declined to preside over a gathering so exclusively oriental. The West was outraged by the constitution of the synod, irrespective of its decisions. The Monophysites were disappointed that the credit of Chalcedon should be even nominally saved by the nice distinction which damaged the writings, but professed complete agreement with the council which had refused to damn the writers. The orthodox wanted no slur cast upon Chalcedon, and, however fenced, the condemnation of the Three Chapters indubitably involved such a slur. Practically, the decrees of the fourth and fifth councils are mutually inconsistent, and it is impossible to accept both. Theodoret was reinstated at Chalcedon in spite of what he had written, and what he had written was anathematized at Constantinople in spite of his reinstatement.

The xiii Canon of the fifth Council runs as follows, "if any one defends the impious writings of Theodoret which he published against the true faith, against the first holy synod of Ephesus and against the holy Cyril and his twelve chapters; and all that he wrote in defence of the impious Theodorus and Nestorius, and others who held the same opinions as the aforesaid Theodorus and Nestorius, defending them and their impiety, and accordingly calling impious the doctors of the church who confess the union according to hypostasis of God the Word in the flesh; and does not anathematize these writings and those who have held or do hold similar opinions, above all those who have written against the true faith and the holy Cyril and his twelve chapters, and have remained to the day of their death in such impiety; let him be anathema."

In this condemnation the works certainly included are Theodoret's "Objections to Cyril's Chapters," some of his letters, and, among his lost works, the "Pentalogium," namely five books on the Incarnation written against Cyril and his supporters at Ephesus, of which fragments are preserved, and two allocutions against Cyril delivered at Chalcedon in 431, of which portions exist in the acts of the fifth Council, and do not exhibit Theodoret at his best.

The Council has at least preserved to us an interesting little record of the survival at Cyrus of the memory of her great bishop, for it appears that at the seventh collation, held at the end of May, notice was taken of an enquiry ordered by Justinian respecting a statue or portrait of Theodoret which was said to have been carried in procession into his cathedral town, by Andronicus a presbyter and George a deacon. A more important tribute to his memory is the fact that, though it officially anathematized writings some of which, composed in the thick of the fight, and soiled with its indecorous dust, Theodoret himself may well have regretted and condemned, the Council advisedly abstained from directly condemning a bishop whose character and person were protected by the notorious iniquity of the robber council that had deposed him, the friendship of the illustrious Leo, and the solemn vindication of the church in Synod at Chalcedon, as well as by his own confession of the faith, his repudiation of the errors of Nestorius, and the stainless beauty and pious close of his long life.

No better reconciliation between Chalcedon and Constantinople can be proffered than that which Garnerius quotes from the letter said to have been written by Gregory the Great, though sent in the name of Pelagius II, to the Illyrians on the fifth council, "It is the part of unwarrantable rashness to defend those writings of Theodoret which it is notorious that Theodoret himself condemned in his subsequent profession of the right faith. So long as we at once accept himself and repudiate the erroneous writings which have long remained unknown we do not depart in any way from the decision of the sacred synod, because so long as we only reject his heretical writings, we, with the synod, attack Nestorius, and with the synod express our veneration for Theodoret in his right confession. His other writings we not only accept, but use against our foes."


The Works of Theodoret

The following is the catalogue of extant works as given by Sirmondus and followed by Garnerius.

(i.) Exegetical. Questions on the Octateuch, the Books of Kings and Chronicles; the Interpretation of the Psalms, Canticles, the Four Greater, and the Twelve Lesser Prophets; an exposition of all the Epistles of St. Paul, including the Hebrews.

(ii.) Historical. The Ecclesiastical History, and the "Philotheus," or Religious History.

(iii.) Controversial. The Eranistes, or Dialogues, and the Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium.

(iv.) Theological. The Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, the Discourse on Charity, and the De Providentia.

(v.) Epistolary. The Letters.

(vi.) To these may be added the Refutation of the Twelve Chapters, and the following given in the Auctarium of Garnerius.

(1.) Prolegomena and extracts from Commentaries on the Psalms.

(2.) Part of a Commentary on St. Luke.

(3.) Sermon on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

(4.) Portions of Sermons on St. Chrysostom.

(5.) Homily preached at Chalcedon in 431.

(6.) Fragments of the Pentalogium, extracted from Marius Mercator, who attributed the work to the instigation of the devil.

Lost works.

(1.) The Pentalogium, of which fragments are preserved in the Auctarium.

(2.) Opus mysticurn, sive mysteriorum fidei expositiones, lib. xii.

(3.) Works "de theologia et Incarnatione," identified by Garnier with three Dialogues against the Macedonians, and two against the Apollinarians, erroneously attributed to Athanasius.

(4.) Adversus Marcionem.

(5.) Adversus Judaeos (? the Commentary on Daniel).

(6.) Responsiones ad quaesitus magorum Persarum.

(7.) Five sermons on St. Chrysostom.

(8.) Two allocutions spoken at Chalcedon against Cyril in 431.

(9.) Sermon preached at Antioch on the death of Cyril.

(10.) Works on Sabellius and the Trinity, of which portions are given by Baluz. Misc. iv.

(Mansi T. IV. p. 1067-1082, Migne Cat. 76, col. 391. The anathemas of Nestorius against Cyril are to be found in Hardouin i. 1297.)

I. If any one refuses to confess that the Emmanuel is in truth God, and therefore that the holy Virgin is Mother of God (theotokos), for she gave birth after a fleshly manner to the Word of God made flesh; let him be anathema.

II. If any one refuses to confess that the Word of God the Father is united in hypostasis to flesh, and is one Christ with His own flesh, the same being at once both God and man, let him be anathema.

III. If any one in the case of the one Christ divides the hypostases after the union, conjoining them by the conjunction alone which is according to dignity, independence, or prerogative, and not rather by the concurrence which is according to natural union, let him be anathema.

IV. If any one divides between two persons or hypostases the expressions used in the writings of evangelists and apostles, whether spoken by the saints of Christ or by Him about Himself, and applies the one as to a man considered properly apart from the Word of God, and the others as appropriate to the divine and the Word of God the Father alone, let him be anathema.

V. If any one dares to maintain that the Christ is man bearing God, and not rather that He is God in truth, and one Son, and by nature, according as the Word was made flesh, and shared blood and flesh in like manner with ourselves, let him be anathema.

VI. If any one dares to maintain that the Word of God the Father was God or Lord of the Christ, and does not rather confess that the same was at once both God and man, the Word being made flesh according to the Scriptures, let him be anathema.

VII. If any one says that Jesus was energized as man by God the Word, and that He was invested with the glory of the only begotten as being another beside Him, let him be anathema.

VIII. If any one dares to maintain that the ascended man ought to be worshipped together with the divine Word, and be glorified with Him, and with Him be called God as one with another (in that the continual rise of the preposition "with" in composition makes this sense compulsory), and does not rather in one act of worship honour the Emmanuel and praise Him in one doxology, in that He is the Word made flesh, let him be anathema.

IX. If any one says that the one Lord Jesus Christ is glorified by the Spirit, using the power that works through Him as a foreign power, and receiving from Him the ability to operate against unclean spirits, and to complete His miracles among men; and does not rather say that the Spirit is His own, whereby also He wrought His miracles, let him be anathema.

X. Holy Scripture states that Christ is High Priest and Apostle of our confession, and offered Himself on our behalf for a sweet-smelling savour to God and our Father. If, then, any one says that He, the Word of God, was not made our High Priest and Apostle when He was made flesh and man after our manner; but as being another, other than Himself, properly man made of a woman; or if any one says that He offered the offering on His own behalf, and not rather on our behalf alone; for He that knew no sin would not have needed an offering, let him be anathema.

XI. If any one confesses not that the Lord's flesh is giver of life, and proper to the Word of God Himself, but (states) that it is of another than Him, united indeed to Him in dignity, yet as only possessing a divine indwelling; and not rather, as we said, giver of life, because it is proper to the Word of Him who hath might to engender all things alive, let him be anathema.

XII. If any one confesses not that the Word of God suffered in flesh, and was crucified in flesh, and tasted death in flesh, and was made firstborn of the dead, in so far as He is life and giver of life, as God; let him be anathema.

(Opp. Ed. Schulze. V. I. seq. Migne, Lat. 76. col. 391.)

Against I.-But all we who follow the words of the evangelists state that God the Word was not made flesh by nature, nor yet was changed into flesh; for the Divine is immutable and invariable. Wherefore also the prophet David says, "Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." And this the great Paul, the herald of the truth, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, states to have been spoken of the Son. And in another place God says through the Prophet, "I am the Lord: I change not." If then the Divine is immutable and invariable, it is incapable of change or alteration. And if the immutable cannot be changed, then God the Word was not made flesh by mutation, but took flesh and tabernacled in us, according to the word of the evangelist. This the divine Paul expresses clearly in his Epistle to the Philippians in the words, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant." Now it is plain from these words that the form of God was not changed into the form of a servant, but, remaining what it was, took the form of the servant. So God the Word was not made flesh, but assumed living and reasonable flesh. He Himself is not naturally conceived of the Virgin, fashioned, formed, and deriving beginning of existence from her; He who is before the ages, God, and with God, being with the Father and with the Father both known and worshipped; but He fashioned for Himself a temple in the Virgin's womb, and was with that which was formed and begotten. Wherefore also we style that holy Virgin theotokos, not because she gave birth in natural manner to God, but to man united to the God that had fashioned Him. Moreover if He that was fashioned in the Virgin's womb was not man but God the Word Who is before the ages, then God the Word is a creature of the Holy Ghost. For that which was conceived in her, says Gabriel, is of the Holy Ghost. But if the only begotten Word of God is uncreate and of one substance and co-eternal with the Father it is no longer a formation or creation of the Spirit. And if the Holy Ghost did not fashion God the Word in the Virgin's womb, it follows that we understand the form of the servant to have been fashioned, formed, conceived, and generated. But since the form was not stripped of the form of God, but was a Temple containing God the Word dwelling in it, according to the words of Paul "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell" "bodily," we call the Virgin not mother of man (anthropotokos) but mother of God (theotokos), applying the former title to the fashioning and conception, but the latter to the union. For this cause the child who was born is called Emmanuel, neither God separated from human nature nor man stripped of Godhead. For Emmanuel is interpreted to mean "God with us," according to the words of the Gospels; and the expression "God with us" at once manifests Him Who for our sakes was assumed out of us, and proclaims God the Word Who assumed. Therefore the child is called Emmanuel on account of God Who assumed, and the Virgin theotokos on account of the union of the form of God with the conceived form of a servant. For God the Word was not changed into flesh, but the form of God took the form of a servant.

Against II.-We, in obedience to the divine teaching of the apostles, confess one Christ; and, on account of the union, we name the same both God and man. But we are wholly ignorant of the union according to hypostasis as being strange and foreign to the divine Scriptures and the Fathers who have interpreted them. And if the author of these statements means by the union according to hypostasis that there was a mixture of flesh and Godhead, we shall oppose his statement with all our might, and shall confute his blasphemy, for the mixture is of necessity followed by confusion; and the admission of confusion destroys the individuality of each nature. Things that are undergoing mixture do not remain what they were, and to assert this in the case of God the Word and of the seed of David would be most absurd. We must obey the Lord when He exhibits the two natures and says to the Jews, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." But if there had been mixture then God had not remained God, neither was the temple recognised as a temple; then the temple was God and God was temple. This is involved in the theory of the mixture. And it was quite superfluous for the Lord to say to the Jews, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." He ought to have said, Destroy me and in three days I shall be raised, if there had really been any mixture and confusion. As it is, He exhibits the temple undergoing destruction and God raising it up. Therefore the union according to hypostasis, which in my opinion they put before us instead of mixture, is superfluous. It is quite sufficient to mention the union, which both exhibits the properties of the natures and teaches us to worship the one Christ.

Against III.-The sense of the terms used is misty and obscure. Who needs to be told that there is no difference between conjunction and concurrence? The concurrence is a concurrence of the separated parts; and the conjunction is a conjunction of the distinguished parts. The very clever author of the phrases has laid down things that agree as though they disagreed. It is wrong, he says, to conjoin the hypostases by conjunction; they ought to be conjoined by concurrence, and that a natural concurrence. Possibly he states this not knowing what he says; if he knows, he blasphemes. Nature has a compulsory force and is involuntary; as for instance, if I say we are naturally hungry, we do not feel hunger of free-will but of necessity; and assuredly paupers would have left off begging if the power of ceasing to be hungry had lain in their own will; we are naturally thirsty; we naturally sleep; we naturally breathe; and all these actions, I repeat, belong to the category of the involuntary, and he who is no longer capable of them necessarily ceases to exist. If then the concurrence in union of the form of God and the form of a servant was natural, then God the Word was united to the form of the servant under the compulsion of necessity, and not because He put in force His loving kindness, and the Lawgiver of the Universe will be found to be a follower of the laws of necessity. Not thus have we been taught by the blessed Paul; on the contrary, we have been taught that He took the form of a servant and "emptied Himself;" and the expression "emptied Himself" indicates the voluntary act. If then He was united by purpose and will to the nature assumed from us, the addition of the term natural is superfluous. It suffices to confess the union, and union is understood of things distinguished, for if there were no division an union could never be apprehended. The apprehension then of the union implies previous apprehension of the division. How then can he say that the hypostases or natures ought not to be divided? He knows all the while that the hypostasis of God the Word was perfect before the ages; and that the form of the servant which was assumed by It was perfect; and this is the reason why he said hypostases and not hypostasis. If therefore either nature is perfect, and both came together, it is obvious that after the form of God had taken the form of a servant, piety compels us to confess one son and Christ; while to speak of the united hypostases or natures as two, so far from being absurd, follows the necessity of the case. For if in the case of the one man we divide the natures, and call the mortal nature body, but the immortal nature soul, and both man, much more consonant is it with right reason to recognise the properties alike of the God who took and of the man who was taken. We find the blessed Paul dividing the one man into two where he says in one passage, "Though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed," and in another "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." And again "that Christ may dwell in the inner man." Now if the apostle divides the natural conjunction of the synchronous natures, with what reason can the man who describes the mixture to us by means of other terms indite us as impious when we divide the properties of the natures of the everlasting God and of the man assumed at the end of days?

Against IV.-These statements, too, are akin to the preceding. On the assumption that there has been a mixture, he means that there is a distinction of terms as used both in the holy Gospels and in the apostolic writings. And he uses this language while glorifying himself that he is at war at once with Arius and Eunomius and the rest of the heresiarchs. Let then this exact professor of theology tells us how he would confute the blasphemy of the heretics, while applying to God the Word what is uttered humbly and appropriately by the form of the servant. They indeed while thus doing lay down that the Son of God is inferior, a creature, made, and a servant. To whom then are we, holding as we do the opposite opinion to theirs, and confessing the Son to be of one substance and co-eternal with God the Father, Creator of the Universe, Maker, Beautifier, Ruler, and Governor, All-wise, Almighty, or rather Himself, Power, Life and Wisdom, to refer the words "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me;" or "Father if it be possible let this cup pass from me;" or "Father save me from this hour;" or "That hour no man knoweth, not even the Son of Man;" and all the other passages spoken and written in lowliness by Him and by the holy apostles about Him? To whom shall we apply the weariness and the sleep? To whom the ignorance and the fear? Who was it who stood in need of angelic succour? If these belong to God the Word, how was wisdom ignorant? How could it be called wisdom when affected by the sense of ignorance? How could He speak the truth in saying that He had all that the Father hath, when not having the knowledge of the Father? For He says, "The Father alone knoweth that day." How could He be the unchanged image of Him that begat Him if He has not all that the Begetter hath? If then He speaks the truth when saying that He is ignorant, any one might suppose this of Him. But if He knoweth the day, but says that He is ignorant with the wish to hide it, you see in what a blasphemy the conclusion issues. For the truth lies and could not properly be called truth if it has any quality opposed to truth. But if the truth does not lie, neither is God the Word ignorant of the day which He Himself made, and which He Himself fixed, wherein He purposes to judge the world, but has the knowledge of the Father as being unchanged image. Not then to God the Word does the ignorance belong, but to the form of the servant who at that time knew as much as the indwelling Godhead revealed. The same position may be maintained about other similar cases. How for instance could it be reasonable for God the Word to say to the Father, "Father if it be possible let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt"? The absurdities which necessarily thence follow are not a few. First it follows that the Father and the Son are not of the same mind, and that the Father wishes one thing and the Son another, for He said, "Nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt." Secondly we shall have to contemplate great ignorance in the Son, for He will be found ignorant whether the cup can or cannot pass from Him; but to say this of God the Word is utter impiety and blasphemy. For exactly did He know the end of the mystery of the oeconomy Who for this very reason came among us, Who of His own accord took our nature, Who emptied Himself. For this cause too He foretold to the Holy Apostles, "Behold we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed . . . into the hands of the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify Him, and the third day He shall rise again." How then can He Who foretold these things, and, when Peter deprecated their coming to pass, rebuked him, Himself deprecate their coming to pass, when He clearly knows all that is to be? Is it not absurd that Abraham many generations ago should have seen His day and have been glad, and that Isaiah in like manner, and Jeremiah, and Daniel, and Zechariah, and all the fellowship of the prophets, should have foretold His saving passion, and He Himself be ignorant, and beg release from and deprecate it, though it was destined to come to pass for the salvation of the world? Therefore these words are not the words of God the Word, but of the form of the servant, afraid of death because death was not yet destroyed. Surely God the Word permitted the utterance of these expressions allowing room for fear, that the nature of Him that had to be born may be plain, and to prevent our supposing the Son of Abraham and David to be an unreality or appearance. The crew of the impious heretics has given birth to this blasphemy through entertaining these sentiments. We shall therefore apply what is divinely spoken and acted to God the Word; on the other hand what is said and done in humility we shall connect with the form of a servant, lest we be tainted with the blasphemy of Arius and Eunomius.

Against V.-We assert that God the Word shared like ourselves in flesh and blood, and in immortal soul, on account of the union relating to them; but that God the Word was made flesh by any change we not only refuse to say, but accuse of impiety those who do, and it may be seen that this is contrary to the very terms laid down. For if the Word was changed into flesh He did not share with us in flesh and blood: but if He shared in flesh and blood He shared as being another besides them: and if the flesh is anything other besides Him, then He was not changed into flesh. While therefore we use the term sharing we worship both Him that took and that which was taken as one Son. But we reckon the distinction of the natures. We do not object to the term man bearing God, as employed by many of the holy Fathers, one of whom is the great Basil, who uses this term in his argument to Amphilochius about the Holy Ghost, and in his interpretation of the fifty-ninth psalm. But we call Him man bearing God, not because He received some particular divine grace, but as possessing all the Godhead of the Son united. For thus says the blessed Paul in his interpretation, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

Against VI.-The blessed Paul calls that which was assumed by God the Word "form of a servant," but since the assumption was prior to the union, and the blessed Paul was discoursing about the assumption when he called the nature which was assumed "form of a servant," after the making of the union the name of "servitude" has no longer place. For seeing that the Apostle when writing to them that believed in Him said, "So thou art not a servant but a son" and the Lord said to His disciples, "Henceforth I will not call you servants but friends;" much more the first fruits of our nature, through whom even we were guerdoned with the boon of adoption, would be released from the title of servant. We therefore confess even "the form of the servant" to be God on account of the form of God united to it; and we bow to the authority of the prophet when he calls the babe also Emmanuel, and the child which was born, "Angel of great counsel, wonderful Counsellor, mighty God, powerful, Prince of peace, and Father of the age to come." Yet the same prophet, even after the union, when proclaiming the nature of that which was assumed, calls him who is of the seed of Abraham "servant" in the words "Thou art my servant O Israel and in thee will I be glorified;" and again, "Thus says the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant;" and a little further on, "Lo I have given thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." But what was formed from the womb was not God the Word but the form of the servant. For God the Word was not made flesh by being changed, but He assumed flesh with a rational soul.

Against VII.-If the nature of man is mortal, and God the Word is life and giver of life, and raised up the temple which had been destroyed by the Jews, and carried it into heaven, how is not the form of the servant glorified through the form of God? For if being originally and by nature mortal it was made immortal through its union with God the Word, it therefore received what it had not; and after receiving what it had not, and being glorified, it is glorified by Him who gave. Wherefore also the Apostle exclaims, "According to the working of His mighty power which he wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead."

Against VIII.-As I have often said, the doxology which we offer to the Lord Christ is one, and we confess the same to be at once God and man, as the method of the union has taught us; but we shall not shrink from speaking of the properties of the natures. For God the Word did not undergo change into flesh, nor yet again did the man lose what he was and undergo transmutation into the nature of God. Therefore we worship the Lord Christ, while we maintain the properties of either nature.

Against IX.-Here he has plainly had the hardihood to anathematize not only those who at the present time hold pious opinions, but also those who were in former days heralds of truth; aye even the writers of the divine gospels, the band of the holy Apostles, and, in addition to these, Gabriel the archangel. For he indeed it was who first, even before the conception, announced the birth of the Christ according to the flesh; saying in reply to Mary when she asked, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." And to Joseph he said, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." And the Evangelist says, "When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph . . . she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." And the Lord Himself when He had come into the synagogue of the Jews and had taken the prophet Isaiah, after reading the passage in which he says, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me" and so on, added, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." And the blessed Peter in his sermon to the Jews said, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost." And Isaiah many ages before had predicted, "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots; and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;" and again, "Behold my servant whom I uphold, my beloved in whom my soul delighteth. I will put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." This testimony the Evangelist too has inserted in his own writings. And the Lord Himself in the Gospels says to the Jews, "If I with the spirit of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." And John says, "He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." So this exact examiner of the divine decrees has not only anathematized prophets, apostles, and even the archangel Gabriel, but has suffered his blasphemy to reach even the Saviour of the world Himself. For we have shewn that the Lord Himself after reading the passage "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me," said to the Jews, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." And to those who said that He was casting out devils by Beelzebub He replied that He was casting them out by the Spirit of God. But we maintain that it was not God the Word, of one substance and co-eternal with the Father, that was formed by the Holy Ghost and anointed, but the human nature which was assumed by Him at the end of days. We shall confess that the Spirit of the Son was His own if he spoke of it as of the same nature and proceeding from the Father, and shall accept the expression as consistent with true piety. But if he speaks of the Spirit as being of the Son, or as having its origin through the Son we shall reject this statement as blasphemous and impious. For we believe the Lord when He says, "The spirit which proceedeth from the Father;" and likewise the very divine Paul saying, "We have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God."

Against X.-The unchangeable nature was not changed into nature of flesh, but assumed human nature and set it over the common high priests, as the blessed Paul teaches in the words, "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is encompassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people so also for himself." And a little further on interpreting this he says, "As was Aaron so also was the Christ." Then pointing out the infirmity of the assumed nature he says, "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard for His godly fear, though He was a son yet learned obedience by the things that He suffered: and having been made perfect He became unto all that obey Him the author of eternal salvation; named of God a high priest of the order of Melchisedec." Who then is He who was perfected by toils of virtue and who was not perfect by nature? Who is He who learnt obedience by experience, and before his experience was ignorant of it? Who is it that lived with godly fear and offered supplication with strong crying and tears, not able to save Himself but appealing to Him that is able to save Him and asking for release from death? Not God the Word, the impassible, the immortal, the incorporeal, whose memory is joy and release from tears, "For he has wiped away tears from off all faces," and again the prophet says, "I remembered God and was glad," Who crowneth them that live in godly fear, "Who knoweth all things before they be," "Who hath all things that the Father hath;" Who is the unchangeable image of the Father, "Who sheweth the Father in himself." It is on the contrary that which was assumed by Him of the seed of David, mortal, passible, and afraid of death; although this itself afterwards destroyed the power of death through union with the God who had assumed it; which walked through all righteousness and said to John, "Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." This took the name of the priesthood of Melchisedec, for it put on infirmity of nature;-not the Almighty God the Word. Wherefore also, a little before, the blessed Paul said, "We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin." It was the nature taken from us for our sakes which experienced our feelings without sin, not He that on account of our salvation assumed it. And in the beginning of this part of his subject he teaches us in the words "Consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him as also Moses was faithful in all His house." But no one holding the right faith would call the unmade the uncreate, God the Word coeternal with the Father, a creature; but on the contrary, Him of David's seed Who being free from all sin was made our high priest and victim, after Himself offering Himself on our behalf to God having in Himself the Word, God of God, united to Himself and inseparably conjoined.

Against XI.-In my opinion he appears to give heed to the truth, in order that, by concealing his unsound views by it, he may not be detected in asserting the same dogmas as the heretics. But nothing is stronger than truth, which by its own rays uncovers the darkness of falsehood. By the aid of its illumination we shall make his heterodox belief plain. In the first place he has nowhere made mention of intelligent flesh, nor confessed that the assumed man was perfect, but everywhere in accordance with the teaching of Apollinarius he speaks of flesh. Secondly, after introducing the conception of the mixture under other terms, he brings it into his arguments; for there he clearly states the flesh of the Lord to be soulless. For, he says, if any one states that the flesh of the Lord is not proper flesh of the very Word who is of God the Father, but that it is of another beside Him, let him be anathema. Hence it is plain that he does not confess God the Word to have assumed a soul, but only flesh, and that He Himself stands to the flesh in place of soul. We on the contrary assert that the flesh of the Lord having in it life was life-giving and reasonable, on account of the life-giving Godhead united to it. And he himself unwillingly confesses the difference between the two natures, speaking of flesh, and "God the Word" and calling it "His own flesh." Therefore God the Word was not changed into nature of flesh, but has His own flesh, the assumed nature, and has made it life-giving by the union.

Against XII.-Passion is proper to the passible; the impassible is above passions. It was then the form of the servant that suffered, the form of God of course dwelling with it, and permitting it to suffer on account of the salvation brought forth of the sufferings, and making the sufferings its own on account of the union. Therefore it was not the Christ who suffered, but the man assumed of us by God. Wherefore also the blessed Isaiah exclaims in his prophecy, "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." And the Lord Christ Himself said to the Jews, "Why seek ye to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth?" But what is threatened with death is not the very life, but he that hath a mortal nature. And giving this lesson in another place the Lord said to the Jews, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Therefore what was destroyed was the (temple descended) from David, and, after its destruction, it was raised up by the only begotten Word of God impassibly begotten of the Father before the ages.

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