Chapter 1. Introduction. Reason for writing; certain personsindifferent about Arianism; Ariansnot Christians, because sectaries always take the name of their. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters Four Discourses Against the Arians. Reason for writing; certain persons indifferent about Arianism; Arians not .. These Orations and Discourses seem written to shew the vital importance of the. Look Inside The Orations of St Athanasius Against the Arians Although Arianism was condemned as heretical at the Council of Nicaea in , it continued to.

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Uniting then the two titles, Scripture speaks of ‘Son,’ in order to herald the natural and true offspring of His essence ; and, on the other hand, that none may think of the Offspring humanly, while signifying His essenceit also calls Him Word, Wisdom, and Radiance; to teach us that the generation was impassible, and eternaland worthy of Oratiions.

But the sun, with greater horror, impatient of the bodily contumelies, which the common Lord of all voluntarily endured for us, turned away, and recalling his rays made that day sunless. When these points are thus provedtheir profaneness goes further. For things which admit of perishing, though through the grace of their Maker they perish not, yet have come out of nothing, and themselves witness that they once were not.

And, whereas He is Light, was He ray-less?

For what is the likeness of what is out of nothing to Him who brought what was nothing into being? Or how is He ‘ first-born of the whole creation ,’ if He has others before Him athanasous are called sons and gods?

Now, ortaions you had not, so neither was the Son of God before His generation. Let a person only dwell upon this thought, and he will discern how the perfection and the plenitude of the Father’s essence is impaired by this heresy ; however, he will see its unseemliness still more clearly, if he considers that the Son is the Image and Radiance of the Fatherand Expression, and Truth.

But those who follow the heretics, though they have innumerable successors in their heresy, yet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it. Still Arianism was contrasted with other heresies on this point, as in these two respects; 1.

But since he has here expressly written it, and, as has been above shown, the Son is Offspring of the Father’s essenceand He is Framer, and other things are framed by Him, and He is the Radiance and Word and Image and Wisdom of the Fatherand things originate stand and serve in their place below the Triad, againsst the Son is different in kind and different in essence from things originate, and on the contrary is proper to the Father’s essence oeations one in nature with it.

Therefore He is beyond the need of any addition; nor is such as the Arians think Him. If then God be as man, let Him become also a parent as man, so that His Son should be father of another, and so in succession one from another, till the series they imagine grows into a multitude of gods. Nor is answer needful to their other very simple and foolish inquiry, which they put to silly women ; or none besides that which has been already given, namely, that it is not suitable to measure divine generation by the nature of men.


Both events are reckoned His, since it was His Bodyand none other’s, that was exalted from the dead and taken up into heaven. Or how did He receive the right of being worshipped, who before He now received it, was ever worshipped? Moreover, by ‘unoriginate’ is meant, what exists, but has not come into being abainst any, nor having a father at all. Moreover he has dared to say, that ‘the Word is not the very God ;’ ‘though He is called Godyet He is not very God ,’ but ‘by participation of graceHe, as others, is God only in name.

Not for the Father’s honour ask they this, but for the dishonour of the Word. How shall the alterable possibly be like the Unalterable? And let these contentious men knowthat they fail in this their perverse purpose; let them know that Paul does not signify that His essence has become, knowingas he did, that He is Son and Wisdom and Radiance and Image arianz the Father; but here too he refers the word ‘become’ to the ministry of that covenant, in which death which once ruled is abolished.

Such thoughts then being evidently unseemly and untrue, we are driven to say that what is from the essence of the Fatherand proper to Him, is entirely the Son; for it is all one to say that God is wholly participated, and that He begets; and what does begetting signify but a Son?

NPNF Athanasius: Select Works and Letters – Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Thus, though Arius be dead, and many of his party have succeeded him, yet those who think with him, as being known from Ariusare called Arians. Or what was there wanting to Him who was sitting on His Father’s throne? The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. One must urge the question on them again, to make it understood what their irreligious doctrine results in. For this is like the passage considered above; for as the Apostle has written, ‘Who existing in form of God thought it not a prize to be equal with Athanasiysbut emptied Himself, and took a servant’s form,’ so David celebrates the Lord, as the everlasting God and King, aeians sent to us and assuming our body which is mortal.

So that this their objection does not hold; and naturally; for denying the Logos they in consequence ask questions which are illogical.

Discourse 1 Against the Arians

For in this rather is He shown to be the Father’s Expression and Image, remaining what He is and not changing, but thus receiving from the Ariabs to be one and the same. For if they speak, a condemnation will follow; and if they be suspected, proofs from Scripture will be cast at them from every side.

For from what sources have they got together these words? For probably it will receive some fresh accession, and so on without limit, since at first and at starting it took its consistence by way of accessions. Athanasihs said that He made for Himself His Son out of nothing, as an instrument whereby to make the universe.


For that their authors went out from us, it plainly follows, as the blessed John has written, that they never thought nor now think with us. For though they pretend alarm at the name of time, because of those who reproach them with it, and say, that He was before times, yet whereas they assign certain intervals, in which they imagine He was not, they are most irreligious still, as equally suggesting times, and imputing to God an absence of Reason.

Which then is superior, that which needs or that which supplies the need? Moreover the words ‘He has become surety’ denote the pledge in our behalf which He has provided.

CHURCH FATHERS: Discourse I Against the Arians (Athanasius)

Nor does even the expression ‘become,’ which here occurs, show that the Tthe is originate, as you suppose. Wherefore He is very Godexisting one in essence with the very Father; while other beings, to whom He said, ‘I said you are Gods ,’ had this grace from the Fatheronly by participation of the Word, through the Spirit.

He seems to allude to what may be called the liberal or indifferent feeling as swaying the person for whom he writes, also infr. Enough was said above to show that the offspring from God is not an affection; and now it has been shown in particular that the Word is not begotten according to affection.

The Triad is Creator and Framer, and you fear not to degrade It to things which are from nothing; you scruple not to equal servile beings to the nobility of the Triad, and to rank the King, the Lord of Sabaoth with subjects. And they, when they call Him Unoriginate, name Him only from His works, and know not the Son any more than the Greeks; but he who calls God Father, names Him from the Word; and knowing the Word, he acknowledges Him to be Framer of all, and understands that through Him all things have been made.

But if you say that the Son was once, when He Himself was not, the answer is foolish and unmeaning. In both respects he has said of Him, ‘God has highly exalted Him,’ and ‘God has given to Him;’ that herein moreover he may show that it is not the Father that has become flesh, but ariams is His Word, who has become man, and receives after the manner of men from the Fatherand is exalted by Him, as has been said.

But those who follow the hereticsthough they have fhe successors in their heresyyet anyhow bear the name of him who devised it. Then, wishing to form us, thereupon He tue a certain one, and named Him Word and Wisdom and Son, that He might form us by means of Him.