Monday, September 12, 2011

Adv. Marc. 3.8Adv. Jud. 12Other
It is now possible for the heretic to learn, and the Jew as well, what he ought to know already, the reason for the Jew's errors: for from the Jew the heretic has accepted guidance in this discussion, the blind borrowing from the blind, and has fallen into the same ditch.Learn now (over and above the immediate question) the clue to your error.
I affirm that two descriptions of Christ, set forth by the prophets, indicated beforehand an equal number of advents: one of them, the first, in humility, when he was to be led like a sheep to sacrifice, and as a lamb before his shearer is voiceless so he opens not his mouth, and not even in form was.he comelyWe affirm, two characters of the Christ demonstrated by the prophets, and as many advents of His forenoted: one, in humility (of course the first), when He has to be led "as a sheep for a victim; and, as a lamb voiceless before the shearer, so He opened not His mouth," not even in His aspect comely. row 2 col 3
For, he says, We have announced concerning him: as a little boy, as a root in thirsty ground: and he has no appearance nor glory, and we saw him, and he had no appearance or beauty, but his appearance was unhonoured, defective more than the sons of men, a man in sorrow, and knowing how to bear infirmity:a because set by the Father for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. Made by him a little lower than the angels: declaring himself a worm and no man, the scorn of man and the outcast of the people. These tokens of ignobility apply to the first advent, as the tokens of sublimity apply to the second, when he will become no longer a stone of stumbling or a rock of offence, but the chief corner-stone, after rejection taken back again and set on high at the summit of the temple—that is, the Church—that rock in fact mentioned by Daniel, which was carved out of a mountain, which will break in pieces and grind to powder the image of the kingdoms of this world.For "we have announced," says the prophet, "concerning Him, (He is) as a little child, as a root in a thirsty land; and there was not in Him attractiveness or glory. And we saw Him, and He had not attractiveness or grace; but His mien was unhonoured, deficient in comparison of the sons of men, a man set in the plague, and knowing how to bear infirmity:" to wit as having been set by the Father "for a stone of offence," and "made a little lower" by Him "than angels," He pronounces Himself "a worm, and not a man, an ignominy of man, and the refuse of the People." Which evidences of ignobility suit the First Advent, just as those of sublimity do the Second; when He shall be made no longer "a stone of offence nor a rock of scandal," but "the highest corner-stone," after reprobation (on earth) taken up (into heaven) and raised sublime for the purpose of consummation, and that "rock"--so we must admit--which is read of in Daniel as forecut from a mount, which shall crush and crumble the image of secular kingdoms.row 2 col 3
Concerning this advent the same prophet speaks:Of which second advent of the same (Christ) Daniel has said:
And behold, one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, came even to the Ancient of days: he was in his presence: and the attendants brought him forward, and there was given to him royal power, and all nations of the earth after their kinds, and all glory to serve , and his power even for ever, that shall not be taken away, and his kingdom, that shall not be destroyed:f then, it means, he will have an honourable appearance, and beauty unfading, more than the sons of men. "And, behold, as it were a Son of man, coming with the clouds of the heaven, came unto the Ancient of days, and was present in His sight; and they who were standing by led (Him) unto Him. And there was given Him royal power; and all nations of the earth, according to their race, and all glory, shall serve Him: and His power is eternal, which shall not be taken away, and His kingdom one which shall not be corrupted."Then, assuredly, is He to have an honourable mien, and a grace not "deficient more than the sons of men; "for (He will then be) "blooming in beauty in comparison with the sons of men."row 2 col 3
For it says, Fairer in beauty beyond the sons of men; grace is poured forth in thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird the sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty in thy worshipfulness and thy beauty.Then also the Father, now that he has made him a little lower than the angels, will crown him with glory and honour, and will put all things beneath his feet. Then those who pierced him will know who he is, and will smite their breasts, tribe to tribe— because in fact they formerly failed to recognize him in the humility of human condition: And he is a man, says Jeremiah, and who shall know him?h Because also, Isaiah says, His nativity, who shall tell of it?"Grace," says the Psalmist, "hath been outpoured in Thy lips: wherefore God hath blessed Thee unto eternity. Gird Thee Thy sword around Thy thigh, most potent in Thy bloom and beauty!" while the Father withal afterwards, after making Him somewhat lower than angels, "crowned Him with glory and honour and subjected all things beneath His feet." And then shall they "learn to know Him whom they pierced, and shall beat their breasts tribe by tribe; " of course because in days bygone they did not know Him when conditionedin the humility of human estate. Jeremiah says: "He is a human being, and who will learn to know Him? " because, "His nativity," says Isaiah, "who shall declare?"row 2 col 3
So also in Zechariah, in the person of Jeshua, yes truly, in a name which is itself a sacrament, the veritable high priest of the Father, Christ Jesus, is by two styles of raiment marked out for two advents: he is at first clothed in filthy garments, which means the indignity of passible and mortal flesh, when also the devil stands as his adversary, the devil who put it into the heart of Judas the traitor, not to mention himself being the tempter after baptism: afterwards he is divested of his previous foulness, and arrayed in robe and mitre and shining crown, which means the glory and dignity of his second coming. So, too, in Zechariah, in His own person, nay, in the very mystery of His name withal, the most true Priest of the Father, His own Christ, is delineated in a twofold garb with reference to the Two Advents..First, He was clad in "sordid attire," that is, in the indignity of passible and mortal flesh, when the devil, withal, was opposing himself to Him--the instigator, to wit, of Judas the traitor --who even after His baptism had tempted Him. In the next place, He was stripped of His former sordid raiment, and adorned with a garment down to the foot, and with a turban and a clean mitre, that is, (with the garb) of the Second Advent;
Nor will you be able to say that the man (there depicted) is "the son of Jozadak," who was never at all clad in a sordid garment, but was always adorned with the sacerdotal garment, nor ever deprived of the sacerdotal function. But the "Jesus" there alluded to is Christ, the Priest of God the most high Father; who at His First Advent came in humility, in human form, and passible, even up to the period of His passion; being Himself likewise made, through all (stages of suffering) a victim for us all; who after His resurrection was"clad with a garment down to the foot," and named the Priest of God the Father unto eternity.row 2 col 3
If also I am to submit an interpretation of the two goats which were offered at the Fast, are not these also figures of Christ's two activities? They are indeed of the same age and appearance because the Lord's is one and the same aspect: because he will return in no other form, seeing he has to be recognized by those of whom he has suffered injury. One of them however, surrounded with scarlet, cursed and spit upon and pulled about and pierced, was by the people driven out of the city into perdition, marked with manifest tokens of our Lord's passion: while the other, made an offering for sins, and given as food to the priests of the temple, marked the tokens of his second manifestation, at which, when all sins have been done away, the priests of the spiritual temple, which is the Church, were to enjoy as it were a feast of our Lord's grace, while the rest remain without a taste of salvation. So, again, I will make an interpretation of the two goats which were habitually offered on the fast-day. Do not they, too, point to each successive stage in the character of the Christ who is already come? A pair, on the one hand, and consimilar (they were), because of the identity of the Lord's general appearance, inasmuch as He is not to come in some other form, seeing that He has to be recognised by those by whom He was once hurt. But the one of them, begirt with scarlet, amid cursing and universal spitting, and tearing, and piercing, was cast away by the People outside the city into perdition, marked with manifest tokens of Christ's passion; who, after being begirt with scarlet garment, and subjected to universal spitting, and afflicted with all contumelies, was crucified outside the city. The other, however: offered for sins, and given as food to the priests merely of the temple, gave signal evidences of the second appearance; in so far as, after the expiation of all sins, the priests of the spiritual temple, that is, of the church, were to enjoy a spiritual public distribution (as it were) of the Lord's grace, while all others are fasting from salvation.row 2 col 3
So then, seeing that the first advent was for the most part prophesied under the obscurity of figures, and borne down with every sort of indignity, while the second was both clearly told of, and was of divine dignity, they set their eyes on that one alone which they could easily understand and easily believe, the second, and thus were, as might have been expected, misled in respect of the less evident, admittedly less dignified, which was the first. Thus even until this day they refuse to admit that their Christ has come, because he has not come in majesty, being unaware that he was first also to come in humility..Therefore, since the vaticinations of the First Advent obscured it with manifold figures, and debased it with every dishonour, while the Second (was foretold as) manifest and wholly worthy of God, it has resulted therefrom, that, by fixing their gaze on that one alone which they could easily understand and believe (that is, the Second, which is in honour and glory), they have been (not undeservedly) deceived as to the more obscure--at all events, the more unworthy--that is, the First. And thus to the present moment they affirm that their Christ is not come, because He is not come in majesty; while they are ignorant of the fact that He was first to come in humility.row 2 col 3
Adv. Jud.12Adv. Marc. 20
Enough it is, meantime, to have thus far followed the stream downward of the order of Christ's course, whereby He is proved such as He was habitually announced: in order that, as a result of this harmony of the Divine Scriptures, we may understand; and that the events which used to be predicted as destined to take place after Christ may be believed to have been accomplished as the result of a divine arrangement.It is enough so far to have traced out Christ's course in these matters, far enough for it to be proved that he is such a one as was foretold, and consequently ought not to be taken as any other than he who it was foretold would be such as this.
.For unless He come after whom they had to be accomplished, by no means would the events, the future occurrence whereof was predictively assigned to His advent, have come to pass.And so now, because what happened to him is in harmony with the Creator's scriptures, the prior authority of the majority of instances must restore credibility to those others which in the interest of opposing opinions are either brought into doubt or completely denied. I now go further, and build up all those parallels from the Creator's scriptures of things it was prophesied would occur after Christ's coming: for events are found to be happening as they were ordained, which could not have been the case apart from the coming of Christ which had to precede them.
. Therefore, if you see universal nations thenceforth emerging from the profundity of human error to God the Creator and His Christ (which you dare not assert to have not been prophesied, because, albeit you were so to assert, there would forthwith--as we have already premised --occur to you the promise of the Father saying, "My Son art Thou; I this day have begotten Thee; ask of Me, and I will give Thee Gentiles as Thine heritage, and as Thy possession the boundaries of the earth." See how all the nations since then are looking up out of the abyss of human error towards God the Creator, and towards his Christ, and deny, if you dare, that this was prophesied. Even at the very beginning of the Psalms the Father's promise will meet you: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee: require of me and I will give thee the gentiles for thine inheritance, and the boundaries of the earth for thy possession
.Nor will you be able to vindicate, as the subject of that prediction, rather the son of David, Solomon, than Christ, God's Son; nor "the boundaries of the earth," as promised rather to David's son, who reigned within the single land of Judea, than to Christ the Son of God, who has already illumined the whole world with the rays of His gospel. You cannot claim that David, rather than Christ, is his son: or that the boundaries of the earth were promised to David, whose reign was confined to the one single nation of the Jews, rather than to Christ, who has by now taken the whole world captive by the faith of his gospel.
.row 2 col 2So also by Isaiah: I have given thee for a covenant of the race, for a light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, those who are in error, to loose from their bonds those that are bound, that is, to set them free from sins, and from the cell of the prison, which is death, those who sit in darkness, the darkness of ignorance.b If these things are coming to pass through Christ, they cannot have been prophesied of any other than him through whom they are coming to pass. Also in another place: Behold I have set him for a testimony to the nations, a prince and commander to the nations: nations which know not thee shall call upon thee, and peoples shall take refuge with thee. You cannot interpret this of David on the ground that he had just previously said, And I will ordain for you an eternal covenant, the religious and faithful things of David.d Nay rather, the more so from this will you need to understand that Christ is reckoned from David by carnal descent, because of the lineage of Mary the virgin.For it is in respect of this promise that in the psalm he swears an oath to David, Of the fruit of thy body shall I set upon thy throne. Which body is this? David's own? Certainly not. David could not have been expected to give birth. Nor was it his wife's: for in that case he would not have said, Of the fruit of thy body, but, Of the fruit of thy wife's body. So it remains that by the mention of David's body he indicated one from among his descendants the fruit of whose body was to be the flesh of Christ: and this came to flower out of Mary's womb. That is why he made mention of the fruit of the body only, as of body in particular, as though it were the body alone, with no mention of a husband: and that is why he referred the body back to David, as the head of the race and the forefather of the family. So because it was impossible for him to refer that body to a virgin's husband, he referred it back to her forefather. And therefore this new covenant, which today is found to exist in Christ, must be that which the Creator was then promising when he told of the religious and faithful things of David, which were Christ's things, because Christ is from David. Indeed his flesh itself must be the religious and faithful things of David, being now holy by sacred usage, and faithful since its resurrection. So Nathan the prophet also, in the first of Kingdoms, makes a promise to David for his seed, which, says he, shall proceed out of his body.f If you interpret this simply as applying to Solomon, you will rouse my laughter: for it will look as though David was Solomon's mother. But is not Christ here indicated as the seed of David, out of that body which was de- scended from David—Mary's body? Yes, it was Christ rather than Solomon, who was to build up the temple of God, that holy manhood in which, as in a better temple, the Spirit of God was to dwell: and it was Christ rather than Solomon the son of David, who was to be held for God's Son.
.In short, again, a throne "unto the age" is more suitable to Christ, God's Son, than to Solomon,--a temporal king, to wit Also a throne for ever and a kingdom for ever belongs to Christ rather than Solomon, who was but a temporal king.
. Moreover it was from Christ that the mercy of God did not depart away, though upon Solomon even the wrath of God came, because of lechery and idolatry: for Satan stirred up against him an enemy, an Edomite. So then since all this is not at all apposite to Solomon, but only to Christ, the reasonableness of my interpretations is confirmed, for the outcome of these matters sets its approval on them as things evidently prophesied of Christ. And so, in him will consist the holy and faithful things of David: he it was, and not David, whom God set up as a testimony to the nations: he it was whom he set as a prince and commander to the nations, not David,
.who reigned over Israel alone. For at the present day nations are invoking Christ which used not to know Him; and peoples at the present day are fleeing in a body to the Christ of whom in days bygone they were ignorant), you cannot contend that is future which you see taking place. Either deny that these events were prophesied, while they are seen before your eyes; or else have been fulfilled, while you hear them read: or, on the other hand, if you fail to deny each position, they will have their fulfilment in Him with respect to whom they were prophesied.who commanded only Israel. It is Christ today upon whom the nations who knew him not are calling, and peoples today are taking refuge with Christ whom formerly they had never heard of. You cannot say an event is still future, when you now see it happening.
Adv. Marc. 3.8Other
Let the heretic now give up borrowing poison from the Jew,— the asp, as they say, from the viper: let him from now on belch forth the slime of his own particular devices, as he maintains that Christ was a phantasm: except that this opinion too will have had other inventors, those so to speak premature and abortive Marcionites whom the apostle John pronounced antichrists, who denied that Christ was come in the flesh,a yet not with the intention of setting up the law of a second god—else for this too they would have been censured —but because they had assumed it incredible that God flesh. So Marcion, even more of an antichrist, seized upon this assumption, being better equipped in fact for denial of Christ's corporal substance, in that he had postulated that even Christ's god was neither the creator of flesh nor would raise it to life again—in this too supremely good, and entirely divergent from the lies and deceptions of the Creator. And that is why his Christ, so as not to tell lies, or to deceive, and in this fashion perhaps be accounted as belonging to the Creator, was not that which he appeared to be, and told lies about what he was—being flesh and not flesh, man and not man, and in consequence a Christ god and not god. row 2 col 2row 2 col 3
For why should he not also have been clothed in a phantasm of god? Or can I believe what he says of his more recondite substance, when he has deceived me about that which was more evident? How shall he be accounted truthful about the secret thing, who has been found so deceptive about the obvious ? How can it have been that by confusing within himself truth of the spirit with deceit of the flesh, he conjoined that fellowship of light, which is truth, and deception, which is darkness, that the apostle says is impossible? Also, now that it is found to be a lie that Christ flesh, it follows that all things that were done by means of Christ's flesh were done by a lie, his meetings with people, his touching of them, his partaking of food, his miracles besides. For if by touching someone, or being touched by someone, he gave freedom from sickness, the act performed by the body cannot be credited as truly performed apart from the verity of the body itself. It was not feasible for anything solid to be performed by that which is void, anything full by that which is empty. Putative constitution, putative activity: imaginary operator, imaginary operations. Thus also the sufferings of Marcion's Christ will fail to find credence: one who has not truly suffered, has not suffered at all, and a phantasm cannot have truly suffered. Consequently God's whole operation is overthrown. row 2 col 2row 2 col 3
Adv. Marc. 3.8de Resurr Carnis 48
There is a denial of Christ's death, the whole weight and value of the Christian name, that death which the apostle so firmly insists on, because it is true, declaring it the chief foundation of the gospel, of our salvation, and of his own preaching.. For I delivered unto you, he says, fast of all, that Christ died for our sins, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day. But if his flesh is denied, how can his death be affirmed? For death is the particular experience of flesh, which by means of death is turned downwards into the earth from which it was taken: such is the law of its own Creator. But if the death is denied, as it is when the flesh is denied, neither can there be assurance of the resurrection. By whatever reasoning he did not die, by the same reasoning he did not rise again: which was that he had not the substance of flesh, to which death appertains, and likewise resurrection. But further, if doubt is cast upon Christ's resurrection, ours also is overthrown: for if Christ's is not valid, neither can that be valid for the sake of which Christ came. For just as those who said there was no resurrection of the dead are confuted by the apostle from the resurrection of Christ, so also, if Christ's resurrection fails, the resurrection of the dead is also taken away. And so also our faith is vain, and vain is the apostles' preaching. They are also found false witnesses of God, because they have borne witness that he has raised up Christ, whom he has not raised up. And we are yet in our sins. And those who are fallen asleep in Christ, have perished—no doubt they will rise again, but in a phantasm perhaps, as Christ did.row 2 col 2The apostle, I suppose, having set before the Corinthians the complete definition of the church discipline, had bound up the sum-total of his own gospel and of their faith in his delivery of our Lord's death and resurrection, so as to derive the rule of our hope also from that whereon it might stand firm. And so he adds, But if Christ is preached that he hath risen from the dead, how say some among you that there is not a resurrection of the dead? For if there is not, neither is Christ risen. If Christ is not risen, our preaching is void, your faith also is void. We shall be found even false witnesses of God, seeing we have borne witness that he hath raised Christ up again, when he hath not raised him up. For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again. If Christ is not risen again your faith is vain, because ye are yet in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
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Adv. Marc. 3.9 de Carne Christi 3.
If in this inquiry you think you can set against me the Creator's angels, alleging that they also, when in converse with Abraham and Lot,a were in a phantasm, evidently of putative flesh, and yet really met with them, and partook of food, and performed the task committed to them, first, that you have no claim upon the evidences of that God whom you are concerned to depose. For, the more superior and the more perfect the character of the god you are commending, the more un- becoming to him are evidences belonging to that other: for unless he is entirely diverse from him he cannot be in any sense better or more perfect. Secondly, take note besides that we do not admit your claim that in those angels the flesh was putative: it was of veritable and complete human substance. For if it was not difficult for God to display true perceptions and activities in putative flesh, much easier did he find it to provide true perceptions and activities with true substance of flesh, the more so as he is himself its particular creator and maker. Now your god, seeing that he has never produced any flesh at all, may quite reasonably per- haps have brought in a phantasm of something he had not the ability to make the truth of. But my God, who reshaped into the quality we know, that flesh which he had taken up out of clay— it was not yet conceived of conjugal seed, yet was already flesh— was no less able out of any material whatsoever to construct flesh for angels as well: he had even built up the world out of nothing into all these various bodies, and had done this with a Word. And truly, if your god promises to men some time the true sub- stance of angels—They will, he says, be as the angelsb—why should not my God too have granted to angels the true substance of men, from wheresoever he may have taken it? Since you for your part will not answer me when I ask from whence that angelic you speak of is taken, no more is required of me than to affirm as a fact, which is in keeping with God's dignity, the truth of that object which he presented to three witnesses, the senses of sight, and touch, and hearing. God finds it more difficult to tell lies than to bring into existence veritable flesh, from whatsoever source, even without the process of birth. There are yet other heretics, who state that if in the angels that flesh had been truly human it would have needed to pass through human birth: to these we give in answer a firm reason why it was both truly human yet exempt from birth. It was truly human for the sake of the truth of God, who is a stranger to all lying and deceit, and because could not have been received by men on human terms if they had not been in human substance: yet it had not passed through birth because Christ alone had the right to become incarnate of human flesh, so that he might reform our nativity by his own nativity, and thus also loose the bands of our death by his own death, by rising again in that flesh in which he was born with intent to be able to die.row 2 col 2row 2 col 3
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