Zachariah of Mitylene, Syriac Chronicle (1899). Book 2.
THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND BOOK
AFTER the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, both Socrates and Theodoret, in the treatises which they successively composed, reaching down to the thirty-second year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, wrote for the memory and profit of the prudent, as best they were able, accounts of the transactions and matters that occurred in various places, which they were diligent in learning from the volumes, and letters, and records, and words of living speakers, that they examined.
And accordingly I also, insignificant though I be, am beginning to write, as you asked me, for the instruction of the brethren, and for the gratification of the lovers of doctrine, and for the confirmation of believers, Christ our Lord and God consenting and aiding and giving the word of power—by your great advice, diligent brother, and while you pray that I may write the truth with eloquence without confusion or cause for blame.
For when, making a commencement of this treatise of the second Book, I am relating, as concisely as possible, without prolonging the discourse or being wearisome to the reader or tedious to the hearer, what I was able to discover from records and Acts or from letters,—truth that was carefully examined,— I shall set down here the truth of the resurrection, which took place in the days of Theodosius the king, of the bodies of the seven youths who were in a cave in the district |19 of Ephesus, and the Syriac records ; both to keep them in the memory of the saints and for the glory of God, Who is able to do all things.
And then I shall set down briefly in the form of chapters, so that the account may not be enlarged of the events of one period which we write in detail in the Acts that are found in every place, what happened during the ten remaining years of the life of Theodosius, but in this Book I am writing them so to speak—what happened in Constantinople respecting Eutyches the archimandrite and Flavian the chief priest, and the Synod of thirty-one bishops and twenty-two archimandrites who met together and who brought about the deprivation of Eutyches ; and also respecting the second Synod which was held in Ephesus concerning Flavian in the days of Dioscorus and Juvenalis and Domnus, and the one hundred and twenty-eight bishops who were with them.
And then I begin with the third Book.
THE SECOND CHAPTER TELLS ABOUT THE HERESY OF EUTYCHES THE PRESBYTER, AND HIS DEPRIVATION
There was, in the days of king Theodosius, one Eutyches, a presbyter and archimandrite, a recluse belonging to those who dwell in Constantinople. This man was visited by many (who resorted to him ostensibly on account of his chastity and piety) who happened to be in the city, and especially by the soldiers of the palace, who were lovers of doctrine. For at that time Nestorius, who was ejected, was being justly reviled because of his filthy doctrine. This Nestorius it was who held and taught base opinions respecting the Incarnation of God the Word ; and he imagined that the two Natures existed separately in Christ our God after the union ; and he held the precedence of the infant who was conceived and formed in the Virgin, whom he also called |20 Jesus and Christ; and he thought that God the Word at length descended upon Him, views scarcely differing from those of Paul of Samosata, and much the same as the teaching of the school of Diodorus, which he studied, accepted, and loved; but he lightly and without compunction refused to call the . ever-virgin, holy Mary, by the title "Theotokos,"1 even though the true doctors who were before him, Athanasius and Gregory and Basil and Julius, and the others, had so called her ; and, moreover, he also censured them, as the letter testifies which he wrote from Oasis to the clergy and citizens. Whereupon, many being disturbed by his doctrine, a Synod, consisting of one hundred and ninety-three bishops, was assembled at Ephesus ; and it carefully examined his teaching ; and it called upon him three times, according to the canonical rule of the Church, to apologise and to censure his own interpretations, and at length to confess Jesus to be God the Word Who became incarnate, one Person and one Nature, as the doctors of the holy Church teach. But he would not consent, as also Socrates relates in the short account which he wrote of him, and which is fully told in the original Acts. Consequently his deprivation took place in the days of Celestine, Cyril, and Juvenalis, before the arrival of John of Antioch and his attendant bishops, who were delayed.
It2 was somewhere about this time that Eutyches, wishing to affirm the one Nature in Christ, rejected the truth of the body derived from the Virgin, which God the Word took in her and from her. And in the conversation which he held with those who came together to him, this same Eutyches affirmed an inaccurate dogma, not having been well instructed.
But he taught many that (the Word became flesh) 3 as |21 the atmosphere assumes bodily form and becomes rain or snow under the influence of the wind, or as water by reason of the cold air becomes ice.
And 4 when the report of his vile teaching was published abroad it was investigated by Eusebius of Dorylaeum, who happened to be in the city; and he informed Flavian, the chief priest, concerning it, and he gave him an indictment.
And he was called upon three times by thirty-one bishops who were there and twenty-two. archimandrites, to come forward and apologise for his opinions, and abjure them, and make a written statement of the true confession. And at first, indeed, he would not do so, at one time saying that it was5 his fixed determination to remain in perpetual seclusion, and again, that he was sick, and had a cough, and was old; (and he made these excuses) relying upon the aid of the soldiers of the palace, who were his friends. Now the king heard of these matters. But at last, when his deprivation was decreed to take place, he was compelled to appear before the council of bishops ; however, he did not recant his doctrine with whole-hearted sincerity, but kept on saying, "Just as you teach two Natures in Christ, so do I say."
And, behold ! all these things are written expressly, one after another, in lengthened discourse in the Acts of that Council. However, that we may not make our narrative too long, but may compress much into small compass, as the wise man says,6 we refrain from relating them again in detail and writing them down here. Then his deprivation took place. Now in the accusations against him and in the interlocutions, and more especially in what was said by Eusebius of Dorylaeum when contending with him, the two Natures after the union were expressly taught in conformity with the doctrine of Nestorius.7 And the interlocution of Flavian set forth the same views. And 8 Eutyches, rejecting the party of Flavian |22 and Eusebius, who deposed him, sent a libel9 to Rome to Leo, who was the chief priest there, begging that these matters should be investigated in another Synod ; with regard to which libel he received a reply. And when the party of Flavian heard it they also wrote,10 and sent the Acts of the Council concerning Eutyches to Leo. And the latter wrote to Flavian the letter called the Tome, in which there are many heads that have been condemned by the dogmatic doctors; which also were censured at that time by Dioscorus and his followers, and again by Timothy the Great, who was with him, and by many treatises of others, which we omit to mention again here and to write down.
THE 11 THIRD CHAPTER GIVES AN ACCOUNT IN CONCISE TERMS OF THE SECOND SYNOD WHICH WAS HELD IN EPHESUS, ABOUT THE MATTER OF FLAVIAN THE CHIEF PRIEST AND EUTYCHES THE MONK
Accordingly a Synod was convened, the second in Ephesus, about the matter of Flavian and Eutyches; and it was held in the presence of the legates of Leo, who were sent with his letter. And the bishops came together there to the number of one hundred and eighty-eight, the chief rulers among them being Dioscorus of Alexandria, and Juvenalis of Jerusalem, and Domnus of Antioch. And the contents of the Acts of the Constantinopolitan Council concerning Eutyches were examined;12 and Flavian and Eusebius were ejected. And an outcry was raised by the bishops who were there ; and they anathematised every one who would say, " There are two |23 Natures in Christ after the union." But a question was also raised again there about what Theodoret of Cyrrhus wrote censuring the twelve Heads which Cyril drew up against Nestorius, who was previously banished ; and about the letter of Hibo of Edessa which he wrote to Moris of Nisibis in opposition to Cyril and in favour of Nestorius ; and about what he said in his interpretations concerning Jesus Christ and Mary, as his own deacons, who were his accusers, testified. And besides these the partisans of John of Gaios13 and others were deposed. But Eutyches the archimandrite was received, because he presented a libel of recantation to the Synod, which was held there in Ephesus, and confessed the true faith. But the Synod appointed Anatolius as bishop of Constantinople in the room of Flavian, and then dispersed.
THE FOURTH CHAPTER DESCRIBES THE REGULAR SUCCESSION OF THE CHIEF PRIESTS WHO HELD OFFICE FROM THE FIRST SYNOD OF EPHESUS TO THE DEATH OF KING THEODOSIUS, IN THE DAYS OF VALENTINUS,14 WHO WAS SUCCEEDED BY MARCIAN, THE CONVENER OF THE SYNOD OF CHALCEDON IN BITHYNIA, WHICH MET IN THE YEAR SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR OF THE GREEK ERA OF ALEXANDER
With respect to the regular succession of the chief priests from the first Synod of Ephesus to the death of Theodosius, it is pertinent to our subject to relate who they were. In |24 Rome, after Celestine, Leo was bishop for twenty-one years and forty-three days ; and in Alexandria, after Cyril, Dioscorus was bishop for eight years and three months. And in Constantinople, Maximus15 for two years and two months ; and after him, Proclus for two years and two months; and after him, Flavian for six years ; and after him, Anatolius for eight years. In Antioch, Domnus was bishop after John ; and after him Maximus. And in Jerusalem, Juvenalis was bishop for thirty-six years, who, holding the same position, was present at the three Synods, because the time of his years was protracted.
THE FIFTH CHAPTER CONTAINS THE LETTER OF PROCLUS, CHIEF PRIEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, TO THE ARMENIANS. IT IS A VERY EXCELLENT LETTER, SHOWING THE FAITH OF THE MAN ; AND TO PRESERVE IT IN MEMORY WE HAVE TRANSCRIBED IT HERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE BELIEVING BROTHERS
THE LETTER OF PROCLUS.16
"Beloved, the mystery of the true faith is true love, and the pure undoubting confession of the Trinity equal, undivided, and susceptible of no addition ; and a mind not varying in its state, but steadfast in its faith towards God. That is the faith which we do not possess on tables of stone, as in the type, but receive on the tables of our hearts, as in a mystery; tables (I say) which are nailed to the cross, and are inscribed with the sprinkling of the blood of God. And it is right for us not only to believe, but also to follow earnestly after virtues and morals worthy of the faith.17 For virtue is to be chosen by everyone, especially by those whose beauty of soul has not been corrupted by a hateful life of lusts. There are indeed |25 many kinds of virtue. For even the heathen, drowned in error and lost in mind, wrote memorable things concerning this virtue. But as for this nature which is visible and flows on without cessation, they only felt after it in their written teaching. But either their sight was dim from length of time, or they were blinded by error, so as to hinder them from the perception of the truth and from real virtue. For they say in their teaching that there are four kinds of virtue, namely, justice, self-restraint, wisdom, and fortitude; which things, though they are to be highly accounted, yet are exercised here below and have their sphere upon the earth. They say, indeed, that fortitude is the contest with fierce nature, and self-restraint the triumph over the passions, and wisdom the distinguished government of cities, and justice right division. And thus they ordered and arranged the world, according to that which is in the law, and they defined wickedness on both sides. However, anything superior to and transcending this visible scene they did not understand, nor were they able to describe it in writing. But with the blindness of their mind they have contracted virtue itself, and have shut it up within what is visible alone. The Christians, however, by whose own faith the eyes of their heart have been enlightened, whose master and teacher is the blessed Paul, have declared that to be virtue which lifts us up to God, and which governs in orderly fashion the things that are on earth. This most illustrious Paul, then, considered that there were many kinds of virtue; but he especially preached about these three, namely, faith, hope, and love. For faith gives to men something which transcends human nature, and causes that fleshly nature, as yet encompassed by many passions, to hold converse with spiritual beings. |26 For the knowledge of that which angels and spiritual hosts did not know on account of its sublimity, faith imparts to men, who walk upon the earth and wallow in the dust, and it brings them near to the Throne of the Kingdom, and it tells them of that Nature which is without beginning and without end ; and by the rays of light which it diffuses, it drives away darkness of thought from the soul; and when it has cleared off all gloom and denseness from the heart, then it causes that to be clearly seen which is comprehended in its invisibility, and also is seen in its incomprehensibility. But hope shows things to come in the present, not as in a dream, one can say, but forcibly; and, without a doubt, confirms in the mind that which is future as if it were actually seen ; and it forms before a man's eyes, so to speak, what he is still expecting. For this hope is superior to every restraint, and brings near, without delay, the thing expected to him who is expecting it.
"But love is the chief of all our mysteries, for it persuaded God the Word, though He is always on the earth, near to all and with all (heaven and earth being filled by Him), to become incarnate and come by means of the flesh. And, being God, He became also man; He retained that which properly belonged to Himself on His own part, and He became like us on our part. These two then agree together, for faith is the mirror of love, and love is the completion of faith. We believe, therefore, that God the Word became incarnate without undergoing any change; and we rightly so believe, for this is the foundation of our salvation. For His nature receives no change, nor does it cause any addition to the Trinity. Thus indeed do we also ourselves believe.
"Every Christian, therefore, who is not rich in faith, hope, and love, is not what he is named ; but even though he seem to have subdued his flesh and to have delivered himself from the passions of his soul, he is not meet for the crown of victory, inasmuch as he maintains the outward appearance of virtue, but he is not united to Him who crowns the conquerors that have resolutely contended on behalf of virtue in faith and |27 hope and love. Faith, then, according to what we have said, is the chief of all blessings; let it therefore be kept without guile, and let us not tarnish it by the falsehood of human thoughts, neither let us toss it about in the midst of confusing voices, nor by the explanations of those who are reputed to be wise: for faith is not to be explained ; faith is a mystery. Let it then remain within the limits of the Gospel of the apostles; and let no man dare to contend in his explanation with this faith by which he is saved, and which he confessed in baptism by the signature of his tongue. For this lofty height of faith has repelled every attack and all vaunting and rashness, not of man only, but also of every spiritual nature. And the blessed Paul testifies, crying out, 'If we or an angel from heaven should preach anything beside what ye have received, let him be accursed,'18 For the angel has been appointed to minister and not to preach doctrine, and he brings punishment19 upon any who does not remain in his allotted station, but seeks after what is too high for his nature ; but even though he displays the exaltation of his nature, let not the novelty of his preaching be received. Let us then guard what we have received with sleepless care; and by the bright shining of our faith let the eye of our soul be always open. But what have we received from the Divine Scriptures except this, that God by His word created the world out of nothing and brought the creation, which had no previous existence, into being; and made man in His own image and likeness, and honoured him by the law of nature ; and gave him the commandment when he was in a state of freedom ; and showed him how to help himself, that by the choice of the good he should flee from the evil; and the propensity of man being biassed towards the evil expelled disobedience |28 from Paradise? And again, by the fathers and patriarchs, and by the Law, the judges, and the prophets, our Creator instructed our nature, that we should keep far away from sin, and should concern ourselves about the good and do it. And at last when sin established its kingdom over us by our own will, because the law of nature had been corrupted on its part,20 and the written law had been despised, and the prophets, after the manner of men, brought deeds to remembrance but did not raise up our fleshly humanity from the depth of the evils, God the Word Himself, even He who is without beginning and without end, incomprehensible, invisible, and almighty, God the Word (I say) came and became incarnate ; for He could be whatsoever He willed. God the Word then, Who is one of the Trinity, became incarnate; but He became incarnate because He so willed. And wishing to show everywhere that He was really man, He was born from the Virgin. For the evangelist did not say that He entered into a perfect man, but that He 'became flesh,' meaning thereby His natural beginning and referring to the origin of His birth. For just as a man who is naturally born does not come forth complete in the perfection of active power all at once, but the seed of the nature at first becomes a body, and afterwards, little by little, at length attains the strength of the passions and of the whole active power; so God the Word went to meet the origin and root of the birth. God the Word then became perfect man, and He did not take away anything from His own unchangeable nature by the miracle which He wrought—a miracle which did not enter into the heart of man to conceive, but which we learn by faith and have not comprehended by investigation. And having become man, He saved by His flesh the whole human race, and He paid the debt of sin, in that He died as man for all men; but as God the hater of evil, He destroyed him that had the evil power of death, that is, Satan. But He showed the capability of the Law by fulfilling all righteousness. And He gave to our nature its pristine beauty ; and by becoming man He honoured the nature |29 which was derived from the earth, and showed Himself to be its Creator. There is therefore one Son, for we worship the Trinity in unity, and we do not introduce a fourth into this number; but there is one Son, begotten from the Father, without beginning and without end, through whom we believe that the worlds were made, He Who was from that root, He Who without flux sprang from the Father; that same God the Word Who, without change of place, issues from the Father, yet remaining as He is. For although He became man and appeared on the earth, yet He did not depart from Him who begat Him.
"God the Word therefore wished to save the being whom He created ; and He dwelt in the womb which is the gate of the universal nature of all, and He revived and blessed the womb, and by issuing forth from it He sealed it. And by His supernatural birth He showed that He became incarnate in a manner transcending reason; for there are none among the beings above and beneath who know how He became incarnate. There is not, then, one who is Christ and another who is God the Word (away with such a thought!), for the divine nature does not know two sons; He therefore was begotten the only One from One; for where there is not copulation of parents, there duality of the offspring is not possible. 'In the name of Jesus Christ,' indeed, 'every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and on earth, and of things under the earth.'21 For if Christ is another and not God the Word, then of necessity Christ must be mere man ; and how can the exalted nature of heavenly beings bow the knee and worship His Name, if He be not God of God ? or how shall we receive the voices of prophets, crying, 'God appeared upon earth and held converse with men'? 22 For concerning His Incarnation it is said, 'He appeared,' and the expression, 'He held converse,' is used concerning His converse which He displayed with men in the end of the ages. For thus He that is exalted in greatness showed His almighty power; and as the universal Ruler to Whom everything is easy, He remained what He was on His own part, and became what He willed for us. |30
"But if the swaddling clothes, and the lying in the manger, and the growth of the body, and the sleeping in the ship, and the weariness on the journey, and the occasional hunger, and all those things which happened to Him Who was truly man, be a cause of stumbling to some persons, let them know that if they be in doubt concerning His sufferings, they deny the dispensation; but when they deny the dispensation they do not believe in the Incarnation, but when they do not believe in the Incarnation they lose their own lives. For if from the foundation of the world a man was not born who trod a way of birth like this, let these new Jewish wranglers show it, and then indeed their troublesome contention will be disclosed. But if this is the universal beginning of nature, and God the Word truly became man, how then, while confessing with us the dispensation, do they deny the sufferings ? Let them therefore choose for themselves one of two things: either let them by denying the sufferings deny also the dispensation and be reckoned among the ungodly; or, if they accept the benefit which is derived from the dispensation, let them not be ashamed of the sufferings. I am amazed indeed at the blindness of their heart, who by a newly invented way have trodden the path that leads to error. For I myself know and have rightly learned from the Holy Scriptures only one Son ; and I believe in one nature of God the Word Who became man, and the same endured the sufferings and wrought the miracles, Who was begotten from His Father before all things, and became incarnate in the end of the ages, and was born from Mary, the Theotokos. And we confess that He is God over all, and we introduce no foreign element into the nature of the Deity, for no addition is possible to the Trinity in Unity; but the same Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom were all things, also endured our sufferings and carried our infirmities, |31 as the prophet 23 says; and He, being the same, wrought the miracles and suffered in our stead.
"But perhaps in their contention these new Jews will strive with us, inventing thoughts weaker than a spider's web, and say that if indeed the Trinity be one essence then the Trinity is without suffering; and our Lord Jesus Christ is reckoned in the Trinity, and He is God the Word, therefore He is without suffering; consequently He Who was crucified must be another, and not God the Word Who is without suffering. Truly they who speak in this fashion are weaving the texture of a spider's web, and they who excogitate these new definitions are writing upon water; and 'thinking themselves to be wise they have become foolish, and their silly heart is darkened.'24 For the eye, which has been dazzled by the brilliant light of the sun, cannot see clearly; and the mind that is sick cannot receive the sublimity of the faith.
"What then do we say ? That, so far as the Godhead is concerned, the Trinity is one essence, and is exalted above all sufferings. And when we say that the Son suffered, we do not mean that He suffered according to Nature, for His Nature is above sufferings. But in confessing that God the Word, one of the Trinity, became incarnate, we give a reason for the understanding of those who in faith ask us why He became incarnate. Because man who was formed in the image of God, and to whom imperial freedom was given, erred in this freedom, and was led by the counsel of the deceiver; and he gave himself up to error, and he became the slave of lustful passions—passions all of which exercise dominion over a composite being—passions whose end is death—passions which none among the created beings is able to destroy. God the Word willed to destroy those passions whose end is death. He willed, indeed, to become incarnate and to be a composite being ; that is, a perfect man in all points like us, sin only excepted; because it was not possible for that Nature, which is incorruptible, intangible, and invisible, to receive passions, for all passions are struggles of all composite |32 beings. For with that exalted Nature of the Godhead, which alone is uplifted high above all things, there is no composition ; passion therefore was unable to enter where composition could not be. God the Word then willed to destroy the passions which reign over nature subject to passions (as we said before) whose citadel was death; and He became flesh from the Virgin, in a manner that He, God the Word, knew; and He became man perfectly, being at the same time God over all. For He did not abandon what properly belonged to Him when He became like us; but being God, He became man, for such was His will. He emptied Himself, therefore, by His own will by taking the likeness of a slave, and He became man, and suffered in our stead, by His own will, though His Godhead was not in any respect limited; and thus He saved the whole human race. Wherefore Gabriel also, when announcing the might and dominion of Him that should be born, said to Mary, 'He shall save His people from their sins.'25
"But the people are not the people of a man but of God, and a man cannot deliver the world from sins, because he also entered into the world in a state of corruption. But necessarily He is the same ; He is not divided into two (away with such a thought!) ; but being one, by being born from a woman, He shows that He is truly man ; but by becoming man without copulation, and preserving His mother's virginity, He declared Himself to be God. The Lord Jesus Christ, therefore, Who came into the world and held converse with men, as the Holy Scriptures testify, saved the world. Now, if Christ be man, and not God the Word, how did He create everything in the beginning, when He Himself had no existence ? For if man was later than the (other) created things, it is evident that this Christ also did not bring into being what had existence before Him. How then does Paul cry, saying, 'There is one Lord Christ, through Whom were all things'?26 For if all things were through Christ, it is evident that Christ is God the Word. The evangelist also testifies, saying, 'In the beginning was the Word, and |33 the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and all things were by Him.' 27 If, therefore, the evangelist cries that all things were by the Word, and Paul, interpreting this expression, says, There is one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom were all things, it is evident that Christ is God over all. But if the objectors bring forward to us the voices of the Scriptures, in which He is called man, namely, that of Peter, who says, 'Jesus of Nazareth, a man';28 and of Paul, who says, 'By that man in Whom God has ordained that we should believe';29 and of our Lord Himself, Who says respecting Himself, 'Why do ye seek to kill Me, a man?'30 let them know that either through their dulness they have been hindered from the understanding of Scripture, or through their wickedness they are perverting what is well written, according to their own deceitfulness. For also Christ is truly man ; but He became man, not having been so before, but only God ; for just as He is uncreated God, so also He, the same, is man, truly, personally, and certainly, without change and without any kind of phantasy. And we do not confess that the body of our Lord is from heaven ; indeed we excommunicate everyone who says so; but we confess that it is by the Holy Ghost and the power of the Highest which overshadowed the holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. But if the Virgin did not bear God, then she who remained undefiled is not deserving of admiration. But if the voices of the prophets foretelling the incomprehensible nature of our mystery, cried out, 'Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is, God with us,' 31 why |34 do they take away from the glory of His mother, seeing that He Who was born in lowly fashion is God over all ? But perhaps the objectors will raise this objection, that truly every one who is born is of the same nature as the mother who bore him ; if, then, she who bore him was human, it necessarily follows that he who was born was human also. Ye say well, O vain babblers ! but then the child is of the same nature as she whom the birth-pangs smite when he who is born comes according to the natural course; however, the naturally-born child is corrupt from the beginning, because copulation precedes corruption. But where this reproach did not even enter the mind, but there was an ineffable miracle, the birth having been supernatural, there He that was born was God. We confess Him to be the same who created the world, and gave the Law, and put the Spirit in the prophets, and in the end of the times for the sake of the life and salvation of men became incarnate and was made man ; and He inspired the apostles, and sent them forth for the salvation of people and nations. Let us flee, then, my brothers, from these troubled streams of error; I mean the doctrines that fight against God—namely, from the mad folly of Arius, who was dividing the indivisible Trinity; and from the rashness of Eunomius, who limited beneath his science the incomprehensible nature; and from the frenzy of Macedonius, who would sever from the Godhead the Spirit proceeding not departing;32 along with all the other heretics lost in their error; but especially from this new doctrine and blasphemy formulated by Nestorius, who far surpasses the Jews in his blasphemy. For those former heretics were despising the everlasting Son, Who is from all eternity with the Father, and depriving the root of its fruit; but these teachers of our day by their doctrine are bringing in another in addition to Him Who is from all eternity, Who became man for our salvation, so that they make a plurality of sons in that one and incorruptible Nature which is from one essence. |35 Let us say, then, with Paul, that Christ is He Who ' made both one'; 33 for of Jews and heathen through baptism, He has created one new man, and by His power He made that one, which, through the exercise of its freedom was divided. Let these impious teachers, then, dread the sentence of judgment if what was divided has been brought into unity, but that one Person Who made both one is, after their manner of reasoning, divided.
"But now we shall leave the multitude of words and come to the concise statement of true doctrine. Whoever desires to know that the alone and only-begotten Son, Who was before the life of Abraham—that the same became incarnate in the end of the times, let him ask Paul, who thunders with his voice, declaring rightly that He Who was born from the Jews in the flesh is the everlasting God ; for, while telling and declaring the contempt of the Jews and the contention of the people with God, and the root which is the Father, and the seed which is Christ our Lord, he says thus, 'Whose is the adoption'34—for God cried through His prophets, 'Israel is My son; My firstborn and My glory';35 and indeed they reaped immeasurable glories from the constant miracles and the covenants with Abraham, which told of the multitude of the people and the blessings—'and the. giving of the law,'—that of Mount Sinai, which was written by the finger of God,— 'and the promises,'—both the land of Palestine and that in the seed of Abraham the nations should be blessed,—'whose are the fathers,'—for in the night of error they arose and as stars of the,faith—'from whom Jesus Christ appeared in the flesh, Who is God over all.' And he does not say this only and deem it sufficient; for also indeed the beginning of God the Word, Who is without beginning and without end, is not from the time of His birth by Mary. Who then is this Christ? He Who was begotten of the Father before the worlds in a manner which the mind of created beings cannot comprehend, and in the end of the times took flesh and became |36 man from the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos; He Who was shut up in the womb and in the cave, in a manner which He Himself knows ; He Who was laid in the manger; He Who grew in the flesh ; He Who came down to the lower parts of the earth, and by His own will endured all the sufferings of men, that He might be believed to be man, and to be no other than the One Who came down ; but He Who came down and He Who went up is the same; however, He did not go up first, but came down. For He did not become God by addition (away with such a thought!), but He became man by the dispensation, for the race of men was in need of this. And you shall not hear this from me or from any other, but from Peter and from Paul—Peter when he says, 'Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God'; 36 and Paul also, who learned by revelation from the Father concerning the Son, and says, 'When God Who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son by my means.' 37 This Paul has truly taught you who Jesus Christ is when he cries and says, 'Of whom is Christ in the flesh, Who is God over all, blessed for ever.' 38 What occasion of calumny does not the word of Peter and Paul drive away from those who love calumny! for he called Him 'Christ' to show that He truly became man ; he said of Him, 'Who is of the Jews in the flesh,' to show that His existence does not date only from the time when He became incarnate; he said of Him, 'He is,' to tell us by his mode of expression that He is without beginning; he said of Him, 'Who is over all,' to proclaim Him Lord of created things; he said of Him, 'Who is God,' that we should not be drawn aside by the outward appearance and sufferings so as to deny his incorruptible Nature; he said of Him, 'blessed,' that we should worship Him as the Ruler of all, and not regard Him as a |37 fellow-slave; he said of Him, 'Who is for ever,' to show that it is He Who by His word created all things, visible and invisible, whereby His Godhead is glorified. We have, then, Christ Who is God over all, Whom we shall worship, and we shall say to the heretics, 'In whomsoever the Spirit of Christ is not, he is none of His.' For we have the mind of Christ, and therefore we look for the revelation of God our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who Himself shall reward the well-doers with the crown of victory, but the despisers with the recompense of their rashness. See, then, my brothers, that no man rob you by impious words, or turn you aside by false science from the simplicity and unadorned modesty of the pure beauty of the faith. But again, I repeat to you the word of Paul, 'Beware lest any man rob you by the vain philosophy of the traditions of men'39—men who are inventors of vain things, who have not taught us as the prophets and apostles teach, but have gone astray by their own wisdom and followed the interpretation of their own mind; wherefore their teaching is a stumbling-block to the Church of God, which He purchased with His precious blood. For other foundation of the true faith can no man lay except that which is laid, that there is one God, the Father, Ruler of all, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom were all things, Who is from all eternity with the Father, from Him and of the same Nature with Him ; and one Holy Spirit, the Lord and Life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, and together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified. Stand, then, in one spirit and one mind, and fight for the faith, and be not in anything troubled by the adversaries, but keep the tradition which you have received from the blessed Fathers, who,40 out of the whole creation, met together by the operation of the Holy Spirit, and preached to us the true and undefiled faith, which we have from one end of the earth to the other."
The end of the letter which the blessed Proclus, bishop of |38 Constantinople, wrote to Great Armenia of the Persians, concerning the true faith.
But41 Theodosius lived, as the Chronicle informs us, fifty years ; of these he reigned forty-two years, for he was eight years old when he began to reign. And the acts of thirty-two years of his reign are related in the ecclesiastical history of Socrates, and those of the other ten years more are written concisely above in this second Book. He died then in the three hundred and eighth Olympiad ; and Marcian succeeded him in the kingdom. And in the year seven hundred and sixty-four by the reckoning of the Greek era of Alexander, he gathered to Chalcedon a Synod of five hundred and sixty-seven bishops, whose acts we shall describe as concisely as possible in this third Book which is written below, and in its chapters, which have been taken for the most part from the history of Zachariah the Rhetorician, which he wrote in Greek to a man called Eupraxius, who lived in the royal palace and was engaged in the service of kings. But the body of the holy John the bishop, who is called Chrysostom, had been brought back from the place of his banishment, and it was honoured with a procession in Constantinople. And Eudocia the queen, the wife of Theodosius, went to Jerusalem for prayer, and returned, and then died. But Geiseric subdued Carthage of Africa and reigned over it. And John the general was killed by the servants of Arbindus,42 and there were earthquakes in various places. And then Theodosius died.
[Note to the online edition: footnotes have been moved to the end. Footnotes concerned only with bits of Syriac and Greek have been omitted because of the time it would take to transcribe it.]
1. 1 It is impossible to give in English the exact equivalent of this theological term ; neither "God-bearer " nor "mother of God " quite meet the case.
2. 3 Mich. fol. iii. v; Greg. H. E. i. p. 159 ff.
3. 5 Some such words must have dropped out of the text; both Michael and Barhebr. supply the omission as above.
4. 1 Liberat. 11.
5. 2 Liberat. II.
6. 4 Sir. xxxii. (LXX. xxxv.) 8.
7. 6 This seems to be the sense of the passage, but the text is evidently corrupt.
8. 8 Liberat. II.
9. 1 Or petitions ... For this letter see Leo, Ep. 21 (Migne, Patr. Lat. vol. liv.).
10. 2 Leo, Ep. 22, 26.
11. 4 Liberat. 12.
12. 5 An exact translation of the text as it stands is impossible. Perhaps ... we should ... render it, "And they searched in the Acts for what was done in Constantinople concerning Eutyches."
13. 2 . . . No doubt John of Aegae is meant (Brooks).
14. 5 I.e. Valentinian.
15. 1 I.e. Maximian.
16. 3 Migne, Patr. Graec. vol. lxv. p. 856, and Patr. Lat. vol. lxvii. p. 409.
17. 4 Down to this point the Syriac text is quite different from the Greek.
18. 2 Gal. i. 9.
19. 3 Or, and punishment comes.
20. 1 Or, had become obsolete.
21. 3 Phil. ii. 10.
22. 4 Bar. iii. 37.
23. 1 Isa. liii. 4.
24. 2 Rom. i. 21, 22.
25. 1 There seems to be a confusion between Matt. i. 21 and Luke i. 31-33.
26. 3 i Cor. viii. 6.
27. 1 J ohn i. 1-3.
28. 2 Acts ii. 22.
29. 3 Acts xvii. 31. 1
30. 4 John viii. 40.
31. 8 Isa. vii. 14; Matt. i. 23.
32. 2 Or, proceeding immutably.
33. 1 Eph. ii. 14.
34. 3 Rom. ix. 4.
35. 4 Ex. iv. 22 and Isa. xlvi. 13.
36. 1 Matt. xvi. 16.
37. 2 Gal. i. 15, 16.
38. 3 Rom. ix. 5.
39. 2 Col. ii. 8.
40. 4 From this point the Greek and Latin are different from our text.
41. 1 Mich. fol. 115 v.
42. 4 ... i.e. Areobindus (Brooks).
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2002. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
|Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts