Topical Reference to the Beliefs of the Church Fathers by Dave Armstrong Part 6
"This truth, therefore, [he declares], in order that we may not reject the engrafting of the Spirit while pampering the flesh. 'But thou, being a wild olive-tree,' he says, 'hast been grafted into the good olive-tree, and been made a partaker of the fatness of the olive-tree.' As, therefore, when the wild olive has been engrafted, if it remain in its former condition, viz., a wild olive, it is 'cut off, and cast into the fire;' but if it takes kindly to the graft, and is changed into the good olive-tree, it becomes a fruit-bearing olive, planted, as it were, in a king's park (paradiso): so likewise men, if they do truly progress by faith towards better things, and receive the Spirit of God, and bring forth the fruit thereof, shall be spiritual, as being planted in the paradise of God. But if they cast out the Spirit, and remain in their former condition, desirous of being of the flesh rather than of the Spirit, then it is very justly said with regard to men of this stamp, 'That flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God;' just as if any one were to say that the wild olive is not received into the paradise of God. Admirably therefore does the apostle exhibit our nature, and God's universal appointment, in his discourse about flesh and blood and the wild olive. For as the good olive, if neglected for a certain time, if left to grow wild and to run to i wood, does itself become a wild olive; or again, if the wild olive be carefully tended and grafted, it naturally reverts to its former fruit-bearing condition: so men also, when they become careless, and bring forth for fruit the lusts of the flesh like woody produce, are rendered, by their own fault, unfruitful in righteousness. For when men sleep, the enemy sows the material of tares; and for this cause did the Lord command His disciples to be on the watch. And again, those persons who are not bringing forth the fruits of righteousness, and are, as it were, covered over and lost among brambles, if they use diligence, and receive the word of God as a graft, arrive at the pristine nature of man--that which was created after the image and likeness of God."
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,5:10,1(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:536
"But if they acted as men who had any part in God, and thereby in reason also, they would first weigh well the importance of repentance, and would never apply it in such a way as to make it a ground for convicting themselves of perverse self-amendment. In short, they would regulate the limit of their repentance, because they would reach (a limit) in sinning too--by fearing God, I mean. But where there is no fear, in like manner there is no amendment; where there is no amendment, repentance is of necessity vain, for it lacks the fruit for which God sowed it; that is, man's salvation. For God--after so many and so great sins of human temerity, begun by the first of the race, Adam, after the condemnation of man, together with the dowry of the world? after his ejection from paradise and subjection to death--when He had hasted back to His own mercy, did from that time onward inaugurate repentance in His own self, by rescinding the sentence of His first wrath, engaging to grant pardon to His own work and image. And so He gathered together a people for Himself, and fostered them with many liberal distributions of His bounty, and, after so often finding them most ungrateful, ever exhorted them to repentance and sent out the voices of the universal company of the prophets to prophesy. By and by, promising freely the grace which in the last times He was intending to pour as a flood of light on the universal world through His Spirit, He bade the baptism of repentance lead the way, with the view of first preparing, by means of the sign and seal of repentance, them whom He was calling, through grace, to (inherit) the promise surely made to Abraham. John holds not his peace, saying, 'Enter upon repentance, for now shall salvation approach the nations'--the Lord, that is, bringing salvation according to God's promise. To Him John, as His harbinger, directed the repentance (which he preached), whose province was the purging of men's minds,that whatever defilement inveterate error had imparted, whatever contamination in the heart of man ignorance had engendered, that repentance should sweep and scrape away, and cast out of doors, and thus prepare the home of the heart, by making it clean, for the Holy Spirit, who was about to supervene, that He might with pleasure introduce Himself there-into, together with His celestial blessings. Of these blessings the title is briefly one the salvation of man--the abolition of former sins being the preliminary step. This is the (final) cause of repentance, this her work, in taking in hand the business of divine mercy. What is profitable to man does service to God. The rule of repentance, however, which we learn when we know the Lord, retains a definite form,--viz., that no violent hands so to speak, be ever laid on good deeds or thoughts. For God, never giving His sanction to the reprobation of good deeds, inasmuch as they are His own (of which, being the author, He must necessarily be the defender too), is in like manner the acceptor of them, and if the acceptor, likewise the rewarder. Let, then, the ingratitude of men see to it, if it attaches repentance even to good works; let their gratitude see to it too, if the desire of earning it be the incentive to well-doing: earthly and mortal are they each. For how small is your gain if you do good to a grateful man! or your loss if to an ungrateful! A good deed has God as its debtor, just as an evil has too; for a judge is rewarder of every cause. Well, since, God as Judge presides over the exacting and maintaining of justice, which to Him is most dear; and since it is with an eye to justice that He appoints all the sum of His discipline, is there room for doubting that, just as in all our acts universally, so also in the case of repentance, justice must be rendered to God?--which duty can indeed only be fulfilled on the condition that repentance be brought to bear only on sins. Further, no deed but an evil one deserves to be called sin, nor does any one err by well-doing. But if he does not err, why does he invade (the province of) repentance, the private ground of such as do err ? Why does he impose on his goodness a duty proper to wickedness? Thus it comes to pass that, when a thing is called into play where it ought not, there, where it ought, it is neglected."
Tertullian,On Repentance,2(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:657-658
"And since many saints participate in the Holy Spirit, He cannot therefore be understood to be a body, which being divided into corporeal parts, is partaken of by each one of the saints; but He is manifestly a sanctifying power, in which all are said to have a share who have deserved to be sanctified by His grace."
Origen,First Principles,I:I,3(A.D. 230),in ANF,IV:242-243
"No doubt all they imitate Adam who by disobedience transgress the commandment of God; but he is one thing as an example to those who sin because they choose; and another thing as the progenitor of all who are born with sin. All His saints, also, imitate Christ in the pursuit of righteousness; whence the same apostle, whom we have already quoted, says: 'Be ye imitators of me, as I am also of Christ.' But besides this imitation, His grace works within us our illumination and justification, by that operation concerning which the same preacher of His [name] says: 'Neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth theincrease.' For by this grace He engrafts into His body even baptized infants, who certainly have not yet become able to imitate any one. As therefore He, in whom all are made alive, besides offering Himself as an example of righteousness to those who imitate Him, gives also to those who believe on Him the hidden grace of His Spirit, which He secretly infuses even into infants..."
Augustine,On the merits and forgiveness of sins,1:9(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:19
"You are mistaken, and are deceived, whosoever you are, that think yourself rich in this world. Listen to the voice of your Lord in the Apocalypse, rebuking men of your stamp with righteous reproaches: 'Thou sayest,' says He, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear in thee; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.' You therefore, who are rich and wealthy, buy for yourself of Christ gold tried by fire; that you may be pure gold, with your filth burnt out as if by fire, if you are purged by almsgiving and righteous works. Buy for yourself white raiment, that you who had been naked according to Adam, and were before frightful and unseemly, may be clothed with the white garment of Christ. And you who are a wealthy and rich matron in Christ's Church, anoint your eyes, not with the collyrium of the devil, but with Christ's eye-salve, that you may be able to attain to see God, by deserving well of God, both by good works and character."
Cyprian,On Works and Alms,14(A.D. 254),in ANF,V:479-480
"For He was made man that we might be made God..."
Athanasius,Incarnation,54(A.D. 318),in NPNF2,IV:65
"Therefore it will be much more accurate to denote God from the Son and to call Him Father, than to name Him and call Him Un-originated from His works only; for the latter term refers to the works that have come to be at the will of God through the Word, but the name of Father points out the proper offspring from His essence. And whereas the i Word surpasses things originated, by so much and more also doth calling God Father surpass the calling Him Unoriginated; for the latter is non-scriptural and suspicious, as it has various senses; but the former is simple and scriptural, and more accurate, and alone implies the Son. And 'Unoriginated' is a word of the Greeks who know not the Son: but 'Father' has been acknowledged and vouchsafed by our Lord; for He knowing Himself whose Son He was, said, 'I in the Father and the Father in Me;' and, 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;' and, 'I and the Father are one;' but nowhere is He found to call the Father Unoriginated. Moreover, when He teaches us to pray, He says not, 'When ye pray, say, O God Unoriginated,' but rather, 'When ye pray, say, Our Father, which art in heavens.' And it was His Will, that the Summary of our faith should have the same bearing. For He has bid us be baptized, not in the name of Unoriginate and Originate, not into the name of Uncreate and Creature, but into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for with such an initiation we too are made sons verily, and using the name of the Father, we acknowledge from that name the Word in the Father. But if He wills that we should call His own Father our Father, we must not on that account measure ourselves with the Son according to nature, for it is because of the Son that the Father is so called by us; for since the Word bore our body and came to be in us, therefore by reason of the Word in us, is God called our Father. For the Spirit of the Word in us names through us His own Father as ours, which is the Apostle's meaning when he says, 'God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.' "
Athanasius,On the Defense of the Nicene Creed,31(A.D. 351),in NPNF2,IV:171-172
" 'To declare His righteousness.' What is declaring of righteousness? Like the declaring of His riches, not only for Him to be rich Himself, but also to make others rich, or of life, not only that He is Himself living, but also that He makes the dead to live; and of His power, not only that He is Himself powerful, but also that He makes the feeble powerful. So also is the declaring of His righteousness not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He doth also make them that are filled with the putrefying sores 'asapentas') of sin suddenly righteous."
Chrysostom John,Romans,Homily VII:24,25(A.D. 391),in NPNF`1,XI:378
"Here, perhaps, it may be said by that presumption of man, which is ignorant of the righteousness of God, and wishes to establish one of its own, that the apostle quite properly said, 'For by the law shall no man be justified,' inasmuch as the law merely shows what one ought to do, and what one ought to guard against, in order that what the law thus points out may be accomplished by the will, and so man be justified, not indeed by the power of the law, but by his free determination. But I ask your attention, O man, to what follows. 'But now the righteousness of God,' says he, 'without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.' Does this then sound a light thing in deaf ears? He says, 'The righteousness of God is manifested.' Now this righteousness they are ignorant of, who wish to establish one of their own; they will not submit themselves to it. His words are, 'The righteousness of God is manifested:' he does not say, the righteousness of man, or the righteousness of his own will, but the 'righteousness of God,'--not that whereby He is Himself righteous, but that with which He endows man when He justifies the ungodly. This is witnessed by the law and the prophets; in other words, the law and the prophets each afford it testimony. The law, indeed, by issuing its commands and threats, and by justifying no man, sufficiently shows that it is by God's gift, through the help of the Spirit, that a man is justified; and the prophets, because it was what they predicted that Christ at His coming accomplished."
Augustine,On the Spirit and the Letter,9:15(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:89
"Now he could not mean to contradict himself in saying, 'The doers of the law shall be justified,' as if their justification came through their works, and not through grace; since he declares that a man is justified freely by His grace without the works of the law, intending by the term 'freely' nothing else than that works do not precede justification. For in another passage he expressly says, 'If by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.' But the statement that 'the doers of the law shall be justified' must be so understood, as that we may know that they are not otherwise doers of the law, unless they be justified, so that justification does not subsequently accrue to them as doers of the law, but justification precedes them as doers of the law. For what else does the phrase 'being justified' signify than being made righteous, -- by Him, of course, who justifies the ungodly man, that he may become a godly one instead? For if we were to express a certain fact by saying, 'The men will be liberated,' the phrase would of course be understood as asserting that the liberation would accrue to those who were men already; but if we were to say, The men will be created, we should certainly not be understood as asserting that the creation would happen to those who were already in existence, but that they became men by the creation itself. If in like manner it were said, The doers of the law shall be honoured, we should only interpret the statement correctly if we supposed that the honour was to accrue to those who were already doers of the law: but when the allegation is, 'The doers of the law shall be justified,' what else does it mean than that the just shall be justified? for of course the doers of the law are just persons. And thus it amounts to the same thing as if it were said, The doers of the law shall be created,-- not those who were so already, but that they may become such; in order that the Jews who were hearers of the law might hereby understand that they wanted the grace of the Justifier, in order to be able to become its doers also. Or else the term 'They shall be justified is used in the sense of, They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just, as it is predicated of a certain man in the Gospel, 'But he, willing to justify himself,'-- meaning that he wished to be thought and accounted just. In like manner, we attach one meaning to the statement, 'God sanctifies His saints,' and another to the words, 'Sanctified be Thy name; ' for in the former case we suppose the words to mean that He makes those to be saints who were not saints before, and in the latter, that the prayer would have that which is always holy in itself be also regarded as holy by men, -- in a word, be feared with a hallowed awe."
Augustine,On the Spirit and the Letter,26:45(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:89
"For then it is true wisdom; for if it is human, it is vain. Yet not so of God, as is that wherewith God is wise. For He is not wise by partaking of Himself, as the mind is by partaking of God. But as we call it the righteousness of God, not only when we speak of that by which He Himself is righteous, but also of that which He gives to man when He justifies the ungodly, which latter righteousness the apostle commending, says of some, that 'not knowing the righteousness of God and going about to establish their own righteousness,they are not subject to the righteousness of God;' so also it may be said of some, that not knowing the wisdom of God and going about to establish their own wisdom, they are not subject to the wisdom of God."
Augustine,On the Trinity,14:12,5(A.D. 416),in NPNF1,III:191
"Although there are many who appear to do what the law commands, through fear of punishment, not through love of righteousness; and such righteousness as this the apostle calls 'his own which is after the law,'--a thing as it were commanded, not given. When, indeed, it has been given, it is not called our own righteousness, but God's; because it becomes our own only so that we have it from God. These are the apostle's words: 'That I may be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith.' So great, then, is the difference between the law and grace, that although the law is undoubtedly of God, yet the righteousness which is 'of the law' is not 'of God,' but the righteousness which is consummated by grace is 'of God.' The one is designated 'the righteousness of the law,' because it is done through fear of the curse of the law; while the other is called 'the righteousness of God,' because it is bestowed through the beneficence of His grace, so that it is not a terrible but a pleasant commandment, according to the prayer in the psalm: 'Good art Thou, O Lord, therefore in Thy goodness teach me Thy righteousness;' that is, that I may not be compelled like a slave to live under the law with fear of punishment; but rather in the freedom of love may be delighted to live with law as my companion. When the freeman keeps a commandment, he does it readily. And whosoever learns his duty in this spirit, does everything that he has learned ought to be done."
Augustine,On the Grace of Christ,13:14(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,V:223
"But then who are those gods, or where are they, of whom God is the true God? Another Psalm saith, 'God hath stood in the synagogue of gods, but in the midst He judgeth gods.' As yet we know not whether perchance any gods be congregated in heaven, and in their congregation, for this is 'in the synagogue,' God hath stood to judge. See in the same Psalm those to whom he saith, 'I have said, Ye are gods, and children of the Highest all; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' It is evident then, that He hath called men gods, that are deified of His Grace, not born of His Substance. For He doth justify, who is just through His own self, and not of another; and He doth deify who is God through Himself, not by the partaking of another. But He that justifieth doth Himself deify, in that by justifying He doth make sons of God. 'For He hath given them power to become the sons of God.' If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods: but this is the effect of Grace adopting, not of nature generating. For the only Son of God, God, and one God with the Father, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was in the beginning the Word, and the Word with God, the Word God. The rest that are made gods, are made by His own Grace, are not born of His Substance, that they should be the same as He, but that by favour they should come to Him, and be fellow-heirs with Christ. For so great is the love in Him the Heir, that He hath willed to have fellow-heirs. What covetous man would will this, to have fellow-heirs?"
Augustine,On the Psalms,49/50:2(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,VIII:178
"But in order that he might be taught whose that was, of which he had begun to boast as if it were his own, he was admonished by the gradual desertion of God's grace, and says: 'O Lord, in Thy good pleasure Thou didst add strength to my beauty. Thou didst, however, turn away Thy face, and then I was troubled and distressed.' Thus, it is necessary for a man that he should be not only justified when unrighteous by the grace of God,--that is, be changed from unholiness to righteousness,--when he is requited with good for his evil; but that, even after he has become justified by faith, grace should accompany him on his way, and he should lean upon it, lest he fall. On this account it is written concerning the Church herself in the book of Canticles: 'Who is this that cometh up in white raiment, leaning upon her kinsman?' Made white is she who by herself alone could not be white. And by whom has she been made white except by Him who says by the prophet, 'Though your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow'? At the time, then, that she was made white, she deserved nothing good; but now that she is made white, she walketh well;--but it is only by her continuing ever to lean upon Him by whom she was made white. Wherefore, Jesus Himself, on whom she leans that was made white, said to His disciples, 'Without me ye can do nothing.' "
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,6:13(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:449
"This then is the righteousness of God. As it is called, 'The Lord's salvation,' not whereby the Lord is saved, but which He giveth to them whom He saveth; so too the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord is called the righteousness of God, not as that whereby the Lord is righteous, but whereby He justifieth those whom of ungodly He maketh righteous. But some, as the Jews in former times, both wish to be called Christians, and still ignorant of God's righteousness, desire to establish their own, even in our own times, in the times of open grace, the times of the full revelation of grace which before was hidden; in the times of grace now manifested in the floor, which once lay hid in the fleece. I see that a few have understood me, that more have not understood, whom I will by no means defraud by keeping silence. Gideon, one of the righteous men of old, asked for a sign from the Lord, and said, 'I pray, Lord, that this fleece which I put in the floor be bedewed, and that the floor be dry.' And it was so; the fleece was bedewed, the whole floor was dry. In the morning he wrung out tim fleece in a basin; forasmuch as to the humble is grace given; and in a basin, ye know what the Lord did to His disciples. Again, he asked for another sign; 'O Lord, I would,' saith he, 'that the fleece be dry, the floor bedewed.' And it was so. Call to mind the time of the Old Testament, grace was hidden in a cloud, as the rain in the fleece. Mark now the time of the New Testament, consider well the nation of the Jews, thou wilt find it as a dry fleece; whereas the whole world, like that floor, is full of grace, not hidden, but manifested. Wherefore we are forced exceedingly to bewail our brethren, who strive not against hidden, but against open and manifested grace. There is allowance for the Jews. What shall we say of Christians? Wherefore are ye enemies to the grace of Christ? Why rely ye on yourselves? Why unthankful? For why did Christ come? Was not nature here before? Was not nature here, which ye only deceive by your excessive praise? Was not the Law here? But the Apostle says, 'If righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.' What the Apostle says of the Law, that say we of nature to these men. 'If righteousness come by nature, then Christ is dead in vain.' "
Augustine,Sermon 131:9,on John 6:53(ante A.D. 431),in NPNF1,VI:503-504
Once Saved NOT Always Saved!
"And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of the repentance, that they may attain to God. For 'cannot he that falls arise again, and he may attain to God.' "
Ignatius of Antioch,To the Ephesians,10(A.D. 110),in ANF,I:53-54
"Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time. "
Didache,16(A.D. 140),in ANF,VII:382
"And as many of them, he added, as have repented, shall have their dwelling in the tower. And those of them who have been slower in repenting shall dwell within the walls. And as many as do not repent at all, but abide in their deeds, shall utterly perish...Yet they also, being naturally good, on hearing my commandments, purified themselves, and soon repented. Their dwelling, accordingly, was in the tower. But if any one relapse into strife, he will be east out of the tower, and will lose his life."
Hermas,The Shephard,3:8:7(A.D. 155),in ANF,II:41-42
"[T]hat eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition."
Justin Martyr,fragment in Irenaeus' Against Heresies,5:26:1(A.D. 156),in ANF,I:555
"Now, in the beginning the spirit was a constant companion of the soul, but the spirit forsook it because it was not willing to follow. Yet, retaining as it were a spark of its power, though unable by reason of the separation to discern the perfect, while seeking for God it fashioned to itself in its wandering many gods, following the sophistries of the demons. But the Spirit of God is not with all, but, taking up its abode with those who live justly, and intimately combining with the soul, by prophecies it announced hidden things to other souls."
Tatian the Syrian,To the Greeks,13(A.D. 175),in ANF,II:71
"Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over Him; but the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from His stewards and dispensers the money which He had entrusted to them, with usury; and from those to whom He had given most shall He demand most. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom. And therefore it was that Paul said, 'For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee, who, when thou wert a wild olive tree, wert grafted into the fatness of the olive tree, and wert made a partaker of its fatness.' "
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:27:2(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:499
"But some think as if God were under a necessity of bestowing even on the unworthy, what He has engaged (to give); and they turn His liberality into slavery. But if it is of necessity that God grants us the symbol of death, then He does so unwilling. But who permits a gift to be permanently retained which he has granted unwillingly? For do not many afterward fall out of (grace)? is not this gift taken away from many?"
Tertullian,On Repentance,6(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:661
"Confession is the beginning of glory, not the full desert of the crown; nor does it perfect our praise, but it initiates our dignity; and since it is written, 'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved,' whatever has been before the end is a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation, not a terminus wherein the full result of the ascent is already gained. "
Cyprian,Unity of the Church,21(A.D. 251),in ANF,V:428
"Therefore, my beloved, we also have received of the Spirit of Christ, and Christ dwelleth in us, as it is written that the Spirit said this through the month of the Prophet: --I will dwell in them and will walk in them.Therefore let us prepare our temples for the Spirit of Christ, and let us not grieve it that it may not depart from us. Remember the warning that the Apostle gives us:--Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye have been sealed unto the day of redemption. For from baptism do we receive the Spirit of Christ ... And whatever man there is that receives the Spirit from the water (of baptism) and grieves it, it departs from him until he dies, and returns according to its nature to Christ, and accuses that man of having grieved it."
Aphrahat,Demonstrations,6:14(A.D. 345),in NPNF2,VIII:371-372
"Thou art made partaker of the Holy Vine. Well then, if thou abide in the Vine, thou growest as a fruitful branch; but if thou abide not, thou wilt be consumed by the fire. Let us therefore bear fruit worthily. God forbid that in us should be done what befell that barren fig-tree, that Jesus come not even now and curse us for our barrenness."
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,I:4(A.D. 350),NPNF2,VII:7
"For what the Word has by nature, as I said, in the Father, that He wishes to be given to us through the Spirit irrevocably; which the Apostle knowing, said, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?' for 'the gifts of God' and 'grace of His calling are without repentance.' It is the Spirit then which is in God, and not we viewed in our own selves; and as we are sons and gods because of the Word in us, so we shall be in the Son and in the Father, and we shall be accounted to have become one in Son and in Father, because that that Spirit is in us, which is in the Word which is in the Father. When then a man falls from the Spirit for any wickedness, if he repent upon his fall, the grace remains irrevocably to such as are willing; otherwise he who has fallen is no longer in God (because that Holy Spirit and Paraclete which is in God has deserted him), but the sinner shall be in him to whom he has subjected himself, as took place in Saul's instance; for the Spirit of God departed from him and an evil spirit was afflicting him."
Athanasius,Discourse Against the Arians,3:25(A.D. 362),in NPNF2,IV:407
"Clerics who are guilty of the sin unto death are degraded from their order,but not excluded from the communion of the laity."
Basil,To Amphilochius,Letter 199:32(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VIII:237
"This temple is holier than that; for it glistened not with gold and silver, but with the grace of the Spirit, and in place of the ark and the cherubim, it had Christ, and His Father, and the Paraclete seated within. But now all is changed, and the temple is desolate, and bare of its former beauty and comeliness, unadorned with its divine and unspeakable adornments, destitute of all security and protection; it has neither door nor bolt, and is laid open to all manner of soul-destroying and shameful thoughts; and if the thought of arrogance or fornication, or avarice, or any more accursed than these, wish to enter in there is no one to hinder them; whereas formerly, even as the Heaven is inaccessible to all these, so also was the purity of thy soul."
John Chrysostom,To the Fallen Theodore,Letter 1(A.D. 378),in NPNF1,IX:91
"But these sins were not after Baptism, you will say. Where is your proof? Either prove it--or refrain from condemning; and if there be any doubt, let charity prevail. But Novatus, you say, would not receive those who lapsed in the persecution. What do you mean by this? If they were unrepentant he was right; I too would refuse to receive those who either would not stoop at all or not sufficiently, and who would refuse to make their amendment counterbalance their sin; and when I do receive them, I will assign them their proper place; but if he refused those who wore themselves away with weeping, I will not imitate him."
Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration on the Holy Lights,39:19(A.D. 381),in NPNF2,VII:359
"These are capital sins, brethren,these are mortal."
"Let us admonish each other. Let us correct each other, that we may not go to the other world as debtors, and then, needing to borrow of others, suffer the fate of the foolish virgins, and fall from immortal salvation."
John Chrysostom,Concerning Statues,21(A.D. 387),in NPNF1,IX:363
"Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views? Hear what the Apostle John says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him? 'You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins.' "
Jerome,Against Jovianus,2:30(A.D. 393),in NPNF2,VI:411
"And, consequently, both those who have not heard the gospel, and those who, having heard it and been changed by it for the better, have not received perseverance, and those who, having heard the gospel, have refused to come to Christ, that is, to believe on Him, since He Himself says, 'No man cometh unto me, except it were given him of my Father,' and those who by their tender age were unable to believe, but might be absolved from original sin by the sole layer of regeneration, and yet have not received this laver, and have perished in death: are not made to differ from that lump which it is plain is condemned, as all go from one into condemnation."
Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,12(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:476
"The faith of these, which worketh by love, either actually does not fail at all, or, if there are any whose faith fails, it is restored before their life is ended, and the iniquity which had intervened is done away, and perseverance even to the end is allotted to them. But they who are not to persevere, and who shall so fall away from Christian faith and conduct that the end of this life shall find them in that case, beyond all doubt are not to be reckoned in the number of these, even in that season wherein they are living well and piously. For they are not made to differ from that mass of perdition by the foreknowledge and predestination of God, and therefore are not called according to God's purpose, and thus are not elected"
Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,16(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:478
"It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children--whom He has regenerated in Christ--to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also."
Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,18(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:478
"Let the inquirer still go on, and say, 'Why is it that to some who have in good faith worshipped Him He has not given to persevere to the end?' Why except because he does not speak falsely who says, 'They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, doubtless they would have continued with us.' Are there, then, two natures of men? By no means. If there were two natures there would not be any grace, for there would be given a gratuitous deliverance to none if it were paid as a debt to nature. But it seems to men that all who appear good believers ought to receive perseverance to the end. But God has judged it to be better to mingle some who would not persevere with a certain number of His saints, so that those for whom security from temptation in this life is not desirable may not be secure."
Augustine,On the Gift of Perseverance,19(A.D. 429),in NPNF2,V:531-532
"The manifold mercy of God so assists men when they fall, that not only by the grace of baptism but also by the remedy of penitence is the hope of eternal life revived, in order that they who have violated the gifts of the second birth, condemning themselves by their own judgment, may attain to remission of their crimes, the provisions of the Divine Goodness having so ordained that GOD'S indulgence cannot be obtained without the supplications of priests. For the Mediator between GOD and men, the Man Christ Jesus, has transmitted this power to those that are set over the Church that they should both grant a course of penitence to those who confess, and, when they are cleansed by wholesome correction admit them through the door of reconciliation to communion in the sacraments."
Pope Leo the Great[regn A.D. 440-461],To Theodore,Epistle 108:2(A.D. 452),NPNF2,XII:80
"The branches of the vine. Thus there are branches in the vine, not that they may bestow anything upon the vine, but that they may receive from it the means by which they may live...And by this it is an advantage to the disciples,not to Christ,that each have Christ abiding in him, and that each abide in Christ. For if the branch is cut off, another can sprout forth from the living root; but that which has been cut off, cannot live without the root."
Council of Orange,Canon 24(A.D. 529),in DEN,79-80
"And they who mourn their transgressions certainly cast forth by confession the wickedness with which they have been evilly satiated, and which oppressed the inmost parts of their soul; and yet, in recurring to it after confession, they take it in again. But the sow, by wallowing in the mire when washed, is made more filthy. I And one who mourns past transgressions, yet forsakes them not, subjects himself to the penalty of more grievous sin, since he both despises the very pardon which he might have won by his weeping, and as it were rolls himself in miry water; because in withholding purity of life from his weeping he makes even his very tears filthy before the eyes of God."
Pope Gregory the Great[regn A.D. 590-604],Pastoral Rule,30(A.D. 591),in NPNF2,XII:62
"The remission of sins, therefore, is granted alike to all through baptism: but the grace of the Spirit is proportional to the faith and previous purification. Now, indeed, we receive the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit through baptism, and the second birth is for us the beginning and seal and security and illumination s of another life. It behoves as, then, with all our strength to steadfastly keep ourselves pure from filthy works, that we may not, like the dog returning to his vomit, make ourselves again the slaves of sin. For faith apart from works is dead, and so likewise are works apart from faith. For the true faith is attested by works."
Salutary works require grace
"Wherefore also the Lord promised to send the Comforter, who should join us to God. For as a compacted lump of dough cannot be formed of dry wheat without fluid matter, nor can a loaf possess unity, so, in like manner, neither could we, being many, be made one in Christ Jesus without the water from heaven. And as dry earth does not bring forth unless it receive moisture, in like manner we also, being originally a dry tree, could never have brought forth fruit unto life without the voluntary rain from above. For our bodies have received unity among themselves by means of that layer which leads to incorruption; but our souls, by means of the Spirit. Wherefore both are necessary, since both contribute towards the life of God"
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,3:17(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:444-445
"A corrupt tree will never yield good fruit, unless the better nature be grafted into it; nor will a good tree produce evil fruit, except by the same process of cultivation. Stones also will become children of Abraham, if educated in Abraham's faith; and a generation of vipers will bring forth the fruits of penitence, if they reject the poison of their malignant nature. This will be the power of the grace of God, more potent indeed than nature, exercising its sway over the faculty that underlies itself within us--even the freedom of our will."
Tertullian,A Treatise on the Soul, 21(A.D. 208),in ANF,III:202
"We add, also, and say, 'Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth;' not that God should do what He wills, but that we may be able to do what God wills. For who resists God, that l He may not do what He wills? But since we are hindered by the devil from obeying with our thought and deed God's will in all things, we pray and ask that God's will may be done in us; and that it may be done in us we have need of God's good will, that is, of His help and protection, since no one is strong in his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God."
Cyprian,On the Lord's Prayer,14(A.D. 252),in ANF,V:451
"He from the essence of the Father, nor is the Son again Son according to essence, but in consequence of virtue, as we who are called sons by grace."
Athanasius,Defense of the Nicene Creed,22(A.D.351),in NPNF2,IV:165
"For when you hear, Not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy, I counsel you to think the same. For since there are some who are so proud of their successes that they attribute all to themselves and nothing to Him that made them and gave them wisdom and supplied them with good; such are taught by this word that even to wish well needs help from God; or rather that even to choose what is right is divine and a gift of the mercy of God. For it is necessary both that we should be our own masters and also that our salvation should be of God. This is why He saith not of him that willeth; that is, not of him that willeth only, nor of him that runneth only, but also of God. That sheweth mercy. Next; since to will also is from God, he has attributed the whole to God with reason. However much you may run, however much you may wrestle, yet you need one to give the crown."
Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 37:13(A.D. 383),in NPNF2,in VII:342
"You see indeed,then,how the strength of the Lord is cooperative in human endeavors, so that no one can build without the Lord, no one can preserve without the Lord, no one can build without the Lord, no one can preserve without the Lord, no one can undertake anything without the Lord."
Ambrose,Commentary on Luke,2:84(A.D.389),in JUR,II:162
"All indeed depends on God, but not so that our free-will is hindered. 'If then it depend on God,' (one says), 'why does He blame us?' On this account I said, 'so that our free-will is no hindered.' It depends then on us, and on Him For we must first choose the good; and then He leads us to His own. He does not anticipate our choice, lest our free-will should be outraged. But when we have chosen, then great is the assistance he brings to us...For it is ours to choose and to wish; but God's to complete and to bring to an end. Since therefore the greater part is of Him, he says all is of Him, speaking according to the custom of men. For so we ourselves also do. I mean for instance: we see a house well built, and we say the whole is the Architect's [doing], and yet certainly it is not all his, but the workmen's also, and the owner's, who supplies the materials, and many others', but nevertheless since he contributed the greatest share, we call the whole his. So then [it is] in this case also. Again, with respect to a number of people, where the many are, we say All are: where few, nobody. So also Paul says, 'not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.'And herein he establishes two great truths: one, that we should not be lifted up: even shouldst thou run (he would say), even shouldst thou be very earnest, do not consider that the well doing is thine own. For if thou obtain not the impulse that is from above, all is to no purpose. Nevertheless that thou wilt attain that which thou earnestly strivest after is very evident; so long as thou runnest, so long as thou willest."
John Chrysostom,Homily on Hebrews,12:3(A.D. 403),in NPNF1,XIV:425
"Now for the commission of sin we get no help from God; but we are not able to do justly, and to fulfil the law of righteousness in every part thereof, except we are helped by God. For as the bodily eye is not helped by the light to turn away therefrom shut or averted, but is helped by it to see, and cannot see at all unless it help it; so God, who is the light of the inner man, helps our mental sight, in order that we may do some good, not according to our own, but according to His righteousness."
Augustine, On Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism,II:5(A.D. 411), in NPNF1,V:45
" 'No man can come to me, except the Father who hath sent me draw him'! For He does not say, 'except He lead him,' so that we can thus in any way understand that his will precedes. For who is 'drawn,' if he was already willing? And yet no man comes unless he is willing. Therefore he is drawn in wondrous ways to will, by Him who knows how to work within the very hearts of men. Not that men who are unwilling should believe, which cannot be, but that they should be made willing from being unwilling."
Augustine,Against Two Letters of the Pelagians,I:19(A.D. 420),in NPNF1,V:389
"As strong as we could,we urged on them, as on your and our brothers, to preserve in the Catholic faith, which neither denies free will whether for a bad life or a good one, nor allows it so much effect that it can do anything without the grace of God, whether to convert the soul from evil to good, or to preserve and advance in good, or to attain eternal good, where there is no more fear of falling away."
Augustine, Epistle 215:4(A.D. 423),in FC32,64-65
"[L]est the will itself should be deemed capable of doing any good thing without the grace of God, after saying, 'His grace within me was not in vain, but I have laboured more abundantly than they all,' he immediately added the qualifying clause, 'Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.' In other words, Not I alone, but the grace of God with me. And thus, neither was it the grace of God alone, nor was it he himself alone, but it was the grace Of God with him. For his call, however, from heaven and his conversion by that great and most effectual call, God's grace was alone, because his merits, though great, were yet evil."
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,5:12(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:448-9
" 'There is henceforth laid up for me,' he says, 'a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.' Now, to whom should the righteous Judge award the crown, except to him on whom the merciful Father had bestowed grace? And how could the crown be one 'of righteousness,' unless the grace had preceded which 'justifieth the ungodly'?"
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,6:14(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:449
" 'I have fought,' says he, "the good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.' Now, in the first place, these good works were nothing, unless they had been preceded by good thoughts. Observe, therefore, what he says concerning these very thoughts. His words, when writing to the Corinthians, are: 'Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.' "
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,7:16(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:450
" The first man had not that grace by which he should never will to be evil; but assuredly he had that in which if he willed to abide he would never be evil, and without which, moreover, he could not by free will be good, but which, nevertheless, by free will he could forsake. God, therefore, did not will even him to be without His grace, which He left in his free will; because free will is sufficient for evil, but is too little s for good, unless it is aided by Omnipotent Good. And if that man had not forsaken that assistance of his free will, he would always have been good; but he forsook it, and he was forsaken. Because such was the nature of the aid, that he could forsake it when he would, and that he could continue in it if he would; but not such that it could be brought about that he would."
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,11:31(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:484
"And besides, this is the apostolic declaration, "No one saith, Lord Jesus, but in the Holy Spirit: and who is it that calleth Him Lord Jesus but he that loveth Him, if he so call Him in the way the apostle intended to be understood? For many call Him so with their lips, but deny Him in their hearts and works; just as He saith of such, 'For they profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him.' If it is by works He is denied, it is doubtless also by works that His name is truly invoked. 'No one,' therefore, 'saith, Lord Jesus,' in mind, in word, in deed, with the heart, the lips, the labor of the bands,--no one saith, Lord Jesus, but in the Holy Spirit."
Augustine,On the Gospel of John,74:1(A.D. 430),in NPNF1,VII:333-4
"For just to keep any from supposing that the branch can bear at least some little fruit of itself, after saying, 'the same bringeth forth much fruit,' His next words are not, Without me ye can do but little, but 'ye can do nothing.' Whether then it be little or much, without Him it is impracticable; for without Him nothing can be done."
Augustine,On the Gospel of John,81:3(A.D. 430),in NPNF1,VII:345-6
"Most bitter enemies of grace, you offer us examples of ungodly men who,you say, 'through without faith, abound in virtues where there is,without the aid of grace,only the good of nature even though shackled by superstitions.' Such men, by the mere powers of their inborn liberty, often merciful, and modest, and chaste, and sober. When you say this you have already removed what you thought to attibute to the grace of God: namely, effectiveness of will ... If it pleases you so much to praise the ungodly that you say they abound in true virtues - as though you did not hear the Scripture saying: 'They that say to the wicked man: You are just, shall be accursed by the people by the people, and the tribes shall abhor them' - it were much better for you, who say they abound in virtues,to confess that these are gifts of God in them."
Augustine, Against Julian,4:3:16(A.D.421),in FC35,179
"But God forbid there be true virtues in anyone unless he is just, and God forbid he be truly unless he lives by faith, for 'He who is just lives by faith.' Who of those wishing to be considered Christians.except the Pelagians alone, or perhaps, you alone among the Pelagians, will call an unbeliever just, and an ungodly man just, and say a man is in bondage to the Devil?"
Augustine, Against Julian,4:3:17(A.D.421),in FC35,181
"Surely, if no Christian will dare to say this, 'It is not of God that showeth mercy, but of man that willeth,' lest he should openly contradict the apostle, it follows that the true interpretation of the saying, 'It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy,' is that the whole work belongs to God, who both makes the will of man righteous, and thus prepares it for assistance, and assists it when it is prepared. For the man's righteousness of will precedes many of God's gifts, but not all; and it must itself be included among those which it does not precede. We read in Holy Scripture, both that God's mercy 'shall meet me,' and that His mercy 'shall follow me.' It goes before the unwilling to make him willing; it follows the willing to make his will effectual."
Augustine, Enchiridion,32(A.D.422),in NPNF1,III:248
"Without God there is no virtue, nor does a man obtain what is proper to divinity unless he be enlivened by the Spirit of his Author. Since the Lord said to His disciples, 'Without Me you are able to do nothing,' there is no doubt that when a man does good works he has from God both the carrying out the work and the beginning of his will to do so."
Gregory the Great,Sermons,38:3(ante A.D. 461),in JUR,III:277
"We ought to understand that while God knows all things beforehand, yet He does not predetermine all things. For He knows beforehand those things that are in our power, but He does not predetermine them. For it is not His will that there should be wickedness nor does He choose to compel virtue. So that predetermination is the work of the divine command based on fore-knowledge. But on the other hand God predetermines those things which are not within our power in accordance with His prescience. For already God in His prescience has prejudged all things in accordance with His goodness and justice. Bear in mind, too, that virtue is a gift from God implanted in our nature, and that He Himself is the source and cause of all good, and without His co-operation and help we cannot will or do any good thing, But we have it in our power either to abide in virtue and follow God, Who calls us into ways of virtue, or to stray from paths of virtue, which is to dwell in wickedness, and to follow the devil who summons but cannot compel us. For wickedness is nothing else than the withdrawal of goodness, just as darkness is nothing else than the withdrawal of light While then we abide in the natural state we abide in virtue, but when we deviate from the natural state, that is from virtue, "
John Damascene,Orthodox Faith,2:30(A.D. 743),in NPNF2,IX:240
"And after the exhibition, Tryphaena again receives her. For her daughter Falconilla had died, and said to her in a dream: Mother, thou shaft have this stranger Thecla in my place, in order that she may pray concerning me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the just."
Acts of Paul and Thecla(A.D. 160),in ANF,VIII:490
"Abercius by name, I am a disciple of the chaste shepherd...He taught me .. faithful writings...These words,I, Abercius, standing by, ordered to be inscribed.In truth, I was in the course of my seventy-second year. Let him who understands and believes this pray fro Abercius."
Inscription of Abercius(A.D. 190),in PAT,I:172
"Without delay, on that very night, this was shown to me in a vision. I saw Dinocrates going out from a gloomy place, where also there were several others, and he was parched and very thirsty, with a filthy countenance and pallid colour, and the wound on his face which he had when he died. This Dinocrates had been my brother after the flesh, seven years of age? who died miserably with disease...But I trusted that my prayer would bring help to his suffering; and I prayed for him every day until we passed over into the prison of the camp, for we were to fight in the camp-show. Then was the birth-day of Gets Caesar, and I made my prayer for my brother day and night, groaning and weeping that he might be granted to me.Then, on the day on which we remained in fetters, this was shown to me. I saw that that place which I had formerly observed to be in gloom was now bright; and Dinocrates, with a clean body well clad, was finding refreshment. And where there had been a wound, I saw a scar; and that pool which I had before seen, I saw now with its margin lowered even to the boy's navel. And one drew water from the pool incessantly, and upon its brink was a goblet filled with water; and Dinocrates drew near and began to drink from it, and the goblet did not fail. And when he was satisfied, he went away from the water to play joyously, after the manner of children, and I awoke. Then I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment."
The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitias,2:3-4(A.D. 202),in ANF,III:701-702
"Accordingly the believer, through great discipline, divesting himself of the passions, passes to the mansion which is better than the former one, viz., to the greatest torment, taking with him the characteristic of repentance from the sins he has committed after baptism. He is tortured then still more--not yet or not quite attaining what he sees others to have acquired. Besides, he is also ashamed of his transgressions. The greatest torments, indeed, are assigned to the believer. For God's righteousness is good, and His goodness is righteous. And though the punishments cease in the course of the completion of the expiation and purification of each one, yet those have very great and permanent grief who are found worthy of the other fold, on account of not being along with those that have been glorified through righteousness."
Clement of Alexandria,Stromata,6:14(post A.D. 202),in ANF,II:504
"[T]hat allegory of the Lord which is extremely clear and simple in its meaning, and ought to be from the first understood in its plain and natural sense...Then, again, should you be disposed to apply the term 'adversary' to the devil, you are advised by the (Lord's) injunction, while you are in the way with him,'to make even with him such a compact as may be deemed compatible with the requirements of your true faith. Now the compact you have made respecting him is to renounce him, and his pomp, and his angels. Such is your agreement in this matter. Now the friendly understanding you will have to carry out must arise from your observance of the compact: you must never think of getting back any of the things which you have abjured, and have restored to him, lest he should summon you as a fraudulent man, and a transgressor of your agreement, before God the Judge (for in this light do we read of him, in another passage, as 'the accuser of the brethren,' or saints, where reference is made to the actual practice of legal prosecution); and lest this Judge deliver you over to the angel who is to execute the sentence, and he commit you to the prison of hell, out of which there will be no dismissal until the smallest even of your delinquencies be paid off in the period before the resurrection. What can be a more fitting sense than this? What a truer interpretation?"
Tertullian,A Treatise on the Soul,35(A.D. 210),in ANF,III:216
"All souls, therefore; are shut up within Hades: do you admit this? (It is true, whether) you say yes or no: moreover, there are already experienced there punishments and consolations; and there you have a poor man and a rich...Moreover, the soul executes not all its operations with the ministration of the flesh; for the judgment of God pursues even simple cogitations and the merest volitions. 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' Therefore, even for this cause it is most fitting that the soul, without at all waiting for the flesh, should be punished for what it has done without the partnership of the flesh. So, on the same principle, in return for the pious and kindly thoughts in which it shared not the help of the flesh, shall it without the flesh receive its consolation. In short, inasmuch as we understand 'the prison' pointed out in the Gospel to be Hades, and as we also interpret 'the uttermost farthing' to mean the very smallest offence which has to be recompensed there before the resurrection, no one will hesitate to believe that the soul undergoes in Hades some compensatory discipline, without prejudice to the full process of the resurrection, when the recompense will be administered through the flesh besides."
Tertullian,A Treatise on the Soul,58(A.D. 210),in ANF,III:234-235
"As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours."
Tertullian,The Chaplut,3(A.D. 211),in ANF,III:94
"[A] woman is more bound when her husband is dead...Indeed,she prays for his soul,and requests refreshment for him meanwhie, and fellowship(with him) in the first resurrection;and she offers(her sacrifice) on the anniversary of his falling asleep."
Tertullian,On Monogamy,10(A.D. 216),in ANF,III:66-67
"For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones(1 Cor.,3);but also wood and hay and stubble,what do you expect when the soul shall be seperated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the
Origen,Homilies on Jeremias,PG 13:445,448(A.D. 244),in CE,577
"And do not think, dearest brother, that either the courage of the brethren will be lessened, or that martyrdoms will fail for this cause, that repentance is relaxed to the lapsed, and that the hope of peace is offered to the penitent. The strength of the truly believing remains unshaken; and with those who fear and love God with their whole heart, their integrity continues steady and strong. For to adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace is given. Yet virginity is not therefore deficient in the Church, nor does the glorious design of continence languish through the sins of others. The Church, crowned with so many virgins, flourishes; and chastity and modesty preserve the tenor of their glory. Nor is the vigour of continence broken down because repentance and pardon are facilitated to the adulterer. It is one thing to stand for pardon, another thing to attain to glory: it is one thing, when cast into prison, not to go out thence until one has paid the uttermost farthing; another thing at once to receive the wages of faith and courage. It is one thing, tortured by long suffering for sins, to be cleansed and long purged by fire; another to have purged all sins by suffering. It is one thing, in fine, to be in suspense till the sentence of God at the day of judgment; another to be at once crowned by the Lord."
Cyprian,To Antonianus,Epistle 51(55):20(A.D. 253),in ANF,V:332
"Let us pray for our brethren that are at rest in Christ, that God, the lover of mankind, who has received his soul, may forgive him every sin, voluntary and involuntary, and may be merciful and gracious to him, and give him his lot in the land of the pious that are sent into the bosom of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, with all those that have pleased Him and done His will from the beginning of the world, whence all sorrow, grief, and lamentation are banished."
Apostolic Constitutions,8:4,41(3rd Century),in ANF,VII:497
"The same divine fire, therefore, with one and the same force and power, will both burn the wicked and will form them again, and will replace as much as it shall consume of their bodies, and will supply itself with eternal nourishment: which the poets transferred to the vulture of Tityus. Thus, without any wasting of bodies, which regain their substance, it will only burn and affect them with a sense of pain. But when He shall have judged the righteous, He will also try them with fire. Then they whose sins shall exceed either in weight or in number, shall be scorched by the fire and burnt: but they whom full justice and maturity of virtue has imbued will not perceive that fire; for they have something of God in themselves which repels and rejects the violence of the flame."
Lactantius,The Divine Institutes,7:21(A.D. 307),in ANF,VII:217
"Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him of-fence, and then those who belong to them should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins, propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves.
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,23:9,10(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:154-155
"I think that the noble athletes of God,who have wrestled all their lives with the invisble enemies,after they have escaped all of their persecutions and have come to the end of life,are examined by the prince of this world;and if they are found to have any wounds from their wrestling,any stains or effects of sin,they are detained.If,however they are found unwounded and without stain,they are, as unconquered,brought by Christ into their rest."
Basil,Homilies on the Psalms,7:2(ante A.D. 370),in JUR,II:21
"Lay me not with sweet spices: for this honour avails me not; Nor yet incense and perfumes: for the honour benefits me not. Burn sweet spices in the
Ephraem,His Testament(ante A.D. 373),in NPNF2,in XIII:135
"Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf...it is useful,because in this world we often stumble either voluntarily or involuntarily."
Epiphanius,Panarion,75:8(A.D. 375),in JUR,II:76
"When he has quitted his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil."
Gregory of Nyssa,Sermon on the Dead,PG 13:445,448(ante A.D. 394),in CE,577
"Give,Oh Lord,rest to Thy servant Theodosius,that rest Thou hast prepared for Thy saints....I love him,therefore will I follow him to the land of the living;I will not leave him till by my prayers and lamentations he shall be admitted unto the holy mount of the Lord,to which his deserts call him."
Ambrose,De obitu Theodosii,PL 16:1397(A.D. 395),in CE,577
"Other husbands scatter on the graves of their wives violets, roses, lilies, and purple flowers; and assuage the grief of their hearts by fulfilling this tender duty. Our dear Pammachius also waters the holy ashes and the revered bones of Paulina, but it is with the balm of almsgiving."
Jerome,To Pammachius,Epistle 66:5(A.D. 397),in NPNF2,VI:136
"Weep for the unbelievers; weep for those who differ in nowise from them, those who depart hence without the illumination, without the seal! they indeed deserve our wailing, they deserve our groans; they are outside the Palace, with the culprits, with the condemned: for, "Verily I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the
John Chrysostom,Homilies on Phillipians,3(ante A.D. 404),in NPNF1,XIII:197
"If the baptized person fufils the obligations demanded of a Christian,he does well. If he does not--provided he keeps the faith,without which he would perish forever--no matter in what sin or impurity remains,he will be saved,as it were,by fire; as one who has built on the foundation,which is Christ,not Gold,silver, and precious stones,but wood, hay straw,that is, not just and chasted works but wicked and unchaste works."
Augustine,Faith and Works,1:1(A.D. 413),in ACW,48:7
"Now on what ground does this person pray that he may not be 'rebuked in indignation, nor chastened in hot displeasure"? (He speaks) as if he would say unto God, 'Since the things which I already suffer are many in number, I pray Thee let them suffice;' and he begins to enumerate them, by way of satisfying God; offering what he suffers now, that he may not have to suffer worse evils hereafter."
Augustine,Exposition of the Psalms,38(37):3(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,VIII:103
"And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire, and in proportion as they have loved with more or less devotion the goods that perish, be less or more quickly delivered from it. This cannot, however, be the case of any of those of whom it is said, that they 'shall not inherit the
Augustine,Enchiridion,69(A.D. 421),in NPNF1,III:260
" During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it enjoys rest or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has earned by the life which it led on earth."
Augustine,Enchiridion,1099(A.D. 421),in NPNF1,III:272
"For our part, we recognize that even in this life some punishments are purgatorial,--not, indeed, to those whose life is none the better, but rather the worse for them, but to those who are constrained by them to amend their life. All other punishments, whether temporal or eternal, inflicted as they are on every one by divine providence, are sent either on account of past sins, or of sins presently allowed in the life, or to exercise and reveal a man's graces. They may be inflicted by the instrumentality of bad men and angels as well as of the good. For even if any one suffers some hurt through another's wickedness or mistake, the man indeed sins whose ignorance or injustice does the harm; but God, who by His just though hidden judgment permits it to be done, sins not. But temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But of those who suffer temporary punishments after death, all are not doomed to those everlasting pains which are to follow that judgment; for to some, as we have already said, what is not remitted in this world is remitted in the next, that is, they are not punished with the eternal punishment.of the world to come."
"But since she has this certainty regarding no man, she prays for all her enemies who yet live in this world; and yet she is not heard in behalf of all. But she is heard in the case of those only who, though they oppose the Church, are yet predestinated to become her sons through her intercession. But if any retain an impenitent heart until death, and are not converted from enemies into sons, does the Church continue to pray for them, for the spirits, i.e., of such persons deceased? And why does she cease to pray for them, unless because the man who was not translated into Christ's kingdom while he was in the body, is now judged to be of Satan's following? It is then, I say, the same reason which prevents the Church at any time from praying for the wicked angels, which prevents her from praying hereafter for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire; and this also is the reason why, though she prays even for the wicked so long as they live, she yet does not even in this world pray for the unbelieving and godless who are dead. For some of the dead, indeed, the prayer of the Church or of pious individuals is heard; but it is for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not spend their life so wickedly that they can be judged unworthy of such compassion, nor so well that they can be considered to have no need of it. As also, after the resurrection, there will be some of the dead to whom, after they have endured the pains proper to the spirits of the dead, mercy shall be accorded, and acquittal from the punishment of the eternal fire. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, "They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come.' But when the Judge of quick and dead has said, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,' and to those on the other side, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels,' and 'These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life,' it were excessively presumptuous to say that the punishment of any of those whom God has said shall go away into eternal punishment shall not be eternal, and so bring either despair or doubt upon the corresponding promise of life eternal."
"If we neither give thanks to God in tribulations nor redeem our own sins by good works,we shall have to remain in that purgatorian fire as long as it takes for those above-mentioned lesser sins to be consumed like wood and straw and hay."
Ceasar of Arles,Sermon 179(104):2(A.D. 542),in JUR,III:283
"Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgement,because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ,the Truth,say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven 'either in this world or in the world to come'(Mt. 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions."
Gregory the Great[regn. A.D. 590-604],Dialogues,4:39(A.D. 594),in FC,39:248
Veneration and Invocation of the Saints
"[T]hat it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners), nor to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow disciples! The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps."
Martyrdom of Polycarp 17,18(A.D. 157),in ANF,I:43
"[Appealing to the three companions of Daniel] Think of me, I beseech you, so that I may achieve with you the same fate of martyrdom"
Hippolytus of Rome,On Daniel,11:30(A.D. 204),in OTT,319
"As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours."
Tertullian, The Crown,3(A.D. 211),in ANF,III:94
"Nor is that kind of title to glories in the case of Celerinus, our beloved, an unfamiliar and novel thing. He is advancing in the footsteps of his kindred; he rivals his parents and relations in equal honours of divine condescension. His grandmother, Celerina, was some time since crowned with martyrdom. Moreover, his paternal and maternal uncles, Laurentius and Egnatius, who themselves also were once warring in the camps of the world, but were true and spiritual soldiers of God, casting down the devil by the confession of Christ, merited palms and crowns from the Lord by their illustrious passion. We always offer sacrifices for them, as you remember, as often as we celebrate the passions and days of the martyrs in the annual commemoration. Nor could he, therefore, be degenerate and inferior whom this family dignity and a generous nobility provoked, by domestic examples of virtue and faith. But if in a worldly family it is a matter of heraldry and of praise to be a patrician, of bow much greater praise and honour is it to become of noble rank in the celestial heraldry! I cannot tell whom I should call more blessed,--whether those ancestors, for a posterity so illustrious, or him, for an origin so glorious. So equally between them does the divine condescension flow, and pass to and fro, that, just as the dignity of their offspring brightens their crown, so the sublimity of his ancestry illuminates his glory."
Cyprian,To Clergy and People,Epistle 33(39):3(A.D. 250),in ANF,V:313
"I am also of opinion that there were many persons of the same name with John the apostle, who by their love for him, and their admiration and emulation of him, and their desire to be loved by the Lord as he was loved, were induced to embrace also the same designation, just as we find many of the children of the faithful called by the names of Paul and Peter."
Dionysius of Alexandria,Books of Promises,5(A.D. 257),in ANF,VI:83
"Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth."
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,23:9(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:154
" Thus might you console us; but what of the flock? Would you first promise the oversight and leadership of yourself, a man under whose wings we all would gladly repose, and for whose words we thirst more eagerly than men suffering from thirst for the purest fountain? Secondly, persuade us that the good shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep(a) has not even now left us; but is present, and tends and guides, and knows his own, and is known of his own, and, though bodily invisible, is spiritually recognized, and defends his flock against the wolves, and allows no one to climb over into the fold as a robber and traitor; to pervert and steal away, by the voice of strangers, souls under the fair guidance of the truth. Aye, I am well assured that his intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay which obscured it, and holds intercourse naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest Mind; being promoted, if it be not rash to say so, to the rank and confidence of an angel."
John Chrysostom,On the Death of his Father,Oration 18:4(A.D. 374),in NPNF2,VII:255-256
"He voluntarily undertook all the toil of the journey; he moderated the energy of the faithful on the spot; he persuaded opponents by his arguments; in the presence of priests and deacons, and of many others who fear the Lord, he took up the relics with all becoming reverence, and has aided the brethren in their preservation. These relics do you receive with a joy equivalent to the distress with which their custodians have parted with them and sent them to you. Let none dispute; let none doubt. Here you have that unconquered athlete. These bones, which shared in the conflict with the blessed soul, are known to the Lord. These bones He will crown, together with that soul, in the righteous day of His requital, as it is written, 'we must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may give an account of the deeds he has done in the body.' One coffin held that honoured corpse. None other lay by his side. The burial was a noble one; the honours of a martyr were paid him. Christians who had welcomed him as a guest and then with their own hands laid him in the grave, have now disinterred him. They have wept as men bereaved of a father and a champion. But they have sent him to you, for they put your joy before their own consolation. Pious were the hands that gave; scrupulously careful were the hands that received. There has been no room for deceit; no room for guile. I bear witness to this. Let the untainted truth be accepted by you."
Basil,To Ambrose bishop of
"Futhermore, as to mentioning the names of the dead,how is there anything very useful in that? What is more timely or more excellent than that those who are still here should believe that the departed do live, and that they have not retreated into nothingness, but that they exist and are alive with the Master...Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf...For we make commemoration of the just and of sinners: of sinners, begging God's mercy for them; of the just and the Fathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists and martyrs and confessors, and of bishops and solitaries, and of the whole list of them..."
Epiphanius,Panarion,75:8(A.D. 377),in JUR,II:75-76
"Only may that power come upon us which strengthens weakness, through the prayers of him[i.e. St. Paul] who made his own strength perfect in bodily weakness"
Gregory of Nyssa,Against Eunomius,1:1(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,V:36
"But God forbid that any in this fair assembly should appear there suffering such things! but by the prayers of the holy fathers, correcting all our offences, and having shown forth the abundant fruit of virtue, may we depart hence with much confidence."
Chrysostom,On Statues,Homily 6:19(A.D. 387),in NPNF1,IX:389-390
"We, it is true, refuse to worship or adore, I say not the relics of the martyrs, but even the sun and moon, the angels and archangels, the Cherubim and Seraphim and 'every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.' For we may not "serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Still we honour the relics of the martyrs, that we may adore Him whose martyrs they are. We honour the servants that their honour may be reflected upon their Lord who Himself says:--'he that receiveth you receiveth me.' I ask Vigilantius, Are the relics of Peter and of Paul unclean? Was the body of Moses unclean, of which we are told (according to the correct Hebrew text) that it was buried by the Lord Himself? And do we, every time that we enter the basilicas of apostles and prophets and martyrs, pay homage to the shrines of idols? Are the tapers which burn before their tombs only the tokens of idolatry? I will go farther still and ask a question which will make this theory recoil upon the head of its inventor and which will either kill or cure that frenzied brain of his, so that simple souls shall be no more subverted by his sacrilegious reasonings. Let him answer me this, Was the Lord's body unclean when it was placed in the sepulchre? And did the angels clothed in white raiment merely watch over a corpse dead and defiled, that ages afterwards this sleepy fellow might indulge in dreams and vomit forth his filthy surfeit, so as, like the persecutor Julian, either to destroy the basilicas of the saints or to convert them into heathen temples?"
Jerome,To Riparius,Epistle 109:1(A.D. 404),in NPNF2,VI:212
"For you say that the souls of Apostles and martyrs have their abode either in the bosom of Abraham, or in the place of refreshment, or under the altar of God, and that they cannot leave their own tombs, and be present there they will. They are, it seems, of senatorial rank. and are not subjected to the worst kind of prison and the society of murderers, but are kept apart in liberal and honourable custody in the isles of the blessed and the Elysian fields. Will you lay down the law for God? Will you put the Apostles into chains? So that to the day of judgment they re to be kept in confinement, and are not with their Lord, although it is written concerning them, 'They follow the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth.' If the Lamb is present everywhere, the same must be believed respecting those who are with the Lamb. And while the devil and the demons wander through the whole world, and with only too great speed present themselves everywhere; are martyrs, after the shedding of their blood, to be kept out of sight shut up in a coffin, from whence they cannot escape? You say, in your pamphlet, that so long as we are alive we can pray for one another; but once we die, the prayer of no person for another can be heard, and all the more because the martyrs, though they cry for the avenging of their blood, have never been able to obtain their request. If Apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, when they ought still to be anxious for themselves, how much more must they do so when once they have won their crowns, overcome, and triumphed? A single man, Moses, oft wins pardon from God for six hundred thousand armed men; and Stephen, the follower of his Lord and the first Christian martyr, entreats pardon for his persecutors; and when once they have entered on their life with Christ, shall they have less power than before? The Apostle Paul says that two hundred and seventy-six souls were given to him in the ship; and when, after his dissolution, he has begun to be with Christ, must he shut his mouth, and be unable to say a word for those who throughout the whole world have believed in his Gospel? Shall Vigilantius the live dog be better than Paul the dead lion? I should be right in saying so after Ecclesiastes, if I admitted that Paul is dead in spirit. The truth is that the saints are not called dead, but are said to be asleep. Wherefore Lazarus, who was about to rise again, is said to have slept. And the Apostle forbids the Thessalonians to be sorry for those who were asleep. As for you, when wide awake you are asleep, and asleep when you write, and you bring before me an apocryphal book which, under the name of Esdras, is read by you and those of your feather, and in this book it is written that after death no one dares pray for others. I have never read the book: for what need is there to take up what the Church does not receive? It can hardly be your intention to confront me with Balsamus, and Barbelus, and the Thesaurus of Manichaeus, and the ludicrous name of Leusiboras; though possibly because you live at the foot of the Pyrenees, and border on Iberia, you follow the incredible marvels of the ancient heretic Basilides and his so-called knowledge, which is there ignorance, and set forth what is condemned by the authority of the whole world. I say this because in your short treatise you quote Solomon as if he were on your side, though Solomon never wrote the words in question at all; so that, as you have a second Esdras you may have a second Solomon. And, if you like, you may read the imaginary revelations of all the patriarchs and prophets, and, when you have learned them, you may sing them among the women in their weaving-shops, or rattler order them to be read in your taverns, the more easily by these melancholy ditties to stimulate the ignorant mob to replenish their cups."
Jerome,Against Vigilantius,6(A.D. 406),in NPNF2,VI:419-420
"As to our paying honor to the memory of the martyrs, and the accusation of Faustus, that we worship them instead of idols, I should not care to answer such a charge, were it not for the sake of showing how Faustus, in his desire to cast reproach on us, has overstepped the Manichaean inventions, and has fallen heedlessly into a popular notion found in Pagan poetry, although he is so anxious to be distinguished from the Pagans. For in saying that we have turned the idols into martyrs, be speaks of our worshipping them with similar rites, and appeasing the shades of the departed with wine and food. Do you, then, believe in shades? We never heard you speak of such things, nor have we read of them in your books. In fact, you generally oppose such ideas: for you tell us that the souls of the dead, if they are wicked, or not purified, are made to pass through various changes, or suffer punishment still more severe; while the good souls are placed in ships, and sail through heaven to that imaginary region of light which they died fighting for. According to you, then, no souls remain near the burying-place of the body; and how can there be any shades of the departed? What and where are they? Faustus' love of evil-speaking has made him forget his own creed; or perhaps he spoke in his sleep about ghosts, and did not wake up even when he saw his words in writing. It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers. But we build altars not to any martyr, but to the God of martyrs, although it is to the memory of the martyrs. No one officiating at the altar in the saints' burying-place ever says, We bring an offering to thee, O Peter! or O Paul! or O Cyprian! The offering is made to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in memory of those thus crowned. The emotion is increased by the associations of the place, and. love is excited both towards those who are our examples, and towards Him by whose help we may follow such examples. We regard the martyrs with the same affectionate intimacy that we feel towards holy men of God in this life, when we know that their hearts are prepared to endure the same suffering for the truth of the gospel. There is more devotion in our feeling towards the martyrs, because we know that their conflict is over; and we can speak with greater confidence in praise of those already victors in heaven, than of those still combating here. What is properly divine worship, which the Greeks call latria, and for which there is no word in Latin, both in doctrine and in practice, we give only to God. To this worship belongs the offering of sacrifices; as we see in the word idolatry, which means the giving of this worship to idols. Accordingly we never offer, or require any one to offer, sacrifice to a martyr, or to a holy soul, or to any angel. Any one falling into this error is instructed by doctrine, either in the way of correction or of caution. For holy beings themselves, whether saints or angels, refuse to accept what they know to be due to God alone. We see this in Paul and Barnabas, when the men of Lycaonia wished to sacrifice to them as gods, on account of the miracles they performed. They rent their clothes, and restrained the people, crying out to them, and persuading them that they were not gods. We see it also in the angels, as we read in the Apocalypse that an angel would not allow himself to be worshipped, and said to his worshipper, 'I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethen.' Those who claim this worship are proud spirits, the devil and his angels, as we see in all the temples and rites of the Gentiles. Some proud men, too, have copied their example; as is related of some kings of
Augustine,Against Faustus,20:21(A.D. 400),in NPNF1,IV:261-262
"Even if we make images of pious men it is not that we may adore them as gods but that when we see them we might be prompted to imitate them."
Cyril of Alexandria,On Psalms 113(115)(ante A.D. 444),in JUR,III:218
"The noble souls of the triumphant are sauntering around heaven, dancing in the choruses of the bodiless; and not one tomb for each conceals their bodies, but cities and villages divide them up and call them healers and preservers of souls and bodies, and venerate them a guardians and protectors of cities; and when they intervene as ambassadors before the Master of the universe the divine gifts are obtained through them; and though the body has been divided, its grace has continued undivided. And that little particle and smallest relic has the same power as the absolutely and utterly undivided martyr."
Theodoret of Cyrus,The Cure of Pagan Maladies,8:54(A.D. 449),in JUR,III:241
" Thou gainest nothing, thou prevailest nothing, O savage cruelty. His mortal frame is released from thy devices, and, when Laurentius departs to heaven, thou art vanquished. The flame of Christ's love could not be overcome by thy flames, and the fire which burnt outside was less keen than that which blazed within. Thou didst but serve the martyr in thy rage, O persecutor: thou didst but swell the reward in adding to the pain. For what did thy cunning devise, which did not redound to the conqueror's glory, when even the instruments of torture were counted as part of the triumph? Let us rejoice, then, dearly-beloved, with spiritual joy, and make our boast over the happy end of this illustrious man in the Lord, Who is 'wonderful in His saints,' in whom He has given us a support and an example, and has so spread abroad his glory throughout the world, that, from the rising of the sun to its going down, the brightness of his deacon's light doth shine, and Rome is become as famous in Laurentius as Jerusalem was ennobled by Stephen. By his prayer and intercession we trust at all times to be assisted; that, because all, as the Apostle says, 'who wish to live holily in Christ, suffer persecutions,' we may be strengthened with the spirit of love, and be fortified to overcome all temptations by the perseverance of steadfast faith. Through our LORD Jesus Christ"
Pope Leo the Great[regn. A.D. 440-461],On the Feast of Laurence the Martyr,Sermon 85:4(ante A.D. 461),in NPNF2,XII:198
"To the saints honour must be paid as friends of Christ, as sons and heirs of God: in the words of John the theologian and evangelist, As many as received Him, to them gave He power to became sons of God. So that they are no longer servants, but sons: and if sons, also heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: and the Lord in the holy Gospels says to His apostles, Ye are My friends. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth. And further, if the Creator and Lord of all things is called also King of Kings and Lord of Lords and God of Gods, surely also the saints are gods and lords and kings. For of these God is and is called God and Lord and King. For I am the God of Abraham, He said to Moses, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And God made Moses a god to Pharaoh. Now I mean gods and kings and lords not in nature, but as rulers and masters of their passions, and as preserving a truthful likeness to the divine image according to which they were made (for the image of a king is also called king), and as being united to God of their own free-will and receiving Him as an indweller and becoming by grace through participation with Him what He is Himself by nature. Surely, then, the worshippers and friends and sons of God are to be held in honour? For the honour shewn to the most thoughtful of fellow-servants is a proof of good feeling towards the common Master."
John of Damascene,Orthodox Faith,4:15(A.D. 743),in NPNF2,IX:86
"We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence, not indeed that true worship of faith(latria) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented. For thus the teaching of our holy Fathers, that is the tradition of the Catholic Church, which from one end of the earth to the other hath received the Gospel, is strengthened."
Ecumenical Council of Nicea II,Action VII(A.D. 787),in NPNF2,XIV:550
"He stood in need of baptism, or of the descent of the Spirit like a dove; even as He submitted to be born and to be crucified, not because He needed such things, but because of the human race, which from Adam had fallen under the power of death and the guile of the serpent, and each one of which had committed personal transgression. For God, wishing both angels and men, who were endowed with freewill, and at their own disposal, to do whatever He had strengthened each to do, made them so, that if they chose the things acceptable to Himself, He would keep them free from death and from punishment; but that if they did evil, He would punish each as He sees fit. For it was not His entrance into Jerusalem sitting on an ass, which we have showed was prophesied, that empowered Him to be Christ, but it furnished men with a proof that He is the Christ; just as it was necessary in the time of John that men have proof, that they might know who is Christ."
Justin Martyr,Dialogue with Trypho,88:4(A.D. 155),in ANF,I:243-244
"And not by the aforesaid things alone has the Lord manifested Himself, but [He has done this] also by means of His passion. For doing away with [the effects of] that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;" rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was [wrought out] upon the tree [of the cross]. Now He would not have come to do away, by means of that same [image], the disobedience which had been incurred towards our Maker if He proclaimed another Father. But inasmuch as it was by these things that we disobeyed God, and did not give credit to His word, so was it also by these same that He brought in obedience and consent as respects His Word; by which things He clearly shows forth God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning."
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,V:16:3(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:544
"Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame. "
Tertullian,On the Soul,40(A.D. 208),in ANF,III:220
"Everyone in the world falls prostrate under sin. And it is the Lord who sets up those who are cast down and who sustains all who are falling. In Adam all die, and thus the world prostrate and requires to be set up again, so that Christ all may be made to live."
Origen,Homilies on Jeremias,8:1(post A.D. 244),in JUR,I:205
"If, in the case of the worst sinners and of those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from Baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been BORN, has done no sin [committed no personal sin], except that, born of the flesh according to Adam. He has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another[i.e. from Adam]." Cyprian,Epistle to Fidus,68:5(c A.D. 250),in ANF,V:354
"But if any one were to think that the earthy image is the flesh itself, but the heavenly image some other spiritual body besides the flesh; let him first consider that Christ, the heavenly man, when He appeared, bore the same form of limbs and the same image of flesh as ours, through which also He, who was not man, became man, that "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' For if He bore flesh for any other reason than that of setting the flesh free, and raising it up, why did He bear flesh superfluously, as He purposed neither to save it, nor to raise it up? But the Son of God does nothing superfluously. He did not then take the form of a servant uselessly, but to raise it up and save it. For He truly was made man, and died, and not in mere appearance, but that He might truly be shown to be the first begotten from the dead, changing the earthy into the heavenly, and the mortal into the immortal."
Methodius,On the Resurrection,13(A.D. 300),in ANF,VI:368
"That Lord, I say, who in His simple and immaterial Deity, entered our nature, and of the virgin's womb became ineffably incarnate; that Lord, who was partaker of nothing else save the lump of Adam, who was by the serpent tripped up."
Methodius,Oration concerning Simeon and Anna,13(ante A.D. 300),in ANF,VI:392
"Moreover, among the sons of Adam there is none besides Him who might enter the race without being wounded or swallowed up. For sin has ruled from the time Adam transgressed the command. By one among the many was it swallowed up; many did it wound, and many did it kill; but none among the many killed it until our Savior came, who took it on Himself and fixed it to His cross." Aphraates the Persian Sage,Treatises,7:1(ante A.D. 345),in JUR,I:303
"Adam sinned and earned all sorrows;--likewise the world after His example, all guilt.--And instead of considering how it should be restored,--considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.--Glory to Him Who came and restored it!"
Ephraem,Hymns on the Epiphany,10:1(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,XIII:280
"Through him our forefather Adam was cast out for disobedience, and exchanged a
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,2:4-5(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:9
"And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent's deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, 'For we are not ignorant of his devices' Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself' sent, that, He, being and remaining the same, by taking this alterable flesh, 'might condemn sin in it,' and might secure its freedom, and its ability s henceforth 'to fulfil the righteousness of the law' in itself, so as to be able to say, 'But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us.' " Athanasius,Against the Arians,I:51(A.D. 358),in NPNF2,IV:336
"Little given, much gotten; by the donation of food the original sin is discharged. Just as Adam transmitted the sin by his wicked eating, we destroy that treacherous food when we cure the need and hunger." Basil,Eulogies & Sermons,Famine & Drought 8:7(ante 379),in JUR,II:23
"And further, above this, we have in common reason, the Law, the Prophets, the very Sufferings of Christ, by which we were all without exception created anew, who partake of the same Adam, and were led astray by the serpent and slain by sin, and are saved by the heavenly Adam and brought back by the tree of shame to the tree of life from whence we had fallen."
Gregory of Nazianzen,Against the Arians,33:9(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,VII:331
"For death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed upon all; that we may not refuse to acknowledge Him to be also the Author of death, Whom we do not refuse to acknowledge as the Author of our race; and that, as through one death is ours, so should be also the resurrection; and that we should not refuse the misery, that we may attain to the gift. For, as we read, Christ 'is come to save that which was lost,' and 'to be Lord both of the dead and living.' In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of Paradise, in Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ. If, then, death be the debt of all, we must be able to endure the payment. But this topic must be reserved for later treatment."
Ambrose,On the Death of his brother Satyrus,II:6(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,X:175
"In whom" -- that is, in Adam -- 'all have sinned'. And he said 'in whom,' using the masculine form, when he was speaking of a woman, because the reference was not to a specific individual but to the race. It is clear, therefore, that all have sinned in Adam,en masse as it were; for when he himself was corrupted by sin, all whom he begot were born under sin. On his account, then, all are sinners, because we are all from him. He lost God's favor when he strayed."
Ambrosiaster, Commentaries on thirteen Pauline Epistles,Rom 5:12(A.D. 384),in JUR,II:177
"How then did death come in and prevail? "Through the sin of one." But what means, "for that all have sinned?" This; he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal ... From whence it is clear, that it was not this sin, the transgression, that is, of the Law, but that of Adam's disobedience, which marred all things. Now what is the proof of this? The fact that even before the Law all died: for 'death reigned' he says, 'from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.' How did it reign? 'After the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.' Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ ... [W]hen the Jew says to thee, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? thou mightest be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned?"
John Chrysostom,Homily on Romans,10(A.D. 391),in NPNF1,XI:401-402
"After Adam sinned, as I noted before, when the Lord said, 'You are earth, and to earth you shall return', Adam was condemned to death. This condemnation passed on to the whole race. For all sinned, already by their sharing in that nature, as the Apostle says: "For through one man sin made its entry, and through sin death, and thus it came down to all men, because all have sinned. ... Someone will say to me: But the sin of Adam deservedly passed on to his posterity, because they were begotten of him: but how are we to be begotten of Christ, so that we can be saved through Him? Do not think of these things in a carnal fashion. You have already seen how we are begotten by Christ our Parent. In these last times Christ took a soul and with it flesh from Mary:this flesh came to prepare salvation."
Pacian,Sermons on Baptism,2,6(ante A.D. 392),in JUR,II:143-144
"Evil was mixed with our nature from the beginning ... through those who by their disobedience introduced the disease. Just as in the natural propagation of the species each animal engenders its like, so man is born from man, a being subject to passions from a being subject to passions, a sinner from a sinner. Thus sin takes its rise in us as we are born; it grows with us and keeps us company till life's term"
Gregory of Nyssa,The Beatitudes,6(ante A.D. 394),in ECD,351
"This grace, however, of Christ, without which neither infants nor adults can be saved, is not rendered for any merits, but is given gratis, on account of which it is also called grace. 'Being justified,' says the apostle, 'freely through His blood.' Whence they, who are not liberated through grace, either because they are not yet able to hear, or because they are unwilling to obey; or again because they did not receive, at the time when they were unable on account of youth to hear, that bath of regeneration, which they might have received and through which they might have been saved, are indeed justly condemned; because they are not without sin, either that which they have derived from their birth, or that which they have added from their own misconduct. 'For all have sinned'--whether in Adam or in themselves--"and come short of the glory of God.' "
Augustine,On Nature and Grace,4(A.D. 415),in NPNF1,V:122
"[T]his concupiscence, I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration, does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of sin to a man's posterity, unless they are themselves loosed from it by regeneration."
Augustine,On Marriage and Concupiscence,1:23(A.D. 420),in NPNF1,V:274
"Can. 1 If anyone says that by the offense of Adam's trangression not the whole man, that is, according to body and soul, was changed for the worse, but believes that while the liberty of the soul endures without harm, the body only is exposed to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and resists the Scriptures .... Can. 2 If anyone asserts that Adam's trangression injured him alone and not his descendents, or declares that certainly death of the body only, which is the punishment of sin, but not sin also, which is death of the soul, passed through one man into the whole human race, he will do an injustice to God, contradicting the Apostle." Council of