Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Anti-Marcion/Against Praxeas/XXX

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chapter XXX.—How the Son Was Forsaken by the Father Upon the Cross. The True Meaning Thereof Fatal to Praxeas. So Too, the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension, Session at the Father’s Right Hand, and Mission of the Holy Ghost.

However, if you persist in pushing your views further, I shall find means of answering you with greater stringency, and of meeting you with the exclamation of the Lord Himself, so as to challenge you with the question, What is your inquiry and reasoning about that?  You have Him exclaiming in the midst of His passion: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”[1] Either, then, the Son suffered, being “forsaken” by the Father, and the Father consequently suffered nothing, inasmuch as He forsook the Son; or else, if it was the Father who suffered, then to what God was it that He addressed His cry?  But this was the voice of flesh and soul, that is to say, of man—not of the Word and Spirit, that is to say, not of God; and it was uttered so as to prove the impassibility of God, who “forsook” His Son, so far as He handed over His human substance to the suffering of death.  This verity the apostle also perceived, when he writes to this effect: “If the Father spared not His own Son.”[2] This did Isaiah before him likewise perceive, when he declared: “And the Lord hath delivered Him up for our offences.”[3] In this manner He “forsook” Him, in not sparing Him; “forsook” Him, in delivering Him up. In all other respects the Father did not forsake the Son, for it was into His Father’s hands that the Son commended His spirit.[4] Indeed, after so commending it, He instantly died; and as the Spirit[5] remained with the flesh, the flesh cannot undergo the full extent of death, i.e., in corruption and decay. For the Son, therefore, to die, amounted to His being forsaken by the Father. The Son, then, both dies and rises again, according to the Scriptures.[6] It is the Son, too, who ascends to the heights of heaven,[7] and also descends to the inner parts of the earth.[8] “He sitteth at the Father’s right hand”[9]—not the Father at His own. He is seen by Stephen, at his martyrdom by stoning, still sitting at the right hand of God[10] where He will continue to sit, until the Father shall make His enemies His footstool.[11] He will come again on the clouds of heaven, just as He appeared when He ascended into heaven.[12] Meanwhile He has received from the Father the promised gift, and has shed it forth, even the Holy Spirit—the Third Name in the Godhead, and the Third Degree of the Divine Majesty; the Declarer of the One Monarchy of God, but at the same time the Interpreter of the Economy, to every one who hears and receives the words of the new prophecy;[13] and “the Leader into all truth,”[14] such as is in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according to the mystery of the doctrine of Christ.


Footnotes[edit]

  1. Matt. xxvii. 46.
  2. Rom. viii. 32.
  3. This is the sense rather than the words of Isa. liii. 5, 6.
  4. Luke xxiii. 46.
  5. i.e., the divine nature.
  6. 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4.
  7. John iii. 13.
  8. Eph. iv. 9.
  9. Mark xvi. 19; Rev. iii. 21.
  10. Acts vii. 55.
  11. Ps. cx. 1.
  12. Acts i. 11; Luke xxi. 37.
  13. Tertullian was now a [pronounced] Montanist.
  14. John xvi. 13.