Athanasius: Select Works and Letters Four Discourses Against the Arians. Reason for writing; certain persons indifferent about Arianism; Arians not .. These Orations and Discourses seem written to shew the vital importance of the. Looking for an examination copy? If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please. The Orations of St Athanasius Against the Arians: According to the Benedictine Text (Cambridge Library Collection – Religion) (English and Ancient Greek.

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Full arianns of ” The orations of St. Athanasius against the Arians: Introduction, on the Life of St. Necessity of exposing the true character of Arianism. Reference to the ‘ Thalia ‘ of Anus for its essential propositions.

Four Orations Against the Arians | work by Athanasius |

The Catholic doctrine stated. Ana- logy of human parentage, how far applicable. The term ‘ Ingenerate ‘ discussed. Moral unalterableness of the Son as such. Examination of the texts alleged by Arians: These are shown to harmonize with Catholic doctrine. Examination of texts resumed: Points in which the Son differs from all creatures as such. The Arian theory, that He is a creature, created to create others, absurd.

Contrast between the respective relations of creatures and of the Son to the Father. Scripture illustrations helpful up to a certain point. The Sonship necessarily mysterious. The one Word of God contrasted with other ‘words. Illustration of the point from Deut.

The Incarnation in what sense necessary. Consideration of the context of the passage in Proverbs. Examination of John xiv. Doctrine of Coinherence of the Father and the Son.

Texts on ‘ unity ‘ of the Father and the Son, as John x. The unity of Father and Son must be essential. Another Arian explanation, comparing the unity of Father and Son to that of Christians with each other, refuted by the title of ‘the Word.

The Incarnation has a twofold aspect. The Incarnate Athanasiys has a Divine and a human sphere of action: Texts, like Mark xiii. Supplementary consideration of an Arian objection as to the Son being ‘ begotten by will.

The ‘ Monarch ia,’ or Unity of Origin in the Godhead, is entirely consistent with, and indeed requires, the doctrine of a Personal Word or Son. Texts ascribing human limitations to the Son refer to Him as In- carnate Mediator. Contrast between Arians and the Marcellian school. Against the Sabellianizing theory of a Word going forth after quiescence into action, and then returning into quiescence, as if there were 1 an ‘expansion,’ 2 a ‘contraction’ of Deity, a The Word identical with the Son.

The Word, in the Incarnation, was not associated with a man, but became Man, con- tinuing to be God. Thus Jesus Christ is both God and Man. Page 45, line 23, for fiivoixev.

The ‘ Orations of St. Athanasius arhanasius the Arians ‘ are here reprinted from the Benedictine text, in a form which, it againsf hoped, will prove convenient to students of theology.

It seems desirable to prefix to them some account of the life of their ever-memorable author. Those who think of studying the life of St. Athanasius will need no prefatory assurance of its grandeur. They will prob- ably know something of it, to begin with, — enough to make them desirous of knowing more. The name, a wrians word through Christendom, — the story, in its merest outline so im- pressive, — the character, which compelled even Gibbon 2 to acknowledge its majesty, — athanasiys are elements of unique, un- failing interest, independently of the attractiveness which all adherents agaihst a great religion must find in the record of such great things done for its cause.

It would be hardly less superfluous to disclaim any expecta- tion of doing justice in a few pages to oratiosn broad and lofty a theme. What will be attempted is, to describe this career in its 1 This Introduction is reprinted from the edition ofwith some alterations and additions. To conceal that sympathy for his side in oorations Arian contest, which is involved in the confession of the Nicene faith, would be a paltry and foolish affectation: Athanasius was born at Alexandria ; in the words of the Emperor Constantius, that city contained his ‘paternal home 1 ;’ and his father’s tomb is known to have been situated in its out- skirts 2.


Of his family circumstances we know but little: The time of his birth can be approximately deter- mined by observing that his recollections of the ‘ persecution under Maximian,’ inwere imperfect 5and that he was comparatively young when consecrated athanssius a.

Thus we athanaskus that he was born about 7: Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, — so runs the story,’ — after finishing a festival service in commemoration of his martyred predecessor, 1 Ath. Looking out towards the shore, he saw a party of boys who were evidently imitating Church ceremonies ; after watching them for a while with interest, he observed that they were enacting a mimic baptism.

Four Orations Against the Arians

This, he thought, was going too far: Upon which, after consulting the clergy, Alexander resolved to treat this baptism as valid, only adding the episcopal imposition of hands, and the application of chrism to the forehead, — in one word, confirmation. He then, it is added, exhorted the parents of the young officiants to train them up for actual Church ministry ; and the ‘ boy-bishop,’ in particular, having been duly sent to school, was ‘ given back ‘ to Alexander as a ‘ deposit,’ and ‘ bred up, like another Samuel, in the temple.

Still, it is likely enough that bishop Peter had discerned in the boy some promise of a high vocation, and had exhorted his parents to watch over it ; and it is certain that Alexander did become his kind and fatherly patron, took him into his house, and employed him as a secretary.

The position involved some signal advantages. It was much to be 1 See the verses on ‘Enacting Holy Rites,’ at p. Peter had been martyred on Nov. The Benedictines and Tillemont reject the story ; see too Neale, i. Such was the introduction of Athanasius, probably soon afterto the threshold of his ministry. He was eminently qualified to make full use of all his opportunities ; and they were many and various. All his antecedents had exercised his powers of observation.

He had been bred up in a home ruled by Christian influences, but amidst the many-sided life of that vast city 6so ‘full of stirs,’ an intellectual as well as a com- mercial meeting-place 7 for various nationalities, — a scene of collisions, and also of fusions, between widely diverse elements. Whenever he traversed the broad street that ran from the Sun- gate southwards 8or looked around him at the Tetrapylon, the Alexandrian ‘ Carfax,’ he would find something new in the aspects of that strange population, so frivolous and restless, so bitterly contentious and feverishly excitable 9: Cyril of Alex, says, Epist.

If he turned to the south-east, he would reach the Jewish district, where the indestructible race which at one time held two-fifths of the city, and gloried in its grand synagogue and in the legal authority of its ethnarch 4still, after many losses and sufferings 5held its own, — with its proverbial sharpness in overreaching a Gentile customer 6and its sleepless watchfulness for an oppor- tunity of striking at the Church 7.

To the north of this ‘ Jewry ‘ Athanasius passed much time, as a young student, in the ‘ Dida- scaleion’ or Catechetical School 8so famous for a line of teachers including such names as Dionysius, Origen, and Clement: His mind was prepared for future meditation on the hypotheses of pantheism and materialism, and eagerly took 1 See Ath.

The Museum had been greatly injured in the devastation of the Bruchion quarter in a.

But all his early studies were subordinated to the object of becoming ‘ a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven. And whatever he learned as an ecclesiastical student would come home to him with special meaning and vitality when he remem- bered how often the streets of his native city had been reddened with Christian blood.

Those vivid anecdotes of Alexandrian martyrdom or confessorship 3which we read in the pages of Eusebius whom Athanasius, as a boy, may have seen in Alexandria about must have been familiar to all Alex- andrian Church-people: A deep impression, probably, was made on his mind by what he would hear of Phileas bishop of Thmuis, who suffered inproclaiming his faith in the Divinity of the Crucified 5: And even after the persecution was over, he would have frequent evidence of the hostility which Christianity, although again a ‘licensed religion,’ was still called upon to face.


Those sharp Alexandrian mockeries which had not spared even kings and emperors were levelled ceaselessly at a religion which affirmed an Incarnation and gloried in a Cross 1and whose votaries had lately been hurried in masses to a death of ignominy and torture. But another experience of a very different kind, most fruitful in its consequences, did much to intensify the religious convictions of Athanasius: He tells us, in his ‘Life 2 ‘ of the great hermit, that he had often seen him; and although that reading of one passage which makes him say that he ‘ for some time attended on him, and poured water upon his hands,’ may be considered doubtful, we know that afterwards Athanasius was described as an ‘ ascetic 3 ,’ and that when in later days of trouble he took shelter among the monks of Egypt, he found himself perfectly at home.

Writings of Athanasius. Introduction to Four Discourses Against the Arians – Discourse I

He contracted an extreme admiration for monasticism, which will not surprise us if we consider that the spiritual enthusiasm of Christianity had found a most emphatic, although a againstt expression, in such a life as was being led by men who had fled from a town-society at once tainted and brutalized beyond modern conception 4and had imitated the first Christians by actually ‘ giving up all ‘ for Christ.

In the character athanasisu St. Antony, the morbid and eccentric elements of 1 Ath. There are, indeed, difficulties in the ‘ Arkans considered as a work of Athanasius. Such a book would be likely to receive additions, in the way of marginal notes, from readers who had anecdotes of their own respecting Antony.

Writings of Athanasius. Four Discourses Against the Arians – Discourse I

Gwatkin Studies of Arianism, p. The scepticism which would make Antony a mere mythical hero suggests more difficulties than athanzsius removes. His athanasisu moral judgment 1his serene courage, his deep tenderness, even the outward charm of a face that never lost its bright tranquillity 2and that would seem especially radiant when, — as Athanasius perhaps saw him, — he stood, conspicuous by his white cloak newly washed, in the very path of the Alexandrian prefect in the last days of the persecution 3— all this union of strength and sweetness would act irresistibly on the imagination orationw affection of such a youth as Athanasius: He wrote, for the benefit of a convert from Heathenism, a work consisting of two essays, ‘ Against the Gentiles’ and ‘On the Incarnation of the Word 5.

The first of the two treatises offers a refutation of Heathenism, and then ariane constructively to Monotheism, and to atainst recognition of the Divine Son and Word. It ex- hibits the lively play of a young author’s mind 6together with a characteristic attention to different oratoins of one truth 7and a not less characteristic boldness in retorting on Pagans the charge of ‘ fatuity,’ and in analyzing the various apologies advanced for a refined and sublimated polytheism.

In the second treatise, Athanasius begins by stating the primary truth of the existence of one supreme Creator, and then shows how, 1 See his sayings in Coteler.

The Cross — Athanasius argues — was indispensable, as the truest enhancement of Christ’s glory ; and His resurrection could alone account for the moral triumphs of His religion. What mankind needed, an Incarnate God could alone bestow, and Christ alone has bestowed it: After dwelling triumphantly on this great subject, the writer urges his friend to study the Scriptures, but to remember that a prepara- tion of heart and will is a condition of appreciating their arisns ; and so concludes a treatise of which Againsst 1 has said that it was the first attempt ever made to present the doctrines and facts of Christianity in a philosophically religious form.

See arlans analysis of the De Incarnatione ib. It was in a. Their author, it appeared, was Arius, a priest of mature age, who, after a period of misdirected and factious activity 2had attained a high position as pastor of the oldest church in Alexandria 3.

He was respected for his ascetic life, and admired for his eloquent preaching and dialectical ability; while his influence was enhanced by a grave demeanour and a voice full of persuasive charm 4.