The glorious paradox of Christ's person
 from Gregory Nazianzen's Third Theological Oration
A rebuttal of a variant of Arian heresy
(from section XIX and XX).

From ccel's excellent resource

... He was born of a woman — but she was a Virgin. The first is human, the

second Divine. In His Human nature He had no Father, but also in His Divine

Nature no Mother. Both these belong to Godhead. He dwelt in the womb — but He

was recognized by the Prophet, himself still in the womb, leaping before the

Word, for Whose sake He came into being. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes —

but He took off the swathing bands of the grave by His rising again. He was

laid in a manger — but He was glorified by Angels, and proclaimed by a star,

and worshipped by the Magi.


Why are you offended by that which is presented to your sight, because you

will not look at that which is presented to your mind? He was driven into

exile into Egypt — but He drove away the Egyptian idols. He had no form nor

comeliness in the eyes of the Jews — but to David He is fairer than the

children of men. And on the Mountain He was bright as the lightning, and

became more luminous than the sun, initiating us into the mystery of the future.



XX.     He was baptized as Man — but He remitted sins as God — not because He

needed purificatory rites Himself, but that He might sanctify the element of

water. He was tempted as Man, but He conquered as God; yea, He bids us be of

good cheer, for He has overcome the world. He hungered — but He fed thousands;

yea, He is the Bread that giveth life, and That is of heaven. He thirsted — but

He cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. Yea, He promised

that fountains should flow from them that believe. He was wearied, but He is

the Rest of them that are weary and heavy laden. He was heavy with sleep, but

He walked lightly over the sea. He rebuked the winds, He made Peter light as

he began to sink. He pays tribute, but it is out of a fish; yea, He is the

King of those who demanded it. He is called a Samaritan and a demoniac — but

He saves him that came down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves; the demons

acknowledge Him, and He drives out demons and sinks in the sea legions of foul

spirits, and sees the Prince of the demons falling like lightning. He is

stoned, but is not taken. He prays, but He hears prayer. He weeps, but He

causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus was laid, for He was Man; but He

raises Lazarus, for He was God. He is sold, and very cheap, for it is only for

thirty pieces of silver; but He redeems the world, and that at a great price,

for the Price was His own blood. As a sheep He is led to the slaughter, but He

is the Shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also. As a Lamb He is

silent, yet He is the Word, and is proclaimed by the Voice of one crying in

the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, but He healeth every disease and

every infirmity. He is lifted up and nailed to the Tree, but by the Tree of

Life He restoreth us; yea, He saveth even the Robber crucified with Him; yea,

He wrapped the visible world in darkness. He is given vinegar to drink mingled

with gall. Who? He who turned the water into wine, who is the destroyer of the

bitter taste, who is Sweetness and altogether desire.



He lays down His life, but He has power to take it again; and the veil is

rent, for the mysterious doors of Heaven are opened; the rocks are cleft, the

dead arise. He dies, but He gives life, and by His death destroys death. He is

buried, but He rises again; He goes down into Hell, but He brings up the

souls; He ascends to Heaven, and shall come again to judge the quick and the

dead, and to put to the test such words as yours. If the one give you a

starting point for your error, let the others put an end to it.


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