2.23.1 The holy fathers also spoke to the philosopher about a spring, a river, and water through Bishop Leontius: “This too you must consider, philosopher—you who finally love truth. Let us consider a spring which produces a river of water. As you know, every river has a spring which produces it. So the river proceeds from the spring of water, but no one calls the river a spring or the spring a river. Rather, they call the spring a spring and the river a river, and both are one water.

2.23.2 When someone wants to have water drawn from a river or spring, he uses a different noun. He would not say, ‘Go draw and bring me the spring or the river,’ but rather water. There is one nature, but we must speak of three ‘faces’ [πρόσωπα]: spring, river, and water.

2.23.3 Moreover, we have shown that Holy Scripture declares this; we are not speaking to you anything foreign to it, O finally genuine son of grace, although we introduced the word of truth in examples, pictures, and images.

2.23.4 For this reason Holy Scripture says about the Son that he bends ‘towards them like a river of peace’ [Isaiah 66:12], proceeding, clearly, from the true spring of life, that is, from the Father’s divine nature, as the Lord himself proclaims in the Gospels: ‘I came from the Father, and I am here’ [John 8:42]. He also very clearly said: ‘I and the Father are one’ [John 10:30], and ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’ [John 14:11].

2.23.5 The Lord says that we believers all receive from him the Holy Spirit, being of the same essence as the Father and the Son, proceeding from the Father, and being the Son’s own Spirit, as we have shown above. The Lord himself clearly taught in the Gospels that the Holy Spirit pours out from him upon us when he said, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him’ [John 7:37-38]. The Evangelist, inspired by God, adds the following to interpret what was said: ‘He said this about the Spirit, whom those who believe in him were going to receive’ [John 7:39].

2.23.6 See what the prophet David proclaims about this truly living spring, the Holy Trinity: ‘With you is the spring of life. In your light we will see light’ [Psalm 36:9, LXX 35:10]. He calls God the Father the spring of life while addressing the Son since the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. He addresses the Son as light, and by this light he says he will see light, that is, the Holy Spirit. For he says, ‘In your light we will see light.’

2.23.7 The Father is the true spring of life and light; the Son is light from the light of the Father; the Holy Spirit is light from the Son’s light.

2.23.8 As we have said many times, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have one divine nature, as God himself proclaims through the prophet: ‘I am God; there is no other’ [Isaiah 45:21], and ‘I, God, am the first, and I am the last’ [Isaiah 44:6], and ‘I am forever’ [Isaiah 48:12], and again, ‘I am, and I do not change’ [Malachi 3:6], and so on, in keeping with what we demonstrated before.

2.23.9 In fact, I find it necessary to repeat the passages—if not all of them because of their quantity, then at least the clearer ones—so that you may have a firmer understanding of what has been said.

2.23.10 Therefore, we will explain the words of the prophet Jeremiah: ‘He who established the earth for time everlasting filled it with four-footed animals. He sends the light out, and it goes. He called it, and it obeyed him with trembling. The stars shone in their stations and rejoiced. He called them, and they said, “We are here.” They shone with joy for him who made them. This is our God. No one can be compared to him,’ and so on.

2.23.11 Therefore, God-loving philosopher, one must pay attention here and ponder the meaning of this Scripture. He showed, as you yourself have agreed, that this was foretold about the Son, for it says, ‘Then he appeared on the earth and lived with humans.’

2.23.12 Therefore, consider what would be true if, as Arius claims in his ungodly depravity, the Son had a different, created essence and were God after the Father. Scripture says about him, ‘This is our God. No one can be compared to him.’ Then, according to ungodly Arius, the Father is not God, for it says about the Son, ‘No one can be compared to him.’ Thus the ungodly Ariomaniacs1 along with the author of their blasphemy are convicted of rejecting the deity of the Father in their denial of the Son. So the enemies of truth prove to be utterly atheistic.

2.23.13 As it says in the general epistles, whoever does not have the Son ‘does not have the Father.’ The catholic faith knows and worships one deity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—to whom no one can be compared. The mystery of the Holy, consubstantial Trinity, deserving of worship, is inconceivable, indescribable, and entirely incomprehensible; it can only be apprehended by faith.”


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Created by RR 7-28-21

  1. Cf. 1.0.4, n. 5.

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