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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

St Cyril of Alexandria Against Nestorius (Part 1 of 2)

Translated by P. E. Pusey

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Truth of human writings must be tested by Scripture. Arian errors and against Holy Ghost. Errors of heretics on their heads. Nestorius' book of Homilies. S. John i. 1,3,14,18. True Union of Person. Mother of God. "Made Flesh;" Manichees have no plea; without it, the curse and decay would still have been our lot. " Mother of God" except it express a Truth, may no ways be allowed. 'Passed through,' objected to. To be Incarnate, belongs to one who was, before He was Man. " Mixture " of old used in right sense. One of Nestorius' sermons quoted as owning God and Man in one. συνάφεια. A mother, mother of a man, though the body only is taken of her. Elizabeth mother of S. John the Baptist. Eusebius of Dorylaeum opposes Nestorius in church. GOD the SON had two Births. The Creed of Nicea on the Incarnation. The Creed recited. Nestorius cites from that of Constantinople. "Incarnate" begotten after the flesh. If it did but mean indwelt it would be common to all. S. John's most careful accurate language. That the Virgin Mary bare God, does not exclude the Eternal Generation, nor render her an object of worship.

THOSE who wish to explore the holy Scripture and who drive away negligence in doing so, and thirst rather for the attainment thereof, and apply themselves vigorously and apart from all sloth----the being in every good shall be their's, for they fill their mind with the Divine Light: and then applying it to the doctrines of the Church, they admit every thing that is right and unadulterate, and that most readily, and lay it up in the hidden treasures of their soul, and rejoice as much in what they in their desire of knowledge have collected, as others who are worldly, in insatiably collecting Indian gems or gold, yea rather, yet more: for wisdom is better than costly stones, and every precious thing is not worthy of her, as it is written. For I say that they who are wise and prudent and skilled in the Divine doctrines, ought to remember what has been profitably written by one of the holy Disciples, Brethren try the spirits whether they he of God. And the Divine Paul says that to the saints has been given discerning of spirits.

For the one who say Lord Jesus, will say it none otherwise than through the Holy Ghost: and they who out of unlearning let loose a contradicting tongue against them, and wherein those think rightly, these all but say Jesus Anathema, from Beelzebub will they do so. We must then studying to prove all things subtilly and in a finished manner and with mind awake, light on the writings of certain, and test skillfully what words they use of Christ the Saviour of us all, and imitate, and that aright, the most approved and experienced of money dealers, who admit proved coin, and diligently reject the counterfeit and amiss. And to this the blessed Paul invites us saying, Be ye skilful [1] bankers, prove all things, hold fast that which is good, abstain from every form of evil. And it is in other ways also all-disgraceful and unseemly, that in the affairs of this life we should be seen no whit sparing of what conduceth to profit, but rather make it of moment to aim and strive after those things whereby we may live splendidly, and neglect things so sacred and count for nothing the salvation of the soul, but let it sink down in pits and swamps, sometimes exposing unto the mere pleasure of those who choose to say what they ought not, our mind, not vigilant for the truth, nor choosing to search diligently what is the true and profitable meaning of what has been read, what the perverted one and that outsteps accuracy in doctrine and works loss in the soul that looks to it. Yet to the soul is there nought equal in value in their sight who are perfect in understanding.

1. [a] τρόφιμοι, reared up, unless it be an error of the single Manuscript which has preserved to us this work for the usual δόκιμοι, approved. For the citation itself see Translation of S. Cyril's homilies on S. Luke by the Very Rev. R. P. Smith, p. 149 note y.

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