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Cause of God and Truth The

Cause of God and Truth The

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Published by: itisme_angela on Nov 02, 2010
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11/05/2011

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Origen, though a very unguarded writer, and though a very
considerable part of his works have been interpolated by Ruffinus,
said to be a favorer of Pelagius, yet has many passages in his
writings which shows that he thought that regeneration, and all
that is truly and spiritually good, are owing to the grace and power
of God. “It must be known,” says he, “that all that men have is
from the grace of God, for they have nothing of debt; for who hath
first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again?
Wherefore it is grace, whatever he has, who was not, and is a
receiver from him, who always was, and is, and will be forever.”
He intimates, that all good thoughts are from the Spirit of God.
“We pray,” says he, “that the light of the knowledge of the glory of
God might shine into our hearts, the Spirit of God being present
with our imaginative faculty, kai phantazontos emas ta tou Theou,
and suggesting to us the things of God.” He represents all manner
of virtues, as wrought in us by a divine hand, and not as the
produce of nature. “Images dedicated to God, and becoming him,”
says he, are not such as are prepared by mechanic artificers; but
what are planned by the Logos or word of God, kai morphoumena
en emin
, ai aretai, ‘and formed in us, even those virtues’ which
are the images of the firstborn of every creature, in whom are

examples of righteousness, temperance, wisdom, godliness, and
the rest of the virtues.” Yea, he ascribes the duties and actions of
the saints to the energy of the same divine person: “As,” says he,
“the soul quickens and moves the body, which of itself has no
living motion; so the Logos or Word, kinon epi ta deonta kai
energon
, ‘inciting with energy to things which ought to be done,’
moves the whole body, the church, and every member of them
that are of the church, doing nothing without the Word.” Whatever
knowledge men have of God in a spiritual way, springs from
divine grace according to him. “Those words in Matthew 11:27,”
he says, “manifestly show, that God is known theia tini chariti, ‘by
a certain divine favor or grace,’ which is infused into the soul, not
without God, but by a sort of an afflatus, or inspiration.” And in
another place he observes, that “God opens the mouth, the ears,
and eyes, that we may speak, perceive, and hear the things that
are God’s.” He must be a stranger to Origen’s writings, who
knows not that he frequently suggests the necessity of the grace
and assistance of God to understand the Scriptures. I need not
give instances. The work of sanctification he attributes to the
Spirit of God. “Let us endeavor,” says he, “that we may be
unworthy of this so great and sublime an understanding, that is, of
the mystical sense of the shewbread; but that our soul may first
be made a holy place, and in the holy place we may take in holy
mysteries, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, ex quo
sanctificatur omne quod sanctum est
, by whom is sanctified every
thing that is holy.” And in another place, “The grace of the Holy
Spirit is present, that those things which are not substantially holy,
may be made holy by the participation of him. Seeing therefore
first, that they may be, they have from God the Father. Secondly,
that they may be rational, they have from the Word. Thirdly, that
they may be holy, they have from the Holy Spirit.” The change

that is made in man in conversion, he denies to be the effect of
moral suasion, but ascribes it to the power and efficacy of divine
grace. Having mentioned these words in Matthew 3:9, Think not
to say, etc., he observes, that “they teach us that unbelievers,
who are called stones, because of their stony hearts dunamei
Qeou metabalein oiouV teeinai
, may be changed, by the power
of God, from stones, to children of Abraham.” “Celsus,” says he,
“may laugh at what is said, or the Jew, whom he introduces; yet it
must be said, that many, as if unwilling, have come to Christianity,
pneumatoV tinoV treyantoV autwn to hgemonikon aifnidion,
‘a certain spirit suddenly turning their intellectual faculty,’ from
hating the Logos or Word, to die for him.” And in the same work
he has these words: “The doctrine of those who were first sent,
and labored to constitute churches, and their preaching, were
indeed with persuasion; but not such as is among the professors
of the wisdom of Plato, or any other philosophers, who have
nothing more than human nature; but the demonstration of the
apostles of Jesus, given by God, had a force of persuading from
the Spirit and power; wherefore their word, or rather God’s, ran
swiftly and sharply, and thereby changed many of them, who
were by nature and custom sinners, whom no man could change
by any punishment whatsoever; the Word transformed them,
shaping and forming them according to his will.” Again he
observes, “The divine word says, that what is said, though it is in
itself true, and is fit to persuade, yet is not sufficient to reach the
human soul, ean mh kai dunamiV tiV Qej ekdoqh, unless a
certain power is given from God to him that speaks,’ and grace
flourishes in what is said: and this is not without God, in them who
speak with energy.” To which may be added the following
expressions of his: “Now the word of his preaching is known to all,
so that it is received by very many, almost in all the world; that

they may understand what are believed, not by precursory words
of wisdom, but by demonstration of the Spirit and power;
wherefore they may conclude they are brought to faith and
credulity, coelesti virtute imo etiam plusquam coelesti, by a
heavenly power, yea, by more than a heavenly one.” Once more:
“This,” says he, “is a new thing, that those who are strangers from
the covenants of God, aliens from the promises, and afar off from
the truth, dunamei tini qeia, by a certain divine power receive it.”
Yea, sometimes he expresses himself as though he thought some
sort of force and violence were used with men in the conversion
and salvation of them. “The only begotten Son of God is present,”
he says: “he defends, he keeps, he draws us to himself: hear how
he speaks; “And lo, I am with you unto the end of the world;” but
neither is it sufficient that he is with us, “sed quodam modo vim
nobis facit, ut nos pertrahat ad salutem
,” ‘but in some sort he
forces us, that he may draw us unto salvation;’ for he says in
another place, “When I shall be lifted up, I will draw all unto me.”
You see, how that he not only invites the willing, but draws those
that delay.” And little after, “The Lord himself, the Father, does not
neglect the dispensation of our salvation, for he not only calls us
to salvation, but he draws; for so the Lord says in the gospel, “No
man comes to me, but whom my heavenly Father draws.” But the
Father of the family, who sent his servants to invite his friends to
the marriage of his Son, after they who were first invited excused
themselves, says to the servants, “Go forth to the highways and
alleys, and whomsoever ye find, compel them to come in;” so
therefore we are not only invited by God, sed et trahimur et
cogimur ad salutem
, but we are drawn and compelled unto
salvation.” Moreover he signifies, that this call of God to the
participation of his grace, entirely arises from his sovereign will
and pleasure. “The God of gods,” he says, “calls from the east

and west to partake of himself by Jesus Christ, ous bouletai,
whom he pleases.” Wherefore there should be no boasting in the
creature, but all glorying should he in God. “There are,” he
observes, “some among the Gentiles, of good manners and
honest behavior, who yet do not refer what they have to God, nor
acknowledge the grace given to them by him; but either ascribe it
to their own industry, or glory in their masters and instructors; but
the apostle shows to us, that all that is good is from God, and
given by the Holy Spirit; as the apostle James says, (Jam. 1:17),
“that he that glories, may glory in the Lord.” “That which is worthy
of boasting,” he says, “ouk emeteron alla doron esti Theou, ‘is not
ours, but is the gift of God;’ from him is wisdom, from him is
strength, and so of the rest.” To all which may be added the
following words of his, which not only express his own, but the
sense of the whole church at that time: “It is the united sense of
the whole church, that all the law is indeed spiritual; yet these
things which the law breathes out are not known to all, but to
them only to whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, in the
word of wisdom and knowledge.”

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