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Chapter XXIV.

He supports this doctrine by the authority of the blessed Hilary.

But it is quite time to finish the book, aye and the whole work, if I may however add the sayings of a few saintly men and illustrious priests, to support by the faith of the present day what we have already proved by the authority of holy Scripture. Hilary, a man endowed with all virtues and graces, and famous for his life as well as for his eloquence, who also, as a teacher of the churches and a priest, advanced not only by his own merits but also by the progress of others, and remained so steadfast during the storms of persecution that through the fortitude of his unconquered faith he attained the dignity of being a Confessor,26612661    S. Hilary of Poictiers (ob. a.d. 368). The reference is of course to his banishment to Phrygia by the Emperor Constantius in 356, because of his resolute defense of the Nicene faith against Arianism.—he testifies in the First book on the faith that the Lord Jesus Christ, Very God of Very God, was both begotten before the world, and afterwards born as man. Again in the Second book: “One only Begotten God grew in the womb of the holy Virgin into the form of a human body; He who contains all things, and in whose power all things are, is brought forth according to the law of human birth.” Again in the same book: “An angel is witness that He who is born is God with us.” Again in the Tenth book: “We have taught the mystery of God born as man by the birth from the Virgin.” Again in the same book: “For when God was born as man, He was not born on purpose not to remain God.”26622662    De Trinitate II. xxv., xxvii.; X. vii. Again in the same writer’s preface to his exposition of the gospel according to Matthew:26632663    This preface to Hilary’s work on S. Matthew is now lost, though the commentary itself still exists. See Opera S. Hilarii Pictav: (Verona, 1730). Vol. i. 658. “For to begin with it was needful for us that for our sakes the only Begotten God should be known to be born as man.” Again in what follows: “that besides being God, He should be born as man, which He was not yet.” Again in the same place: “Then this third matter was fitting: that as God was born as man in the world” etc.: Here are a few passages out of any number. But still you see even from these which we have quoted, how clearly and plainly he asserts that God was born of Mary. And where then is this saying of yours: “The creature could not bring forth the Creator: and that which is born of the flesh, is flesh.” It would take too long to quote passages bearing on this point from each separate writer. I must try to enumerate them rather than to explain them: for they will sufficiently explain themselves.

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