The writings of the Fathers of the early Church are of particular importance to anyone who wishes to understand doctrine. This book illustrates the process of development in Christian thought, life, and worship during the period which culminated in the acceptance of the Christian faith by the Emperor Constantine, and the meeting of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. Included in this volume are St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin, Tertullian, St. Irenaeus, St. Clement of Alexandra, Origen, St. Cyprian, and St. Athanasius. Passages have been selected to display as fully as possible the thought of the early Fathers, especially on the great doctrinal themes.
“For because of his kindness he bestowed his gift upon us, and made men free, as he is free. Because of his foresight he knew men’s weakness, and the results of that weakness; but because of his love and his goodness he will overcome [the weakness of] the nature of created man. It was necessary that [the weakness of men’s] nature should first be shown and afterwards be overcome, and mortality be swallowed up by immortality, corruptibility by incorruptibility,2 and man become conformed to the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil.” (Page 69)
“It was because of us and for us that this also is written of him. For as Christ died and was exalted as man, so, as man, he is said to receive what, as God, he always had, in order that this great gift might extend to us. For the Word was not degraded by receiving a body, so that he should seek to ‘receive’ God’s gift. Rather he deified what he put on; and, more than that, he bestowed this gift upon the race of men.” (Page 279)
“Jesus Christ our Lord gave his blood for us by the will of God, his flesh for our flesh, his life for our lives” (Page 29)
“Philo had there carried on his indefatigable labours with the aim of accommodating Jewish religion to Greek learning” (Page 16)