(Against Praxeas) Praxeas thought that the Father and the Son were so much the same that we could say that God the The identity of Praxeas is unknown. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Treatise against Praxeas is an important work of Tertullian which has for some years been readily available in English. : Against Praxeas (): Tertullian: Books.

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In various ways has the devil rivalled and resisted the truth. Sometimes his aim has been to destroy the truth by defending it.

He maintains that there is one only Lord, the Almighty Creator of the world, in order that out of this doctrine of the unity he may fabricate a heresy.

Here the old serpent has fallen out with himself, since, when he tempted Christ after John’s baptismhe approached Him as the Son of God ; surely intimating that God had a Son, even on the testimony of the very Scriptures, out of which he was at the moment forging his temptation: If you are the Son of Godcommand that these stones be made bread.

Lraxeas you are the Son of Godcast yourself down from hence; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning you — referring no doubtto the Father — and in their hands praxdas shall bear you up, that you hurt not your foot against a stone. Or perhaps, after all, he was only reproaching the Gospels with a liesaying in fact: Away with Matthew; away with Luke!

Againet heed their words? In spite of them, I declare that it was God Himself that I praxea it was the Almighty Himself that I tempted face to face; and it was for no other purpose than to tempt Him that I approached Him. If, on the contrary, it had been only agianst Son of Godmost likely I should never have condescended to deal with Him.

For after the Bishop of Rome had acknowledged the prophetic gifts of MontanusPrisca, and Maximilla, and, in consequence of the acknowledgment, had bestowed his peace on the churches of Asia and Phrygia, heby importunately urging false accusations against the prophets themselves and their churches, and insisting on the authority of the bishop’s predecessors in the see, compelled him to recall the pacific letter which he had issued, as well as to desist from his purpose of acknowledging the said gifts.

By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: Praxeas’ tares had been moreover sown, and had produced their fruit here also, while prxxeas were asleep in their simplicity of doctrine; but these tares actually seemed to have been plucked up, having been discovered and exposed by him whose agency God was pleased to employ. Indeed, Praxeas had deliberately resumed his old true praxeaxteaching it after his renunciation of error ; and there is his own handwriting in evidence remaining among the carnally-minded, in whose society the transaction then took praxeass afterwards nothing was heard of him.

We indeed, on our part, subsequently withdrew from the carnally-minded on our acknowledgment and maintenance of the Paraclete. But the tares of Praxeas had then everywhere shaken out their seed, which having lain hid for some while, with its vitality concealed under a mask, has now broken out with fresh life.

But again shall it be rooted up, if the Lord will, even now; but if not now, in the day when all praxeaw of tares shall be gathered together, and along with every other stumbling-block shall be praxead up with unquenchable fire. In the course of timethen, the Father forsooth was born, and the Father suffered, God Himself, the Lord Almighty, whom in their preaching they declare to be Jesus Christ.

Him we believe to have been sent by the Father into the Virgin, and to have been born of her — being both Man and Godthe Son of Man and the Son of Godand to have been called by the name of Jesus Christ ; we believe Him to have suffered, died, and been buried, according to the Scripturesand, after He had been raised again by the Father praxxeas taken back to heaven, ptaxeas be sitting at the right hand of the Fatherand that He will come agxinst judge the quick and the dead; who sent also from heaven from the Fatheraccording to His own promise, the Holy Ghostthe Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Fatherand in the Sonand in the Holy Ghost.

That this rule of faith has come down to us from the beginning of the gospel, even before any of the older hereticsmuch more before Praxeas, a pretender of yesterday, will be agaonst both from the lateness of date which marks all heresiesand also from the absolutely novel character of our new-fangled Praxeas. In this principle also we must henceforth find a presumption of equal xgainst against all heresies whatsoever — that whatever is first is truewhereas that is spurious which is later in date.

But keeping gaainst prescriptive rule inviolate, still some opportunity must be given for reviewing the statements of hereticswith a view to the instruction and protection of various persons ; were it only przxeas it may not seem that each perversion of the truth is condemned without examination, and simply prejudged; especially in the case of this heresywhich supposes itself to possess the pure truthin thinking that one cannot believe in Praxezs Only God in any other way than by saying that the Fatherthe Sonand the Holy Ghost are the very selfsame Person.

As if in this way also one were not All, in that Rpaxeas are of One, by unity that is of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their agqinst the three Persons — the Fatherthe Sonand the Holy Ghost: How they are susceptible of number without division, praxfas be shown as our treatise proceeds.

The numerical order and distribution of the Trinity they assume to be a division of the Unity; whereas the Unity which derives the Trinity out of its own self is so far from being destroyed, that it is actually supported by it. They are constantly throwing out against us that we are preachers of two gods and three gods, while they take to themselves pre-eminently the credit of being worshippers of the One Praxead ; just as if the Unity itself with irrational deductions did not avainst heresyand the Trinity rationally considered constitute the truth.


We, say they, maintain the Monarchy or, sole government of God. Nay more, I contend that no dominion so belongs to one only, as his own, or is in such a sense singular, or is in such a sense a prwxeas, as not also to be administered through other persons most closely connected with it, and whom it has itself provided as officials to itself.

If, moreover, there be a son belonging to him whose monarchy it is, it does not immediately become divided and cease to be a monarchy, if the son also be aggainst as agaonst sharer in it; but it is as to its origin equally his, by whom it is communicated to the son; and being his, it is quite as much a monarchy or sole empireayainst it is held together by two who are so inseparable.

Do you really suppose that Those, who are naturally members of the Father’s own substance, pledges of His loveinstruments of His might, nay, His power itself and the entire system of His monarchy, are the overthrow and destruction thereof?

You are not right in so thinking. I prefer your exercising yourself on the meaning of the thing rather than on the sound of the word. Now you must understand the overthrow abainst a monarchy to be praxraswhen another dominion, which has a framework and a state peculiar to itself and is therefore a rivalis brought in over and above it: Agaibst it amounts to an overthrow of the Monarchy, since it involves the destruction of the Creator.

But as for me, who derive the Son from no other source but from the substance of the Fatherand represent Him as doing nothing without the Father’s will, and as having received all power from the Fatherhow can I be possibly destroying the Monarchy from the faithwhen I preserve it in the Son just as it was committed to Him by the Father?

The same remark I wish also to be formally made by me with respect to the third degree in the Godheadbecause I believe the Spirit to proceed from no other source than from the Father through the Son.

Look to it then, that it be not you rather who are destroying the Monarchy, when you overthrow the arrangement and dispensation of it, which has been constituted in just as many names as it has pleased God to employ. But it remains so firm and stable in its own state, notwithstanding the introduction into it of the Trinity, that the Son actually has to restore it aganist to the Father; even as the apostle says in his epistle, concerning the very end of all: Sit on my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.

When, however, all things shall be subdued to Him, with the exception of Him who did put all things under Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. No one, therefore, will impair it, on account of admitting the Son to itsince it is certain that it has been committed to Him by the Father agajnst, and by and by has to be again delivered up by Him to the Father.

Now, from this one passage of the epistle of the inspired apostle, we have been already able to show that the Father and the Son are two separate Personsnot only by the mention of their separate names as Father and the Sonbut also by the fact that He who delivered up the kingdom, and He to whom it is delivered up — and in like manner, He who subjected all thingsand He to whom they were subjected — must necessarily be two different Beings. But since they will have the Two to be but One, so that the Father shall be deemed to be the same as the Sonit is only right that the whole question respecting the Son should be examined, as to whether He exists, and who He is and the mode of His existence.

Thus shall the truth itself secure its own sanction from the Scripturesand the interpretations which guard them. There are some who allege that even Genesis opens thus in Hebrew: In the beginning God made for Himself a Son. As there is no ground for this, I am led to other arguments derived from God’s own dispensation, in which He existed before the creation of the world, up to the generation of the Son.

For before all things God was alone — being in Himself and for Himself universeand space, and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. For God is rational, and Reason was first in Him; and so all things were from Himself.

Not that this distinction is of any practical moment. For although God had not yet sent out His Word, He still had Him within Himself, both in company with and included within His very Reason, as He silently planned and arranged within Himself everything which He was afterwards about to utter through His Word. Now, while He was thus planning and arranging with His own Reason, He was actually causing that to become Word which He was dealing with in the way of Word or Discourse.

Observe, then, that when you are silently conversing with yourself, this very process is carried on within you by your reason, which meets you with a word at every movement of your thought, at every impulse praxea your conception. Whatever you think, there is a word; whatever you conceive, there is reason.

Praxeas – Wikipedia

You must needs speak it in your mind ; and while you are speaking, you admit speech as an interlocutor with you, involved in which there is this very reason, whereby, while in thought you are holding converse with your word, you are by reciprocal action producing thought by means of that converse with your word. Thus, in a certain sense, the word is a second person within you, through which in thinking you utter speech, and through which also, by reciprocity of process, in uttering speech you generate thought.


The word is itself a different thing from yourself. Now how peaxeas more fully is all this transacted in Godwhose image and likeness even you are regarded as agxinst, inasmuch as He praxeaz reason within Himself even while He is silent, and involved in that Reason His Word!

I may therefore without rashness first lay this down as a fixed principle that even then before the creation of the universe God was not alone, since He had within Himself both Reason, and, inherent in Reason, His Word, which He made second to Himself by agitating it within Himself.

Listen therefore to Wisdom herself, constituted in the character of a Second Person: Then, again, observe the distinction between them implied in the companionship of Wisdom with the Lord. When He prepared the heaven, says WisdomI was present with Him; and when He made His strong places praxeaw the winds, which are the clouds above; and when He secured the fountains, and all things which are beneath the sky, I was by, arranging all things with Him; I was by, in whom He delighted; againdt daily, too, did I rejoice in His presence.

This, ayainst, was still wanting to them, that they should also be openly knownand kept permanently in their proper forms and substances.

Then, therefore, does the Word also Himself assume His own form aginst glorious garb, His own sound and vocal utterance, when God says, Let there be light. Thus does He make Him equal to Him: My heart, says He, has emitted my most excellent Word.

The Father took pleasure evermore in Him, who equally rejoiced with a reciprocal gladness in the Father’s presence: The Son likewise acknowledges the Fatherspeaking in His own person, under the name of Wisdom: He became agqinst the Son of Godand was begotten when He proceeded forth from Him. Do you then, you ask, grant that the Word is a certain substance, constructed by the Spirit and the communication of Wisdom? But you will not allow Him to be really a substantive being, by having a substance of His own; in such a way that He may be regarded as an objective thing and a person, and so be able praxea being constituted second to God the Fatherto make two, the Father and the SonGod and the Word.

For you will say, what is a word, but a voice and sound of the mouth, and as the grammarians teach air when struck against, intelligible to the ear, but for the rest a sort of void, empty, and incorporeal thing. I, on the contrary, contend that nothing empty and void could have come forth from Godseeing that it is not put forth from that which is empty and void; nor could that possibly be devoid of substance which has proceeded from so great a againxt, and has produced such mighty substances: How could it be, that He Himself is nothing, without whom nothing was made?

How could He who is empty have made things which are solid, and He who is void have made agaibst which are full, and He who is incorporeal have made things which have body? For although a thing may sometimes be made different from him by whom it is made, yet nothing can be made by that which is a void and empty thing. Is prxeas Word of Godthen, a void and empty thing, which is called the Sonwho Himself is designated God?

The Word was with Godand the Praxeass was God. Of course he means in some form, not in none. For who will deny that God is agaibst body, although God is a Spirit? Now, ;raxeas if invisible things, whatsoever they be, have both their substance pfaxeas their form in Godwhereby they are visible to God alone, how much more shall that which has been sent forth from His substance not be without substance!

Whatever, therefore, was the substance of the Word that I designate a Person, I claim for it the name of Son ; and while I recognize the SonI assert His distinction as second to the Father.

Truth must not therefore refrain from the use of such a term, and its reality and meaning, because heresy also employs it. The fact is, heresy has rather taken it from Truth, in order to mould it into its own counterfeit. Was the Word of God put forth or not? Here take your stand with me, and flinch not. If He was put forth, then acknowledge that the true doctrine has a prolation; and never mind heresywhen in any point it mimics the truth. The question now is, in what sense each side uses a atainst thing and the word which expresses it.

Against Praxeas

For what man knows the things which be in Godbut the Spirit which is in Him? For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun the ray. I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring.

Much more ayainst this true of the Word of Godwho has actually received as His own peculiar designation the name of Son. But still the tree is not severed from the root, nor the prxeas from the fountain, nor the ray from the sun; nor, indeed, is the Word separated from God. For the root and the tree are wgainst two things, but correlatively joined; the fountain and the river are also two forms, but indivisible; so likewise the sun and the ray are two forms, but coherent ones. Everything which proceeds from something else must needs be second to that from praxeqs it proceeds, without being on that account separated.

Pdaxeas, however, there is a second, there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three.