For other writings of the Elipandus corpus, see:
The following letter is included in the section of Bishop Elipandus of Toledo's writings contained in Juan Gil's Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum but is actually written in the name of the 'unworthy and poor praesuls' of Spain (i.e. bishops of Spain), addressed to their counterparts further north in Europe. It is however apparent that Elipandus was one of the contributors to the letter. The letter is a detailed defence of the doctrine of Adoptionism, and urges its audience to disregard Beatus' attacks on Adoptionism.
To summarise, the doctrine of Adoptionism holds that Christ in his humanity was the adopted Son of God. This is distinguished from the person of the Son of God in his divinity, who originated from the Father and is co-eternal and co-substantial with the Father. The adopted Son of God, born in humanity from the Virgin Mary, is the 'First-Begotten' (Latin: primogenitus) who deigned to have brothers, and we can come to resemble him in grace. In contrast, the co-eternal and co-substantial divine Son of God is the 'Only-Begotten' (Latin: unigenitus) and is of such nature without adoption. However, it would seem that both these human and divine natures of the Son of God are combined in the person of Christ.
A key pillar in the attempt to prove the validity of Adoptionism is the notion that this doctrine was in fact espoused by earlier Church teachers (fathers/forefathers), such as Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome and Saint Isidore of Seville, thus pushing back against the idea that Adoptionism is simply a heresy derived from new deviant interpretations of the sacred scriptures. Thus, substantial parts of the letter consist of quotations attributed to the earlier Church teachers, in particular to Saint Augustine. However, some of the citations are either of seemingly unknown provenance, or appear to have been misattributed. The letter concludes with attacks on the character and alleged statements of Beatus and his associates, echoing the beginning in which Beatus is denounced as a 'pseudo-Christ and pseudo-prophet,' depicted as the latest in a series of heretics over the course of history like Arius, Sabellius and Faustus the Manichaean. Hence, a historical narrative is created in which the teachings of Adoptionism are portrayed as continuity with the past teachings of authentic and revered Church fathers, as opposed to the anti-Adoptionist stance of Beatus that is depicted as a continuation of past heresies.
I would like to dedicate this translation and commentary to Cole Bunzel, a friend who shares my interest in close study and translation of primary source documents from both the present and past. Cole, once you have satiated yourself with studying jihadist and Wahhabi documents, I would hope that you will devote yourself to the study of Latin and translation of Latin texts too.
As noted above, the Latin text used is that contained in Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, which I also consulted for the references to Biblical and theological texts in the work. I have mostly preserved original transliterations in the text for the sake of authenticity. Feel free to contact me for any suggested amendments to the translation.
To the lords and most reverent brothers in Christ, all the priests of Gallia,[i] Equitania[ii] and Austria,[iii] we the unworthy and poor praesuls of Spania[iv] and the rest of the faithful of Christ send eternal salutation in the Lord. Amen.
To our notice has come the mean and destructive opinion that has worn us out so much, in which the viperous discourse of the pest-bearing dogma and sulphuric vapour of the anti-phrasian[v] Beatus, the wicked Asturian presbyter, the pseudo-Christ and pseudo-prophet, have defiled the inner-depths of your breast. This teaching asserts that the adoption of flesh in the Son of God according to the form of human servitude did not occur in any way, and he did not assume a true visible form from the virgin. Therefore we on the contrary make professions in accordance with the dogmas of the holy venerable forefathers- Hilarius,[vi] Ambrosius,[vii] Agustinus,[viii] Iheronimus,[ix] Fulgentius,[x] Isidorus,[xi] Eugenius,[xii] Ildefonsus,[xiii] Iulianus[xiv]- and the rest of the orthodox and Catholic. And we believe that God is the Son of God, born before all times without beginning from the Father, co-eternal, co-similar and co-substantial not in adoption, but in descent, and not in grace, but in nature, with the same Son attesting to that very thing: 'I and the Father are one,'[xv] and the rest of the things that the same true God and true man spoke to us regarding His divinity; but for the salvation of the human race he came out in the end of the time from that innermost and ineffable substance of the Father and he did not recede from the Father, seeking the lowest parts of this world, appearing to the public of the human race: invisible he assumed the visible body from the virgin, born ineffably through the integral virgin parts of the mother. We profess and believe according to the traditions of the forefathers, that he, having arisen from a woman, made under the law, is not the Son of God by descent, but by adoption, and not by nature, but by grace, as the same Lord testifies to that very thing when he says: 'My Father is greater than I'[xvi]; and the evangelist says about him: 'But the boy grew and was strengthened full of wisdom, and the grace of God was in him.'[xvii] And also: 'We saw his glory as the glory of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.'[xviii] About this adoption of the flesh the blessed Ambrosius speaks in the book concerning the Trinity, saying: "As you have been converted' to God from statues, serve the living and true God.'[xix] For those gods are imagined to be, but in nature God is living and true. For also in our usage there are the adopted son and the true son. We do not say the adopted Son is the Son by nature, but we say the one who is the true Son is by nature.'[xx] Again later he says: 'For the virgin birth did not change in nature, but changed the use of begetting. In short flesh was born from flesh; therefore the virgin handed from His own what He should hand over. For the mother did not give another, but brought her own from her insides in the unusual manner, but with the usual gift. Therefore the virgin had flesh, which by the law of solemn nature she brought over into pregnancy. Therefore the same nature according to the flesh of the generating Maria and the begotten and not dissimilar to brothers, because the scripture says that he should become similar to the brothers through all things. So the Son of God is similar to us not according to the fullness of divinity, but according to the truth of the accountable and (so that we may say more expressly) human soul and our body.'[xxi] So the blessed Ilarius Pictaviensis[xxii] thus says: 'The virgin gave birth, the birth is from God. The infant cries, the praising angels adore. The garments grow dirty, God is adored. So the dignity of the power is not lost, while the humility of the flesh is adopted.'[xxiii] Also the blessed Iheronimus in the exposition of the Apocalipsis where he says: "A white pebble,' that is, the white gem, the adoption of the flesh in the Son of God.'[xxiv] Also in the letter to Cerasia: 'Not that Word which is to be believed to have been in the Father and with the Father, but the man whom God had taken up as the Word for the sake of Salvation will hear: 'Today I have begotten you.'[xxv] This Son of Man merits to be through the Son of God in the Son of God, and adoption is not separated from nature, but nature is joined with adoption.'[xxvi] Also the blessed Agustinus in the exposition of the Gospel According to Iohannes says thus regarding the form of the deity: 'The Son of God is not in adoption, but in descent, and not in grace, but in nature.'[xxvii] So in the Homily on the Form of Human Servitude he thus says: 'An adopted man, whose glory was sought by the one who was uniquely born from Him.'[xxviii] Behold the one whom Agustinus says is adopted, Iohannes the apostle thus says about him: 'We have Jesus Christ as an advocate with the Father,'[xxix] 'who may also intercede for us.'[xxx] Therefore the blessed Isidorus says in the Book of Etymologies: 'But he is called the Only-Begotten according to the excellence of the divinity, in that he is without brothers. He is called First-Begotten according to the undertaking of the man, in which through the adoption of grace he deigned to have brothers, among whom he was the First-Begotten.'[xxxi] So our predecessors Eugenius, Hildefonsus, and Iulianus the archbishops of the Toletanian seat[xxxii] thus said in their dogmas on the mass concerning the supper of the Lord: 'He who through the passion of the adopted man, while he does not indulge his own body, at last our own,' that is, also, 'he did not spare.'[xxxiii] And elsewhere: 'He who although he did not display from the sky but displayed from triumph to your piety through the passion of the adopted man seemingly certain spoils in the acquisition of the present people; and although the immutable divinity did not have a fight, the assumed fragility had a victory.'[xxxiv] Also in the mass on the ascension of the Lord: 'Today our Saviour after the adoption of the flesh seeks again the seat of the deity.'[xxxv] Also on the mass of the dead: 'Those whom you made to be participants in the adoption, may your order them to be consorts in your inheritance.'[xxxvi] Behold those whom he does not doubt are participants in the adoption, he desires to become consorts in the inheritance.
Therefore we believe and profess God as the Son of God, light from light, true God from true God, Only-Begotten from the Father without adoption, First-Begotten in the adoption of the flesh, Only-Begotten in nature, First-Begotten in adoption and grace. About him the apostle says: 'For those whom He knew beforehand and predestined to become in conformity with the image of His Son, so that he himself should be the First-Begotten among the many brothers,'[xxxvii] the brothers being those about whom He says through the psalmist: 'I will narrate your name to my brothers.'[xxxviii] From where are the brothers except from the sole adoption of flesh through which he deigned to have brothers? About them the Holy Spirit spoke through David: 'God- your God- has anointed you with the oil of delight before your companions,'[xxxix] his companions are those about whom Iohannes the apostle says: 'Most dear ones, now we are sons of God and it has not yet become apparent what we will be. We know that when it has become apparent, we will be similar to him, because we will see him as he is,'[xl] similar as in the adoption of the flesh, not similar to him in divinity. Indeed that anointing of the Holy Spirit, which most of all arose in the Son of God according to His humanity more so than in His elect through the seven-fold charismas of the spiritual graces: we believed it to be that which Esayas speaks about saying: 'The Spirit of the Lord will rest over him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of knowledge and piety, and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord will fill him.'[xli] This fullness of the anointing we believe to be in the only adopted and First-Begotten Son of God, but in the rest of the holy people the grace of anointment of this matter has been given to measure. Nonetheless concerning the Only-Begotten Son who is also without adoption, the voice of the Father thus says: 'From the womb before Lucifer, I begat you.'[xlii] And again through the psalmist: 'My heart has spoken a good word';[xliii] and again elsewhere: 'There will come out from my mouth the word of justice.'[xliv] Also the voice of the Son without adoption thus says: 'Before every creation I proceeded from the mouth of the Most High; before Lucifer arose, I was; before He laid forth the fields on the plain and raised the mountains on high, I was, with whim the Father rejoiced everyday, while He was taking delight in the completed world.'[xlv] And again: 'Before the hills I was born; still He had not made the land; when He was preparing the heavens, I was present; while He was fortifying the ends with the sea and placing a law for the waters, I was.'[xlvi] Also the voice of the Father thus says concerning the First-Begotten and adopted Son through Moyses: 'The Lord God will raise a prophet from your brothers. You will hear him as Me,'[xlvii] and in the Gospel: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I have been well pleased. Hear him.'[xlviii] And through David: 'He will invoke Me: You are my Father, my God and the guarantor of my salvation. And I will place My First-Begotten on high before the kings of the earth. For eternity I will keep My mercy for him and My faithful testament for him and I will place his seat and throne forever as the days of heaven.'[xlix] He also says to him: 'Seek from Me and I will give you the peoples as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.'[l] To him also the Father says through Esayas: 'I will go before you and I will lower the glorious men of the earth.'[li] And again: 'I will walk before you and make the mountains flat and I will break the iron bars and I will give you hidden treasures, so that you may know that I am the Lord your God.'[lii] And through Miceas: 'Surely I will not give My First-Begotten for My crime, the fruit of My stomach for the sin of My soul?'[liii] Thus He said 'First-Begotten,' according to humanity, and He said 'fruit of My stomach,' according to divinity. And again concerning the First-Begotten Son He says to David: 'When you sleep with your forefathers, I will raise from your loins the one who will sit over the throne of Srahel.[liv] I will be as a Father for Him and He will be as a Son for Me.'[lv] But also elsewhere in the book of Ihesus Son of Sirac: 'Have mercy, oh Lord, on your people, over whom Your name has been invoked, and Srahel, whom You have equated to Your First-Begotten.'[lvi] Therefore the Apostle Paul speaking about him as mixed concerning his divinity and humanity thus says: 'In myriad and many ways did God once speak to our forefathers in the prophets. In the most recent days He has spoken to us in the Son, whom He has made the heir of all, through whom also He has made generations as well. Since he is the splendour of glory and the figure in his substance, and carrying all things by the word of his power, bringing about the purification of sins, he sits at the right-hand of majesty on high, having been made better than the angels as much as he has inherited a more different name above them. For he once said to him: 'You are My Son. Today I have begotten you.' And again when He brought him into the world, He said: 'Let all His angels adore him.'[lvii]
With these things set forth as a preface, and our assertions strengthened by the opinions of the holy forefathers, we have decided together that we should not deviate in any way from their decrees, but rather guard studiously their precepts, such that we say that in one and the same Son of God and Man, in one person there are two natures full and perfected of God and man, Lord and servant, visible and invisible, and also three substances, that is, of the Word, soul and flesh, so that there are believed to be in one and the same person of God and man both the deific man and the humanised God, as per the discourse of the blessed Agustinus who says: 'For from the form of the servant he was crucified, and nonetheless the Lord of majesty is said to have been crucified. For such was that undertaking, by which He should both make man God and God man.'[lviii] And after some words placed between: 'Although he was in the form of God, he did not think by appropriation that he was equal to God. What is meant by 'he did not think by appropriation'? He did not usurp the equality of God, but he was in that in which he had been born, receiving the form of the servant, not losing that which was, but accepting that which was not.'[lix] Also he says: 'In that also which was written about him, that he received from God the sending forth of the Holy Spirit and poured it out, he was shown in both natures: that is, the human and the divine: so he received as a man, and poured out as God.'[lx] And after a few words: 'Therefore Christ the Son of God- both God and man- both gave from heaven as God and received on earth as man.'[lxi] Also he says: 'The Son of God is immutably good, as he himself remains what he was and receives from us that which was not, and he deigned beyond the detriment of his own nature to enter into consortium with us.'[lxii] Also he says: 'Indeed all these things are therefore referred to as the Word, so that the one person of the Son of God should be insinuated, lest there should seem to be two Christs, one God and another man. Thus it has been done sanely that there should not only be the Word of God and the flesh of man, but also the soul of rational man, and all this should be said to be both God for the sake of God, and man for the sake of man. Therefore one Christ not in the confusion of substance, but in the unity of person.'[lxiii] 'Indeed differing substance is God the Father and the human mother,'[lxiv] that is Mary the maiden and virgin of God, but not differing in substance are God the Father and God the Son, just as the human mother and the human son do not differ in substance. But hear what this Son says in the prophet: 'From the stomach,' he says, 'of my mother, you are my God.'[lxv] This is so that he should show from here that the Father is his God, when he was made man. But the man was born from the stomach of the mother and according to the man, God was born from the virgin, so that not only should He be the Father to him as He had begotten him from His very self'- that is, from His own substance, 'but also He should be his God and that which created man from the stomach of the mother.'[lxvi] Therefore when we read 'the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,'[lxvii] we understand by the Word as the true Son of God, in the flesh we recognise the true Son of Man, and both at the same time joined together through the bounty of ineffable grace in the one person of God and the Son of Man, on account of that which Iohannes also says about him: 'We saw his glory as the glory of the Only-Begotten from the Father.'[lxviii] And after a few words: 'We profess most wholly that both man in God is the Son of God and God in man is the Son of the virgin. It is the fullest and most faithful account that in one and the same Christ, in whom inside the virginal uterus the divinity and the humanity were joined to the unity of the person, as God is believed to have begotten man, so also man is believed to have begotten God,'[lxix] such that those things He undertook and what He undertook should be one person in the Trinity. 'For after the man was assumed, it is not that a quaternity was made, but the Trinity remained as that assumption ineffably made the truth of one person in God and man.'[lxx] 'Hence Jesus Christ the Son of God is both God and man, God before all ages, man in our age, God as the Word of God- for God was the Word- but man as the rational soul and flesh acceded to the Word in the unity of the person. Hence in so far as he is God, he and the Father are one; in so far as he is man, the Father is greater than he is. For as he was the only Son of God, not in adoption, but in descent, and not in grace, but in nature, so that he should also be full in the form of the servant, he became the Son of Man in adoption and grace. The same one Christ from both, who although he was in the form of God, did not think by appropriation that he is by nature, that is to be equal to God. And through this he both became less and remained equal, one both things, as has been said, but one thing on account of the Word, and another on account of man.'[lxxi] 'And the same Son of God is not two sons as God and man, but one Son of God: God without beginning, man with beginning received, our Lord Jesus Christ.'[lxxii] 'For God and man, not two, but one is Christ; but one not by the conversion of divinity into flesh, but with the assumption of humanity in God, for just as in one man there are indeed two substances, but one person is the soul and flesh, so also in our Lord and Saviour, although both substances preserve their integrity, so that of course divinity is not coagulated in the flesh and humanity is not unbound in the divinity, nonetheless both constitute one Christ, one Redeemer of the world and Lord, of whose unity there is such great account that whatever things are human are ascribed to God.'[lxxiii] And also: 'When we say Christ the Son of God, we do not separate the man, and also it is not the case when we speak of the same Christ the Son of God, we do not separate God. For according to the man he was on earth, not in heaven where he now is, when he said: 'No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended as the Son of man from heaven, who is now in heaven."[lxxiv] And again after some words: 'Between God and men, the Mediator appeared, so that joining both natures in the unity of the person he should both elevate the usual things with the unusual things and moderate the unusual things with the usual things.'[lxxv] Therefore we have brought forth these pronouncements of such a great teacher in our defence, such that we believe that the Only-Begotten Son of God was begotten from the Father without time and not in adoption, but in descent, and not in grace, but in nature, but at the end of time assuming from the virgin the flesh in the form of a servant for the sake of the salvation of the human race, according to the First-Begotten apostle among the brothers in some and the same person of God and man, not in descent, but in adoption, and not in nature, but in grace, in that form by which he is equal to the mother, not in that by which he is equal to the Father, for in the form of the servant is the servant, thus adopted, but in the form of the Lord is the Lord of the servant. Concerning that form of servitude, God the Father speaks through the prophet saying: 'Behold My servant will understand'[lxxvi]; and again: 'Behold My servant, I will undertake him. My elect, My soul has been well pleased in him.'[lxxvii] But why he, whoever he is, should reluctantly take up that adoption according to humanity in the Son of God, when the psalmist says about him: 'You have diminished him a little less than the angels,'[lxxviii] and he says about himself through the psalmist: 'But I am a worm and not a man, the disgrace of men and the abjection of the people,'[lxxix] and the prophet says about him: 'We saw him and there was no aspect and we thought him as a leper and struck by God and humbled?'[lxxx] Behold as such great things have been said about his humility, why do we not assert that adoption of the flesh is in the Son of God [...] whoever he is.[lxxxi] Surely it is not more ignominious or worse to assert adoption in the Son of God rather than servitude, when also the apostle Paul affirms about his servitude saying: 'Jesus Christ, who, although he was in the form of God, did not think by appropriation that he was equal to God, but rather emptied himself out; receiving the form of the servant, he lowered himself all the way to death, indeed the death of the cross'[lxxxii]? Why should he, whoever he is, be afraid to say adopted, when the prophetic words do not fear to call him a servant? Surely the name of the servant is not more honoured than that of the adopted son? For adopted he is called affiliated. And you, whoever you are, fear to say adopted? The prophet says: 'And we thought of him as a leper,'[lxxxiii] and you fear to say adopted? Why these rather cheap things have been said regarding the Son of God, let the prophet respond: 'But he himself was lowered on account of our iniquities and was worn down on account of our crimes. Through the discipline of our peace over him, and through his bruising we have been healed, and the Lord has placed in him the iniquity of all our people. He was offered because He willed'[lxxxiv] and handed him over in death for the salvation of his brothers. If he fell by will, [...][lxxxv] it has not been a source of abhorrence to pronounce him as such, when he subjected his own body to the whippings of the impious and extended on the cross his own hands, innocent of any crime, so that he might liberate us from the domination of the old enemy through justice rather than through power.
Therefore we believe and profess the Only-Begotten Son of God is without time, incorporeal, ineffable, invisible and without adoption. We believe that the one First-Begotten in the end of time came out ineffably and corporally from the womb of the Virgin Mary with the deity emptied out in the adoption of the flesh, according to David who says: 'He will invoke me: you are my Father, my God and the undertaker of my salvation. And I will make that First-Begotten high above the kings of the earth'[lxxxvi]; according to Miceas, who says: 'Surely I will not give My First-Begotten for My crime?'[lxxxvii] ; according to Ihesus the son of Sirac, who says: 'Have mercy, oh Lord, on your people, over whom Your name has been invoked, and Srahel, whom You have equated to Your First-Begotten'[lxxxviii]; also consort in the human race, according to David who says: 'God- your God- has anointed you with the oil of delight before your companions'[lxxxix]; according to the apostle, conforming with the human race, as he himself says: 'For those whom He knew beforehand and predestined to become in conformity with the image of His Son, so that he himself should be the First-Begotten among the many brothers'[xc]; according to Ambrosius, adopted, as he says: 'In out usage the adopted son'[xci]; according to Agustinus who says: 'The adopted man who is the only one born from Him'[xcii]; according to Iheronimus who says: 'The white gem is the adoption of the flesh in the Son of God'[xciii]; according to Ysidorus, who says: 'But he is the called the First-Begotten according to the undertaking of man, in which through adoption he deigned to have brothers of grace, among whom he was the First-Begotten.'[xciv] Hence also according to the blessed Gregorius we say: 'The First-Begotten Son of God without sin, the Only-Begotten without adoption'[xcv] [...].[xcvi] According to Eugenius, who says: 'He who through the suffering of the adopted man, while he did not indulge his own body, at last did not'- that is, again, 'spare ours.'[xcvii] According to Hildefonsus, who says: 'Today after the adoption of the flesh he seeks again the seat of the deity'[xcviii]; according to Iulianus, who says: Those whom you made to be participants in the adoption, may your order them to be consorts in your inheritance.'[xcix]
But also we have thought that that price of effort should be bound to this work, because Paul the apostle writes to the Galatians saying, where he thus says: 'We have the Spirit of adoption in which we proclaim: Abba Father.'[c] Concerning this Spirit also the psalmist says: 'He ascended on high, he took captivity, he gave gifts to men.'[ci] Concerning this also the blessed Agustinus says in his dogmas: 'Therefore before the ascension the apostles received the grace of the Holy Spirit, by which they can dismiss sins and baptise and pour the Spirit of adoption into the believers. But after the ascension they took up the much greater grace of the Holy Spirit in putting powers into effect and the grace of healings and the understanding of various tongues.'[cii] Also the blessed Ysidorus says in the Book of Differences: 'Jesus Christ, in coming, removed the cruelty of the law, and released through the Spirit of adoption the sins that the law punished through the Spirit of servitude. He restored sons from slaves, granted the love of fulfilling the law and if from there they committed acts that had to be punished, he indulged through the same Spirit of adoption. He provided the form of doing well and so that the things he taught could be done, he poured in the helping Spirit.'[ciii] For both in exorcisms thus against the enemy we say: 'Recede from these servants of Christ having been confounded, and having been shut off through the Spirit of adoption.'[civ] Behold if the Holy Spirit, which is incorporeal and invisible and ineffable, is not feared to be called sometimes a gift, and sometimes adopted, why should the Son of God according to the form of the servant, with the deity emptied out, be doubted to be called adopted, as he is corporeal, visible and palpable? Certainly if in the mouth of two or three witnesses per the pronouncement of the Lord every word stands,[cv] how much more is the true testimony of so many venerable forefathers concerning the adoption of the flesh in the Son of God to be refuted? With these things taken away, which concerning the immense sea of scriptures per the fortitude of our strength and the tenuity of our sense we could pick out, we have placed in our defence and we teach as things to be rightly preserved, it remains that whosoever denies that there is the adoption of Christ, without doubt affirms that the true man was in no way born from the virgin. Therefore left each faithful soul pay attention to Christ [...][cvi] with the affection of kindness. If it is contrarian or blasphemous to say that the Son of God is adopted according to the form of the servant, it is far removed from doubt that it is wicked to be said, and that will be blasphemous, that sometimes a lion, sometimes the whelp of a lion, sometimes a male-calf, sometimes a sheep or lamb, victim, sacrificial victim, sacrifice, burnt offering, prince and priest for a diverse variety of causes, man and prophet, stick, flower, root, judge and king, just man and justice, apostle and bishop, arm, servant, ointment, pastor, boy, First-Begotten, door, angel, arrow eagle, vulture, cornerstone, rock and the rest of the names of this sort for Christ the Son of God undertaken by him for the salvation of the human race, as has been mentioned before: perish the thought that all these things will be full of blasphemy. But let this be absent from the hearts of the faithful, that they should be afraid to say that the testimonies of the holy scriptures do not fear to pronounce to us adopted. But to whom should we say that the anti-frasian Beatus is similar, filthy mouth as he is and crammed with all spuriousness, from whose sides the lard hangs, Nabuzardas the chief of the cooks, [cvii] the destroyer of the walls of Iherusalem- that is, the transgressor of the sacred scriptures- except Faustus Maniceus,[cviii] who asserted the patriarchs were people of the market? About him the blessed Agustinus says: 'The pious man Faustus grieves that Christ was cursed by Moyses,' because he says: 'Cursed are all who hang on wood."[cix][cx] Faustus grieved that Christ was cursed, the wicked Beatus grieves that anyone should pronounce Christ as adopted according to the form of the servant, contrary to the apostle Iohannes and the evangelist, who does not fear to call the Son of God as advocated after the emptying out of the deity: that is, adopted and filled with grace in the form of the servant. And also he goes against Ilarius, Ambrosius, Isidorus, Iheronimus and the rest of the teachers who preach to us that he was adopted in humanity and not in divinity. And again to whom should we say the anti-phrasian Beatus is similar except Migetius,[cxi] as he[cxii] is the teacher of the Casians and Salibans[cxiii] who has arisen in our times, who while he was cauterised for a type of madness in the head by the doctor, thought himself similar to Christ and chose 12 apostles for himself, and is said to have said to a certain woman standing in his presence and grieving over him: 'Amen, Amen, I say to you. Today you will be with me in Paradise.'[cxiv] Similar also is this wicked Beatus informed as he is by the example of Migetius, when he had taken residence intoxicated from wine and ordained Rufinus as abbot for brute animals, worthy as that man is by name and merit. As the same Rufinus testifies by his own mouth, he, thinking himself to be in the person of Christ is proven to have said to Rufinus with the name repeated three times: 'Simon Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep.'[cxv] So we should say that Migetius and Beatus are similar, because they are equals in honour and equals in virtue; for the same Migetius, on the point of death, predicted that he would rise on the third day, and Beatus in the Easter Vigil, with the Libanensian people[cxvi] present, prophesied to Hordonius that it would be the end of the world. Hence that people became terrified and mad and as they were refreshed with no food on the same night, they are said to have been fasting on Sunday all the way to the ninth hour. The aforementioned Hordonius, since he knew that he was afflicted with hunger, is said to have said to the people: 'Let us eat and drink, and if we die, at least we will be satiated.' But the same man [...][cxvii] feigning with illness arose on the third day neither alive in soul nor dead in body.
But we anathematise Bonosus,[cxviii] who blasphemes that the Son of God, begotten without time, was adopted. We anathematise Sabellius,[cxix] who madly declares that the Father is the same as the Son as well as the Holy Spirit and not the same thing. We anathematise Arrius,[cxx] who thinks that the Son and Holy Spirit are creation. We anathematise Maniceus,[cxxi] who preaches that Christ was God alone and not man. We anathematise the anti-phrasian Beatus given to the lust of flesh and his onager Eterius[cxxii] the teacher of cemeteries, who preach that the Son of God according to the form of human servitude in no way had the adoption of flesh. Hence we beseech you, venerable praesuls of the churches in Christ, by the advent of the Lord and His terrible judgement, that you should order to engage studiously with these things that we have mentioned above and present these things to be reviewed for the renowned Lord and the glorious princeps, remembering that maxim: 'Do not judge before the time, until there comes the one who will both illuminate the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then there will be praise from God.'[cxxiii] And the Lord in the Gospel says: 'Do not judge according to appearance, but judge justly. For you will be judged by the judgement with which you have judged, and you will have the same measure as that in which you measured.'[cxxiv] So we demand your almitude that, just as we have been marked with the banner of the one Christ, so we should preserve with untampered right that peace which Christ commended to his disciples. But if your prudence senses anything otherwise, may your reciprocated conversation clarify our negligence and may the light of truth, with the radiance of true dogma, go through the hidden depths of our breast, so that the love of Christ may persevere rightly in us, so that those whom the fertility of Christ makes fertile should not be divided in any way by the space of the earth.
[i] Gaul: i.e. France.
[ii] Aquitaine, region in what is now southwest France.
[vi] Saint Hilary of Poitiers.
[vii] Saint Ambrose of Milan.
[viii] Saint Augustine.
[ix] Saint Jerome.
[x] Saint Fulgentius of Cartagena, brother of Saint Isidore of Seville.
[xi] Saint Isidore of Seville.
[xii] Saint Eugene of Toledo, who was archbishop of Toledo.
[xiii] Saint Ildefonsus of Toledo.
[xiv] Saint Julian of Toledo, who served as archbishop of Toledo.
[xv] John 10:30.
[xvi] John 14:28.
[xvii] Luke 1:80.
[xviii] John 1:14.
[xix] 1 Thessalonians 1:19.
[xx] Ambrosius, De Incarnationis Dominicae Sacramento. 8:87.
[xxi] Ambrosius, De Incarnationis Dominicae Sacramento 9:104.
[xxii] Hilary of Poitiers.
[xxiii] Hilary of Poitiers, De Trinitate 2:27.
[xxiv] Not Jerome but actually Victorinus, Commentary on Revelation 2:17.
[xxv] Psalm 2:7.
[xxvi] Not Jerome but actually Eutropius, De similitudine carnis peccati.
[xxvii] Augustine, Enchiridion 35
[xxviii] Augustine, Tractate on the Gospel of John 29:8.
[xxix] 1 John 2:1.
[xxx] Romans 8:34.
[xxxi] Isidore of Seville, Etymologies 7:2:13.
[xxxiii] Liber Sacramentorum c. 237.
[xxxiv] Liber Sacramentorum c. 280.
[xxxv] Liber Sacramentorum c. 322-323.
[xxxvi] Liber Ordinum c. 422.
[xxxvii] Romans 8:29.
[xxxviii] Psalm 21:23.
[xxxix] Psalm 44:8.
[xl] 1 John 3:2.
[xli] Isaiah 11:2-3.
[xlii] Psalm 109:3.
[xliii] Psalm 44:2.
[xliv] Isaiah 45:23.
[xlv] Ecclesiasticus 24:5/Proverbs 8:25 ff.
[xlvi] Proverbs 8:30, 25, 27 and 29.
[xlvii] Deuteronomy 18:15.
[xlviii] Matthew 17:5.
[xlix] Psalm 88:27-30.
[l] Psalm 2:8.
[li] Isaiah 45:2.
[lii] Isaiah 45:2-3.
[liii] Micah 6:7.
[lv] 2 Samuel 7:12-14.
[lvi] Ecclesiasticus 36:14.
[lvii] Hebrews 1:1-6.
[lviii] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta. p. 111. Cf. Augustine, De Trinitate 1:13:28.
[lix] The words are very much altered: Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta p. 108. Cf. Augustine, Tractate on the Gospel of John 17:16.
[lx] Unknown citation.
[lxi] Unknown citation.
[lxii] Unknown citation.
[lxiii] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta p. 115. Cf. Augustine, De Trinitate, 4:21:31.
[lxiv] Cf, Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 123, 131.
[lxv] Psalm 21:11.
[lxvi] Cf. Vincentius Lirinensis Excerpta, p. 122. Cf. Augustine's Contra Maximinum Arianum 1:6.
[lxvii] John 1:14.
[lxviii] John 1:14.
[lxix] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 123.
[lxx] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 126. Cf. Augustine, De dono perseverentiae, 24.
[lxxi] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 127. Cf. Augustine, Enchiridion, 35.
[lxxii] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 128.
[lxxiii] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, pp. 131-132 (cf. Fidem catholici sancti Athanasii episcopi, CC 103, p. 21).
[lxxiv] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 119 (cf. Augustine, Letter 187:9).
[lxxv] Vincentius Lirinensis, Excerpta, p. 117 (cf. Augustine, Letter 137:9)
[lxxvi] Isaiah 52:13.
[lxxvii] Isaiah 42:1.
[lxxviii] Psalm 8:6.
[lxxix] Psalm 21:7.
[lxxx] Isaiah 53:2-4.
[lxxxi] There is a gap in the original text here.
[lxxxii] Philemon 2:6,8.
[lxxxiii] Isaiah 53:4.
[lxxxiv] Isaiah 53:5-7.
[lxxxv] There is a gap in the original text here.
[lxxxvi] Psalm 88:27-28.
[lxxxvii] Micah 6:7.
[lxxxviii] Ecclesiasticus 36:14.
[lxxxix] Psalm 44:8.
[xc] Romans 8:29.
[xci]Ambrosius, De Incarnationis Dominicae Sacramento 8:87.
[xcii] Augustine, Tractate on the Gospel of John 29:8.
[xciii] Not Jerome but actually Victorinus, Commentary on Revelation 2:17.
[xciv] Isidore of Seville, Etymologies 7:2:13.
[xcv] Cf. Gregory's Moralia 27:2:3.
[xcvi] There is a gap in the original text here.
[xcvii] Liber Sacramentorum c. 237.
[xcviii] Cf. Liber Sacramentorum c. 322.
[xcix] Liber Ordinum c. 422.
[c] Romans 8:15 (cf. Galatians 4:5).
[ci] Psalm 67:19.
[cii] Unknown citation.
[ciii] Isidore of Seville's Liber Differentiarum 2:33:127.
[civ] Liber Ordinum c. 75.
[cv] Cf. Matthew 18:16.
[cvi] There is a gap in the original text here.
[cviii] Cf. The mention of Faustus the Manichaean in Elipandus' letter to Fidelis.
[cix] Deuteronomy 21:23.
[cx] Augustine Contra Faustum Maniceum 14:2.
[cxii] i.e. Beatus.
[cxiii] I believe the reference here is to followers of the teachings of 'semipelagianism' attributed to Cassian, and to the followers of the teachings of Sabellius.
[cxiv] Luke 23:43.
[cxv] John 21:17.
[cxvi] The people of Liébana in Asturias.
[cxvii] There is a gap in the original text here.
[cxviii] Also mentioned in Elipandus' letter to Fidelis.
[cxix] Sabellius, who taught the doctrine of 'modalism': namely, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not persons of the Trinity but modes of manifestation of the one God. He was condemned for heresy.
[cxx] The teachings of Arius the presbyter, which are known as Arianism.
[cxxi] Mani, the founder of Manichaeism.
[cxxii] Bishop of Osma. Along with Beatus, he argued against Adoptionism.
[cxxiii] 1 Corinthians 4:5.
[cxxiv] John 7:24.