quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

by the word of an angel

"So the Lord now manifestly came to his own. Born by his own
created order that he himself bears, he by his obedience on
the tree renewed and reversed what was done by disobedience
in connection with a tree. The power of that seduction by
which the virgin Eve, already betrothed to a man, had been
wickedly seduced was broken when the angel in truth brought
good tidings to the Virgin Mary, who already by her betrothal
belonged to a man. For as Eve was seduced by the word of an
angel to flee from God, having rebelled against his Word,
so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings
that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former
was seduced to disobey God and so fell, but the latter was
persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become
the advocate of Eve. As the human race was subjected to
death through the act of a virgin, so was it saved by a
virgin was precisely balanced by the obedience of another.
Then indeed the sin of the first formed man was amended by
the chastisement of the First Begotten, the wisdom of the
serpent was conquered by the simplicity of the dove, and
the chains were broken by which we were in bondage to death."
(Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5:19-20, cited in "Ancient
Christian Commentary on Scripture III: Luke", 19-20)

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