2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.

The Seventh Arian (or Second Sirmium) Confession
Sirmium (357)

(from Athanasius, De Synodis, 28. LPNF, ser. 2, vol. 4, 466.)

Whereas it seemed good that there should be some discussion concerning faith, all points were carefully investigated and discussed at Sirmium in the presence of Valens, and Ursacius, and Germinius, and the rest.

It is held for certain that there is one God, the Father Almighty, as also is preached in all the world.

And His One Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, generated from Him before the ages; and that we may not speak of two Gods, since the Lord Himself has said, 'I go to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God' (John xx. 17). On this account He is God of all, as also the Apostle taught: 'Is He God of the Jews only, is He not also of the Gentiles? yea of the Gentiles also: since there is one God who shall justify the circumcision from faith, and the uncircumcision through faith' (Rom. iii. 29, 30); and every thing else agrees, and has no ambiguity.

But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin 'Substantia,' but in Greek 'Usia,' that is, to make it understood more exactly, as to 'Coessential,' or what is called, 'Like- in-Essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, and that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding; and because no one can declare the Son's generation, as it is written, 'Who shall declare His generation' (Is. liii. 8)? for it is plain that the Father only knows how He generated the Son, and again the Son how He has been generated by the Father. And to none can it be a question that the Father is greater for no one can doubt that the Father is greater in honour and dignity and Godhead, and in the very name of Father, the Son Himself testifying, The Father that sent Me is greater than I' (John x. 29, Ib. xiv. 28). And no one is ignorant, that it is Catholic doctrine, that there are two Persons of Father and Son, and that the Father is greater, and the Son subordinated to the Father together with all things which the Father has subordinated to Him, and that the Father has no beginning, and is invisible, and immortal, and impassible; but that the Son has been generated from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, and that His origin, as aforesaid, no one knows, but the Father only. And that the Son Himself and our Lord and God, took flesh, that is, a body, that is, man, from Mary the Virgin, as the Angel preached beforehand; and as all the Scriptures teach, and especially the Apostle himself, the doctor of the Gentiles, Christ took man of Mary the Virgin, through which He has suffered. And the whole faith is summed up, and secured in this, that a Trinity should ever be preserved, as we read in the Gospel, 'Go ye and baptize all the nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost' (Matt. xxviii. 19). And entire and perfect is the number of the Trinity; but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, sent forth through the Son, came according to the promise, that He might teach and sanctify the Apostles and all believers.