“By the advent of the Saviour, then, paganism decreases, philosophy declines, all dæmoniacal deceits perish. The faith of Christ, on the other hand, spreads, and opposition to it decays.
As the darkness vanishes before the sun, so heathen darkness prevails no longer, and the whole earth is illuminated by Christ’s teaching.
The appearance of the true emperor exposes the usurpers; so the advent of Christ has exposed and silenced the usurpation of dæmons and idols.
The Son of God, the Only-Begotten Word, alone remains, while temporal things are vanishing away.
[Athanasius of Alexandria, Athanasius: On the Incarnation of the Word of God, trans. T. Herbert Bindley, Second Edition Revised. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1903), 39.]
“For as when the sun is up darkness no longer prevails, but if there is any left anywhere it is driven away; so now, when the Divine Manifestation of the Word of God is come, the darkness of the idols prevails no longer, but every part of the whole earth is everywhere illuminated by His teaching. And just as, when an emperor is reigning in some country and does not appear, but remains within his own house, frequently some disorderly persons, abusing this withdrawal of his, proclaim themselves, and each being invested with the outward show, cheats the simple with his appearance as emperor, and thus men are deceived by the name, hearing indeed that there is an emperor, but not seeing him, p 145 especially as they cannot make their way within into his house; but when the true emperor comes forth and appears, then the disorderly deceivers are convicted by his presence, and men, seeing the true emperor, abandon those who formerly deceived them: so, in like manner, dæmons formerly deceived men, investing themselves with God’s honour; but when the Word of God appeared in a body, and made known to us His Father, at that moment the deceit of the dæmons vanishes and ceases; and men, looking to the true God, the Word of the Father, abandon idols, and themselves come to a clear knowledge of the true God.”
Athanasius of Alexandria, Athanasius: On the Incarnation of the Word of God, trans. T. Herbert Bindley, Second Edition Revised. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1903), 144–145.