The Flesh

{120} WE know that our Lord took our flesh and in it by His death atoned for our sins, and by the grace communicated to us through that Flesh, renews our nature; but the question arises whether He took on Him our flesh as it was in Adam before the fall, or as it is now. To this the direct and broad answer is,—He assumed it as it is after the fall,—though of course some explanations have to be made.

It was usual to say against the Apollinarians, that, unless our Lord took on Him our nature, as it is, He had not purified and changed it, as it is, but another nature; "The Lord came not to save Adam as free from sin, that unto him He should become like; but as, in the net of sin and now fallen, that God's mercy might raise him up with Christ." Leont. contr. Nestor. &c. ii. t. 9, p. 692, Bibl. Max. Accordingly Athan. says, "He took a servant's form, putting on that flesh, which was enslaved to sin." Orat. i. § 43. And, "Had not Sinlessness appeared in the nature which had sinned, how was sin condemned in the flesh?" in Apoll. ii. 6. "It was necessary for our salvation," says S. Cyril, "that the Word of God should become man, that human flesh subject to corruption and sick with the lust of pleasures, He might make His own; and, whereas He is life and life-giving, He might destroy the corruption {121} &c. ... For by this means might sin in our flesh become dead." Ep. ad Success. i. p. 138. And S. Leo, "Non alterius naturæ erat ejus caro quam nostra, nec alio illi quam cæteris hominibus anima est inspirata principio, quæ excelleret, non diversitate generis, sed sublimitate virtutis." Ep. 35 fin.; vid. also Ep. 28, 3; Ep. 31, 2; Ep. 165, 9; Serm. 22, 2, and 25, 5. If indeed sin were of the substance of our fallen nature, as some heretics have said, then He could not have taken our nature without partaking our sinfulness; but if sin be, as it is, a fault of the will, then the Divine Power of the Word could sanctify the human will, and keep it from swerving in the direction of evil. Hence S. Austin says, "We say not that it was by the felicity of a flesh separated from sense that Christ could not feel the desire of sin, but that by perfection of virtue, and by a flesh not begotten through concupiscence of the flesh, He had not the desire of sin." Op. Imperf. iv. 48. On the other hand, S. Athanasius expressly calls it Manichean doctrine to consider [ten physin] of the flesh [hamartian, kai ou ten praxin], contr. Apoll. i. 12 fin., or [physiken einai ten hamartian], ibid. i. 14 fin. His argument in Apoll. i. 15 is on the ground that all natures are from God, but God made man upright nor can be the author of evil (vid. also Vit. Anton. 20); "not as if," he says, "the devil wrought in man a nature, (God forbid!) for of a nature the devil cannot be maker ([demiourgos]), as is the impiety of the Manichees, but he wrought a bias of nature by transgression, and 'so death reigned over all men.' Wherefore, saith He, 'the Son of God came to {122} destroy the works of the devil;' what works? that nature, which God made sinless, and the devil biassed to the transgression of God's command and the assault of sin which is death, that nature did God the Word raise again so as to be secure from the devil's bias and the assault of sin. And therefore the Lord said, 'The prince of this world cometh and findeth nothing in Me.'" vid. also § 19. Ibid. ii. 6, he speaks of the devil having introduced "the law of sin." vid. also § 9.

"As, since the flesh has become the all-quickening Word's, it overbears the might of corruption and death, so, I think since the soul became His who knew not error, it has an unchangeable condition for all good things established in it, and far more vigorous than the sin that of old time tyrannised over us. For, first and only of men on the earth, Christ did not sin, nor was guile found in His mouth; and He is laid down as a root and firstfruit of those who are refashioned unto newness of life in the Spirit, and unto immortality of body, and He will transmit to the whole human race the firm security of the Godhead, as by participation and by grace." Cyril. de Rect. Fid. p. 18. Vid. art. Specialties. {123}

Use of Force in Religion

"IN no long time," says Athan., "they will turn to outrage; and next they will threaten us with the band and the captain." Vid. John xviii. 12. Elsewhere he speaks of tribune and governor, with an allusion perhaps to Acts xxiii. 22, 24, &c. Hist. Arian. § 66 fin. and 67; vid. also § 2. "How venture they to call that a Council, in which a Count presided," &c. Apol. c. Ar. 8; vid. also 10, 45; Ep. Enc. 5. And so also doctrinally, "Our Saviour is so gentle that He teaches thus, If any man wills to come after Me, and Whoso wills to be My disciple; and coming to each, He does not force them, but knocks at the door and says, Open unto Me, My sister, My spouse; and, if they open to Him, He enters in, but if they delay and will not, He departs from them. For the Truth is not preached with swords or with darts, nor by means of soldiers, but by persuasion and counsel." Ar. Hist. § 33; vid. also 67, and Hilar. ad Const. i. 2. On the other hand he observes of the Nicene Fathers, "It was not necessity which drove the judges" to their decision, "but all vindicated the truth of deliberate purpose." Ep. Æg. 13.

As to the view taken in early times of the use of force in religion, it seems to have been that that was a bad cause which depended upon it; but that, when a cause was good, there was nothing wrong in using {124} secular means in due subordination to argument; that it was as lawful to urge religion by such means on individuals who were incapable of higher motives, as by inducements of temporal advantage. Our Lord's kingdom was not of this world, in that it did not depend on this world; but means of this world were sometimes called for in order to lead the mind to an act of faith in that which was not of this world. The simple question was, whether a cause depended on force for its success. S. Athanasius declared, and the event proved, that Arianism was thus dependent. When Emperors ceased to persecute, Arianism ceased to be; it had no life in itself. Again, active heretics were rightly prevented by secular means from spreading the poison of their heresy. But all exercise of temporal pressure, long continued or on a large scale, was wrong, as arguing an absence of moral and rational grounds in its justification. Again, the use of secular weapons in ecclesiastical hands was a scandal, as negotiatio would be. And further there is an abhorrence of cruelty, just and natural to us, which may easily be elicited, unless the use of the secular arm is directed with much discretion and charity. For a list of passages from the Fathers on the subject, vid. Limborch on the Inquisition, vol. i. and ii. 2 and 5; Bellarmin. de Laicis, c. 21, 22. For authors who defend its adoption, vid. Gerhard de Magistr. Polit. p. 741. So much as to the question of principle, which even Protestants act on and have generally acted; in this day and here, State interference would so simply tell against the Catholic cause, that it would be a marvel to find any Catholic advocating it. {125}

In that day it was a thought which readily arose in the minds of zealous men. Thus:

"Who comprehends not the craft of these God-assailants? who but would stone such madmen? [ouk an katalithoseien]." Decr. § 28.

"If then they thus conceive of the Son, let all men throw stones at them, considering, as they do, the Word a part of this universe, and a part insufficient without the rest for the service committed to Him. But if this be manifestly impious, let them acknowledge that the Word is not in the number of things made, but the sole and proper Word of the Father, and their Framer. His words are [ballesthosan para panton]," Orat. ii. § 28. Vid. also i. 38, and iii. 41.

There is an apparent allusion in such passages to the punishment of blasphemy and idolatry under the Jewish Law. Vid. art. Definition, supra, Ex. xxi. 17. Thus, for instance, Nazianzen: "While I go up the mount with good heart, ... that I may become within the cloud, and may hold converse with God, (for so God bids,) if there be any Aaron, let him go up with me and stand near ... And if there be any Nadab or Abiud, or any of the elders, let him go up, but stand far off, according to the measure of his purification ... But if any one is an evil and savage beast, and quite incapable of science and theology ... let him stand off still further, and depart from the mount; or he will be stoned and crushed; for the wicked shall be miserably destroyed. For as stones for the bestial are true words and strong. Whether he be leopard, let him die, spots and all," &c. Orat. 28. 2. The stoning then was {126} metaphorical; the stones were strong words. In the same way S. Dionysius speaks of the charges of heterodoxy brought against him before the Roman See. "By two words taken out of their context, as with stones, they sling at me from a distance." Athan. de Sent. D. § 18.

"Are they not deserving of many deaths?" Orat. ii. § 4. "You ought ([opheiles]) to have your impious tongue cut out," the Arian Acacius says to Marcellus, ap. Epiph. Hær. 72, 7. "If Eutyches thinks otherwise than the decrees of the Church, he deserves ([axios]) not only punishment, but the fire," says the Monophysite. Dioscorus ap. Concil. Chalced. (Hard. t. 2, p. 100.) In time they advanced from accounting to doing. The Emperor Justin proposes to cut out the heretic Severus's tongue, Evagr. iv. 4; and "blasphemiis lapidasti," Theodor. ap. Concil. 6. (Labbe, t. 6, p. 88.) Afterwards we find an advance from allegory to fact. Sometimes it was a literalism deduced from the doctrine in dispute; as the heretics at the Latrocinium cried, "Cut in two those who assert two Natures." Concil. Hard. t. 2, p. 81. Palladius relates a case in which a sort of ordeal became a punishment: Abbot Copres proposed to a Manichee to enter a fire with him. After Copres had come out unharmed, the populace forced the Manichee into it, and then cast him, burnt as he was, out of the city. Hist. Lausiac. 54. S. Gregory mentions the case of a wizard, who had pretended to be a monk, and had used magical arts against a nun, being subsequently burned by the Roman populace. Dial. i. 4. {127}

Freedom of Our Moral Nature

THIS, it need hardly be said, is one of the chief blessings which we have secured to us by the Incarnation. We are by nature the captives and prisoners of our inordinate and unruly passions and desires; we are not our own masters, till our Lord sets us free; and the main question is, how does He set us free, and by what instrumentality?

1. Here we answer, first, by bringing home to us the broad and living law of liberty and His own pattern which He has provided for us. "Whereas," Athan. says, "of things made the nature is alterable, ... therefore there was here need of One who was unalterable, that men might have the immutability of the righteousness of the Word as an image and type for virtue." Orat. i. § 51. (Disc. n. 84.)

Vid. Athan. de Incarn. § 13, 14; vid. also Gent. 41 fin. "Cum justitia nulla esset in terrâ, doctorem misit, quasi vivam legem." Lactant. Instit. iv. 25. "The Only-begotten was made man like us, ... as if lending us His own steadfastness." Cyril. in Joann. lib. v. 2, p. 473; vid. also Thesaur. 20, p. 198; August. de Corr. et Grat. 10-12; Damasc. F.O. iv. 4. And this pattern to us He is, not only through His Incarnation, but as manifested in a measure by His glory, as [prototokos], in the visible universe. {128} Vid. a beautiful passage, contr. Gent. 42, &c. Again, "He made them [men] after His own image, imparting to them of the power of His own Word, that, having as it were certain shadows of the Word, and becoming rational, [logikoi], they might be enabled to continue in blessedness." Incarn. 3; vid. also Orat. ii. § 78, (Disc. n. 215,) where he speaks of Wisdom as being infused into the world on its creation, that the world might possess "an impress and semblance of Its Image."

So again, "He is the truth, and we by imitation become virtuous and Sons; ... that, as He, being the Word, is in His own Father, so we too, taking Him as an exemplar, might live in unanimity," &c. &c. [Kata mimesin]. Orat. iii. § 19. (Disc. n. 252;) Clem. Alex. [ton eikonon tas men ektrepomenous, tas de mimoumenous]. Pædag. i. 3, p. 102, ed. Pott. and [mimesei tou noos ekeinou]. Naz. Ep. 102, p. 95 (ed. Ben.). Vid. Leo. in various places, infra, p. 190, art. Incarnation; ut imitatores operum, factores sermonum, &c. Iren. Hær. v. 1; exemplum verum et adjutorium. August. Serm. 101, 6; mediator non solum per adjutorium, verùm etiam per exemplum. August. Trin. xiii. 22, also ix. 21, and Eusebius, though with an heretical meaning, [kata ten autou mimesin]. Eccl. Theol. iii. 19.

2. But of course an opportunity of imitation is not enough: a powerful internal grace is necessary, however great the beauty of the Moral Law and its Author, in order to set free and convert the human heart. "Idly do ye imagine to be able to work in yourselves newness of the principle which thinks ([phronountos]) and {129} actuates the flesh, expecting to do so by imitation ... for if men could have wrought for themselves newness of that actuating principle without Christ, and if what is actuated follows what actuates, what need was there of Christ's coming?" Apoll. i. § 20 fin. And again: "The Word of God," he says, "underwent a sort of creation in the Incarnation, in order to effect thereby our new creation. If He was not thus created for us," but was absolutely a creature, which is the Arian doctrine, "it follows that we are not created in Him; and if not created in Him, we have Him not in ourselves, but externally, as, for instance, receiving instruction from Him as from a teacher. And, it being so with us, sin has not lost its reign over the flesh, being inherent and not cast out of it." Orat. ii. § 56. (Disc. n. 180.) And this is necessary, he goes on to say, "that we might have [eleutheron to phronema]."

He speaks, contr. Gent., of man "having the grace of the Giver, and his own virtue from the Father's Word;" of the mind "seeing the Word, and in Him the Word's Father also," § 2; of "the way to God being, not as God Himself, above us and far off, or external to us, but in us," 30, &c. &c.; vid. also Basil. de Sp. S. n. 19. This is far more than mere teaching. "Rational creatures receiving light," says Cyril, "enlighten by imparting principles, which are poured from their own minds into another intellect; and such an illumination may be justly called teaching rather than revelation. But the Word of God enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, not in the way of a teacher, as for instance Angels do or {130} men, but rather as God, in the way of a Framer, doth He sow in each whom He calls into being the seed of Wisdom, that is, of divine knowledge, and implant a root of understanding," &c. Cyril. in Joan. xix. p. 75. Athan. speaks of this seed sometimes as natural, sometimes as supernatural, and indeed the one order of grace is parallel to the other, and not incompatible with it. Again, he speaks of "a reason combined and connatural with everything that came into being, which some are wont to call seminal, inanimate indeed and unreasoning and unintelligent, but operating only by external art according to the science of Him who sowed it." contr. Gent. 40. Thus there are three supernatural aids given to men of which the Word is the [arche], that of instinct, of reason, and the "gratia Christi."

3. Even this is not all which is given us over and above nature. The greatest and special gift is the actual presence, as well as the power within us of the Incarnate Son as a principle or [arche] (vid. art. [arche]) of sanctification, or rather of deification. (vid. art. Deif.) On this point Athan. especially dwells in too many passages to quote or name.

E.g. "The Word of God was made man in order to sanctify the flesh." Orat. ii. § 10. (Disc. n. 114 fin.) "Ye say, 'He destroyed [the works of the devil] by not sinning;' but this is no destruction of sin. For not in Him did the devil in the beginning work sin, that by His coming into the world and not sinning sin was destroyed; but whereas the devil had wrought sin by an after-sowing in the rational and {131} spiritual nature of man, therefore it became impossible for nature, which was rational and had voluntarily sinned, and fell under the penalty of death, to recover itself into freedom ([eleutherian]) ... Therefore came the Son of God by Himself to establish [the flesh] in His own nature from a new beginning ([arche]) and a marvellous generation." Apoll. ii. § 6.

"True, without His incarnation at all, God was able to speak the Word only and undo the curse ... but then the power indeed of Him who gave command had been shown, but man would have fared but as Adam before the fall by receiving grace only from without, not having it united to the body ... Then, had he been again seduced by the serpent, a second need had arisen of God's commanding and undoing the curse; and thus the need had been interminable, and men had remained under guilt just as before, being in slavery to sin," &c. Orat. ii. § 68. (Disc. n. 200); vid. arts. Incarnation and Sanctification. And so in Incarn. § 7, he says that repentance might have been pertinent, had man merely offended, without corruption following; but that that corruption involved the necessity of the Word's vicarious sufferings and intercessory office.

"If the works of the Word's Godhead had not taken place through the body, man had not been made god; and again, had not the belongings of the flesh been ascribed to the Word, man had not been thoroughly delivered from them; but though they had ceased for a little while, as I said before, still sin had remained in man and corruption, as was the case with mankind before He came; and for this reason:— {132} Many, for instance, have been made holy and clean from all sin; nay, Jeremias was hallowed, even from the womb, and John, while yet in the womb, leapt for joy at the voice of Mary Mother of God; nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression; and thus men remained mortal and corruptible as before, liable to the affections proper to their nature. But now the Word having become man and having appropriated the affections of the flesh, no longer do these affections touch the body, because of the Word who has come in it, but they are destroyed by Him, and henceforth men no longer remain sinners and dead according to their proper affections, but, having risen according to the Word's power, they abide ever immortal and incorruptible. Whence also, whereas the flesh is born of Mary Mother of God, He Himself is said to have been born, who furnishes to others a generation of being; in order that, by His transferring our generation into Himself, we may no longer, as mere earth, return to earth, but as being knit into the Word from heaven, may be carried to heaven by Him." Orat. iii. 33. (Disc. n. 270.)

"We could not otherwise," says S. Irenæus, "receive incorruption and immortality, but by being united to incorruption and immortality. But how could this be, unless incorruption and immortality had first been made what we are? that corruption might be absorbed by incorruption and mortal by immortality, that we might receive the adoption of Sons." Hær. iii. 19, n. 1. "He took part of flesh and blood, that {133} is, He became man, whereas He was Life by nature, ... that uniting Himself to the corruptible flesh according to the measure of its own nature, ineffably, and inexpressibly, and as He alone knows, He might bring it to His own life, and render it partaker through Himself of God and the Father ... For He bore our nature, re-fashioning it into His own life; ... He is in us through the Spirit, turning our natural corruption into incorruption, and changing death to its contrary." Cyril. in Joan. lib. ix. cir. fin. pp. 883, 4. This is the doctrine of S. Athanasius and S. Cyril, one may say, passim.

Vid. Naz. Epp. ad Cled. 1 and 2 (101, 102, ed. Ben.); Nyssen. ad Theoph. in Apoll. p. 696. "Generatio Christi origo est populi Christiani," says S. Leo; "for whoso is regenerated in Christ," he continues, "has no longer the propagation from a carnal father, but the germination of a Saviour, who therefore was made Son of man, that we might be sons of God." Serm. 26, 2. "Multum fuit a Christo recepisse formam, sed plus est in Christo habere substantiam. Suscepit nos in suam proprietatem illa natura," &c. &c. Serm. 72, 2; vid. Serm. 22, 2; "ut corpus regenerati fiat caro Crucifixi." Serm. 63, 6. "Hæc est nativitas nova dum homo nascitur in Deo; in quo homine Deus natus est, carne antiqui seminis susceptâ, sine semine antiquo, ut illam novo semine, id est, spiritualiter, reformaret, exclusis antiquitatis sordibus, expiatam." Tertull. de Carn. Christ. 17; vid. Orat. iii. § 34.

Such is the channel and mode in which spiritual life and freedom is given to us. Our Lord Himself, {134} according to the Holy Fathers, is the [arche] of the new creation to each individual Christian. If it be asked of them, What real connection can there possibly be between the sanctification of Christ's manhood and ours? how does it prove that human nature is sanctified because a particular specimen of it was sanctified in Him? S. Chrysostom explains: "He is born of our substance; you will say, 'This does not pertain to all;' yea, to all. He mingles ([anamignusin]) Himself with the faithful individually, through the mysteries, and whom He has begotten those He nurses from Himself, not puts them out to other hands," &c. Hom. 82. 5. in Matt. And just before, "It sufficed not for Him to be made man, to be scourged, to be sacrificed; but He unites Himself to us ([anaphyrei heauton hemin]), not merely by faith, but really, has He made us His body." Again, "That we are commingled ([anakerasthomen]) into that flesh, not merely through love, but really, is brought about by means of that food which He has bestowed upon us." Hom. 46. 3. in Joann. And so S. Cyril writes against Nestorius: "Since we have proved that Christ is the Vine, and we branches as adhering to a communion with Him, not spiritual merely but bodily, why clamours he against us thus bootlessly, saying that, since we adhere to Him, not in a bodily way, but rather by faith and the affection of love according to the Law, therefore He has called, not His own flesh the vine, but rather the Godhead?" in Joann. 10, p. 863, 4. And Nyssen: "As they who have taken poison, destroy its deadly power by some other preparation ... so when we have tasted what {135} destroys our nature, we have need of that instead which restores what was destroyed ... But what is this? nothing else than that Body which has been proved to be mightier than death, and was the beginning, [katerxato], of our life. For a little leaven," &c. Orat. Catech. 37. "Decoctâ quasi per ollam carnis nostræ cruditate, sanctificavit in æternum nobis cibum carnem suam." Paulin. Ep. 23. 7. Of course in such statements nothing simply material is implied. But without some explanation really literal, language such as S. Athanasius's in the text seems a mere matter of words. Vid. infr. p. 225. {136}

Grace of God

IT is a doctrine much insisted on by S. Athanasius, that, together with the act of creation, there was, on the part of the Creator, a further act conservative of the universe which He was creating. This was the communication to it of a blessing or grace, analogous to the grace and sonship purchased for us by our Lord's incarnation, though distinct in kind from it and far inferior to it; and in consequence the universe is not only [geneton] but [genneton], not only made, but in a certain sense begotten or generated, and, being moulded on the Pattern supplied by the Divine Nature, is in a true sense an Image or at least a Semblance of the Creator. (Vid. art. [genneton].)

In controversy with the Arians, he explains with great care the nature of this gift, because it was their device to reduce our Lord's Sonship, in which lay the proof of His Divinity, to the level of the supernatural adoption which has been accorded by the Creator to the whole world, first on its creation, and again through the redemption upon the cross of the fallen race of man.

This grace of adoption was imparted in both cases by the ministration of the Eternal Son, in capacity of Primogenitus or First-born, (as through His Incarnation in the Gospel Economy, so through His [sunkatabasis], or the coming of His Personal {137} Presence into the world in the beginning,) and was His type and likeness stamped upon the world, physical and moral, and a fulness of excellence enriching it from the source of all excellence. (Vid. [prototokos].)

"Since God is self-existing and not composed of parts," says Athan., "such too is His Word also, being One Only-begotten God, who from a Father, as a Fount of Good, has gone forth ([proelthon]) Himself Good, and put into order and into consistency all things. The reason for this is truly admirable, and evidently befitting. For the nature of creatures, as coming into subsistence out of nothing, is dissoluble, and feeble, and, taken by itself, is mortal, but the God of the universe is good and of surpassing beauty in His nature. (vid. [rheustos]) ... Beholding then that all created nature was in respect of its own laws dissoluble and dissolving, lest this should happen to it, and the whole world fall back again into nothing, having made all things by His own Eternal Word, and having given substance to the creation, he refused to let it be carried away and wrecked ([cheimazesthai]) by stress of its own nature, and, as a Good God, He governs and sustains it all by His own Word, who is Himself God, ... through whom and in whom all things consist, visible and invisible," &c. contr. Gent. § 41.

Again, "In order that what came into being might not only be, but be good, it pleased God that His own Wisdom should condescend ([sunkatabenai]) to the creatures, so as to introduce an impress and semblance of Its Image on all in common and on each, that what was made might be manifestly wise works and worthy of God. For as {138} of the Son of God, considered as the Word, our word is an image, so of the same Son considered as Wisdom is the wisdom which is implanted in us an image; in which wisdom we, having the power of knowledge and thought, become recipients of the All-framing Wisdom, and through It we are able to know Its Father." Orat. ii. 78. (Disc. n. 215.)

S. Cyril, using another figure, says that the universe is grafted on the Word: "He is Only-begotten according to nature, as being alone from the Father, God from God, Light kindled from Light; and He is First-born for our sakes, that, as if on some immortal root, the whole creation might be ingrafted and might bud forth from the Everlasting. For all things were made by Him, and consist for ever and are preserved in Him." Thesaur. 25, p. 238.

Moreover, Athan. goes so far as to suggest that the universe does not evidence the Creator, except as being inhabited by the Son, and that what we see divine in it is His Presence. "He has said, 'The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, His eternal Power and Divinity.' ... Study the context, and ye will see that it is the Son who is signified. For after making mention of the creation, he naturally speaks of the Framer's Power as seen in it, which Power, I say, is the Word of God, by whom all things were made. If indeed the creation be sufficient of itself alone, without the Son, to make God known, see that you fall not into the further opinion that without the Son it came to be. But if through {139} the Son it came to be, and in Him all things consist, it must follow that he who contemplates the creation rightly, is contemplating also the Word who framed it, and through Him begins to apprehend the Father. And on Philip's asking, Show us the Father, He said not, 'Behold the creation,' but, He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." Orat. i. § 11, 12. (Disc. n. 17.)

2. It is then the original [sunkatabasis] of the Son, making Himself the First-begotten of the creation in the beginning, which breathes, and which stamps a sort of divinity upon the natural universe, and prepares us for that far higher grace and glory which is given to human nature by means of the Incarnation; this evangelical grace being not merely a gift from above, as resulting from the [sunkatabasis], but an inhabitation of the Giver in man, a communication of His Person, and a participation, as it may be called, of the Virtue of that Person, similar to that which, when He came upon earth, He bestowed on individuals by contact with His hands or His garments for their deliverance from bodily ailments or injuries.

Our Lord, then, came on earth, not merely as the physician of our souls, but as the First-born and the Parent of a new Family, who should be the principle of propagation of a new birth in a fallen world. "The flesh being first sanctified in Him, we have the sequel of the Spirit's grace, receiving out of His fulness." Orat. i. § 50 fin. (Disc. n. 83 fin.) "Therefore did He assume the body created and human, that, having renewed it as its Framer, He might make it God in Himself, and thus might introduce us all into the {140} kingdom of heaven after His likeness." Orat. ii. § 70. "How could we be partakers of that adoption of sons, unless through the Son we had received from Him that communion with Him, unless His Word had been made flesh, and had communicated it to us?" Iren. Hær. iii. 18, 7.

Hence it is that the adoption of Sons which is the gift which we gain by the Incarnation, is far more than an adoption in the ordinary sense of that word, and far stronger terms are used of it. Athan. says that we are made sons "truly," [huiopoioumetha alethos]. Decr. § 31 . (Nic. n. 45.) Again S. Basil says, that we are sons, [kurios], "properly," and [protos], "primarily," in opposition to [ek metaphoras] and [tropikos], "figuratively," contr. Eunom. ii. 23, 24. S. Cyril too says that we are sons "naturally," [physikos], as well as [kata charin], vid. Suicer. Thesaur. v. [huios], i. 3. Of these words, [alethos], [physikos], [kurios], and [protos], the first two are commonly reserved for our Lord; e.g. [ton alethos huion], Orat. ii. § 37. (Disc. n. 150 fin.) [hemeis huioi, ouk hos ekeinos physei kai aletheiai], Orat. iii. § 19. (Disc. n. 251.) Hilary indeed seems to deny us the title of "proper" sons, de Trin. xii. 15; but his "proprium" is a translation of [idion], not [kurios].

The true statement is, that, whereas there is a primary and secondary sense in which the word Son is used,—the primary, when it has its formal meaning of continuation of nature, and the secondary, when it is used nominally, or for an external resemblance to the first meaning,—it is applied to the regenerate, not in the secondary sense, but in the primary. S. Basil and S. {141} Gregory Nyssen consider Son to be a "a term of relationship according to nature" (vid. art. Son), also Basil, in Psalm. 28, 1. The actual presence of the Holy Spirit in the regenerate in substance (vid. Cyril. Dial. 7, p. 638) constitutes this relationship of nature; and hence after the words quoted from S. Cyril above, in which he says, that we are sons [physikos], he proceeds "naturally, because we are in Him, and in Him alone," vid. Athan.'s words which follow in the text at the end of Decr. § 31. And hence Nyssen lays down as a received truth, that "to none does the term 'proper,' [kuriotaton], apply, but to one in whom the name responds with truth to the nature." contr. Eunom. iii. p. 123. And he also implies, p. 117, the intimate association of our sonship with Christ's, when he connects together regeneration with our Lord's eternal generation, neither being [dia pathous], or, of the will of the flesh. If it be asked what the distinctive words are which are incommunicably the Son's, since so much is man's, it is obvious to answer, first, [idios huios] and [monogenes], which are in Scripture; and, next, the symbols "Of the substance," and "One in substance," of the Council; and this is the value of the Council's phrases, that, while they guard the Son's divinity, they allow full scope, without risk of trenching on that divinity, to the Catholic doctrine as to the fulness of the Christian privileges. {142}

The Divine Hand

GOD, the Creative Origin and Cause of all beings, acts by the mediation, ministration, or agency of His co-equal Son. To symbolise His numerical oneness with that Son, the Son is called His Hand.

E.g. by Athan. Dec. § 7, 17. Orat. ii. § 31, 71. iv. 26. Also Incarn. c. Ar. 12.

Also by Clem. Recogn. viii. 43. Hom. xvi. 12. Method ap. Phot. cod. 235, p. 937. Iren. Hær. iv. præf. 20, v. 1 and 5 and 6. Clem. Protr. (brachium) p. 93. Potter. Tertull. Herm. 45. Cyprian. Test. ii. 4. Euseb. in Psalm. 108, 27. Hilar. Trin. viii. 22. Basil. Eunom. v. p. 297. Cyril. in Joann. 476, 7, et alibi. Thesaur. p. 154. Job. ap. Phot. p. 582. August. in Joan. 48, 7 (though he prefers another use of the word), p. 323.

This image is in contrast with that of instrument, [organon], which the Arians would use to express the relation of the Son to the Father, as implying separateness and subservience, whereas the word Hand implies His consubstantiality; vid. art. Mediation. {143}


HERESIES are partial views of the truth, starting from some truth which they exaggerate, and disowning and protesting against other truth, which they fancy inconsistent with it.

All heresies are partial views of the truth, and are wrong, not so much in what they directly say as in what they deny.

All heresies seem connected together and to run into each other. When the mind has embraced one, it is almost certain to run into others, apparently the most opposite, it is quite uncertain which. Thus Arians were a reaction from Sabellians, yet did not the less consider than they that God was but one Person, and that Christ was a creature. Apollinaris was betrayed into his heresy by opposing the Arians, yet his heresy started with the tenet in which the Arians ended, that Christ had no human soul. His disciples became, and even naturally, some of them Sabellians, some Arians. Again, beginning with denying our Lord a soul, Apollinaris came to deny Him a body, like the Manichees and Docetæ. The same passages from Athanasius will be found to refute both Eutychians and Nestorians, though diametrically opposed to each other: and these agreed together, not only in considering nature and person identical, but, {144} strange to say, in holding (and the Apollinarians too,) that our Lord's manhood existed before its union with Him, which is the special heresy of Nestorius. Again, the Nestorians were closely connected with the Sabellians and Samosatenes, and the latter with the Photinians and modern Socinians. And the Nestorians were connected with the Pelagians; and Aerius, who denied Episcopacy and prayers for the dead, with the Arians; and his opponent the Semi-Arian Eustathius with the Encratites. One reason of course of this peculiarity of heresy is, that when the mind is once unsettled, it may fall into any error. Another is that it is heresy; all heresies being secretly connected, as in temper, so in certain primary principles. And lastly, the Truth only is a real doctrine, and therefore stable; everything false is of a transitory nature and has no stay, like reflections in a stream, one opinion continually passing into another, and creations being but the first stages of dissolution. Hence so much is said in the Fathers of orthodoxy being a narrow way. Thus S. Gregory speaks of the middle and "royal" way. Orat. 32, 6, also Damasc. contr. Jacob. iii. t. 1, p. 398; vid. also Leon. Ep. 85, 1, p. 1051; Ep. 129, p. 1254, "brevissimâ adjectione corrumpitur;" also Serm. 25, 1, p. 83; also Vigil. in Eutych. i. init. "Quasi inter duos latrones crucifigitur Dominus," &c. Novat. Trin. 30. vid. the promise, "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, and go not aside either to the right hand, or to the left." Is. xxx. 21.

Heresies run into each other, (one may even say,) {145} logically. No doctrines were apparently more opposed, whether historically or ethically, than the Arian and the Apollinarian or the Monophysite; nay, in statement, so far as the former denied that our Lord was God, the latter that He was man. But their agreement lay in this compromise, that strictly speaking He was neither God nor man. Thus in Orat. ii. § 8, Athan. hints that if the Arians gave the titles (such as Priest) which really belonged to our Lord's manhood, to His pre-existent nature, what were they doing but removing the evidences of His manhood, and so far denying it? Vid. the remarkable passage of the Council of Sardica against Valens and Ursacius quoted supr. vol. i. p. 116. In the Arian Creed No. vii. or second Sirmian, it is implied that the Divine Son is passible, the very doctrine against which Theodoret writes one of his Anti-monophysite Dialogues called Eranistes. He writes another on the [atrepton] of Christ, a doctrine which was also formally denied by Arius, and is defended by Athan. Orat. i. § 35. Vid. art. Eusebius, who speaks of our Lord's taking a body, almost to the prejudice of the doctrine of His taking a perfect manhood; [ei men psuches diken], &c., supr. p. 106. Hence it is that Gibbon throws out (ch. 47, note 34), after La Croze, Hist. Christ. des Indes, p. 11, that the Arians invented the term [theotokos], which the Monophysites, in their own sense strenuously held, vid. Garner in Mar. Merc. t. 2, p. 299. If the opposites of connected heresies are in fact themselves connected together, then the doctrinal connection of Arianism and Apollinarianism is shown in their respective opposition to the heresies of Sabellius {146} and Nestorius. Salig (Eutych. ant. Eut. 10) denies the connection, but with very little show of reason. La Croze calls Apollinarianism "Arianismi tradux," Thes. Ep. Lacroz. t. 3, p. 276.

It was the tendency of all the heresies concerning the Person of Christ to explain away or deny the Atonement. The Arians, after the Platonists, insisted on the pre-existing Priesthood, as if the incarnation and crucifixion were not of its essence. The Apollinarians resolved the Incarnation into a manifestation, Theod. Eran. i. The Nestorians denied the Atonement, Procl. ad Armen. p. 615. And the Eutychians, Leon. Ep. 28, 5.

It is remarkable that the Monophysites should have been forced into their circumscription of the Divine Nature by the limits of the human, considering that Eutyches their Patriarch began with asserting for reverence-sake that the Incarnate Word was not under the laws of human nature, vid. infra art. Specialties, &c. This is another instance of the running of opposite heresies into each other. Another remarkable instance will be found in art. Ignorance, viz. the Agnœtæ, a sect of those very Eutychians, who denied or tended to deny our Lord's manhood with a view of preserving His Divinity, yet who were characterised by holding that He was ignorant as man.

"This passage of the Apostle," Rom. i. 1, "[Marcellus] I know not why perverts, instead of declared, [horisthentos], making it predestined, [prooristhentos], that the Son may be such as they who are predestined according to foreknowledge." Euseb. contr. Marc. i. 2. {147} Paul of Samosata also considered our Lord Son by foreknowledge, [prognosei]. vid. Routh, Reliqu. t. 2, p. 466; and Eunomius, Apol. 24.

In spite of their differing diametrically from each other in their respective heresies about the Holy Trinity, that our Lord was not really the Divine Word was a point in which Arians and Sabellians agreed. vid. infr. Orat. iv. init.; also ii. § 22, 40, also Sent. D. 25. Ep. Æg. 14 fin. Epiph. Hær. 72, p. 835.

Heretics have frequently assigned reverence as the cause of their opposition to the doctrine of the Church; and if even Arius was obliged to affect it, the plea may be expected in any others. "O stultos et impios metus," says S. Hilary, "et irreligiosam de Deo sollicitudinem." de Trin. iv. 6. It was still more commonly professed in regard to the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation. Thus Manes, "Absit ut Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum per naturalia mulieris descendisse confitear; ipse enim testimonium dat, quia de sinibus Patris descendit." Archel. Disp. t. iii. p. 601. "We, as saying that the Word of God is incapable of defilement, even by the assumption of mortal and vulnerable flesh, fear not to believe that He is born of a Virgin; ye," Manichees, "because with impious perverseness ye believe the Son of God to be capable of it, dread to commit Him to the flesh." August. contr. Secund. 9. Faustus "is neither willing to receive Jesus of the seed of David, nor made of a woman ... nor the death of Christ itself, and burial, and resurrection," &c. August. contr. Faust xi. 3. As the Manichees denied our Lord a body, so the Apollinarians denied Him a rational soul, still under {148} pretence of reverence, because, as they said, the soul was necessarily sinful. Leontius makes this their main argument, [ho nous hamartetikos esti], de Sect. iv. p. 507; vid. also Greg. Naz. Ep. 101, ad Cledon. p. 89; Athan. in Apoll. i. 2, 14; Epiph. Ancor. 79, 80. Athan. and others call the Apollinarian doctrine Manichean in consequence. vid. in Apoll. ii. 8, 9, &c. Again, the Eranistes in Theodoret, who advocates a similar doctrine, will not call our Lord man. "I consider it important to acknowledge an assumed nature, but to call the Saviour of the world man is to impair our Lord's glory." Eranist. ii. p. 83. Eutyches, on the other hand, would call our Lord man, but refused to admit His human nature, and still with the same profession. "Ego," he says, "sciens sanctos et beatos patres nostros refutantes duarum naturarum vocabulum, et non audens de naturâ tractare Dei Verbi, qui in carnem venit, in veritate non in phantasmate homo factus," &c. Leon. Ep. 21, 1 fin. "Forbid it," he says at Constantinople, "that I should say that the Christ was of two natures, or should discuss the nature, [physiologein], of my God." Concil. t. 2, p. 157. And so in this day popular Tracts have been published, ridiculing St. Luke's account of our Lord's nativity under pretence of reverence towards the God of all, and interpreting Scripture allegorically on Pantheistic principles. A modern argument for Universal Restitution takes the same form: "Do not we shrink from the notion of another's being sentenced to eternal punishment; are we more merciful than God?" vid. Matt. xvi. 22, 23. {149}

That heresies before the Arian appealed to Scripture we learn from Tertullian, de Præscr. 42, who warns Catholics against indulging themselves in their own view of isolated texts against the voice of the Catholic Church. vid. also Vincentius, who specifies obiter Sabellius and Novatian. Commonit. 2. Still Arianism was contrasted with other heresies on this point, as in these two respects: (1.) they appealed to a secret tradition, unknown even to most of the Apostles, as the Gnostics, Iren. Hær. iii. 1; or they professed a gift of prophecy introducing fresh revelations, as Montanists, Syn. § 4, and Manichees, Aug. contr. Faust. xxxii. 6. (2.) The Arians availed themselves of certain texts as objections, argued keenly and plausibly from them, and would not be driven from them. Orat. ii. § 18, c.; Epiph. Hær. 69, 15. Or rather they took some words of Scripture, and made their own deductions from them; viz. "Son," "made," "exalted," &c.

[Contributed by Dan Meardon, Cary, NC, USA]


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