A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben's Dogmatik
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With a Preface By Cardinal Manning
Volume II --Book V --redemption
The universal ruin brought on mankind by sin was not suffered by Almighty God to be permanent. His goodness and mercy provided an equally universal remedy whereby man might be freed (redeemed) from the slavery of sin, and whereby the Supernatural Order which had been destroyed might be restored in a new and more perfect form. This restoration forms the subject of the succeeding portion of Dogmatic Theology.
First we have to treat of the Person and work of Him Who was the means of bringing about this new order of things. We shall divide the present book into four parts: I. The Preparation for the Redeemer; II. The Person of the Redeemer (Christology); III. His Work; IV. His Mother.
The Fathers treat expressly of the Person of Christ rather than of His work; but they do so always with reference to that work. St. Athanasius, St. Leo, and St. John Damascene should be especially consulted. It was St. Anselm, in his treatise, Cur Deus Homo, and Hugh of St. Victor (De Sacram. Christ. Fidei), who laid the foundation of the systematic teaching on Redemption. The Master of the Sentences deals with Christology in lib. iii., dist. i. xxii., of which the best commentators are St. Bonaventure, Scotus, Denis the Carthusian, Franciscus a Christo and Estius. St. Thomas has given Christology its most perfect form. See his commentary on the Master of Sentences; also, Qq. Dispp. De Unione Verbi Incarnati; De Scientia Christi, and De Gratia Christi; Opusc. III. m Contra Grcecos, Armenos, etc.; Compend. Theol. cc. 199-241; Summa Contra Gentes, 1. iv., and Summa Theol. 3, qq. 1-51. Commentaries on St. Thomas: Medina, Sylvius, Gonet, and especially the Salmanticenses; the Jesuits Valentia, Tanner, Vasquez, Lugo, Ragusa, and especially Suarez. For the Scotist views see Frassen, De Rada, Henno. Also the important works of Petavius, Thomassin, and Theophilus Reynaud, in the seventeenth century; the magnificent treatise of Cardinal Berulle, Des Grandeurs de Jesus- Christ. Of modern authors: Munier and Holzklau (Wirceburgenses), Legrand (Migne Theol., torn, ix.); Franzelin (De Verbo Incarnato), Kleutgen, vol. iii.; Newman's St. Athanasius, Arians of the Fourth Century, and Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical; Scheeben, book v.; Billot, De Verbo Incarnate; Card. Satolli, De Incarnatione.
PART I. PRELIMINARY CONDITIONS AND PREPARATION FOR REDEMPTION.
CHAPTER I. The Conditions of Redemption.
Sect. 166. --Possibility and Congruency of Redemption.
I. The restoration of fallen man is called, in the language of Scripture, Salvation and Redemption: salvation from death through the restitution of grace which is the root of life; redemption from the captivity of sin and death under Satan, through the restitution of the freedom of the sons of God. Such salvation and redemption mean some- thing more than mere remission of sin: they include the restoration of the sinner to supernatural friendship with God. As man, by his own power, is unable to raise himself to the supernatural state, it follows that his salvation is entirely the work of God (Council of Trent, sess. vi. c. i).
II. Though man is unworthy of Redemption, yet his unworthiness is not so great as that of the fallen angels, because his natural receptivity for grace has not been impaired to the same degree as theirs. The very perfection of their nature increased the enormity of their sins: they did not repent, they turned away from God in open rebellion, and were guilty, each of them, of a personal sin. Man, on the contrary, felt ashamed of his sin; and even now he has as great a desire for Redemption as he has an inclination for new sins, and his guilt is personal only in Adam.
III. Man, then, being less unworthy of Redemption than the fallen angels, it was fitting that the Divine mercy should redeem him in preference to them. So much more was this the case, as the Lord of the Universe owed it to His honour and glory, not to allow the whole species of creatures which are in a unique manner His image and likeness to miss the end for which He created them. Had the whole human race remained unredeemed, Satan could have boasted of the conquest of the best part of creation, and set up a kingdom, not over stray individuals, but over a distinct portion of God's creatures. It was the Divine anger against the infernal tyrant, and the Divine mercy for his victims, that combined to make Redemption "fitting." We say fitting, not necessary. The gratuitousness of grace and the manifold testimony of Scripture are opposed to all notion of necessity arising from any duty on the part of God towards the sinner, or from any restriction of His right to leave the sinner unredeemed. The congruency of Redemption arising from what God owes to Himself is neither restrictive of His freedom, nor does it support the assertion that the present fallen race ought to have been redeemed: for God might have attained the same object by creating a new human race.
IV. As a matter of fact, Redemption was accomplished by the Incarnation of God the Son, and by no other means (Acts iv. 12). But, speaking absolutely, it was possible for God to redeem mankind otherwise: for His infinite wisdom, power, and goodness, cannot be restricted to the choice of any one means to His ends. When the Fathers speak of the Incarnation as the sole means of Redemption, what they mean is that, as a matter of fact, it is the only means, and that it is the only one by which God obtains full satisfaction, without renouncing any of His rights on the sinner. His justice does not prevent God from pardoning the sinner without claiming any satisfaction. The Divine Justice has a twofold object: the safeguarding of the Divine right injured by the sinner, and the safeguarding of the moral order. If the sinner by repentance acknowledges the Divine right, and is willing to comply with all its claims as far as in him lies, God certainly is not "bound" to exact more, though He is entitled to more, viz. to full reparation. The moral is sufficiently safeguarded against the sinner's contempt if God, when forgiving the sin, does not also remit all the penalties due to it. The preservation of the moral order certainly does not require that no sin be forgiven except on full satisfaction; for this object is attained rather by the pain felt by the sinner than by the objective value of the punishment. It is still more evident that God, out of pure mercy, can give the sinner the means necessary to penance, and in the case of original sin, remit it out of pure grace without penance.
V. In the hypothesis that God claimed complete satisfaction for the injury done to Him by sin, the Incarnation of a Divine Person was necessary.
1. Grievous sin, being contempt of the infinite God, inflicts an injury objectively infinite (see Book. IV., §§ 155, 156), the full reparation for which requires the rendering to God of an honour of infinite value. But only a person of infinite dignity, and therefore of Divine nature, can render such an honour.
2. Mortal sin, by destroying the supernatural sanctity of the living temple of God, inflicts on God an external injury which is, in its way, likewise infinite, and which, in our hypothesis, requires full reparation. Now, injury is repaired either by full restoration or by adequate compensation. But, considering the supernatural character and nature of sanctity, compensation for its destruction by adequate meritorious satisfaction, or restoration of it by proper intrinsic power, can only be accomplished by an agent of Divine dignity and power.
3. If the Redemption has to be as universal as sin and its attendant evils, it must counterbalance original sin, considered as sin of the whole human race, and all other actual sins, and also the loss of original integrity; that is to say, it must be infinite in extension or equivalent to all possible sins of all possible children of Adam; hence, again, the principle of Redemption must possess infinite power and dignity.
VI. If the Incarnation is only necessary in the hypothesis of God claiming full satisfaction, the ground for its actually taking place must be sought not in that hypothetical necessity but rather in its congruency or appropriateness as means to that end. The Incarnation attains the object of Redemption not only adequately but superabundantly (Rom. v. 17), and therein consists its appropriateness. The superabundance of Redemption by the Incarnation is manifest: to God it gives the greatest glory, as most perfect manifestation of His wisdom, mercy, and justice combined; to man it offers the means of obtaining the most complete remission of sin and restoration of lost grace, and at the same time, it exercises on him the most effective "pedagogic" influence, by giving him in Christ a perfect teacher in word and deed (cf. Thomassin, 1. i.). Again, the superabundance of Redemption through the Incarnation appears in this, that it not only restores, but completes and perfects the original order, and thus founds a new and higher order. The union with God, as established by the Incarnation, is higher and more intimate than that of the original state; the dignity of mankind is raised; grace, instead of being a simple free gift, is acquired by the merits of the new Adam, and settled on mankind as a permanent possession; and worship is raised to infinite value and dignity.
However appropriate a means of Redemption the Incarnation may be, God would not have adopted it but for the exaltedness of the ends to which it leads. Remission of sins alone, or the moral education of natural man, would certainly not be objects proportionate to such a means. The real object of that Divine abasement is the elevation of man to Divine life; the supernatural and infinite glory which God wishes to obtain through the supernatural glorification of the creature is alone sufficient to account for the Incarnation. "Christ became man that we might be made gods (in Greek)" (St. Athanasius, De Incarn., n. 54). And it accounts so completely for this, that even in the hypothesis of the original order not having been disturbed by sin, the Incarnation would still be justified as its complement and final perfection. It would even be justified if the God-Man were not the means of bringing mankind so near to God, for in Himself He is of such perfection that in Him God is infinitely more pleased than in all the rest of Creation.
VII. Although human reason may comprehend the appropriateness of Redemption through the Incarnation of a Divine Person, yet human reason, left to itself, could neither suspect nor expect its realization. It is the freest act of Divine Love and the greatest wonder of Divine Power and Wisdom, and therefore the mystery "unsearchable . . . which hath been hidden from eternity in God " (Eph. iii. 8-12). It can only be shown negatively that, as presented to our acceptance in Revelation, the great mystery contains no evident contradictions.
CHAPTER II. The Preparation for Redemption.
Sect. 167. --The Person and Work of the Redeemer portrayed in the Prophecies of the Old Testament.
I. The Redemption of fallen man, decreed from all eternity, was announced immediately after the Fall, but its execution was delayed for a long, time, during which its fruits were applied by anticipation to those who deserved it. The delay may be taken as a punishment for the pride of man, inasmuch as it brought home to him his utter helplessness and entire dependence on God. It thus served as a stage of preparation for the coming Redeemer. God, Who distributes His grace according to His own Will, selected the Jewish nation for special preparation; before the advent of the Saviour, the Jews stood out in the eyes of the rest of the world as a living prophecy of Him; and in their subsequent dispersion they are a living monument of the reality of His coming.
II. During the period of preparation, the Redemption was announced in prophecies gradually increasing in distinctness and precision. According to time and subject-matter, they comprise seven groups: (1) the Proto-evangelium, or the prophecy of Paradise; (2) the prophecies made to the Patriarchs; (3) to Moses; (4) to David; prophecies made by the Prophets (5) before, (6) during, and (7) after the Exile.
1 The first and fundamental promise of a Redeemer was made to our first parents immediately after their fall: "I will put enmities between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel " (Gen. iii. 15). The liberation from the tyranny of Satan, founded on his victory over Adam, is to be accomplished by the crushing of the head of the serpent by a woman and her Son. The Hebrew text, in its present form, uses the same word (Hebrew) and "lying in wait." As, however, the object of God's curse on the serpent is to inflict a punishment on it, it must be admitted that the " crushing of the head" implies a final victory over the enemy, and the " crushing of, or lying in wait for, the heel "implies but an unsuccessful resistance; the devil's power was destroyed when death befell the human body of the Saviour. Again, the present Hebrew text, instead of "she" (shall crush thy head) has "he," or "it," thus pointing out the seed of the woman as Redeemer. Yet, as the enmity to the serpent is common to Mother and Son, so also the victory must be common. A woman will be instrumental in the defeat of Satan, just as a woman was instrumental in the defeat of Adam. The "seed of the woman" is to be understood of "one man," as by analogy we gather from Gal. iii. 16. (Cf. Pius IX., Bull Ineffabilis Deus (defining the Immaculate Conception.)
2. The original promise takes a concrete form in the prophecies age of the Patriarchs. The "seed of the woman" is here determined as the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; his action is described as the blessing of all the nations of the earth, that is, as removing the curse of sin from all man-kind. The last of the Patriarchs, Jacob, points out his son Juda (and his seed) as the lion-like bearer of dominion and victory, until the advent of the Conqueror, who is the expectation of nations. The time of the coming is thus also indicated. See Gen. xii. 3; xxii. 18. Jacob's prophecy to Juda is as follows: "Juda, thee shall thy brethren praise; thy hands shall be on the necks of thy enemies; the sons of thy father shall bow down to thee. Juda is a lion's whelp . . . the sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till He come that is to be sent, and He shall be the expectation of nations" (Gen. xlix. 8-10; cf. Apoc. v. 5).
3. When Moses, as prophet of God, gave to the children of Israel the constitution and the legal institutions becoming the chosen people of God, God made this promise: "I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren, like to thee (Moses), and I will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all I shall command Him, and he that will not hear His words which He shall speak in My Name, I will be the avenger" (Deut. xviii. 18, 19). Here the Redeemer is promised as a mediator of the testament between God and man, but a better mediator than Moses (Heb. iii. 3). At the same time, when the chosen people was making its first appearance among the nations, the voice of Balaam is heard to this effect: "The hearer of the words of God hath said, who knoweth the doctrine of the Highest, and seeth the visions of the Almighty, who falling hath his eyes opened. I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not near. A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel, and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth" (Num. xxiv. 16, 17). This prophecy in the first instance probably refers to David, but its solemnity, the fourfold blessing which precedes it, the mention of the last days and of the star, extend its bearing beyond the kingdom of David.
4. The Messianic prophecies acquire greater distinctness in the time of King David. The Messias, the Anointed of the Lord, as He is henceforth called, will be of the family of David; the glory of the kingdom of David and Solomon is the germ and the type of His future universal kingdom; His nature, His origin, His functions, and the events of His life, are portrayed in outline. The Anointed appears as the Son of God by generation, and as God; as a priest-king after the manner of Melchisedech, Who will offer Himself in sacrifice, but shall not see corruption, and Who after His passion will gather all nations unto God, and be Himself the object of their adoration (2 Kings vii. 11-16 [Nathan's prophecy]; the Messianic Psalms, Ixxxviii. and cxxxi.; Ixxi., ii., and cix.; xliv.).
5. The prophets between the time of David and the Captivity add new touches to the portrait of the Messias drawn in the Psalms. When the local and earthly glory of David's empire was dwindling away, they announced the future rise of a nobler and a universal kingdom; they foretold the deliverance from the impending captivity through Cyrus, sent by God as an omen and a type of the coming spiritual deliverance from the captivity of sin and hell through God's Anointed: they represent the promise of the Messias as a pledge and guarantee for the perpetuity of the house of David, and for the liberation of his people from temporal captivity. The principal bearer of these prophecies is Isaias (Hebrew, Jehova's salvation), the Evangelist among the Prophets. In many passages of the first part, and in the whole of the second part of his Book, he describes expressly and in order the heavenly origin of the " Bud of the Lord," or the "Orient; " the Divine nature and exalted attributes of the Anointed; His teaching, His vicarious suffering as just servant of God, and the glory of His universal kingdom, the Church (ii. 2, 3, and iv. 2, with parallel Mich. v. 2; also Jeremias xxiii. 5 sqq. and xxxiii. 15 sqq. "I will raise up to David a just branch . . . the name that they shall call Him is: The Lord [Jehovah] our just one;" Zacharias iii. 8, and vi. 12; Isa. xlv. 8). The origin and nature of the Bud of God are characterized in xiv. 7, ix. 3-7, xi. 7 sqq.; and in the second part passim xlix.-lxvi.
6. The Prophets of the Captivity, with the exception of Daniel, add but little to the description of the Anointed given by their predecessors. Jeremias and Ezechiel lay stress upon the spiritual kingdom of Christ, teaching expressly that the earthly throne of David will not be filled again (Jer. xx. 23; Ezech. xxi. 25-27). Jeremias, in the most important Messianic parts of his prophecy (xxiii., xxxi., and xxxiii.), in contrast with the prevailing injustice and guiltiness of the Chosen People, and with the external destruction of the Old Covenant, introduces the Messias as the bud, or branch (Hebrew), whose name is "Jehovah our just one," and promises the institution of a new and eternal Testament (xxxi. 31 sqq., and xxxii. 39). Ezechiel, on the other hand, treats the Messias, whom he calls " God's servant David" (xxxiv. 23-31, and xxxvii. 21-28), as Shepherd and Prince. Baruch (iii. 36-38) represents the apparition of the Eternal Wisdom on earth and His dwelling among men, as the completion of the education of Israel by God. Lastly, Daniel announces, in a more concrete form than any other prophet, the historical events which prepared the coming of Christ; His solemn taking possession of His universal and eternal sovereignty; the exact time of His appearance; the institution of a new alliance, and the destruction of the old: and thus his prophecy is the sealing and fulfilment of all preceding prophecies (Dan. vii. 13, 14; ix. 24-27). The best Catholic commentary on this last prophecy is by Rohling, The Book of the Prophet Daniel (in German).
7. After the return from the Captivity, the Prophets speak of the Messias in connection with the second temple, as God and as Priest. Aggeus calls him "the Desired of all nations," Who will glorify the temple with His presence, and announce therein the peace of God. Zacharias announces Him to the first High Priest of the new temple as the Orient Who taketh away the sins of the world, and the High Priest himself is set down as a type of the Messias' royal priesthood. The "Orient" is here the foundation stone and the builder of the new spiritual temple, uniting in Himself the functions of king and priest. When He is again spoken of as Shepherd, He becomes "the man that cleaveth to God," and who is violently put to death. In fine, Malachias prophesies the founder of a new and universal sacrificial worship, and the rising sun of justice (Aggeus ii. 7-10; Zach. iii. 8; vi. 11- 13; ix. 9; xiii. 7. Malachias i. n; iii. I; iv. 2, 5, 6). The natural sequel to this latter prophecy (announcing the Precursor of Christ) is the message of the Angel Gabriel to Zachary, the father of the Baptist (Luke i. 16, 17).
III. Side by side with the verbal prophecies of the Old Testament run the types or figures of the Messias, which are a kind of real or substantial prophecy. Repeated assertions of Christ and the Apostles place the existence of such types beyond all doubt The Fathers and Theologians, however, considering as types whatever bears a similarity to Christ, point out a great number of types which are not positively mentioned as such in the New Testament. It must be conceded that, before the Gospel shed its light upon them, the typical character of many true figures or types was not easy to recognize. Many others, on the other hand, were brought out by the Prophets themselves in connection with verbal prophecies, e.g. Moses, Melchisedech, David, Solomon, Cyrus. The typical character of others, e.g., religious sacrifices and ceremonies, is self-evident In dogmatic theology a twofold use is made of those ancient types: they furnish a proof that Jesus is really the Messias prepared from the beginning, and they offer useful illustrations, by analogy, of many points revealed in the New Testament. The Gospels use them chiefly as proofs; St. Paul, in his Epistles, more as illustrations. To obtain a comprehensive grasp of all the types of Christ, it is best to group them according to epochs, as we did the prophecies: to each group of prophecies corresponds a group of types, and they help to explain one another. As examples we refer the reader to the following: in group i., Adam (Rom. v. 14) and Eve (Eph. v.); in group ii., Melchisedech (Psalm cx., Heb. vii.), Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. Thus Moses was sent by God as Prophet, endowed with miraculous powers, as Shepherd and Legislator, as Founder of a new form of worship, and a new alliance between God and His people, etc. Again the Paschal Lamb, the Manna (John vi. 30, 48), the water from the rock (1 Cor. x. 4), the Brazen Serpent (John iii. 14, and xii. 32, etc.). With the more important figures we shall deal extensively when we come to treat of the corresponding antitypes.
PART II. the redeemer
We shall here adopt the same division as in the treatise on the Holy Trinity (Book II., Part II.). We shall first lay down the fundamental lines of the dogma according to Scripture and Tradition; and afterwards explain the dogma according to the principles of theological science.
CHAPTER I. The Dogma.
Sect. 168. --Personal Names of the Redeemer: Summary of the Creeds and Decrees of the Church.
I. The personal names of the Saviour directly characterize Him either as man or as God. As man He received at His birth the name of Jesus (in Hebrew, Salvation of God, Saviour, Matt. 1. 21), which is taken from His function of Redeemer. Jesus Himself has a predilection for the name "Son of Man." This designation implies that He is pre-eminently the son of man, the second Adam far above the first in excellence; or also that He is not so much the son of one man as the son of all mankind, the desired of all nations. Neither of these names expresses that intrinsic excellence of His Person which places Him above all men, and fits Him (makes Him worthy) to effect the Redemption of all; this is done by the name Christ, "the Anointed" with Divinity. This name, as will be explained in its place, if fully understood, contains in a nutshell the whole subject-matter of "Christology." The Saviour is called by Isaias (vii.) "Emmanuel," that is, "God with us." The manner in which He is with us is expressed in the language of the Church by the term "Word Incarnate," or "the Word made flesh." We shall show farther on that this term contains an explanation of the name Christ, and expresses directly and without figure of speech the constitution of the Person of the Saviour: hence Christology is appropriately described as the treatise on the Incarnate Word of God.
II. The Rule of Faith concerning the Person of the Saviour is laid down in the Apostles' Creed or the Symbol of Baptism: upon this all subsequent definitions founded. They, one and all, formulate the constitution of Christ in connection with His origin.
I. The original simple form of the symbol of the Apostles, as used in the West, runs thus: "I believe . . . in Jesus Christ His (the Father's) only Son, our Lord, Who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary." Here, Jesus, the Son of Mary, and Jesus, the only Son of God, Who shares with His Father the dominion of the world, is said to be one and the same person. Directly His birth from Mary is alone set forth; but the mention of the influence of the Holy Ghost on this birth points to the essential holiness of its product, viz. Christ, the Anointed; and the words "only Son of God the Father"; suppose His eternal origin, so that His birth in time appears as a second birth. Most of the Eastern forms run: "I believe in one God . . . and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God," thus laying more stress on the indivisible unity, manifested by common Lordship, of God the Redeemer with God the Father.
2. The heresies of the first centuries, especially the Arian negation of the Divinity of Christ, which caused the definition of Christ's "Eternal Lordship," naturally led up to a closer determination of the relation which His second birth (of Mary) bears to His first birth (of the eternal Father); and also to an assertion of the reality of the second birth against the Gnostics. Thus the Council of Nicaea, after defining the Divine Sonship, continues: "Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven and took flesh [by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary] and was made Man" The bracketed words, which belong to the Apostles' Creed, were introduced into the Nicene formula by the First Council of Constantinople. It is worthy of remark that, whereas the symbol of the Apostles is formulated more on the line of the Synoptic Gospels, the Nicene Creed follows exactly the exposition of St. John i. 1-14.
3. The symbol of Nicaea did not speak with the same distinctness of the temporal birth of Christ as of His eternal birth. The terms "descending from heaven" (in Greek) "taking flesh" (Greek) especially "being made man" (as in Greek), were misinterpreted by Nestorius to imply only a moral and accidental union of the Son of God with the man Jesus, the Son of Mary; he divided Christ into two distinct persons, the Divine and the human. Against this heresy the Council of Ephesus did not set up a new definition, finding the existing ones sufficient; but it approved the explanation of the Nicene symbol given by St. Cyril of Alexandria, and also his twelve anathematisms against Nestorius. According to St. Cyril, the three above expressions signify: a substantial or physical union of the Logos with the flesh or with humanity --by which the human flesh, becomes as truly His own flesh as the human flesh is the own flesh of the human soul whence it further follows that the taking flesh out of the Virgin Mary on the part of the Logos, makes the Logos Himself, and no other, the Son of Mary. So that Christ is not the union of two persons (the Logos and Jesus), but one substantial being, the subject at the same time of the Divine and the human attributes (cf. Second Epistle of St. Cyril to Nestorius, and the Anath. appended to the same). By this declaration the Council of Ephesus established the formal unity of the Nicene with the Apostles' Creed, and gave the true sense of the (Greek) and (Greek) used in the former. The second anathematism contains a formal definition of the essential constitution of Christ, giving its principle, its form, and its consequences: that the Word of God the Father unites Himself substantially (Greek) to the flesh, and thus constitutes one Christ by making the flesh His own, and is consequently in one Person God and Man. Another remarkable formulation of the same doctrine is to be found in the Libellus Leporii, probably drawn up by St. Augustine, a.d. 424 or 425; it contains a retractation of the errors of the Pelagian priest Leporius. The "substantial union" of St. Cyril is here described as mixtio inconfusa (see the text in Hardouin, 1. 1263.)
4. The Council of Chalcedon was specially directed Council of against the Eutychians who understood the "taking flesh," as implying a fusion of the two natures into one. Hence it lays stress upon the "being made man," (Greek) as the union of the Logos in His unaltered Divine nature with a perfect and unaltered human nature, and places the two natures side by side under the threefold aspect of perfection, consubstantiality, and origin by gene- ration: "We confess and teach that our Lord is perfect in deity and perfect in humanity . . . consubstantial with the Father as to His deity, and consubstantial with us as to His humanity . . . born of the Father before all time as to His deity, born in recent times ... of the Virgin Mary as to His humanity." Further, the same Council lays down the technical term for the unity of Christ: " One and the same Christ, Son and Lord unbegotten, must be acknowledged in two natures not confused, changed, divided, or separated; the union nowhere taking away the difference of the natures, but rather safeguarding the properties of each, so that they concur in one person and hypostasis." The symbol of Chalcedon (except for the formula relating to hypostatic unity) is nothing but a compendium of the famous Epistle of Pope Leo I. to Flavian, which, in its turn, is no more than a commentary on the symbol of the Apostles.
5. The symbol of Chalcedon, confirmed and in some parts proposed more distinctly by the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Second of Constantinople, a.d. 553), received a further development in the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which defined against Monothelitism, that the two natures united in one subject are, in most intimate conjunction and subordination, the principles of a twofold mental life and operation; in other words, that Christ has two wills and two operations: the Divine will, by which He acts as God; the human will, by which He acts as man, this latter entirely distinct from, but entirely subject to, the former.
6. The most important formulary of the constitution of Christ originated in the West is contained in the so-called symbol of St. Athanasius. With the exception of the clauses comparing the union of the natures in Christ with the union of body and soul in man, it is formed upon the symbol of Chalcedon (see St. Augustine, In Joan. tr. 19). The Eleventh Council of Toledo, a.d.675, gives another very complete exposition of the doctrine of Incarnation. Lastly, the Bull of Eugenius IV. (Decretum pro Tacobitis) sums up all previous definitions on the subject in question.
III. The chief points of the Catholic dogma concerning the Person of Christ are the following: --
1. Christ is not a merely human Being: He is a Divine Person, --the Logos, or only-begotten Son of God, --and as such has an eternal existence. 2. But this same Person, besides His Divine nature, has a human nature taken unto Him in time; He possesses this nature as really as His Divine nature, and as really as man possesses human nature: hence, the Divine Person of the Word is really man, and as Divine Person incarnate, He is the Person of Christ 3. The Person named Christ is not merely an ideal or moral whole, but a Being one and indivisible in the strictest sense; in Him the Divine and the human nature are united into one substantial whole, like body and soul are united into one substantial human person. 4. But the unity of Christ, being the unity of two complete living natures, has an advantage over the unity of mind and matter in man; it is not a unity of nature in the proper sense, that is such an one in which the mixed elements complete and influence each other so as to lose the qualities they possessed before the union, and to form together a new principle of action and passion. In Christ the two natures remain strictly distinct; the lower does not in any way influence the higher, and the higher only influences the lower as it would do even if separated. 5. Hence the substantial union of the human nature with the Divine Person is a truly, but at the same time, a purely, personal and hypostatic union. It is personal and hypostatic because one Person possesses the two natures, and it is purely and only such, because the two natures remain entirely unaltered and distinct. Thus the Christ of Revelation appears as a unique and peculiar Being; no other being is constituted in the same marvellous way or of such elements.
Sect. 169. --The New Testament on the Constitution of Christ.
The doctrine of the New Testament concerning the Person of Christ is contained partly in the several accounts
of His origin partly in the descriptions of His concrete reality.
I. His origin is told in a threefold form.
1. The first form is exhibited in the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels, and corresponds with the form of the Apostles' Creed. St. Matthew and St. Luke describe the origin of the man Jesus from Mary, pointing out the influence of the Holy Ghost and of the power of the Most High, and deducing from this influence that Jesus is more than man, viz. a holy being, the true Son of God, and therefore the promised Christ, Emmanuel and Lord of Mankind The principal text (Luke i. 31 sqq.) is the message of the Angel to the Virgin: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called (acknowledged and honoured as) the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father (= the kingdom promised to David): and He shall reign in the house of Jacob (to whom He was promised) for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. . . . The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy (Sanctum in Greek) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (cf. Isa. vii. 14, as regards birth from a virgin; and xlv. 8, in connection with the overshadowing).
2. The second form describes the origin of Christ as a descent of the Son of Man from heaven where He was before; as a coming into the world by going forth (proceeding) from the Father or from God; and lastly, as a mission of the Son of God into the world or into the flesh: His temporal birth is represented as a secondary and relative origin. This form is used by St. John the Baptist (John i. 15, and iii. 31 sqq.); by Christ Himself (John iii. 13; vi. 52; xvii. 5; viii. 42, and xvi. 48); and by the Apostle (Rom. viii. 3; Gal. iv. 5; Rom. i. 3, and ix. 6).
3. The manner in which the eternal Son of God came down from heaven in the temporal birth of the man Jesus is explained ex professo in the prologue of the Fourth Gospel, and in other places by St. John, and similarly by St. Paul (Phil. ii. 7). Starting from the eternal and Divine existence of the uncreated Word, and God-like Image of God, they teach that the Word (Greek) of God, in Itself invisible, was made flesh, and thus appeared visibly among us as man; and that the God-like Image (Greek) of God took to Himself the form of a servant, and flesh and blood, and made them His own, and so became in essence equal to man. The first of these two conceptions is peculiar to St. John, and pervades all his writings; the second is proper to St. Paul: both are the basis of all later symbols of faith concerning the constitution of Christ. Their significance extends beyond the statement that the Son of God, descending from heaven, became man by taking unto Him human nature in Mary, and is thus one Person with the Son of Mary. They further imply (1) that the Incarnation was effected through the substantial union of a human nature with the Divine Son, Who is described as Word and Image of God; (2) that the Son of God, becoming man in the twofold character of Word and Image, manifests Himself to man in the most perfect manner as the Living Word of God, and, being the consubstantial Image of God, contracts an essential likeness with man, the external image of God; (3) that the humanity of Christ, as compared to His Divinity, represents only the accessory, secondary, lower, and external element of His Being. Read St. John i. 1-17, and the beginning of his First Epistle, which probably was written as an introduction to his Gospel; St. Paul, Phil. ii. 6-7; cf. Col. i. 15 sqq.; Heb. i. and ii.
II. The portrait of the Saviour, as made up from the Scripture on various accounts of His origin, is completed by the Scriptural statements concerning His Person in real existence.
I. Holy Writ asserts and declares in many ways that the historical Person known as Jesus and Christ, is as really and truly man as other men are. Christ calls Himself "Son of Man" as often as "Son of God;" St. Paul compares Him to Adam (Rom. v. 17 sqq.; i Cor. xv. 22, and 45-47), and sets forth His humanity as the condition of His mediatorship. If Christ is called "heavenly man," (i Cor. xv. 47), this does not imply a difference of nature, but only of excellence, between the God-Man and the earthly man Again, Scripture attributes to Christ all that belongs to a real man: human descent, birth, component parts, qualities and powers, actions and passions; "tempted in all things like as we are" (Heb. iv. 15). Lastly, the Apostle repeatedly insists on the circumstance that, as our brother, Christ not only possesses the perfections of human nature, but also its "lowliness and weakness, "and shares with us the conditions of ''servant" (Phil. ii. 7 sqq.; Heb. ii. 11 sqq., and iv. 14-16).
2. Jesus, true Man, Son and Brother of man, is yet distinguished from all men, not only by the dignity of names. Saviour, but as a Person essentially superhuman and Divine.
(a) His Divine character is particularly set forth in the three names (embodied also in the symbol of the Apostles) under which He is proposed in the Gospels and Epistles as object of faith and adoration, viz. "Christ," that is the Anointed, the Holy or Hallowed of God; "the Son of God; " "the Lord," or "our Lord." These three names express personal dignity and excellence; they are parallel and opposed to the three human names: Man, Son of Man, and Brother. Scripture uses them either conjointly or separately; like the human names, they complete and explain one another. The name Christ, in opposition to "man," expresses the higher essence or personal constitution of Jesus; "Son of God," as opposed to "Son of Man," points out His Divine origin and rank; in fine, the name "Lord," parallel to "Brother of man," sets forth His exaltedness over men and all other creatures.
sub-paragraph (a) The name Christ --which in the unfigured language of angels and demons is replaced by "the Holy" (sanctum, as in Greek), or "the Holy of God" (Luke i. 35; Mark i. 24, and Luke iv. 34), or "the Christ, and the Hallowed," purely and simply --designates the man Jesus as sanctified by God in an eminent manner, or invested with God's own dignity and sanctity; or, again, as a Being to Whom the plenitude of God's infinite and immutable goodness is communicated, and Who is thereby made as absolutely holy and adorable as God Himself. The "Anointing"of Jesus implies more than the elevation to the dignity of king or priest in the service of God: His kingdom and priesthood are but a part and the offshoot of the hallowing of His whole being, which is such that it confers upon Him a priesthood of which the Priest Himself deserves Divine Worship, and a kingdom which gives Him the sovereign dominion over all creatures.
sub-paragraph (b) The name "Son of God" accounts for the deep meaning of the name Christ, inasmuch as it connects the anointing or hallowing of Jesus with His generation from the Eternal Father. The Jews, however, did not give to the term Christ alone this deep signification --hence, as a rule, Scripture connects the two names: Christ, the Son of God; and Jesus Himself calls attention to the fact that the former name (Christ) includes the latter (Son of God). See supra, 93.
sub-paragraph (c) The third name, "the Lord," or "Our Lord," when applied to Jesus, implies Divine dignity and absolute sovereignty over all creatures; for such sovereignty is an attribute of God the Son as Saviour of mankind. Many prophecies of the Old Testament identify Christ with "the Lord," and the faithful adore Him as "our Lord." Moses was a servant in the house of God, Christ was in His own house (Heb. iii. 2 sqq.), and He is the heir of all things because all things were made by Him (Heb. i. 2 and Col. i.).
The name "Son of God" alone is used in the Divine revelation concerning the higher character of Jesus: "This is My beloved Son" (Matt. iii. 17, and xvii. 5). These two revelations are confirmed by their witnesses: John i. 34, and 2 Peter i. 17. In the professions of faith demanded and accepted by Jesus, the two names are usually joined: "Christ, the Son of God" (Matt xvi. 17; John vi. 70; John xi. 27). St. Mark (vii. 29; cf. Matt. xvi. 17) has, "Thou art Christ," and St. Luke (ix. 20), "the Christ of God," instead of "Christ the Son of God"; which proves that the name Christ includes that of Son of God. In the utterances of the demons, we find instead of Christ, "the Holy one of God," and "Son of God" (Mark i. 24; iii. u, 12; Luke iv. 34). The teaching of the Apostles on the point in question is clearly set forth in Acts ix. 20, 22; John xx. 31; I John iv. 15, and v. I, 5; Acts ii. 35. As to how Jesus claimed the Name, "Son of God," see Matt xxii. 41-46 and Luke xx. 41-45; John x. 24 sqq. with Acts iv. 27; and Heb. v. 7. Divinity
sub-paragraph (d) The names "Christ," "the Son of God," and "the Lord," predicated of Jesus in the sense just explained, clearly proclaim His Divinity. In five other places, He is expressly called God, and in three of these, with the apposition "true God, great God, God above all" (see Book II.,§ 93). Attributes exclusively Divine, and the most intimate and comprehensive unity and communion, are predicated of Him. "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (as in Greek scripture); I Cor. i. 24). If Jesus Himself and the Apostles often ascribe His works to the Father and to the Holy Ghost, they do so to point out the source from which His power is derived, and to witness to the unity of the man Jesus with God the Father. "Amen, amen, I say unto you: The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing: for what things soever He doth, these the Son also doth in like manner" (John v. 19). It is thus evident that the same Jesus who appears as man among men is also by essence and nature true God. The evidence is corroborated still more by the fact that Divine attributes are predicated of Jesus as man, and human attributes of the same Jesus as God (cf. Book II., § 93); "God spared not even His own Son, but hath given Him up for us all" (Rom. viii. 32; cf. i Cor. ii. 8; Acts xx. 28; Col. i. 17, 1 8; and Heb. i. and ii.).
3. The simultaneous existence of the Divine and human natures in the same subject supposes that the essence of Christ is composed of two natures, and that these stand to one another in the closest relationship. Scripture illustrates this relationship in two ways: either as the bodily indwelling of the whole plenitude of the Divinity in Christ, or as analogical to the union of body and soul in man. From the latter point of view, the Godhead is conceived as the most pure Spirit in relation to man as flesh, or imperfect compound of mind and matter. "In Him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporally (Greek), and you are filled in Him who is the Head of all principality and power" (Col. ii. 9, 10; cf. i. 19). "Christ died once for our sins, being put to death, indeed, in the flesh (Greek), but brought to life by the Spirit " (Ilvefytart; I Peter iii. 18; cf. John vi. 24, etc.).
The invisible Divinity of Jesus is witnessed to by God the Father, either speaking from heaven or confirming Jesus' own testimony by miracles. To this heavenly testimony the Saviour appeals in corroboration of His own human testimony, and this He further corroborated by giving His life to support it: He was sentenced to death because He called Himself the Son of God. His death on that account gives to His evidence the greatest degree of credibility; for not even His enemies deny that He was a wise and holy man. But if He had been deceived Himself or contrived to deceive others on this point, He would be neither wise nor holy. The full and final confirmation of the evidence in favour of His Divinity is ascribed by Jesus to the promised Holy Ghost, inasmuch as the Holy Ghost, at His coming, should show innumerable miracles in the spiritual and in the physical order. St. John, in his First Epistle, sums up the testimony for the Divinity of Christ by placing side by side with the three heavenly witnesses three witnesses on earth: the water, the blood, and the Spirit (v. 6-8). See St. Thomas, Contra Gentiles, iv. 27-38; Bellarmine, De Christo, lib. i.; Franzelin, De Verb. Incarn., thes. ii. sqq.
Sect. 170. --The Human Element in Christ, according to the Tradition of the First Four Centuries.
I The heresies against the constitution of Christ He succeeded one another in perfect logical order. During the first four centuries the Arians impugned the Divine nature, the Apollinarists the human nature: the form of the union was not called in question until the Church had defined the reality of the two natures. We dealt with the Divinity of Christ in our Treatise on the Trinity; here we notice only the heresies against His humanity.
I. The heresy of the Gnostics, starting from the false principle that human nature is essentially bad, refused to acknowledge it in Christ. Marcion, the author of Docetism, denied the reality of the body of Christ, asserting it to be a mere phantasma; while Valentinus admitted a real body but of celestial nature, and entirely unlike the human body.
2. The Arians taught that in Christ the Logos acted as human soul, and was subject to all the imperfections natural to the soul of man, especially to passibility.
3. This doctrine, which entirely destroyed the Divinity of Christ, was modified by the Apollinarists, who held that the Logos took the place of the human soul only in as far as this could be done without debasing His Divinity. Hence they ascribed to the Logos the intellectual functions of the soul. Arius had lowered the Divine Nature to the level of humanity; the Apollinarists raised Christ's humanity to the level of His Divinity, thus once more falling back into the errors of the Gnostics.
II. The earliest Fathers, Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, opposed Docetism; Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzum, and Gregory of Nyssa, the Valentinian heresies. Their arguments for the reality of the body of Christ and its similarity in substance with ours, may be summed up as follows: If the body and soul of Christ had only been apparent, and not real, like every other human body and soul, the Gospels would be reduced to a set of fables; the whole public life of the Saviour would have been a deception practised by God and by Christ as God, on mankind: whence Christ would no more be really God than really man; Redemption itself would be real no longer, because the whole economy of salvation is dependent on the Redeemer's real humanity (i Tim. ii. 5, and i Cor. xv. 14). These arguments are strengthened by the fact that the human nature which was made subject to sin by the first Adam, had to be redeemed, and therefore assumed by the second. The acts of obedience and sacrifice through which the redemption was accomplished, could only be performed by a Being endowed with a human soul and body. Apollinarism was first condemned in the Council of Alexandria (a.d. 362) in the Epistola Synodalis of St. Athanasius (Hardouin, i. 731). Pope Damasus (Anath. vii.) condemns it thus: "We anathematize those who say that the Word of God was in the human flesh in the room of a human, rational, and intellectual soul: for the Divine Word was not in His body as its rational and intellectual soul, but He took unto Him our intellectual (intelligibilis) soul without sin and saved it."
III. The Son of God, having assumed our humanity, is consubstantial with us in the sense that He has our essence. The fact that Christ was born of a human mother not only proves His consubstantiality with man, but also His membership of the human race. His consubstantiality with man thus assumes the same form as His consubstantiality with God, both being founded upon origin by generation. The Council of Chalcedon, in the first part of its definition, expressly puts both consubstantialities side by side, thus showing that it conceives them both as equally perfect. Holy Scripture insists upon Christ's kinship with man: He is promised as the seed of the woman, as the seed of Abraham and of David; He calls Himself by preference the Son of Man; Evangelists and Apostles continually speak of His human origin. In the corporate and organic unity of the human race, with the God-Man as second and higher Head, the Fathers see the foundation and the pledge of the union of mankind with God in supernatural life. By reason of this kinship the flesh of Christ is the property of mankind, and when offered in sacrifice, it has the nature of a gift from man to God. Lastly, only by reason of His kinship with man, Christ, as Mediator and Priest, is the natural and perfect representative of man before God. That the Saviour was born without a human father does not destroy His consubstantiality with man: it has only the effect of freeing the bodily organization of Christ from all defects incidental to generation by man, and to give Him a body at least as perfect as that of Adam issuing from the hands of God. The relation of dependence between progeny and progenitor, in virtue of which the progeny becomes a branch of, and is subordinate to, mankind as a whole, is indeed limited and modified; but this is necessary in order that Christ, as the second and more excellent Father of mankind, may be superior to the first Adam. See Petavius, De Incarn., lib. i.; Thomassin, 1. iv., c. i-11.
Sect. 171. --Position of the Human Element in Christ: its union with the Divine Person into one Being --as taught against the heresies of the first four centuries.
Although the controversies of the first four centuries mainly bore on the reality of the two natures of Christ, they yet gave occasion not only for the assertion of the union of these into one person, but also for the explanation of the mode of the union. In the present chapter we attempt to give an outline of this earliest evolution of the dogma "that the Son of God and the Son of Mary are one and the same Person."
I. From the beginning the identity of the Son of Mary with the Son of God, expressed in the symbol of the Apostles, was universally understood and professed as meaning that the same subject is both God and man; and consequently, that the human nature of this subject must not be considered as a being independent in itself, but as appertaining to the Person of the Son of God. Such was the profession of faith for which the earliest martyrs shed their blood: the Apostle St. Andrew, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Polycarp, and many others whose "Acta" have come down to us, died for their faith in "a crucified God."
II. Cerinthus the Gnostic "divided Jesus" into a heavenly being called Christ, and a human being born of Mary, the former dwelling with the latter. St. Irenaeus upheld against this heresy the Catholic doctrine that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Word of God, is one and the same subject, Who, on account of His double birth, and of the mixture of the human with the Divine substance, possesses two natures, and so unites in Himself the attributes of both (Lib. iii., esp. cc. 16-19). Other Gnostics denied the reality of human nature in Christ, because they thought its inherent imperfections incompatible with His Divinity. The Fathers who refute them never solve the difficulty by conceding the non-reality of the human body, but argue that the assumption of a real human body was congruous or necessary for the redemption of man, and therefore not incompatible with God's dignity (Tertull. De Carne Christi, c. 5). The same Tertullian, writing against Praxeas, who made Jesus a person filled with the power of God but not God, most appropriately explains how the human substance was assumed into the Divine Person without any confusion of the Divine and human substances (Contra Praxeam, c. 27).
III. The Arians admitted one person with one nature in Christ, and, from His human attributes, they inferred that He was but a created being. Against this heresy the Fathers taught the concrete (substantial) Divinity of Jesus, maintaining that God not only dwelt in Him as in the Prophets and Saints, but was really made man. They acknowledged that the infirmities of human nature really and truly belonged to the subject whose Divinity they defended, and to whom Scripture unmistakably attributes Divine properties. They accounted for the application of human attributes to a Divine Person by establishing that the whole humanity, essence, and nature are owned by that Person, and are "the flesh of the Logos" (Greek) . Again, in opposition to the Arians, the Fathers declared that, although human passibility is attributable to the Logos, still the Logos himself is not subject to suffering: He remains unchanged and unchangeable in the union with human nature, for He is not, as Arius held, the soul of the man Jesus. On the contrary, by reason of the union, the human flesh is no longer necessarily subject to suffering; the sufferings of Christ were voluntary. The effect of the union of the Logos with our nature is in no respect an abasement of the Divine nature, but an exaltation of the human, which becomes the born organ of Divine operations. The favourite expression for this elevation is (Greek) the deification of human nature (cf. St. Athan. De Incarnatione and Contra Arianos, especially Or. iii. n. 29 sqq.).
IV. Whilst the Arians denied Christ's Divinity on account of His human nature, the Apollinarists denied His humanity on account of His Divine nature. Against this absorption of the humanity by the Divinity of Christ, the Fathers teach that the unity of Christ is not effected by the fusion of both substances into one, but by the uncreated substance of the Logos making the created substance physically His own, so that the two constitute one Being but not one essence. Further, they contrast the unity of Christ with the unity of the Persons of the Trinity. In Christ, one Person has two different natures; in the Trinity, one identical nature is possessed by three distinct Persons. In the controversy with the Apollinarists, as in that with the Arians, the attribution of human and Divine predicates to the same subject is explained on the ground of two natures being really possessed by the same person, and the "theosis," or deification of the human nature, is equally insisted upon.
V. Arians and Apollinarists alike objected that the Catholic doctrine would give God two Sons, the Logos and Christ. Pope Damasus (Anath. vi.) "anathematizes those who assert two Sons, one before all ages, the other after the assumption of flesh from the Virgin." The Fathers meet the objection by establishing that the assumption of the human nature by the Logos deprives that nature of the independence necessary to personality. Here again the theosis of the lower nature is the leading feature of the defence; the human compound, and the command which the soul possesses over the body, are not of such perfection as to exclude the union of body and soul to a higher principle (the Logos), and after this "commixtion" the command (hegemony) passes to the Logos, and thus the human body and soul are left without independent personality.
VI. The unity of subject resulting from the union of the human nature with the Son of God, was treated by Greeks and Latins as Unity of Person (Greek). Previous to the Council of Ephesus the metaphysical terms used to describe this unity are mostly very abstract and general; Christ is one (unum, and in Greek); one unity (Greek) one whole) (Greek); one thing (una res); in short, one Being. St. Epiphanius and St. Athanasius, however, already use the concrete "one hypostasis," or one substantial being. The union of the two natures, the basis of the unity of Person, is described by the same Fathers in a threefold manner.
1. Considering the Divine Person as the object of the union, they express the union by the terms "assumption,
susception, [in Greek here], which convey the idea of a physical union, brought about by the Divine Person "taking unto Him and appropriating" humanity. The putting on of a garment or the taking up of a tool are used as analogies, whence the further expressions, (in Greek), coalescence, (Greek), [and] (in Greek), the building up of humanity into the Divine Person. In all these expressions the Son of God is considered as adding to His Being the nature of man.
2. The second series of descriptive terms considers the nature of man as receiving its highest perfection through the union, that is, through the infusion of Divinity. Hence, again, the terms (in Greek), and (in Greek) == taking of a higher form, viz. the infused Divine form of the Logos; admixtio and permixtio; insertion and root-taking.
3. Lastly, the Fathers view the two united substances side by side, as constituting one whole. From this point of view they describe the union as "the entering of one substance into the other (shown in Greek)." They illustrate this mutual penetration by the analogy of a mixture (commixtio) or commingling of the various parts of one tissue, e.g. the parts of a plant or the threads of a cloth, and the term (in Greek) (concretion, growing together) is also used as expressing the meaning. Most of the above designations and analogies are found in St. Augustine, who also was the first to treat at length of the unity of man as a type of the unity of Christ. The same Father points out that the union ought to be conceived simultaneously as the putting on of a garment (induere habitum) by a Divine Person, and as a commingling of the Divine Person with human nature; the commingling showing that the putting on of humanity as a vesture implies a physical union, and the dressing as with a vesture showing that the commixtion does not alter the united natures. As a garment when put on receives a nobler form than it has when off, so the humanity of Christ, through its union with the Logos, receives a much nobler existence; the ennobling being accomplished by the infusion or commingling of the Logos, in the same manner as the human body, through the infusion of the soul, is formed into the garment of the soul (Petavius, lib. iii. cc. I, 2; Thomassin, lib. iii. c. I sqq.; lib. iv. cc. 15, 1 6).
VII. The much-used term commixtio, or mingling of the two substances in Christ, led to misinterpretation on the part of the Nestorians and Eutychians. Hence the Fathers of later times either reject the expression, or use it only with great caution. Yet the meaning which underlies this term is that expressed in the name Christ, and is therefore of the utmost importance in Theology. As, however, it is only an analogical expression, its force should be exactly determined. The Fathers, before as well as after the Council of Ephesus, speak of "a composition without confusion," as well as "of a mixture without confusion," the latter being termed mixtio nova, ineffabilis, stupenda. They illustrate their idea by analogies taken from a certain class of mixtures, viz. such in which one ingredient imparts to the other a kind of anointment without either losing its own properties. The name Christ, the Anointed, probably suggested these analogies. We must here limit ourselves to a mere indication of the most common: the mixture of wine and water (wine being considered of an oily nature); the mixture of gold and wood in the ark of the covenant; cloth steeped in balsam; glowing coal or red-hot iron (a mixture of fire and coal or iron). In the light of these analogies, understood as indicated, many doubtful expressions of the Fathers not only admit of an orthodox explanation, but actually throw new light upon the subject. Thus, for instance, we easily understand in what sense they speak of the human nature being "absorbed, transformed, or taken over" by the Divine nature. Franzelin, thes. 17-21.
Sect.--172. The Word Incarnate as One Physical Person, according to the Doctrine of the Church against Nestorius.
I. After the Church had defined the consubstantiality of the Logos with the Eternal Father against the Arians, and His consubstantiality with man against the Apollinarists, Nestorius arose to impugn the nature of the union of the Divine Logos with human nature. In his opinion, the two dogmas, that Christ is really God and really man, could only be upheld if in Christ there were two persons, one Divine, the other human, but neither of them God and man at the same time. Between these two persons he divided the Divine and human attributes of Christ. The identity of the Son of God with the Son of Mary, set forth in the Apostles' Creed and generally in the teaching of the Church, was reduced by Nestorius to a moral union: the Son of God dwelling in the Son of Mary as in His temple; Jesus not being God, but only a God-bearing man (Greek), participating to a certain degree in the dignity, authority, and power of the Logos, and being designated by the same names as the Logos, provided these did not expressly signify the physical essence of the Logos. Thus Jesus was not to be called Logos, nor vice versa, but both might be termed Christ, Son of God, Lord, and even God (in the sense in which Moses was the God of Pharaoh). The disciples of Nestorius compared the union of the Logos with Jesus to the union between husband and wife, which makes them two in one flesh.
II. St. Cyril of Alexandria, whose doctrine was accepted by the Council of Ephesus, formulated the Catholic dogma against Nestorius. He found the duality of persons sufficiently refuted in the Symbols of the Apostles and of Nicaea, which attribute to "one subject" the eternal birth from the Father and the temporal birth from the Virgin, thus establishing the unity of Person and precluding the possibility of predicating the human and Divine attributes of two distinct subjects. See the second Epist. of St. Cyril to Nestorius, and the Anathematisms of the Fifth General Council, can. 2, 3, 6.
I. If the Logos and the human substance are really one subject, the union of the two substances is necessarily more than moral, relative, or accidental: it must be conceived as a true composition, resulting in one indivisible Being, and involving a true appropriation of the human substance by the Person of the Logos, and, as a consequence, the loss of independence or personality in the human substance. This substantial union was expressed in the formula, (formula is in Greek, secundum substantiam); but this term had not then the classical and well-defined meaning which it afterwards acquired: it did not exclude the unity of nature, as clearly appears from the expressions used as its equivalents, e.g., (in Greek) [and] (unio secundum naturam), etc. On the other hand, the formula (in Greek) did not then imply a "unity of nature" in the sense which later on became classical, for it was used in dogmatic definitions against the Monophysites and Monothelites. The tendency of both these formulas was merely to affirm a substantial union against the moral union upheld by Nestorius; they did not claim to define exactly the specific difference of this union from all other substantial unions. That difference was pointed out by describing the union as admirable, ineffable, and incomprehensible. St. Cyril avoided the analogical illustrations, so frequent among earlier Fathers, of (Greek) and (Greek (mixture, concretion), on account of Nestorian misinterpretation; he preferred more abstract expressions, but he constantly illustrated them by the analogy of the union of the flesh with the rational soul in man; an illustration also used by St Augustine, and now become classical.
2. In the union of body and soul we have, as in the union of the Logos with "the flesh": (1) A true, substantial, physical, and metaphysical union of a higher with a lower substance, resulting in one total substance, in consequence of the infusion or ingrafting of the higher in the lower. (2) The distinction of the two substances remains intact after the union: the soul retains its own spiritual life, and is not affected in its essence by the passions of the body; the body also retains its properties, although the union raises it to a much higher perfection. (3) The lower substance is subordinated to and dependent on the higher in both the physical and ethical order. (4) The union is based entirely on the power of the higher element; it consists in this, that the soul holds, possesses, and rules the corporeal element as its own. This analogy had the advantage of reducing to their exact signification the analogies misused by Nestorius. The humanity of Christ is indeed the temple and the throne of the Divinity, but the temple and throne appertain to and are connected with the Divinity after the manner in which the human body appertains to and is connected with the informing soul. Again, the humanity of Christ is the organ and instrument by which the Logos operates, but it is "His" organ, as much as the members of the body are the organs by which the soul operates. Lastly, the humanity of Christ is an image and a vesture of the Logos, not, however, distinct and separate from Him, but united as our body is to the soul.
As special effect, and therefore as a manifest sign of the substantial and physical union, St. Cyril points out that through it the flesh of Christ becomes itself a life-giving flesh, the Bread of life, the source of all the marvellous operations of the Holy Eucharist. This Sacrament, if the doctrine of Nestorius were true, would be degraded to an act of anthropophagy, the communicant receiving the flesh of man and not the flesh of God. But the substantial union of the Logos with the flesh not only endows this latter with an immanent principle of a most perfect life, but also with the power to diffuse light and life around it. When creatures not physically united with God, e.g. the saints and sacraments, are made the vehicle of supernatural life, they do not possess the life-giving power in themselves; in Christ, on the contrary, this power is as substantially inherent as the life-sustaining power in bread. There is, however, a difference: it is the proper nature of bread to support life; the vivifying power of the Body of Christ is not connatural to it, but is derived from its union with the Logos.
III. The proofs for the substantial union of the two natures in Christ were primarily taken from the texts of Proofs for Scripture which represent the origin of Christ as the incarnation of the Logos, or as the assumption by the Logos of the form of servant, and from the texts in which human and Divine attributes are predicated of the same subject. Further, it was urged that, if the union were but moral, there would be no real incarnation, no more than if God had not assumed a true human body and soul. Again, if God is not truly man, then the man Jesus is not truly God, and the worship granted to Him and demanded for Him in Scripture is idolatry. Moreover, the purpose of the Incarnation cannot be attained except by a God-Man, for only a God-Man can be a priest of sufficient dignity and a victim of sufficient value to cancel the guilt of sin and merit grace; only by virtue of the power communicated to human nature by its substantial union with a Divine Person can be accomplished the thorough healing of the corruptibility of that nature and the infusion into it of Divine Life. The Redeemer of mankind can be no other than its Creator, because redemption is as much a Divine work as creation: God, therefore, can no more confer upon another the honour of redeeming the world than that of creating it See Petavius, lib. iii. and vi.; Thomassin, lib. iii.; Franzelin, thes. 22-25.
Sect. 173. --The Existence of One Divine Person or Hypostasis in two perfect natures, as taught by the Church against Monophysitism.
I. The substantial and physical union of the human with the Divine Substance in Christ, so clearly defined by the Church against Nestorius, was misinterpreted by Eutyches as implying confusion of the two natures into one, after the manner of natural compounds, in which two elements are combined into a third, different from each of the components. The original form of this heresy compared the effect of the union of the two natures to a mixture in which one element, inferior in quantity or quality, is absorbed by the other superior element so as to lose its own essence, a drop of honey thrown into the sea, or a drop of water poured into a great quantity of wine. A later form was less crude. Its authors illustrated their idea by the analogy of gold and silver turned into amber (electrum) by mixture (Greek, con-fusio). The last and more refined form of Monophysitism conceived the unity of nature in Christ as similar to the unity of nature in man, that is, as a compound nature in which both component elements retain their proper essence, yet so as mutually to modify their essential properties. But in this form, as well as in the first and second, an alteration of the combined elements must necessarily be conceded, and this is the fundamental error of the whole system. Its consequences chiefly appear in determining the share of the Divine and human substances in the Passion. According to some, human nature lost all passibility through the unions; according to others, the Divine nature became passible.
II. Pope St. Leo I. (Epist. ad Flavianum), and afterwards the Council of Chalcedon, defined against Eutyches and his followers that the human substance, after its union with the Divine, retained its nature and essence as, of course, does the Divine substance; whence Christ is not the product of two natures, but exists in two distinct natures. This dogma was inferred from the fact that Christ is really and truly man as well as God, consubstantial with both God and man, which He could not be if, in the union, the human substance had lost its essence or nature. St. Leo appeals to the text Phil. ii. 6, 7: "Who, being in the form of God . . . took the form of servant," in order to be perfectly like unto man; and repeatedly insists upon the Divine and human attributes being predicated of Christ as one subject: a fictitious human nature in Christ is consistent neither with the truth of these attributes nor with the reality of the work of Redemption. He takes the terms "form" or "nature" in the sense of principles of action, viz. that which in a substance causes it to act as it acts. The influence of the unity of Person on the activity of the natures he limits to this: that neither nature can act or suffer except in union with the other.
III. The Council of Chalcedon, following St. Leo, declared that Christ exists in two indivisible and inseparable, but, at the same time, unchanged and unconfused natures, the indivisible and inseparable unity of Person in no wise destroying the distinction or properties of the natures. It was easy to prove that no essential change had taken place in the natures by the union, not only from the fact that both remained perfect in their kind after the union, but also from scientific principles. The Divine Nature evidently admits of no intrinsic change whatsoever. Human nature, taken as a body informed by a spiritual soul, is, speaking absolutely, destructible, but not miscible with another substance so as to lose essential form or properties. Again, how could God destroy the very nature He came to redeem? Its imperfections could be removed without injuring its essence, but even some of these, passibility, were necessary for the accomplishment of Redemption. The possibility of the two natures being so closely united without abasement of the Divine Nature or essential alteration of the human, is explained on the ground of God's absolute power, and of His absolute freedom to manifest the power ad extra. On account of His absolute power, the Divinity can contract no union through which that power would be damaged in any way; on account of His absolute freedom in the use of His power, the influence of the Divine on the human element is not exerted with physical necessity, like that of the soul on the body, but according to the decrees of the Divine Wisdom and Will (Leo I., Ep. ad Jul. Coensem).
IV. The analogy of the substantial union of body and soul used by St. Cyril against Nestorius to illustrate how two essentially different substances can coalesce into one total substance --was again made use of by the Fathers, and even in the Athanasian Symbol against Monophysitism; in order to show how, notwithstanding this most intimate union, two substances can retain their own, though opposite, qualities. The analogy carried sufficient weight against the first and grosser forms of the heresy, but, at the same time, it gave rise to the last and more refined form: accepting the comparison, the adversaries inferred from it that in Christ, as in other men, the union of the two substances resulted in "one nature." Hence the necessity of a deeper study of the human compound of soul and body. The line of defence set up on the Catholic side may be traced as follows: In a certain sense, there are two natures in man, the spiritual and the animal. Granting that these two are merged into one compound nature, it does not follow that in Christ likewise the Divine and human natures are merged into one compound, different from either of the components. There is no similarity in the result of the union, because there is none in the component elements. Christ is the Logos, the uncreated Spirit, with His flesh animated by a rational soul; man is a created spirit, with his flesh animated by that spirit. On both sides, the term "spirit and his flesh" indicates a personal union. Whereas, however, in man the fact that his own spirit informs his flesh leads to unity of nature as well as to personal unity, in Christ the fact that not the Logos, but a created soul, informs His flesh, prevents the unity of nature, and the union stops at the unity of Person. For a similar reason, there are virtually two natures even in man: the entire life of the spirit is not absorbed in its union with the body; it retains its peculiarities side by side and above the animal life (Rom. vii.). But in Christ the distinction of natures is real, because the Divine Spirit is not the principle of the life of the body. If in His case there was a unity or fusion of natures, two spirits ought to coalesce in one like two material bodies: this, however, is absurd, because it implies the possibility of a spirit being degraded to the rank of matter. The reason, then, why the union in Christ is purely personal (whereas in man it is personal and material) is the different perfection of the united substances: the lower substance is an incomplete nature in man, a complete one in Christ; in man the higher substance is not perfectly independent or self-sufficient, because as principle of life it depends on the co-operation of the lower substance; in Christ, on the contrary, it is absolutely independent and self-sufficient, and has even the power to appropriate to itself another spiritual substance.
V. The Monophysites appealed to the phrase of St Cyril: One, incarnate, nature of the word" (in Greek) as favouring their heresy. But St. Cyril himself (Ep. ad Acacium Melit.) shows that he takes the term "nature " as equivalent to "hypostasis," and the Fifth Council, in its eighth canon, explains the phrase as meaning "that (out) of the Divine nature and the human, being united hypostatically, one Christ was constituted." Against Nestorius the Fathers had to show that the inferior substance passes on to the superior and becomes His own, so that God, on this account, is also man. But this could be shown without distinguishing in the Divine substance the hypostasis or Person from His essence or nature: there was then no reason for avoiding the promiscuous use of the term Person and nature to designate the Divine Substance as existing concretely in the Logos. Against Eutyches, however, it was necessary to insist upon the existence of Christ in two coexisting forms, according to Phil. ii. 6, 7. Hence the Person or Hypostasis had to be distinguished from the essence or nature of the Logos as its Holder and Bearer, Who, in the Incarnation, became the Holder and Bearer of a second essence and nature. See Petavius, De Incar., iv. 6; Newman, Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical, p. 285 sqq.
Sect. 174. --The two Wills and two Operations in Christ, and the organic relation of the human to the Divine
principle: as defined against Monothelitism.
I. The existence of two natures in Christ, as defined against Nestorianism, implied the coexistence of two free wills, or, speaking more generally, of two distinct principles of operation. Yet, as these two principles are united in one Person, the question arises whether a proper and distinct activity can be attributed to the human principle without elevating it to the dignity of personality and thus destroying the unity of person. Eutyches and his followers answered in the negative, and consequently admitted in Christ only the Divine will; the Church, on the contrary, maintained the two wills and operations consistently with the unity of person. The definitions on this point complete the Catholic doctrine concerning the constitution of Christ.
The notion "that two wills and .two corresponding operations are inconsistent with the unity of person" is the leading principle of all the Monothelites; but in its application they differ. The more strict and logical attribute to the Logos one and all the functions of the human soul; the more moderate but less logical only claim for the Logos the acts of free will and their execution, thus depriving the human soul of all power of self-determination and of all control over the body.
This latter doctrine is cleverly veiled in the letter addressed by the Patriarch Sergius to Pope Honorius. Sergius does not draw the consequence that there is only one will-power or one sort of operation in Christ, but merely purports to point out possible wrong interpretations of the phrases "one operation or two operations (energies) of Christ." He is strong on the unity of Person and the duality of natures, and rightly deprecates two "contrary" willpowers. In his mind, two will-powers would necessarily be opposed to one another, and therefore he admitted but one; yet the expressions he uses are ambiguous, and may be taken to merely imply that in Christ the human will always acted in accordance with the Divine. Honorius was deceived, and did not oppose the Patriarch with as much energy as might have been expected from the Holy See. His error lay in this, that he thought more stress ought to be laid on the moral unity (= absence of contradiction) of the two wills than on their physical duality, and that, under the circumstances, the term " two operations " ought to be avoided, because it was liable to be misunderstood, in the same way as the term "one operation." The Catholic dogma is, however, sharply defined by the Pope at the end of his second letter, where he asserts in Christ two natures each with its own activities and operations (propria operantes et operatrices).
II. The Catholic doctrine was first defined by Martin I in a Lateran Council (649), then by the Sixth General Council (680). Christ, having two natures, has also two physical wills and two physical operations, existing side by side unchanged and unmixed, yet inseparably and physically united in one physical Person, in the same manner as the two natures; these natures, therefore, will and operate conjointly, but in both kinds of volitions and operations, He Who wills and operates is physically one and the same, willing and operating in two different manners. The difference of the two wills does not involve either a contradiction between them or the independence of the human from the Divine; the human will is so subordinated to and influenced by the Divine that it follows this latter in all things (Denzinger, Enchir., xxv. and xxvii.).
Theologians of the time laid particular stress on the duality of physical" wills. They did not wish to exclude a unity of harmony or co-ordination; their object was to assert the real existence of a human principle of immanent volitions and of operations flowing therefrom, equal in perfection to the same principle and operations in man. We shall consider first the human will and its operations, as resulting from the human nature of Christ; secondly, the relation of the human to the Divine will and operations, as resulting from the substantial union of the two natures.
III. The human nature, through its union with the Logos, loses none of its essential properties or faculties; intellect and will and all the lower powers of the soul remain unimpaired, because without them the human nature in Christ would not be a real human nature. Besides, special reasons require the existence and functions of an unimpaired human will in the Redeemer. The act of Redemption is a great act of obedience; but obedience, that is free submission of one will to another, cannot be conceived where there is only a Divine will. Again, if Christ has no distinct human will, all His volitions and operations must be attributed to the Divine Will, which is one and the same in the three Divine Persons, and thus all the human operations of Christ would no longer belong to the second Person, but would be common to the three Persons of the Trinity. Moreover, if from the unity of Person in Christ, the unity of will could be inferred, then, for a similar reason, a distinction of wills ought to be admitted in the Trinity. But the number of wills follows the number of natures, not of persons; hence there is one will in the Blessed Trinity and two in Christ. Scriptural proof for our dogma is found in all the texts which attribute to Christ human affections, and especially in His agony and prayer, where the two wills appear not only as distinct but also as materially opposed.
The acts of the two wills are so essentially distinct that they cannot even be conceived as fused into 'one. For a volition is an immanent act: it originates and terminates in the same spiritual principle, it is a "self-motion."
Immanent acts are necessarily complete in themselves. Besides, in this special case, a fusion of the Divine and the human wills into one, would make the Divine Will dependent on the human in their common activity. The two wills can only concur into one common action after the manner of two distinct persons agreeing to do the same thing or to pursue the same object; with this difference, however, that in Christ the bearer of the two wills is physically one, and that consequently the wills are physically united. The unity of pursuit constitutes only a moral unity of the persons willing the same object.
IV. The first consequence of the substantial union of the two natures, is that the operations of both must be attributed to the same operator, viz. to the Divine Person, to Whom the operations of His human nature appertain not less than that nature itself. Another consequence is, as St Leo I. expresses it, that each nature performs its own operations, yet in communion with the other. The two sets of operations are, however, affected very differently by this communion; the human principle operates dependently on the Divine, but this very dependence gives a greater perfection to its operations. The actions of the human principle, in order to be actions of the Logos, must be caused by the Logos, in the same manner as the acts of man are only attributable to him when they proceed from his free will, i.e. from the supreme principle of action. The causation in question is similar to the concurrence of the First Cause in the working of all other causes, with this difference) that in Christ the Divine influence is exercised on a nature hypostatically (personally) united to the influencing Logos, and that thus the actions of that nature are the actions of the Logos, whereas in the general Divine concurrence the actions of creatures do not become actions of God. The influence of the Logos on His human nature extends, however, beyond the general concurrence of God with all created causes. The Fathers analyze it into three factors: permission (Greek), motion (Greek), and co-operation (Greek). The Logos "permits" the human principle to remain subject to all passibility which involves nothing unworthy of the Divine Person; He "moves or inspires" the human will so as to bring It always into harmony with His own; He "co-operates" with His lower nature so as to add perfection to its ordinary acts, and, under certain circumstances, to enable it to perform supernatural actions. The perfection accruing to the human actions from the Divine influence is pregnantly expressed in the classical phrase: "Christ does human things in a divine manner" (humana agit divine).
V. The Divine Principle in Christ is entirely independent of the co-operation of the human: His "acting in His human communion" is limited to this, that in external operations in which the co-operation of the human principle is possible, admissible, or congruous, He uses it as His own instrument for carrying out His will. Such co-operation is impossible in creative acts, but not in the natural or supernatural government of creation; it is necessary, hypothetically, in the works which the Logos had undertaken to perform in the flesh; as a matter of fact, it exists in all operations specially ascribed to Christ --that is, not simply to God. It is to these latter operations the Fathers apply the phrase, "Christ does divine things in a human manner" (divina agit humane).
VI. The peculiar constitution of Christ the God-Man gives to His operations a peculiar and unique character. They are "theandric; (See Newman, St. Athanasius, 11. p. 412), that is, belonging to the God-Man. This term was first introduced by Dionysius the Areopagite, and later on was much exploited by the Monothelites in favour of their heresy. Its real meaning, as explained by the Areopagite himself, and defined in the Council of Lateran (a.d. 649), can. 15, is that in Christ the human operations are performed under the influence of the Divine Principle, or that the external Divine operations are performed with the co-operation of the human principle. In this sense, all human actions of Christ are theandric; but not all His Divine operations, many of these admitting of no human co-operation. In a more special or eminent sense, the Fathers reserved the term theandric to "Divine operations wrought with human co-operation," and to "human operations intended to produce, with Divine co-operation, a supernatural or Divine effect." These latter operations, the healing of the sick by touch, are eminently theandric, because in them both natures act simultaneously, in communion and subordination, and for the same object, thus clearly manifesting the Divine-human constitution of Christ.
VII. The peculiar harmony between the two kinds of operations in Christ results from the manner in which the human soul operates. The human soul knows and loves itself as soul of the Logos, and its one intention is to conform in all things to the will of the Logos. The soul is no blind instrument when co-operating with the Logos: it knows and wills and works for the same ends. And the Divine inspiration of the Logos so assists and influences the immanent actions of the soul as to enable it to rule and regulate all its operations in conformity with the Divine Will.
Sect. 175. --Corollaries to the dogma concerning the Constitution of Christ.
I. The composition of Christ, considered as a whole, presents a threefold aspect. Against Nestonus it was described as the composition of a human nature with the entirely distinct Divine Hypostasis or Person; against the Monothelites as the composition of two essentially different and complete natures into one Hypostasis or Person common to both; against the Apollinarists as the composition into one Hypostasis or Person of three substances different in essence, viz. the Logos, the soul, and the body. These three forms represent the same composition, because the binding principle in every one of them is the same, viz. the unity of Person. Distinct from the hypostatic composition is that of Christ's body and soul into one nature not into one person; without this composition there would be in Christ three substances indeed, but not two natures. The unique character of the hypostatic compound forbids us to apply to it the terms applicable to natural compounds, at least without some qualification: Christ is really and truly a composite being, yet in a higher and more perfect manner than natural compounds; the composition of Christ is a "pure" composition that is, the component elements retain their own nature unaltered.
If Christ is a composite being, He is also a composite Hypostasis or Person, and "the Person of Christ" is a compound, viz. it is the Person of the Logos together with His human nature. Christ may be called "human person," in the sense of Person having humanity (persona humanitatis), as He is called Divine Person as having Divinity. Yet that designation is not commonly used, because misleading.
II. Although unique in its kind, the compound of Christ (Compositum Christi) has a great analogy with man, the most perfect of all natural compounds; its unique perfection is even best illustrated by a comparison with Adam, who was a type of Christ. The first man offers a double type of Christ: one as naturally, the other as supernaturally, perfect man. Considered as natural man, Adam was a compound of spirit and flesh; he was thus the substantial link between the world of spirits and the world of matter, and was the natural head of this latter. Christ is a personal compound of Spirit and flesh in a higher sense: His Spirit is God, and His flesh is animated by a rational soul. He is the link between God and the whole world, and the natural head of the latter. As endowed with grace, Adam had the Spirit of God in him, and thus represented not only the unity of the spiritual and the material world, but to a certain degree also the union of these worlds with God. From this point of view, Adam was, like Christ, composed of three substances --the Spirit, the soul, the flesh; and he was not an animal, but a celestial man. All this we find in an eminent degree in Christ. Christ possesses as His own the Divine substance which merely dwelt in Adam; He is not merely vivified by the Spirit, but is Himself the vivifying Spirit (i Cor. xv. 45). Whereas in Adam the flesh is the first element of the compound to which the soul and the Spirit are successively joined, in Christ the Spirit is the first and fundamental element. Again, in Adam the union of soul and body is more intimate and more consistent than the union of both with the Spirit: sin may undo the latter without injuring the former. In Christ, on the contrary, the union of the Spirit with the animated flesh is stronger than that of His soul and body, for this latter is not a personal union, and maybe destroyed by death without injuring the hypostatic union. Moreover, Christ is the principle of that supernatural unity of which Adam was only the representative. Finally, Christ realizes the idea of man as "the visible image of God" infinitely better than Adam, for He includes the uncreated and consubstantial Image of God, and in taking unto Him human nature and raising it to participation in His own being, He manifests the Divine Power over creation far better than does the soul of Adam by animating and governing a body.
III. The Word Incarnate having two natures, His essence can only be expressed by compound names, e.g. God-Man, Word Incarnate. Yet the name Christ, although figurative, also describes His essential constitution in a most pregnant manner, and summarizes the whole doctrine concerning His Person. That name designates the God-Man as eminently the "Anointed." Hence the ointment with which He is anointed is neither a common substance nor a moral consecration or spiritual quality, but a substantial spiritual ointment, viz. the Divine Substance itself, which alone among spiritual substances can act as ointment. In the order of grace, creatures also are anointed with the Divine Substance, but only in a certain sense. "The" Anointed, on the contrary, receives an anointment formally substantial. He is constituted by the anointing of a created nature by the infusion of the Substance of the Logos; He is Himself the anointing substance, and is thus Anointed by nature and essence: "Oil poured out is Thy name" Cant. i. 2). Hence the name Christ implies Divinity, for God alone is by His nature and essence self-anointed with Divinity. It also implies humanity, because in Scripture the anointed subject is the flesh or the spirit anointed with the Holy Ghost. Further, the notion of anointment indicates that both ointment and anointed nature remain unaltered in their essential qualities, the anointed nature alone being raised in perfection. Whence, in our case, although the anointment is substantial, its result cannot be union into one nature, but only union into one hypostasis, the hypostasis of the self-existing Logos. And lastly, the notion of humanity anointed with Divinity conveys an idea of the mutual relations between the two natures: the Divine nature filling, penetrating, and perfecting the human, as the balm does the embalmed object.
The name Christ, understood in this way, contains and explains all the other names of the Saviour set forth in the Creeds. Christ, the Anointed with the Divine Substance, is "the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord;" all perfection and power of Jesus is founded on this anointment: by this He is Prophet, Priest, and King, and the principle and source of all salvation:" He is made to us wisdom from God, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption" (i Cor. i. 30). These words of the Apostle contain a full explanation of the phrase, "Oil poured out is Thy name."