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THE DOCTRINE OF THE PERFECT LIKENESS OF THE NATURE OF THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD WITH THAT OF HUMANITY.
While the question whether the Divine which had appeared on the earth was identical with the supreme Godhead, was still agitating men’s minds, the second question arose as to the nature of the union of the Divine in Christ with humanity. In this question, comprising as it does two closely connected problems, the problem, namely, as to the character of the humanity of Christ, and the problem as to how the union of divinity and humanity is to be conceived of, that which constituted the supreme concern of Greek theology has its culmination. It accordingly had already necessarily emerged in the Arian controversy, for it was in reference to the thought of the union of Godhead and humanity that the whole controversy was carried on by Athanasius.285285See Vol. III., Chap. VI.
The problem was not a new one; on the contrary, it had already engaged the attention of the old theologians who had carried on the struggle against Marcion and Valentin,286286The Valentinians themselves had already handled it with supreme technical skill, though no unanimity was attained in their own schools. With them the whole stress was laid on complicated distinctions within the person of Christ. On the other hand, all the elements of the composite nature of Jesus Christ were by some of the leaders of the schools elevated to the heavenly sphere. and since the time of Irenæus it had occupied a central place in men’s thoughts. The doctrine that the flesh of Christ was actual human flesh had been for long an established one,287287See Tertull., de carne Christi. 139although platonising theologians still continued to find it possible to combine with it dogmatic thoughts and a refined Valentianism;288288So, above all, the Alexandrians. in fact, no single outstanding Church teacher really accepted the humanity in a perfectly unqualified way. Further than that it was necessary to believe in an actual “incarnation of the Logos” (σάρκωσις τοῦ λόγου) all else was uncertain. What in the way of intensification or modification the conception of the σάρξ was susceptible of in order still to rank as human flesh, was a point which was as uncertain as the question as to the relation between σάρξ and ἄνθρωπος, and as the other question as to whether the σάρξ must maintain itself as such in union with the Divine and whether it could or could not do this. All the Christological problems which had before given rise to controversies with the Gnostics returned in a more subtle form, since it was still possible to posit a real σάρξ of Christ in the statement of the problem, and then actually to do away with it again in the course of speculation.
A Christological theory had undoubtedly been propounded by Origen, according to which the presence of a human soul also in Jesus is to be expressly admitted. Others before him had long ago demanded this, perhaps partly because they already felt that everything turned on the human personal life, and that a human body without a soul involves a merely seeming humanity, though they did not actually draw the logical conclusions.289289See I Clem. ad Cor. 49, 6: τὸ αἶμα αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς . . . καὶ τὴν σάρκα ὑπὲρ τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν. Iren. V. I. 1: τῷ ἰδίῳ αἵματι λυτρωσαμένου ἡμᾶς τοῦ κυρίου καὶ δόντος τὴν ψυχὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἡμετέρων ψυχῶν καὶ τὴν σάρκα τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀντὶ τῶν ἡμετέρων σαρκῶν. But the theory of Origen was not determined by this thought alone. He was also influenced by a cosmological postulate. He required a middle term between the Logos and matter to bind them together, and this was to be found in the human soul of Christ, concerning which he taught that it had not shared in the general antemundane fall of the spirits.290290For details see Vol. II., p. 369 ff. Moreover, he was certainly acute enough to perceive that the free human will also must be located in the personality of Christ and that Holy Scripture affirms that it is. But his theory of the human 140soul and of the nature of the union of the divine and human in Christ scarcely passed beyond the circle of his own pupils.291291Hilary (de trinit. X. 22) will not entertain the idea of a human soul. His view of the origin of souls is certainly, speaking generally, creationist. “He has taken the soul from Himself which, moreover, was never communicated by men as something emanating from those who beget. . . . The soul of the body (of Christ) must have been from God.” It was too closely connected with the most peculiar and most questionable fundamental presuppositions of the great philosopher and was also too difficult to win approval. Even in Alexandria in the time of Alexander and Athanasius it would appear that attention was no longer given to Origen’s way of putting the doctrine; in those cases in which his view was retained its effect at best was merely still further to increase the elasticity of all the conceptions attached to the person of Jesus.
The general stagnation which marked theology in the first half of the Fourth Century, shewed itself no less in the different views of the Incarnation than in the doctrine of the Godhead of Christ. Most theologians contented themselves with the idea of the ensarkosis, and in connection with this clung to the most naïve doketic views as regard details.292292The detailed discussions of Hilary amongst other things (de trinitate) shew the length to which these doketic views had gone and the extent to which they had spread. According to him the body of Christ was exalted above all rah and always took these upon itself voluntarily only. The normal condition of the body of Christ was always the condition of glorification, the appearance in ordinary material form with the ordinary needs was on every occasion a voluntary act (X. 23, 25: “in natura Christi corporis infirmitatem naturæ corporeæ non fuisse” etc.). Christ in Gethsemane did not tremble and pray for himself, but for his disciples (X. 37, 41) He did not feel pain; His sufferings affected Him as an arrow passes through fire and air (X. 23). His nature was absolutely incapable of suffering. Amongst the confused ideas of Hilary, that of a depotentiation of the Logos by an act of self-emptying, is also met with. But the passages to which the modern supporters of the kenotic theory appeal (de trin. IX. 14, XI. 48, XII. 6) are not in place; for when Hilary is dealing with the idea of self-humiliation he always takes back in the second statement what he has asserted in the first, so that the unchangeableness of God may not suffer. Hence the statement: “Christus in forma dei manens formam servi accepit.” This statement must be taken along with the strongly kenotic statements of Hilary. If this already involved a reassertion of the opinions held in the oldest theological schools which Christianity possessed, namely, the Valentinian, others went still further in reasserting these opinions and directly 141taught the doctrine of the heavenly σάρξ of Christ,293293“Corpus cæleste” says Hilary himself, l.c. X. 18. The Pauline speculations regarding the second Adam and the heavenly man, had come to have very disastrous consequences for the theologians of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries as they had already had for the Gnostics before them. By the attention which was given to these speculations the problem, which was otherwise already a complicated one, got into the direst confusion. It was, however, doketism in particular, both in its coarse and in its refined forms, which turned them to account, and modern theologians have shown a fondness for fishing in these muddy waters in order to extract from them their very different fancies regarding Christ as the heavenly type of humanity and as the ideal-man. the Homousia of this σάρξ with the Godhead of the Logos, and so on.294294See Vol. III., p. 299 ff. Others adopted the theory of a transformation. According to them the σάρξ originated with the Logos Himself, who in view of its appearance or manifestation, by an act of transformation made for Himself a body capable of suffering and thus in part renounced His own nature. We can trace the influence here of the old monarchian theologoumena of the ὑιοπάτωρ who is incapable of suffering when He wills and capable of suffering when He wills.295295That the Logos himself formed His own body (from Mary) seems to have been the almost universal opinion; see Hilary X. 18 (also 22) “Christ Himself is the source of His body.” Speculative Pantheistic views, such as afterwards plainly reappeared amongst the Monophysites and which had formerly been propounded by the Gnostics, may already have been in existence at this time, ideas such as those of the moment of finitude in the essence of God Himself, and of the Cosmos as the natural body of the Godhead. In opposition to these views some taught the doctrine of a perfect incarnation (ἐνανθρώπησις), feeling probably that a mere ensarkosis or appearing in the flesh was not sufficient. But they were perfectly in the dark in regard to the question as to whether the Godhead really became a man or adopted human nature. As no one had yet decided this question, so no one knew whether the incarnate Logos had two natures or one, though the great majority clung to the idea of one nature without knowing, however, how to conceive of it. No one knew whether the Logos was blended with humanity or merely joined with it, whether He had transformed Himself into it or whether He had put it on as a dress 142and dwelt in it as in a temple, whether in becoming man He had taken it up into the Godhead, or in deifying it had left its peculiar nature intact; or had not deified it at all, but had merely associated it with the Godhead. Further, no one knew in what way the Gospel statements were to be employed in connection with the complicated nature of the God-man. Was the flesh, the man, born of the Virgin Mary, or was the Logos born of her together with the flesh. Who suffers, who hungers, who thirsts, who trembles and is afraid, who asks and is anxious, who confesses his ignorance, who describes the Father as the only Good, who dies, the man or the God-man? And again: who does miracles, commands nature, forgives sins, in short, who is the Redeemer, God or the God-Man? There was no fixed, generally accepted answer. Further, no one was able to make any definite statement regarding the permanence of the humanity296296See the peculiar doctrine of Marcellus in Zahn, Marcell., p. 177 f., given differently by Dorner and Baur. of Christ and its nature after the Resurrection, and yet the question as to the effect of the Incarnation turned entirely on this point. Finally, the question as to whether the Logos did or did not undergo a change owing to the Incarnation, was one on which complete uncertainty prevailed. The questions regarding exaltation, humiliation, depotentiation, assumption emerged and affected the always half concealed fundamental question, as to the relation of the Divine and human generally. The theologians, however, groped uncertainly about, and however paradoxical many of the doctrines already were of a suffering without suffering, of a humiliation without humiliation, still the most paradoxical by no means passed yet for the most certain.297297Examples of these disputed questions are supplied by all the writings of the Fathers dealing with the subject, down to the middle of the Fourth Century. A specially characteristic example is to be found in Philostorg., H. E., IX. 14. He tells us that in Constantinople, in the time of Valens, Demophilus, e.g., preached τὸ σῶμα τοῦ υἱοῦ ἀνακραθὲν τῇ θεότητι εἰς τὸ αδηλότατον κεχωρηκέναι, as a drop of milk disappears when it trickles into the ocean. We can easily see that we are here at the very central point of the old Greek theology; at the time of the Nicene Creed this was, however, no rock, but a slippery bit of country shelving down on all sides. The religious thought: Θεὸς σαρκωθεὶς δι᾽ 143ἡμᾶς—God made flesh for us,—stood firm, but the theology which sought to grasp it slipped off it at every point. How could it possibly be put in intelligible conceptions so long as theologians concerned themselves with the “Natures”! A human nature made divine which nevertheless remains truly human, is a contradictio in adjecto. What those in after times succeeded in doing was accordingly not to give a clear explanation, but simply a paraphrase which as formulated was by no means perfectly suited to express the thought, and whose value consisted in this, that it surrounded the speculative theologians with a hedge and prevented them from falling into abysses.
The Christological problem, however, as it was treated in the ancient Church was not only connected in the closest way with the Trinitarian, and, further, had not only the element of contradiction in common with it, but it also in the last resort issued in the same formulæ. If in the case of the latter the singular of the substance or nature and the plurality of the persons were the accepted terms, it was the reverse way in the case of the other, where the accepted terms came finally to be the plurality of the substances and the unity of the persons. The distinction between “Nature” and “Person” was also the subject of discussion in both cases. That this distinction, with which the West had been long acquainted without, however, using it as a speculative starting-point, supplied the means of escape from the difficulties connected with both problems, theologians had begun to perceive as early as the middle of the Fourth Century, though undoubtedly in a slow and hesitating fashion. This was the anchor to which they fastened themselves, although it was not supplied by any philosophy; they had to provide it for themselves. While, however, so far as the Trinitarian problem was concerned, the distinction once introduced quickly established itself in the East, it was a century before it triumphed there as regards the Christological problem, and this triumph, far from uniting the parties, permanently separated them.
What is the explanation of this remarkable phenomenon? It may be said that neither in connection with the Trinitarian question did the perfect unity of the substance succeed in establishing itself (see pp. 120, 125); but it very nearly did so, and 144the controversy accordingly ceased. Why then did the formula of the unity of the person not in the same way prove satisfactory in connection with the Christological problem?
This question may already be raised here, though it cannot be settled till the next chapter. Attention must, however, be directed to one point. The antecedents of the “solution” of the Trinitarian and Christological problem which proved victorious in the Eastern Church and consequently in the Catholic Church generally, are to be found only partly in the East; it was naturalised in the West. The Tertullian who in the work “adv. Prax.” created the formula of the “una substantia” and the “tres personæ”, in the same work constructed the formulae of the “utraque substantia (duplex status non confusus—this is the ἀσυγχύτως—sed conjunctus) in una persona” (the substance of two kinds in one person, the twofold state not confused but joined together in one person); “duæ substantiæ in Christo Jesu, divina et humana” (two substances in Christ Jesus, divine and human); “salva est utriusque proprietas substantiæ in Christo Jesu” (the property of each substance in Christ Jesus is not interfered with).298298See Vol. II., p. 280 ff. and above, p. 121. He thus laid the foundation for the formally similar treatment of both problems, and created the terminology which was accepted by the East after more than two hundred years. Had he the same interest in the Christological problem as the later Eastern theologians had? Was the deification of humanity a matter of importance to him? By no means. And what philosophy did he make use of? Well, no philosophy at all; on the contrary, he used the method of legal fictions. By the aid of the distinction current among jurists between “substance” and “person” he with great facility explained and securely established as against the Monarchians both the ancient ecclesiastical and, par excellence, Western formula, “Christus deus et homo”, and also the formula, “pater, filius et spiritus sanctus—unus deus.” Substance—for Tertullian never uses the word “nature”—is in the language of the jurists not anything personal, but rather corresponds to “property” in the sense of possession, or to the essence as distinguished from the manifestation or “status”; the person again is not in itself anything 145substantial, but the subject or individual as capable of entering into legal relations and possessing property, who can quite well possess different substances, just as on the other hand it is possible for one substance to be in the possession of several persons. Tertullian introduced these legal terms into theology. That this is what they were in his use of them, and not philosophical terms, is shewn by the words themselves, shewn too by the application made of them and by the utter disregard of the difficulty which their application must necessarily create for every philosophical thinker. And it was these legal fictions which the East had to accept as philosophy, i.e., theology, or change into philosophy! This became the basis of the “philosophy of revelation.” (!) This was more than the boldest Neo-Platonic philosophy in its strangest intellectual phantasies had ever asked. No wonder that difficulties were made about accepting it, especially when, besides, it did not cover what was still the preponderating interest of the Faith, the interest in the deification of humanity. People always shrank from positing an οὐσία ἀνυπόστατος, a substance without an hypostasis, because when used in reference to a living being it was simply absurd, and because the unity of the person of Christ, “salva utriusque substantiæ proprietate”, gave no security for the unity of the Godhead and humanity. The jurist Tertullian, however, could manage quite well with “person” and “substance”, as if the distinction between them were self-evident, because he did not here develop the logical results of the doctrine of redemption, but gave expression299299The Westerns did the same after him; amid all the odd ideas that some of them produced they always clung to the humana et divina substantia, to the filius dei et filius hominis, and this distinction which had been supplied by the Creed, together with the unity of the person, became for them the rudder when it came to be a question of sailing through the stormy waves which had arisen in the East. See already Novatian, then Hilary, Ambrose, Augustin, Leo I. and also the less important theologians. It is extremely characteristic that Vincentius (Comm. 17, 18) still uses not the designation two natures, but two substances, and as against Apollinaris he finds the thesis perfectly sufficient “that Christ had two substances, the one divine, the other human, the one from the Father, the other from His Mother.” Hilary very frequently employs the expressions “utraque natura”, “persona”; he also writes de trin. IX. r4: “utriusque naturæ persona.” In the “Statuta ecclesiæ antiqua” (Mansi III., p. 950) we have: “qui episcopus ordinandus est, antes examinetur . . . si incarnationem divinam non in patre neque in spiritu s. factam, sed in filio tantum credat, ut qui erat in divinitate dei patris filius, ipse fieret in homine hominis matris filius, deus verus ex patre, homo verus ex matre, carnem ex matris visceribus habens et animam humanam rationalem, simul in eo ambæ naturæ, i.e., deus et homo, una persona, unus filius, unus Christus.” For details see below. to a matter of fact which was ostensibly 146contained in the Creed, and because he did not, properly speaking, indulge in philosophical speculation, but applied the artificial language of the jurists. If we accordingly perceive that many centuries afterwards, the philosophical-realistic method of handling the main problem was in Western scholasticism completely displaced by a formal-logical or legal method of treatment, there is nothing surprising in this; for the foundation of such a method of handling the problem was in fact laid by Tertullian.
Irenæus had already clearly discerned and plainly expressed the thought of the most perfect union. The great Western theologians about the year 200 were further advanced in respect of Christology in consequence of the struggle with Gnosticism and Patripassianism, than the East was a hundred years later.300300See Vol. II., p. 275 ff. But what they had secured in the heat of battle did not possess even in the West itself any general validity; while in the East the greatest uncertainty reigned, having been brought in by the “scientific” Christology of Origen.301301Nevertheless he strongly emphasised the thought of the deification of the human nature. On the other hand it is possible to attribute to him a doctrine of two natures. It delayed or threw back the development, which had certainly begun in a strictly scientific form. Thus at the beginning of the Fourth Century the East had once more to take up the question entirely anew. If we are to estimate correctly what was finally accomplished, it must not be measured by the Gospel, but by the dead state of things which had prevailed a hundred years before.
The assertion of Arius and his pupils that the Logos took only a human body gave the impulse to renewed consideration of the problem. Like Paul of Samosata the Lucianists would have nothing to do with two natures, but they taught the doctrine of one half-divine nature which was characterised by 147human feelings, limited knowledge and suffering.302302Most instructive in this connection is the otherwise interesting Creed of Eudoxius of Constantinople (Caspari, Quellen IV., p. 176 ff.): πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα, τὸν μόνον ἀληθινόν, Θεὸν καὶ πατέρα, τὴν μόνην φύσιν ἀγέννητον καὶ ἀπάτορα, ὅτι μηδένα σέβειν πέφυκεν ὡς ἐπαναβεβηκυῖα· καὶ εἰς ἕνα κύριον, τὸν υἱόν, εὐσεβῆ ἐκ τοῦ σέβειν τὸν πατέρα, καὶ μονογενῆ μέν, κρείττονα πάσης τῆς μετ᾽ αὐτὸν κτίσεως, πρωτότοκον δέ, ὅτι τὸ ἐξαίρετον καὶ πρώτιστόν ἐστι τῶν κτισμάτων, σαρκωθέντα, οὐκ ἐναθρωπήσαντα, οὔτε γὰρ ψυχὴν ἀνθρωπινην ἀνείληφεν, ἀλλὰ σὰρξ γέγονεν, ἵνα διὰ σαρκὸς τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ὡς διὰ παραπετάσματος Θεὸς ἡμῖν χρηματίσῃ· οὐ δύο φύσεις, ἐπεὶ μὴ τέλειος ἦν ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ᾽ ἀντὶ ψυχῆς Θεὸς ἐν σαρκί· μία τὸ ὅλον κατὰ σύνθεσιν φύσις· παθητὸς δι᾽ οἰκονομίαν· οὔτε γὰρ ψυχῆς ἢ σώματος παθόντος τὸν κόσμον σώζειν ἐδύνατο· Ἀποκρινέσθωσαν οὖν, πῶς ὁ παθητὸς καὶ θνητὸς τῷ κρείττονι τούτων Θεῷ, πάθους τε καὶ θανάτου ἐπέκεινα, δύναται εἶναι ὁμοούσιος. In the same way Eunomius, see Epiph. H. 69. 19, Ancor. 33. Like Paul of Samosata they also found fault with the orthodox on the ground that their Christology led to the assumption of two Sons of God or two natures; for these were still regarded as identical. The reply made by the orthodox at first to this charge lacked theological precision. Just because Athanasius was as much convinced of the necessity of the Incarnation (ἐνανθρώπησις) as of the unity of the personality of Christ as Redeemer, he did not put the doctrine in fixed formulæ. On the one hand, as against Arius, he made a sharp distinction between what the God and what the man in Christ had done, in order to keep the Logos Omoousios free of everything human; on the other hand, however, he wished the divine and human to be thought of as a perfect unity; for it is to a strictly uniform being that we owe our salvation, the Word made flesh, the λόγος σαρκωθείς.303303Curiously enough Athanasius throughout merely touched on the Christology of Arius. He afterwards stated his views in greater detail in opposition to Apollinaris, see Atzberger, Logoslehre d. h. Athan., p. 171 ff. In the “Orations against the Arians” the distinction between the divinity and humanity of Christ is brought prominently forward. The unity is next secured again by means of the deceptive formula that the flesh of the Logos was just his own flesh, his humanity (Orat. III. 32: ὅθεν τῆς σαρκὸς πασχούσης οὐκ ἦν ἐκτὸς ταύτης ὁ λόγος· διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ αὐτοῦ λέγεται τὸ πάθος; see also the particularly characteristic word ἰδιοποίησις used for the assumption of the flesh. In the case of Athanasius it may already be very clearly seen that it was not religious feeling, but solely the biblical tradition regarding Christ (His weakness and His capacity for being affected in a human way,) which led him in the direction of the doctrine of the two natures. That tradition was a serious stumbling-block. But Athanasius used neither the formula “δύο φύσεις” nor the other “μία φύσις”. (See also Reuter, Ztschr. f. K.-Gesch. VI., p. 184 f.) He speaks of divinity and humanity or of Θεὸς λόγος and σάρξ. So far as I know the formula μία φύσις was brought into use by Apollinaris, while, so far as I know, we first meet with the other, the δύο φύσεις, in Origen, and next in the mouths of the Arians who reproached the orthodox with their use of it—with the exception of a doubtful fragment of Melito, where, moreover, we have δύο οὐσίαι. The Cappadocians were the first to make use of the expression again in attacking Apollinaris, inasmuch as they made a sharp distinction between “two natures” and “two Sons”. Owing to its use by the Cappadocians the formula of “two natures” had almost already become orthodox and had been regularly introduced into ecclesiastical language, or, to put it otherwise, the tradition which had come down from Origen and the presence of which is scarcely anywhere noticeable in Athanasius himself, penetrated into the Church in connection with this matter also by means of the Cappadocians. Cyril himself accordingly employed the expression. Thus the problem raised by Reuter, op. cit. 185 f., as to how it comes about that Cyril employs an Origenistic formula, which nevertheless is not to be found in Athanasius, is solved. We have to remember that there was a revival of Origenism in consequence of the theological work of the Cappadocians. For the rest “δύο φύσεις” as distinguished from “duo substantiæ” is to be regarded as a realistic speculative formula. 148The prolix amplifications of Hilary304304See especially lib. X. de trinit., Dorner I., pp. 1037-1071. were still more uncertain, so much so that there was some justification for the charge brought against orthodoxy by its opponents, that it led to a division of the Son of God from the Son of Man. But Athanasius had not reflected on this; in this connection too he had stated the mystery simply and forcibly, frequently in the words of Irenæus. The Logos not only had a man, did not only dwell in a man, but was man. He united what was ours with Himself in order to give us what was His. The Logos is not, however, thereby lowered, but on the contrary, the human is raised higher.305305See the collection of passages referring to the matter in Dorner I., pp. 948-955. The Arian doctrine of the σῶμα ἄψυχον of Christ had already been combated by Eustathius, see Dorner, op. cit. 966-969. The question as to the extent of what was comprised in the human nature was one which Athanasius did not think out. He preferred to speak of a natural union, an ἕνωσις φυσική, in Christ, but in this connection he uniformly disregarded the human personality. The free will was the category used, roughly speaking, at that period to express what is called in modern times “human personality”. But Athanasius had not yet thought of this term in connection with Christ, because he had not learned anything from Origen. In all probability he found in fact no problem here, but, like Irenæus, a comforting mystery which could not be other than 149it was. He did not see that the mind must necessarily go astray on this matter either in the direction of the Gnostic doctrine of two natures or in that of the doctrine of unity, in the sense in which it was held by Valentinian, the doctrine of a heavenly humanity, or in the sense in which it was held by Arius. He believed that the doctrine of one composite being would serve his purpose which in any given case allowed of the distinction being made between what belonged to the divinity and what belonged to the humanity respectively. Neither did the great theologian who attached himself to Athanasius—namely, Marcellus—perceive yet the full difficulty of the problem. His energetic and practical theology could, however, only bring him nearer to the doctrine of a complete unity. The Logos is the Ego of the Personality of Christ; the nature which serves as an organ for the incarnate Logos and gives outward expression to his self-manifestation, is impersonal. The Logos is the ἐνέργεια δραστική, the divine energy; the body is the matter which is moved by it, which is transformed into a perfect instrument for the Logos. Marcellus was still further than Athanasius from assuming the existence of two separate, independent natures. He does indeed incidentally attack the Arian idea of the unity and he also employs the expression σύναφεια, connection, for the union of the Logos with humanity, but at bottom he sees at every point in the incarnate God-Logos a perfect unity.306306See Dorner p. 871 ff.; Zahn, Marcell., pp. 155-165. He thus thought about the matter as the great Christologist did after him, who first felt the difficulty of the problem and created a formula which did not harm Greek religious feeling, but rather gave it a secure basis, and which in doing this nevertheless left unnoticed an element of tradition which was indeed concealed, but was not to be rooted out.
Apollinaris of Laodicea307307Dräseke, Zeitfolge d. dogmat. Schriften des A. v. Laod. (Jahrb. f. protest. Theol., 1887, Part 4). The same author, Apoll. v. Laodicea, nebst einem Anhange, Apollinarii Laod. que supersunt dogmatica (Texte u. Unters. z. Altchristl, Litt. Gesch, VII, 3, 4) in addition Jülicher in the Gött. Gel. Anz., 1893, No. 2. whose divine teachers were Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, who had learned from Athanasius, 150whose theological method was the Aristotelian one, and who because of this had been strongly influenced by the Arian theology, the zealous and acute opponent of Origen and Porphyry, the sober-minded exegete who preserved the most brilliant traditions of the school of Antioch and had a reverence for the letter of Scripture, made it the task of his life to combat the Origenistic and Arian theologies,—their doctrine of the Trinity and their Christology. Nemesius and Philostorgius have termed him the most important theologian of his age,308308According to Suidas, referring hack to Philostorgius, Athanasius seemed a child alongside of Apollinaris, Basil, and Gregory of Nazianzus. and that in fact he was. The most striking proof of his importance is supplied by the fact that many of his works create the impression of having been written in later centuries, so energetically has he thought out the Christological problem and overtaken the coming generations. His syllogistic-dialectic and his exegetic method is akin to that of the later Antiochians, and consequently the Fourth Century possessed in Marcellus, Eunomius, Apollinaris and the Antiochians a series of theologians, who, although not unacquainted with Plotinus and Origen, did not all the same adhere to the Origenistic, Neo-Platonic speculative views, theologians who were united by their employment of the same philosophico-theological method, but who nevertheless arrived at wholly different results.309309The fullest account of the Apollinarian Christology (after Walch) is that given by Dorner I., p. 985 ff. (but cf. now Dräseke). Since that account was written, however, thanks to the labours of Caspari (Alte and neue Quellen z. Gesch. des Taufsymbols, 1879) and Dräseke, a new and rich supply of material has been brought forward. These scholars have shewn that the Apollinarians have foisted (from about 400) writings by their master on recognised authorities, such as Gregor. Thaum., Athanasius, Felix of Rome, Julius of Rome, in order to accredit their theology. We still possess the greater part of these writings; see Caspari, Quellen, IV., p. 65 ff. (on the κατὰ μέρος πίστις); Dräseke in the Ztschr. f. K. Gesch. Vol. VI., VII., VIII., IX.; Jahrb. f. protest. Theol., IX., X., XIII., Ztschr f. wiss. Theol., XXVI., XXIX., XXX., collected together in the Monograph (Texte u. Unters. VII. 3, 4 by Loofs, Leontius von Byzanz, p. 92 ff.). The sources for Apollinaris previously known, i.e., the places where fragments are found, are besides Epiph., H. 77, Socrat., Sozom., the works of Athanasius (the genuineness of the work adv. Apoll. is disputed), of the Cappadocians, of Theodore and Theodoret.; see in addition the resolutions of Councils from 362 onwards, Mai, Script. Vet. nova Coll. T. VII. Spicil. X. 2 and catenas. Epiphanius treated Apollinaris in a friendly fashion, Athanasius corresponded with him, the Cappadocians at first revered him and always held him in high respect, while the Arian theologians extolled him as their ablest opponent. Cf. on this Vincent., Common. 15-20.151
Apollinaris in combating Arius and his changeable Christ, Χριστὸς τρεπτός, started by allowing that the assumption that in Christ the God-Logos who was equal in substance with God united Himself with a physically perfect man, necessarily led to the idea of two Sons of God, one natural and one adopted.310310Gregor. Antir. 42. According to Apollinaris two knowing and willing beings could not possibly be united in one being. Here we can see the Antiochian tradition which had come from Paul of Samosata: δύο τέλεια ἓν γένεσθαι οὐ δύναται. (So Apollinaris according to what purports to be the work of Athanasius against him, I. 2 Migne, Vol. 26, p. 1096.) A perfect God and a perfect man can never make a uniform being,311311Εἰ ἀνθρώπῳ τελείῳ συνήφθη Θεὸς τέλειος, δύο ἂν ἦσαν, εἷς μὲν φύσει υἱὸς Θεοῦ, εἷς δὲ θετός (Dräseke, Texte u. Unters. VII. 3, 4, p. 388). and in this he was in agreement with Paul of Samosata, Marcellus and the Arians. They constitute on the contrary a hybrid form, i.e., a fabulous Minotaur, a cross breed, etc. But if there is no such thing as a union between a perfect God and a perfect man, then, if these premises are valid, the idea of the incarnation of God which is the whole point in question, disappears. And further the unchangeableness and sinlessness of Christ disappears also, for changeableness and sin belong to the nature of the perfect man. We are, therefore, not to see in the Redeemer a perfect man, we are on the contrary to assume and believe that the Logos assumed human nature, namely, the animated σάρξ, but that He Himself became the principle of self-consciousness and self-determination (πνεῦμα) in this σάρξ. Freedom too is an attribute of the perfect man, but—this as against Origen—Christ cannot possibly have possessed this freedom; for the Godhead in Him would have destroyed it. God, however, destroys nothing He has created.312312There are three theses which Apollinaris everywhere attacks, and from these we can easily understand what his own theology is. He wishes to disown (1) the view that there are two Sons, (2) the idea that Christ was an ἄνθρωπος ἔνθεος, the view he attributed to Marcellus, since heathens and Jews could also believe in a Christ of this kind, (3) the view that Christ was a free and therefore a changeable being. He accordingly directs his attacks (1) against the Gnostic division of Christ and Jesus, (2) against Paul, Marcellus, and Photinus, (3) against Origen and Arius.
Apollinaris sought to prove his doctrine out of the central convictions of Greek piety, and at the same time to establish 152it by Biblical and speculative arguments. In a lying age he stated it with the most refreshing candour. Everything that Christ had done for us God must have done, otherwise it has no saving power: “The death of a man does not abolish death”—ἀνθρώπου θάνατος οὐ καταργεῖ τὸν θάνατον.313313Antir. 51. Everything that He did must be perfect else it avails us nothing. There is here thus absolutely no room for a human ego. This would do away with the redemption. If it had been present in Him, then Paul of Samosata would be right, and Christ would be merely an inspired man, ἄνθρωπος ἔνθεος; but such a being cannot give us any help; for if he had not essentially united humanity with Himself how could we expect to be filled with the divine nature? Further, if he had been a man he would have been subject to weaknesses, but we require an unchangeable spirit who raises us above weaknesses.314314Athan. adv. Apoll. I. 2: ὅπου τέλειος ἄνθρωπος, ἐκεῖ ἁμαρτία. It is just from the νοῦς; that sin springs. In addition Antir. 40, 51: Ἡ σὰρξ ἐδεῖτο ἀτρέπτου νοῦ, μὴ ὑποπίπτοντος αὐτῇ διὰ ἐπιστημοσύνης ἀσθένειαν, ἀλλὰ συναρμόζοντος αὐτὴν ἀβιάστως ἑαυτῷ . . . Οὐ δύναται σώζειν τὸν κόσμον ὁ ἄνθρωπος μὲν ὢν καὶ τῇ κοινῇ τῶν ἀνθρώπων φθορᾷ ὑποκείμενος. We must accordingly seriously accept the thought that in Christ the Godhead was not a force, but τὸ ὑποκείμενον. Antir. 39: Οὐ σώζεται τὸ ἀνθρώπινον γένος δι᾽ ἀναλήψεως νοῦ καὶ ὅλου ἀνθρώπου, ἀλλὰ διὰ προσλήψεως σαρκός. Apollinaris was conscious that he was the first to perceive what the incarnation of God meant. Therefore He must have assumed our nature in such a way that He made it the perfect organ of His Godhead and Himself became its νοῦς—the human nature of Christ “is not moved separately”—οὐ κινεῖται ἰδιαζόντως. But this is also the doctrine of Scripture. It says that the Logos became flesh, and by this is denoted the animated body, not the νοῦς. It does not say “He assumed a man”, but that “He was found as a man”—ὡς ἄνθρωπος. It teaches that He appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh—ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκὸς ἁμαρτίας, and was in the likeness or according to the likeness of men—ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων or καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν. It shews finally that there was in Him the most perfect unity of the human and the divine, so that it says of the humanity what holds good of the divinity and vice versa; God was born and died, and so on. At the same time, however, the Godhead is not to be thought of as capable of suffering. Owing to the intimate union with the σάρξ which was 153wholly and entirely its σάρξ, it shared in a complete fashion in the suffering, and the efficacy of redemption consists only in the fact that it did so share in it. And conversely the σάρξ is entirely taken up into the nature of the Logos. “The flesh therefore is divine, because it is united with God, and it indeed saves”—θεϊκὴ ἄρα σάρξ, ὅτι Θεῷ συνήφθη καὶ αὕτη μὲν σώζει.315315Apollinaris assumes the existence in Christ of what is indeed a composite nature, but which is nevertheless a nature possessing oneness. The μία φύσις τοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη is his formula (see the letter to the Emperor Jovian in Hahn, Symbole 2, § 120: ὁμολογοῦμεν . . . οὐ δύο φύσεις τὸν ἕνα υἱόν, μίαν προσκυνητὴν καὶ μίαν ἀπροσκύνητον, ἀλλὰ μίαν φύσιν τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένην καὶ προσκυνουμένην μετὰ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ μιᾷ προσκυνήσει.) He, besides, expressly teaches that the σαρκωθεὶς οὔκ ἐστιν ἕτερος παρὰ τὸν ἀσώματον; he demands a perfect ἀντιμεθίστασις τῶν ὀνομάτων and he here reasons again mainly from the standpoint of Greek religious feeling: Ἄλλης καὶ ἄλλης οὐσίας μίαν εἶναι καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν προσκύνησιν ἀθέμιτον, τουτέστιν ποιητοῦ καὶ ποιήματος, Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπου. Μία δὲ ἡ προσκύνησις τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ κατὰ τοῦτο ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ ὀνόματι νοεῖται Θεὸς καὶ ἄνθρωπος. Οὐκ ἄρα ἄλλη καὶ ἄλλη οὐσία Θεὸς καὶ ἄνθρωπος· ἀλλὰ μία κατὰ σύνθεσιν Θεοῦ πρὸς σῶμα ἀνθρώπινον, or ἀδύνατον τὸν αὐτὸν καὶ προσκυνητὸν ἑαυτὸν εἰδέναι καὶ μή. Ἀδύνατον ἄρα τὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι Θεόν τε καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἐξ ὁλοκλήρου, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν μονότητι συγκράτου φύσεως θεϊκῆς σεσαρκωμένης, see still other passages in Dorner I., p. 999 ff. The flesh must therefore be adored also; for it constitutes an inseparable part of the one substance: ἡ σὰρξ τοῦ κυρίου προσκυνεῖται καθὸ ἕν ἐστι πρόσωπον καὶ ἕν ζῶον μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ. Starting from this Apollinaris attempted to give his doctrine a speculative basis. This also rests on Scripture passages, but at the same time it refers back to a peculiar metaphysic. The attempt indeed to reach it was made long before his day, and it is uncertain how far he himself followed it out, since those who tell us about it had here an occasion for special pleading. Apollinaris starts from the Scriptural statement that Christ is the heavenly man, the second spiritual, heavenly Adam. (See also John III. 13.) Close upon this idea he, like Marcellus, puts in the more general idea of Aristotle that the divine is always related to the human as the moving to the moved.316316Mai VII., p. 70 (the letter of the Apollinarian Julian): Ἐκ κινητοῦ καὶ ἀκινήτου, ἐνεργητικοῦ τε καὶ παθητικοῦ, τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι μίαν οὐσίαν καὶ φύσιν σύνθετον, ἑνί τε καὶ μόνῳ κινουμένην θελήματι· καὶ μιᾷ ἐνεργείᾳ τά τε θαύματα πεποιηκέναι καὶ τὰ πάθη, μόνος καὶ πρῶτος ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν Ἀπολλινάριος ἐφθέγξατο, τὸ κεκρυμμένον πᾶσι καταφωτίσας μυστήπριον; see also l.c., p. 301, where Apollinaris himself has developed the thought of the one being (ἕν ζῶον) composed of the ruling moving principle of activity, and the σῶμα, the passive principle: σὰρξ, Θεοῦ σὰρξ γενομένη, ζῶόν ἐστι μετὰ ταῦτα συντεθεῖσα εἰς μίαν φύσιν. P. 73: Οὐδεμία διαίρεσις τοῦ λόγου καὶ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ ἐν θείαις φέρεται γραφαῖς· ἀλλ᾽ ἔστι μία φύσις, μία ὑπόστασις, μία ἐνέργεια. As such 154they stand opposed. This relation first reached perfect outward embodiment and manifestation in the word made flesh, the λόγος σαρκωθείς. But the Logos as “the mover” was from all eternity destined to become the λόγος σαρκωθείς. He has always been in mysterious fashion “mind incarnate”—νοῦς ἔνσαρκος, and “spirit made flesh”—πνεῦμα σαρκωθέν. Therefore He could be and had to be the λόγος σαρκωθείς, the Logos made flesh. He certainly did not bring His flesh with Him from heaven, but He is nevertheless the “heavenly man”; because it was intended that He should become flesh, His flesh is consubstantial with His Godhead; His Godhead comprised within it the future moment of the incarnation from all eternity, because only thus was it destined to be in the most perfect way the authoritative principle, the ἡγεμονικόν, of the creature. And just for this reason the historical incarnation which cannot be denied, is the direct opposite of anything like the accidental and arbitrary inspiration of a man. It is the realisation of an idea which always had its reality in the essence of the Logos, the heavenly man, the mediator (μεσότης) between God and humanity. After the incarnation too everything in this heavenly man is divine; for death could be overcome only if it was God who suffered and died. The human is purely the passive element only, the organ of the Godhead and the object of redemption.317317Apollinaris has not himself put in words those furthest reaches of his speculations in any of the numerous confessional formulæ of his which we possess. (See, e.g., the two Confessions in the κατὰ μέρος πίστις.) Much, too, of what is said by Gregory in his letters to Kledonius and by Gregory of Nyssa in the Antir. may be exaggerated, but as regards the main point Apollinaris’s own words prove that he really went the length of attributing the moment of the σάρξ in some form or other to the Logos in the pre-temporal existence. He conceived of the nature of the Logos as that of the mediator; it was only by so conceiving of it that the μία φύσις could get justice done to it, and he accordingly does not hesitate to take something from the Godhead itself, without detriment to its homousia. The essential characteristic of the πνεῦμα which the Logos is, consists in this, that it includes the idea of the mediator, i.e., the type of humanity. In this sense he could say: ἡ θεία σάρκωσις οὐ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀπὸ τῆς παρθένου ἔσχεν (Antir. 15), or (c. 13), προϋπάρχει ὁ ἄνθρωπος Χριστός, οὐχ ὡς ἐτέρου ὄντος παρ᾽ αὐτὸν τοῦ πνεύματος, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστι τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς τοῦ κυρίου ἐν τῇ τοῦ θεανθρώπου φύσει θείου πνεύματος ὄντος. The Logos was already man before He appeared on earth, since the statement holds good: αὐτὴν τοῦ υἱοῦ θεότητα ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἄνθρωπον εἶναι. This conception, however, which was not meant to take from the historical fact of the incarnation, but was intended, on the contrary, to make its reality certain, now led him further to the idea that neither is the Godhead present in the Logos, in its totality: οὐδεμία μεσότης ἑκατέρας ἔχει τὰς ἀκρότητας ἐξ ὁλοκλήρου, ἀλλὰ μερικῶς ἐπιμεμιγμένας. As the middle colour between black and white has not merely the white in it in an imperfect way, but also the black, as spring is half winter and half summer, as the mule is neither wholly horse nor wholly ass, so the mixture of divinity and humanity in the Logos, at least in the Logos as appearing on the earth, is of such a kind that neither element is entirely perfect: οὔτε ἄνθρωπος ὅλος οὔτε Θεός. How far the doctrine of Apollinaris did actually lead to this conclusion—and we have here a clear example of the imperfect way in which the Homousia was understood amongst the neo-orthodox of the East; how far his opponents, including not only the Gregories, but also Theodoret, H. F. IV. 8, were justified in asserting that his Trinity was composed of a great, a greater, and a greatest; how far he made use of the old traditional image of the sun and the sunbeam in order to build up on the basis of the Homousia a graduated Trinity, are points which still require to be thoroughly investigated in the light of the new material we now possess. But if his Christ actually was the middle being his opponents represent it to have been, one can only be astonished to observe how in the case of Apollinaris speculation regarding Christ has returned to the point it started from. For this Christ is actually the Pauline Christ, the heavenly spiritual being (ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ), who assumed the body, i.e., the flesh, neither ὁ Θεός nor man, but as God and as a man, who is nevertheless the mediator or reconciler between God and man because being without sin He has done away with sin and death in His body and consequently for humanity generally—the second Adam, the heavenly man. It cannot be doubted either but that Apollinaris formed his views chiefly on the New Testament; for he was above all an exegete—though unfortunately what is his in the numerous collections of passages, in those of Cramer pre-eminently, has up till now not been ascertained nor has any test been applied to find out what belongs to him—and he endeavoured to be true to the words of the Bible without applying the allegorical method of Origen, as his notable adherence to the primitive Christian eschatology, the reign of a thousand years, proves.155
This doctrine, estimated by the presuppositions and aims of the Greek conception of Christianity as religion, is complete. Apollinaris set forth in a way that cannot be surpassed, energetically developed and in numerous works untiringly repeated, with the pathos of the most genuine conviction, what at heart all pious Greeks believed and acknowledged. Every correction made on his Christology calls in question the basis or at least the vitality of Greek piety. Only this perfect unity of the person guarantees the redemption of the human race and its acquiring of a divine life. “Oh new creation and wondrous mingling. God and flesh produced one nature!” (ὦ καινὴ κτίσις καὶ μίξις θεσπεσία, Θεὸς καὶ σάρξ μίαν ἀπετέλεσαν φύσιν!) All else in the Redeemer is non-existent for faith. The assumption of a human separate personality 156in Christ does away with His power as Redeemer. Thousands before Apollinaris felt this and had a vague idea of its truth. He alone understood and preached it. He did not juggle with what was a matter of indifference to Faith or dangerous to Faith, but did away with it.318318The confessional formulæ of Apollinaris and his pupils emphasised as a rule only the homousia of the Logos, the assumption of flesh from Mary and the perfect unity (ἓν πρόσωπον καὶ μίαν τὴν προσκύνησιν τοῦ λόγου καὶ τῆς σαρκός). The somewhat long creed in the κ. μ. πίστις is the most instructive, see Caspari IV., p. 18, there too, p. 20, will be found the shorter one, and at p. 24 that of the Apollinarian Jobius. In the latter we have: ὁμολογῶ τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, ἐξ αἰῶνος μὲν ἄσαρκον Θεὸν λόγον, ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων δὲ αἰώνων σάρκα ἐξ ἁγίας παρθένου ἑνώσαντα ἑαυτῷ, εἶναι Θεὸν καὶ ἄνθρωπον, ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτόν, ὑπόστασιν μίαν σύνθετον καὶ πρόσωπον ἓν ἀδιαίρετον, μεσίτευον Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις καὶ συνάπτον τὰ διῃρημένα ποιήματα τῷ πεποιηκότι, ὁμοούσιον Θεῷ κατὰ τὴν ἐκ τῆς πατρικῆς οὐσίας ὑπάρχουσαν αὐτῷ θεότητα, καὶ ὁμοούσιον ἀνθρώποις κατὰ τὴν ἐκ τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως ἡνωμένην αὐτῷ σάρκα, προσκυνούμενον δὲ καὶ δοξαζόμενον μετὰ τῆς ἰδίας σαρκός· ὅτι δι᾽ αὐτῆς ἡμῖν γέγονεν λύτρωσις ἐκ θανάτου καὶ κοινωνία πρὸς τὸν ἀθάνατον· ἄκρως γὰρ ἡνωμένη ἡ σὰρκ τῷ λόγῳ καὶ μηδέποτε αὐτοῦ χωριζομένη, οὔκ ἐστιν ἀνθρώπου, οὐ δούλου, οὐ κτιστοῦ προσώπου, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγου, τοῦ δημιουργοῦ, τοῦ ὁμοουσίου τῷ Θεῷ, τουτέστιν τῇ ἀσωμάτῳ οὐσίᾳ τοῦ ἀρρήτπυ πατρός. It is difficult to say whether the long Creed printed by Caspari, p. 163 f., and which in its formalism bears a resemblance to the Athanasian, is Apollinarian or Monophysite.
But he perceived at the same time that that separate personality is present whenever a human νοῦς is attributed to Christ. This decided the matter so far as he was concerned. Christ possessed no human νοῦς. He was honest enough not to say anything more about the perfect humanity of Christ, but openly avowed that Christ was not a complete man.319319Apollinaris did not deny the homousia of Christ with humanity, but he conceived of it as a likeness in nature = ὁμοίωμα. The later Apollinarians even emphasised the homousia, but they were thinking of a body and the ψυχὴ σαρκική. The fact that Apollinaris, when called on to decide between the interests of the Faith and the claims of tradition, unhesitatingly decided in favour of the former, is fitted to call forth our admiration, and is a clear proof of the great bishop’s piety and love of truth.
But the very frankness of his language reminded the Church that the Gospel and partly tradition also demand a complete human nature for Christ. Even before the appearance of Apollinaris the conflict with Arius had, from about the year 351, taken a turn which made it as necessary to emphasise the complete human nature of the incarnate one as to reject the 157thought of a transformation of the Logos into flesh or of a depotentiation. The Christological question became involved with the Trinitarian, and the latter was illustrated by the aid of the former. The full humanity was supposed to prove the full Godhead ex analogia; it had been reached in the struggle against Gnosis, and it was required in order to explain the Gospel accounts which otherwise cast a shadow on the Godhead of the Redeemer. Accordingly the complete humanity of Christ was first expressly asserted at the Council of Alexandria in 362 and, in fact, in opposition320320See Dräseke, Texte and linters. VIII. 3. 4., p. 28 f. to the views of Apollinaris.321321Athan. Tom. ad. Antioch. 7. He first establishes the truth that the Word of God did not come in Christ to a holy man as it came to the prophets, on the contrary: αὐτὸς ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο, καὶ ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων ἔλαβε δούλου μορφήν, ἔκ τε τῆς Μαρίας τὸ κατὰ σάρκα γεγένηται ἄνθρωπος δι᾽ ἡμᾶς, καὶ οὕτω τελείως καὶ ὁλοκλήρως τὸ ἀνθρώπινον γένος ἐλευθερούμενον ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ζωοποιούμενον ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰσάγεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν. Then it is further said: ὡμολόγουν γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο, ὅτι οὐ σῶμα ἄψυχον οὐδ᾽ ἀναίσθητον οὐδ᾽ ἀνόητον εἶχεν ὁ σωτήρ, οὐδὲ γὰρ οἷόν τε ἦν, τοῦ κυρίου δι᾽ ἡμᾶς ἀνθρώπου γενομένου, ἀνόητον εἶναι τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ, οὐδὲ σώματος μόνου, ἀλλὰ καὶ ψυχῆς ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ λόγῳ σωτηρία γέγονεν. Finally, however, the identity of the Son of God and the Son of man is strongly emphasised. It was the same person who asked about Lazarus and who raised him from the dead. He asked ἀνθρωπίνως, He raised from the dead θεϊκῶς. The great literary activity of the bishop who was equally distinguished as exegete and apologist and as a systematic theologian, and who gathered around him a band of enthusiastic pupils, falls within the sixties.322322In the way in which it kept firmly together, in its veneration for the master, in its activity and vivacity and finally in the efforts made by the members of it to carry their point in the Church, the school of Apollinaris reminds us of the school of Lucian. Like the latter it was chiefly an exegetical school, and at the same time like it it was a school for theologico-philosophical method after the manner of the Aristotelian dialectic. Such conditions always give rise to a peculiar arrogance and to a confident feeling of superiority to everybody else. “It was our father Apollinaris who first and who alone uttered and put in a clear light the mystery which had been hidden from all—namely, that Christ became one being out of the moving and the immovable”: it is thus that one Apollinarian writes to another and in so doing shews that the real interest of the school was in the methodical and the formal. The fact that afterwards falsification was carried to such an extraordinary extent in the school is a sign that the Epigoni aspired to secure power at all costs. With the beginning of the seventieth year of the century the Cappadocians came forward in opposition to their old master, shewed now their unconcealed 158indignation and sought to cast suspicion on his doctrine of the Trinity also. Apollinaris accordingly retorted by treating them as they treated him. How far Athanasius himself was mixed up with the controversy is a point which is still uncertain. Apollinaris separated from the Church about the year 375. Soon after he consecrated Vitalius bishop of Antioch.323323Sozom. H. E. VI. 25; Epiph. H. 67. 21, 23-25; Gregor. Naz., ep. ad Cledon. II. 2; Basil, ep. 265, 2. On him see Dräseke, Ges. patrist. Abbandl. (1889), p. 78 ff. It was the West led by Bishop Damasus which hastened to the assistance of the orthodoxy of the East held in fetters under Valens, and which at the Roman Council of 377 condemned Apollinarianism.324324See the fragment “Illud sane miramur”, Rade, p. 113 f., Mansi III., p. 461; see also the fragment “Ea gratia”, Mansi III., p. 460. It could do this with a good conscience since it had always understood the “filius hominis” in the thesis in the full extent of the term and had had no difficulties about the unity. Basil had been the denouncer of the Apollinarian heresy (Ep. 263). The Council of Antioch of 379 sided with the Romans, and that held at Constantinople in 381 in its first canon expressly condemned the heresy of the Apollinarians. The anathemas of Damasus which belong perhaps to the year 381, condemn (No. 7) “those who say that the Word of God dwelt in human flesh in place of the rational and intellectual soul of man, since the Son Himself is the Word of God and was not in His body in place of a rational and intellectual soul, but assumed and saved our soul, i.e., a rational and intellectual soul without sin,” (“eos, qui pro hominis anima rationabili et intelligibili dicunt dei verbum in humana carne versatum, quum ipse filius sit verbum dei et non pro anima rationabili et intelligibili in suo corpore fuerit, sed nostram id est rationabilem et intelligibilem sine peccato animam susceperit atque salvaverit.”325325See Hahn, op. cit., p. 200. Before this those are condemned on the other hand “who assert the existence of two sons, one before time and another after the assumption of flesh from the Virgin”—“qui duos filios asserunt, unum ante sæcula et alterum post assumptionem carnis ex virgine”—With all the zeal of a fanatic who had nevertheless not made the matter his own, Damasus, under the guidance of Jerome, soon 159after the year 382, once more took up the question and warned the Church against the doctrine of Apollinaris and his pupil Timothy: “Christ the Son of God by His passion brought the most complete redemption to the human race in order to free from all sin the whole man who lies in sin. If therefore anyone says something was wanting either in the humanity or divinity of Christ, he is filled with the spirit of the devil and proves himself to be a son of hell.326326See the fragment “Illud sane miramur”: “If an imperfect man was assumed then the gift of God is imperfect, because the whole man has not been redeemed.” Why therefore do you once more demand of me the condemnation of Timothy? He has already been deposed here by the sentence of the Apostolic chair, Bishop Peter of Alexandria being also present at the time, together with his teacher Apollinaris, and must await on the day of judgment the chastisement and punishment due to his sin.”327327Theodoret, H. E. V. 10. Apollinaris was condemned. One after another the representatives of the non-Alexandrian theology, Paul, Marcellus, Photinus, Apollinaris were cut off from the Church. The Antiochians will follow them, but the turn of Origen and his pupils is also to come; the Cappadocians only will be saved “so as by fire.”
The homousia or the identity in nature,—for both words were used,—of the humanity of the Redeemer and humanity, was thus acknowledged. And as a matter of fact many and important arguments could be alleged in support of it. One has to make use of the most desperate exegesis in order to banish it from the Synoptics. And further Christ redeemed only what He assumed; if He did not assume a human soul then the latter has not been redeemed, and this appeared a very obvious argument. Finally, it was only by the assumption of the completeness of the human nature in Christ that His divinity seemed to be secured against sinking down into the region of human feelings and suffering. But what signified these advantages if the unity was insecure? And Apollinaris was perfectly right: it was insecure. His opponents, the Cappadocians, might indeed be able to refute him as regards separate points,328328See several letters of Basil, the two letters of Gregory of Nazianzus to Kledonius and his ep. ad. Nectar. sive Orat. 46, also the Antirrhet. of Gregory of Nyssa and his work ad Theophil. They enter upon an examination of the Scripture proofs of Apollinaris and also of his argument that the Logos could not have assumed a rational, free nature, since in this case he must necessarily have destroyed freedom, which is not, however, the Creator’s way of doing: φθορὰ τοῦ αὐτεξουσίου ζώου τὸ μὴ εἶναι αὐτεξούσιον· οὐ φθείρεται δὲ ἡ φύσις ὑπὸ τοῦ ποιήσαντος αὐτὴν· οὐκ ἄρα ἑνοῦται ὁ ἀνθρωπος Θεῷ (Antirrh. 45). Gregory’s remarks on this are extremely weak. The only striking thing is to be found in the detailed arguments in which it is shewn that the picture of the Christ of the Gospels includes a human soul; for it was neither the God-Logos nor the irrational flesh which was sad, which trembled, feared, etc., but the human spirit; see also Athan. c. Apoll. I., 16-18. but they 160could not escape from the reproach he brought against them that they reduced the doctrine to the idea of an inspired man. In proportion, however, as they sought to escape it, their assertion of the completeness of the human nature in Christ became a mere assertion. Their long-winded, obscure, and hazy deductions made in truth a miserable appearance alongside of the unambiguous, coherent, and frank avowals of their opponent. There are two natures,329329The definite formula “δύο φύσεις” without some qualifying clause is rarely met with in the East before the time of the great Antiochians, though it is otherwise in the West. But expressions such as that of Eusebius, H. E. I. 2, 1, are, however, frequent: Διττοῦ ὄντος τοῦ κατ᾽ αὐτὸν τρόπου, καὶ τοῦ μὲν σώματος ἐοικότος κεφαλῇ ᾗ Θεὸς ἐπινοεῖται, τοῦ δὲ ποσὶ παραβαλλομένου, ᾗ τὸν ἐν ἡμῖν ἄνθρωπον ὁμοιοπαθῆ τῆς ἡμῶν αὐτῶν ἕνεκεν ὑπέδυ σωτηρίας, γένοιτ᾽ ἂν ἡμῖν, etc. The Arian theologians always reproached the orthodox with teaching the doctrine of δύο φύσεις. but yet there is only one; there are not two Sons, but the divinity effects one thing, the humanity another; Christ possessed human freedom, and nevertheless He acted within the limits of divine necessity. On the other hand, the whole position of the later Monophysites, thought out to all its conceivable conclusions, is already to be found in Apollinaris; but his opponents had not yet at their command a fixed terminology whereby to preserve the contradiction and to protect it against disintegration. At bottom their views were the same as those of Apollinaris, they did not think of two strictly separate natures; but they were unwilling to give up the perfect human nature, and they had learned too much from Origen to sacrifice the thought of freedom to the constitution of the God-man.330330It is unnecessary to give any summary of the numerous different forms in which the Cappadocians set forth their view as against Apollinaris (see Ullmann, Gregor. v. Naz., p. 276 ff.; Dorner I., pp. 1035 f., 1075 f.; Schwane II., pp. 366-390), for what they wish and do not get at—the unity, namely—is obvious, while their terminology on the other hand is still uncertain. At this time expressions and images of the most varied kind were in use (δύο φύσεις, δύο οὐσίαι, μία φύσις, σάρκωσις, ἐνανθρώπησις, θεάνθρωπος, ἕνωσις οὐσιώδης, ἕνωσις φυσική, ἕνωσις κατὰ μετουσίαν, σύγκρασις, μιξις, συνάφεια, μετουσία, ἐνοίκησις, the humanity of Christ was described as καταπέτασμα or παραπέτασμα as ναός, as οἶκος, as ἱμάτιον, as ὄργανον. In the writings of the Cappadocians most of these terms are still found side by side; the only idea which is definitely rejected is that of the change into flesh whether by kenosis or by actual transmutation. The unchangeable; the divinity, remains unchangeable; it merely takes to itself what it did not possess. How the unlimited united with the limited is just the point which is left obscure. We might imagine we were listening to a teacher of the period before Irenæus when we hear Gregory of Nazianzus say that the unlimited dealt with us through the medium of the flesh as through a curtain, because we were not capable of enduring His pure Godhead (Orat. 39, 13, similarly Athanasius). He also teaches that Christ by assuming humanity did not become two out of one (masc.), but out of two became one (neut.). We can imagine it is Apollinaris who is speaking when he further declares that God is both, the one who assumes and what is assumed, and uses the word σύγκρασις in this connection (Orat. 37. 2, this word is frequently met in Methodius). This thought is expressed in an almost stronger form in Orat. 38. 13 (see Orat. 29. 19): “Christ is one out of the two opposite things, out of flesh and spirit, of which the one deifies while the other was deified, ὢ τῆς καινῆς μίξεως, ὢ τῆς παραδόξου κράσεως! The eternally existing comes into being, the uncreated is created, the unlimited limits itself, since—and now the thought takes an Origenistic turn—the rational soul is the means whereby a union is brought about between the Godhead and the gross flesh.” As if it were possible to stop short at this function of the human soul, as if the human soul did not include the free will regarding which Gregory here maintains a prudent silence. On the other hand, however, Gregory maintains in opposition to Apollinaris that “there are undoubtedly two natures, God and man; soul and body are also in Him, but there are not two Sons or Gods, since there are not two men in one, because Paul speaks of an inner and an outer man”—this argument is specially weak since it is just the argument which Apollinaris could make use of. “To put it in a word: He is one and again He is another, in so far as He is Saviour, but He is not one person and again another person—God forbid. For both exist in the union which has been accomplished since God is made human and man is made divine, or however it may be expressed” (Ep. ad. Cledon. I.). Gregory as a pupil of Origen sees no difficulty in putting two different substances together into one. But neither does he follow the Chalcedonian Creed since with him it was not a question of a union of divinity and humanity in a third, but a question of fusion, and this spite of the δύο φύσεις. In their struggle with Apollinaris the Cappadocians nowhere intentionally arrived at the line of thought followed by the school of Antioch at a later time, though, what is very rare, a formula here and there has an Antiochian appearance. They are at bottom Monophysites, although they were the first to make the ominous “two natures” of Origen fit for church use. It was only because they were compelled that they trouble themselves about the question of freedom in Christ, and the thought once occurred to Gregory of Nyssa (Antir. 48) that Christ would not have possessed any ἀρετή if He had been without αὐτεξούσιον. What most strongly impressed the Christian world in general was certainly the view that Christ had to give His body as a ransom for our body, His soul for our soul, His spirit for our spirit. There was undoubtedly some real justification for this thought since Apollinaris, or his pupils, seem to have carried their Paulinism so far (for so at least it would appear from some undoubtedly uncertain indications in the work of Athan. adv. Apollo, sec. I., 2 sq., II. 11) as to assert that Christ had only done away with the sin and death belonging to the flesh and thus renewed the flesh, but that the purification of the spirit was something which each individual had to carry out for himself by the imitation of Christ on the basis of that purification; in this sense redemption was not yet perfect. Σαρκὸς μὲν καινότητα Χριστὸς ἐπιδέδεικται καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν, τοῦ δὲ φρονοῦντος ἐν ἡμῖν τῆν καινότητα διὰ μιμήσεως καὶ ὁμοιώσεως καὶ ἀποχῆς τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἕκαστος ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐπιδείκνυται (I. 2) or τῇ ὁμοιώσει καὶ τῇ μιμήσει σώζεσθαι τοὺς πιστεύοντας καὶ οὐ τῇ ἀνακαινίσει (II. 11). In opposition to this thesis, which probably really originated with Apollinaris since it is in harmony with the traditions of the school of Antioch, his opponents had certainly good reason for emphasising the full extent of the work of Christ if the whole structure of the faith of that time were not to be rendered insecure. Kenotic statements such as we meet with in Hilary are, so far as I know, not to be found in the writings of the Cappadocians. 161Probably an historical and biblical element had a share in turning them against Apollinaris, the thought of the man Jesus as he is presented in the Gospels, this, however, not as something which had a well-understood religious value, but as a part of the tradition of the schools and as a relic of antiquity. None of the religious thoughts current at that time led to the idea of a “perfect man” with a free will, i.e., as an individual. 162The idea that the human vows cannot have been saved if Christ did not assume it too, was one which they themselves could not honestly believe in, for they stripped His humanity of the principle of individuality and of more than that. In Apollinaris, on the contrary, it was really the sovereignty of faith which supplied him with his doctrine. He merely completed the work of Athanasius inasmuch as he added to it the Christology which was demanded by the Homousia of the Logos. They both made a supreme sacrifice to their faith in that they took from the complicated and contradictory tradition regarding Christ those elements only which were in harmony with the belief that He was the Redeemer from sin and death. They neglected everything else: λόγος ὁμοούσιος ἐν σαρκί, (μία φύσις σύνθετος)—the co-substantial Logos in the flesh, (one composite nature)—was the watchword of Apollinaris, in the sense of a perfectly uniform being. This Apollinarianism dressed in orthodox garb exercised the strongest possible influence upon Church doctrine in the Fifth Century. The Church, however, rejected this particular 163form of unity and maintained the idea of “the perfect man”, “the perfect humanity” in the unity. The Church knew what it wanted to do—to unite contradictions; there were not to be two sons, but two natures; not two natures, but one substance; though it certainly did not know how this was to be conceived of. Nor did it know how the contradiction was to be expressed. But while it thus loaded its own faith with a heavy burden and thereby weakened its power, by preserving the thought of the perfect humanity of Christ, it did an inestimable service to later generations. And there was further one good result which even those times got the benefit of. The Gnostic speculations regarding the heavenly origin of the flesh of Christ, the transformation of God into a man, and such like, were now forbidden, or at least were rendered excessively difficult.164
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