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Chapter XVIII.—Regarding the things said concerning Christ.
The things said concerning Christ fall into four generic modes. For some fit Him even before the incarnation, others in the union, others after the union, and others after the resurrection. Also of those that refer to the period before the incarnation there are six modes: for some of them declare the union of nature and the identity in essence with the Father, as this, I and My Father are one25352535 St. John x. 30.: also this, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father25362536 Ibid. xiv. 9.: and this, Who being in the form of God25372537 Phil. ii. 6., and so forth. Others declare the perfection of subsistence, as these, Son of God, and the Express Image of His person25382538 Heb. i. 3., and Messenger of great counsel, Wonderful Counsellor25392539 Is. ix. 6., and the like.
Again, others declare the indwelling25402540 περιχώρησις. of the subsistences in one another, as, I am in the Father and the Father in Me25412541 St. John xiv. 10.; and the inseparable foundation25422542 τὴν ἀνεκφοίτητον ἵδρυσιν., as, for instance, the Word, Wisdom, Power, Effulgence. For the word is inseparably established in the mind (and it is the essential mind that I mean), and so also is wisdom, and power in him that is powerful, and effulgence in the light, all springing forth from these25432543 Cyril, Thes., bk. xxxiv., p. 341..
And others make known the fact of His origin from the Father as cause, for instance My Father is greater than I25442544 St. John xiv. 28.. For from Him He derives both His being and all that He has25452545 Greg. Naz., Orat. 36, and other Greeks.: His being was by generative and not by creative means, as, I came forth from the Father and am come25462546 St. John xvi. 28., and I live by the Father25472547 Ibid. vi. 57.. But all that He hath is not His by free gift or by teaching, but in a causal sense, as, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do25482548 Ibid. v. 19.. For if the Father is not, neither is the Son. For the Son is of the Father and in the Father and with the Father, and not after25492549 Text, μετά. Various reading, κατά. the Father. In like manner also what He doeth is of Him and with Him. For there is one and the same, not similar but the same, will and energy and power in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Moreover, other things are said as though the Father’s good-will was fulfilled25502550 Text, πληρούμενα. Variant, πληρουμένης. through His energy, and not as through an instrument or a servant, but as through His essential and hypostatic Word and Wisdom and Power, because but one action25512551 κίνησιν, motion. is observed in Father and Son, as for example, All things were made by Him25522552 St. John xi. 42., and He sent His Word and healed them25532553 Ps. cvii. 20., and That they may believe that Thou hast sent Me25542554 St. John xvii. 2..
Some, again, have a prophetic sense, and of these some are in the future tense: for instance, He shall come openly25552555 Ps. l. 3., and this from Zechariah, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee25562556 Zech. ix. 9., and this from Micah, Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth25572557 Mic. i. 3.. But others, though future, are put in the past tense, as, for instance, This is our God: Therefore He was seen upon the earth and dwelt among men25582558 Bar. iii. 38., and The Lord created me in the beginning of His ways for His works25592559 Prov. viii. 22., and Wherefore God, thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows25602560 Ps. xlv. 7., and such like.
The things said, then, that refer to the period before the union will be applicable to Him even after the union: but those that refer to the period after the union will not be applicable at all before the union, unless indeed in a prophetic sense, as we said. Those that refer to the time of the union have three modes. For when our discourse deals with the higher aspect, we speak of the deification of the flesh, and His assumption of the Word and exceeding exaltation, and so forth, making manifest the riches that are added to the flesh from the union and natural conjunction with the most high God the Word. And when our discourse deals with the lower aspect, we speak of the incarnation of God the Word, His becoming man, His emptying of Himself, His poverty, His humility. For these and such like are imposed upon the Word and 91bGod through His admixture with humanity. When again we keep both sides in view at the same time, we speak of union, community, anointing, natural conjunction, conformation and the like. The former two modes, then, have their reason in this third mode. For through the union it is made clear what either has obtained from the intimate junction with and permeation through the other. For through the union25612561 Greg. Naz., Orat. 39. in subsistence the flesh is said to be deified and to become God and to be equally God with the Word; and God the Word is said to be made flesh, and to become man, and is called creature and last25622562 Is. xlviii. 12.: not in the sense that the two natures are converted into one compound nature (for it is not possible for the opposite natural qualities to exist at the same time in one nature)25632563 Supr. bk. iii., ch. 2., but in the sense that the two natures are united in subsistence and permeate one another without confusion or transmutation. The permeation25642564 Or, inhabitation, mutual indwelling. moreover did not come of the flesh but of the divinity: for it is impossible that the flesh should permeate through the divinity: but the divine nature once permeating through the flesh gave also to the flesh the same ineffable power of permeation25652565 περιχωροῦσα.; and this indeed is what we call union.
Note, too, that in the case of the first and second modes of those that belong to the period of the union, reciprocation is observed. For when we speak about the flesh, we use the terms deification and assumption of the Word and exceeding exaltation and anointing. For these are derived from divinity, but are observed in connection with the flesh. And when we speak about the Word, we use the terms emptying, incarnation, becoming man, humility and the like: and these, as we said, are imposed on the Word and God through the flesh. For He endured these things in person of His own free-will.
Of the things that refer to the period after the union there are three modes. The first declares His divine nature, as, I am in the Father and the Father in Me25662566 St. John xiv. 1., and I and the Father are one25672567 Ibid. x. 30.: and all those things which are affirmed of Him before His assumption of humanity, these will be affirmed of Him even after His assumption of humanity, with this exception, that He did not assume the flesh and its natural properties.
The second declares His human nature, as, Now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth25682568 Ibid. vii. 19; viii. 40., and Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up25692569 Ibid. iii. 14., and the like.
Further, of the statements made and written about Christ the Saviour after the manner of men, whether they deal with sayings or actions, there are six modes. For some of them were done or said naturally in accordance with the incarnation; for instance, His birth from a virgin, His growth and progress with age, His hunger, thirst, weariness, fear, sleep, piercing with nails, death and all such like natural and innocent passions25702570 Vide supr., bk. iii., ch. 21, 22, 23.. For in all these there is a mixture of the divine and human, although they are held to belong in reality to the body, the divine suffering none of these, but procuring through them our salvation.
Others are of the nature of ascription25712571 προσποίησις, feigning., as Christ’s question, Where have ye laid Lazarus25722572 St. John. xi. 34.? His running to the fig-tree, His shrinking, that is, His drawing back, His praying, and His making as though He would have gone further25732573 St. Luke xxiv. 28. For neither as God nor as man was He in need of these or similar things, but only because His form was that of a man as necessity and expediency demanded25742574 Greg. Naz., Orat. 36.. For example, the praying was to shew that He is not opposed to God, for He gives honour to the Father as the cause of Himself25752575 Supr. bk. iii. 24.: and the question was not put in ignorance but to shew that He is in truth man as well as God25762576 Text, μετὰ τοῦ εἶναι Θεός. Variant, μεῖναι.; and the drawing back is to teach us not to be impetuous nor to give ourselves up.
Others again are said in the manner of association and relation25772577 οἰκείωσις καὶ ἀναφορά., as, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me25782578 St. Matt. xxvii. 46.? and He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin25792579 2 Cor. v. 21., and being made a curse for us25802580 Gal. iii. 13.; also, Then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him25812581 1 Cor. xv. 28. For neither as God nor as man25822582 Greg. Naz., Orat. 36. was He ever forsaken by the Father, nor did He become sin or a curse, nor did He require to be made subject to the Father. For as God He is equal to the Father and not opposed to Him nor subjected to Him; and as God, He was never at any time disobedient to His Begetter to make it necessary for Him to make Him subject25832583 Ibid.. Appropriating, then, our person and ranking Himself with us, He used these words. For we are bound in the fetters of sin and the curse as faithless and disobedient, and therefore forsaken.
Others are said by reason of distinction in thought. For if you divide in thought things that are inseparable in actual truth, to cut the flesh from the Word, the terms 92b ‘servant’ and ‘ignorant’ are used of Him, for indeed He was of a subject and ignorant nature, and except that it was united with God the Word, His flesh was servile and ignorant25842584 Supr., bk. iii. ch. 21.. But because of the union in subsistence with God the Word it was neither servile nor ignorant. In this way, too, He called the Father His God.
Others again are for the purpose of revealing Him to us and strengthening our faith, as, And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was25852585 St. John. xvii. 5.. For He Himself was glorified and is glorified, but His glory was not manifested nor confirmed to us. Also that which the apostle said, Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead25862586 Rom. i. 4.. For by the miracles and the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit it was manifested and confirmed to the world that He is the Son of God25872587 Chrysost., Hom. 1 in Epist. ad Rom., and others.. And this too25882588 St. Luke ii. 40., The Child grew in wisdom and grace25892589 Text, χάριτι. Reg 1, συνέθει..
Others again have reference to His appropriation of the personal life of the Jews, in numbering Himself among the Jews, as He saith to the Samaritan woman, Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship, far salvation is of the Jews25902590 St. John. iv. 22..
The third mode is one which declares the one subsistence and brings out the dual nature: for instance, And I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me25912591 Ibid. xvi. 10.. And this: I go to My Father and ye see Me no more25922592 Ibid. And this: They would not have crucified the Lord of Glory25932593 1 Cor. ii. 8.. And this: And no man hath ascended up to heaven but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven25942594 St. John. iii. 13., and such like.
Again of the affirmations that refer to the period after the resurrection some are suitable to God, as, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost25952595 St. Matt. xxviii. 19., for here ‘Son’ is clearly used as God; also this, And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world25962596 Ibid. 20., and other similar ones. For He is with us as God. Others are suitable to man, as, They held Him by the feet25972597 Ibid. 9., and There they will see Me25982598 Ibid. 10., and so forth.
Further, of those referring to the period after the Resurrection that are suitable to man there are different modes. For some did actually take place, yet not according to nature25992599 κατὰ θύσιν, but according to dispensation, in order to confirm the fact that the very body, which suffered, rose again; such are the weals, the eating and the drinking after the resurrection. Others took place actually and naturally, as changing from place to place without trouble and passing in through closed gates. Others have the character of simulation26002600 κατὰ προσποίησιν, as, He made as though He would have gone further26012601 St. Luke xxiv. 28.. Others are appropriate to the double nature, as, I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and My God and your God26022602 St. John xx. 17., and The King of Glory shall come in26032603 Ps. xxiv. 7., and He sat down on the right hand of the majesty on High26042604 Heb. i. 3.. Finally others are to be understood as though He were ranking Himself with us, in the manner of separation in pure thought, as, My God and your God26052605 St. John xx. 17..
Those then that are sublime must be assigned to the divine nature, which is superior to passion and body: and those that are humble must be ascribed to the human nature; and those that are common must be attributed to the compound, that is, the one Christ, Who is God and man. And it should be understood that both belong to one and the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. For if we know what is proper to each, and perceive that both are performed by one and the same, we shall have the true faith and shall not go astray. And from all these the difference between the united natures is recognised, and the fact26062606 Epist. apologetica ad Acacium Melitinæ Episcopum. that, as the most godly Cyril says, they are not identical in the natural quality of their divinity and humanity. But yet there is but one Son and Christ and Lord: and as He is one, He has also but one person, the unity in subsistence being in nowise broken up into parts by the recognition of the difference of the natures.
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