VII. The Orthodox Protestant Christology : The churches of the Reformation (Lutheran, Anglican, and Calvinistic) adopted in their confessions of faith, either is form or in substance, the three ecumenical creeds, and with them the ancient Catholic doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ's divine-human character and work. They condemned the old and new Antitrinitarians, and the peculiar doctrine of the Socinians-that Christ was raised by his own merit to a participation in the divine honor and dignity. The Unitarians, like the Anabaptists, were everywhere (except
in Poland and Transylvania) imprisoned, exiled, or executed; and the unfortunate Servetus was burned as a heretic under the eyes of Calvin and with the approval of the mild Bullinger and Melanchthon. The following are the relevant passages from the principal Protestant confessions.
The Augsburg Confession of the Lutheran Church (1530), Art. iii. (De Filio Dei ):
"The Word, that is, the Bon of God, took unto him man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably joined together in unity of person; one Christ, true God and true man: who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried."
The Second Helvetic Confession , by Bullinger (1566), chap. xi.:
"There are in one and the same Jesus Christ our Lord, two natures, the divine and the human nature; and we say that these two are so conjoined or united that they are not swallowed up, confounded, or mingled together, but rather united or joined together in one person, the properties of each nature being safe and remaining still: so that we do worship one Christ our Lord, and not two; I say, one, true, God and man; as touching his divine nature, of the same substance with the Father, and as touching his human nature, of the same substance with us, and ' like unto us in all things, sin only excepted.’”
The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, Art. ii.:
" The Bon, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and fiery man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried."
The Westminster Confession, chap. viii., § 2:
"The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did when the fulness of time was come, take upon him man's nature with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin, being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance: so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the Manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and men."
The Westminster Shorter Catechism, which is famous for clear and terse definitions, says (Qu. xxi.):
" The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the eternal Bon of God, became man, and so was, and oontinueth to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever."