THE ATTEMPT TO MAKE MONOPHYSITISM SUPREME; AND THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, A.D. 451.
Ctbill had only entered into the compact with the school of Antioch in 432, on the one hand, because he found it unnecessary to sacrifice his own view of one nature after the incarnation, and, on the other hand, because, by securing the general condemnation of Nestorius, he supposed himself to have got an earnest of the condemnation of Nestorianism and of the Antiocheians. This is evident from the fact that he did not then keep quiet, but made preparations for employing the
1 Jerome rendered still less service to Christology than even Augustine. His reply to Porphyry's charge of vacillation with respect to John vii. 8 ell. 10 is as follows:—" Porphyry speaks thus: Nesciens omnia scandala ad carnem esse referenda" (caro is unquestionably equivalent to, state of accomodatio,—regarding which he had come into conflict with Augustine on account of Gal. ii. 11 ff.; Cf. Dialog, c. Pelag. i. 8, ii. 6, iii. 1).
position he had gained as a basis of operations to secure to his doctrine concerning the Person of Christ authoritative recognition in the Church. His further literary efforts against Theodore and others were devoted to this purpose (Note 18); but, ere his object could be attained, he was overtaken by death in the year 444.
His successor was Dioscurus, who trod in his footsteps. With the passionate zeal that characterized him, this man might well hope to accomplish the purpose for which his predecessor had laboured—to wit, the suppression of the already modified doctrine of the school of Antioch, and the establishment of the supremacy of the Alexandrian, especially as the close ties between the monks of Egypt and Syria had, in the course of time, been more and more firmly knit, and the Alexandrian type of doctrine had made allies not only of them, but even of the abbots and monks in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. By the condemnation of Nestorius without any formal statement of what Nestorianism was, and without accepting the doctrine of Cyrill, the whole question in dispute had been brought into a false position, and the knot only more firmly tied. To both parties, reconciled as they were merely in appearance, the position must have been an unpleasant one. The party of Dioscurus had gained nothing so long as under Theodore's name the doctrine of Nestorius could be propagated without hindrance, and that in a still more precise form. It felt that it must lose even the little it had already gained, unless it gained something more. The other party, however, was under a still more urgent necessity of securing for itself a more favourable position,—if it were not prepared, sooner or later, to submit to the conclusion, evidently justly drawn by Cyrill, that unless it had merely pretended to join in the condemnation of Nestorius, it must of necessity concur in Cyrill's condemnation of Nestorianism. The consequence thereof would have been a denial, on their part, of the duality of natures in Christ, taught by Nestorius (he had never taught that there were two persons), and the affirmation of the unity of nature, taught by Cyrill. In order to escape, once for all, from such a demand, and to avoid giving in their adherence to Monophysitism, only one course remained open to them, namely, to bring about supplementarily, or even under another name, the condemnation of the doctrine of Cyrill.
Cyrill's efforts against Theodore having come to nought, and the Emperor being resolved not to favour a further advance of the Alexandrian doctrines, the situation seemed to present a favourable opportunity of making good the blow which had fallen on Nestorius by a counter-blow against the doctrine of Cyrill, and consequently of bringing the matter, as far as possible, back to the point at which it stood prior to the Council of Ephesus. This result was in part attained at the Synod of Chalcedon. All that that Council really did, was to decide on two negations—the negation of the unity of nature, and that of the duality of persons. Now, as Nestorianism had never really meant to assert the duality of the persons, it was less affected by this decision than the doctrine of Cyrill, who actually had taught the unity of nature. But let us now pass to the preliminary history of the Council of Chalcedon.
In 448 Theodoret published his book entitled "The Beggar" (ipavurrrji), or 7roXu/xop<£o?; which was a decided challenge to the entire party of Cyrill, especially to the monks, to whom even the title of the work may possibly be a satirical allusion. By this challenge he aimed at rendering it impossible for the Church to sanction the doctrine of Monophysitism. He showed that it must end in representing God as subject to suffering and change, in introducing a confusion of the divine and human, —all which threatens to corrupt the purity of the Christian conception of God with heathenish (pantheistic) elements. These arguments, which had long been the standing ones employed against Cyrill, he did not expressly direct against Cyrill, but (and not without adroitness) against Apollinaris and the revivers of his error, whom he styled Synousiasts (ain>ovaiaarrj<;) because they held that the divine and human essence coalesced in one. This mode of procedure was unjust, in so far as Cyrill and his party had also reprobated both the Apollinarian denial of the human soul of Christ, and the opinion that He had a veritable human nature even in eternity.1 Still Theodoret was not so completely unjust as some seem to suppose. For Apollinaris also had taught that there was fiia <f>vai<;; understanding thereby, undoubtedly, quite as much the essential oneness of the divine and human, as the unity of the person. Cyrill, on the contrary, had deemed it necessary in thesi to insist on the infinite diversity, 1 See above, Part I., p. 100C S. 1021. P. 2.—VOL. I. F
yea, heterogeneity, of the divine and human. He had further taught, exactly as Apollinaris did, a unity, and not a duality, of thought and volition in Christ: in this respect keeping aloof from the later Dyotheletism. He attached importance also to the view that not only God (the Logos), but also Christ, possessed and exercised a Divine miraculous power, and that the flesh of Christ was endowed with quickening Divine powers, especially in the Eucharist.1 And, lastly, Cyrill made as little use of his doctrine of the "human soul of Christ" as Apollinaris of his opposed doctrine that Christ had not a human soul: it remained a dead thing. Apollinaris said, "If Christ did not learn, He must have been wise and holy from birth: He must have been raised above the necessity of exercise in knowledge and virtue." Cyrill's principles, strictly carried out, led to the same result, notwithstanding the artifices to which he resorted, —at one time affirming that the same Christ knew and did not know the same thing; at another, tracing such predicates of Christ as implied human imperfection to His love, which lead Him to take the place of human-kind, and to consider or speak of that which belonged to it as His own, although in the strict sense it belonged only to the men outside of Him.2
To bring to fight this family resemblance between the tendency followed by Cyrill's party and doctrines already condemned, accorded remarkably well with the design of the school of Antioch to pay off the blow struck at them by a counter-blow, and to raise up a barrier in the way of the Church's rejection of that which constituted the central-point of historical Nestorianism. It can scarcely be regarded as accidental, that in the same year in which Theodoret's aggressive work was published, a formal attack on a chief representative of the Monophysitical view was made at a Particular Synod held at Constantinople,—so toned, however, that there was an appearance of agreement with Cyrill and Dioscurus. Theodoret's "Eranist" may be regarded as the programme of this Synod.
1 T. v. 2, pp. 702, 707.
2 Ignorance, the acquisition of knowledge, and the strengthening of capacities by practice, were accordingly attributed to the humanity of Christ merely in a sense similar to that in which He is said by Paul to have become a curse for us, namely, by transference,—that is, by an duatpspx, in the manner of Cyrill.
Eusebius of Dorylaeum appeared there as a complainant against Eutyches, the leader of the Monachist party in Constantinople: he thus also indirectly attacked the Egyptian party.1 Meanwhile, it would appear that the party of Dioscurus had managed to inspire the Emperor with a degree of distrust of that Synod; and the Patriarch Flavian tried to induce the Council to let the point of dispute rest, but the bishops insisted on prosecuting their case against Eutyches. Eutyches was, at first, unwilling to define more accurately his conception of the nature of Christ, and kept to expressly scriptural terms. At a later period, however, he acknowledged that he viewed Christ simply as his God, and as the Lord of heaven and earth; and that, after the incarnation, he could find no place for a duality of natures, although he granted their existence previous to the incarnation. How he explained the transition from duality to unity, is not very easy to discover.2 He admitted, it is true, that there was a atifia avdpwjnvov, even subsequent to the unio, but not that there was an avdpumov; consequently, viewing the Deity as the exclusive principle of personality in the one nature. The main difference between him and Cyrill lay in his further maintaining, that u this body of Christ was not of the same substance with ours." Still it was by no means his intention to represent the body (to the soul he makes no allusion) as absorbed by the divine nature, though later writers do attribute to him the doctrine of a <f>vai<; avvderos. He expressly repudiated the notion of a transmutation of the human element, derived from Mary, into the divine, ending in the volatilization and disappearance of the human; as also, the doctrine of the swallowing up of the humanity, which Theodoret tried to fasten on him. In his view, consequently, it continued to exist in some way or other. When, therefore, on the other hand, he shrank from
1 Mansi Concil. Coll. T. vi. 495 ff. and 650 ff.
2 The charge against him, of teaching the doctrine of the pre-existence of the humanity of Christ, that is, its existence in heaven, and of two persons which afterwards became one, was unquestionably mere logical wiredrawing. The same remark applies to the charge of teaching that the Logos did not assume anything really human, but merely produced something resembling the human, when He drpkirro; irpa-x-m and became flesh, and that He merely passed through Mary. Theodoret was his calumniator in this respect.
declaring it, after the unio, to be of the same substance with us, his idea must have been, that the effect of the unio was not merely an exaltation or glorification, but an ennobling transmutation, of humanity. And although Eutyches himself may not have compared the human nature to a drop of honey cast into the sea, yet no comparison of the unio, as set forth by him, can be more relevant than that to such a chemical permeation (Note 19) of the human nature by the divine, as allowed of the former still continuing in some sense to exist.
Eutyches was deposed; and the condemnation of the doctrine that there was but one nature after the incarnation, and that the humanity of Christ was completely ofioovaios with ours, resulted in the transference of the leadership once again to the school of Antioch. CyrilPs doctrine was condemned by implication, notwithstanding the stratagem resorted to, of employing him as a "testis veritatis," by means of passages of his writings wrenched from their proper connection.
Eutyches, however, did not rest; but appealed to the Bishops of Alexandria and Rome, who, undoubtedly, in the days of Cyrill had always acted in concert. In agreement with them, he expressed his readiness to teach two natures. At this point the Egyptian tendency (strictly so termed) was summoned to the foreground. It was to the interest of Dioscurus to attempt to make good the defeat he had suffered at this avvoBos ivBrjfiovaa, by means of a General Council; and both his great influence with the Court, and the expectation of having the Bishop of Rome on his side, encouraged him to hope for an issue of the most favourable character (Note 20).
The contest, which, after being only half decided, had been interrupted by an armistice, it was now intended to bring to a definite conclusion. An (Ecumenical Council was summoned by the Emperor for the year 449 (Mansi Cone. vi. 503), in declared hostility to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Flavian, and with the express purpose of tearing up the Nestorian heresy by the very roots. Theodoret, and others who shared his opinions, especially all the members of the Synod held against Eutyches, were refused admittance to, or at all events were deprived of the right of voting at, the Council: Dioscurus was appointed to preside, and was entrusted with extended powers against the enemies of the holy, that is, the Alexandrian, faith. At the Synod itself, a multitude of fanatical monks, with the Abbot Barsumas, who had a seat and vote therein, at their head, wielded a terrorism which threatened to suppress with violence every opinion opposed to the doctrines of Cyrill. The first thing Dioscurus did, was to go back to the Council of Ephesus, urging that everything had been then unchangeably settled, and that, consequently, a reopening of the inquiry into the Church's doctrine was inadmissible. The Egyptian monks and bishops cried out against the doctrine that Christ consisted of two natures, saying, "Whoso speaks of two natures is a Nestorius, and let him be even cut asunder." By means of tumult, violence, and trickery, the bishops of the opposite view found themselves compelled to acknowledge that there was one nature in Christ. The position taken up was, that the doctrine of two natures in Christ is opposed to the spirit of the first Synod of Ephesus; and that, consequently, the condemnation of Eutyches was unjustifiable, and the Synod of Constantinople heretical. Flavian and Eusebius were, in consequence, at once deposed. The same fate was designed also for Theodoret and other leaders of the school of Antioch. Dioscurus was unquestionably right when he affirmed that the Council of Ephesus in 431 was substantially on his side; and Cyrill's mode of procedure then, was not so totally different from that of Dioscurus now, that it can be considered consistent to designate the first Council of Ephesus a holy (Ecumenical Council, if it be just to call the second the Robber Synod.
Dioscurus followed up his victory with the same violence as he had used in gaining it. The Orientals either yielded to compulsion and outwardly conformed, or, like Theodoret, went into exile. Unexpectedly, however, the scene was destined to change.
The Bishop of Rome, Leo the Great, a man of strong character, undaunted courage, and clear practical understanding,— more skilled, however, in the composition of formulas of a fulltoned liturgical character than capable of contributing to the scientific development of a doctrine,—on whose co-operation Dioscurus had at first confidently reckoned, but to whom, in the violence of his ambition, he had neglected at Ephesus to pay due respect, had not yet recorded his vote (Note 21). The course taken on a former occasion by Eutyches and Flavian,1 was 1 Compare Mansi, v. 1323, 1329, 135L
now taken by the oppressed Orientals, especially by Theodoret,1 —they appealed to Leo at the close of the second Council of Ephesus. Even at Ephesus itself, Leo's nuncio, the deacon Hilarus, had united in the protest entered by Flavian against the decision of the Synod. From this time Leo energetically supported the Orientals (Note 22).
As early as the 13th of June 449, Leo wrote to Flavian the celebrated Epistle, in which he endeavoured finally to decide the true doctrine of the Church regarding the Person of Christ. A distinctive peculiarity of this treatise is, that whilst, on the one hand, it lays down decidedly and clearly, in separate propositions, that which Leo considered ought to form part of a general Christian confession of faith; on the other hand, it entirely evades the task properly devolving on a theologian, which is, not merely to bring these propositions into juxtaposition, but also to exhibit their internal compatibility, and close mutual relationship,—in short, to present a clear connected image of the Person of Christ. This is the case, notwithstanding that, both in point of compass and form, he had attempted rather a theological treatise than a mere symbol or creed. Not in the tone of investigation and argumentation, but in that of judicial decision,— in the full-toned solemn style of the Church, and with frequent recourse to a rhetorical collocation of full-sounding antitheses,— he commences with the error of Eutyches, which gave rise to the dispute. He charges him with the denial of the true humanity of Christ, and confutes him first from the Apostles' Creed, and then from the Scriptures (c. ii.). Leo concedes that the generation of Christ was unique and miraculous; but would not allow that the temporal birth of Christ either took anything away from, or added anything to, His divine eternal birth; or that, by the novelty of this creation, its distinctive generic character was abolished (ut per novitatem creationis proprietas remota sit generis). Christ devoted Himself entirely to the restoration of man, in order by His power to overcome death and the devil. We should have been unable to overcome the author of sin and death if our nature had not been appropriated by Him, whom neither sin could stain, nor death retain; —which independence of sin and death He owed to His having been conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin, 1 Letter of Theodoret to Leo, Mansi, vi. 35.
who herself both conceived and gave birth to Him in the state of spotless virginity. He passes then to the question regarding the natures; and after deciding that there were two, He touches on their relation, not so much to each other, as to the individual acts and functions. In reference to the first point, his main proposition is the following:—God so became man that each nature and substance preserved its distinctive characteristics, whilst both were conjoined in one person.1 This personality might in itself be the Ego—the bond of the unity of the natures: and then would arise the question as to its origin— whether it proceeded from one nature, or both, or from no nature at all; or again, whether it were a third something, in addition to the natures. Leo, however, understands by the personality, not so much the Ego, as the result of the conjunction of natures, the sum-total of both, the collective person or centre of vital unity, which is at once God and man The Invisible, Incomprehensible One, wished to become visible and comprehensible. In order to be a true mediator, it was necessary that in one aspect He should be able to die, in the other aspect, not be able to die.2 He assumed the form of a servant without sin, thus exalting the humanity without curtailing the Deity; for the self-abnegation by means of which the Invisible made Himself visible, and the Creator and Ruler of the Universe sought to become one amongst mortals, was not a loss of power, but a compassionate act of condescension.3
Both natures retained their individuality: and, as the form of God did not do away with the form of the servant, so the form of the servant did not detract from the form of God. God was not changed by His compassion, nor was man consumed by the Divine majesty. The true God was born in the entire and perfect nature of a true man: He was "totus in suis, totus in nostris." Thus, according to Leo's representation, the Christian consciousness requires not merely that God shall
1 "Salva igitur proprietate utriusque naturae (ct substantia) et in imam coeunte personam, suscepta est a majestate humilitas, a virtute infirmitas, ab a;ternitate mortalitas, etc." Cap. iii.
2 "Ad resolvendum conditionia nostras debitum natura inviolabilis naturae est unita passibili; ut,—unus atque idem mediator dei et hominum et mori posset ex uno, et mori non posset ex altero."
3 "Assumsit formam servi—humanam augens, divinam non minuens: quia cxinanitio ilia—inclinatio fuit mi^ntionis, non defectio potestatis."
have human predicates in Christ, or that He shall have and bear a man both as to body and soul, or that He shall be and dwell in a man, but that He shall be man; and yet, at the same time, it is not satisfied unless the two natures are represented as existing on unmixed, and the divine nature as neither gaining nor losing anything by the union. On the one hand, the Invisible should be represented as having become visible and tangible in the form of a servant; on the other hand, humanity should be represented as overshadowing the infinitude of the Divine majesty, which yet remained internally undiminished and entire. It was a deep thought, when, in answer to the charge of introducing an alteration into God by the incarnation, Leo reminded his opponents that God, so far from undergoing a change when He experiences compassion or love (miseratio), does but pursue, by means of His work of love, the course already prescribed by justice. Nay more, Leo gives them to understand that God ought far rather to be said to have changed, if at the beginning lie had been all goodness, and, after the fall, all severity, towards man,—if He had allowed justice to rob Him entirely of goodness, instead of supplementing His first loving arrangements by a still more secret mystery (sacramentum).1
He fails, however, to develop this thought, that the unchangeableness of God is insured by His love; and observes, in a contrary spirit, that when the Son of God descended from the Divine throne He did not quit His Father's glory.2 If the descent of the Son from the throne is not combined with His omnipresence, then to say that He still retained His glory, is equivalent to saying that He did not really empty Himself, but, strictly speaking, only veiled, or did not reveal, His Divine majesty. When giving prominence to the unity of the Person of Christ, he does not hesitate to teach that the Son of God not only assumed human nature, but actually became man—that the Eternal was born in time, that the Impassible suffered: and yet, when his aim is to preserve the distinction of the natures, he
1 "Opus fuit, ut incommutabilis Deus, cujus voluntas non potest sua benignitate privari, primam erga nos pietatis suse dispositionem sacramento occultiore compleret."
2 Cap. iv. "Filius Dei de coelesti sede descendens et a paterna gloria, non recedens ingreditur ha;c mundi infinia."
defines the mutual relationship as a mere relationship of communion—the two natures are merely conjoined in action.1 Cyrill had directed his entire efforts to the retention of a principle of unity even subsequent to the Unio, at the same time conceding the diversity of the predicates, and had aimed to characterize all acts and sufferings as at once divine and human (divine-human): Leo, on the contrary, distributed one thing to the divine, and another to the human nature, even after the Unio; for example, miracles he apportioned to the divine nature, sufferings to the human. "It did not become one and the same nature to say, 'I and the Father are one,' and, ' The Father is greater than I.'"2 God and man were indeed, in Christ, one person, and therefore reproach and honour were common to both; but the reproach of each, and the honour of each, came from a different quarter. Leo says clearly, and this constitutes his merit, that the fundamental truth of Christianity is sacrificed quite as much by a curtailment of the humanity, as by a curtailment of the divinity of Christ.3 He displayed also great ecclesiastical tact in the manner in which he repeatedly describes Nestorianism and Eutychianism, as two opposed rocks, on each of which alike a correct doctrine of the incarnation must suffer shipwreck,— a thought to which he often subsequently recurred.4 At the Council of Ephesus the Church was brought into such a position of antagonism to Nestorius, that the victory of Cyrill's doctrine of one nature seemed inevitable; but Leo now did all in his power so to influence the development of the Church,
1 "Agit enim utraque forma cum ulterius communione, <juoil proprium est, Verbo scilicet opcrante quod Verbi est, et carne exsequente quod carnis est." "Forma" is in the nominative case.
2 Cap. iv. "Unum horum coruscat miraculis, alteram succumbit injuriis—non ejusdem naturae est, dicere, <Ego et pater unum sumus,' et dicere, < Pater major me est.'" With the doctrine of a real " communicatio idiomatum," such as is taught by the Lutheran Church, the Epistle of Leo, sanctioned by the Council of Chalcedon, is not in harmony.
* Cap. v. "Catholica ecclesia hac fide vivit, hac proficit, tit in Christo Jesus nee sine vera divinitate humanitas, nee sine vera humanitate divinitas," for, "ncgatio verse carnis negatio est etiam corporeal passionis. Unum horum sine alio receptum non proderat ad salutem et aequalis crat periculi, dominum Jesum Christum aut deum tantummodo sine hominc, aut sine deo solum hominem credidisse."
4 Mansi, vi. ep. 54, p. 46 ; ep. 75, p. 97; ep. 90, pp. 127, 130. Tom. v. ep. 30, p. 1398. Tom. vi. ep. 88, p. 124.
that it should pursue a middle course between two equally objectionable extremes. Whether he or the Council of Chalcedon actually hit upon this middle course, is another question. One thing only is certain, be it precursorily remarked: that Leo's rejection of the twofold personality ascribed to Nestorius, and of the doctrine of a conversion (transubstantiation) of the human nature into the divine, in which there then remained only a congeries of human predicates as accidents of a foreign substance, throws little or no positive light on the Unio itself, and the internal relation of the two natures. Most of the other propositions adduced above are mere verbal conjunctions of enantiophanies, which are imposing as paradoxes, but in no respect clear up the difficulty.
This letter to Flavian, partly through the influence of him and his friends, and partly through its own intrinsic value, speedily attained wide circulation and recognition. But when Leo found that the so-called Robber Synod not only refused to accept his exposition, but that Dioscurus had even undertaken to excommunicate him; when, further, he had received an accurate account of the tumults which had taken place at the Synod, of the maltreatment of Flavian, and the deposition of others,—he drew up the project of a new (Ecumenical Council, to be held in Italy, for the special consideration of this subject. Theodosius the Younger regarded him, it is true, with little favour; was formerly, and still remained, devoted to Dioscurus; urged that the peace of the Church would have been at once established had the decisions of the second Council of Ephesus been carried out; and, further, questioned Leo's right to pronounce judgment in the matter. Moreover, great difficulty attended the reinstatement of the deposed bishops; firstly, because not only a great part of the Church, comprehending the Egyptian, Palestinian, and IUyrian bishops, who, leagued with a host of monks in Asia and Africa, formed a considerable force, took the side of Dioscurus; but also, secondly, because nearly all the Oriental bishops at the Synod of Ephesus had, even though under constraint, subscribed that which Dioscurus required. Here again Leo acted with remarkable circumspection and prudent calmness, in endeavouring to compass his end. Possessing the spirit of a statesman, he had an inexhaustible mine of resources. So long as there was hope of securing any one as an ally, he adopted a moderate and persuasive tone; but no sooner was the desired ally seen to be an opponent, than he openly opposed him, speaking and acting firmly, and with increasing plainness. As his Epistle to Theodosius produced no effect, he addressed himself to Valentinian and Marcian, and some of the female members of the imperial family; but their interference also proved of no avail. Towards Flavian's successor, Anatolius, who had announced to him his election, Leo took up an expectant posture, until he should have signed his Epistle to Flavian. At the same time, he was unwearied in his efforts to sustain the courage and faithfulness of those who were favourable to Flavian. With this view he wrote both the series of letters to Greek and Gallic bishops, and the circular to the clergy and people of Constantinople.1
In these he tried to prove the reality of the humanity of Christ from the holy Eucharist. In this mystical repast of spiritual food, says he, it is given us to receive the strength of the heavenly food, that we may be changed into the flesh of Him who became our flesh.2 He further shows, that in passages which speak of an exaltation of Christ, we must necessarily allow Arianism to be in the right, unless they be referred to a veritable humanity. Eutyches, he maintains, must either conceive the Godhead to be subjected to suffering, or altogether deny the truth of the humanity of Christ. The immutable Son of God became a Son of man, not by a transmutation of His substance; but, assuming our nature, He came to seek that which was lost. His coming was proclaimed from the very beginning of the human race (cap. iv.). Not, however (cap. hi.), by an approach as through space, or by a bodily movement towards us, as though He had previously been absent, and now became present; nor did His coming involve His leaving the
1 Mansi vi. ep. 59, pp. 57-64, compare ep. 50, p. 29.
* "In ilia mystica distributione spiritalis alimonise hoc impertitur, hoc sumitur, ut accipientes virtutem c<elestis cibi in carnem ipsius, qui caro nostra factusest, transeamus.—In quibusisti ignorantise tenebris—jacuere, ut nee—cognoscerent quod in ecclesia dei in omnium ore tarn consonum est, ut nee ab infantium Unguis Veritas corporis et sanguinis Christi inter communionis sacramenta taceatur:" cap. ii. As Augustine deemed the holy rite of Baptism (specially infant baptism) to have an important bearing on the formation of an anthropology, so Leo the holy Eucharist on Christology. The conversion he regards as taking place in us.
place whence He proceeded. He came in and through that which was visible and accessible to all, in order that He might become an object of immediate perception; He assumed the body and soul of man, in order that He might unite the form of a servant with the form of God, which He retained; thus exalting His humanity without curtailing His Deity.1 lie lacked nothing that can certainly be said properly to belong to human nature,—neither' soul, reason, nor body. The last mentioned originated neither in a transmutation of the Word into flesh, nor in a new creation, but was taken from Mary (cap. v.).
Dioscurus he did not excommunicate; and that, unquestionably, because of the intended Council, and the number and influence of his adherents; for it was desirable to avoid a breach which might either give Dioscurus the predominance in the Council, or at all events endanger the victory. Leo's preparations were nevertheless unwearied. He particularly adopted the plan of holding lesser synods in Eome, which rejected the second Council of Ephesus as a Robber Synod, and gave in their adhesion to Leo's doctrine. The Gallic and Oriental bishops did so also. It is hard to say, however, whether he would have attained his coal had not Theodosius the Younger died in 450. Through this event Leo gained the powerful support of Valentinian, and especially of Marcian: Dioscurus, on the contrary, lost his ally. With the greatest readiness did they agree to Leo's demand for a Council; desiring, however, that it should be assembled in Asia Minor, not in Italy.
Now, however, Leo suddenly preferred that the Council should be postponed, if not altogether abandoned; professedly, on account of the incursions of the barbarians into Italy, which rendered the absence of many of the bishops impossible;—really,
1 Compare herewith the passage quoted in note 2, page 88. This exaltation is involved in the very fact of the incarnation of the Son, so far as honour was thus done to humanity; especially, however, in the fact of the resurrection (compare Hagenbach's "Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte," 3 Aufl. 1853, p. 230),—de resurr. dom. c. 4: Resurrectio Domini non finis carnis sed commutatio fuit nee virtutis augmento consumta substantia est. The caro remained "ipsa per substantiam, non ipsa per gloriam," for, "factum est corpus impassibile, immortale, incorruptibile." Relatively to the body of Christ the process was conceded, which, in reference to the soul, was for the most part denied.
because the Council was not to be held in Italy, and because, in the altered position of affairs, a satisfactory issue appeared easier of attainment without a Council.1 But the Council was appointed to meet; and the space intervening between the convocation and the assembling was so short, that it was impossible for all the bishops to receive the summons in time (Note 23). Still Leo was unwilling to oppose the Emperor. He only expressed a hope that the members of the Council would not be under obligation to meddle with difficult points of dispute, especially as the Orientals had already subscribed the condemnation of Nestorius and Eutyches. Leo's idea had been,2 not to allow any controversy whatever on matters of faith at the Council, but simply to set before the bishops the alternative, either of abiding by Cyrill's letter to Nestorius, or of adopting Leo's letter to Flavian; and to open the door for the readmission, under the prescribed conditions, of all those bishops who had either taught or acted in opposition thereto (as, for example, by subscription at the Council of Ephesus). The imperial rescript, however, required the more accurate definition of matters of faith.
When the Council of Chalcedon was opened, two great parties stood in direct opposition to each other; and the two chief representatives of these parties—in the one case Eutyches, in the other Flavian—had been in turn deposed and excommunicated. It would have been necessary for these two parties to continue much longer under the moral and intellectual treatment of the Holy Spirit, ere attaining to concord, had not the power and will of the Emperor supplied the place of harmony of spirit. The proceedings commenced with an indictment, in due form, of Dioscurus, and the validity of his Council. His adherents, however, were so powerful, and so little inclined towards the milder doctrine of the school of Antioch, which was in the end adopted by the Council of Chalcedon, that when Theodoret, who had again been acknowledged bishop by the Emperor and Leo, entered the assembly for the purpose of taking his place in it, the bishops from Egypt, Palestine, and Illyria cried out with a loud voice, " The faith is perishing; the laws of the Church cast him out; cast
1 Mansi, vi. ep. 84, p. 105.
2 Ep. 70, pp. 80, 87, 1. c. ad Pulcberiam.
out the teacher of Nestorius."1 When the same cry was raised against Dioscurus by the Orientals, the civil authorities present at last secured quiet, by causing (with very little impartiality it must be confessed, when we recall to mind the Council of 431) Theodoret to appear in the character of accuser, and Dioscurus in that of accused. Only very unsatisfactorily, we must allow, could the latter justify his violent and illegal procedure at Ephesus; but, as regards the matter of faith, he was fully able to show that he had then adopted no other course than that which Leo, in his manner (as has been observed above), intended to pursue at Chalcedon. No disputes about the faith ought to be allowed, but they should simply abide by the old decisions. Amongst these, he of course reckoned, not alone the decisions of Nicaea, but also those of the first Synod of Ephesus. Whoso takes away therefrom, or adds thereto, let him be excommunicated. After this, and what had passed before, he felt justly conscious of not desiring any other faith than that of Cyrill, and of not at all needing innovations. All he wanted was the general recognition of the principles which led the first Synod of Ephesus to depose Nestorius. As Dioscurus took his stand firmly on this position, the situation became an awkward one. Authorities were opposed to authorities. A decision would involve a split; nay more, it would be impossible to arrive at a decision unless Leo and his party could succeed, as Cyrill had done at Ephesus, in transferring the question from the sphere of the dogmatical to that of the personal and formal. In that way the opposed party might be struck down in its leader; and after a victory over the person of Dioscurus, which would give a tone to the whole affair, they might return to the dogma, and succeed in forcing concessions from his dispirited party.
The attention of the Council was first of all directed to the acts of the two Synods of Ephesus, as also to those of the Synod of Flavian, held at Constantinople, with the view of testing the legality of the procedure of Dioscurus in deposing Flavian and reinstating Eutyches.2
1 Mansi, Tom. vi. cone. Chalc. actio prima, p. 590.
2 To this circumstance we owe the preservation of, at all events, a large part of the acts of the said three earlier Councils. They were incorporated with the acts of the Council of Chalcedon.
Not before the conduct of Dioscurus had been investigated, and he had been pronounced worthy of deposition, was the dogma in dispute again brought under closer consideration.1 In this connection, it is more remarkable than gratifying to observe the difference in the manner of employing the authority of the very same Fathers, between the two Synods of Ephesus, in 431 and 449, on the one side, and those of Constantinople and Chalcedon, on the other side. The principal Fathers of the Church are cited in part in support of the decisions of opposed Synods,—especially the Bishops of Bome. As favourable to the doctrine of Cyrill, were adduced at the first Synod of Ephesus, on whose authority the second Synod of Ephesus leaned in dogmatical questions,2 the testimony of Peter of Alexandria, of Athanasius, of the Roman Bishops Julius and Felix, of Theophilus of Alexandria, of Cyprian, Ambrose, and Gregory Nazianzen;3—some of whom employed the expression deoroKos, as Gregory and Athanasius; others protesting against a duality of Sons; and others again teaching, either that Christ is nothing but the incarnate Word, or that it is correct to speak of the one (but that the) incarnate nature of the Word of God. Basilius says, that through the medium of His flesh, God suffered without suffering. Similar passages from Atticus of Constantinople and Amphilochius of Iconium were then also adduced. Suffering is invariably represented as the chief end of the incarnation;—not that the suffering was supposed to have touched the essential nature of the Deity, which rather remained unaffected, but that God subjected Himself to it through the medium of His flesh. In short, Dioscurus said, at the second Council of Ephesus, "We conceive of the presence of Christ in the flesh as did Athanasius, Cyrill, Gregory, and all orthodox bishops."
The Council of Constantinople, on the contrary, had appealed to a letter of Cyrill to Nestorius,4 in which he writes :— "Incarnation was not a transmutation of the Logos into flesh, nor into an entire man with soul and body. He is man in that He united hypostatically with Himself (kvaxras eairnp Kod' inrwrraaui), a fleshly body animated by a rational soul. Hence was He designated, ' Son of Man;' not merely because it was
1 Mansi, Tom. vi. actio ii., p. 937 ff. * Mansi, vi. 867.
* Mansi, vi. 876-886. * Mansi, vi. 661.
His will or good pleasure to be so designated, nor merely because of His assumption of a (human) person. The natures thus conjoined in true unity are indeed different, but the two constitute one Christ and Son. Not as though the distinction of the natures had been abolished, for the sake of the unity; but by being mysteriously conjoined in unity, they constituted for us the one Lord and Christ." Reference is then further made to the previously noticed letter addressed by Cyrill to John of Antioch, which, whilst favourable to the school of Antioch, through its adoption of their creed, yet gave it such an interpretation as might have contented even Eutyches. Other passages from Cyrill's writings, which contain his real doctrine, and where he employs such expressions as fiia <f>vais \oyov aeaapKoafievrj, <pvau<rj evaxns, were passed over in silence by the Council of Constantinople. The Fathers at Chalcedon resorted to methods of harmonizing characterized by precisely the same arbitrariness. That which was opposed to their views in the writings of Cyrill they silently suppressed. Nor did even the cry of distress, raised by the justly astonished adherents of Dioscurus, at such a representation of Cyrill, "Dioscurus rather holds the faith of Cyril," bring his real teachings to the light. Scarcely, however, would the Egyptian bishops have allowed themselves to be persuaded to recognise the Cyrill of the Council of Chalcedon, who was much too like an Antiocheian to pass for the genuine Cyrill, had not the opposition to Dioscurus already gone to great lengths, and the dogmatical bias of the Court been clearly manifested. These two considerations supplied any lack of force in the historical arguments adduced by their opponents. At Chalcedon, the two letters of Cyrill above mentioned were publicly read; then that of Leo to Flavian; and, afterwards, a series of passages from Hilary, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, and Chrysostom, and some also from other writings of Cyrill. Hereupon the bishops cried out, with reference to the letter of Leo, " That is the faith of the Fathers; that is the faith of the Apostles: Peter has spoken through Leo; Leo and Cyril have taught the same doctrines; let Cyrill be held in eternal remembrance! Anathema to him who does not hold this faith! Why was it not thus read to us in Ephesus? Dioscurus concealed it from us!" As though the Egyptian party, accurately acquainted as it was -with the writings of Cyrill, did not well know that not merely the conflicting aspects of his doctrine, hut even the real doctrine itself, had now been suppressed.1
In this way it became probable that the wish of the Emperor—a wish undoubtedly inspired by political considerations—would attain realization. At first, a great part of the assembly, along with Leo, deemed it advisable not to enter upon strictly dogmatical discussions, and not to attempt the construction of another new creed; but Marcian persisted in desiring that the two great and powerful ecclesiastical parties should, if possible, be united by means of one formula of concord. And many showed an inclination to fall in with this wish. After the alarming personal defeat of Dioscurus, and after the reading of the quotations just referred to, the imperial authorities present in the assembly were well able to ask, " Who, after all that, is in doubt?" whereupon the bishops cried out, "No one doubts!" Still, Atticus of Nicopolis begged for a delay of a few days, in order that, in calm reflection and quiet, a formula might be constructed (Tim-a>dy), which should embody what was consonant to the will of God and the holy Fathers. Leo's letter, he urged, has been read, it is true; but Cyrill's letter to Nestorius, to the twelve chapters of which he required him to assent, should also be read, in order that the bishops may be properly prepared to enter on the business before them. Others then cried out, u We demand also that the Fathers be thoroughly examined!" The ship was thus again steered towards the breakers from which it had just scarcely escaped. The imperial judges and senators hit upon the expedient of a five days' postponement; requesting the bishops, however, to advise with each other, and with the Patriarch of Constantinople, regarding the faith, and to get light upon their doubts. The bishops, probably the Orientals, then cried out, "We believe as Leo believes; none of us doubts; we have already subscribed (viz., Leo's letter)." But the authorities replied, that it was not necessary for all to meet, but yet right that doubters should be convinced; and, for this purpose, it would be well
1 Now, it is true, we stand at the close- of Actio ii., Tom. vi. 971 &., when this party saw fit, instead of making an uproar, as at the commencement, to cry out, "We have all sinned;—forgiveness for all! We pray you have compassion on all I" (p. 975).
for Anatolius to select from the number of those who had subscribed, such as were fitted to enlighten the ignorant and doubting. What this meant, was plain enough to the Egyptian party. Instead of a discussion in which the same rights were to be conceded to them as to their opponents, the imperial authorities gave them to understand that they were expected to allow themselves to be convinced, by Anatolius and others, of the correctness of Leo's doctrine. And now the Egyptian party exclaimed, "We ask for the Fathers, for the Fathers of the Synod." But the opposite party cried out, "Of the Synod, those who agree with Leo; into exile with Dioscurus; whoso holds fellowship with him is a Jew!" and then the Egyptian and Illyrian bishops begged for mercy for their own persons and that of Dioscurus.1 Still they were by no means convinced, and had no intention of surrenderins: at discretion.
A degree of obscurity lies upon these private proceedings. What took place in the first instance, can only be learnt from a sudden change which came over both the Emperor and Anatolius. The Egyptian party showed itself, possibly, more obstinate and dangerous than the Emperor had supposed: the haughty and defiant Barsumas, who had taken part in the murder of Flavian, had again made his appearance: Eutyches stirred up the fire—a host of monks was like a swarm of bees when excited—and held out bold threats of the excommunication of the bishops; they refused to recognise the deposition of Dioscurus, and went to him for counsel. Petitions were addressed to the Emperor, who was the more inclined to adopt a considerate mode of treatment, as the few Egyptian bishops who were still present had already withdrawn from the Synod, declaring that they must be prepared for a general feeling of indignation at the Council in their dioceses, and for certain death as the penalty of their participation in it. In short, the first signs of the brewing storm of Monophysitism, which was destined soon enough to burst, showed themselves even at Chalcedon. In addition to this, the Emperor wished his metropolis, the new Kome, to be a patriarchate of the second rank, which was only possible at the expense of Alexandria; on which ground both he and Anatolius were probably disposed to make concessions in other matters, especially as both of them began 1 Mansi, vi. 973 ff.
to feel annoyed at the very marked predominance exercised, however deservedly, by Leo, Finally, it must not be forgotten that Anatolius had formerly been in the service of Dioscurus, and therefore had probably shared his dogmatical views. Accordingly, the following project seems to have been sketched. Nothing was to be done to prevent Leo's circular from continuing to enjoy the recognition which it had gained (nay more, efforts were made to influence the Egyptian party in its favour); for, both in itself, and on account of the Orientals and Leo, that was undesirable. They took up, instead, with the idea of a new special creed, in which the dogmatical views of the Egyptians should be duly recognised. Inasmuch as the symbolum of the Synod itself must naturally attain to greater practical importance, and be accepted as the standard for the interpretation of a treatise approved by the said Synod, if they could succeed in carrying through such a symbolum, Leo's letter would be made as harmless as possible, and the Egyptian party perhaps tranquillized. To this end an ambiguous formula was quietly constructed (apparently without the prevision of Leo's nuncios); communicated in the first instance to a wider circle of bishops, which must have comprised a very large number; and, immediately after Actio IV., when Leo's letter was accepted by the bishops in council, and every one, consequently, on the Oriental side secured, laid before the Synod. By those to whom it was first communicated it was universally approved. But, whether because the Roman nuncios had afterwards bethought themselves, or because they had never been favourable to it, when the symbolum was laid before the Synod, the Orientals, with whom the Romans agreed, loudly opposed it,1 whereas the Egyptian party greeted it with applause (Note 24). This first symbolum has, unfortunately, not been preserved; but it must have contained the formula that Christ consisted of two natures (e'x Bvwv <pvae<cv). This, of course, the Monophysite part could adopt; for they granted, in abstracto, that Christ had become out of two natures one, and only repudiated that which this symbolum cannot have included, namely, that after the unio also there were two distinct natures in Christ; or, that Christ subsisted in a duality of natures. When it was found that this symbol did not produce concord, and that the nuncio threatened to leave if they departed from Leo's letter, the inclination of the Emperor to make concessions to the obstinate Egyptian party was again paralyzed; and the only effect of the whole incident was to bring clearly to light the contemptible dependence of the Synod on the will and power of the Emperor, the influence of intrigue, and especially the fact, that the majority of these men were capable of giving in their adhesion to two opposed symbols at one and the same Synod.
1 John of Germanicia expressed the doubts of others in the words (Tom. vii. 100), Oix t^tt xx?.us 6 opos, xai i+n'/.st xxT^us •ytfioixi.
The Emperor now issued an injunction to the Council to prepare another symbol (Note 25). A commission, consisting of representatives of the different parties, met for consultation, and agreed upon "the Symbol of Chalcedon," which, on being laid before the Synod, was adopted and subscribed without protest. At the following sitting, the Emperor Marcian appeared in person ; announced it to be his will that all his peoples should hold one faith; declared that Constantine was his model in ecclesiastical matters; and promised to take measures "for securing the universal recognition of the doctrinal decisions of the Synod as authoritative, and for preserving to the Church the blessing which had proceeded from their labours." The decisions of the Council were then solemnly read in his presence. They had been already subscribed in the former sitting. The Emperor then asked whether all assented to the formula as it had then been read to them. They exclaimed, "So do we all believe; we are of one mind, one opinion. That is the faith of the Fathers, of the Apostles: this faith hath delivered the whole world! Hail to Marcian, the second Constantine, the second Paul, the second David!" Nor did they forget to designate the Empress a second Helena! Both were lauded as lights of orthodoxy, and peace was promised to the whole world. The conduct of the Emperor was the most dignified and honourable. He first thanked God, although he had caused them great trouble; but he admonished them to pray that God would everywhere bestow peace. He then notified that punishment would be visited on those who should stir up discontent and confusion in opposition to the conclusions now arrived at.
As far as the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon themselves are concerned, they repeat the Nicenc and Constantinopolitan symbol of the year 381: the Council of Ephesus also is mentioned, although only in a general way, with approval.1 The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Council, it was observed, was, strictly speaking, sufficient, in regard to the Trinity and the incarnation, for such as sincerely accepted it But as the enemies of the truth, by their heresies, had given rise to new errors,— some venturing to corrupt the mystery of faith by the denial of the 0€ot6ko<;, and others introducing confusion and commixture by teaching that the flesh and the Godhead were one nature, that the divine nature of the Son was made capable of suffering by mixture,—the Synod determined, in order to put an end to all such machinations against the truth, to give a full and perfect statement of the doctrine which from the beginning had remained unchanged. In carrying out this purpose, they adopted the synodal circular letter of Cyrill to Nestorius and the Orientals, in opposition to the errors of Nestorius; as also the letter addressed by Leo to Flavian, in opposition to the Eutychian heresy. It repudiated alike those who, rending asunder the one mystery of the Divine economy, tried to bring in a duality of Sons; those who take upon themselves to say that the Godhead of the Only-begotten is capable of suffering; and those who teacfa, either that the two natures were intermixed or blended, or, that the servant's form assumed by Him was of heavenly, or any other than human, substance, and who pretend that, previous to the union, there were two natures, but after it only one. "Following the example of the holy Fathers, we teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in 4eity, and the same perfect in humanity, very God and very man, consisting of reasonable soul and flesh, of the same substance with the Father as touching His Godhead, of the same substance with us as touching His humanity; in all things like to us, without sin; begotten of the Father, as touching His Godhead, before the JEons; begotten in the latter days, for our redemption, of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Got!, as touching His humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten (do we confess), in two natures (al. o/two natures, iK BvSiv <pvaewv), acknowledged unmixed, unconverted, undivided, so that the distinction of natures was never abolished by the union, but rather the peculiarity of each preserved, and 1 Mansi, vii. 109.
combined into one person and one hypostasis (Note 26): not one, severed or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten, Him who is God, Aoyos, and the Lord Jesus Christ. And inasmuch as the holy Synod has formularized these things in all aspects, with all accuracy and care, it decrees that it be not allowed to propound any other faith, neither in writings nor in thought, nor to teach it to others. Whosoever dareth to act in opposition to this decree, shall be deposed, if of the clergy; shall be excommunicated, if of the laity."
We have not concealed how much corruption was mixed up with the movements and struggles which took place between the first Council of Constantinople and the Council of Chalcedon. Very far indeed was the latter, notwithstanding its 630 bishops, from deserving to be invested with canonical authority. The Fathers of this Council displayed neither the unanimity of an assembly animated by the Holy Spirit, nor that firmness of judgment which is raised above vacillation and inconsistency, nor that courage in the maintenance of convictions, which is possible where a clear and distinct common understanding has been arrived at, after long internal conflicts. When this has taken place, the clarified and ripened knowledge easily, and at the right moment, finds a common expression, in which all believers recognise their own views, which they afterwards justly hold in great honour, and which they fit in to the growing edifice of the Church's knowledge, as another solid and well-wrought stone. But the decision at Chalcedon was premature, originating in an impatient desire for an absolute uniformity of creed, such as we do not find in the first centuries of the history of the Christian Church. The Council compelled entire churches to choose between blind submission to decisions, of the correctness of which they were still very far from being inwardly convinced, on the one hand; and exclusion from communion with the Church General, on the other hand: and when the latter alternative was preferred, they were thrown back upon themselves, and shut out from the wholesome influence of the rest of Christendom. The Church also thus deprived itself, as far as lay in its power, of the co-operation of a factor whose help was still urgently required if the Christological process should not be brought to a standstill.
This, however, is but one, and that the empirical aspect, of the matter. If even a scientific view of history, in the general sense of the word, justly requires that a higher reason be seen to hold energetic sway over the human weaknesses, vacillations, and passions which cross each other continually, and of which no one in particular can claim to have all the right on its side; and if, at decisive conjunctures in ancient times, which have exercised a lasting influence on following ages, it is especially inclined to expect to find that some step has been taken in advance, which, though not perhaps blameless in manner, is still worthy of note: then surely it becomes Christian science to contemplate and weigh decisions like those of the Council of Chalcedon, whose effects were so decisive and enduring, not merely in the light of their empirical origin,—with which, unquestionably, much ungodliness both of thought and act was associated,—but with the reflection, that even the impurity of man is unable to stay the progress of the work of the kingdom of God. Without prejudice, therefore, it is our duty to consider the question, whether in Chalcedon something salutary was not effected for the development of the doctrine of the Person of Christ.
When we examine the decrees of Chalcedon from this point of view, we find, firstly, that their determinations were, in part, genuinely Christological; secondly, that, as contrasted with Monophysitism, which was ready to rest contented with a unity in its immediate, undeveloped form, they have both a scientific and religious value, however unsatisfactory and inconclusive the new positive theses of the Council may be in themselves.
Firstly, It cannot be denied that Nestorius and Eutyches were, in point of fact, treated unjustly at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. They had not taught what these Synods represented them as teaching; and consequences drawn from their teachings were treated as principles distinctly laid down. It was not proved that Eutyches held either the divine nature to have become capable of suffering in Christ, or the human nature to have been absorbed in the divine; and yet, at the Council of Chalcedon, he was reproached with both views, and that although they are scarcely reconcileable with each other. It has been proved that Nestorius did not mean to teach a duality of persons in Christ. But, even though the Synod was wrong on thls point, it was not wrong in deciding that the two theories of Nestorianism and Eutychianism, to which henceforth a dogmatical, instead of a merely historical, significance attached, should be anticipatorily laid down as buoys pointing out to the Church the middle course, along which its voyage must proceed. In this respect, the Symb. Chalc. may be characterized as a declaration, on the part of the Church, that no doctrine of the Person of Christ can lay claim to the name of Christian which puts a double Christ in the place of the incarnate Son of God, or which teaches either a mere conversion of God into a man, or, vice versa, of a man into God. The former, that is, the Nestorian view, does not admit of a process by which God becomes man, and a man becomes God: both, on the contrary, are left, as in the ante-Christian period, essentially and eternally separate. On the other hand, its Eutychian counterpart represents the process as advancing with a physical rapidity, so that either the divine nature, being converted into human, ceases to exist, and the man alone remains behind in Christ (Ebionitically); or, at the first contact of the divine with the human, the latter is transmuted into the former. But a true incarnation of God is incompatible with cither of the just-mentioned alternatives. Docetism and Ebionitism equally do away with the fundamental fact of Christianity, which must be perennial; and it makes only an apparent difference, whether the reality of either the divine or the human aspect of the Person of Christ be called in question from the very commencement, as in the case of the early Ebionitism and Docetism; or whether the annulment of the one or the other be the result of the process commenced with both aspects. The arperrrws, aai/y^vroi? must, therefore, hold good of both aspects of the Person of Christ, namely, of their essence. Besides rejecting the notion of a twofold personality, by the adoption of the more precise terms dStatperu?, aya>plorws, the Council decided that the two aspects of the one person may not be conceived as separated or divided. Now, although these are but negative determinations, they involve the demand that the two natures should constitute a real unity, and the repudiation of an identification either in the one or the other mode.
Secondly, In the history of our dogma up to this time, therehas passed before us, it is true, a multitude of attempts to show how the two natures, according to the conception thereof in vogue at each period, were united in the one person. But, apart from the circumstance, that down to the fourth century the conception formed of the two natures was an imperfect one, and that, consequently, the conception of their union could not but be also imperfect (as in the case of Arianism and Apollinarism), the form which this unity of the Person of Christ took in the common faith of the Church, with the single exception of the school of Antioch, was such that no further endeavour was made to discriminate the two aspects subsequently to the Uaio. Not that there was any intention of denying the reality of the two aspects; but doubt seemed to it to be thrown on the very incarnation itself, unless everything human in Christ were represented as also divine, and everything divine as also human. And, in point of fact, even that grand Christian intuition, which we have designated the mystical one, and which united as it were in one view such apparent opposites as the infinite and the finite, entirely failed, so far as can be ascertained, definitely to distinguish between the divine and the human. This, indeed, was only possible on the condition that a conception had been formed of each by itself, and apart from the other, such as the Unio was not considered to admit. On the contrary, special delight was taken in setting forth how humanity in Christ was endowed with the power of God, how it worked miracles, how it ascended with Christ to the heavens, and there sits at the right hand of God; and further, how God was with us in Him, and appropriated everything human to Himself—birth, suffering, death. So long as the divine was contemplated by itself, and the human by itself (that is, apart from the Unio), it was felt that their individual characteristics remained unmixed; but being united, they have all things in common.1 It was both natural and necessary for the Church to make this latter a part of its doctrine. For, unless the divine nature of Christ took part in His work, in some way or another, no satisfactory conception could be formed of the work of redemption; out of regard to which, the Latin and Greek Fathers always attached the greatest importance to the view of Christ in the totality and unity of His person. In this interest, older teachers of the Church, such 1 Gregory of Nysesa c. Eunom. iv. 589 ff.; compare Munscher, iv. 37.
as Irenaeus, Hilary, and Athanasius, made use of expressions from which, if pressed, the conclusion might be drawn that the divine nature suffered. Subsequently to the fourth century, the, it is true, somewhat vague qualification was often added, that the divine nature suffered without suffering,—showing that their sole purpose was to assert for the divine nature a participation in the work of redemption. Similar motives led, even (as can be shown) as early as the fourth century, to the introduction of the term deoroKos into the style of the Church. Looking chiefly to practical interests, the Church invariably inquired, first of all, what was the final sum-total; it troubled itself little about the way in which that sum-total was arrived at,—that is, about the mode of conciliating the different factors (which conciliation presupposes them to have been already distinct and separate); but, conscious that in the work of redemption the divine and human natures were united, clung with cheerful faith to the grand result which lay before the inner eye of Christendom. It would be easy to show that the greatest Church-teachers of the fourth century, not to mention earlier ones, conceived the duality of natures to have been abolished by the act of incarnation. After the incarnation they no longer distinguished accurately between divine and human; for, by so doing, they would have believed themselves detracting to some extent from the marvellous greatness of the final result. Irenscus having set the example, it became for a long period the custom to define the union as a "mixture" (/«£t?, Kpaais, dvdKpacns, Kar<iKpaais) of the divine and human,—a definition which implied not merely the homogeneity of the divine and human, but also the production of a third new substance. That the humanity of Christ in the Unio is not like ours, although our humanity was assumed and glorified by the Logos, is not only taught by Hilary, but is also essentially involved in the mystical view of Christ as the Head, above referred to, as well as in the idea of the uniqueness of His nature. In like manner, the teachers of the Church—as, for example, Cyrill and Hilary—did not hesitate to say that the Divine Word had emptied itself, in order that human nature might be capable of being its vehicle and bearer. Gregory of Nyssa went so far even as to teach that the humanity was converted into the Deity, by the commingling of the latter with the former; for he says, that the body which suffered, being mixed with the divine nature, became, by means of this mixture, the same as the nature which assumed it;1 and he uses the simile,—as a drop of vinegar, -when cast into the ocean, loses itself, and is changed into the nature of the ocean, so did the flesh pass over into the immutable ocean of the Godhead.2 This, of course, overshot the intended mark; for what was aimed at, was not the utter cessation of the human, and the resumption of the incarnation, under the pretence of its complete realization. The words were really meant to express, though in an exaggerated rhetorical form, the thoroughness and completeness of the union between the divine and the human. So much, however, is clear, that Gregory, in using such expressions, had not the least notion of a permanent difference between the divine and human natures in the Unio: on the contrary, the two aspects of the Person of Christ were posited as homogeneous magnitudes, which might very well be combined to form a new, third something. Nay more, this homogeneity is so defined by Gregory Nazianzen as not to admit of more than a quantitative distinction: which would, of course, logically warrant the conclusion that, by means of the Unio, the humanity was either converted into, or swallowed up in, the Deity. Especially, however, were the duality of substances, and the continued existence of this duality subsequent to, and within the Unio, expressly controverted in the letter, which we have attributed to the Roman Bishop Julius (see the First Part, Sec. 4).3 He expresses himself in the strongest manner against the doctrine of "two natures," because thus two Christs are posited,—one, a perfect man—the other, the Son of God. Such a discerption, he affirmed, must lead directly to a Samosatenical conception of Jesus. And although the Western Fathers, Ambrose, Augustine, Leo, soon taught otherwise, Coelestine of Rome still took the part of Cyrill. Even an Athanasius, however earnestly he had endeavoured to maintain the completeness of the humanity of Christ in opposition to Apollinaris, taught that there was but one substance, the incarnate nature of the Logos
1 Greg. Nyss. c. Eunom. iv. 581.
2 Epiphanius rejects the niyxvm; and rpos-ij, on the ground that, as the mediatory function related to two aspects, it required kxartpx. But still he says that " God was, T» Ivo ztpavx; ii; 'in."
3 Doubts are indeed thrown by some on the genuineness of this letter.
(fiia Qeov \oyov covert? aeaapKa>fievrf), after the incarnation.1 To this tendency and this terminology the Alexandrian theologians remained peculiarly faithful; and they found most adherents amongst those who looked for nothing good from scientific distinctions and conciliations, and who, in the partial continuance of the distinctions, as they existed apart from the incarnation, saw nothing but a partial denial of the main fact, an attenuation of the grand unity which had heen realized. Their opposition was partly based on religious considerations: to these were due its obstinacy and long continuance. They were unwilling to allow that mystical image of the Person of Christ to be either stolen from them or disfigured. Even from a scientific point of view, they deemed the attempts in an opposite direction to be superficial; for, as they observed, the mark at which aim is taken is not the true one, the problem is shortened that the solution may become possible, and thus the pretended explanations are a denial of the great marvel in its depth. The opinion, that when the Fathers who took this view of the matter protest against two naturas, <f>uaeis, they really mean only to repudiate two persons, is historically untenable. It is true, that in the use of the words, <f>vai<;, ovala, imotrraam, irpoawirov, natura, essentia, substantia or subsistentia, persona, a vacillation long prevailed, which made it difficult to find precise expressions; but it is almost ludicrous to convert this whole earnest struggle into a mere battle about word's. A n unprejudiced consideration of the course which this dogma pursued, mutt convince us that, prior to the Council of Chalcedon, the doctrine of a duality of natures wkhin the unio, was not really a doctrine of the Church; however confidently the teachers of the Church might hold that the unity, whatever it were, had been constituted by the union of two natures. Behind the two natures, which continued to exist even in the perfect Unio, they not only thought they saw a duality of persons, but regarded the eternal duration of the two substances or natures in the one person as a derogation from, and alteration of, the Unio itself, and of the significance of the very act of incarnation. Instead of establishing distinctions even within the Person of Christ, they preferred to dwell on the first, most immediate and inward aspect of the
1 Compare the remarks in Part L, 1073, of this work, on the (fwtx% huai; of Athanasius.
union, which had been accomplished in Him between the remotest contrarieties.
In such a state, however, the matter could not remain. This immediate unity, and the image, in its mystical totality, of which it was the basis, must at last allow of justice being done both to the distinctions, and to the process by which the distinct elements were mediated, in order that a higher unity, satisfactory both in a scientific and religious point of view, might be the final result.
The school of Antioch, during its struggle with Apollinaris, had seen clearly enough that it was necessary to pass from that immediate unity to an examination of the distinctions; and the ecclesiastical favour with which it was for a long time regarded, was due to the feeling, if not to the clear perception, of this necessity. Described historically, Cyrill's fault was that of refusing to learn the lesson which the history of the Church since Apollinaris taught him, and of supposing that he would be surest of hitting upon the right, if he could maintain the earlier and more general point of view, and, as though nothing whatever had taken place during the interval, could effect a restoration in opposition to the Antiocfceians. This is the most general reason why Cyrill, and Dioscurus (who meant to be thoroughly of one mind with him), when considered in the light of later events, appear as forms of but very ambiguous orthodoxy. When Cyrill is regarded in connection with the course of the development of the Church and its dogma, much may be urged in his favour; but still it must be confessed that he failed to discern the true character of the point at which this development then stood,—that he resisted, and, in the main, without result, a step which the dogma was now not only justified, but necessitated, to take,—and that, by his works, he caused much trouble to, whilst he exercised little wholesome influence on, later generations, which, on account of the irrevocable Council of Ephesus, could not avoid estimating him in the light of the orthodoxy of a subsequent period. Whosoever, at crises such as the one referred to, when the Church is called npon to quit an old path, and to enter upon a new sphere both of thought and speech, persists in keeping to the old, will be left behind by orthodoxy; and not the firmest confidence in the justice of his own position, nor the strongest authorities of former ages, can save an orthodoxy, so obsolete, from bearing an ambiguous and doubtful character. Such probably was the experience of Cyrill and Dioscurus.1
But we must now examine the reasons why it was necessary that, from the fifth century onwards, the attention of the Christian Church should be directed to the distinctions in the Person of Christ, and why the Council of Chalcedon was justified in its opposition to Monophysitism, which resisted the turn matters were taking.
In general, the Church may be said to have already upheld the interests of Christian science in opposition to the Monophysitism of the Alexandrians and monks of that age. Cyrill took pleasure in bringing into juxtaposition the most marked paradoxes;—for example, Christ created the world; God suffered and yet remained unchangeable. And yet he did very little to explain the mystery, preferring to lay stress on its absolute incomprehensibleness. In this respect he made an unfair use of the religious intuitions which, to judge from many deep'passages in his works, he must have possessed in great intensity; for he employed them to throw discredit on efforts to exhibit the rationale of faith. This would only indicate that the Christian consciousness was in the retrogressive or sickly condition of doubting its ability to keep abreast of culture and science in general. Herein were the Orientals, and above all the Antiocheians, in advance of Cyrill. Two alternatives lay before Christian intellect;—either to stand still, or to apply itself to a subject which the Alexandrian party endeavoured by all means to proscribe, namely, to the analysis in thought of that primitive and immediate intuition of the unity of the Person of Christ possessed by faith, in order afterwards to undertake the synthetical conciliation and combina
1 Such examples from the history of dogmas are highly instructive, both in relation to the laws of development in this sphere, and to the orthodoxy of the individual. We learn from them, that in the judgment of history, a man may become heterodox through orthodoxy. Whoso seeks to eternize a particular mode of thought, which has been merely experimentally adopted by the restlessly self-developing spirit of the Church, may easily miss its true significance, and thus prove faithless to it through very persistency and lack of freedom. The above words, which occurred in the first edition of this work, I repeat here the more readily, as illustrations enough of their truth have presented themselves since the date of its appearance.
tion of its elements. The Council of Chalcedon, so far from making a dogma of the absolute incomprehensibility of this doctrine, by the very mode in which it defined the problem, rather encouraged attempts at its solution.
This one point alone, entitles the Council of Chalcedon to grateful recognition. That which is absolutely incomprehensible estranges the mind, and can lay no claim to mould and determine the view it takes of the world in its totality; and as Christology necessarily claims to be the very centre of any general view of the world, it cannot, without inconsistency, start with the assertion of its own utter incomprehensibleness. Mention should be further made of a circumstance which was of special importance for that time. In the fourth century, as we have previously remarked, the heathen found their way into the Church in masses. Now, the more rapidly this took place, the more necessary was it for the Church to guard, at all events in the matter of doctrine, most carefully against heathenish and pantheistic elements. But without question a pantheistic mode of thought might find support—a very firm support too—at the very centre of Christianity, so long as a doctrine was received by the Church like that of Monophysitism, which posited a unity of the divine and human without doing justice to the distinction between the two.1 Further on also, we shall find pantheistic tendencies manifesting themselves within the sphere of Monophysitism; nor was it the work of mere fancy, when the Fathers of the Council were reminded, by the Monophysitism of Eutyches, of Gnostic and Apollinarian errors. Here, however, it will be well to cast a glance at the history of anthropology in the Church, especially as related to the doctrine of the nature of God, that we may discover the whereabouts of the Church in the fourth century, and better understand how necessary it was that a deeper view should be now taken of the distinction between the divine and human.
During the period of the rise and ascendancy of the Logosdoctrine, but little heed was paid to the distinction. According
1 We shall soon find that a pantheistic element could be very well combined with the above described exclusive view of the idea of God taken by Cyrill, according to which God, as to His nature, is absolutely different from, and exalted above us.
to that doctrine, the human and the divine are in all cases partially one; for human reason is itself a divine emanation. This opinion seemed at first very favourable to Christology; but, in reality, the notion of such a primitive immediate unity of the divine and the human, made the position of Christianity a very precarious one, and concealed from view its moral and regenerative bearings (Note 28). To the unimpaired conservation of the essential characteristics of Christianity, more earnest reflection on sin was necessary; and, as is well known, this condition was fulfilled especially in the West, by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others down to Augustine. All that the Greek Church did, was sternly to repel Manichacism; it had only a doctrine of formal freedom, such as even Pelagius laid down, to oppose to it: whereas Augustine, in the course of his development, had not without profit passed through the stage of Manichacism.
Such reflection on the human, in its common empirical, sinful condition, must have been, more than anything else, fitted to modify the doctrine of an universal and direct participation of humanity in the Logos, and to establish the necessity of the historical redemption of humanity by the God-man—it must also have added force to the tendency to lay stress on the distinction between the divine and the human. The Church accustomed itself to give prominence to the infinite distance between the divine and human (the empirical form of the latter involuntarily exercising a decided influence on its idea), to the absolute difference between the nature of God and man. This may, perhaps, be the ultimate reason why in the "West, with the exception of the brief period of hesitancy on the part of Julius and Coelestine, who were inclined to Monophysitism, from the fifth century onwards, Dyophysitism pretty constantly found representatives.
There was, no doubt, a wide difference between the early anthropological doctrines of the Greek Church, and those of Augustine, or Tertullian, or Hilary; the former having been more inclined to a moral view of the nature of man, the latter to an absolute supematuralism in religion. Still, each of these opposed tendencies in anthropology served to further Christology; and in consequence of their momentary concurrence at Chalcedon, it became possible to clear the way for the assertion -of the distinctions in the Person of Christ, in opposition to an identification which would have again introduced an heathenish or pantheistic conception of God. But the two concurrent parties were influenced by very different considerations. Those who thought with the school of Antioch, guarded jealously the moral freedom of man, and supposed themselves therefore unable to assign to the divine in Christ more than a foreign and external position. Led by religious considerations, the Westerns, on the contrary, insisted on the infinite distance of the human from the divine, for the purpose of bringing out the Divine miracle of the incarnation. So much the more significant, therefore, must the fact be found, that the strongly antagonistic views taken of anthropology by such as Augustine, on the one hand, and by such as were inclined to Pelagianism, on the other, should have found a meeting-point and a common expression, at all events in Christology.
It may be, that in the unadjusted antagonism between the Antiocheian doctrine of freedom, as a factor essential to the completeness of human nature, and the Augustinian doctrine of grace, there slumbered a further, even a Christological, antagonism: but what was necessary for the present, was accomplished at Chalcedon, in that, by the more careful distinction of the divine from the human, at all events the foundations of Christianity were secured against an anti-ethical theory, of a physical character,—against Pantheism. Had the discrimination of the divine and human within the Person of Christ been pretermitted, and had the Church persisted in that unreflective spontaneous view of the unity of the divine and human which had hitherto been in vogue (annihilating instead of conciliating the distinctions), by thus refusing to do justice to these distinctions, the unity would have been converted into mixture or identification, and the conviction of the reality and completeness of, at all events, the human aspect of the Person of Christ, which had been gained during the first period, would have been again endangered. The danger of this was all the greater, as the Antiocheian Christology had had for a considerable time no distinguished representative; and as, from the whole spirit of the time, a curtailment of the divine aspect of the Person of Christ was less to be expected than a curtailment of the human.
The Christological antagonism which slumbered in the
P. 2.—VOL. I. H
anthropological, is, in fact, easy of recognition; and the consideration of it will form a transition to the defects of the Chalcedonian formula.
In the supposed interest of moral freedom, stress was laid by some on the human aspect, to the essential and eternal exclusion of the divine. These, therefore, could not consistently admit the actual realization of a union between the divine and human. By way of describing the loose, outward connection established between the two, they employed the simile of a temple or garment; by no means intending, however, to represent the human nature of Christ as a mere thing destitute of independence.
Others placed themselves on the divine side; but equally posited an absolute difference of essence. A Christology became thus, in itself, a simple impossibility. But, whereas the former failed seriously to recognise the necessity of a Christology, the latter bridged over the gulf by means of their religious consciousness of sin and of the Divine omnipotence.
Even though the gulf between God and man be an infinite one, the infinite power of God, they considered, bridges it over for our salvation; and the deeper and wider the gulf, the brighter was the radiance of the miracle of the Divine omnipotence. But, by giving such prominence to the Divine omnipotence, and, in connection therewith, to the absolutely supernatural character of the mystery, we fail again to free ourselves from the notion of the inner exclusiveness of the factors (in this case, of the divine), and to cast out the leaven of Pantheism. The Divine omnipotence is, after all, but a physical determination. Love may be represented as the inmost motive of omnipotence in accomplishing the incarnation; but, unless its mode of operation be also conceived to be moral, an ethical process in Christ cannot be admitted: furthermore, mere omnipotence, as such, would exclude the reality of the humanity of Christ; and, notwithstanding every appearance to the contrary, leave it only the semblance of an existence. Thus, instead of our seeing God in Christ, who is also the veritable Son of man, full of grace and truth, the humanity of Christ must logically be lowered to the position of a mere selfless Spyavov of God, or even to that of a mere temple or garment. These images are here again employed, where the intention is, on the one hand, to uphold a real Unio, and yet, on the other hand, to indicate the impersonal character of the humanity. Even the Augustinian denial of human freedom bore traces of Pantheism; and a conception of God, the chief feature of which is the attribute of omnipotence, is chargeable with the very same anti-Christological exclusiveness which distinguished the anthropological idea of freedom taught by the Orientals.
These two tendencies, which, by means of their mutual alliance, and of the aid of the State, succeeded in gaining the victory at Chalcedon, were agreed in representing the divine and human as mutually exclusive, the one of the other, though they started from opposite points of view. However just might be their joint antagonism to Monophysitism, which was unwilling to admit of a unity constituted by the rational conciliation of distinctions, on the point just mentioned they were at one. And when they, notwithstanding, concurred in reducing the distinctions to the expression, "Two natures or substances" (<f>wreK, ovaiai), the true historical meaning thereof is this,— that the two natures are infinitely and totally, or essentially, different from each other, but that the Divine omnipotence made the impossible possible.
The positing of such a duality of natures cannot be designated a progress in Christology, but was simply a grave fault, which might have been avoided if there had been less haste to form a symbolum. Through the eagerness to triumph prematurely over Monophysitism, instead of making it their ally and servant, the Fathers at Chalcedon subjected themselves to an inward bondage to that contrariety. They supposed themselves to possess the truth when they had shut out the pretended double personality of Nestorianism, and had established the simple opposite of Monophysitism; not considering what was required in order that the unity which was desired even by themselves might be possible.
The religio-ethical tendency pursued by Augustinianism in the matter of ponerology (a), did not at all necessitate the positing of two natures in the Person of Christ, which must eternally remain substantially or essentially different. Its fault, on the contrary, was, that instead of carrying the ethical point of view fully out, it ended physically or metaphysically in the omnipotence of God; or, in other words, that it did not extrude the
(a) "Poncrologie;" from rompis and xiyof = doctrine of evil or sin. —Tb.
pantheistic element which still remained behind. Evil is not truly known until it is seen to be as strongly opposed to the idea of man as it is to the idea of God. The pure idea of man cannot be incompatible with the divine: they are bound and belong inwardly to each other; and to bring them together is not a work of mere omnipotence. Not until the ethical had been truly recognised as the essential and characteristic (not a merely accidental or adventitious) feature of each, could the distinction between God and humanity be completely secured against the inroads of Pantheism: but, this once confessed, the distinction was safe, for, being moral, each is related affirmatively to the other, instead of necessitating its curtailment, or even dissipation. If, then, the ethical is the most essential element of the idea both of God and man, it can be no longer permitted to describe the idea of humanity, which attained realization in the humanity of Christ, as fundamentally different from God.
Prior to the Reformation, as is well known, few traces are discoverable of such a logical following out of the ethical principles laid down by Augustine. On the contrary, an unreal and incoherent semi-Pelagianism,—that jumble of a doctrine of freedom which excluded the divine, and of a doctrine of God and grace which excluded the really moral in man, that compound of Pelagian and magical elements,—for the most part took the lead. This having been confessedly the characteristic of the Romanic Church, it would be a mark of great shortsightedness to maintain that the Christology of this period—which, like all others, could only operate with such conceptions of the divine and human as happened then to prevail—took none but sound forms, needing no reform. Not that we mean by any means to deny altogether the orderliness of its further course; for even error, where it has penetrated, is compelled to pursue a normal path by the strong cohibitive arm of truth.
After what has been advanced, we are justified in saying, that the Council of Chalcedon did not form a deep enough estimate of the distinction between the divine and the human, but so defined it, that the two, when they meet, commingle, and the human necessarily disappears in the divine, which is related to the human, as the infinite, to a finite power. The reason thereof is, that the distinction between the two is not conceived as ethically conciliated. Every one allows that a form of inspiration which suppresses human self-consciousness is unethical, and even pantheistic, in so far as it allows the individual Ego to be nothing but an impersonal organ of the Divine power, to which it succumbs. If now we conceive the action of Divine power to be extended to the will, and to all the psychical and somatical (corporeal) functions; if, moreover, we suppose it to be, not merely momentary, but perennial and retained to all eternity: then the result is, not a Christ who is both Son of man and Son of God—not a filial position for humanity, but a permanent state of bondage, if not even less:—in one word, such a view leaves us only a Christ whose origin and home is the domain of pantheistic intuitions. The doctrine of the Chnrch had the desire to discriminate itself from Pantheism; but the discrimination was not carried through, because it was not transferred to its true sphere, the sphere of the ethical, where alone Pantheism can be overcome in its very principle, and the distinction be again conciliated. This same thing is clear also from the consideration, that to treat the Deity and humanity predominantly as $vaeis, as physical substances, is in effect to represent them as essentially equal—as immediately primitively equal. The equality, moreover, is one before which any inequality, however great it may otherwise be, vanishes; inasmuch as everything that is merely <f>vais pertains to a sphere, from which the ethical is in the first instance excluded as something essentially disparate. This Christology, based as it was upon views of God and man, which we were compelled to trace to a parentage still partially pantheistic, found characteristic and conclusive expression, at a subsequent period, in the doctrine of the impersonality of the human nature—a doctrine which, though sanctioned by no (Ecumenical Council, was certainly adopted by later teachers of the Church. However unwillingly and late they arrived at this position, it was but the open and plain confession of that which necessarily followed on the eternization of the duality of essentially different natures in the Person of Christ. With the defect just described was associated another.
The formula of Chalcedon, viewed in its historical connection, may be said to have taken the side of the discrimination, in opposition to that of the oneness, of nature, in the Person of Christ; and to have stamped the distinction as an eternal duality of natures.1 It thus sensibly estranged itself from that mystical image of the Person of Christ in its unity and totality, which represents the entire Deity of the Logos as having become man, in such a way that the man also, at the same time, became God. Regarded from the point of view of that mystical Christology, the Dyophysitism which now rose to supremacy lowered the Christological task to one of the mere combination of the two natures in one person ;2 but still without any reasonable prospect of thus bringing about a solution of the problem. Witnesses for that higher, original Christological image, never at any time utterly failed; the religious interest, which concentrated itself chiefly on that image, burst out ever afresh, sometimes conjoined with logical inconsistencies, and sometimes in circuitous paths. But the Council of Chalcedon threw obstacles in the way of that intuitional image of Christ, by withdrawing from it that without which it could not be carried through, and by imposing upon it that with which its existence was incompatible. The Fathers displayed herein most clearly that same lack of deep interest in religion, which was evidenced by the whole spirit of their proceedings. The Council had nothing further to say concerning the humanity of Christ, than that it was of the same substance as ours, with the exception of sin; whilst, in the discussions relative to Eutyches, it entirely overlooked the fact, that even as touching His humanity, to Christ must be attributed a thoroughly exceptional character, in virtue of which He, and He alone, is the Head in the organism of the true humanity, and alone sets forth that true idea of humanity which through Him is to be realized in us. This plainly shows that the image of the Person of Christ, in its totality, must' have receded very far into the background, as compared with the interest in maintaining the distinctions; and yet, at no period was there a greater necessity for keeping firm hold on it than now, when the duality of natures and their infinite distinction from each other had been definitely
1 As Niedner well remarks, it favoured and met the modified Antiocheian, rather than the monophyaitic tendency.
* The piety of the Church would no longer suffer itself to be deprived of the expression " Mother of God" (foero'xof), although, strictly viewed, it owed its origin to another period, and one more favourable to Monophysitism, to wit, the pre-Chalcedonian period.
posited:—a circumstance which made a conciliatory element doubly needful.
From all this we see that even Monophysitism was partially justified in its opposition to the Council of Chalcedon. But it was impossible for the ancient Church to do justice to that system.1 It started with the unity of the person; took up, therefore, its point of view at the very centre of Christianity, within the precincts of the incarnation already accomplished; and sought thence, as we shall see, to effect the discrimination of the unity. The Church, on the contrary, now starts with the duality of natures; begins its constructive work from the preChristian point of view; and, instead of taking the unity for granted as an inexpugnable axiom, leaves it to be developed in the course of the scientific process through which dogmas were passing. And when we find the Church continually vacillating, during the process, between a principially pantheistic annihilation of the human by the divine, on the one hand, and a Judaistic separation of the two, on the other; we shall see merely a not unexpected counterpart to that fluctuation between a Pelagian and a magical view of the doctrine of man and of grace, which was peculiar to the Romanic Period. For more than three centimes the dualism of natures posited by the Council of Chalcedon gained ever wider recognition, in opposition to the traces of Monophysitism, which still remained in the Church, until the Christian mind was warned, by the rise and spread of Adoptianism, to do justice to the unity of the Person of Christ. In discharging this debt, however, it made such a use of the doctrine of the impersonality of the human nature, that the tendency towards the magical view of the operations of grace, and towards transubstantiation, which was characteristic of the Middle Ages, found ever increased satisfaction.
1 The debt due to Monophysitism began first to be discharged by the Lutheran Christology.