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NPNF-211. Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian
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Chapter XVI.

Recapitulation of what was said of the Catholic Faith and of divers Heresies, Chapters xi–xv.

[41.] But now that we may refresh our remembrance of what has been briefly said concerning either the afore-mentioned heresies or the Catholic Faith, let us go over it again more briefly and concisely, that being repeated it may be more thoroughly understood, and being pressed home more firmly held.

Accursed then be Photinus, who does not receive the Trinity complete, but asserts that Christ is mere man.

Accursed be Apollinaris, who affirms that the Godhead of Christ is marred by conversion, and defrauds Him of the property of perfect humanity.

Accursed be Nestorius, who denies that God was born of the Virgin, affirms two Christs, and rejecting the belief of the Trinity, brings in a Quaternity.

But blessed be the Catholic Church, which worships one God in the completeness of the Trinity, and at the same time adores the equality of the Trinity in the unity of the Godhead, so that neither the singularity of substance confounds the propriety of the Persons, not the distinction of the Persons in the Trinity separates the unity of the Godhead.

Blessed, I say, be the Church, which believes that in Christ there are two true and perfect substances but one Person, so that neither doth the distinction of natures divide the unity of Person, nor the unity of Person confound the distinction of substances.

Blessed, I say, be the Church, which understands God to have become Man, not by conversion of nature, but by reason of a Person, but of a Person not feigned and transient, but substantial and permanent.

Blessed, I say, be the Church, which declares this unity of Person to be so real and effectual, that because of it, in a marvellous and ineffable mystery, she ascribes divine attributes to man, and human to God; because of it, on the one hand, she does not deny that Man, as God, came down from heaven, on the other, she believes that God, as Man, was created, suffered, and was crucified on earth; because of it, finally, she confesses Man the Son of God, and God the Son of the Virgin.

Blessed, then, and venerable, blessed and most sacred, and altogether worthy to be compared with those celestial praises of the Angelic Host, be the confession which ascribes glory to the one Lord God with a threefold ascription of holiness. For this reason moreover she insists emphatically upon the oneness of the Person of Christ, that she may not go beyond the mystery of the Trinity (that is by making in effect a Quaternity.)

Thus much by way of digression. On another occasion, please God, we will deal with the subject and unfold it more fully.480480    Anrtelmi, who ascribed the Athanasian Creed to Vincentius, thought that document a fulfilment of the promise here made. Nova de Symbolo Athanasiano Disquisitio.—See Appendix I. Now let us return to the matter in hand.


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