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Doctrinal Theology
« Prev §  32. Of the Personal Union. Next »

§ 32. Of the Personal Union. In Christ the Redeemer we recognize a duality of natures and a unity of person, as expressed in the statement: “In Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, are two natures, a divine, that of the Word (ho logoß), and a human nature, so united that Christ is one person.” (CHMN., Loc. Th., I, 75.) We are to treat, therefore, in succession, first, of the two natures in Christ, and secondly, of the person of Christ. I. Of the Two Natures in Christ. — Christ is God and man. This is otherwise thus expressed: He exists in two natures, the divine and the human. [1] The divine nature He has of God the Father, and from eternity; the human nature He assumed in time from the Virgin Mary. [2] Each of these natures is to be regarded as truly genuine and entire, [3] for Christ is true God and true man. [4] As true man He participates in all the natural weaknesses to which human nature is subject since the Fall — He participates therein, however, not in consequence of a natural necessity, but in consequence of His own free will, for the accomplishment of His mediatorial work; for, as He was born of a human being, the Virgin Mary, but not begotten of a human father, His human nature did not inherit any of the consequences of Adam’s sin. [5] This does not prevent us from ascribing to Christ a true, complete human nature, like our own, as this is, indeed, predicated of Adam when not yet fallen, inasmuch as original sin, that we have inherited in consequence of the sin of Adam, has not given man another nature. It does, however, follow from the peculiar circumstances connected with the birth of Christ, and from the peculiar relation which the divine logoß sustains to this human nature, that certain peculiarities must be predicated of the human nature of Christ which distinguish it from that of other men. These are (1) the anupostasia [i.e., want of personality]; (2) the anamarthsia [i.e., sinlessness]; (3) the singularis animae et corporis excellentia [i.e., the peculiar excellence of soul and body.] [6] The first results from the peculiar relation which the divine logoß entered into with the human nature; for this latter is not to be regarded as at any time subsisting by itself and constituting a person by itself, since the logoß did not assume a human person, but only a human nature. Therefore there is negatively predicated of the human nature the anupostasia, inasmuch as the human nature has no personality of its own; and there is positively predicated of it the anupostasia, inasmuch as this human nature has become possessed of another hypostasis, that of the divine nature. The anamarthsia (sinlessness) is expressly taught in many passages of the Scriptures (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26; Is. 53:9; Dan. 9:24; Luke 1:35; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22), and follows also from the supernatural birth of Christ. The singular excellence of soul and body is a consequence of His sinlessness. II. Of the Person Of Christ. — The person of the Redeemer is constituted, when the logoß, the Second Person of the Godhead, the Son of God, unites Himself with human nature, and this so firmly and intimately that the two natures now united constitute One Person, which is that of the Redeemer, the God-man. [7] The act itself by which this is accomplished is called unitio personalis. HOLL. (665): “The divine action by which the Son of God assumed human nature, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, into the unity of His own person.” [8] This act is chosen and determined upon by the entire holy Trinity, by whom the substance that constitutes the human nature is prepared, and by whom this is united with the divine nature; but this act is accomplished in the second person of the Godhead, who alone has become man. [9] This Second Person of the Godhead, the logoß, in the act of uniting holds such a relation to the human nature that He, the logoß, imparts the personality, [10] and is in general the efficient agent through which the union is accomplished; for it is He that sustains an active relation to the human nature, which He assumes, whilst the human nature stands in a passive relation to Him. [11] This firm union of the divine and human natures, regarded as a condition, is then called unio personalis seu hypostatica [i.e., personal or hypostatic union]. HOLL. (679): “The personal union is a conjunction of the two natures, divine and human, subsisting in one hypostasis of the Son of God, producing a mutual and an indissoluble communion of both natures.” [12] And the result of this activity of the logoß is, that the hypostasis of the divine nature now has become also the hypostasis of the human nature, i.e., both natures have now one hypostasis, that of the logoß, and together form one person, that of the Redeemer, the God-man. [13] In consequence thereof the union of the two natures is so close and inseparable [14] that the one can no longer be conceived of as without or away from the other, but both are to be regarded as in all respects united, [15] yet in such a way that each of the two natures in this union retains its own essential character and peculiarities as before, and remains unmingled with the other. [16] So the Scriptures teach. But it is impossible to form a correct conception of the way and manner in which these two natures are united in the One Person, because the Scriptures teach us only the union itself, and not the mode in which it is effected. We shall have to content ourselves, therefore, with guarding against false conceptions that might be entertained in regard to this union. [17] Accordingly, we say that the union is “(1) not an essential one, by which two natures coalesce in one essence (against the Eutychians); (2) not a natural one, such as that of the soul and body in man; (3) not an accidental one, such as (a) between two or more different qualities united in one subject (as whiteness and sweetness are united in milk); (b) between a quality and a substance (as we find in a learned man); (c) between two substances that are accidentally united (as between beams that happen to be fastened together); (4) not a merely verbal one, arising either from a sinecure title (as when a man is called a counselor of his sovereign, which title was never bestowed upon him because of counsels he had given) or from the use of figurative language (as when Herod is called a fox); finally, (4) not an habitual or relative one, which may exist, although the parties to this union may be separated and far apart. (There are many varieties of this relative union, such as moral, between friends; domestic, between husband and wife; political, between citizens; ecclesiastical, between members of the Church.)” [18] HOLL. (679). On the other hand, we may predicate of this union, positively, that “(1) It is true and real, because it exists between extremes that really adhere, there being no separation or distance between them; “(2) It is a personal one (but not a union of persons), and interpenetrative (perichoristica);16 “(3) It is a perpetually enduring one.” (See Notes 6, 7, 8.) [1] HFRFFR. (260): “By the natures, the two sources or parts, so to speak, are understood, of which the person of Christ has been constituted, namely, a Divine nature and a human nature.” Of Person it is remarked: “The Person of our Redeemer is here considered, not as asarkoß, or such as it was from eternity before the incarnation, but as ensarkoß, or such as it began to be in the fulness of time, through the taking of our human nature into His own divine person.” (HOLL., 656.) General Definition of Nature and Person. CHMN. (de duab. nat., 10: “Essence, or substance, or nature, is that which of itself is common to many individuals of the same species, and which embraces the entire essential perfection of each of them.” “Person or individual is something peculiar, possessing indeed the entire and perfect substance of the same species, but determined and limited by a characteristic and personal peculiarity, and thus subsists of itself, separated or distinguished from the other individuals of the same species, not in essence, but in number. For a person is an indivisible, intelligent, incommunicable substance, which neither is a part of another, nor is sustained in another, nor has dependence upon another object such as the separated soul has upon the body that is to be raised up. Therefore, the names of the essence or natures are qeothß, anqrwpothß, divinity, humanity, divine nature, human nature, divine essence, human substance. The designations of the person are God, man.” Concerning the difference of signification, in which the term nature or essence is employed with reference to God and to man, cf. chapter, “Of the Holy Trinity,” note 14, p.141. QUEN. (Of the Divine Nature of Christ (III, 75)): “The divine nature otherwise signifies the divine essence, one in number, common 1 6 Perichoristica. See § 33, Note 2. to all three Persons, and entire in each; but, in the article ‘Of the Person of Christ,’ this is not considered absolutely, in so far as it is common to the three persons of the Godhead, but relatively, so far as it subsists in the person of the Son of God, and, as by the manner of its existence, it is limited to the Second Person of the Trinity. Whence it is true that the entire divine essence is united to human nature, but only in one of its persons, viz., the second.” [2] QUEN. (III, 75): “The incarnate Person consists of two natures, divine and human. The divine nature He possesses from eternity, from God the Father, through eternal, true, and properly named generation of substance; whence Christ is also the true, natural, and eternal God, the Son of God. A true and pure human nature He received in time, of the Virgin Mary.” A twofold generation is, therefore, distinguished in Christ: one “an eternal generation, through which He is the Son of God;” and another, “a generation in time through which He is man, or the Son of man. Gal. 4:4.” (Br., 457.) [3] HOLL. (659): “The Council of Chalcedon: ‘We confess that He is true God and true man, the latter consisting of a rational soul and a body, co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, and co-essential with us according to the manhood, in all things like unto us, sin only excepted.’” SCHRZR. (177): “The antithesis of the Eutychians, who indeed admit two natures prior to the act of union, but affirm that from that time the human nature has been altogether absorbed by the Godhead.” QUEN. (III, 75): “With regard to the human nature we must consider: 1, its truth; 2, its completeness; 3, its omoousia (identity of essence). The first excludes a mere appearance; the second, incompleteness; the third, contrariety of essence (eterousia).” GRH. (III, 373): “In Christ there is a true and perfect divine nature, and hence Christ is also true, natural, and eternal God. We say that in Christ there are not only divine gifts, but also a true and perfect divine nature; nor do we simply say that He is and is called God, but that He is true, natural, and eternal God, in order, by this means, to separate our confession the more distinctly from the blasphemies of the Photinians, and all opponents of the divine nature.” (Id. III, 400): “In Christ there is a true, complete, and perfect human nature, and for this reason Christ is also true, perfect, and natural man. By truth of human nature is meant that the Word took upon Himself not an appearance, or mere outward form of human nature, but in reality became a man. By completeness of human nature is meant that He took, into the unity of His person, all the essential parts of human nature, not only a body, but also a rational soul; since His flesh was flesh pervaded by soul. Nor is it said only that He was, but that He still is, a man: because He never has laid aside, nor ever will lay aside, what He has once assumed.” These expressions are directed against the Monotheletes, “who acknowledged a human mind in Christ, but denied to Christ a human will.” (BRCHM.) [4] HOLL. (656): “1. The true and eternal divine nature is proved by the most complete arguments, derived (a) from the divine names (arg. onomastikoiß); (b) from the attributes peculiar to the true God alone (arg. vidiomatikoiß); (c) from the personal and essential acts of God (arg. energhtikoiß); (d) from the religious worship due God alone (arg. latreutikoiß);” cf. chapter on the Trinity, note 34. “II. That Christ is true man, is shown (a) from human names (John 8:40; 1 Tim. 2:5); (b) from the essential parts of a man (John 2:21; Heb. 2:14; Luke 24:39; John 10:15; Matt. 26:38; Luke 2:52; John 5:21; Matt. 26:39); (c) from the attributes peculiar to a true man (Matt. 4:2; John 19:28; Matt. 25:37; Luke 19:41; John 11:33); (d) from human works (Luke 2:46, 48; Matt. 4:1; 26:55); (e) from the genealogy of Christ as a man (in the ascending line, Luke 3:23; in the descending line, Matt. 1:1).” [5] CHMN. (de duab. nat., 11): . . . “Christ, conceived of the Holy Ghost, took upon Himself a human nature without sin, pure. Therefore the infirmities, which as punishments accompany sin, would not have been in the flesh of Christ by necessity of the condition, but His body could have been kept clear and exempt from these infirmities. Sinful flesh was not necessary to His being true man, as Adam, before the Fall, without the infirmities which are punishments, was true man. But for our sakes, and for our salvation, the incarnate Christ, to commend His love to us, willingly took upon Himself these infirmities, that thus He might bear the punishment transferred from us to Himself, and might free us from it.” HUTT. (l. c., 125): “That He took upon Himself these, not so far as they have reference to any guilt, but only as they have the condition of punishment; neither, indeed, these individually and collectively, but only such as the work of Redemption rendered it necessary for Him to take upon Himself, and which detract nothing from the dignity of His nature.” But a distinction is made between natural and personal infirmities. HOLL. (657): “The natural infirmities common to men are those which, since the Fall, exist in all men, e.g., to hunger, to thirst, to be wearied, to suffer cold and heat, to be grieved, to be angry, to be troubled, to weep. Since they are without guilt, Christ, according to the testimony of Holy Scripture, took them upon Himself, not by constraint, but freely; not for His own sake, but for our sake” (QUEN. (III, 76): “that He might perform the work of a mediator, and become a victim for our sins”), “not forever, but for a time, namely, in the state of humiliation, and not retaining the same in the state of exaltation. . . . Personal infirmities are those which proceed from particular causes, and derive their origin either from an imperfection of formative power in the one begetting, as consumption, gout; or from a particular crime, as intemperance in eating and drinking, such as fever, dropsy, etc.; or from a special divine judgment, as the diseases of the family of Job (2 Sam. 3:29). These are altogether remote from the most holy humanity of Christ, because to have assumed these would not have been of advantage to the human race, and would have detracted from human dignity.” [6] HOLL. (657): “To the human nature of Christ there belong certain individual designations, by which, as by certain distinctive characteristics or prerogatives, He excels other men; such are (a) anupostasia, the being without a peculiar subsistence, since this is replaced by the divine person (upostasiß) of the Son of God, as one far more exalted. If the human nature of Christ had retained its peculiar subsistence, there would have been in Christ two persons, and therefore two mediators, contrary to 1 Tim. 2:5. The reason is, because a person is formally constituted in its being by a subsistence altogether complete, and therefore unity of person is to be determined from unity of subsistence. Therefore, one or the other nature, of those which unite in one person, must be without its own peculiar subsistence; and, since the divine nature, which is really the same as its subsistence, cannot really be without the same, it is evident that the absence of a peculiar subsistence must be ascribed to the human nature.” Still, a distinction must be made between anupostasia and enupostasia. QUEN. (III, 77): “That is anupostaton which does not subsist of itself and according to its peculiar personality; but that is enupostaton which subsists in another, and becomes the partaker of the hypostasis of another. When, therefore, the human nature of Christ is said to be anupostatoß, nothing else is meant than that it does not subsist of itself, and according to itself, in a peculiar personality; moreover, it is called enupostatoß, because it has become a partaker of the hypostasis of another, and subsists in the logoß.” HOLL. (658) considers the following objections: “You say, ‘If the human nature is without a peculiar subsistence, the same will be more imperfect than our nature, which is auqupostatoß, or subsisting of itself.’ Reply: ‘The perfection of an object is to be determined from its essence, and not from its subsistence’” The observation of GRH. (III, 421) is also of importance: “Anupostaton has a twofold meaning. Absolutely, that is said to be anupostaton, which subsists neither in its own upostasiß, nor in that of another, which has neither essence nor subsistence, is neither in itself, nor in another, but is purely negative. In this sense, the human nature of Christ cannot be said to be anupostaton. Relatively, that is said to be anupostaton, which does not subsist in its own, but in the upostasiß of another; which indeed has essence, but not personality and subsistence peculiar to itself. In this sense, the flesh of Christ is said to be anupostatoß, because it is enupostatoß, subsisting in the logoß.” “The statement of some, that the starting-point of the incarnation is the anupostasia of the flesh intervening between that subsistence, on the one hand, by which the mass whereof the body of Christ was formed subsisted as a part of the Virgin, not by its own subsistence and that of the Virgin; and the subsistence, on the other hand, whereby the human nature, formed from the sanctified mass by the operation of the Holy Ghost in the first moment of incarnation, began to subsist with the very subsistence of the logoß, communicated to it, is not to be received in such a sense as though the flesh of Christ was at any time entirely anupostatoß; but, because in our thought, such an anupostasia is regarded prior to its reception into the subsistence of the logoß, not with regard to the order of time, but to that of nature. The flesh and soul were not first united into one person; but the formation of the flesh, by the Holy Ghost, from the separated and sanctified mass, the giving of a soul to this flesh as formed, the taking up of the formed and animated flesh into the subsistence of the logoß, and the conception of the formed, animated, and subsisting flesh in the womb of the virgin, were simultaneous.” (b) anamarthsia. CHEMN. (de duab. nat., 13, 14): “For this reason Gabriel says to Mary, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, so that what shall be born of thee will be holy.’ Therefore, the working of the Holy Ghost caused the Virgin Mary without male seed to conceive and be with child. And the Holy Ghost so sanctified, and cleansed from every spot of sin, the mass which the Son of God, in the conception, assumed from the flesh and blood of Mary, that that which is born of Mary was holy, Is. 53:9; Dan. 9:24; Luke 1:35; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:22.” (QUEN. (III, 77): “I say inherent, not imputative, sinlessness; for our sins were really imputed to Him, and He was made sin for us, 2 Cor. 5:21.”) SCHRZR. (189): “Christ never sinned, nor was He even able to sin. We prove the statement that He was not even able to sin, or that He was impeccable, as follows: (a) He who is like men, sin only excepted, cannot be peccable. For, since all men are peccable, Christ would be like them also with regard to sin and peccability, which contradicts the apostle, Heb. 7:26. (b) He who is both holy by His origin, and is exempt from original sin, who can never have a depraved will, and constitutes one person with God Himself, is clearly impeccable. (g) He who is higher than the angels is altogether impeccable. (d) He to whom the Holy Ghost has been given without measure, is also holy and just without measure, and therefore cannot sin.” (c) An eminent excellence of soul and body. QUEN. (III, 78): “A threefold perfection of soul, viz., of intellect, will, and desire.” (HOLL. (658): “The soul of Christ contains excellences of wisdom, Luke 2:47; John 7:46, and of holiness.”) “The perfection of body: (a) THe highest eukrasia, a healthful and uniform temperament of body. (b) aqanasia, or immortality” (HOLL. (ib.) “which belongs to Him, both because of the soundness of an im- peccable nature, Rom. 6:23, and through the indissoluble bond of the personal union. Christ, therefore, is immortal, by reason of an intrinsic principle, and the fact that He died arose from an extrinsic principle, and according to a voluntary arrangement, John 10:17, 18. Yet, in the death which was voluntarily submitted to, the body of Christ remained afqarton, or exempt from corruption, Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:31.”) (g) “The greatest elegance and beauty of form, Ps. 45:2.” (HOLL. (ib.): “The beauty of Christ’s body is inferred from the excellence of the soul inhabiting it, . . . and from the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost, by whose efficacious presence the most glorious temple of Christ’s body was formed.” QUEN. (III, 78): “The passage, ‘He was despised and rejected of men,’ Is. 53:3, refers to the deformity arising from the wounds of the passion.”) [7] CHMN. (de duab. nat., 18): “It is not sufficient to know and to believe that in Christ there are, in some way or other, two natures, divine and human, but we must add to this that, in the hypostatic union, they are so closely joined, that there is one and the same subsistence consisting of these two natures, and subsisting in two natures.” HOLL. (668): “The divine and human natures existing in the one united person of the Son of God have one and the same hypostasis, yet have it in a diverse mode. For the divine nature has this primarily, of itself and independently; but the human nature has this secondarily, because of the personal union, and therefore by partaking of it from another (Lat. participative).” [8] BR. (461): “The union of the human nature with the divine consists in this, that the natures are so joined that they become one person.” Expressions of like import are sarkwsiß, ensarkwsiß, sarkogennhsia, incarnation, becoming man, becoming body (incorporatio, enanqrwphsiß and enswmatwsiß), assumption (proslhyiß). QUEN. (III, 80): “The basis of this mystery is found in John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14, 16; Rom. 9:5.” Definition — HOLL. (665): “The incarnation is a divine act, by which the Son of God, in the womb of His mother, the Virgin Mary, took into the unity of His person a human nature, consubstantial with us, but without sin, and destitute of a subsistence of its own, and communicated to the same both His divine person and nature, so that Christ now subsists forever, as the God-man, in two natures, divine and human, most intimately united.” [9] GRH. (III, 413): “The question is asked, ‘How is the work of incarnation ascribed to the Father and Holy Ghost, so that, nevertheless, the Son alone is said to be incarnate?’ We distinguish between (1) the sanctification of the mass whereof the body of Christ was formed, which cleansed it from every stain of sin, and (2) the formation of the body of Christ from the sanctified mass by divine power, which twofold action is common to the entire Trinity, and (3) the assumption of that body into the person of the logos, which is peculiar to the Son of God. Whence the work of incarnation, so far as the act is concerned, is said to be common to the entire Trinity; but, so far as the end of the assumed flesh, which is the person of the logoß, is concerned, it is peculiar to the Son. So far as the effecting or production of the act is concerned, it is said to be a work ad extra and essential, or common to the entire Trinity. So far as its termination or relation is concerned, it is a work ad extra and personal, or peculiar to the Son.17 The act of assumption proceeds from the divine virtue common to the three persons; the end of the assumption is the person peculiar to the Son. The Father sent the Son into the world. The Holy Ghost, coming upon the drops of blood from which the body of Christ was formed, sanctified and cleansed them from all sin, in order that that which would be born of Mary should be holy, and by divine power 1 7 Compare chapter on the Trinity, note 22. so wrought in the blessed Virgin that, contrary to the order of nature, she conceived offspring without male seed. The Son descended from heaven, overshadowed the Virgin, came into flesh, and became flesh by partaking of the same, by manifesting Himself in the same, and by taking it into the unity of His persons.” (In Luke 1:35, “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee,” is generally understood as referring to the Son.) HOLL. (661): “Overshadowing denotes the mysterious and wonderful filling of the temple of the body, formed by the Holy Ghost. For the Son of God overshadowed the Virgin Mary, while He descended in an inscrutable manner into the womb of the Virgin, and by a peculiar assimilation filled and united to Himself a particle of the Virgin’s blood excited by the Holy Spirit, so that He dwelt in it bodily, as in His own temple.” (Id. 661 and 662): “The conception of the God-man is referred to the Holy Ghost, Luke 1:35: (a) because the entire work of fructifying is ascribed to Him, Gen 1:2; (b) in order that the purity of the particle of blood, from which the flesh of Christ grew, might be the more evident; (c) that thus the cause of the generation of Christ as a man, and of our regeneration, might be the same, viz., the Holy Ghost. The material source, and that the entire source, of the conception and production of Christ, the man, is Mary, the pure Virgin (Is. 7:14), born of the royal pedigree of David, and therefore of the tribe of Judah (Luke 3; Acts 2:30). The material, partial and proximate source is the quickened seed of the Virgin (Heb. 2:14, 16).” Against the above, Vorstius, following the Socinians, asserts: “That the Holy Ghost in forming Christ, the man, supplied the place of male seed, yea, even of man himself, and that nothing was absent from the generation of Christ except the agency and seed of a male.” GERHARD, in reply, asks (III, 417): “Whether, because of the peculiar work of the Holy Ghost in the conception of Christ, it is right to call Him the father of Christ?” and answers: “By no means; for none of those acts which are ascribed to the Holy Ghost, in this work, confers upon Him the right and title of father. The devout old authors confine this action to three points. The first is the immediate energy which gave the Virgin the power of conceiving offspring, contrary to the order of nature, without male seed. The second is the miraculous sanctification, which sanctified, i.e., cleansed from sin, the mass of which the body of the Son of God was formed. The third is the mysterious union, which joined the human and divine natures into one person. The Holy Ghost was not the spermatic, but (a) the formative (dhmiourgikh), (b) the sanctifying (agiastikh), (c) the completing (teleiwtikh) cause of conception . . . But, because of none of these operations can the Holy Ghost be called the father of Christ, because the flesh of Christ was not begotten of the essence of the Holy Ghost, but of the substance of the Virgin Mary. ‘Of the Holy Ghost,’ does not denote the material, but the efficient cause and operation. . . . When we say, ‘Of the Holy Ghost,’ the ‘of’ is potential.” [10] CHEM. (de duab. nat., 23): “The human nature did not assume the divine, nor did man assume God, nor did the divine person assume a human person; but the divine nature of the logoß, or God the logoß, or the person of the Son of God, subsisting from eternity in the divine nature, assumed in the fulness of time a certain mass of human nature, so that in Christ there is an assuming nature, viz., the divine, and an assumed nature, viz., the human. In other cases, human nature is always the nature of a certain individual, whose peculiarity it is to subsist in a certain hypostasis, which is distinguished by a characteristic property from the other hypostases of the same nature. Thus each man has a soul of his own. But in the incarnate Christ, the divine nature subsisted of itself before this union, and indeed from eternity. Yet the mass of the assumed nature did not thus subsist of itself before this union, so that before this union there was a body and soul belonging to a certain and distinct individual, i.e., a peculiar person subsisting in itself, which afterwards the Son of God assumed. But in the very act of conception, the Son of God assumed this mass of human nature into the unity of His person, to subsist and be sustained therein, and, by assuming it, made it His own, so that this body is not that of another individual or another person, but the body is peculiar to the Son of God Himself, and the soul is the peculiar soul of the Son of God Himself.” (Id. Loc. c. Th., I, 76): “Since in the incarnate Christ there are two intelligent, individual natures, and yet only one person, because there is one Christ, we say that these two natures are united, not in such a manner that the human nature of Christ was conceived and formed in the womb of Mary, before the divine nature was united to it. For if, before the union, the humanity of Christ had ever by itself had a subsistence, there would then be in Christ two persons also, just as there are two intelligent individual natures.” The communication of person or subsistence, therefore, proceeds from the logoß. HOLL. (668): “The communication of person is that by which the Son of God truly and actually conferred upon His assumed human nature, destitute of proper personality, His own divine person, for communion and participation, so that the same might reach a terminus, be perfected in subsisting, and be established in a final hypostatic existence.” [11] QUEN. (III, 83): “Of these two extremes (the divine and the human nature), one has the relation of an agent or of one perfecting, and the other the relation of one passive and able to be perfected. The former is the Son of God, or the simple person of the logoß, or, what is the same thing, the divine nature determined by the person of the logoß; the latter is the human nature. . . . The former extreme is the active principle of pericwrhsiß, which acts and perfects; the latter the passive principle of the same pericwrhsiß, which is perfected or receives the perfections.” KG. (126): “Pericwrhsiß (immission, active intermingling) is that by which the divine nature of the logoß, in perfecting, pervades inwardly and all around, so to speak, the human nature, and imparts to all of it its entire self, i.e., in the totality and perfection of its essence, Col. 2:9.” Moreover its effect is, that the fulness of the Godhead dwells in the human nature, and both natures are, in the highest degree, present to each other. [12] GRH. (III, 412): “The state of the union is properly and specifically called union, hypostatic union, and is the most intimate pericwrhsiß, or unmixed and unconfused pervasion in one person of two distinct natures, mutually present in the highest degree to each other, because of which one nature is not outside of the other, neither can it be without impairing the unity of the person. Such a distinction is made between the state and the act of the union, that the act is transient and the state is permanent; that the act is that of a simple person, i.e., of the logoß, who before His incarnation was a simple person, upon a human nature, but the state exists between two natures, divine and human, in a complex person; that the act consists in the assumption of humanity, made in the first moment of incarnation, but the state, in the most intimate and enduring cohesion of natures.” QUEN. (III, 86): “The form of this personal union implies: (a) The participation or communion of one and the same person, 1 Tim. 2:5; (b) the intimate personal and constant mutual presence of the nature, John 1:14; Col. 2:9.” [13] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec. VIII, 6): “Although the Son of God is Himself an entire and distinct person of the eternal God-head, and therefore from eternity has been, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, true, essential, and perfect God; yet that He assumed human nature into the unity of His person, not as though there resulted in Christ two persons, or two Christs, but that now Jesus Christ, in one person, is at the same time true eternal God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and true man.” CHMN. (de duab. nat., 25): “To the specific difference of the hypostatic union belongs the fact that these two natures are joined and united, in order to constitute one personality in the incarnate Christ, i.e., the nature inseparably assumed in the union became so peculiar to the person of the Word assuming it, that although there are and remain in Christ two natures, without change and mixture, with the distinction between the natures and essential attributes unimpaired, yet there are not two Christs, but only one Christ.” Hence, since the act of union, Christ is called a complex person. GRH. (III, 427): “The hypostasis is called complex, not because it became composite, by suffering in and of itself an alteration and loss of its simplicity, but because, since the incarnation, it is an hypostasis of two natures, while before it was an hypostasis of the divine nature alone. Before the incarnation the person of the logoß was self-determined and simple, subsisting only in the divine nature; by the incarnation the hypostasis became complex, consisting, at the same time, of the divine and human nature, and thus not only His divine, but also His assumed human nature, belongs to the entireness of the person of Christ now incarnate. Because the hypostasis of the logoß became an hypostasis of the flesh, therefore the hypostasis of the logoß was imparted to the flesh,” and hence there follows the impartation of personality to the human nature. [14] HFRFFR. (263): “These two natures in Christ are united (1) inconvertibly. For He became the Son of God, not by the change of His divine nature into flesh; (2) unconfusedly. For the two natures are one, not by a mingling, through which a third object (tertium quiddam) comes into being, preserving in no respect the entireness of the simple natures; (3) inseparably and uninterruptedly. For the two natures in Christ are so united that they are never separated by any intervals, either of time or place. Therefore this union has not been dissolved in death, and the logoß cannot be shown at any place without the assumed human nature. For the Son of God took upon Himself human nature, not as a garment which He again would lay aside. Neither did the Son of God appear, as angels sometimes have appeared, in human form to men, but He made the assumed flesh His own, and since He has assumed it, never leaves it. For, according to the Council of Chalcedon: ‘We confess one and the same Jesus Christ, the Son and Lord only-begotten, in two natures, without mixture, change, division, or separation (en duo fusein, asugcutwß, atreptwß, adiairetwß, acwristwß).’” [15] GRH. (III, 428): “For neither has a part been united to a part, but the entire logoß to the entire flesh, and the entire flesh to the entire logoß; therefore, because of the identity of person and the pervasion of the natures by each other, the logoß is so present to the flesh, and the flesh is so present to the logoß, that neither the logoß is without the flesh, nor the flesh without the logoß, but wherever the logoß is, there He has the flesh present in the highest degree with Himself, because He has taken this into the unity of His person; and wherever the flesh is, there it has the logos in the highest degree present to itself, because the flesh has been taken into His person. As the logoß is not without the divine nature, to which the person belongs, so also is He not without His flesh, finite indeed in essence, yet personally subsisting in the logoß. For as, by eternal generation from the Father, His own divine nature is peculiar to the logoß, so through the personal union, flesh became peculiar to the same logoß.” FORM. CONC., Sol. Dec., VIII, 11. [16] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VIII, 7): “We believe that now, in this undivided person of Christ, there are two distinct natures, namely, the divine, which is from eternity, and the human, which in time was taken into the unity of the person of the Son of God. And these two natures in the person of Christ are never either separated, or commingled, or changed the one into the other, but each remains in its nature and substance, or essence, in the person of Christ to all eternity. We believe . . . that as each nature in its nature and essence remains unmingled, and never ceases to exist, so each nature retains its natural essential properties, and to all eternity does not lay them aside.” [17] GRH. (III, 422): “The mode of this union is wonderfully unique and uniquely wonderful, transcending the comprehension not only of all men, but even of angels, whence it is called ‘without controversy, a great mystery.’ There are various and diverse modes of union which are to be excluded from the mode of the personal union. For, as devout old writers say that it is better to know and be able to express what God is not, than what He is, so also of the divine and supernatural union of the two natures in Christ, we can truly affirm that it is easier to tell what is not, than what is its mode.” From the Holy Scriptures, GRH. (ib.) justifies the above-mentioned presentation of this doctrine as follows: “The more prominent passages of Scripture which speak of the union of the two natures in Christ are: John 1:14; Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14-16. As these are all parallel, they must be constantly connected in the explanation of the union. John says: ‘The Word was made flesh;’ but, lest any one think that the Word was made flesh in the same sense that the water was made wine, Paul says that God, i.e., the Son of God, ‘was manifest in the flesh,’ and that ‘He took part of flesh and blood’ (kekoinwnhke). But now communion is between at least two distinct things, otherwise it would be interchange and coalescence. God is said by the apostle to have been ‘manifest in the flesh;’ but, lest any one might think that it was such a manifestation as there was in the Old Testament, when either God Himself or angels appeared in outward forms, John says that the ‘logoß became flesh,’ i.e., that He so took flesh into His person as never afterwards to lay it aside. The Son of God is said to have taken on Him the seed of Abraham; but, lest any one might think that it was an assumption such as that was when angels for a time took upon them corporeal forms, it is said that, ‘as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.’ But now it is evident that children partake of flesh and blood in such a manner that, by birth, flesh and blood, or human nature, is imparted to them by their parents. The apostle described the union by the dwelling of the logoß in assumed flesh; but, lest any one might think that the Son of God dwelt in assumed flesh in the manner in which God dwells, through grace, in the hearts of believers, he adds significantly that all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in the assumed flesh, and that, too, bodily, to denote the dwelling-place, or personally, to express the mode of union.” [18] The negative properties are enumerated very differently by the Dogmaticians. Besides those specified in the text, the most prominent are these: “The union occurred (a) asugcutwß, unconfusedly; (b) atreptwß, inconvertibly; (c) adiairetwß, indivisibly; (d) acwristwß, inseparably; (e) analloiwtwß, uninterchangeably; (f) adialutwß, indissolubly; (g) adiastatwß, uninterruptedly.” Or, “Not by reason of place (topikwß), as formerly in the temple at Jerusalem; not by reason of power (energhtikwß), as in creatures; not by reason of grace (carientwß), as in saints; not by reason of glory (doxastikwß), as in the blessed and the angels.”

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