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Christus : secundum animam tristis fuit ; secundum carnem passus est mortem. Caro in illo mortua est, non ipse mortuus est.-Idem et æternus in suo, moriturus in nostro, dum utrumque continet ex seipso, et neutrum perdit ex altero. In illo divinitas est unigeniti facta particeps mortalitatis nostræ, ut et nos participes ejus immortalitatis essemus."
Hilary. -"Ejusdem periculi res est, Christum Jesum vel Spiritum Deum, vel carnem corporis nostri denegare.”
Justin Martyr.-“ Filius autem Dei in Virgine sibi fecit perfectum hominem, partem accipiens ab illius natura. Quatenus homo est mortem voluntariam subiit, ut tolleret peccatum. Quatenus Deus excitavit illum hominem. Quum de Filio contrarias voces audieris : ea quæ dicuntur inter se collocata distribue : siquid divinum, divinæ naturæ adscribens : siquid humile et humanum, humanæ naturæ imputans.”
Lombard, Magister Sententiarum.— * Quia in homine tota humana natura vitio corrupta erat, totam assumpsit, id est animam et carnem ut totam curaret et sanctificaret. Totam
hominis naturam, id est, animam et carnem et horum proprietates sive accidentia cum sensibus assumpsit Deus. Totum assumpsit me, inquit Damascenus, ut toti salutem mihi gratificaret. Secundum humanam assumptionem ecclesiæ gerebat personam. Proprie Filius dicitur Redemptor. Ipse solus est Mediator quia est medius inter Deum et homines."
Leo Primus.-" Corpus Christi nulla ratione est extra coporis nostri veritatem.”
Daniel Heinsius.—“Opowua oapkos est ipsa caro; etiamsi non cum peccato : Ομοιωμα ergo σαρκος αμαρτιας, similitudo carnis peccati, caro quæ peccavit. Missus ergo Filius Dei ev opowuatı oapkos apaprias, in similitudine carnis peccati : id est, in carne, non peccatrice, eadem tamen quæ in nobis peccarat ; sive polluta, non in ipso, sed in nobis. Naturam peccati, hoc est, peccatorum, Dei Filius suscepit; puram quidem, sed ut nostram, quæ peccarat, expiaret. Acute, quanquam paulo aliter, Augustinus; Misit Deus Filium suum in similitudine carnis peccati.
Non in similitudine carnis ; quasi caro non esse caro : sed in similitudine carnis peccati ; quia caro erat, sed peccati caro non erat. Et alibi, In carnem suam non peccatum transtulit, tanquam venenum serpentis, sed tamen transtulit mortem ; ut esset in similitudine carnis peccati, pæna sine culpa : unde in carne peccati et culpa solveretur et pona. Opowua oapkos vera sit caro: cum peccati non ab eo dicatur qui assumpsit, atque hoc ipso expiavit, sed ab eo qui peccando corrupit. Caro peccati, a primo Adamo : quam secundus induit, sed ut purgaret; ipse peccati omnis expers.'
Basilius Seleucie Episcopus.-" Κατεκρινε την αμαρτίαν εν τη σαρκι avrov legit: Quod et Syrus expressit. Misit Deus Filium suum
in similitudine carnis peccati, hominis naturæ quæ corrupta erat per peccatum, propter ipsum peccatum, ut peccatum aboleret in carne nostra: ut condemnaret peccatum in carne ejus.”
Beza." Sed ut ipsa essentia humanæ naturæ fuit eadem in Christo per omnia atque nostra; sic quod ad ejus naturæ vitiosam qualitatem attinet, sive non quatenus simpliciter fuit caro, sed caro peccati, maxima fuit inter hanc et illam dissimilitudo, quæ tamen ex specie ipsa exteriore non appareret : quamobrem usus fuisse putatur Apostolus ομοιωματος. Carni peccati. Id est carni per peccatum contaminatæ : quod ut aboleret Christus assumens illam carnem plene ipsam in sese ex Spiritu Sancto conceptam sanctificavit, ut inde postea in nos, sibi insitos, illius sanctificationis vis sensim derivetur. Neque nunc Apostolus agit
de Christi morte, et nostrorum peccatorum expiatione, sed de Christi incarnatione, et naturæ ostræ corruptione per eam sublata. Sunt enim jampridem illo ab Apostolo explicata, adeo ut a ver. 12, C. v. aliud argumentum sit exorsus : quamobrem etiam non dixit Apostolus nepi apapriwy pro peccatis, sed apaprias hoc nomine nativam illam labem significans quæ in carne nostra hærebat, priusquam Christus illam carnem assumendo plene in sese sanctificaret."
Vatablus.—“ In similitudinem carnis peccati, vel sub specie carnis peccato obnoxiæ : i. e. qui habuit corpus simile nostro corpori peccato obnoxio.”
Clarius.--" In similitudine carnis peccati : nam per omina similis nostri factus est absque peccato.”
Zeger.--"In ea videlicet carne in qua passus est, ipse Deus Filius, potens est etiam nobis auxiliari ne tentationibus succumbamus.'
Castalio.-“ Pro peccato, ad delendum peccatum. In carne : In Christo homine."
To meet, and if God pleaseth to drive back, the head of ancient heresy which is appearing anew in the church, concerning the flesh of Christ, we have quoted above from various orthodox Fathers, Reformers, and approved writers, passages exhibiting their views on this great doctrine, which, by the art and malice of the devil, is again beginning to be called in question. And we would now conclude with one or two remarks, which may serve the purpose of shewing this subject to the unlearned as well as to the learned.
The orthodox church hath ever believed that Christ was holy, both as to his rational soul and likewise as to his flesh; that is to say, that he presented soul and body unto God all his life long and upon the cross, holy, harmless, undefiled, without blemish, and without spot. And the only question is, how this holy and perfect sacrifice of humanity was brought about; how
he could present such a faultless sacrifice unto God. There are only three ways of explaining this, the great foundation of redemption and atonement; two of which the church hath ever pronounced heretical, and the third she hath ever asserted to be orthodox; which we shall give in order, presenting the heretical suppositions first, and the orthodox doctrine last.
The first false exposition which hath been given of Christ's perfect holiness is, that he took flesh, not of sin, which was only apparently flesh of sin, but was in reality other than it seemed. This they rest upon that passage in the Romans (viii. 1), which says, “ in the likeness of sinful flesh ” (flesh of sin): from this they argue, that his was not the reality, but only the appearance or similitude of flesh of sin. Now, taking for a moment their own view of the word “likeness," we ask,what likeness is there between fesh of sinlessness and flesh of sin? These are not similar, but opposite, yea, and contrary. But the error of interpretation is in the misrepresentation of the word " likeness," which, being spoken of God's own Son, doth merely imply that he was not altogether flesh, or altogether man, but that he continued still the very Son of God: how otherwise could it be expressed that a Person truly God, and continuing to be God, took human form, than by saying that He was God in the likeness of man? The word “likeness" is introduced, not to deny the verity of his flesh of sin, but to preserve the verity of his Godhead, when he became manifested as flesh of sin.. As we would say of a prince assuming to himself a beggar's form, that the prince had come to us in the likeness of a beggar. But to put this question of what is the force of the word “ likeness” in this passage beyond all doubt, we refer to 2 Phil. v. 7, where the same words, ev opowuari, occur in this connection, “ being generated in likeness of men,” translated in our version, was made in the likeness of man.
Now, any one who upon the strength of the word “likeness” will take upon himself to deny the reality of his flesh of sin, must upon the strength of the same word,“ likeness," deny the reality of his manhood; for the word, and the connection of the word, is one and the same in both passages. Besides this, seeing they rest so much upon this word " likeness,” it ought surely to satisfy them if we produce a passage where the same thing is asserted without any intervention of that word.
Let it be, amongst many that might be quoted, Heb. ii. 14: “ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he himself likewise took part of the same:" literally, “Since then the children had commonness of flesh and blood, he himself intimately participated of the same things.”
But interpretation is one thing, and doctrine is another and much higher thing; of which the harmony and consent of all sound interpretations of all Scripture formeth the basis and the building up. Now the church, which is the judge of the doctrine deducible from the interpretation of all Scripture, hath ever rejected and cast out all such notions of Christ's reasonable soul and natural flesh as made them in any thing to differ from the reasonable soul and natural flesh of the rest of the brethren. All notions concerning the body of Christ, as a mere apparition or resemblance of what it really was not; all puritanical notions concerning the superiority of the substance out of which his humanity was framed; all fanciful vagaries concerning the transmission of a pre-existent holy human nature through the Virgin, as through a canal of conveyance, without any impartation of her impurity, the church hath ever rejected as hideous and monstrous figments of the human mind, impregnated with the falsehood and malice of the devil. This the church hath ever done, because all. such fantastical vagaries did violence to the unity of the faith, and prejudice to the holiness of the believer; did violence to the unity of the faith, by obscuring, and in effect avoiding, the work of the Spirit in the incarnation of Christ, which the church hath ever looked upon as manifested in this very thing, that He should be the Agent by whom the Son united himself hypostatically to the substance of a human soul, and the Agent by which the Son therewith apprehended and animated flesh of the blessed Virgin, and the Agent by which the Son thus united to complete humanity, did evermore, acting in manhood, sanctify that flesh, passible to every temptation to which flesh of man is liable ; and did preserve the will of the creature from all consent unto any of those evil things which the devil, the world, and the flesh, under this fallen constitution, do present unto the will of other men, and thereby bring into bondage the will of all other men. But his will, his creature will, was not in bondage to any, was not brought into bondage by all of them: that Almighty Holy Ghost, which serveth the Son, and which the Son serveth himself withal in this great encounter of Godhead in manhood against a fallen universe, did so prevail unto the empowering of the will, unto the information of the reason, unto the enforcing obedience upon the members of the body, unto the expulsion of the devil, and disease, and infirmity from other men, unto the redemption and deliverance of every creature of God, earth, water, air, from the unwilling bondage under which they groan; I say, that Almighty Spirit used by the Son, did so prevail in manhood over all the devil's works, and over sin and death, which are the strength of the devil's head, as that he was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, though He the very same behoved in all things to be made like unto the brethren, though He the very same was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.
The second erroneous view of this great subject is, that the human nature of Christ was in substance the same as his mother's, as David's, as Abraham's, but did receive from the assumption into the Divine Person an original purity which altogether differenceth it in its condition from that of any other
This change they suppose to have been effected in one or other of these two ways : either that the Holy Ghost in the conception did impenetrate every particle of his body, so as that, from being under the condition and law of sin, it should be under the condition and law of holiness; or that the Divine nature did impenetrate the human nature in such a way as to produce the same effect. Now, for the substance of this opinion, it hath indeed all the error of the last, seeing it doth amount to the same effect of making Christ's human nature as diverse from and contrary to ours as sin is from holiness, as light is from darkness, as freedom is from bondage; which is virtually to deny that he had fellow-feeling with us in any one respect. Besides this, it addeth one of two other errors, according as you adopt the one or the other explanation. If the first, then you make no difference between his conception in the Virgin's womb and his resurrection from the dead. For if in his conception the particles of his flesh were changed from unholy to holy, from mortal to immortal, then what was left to be done at the resurrection ? His death is but a fiction, his resurrection a fiction also, and his life in apparent suffering no better than a fiction. If you adopt the latter mode of explanation, then you bring
in the Eutychean heresy of the confusion of the two natures. For how could the Divine nature impregnate, and impenetrate, and refine the human nature, without being mingled and confused therewith? And where then is the distinction between Creator and creature, if in the person of Christ they are mingled and confused ? and where, again, is the operation of the Holy Ghost in the humanity of Christ, if the effect is all produced by an operation of the Divine nature ?
Our space does not permit us to enlarge upon these great fundamental heresies; and we proceed to state the true doctrine, as set forth in the quotations given above : which is, That Christ had no connection with Adam, or Adam's sin, by ordinary generation, but looking upon the one substance of flesh and blood existing in a fallen state under the dominion of Satan, the Eternal Son did, according to the will of the Father, take a body of flesh and blood ; and as the Father and the Son act nothing of themselves without the Holy Ghost, he did this wholly and entirely by the Holy Ghost. The Son, in the fulness of the Father's will, and with the fulness of the Holy Ghost to effect it withal, took a body out of the lump. And how did he this? He did it as it is ever done, through a rational soul. The Son,
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