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Wendelin's "Christian Theology": Doctrine of the Effects of the Personal Union, Part 1

THESIS I:  Hitherto the causes of the personal union.  The effect follows, which is a threefold communication, of idiomata, of charismata, and of apotelesmata.

EXPLANATION:  * Each nature of Christ has its own properties, whereby they are distinguished from each other.  The properties of the Divine nature are eternity, immensity, omnipotence, etc.  The properties of the human nature are either inseparable or separableInseparable, which are never separated from the human nature:  of which sort are quantity, finitude, visibility, palpability, figure, locality.  Separable, which are able to be separated and now are separated.  They are called by the one name of infirmities:  as are liability to suffering, mortality, to hunger, to grow cold, to weary.

 

THESIS II:  An Idiom is a property of one nature incommunicable to the other nature.  Whence the idiomata are applicable to the person in accordance with one or the other nature, divine or human.

EXPLANATION:  Each nature of Christ, namely, the divine and the human, has its idiomata or properties, whereby they are distinguished from each other.

The idiomata, or properties, of the Divine nature are eternity, immensity, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, etc.

The idiomata of the human nature are inseparable or separable.

The inseparable are those that are never able to be separated from the human nature, and so are always applicable to it:  of which sort are quantity or magnitude, finitude, visibility, palpability, figure, locality.

The separable are those that are able to be separated, and are now separated from it:  they are called by the one name of infirmities, which Christ put off in His resurrection from the dead:  as are liability to suffering, mortality, to hunger, to grow cold, to weary, etc.  See Exercitation 46.

 

THESIS III:  The communication of the idiomata is a consequence of the personal union, whereby the properties of each nature are attributed to, and are truly applicable to, the whole person, whether denominated by office, or by the other nature in the concrete.

EXPLANATION:  I.  The concrete names in the doctrine concerning the person of Christ are names denoting the person, consisting in two natures:  Of which sort are:  God, Man, the Son of Man, or of David, the seed of Abraham, Christ, Jesus.

The abstract names are that that denote only one nature:  of which sort are, divinity or the divine nature, humanity or the human nature, etc.

II.  It is no more permissible to confound the concrete names with the abstract, than to confound the person with the natures.

Thus, for example, with the Scripture I rightly say, God suffered and died:  Because God in this place is a concrete name, which denotes the person, consisting in the human and divine natures, and denominated by the one nature, namely, the divine.  And so the sense is:  God, who is a person, consisting of two natures, divine and human, suffered and died, namely, according to the nature wherewith He was able to suffer and die, namely, the human.

Contrariwise, I would speak incorrectly, to say Deity suffered and died:  Because Deity is an abstract noun, denoting the divine nature alone, which neither was able, nor is able, to suffer and die.  Whence Beza rightly:  Whoever says, that Divinity suffered, let him be anathema:  whoever denies that God the λόγον/ Logos/Word suffered, let him be anathema:  to which we all give assent, even Zwingli himself, whose ἀλλοίωσιν, varied constructions, many Diabolically, that is, calumniously, traduce.  If any of our men perhaps sometimes say, that His humanity alone suffered and died, by the exclusive they do not exclude the person or God from the suffering, but only the Deity, which they rightly deny to have suffered, even according to the opinion of the Lutherans:  and so they only mean this, that God suffered and died, according to His humanity alone.  See Exercitation 52.

Again, I would speak correctly, saying, the Son of man or the man is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.  Because the Son of man, or the man, is a concrete name, denoting the person, consisting of the two natures, denominated by the one nature, namely, the human.  And so the sense is:  The Son of man, or the man, who is a person, consisting of tow natures, the divine and the human, is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc., namely, according to the divine nature, of which these are idiomata/properties.

Contrariwise, I would speak incorrectly, to say the Humanity of Christ is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.  Because humanity is an abstract noun, denoting the human nature alone, which is neither eternal, nor omnipotent, nor omnipresent.  See Exercitation 51.

III.  To the communication of idiomata also pertains the communication of natures:  especially because the divine idiomata/properties are nothing other than the divine nature.  So that, therefore, the properties of each nature, and so also both natures, are attributed, and are truly applicable to the whole person, in the concrete.

Therefore, I rightly say:  God is man:  because the subject, God, is a concrete name, denoting the person, who is man, according to the human nature.

But I incorrectly say:  Deity is man:  because the subject, Deity, is an abstract noun, which denotes only the divine nature, which is not man, or the human nature.  See Exercitation 49.

This is the communication of idiomata, that both Sacred Scripture and the truth and distinction of the natures of Christ admit.

IV.  The doctrine of the Lutherans concerning the communication of idiomata is quite different.  For, even if they concede that the properties of each nature are communicated to the person, and are rightly attributed to the same:  so that the Son of God, or God, was born of the Virgin, finite and visible, suffered, died, and rose again, etc…  the Son of man, or man, is begotten from eternity, infinite, invisible, impassible, immortal, etc.:  yet they contend that the properties of the divine nature are also communicated to the humanity, and are rightly attributed to that abstract term:  so that, the Human nature of Christ is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.  See Exercitation 47.  Indeed, even these assertions are pleasing to some, particularly the Swabians:  The Divine nature suffered and died:  The Human nature is God, etc.:  and especially by the Saxon Theologians:  see Exercitation 52, § 14, 62, § 1, 2, etc.  The expression, the Human nature is God; and likewise, Christ according to His human nature is God, many of the Lutherans expressly approve and pertinaciously defend:  which, nevertheless, others of them call false, absurd, and altogether heretical:  Exercitation 53, § 23, 32, 41.  When the Greek fathers say that the Human nature of Christ λογωθεῖσαι, logothesized, θεωθεῖσαι, theothesized, they mean this one thing:  that it was taken into the unity of the person by the λόγῳ/Logos and God, even in such a way that the Man is God no less than God is Man.

This communication of the divine idiomata, whereby the properties of Deity are to said to have been communicated to His humanity, or human nature, we repudiate, for the following reasons:

(1.)  Because, when Scripture speaks concerning Christ, it never attributes the divine idiomata to Christ’s human nature:  much less human idiomata to the divine nature, but always to the person.

(2.)  To whom the divine idiomata are communicated, He is God.

But the human nature of Christ is not God.

Therefore, the divine idiomata are not communicated to the human nature of Christ.

The rationale of the major is:  because the divine idiomata are one and the same with God, or with the divine nature.

Or, if the divine idiomata are able to be communicated to one, yet in such a way that he is not for that reason God:  it follows that the we are not able against the heretics solidly to argue the Deity of Christ from the divine idiomata, which Scripture attributes to Him.

Our adversaries respond to the major by making a distinction:  to whom the divine idiomata are communicated κατὰ μέθεξιν, by participation, in such a way that they are inhering subjectively, He is God:  But in this way they deny that the divine idiomata were communicated to the human nature, but only κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining, through union with the divine.

Response:  This flight is inane.

1.  To no one are properties communicated, without them subjectively inhering:  our adversaries have not hitherto proven the contrary.

2.  Communication κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining, has no place among the natures συνδεδυασμένας/joined or united, in such a way that the one communicates its own idiomata to the other:  but only concerning the person, or composite, to which, because of the union of both natures, the idiomata are common.

3.  If the idiomata of the divine nature were communicated to the human nature κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining, the divine nature, which is altogether the same with its idiomata, will also be communicated κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining.  Therefore, as by the communication of, for example, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc., it is believed to be omnipotent and omnipresent; so by the communication of divinity it will be God:  than which nothing is more absurd.

Our men make use of a similar argument:

Whoever is omnipotent and omnipresent, with respect to human nature, He is God.

But Christ, according to His human nature, is not God.

Therefore, Christ, according to His human nature, is not omnipotent and omnipresent.

The Lutherans introduce a distinction into the major in this way:

Whoever is omnipotent and omnipresent, that is, of Himself and essentially, He is God; received and understood with this limitation, they concede the conclusion:  and they say that they human nature of Christ is only omnipotent and omnipresent by accidental property and through the grace of the personal union or personally, not essentially.  Thus Graver on article 3 of the Confessionis Augustanæ, page 51.

Response:  The flight is inane.  In what manner the human nature of Christ is omnipotent and omnipresent, in the same manner it is also God:  for omnipotence and omnipresence are idiomata of God alone, and are not able to be separated from Deity:  since those very things are Deity, according to the received opinion of Theologians.  Therefore, it is as absurd to say that the human nature of Christ by accidental property and personally is omnipotent and omnipresent, as to say that it by accidental property and personally is God:  neither testimony of Scripture, nor argument taken from the analogy of faith or even reason, provides any relief for this absurdity.  Whence we recognize no one as omnipotent and omnipresent, except one who is essentially, and, if one may speak so, subjectively, omnipotent and omnipresent, whether He has omnipotence and omnipresence of Himself, or communicated by another.  The Panacea, personally and essentially, which in this doctrine is wont to be applied for the curing of all absurdities, is completely unavailing.  When they say, that the human nature is omnipotent and omnipresent personally, not essentially, or naturally; either they mean this, that the human nature is omnipotent and omnipresent, not by some property of the human nature, but by union with the omnipotent and omnipresent λόγῳ/Logos, whereby it comes to pass, that it is omnipresent and omnipotent, although not of itself, yet in itself, by communication of the divine omnipotence and omnipresence:  or this:  that the Hypostasis, or person, as by assumption of the human nature He is man, is omnipotent and omnipresent.  The former is the very thing that we consistently deny; and, that it overturns the truth of the human nature, we affirm with pious antiquity.  The latter, with respect to the matter itself, we concede, but disapprove of the strange manner of speaking, plainly devised to conceive error, unknown to Scripture and to pious antiquity.  In this latter sense Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter,[1] in his epistle de pace Ecclesiastica, writes, that it is conceded on both sides, that the human nature is personally omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, and that no English Theologians hesitate roundly to profess the same.  Let Franceus also be considered, disputation I de Datis Christo in tempore, § 33.  But by the same reasoning the divine nature is personally finite, of a certain size, visible, palpable, furnished with flesh and blood, suffering, dead, etc.  Because concerning the person, which is God, all these things are able to be affirmed with perfect truth and reality.

(3.)  To the human nature of Christ either all the idiomata are communicated, or only some, or none.  But to it not all are communicated, as the Lutherans themselves confess, who deny that the human nature of Christ is eternal, immense, etc.  Nor only some.  Because the divine idiomata are not able to be separated from each other:  since they are really the same, among themselves, and with the divine nature.

Therefore, none are communicated.

Our adversaries respond, that in diverse respects and manners to the human nature of Christ are communicated the divine properties, all, and only some, and none.  All, with respect to the personal inhabitation of the Deity in flesh:  only some, with respect to predication; because only some are able to be predicated of the flesh assumed, but not eternity, nor immensity:  none, physically and essentially, in such a way that they subjectively inhere in the flesh.

Response:  It is perfectly true, that none are communicated; it is altogether false that all or some are communicated, if the communication is understood as distinct from the union, and as a consequence of the union.  The distinct respects are fabricated without foundation, for the sake of palliating an absurd doctrine.  Personal inhabitation of the Deity in flesh is not communication, or the consequence of the union, but the union itself.  But it is beyond all controversy between our adversaries and us, that the person of the λόγου/Logos with all divine properties was united with flesh.  Communication with respect to predication has place neither in all, nor in some:  since Scripture predicates neither all nor some of the human nature.  Neither do we grant this to our adversaries, that any divine property is able truly and properly to be predicated of a nature to which it does not belong:  this was to be proven by our adversaries, not to be taken for granted.

Finally, they say, that some of the divine properties are ἐνεργητικὰς/ energetic, of which sort are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, etc.:  others are not ἐνεργητικὰς/energetic, like eternity and infinity.  The former are communicated, because the divine nature works through the human nature:  but not likewise the latter, because the divine nature does not work through those.

Response:  We admit the distinction, received in a sound sense; for thus divine things are accommodated to our capacity:  but, with respect to communicability, there is absolutely no distinction between ἐνεργητικὰς/ energetic properties and non ἐνεργητικὰς/energetic:  for the latter as much as the former are nothing but the divine essence expressed in diverse names:  neither is the flesh of Christ more capable of the former than the latter.  It is also false, that the proper actions of divinity are exercised by the humanity:  for theandric actions proceed from the person consisting of two natures, each of which confers its own, the divine, what is divine, and the human, which is human:  as we shall hereafter teach.  Nevertheless, at this point the Suebi sharply contradict the other Lutherans, and contend that by the communication of the idiomata the human nature of Christ was made eternal, immense, and ὁμοούσιον/homoousios with God the Father.  See Exercitation 53, § 41, 42, etc.; Exercitation 57, § 21.  Hutter[2] preaches the infinite body of Christ, against the Irenicum Davidis Parei, pages 199, 288.

(4.)  If the divine nature is not able really to be united with the human nature, unless the idiomata of the divine nature are really communicated to the human nature:  if follows that neither is the human nature able really to be united to the divine nature, unless the human idiomata are really communicated to the divine nature.

But the consequent is false.  Therefore also the antecedent.

The minor is proven:  Because it would follow that the divine nature was made finite, visible, palpable, mortal, etc., which is absurd and blasphemous.

Our adversaries respond by negation of the hypothetical; they render this reason:  that the account of divinity is one thing, the account of humanity another:  for, since divinity is altogether immutable and most perfect, it is not able to suffer, nor to be affected:  but, since humanity is able to be perfected in many ways, by and because of the union it is rendered far more perfection by the communication of the divine idiomata.

Response:  1.  Therefore, the communication of the idiomata does not flow immediately from the personal union, insofar as it is a union, but from the inequality of the united natures.  But the adversaries principally argue from the union, not from the inequality of the natures.

2.  It is false, that by the union of unequal natures happens an active communication of idiomata, on the part of the more excellent nature, communicating its own properties to the less excellent nature.

3.  That the true communication of properties is between the nature and the person, Scripture testifies:  which attributes to the person, not only divine properties because of the divinity, but also human properties because of the humanity.  Since this reciprocation  does not have, or is not able to have, any place in the communication of our opponents, it is with good reason rejected as unknown to Scripture and incompatible with both natures.

4.  We do not deny, that by this union the height of perfection is added to the human nature; but of that perfection, of which it is capable.  But it is no more capable of divine perfections, which we call properties, than the divine is capable of human imperfections.  Let those sayings of Vigilius against Eutychius,[3] book V, be observed:  Impious and sacrilegious are those that ascribe to the nature of the flesh those things that are proper to the Word.  And of Theodoret in Dialogue I:  They insult the Lord, and charge the truth with lying, whoever, bewitched by these persuasions, think themselves to ascribe glory to God, when they, under the appearance of adoring the Deity in Christ, diminish the truth of His flesh.  And of Cassian[4] in his de incarnatione, book I:  It is no lesser error, to attribute things improper to our Lord Jesus Christ, than to take away things proper.  For what is not expressed as it actually is, is an injury, even if it appears to be an honor.  The true human nature has been lost by those that believe it be infinite and omnipotent; neither do they believe in His true Deity, which they believe to be finite, suffering, and dead.  Falsely do they glory over the truth of a human nature, who feign it to be invisible, impalpable, without place, and ubiquitous.

(5.)  The communication of idiomata happens through μέθεξιν/ participation or συνδύασιν/joining.

But divine idiomata were communicated to the humanity of Christ neither through μέθεξιν/participation nor through συνδύασιν/joining.

Therefore, clearly they have not been communicated.

That they have not been communicated through μέθεξιν/participation, is generally admitted between us and them.

They commend here a communication κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining; but in vain:  for it is not in the natures united, but in the person, or the whole consisting of the united natures.  The contrary to this point has not been able to be shown by any suitable example.

But life, say they, is communicated from the soul to the body κατὰ συνδύασιν, by joining, which nevertheless is proper to the soul, and is in it subjectively.

Response:  This is plainly false.  Neither the soul nor the body is the subject of Life:  but, which is evident from the soul and the body, namely, the animated body, the life of which is not by the soul alone, but by the body also:  which, as an effect of the body and soul, the animated body, plant or animal, receives unto itself; in such a way that the soul does not communicate its own properties to the body, nor the body its own to the soul:  although the composite whole claims the properties of both for itself:  see Exercitation 53, § 63, 64.

V.  But, because this absurd doctrine concerning the communication of idiomata, as indeed it is asserted by our adversaries, has been devised to establish the ubiquity of the human nature of Christ (without which the oral manduction of Christ in the Supper is not able to be defended):  let the following arguments against the communication of omnipresence in particular be observed:

(1.)  The Gospel history bears witness, that Christ, both before and after the resurrection, truly and properly moved from one place to another.

Therefore, He was never everywhere in His body.

The rationale of the consequence is, that, whoever is everywhere, that is, in all places, is not able to be moved from place to place.

(2.)  When Lazarus died, Christ was not with him in body, John 11:15, where Christ Himself says:  I am glad that I was not there.  When Christ had risen, He was not longer bodily in the grave, for thus the Angel says, Luke 24:6, He is not here, but is risen.

Therefore, neither before nor after the resurrection was He everywhere.

(3.)  If Christ, because of the personal union, was everywhere in His body; it follows, that truly and properly as a man He was not able to be born, was not able to die, was not able to ascend into heaven, is not able to return from heaven in judgment.

But the consequent is false:  as Scripture and the Apostles’ Creed testify:  Therefore also the antecedent.

The rationale of the hypothetical:

1.  Whoever properly as a true man is born of true man, he does not remain in the womb of his mother, but comes forth into the light, where he was not previously.  But if Christ, by the personal union, which began in the womb of His mother, was truly everywhere from the first moment of His conception and hypostatic union, by birth He was not able to leave the womb of His mother, and to go forth into the light, in which was He not previously been in His body:  for, one that is everywhere is able to depart from no place, is able to arrive at no new place.

2.  Whoever truly dies, his soul is separated from his body.  But by ubiquity the body of Christ was not able to be separated from His soul:  for, what is everywhere is separated from none.

3.  He who truly and properly ascended into heaven, with the earth left behind, ascended into a higher place, in which He had not been previously.  But if Christ, by the personal union, is everywhere with respect to His body, He was not able to leave the earth, nor to ascend into a higher place.

4.  He who is going to return from heaven to this world for judgment, with heaven left behind, is going to descend bodily into this lower place, in which He was not previously in His body.  But, if the body of Christ is everywhere by the personal union, He was not able to leave heaven, nor properly to descend to this lower place.

(4.)  What in the personal union is and remains finite, that is not, nor is able to be, everywhere.

But in the personal union the body of Christ is and remains finite.

Therefore, the body of Christ is not, nor is able to be, everywhere.

The major is proven:  because to be finite and to be everywhere are diametrically opposed:  for, what is everywhere is bounded neither by its own limits, not by another’s, and so is neither intrinsically nor extrinsically finite.  But everything finite and bodily, existing in a place, is bounded by its own and another’s limits, and so is intrinsically [and extrinsically] finite.

Our adversaries respond by negation of the major; the proof of which they also deny, and say, that only these things are in opposition, to be finite, and to be omnipresent essentially and by a property of nature:  but not so, to be finite, and to be omnipresent by reason of infinite personal subsistence communicated by the λόγῳ/ Logos:  Only in the latter way, not in the former, is the body of Christ omnipresent.  Thus Graver on article 3 of the Confessionis Augustanæ.

Response:  Out of their own false inventions and contradictory hypotheses, those men affirm and deny whatever they please:  let those things be considered that a little previously were said concerning the distinction of the personal and of the essential.  Since not even a divine nature or person is able to be everywhere, except by infinity, how, I ask, is it that they teach, that the human nature is able to be everywhere without infinity communicated?  And, while they teach, that the human nature is everywhere through infinite personal subsistence, communicated by the Son of God, why do they deny, that it is everywhere through infinity communicated with the personal subsistence?  Or, if human nature is not fit for infinity, why do they further contend that it is fit for omnipresence, which the matter itself declare to be impossible without infinity?  Or, if it is altogether necessary that the human nature be omnipresent, lest oral manduction fall; whey, in order to avoid other absurdities, do they not teach that the human nature is indeed finite essentially and of itself, but infinite personally, because of infinity communicated together with the subsistence? which some of the Lutherans expressly teach:  as we show in the Exercitationibus.  The Gentiles also acknowledge an indivisible and absolutely indissoluble tie of infinity with omnipresence and omnipotence.  When Aristotle in book 12 of his Metaphysics, chapter 7, οὐδὲν ἔχει δύναμιν ἄπειρον πεπειρασμένον, that is, nothing finite has infinite power.  See the defense of our third reason.

To those objecting, that subsistence does not differ in reality from infinite essence, Graver readily responds, that this prevails only concerning proper personal subsistence, but not concerning personal subsistence communicated by another, which sort belongs to the flesh of Christ, on article 3 of the Confessionis Augustanæ, page 61.

Response:  Nothing appears to have been able to be said with less thoughtfulness.  Either the proper subsistence of the λόγου/Logos is the same in number with the subsistence communicated to the flesh, or it is diverse in number.  But if it is the same in number, why, I ask, does the proper personal subsistence of the λόγου/Logos not differ in reality from the infinite essence; but, on the other hand, the personal subsistence does differ in reality from the same, communicated to the flesh?  If they differ in number, the Nestorius prevails, who declares two natures in Christ; or, if perhaps the subsistence communicated and itself is divine, those are to be heard and admitted in the Church, that declare four divine persons.

(5.)  Whatever is omnipresent, or in all places at the same time, even indeed without regard to extension of substance, that is immense, spiritual, and altogether simple.  But the body of Christ is not immense, spiritual, and altogether simple.

Therefore, the body of Christ is not omnipresent, or in all places, even indeed without regard to extension of substance.

The Lutherans think that they are able with perfect ease to deflect all these darts through distinctions.

Therefore, they say, that the human nature of Christ is everywhere invisibly, but only in a certain place visibly:  is everywhere personally, according to the manner of Majesty, but only in a particular place essentially and naturally:  is everywhere illocally, but locally only in one place.

Response:  Concerning the ubiquity of the body of Christ all are false and fabricated without the Scriptures.  The body of Christ is not everywhere, either invisibly, or personally, according to the Lutheran opinion, or illocally.  In whatever place it is, there it is visibly, essentially, and locally; neither was it ever otherwise:  let even a single contrary example be given out of Scripture.  But neither does the numeric unity of the bounded and finite body admit, that [it might be] in all places at the same time invisibly and illocally, or in any other respect that might be devised.

(6.)  Whatever is thus within the finite, so that it is not at the same time beyond it, that is finite.

But the divine nature of Christ is not finite.

Therefore, within the finite, that is, assumed flesh, it is not so, that it is not at the same time beyond it; and by consequence, the assumed flesh is not everywhere.

The major is proven:  Because they are contradictories, that it is infinite, and that it is not beyond the finite, especially so small a body:  see Exercitation 54.

VI.  So that the arguments of the Lutherans, whereby they attempt to prove the ubiquity of Christ’s human nature, and a communication of other divine idiomata made to the same, might be able easily to be refuted, attention is rightly to be given to the following rules.

(1.)  From the real union of the two natures in Christ, to communication of idiomata between the natures, there is no logical progression.

The rationale is, 1.  Because the real union of the natures does not remove the distinction between the same, indeed it rather posits it:  since things are not able to be said to be actually united, (except) what things are distinct in the union.  But the distinction between the natures is removed by the mutual communication of idiomata between the natures.  2.  Because, with this communication posited, it follows that Christ’s divine nature is finite, begotten in time, of such a size, visible, etc., which things are impious and false:  as we have previously shown.

Therefore, it is evident what is to be given by way of response to this argument of our adversaries:

Of what sort is the union of the natures in Christ, of this sort also is the communication of properties between the natures.

But the union of the natures in Christ is real.

Therefore, the communication of properties between the natures is also real.

Response:  I deny the major, by rule:  From the real union of the two natures in Christ, etc., where at the same time it is to be observed, that the real union of the natures in Christ does not imply the real communication of idiomata, with respect to the natures, or between the natures, but with respect to the person, which consists in the two natures really united, and claims for Himself the idiomata of both.

(2.)  From the assumption of the human nature to the ὑπόστασιν τοῦ λόγου, hypostasis of the Logos, to the communication of the ὑποστάσεως/ hypostasis or person, there is no logical progression.

The rationale is:  That the assumption of the human nature to the hypostasis τοῦ λόγου, of the Logos, is able to stand without the communication of the ὑποστάσεως/hypostasis:  the hypostatic, or personal, sustaining of the assumed nature is sufficient, through which the ὑπόστασις τοῦ λόγου, hypostasis of the Logos, would truly be man.

Hence it is evident what is to be given by way of response to this argument of our adversaries:

To what is communicated the hypostasis τοῦ λόγου, of the Logos, to that were also communicated the idiomata inseparable from the hypostasis, indeed, which do not really differ from the hypostasis.

But to the human nature of Christ is communicated the ὑπόστασις τοῦ λόγου, hypostasis of the Logos.

Therefore, to the same were also communicated the divine idiomata, inseparable from the hypostasis, indeed, which do not really differ from the hypostasis.

The minor is proven:  because Christ’s human nature was assumed to the ὑπόστασιν τοῦ λόγου, hypostasis of the Logos.

Response:  I deny the minor.  The proof is inconsequent, by rule:  From the assumption of the human nature unto the ὑπόστασιν τοῦ λόγου, hypostasis of the Logos, etc.

It is to be observed, that it is less accurately said, that the human nature subsists.  Indeed, to subsist[5] is proper to a person, which is called a ὑπόστασις/ hypostasis,[6] or subsistence, from subsisting:  not to a nature, really distinct from the person.  It is more rightly said to be sustained ὑπόστατικῶς/hypostatically, or personally.

For, what has a hypostasis, whether its own, or communicated by another, that is a person.

But the flesh of Christ, even in personal union, is not a person, but something belonging to a person.

Therefore, it does not have a hypostasis communicated or its own.

At this point our adversaries are cause quite a commotion, and attempt to load our Churches with many absurdities, on account of the denial of this communication.  Among them are these principal ones:

1.  If the humanity of Christ is only sustained by the λόγῳ/Logos, there will be no distinction between it and Paul or Peter in this function:  because Peter and Paul also, indeed, any other man, is sustained by the λόγῳ/Logos.

But the consequent is absurd:  Therefore also the antecedent.

Response:  We introduce a distinction into the hypothetical:  if His humanity is sustained by the λόγῳ/Logos in no other way than that whereby Paul, Peter, and any other are sustained, certainly in this function there will be no distinction.  Our adversaries calumniously attach the antecedent to us, which we repudiate and condemn as altogether false.  For, even though we do not admit their absurd communication, yet at this point we acknowledge a far different sustaining with respect to the human nature of Christ, than with respect to other men.  For there is a sustaining that we profess in this place, hypostatic or personal, whereby the λόγος/Logos personally subsists in His human nature, and through it is truly man, and a single person, consisting of two natures.  But in this way the λόγος/Logos does not sustain Peter, Paul, or any other man.  Therefore, let this calumny be gone.

2.  If to the human nature of Christ is not communicated the hypostasis of the Son of God, it follows that the human nature of Christ, either does not have a ὑπόστασιν/hypostasis, or has its own ὑπόστασιν/hypostasis, and that diverse from the hypostasis of the Son of God.

But both consequents are false and absurd.

The minor is proven:  If it does not have a hypostasis, neither will it subsist, nor constitute one person with the divine nature, and Christ will not be one person.

If it has its own, Nestorius prevails, and with him two Sons and two Christ will have to be acknowledgedGraver argues in this way on article 3 of the Confessionis Augustanæ, page 230.

Response:  The human nature of Christ neither has its own hypostasis, nor one communicated from other in the Lutheran sense.  That is does not have its own, is beyond controversy.  But what then, if it does not have one communicated, and at the same time is held hypostatically by the hypostasis of the λόγου/Logos?

1.  It will not subsist, says he.  Response:  It does not subsist in that mode of subsistence that is proper to a person:  since not even in a personal union is it a person:  however, it is sustained hypostatically.

2.  It will not constitute one person with the divine nature.

Response:  The divine and the human nature are said to constitute one person, not because the person of Christ is a third something and completed out of the two natures, as composed from to essential principia, as the person of a man is composed out of body and soul united:  but because the one person τοῦ λόγου, the Logos, simple in Himself, subsists in two natures, divine and human.  But in this way the human nature constitutes a person together with the divine, even without communication of the ὑποστάσεως/hypostasis.

3.  Christ will not be one person.  It does not at all follow:  as it is evident from the things we have just now said.  But, contrariwise, from the Lutheran opinion it follows that Christ is not one person, but two:  one of which is by communication, namely, the human nature, to which a hypostasis is said to be communicated:  the other by nature, namely, the eternal λόγος/Logos.  If you weigh the matter in equal balances; communication of a ὑποστάσεως/ hypostasis is not an effect of the hypostatic union, but the personal union itself.

(3.)  From the person of Christ to the human nature there is no logical progression, or, what is attributed to the person of Christ is not thereby attributed to the human nature of Christ:  just as what is attributed to the person is not thereby attributed to the divine nature.

The rationale is:  that the person does indeed claim for Himself the properties of both natures:  but one nature does not at all claim for itself the individual properties of the person:  for thus the natures would be confounded:  and the divine nature would be finite, of a certain size, visible, palpable, etc.

From this rule a response is able to be given to the following arguments:

1.  Christ is in the midst of all that are gathered in His name, Matthew 18:20.

Therefore, Christ’s human nature is wherever the pious are gathered.

Response:  I deny the consequence:  by the rule, from the person of Christ to His human nature, etc.

The antecedent speaks of the person:  the consequence of the human nature.

2.  Christ is with us unto the end of the world, Matthew 28:20.

Therefore, He is always in the world in His body or human nature.

Response:  I deny the consequence:  by the rule, from the person of Christ to His human nature, etc.

Now, Christ is in the midst of all the pious, and is with us unto the end of the world, according to His divine nature, by which He is everywhere, and according to His special grace, which pertains to the third degree of the divine presence:  but not according to His human nature, by which He is at one and the same time only in one place:  with respect to which He said, Matthew 26:11, me ye have not always.

Our adversaries contend that the presence of Christ in this world according to His humanity is proven in the passage alleged:  they prove this:

1.  The presence of the whole Christ is promised.

Therefore, also the human nature.

Response:  I deny the consequence:  by rule 5, from the whole Christ, etc.

They insist:  But Christ is not whole without His human nature.

Therefore, nothing is able to be said concerning the whole Christ, which might not be said concerning either nature, and consequently, concerning the human nature also.

Response:  The consequence is denied.  For what is said of the whole Christ is said concerning the person of Christ.  But what is said concerning the person is not thereby said of either nature, or concerning the human nature in particular.  Which not even our adversaries are able or dare to deny.

2.  In whose name we gather, He also is in the midst of us.

But we gather not only in the name of His divinity, but also in the name of His humanity.

Therefore, His humanity is also in the midst of us.

Response:  The major is admitted concerning the person.  The minor replaces the person with the natures:  concerning which, considered separately and in themselves, what is said concerning the person is not able to be said.  And Scripture nowhere says that we are gathered in the name of the humanity of Christ, but in the name of the man Christ.  Nevertheless, let us imagine it so:  would it follow, that His humanity is in our midst bodily? certainly not:  seeing that we are able to be gathered in the name of a nature, even one that is locally distant from us.

(4.)  With the ubiquity of the human nature denied, separation or division of the two natures in Christ does not immediately follow.

The rationale is:  Even I the human nature of Christ is not everywhere, the divine nature is, and so is not able to be separated from the human nature:  for, what is present everywhere, is able to be separated from no one, and so Christ is everywhere the θεάνθρωπος/Theanthropos/God-man, and the λόγος ἔνσαρκος, incarnate Word, even if His flesh is not everywhere.

The truth of this rule is acknowledged by the Lutherans, as many as admit what is most expressly taught in Scripture:  that Christ in the state of His humiliation was not everywhere in His body:  and yet they deny that for this reason His natures were divided, or separated.  They even judge the doctrine of certain of their precepts to be absurd, who of old said and wrote, that all things are full of the body of Christ, which is indeed altogether necessary, if Christ’s human nature is wherever the divine nature is:  seeing that the divine nature, through its immensity, is absent from nothing.

Hence the objection is answered:

If Christ’s human nature is not now on earth, where the divine nature is, it follows that the human nature is separated from the divine.

But it is false, and the consequent is Nestorian:  Therefore also the antecedent.

Response:  I deny the consequent of the hypothetical:  by the rule, with the ubiquity of the human nature denied, etc.  The stupidity of this objection, and the truth of the resolution, even all the unwilling Lutherans are compelled to admit, who restrict His ubiquity to the state of Exaltation alone:  which hitherto was the opinion of most:  who are obliged to admit the injustic of the charge of Nestorianism brought against us because of the denial of ubiquity.

But in more recent years a new ubiquitarian war has been agitated:  in which against the associates of their own relation, and especially the Hassiaci, the Suebi has risen up, who declared a universal ubiquity in both states, but in humiliation and in exaltation, and have defended it in dense volumes, and have bewailed that their arguments hitherto set in opposition to the Calvinists and Jesuits have been weakened through by their adversaries, and finally have accused their associates of Nestorianism, Calvinism, and Jesuitism.  With the Suebi the Consideratio Brevis sides; the Borussi agree.  The Saxons in their Apologia ἐπέχουσι, were closed, to it:  concerning which matter there is a prolix treatment in the Exercitationibus.  Although the doctrine of the Suebi is altogether absurd, yet it more consistently stands to the Lutheran hypotheses.  At the same time, the truth of our response is evident, even against the Suebi.  But they proceed:

If Christ, according to His human nature, is not wherever He is according to the divine nature, it follows, that Christ is not everywhere as θεάνθρωπον/ Theanthropos, or God and man at the same time.

[But the consequent is false and Nestorian:  Therefore also the antecedent.]

The rationale of the Hypotheticalbecause Christ is not able to be θεάνθρωπος/Theanthropos, that is, God and man, where the human nature is not.

Response:  If there is any strength or importance in this rationale, it follows that in the whole state of His humiliation, and from the first moment of conception, either Christ’s human nature was everywhere in act, or Christ was not everywhere as θεάνθρωπον/Theanthropos/God-man, but in only one place, where the human nature was:  for example, whether in the womb of His mother, or in the manger, or on the cross, or in the grave; in all other places He was only God.  Let them choose whichever they will:  if the Suebi Theologians choose the former, most other Lutherans will contradict them:  perhaps neither will admit the latter.

At the same time we deny the hypothetical, and the rationale is false; if this be the sense of it:  Christ is not able to be anywhere as man, except in the the place where He is the human nature also is at the same time.  For the Son of God is man, not by the local co-existence of His humanity with His divinity:  for thus He would also be man by the co-existence of other men, Peter and Paul:  but by the hypostatic union of the human nature made, not with a loco/place, but with the λόγῳ/Logos.  Therefore, the λόγος/Logos or Son of God, verily existing on earth, has a human nature united to Himself, even if it is not present on earth.  Let the reader observe at this point, that a twofold presence of the divine and human natures is acknowledged by the Lutherans, namely, an inner and an outer.  They call that inner, whereby the two natures are always altogether present to Him without regard to place; outer, whereby the natures co-exist or are in the same place.

That the inner presence, and that perpetual, we, no less than the Lutherans, profess and believe, the Suebi and Consideratio Brevis expressly testify:  as I have shown in Exercitation 50, § 4.  That not the outer, but the inner, presence of the united natures is necessary for the preservation of the hypostatic union, the Hassiaci contend, and thus powerfully repel the Suebic accusation and reproach of Nestorianism, for themselves and all other Lutherans, who state that ubiquity is foreign to His state of humiliation.  With this shield we also block the accusations.  The Saxons in their Apologia, page 418, do us a great injury, when they write that the inner περιχώρησιν/perichoresis/rotation and ἀδιαστασίαν/continuity of the two natures is expressly denied by us.  We have the Suebi and the Considerationem Brevem Saxonicam as witnesses of our innocence.

Our men, when they say with some of the Fathers, that the λόγον/ Logos is also extra, outside of, the flesh, that extra, outside of, they understand, not as separative and privative of the inner presence, but distinctive of the inequal natures, and negative of outer omnipresence with respect to the finite nature:  see Exercitation 50, § 17-19, etc.

(5.)  No consequence follows from the whole Christ to the whole of Christ.

The whole Christ signifies the person of Christ consisting in two natures.  The whole of Christ signifies the two natures of Christ.

The rationale of this rule is:  If what is truly said of the whole person of Christ, would also necessarily and truly be said of both His natures; it would follow that Christ, according to both natures was crucified, dead, risen, etc.  Because the whole Christ was crucified, dead, risen, etc.

Hence the objection is resolved:

The whole Christ is everywhere.

Therefore, He is everywhere according to both natures.

Response:  I deny the consequence:  by the rule, from the whole Christ, etc.

(6.)  No consequence follows from Christ’s glorious operation, according to His human nature, in all places, to the ubiquity of the human nature.

The rationale:  because the human nature is able to work, even where it is not bodily present; namely, by virtue of merit, public authority, and the ministry of second causes; among which the foremost are Angels and men.  So also kings are said to rule in those parts of their dominions, from which they are far distant in body.  The Sun is efficacious everywhere in the sublunary world, which nevertheless is not anywhere bodily in the sublunary world.

Hence the objection is resolved:

Christ, according to His human nature also, exercises His dominion on earth, and especially in the Church militant.

Therefore, He is on earth bodily.

This argument is the same as that which is wont to be fetched for ubiquity from His session at the right hand of God.

Response:  I deny the consequence:  by the rule, from Christ’s operation, according to His human nature, etc.

NoteThe presence of Christ’s human nature on this earth, and His glorious government on this earth, are not the same thing.  For presence, or omnipresence, in this controversy signifies the existence of a nature in one place or all places.  But government signifies application of active virtue to an object:  which application is able to be made with the intervention of an instrumental cause, even with the principal cause being absent:  as we have shown from the example of kings.

But if the ubiquity of the human nature of Christ is nothing other than the glorious government of Christ, according to His human nature, in the Church militant, as some of the hostile Lutherans expressly write; concerning this ubiquity we will not agitate a quarrel against any.  For, this sort of presence of the human nature, especially in His state of glory, we by no means deny:  see Exercitation 55.

VII.  Besides these few things, let us add others, in favor of the ubiquity of the body of Christ and the other divine idiomata communicated.

(1.)  In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9.

Therefore, to the human nature of Christ were communicated all the idiomata of the Godhead, even omnipresence itself.

Response:  The consequence is denied.  1.  Because the antecedent speaks of the person, but the consequence of the human nature.  2.  Also because in the human nature all the fullness of God is able to be said to dwell, not indeed by communication, which our adversaries maintain, but by personal union.

(2.)  Christ has ascended above all heavens, that He might fill all things.

Therefore, after His ascension into heaven He is everywhere in His body.

The antecedent belongs to Paul, Ephesians 4:10.

Response:  The consequence is denied.  After His ascension into heaven Christ did not fill all things with His body:  but with His Spirit and gifts, as He had promised, John 16:7, whence in Ephesians 4:11 it is said that He gave some, Apostles; some, Prophets; some, Evangelists, etc.

It is to be observed, that the Apostle here speaks of the manner of filling all things, which at length followed Christ’s ascension into heaven.  But, according to the opinion of our adversaries, Christ by the personal union, even before His ascension, filled all things with His body.

(3.)  In favor of communicated omnipotence they thus argue:  To whom in time was given all power in heaven and on earth, to Him was communicated divine omnipotence.

But to the human nature of Christ was given in time all power in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28:18.

Therefore, to the human nature was communicated omnipotence.

Response:  1.  The major is denied.  Power/authority is one thing; power/ might is another:  and so all power/authority is one thing; omnipotence another.  Now, in the passage alleged Christ speaks of His mediatorial power/authority, which He was going to exert gloriously in the government of the Church:  a beginning to which was made in the sending of the Apostles into the whole earth.  This power/authority has an apotelesmatic nature, and in a certain respect is applicable to the person, according to both natures, as also its exercise:  and, as it concerns distinct natures, so it is also conjoined with power, partly infinite, with respect to the divine nature; partly finite, but exceedingly great, with respect to the human nature.  For power/authority with infinite power/might was granted to Christ eternally, with respect to the divine nature.  The same with finite power/might was granted to Him, according to His human nature, in time:  yet not, after the union of the natures, was it to exerted fully and gloriously either by the divine, or by the human, except at a certain time.  Thumm,[7] in his Tapeinosigraphia, writes, page 788:  It is a common rule received by all the Orthodox in the explication of many scriptures, whereby a thing is said to be done at that time, when it is acknowledged and made manifest.

2.  From the alleged passage the minor is not able to be proven:  for Christ speaks, not of His human nature, but express of the thing given in time.  We just now expressed the sense.

Note:  Some of our adversaries too crudely deny, that anything was granted, or was able to be granted, in time to Christ, according to His Deity.  Thus it is necessary to deny those that think, that the body was adapted in time by the Father for the Son of God, or that the Son of God was made man in time.  While the more prudent attended to this, they limited their own negation:

That to Christ, according to His Deity, nothing was able to be granted in time, that He might be made better.

We readily grant this:  and we affirm that, indeed, nothing was able to be granted from eternity in this respect, that He might be made better.  See Exercitation 56.

Finally, let this argument, against the communication of omnipotence, be observed in particular:

Whatever is a dependent being, the same is in no way omnipotent.

But the human nature of Christ, even in union, is a dependent being.

Therefore, in no way is it omnipotent.

The major is proven.  For, what is a dependent being, the same is able to be hindered in actions by the independent being, since in actions it also depends upon the independent being.  But what is able to be hindered in its actions is not able to be called omnipotent, because it is not able to work, except by influx of the superior power.

(4.)  In favor of communicated omniscience Eckhard in his fasciculo, chapter 6, section 11, thus argues:

1.  Christ, as man, was anointed with the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge, Isaiah 11:2, not by measure, John 3:34.  In such a way that from His fullness we all receive, John 1:16.

Therefore, Christ, as man, was furnished with infinite knowledge, or is omniscient.

Response:  The antecedent is conceded (although the alleged testimonies speak not of the human nature in particular, but of the person of the θεανθρώπου/Theanthropos/God-man, and are also able to be referred in a sound sense to the person τοῦ λόγου, of the Logos, or the divinity of Christ).

The consequence is denied.  That He was anointed with the Spirit of wisdom does not necessarily argue an infinity of knowledge, but inauguration to the mediatorial office, and a communication of gifts necessary on the part of the human nature.

And that He receives the Spirit not by measure does not necessarily argue the communication of infinite gifts, but is able to be referred suitably to that consummate perfection of finite gifts, which are able to fall to the creature.  Whence God is said to give to Christ, according to His human nature, the Spirit not by measure, that is, not bit by bit, as to other believers, but ὅλως/wholly, with as much perfection as the human nature is capable of.  For the expression is sought from familiar manner of speaking, wherein those things that are given without a certain measure are said to be given more liberally and copiously, that those that are given by measure.  Of the fullness of wisdom given to the human nature, all are able to partake, even if it is not infinite:  because that those partake are not infinite, neither is what they partake of infinite.  The wisdom of even one mere man is able to benefit the whole world.

2.  In the humanity of Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Colossians 2:3.

Therefore, omniscience was communicated to the humanity of Christ.

Response:  1.  The antecedent is not proven from the place alleged.  For, the Apostle does not speak of Christ’s humanity, but of Christ:  but, if therefore the humanity of Christ is omniscient, because all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Christ, it follows that the same [is] also eternal God:  because in Christ also dwells all, even the total, fullness of the Godhead, even indeed σωματικῶς/bodily, that is, οὐσιωδῶς/essentially, Colossians 2:9.

2.  The consequence is denied.  For, whatever is hidden in the humanity of Christ, that was not communicated to it:  because many things in it are by union only:  like the πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος, fullness of the Godhead.  But, if we grant to the uttermost, that all those treasures of wisdom were subjectively in the humanity of Christ, or were communicated to it:  nevertheless, nothing is able to be inferred in favor of the communication of infinite knowledge:  because those treasure pertain to the charismata/gifts, not to the divine idiomata:  and they are able suitably to be taken concerning the perfect knowledge of all mysteries, and of the whole manner of our salvation, which the Son has revealed to us, whereby man has been informed by the λόγῳ/Logos/Word.

3.  Christ, as man, is going to be the judge of the whole world.

Therefore, He, as man, is omniscient.

Response:  1.  If the antecedent restricts the judgment to Christ’s humanity alone, it is false.  For to exercise judgment is ἀποτέλεσμα/apotelesm, which is applicable to Christ according to both natures.

2.  The consequence is denied.  For, what things are to be completed in the judgment by His humanity do not require the communication of omniscience, but a revelation of hidden things by the λόγῳ/Logos/Word.

4.  Christ, as man, is the καρδιογνώστης, searcher of hearts.[8]

Therefore, to His humanity was communicated omniscience:  without which there is no καρδιογνωσία, searching of hearts.

Response:  If that καρδιογνωσία, searching of hearts, whereby one of himself, without any external indication or revelation of another, knows the thoughts of men, be understood:  we deny the antecedent as false.  But if that καρδιογνωσία, searching of hearts, that proceeds from external indications or revelation from another, we deny the consequence.  See Exercitations 57, 58.


[1] Joseph Hall (1574-1656) was an Anglican churchman.  He served as one of England’s delegates to the Synod of Dort, and later as a Bishop.  Hall was thoroughly Calvinistic, but peaceable and moderate in his disposition.

[2] Leonhard Hutter (1563-1616) was a German Lutheran theologian.  He served as Professor of Theology at Wittenberg (1596-1616).

[3] Vigilius was Bishop of Rome from 537 to 555.  Empress Theodora had maneuvered for the appointment of Vigilius, believing that he would be an ally in the Monophysite cause.  She was disappointed; after his installation, he upheld the decisions of Ephesus and Chalcedon against the Monophysites.  Emperor Justinian I, seeking a rapprochement with the Monophysites without adopting their position, sought the condemnation of the Three Chapters (the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and a letter of Ibas of Edessa, writer of the Antiochene schools).  Although Vigilius resisted (because this appeared to concede too much ground to Monophysitism), he eventually conceded (because there were statements in the Three Chapters tending toward Nestorianism), and confirmed it in letter to Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople.

[4] John Cassian (c. 360-433) was a mystic and one of the “Desert Fathers”.  He was an opponent of Nestorianism.

[5] That is, to stand under.

[6] That is, a standing under.

[7] Theodor Thumm (1586-1630) was a Lutheran churchman and theologian; he served as Professor of Theology at Tubingen (1618-1630).  Thumm sided with the Tubingen theologians, asserting that Christ’s human nature made a hidden use of the divine properties during the state of humiliation, against the Giessen theologians, denying any such use.

[8] See Acts 1:24; 15:8.

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Westminster Confession of Faith 8:7: Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself:1 yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.2 


1 Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 3:18.

2 Acts 20:28; John 3:13; 1 John 3:16.

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Westminster Confession of Faith 8:2: The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature,1 with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin;2 being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance.3 So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.4 Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.5 


1 John 1:1,14; 1 John 5:20; Phil. 2:6; Gal. 4:4.

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An Introductory Theology Course! free and online! www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/introductory-theology 

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