Catalogue of Testimonies TO THE CHRISTIAN READER.
- Table of Contents:
Catalogue of Testimonies
CATALOGUE OF TESTIMONIES,
Both of Scripture and Orthodox Antiquity, Which Show not only what Either has Taught concerning the Person and the Divine Majesty of the Human Nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Exalted to the Right Hand of God’s Omnipotence, but also what Forms of Speech Either has Used.
TO THE CHRISTIAN READER.
Since, especially in the article of the Person of Christ, some have without reason asserted that in the Book of Concord there is a deviation from phrasibus and modis loquendi, that is, the phrases and modes of speech of (received and approved by) the ancient pure Church and fathers, and that, on the contrary, new, strange, self-devised, unusual and unheard-of expressions are introduced; and since the testimonies of the ancient Church and fathers to which this book appeals proved somewhat too extended to be incorporated in it, and, having been carefully excerpted, were afterwards delivered to several electors and princes,—
(Therefore) they are printed in goodly number as an appendix at the end of this book, in regard to particular points, for the purpose of furnishing a correct and thorough account to the Christian reader, whereby he may perceive and readily discover that in the aforesaid book nothing new has been introduced either in rebus (matter) or in phasibus (expressions), that is, neither as regards the doctrine nor the manner of teaching it, but that we have taught and spoken concerning this mystery just as, first of all, the Holy Scriptures and afterwards the ancient pure Church have done.
Thus, in the first place, concerning the unity of the person and the distinction of the two natures in Christ, and their essential properties, the Book of Concord writes just as the ancient pure Church, its fathers and councils, have spoken—- namely, that there are not two persons, but one Christ, and in this person two distinct natures, the divine and the human nature, which are not separated nor intermingled or transformed the one into the other, but each nature has and retains its essential attributes, and in (all) eternity does not lay them aside; and that the essential attributes of the one nature, which are truly and properly ascribed to the entire person, never become attributes of the other natures. This is borne out by the following testimonies of the ancient pure councils:
In the fourth canon, or rule, of the Council of Ephesus occurs the following resolution: “If any one divides the words of Scripture regarding Christ in two persons or subsistences, and applies some of them indeed to Him as man, who is to be understood specially, outside of the Word of God (outside of or without the Word of the Father, or without the Son of God), and assigns others, as worthy of God alone, to the Word of God the Father (some, however, only to the Son of God, as belonging to God alone), let him be accursed.”
In the fifth canon, thus: “If any one dares to say that the man Christ is the Bearer of God, and not rather that He is God, so as to call Him truly the Son by nature (that as the natural Son of God He is truly God), because it was the Word that was made flesh, and, in a similar manner (even) as we, became sharer of flesh and blood, let him be accursed.”
In the sixth canon thus: “If any one does not confess the same Christ to be at the same time God and man (that the one Christ is at the same time God and man), for the reason that according to the Scriptures the Word was made flesh, let him be accursed.”
In the twelfth canon, thus: “If any one does not confess that the Word of God (the Father) suffered in the flesh, and was crucified in the flesh, and tasted death in the flesh, and became the First-born from the dead, according as (since) He is, as God, the Life and He that maketh alive, let him be accursed.”
And the decree of the Council of Chalcedon, as cited by Evagrius, lib. 2, cap. 4, reads thus: “Following, then, the holy fathers, we confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we all set forth with one voice that the same is perfect in deity and the same perfect in humanity; that the same is truly God and truly man, consisting of a rational soul and a body; that He is consubstantial with the Father as regards the deity, and that the same is consubstantial with us according to the humanity; that He is in all respects like us, excepting sin; that He was begotten before the world out of the Father according to the deity, but that the same person was in the last days born for us and for our salvation of Mary, the virgin and mother of God, according to the humanity; that one and the same Jesus Christ, the Son, the Lord, the Only-begotten, is known in two natures, without being commingled, without being changed, without being taken apart (or divided), without being segregated, the difference of the natures being in no wise abolished on account of the (personal) union, but the peculiarity of each nature being rather preserved, and running together into one person and subsistence; not as divided or torn into two persons, but one and the same only-begotten Son, God the Word and the Lord Jesus Christ (we acknowledge one single Christ our Lord, who is at once the only-begotten Son, or the Word of the Father, and also true man); as the prophets of old and the Christ Himself have taught us concerning Him, and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us.”
Thus, too, the Tenth Synodical Epistle of Leo (to Flavianus, cap. 3, fol. 92) (which the Council of Chalcedon regarded as equal to an instruction) says: “(The personal union has taken place in this manner, that) The peculiarity of each nature being unimpaired (remaining unmingled and unchanged), and coming together into one person, there has been assumed by (divine) Majesty (human) lowliness, by (divine) Power (human) weakness, by Eternity (the eternal divine Being) mortality (the human, mortal nature) (abstract for the concrete), and for the purpose of paying the debt of our condition, the (immortal) nature that cannot suffer has been united to the (human) nature that can suffer so that our one and the same Mediator could both die according to one, and could not die according to the other (in order that our single Mediator, since according to the one nature, namely, the divine, He could not die, might die for us according to the other, namely, the human).”
Likewise (cap. 4, fol. 93): “He who is true God, the same is true man, since both the humility of man and the loftiness of God are reciprocal (exist together in one person). For just as God does not change by pity (when from pity for us He assumes the human nature), so man is not consumed by divine dignity (and glory); for each form (nature) does what is peculiar to it, in communion with the other—namely, the Word working what belongs to the Word (the Son of God), and the flesh executing what belongs to the flesh.
One of these flashes forth in the miracles, the other sinks beneath injuries (and still there is one single Mediator, God and man). He is God, because (through this, for this, and because of this, that) in the beginning was the Word, and God was the Word, by whom all things were made. He is man, because (through this, for this, and because of this, that) the Word was made flesh, and because He was made of a woman. Also, because of (to indicate) this unity of the person which is to be understood in both natures, we read that the Son of Man descended from heaven when the Son of God assumed flesh of the Virgin Mary.”
And again (cap. 5, fol. 93): “The Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, although He suffered these things not in His very divinity, by which He is consubstantial with the Father, but in the infirmity of (His assumed) human nature.”
So far the words of the two councils, of Ephesus and of Chalcedon, with which also all the other holy fathers agree.
This is precisely what the learned men in our schools have thus far desired to indicate and declare by the words abstract and concrete, to which this book (of Concord in the present instance) also has reference in a few words (see above, p. 1029, 43) (when it is stated): All of which the learned know well; which words must necessarily be retained in their true sense in the schools.
For concrete terms are words of such a kind as designate the entire person in Christ, such as God, man.
But abstract terms are words by which the natures in the person of Christ are understood and expressed, as divinity, humanity.
According to this distinction it is correctly said in concreto: God is man, man is God. On the other hand, it is speaking incorrectly when one says in abstracto: Divinity is humanity, humanity is divinity.
The same rule applies also to the essential attributes, so that the attributes of the one nature cannot be predicated of the other nature in abstracto, as though they were attributes also of the other nature.
Therefore the following expressions are (would be) false and incorrect if one were to say: “The human nature is Omnipotence, is from eternity.” Just as the attributes themselves cannot be predicated of one another, as if one would say: Mortalitas est immortalitas; “Mortality is immortality,” and immortality is mortality; for by such expressions the distinction of the natures and their attributes is abolished, they are confounded with one another, changed one into the other, and thus made equal and alike.
But since we must not only know and firmly believe that the assumed human nature in the person of Christ has and retains to all eternity its essence and the natural essential attributes of the same, but it is a matter of especial importance, and the greatest consolation for Christians is comprised therein, that we also know from the revelation of the Holy Scriptures, and without doubt believe the majesty to which this His human nature has been elevated in deed and truth by the personal union, and of which it thus has become personally participant, as has been extensively explained in the Book of Concord; accordingly, and in order that likewise every one may see that also in this part the book mentioned has introduced no new, strange, self-devised, unheard-of paradoxa and expressions into the Church of God, the following Catalog of Testimonies—first of all from the Holy Scriptures, and then also of the ancient, pure teachers of the Church, especially, however of those fathers who were most eminent and leaders in the first four Ecumenical Councils—will clearly show, from which it may be understood how they have spoken concerning this subject.
And in order that the Christian reader may the more readily find his way through them and get his hearing, they have been arranged under several distinct heads as follows:
First, that the Holy Scriptures, as also the fathers, when they speak of the majesty which the human nature of Christ has received through the personal union, employ the words communicatio, communio, participatio, donatio, traditio, subiectio, exaltatio, dari, etc., that is, of the words “communication,” “communion,” “sharing,” “bestowed and given,” etc.
Dan. 7, 13: Behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him; and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
John 13, 3: Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands.
Matt. 11, 27: All things are delivered unto Me of My Father.
Matt. 28, 18: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
Phil. 2, 9: God hath given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
kjv@Philippians:2:9 : Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him.)
EUSEBIUS ( Demonstr. Evang., 1. 4, 100:13, p. 169, ed. Paris, 1628): The Word, however, communicates what is of His own to man, but does not receive, in turn, that which is from the mortal; and He imparts the divine power to the mortal, but is not led, in turn, into a participation of the mortal (the Word of the Father has of Himself communicated what was His to the assumed man; for He has communicated the divine power to the assumed mortal nature, but has not, in turn, assumed for Himself anything out of the mortal nature).
Again: He there makes this very One (man) worthy of the eternal life which is with Him, and of the communion in Deity and blessedness (that is, the Word has made the assumed man (concrete for the abstract) worthy of communion in the Deity, of eternal life and blessedness).
ATHANASIUS, in a letter to Epictetus (tom. 1, op. p. 589, ed. Colon.), quoted also by Epiphanius against the Dimoeritae ( Haeres., 77; Contra Dimoeritas, t. 2, op. p. 1005, ed. Colon.): “Not in order to add to divinity did the Word become flesh, but in order that the flesh might rise up; not that the Word might be made better, He came forth from Mary; for rather was there a great addition to the human (body) from the communion and union with it of the Word.” (That is: For the Word did not become flesh in order that thereby something might be added to the divinity, nor that the Word should be brought into a better state, but from the communion and union of the Word with the human nature there has rather been added something greater to the human nature. )
EPIPHANIUS, in Haeresi, 69 (against the Ariomanites), p. 344 (p. 805, ed. Colon.): “It is manifest that the flesh which was of Mary and came of our race was also transformed into glory (in the transfiguration), having acquired, in addition, the glory of the Godhead, heavenly honor and perfection and glory which the flesh did not have from the beginning, but received there in the union with God the Word.”
CYRIL, in lib. 5, Dialog. (t. 5, p. 562, ed. Paris, 1638): “How, then, does the flesh of Christ quicken?”
And he replies: “According to (On account of) the union with the living Word, which is accustomed to communicate the endowments of His nature to His own body.”
THEODORET, kjv@Ephesians:1 (t. 3, p. 297, ed. Paris, 1642): “However, that the nature assumed from us is participant of the same honor with Him who assumed it, so that no difference in worship appears, but the divinity which is not seen is worshiped through the nature which is seen,—this surpasses every miracle.”
DAMASCENUS, in Book 3, Of the Orthodox Faith, chaps. 7, 15: “And this (the divine nature) ( communicates or) imparts of its own excellences to the flesh, itself remaining impassible, and not sharing in the passions (sufferings) of the flesh.”
Also, chap. 19: The flesh has communion with the operating divinity of the Word, because the divine operations are executed as through the organ of the body, and because He that works both in a divine and human fashion is one. For it is necessary to know that just as His holy mind performs also His natural operations, etc., it participates in the divinity of the Word, that works and arranges and governs, perceiving and knowing and determining everything (the entire universe), not as the mere mind of man, but as being made one in person with God, and as being constituted the mind of God.
That Christ has received this majesty in time, moreover, not according to the divinity, or the divine nature, but according to His assumed human nature, or according to the flesh, as man, or as the Son of Man, humanitus, ratione corporis seu humanitatis, propter carnem, quia homo aut filius hominis (humanly, with respect to His body or humanity, on account of the flesh, because He is man or the Son of Man):
Heb. 1, 3: When He had by Himself purged our sins, (He) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Heb. 2, 8. 9: But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.
Luke 22, 69: Hereafter shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
Luke 1, 32. 33: The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
John 5, 26. 27: He hath given to the Son to have life in Himself, and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
ATHANASIUS, quoted by Theodoret, Dialog 2, p. 330: “Now, whatever Scripture says that the Word received (in time), and as to whatever He was glorified, it says on account of His humanity, and not on account of His divinity.”
ATHANASIUS, in the Oration against the Arians, 2 and 4 (f. 347. 490 f. 492, ed. Colon., 1686):
“Scripture does not mean that the substance of the Word has been exalted, but this refers to His humanity, and He is said to be exalted on account of the flesh. For since it is His body, He Himself is properly said as man to be exalted and to receive something with respect to His body, according to humanity, because the body receives those things which the Word always possessed according to His own deity and perfection from the Father. He says, therefore, that as a man He received the power, which as God He always has. And He who glorifies others says, ‘Glorify Me,’ in order to show that He had a flesh that lacked such things. And, therefore, when the flesh of His humanity receives this glorification, He so speaks as though He Himself had received it.”
“For we must bear in mind everywhere (in the Holy Scriptures) that none of those things which He says that He received, namely, in time, He received in such a way as though He had not had them; for, being God and the Word, naturally He had those things always. But now He says that He received them according to humanity, so that, His flesh in Himself receiving them, He might in future hand them over from out of His flesh to us to be firmly possessed.”
The same, On the Assumed Humanity, against Apollinarius (pp. 603 and 611, ed. Colon., 1686): “When Peter says that Jesus was made of God Lord and Christ, He speaks not of His divinity, but of His humanity. His Word always was Lord, neither did He become Lord first after the cross, but His divinity made the humanity Lord and Christ.”
Also: “Whatever Scripture says that the Son has received, it understands as having been received with respect to His body, and that that body is the first-fruits of the Church. Accordingly, God raised up and exalted His own body first, but afterwards the members of His body.” By these words Athanasius explained what a little afterwards he applied in its way also to the entire Church.
BASIL THE GREAT, Against Eunomius, lib. 4 (p. 769, ed. Paris): “That the Lord is celebrated, and receives a name above every name; also (that He says): ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth; I live for the sake of the Father; Glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was,’ etc.,—must be understood of the incarnation, and not of the Deity.”
AMBROSE, lib. 5, De Fide, cap. 6 (tom. 2, p. 109): “You have learned that He can subject all things to Himself undoubtedly according to the operation of Deity. Learn now that He receives, according to His flesh, all things as subjected to Him, as it is written, kjv@Ephesians:1: According to the flesh, therefore, all things are delivered to Him as subject.”
The same, lib. 5, cap. 2 (p. 99): “For God does not give to the apostles participation in His seat, but to Christ, according to His humanity, is given participation in the divine seat”
And cap. 6 (p. 108): “In Christ our common (human) nature, according to the flesh, has obtained the prerogative of the heavenly seat.”
OECUMENIUS, from Chrysostom, kjv@Hebrews:1 (t. 2, op. p. 324, ed. 1631): “For as the Son is God, He has an eternal throne. ‘Thy throne,’ says God, ‘is forever and ever,’ For after the cross and passion He was deemed worthy of this honor not as God, but as man He received what He had as God.” And a little after: “As man He therefore hears, ‘Sit on My right hand,’ For as God He has eternal power.”
CYRIL, lib. 9, Thesauri, cap. 3 (tom. 2, p. 110): “As man He ascended to the power of ruling.”
The same, lib. 2, cap. 17: “As man He sought His glory which He always had as God. Neither are these things said by Him as though He had ever been destitute of His own glory, but because He wished to bring His own temple into the glory which He always has as God.”
The same, lib. 2, Ad Reginas: “That He received glory, power, and rule over all things must be referred to the conditions (properties) of humanity.”
On kjv@Psalms:110 (t. 1, p. 242): “ ‘Sit Thou at My right hand,’—this was said according to the human nature.
For as God He has eternal dominion, so as man He has received what He had as God. As man, therefore, He hears (what is said to Him), ‘Sit at My right hand.’ For as God He has eternal dominion.”
The same, on kjv@Hebrews:1 (t. 2, p. 154): “Christ always received from the angels worship and adoration, for He always was God. But now they are adoring Him also as man.”
LEO, Epist. 23 (fol. 99; Ep. (23 and 83) 46 and 97, ff. 261 and 317, ed. Lugd., 1700), treating of kjv@Ephesians:1: says: “Let the adversaries of the truth declare when or according to what nature the almighty Father raised His Son above all things, or to what substance (nature) He subjected all things. For to the Deity, as to the Creator, all things have always been subject. If power was added to Him, if Sublimity was exalted, it was inferior to Him who exalted, and did not have the riches of that nature of whose liberality it stood in need. But a person holding such views Arius receives into his fellowship.”
The same, Epist. 83 (fol. 134): “Although in Christ there is absolutely one and the same person of the divinity and the humanity, nevertheless we understand that exaltation and the name above every name pertain to that form which was to be enriched by the increase of so great a glorification. For by incarnation nothing had been withdrawn from the Word which would be returned to it by the gift of the Father. But the form of a servant is human humility, which has been exalted to the glory of divine power, so that divine things were not to be done without the man, nor human things without God.”
In the same place: “Whatever Christ has received in time He has received as man, upon whom are conferred those things which He did not have. For, according to the power of the Word, the Son also has all things that the Father has, without a difference.”
VIGILIUS, lib. 5, Against Eutyches kjv@Ephesians:66 sq., ed. Divion., 1664. 4): “The divine nature does not need to be elevated to honors, to be increased by advancements of dignity, to receive the power of heaven and earth by the merit of obedience. Therefore, according to the nature of the flesh He acquired these things who according to the nature of the Word never lacked any of them. For had the Creator no power and dominion over His creature, that in the last times He should obtain them as a gift?”
NICEPHORUS, lib. 1, cap. 36 (fol. 86): “Christ is seen by His disciples on the mountain in Galilee, and there He affirms that the highest power of heaven and earth has been delivered Him, namely, according to humanity.”
That, first of all, the Holy Scriptures, and then also the holy fathers of the ancient pure Church, speak concerning this mystery also per vocabula abstracta, that is, in such words as expressly indicate the human nature in Christ, and refer to the same in the personal union, namely, that the human nature actually and truly has received and uses such majesty:
John 6, 54. 55: Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life ... For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
kjv@1John:1:7 : The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.
Heb. 9, 14: The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purges your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Matt. 26, 26–28: Take, eat; this is My body ... Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament.
EUSTACHIUS, quoted by Theodoret, Dialog 2 (p. 40): “Therefore he prophesied that He (Christ the man, the human nature of Christ) would sit upon a holy throne, signifying that He has made Himself known as sharing the throne with the most Divine Spirit, on account of God’s dwelling inseparably in Him.”
The same, quoted in Gelasius: “The man Christ, who increased in wisdom, age, and favor, received the dominion of all things.”
The same, in the same place: “Christ, in His very body, came to His apostles, saying: ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth’; which power the external temple received, and not God (namely, according to His divinity), who built that temple (of His body) of extraordinary beauty.”
ATHANASIUS, On the Arian and the Catholic Confession (t. 2, op. p. 579, ed. Colon.): “God was not changed into human flesh or substance, but in Himself glorified the nature which He assumed, so that the human, weak, and mortal flesh and nature advanced to (obtained) divine glory, so as to have all power in heaven and in earth, which it did not have before it was assumed by the Word.”
The same ( l.c., pp. 597 and 603), On the Assumed Humanity, against Apollinarius (p. 530): “Paul, kjv@Philippians:2: speaks of a ( His) temple which is His body. For not He who is the Highest, but the flesh, is exalted; and to his flesh He gave a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of the Father. And he adds a general rule: When Scripture speaks of the glorification of Christ, it speaks of the flesh, which has received glory.
And whatever Scripture says that the Son has received, it declares with respect to His humanity, and not to His divinity; as, when the apostle says that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, we must understand that this fulness dwells in the flesh of Christ.”
The same, quoted by Theodoret, Dialog 2 (t. 3, p. 286): “ ‘Sit on My right hand,’ has been said to the Lord’s body.” Also: “It is therefore the body to which He says, ‘Sit on My right hand,’ ”
ATHANASIUS, On the Incarnation, as quoted in Cyril in his Defense of the 8th Anathema, and in his book, On the True Faith to the Queens: “If any one says that the flesh of our Lord as that of a man is inadorable, and is not to be worshiped as the flesh of the Lord and God, him the Holy Catholic Church anathematizes.”
The same, On Humanity Assumed (p. 603, ed. Colon.): “Whatever Scripture says that the Son has received, it understands as having been received with respect to His body, and that this body is the first-fruits of the Church. The Lord therefore first raised and exalted His body, but afterward also the members of His body.”
HILARY, lib. 9 (p. 136): “That thus the man Jesus remained in the glory of God the Father, if the flesh had been united to the glory of the Word, and the assumed flesh possessed the glory of the Word.”
(Concrete for abstract.)
EUSEBIUS OF EMISSA, in his homily on the Sixth Holiday after Easter ( Feria 6, paschatos in homiliis 5, patrum, p. 297): “He who, according to His divinity, had always, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, power over all things, now also according to His humanity has received power over all things, so that this man who suffered not long ago rules over heaven and earth, yea, does here and there whatever He wishes.”
GREGORY OF NYSSA, quoted by Gelasius and Theodoret, Dialog 2 (t. 2., p. 333): “ ‘Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God’ kjv@Acts:2-33). Who, then, was exalted? The lowly one or the Highest?
But what is lowly if not the human? What else besides the divine is the Highest? But God, being the Highest, does not need to be exalted. Therefore, the apostle says that the human (nature) was exalted, and that it was exalted by becoming Lord and Christ. Therefore, by the words He has made the apostle does not express the premundane (eternal) subsistence of the Lord, but the advancement of that which is low to the Highest, namely, to the right hand of God.”
And shortly afterwards: “Because the right hand of God, the Creator of all things that exist, which is the Lord, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing of those things that were made subsist, has itself, through the union, raised up to its own height the man who has been united with it.”
BASIL THE GREAT, Against Eunomius, lib. 2, p. 661: “(When Peter, kjv@Acts:2: says:) ‘God hath evidently made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ,’ by the demonstrative word (that same) he applies himself almost entirely to His human nature, seen by all.” Shortly afterwards: “So that in saying, ‘God hath made Him both Lord and Christ,’ he says that power and dominion over all things were entrusted to Him (to the humanity) by the Father.”
EPIPHANIUS, Against the Ariomanites (p. 327, t. 1; fol. 728, ed. Paris, 1638): “(Peter, by adding:) ‘This same Jesus whom ye crucified’ (indicates the incarnation of the Lord, and it is manifest that he is speaking of the flesh), in order that the holy incarnate dispensation might not be left by the impassible and uncreated Word, but might be united above to the uncreated Word. On this account God made that which was conceived of Mary and united to Deity both Lord and Christ.”
AMBROSE, lib. 3, cap. 12, Of the Holy Ghost (t. 2, p. 157 (fol. 765, ed. Colon.)): “The angels adore not only the divinity of Christ, but also His footstool.” And afterwards: “The prophet says that the earth which the Lord Jesus took upon Himself in the assumption of flesh is to be adored. Therefore by footstool the earth is understood, but by earth the flesh of Christ, which we today also adore in the mysteries, and which the apostles adored in the Lord Jesus, as we have said above.”
AUGUSTINE, Of the Words of the Lord, Discourse 58 (t. 10, p. 217): “If Christ is not God by nature, but a creature, He is neither to be worshiped nor adored as God. But to these things they will reply and say: Why, then, is it that you adore with His divinity His flesh, which you do not deny to be a creature, and are no less devoted to it than to Deity?”
The same, on kjv@Psalms:99:5 (t. 8, p. 1103) “ ‘Worship His footstool,’ His footstool is the earth, and Christ took upon Him earth of earth, because flesh is of earth; and He received flesh of the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in this very flesh, He also gave this very flesh to be eaten by us for salvation.
But no one eats that flesh unless He has first worshiped it. Therefore the way has been found how such footstool of the Lord may be worshiped, so that we not only do not sin by worshiping, but sin by not worshiping.”
CHRYSOSTOM, on kjv@Hebrews:2 (p. 125): “For it is really great and wonderful and full of awe that our flesh should be seated above, and be worshiped by angels and archangels and by the seraphim and cherubim.
Reflecting upon this, I am often entranced (seem to be beside myself).”
The same, on kjv@1Corinthians:10 (p. 174, t. 6, p. 740, and t. 5, p. 261, ed. Frankf.): “This body, even when lying in the manger, the Magi worshiped, etc.; and they took a long journey; and having come, they worshiped with much fear and trembling.”
The same, in Epist. 65 to Leo: “Let us learn to know which nature it is to which the Father said, Share My seat. It is that nature to which it has been said, ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’ ”
THEOPHYLACT, from Chrysostom, on kjv@Matthew:28 (p. 311 (ed. Lutet., 8, 1631, fols. 184. 605)): “Since the human nature, but recently condemned, united in person with God the Word, is seated in heaven, worshiped by angels, He says properly: ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven.’ For also the human nature, which but recently served, now in Christ rules over all things.”
The same, on kjv@John:3: “He has also given all things into the hand of the Son, according to His humanity.”
CYRIL, On the Incarnation, cap. 11 (t. 4, p. 241; t. 5, p. 695): “The Word introduced Himself into that which He was not, in order that the nature of man also might become what it was not, resplendent, by its union, with the grandeur of divine majesty, which has been raised beyond nature rather than that it has cast the unchangeable God beneath (its) nature.”
Council of Ephesus (Cyril, t. 4, p. 140 ( Apologet, adv Orient., t. 6, fol. 196)), in Canon 11: “If any one does not confess that the flesh of the Lord is quickening, because it was made the Word’s own, who quickens all things, let him be anathema.”
Cyril also ( ibid., p. 140; t. 4, p. 85), in his explanation of this anathematization, says that Nestorius was unwilling to ascribe quickening to the flesh of Christ, but explained the passages in kjv@John:6 as referring to the divinity alone.
THEODORET, Dialog 2: “And it ( the body of the Lord) was deemed worthy of the seat on the right hand, and is worshiped by every creature, as it is called the body of the Lord of Nature (the body of God).”
The same, on kjv@Psalms:8: “Such honor, namely, dominion over the universe, the human nature in Christ has received of God.”
LEO (fol. 94 kjv@Ephesians:25: fol. 246)), Epist. 11: “It is a promotion of that which is assumed (man), and not of Him who assumes (God), that God has exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
DAMASCENUS, lib. 3, cap. 18 (p. 251): “Therefore His (Christ’s) divine will was both eternal and omnipotent, etc. But His human will not only began in time, but also endured natural and unblamable affections, and indeed was not omnipotent by nature; but as it has truly and by nature become the will of God the Word, if is also omnipotent.” This means, as explained by a commentator: “The divine will has, by its own nature, the power to do all things which it wishes; but Christ’s human will does not have power to do everything by its nature, but as united to God the Word.”
The same, cap. 19: “The flesh has communion with the operating divinity of the Word, because the divine operations are accomplished as through the organ of the body, and because He that works both in a divine and human fashion is one. For it is necessity to know that His holy mind works also its natural operations, etc., shares in the working and managing and guiding divinity of the Word, understanding and knowing and managing everything (the entire universe), not as the mere mind of a man, but as personally united with God and being constituted the mind of God.”
The same, in the same book, cap. 21: “The human nature does not essentially possess knowledge of the future; but the soul of the Lord, on account of the union with the Word Himself and the personal identity, was, apart from the other divine criteria, rich also in knowledge of the future.”
At the end of the chapter: “We say that this Master and Lord of all creation, the one Christ, who is at the same time God and man, knows also all things. For in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
NICEPHORUS, lib. 18, cap. 36: “Christ is seen by His disciples on the mountain in Galilee, and there asserts that the highest power in heaven and in earth has, by the Father, been delivered Him, namely, according to His human nature.”
That the Holy Scriptures and the fathers have understood this majesty which Christ has received in time not only of created gifts de finitis qualitatibus, but of the glory and majesty of divinity belonging to God, to which His human nature, in the person of the Son of God, has been exalted, and thus has received the power and efficacy of the divine nature which are peculiar to the Deity.
John 17, 5: And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine Own Self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
Col. 2, 9: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
HILARY, On the Trinity, lib. 3 (p. 28) “The Word made flesh prayed that that which was from time (had a beginning in time) might receive the glory of that brightness which is without time.”
GREGORY OF NYSSA, quoted by Gelasius and Theodoret, Dialog 2, concerning the saying of Peter, kjv@Acts:2: “Being exalted by the right hand of God,” etc. (t. 2, p. 333 (al. 330)): “This (right hand of God), through the union, raised to its own height the Man united to it.”
The same, Concerning the Soul: “God the Word is never altered by the communion which He has with body and soul, neither is He partaker of their imperfection, but, transmitting to them the power of His divinity, He remains the same that He was even before the union.”
BASIL THE GREAT, On the Holy Nativity of Christ (p. 231): “In what manner is the Deity in the flesh?
Just as fire in iron, not by transition, but by impartation. For fire does not run out to the iron, but, remaining in its place, imparts to it its own peculiar power, which is not diminished by the impartation, and fills the entire mass that becomes partaker of it.”
EPIPHANIUS, in Ancoratus (fol. 504 (fol. 86, ed. Colon.)): “Strengthening an earthly body with divinity, He united it into one power, brought it into one divinity, being one Lord, one Christ—not two Christs, nor two Gods,” etc.
CYRIL, on John, lib. 4, cap. 23: “You are not altogether unwise in denying that the flesh is quickening.
For if it alone be understood, it can quicken nothing whatever, being itself in need of a quickener. But when you have examined the mystery of the incarnation with commendable care, and have learned to know the life dwelling in the flesh, you will believe that, although the flesh is not able to do anything by itself, it has nevertheless become quickening. For since it has been united to the quickening Word, it has entirely been rendered quickening. For it (the flesh of Christ) has not dragged down to its corruptible nature the Word of God which has been joined to it, but has itself been elevated to the power of the better nature. Although, therefore, the nature of the flesh, inasmuch as it is flesh, cannot quicken, nevertheless it does this because it has received the entire operation of the Word. For the body not of Paul or of Peter or of others, but that of Life itself in which the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, can do this. Therefore, the flesh of all the others can do nothing, but only the flesh of Christ can quicken, because in it dwells the only-begotten Son of God.”
AUGUSTINE, Against Felicianus the Arian, cap. 11: “I do not acknowledge that Deity experienced the violence done His body in the same manner as we know that the flesh was glorified by the majesty of Deity.”
THEODORET, cap. Of Antichrist (t. 2, p. 411): “The Word that became man did not confer a partial grace upon the assumed nature, but it pleased (God) that the whole fulness of Deity dwell in it.”
The same, on kjv@Psalms:21: t. 1, p. 110: “If the assumed nature has been joined with the divinity which assumed it, it has also become participant and associate of the same glory and honor.”
The same, on kjv@Hebrews:1: “The human nature itself, after the resurrection, attained divine glory.”
DAMASCENUS, lib. 3, capp. 7. 15: “And this (the divine nature) imparts to the flesh its own excellences, itself (according to its nature) remaining impassible and not participating in the passions
(sufferings) of the flesh.”
That Christ as God has the same divine majesty in one way, namely, essentially and as His essential property, in and of Himself; but as man He has it in another mode, namely, not essentially in and of Himself, but because of, and according to, the mode of the personal union.
John 14, 6: I am the Life.
John 5, 26: He hath given to the Son to have life in Himself, ... because He is the Son of Man.
CYRIL, lib. 12, Thesauri, cap. 15 (t. 2, p. 167 (t. 5, ed. Paris, 1638)): “There is one condition and property appertaining to the creature and another to the Creator, but our nature, assumed by the Son of God, has exceeded its measure, and by grace has been transferred into the condition of the One assuming it.”
The same, on John, lib. 2, cap. 144 (t. 1, p. 134 (t. 4, ed. Paris, 1638)): “Christ added the reason why He said that life and the power of judgment had been given Him by the Father, saying, Because He is the Son of Man, in order that we may understand that all things were given Him as man. However, the only-begotten Son is not partaker of life, but is life by nature.”
The same, lib. 3, cap. 37 (t. 1, p. 181): “The body of Christ quickens, because it is the body of Life itself, retaining the power of the incarnate Word, and full of the power of Him by whom all things are and live.”
The same, lib. 4, cap. 14 (p. 201): “Since the flesh of the Savior was joined to the Word of God, who is Life by nature, it was rendered quickening.”
And cap. 18 (p. 204): “My body I have filled with life, I have assumed mortal flesh; but since, being naturally the Life, I dwell in it (the flesh), I have transformed it altogether according to My life.”
Cap. 24 (p. 210): “The nature itself of the flesh cannot of itself quicken, neither is it understood to be alone in Christ, but it has united with it the Son of God, who is substantially the Life. Therefore, when Christ calls His flesh quickening, He does not ascribe the power of quickening to it in the same manner as to Himself or His own Spirit. For the Spirit quickens of Himself, to Whose power the flesh rises by the union. But how this occurs we can neither understand with the mind nor express with the tongue, but we receive it in silence and firm faith.”
The same, lib. 10, cap. 13 (p. 501): “The flesh of life, having been made the flesh of the Only-begotten, has been brought to the power of life.”
The same, lib. 11, cap. 21 (p. 552): “The flesh itself of Christ was not of itself holy, but, transformed in a certain manner by union with the Word to the power of the Word, it is the cause of salvation and sanctification to those who partake thereof. Therefore, we ascribe the efficacy of the divine working not to the flesh as flesh, but to the power of the Word.”
Lib. 6, Dialog. (t. 5, op. ed. cit.): “He is glorified by the Father, not because He is God, but since He was man; for, not having as the fruit of His own nature the power of working with divine efficacy, He received it in a certain manner by the union and ineffable concurrence which God the Word is understood to have with humanity.”
The same, On the True Faith, to Theodosius (p. 278): “He has introduced His life into the assumed body by the very dispensation of the union.”
In the same place (p. 279): “The Word quickens on account of the ineffable birth from the living Father.
Yet we should see where the efficacy of divine glory is ascribed also to His own flesh.” Also: “We will confess that, with respect to the ability to quicken, earthly flesh is inoperative, so far as its own nature is concerned.”
EPIPHANIUS, Against the Ariomanites, p. 337 ( Haeres., 69; p. 789, ed. Colon.): “For His human nature was not something subsisting apart by itself, neither did He speak with the divinity separated and the human nature existing apart, as though they were different persons, but with the human nature united with the divine (there being one consecration), and in the same even now knowing the most perfect things, it being now united in God and joined to the one Deity.”
AUGUSTINE, Of the Words of the Lord, Discourse 58 (t. 10, pp. 217. 218): “I indeed adore the Lord’s flesh, yea, the perfect humanity in Christ, for the reason that it has been assumed by the divinity and united to Deity, and I confess not that there are two different persons, but that the one and the same Son of God is God and man. In a word, if you separate man from God, I never believe nor serve Him.”
Also: “If any one disdain worshiping humanity, not naked or alone, but united to divinity, namely, the one Son of God, true God and true man, he will die eternally.”
The same, De Civitate, lib. 10, cap. 24: “The flesh of Christ, therefore, does not of itself cleanse believers, but through the Word, by which it has been assumed.”
COUNCIL OF EPHESUS, Canon 11 (in Cyril, t. 6, p. 196): “If any one does not confess that the Lord’s flesh is quickening, for the reason that it was appropriated to the Word that quickens all things, let him be anathema.”
THEOPHYLACT, on kjv@John:3 (pp. 605. 184, ed. cit.): “And He has given all things into the hand of the Son, according to humanity. But if (also) according to divinity, what is meant? The Father has given all things to the Son by reason of nature, not of grace.”
The same, on kjv@Matthew:28: “If you would understand the declaration: ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,’ as spoken of God the Word, the meaning will be that both the unwilling and willing now acknowledge Me as God, who before served Me after the manner of involuntary obedience. But as spoken of the human nature, understand it thus: I, previously the condemned nature, but being God according to the unconfused union with the Son of God, have received power over all things.”
DAMASCENUS (lib. 3, cap. 17): “For not according to its (the flesh’s) own operation, but by the Word united to it, He wrought divine things, the Word displaying through it His own operation. For glowing iron burns not by possessing in a natural manner the power to burn, but by possessing this from its union with the fire. Therefore in itself it was mortal, and on account of its personal union to the Word, quickening.”
The same (cap. 18): “His (Christ’s) divine will was both eternal and omnipotent, etc. But His human will not only began in time, but also endured natural and unblamable affections, and naturally was not indeed omnipotent; but as truly and by nature it has become the will also of God the Word, it is also omnipotent.” This is, as explained by a commentator: “The divine will has, by its own nature, the power to do all things which it wishes; but Christ’s human will does not have power to do everything by its nature, but as united to God the Word.”
The same, in the same book, cap. 21: “The human nature does not possess essentially the knowledge of the future; but the soul of the Lord, on account of the union with the Word and the personal identity with the same, was, apart from other divine criteria, rich also in the knowledge of the future.”
And at the end of the chapter: “We say that the one Christ, Master, and Lord of all creation, at the same time God and man, knows also all things. For in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The same (lib. 2, cap. 22): “For although it ( the soul of the Lord) was of a nature that was ignorant of the future, nevertheless, being personally united to the Word, it had the knowledge of all things, not by grace, but on account of the personal union.”
Shortly afterwards: “And since in our Lord Jesus Christ the natures are distinct, the natural wills, that is, the powers of will, are also distinct.”
That now the divine nature powerfully manifests and actually exerts its majesty, power, and efficacy (which is and remains peculiar to the divine nature) in, with, and through the human nature personally united to it; which has such majesty because the entire fulness of the Godhead dwells personally in the assumed flesh and blood of Christ.
Rom. 3, 25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.
Rom. 5, 9: Being now justified by His blood.
Col. 1, 20: Having made peace by the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself.
ATHANASIUS, Oration 4, Against the Arians ( Epist. ad Adelph c. Arian, t. 1, p. 161, ed. Colon.): “Why should the body of the Lord not be worshiped when the Word, by stretching out His bodily hand, healed the one sick of a fever, and by uttering a human voice raised Lazarus, and by extending His hands upon the cross overthrew the prince of the air?”
The same, Dialog 5, Of the Trinity (t. 2, op, f. 257): “God the Word, having been united to man, performs miracles, not apart from the human nature, but it has pleased Him to work His divine power through it and in it and with it.”
And shortly afterwards: “And according to His good pleasure He renders the humanity perfect above its own nature, and did not prevent its being a rational living being (creature, and a true human nature).”
CYRIL, De Recta Fide ad Theodosium (t. 5, op.): “The soul, having obtained union with the Word, descended into hell; but, using its divine power and efficacy, it said to the fettered ones, Go forth.”
The same, lib. 1, Ad Reginas., “Christ as God quickens through His own flesh.”
And that this communication of the divine majesty occurs also in glory, without mingling, annihilation, or denial of the human nature.
Matt. 16, 27: The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father.
And kjv@Acts:1:11 : He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.
ATHANASIUS, Dialog 5, Of the Trinity (t. 2, f. 257, ed. Colon.): “And according to His good pleasure He renders the humanity perfect above its own nature, and did not prevent its being a rational living being (creature, and a true human nature).”
CYRIL, lib. 4, cap. 24 (t. 4, p. 377, and 3, f. 783): “He has shown that His entire body is full of the quickening energy of the Spirit, not because it has lost the nature of flesh, and been changed into the Spirit, but because, being united with Spirit, it has acquired the entire power to quicken.”
The same, Of the Incarnation, cap. 8: “In a coal, as an illustration, we can see how God the Word, united indeed to humanity, has transformed the assumed nature into its glory and efficacy. As fire adheres to wood, so has God been united to humanity in a manner that cannot be grasped, conferring upon it also the operation of His nature.”
THEODORET, Dialog 2 (t. 4, f. 82 and 112): “And accordingly the body of the Lord arose incorruptible and impassible and immortal, and glorified with divine glory, and is worshiped by the heavenly powers.
Nevertheless, it is a body, having the former circumscription.”
The same, in Dialog 3, approves this sentence of Apollinarius: “If the mingling of fire with iron, which shows that iron is fire, so that it does also those things that belong to fire, does not change the nature of the iron, neither, therefore, is the union of God with the body a change of the body, although it furnishes the body with divine operations.”
DAMASCENUS, lib. 3, cap. 17: “The flesh of the Lord was enriched with divine operations on account of its complete personal union with the Word, in no way having suffered loss with respect to those things that are by nature its own.”
The same, lib. 2, cap. 22: “For although it (the soul of the Lord) was of a nature that was ignorant of the future, nevertheless, being personally united to God the Word, it had the knowledge of all things, not by grace, but on account of the personal union.” And shortly afterwards: “And since in our Lord Jesus Christ the natures are distinct, the natural wills, that is, the powers of will, are also distinct.”
Also, that, according to the nature and because of the personal union, the human nature is participant and capable of the divine majesty which belongs to God.
Col. 2, 9. 3: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
JUSTIN, in Expositio Fidei, p. 182 (f. 389, ed. Colon., 1686): “We do not say that He is in the Father as in the others; not because the essence that is in others is contracted, but because of the limited capacity of those who receive it not being sufficient for the admission of God.”
Also: “For a defiled body does not receive rays of divinity.”
And shortly afterwards: “Thus consider the Sun of Righteousness in substance equally present to all things, inasmuch as He is God; but that we all, being weak and having eyes dimmed by the filth of sins, are incapable of receiving the light, yet that His own temple, His most pure eye, is capable of the splendor of all the light, as it has been formed by the Holy Ghost and is altogether separated from sin.”
ORIGEN, De Principiis, lib. 2, cap. 6 (t. 1, op. f. 698 and 749, ed. Basil): “The entire soul of Christ receives the entire Word, and passes (is received) into His light and splendor.”
Lib. 4: “The soul of Christ, united to the Word of God, has been fully capable of receiving the Son of God.”
AUGUSTINE, kjv@Ephesians:57: “Although God is present entire to all creatures, and dwells especially in believers, nevertheless they do not entirely receive Him, but, according to the difference in their capacity, some possess and receive Him more, and others less. But of our Head, Christ, the apostle says: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
Although it is known and undeniable that the Godhead, together with its divine majesty, is not to be locally circumscribed by the flesh, as though it were enclosed in a vessel, as Athanasius, Origen, Gregory of Nyasa, and others correctly wrote, and as also the Book of Concord (p. 1019) expressly rejects as an error the teaching that the humanity of Christ has been locally expanded into all places, or that, by the personal union, the human nature in Christ has been transformed into an infinite essence,—nevertheless, since the divine and human natures are personally and inseparably united in Christ, the Holy Scriptures and the holy fathers testify that wherever Christ is, there is not half His person, or only one half, or only a part of His person, for instance, the divinity alone, separate and bare, minus and without His assumed humanity personally united thereto or separated from it, and outside of the personal union with the humanity; but that His entire person, namely, as God and man, according to the mode of the personal union with the humanity, which is an inscrutable mystery, is everywhere present in a way and measure which is known to God.
Eph. 4, 10: He ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. This Oecumenius explains thus: “For, indeed, He long ago filled all things with His bare divinity; and having become incarnate, that He might fill all things with His flesh, He descended and ascended.”
And THEOPHYLACT, on the same passage ( Comment. in Eph., p. 535, ed. Lond., 1636): “In order that He might fill all things with His dominion and working, and that, in the flesh, since even before He filled all things with His divinity. These things, however, are against Paul of Samosata and Nestorius.”
LEO, Epist. 10 kjv@Ephesians:24: cap. 5, p. 245, and in Serm., f. 121, ed. cit.): “The Church Catholic lives and advances in this faith, that in Christ Jesus there is believed neither the humanity without the true divinity nor the divinity without the true humanity.”
The same, in Discourse 3, On the Passion: “This the catholic faith teaches, this it requires, that we know that in our Redeemer two natures have united, and that, while their properties remained, such a union of both substances has occurred that, from the time in which the Word became flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, we are not to think of God without this, that He is man; nor of man without this, that He is God.”
In the same place: “Each nature, by distinct operations, declares its genuineness, but neither separates itself from connection with the other; here nothing belonging to the one is lacking to the other; but God assumed the entire man, and so united Himself to man and man to Himself, that each nature is in the other, and neither passed into the other with the loss of its own attributes.”
But since in this article such teaching is especially directed to the end that we may know where we should seek and may apprehend the entire person of the Mediator, God and man, the Book of Concord, as also all other holy fathers, directs us, not to wood or stone or anything else, but to that to which Christ has pointed and directed us in and with His Word.
CYRIL, lib. 2, on John, cap. 32 (t. 3, p. 1063, ed. cit.): “The garments of Christ were divided into four parts, and His mantle alone remained undivided, which, I may say, was a sign of a mystery. For the four quarters of the world, brought to salvation, have shared the garment of the Word, that is, His flesh, among themselves in such a way that it has not been divided. For the Only-begotten, passing into each so as to be shared by each, and sanctifying their soul and body by His flesh, is in all indivisibly and entirely, since, being one, He is everywhere in no manner divided.”
THEOPHYLACT, on John, cap. 19 (f. 825, ed. cit.): “Therefore the holy body of Christ is indivisible, being divided and distributed among the four quarters of the earth; for both being distributed among them individually, and sanctifying the soul of each one with the body, the Only-begotten is by His own flesh entirely and indivisibly in all, being everywhere; for He has been in no wise divided, as Paul also exclaims.”
CHRYSOSTOM (t. 4, p. 1773, ed. Basil. and t. 6, f. 846, ed. Frankf.), Homil. 17, Ad Ebr., p. 16 (and Ambrose, cap. 10, Ad Hebraicos): “Since He is offered up in many places, are there many Christs? Not at all. But the one Christ is everywhere, being completely here and completely there, one body. For as Hehttp://wolf-359/boceng/CATENG.HTM (18 of 19) (2/14/2001 10:25:00 AM)
Catalogue of Testimonies
who is offered in many places is one body, and not many bodies, so is He also one sacrifice. He is that High Priest of ours who has offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. We also now offer that which, having been then offered, was not consumed. This is done in remembrance of that which was then done. ‘This do,’ says He, ‘in remembrance of Me.’ For we do not make another sacrifice, as the high priest, but always the same. We rather bring about a remembrance of the sacrifice.” ( Note: Against the propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass of the Papists.)
Christian reader, these testimonies of the ancient teachers of the Church have been here set forth, not with this meaning that our Christian faith is founded upon the authority of men. For the true saving faith is to be founded upon no church-teachers, old or new, but only and alone upon God’s Word, which is comprised in the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles, as unquestionable witnesses of divine truth. But because fanatical spirits, by the special and uncanny craft of Satan, wish to lead men from the Holy Scriptures—which, thank God! even a common layman can now profitably read—to the writings of the fathers and the ancient church-teachers as into a broad sea, so that he who has not read them cannot therefore precisely know whether they and their writings are as these new teachers quote their words, and thus is left in grievous doubt,—we have been compelled by means of this Catalogue to declare, and to exhibit to the view of all, that this new false doctrine has as little foundation in the ancient pure church-teachers as in the Holy Scriptures, but that it is diametrically opposed to it. Their testimonies they quote in a false meaning, contrary to the will of the fathers, just as they designedly and wantonly pervert the simple, plain, and clear words of Christ’s testament and the pure testimonies of the Holy Scriptures.
On this account the Book of Concord directs every one to the Holy Scriptures and the simple Catechism; for he who clings to this simple form with true, simple faith provides best for his soul and conscience, since it is built upon a firm and immovable Rock, kjv@Matthew:7 and 17; kjv@Galatians:1; kjv@Psalms:119.