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The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord

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VIII. The Person of Christ

1] A controversy has also occurred among the theologians of the Augsburg Confession concerning the Person of Christ, which, however, did not first arise among them but sprang originally from the Sacramentarians [for which the Sacramentarians furnished the occasion].

2] For when Dr. Luther, in opposition to the Sacramentarians, had maintained the true, essential presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper with solid arguments from the words of institution, the objection was urged against him by the Zwinglians that, if the body of Christ were present at the same time in heaven and on earth in the Holy Supper, it could be no real, true human body; for such majesty was said to be peculiar to God alone, and the body of Christ not capable of it.

3] But while Dr. Luther contradicted and effectually refuted this, as his doctrinal and polemical writings concerning the Holy Supper show, which we hereby publicly confess [approve], as well as his doctrinal writings [and we wish this fact to be publicly attested], 4] some theologians of the Augsburg Confession after his death sought, though still unwilling to do so publicly and expressly, to confess themselves in agreement with the Sacramentarians concerning the Lord's Supper; nevertheless they introduced and employed precisely the same false arguments concerning the person of Christ whereby the Sacramentarians dared to remove the true, essential presence of the body and blood of Christ from His Supper, namely, that nothing should be ascribed to the human nature in the person of Christ which is above or contrary to its natural, essential property; and on this account they have loaded the doctrine of Dr. Luther, and all those who follow it as in conformity with God's Word, with the charge of almost all the ancient monstrous heresies.

5] To explain this controversy in a Christian way, in conformity with God's Word, according to the guidance [analogy] of our simple Christian faith, and by God's grace entirely to settle it, our unanimous doctrine, faith, and confession are as follows:

6] We believe, teach, and confess that the Son of God, although from eternity He has been a particular, distinct, entire divine person, and thus, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, true, essential, perfect God, nevertheless, in the fulness of time assumed also human nature into the unity of His person, not in such a way that there now are two persons or two Christs, but that Christ Jesus is now in one person at the same time true, eternal God, born of the Father from eternity, and a true man, born of the most blessed Virgin Mary, as it is written Rom. 9:5: Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.

7] We believe, teach, and confess that now, in this one undivided person of Christ, there are two distinct natures, the divine, which is from eternity, and the human, which in time was assumed into the unity of the person of the Son of God; which two natures in the person of Christ are never either separated from, or mingled with, one another, or changed the one into the other, but each abides in its nature and essence in the person of Christ to all eternity.

8] We believe, teach, and confess also that, as both natures mentioned remain unmingled and undestroyed in their nature and essence, each retains also its natural, essential properties, and does not lay them aside to all eternity, neither do the essential properties of the one nature ever become the essential properties of the other nature.

9] Accordingly, we believe, teach, and confess that to be almighty, eternal, infinite, to be of itself everywhere present at once naturally, that is, according to the property of its nature and its natural essence, and to know all things, are essential attributes of the divine nature, which never to eternity become essential properties of the human nature.

10] On the other hand, to be a corporeal creature, to be flesh and blood, to be finite and circumscribed, to suffer, to die, to ascend and descend, to move from one place to another, to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and the like, are properties of the human nature, which never become properties of the divine nature.

11] We believe, teach, and confess also that now, since the incarnation, each nature in Christ does not so subsist of itself that each is or constitutes a separate person, but that they are so united that they constitute one single person, in which the divine and the assumed human nature are and subsist at the same time, so that now, since the incarnation, there belongs to the entire person of Christ personally, not only His divine, but also His assumed human nature; and that, as without His divinity, so also without His humanity, the person of Christ or Filii Dei incarnati (of the incarnate Son of God), that is, of the Son of God who has assumed flesh and become man, is not entire. Hence Christ is not two distinct persons, but one single person, notwithstanding that two distinct natures are found in Him, unconfused in their natural essence and properties.

12] We believe, teach, and confess also that the assumed human nature in Christ not only has and retains its natural, essential properties, but that over and above these, through the personal union with the Deity, and afterwards through glorification, it has been exalted to the right hand of majesty, power, and might, over everything that can be named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come [ Eph. 1:21 ].

13] Now as regards this majesty, to which Christ has been exalted according to His humanity, He did not first receive it when He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, but when He was conceived in His mother's womb and became man, and the divine and human natures were personally united with one another. 14] However, this personal union is not to be understood, as some incorrectly explain it, as though the two natures, the divine and the human, were united with one another, as two boards are glued together, so that they realiter, that is, in deed and truth, have no communion whatever with one another. 15] For this was the error and heresy of Nestorius and Samosatenus, who, as Suidas and Theodore, presbyter of Raithu, testify, taught and held: duvo fuvsei" ajkoinwnhvtou" prov" eJauta;" pantavpasin, hoc est, naturas omni modo incommunicables esse, that is, that the two natures have no communion whatever with one another. Thereby the natures are separated from one another, and thus two Christs are constituted, so that Christ is one, and God the Word, who dwells in Christ, another.

16] For thus Theodore the Presbyter writes: Paulus quidam iisdem, quibus Manes temporibus, Samosatenus quidem ortu, sed Antiochiae Syriae antistes, Dominum impie dixit nudum fuisse hominem, in quo Deus Verbum sicut et in singulis prophetis habitavit [habitaverit], ac proinde duas naturas separatas et citra omnem prorsus inter se communionem in Christo esse, quasi alius sit Christus, alius Deus Verbum in ipso habitans. That is: At the same time in which also the heretic Manes lived, one by the name of Paul, who, though born in Samosata, was a bishop at Antioch in Syria, wickedly taught that the Lord Christ was nothing else than a mere man in whom God the Word dwelt, just as in every prophet; therefore he also held that the divine and human natures are apart from one another and separate, and that in Christ they have no communion whatever with one another, just as though Christ were one, and God the Word, who dwells in Him, the other.

17] Against this condemned heresy the Christian Church always and at all times has simply believed and held that the divine and the human nature in the person of Christ are so united that they have a true communion with one another, whereby the natures [do not meet and] are not mingled in one essence, but, as Dr. Luther writes, in one person. 18] Accordingly, on account of this personal union and communion, the ancient teachers of the Church, before and after the Council of Chalcedon, frequently employed the word mixtio, mixture, in a good sense and with [true] discrimination. For proof of this, many testimonies of the Fathers, if necessary, could be adduced, which are to be found frequently also in the writings of our divines, and which explain the personal union and communion by the illustration animae et corporis and ferri candentis, that is, of the soul and body, and of glowing iron. 19] For the body and soul, as also fire and iron, have communion with each other, not per phrasin, or modum loquendi, or verbaliter (by a phrase or mode of speaking, or in mere words), that is, so that it is to be a mere form of speech and mere words, but vere and realiter (truly and really), that is, in deed and truth; and, nevertheless, no confusio or exaequatio naturarum, that is, a mixing or equalizing of the natures, is thereby introduced, as when hydromel is made from honey and water, which is no longer pure water or pure honey, but a mixed drink. Now, in the union of the divine and the human nature in the person of Christ it is far different. For it is a far different, more sublime, and [altogether] ineffable communion and union between the divine and the human nature in the person of Christ, on account of which union and communion God is man and man is God, yet neither the natures nor their properties are thereby intermingled, but each nature retains its essence and properties.

20] On account of this personal union, which cannot be thought of nor exist without such a true communion of the natures, not the mere human nature, whose property it is to suffer and die, has suffered for the sins of the world, but the Son of God Himself truly suffered, however, according to the assumed human nature, and (in accordance with our simple Christian faith) [as our Apostles' Creed testifies] truly died, although the divine nature can neither suffer nor die. This Dr. Luther has fully explained in his Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper in opposition to the blasphemous alloeosis of Zwingli, who taught that one nature should be taken and understood for the other, which Dr. Luther committed, as a devil's mask, to the abyss of hell.

22] For this reason, then, the ancient teachers of the Church combined both words, koinwniva and e{nwsi", communio et unio, that is, communion and union, in the explanation of this mystery, and have explained the one by the other. Irenaeus, lib. 4, chap. 37; Athanasius, in the Letter to Epictetus; Hilary, Concerning the Trinity, Book 9; Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, in Theodoret; Damascenus, Book 3, chap. 19.

23] On account of this personal union and communion of the divine and the human nature in Christ we believe, teach, and confess also, according to our simple Christian faith, what is said concerning the majesty of Christ according to His humanity, [by which He sits] at the right hand of the almighty power of God, and what is connected therewith [follows therefrom]; all of which would be naught and could not stand if this personal union and communion of the natures in the person of Christ did not exist realiter, that is, in deed and truth.

24] On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother's womb, inasmuch as He was born of a virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.

25] In virtue of this He also wrought all His miracles, and manifested this His divine majesty, according to His pleasure, when and as He willed, and therefore not first after His resurrection and ascension only, but also in His state of humiliation; for example, at the wedding at Cana of Galilee; also, when He was twelve years old, among the learned; also in the garden, when with a word He cast His enemies to the ground; likewise in death, when He died not simply as any other man, but in and with His death conquered sin, death, devil, hell, and eternal damnation; which the human nature alone would not have been able to do if it had not been thus personally united and had not had communion with the divine nature.

26] Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature. However, this majesty He had immediately at His conception, even in His mother's womb, but, as the apostle testifies [ Phil. 2:7 ], laid it aside; and, as Dr. Luther explains, He kept it concealed in the state of His humiliation, and did not employ it always, but only when He wished.

27] But now He does, since He has ascended, not merely as any other saint, to heaven, but, as the apostle testifies [ Eph. 4:10 ], above all heavens, and also truly fills all things, and being everywhere present, not only as God, but also as man [has dominion and] rules from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth; as the prophets predict, Ps. 8:1,6; 93:1f ; Zech. 9:10, and the apostles testify, Mark 16:20, that He everywhere wrought with them and confirmed their word with signs following. 28] Yet this occurred not in an earthly way, but, as Dr. Luther explains, according to the manner of the right hand of God, which is no fixed place in heaven, as the Sacramentarians assert without any ground in the Holy Scriptures, but nothing else than the almighty power of God, which fills heaven and earth, in [possession of] which Christ is installed according to His humanity, realiter, that is, in deed and truth, sine confusione et exaequatione naturarum, that is, without confusion and equalizing of the two natures in their essence and essential properties; 29] by this communicated [divine] power, according to the words of His testament, He can be and truly is present with His body and blood in the Holy Supper, to which He has directed us by His Word; this is possible to no other man, because no man is in such a way united with the divine nature, and installed in such divine almighty majesty and power through and in the personal union of the two natures in Christ, as Jesus, the Son of Mary. 30] For in Him the divine and the human nature are personally united with one another, so that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col. 2:9, and in this personal union have such a sublime, intimate, ineffable communion that even the angels are astonished at it, and, as St. Peter testifies, have their delight and joy in looking into it [ 1 Pet. 1:12 ]; all of which will shortly be explained in order and somewhat more fully.

31] From this basis of the personal union, as it has been stated and explained above, that is, from the manner in which the divine and the human nature in the person of Christ are united with one another, namely, that they have not only the names in common, but have also in deed and truth communion with one another, without any commingling or equalizing of the same in their essences, flows also the doctrine de communicatione idiomatum, that is, concerning the true communion of the properties of the natures, of which more is to be said hereafter.

32] For since this is verily so, quod propria non egrediantur sua subiecta (that properties do not leave their subjects), that is, that each nature retains its essential properties, and these are not separated from the nature and poured into the other nature, as water from one vessel into another, so also no communion of properties could be or subsist if the above-mentioned personal union or communion of the natures in the person of Christ were not true. 33] Next to the article of the Holy Trinity this is the greatest mystery in heaven and on earth, as Paul says: Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, that God was manifest in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3:16. 34] For since the Apostle Peter in clear words testifies [ 2 Pet. 1:4 ] that we also, in whom Christ dwells only by grace, on account of that sublime mystery, are in Christ, partakers of the divine nature, what kind of communion of the divine nature, then, must that be of which the apostle says that in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, so that God and man are one person? 35] But since it is highly important that this doctrine de communicatione idiomatum, that is, of the communion of the properties of both natures, be treated and explained with proper discrimination,-for the propositiones or praedicationes, that is, how to speak of the person of Christ, and of its natures and properties, are not all of one kind and mode, and when they are employed without proper discrimination, the doctrine becomes confused and the simple reader is easily led astray,-the following explanation should be carefully noted, which, for the purpose of making it plainer and simple, may well be comprised under three heads:

36] Namely, first, since in Christ two distinct natures exist and remain unchanged and unconfused in their natural essence and properties, and yet of both natures there is only one person, hence, that which is, indeed, an attribute of only one nature is ascribed not to that nature alone, as separate, but to the entire person, which is at the same time God and man (whether it is called God or man).

37] But in hoc genere, that is, in this mode of speaking, it does not follow that what is ascribed to the person is at the same time a property of both natures, but it is distinctively explained what nature it is according to which anything is ascribed to the person. Thus the Son of God was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, Rom. 1:3. Also: Christ was put to death according to the flesh, and hath suffered for us in, or according to, the flesh, 1 Pet. 3:18;4:1.

38] However, since beneath the words, when it is said that what is peculiar to one nature is ascribed to the entire person, secret and open Sacramentarians conceal their pernicious error, by naming indeed the entire person, but understanding thereby nevertheless only the one nature, and entirely excluding the other nature, as though the mere human nature had suffered for us, as Dr. Luther in his Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper has written concerning the alloeosis of Zwingli, we will here set down Luther's own words, in order that the Church of God may be guarded in the best way against this error. His words are as follows:

39] Zwingli calls that an alloeosis when something is said of the divinity of Christ which really belongs to the humanity, or vice versa. As Luke 24:26: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" Here Zwingli juggles, asserting that [the word] Christ is understood of the human nature. 40] Beware, beware, I say, of the alloeosis! For it is a devil's mask, for at last it manufactures such a Christ after whom I certainly would not be a Christian; namely, that henceforth Christ should be no more and do no more with His sufferings and life than any other mere saint. For if I believe this [permit myself to be persuaded] that only the human nature has suffered for me, then Christ is to me a poor Savior, then He Himself indeed needs a Savior. In a word, it is unspeakable what the devil seeks by the alloeosis.

41] And shortly afterwards: If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason, the grandmother of the alloeosis, would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth God's Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say, was crucified according to the humanity.

43] And again, shortly afterwards: If the alloeosis is to stand as Zwingli teaches it, then Christ will have to be two persons, one divine and one human, because Zwingli applies the passages concerning suffering to the human nature alone, and diverts them entirely from the divinity. For if the works be parted and separated, the person must also be divided, since all the works or sufferings are ascribed not to the natures, but to the person. For it is the person that does and suffers everything, one thing according to one nature, and another according to the other nature, all of which the learned know well. Therefore we regard our Lord Christ as God and man in one person, non confundendo naturas nec dividendo personam, so that we neither confound the natures nor divide the person.

44] Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if "God's death" and "God died" lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: "God died," "God's passion," "God's blood," "God's death." For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God's death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. Thus far Luther.

45] Hence it is manifest that it is incorrect to say or write that the above-mentioned expressions (God suffered, God died) are only praedicationes verbales (verbal assertions), that is, mere words, and that it is not so in fact. For our simple Christian faith proves that the Son of God, who became man, suffered for us, died for us and redeemed us with His blood.

46] Secondly, as to the execution of the office of Christ, the person does not act and work in, with, through, or according to only one nature, but in, according to, with, and through both natures, or, as the Council of Chalcedon expresses it, one nature operates in communion with the other what is a property of each. 47] Therefore Christ is our Mediator, Redeemer, King, High Priest, Head, Shepherd, etc., not according to one nature only, whether it be the divine or the human, but according to both natures, as this doctrine has been treated more fully in other places.

48] Thirdly, however, it is still a much different thing when the question, declaration, or discussion is, whether the natures in the personal union in Christ have nothing else or nothing more than only their natural, essential properties; for that they have and retain these has been mentioned above.

49] Now, as regards the divine nature in Christ, since in God there is no change, Jas. 1:17, His divine nature, in its essence and properties, suffered no subtraction nor addition by the incarnation; was not, in or by itself, either diminished or increased thereby.

50] But as regards the assumed human nature in the person of Christ, some have indeed wished to contend that even in the personal union with divinity it has nothing else and nothing more than only its natural, essential properties according to which it is in all things like its brethren; and that, on this account, nothing should or could be ascribed to the human nature in Christ which is beyond, or contrary to, its natural properties, even though the testimony of Scripture is to that effect. 51] But that this opinion is false and incorrect is so clear from God's Word that even their own associates rebuke and reject this error. For the Holy Scriptures, and the ancient Fathers from the Scriptures [in which they were fully trained], testify forcefully that, for the reason and because of the fact that it has been personally united with the divine nature in Christ, the human nature in Christ, when it was glorified and exalted to the right hand of the majesty and power of God, after the form of a servant and humiliation had been laid aside, did receive, apart from, and over and above its natural, essential, permanent properties, also special, high, great, supernatural, inscrutable, ineffable, heavenly prerogativas (prerogatives) and excellences in majesty, glory, power, and might above everything that can be named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come [Eph. 1:21]; and that, accordingly, in the operations of the office of Christ: the human nature in Christ, in its measure and mode, is equally employed [at the same time], and has also its efficaciam, that is, power and, efficacy, not only from, and according to, its natural, essential attributes, or only so far as their ability extends, but chiefly from, and according to, the majesty, glory, power, and might which it has received through the personal union, glorification, and exaltation. 52] And nowadays even the adversaries can or dare scarcely deny this, except that they dispute and contend that those are only created gifts or finitae qualitates (finite qualities), as in the saints, with which the human nature in Christ is endowed and adorned; and that, according to their [crafty] thoughts or from their own [silly] argumentationes (argumentations) or [fictitious] proofs, they wish to measure and calculate of what the human nature in Christ could or should be capable or incapable without becoming annihilated.

53] But the best, most certain, and surest way in this controversy is this, namely, that what Christ has received according to His assumed human nature through the personal union, glorification, or exaltation, and of what His assumed human nature is capable beyond the natural properties, without becoming annihilated, no one can know better or more thoroughly than the Lord Christ Himself; and He has revealed it in His Word, as much as is needful for us to know of it in this life. Now, everything for which we have in this instance clear, certain testimonies in the Scriptures, we must simply believe, and in no way argue against it, as though the human nature in Christ could not be capable of the same.

54] Now it is indeed correct and true what has been said concerning the created gifts which have been given and imparted to the human nature in Christ, that it possesses them in or of itself. But these do not reach unto the majesty which the Scriptures, and the ancient Fathers from Scripture, ascribe to the assumed human nature in Christ.

55] For to quicken, to have all judgment and all power in heaven and on earth, to have all things in His hands, to have all things in subjection beneath His feet, to cleanse from sin, etc., are not created gifts, but divine, infinite properties; and yet, according to the declaration of Scripture, these have been given and communicated to the man Christ, John 5:27; 6:39; Matt. 28:18; Dan. 7:14; John 3:35; 13:3; Matt. 11:27; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2:8; 1 Cor. 15:27; John 1:3.

56] And that this communication is not to be understood per phrasin aut modum loquendi (as a phrase or mode of speaking), that is, only in words, with respect to the person according to the divine nature alone, but according to the assumed human nature, the three strong, irrefutable arguments and reasons, now following, show:

57] 1. First, there is a unanimously received rule of the entire ancient orthodox Church that what Holy Scripture testifies that Christ received in time He received not according to the divine nature (according to which He has everything from eternity), but the person has received it in time ratione et respectu humanae naturae, that is, as referring, and with respect to, according to the assumed human nature.

58] 2. Secondly, the Scriptures testify clearly, John 5:21f; 6:39f, that the power to quicken and to execute judgment has been given to Christ for the reason that He is the Son of Man, and in as far as He has flesh and blood.

59] 3. Thirdly, the Scriptures speak not merely in general of the Son of Man, but also indicate expressly His assumed human nature, 1 John 1:7: The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin, not only according to the merit [of the blood of Christ] which was once attained on the cross; but in this place John speaks of this, that in the work or act of justification not only the divine nature in Christ, but also His blood per modum efficaciae (by mode of efficacy), that is, actually, cleanses us from all sins. Thus in John 6:48-58 the flesh of Christ is a quickening food; as also the Council of Ephesus concluded from this [statement of the evangelist and apostle] that the flesh of Christ has power to quicken; and as many other glorious testimonies of the ancient orthodox Church concerning this article are cited elsewhere.

60] Now, that Christ, according to His human nature, has received this, and that it has been given and communicated to the assumed human nature in Christ, we shall and must believe according to the Scriptures. But, as above said, since the two natures in Christ are united in such a manner that they are not mingled with one another or changed one into the other, and each retains its natural, essential property, so that the properties of one nature never become properties of the other nature, this doctrine must also be rightly explained and diligently guarded against all heresies.

61] While we, then, invent nothing new of ourselves, but receive and repeat the explanations which the ancient orthodox Church has given hereof from the good foundation of Holy Scripture, namely, that this divine power, life, might, majesty, and glory was given to the assumed human nature in Christ, not in such a way as the Father from eternity has communicated to the Son, according to the divine nature, His essence and all divine attributes, whence He is of one essence with the Father and is equal to God (for Christ is equal to the Father only according to the divine nature, while according to the assumed human nature He is beneath God; from which it is manifest that we make no confusionem, exaequationem, abolitionem, that is, no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ), so, too, the power to quicken is in the flesh of Christ not in that manner in which it is in His divine nature, namely, as an essential property.

62] Moreover, this communication or impartation has not occurred through an essential or natural infusion of the properties of the divine nature into the human, so that the humanity of Christ would have these by itself and apart from the divine essence, or as though the human nature in Christ had thereby [by this communication] entirely laid aside its natural, essential properties and were now either transformed into divinity, or had, with such communicated properties, in and by itself become equal to the same, or that there should now be for both natures identical or, at any rate, equal natural, essential properties and operations. For these and similar erroneous doctrines were justly rejected and condemned in the ancient approved councils on the basis of Holy Scripture. Nullo enim modo vel facienda vel admittenda est aut conversio aut confusio aut exaequatio sive naturarum in Christo sive essentialium proprietatum. That is: For in no way is conversion, confusion, or equalization of the natures in Christ or of their essential properties to be maintained [made] or admitted.

63] Accordingly, we have never understood the words realis communicatio or communicated realiter, that is, the impartation or communion which occurs in deed and truth, of any physica communicatio vel essentialis transfusio, physical communication or essential transfusion, that is, of an essential, natural communion or effusion, by which the natures would be commingled in their essence, and their essential properties, as some have craftily and wickedly, against their own conscience, perverted these words and phrases in order to make the pure doctrine suspected; but we have only opposed them to verbalis communicatio (verbal communication), that is, to this doctrine, when such persons assert that it is only phrasis and modus loquendi (a phrase and mode of speaking), that is, nothing more than mere words, titles, and names, upon which they have also laid so much stress that they would know of no other communion. Hence, for the true explanation of the majesty of Christ we have used such terms de reali communicatione (of real communion), and wished to indicate by them that this communion has occurred in deed and truth, however, without any confusion of natures and their essential properties.

64] We, therefore, hold and teach, in conformity with the ancient orthodox Church, as it has explained this doctrine from the Scriptures, that the human nature in Christ has received this majesty according to the manner of the personal union, namely, because the entire fulness of the divinity dwells in Christ, not as in other holy men or angels, but bodily, as in its own body, so that it shines forth with all its majesty, power, glory, and efficacy in the assumed human nature, voluntarily when and as He [Christ] wills, and in, with, and through the same manifests, exercises, and executes His divine power, glory, and efficacy, as the soul does in the body and fire in glowing iron (for by means of these illustrations, as was also mentioned above, the entire ancient Church has explained this doctrine). 65] This was concealed and withheld [for the greater part] at the time of the humiliation; but now, after the form of a servant [or exinanition] has been laid aside, it is fully, powerfully, and publicly exercised before all saints, in heaven and on earth; and in the life to come we shall also behold this His glory face to face, John 17:24.

66] Thus there is and remains in Christ only one divine omnipotence, power, majesty, and glory, which is peculiar to the divine nature alone; but it shines, manifests, and exercises itself fully, yet voluntarily, in, with, and through the assumed, exalted human nature in Christ. Just as in glowing iron there are not two kinds of power to shine and burn [as though the fire had a peculiar, and the iron also a peculiar and separate power of shining and burning], but the power to shine and to burn is a property of the fire; but since the fire is united with the iron, it manifests and exercises this its power to shine and to burn in, with, and through the glowing iron, so that thence and from this union also the glowing iron has the power to shine and to burn without conversion of the essence and of the natural properties of fire and iron.

67] For this reason we understand such testimonies of Scripture as speak of the majesty to which the human nature in Christ is exalted, not in such a way as if the divine majesty, which is peculiar to the divine nature of the Son of God, is in the person of the Son of Man to be ascribed [to Christ] simply and purely according to His divine nature, or that this majesty is to be in the human nature of Christ in such a manner only that from it His human nature should have but the mere title and name per phrasin et modum loquendi (by a phrase and mode of speaking), that is, only in words, but in deed and truth should have no communion whatever with it. 68] For in that way (since God is a spiritual, undivided essence, and therefore present everywhere and in all creatures, and wherever He is, dwelling, however, especially in believers and saints, there He has with Him such majesty of His) it might also be said with truth that in all creatures in whom God is, but especially in believers and saints, in whom He dwells, all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid, all power in heaven and earth is given, because the Holy Ghost, who has all power, is given them. 69] In this way, then, no distinction would be made between Christ according to His human nature and other holy men, and thus Christ would be deprived of His majesty, which He has received above all creatures, as a man or according to His human nature. 70] For no other creature, neither man nor angel, can or shall say: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, since, although God, with all the fulness of His Godhead, which He has everywhere with Himself, is in the saints, He does not dwell in them bodily, nor is personally united with them as in Christ. For from such personal union it follows that Christ says, even according to His human nature, Matt. 28:18: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Also John 13:3: Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands. Also Col. 2:9: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Also: Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him, Heb. 2:7f ; Ps. 8:6. He is excepted which did put all things under Him, 1 Cor. 15:27.

71] By no means, however, do we believe, teach, and confess such an infusion of the majesty of God and of all its properties into the human nature of Christ by which the divine nature is weakened [by which anything of the divine nature departs], or anything of its own is surrendered to another that it does not retain for itself, or that the human nature in its substance and essence should have received equal majesty, separate or distinct from the nature and essence of the Son of God, as when water, wine, or oil is poured from one vessel into another. For the human nature, as also no other creature, either in heaven or on earth, is capable of the omnipotence of God in such a manner that it would become in itself an almighty essence, or have in and by itself almighty properties; for thereby the human nature in Christ would be denied, and would be entirely converted into the divinity, which is contrary to our Christian faith, as also to the doctrine of all the prophets and apostles.

72] But we believe, teach, and confess that God the Father has so given His Spirit to Christ, His beloved Son, according to the assumed humanity (on account of which He is called also Messias, i.e., the Anointed), that He has not received His gifts by measure as other saints. For upon Christ the Lord, according to His assumed human nature (because, according to His divinity, He is of one essence with the Holy Ghost), rests the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge [and of the fear of the Lord, Col. 2:3; Is. 11:2; 61:1 ], 73] not in such a way that on this account, as a man, He knew and could do only some things, as other saints know and can do by the Spirit of God, who works in them only created gifts, but since Christ, according to His divinity, is the second person in the Holy Trinity, and from Him, as also from the Father, the Holy Ghost proceeds, and thus is and remains His and the Father's own Spirit to all eternity, not separated from the Son of God, therefore (as the Fathers say) the entire fulness of the Spirit has been communicated by the personal union to Christ according to the flesh, which is personally united with the Son of God. 74] This voluntarily manifests and shows itself, with all its power therein, therewith and thereby [in, with, and through the human nature of Christ], so that He [Christ, according to His human nature] not only knows some things and is ignorant of others, can do some things and is unable to do others, but [according to the assumed human nature] knows and can do all things. For upon Him the Father poured without measure the Spirit of wisdom and power, so that, as man, He has received through this personal union all knowledge and all power in deed and truth. And thus all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Him, thus all power is given to Him, and He is seated at the right hand of the majesty and power of God. 75] From history it can be learned that at the time of the Emperor Valens there was among the Arians a peculiar sect which was called the Agnoetae, because they imagined that the Son, the Word of the Father, knew indeed all things, but that His assumed human nature is ignorant of many things; against whom also Gregory the Great wrote.

76] On account of this personal union, and the communion resulting from it, which the divine and the human nature have with one another in the person of Christ in deed and truth, there is ascribed to Christ according to the flesh what His flesh, according to its nature and essence, cannot be of itself, and, apart from this union, cannot have, namely, that His flesh is a truly quickening food and His blood a truly quickening drink; as the two hundred Fathers of the Council of Ephesus have testified, carnem Christi esse vivificam seu vivificatricem, that is, that the flesh of Christ is a quickening flesh [or a quickener]. Hence, too, this man only, and no man besides, either in heaven or on earth, can say with truth, Matt. 18:20: Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Also Matt. 28:20: Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

77] And these testimonies we do not understand, as though only the divinity of Christ were present with us in the Christian Church and congregation, and such presence were to concern Christ according to His humanity in no way whatever; for in that manner Peter, Paul, and all the saints in heaven, since divinity which is everywhere present dwells in them, would also be with us on earth, which the Holy Scriptures, however, testify only of Christ, and of no other man besides. 78] But we hold that by these words [the above passages of Scripture] the majesty of the man Christ is declared, which Christ has received, according to His humanity, at the right hand of the majesty and power of God, namely, that also according to His assumed human nature and with the same, He can be, and also is, present where He will, and especially that in His Church and congregation on earth He is present as Mediator, Head, King, and High Priest, not in part, or one-half of Him only, but the entire person of Christ is present, to which both natures belong, the divine and the human; not only according to His divinity, but also according to, and with, His assumed human nature, according to which He is our 79] Brother, and we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Even as He has instituted His Holy Supper for the certain assurance and confirmation of this, that also according to that nature according to which He has flesh and blood He will be with us, and dwell, work, and be efficacious in us.

80] Upon this firm foundation Dr. Luther, of blessed memory, has also written [faithfully and clearly] concerning the majesty of Christ according to His human nature.

81] In the Large Confession concerning the Lord's Supper he writes thus concerning the person of Christ: Now, since He [Christ] is such a man as is supernaturally one person with God, and apart from this man there is no God, it must follow that also according to the third, supernatural mode He is and can be in every place where God is, and all things are through and through full of Christ, also according to the humanity, not according to the first corporeal, comprehensible mode, but according to the supernatural, divine mode. Vol. 2, Wittenb. Germ., fol. 191.

82] For here you must stand [confess] and say: Wherever Christ according to the divinity is, there He is a natural, divine person, and He is there also naturally and personally, as His conception in His mother's womb well shows. For if He were to be God's son, He must, naturally and personally be in His mother's womb and become man. Now, if He is naturally and personally wherever He is, He must also be man in the same place. For there are not [in Christ] two separate persons, but only one person: wherever it is, there it is the one undivided person; and wherever you can say, Here is God, there you must also say, Then Christ the man is also there. And if you would point out a place where God is, and not the man, the person would already be divided, because I could then say with truth: Here is God who is not man, and who never as yet has become man.

83] However, no such a God for me! For it would follow hence that space and place separated the two natures from one another, and divided the person, and yet even death and all devils could not divide or rend them from one another. 84] And there would remain to me a poor sort of Christ [a Christ of how much value, pray?], who would be a divine and human person at the same time in no more than in only one place, while in all other places He must be only a mere separate God and divine person without humanity. No, friend, wherever you place God, there you must also place with Him humanity; they do not allow themselves to be separated or divided from one another. There has been made [in Christ] one person, and it [the Son of God] does not separate from itself the [assumed] humanity.

85] In the little book concerning the Last Words of David, which Dr. Luther wrote shortly before his death, he says as follows: According to the other, the temporal, human birth, also the eternal power of God has been given Him; however, in time, and not from eternity. For the humanity of Christ has not been from eternity, like the divinity; but, as we reckon and write, Jesus, the Son of Mary, is 1543 years old this year. But from the instant when divinity and humanity were united in one person, the man, the Son of Mary, is and is called almighty, eternal God, who has eternal might, and has created and sustains all things per communicationem idiomatum for the reason that He is one person with the divinity, and is also true God. Of this He speaks Matt. 11:27: "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father"; and Matt. 28:18: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." To which Me? To Me, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, and born man. From eternity I have it of the Father, before I became man. But when I became man, I received it in time, according to humanity, and kept it concealed until My resurrection and ascension; when it was to be manifested and declared, as St. Paul says, Rom. 1:4: "He is declared and proved to be a Son of God with power." John 17:10 calls it "glorified." Vol. 5, Wittenb. Germ., fol. 545.

86] Similar testimonies are found in Dr. Luther's writings, but especially in the book That These Words Still Stand Firm, and in the Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper; to which writings, as well-grounded explanations of the majesty of Christ at the right hand of God, and of His testament, we would be understood as having referred, for the sake of brevity, in this article, as well as in the Holy Supper, as has been heretofore mentioned.

87] Therefore we regard it as a pernicious error when such majesty is denied to Christ according to His humanity. For thereby the very great consolation is taken from Christians which they have in the aforecited promise concerning the presence and dwelling with them of their Head, King, and High Priest, who has promised them that not only His mere divinity would be with them, which to us poor sinners is as a consuming fire to dry stubble, but that He, He, the man who has spoken with them, who has tried all tribulations in His assumed human nature, and who can therefore have sympathy with us, as with men and His brethren,-He will be with us in all our troubles also according to the nature according to which He is our brother and we are flesh of His flesh.

88] Therefore we unanimously reject and condemn, with mouth and heart, all errors not in accordance with the doctrine presented, as contrary to the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, the pure [received and approved] symbols, and our Christian Augsburg Confession

89] 1. As, when it is believed or taught by any one that on account of the personal union the human nature is mingled with the divine or is changed into it.

90] 2. Also, that the human nature in Christ is everywhere present in the same mode as the divinity, as an infinite essence, by essential power and property of its nature.

91] 3. Also, that the human nature in Christ has become equal to and like the divine nature in its substance and essence or in its essential properties.

92] 4. Also, that the humanity of Christ is locally extended in all places of heaven and earth; which is to be ascribed not even to the divinity. But that Christ, by His divine omnipotence can be present with His body, which He has placed at the right hand of the majesty and power of God, wherever He will, especially where He has, in His Word, promised this His presence, as in the Holy Supper, this His omnipotence and wisdom can well accomplish without change or abolition of His true human nature.

93] 5. Also, that the mere human nature of Christ has suffered for us and redeemed us, with which the Son of God is said to have had no communion whatever in suffering.

94] 6. Also, that Christ is present with us on earth in the Word preached and in the right use of the holy Sacraments only according to His divinity, and that this presence of Christ does not in any way pertain to His assumed human nature.

95] 7. Also, that the assumed human nature in Christ has in deed and truth no communion whatever with the divine power, might, wisdom, majesty, and glory, but has in common only the mere title and name.

96] These errors, and all that are contrary and opposed to the [godly and pure] doctrine presented above, we reject and condemn as contrary to the pure Word of God, the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian faith and confession. And we admonish all Christians, since in the Holy Scriptures Christ is called a mystery upon which all heretics dash their heads, not to indulge in a presumptuous manner in subtile inquiries, concerning such mysteries, with their reason, but with the venerated apostles simply to believe, to close the eyes of their reason, and bring into captivity their understanding to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10:5, and to take comfort [seek most delightful and sure consolation], and hence to rejoice without ceasing in the fact that our flesh and blood is placed so high at the right hand of the majesty and almighty power of God. Thus we shall assuredly find constant consolation in every adversity, and remain well guarded from pernicious error.

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