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the loftiness of the Deity; for as the Godhead is not changed by compassion, so the manhood is not consumed by dignity. Each form therefore performed what was proper to itself, in communion with the other, the Word working that which was proper to the Word, and the flesh working that which was proper to the flesh. The one of these glitters with miracles, the other succumbs to injuries. And as the Word did not recede from the equality of the Father's glory so the flesh did not quit the nature of our race. For, as is to be often repeated, the one and same is truly the Son of God, and truly the Son of man. God, inasmuch as “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" Man, inasmuch as “ The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” God, inasmuch as "all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made;" Man, inasmuch as “he was made of a woman, made under the law." The birth of the flesh is the manifestation of the human nature; the bringing forth of a Virgin is the evidence of the Divine power. The infancy of the little child is shown by the humbleness of the cradle; the greatness of the Most High is declared by the voice of Angels. He whom the impious Herod seeks to kill is like the beginnings of man; but he whom the Magi rejoice suppliantly to adore is Lord of all. Moreover, when he came to the baptism of his forerunner John, that it might not be concealed that the Divinity was covered by a veil of flesh, the voice of the Father thundering from heaven said, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So also, to him whom as man the craft of the devil tempts, to him as God the services of Angels minister. To hunger, to thirst, to be weary, to sleep, is plainly human, but to feed five thousand men with five loaves; to give unto the Samaritan woman the living water of which whosoever drinketh shall never thirst; to walk upon the surface of the sea his feet not sinking into it, and to allay the swelling of the waves by rebuking the tempest, 'is without doubt divine. So also (not to mention other particulars) it is not of the same nature to be moved by compassion to weep for a dead friend, and to raise him to life again by the command of his word although he had been buried four days: or to hang upon the cross, and to make all the elements tremble, the day being changed to night: or to be pierced with nails, and to open the gates of Paradise to the faith of the robber. Neither is it of the same nature to say, “ I and the Father are one ;” and “ The Father is greater than I.” For although in our Lord Jesus Christ there is one Person of God and man, there is one source from which is the reproach, and another from which is the common glory: for from us he has the Manhood, which is less than the Father; and from the Father he has the Godhead, which is equal with the Father.
On account of this unity of person to be understood in each nature, the Son of Man is said to have come · down from heaven, since the Son of God assumed flesh
of that Virgin of whom he was born ; and again, the Son of God is said to be crucified and buried, since he suffered these things, not in the divinity by which as the onlybegotten he is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of human nature. Wherefore we all acknowledge in the creed, that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified and buried, according to that saying of the Apostle, “ If they had known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Extract of a Letter of Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorius.
Conc. Chal. Act. 1. ... The holy and great Synod therefore says, that the only-begotten Son, born according to nature of God the Father, very God of very God, Light of light, by whom the Father made all things, came down, and was incarnate, and made man; suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven. These words and these decrees we ought to follow, considering what is meant by the word of God being incarnate and made man. For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body; but rather that the Word having personally united (1) to himself flesh animated by a rational soul, did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man, and was called the Son of Man, not merely as willing or being pleased to be so called, neither on account of taking to himself a person only, but because the two natures being brought together in a true union, there is one Christ and one Son of both; for the difference of the natures is not taken away by the union, but rather the divinity and the humanity perfect for us the one Lord Jesus Christ by their ineffable and inexpressible union. So then he who had an existence before all ages and was born of the Father, is said to have been born according to the flesh of a woman, not as though his divine nature received its beginning of existence in the holy Virgin, for it needed not any second generation after that of the Father (for it would be absurd and foolish to say that he who existed before all ages coeternal with the Father needed any second beginning of existence), but since, for us and for our salva
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tion, he personally united to himself an human body, and came forth of a woman, he is in this way said to be born after the flesh; for he was not first born a common man of the holy Virgin, and then the Word came down and entered into him, but the union being made in the womb itself, he is said to endure a birth after the flesh, ascribing to himself the birth of his own flesh. On this account we say that he suffered and rose again; not as if God the Word suffered in his own nature stripes, or the piercing of the nails, or any other wounds, for the Divine nature is incapable of suffering, inasmuch as it is incorporeal: but since that which had become his own body suffered in this way, he is also said to suffer for us; for he who is in himself incapable of suffering was in a suffering body. In the same manner also we conceive respecting his dying: for the Word of God is by nature immortal and incorruptible, and life and life-giving ; since, however, his own body did, as Paul says, by the grace of God taste death for every man, he himself is said to have suffered death for us, not as if he had any experience of death in his own nature (for it would be madness to say or think this), but because, as I have just said, his flesh tasted death. In like manner his flesh being raised again, it is spoken of as his resurrection, not as if he had fallen into corruption (God forbid), but because his own body was raised again. We, therefore, confess one Christ and Lord, not as worshipping a man with the Word (lest this should pass for a mere fancy on account of our using the exception with), but worshipping him as one and the same, forasmuch as the body of the Word is not separated from the Word himself with which he sits with the Father, not as if two sons were sitting with him, but one by the union with the flesh. If, however, we reject the personal union (1) as impossible
or unbecoming, we fall into the error of speaking of two sons, for it will be necessary to distinguish, and to say, that he who was properly man was honored with the appellation of Son, and that he who is properly the Word of God, has by nature both the name and the reality of Sonship. We must not, therefore, divide the one Lord Jesus Christ into two Sons. Neither will it at all avail to a sound faith to hold as some do an union of persons; for the Scripture has not said that the Word united to himself the person of man, but that he was made flesh. This expression, however, “ the Word was made flesh,” can mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood in like manner to us; he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was. This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin, the bringer-forth of God, not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word being personally united is said to be born according to the flesh. These things, therefore, I now write unto you for the love of Christ, beseeching you as a brother, and testifying to you before Christ and the elect angels, that you would both think and teach these things with us, that the peace of the Churches may be preserved, and the bond of concord and love continue unbroken amongst the Priests of God.