The Second Memorable Occurrence (Continued)

4. Then the following passage was read to [the Protestant clergy] from teachings that are accepted in the entire Christian world: “The divine nature and the human nature in the Lord are not two but one. In fact, they are one person, united like the soul and the body in one human being.” This is part of the belief that was stated in the Athanasian Creed and ratified by councils. They were told, “From this passage you had every opportunity to form and acknowledge an idea that the Lord’s human nature is divine because his soul is divine, for this is part of the church teachings you acknowledged in the world. Furthermore, the soul is the very essence of a person and the body is the person’s form, and essence and form are one, like underlying reality and manifestation, or like the cause that produces an effect and the effect produced.”

[The Protestant clergy] held on to that idea and tried on that basis to say “divine-human,” but they could not. Their inner idea of the Lord’s human nature expelled and destroyed this new “supplemental” idea, as they were calling it.

5. There was a further reading to them from John: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). And this: “Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). Also a passage from Paul: “All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 2:9).

They were told to think like this, meaning to think that God who was the Word became human, that he is the true God, and that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in him. This they did, but only in their outer thought. A resistance in their inner thought made it impossible for them to say “divine-human.” They openly stated that “divine-human” was an idea they could not have. “God is God,” they said, “and human is human. God is a spirit, and a spirit to our thinking is no different from wind or ether.”

6. Finally they were asked, “Don’t you know that the Lord said, ‘Live in me and I [shall live] in you. Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit, because without me you cannot do anything’ (John 15:4, 5)?”

Because some of them were Anglican clergy, a passage stated at their Holy Communion was read to them: “For when we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood, then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us.” They were told, “If you now think that this situation could not occur unless the Lord’s human manifestation was divine, then say ‘divine-human’ from this acknowledgment in your thought.”

They still could not say it. The idea had been too deeply impressed on them that what was divine could not be human and what was human could not be divine, and so too had the idea that his divine nature came from the divinity of the eternally begotten Son, and that his human nature was just like anyone else’s.

They were asked, “How can you think that way? Can a rational mind really think that some Son was born from God from eternity?”

7. Next the participants focused on the Lutheran Protestants. They said to them that the Augsburg Confession and Luther himself taught the following:

The Son of God and the Son of Humankind are one person in Christ. Even his human manifestation is omnipotent and omnipresent. It sits at the right hand of God the Father and rules all things in the heavens and on earth, fills all things, is with us, and dwells and is at work in us. His human manifestation deserves no different adoration, because through his human manifestation, which is perceptible, we adore the Divinity that is not perceptible. In Christ, God is human, and a human is God.

To this they replied, “Is that so?” They looked around. Soon they said, “We didn’t know these things before, so we can’t say ‘divine-human.’”

Nevertheless first one, then another, said, “We read that text and we even wrote some of it, but still when we thought about it they were only words. We did not have the inner idea that goes with them.”

8. Finally the participants turned to focus on the Catholics and said, “Perhaps you are able to pronounce ‘divine-human,’ since you believe that in your Eucharist Christ is fully present in the bread and wine, in each and every part of them. You adore Christ as the most holy God when you display and convey the host. Since you call Mary ‘the Bearer of God’ or ‘the one who gave birth to God,’

They then tried to say it, but they could not. What came to their minds was a physical idea of Christ’s body and blood, as well as the belief that his humanity is separable from his divinity, and is actually separated in the case of the pope, to whom only Christ’s human power, not his divine power, had been transferred.

Then a monk stood up and said that he could think of the Holy Virgin Mary and also the saint of his monastery as divine-human.

Another monk came forward and said, “With the idea I have of the holy pope—an idea I have come to cherish—I can more easily speak of the holy pope than of Christ as divine-human.”

After this heaven seemed to open and tongues like little flames seemed to come down and flow into some people. They began praising the Lord’s divine humanity and saying, “Remove the idea of three gods. Believe that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in the Lord. Believe that the Father and he are one as the soul and the body are one. Believe that God is a human being, not wind or ether. Then you will be connected to heaven, and from the Lord you will be able to name Jesus and say ‘divine-human.’”

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 111

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