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Monophysitism In The Present Day


"To believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ" is an
ideal that the thoughtful Christian strives to attain. He expects to
find the solution of high moral and speculative problems in that union
of divine and human. The right faith is not easily reached. It is an
elusive prize. There are conditions moral and intellectual attaching
to its possession. The moral conditions may take a lifetime to fulfil.
Even on its intellectual side faith is a long process. No sudden
mental grasp of the whole truth can be attained. It dawns on the mind
gradually. The discipline of faith in the incarnation consists in a
gradual and laborious advance from stage to stage. The various stages
are half-truths or inadequate conceptions of Christ. They are
objectified in the Christological heresies. These heresies arrange
themselves in a sequence so strict and so logical that one could almost
say that they are deducible a priori from the concept "divine-human."
Certainly the subjective fancies of the heresiarchs do not provide the
whole account. There is something of the universal in these heresies.
They are in the main current of religious thought. As the chief
historic systems of philosophy repeat themselves in each generation and
in the intellectual development of individual thinkers, so do the
Christological heresies recur. There is considerable truth in Hegel's
contentions that the development of a man's mind is one with that of
the general consciousness, that the individual reason is a miniature of
the universal reason, that in fact the history of a philosopher's
thinking is an abstract of the history of philosophy. The same holds
good in the field of religious thought. Without much artificiality,
without forcing the facts, a rational scheme of the Christological
heresies might be drawn up. They might be pictorially represented as
the rungs of a ladder, which the truth-seeking mind scales rung by
rung, pausing at the lower phases of Christological thought, and then
resuming the ascent till the highest truth is attained. The instrument
of thought is much the same in all centuries; the objects of thought
vary very little; so it is intelligible that the products of
speculative and religious thought should remain the same to-day as in
the fifth century.

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