Monophysitism Entails The Apollinarian View Of Christ's Human Nature As Merely An Animated Body

The Catholic welcomes these evidences of the duality of Christ's

intellectual life. On the theoretical side, they confirm the central

dogma of orthodox Christology. On the practical side, they give him

authority for seeking Christ's sympathy in matters intellectual. He

realises that since Christ understands the education of the mind and

can share his intellectual difficulties, there is hope for the

redemption and re
eneration of the highest part of his nature. The

monophysite finds neither support for his dogma, nor inspiration for

life, in the fact that Christ had a human mind. He is blind to the

fact. He has seen half the picture and regards it as the whole. His

ideal is a being in whom intuition supersedes intellect, whose

knowledge is immediate, absolute, and complete. The orthodox who held

that Christ had and, at ordinary times, used a human reason, perfect of

its kind, but still human in all the implications of the word, were in

his eyes Agnoetae; they were unbelievers who asserted the ignorance of

Christ and set bounds to the vision and knowledge of the infinite. The

monophysite would modify his opinions and approach the catholic

position on other doctrinal points, but never on this. He might be

persuaded to admit that Christ's body and "animal soul" were real and

human, but to the consubstantiality of Christ's mind with man's he

would not subscribe. The Apollinarian strain in monophysitism was

persistent. The later monophysites never succeeded in banishing it

from their system. By Apollinarianism the humanity of Christ is

crippled in its highest member. It is a realm shorn of its fairest

province. According to Apollinaris, all that Christ assumed was an

animated body. His theory is like an ingenious system of canal locks

for letting divine personality descend from the upper to the lower

waters. The ingenuity displayed in it condemns it. It is an

artificial makeshift. The psychology on which it rests is antiquated.

The picture of Christ it presents does not correspond to the recorded

facts of His life. Christ's human nature, as chiselled by the

Apollinarian sculptor, is a torso. Such an image fails to satisfy the

demands of religious feeling, and the doctrines, Apollinarian and

monophysite, that enshrine it are therefore valueless.