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.

ven 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.