Summary Of The Chapter

We have taken a triad of ontologies and a triad of Christological

systems, placed them side by side, and examined them. The result of

that examination is a triple correspondence. The metaphysical

principle is found in each case worked out in a corresponding

Christology. The comparison is of general interest. It reveals

Christology as intimately connected with the workings of intellect, as

in the main stream of the
urrent of human thought, as capable of

philosophic treatment. Further than that, the comparison is vital to

the main argument of this essay. It provides the clue to the heart of

our subject. The scientist, who wishes to understand a botanical

specimen, pays as much attention to what is in the ground as to what is

above ground. The seed and roots are as full of scientific interest as

are stem, leaf and flower. Similarly, to understand the monophysite

heresy, to be able to detect it and expose it, we must take it in the

germ. We may push the illustration further. The properties of a

botanical specimen are best studied in connection with organisms of

allied species. We cannot isolate unless we compare. By comparison

the essential features, functions and properties of the specimen under

examination are elucidated.

It is by isolating the three germinal ideas of these three

Christological systems and comparing them, that a full comprehension of

monophysitism in all its stages, from seed to flower, is reached. We

have used this method, and have found that the roots of the heresy lie

in spiritual monism. In subsequent chapters we shall analyse its

origins as a historical system, its specific tenets and its practical

consequences. It will then be seen that the spirit of monism pervades

the whole system.