He refers to God as his Father, and when he has occasion to associate himself with us he seems careful to preserve the distinction between our sonship and the much higher relationship in which he himself stands to God We are the sons of God by adoption, partakers of the divine nature, as St.
Peter calls us, because we are destined by divine supernatural favor to enjoy that vision of God which is naturally proper to God himself alone.
Having called him the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creatures (i.e. and he is before all, and by him all things consist .
born before all creatures), he continues, in a passage so magnificent that any commentary would but weaken its force: In him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . The opening words of the epistle to the Hebrews are reminiscent of the first chapter of the Gospel of St. in these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
Peter, the rock and foundation upon which she is built: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God: so that the dogmatic letter of Pope Leo I (449), in which the dogma of the hypostatic union was defined in precisely the same terms in which theologians teach it today, was acclaimed by the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon with the cry: Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo.
To the history of these controversies more particular attention will be paid, since the study of them will enable us to understand the exact meaning of the famous dogmatic definitions of the Church on the union of the two natures in the one person of Christ.
In the endeavor to make a compromise between Christianity and their philosophical tenets they taught that Christ had not a real body, but merely the appearance of a body, thus reducing the whole of Christs human life to a pretence; hence the name given to these heretics, the Docetists (from a Greek word meaning to appear). John wrote his Gospel to prove the divinity of Christ, and it is to this sect that he refers in his first epistle as the antichrist who denies that Jesus is the Son of God (ii 22, 23).
Certain Jews who set the angels higher than Jesus are refuted by St. Forasmuch as the two substances The mention of the see of Antioch makes it opportune at this point to call attention to the two great theological schools of Alexandria and Antioch, which played so important a part in the Christological conotroversies of the fifth century.
If God truly became man, while remaining God, one might say of him that God died on the cross, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, that Mary was the mother of God, that Christ, who was passible and mortal according to his humanity, was omnipotent, eternal, the Creator of all things, according to his divinity.
Some modern historians have tried to show that Cyril was actuated chiefly, if not solely, by motives of jealousy in his opposition to Nestorius; the latter being represented as the champion of orthodoxy, unjustly persecuted by his powerful rival in Alexandria.