Confessions of the Christian Religion (1585) Girolamo Zanchi (1516-1590)
CHAPTER I: Of the Holy Scriptures, the Foundation of all Christian Religion
I. Concerning God and matters pertaining to religion; how we must simply believe in God alone. Touching God, and such divine matters as pertain to the kingdom of Christ and our salvation, we hold that we can be instructed better or more certainly of none other than of God Himself, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. "No man hath seen God at any time; the...Son, which is in the bosom of the Father," He hath showed Him unto us (John 1:18).
II. God Himself speaketh in the writings of the prophets and apostles. But we know that God (though He hath not meanly or obscurely manifested the knowledge of Himself and His everlasting power and deity to all men in the world, by such works as are done by Him, so that as many as have not glorified Him as God are made inexcusable) yet in a more peculiar sort, He hath revealed Himself and His will to His Church very plainly and perspicuously, namely by prophets and apostles, inspired by His grace and by their writings; and therefore these writings of the prophets and apostles to be the very true Word of God.
III. The prophets and apostles writings to be only canonical. Now we doubt not but these writings of the prophets and apostles are those which the Church of God hath been accustomed to call by the name of canonical books, because knowing these books assuredly to be inspired from above (2 Tim. 3:16), she always acknowledged them only for the Canon or rule of all Christian piety, by which every controversy in religion ought to be avoided; and calling likewise the other books (though they be contained in the volume of the Holy Bible,) by the name of Apocryphal, because she could not be assured they came so from the Holy Ghost as those of the former kind.
IV. Which be canonical books and which apocryphal. We therefore, with the whole church both before and since the coming of Christ, without all doubt do acknowledge and embrace these books of the Old Testament for the very certain Word of God. - Five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) - Of Jehosuah one (Joshua) - Of Judges one - Of Ruth one - Of Samuell two (1 and 2 Samuel) - Of the Kinges two (1 and 2 Kings) - Paralipomenon two (1 and 2 Chronicles) - Of Esdras the two former (Ezra and Nehemiah)
Of Hester nine chapters; and three first verses of the tenth chapter (Esther)
- The Psalmes (Psalms)
- The Proverbes (Proverbs)
- Canticum Canticorum (The Song of Solomon)
- Esaie (Isaiah)
- Jeremie with the Lamentations (Jeremiah and Lamentations)
- Ezechiell (Ezekiel)
- Daniell (Daniel) the twelve former chapters, excepting the song of the three children
- The twelve small prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) These other we receive for not canonical
- Of Esdras the third and fourth
- Daniell chapters 13 and 14 (Daniel)
- The Song of the three children, which is annexed to the third chapter
- Wisedome of Solomon (Wisdom)
- Wisedome of Jesus the sonne of Zirach, (Syrach) in Latin called Ecclesiasticus
- Epistle of Jeremie
- Of Hester, the rest from the third verse of the tenth chapter (Esther)
- Of the Macchabees both the books (Maccabees) These of the Old Testament. Of the New Testament we except none; for although there be some books of them whereof some have doubted, yet afterward they were acknowledged, yea even for apostolical no less than the other, to which judgment we also do subscribe. Of the former kind, the gospels after
- Marke (Mark)
- Acts of the apostles
- Epistles of Paule (Paul)--(Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon)
- The first of Peter
- The first of John Of the latter sort
- The Epistle to the Hebrues (Hebrews)
- The Epistle of James
- The last of Peter
- The Second and Third of John
- The Epistle of Jude
- The Revelation
For although they which were never doubted of may seem to bear a greater authority than the rest which have been doubted of, yet we as well to the one sort as the other do give undoubted credit as to the assured Word of God; and to the Apocrypha contained in the volume of the Bible do we yield the chief place next unto the canonical books. V. The rules of faith can be proved only by the canonical books. And therefore we use only the canonical books for proof of the rules of faith, and with the fathers we teach that they are to be used; but we think the rest to be of great force to confirm the same rules, being before sufficiently proved.
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VI. The Canonical Scriptures take not their authority from the church. Wherefore this we hold without all controversy, and we think it is to be holden that although the church being taught of the first fathers, namely prophets and apostles, who received their doctrine immediately from God, and committed the same to writing and being also instructed by the Holy Ghost, hath delivered to the posterity by a continuing and perpetual tradition which are canonical and which are not canonical books; yea and hath given and shall always give testimony unto them of the holy and heavenly truth. Yet that these writings have not received their authority from the same church, but of God only, their only proper Author, and therefore that of themselves, because they are the Word of God, they have power over all men and are worthy to be simply believed and obeyed of all.
VII. Yet that the church's authority doth much avail to make men believe the Holy Scriptures. Although we deny not by the way, but that the authority of the church hath an especial force to move men to the hearing and reading of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God--according to that of Augustine, "I had not believed the gospel (for so he meant) unless the authority of the church had moved me."--Yet the same Augustine, notwithstanding in all places pronounceth that his belief came not from the church, but from the Holy Spirit, whose gift faith is.
VIII. That the church hath no power over the Holy Scriptures. But to dispute whether the authority of the church be greater than that of the Holy Scriptures--yea and much more to set down the affirmative part, as though the church over and above the gift of knowing the Spirits, and of discerning Canonical Scriptures from others, and of testifying of them and of interpreting of them, should have also authority either of adding to or diminishing anything from them, and of dispensing with them--we judge it more than sacrilege. For God commandeth that no man shall add or diminish, nor anyone shall decline to the right hand or to the left (Deut. 4:2; 5:31; 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19), but all together [altogether] shall simply obey Him speaking unto them in the Holy Scriptures, in all manner of things.
IX. The Holy Scriptures are so perfect that nothing may be added to or taken from them. For the Scriptures are so holy and merely perfect, plentifully containing whatsoever is necessary to salvation, that nothing can be added unto them; and written with such perfection and wisdom, that nothing may be taken from them.
X. And therefore men ought to rest upon them. Wherefore we, even as all godly men ought to do, do rest our selves upon the doctrine of those holy writings; holding that same spoken by the apostle--all scripture inspired from above is profitable to doctrine, etc. (2 Tim. 3:16).
XI. Nothing must be established concerning religion without the Word of God, but all things to be reformed by it. We hold therefore, that nothing must be determined concerning religion in the Church of God which hath not apparent testimony in the canonical books, or may out of them be convinced by manifest and necessary consequence. And if at any time there hath crept into the church anything, either concerning doctrine or the service of God, which is not
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 4agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, the same ought by some lawful means either quite to be taken away, or else to be reformed by the rule of God's Word. And that all controversies in religion ought lawfully to be judged and decided out of the same Holy Scriptures.
XII. Traditions truly apostolical and catholic are to be retained in the church. And the traditions in meanwhile which it is manifestly known have come from the apostles, to have been ever observed in all churches as that of hallowing the Lord's Day in place of the Sabbath and such like; and although there be no express commandment in the Scriptures for the observing of them, yet we judge that they are to be retained in the church.
XIII. The Scripture is very perspicuous in such things as be necessary to salvation; and therefore ought to be read of all. Yea we think and know the whole doctrine of salvation not only plentifully but plainly and perspicuously to be delivered in the Holy Scriptures; and since God never spake unto His people but in their natural language, which might be understood of all, that it is a great injustice and tyranny to forbid the reading of them to any men; and consequently the turning of them into the proper tongue of any nation which the Lord hath willed and commanded should be read of all men for their own salvation's sake--yea and should be continually borne about in their hands day and night.
XIV. The faithful interpretations by learned, godly men are not to be contemned [condemned]. Although the Holy Scriptures, in those matters which are necessary to salvation, be plain and easy--yet we dissolve [?] not the interpretations and expositions of skillful and learned godly men as well ancient as later (1 Thes. 5:21), namely such as are grounded upon the same Scriptures and so far forth as Scriptures are expounded by Scriptures, and that in correspondence to the chief principles of faith--the sum whereof is contained both in the Apostles' Creed and also in the creeds of the true, general, and of the ancient holy councils gathered together against those which were notorious heretics.
XV. The only Word of God is to be the pillar of faith and foundation of religion. For our faith neither can nor ought to [be] grounded upon any other thing than the Word of God delivered in the Holy Scriptures; that faith may be always of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Whereunto, whatsoever in any mens' works is repugnant, we reject it; whatsoever is agreeable, we embrace it; but that which standeth in a neutrality, as it shall be expedient or not expedient to the church, we allow or disallow it, and so we teach that it is to be allowed or disallowed.
CHAPTER II Of God, and of the Divine Persons and Properties I. That there is one only God, distinct in three persons. As we are taught therefore by the Holy Scriptures, which are His own Word (Deut. 4:6) [Deut 4:5 ?], we believe that there is only one God, that is, one simple, indivisible, eternal, living and most perfect essence in three existences, or (as the church useth to speak) persons, namely subsisting of the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Holy Spirit, truly distinct among themselves, yet without all division; being
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 5 both beginning and cause of all things (Matt. 28:19; 1 John 5:7).
II. That so every person by itself is true God that yet there be not three Gods. For so we do believe and have learned out of the Holy Scriptures that the Father by Himself is true and perfect God; the Son by Himself is God; and the Holy Spirit by Himself is God. And yet that they are not many, but one only God Almighty, of whom all things, by whom all things, and for whom all things are (Rom. 11:36).
III. One person to be distinct from another in personal proprieties; but in essential they differ from every creature. And because the Holy Scriptures do so speak of God that they attribute unto Him many proprieties, both essential and personal--and they teach that in the essential, He differeth from all things created, but in the personal, one person to be distinguished from another--we therefore do so believe that as to beget the Son is such a propriety of the Father as can agree neither with the Son nor the Holy Spirit; and again to be begotten can agree to none but the Son, and so of the rest. So likewise to be most pure, eternal, immeasurable, present everywhere, simply knowing all things, simply almighty, simply good and such like, are in such sort the very proprieties of God, that they can by no means be communicated to any creature, so as it should be good (for example sake) in that immeasurable goodness, or omnipotent in the same omnipotency, that God is.
IV. The essential proprieties in God do not in very deed differ from the essence. For we acknowledge that in God for His singleness, the essential proprieties do not in deed differ from the essence, and therefore they without this cannot be communicated to any creature; and therefore no creature can be, or can be said to be (for example sake) omnipotent simply, just, wise, or such like. Even as our Lord Jesus speaking of one propriety, teacheth of them all saying, none is good (simply) but God (Matt. 19:17).
V. That nothing is or can be made simply, such as God is, unless the same might simply be God. Wherefore, they which will affirm that any created substance ever could or can be made partaker of those divine proprieties whereby it should be such as God is, as simply omnipotent, and such like--they must needs then confess that the same is, or that it can be of the same substance with God-- for as much as neither the Son Himself is simply omnipotent, but, as He is consubstantial with the Father, nor yet the Holy Spirit.
VI. A confirmation of the former opinion. Whereupon we also understand how it is that since the Son is no less omnipotent than the Father, and so likewise the Holy Ghost, yet we do not say that they are three Almighty's, but we confess with Athanasius and the whole church that they are one only Almighty (Athanasian Creed, Art. 14), because indeed of them all, there is but one and the selfsame substance. Therefore seeing no creature hath one and the selfsame essence with God, but a far other and diverse; and if the same by communication of the divine omnipotency could also be made omnipotent, then it must follow that there might be more almighties than one--which we believe cannot without blasphemy be affirmed.
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 6 VII. Errors.
Wherefore we condemn and detest all heresies which have risen against this first article of our faith, or have sprung from hell and been condemned by the holy fathers in their lawful councils--as those of Cerinthus, Ebinon, Valentinus, Marcion, Manichaeus, Arius, Eunomius, Sabellius, Praxea, Fotinus, and such like, as Seruetus [Servetus], and Tritheitae; also the blasphemies of Jews and Turks. And lastly, all heresies which have been invented by the devil, either against the unity of the divine essence or against the true Trinity of persons. Yea, and those therefore which deny either the Son to be true and everlasting God, or the Holy Ghost to be so; or which do confound these persons, and say they be one and the selfsame existence, which for divers respects is called by diverse names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We also condemn all those errors which do separate the essential proprieties of God from the divine essence, which it seemeth unto us that these men very unadvisedly do, which teach that those essential proprieties in very deed may be communicated, or rather are already communicated to creatures without communication of the essence.
CHAPTER III Of the Foreknowledge and Predestination of God
I. God did foreknow and foresee all things from the beginning. We believe that God, before He made the world, even then from before all things by His immeasurable wisdom, foreknew all things. Yea, and what good He meant Himself to do, and what ill He meant to suffer to be done--so far forth as nothing was ever hidden or could be hidden from Him, but all things as well what hath been done is done, or shall be done as what can be done, though it never be done, we doubt not but hath and doth lie open and manifest always in His sight (Heb. 4:13; Acts 15:18).
II. God hath determined all things in His eternal counsel and hath beforehand ordained them to the best ends. And we believe that God hath not only foreseen all things and that they are present in His sight, but also in that His most wise and eternal counsel He hath certainly established whatsoever did or doth appertain to the creation and government of the world (Acts 4:28), or to the selecting of His church from the unclean filth of other people, or to our redemption and eternal salvation. And that He ordained through His infinite goodness that those evils which in His wisdom He would suffer to be done, should be to good ends; so that not one hair can fall from our head without the will of the Father, or without cause (Matt. 10:19,30).
III. All men to be predestinate; some to life and some to death. Wherefore we also doubt not that God, when He created all men (to speak nothing of angels) in Adam righteous, He foresaw that in him all should sin, and elected some in Christ, that they should be holy and undefiled in His sight in charity, and therefore predestinated them of His mere grace, and according to the purpose of His will to eternal life (Eph. 1:4-5). Othersome [On others] He would not vouchsafe that grace and therefore prepared them as vessels of wrath for destruction (Rom. 9:22), because of His just judgment, that in the one sort His infinite mercy, in the other His justice, might be known to the whole world, to His great glory.
IV. The election of the saints by free gift.
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For as the calling unto Christ and justification in Christ is wholly of free gift, and not of our own works (Eph. 2:9; Titus 3:5), so likewise we understand that the whole predestination of saints is freely given because it is wrought in Christ, and for Christ is put in execution (Eph. 1:4; Rom. 9:11). That no man might glory in himself, but he which glorieth should glory in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31).
V. We are predestinate not only to the end, but also to the means. Whereupon we also believe, since God hath chosen us in Christ, that we might be faithful and holy, and unblamable in His sight, that we are predestinated not only to the end-- that is, to eternal life and glory--but also to the means by which we attain unto the end; and chiefly unto faith, whereby we are ingrafted into Christ and to regeneration and true repentance, whereby being made new creatures in Christ, we might live holily to His glory, and [the] edification of our neighbor (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Matt. 5:16).
VI. They be not elect, neither can they be saved which are never grafted into Christ by His Spirit, and true faith. They therefore are shamefully deceived, and to their own destruction, which persuade themselves they are elect and therefore shall be saved, although they be not grafted into Christ by faith, nor repent them of their sins, nor regard the will of God, or to do any good works (Titus 1:16; Eph. 2:10). For they separate that which God will have joined together.
VII. Everyone ought steadfastly to believe he is elect in Christ; yet we may be more assured by the feeling of our faith in Christ. Hence it is manifest, although no man in general ought to exempt himself out of the number of the elect, since the Scripture doth not so, but rather steadfastly to trust that when he is called to Christ, he is called according to the eternal decree and election of God. Yet if any man will be more assured of his certain election, he must run to his faith and the witness of his conscience, whether he perceive that he truly believeth in Christ (2 Cor. 13:5), and whether he carry a sincere love towards God and his neighbor. Yea, if he find himself herein not altogether soundly and throughly [thoroughly] settled, yet let him not despair, but desire of God that He will help his unbelief (Mark 9:24), hoping that he may in time be better assured.
VIII. The causes why the doctrine of predestination is delivered in the Scriptures. For neither is the doctrine of the eternal free and unchangeable predestination delivered in the Holy Scriptures that we should neglect Christ, or despair of salvation; or with security let loose the reigns to our concupiscence, or grow insolent; but contrariwise for these especial causes. First, that we may know that without Christ none can be saved (Acts 4:12), since the foundation of our whole salvation was fastened and laid in Him before the world was made (2 Tim. 2:19). Then [second], that in time of our temptations, we which believe in Christ should strengthen ourselves by the certainty of our salvation, and so neither despair nor distrust, knowing the same to be certain and sure in the eternal decree of God (Romans 8). Thirdly, that thereby we might be stirred up to the study of faith in Christ, of holiness, and of good works. Since we are chosen, that we should be faithful, and holy and blameless in His sight, and walk in good works (Eph. 1:4; 2:10). Lastly, that we grow not proud if we trust in Christ and live godly in Christ; and that he which glorieth may glory in the
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 8 Lord (1 Cor. 1:31), since God through His grace did from the beginning decree in Christ that we should be such.
CHAPTER V Of the Creation of the World, of Angels, and of Man's First Estate
I. All things were made by God, and that exceeding good (Gen. 1-2). We believe that God the Father, by the Son, together with the Holy Ghost, in the space of six days, created of nothing all things visible and invisible, which the Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures comprehendeth under the name of heaven and earth (Col. 1:16); and the same all exceeding good. And appointed the same, for man's use and for His own glory, so that we acknowledge as well the Son and Holy Ghost for creator of the world, as the Father, since they are all one and the selfsame God. (Prov. 16:4; Heb. 1:10; Luke 1:35).
II. That heaven is distinguished from earth, and the saints' heaven doth differ from the other heavens. Neither do we mingle heaven with earth, or confound the heavens among themselves, but with the Holy Scriptures we distinguish them, even as we see the elements and all the kinds of living creatures, and of other things to be distinguished. And therefore we confess this heaven likewise, wherein the souls of the blessed do live with Christ, and where all the bodies of the faithful shall be (2 Cor. 12:2; Matt. 6:10), and which Christ calleth His Father's house (John 14:2) and paradise (Luke 23:43), and the apostle calleth a city having a foundation, the maker and builder whereof is God (Heb. 11:10); to differ from the other heavens, but much more from earth and the deeps. Whereunto also Paul alludeth, where he sayeth, he was taken up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2)-- namely, above the heaven which we see, and above all the visible and movable spheres.
III. The angels were all created good, though some of them continued not in the truth. We believe also that all the angels were created good and righteous, spiritual and immortal substances, indewed [endowed] with an intelligence and free will, although all of them did not abide in that goodness and righteousness, and (as the Lord Jesus speaketh), in the truth. But we are taught by the Scriptures that many of them, of their own will even from the beginning, sinned, being made enemies to God and all goodness--yea, and of mankind especially of the Church of God; liars and speaking lies of their own, men killers, devils, and evil spirits, and for this cause were thrust down from heaven into hell, and delivered to the chains of darkness, and reserved to condemnation.
IV. Causes why many of those celestial spirits were suffered to sin and to become evil. And that this also was not suffered of the divine wisdom without cause, we learn by the Scriptures. For besides that He meant in this to set forth His judgments and His wrath against sin in all kinds of creatures, He decreed also to use their labor to tempt and exercise us in faith, in spiritual sight, in patience, and so to help forward our salvation. And lastly, He would have them the executors and ministers of His judgments against men's offenses (Eph. 6:12), that they which will not embrace the love of truth (2 Thes. 2:12), whereby they might be saved, might follow the doctrines of devils, and might believe in their lies, and so perish.
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V. The good angels were saved by the favor of God, that they might be God's ministers and ours. Again we believe that innumerable many of those celestial spirits were saved by the favor of God for Christ; that they should not sin with the rest, but should abide in the truth and in obedience, and that these are made the messengers and ministers of God (Dan. 7:10), which do their service for help of the elect and do defend them against the devil, and set forward the kingdom of Christ (Heb. 1:7; Ps. 103:20); who do so love us and await upon us, that they greatly rejoice at our well-doing (Luke 15:7). Yet will they not be worshipped of us, but do instruct us that God alone is to be worshipped (Rev. 22:9), and call themselves our fellow servants with whom also we shall live an eternal and blessed life in heaven (Matt. 22:30).
VI. Man was created after the image of God (Gen. 1-2). We believe that after all other things were created, man also at the last was created to the image and likeness of God, his body being fashioned of earth, and his soul, being a spiritual and immortal substance, made of nothing and inspired into that body; and that shortly after woman was given him, made (concerning the bodily parts) of his bones, and formed to the same image of God.
VII. That image of God, in what things it especially consisteth. But we believe that this image of God especially consisted herein, both in that as God is the absolute Lord over all things (Gen. 1:18), so unto man were all things subject--the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and beasts of the earth, so as he should be king of the whole world (Ps. 8:7-9). And most especially, that as God is most holy and most just, so man also was created righteous, in justice and true holiness, as the apostle interpreteth (Eph. 4:24).
VIII. Adam was merely free before his fall. Hereupon we believe that man in that first estate was not only endowed with such a liberty that he could not will anything without consent of his will (which liberty ever was and is remaining in man), but also was furnished with such strength that he might, if he would not have sinned and not have died, but have continued in righteousness, and eschewed death; so that deservedly it is to be imputed to himself and no other, that he lost both (Eccl. 7:29 ??) [Author had 7:30, but no v. 30]
IX. Errors. We condemn therefore the Valentinians, Marcionits, Maniches, and whosoever either taught or left anything in writing against this article of faith, feigning either that all things were made of some other god than the Father of Christ, or that good things were made of one god which was good, and evil things of another which was evil--since none can be God but He which is chiefly good, and [the] only maker of all things. We condemn likewise all those which either teach that the soul of man is of the substance of God, or which deny the immortality and perpetual action of the same, or which refer the image of God in man only to His power and rule over creatures--or lastly which do deny that man was created merely free.
CHAPTER VI Of Providence and Government of the World
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I. The World and all that is, and is done therein, is governed by God's providence (Gen. 1:2). We believe that God, having created all things, did so rest from all the works which He had finished; that He nevertheless ceased not or left off to care for, to rule, and govern the world and whatsoever is therein, as well small things as great, and especially mankind, yea, and every particular man; so that nothing can be done or may happen in the world which is not governed by the divine providence (Matt. 10:29-30).
II. The Church of God to be governed by a peculiar care. But although all and everything be subject to the divine providence, yet we believe that the Church of God is governed by an especial care and means, and all the elect people, yea, and all the wills and actions of the elect, since He calleth peculiarly, justifieth and sanctifieth, but not all (Rom. 8:13); since He worketh in them to will and perform (Phil. 2:13); and saith that He dwelleth in them, and not in all (2 Cor. 6:16; Acts 4:16); since lastly He leadeth them unto eternal life, but suffereth others in His just judgments to walk in their own paths, and fall into eternal destruction; so that worthily we be commanded peculiarly to cast all our care upon God because He (peculiarly) careth for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
III. That God ordinarily governeth the world by second causes. This also we learn by the Holy Scriptures, though God performeth many purposes of His divine providence by Himself without any external helper, yea, and sometimes quite against ordinary means, yet He executeth many more things ordinarily by second causes, as well in the government of the whole world, as of the church. Since He Himself saith He will hear the heavens, the heavens will hear the earth, the earth will hear the corn, the corn will hear Israel (Hos. 2:21-22).
IV. The means unto the end are not to be contemned [condemned], since God ordereth as well the one as the other by His providence. Whereupon we also know that although we are assured that God hath a care over us, yet the means which He hath ordained for the salvation both of our souls and bodies are not to be contemned [condemned], nor God to be tempted; but herein we must follow the apostle who, although he were assured of the safety of all them which were in the ship, yet as the mariners went about to escape away, he said to the soldiers and to the captain, unless "these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved." For God who setteth an end unto each thing, He also hath ordained both the beginning and means by which that end is attained unto.
V. All things come to pass in respect of God necessarily; in respect of us many things happen casually.br> But since God by His providence doth preserve second causes which He useth in governing the world, everyone in her proper nature, yea, and is the mover of them--and of them, some are ordained of their own nature to certain and sure effects, and other some [others] are indefinite--we know and confess that although in respect of God, without whose foreknowledge and will nothing can happen in the world, all things are done necessarily (Matt. 10:29-30). Yet in respect of us, and of the second causes, many things happen and come to pass chanceably [by chance]. For what can be more chanceable [?] and casual, to a carpenter and travailer [traveller ?] than if the ax fall out of his hand and kill the other (Ex. 21:13)? Yet the Lord saith [sayeth] that it is he which killed the travailer
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 11 [traveller]. And our Lord Jesus died willingly; yet He said, Christ must suffer (Luke 24:46). Herod and Pilate, of their free will, condemned Jesus; yet the apostles say they did nothing but what the hand and counsel of God had decreed to be done (Acts 4:28).
VI. That God is not the author of sins which are committed in the world. And hereupon we also know and confess that although many offenses are committed in the world by men, God in the meantime [is] guiding all things (Acts 17:28). Yet the same cannot be imputed to God, nor to His providence, for He indeed moveth all things and ministereth strength by His providence unto everyone to work, but yet He instilleth not that corruption to any whereby they work amiss (1 John 2:16). As therefore the earth yielding her sap as well to ill trees as to good, yet is not to be blamed because an ill tree makes ill fruit. So much less may God rightly be said to be either the cause or the author of our sins, although by the hand of His providence He beareth, upholdeth, ordereth and guideth even the wicked (Heb. 1:3). "In Him (saith the apostle) we live, we move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28); namely, we are moved of Him such as we are, except He by His grace do make us otherwise.
VII. The secret counsels of God in governing the world are to be reverenced, not inquired after. Meanwhile the secret and wonderful counsels of God, whereby we see innumerable things to be done, and whereof we cannot give or know any reason--the same we behold and adore with that reverence which we ought, contenting ourselves with this assured knowledge, namely that nothing comes to pass in the world without the will of God (Matt. 10:29-30); and that will of God to be so just that it is the most certain rule of all justice (Rom. 9:14). And therefore that which the apostle saith must ever be holden--"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11:33). Also that, "Is there unrighteousness with God?" (Rom. 9:14). And yet, "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).
VIII. Errors. We condemn therefore all scorners, and all those philosophers which either do wholly take away the providence of God out of the world, or deny that human matters and small things are regarded of God. Those likewise which abusing the providence of God do condemn the means ordained of God for the salvation of us, both soul and body, as also those which would have all things to come to pass so merely necessarily, that they take away all casualty, and deprive men of all liberty. Lastly those which will have God so to work all things in all men that they also do blasphemously prove Him to be a joint worker, and an author of sin.
CHAPTER XII Of the True Dispensation of the Redemption, the Salvation and Life which is laid up in Christ alone; and Therefore of the Necessary Uniting and Participation with Christ
I. Salvation and eternal life is laid in Christ, that from Him it may be communicated to be. We believe that even as the sin of Adam, and death which followed the same, remained not in Adam alone, but
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 12 from him, as from the head of all mankind, it did and doth flow into all men, which by a common generation have been and are born of him. So likewise that the righteousness of Christ and the eternal life due unto Him is not holden in Christ alone, but is derived into all those who, by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, are made one with Him and as true members are joined unto Him as Head of the whole Church; and that to this end and purpose Christ came in the flesh, and that all our salvation and life consisteth in Him, as in our Head--that it may indeed be bestowed and communicated upon all the elect of God which are united unto Him.
II. The grace of redemption and salvation is offered unto all men, but indeed is not communicated but to the elect, who are made one with Christ. For we believe that although the grace of redemption, salvation and eternal life which God bestoweth be earnestly propounded and offered unto all men by the preaching of the gospel (for, that very many are not made partakers of the same, it is through their own fault), yet is it not indeed communicated but unto those, who (being from the beginning chosen and predestinate unto it in Christ, as in the Head of all the elect, that they should be His members and so made partakers of salvation) were afterwards in their time called by the gospel, endowed with faith and so grafted into Christ and made one with Him (Mark 16:15-16).
III. To the true participation of eternal life, how necessary this true union or communion is with Christ. For even as the branch can draw no lively sap from the vine, nor the bough from the tree, nor the members any motion, sense, or life from the head unless they be joined to the vine and tree, and these to the head; even so cannot men receive any salvation or life from Christ, (in whom only it consisteth) unless they be grafted into Him and coupled in a true and real union, and being coupled do abide in Him (John 15:1-7).
IV. That we cannot be united unto Christ unless He first unite Himself to us. Since therefore the whole participation of the righteousness, salvation, and life hangeth and dependeth upon this most necessary communion with Christ, and unto the same is referred both the preaching of the gospel and administration of both the Sacraments, yea and the whole ecclesiastical ministry. Therefore what our faith concerning the same is, we purpose to declare and witness to the whole church as briefly and plainly as may be in certain assertions or positions, which after follow. And first, we believe that as we therefore love Christ, as John saith, because He first loved us (1 John 4:10), and we come unto Him by our spirit because He came first unto us by His, and therefore we embrace Him by faith because He first, by virtue of His Spirit embracing us, stirreth us up to faith--so we also can by no means cleave and be united unto Him unless He first do join and unite Himself unto us. For the one is the cause of the other; the first of the latter. Wherefore we must pray unto Him, that He will come unto us, and make His abode with us (John 14:23).
V. How many fold [manifold] is the union of Christ with us, and of us with Christ, and how they are ordered in themselves. We acknowledge furthermore this conjunction of Christ with us, and likewise of us with Christ to be threefold: one, which was once made in our nature; another, which is daily made in the persons of the elect, which yet go astray from the Lord; and the last, which shall be likewise with the Lord in our
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 13 persons when they shall be present with Him--namely, when God shall be All in us all. And the first is referred to the second, and the second to the third, even as nature is ordained to grace, and grace to glory. For the first is also made by assuming of our nature into the unity of the person of the Word. The second is made by assuming of our persons into grace, and into one mystical body with Him, and as Peter speaketh, into participation of His divine nature. The third shall likewise be made by assuming of us all into everlasting glory with Christ. Neither do we doubt but Christ purposed to foreshow unto us the second by the first, and the third by the second; that by that which was already made, we might be confirmed in the hope of that which was to be made.
VI. As the first union was made that satisfaction might be made for our sins; so the second is made, that we might be partakers of that satisfaction. We believe therefore (that letting pass those things which pertain not to this matter in hand, we may come nearer) that the Son of God, by the everlasting will of the Father, and therefore of Himself also and of the Holy Ghost, like as He took upon Himself into unity of His person, our flesh--that is, man's nature, conceived by virtue of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin--that He might in Himself purge us of our sins and in that flesh He most perfectly fulfilled the law of God for us, being made obedient unto His Father even unto death, and at the length the same flesh being offered up in sacrifice for our sins, He obtained in Himself eternal salvation for us. So also, that He might make us partakers of this salvation by sacrifice of His flesh assumed for us, He was willing and accustomed to take unto Him and to knit and join all His elect unto Him in another kind of union--namely in such a coupling as in it we may be united with Him, though not into one person, yet into one mystical body whereof He is the Head and every one of us members, and may be made partakers of His divine nature.
VII. As the first is made by virtue of the Holy Ghost, so is the second. As we certainly know that as the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the first union, coupled unto Himself our flesh and blood by virtue of His Spirit--(for He was conceived man of the Holy Ghost, and therefore without sin, for which cause also He is called, the man from heaven)--so also in the second union He doth communicate His flesh and His blood and His whole self unto us; and in the same communion doth knit, join and incorporate us into Him by the power of the same, His Spirit; that always the bond, wherewith Christ is coupled with us and we with Christ, might be the same Spirit of Christ, which, as it did bring to pass in the womb of the virgin that the Son of God should be made flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones, so also by working in our hearts and incorporating us into Christ it brings to pass that we likewise, by participation of the body and blood of Christ, should be bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, especially seeing He stirreth up that faith in us whereby we acknowledge and embrace Him for true God and man, and therefore a perfect Savior.
VIII. The union of us with Christ is spiritual, yet so as it is true and real. So we believe that this other union also is almost no less (than the former) so spiritual (if we may so speak) that yet it is true and real--because that by the Spirit of Christ we, although remaining on the earth, yet are truly and really coupled with the body, blood and soul of Christ, reigning in heaven. So as this mystical body consisting of Christ as the Head and of the faithful members, sometime is simply named
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 14 Christ. So great is the conjunction of Christ with the faithful and of them with Christ, that surely it may seem not to be said amiss that as the first union was made of two natures in one person, so this is made of many persons as it were, into one nature, according to those sayings, "that...ye might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4); and, "we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of his bones" (Eph 5:30).
IX. A confirmation of the former opinion, how straight this union is. For like as the soul in a man, because it is one and the same, and no less whole in the head, and in each member, than it is in all the body together--it causeth that all the members do unite and join themselves into one body, under one head; even so, by virtue of Christ's Spirit, because it is one and the same in Christ and in every of the faithful, it causeth that all of us knit spiritually together, both in souls and bodies into one, we are all one and the selfsame body with Christ our Head; a body (I say) mystical and spiritual because it is joined and compact by a secret band of the same spirit.
X. This union, because it is made by virtue of the Holy Spirit, cannot be hindered by any distance of place. Whereupon it followeth that this true and real union (though spiritual) of our bodies and souls with the body and soul of Christ, can be letted [hindered] by no distance of place, though never so great, because that spirit is so mighty in operation as it reacheth from earth to heaven and beyond, and joineth in one no less strictly, the members of Christ being on earth with their Head in heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father, than the soul of a man joineth together the hands and legs and other members into one body with the head; yea though that man were so great that his head did reach unto the ninth sphere, and his feet stand fast in the center of the earth. So great is the virtue of the soul; then how great is that of the Holy Spirit, the true and almighty God.
XI. The Spirit, by whom this union is made, is given of Christ to the preaching of the gospel and administration of the sacraments. Furthermore, we believe that His Spirit, whereby Christ both coupleth Himself unto us, and us unto Him, and joineth His flesh with ours, and ours with his: is communicated of the same Christ, unto us, by his mere grace, when and where and how he please, yet ordinarily at the preaching of the gospel and administration of the Sacraments. Of which thing was a visible testimony, which we read, how that they in the primitive church, which embraced the gospel by faith, and were baptized in the name of Christ or upon whomsoever the hands were laid, besides the invisible grace received also diverse sensible gifts of the spirit.
XII. This union, is the special end of the gospel, and Sacraments. Whereupon we do easily gather, which is the principal end, both of preaching the gospel, and administering the Sacraments: namely this communion with Christ the Son of God incarnate, who suffered and died for us, but now reigneth in heaven, and imparteth salvation and life to his chosen: which communion was begun here, but was to be perfected in heaven: so that we, by this true & real copulation of ourselves with his flesh & blood, and his whole person, may also be made partakers of eternal salvation, which was purchased by him, and still remaineth and abideth in him.
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XIII. That this union is not imaginary, nor made by participation of gifts only, but by communication of substance. But we call this present incorporation of us with Christ, true, and real, and substantial: that we may meet with that error, wherein some think that we forge a certain imaginary and a false union: or that we mean no other true union, but that which is made by participation of spiritual gifts, and grace of Christ, without communication of the substance of his flesh and blood.
XIV. This union is made by no other means, but by the holy spirit, and by faith. But again, lest some might hereby falsely gather, that we conceive of such an union, which is made with the flesh of Christ being really here upon earth, by some physical or natural touching, either gross or subtle, as all sensible things are coupled with the senses, some in grosser; and some in a subtler manner: or which is made with the same flesh remaining in heaven, by certain intelligible forms in the mind (as the philosophers speak) as all things which are understood are united with the understanding faculty, which apprehendeth the same by certain forms or images: Therefore we all adjoin the means whereby this union & incorporation is made namely by the Spirit of Christ, communicated unto us, really abiding in us, coupling us unto Christ and working in us, that by a lively faith we may embrace Christ.
XV. A confirmation of both these propositions, namely, that this union is essential, but is made only by the Spirit, and our faith. For both these things, namely that this copulation is essential and made by the only Spirit of God and by our faith, the Holy Scriptures do plentifully and plainly declare. The apostle writing unto the church at Ephesus, because all enmity being taken away by Christ and the partition wall broken down, the Jews and Gentiles--two sorts of people much different--were reconciled to God and between themselves, and were altogether ingrafted and renewed in Christ by the same Holy Spirit. Therefore he doubted not to say, They were both built [?]--(not into one people, as it seemed he should have said) but, the better to express how straight this union is,- -into one new man, in Christ (Eph. 1:14-15). Wherefore since all of us do live with one and the selfsame Spirit, renewed as it were in one and the same mind, and are joined together unto one and the selfsame Head, Christ, we are fitly, all of us together, called one new man. And in the same epistle (4:15), describing this near and essential incorporation, he compareth Christ to the Head, and all us to the members, coupled and knit with the head by sinews, joints, and ligaments--which take their life and motion from the Head. And nothing is more often used in the Holy Scriptures than this similitude, that hereby we might more easily and clearly understand what and how great this conjunction of all us is with Christ, through His Spirit which dwelleth in all people that are regenerate. For this cause the same apostle compareth Christ to the foundation, and all the faithful to stones (but yet living stones, even as the foundation, that they may receive increase from Him) "...built upon the foundation...In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord...through the Spirit" (Eph. 2:20-22)--which thing also Christ did before the apostle, more than once, making Himself the foundation and the church the building, surely grounded upon that foundation, and fastened by an inseparable knot. To the same purpose Christ calleth Himself a vine (John 15:1), and us the branches, which drawing life and sap from the vine do live, and bring forth good fruits. The same is also showed by the similitude of the tree and the olive, whereinto the faithful, as branches cut from the wild olive, are ingrafted, that they may
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 16 bring forth good olives; and are ingrafted by the Holy Spirit, and by faith (Rom. 11:17). Whereupon, to the Philippians, it is called the communion of the Spirit (Phil. 2:1); and Christ is said to dwell in our hearts by faith (Eph. 3:17). Nor is it obscure that the apostle calleth this incorporation of the church with Christ, and of Christ with the church and all the faithful, a marriage, after the custom of the prophets; whereby two shall be made one flesh. "And they two," said God, "shall be one flesh" (Eph 5:31); And the apostle, "This (saith he) is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (5:32). But that same is still very plain and ready which John writeth of this union, and of the Spirit by which the same is made and known. By this (saith he) "know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit" (1 John 4:13). Therefore He dwelleth in us and we in Him, by the same Holy Spirit which is both in Him and in us. To this also belongeth that same--He which hath not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not His. But the apostle knoweth that all are Christ's which are true and lively members of Christ.
XVI. It is concluded that this conjunction is essential, and made by the only Spirit of Christ and our faith. Being persuaded therefore by these and other the like testimonies of Holy Scriptures, we doubt not but Christ and His apostles meant to signify unto us that the communion, which all we the faithful, as well small as great, have with Christ and with His flesh and blood, is true and real, and yet is made by no other means than by virtue and knitting of the Holy Spirit. And therefore though it be secret, full of miseries and spiritual, because it is made by the Spirit and by faith, yet we ought not to doubt but that through the same Spirit, it is as true and essential as is that same between the husband and the wife, being joined into one flesh; between the foundation and the stones thereon builded; between the tree and the boughs; between the vine and the branches; lastly, between the members and the head, coupled together with ligaments and sinews, living and working with the same soul--that no conjunction with Christ Himself can be made greater than this, while we live in this mortal flesh.
XVII. A confirmation of this opinion by another similitude, and by very philosophy. Surely if there were in all men but one and the selfsame soul, it must follow that innumerable many persons were only one man--even as of one and the same essence being in the three divine persons, the holy writers do conclude that therefore there is one only God. Yea, and the same would appear much more plainly to be true if those many men had but one only head to which they should be joined, and of which they should have their motion. What marvel then, that the Holy Ghost be one and the same in all the godly, which being also in Christ doth so really couple us with Him, that we are one body with Him and amongst ourselves; yea, all of us one new man in the same Head Christ? For in those two respects, namely one, of the spirit, by whom; the other of the Head, to whom we are joined, Paul said, all the faithful were one new man (Eph. 2:14).
XVIII. By the union with Christ, the participation of the benefits of His death and resurrection is conveyed unto us. Now of this communion with Christ, there followeth and dependeth the participation of His benefits and of salvation gotten and remaining for us in His flesh and blood. For as the branches can draw no nourishment from the vine, nor the members from the head, nor the lively stones from the foundation unless they be really joined with their foundation, with their head, with the tree, with the vine, and abide in
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 17 them--so neither can we from Christ our Head, our Foundation, our Tree, our Vine, unless we be truly grafted into Him by the Holy Ghost and do abide in Him, being made flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Wherefore they do us very great injury that say we therefore deny the true participation of His flesh and blood, and that we affirm a participation only of His gifts and benefits, because we will not admit which we cannot admit, that the true body of Christ doth pass really through our mouth into our bodies. As though it were not a true and an essential communion, which is made by the Holy Ghost and by faith; since nothing can knit more strictly, diverse substances and natures into one, than the Holy Ghost; as we see in the incarnation of the Son of God, and in the creation of man being compounded of the soul and the body. Surely if that communion which is made by the only Spirit and by faith with the flesh and blood of Christ were not able to save, unless He should also pass through the mouth into our bodies, Christ had provided but slenderly for His Church. Therefore in receiving of the gospel, and in the profession of baptism, He would have the same communion to be made--as John witnesseth of the first, and the apostle Paul of the second (1 John 1:3; 1 Cor. 12:13). This therefore is our confession of the true communion with Christ in general, and therefore of the dispensation of salvation and life which is in Christ.
XIX. Errors. Wherefore we disallow their error which teach that remission of sins and salvation is communicated to men by the work wrought, as they call it, without faith and without the true uniting with Christ. Yea, and we condemn their blasphemy who labor to prove it may be done by works not commanded of God, but devised by men, and full of superstition and idolatry; and theirs also which setting nought by the ministry of the Word do teach that salvation is communicated as well without as with the hearing of the Word and receiving of the sacraments. And much more those which affirm that all infants in their mothers' wombs, as well of faithful parents as of infidels, are made partakers of the benefits of Christ.
CHAPTER XIII: Of the Gospel, and of the Abrogation of the Law by the Gospel Seeing first the gospel, and then the sacraments-- baptism and the Lord's Supper--are the outward instruments whereby our Redeemer the Lord Jesus Christ useth to offer and bestow the grace of redemption and remission of sins upon the world, and to communicate Himself unto us His elect, and to incorporate us likewise into Himself, and so to make us indeed partakers of that salvation and life which we have in Him, therefore we have purposed briefly and plainly to declare unto God's Church what our faith is concerning the same.
I. The gospel--what it is. Concerning the gospel therefore, according to the signification received and used in the church, we believe that it is nothing else but the heavenly doctrine concerning Christ, preached by Christ Himself and the apostles, and contained in the books of the New Testament, bringing the best and most gladsome tidings to the world--namely, that mankind is redeemed by the death of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. So that there is prepared for all men, if they repent and believe in Jesus Christ, a free remission of all their sins, salvation, and eternal life (Matt. 3:2). Wherefore it is fitly called of the apostle, the gospel of our salvation (Eph. 1:13).
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II. The gospel was promised by the prophets, but published by the apostles. For albeit that this mystery, even from the first beginning of the world, was revealed unto the fathers, and that the prophets spake of the same--yet that which they preached was rather evangelical promises, and those reserved among the Jews, then [than] the gospel itself, which was to be published to all nations; since they foretold of a thing which was to come but did not declare the thing present, or that was past, as the apostle teacheth to the Romans (1:2); and Peter in his first epistle (1:10).
III. As well the fathers were saved by faith which they had in the promises concerning Christ the Redeemer, as we which believe in the gospel. Meanwhile we doubt not but as well the fathers, who believed in those evangelical promises (Rom. 4:3) of Christ which was to come and should bruise the serpent's head, were saved--as we, also by our faith in the gospel, telling us that Christ is come, and that He hath redeemed the world, are saved. As the apostle, both in other places and in the epistle to the Romans doth largely teach us concerning Abraham; and to the Hebrews, concerning all the other; so that it is a soul blasphemy to say that only earthly matters were promised to the fathers, and that they received only such, and not heavenly, as remission of sins and eternal life (Heb. 1:10). For look what the gospel is unto us, properly received. The same were the evangelical promises to them, namely, the power of God to salvation unto every believer (Rom. 1:16).
IV. The doctrine of the gospel, touching the substance, is most ancient and eternal. Whereby we know that the doctrine of the gospel, touching the substance thereof, is not new but most ancient, and preached unto the fathers, even from the world's creation; so as John not unfitly called the gospel an everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6).
V. The parts of the gospel, how many, and what. Furthermore, there are three especial points in the gospel which we are called upon to perform: Repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; Mark 1:4), and a care to observe whatsoever Jesus Christ hath willed and commanded (Matt. 28:10).
VI. A declaration of the former opinion. The gospel therefore, which setteth out unto us Christ with the whole favor and mercy of God, with the purging and forgiveness of sins, and with the whole salvation and eternal life laid up in Him, requireth only these three things: First, that being touched with an earnest grief of our whole life led amiss, we might desire from our heart to have our minds, and so all our affections changed and renewed into the obedience of the divine will; and that we might earnestly pray and do our best endeavor that it might be so. Secondly, that embracing Christ by a true faith with all His treasures, we might believe firmly and without any wavering that all our sins are forever pardoned, of the favor and mercy of God through Christ alone, and we received into grace, made the children of God and heirs of everlasting life. Lastly, that being thus persuaded of the free and eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, we should thenceforward [thenceforth] labor by all means to observe whatsoever Christ hath commanded, to the glory of God and profit of our neighbor; so, as faith do evermore accompany us to the end, whereby we believe, that howsoever in this new
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 19 obedience we err or do offend, yet for Christ's sake it shall not be imputed to us, but contrariwise, by the perfect obedience, justice, and holiness of Christ imputed unto us, our imperfect obedience shall be perfected, and shall be taken and reputed for most perfect in the sight of God. And to three things [were] all the precepts of Christ referred, namely, that renouncing all ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live in this world (in respect of ourselves) soberly, (in respect of our neighbor) justly, (in respect of God) godly (Titus 2:12). Looking for that blessed hope, and the coming of the glory of the great God. [2:13 ?] This we believe to be the sum of those things which Christ requireth of us in the doctrine of the gospel, and therefore that they be true gospellers and Christians indeed, that bend their whole study and care hereunto.
VII. In what things especially the gospel differeth from the law. And now of that which is already said, it appeareth that we do not confound the law with the gospel. For albeit we confess that God is author as well of the law as of the gospel, and that of itself, it is as well holy, just, and good, as the gospel (Ex. 20; Rom. 7:12). Yet we hold that there is no small difference betwixt them both--not only because the law was delivered to the Israelites alone, and the gospel pertaineth to all people and nations; and also, not only because that [the law] was for a time and to continue but till Christ, and the gospel is everlasting; and also not only because that [the law] was delivered by Moses and declared by the prophets, and the gospel was brought by Christ and published to the whole world by the apostles; but indeed and most especially for these causes: First, because the matter of the law is only commandments with irrevocable curses thereunto joined, if they be broken never so little. It hath also promises, not only of earthly but also of heavenly blessings, but all of them with the condition of perfect obedience, and none merely free. But the gospel is properly a happy message, setting before us gratis Christ the Redeemer, forgiving sins and saving us; yea and requiring nothing at our hands for the obtaining of life everlasting, but a true faith in Christ, which faith cannot be without true repentance, nor without a care to do the will of God--that is, to live soberly, justly, and godly, as is above declared. Moreover because the law did not perform that which it required, neither had it power whereby to save, and therefore was insufficient, and a killing letter, the minister of wrath and death, more provoking than taking away sin. But the gospel, what it requireth, the same it performeth; and therefore, whatsoever it offereth, the same also it truly imparteth unto us, forasmuch as the Holy Ghost is by it powerful in the elect at the preaching of the gospel, stirring up in them that true faith whereby they apprehend Christ offered, and with Him eternal life. For faith is by hearing of the gospel (Rom. 10:17), but obedience is not by hearing of the law, because the Holy Spirit giveth no man strength to the hearing of the law, by which he might observe the same, as he stirreth up faith in the elect, to the hearing of the gospel. For which cause, as the law is called a killing letter, so is the gospel called a quickening spirit, and therefore is a true and forcible instrument to salvation unto every believer. Whereon also followeth the third difference, namely, that the law was not written in their hearts, but remained written only in tables, and therefore did not change men. But the gospel is written by the Holy Ghost in the hearts of the elect, and therefore it changeth and reneweth them, because it is the instrument of the Holy Ghost to sanctify and to save us (2 Cor. 3:18).
VIII. The law of Moses is partly taken away, and partly not taken away by the gospel. Of this which we have said, it also plainly appeareth, what [that?] our faith is of the abrogation of the law by the
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 20 gospel. First we believe that in the gospel (so far forth as it declareth all things, which in the Old Testament did figuratively foreshow of Christ to be fulfilled in this Jesus, as is said before in the eleventh chapter) we are taught that the law of Moses concerning ceremonies, sacrifices, and all Moses' outward worship are simply abrogated, according to that saying of the apostle, that all these things were enjoined until the time of reformation (Heb.9:10); and that, "The law was given by Moses, but...truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Moreover so far forth as the gospel is the instrument of the Holy Spirit whereby we are ingrafted and united to Christ and made partakers of redemption and salvation (as is said before in the twelfth chapter), so far also we confess that the moral law, touching the curse against the transgressors, is abrogated by the gospel of Christ, according to that of the apostle: "There is...no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," whereof this is a token, that they "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1). But now so far forth as the doctrine of the gospel requireth our repentance and the holiness of life, and that we live soberly, righteously, and godly, therein it taketh not away the law concerning manners, for it is wholly consonant and agreeable with the doctrine of the gospel of eschewing vices and following virtue. Lastly, inasmuch as Christ in His gospel did not take away the political laws of the nations, which were not contrary to the law of nature, therefore, we think it lawful and free for any governors to bring among their subjects such political laws as were delivered to the people of Israel, and by the same, (than which none are more just) to rule and govern the people. Therefore they do exceeding and great injury to the gospel of Christ, that [who] say it troubleth or overthroweth commonwealths. This is our faith concerning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. IX. Errors. We condemn therefore the Antinomi [Antinomian], and whosoever disallow the moral law, and cast the same out of their churches as contrary to the gospel, or [as] nothing appertaining to Christians; and do reprove those magistrates which labor to bring in Moses' political precepts among their people.
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 21
CERTAIN POSITIONS OF THE SAME ZANCHIUS Of Some Principal Articles of our Christian Faith, Against Divers Heresies at Sundry Times Disputed on, Partly at Heidelberg, Partly at Newstade. For what purpose I published this confession with my observations upon it, for the very same cause, at this time have I gathered together these positions concerning sundry matters in question, which were handled partly under Frederick III, of godly memory at Heidelberg, partly under my favorable lord, John Cassimier, Erector of this school, here at Newstade, against divers heresies; and being all brought together, I thought good to have them printed with my confession, thereby, that all posterity might evidently see that I never consented to any of these heresies, which in these days of ours have been fetched again from the depth of hell. And this, to God's glory, the edification of the church, and the salvation of many, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of one true God, eternal Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Year 1572.
1. There is one only Jehovah, Creator of heaven and earth, and God of Israel.
2. And this God, though He be one only Jehovah, yet is He not one, but mere Elohim, the number and names of whom the Son of God manifested in the flesh, hath clearly and apparently revealed unto us, without all doubt, namely the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Holy Ghost.
3. Further these three Elohim are true existences, and those undivided, living, understanding, willing; and therefore (as the church hath ever used to speak) true persons.
4. And the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are so distinct among themselves, as the one is not the other.
5. Yet every one of them is the true Jehovah.
6. Yet are there not therefore many Jehovahs, but only one Jehovah. Of the nature, singularity, and immeasurableness of one true God.
1. By the name of the nature of God is usually signified, not only His essence simply considered in itself, but also all His proprieties, or attributes, by which He is declared to us and for our sakes, of what sort He is.
2. And therefore God is rightly said, of His own nature to be gentle, wise, good, and such like.
3. But albeit He useth to apply many qualities like to this His own nature, unto men, by which we are made just, good, wise; yet His own nature He doth communicate to no created thing, which He cannot indeed communicate, unless there could more Gods be made.
4. God also, besides His other proprieties, is simply simple, or unmixed; that He can no ways be said
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 22 to be compounded of many things. No, not of His being and essence.
5. For although He attribute unto Himself many things in the Scriptures, as it were many qualities as to be good, just, mighty, etc., yet no quality doth in very deed fall into God. But of what sort soever [whatsoever sort] He is, the same He is in His own simple essence. But by these divers names the infinite perfection of His most simple essence is signified unto us.
6. But God not only admitteth no composition in Himself, but also falleth not into concretion or substance of any created thing, as that He should be either the form or matter thereof.
7. God is furthermore truly immeasurable and infinite, and therefore present everywhere. And that not in His power and virtue only, but in His whole essence, filling heaven and earth and all the world.
8. But although He be in every place present, yet He is more said to be in heaven than in earth; and more in His children than in wicked men; and more in one godly man than in another. But this not in respect of His essence, but by the power of His working and of His grace.
9. Wherefore when we read in the Scriptures how God doth either depart from us, or return to us, we must believe He doth not so by changing of place, but by the effects of His presence, both internal and external; either showing them or withdrawing them.
10. Yet He is in the human nature of Christ, in a far other manner than in us, namely, not only in a more effectual operation but also in dwelling in Him corporally, and as a part of a thing compounded, so as He is true God, but we cannot be so.
11. But further it is so God's property to be immeasurable and infinite, and consequently also everywhere present, as that it can belong to nothing created, no, not to the human nature of Christ.
12. For like as it cannot be that any creature can be made God in essence, so neither can it be that that which is not God should in its own essence exist everywhere, since it can neither be infinite nor immeasurable.
13. Wherefore, like as by this, that Christ is showed to be everywhere in His own essence, He is proved to be true God. So if any would prove the body of Jesus Christ to exist everywhere in its own essence, they must either deny that Christ's Deity is proved by that argument, or else they must needs frame a new god and that a corporal one.
14. Christ's body indeed is present, not only in its own virtue, but also in substance, to the minds of all godly men, receiving the same by true faith, and so by Christ's spirit growing more and more into one with the same Christ, no less, nay more than the sun is to the eyes of all them which see. But yet Christ's body can as well exist in many places at once (much less everywhere), in that manner of existing, wherein it is in heaven, as the body of the sun can exist in all the parts
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 23 of heaven and earth in the very same sort, that it is in his own sphere.
15. Yet hereupon followeth it not (as some do impudently cavil) that the eternal and true deity of Christ is denied, but contrariwise, it is rather proved, since the Word of the Deity is defended to be of that sort; as it can be imparted to no created thing, so as the same should be God in essence, or equal to God in any divine propriety.
16. For God could not be the Word, if of what sort He is, of the same sort any creature might be made, no though it be a spiritual creature, much less a human body.
17. On the other side rather, they that will have His divine and essential proprieties so powered into the humanity of Christ, that it is as well almighty and everywhere, as is His Deity, they do not only open a wide gate to the Arrians, but even take away the true Deity of Jesus Christ.
18. For He is not indeed true God, whose essence and nature can be so really powered into anything created, as that the same may be made altogether such, as the same God is--really and by itself, infinitely mighty, infinitely wise, extending itself (as I may say) endlessly, and by that means actually existing everywhere in its own essence.
19. For the essential proprieties of God are in very deed nothing else but His very essence, seeing otherwise it could not be most simple.
20. To say then that Christ's humanity is as well made almighty, and everywhere present, as is His Deity, is as if thou shouldst say that it is made such in its own essence and nature, and therefore is true God.
21. Now such a deity is no true deity; and therefore the Word (which is horrible blasphemy) shall not be true God.
22. Add, that it is not only most absurdly, but also most impiously said, that the proprieties of the divine nature are powered into the human.
23. For neither did we ever read that the Word or any propriety thereof was powered into Abraham's seed, as contrariwise we read that Abraham's seed was taken by the Son of God; neither could the proprieties of the Word be powered into the human nature without powering of the nature itself and the divine essence, seeing they are in very deed nothing else but the divine essence.
24. But the divine nature cannot be transfused into the human, but that the union of the natures must cease, and so a mixture and confusion must be made; and they which are so mixed do cease to be that which they were.
25. Now therefore we say, that Deity, to which any created thing can be made equal, is not a true Deity.
26. For it would needs be, that either the thing to be made equal must be made infinite, which is altogether impossible; or else the same Deity to which
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 24 it is to be made equal, must be finite, seeing nothing that is finite can be made equal, but only to a thing finite. But a Deity finite is no true Deity. Of the eternal omnipotency of one true God.
1. When in the Scriptures God is called mighty, we must not conceive in our minds that there is a passive might in God, whereby He may suffer anything, or leave to be that which He is, or become that which He is not by any change of Himself; but we must with a firm faith believe, (as it is indeed) that He hath only an active power, whereby He always worketh and can work.
2. For God is an essence most simple, most perfect, truly eternal, void of all passion, and unchangeable, and most powerful, and of whom and by whom all things are made.
3. Yet we must not imagine any such active power in God which is a divers thing from His essence.
4. For God in His own most simple essence is such, whatsoever He be--just, good, or almighty.
5. And although there be indeed but one only power in God, yet for the divers respects wherein He is considered, it may be said (not impiously) to be manifold.
6. For it is one respect when it is considered, as God worketh always in Himself in understanding, willing, loving; and another respect, when we behold it as God hath wrought outwardly or without Himself, in creating the world; and as He evermore worketh in governing the same, and as He could work innumerable things, if He would.
7. Therefore as the actions of God are not unfitly distinguished into abiding actions, and passing, so the power of God may not unjustly be called two-fold: one, wherein He ever from all eternity did work and doth work in Himself; the other, wherein He did not only make, ruleth, and worketh all things in time without Himself, but also can bring to pass infinite things, which He never will do.
8. Whereupon it is also that the same is usually divided into actual power, which worketh whatsoever He will; and into absolute power, whereby He can also do infinite things which He will not; because otherwise He could not be said to be simply omnipotent.
9. For as we hold not with them which think God is therefore called omnipotent, because simply whatsoever can be said or thought, whether it be good or ill, or if the same imply a contradiction, He can do the same; so neither do we subscribe to their opinion, which hold that God is called and is omnipotent for no other cause but for that He can do whatsoever He will; that His power should so stretch no farther than His will. But we believe He is therefore almighty, in that besides He can do whatsoever He will, He can also both will, and bring to pass innumerable things which He will never will, nor bring to pass.
10. For when the Scripture saith that God did whatsoever He would, it plainly teacheth that He could have done much more if he would. And He which saith
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 25 He will have mercy on whom He will, and He will harden whom He will, He showeth manifestly that He could as well have mercy on all, or harden all, as He can harden some, and have mercy on some. And therefore that He can have mercy on more than He will have mercy on; and so that, there are more things which He can do than He will do.
11. For that which He can do, He can by His nature do; and therefore cannot but be able to do it, unless He could also so do as that He should not be God. But whatsoever without Himself He willeth, He freely willeth it; and therefore could also not will it, so as it is manifest, that God can do more than He will; seeing He can will that He will not.
12. Now we say God can do all those things which are not repugnant either with His personal proprieties, or with His essence and nature; or which imply not a contradiction; or lastly, which are not of the defect or want of power, if they be admitted.
13. Thus although the Father cannot be the Son, nor the Son the Father, neither also the Father can beget of Himself another Son, or the Son any other of Himself. Yet therefore doth neither the Son nor the Father cease to be omnipotent.
14. For these are personal proprieties, that the Father should beget and not be begotten, but the Son be begotten, not beget; neither doth the essence of God bear it, that there should be more Fathers, or more Sons.
15. Neither is anything taken away from the power of God in that He cannot bring to pass, but that He must be good, just, wise; seeing He cannot be God unless He be such, as the Scriptures describe Him.
16. So we take no power from God nor weaken it at all, if we say God cannot sin, He cannot suffer, He cannot bring to pass, either not to be that which He is, or that those things which are done should not have been done. Because these things are partly of the defect of power, and partly they imply a contradiction, and therefore are directly repugnant to the truth of God, and simply impossible.
17. And so is it the property of God to be omnipotent, as that it can belong to no created thing.
18. For seeing omnipotency is nothing else but the very immeasurable, infinite essence, and able to be communicated to no creature; that it should agree to that thing to be omnipotent, unto which it doth not agree to be God in its own essence.
19. Neither can a thing finite be capable of a thing infinite, seeing everything is received according to the measure (as they say) of the receiver.
20. Also it is no less contrary to the nature of God, that there should be more almighties than that there should be more gods. Whereupon Christian religion will not allow, that the three persons in God should be said to be three almighties.
21. Wherefore although the man Christ Jesus is truly omnipotent, because He is not man only, but also
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 26 God; yet His humanity cannot be, or be said to be, properly omnipotent, without impiety.
22. For the human nature of Christ, though it be united to the divine nature into one person of the Word, and yet as it is not therefore made God, so neither is it made properly omnipotent, but held still the own weakness, whereby it was able to suffer for us and to die.
23. For neither could it have suffered, if as God, so also it had been made omnipotent, seeing to be able to suffer is impotency; and therefore God could not suffer, because He is omnipotent.
24. And if the human nature of Christ was made omnipotent through the hypostatical union in Christ, why do the Scriptures attribute it not to His humanity, but to His Deity, that His body saw no corruption; or that His soul being restored to Him, He rose from the dead?
25. Furthermore as a human body, through the union with the mind, neither is made an incorporeal substance endowed with will and understanding; neither receiveth from it either immortality or the virtue of understanding or willing; so neither the human nature, through the union with the divine nature of the Word, is made an essence subsisting by itself, most simple and most perfect; or hath received from it to be properly omnipotent.
26. Moreover the argument, whereby the fathers proved against the Arrians, Christ to be true God by the omnipotency attributed in the Holy Scriptures to the Son, is quite overthrown, if we grant that the omnipotency may be communicated to any created thing.
27. Lastly concerning religion, we must not speak but agreeable to the Scriptures, and to the analogy of faith. But the Holy Scriptures do declare none but only God to be omnipotent; neither did the church ever profess any otherwise in her creeds.
28. Whereas Christ said after His resurrection, "All power is given unto Me." Authority is one thing, and power another. Neither said He: It is given to my humanity, but "to Me." Neither was this spoken in respect of His nature, but of His office of a Mediator. And that office was and is of His whole person, according to both natures.
29. Therefore as we believe, by the Holy Ghost, God alone to be truly and properly omnipotent, so also with the whole church do we confess and preach.
30. But we doubt not that the human nature of Christ is endowed both with that power (though finite) which far exceedeth the power of all created things as well in heaven as earth, and therefore wherein it may well and properly be called the mightiest of all creatures; and also for the hypostatical union with the truly omnipotent Word, although properly in itself it be not such. Yet we grant it may in some sort be said to be omnipotent, namely, inasmuch as it is so united to the Word, that both those things which are proper to the Word may also be said of it yet in the concrete; and the Word did use and might use His soul and His body as proper instruments, (yet the proprieties and actions of
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 27 each of them remaining distinct) to perform many of the works of His omnipotency. Of God's Providence.
1. We believe and teach out of God's Word that the providence which the Grecians call (a) (Rom. 13:14), and also (b) (Luke 22; Acts 4:28), is in God; by which providence all things are (c) foreknown (Ps. 139:4), (d) preordained (Ps. 119:91), and (e) governed (Dan. 4:31).
2. This providence of God is that (a) most wise (Job 9:4, 12,13; Jer. 51:15); (b) most just (Deut. 32; Ps. 145:17); (c) and unchangeable counsel (Isa. 24:27; 46:10; Ps. 33:11), (d) wherein He (Dan. 4:32) (e) decreed in Himself from all beginnings of all things as well in heaven as earth, both that they should be made (Prov. 8:22; Eph. 1:9), (f) and that they should be made in such order and fashion as they are made; and to the (g) pattern whereof He also (Ps. 119:91) (h) ordereth and governeth continually all things (Lev. 26:4; Ps. 104:4; Hos. 2:21; Eph. 4:11), (i) in time (Gen. 1), (k) sometime by certain and ordinary means (Deut. 8:3; Ps. 72:18; Jer. 32:20), (l) sometime without them, but evermore (Ps. 115:3; Rom. 9:10) (m) mightily; and that both for the (Ps. 138:8; Dan. 4:32; John 5:17), (n) salvation of His chosen (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 3:21), (o) and especially for the advancement of His own glory (Ps. 19:1; 1 Chron. 29:11,12; Rom. 9:17).
3. For besides that it is manifest, that God is (a) omnipotent, wise (Jer. 32:17; Luke 1:37), and (b) exceeding good, whereby it cannot be that He should suffer this huge large world (Matt. 19:17) (c) created by Himself (Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3), and (d) wherein Christ's church remaineth to rowle after the rash hazard of fortune and chance (John 16:11). Also the Holy Scriptures themselves in apparent words do teach (e) that this world is governed by God's providence (Ps. 33; Ps. 147; Job 5; Col. 1:16; Heb. 3).
4. Neither do we make only (a) a general providence in God, whereby He ruleth the whole frame of the world; but also we acknowledge and hold that peculiar providence wherein He worketh and guideth (b) everything (Neh. 9:35; Acts 17:28; Job 37 & 38) severally, and especially (c) men, and of men, chiefly (d) His elect, with all their actions (Ps. 104 & 147; Matt. 6:26, ???, 29).
5. For we know that nothing is done or moved in the world without the will of the (a) Father; so that nothing can be more absurd than to say there may something be done in the world which God had not before ordained, and which He governeth not with His own hand (John 4, 6, 7; Ps. 8:5; Ps 139; Ps. 91; Zech 2:8 [or, 2 & 8?]; Matt. 6:10).
6. Neither yet do we thereby simply deny but that many things fall out (a) casually and by chance; seeing this being rightly understood doth not impugn the eternal and infallible providence of God (Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6; Prov. 16:4; Dan. 4:32; Ex. 21:13; Prov. 16:33).
7. For God by His unchangeable providence decreed not only that such things should be done as are done, but He also ordained from the beginning that all
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 28 things should come to pass in that very manner as they do come to pass.
8. But in that we say nothing is done in the world without the will of the Father, we do not thereby enwrap God Himself, the most wise and just director of all actions, into sin, or make Him author of sin.
9. For sin is (a) a transgression of the law and a declining from the straight line of the divine law (1 John 3:4). But God can neither (b) decline from the straightness of His will (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18; 1 John 1:5), neither (c) doth He instill into others the fault of declining (Isa. 1:13); (d) nay God is a hater (Ps. 5:6) and a (e) most just revenger of sin (Deut. 32:41; Nah. 1:2).
10. Wherefore seeing it belongeth to the providence of God that sins should be punished of God the just judge; by the doctrine of providence it is rather proved that God is to be feared and sins to be avoided, than that thereby any blame can be transferred upon God, or our wickednesses excused.
11. But whereas besides this which we now spake of, there be many other profitable uses of this doctrine of God's providence. Yet these two are principally to be noted: Namely, that this doctrine is a means that the godly in all their afflictions do fly unto God, (a) who governeth all things, and do rest themselves in His bosom, and they refer all glory to Him alone in prosperity; and are evermore humbled under His mighty hand, by which He worketh all things (Ps. 46:1; Matt. 10:28 [Matt. 27, 23, 35 ??]; 1 Peter 5:6- 7; James 4:11).
Of Eternal Election and Predestination, and of Redemption made by Christ. Out of the First Chapter of Paul to the Ephesians. Year 1579.
1. No blessing since the world's creation hath befallen or can befall us, to which we were not elected and predestinated before the foundation of the world. Neither is the same bestowed on us by any other, nor by any means else, than by whom, and after what sort God in His everlasting decree had appointed, as the apostle saith, We are blessed in Christ Jesus with all spiritual blessing, even as He hath chosen us from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3,4).
2. As in Jesus Christ alone we obtain all spiritual blessing, so also in Him alone we were chosen and predestinated to obtain it, since the apostle teacheth both, namely, that we are blessed in Christ, and were all chosen in Him (vv. 3,4).
3. Whosoever we be that have been elected, we were elected not only to the end--that is, eternal life-- but also to the means ordained for the end. For St. Paul saith, God hath chosen us, that we should be holy and unblamable (v. 4).
4. In that God hath chosen us, He did it of His love towards us, and according to the good pleasure of His will, and therefore our whole election is of free gift (vv. 3-5).
5. The end of our free election is twofold: Our salvation; and the glory of God. Of the first, the apostle St. Paul saith, We are predestinated into the adoption of the sons of God, and therefore to a heavenly
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 29 inheritance. Of the other, that it was done for "the praise of the glory of His grace" (vv. 5,6).
6. The salvation therefore of the elect in Jesus Christ is certain and necessary; the foundation whereof is the eternal, free, and unchangeable purpose of the will of God.
7. Who so have been chosen from the beginning in Christ unto life everlasting, and to the means thereunto--all they and only they in the time appointed of the Father, which is called the fullness of time--were in very deed through Christ and in Christ redeemed from their sins, and so [also] from the evil which followeth sins, the apostle saying, In Jesus Christ "we have redemption", even "remission [forgiveness] of sins" (v. 7).
8. Neither were we redeemed according to the merits and "works of righteousness which we have done", but according to the mercies of God (Titus 3:5), and according to the riches of His grace by the blood of Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:7), both which are manifestly confirmed by the apostle.
9. And albeit the eternal Father redeemed and saved us by His Son by whom He also created us; yet the Son is He which by an especial respect the church of God useth to call the Redeemer of mankind and our Savior.
10. For the Son alone was and is God and man; and He alone had the right of propriety, as they call it, or of kindred to redeem us. And He alone shed His blood whereby as by a ransom we were redeemed (Lev. 25:48-49). Lastly, He it is alone in whose person our redemption is made perfect and accomplished.
11. By the name of this ransom which we are said to have in Christ, we mean that full and accomplished redemption, inasmuch as it containeth not only remission of sins in this life, but also in the life to come after this, a perfect deliverance from all ill, and from the bondage of all corruption; so that there is no ransom which we have not in Christ our most perfect Redeemer, who as He is made unto us by God our "wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, so also our redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).
Of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and sitting at God's right hand, out of the First of Paul to the Ephesians. Year 1581.
1. God did effectually show the greatness of His power in Christ by raising Him from the dead. Therefore only God, by His infinite power, is the efficient cause of the resurrection of Christ, and all the dead (Eph. 1:19-20).
2. Yea, but Christ also by His power raised Himself from death. As He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build [raise] it up" (John 2:19); but He spake of the temple of His body. And that, "I lay down my life, that I may [might] take it again" (John 10:17). Christ therefore is no less God than the Father; neither is He God of lesser might.
3. But one and the same cannot be truly the raiser and the raised from the dead unless he consist of divers natures--of the divine, according to which He
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 30 doth raise, and the human, according to which He is raised. Therefore the same Christ, as He is true God, coessential with His mother and His brethren.
4. Neither can any be truly said to be raised and to rise from the dead unless the same be truly said to be dead and to have died. But death consisteth in a true separation of the soul from the body, whereby the body which dieth [dies] may presently be rightly called a dead carcass. Christ then, if He truly rose from the dead, it can by no means be denied but that He also truly died, His soul being truly separated from His body.
5. If then (since He truly died) neither His soul for that time of His death was in His body, neither (since He was truly buried) His body while it hung upon the cross was in the grave, or while it lay in the grave, hung upon the cross; (neither since God truly raised Him from the dead) either His soul recalled His body, or His body recalled Himself from death to life. Therefore the human nature in Christ was neither omnipotent, nor everywhere present in its own substance.
6. For as this consequence is not good, Christ Jesus Himself was dead and buried and rose again from the dead. Therefore He was dead and buried and rose again according to both His natures. So neither is this, behold "I am with you...even unto the end of the world;" therefore not only in His deity, but also in the substance of His humanity, He is really present with us on the earth.
7. But as this consequence is good, Christ being God, suffered; therefore He suffered not according to His deity but according to His humanity. So is this other, Christ Jesus being man is everywhere and simply omnipotent, therefore He is everywhere and omnipotent, not according to His humanity, but according to His deity, seeing the divine nature is no less united to the human than the human is to the divine, in the same person of Christ Jesus.
8. If God Himself, and so the divine nature in Christ raised His body from the dead, not by the same body, but by itself, namely by the divine nature, then it is false that the divine nature in Christ did all things and doeth not only in and with, but also by the human nature.
9. For the soul of Christ Jesus doth not work all things by the body, as neither do our minds understand or will things by the bodies; and that for this cause that as the philosophers also taught, our mind dependeth not on the body. Much less then doth the deity of Christ work all things by the flesh which it took.
10. For doth the Deity understand by the human understanding, or doth it will by the human will? Or doth it keep or sustain the human nature in the person of the Word, by the very same human nature? Or doth it bear all things by the human flesh or rather by the word of its own virtue? Lastly, if the form of God do nothing but by the form of a servant, how can that saying of Leo be true: "Each form doth the property of itself with communion of the other?"
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 31
11. Like as therefore the form of God is one, and the form of a servant another, so the actions and proprieties of the one and of the other be divers; though many times both the one and the other have one and the same work and operation.
12. Wherefore this is no consequence--to whomsoever Christ cometh with the Father, according to the form of God, to him He also cometh and abideth in him in His own substance according to the form of a servant; much less that He is so everywhere.
13. Further, like as no other, but the very same Christ, rose from the dead, so He rose in no other but in the very same body in which he suffered, died, and was buried.
14. For He could not be truly said to be raised and to rise from the dead; except that which truly died the very same quickened again should rise again.
15. Now the body wherein Christ suffered, died, and was buried, was a true human body--visible, palpable, circumscribed. Therefore Christ after His resurrection had and retained no body but that which was circumscribed in a certain place, and wheresoever it was and is, might and may be seen and handled.
16. Add also, that the apostle carefully discoursing of the qualities with which our bodies being raised up to eternal life shall be indued, he saith not that they shall not be subject either to the eye, or to the touch, or not be circumscribed in a definite place, but he rehearseth only incorruption, glory, and power, as is the agility thereof, and that they shall rise spiritual; not that the corporal substance shall be changed into an incorporeal, but that they shall be (as the Greeks call it) immortal, and shall be full of the Holy Spirit dwelling and working in them. The apostle therefore taught that these are qualities never to be separated from the bodies, namely that they shall be circumscribed, visible, palpable. Wherefore neither did Christ's body after His resurrection put off these qualities.
17. Neither is that exception anything, that Christ after He was risen came in to His disciples the doors being shut. For it was not therefore either made invisible or uncircumscribed or unpalpable; seeing Christ, being come in and seen of His disciples presently said, Feel or, "handle...and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39). And therefore (as the fathers teach) there was no change made of Christ's body, no more than there was when He or Peter walked upon the waters. But by the omnipotency of His deity having power over all things, the doors gave place to the true and firm body of the Son of God.
18. Wherefore not without cause did the fathers condemn not only Marcion, the Maniches and others, which taught that Christ took not a true and firm human body, but a fantastical one, and did all things according to imagination and fantasy, but also the Originists, John of Hierusalem [Jerusalem ?], and Euticius of Constantinople, bishops, and others, which said that Christ's body after His resurrection was made so spiritual that it was more thin than air, and therefore invisible and unpalpable.
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 32
19. Seeing then that in the Supper no other body of Christ is given us to be eaten but that which was broken for us, that is, truly suffered and died; it followeth that Christ's true body which we eat in the Supper is truly circumscribed, visible, and palpable. And consequently, seeing nothing is seen, touched, or perceived in the Supper besides bread, the same body cannot in its own substance really be contained under the forms of bread and wine, or lie hidden in the very bread and wine.
20. Now we acknowledge the resurrection of Christ is both the cause and an example of our as well spiritual as corporal resurrection. The cause of the spiritual, because the apostle saith to the Romans in Romans 4, He "was raised again for our justification" (v. 25); and an example, because he saith, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).
21. But that He is the cause of our corporal resurrection, we doubt not, for that the apostle saith, If Christ be risen again, we shall also rise again; and for that he also saith, Christ is the firstfruits of them that rise (1 Cor. 15). And an example, for that the same apostle also writeth, He shall change our vile bodies that they shall be like His glorious body (Phil. 3:21).
22. Whereupon it also followeth, either Christ's body not to be invisible, unpalpable, uncircumscribed, and so not spiritual bodies but incorporeal spirits.
23. For where Christ saith, "Feel [handle] and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have," He did not only conclude that Himself was no spirit, but He especially taught this, that there is no flesh nor bones but may be seen and felt.
24. The Scripture teacheth, and the church confesseth, that our Lord Jesus Christ being raised from the dead, did show unto His disciples for forty days space, by many arguments, that He was truly risen; and then even in the beholding of the apostles, that He was lifted up from the earth and ascended into heaven. Therefore like as no other Christ rose again than he which died; so no other ascended into heaven, nor in no other body, than He, and in which, that truly rose again from the dead, the Son of God, truly human, visible, palpable, and circumscribed.
25. Wherefore as the conversation of the same Lord Jesus Christ, wherein He conversed among His apostles after His resurrection for forty days space, was not fantastical, but real and true--so also His ascension was not only visible, but also truly (as the fathers say) local; when the apostles saw Him ascend from the earth up into heaven.
26. But such an ascension and moving cannot agree to His divine nature; therefore He ascended according to His human nature.
27. Yet by the way we deny not this, but that Christ as God, like as He is said to have descended from heaven in respect that He abased Himself, taking upon Him the vile form of a servant, and suffered in it--so also it may rightly be said that He is exalted and
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 33 ascended up into heaven, namely, in respect that in the very same form of a servant, when it was glorified, even the form of God was after a sort glorified by His ascension and after it, that is, was made glorious in the whole world.
28. But it is apparent that as this consequence is not good, Christ Himself being God and man ascended into heaven, in a local and visible moving. Therefore, He in the same sort ascended according to His deity; so neither is this good, Christ God and man is with us to the end of the world truly, and in His own essence; therefore He is present on earth as well in the substance of His body and soul, as in the essence of His deity.
29. If also the apostles saw with their eyes Christ in His own body, by change of place ascending from earth into heaven, then the heaven into which He did ascend cannot be an ubiquitary [ubiquitous] heaven, but it must needs be far distant from the earth.
30. Moreover nature and for everything some ce ned; as we see God hath which He created. Seeing th can be found more excellent dy, both for the union with th the wonderful gifts created in so also for the most perfect glori nds wherein he now liveth. It must that this body must exist in some most happy place.
31. Neither can it proceed but only from our piety, and from our true reverence toward Christ, that we should believe that His body doth dwell, not under the earth, not in the earth, not in the waters, not in a piece of bread, not in every leaf of a tree, not in the air, or in the celestial spheres, but in a place as the most happy, fair, and perfect, so the highest of all others; which we with Ambrose think the apostle spake of when he said, that He was caught up into the third heaven, and into paradise (2 Cor. 12:2,4).
32. To this, the same Scripture also teacheth, and the catholic faith believeth and confesseth, that the same Jesus Christ shall come out of that heaven in the clouds to judge the quick and the dead; and that we being raised from the dead, shall be caught up into the air to meet Him in the clouds, and so shall be with Him in that heaven forever (Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:16-17).
33. And this heaven, which is called the Father's house (John 14:2), and the heavenly city, and by many other names, the Scripture proveth to be placed above all the visible and moveable heavens, saying that Christ is ascended "above all heavens" (Eph. 4:10), and that He is in heaven.
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 34
34. For this heaven wherein He is in His body, and wherein we shall be in our bodies and souls, cannot be some vast and I know not what, uncreated room-- partly, because nothing is uncreated but God; partly, because it is plainly to the Hebrews said to be God's workmanship (Heb. 11:10).
35. Moreover the chief and principal efficient cause of that moving wherein His body was carried up into heaven, was the divine nature remaining in Him according to that, to the Philippians, chapter 2, God hath exalted Him, and, He was taken up (of God) into glory. But a secondary efficient cause was the gift of agility, which followed His glorious resurrection, bestowed on the human nature by the Deity, by which agility that flesh ascended up, not held and sustained by angels or by the clouds, as once Elias was in the fiery chariot, but of its own accord, and without trouble or difficulty. And therefore that motion was not a violent motion.
36. Now this ascension of Christ our Head was the cause and the example of our ascension which shall be into heaven. For since the Head is ascended, it must needs be that the members shall ascend; and as His ascension was, so ours shall be. For He shall change our vile bodies to be like to His glorious body, and we shall be caught up into the clouds to meet Christ in the air, and so we shall be with the Lord forever.
37. If then ours shall be a true ascension, and that we shall truly be lifted from the earth into heaven, therefore Christ's body also did truly ascend from earth into heaven, not imaginarily or putatively.
38. And this doctrine of Christ's true ascension into that highest heaven, and His perpetual abiding there, is most profitable, and full of consolation.
39. For first it serveth to strengthen our faith about the certain place, where with the eyes and hands of our faith we may behold, touch and take hold of the body of Christ. Then, to establish our hope, namely that it shall be, that before the resurrection of our bodies, our souls being separated from our bodies, they shall neither descend beneath the earth, nor shall float in the waters or the air, nor roll about with the spheres, but shall be carried above all these heavens to that blessed and heavenly house of the Father, into which Christ in His body is already entered, that they may be ever with Christ. Lastly, to kindle in our hearts the love and desire of a heavenly life and conversation, as the apostle saith, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above."
40. Of Christ's sitting at the right hand of the Father thus speaketh the apostle, "And hath set Him (Christ raised from the dead, and carried up into heaven)...in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet," etc. Whatsoever is read otherwise in the Holy Scripture, or confessed by the church in the Creeds concerning this sitting, is agreeable unto this.
41. But we can nowhere read, that for this sitting at God's right hand, either Christ Jesus took any
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 35 other body, (call it howsoever) or that in His natural body, there was any change made of the substance of it, or of any of those natural qualities and essential proprieties which it retained after His resurrection. It is therefore manifest, that in what body Christ rose, and ascended into heaven--namely, a visible, palpable, and circumscribed body--in the same He also sitteth at the Father's right hand in the highest heavens. And wheresoever He is, or pleaseth to be, He keepeth still to Himself such a body.
42. The apostle also witnesseth, and the church confesseth in the Creeds, that Christ first died, was buried, raised from the dead, and taken up into heaven, before He sat at the Father's right hand. Therefore, either it is false that Christ's human nature then first received a gift, for substance of His body to be really everywhere; or if it be true, then it received it not by the hypostatical union, which was made in His very incarnation.
43. Neither is this exception anything, that by the hypostatical union, this was given Him, in the first act, as, that if He would, He might be present everywhere, but by the sitting at God's right hand, it was given Him, in the second act, that is, that He was indeed present everywhere.
44. For besides, that the terms of this distinction are terms not taken from the fountains of Israel, but out of the puddles of sophisters, Christ Himself also refelleth [?] this exception, when speaking not of the first act, but of the second--that is, of His actual presence--He said both a little before His death, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." And after His resurrection, before His ascension, He said, Behold "I am with you...even unto the end of the world."
45. By those sayings it evidently appeareth that either Christ spake not of the real presence of His body, but only of the presence of His deity, and power of His Spirit; or that He is present to us in the same manner that He was to the apostles, namely visibly, seeing He said not "I will be," but "I am." Neither is there any necessity to alter the sense of those words.
46. Add this, that if He speak of the same real presence of His body, and that this promise pertained not to the apostles only, but also to all the faithful which were then in the world, Christ had not spoken a truth. For He was not before His death or after His resurrection present in a visible presence with all the faithful, which were then in the world, and which were gathered together in His name.
47. Wherefore the doctrine of the real and substantial, yet invisible presence of the body of Christ Jesus on the earth and everywhere, is not agreeable with the Holy Scriptures, but seemeth to come near to the Maniches, who (as Augustine showeth against Faustus) say that Christ's body doth invisibly hang on every tree.
48. If Christ also sat not at God's right hand in His body before His resurrection and ascension into heaven, as the whole church confesseth, then their doctrine is impious and heretical which teacheth that Christ Jesus, even from His mother's womb (according
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 36 to the flesh He took), hath sitten at the right hand of God's power.
49. If this also be true which the apostle teacheth, and the whole Scripture confirmeth, and the catholic church confesseth, that Christ Jesus not only then sat at His Father's right hand after He ascended into heaven, but also is so placed in the same at God's right hand, as He is never read to sit at such a right hand in any other place than in heaven; therefore then it cannot only not be said according to the Holy Scriptures, that Christ Jesus sitteth any other where at God the Father His right hand than in heaven; but also it is false, that He also so sitteth in the earth; that He is no less present really in substance of His body, in the bread of the Lord's Supper and in every place, than He is in heaven.
50. For the apostle also in other places, and [e]specially in the epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews, denieth that He is upon the earth, namely in a corporal presence, for as much as He sitting at the right hand of the throne of majesty in heaven, executeth His office of priesthood.
51. Moreover we hold beyond all controversy, that Christ sitting at God's right hand is a figurative speech, seeing God, to speak properly hath neither right hand nor left hand. Neither is it lawful to imagine any carnal thing concerning the seats and thrones in heaven, wherein they are said to sit; and oftentimes in the Scriptures this word sitting, is used besides other significations, for dwelling, ruling, exercising judgment, and forresting [?].
52. But that the apostle Paul meant not by this phrase, that Christ Jesus in His own body is truly and substantially present in all places; besides that which hath been already said, it is also evident by that which for declaration sake he adjoineth.
53. For to this sitting of Christ at God's right hand, the apostle addeth for declaration sake, three things: First, that Christ is so placed at God's right hand, that He is above all principality, that is, that He hath no creature above Him, or equal to Him, no not in heaven, but is made higher than the heavens, and all heavenly things. Then, he addeth, that all things are made subject to Him, that is, that there is nothing beneath Him, over which He hath not power and authority. Thirdly, that He was given to be a Head of the Church.
54. Now as we said that whatsoever we have before spoken of the resurrection from the dead, and so of the ascension, ought to be understood according to the human nature of Christ; so we think with the sound fathers, that these things also must be understood especially according to the same human nature.
55. The exaltation of Christ's human nature above all things, may be understood two ways: Either in respect of the local placing, as this, He ascended above all the heavens, that the meaning may be, the human nature was placed locally above all created things; or in respect of the excellent preeminence of the dignity and power thereof, and then the meaning may be, Christ even touching His human nature was set over all created things, and to Him was given power and authority over all things. For in these two manners
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 37 anything of the same kind is said to be over another, either in place, or in dignity.
56. If then this saying be understood the latter way, thereupon the ubiquity cannot be proved; seeing Christ in that in His human nature He may use His authority over all creatures, although He be not in substance of body everywhere. If the former way, then He is not everywhere, seeing that which is everywhere, is as well beneath, and at, and within, as above all creatures.
57. But Paul doth plainly teach that Christ (touching His human nature) did so rise from the dead, that He was no longer among the dead, and so ascended into heaven, that He was no longer on earth; and so being exalted above all creatures, sitteth at the Father's right hand, that He is neither beneath nor within created things, seeing all things are put under His feet.
58. Neither can the head be said to be in its own substance, where the feet are, although it be in them in virtue and operation, and indeed as well the head to the feet, as the feet to the head are joined together in their substance, by the sinews and by the soul.
59. But the apostle saith, Christ Jesus is given for a "head of the church," namely, according to His humanity; now the head is above all the body.
60. The apostle therefore meant nothing less by his words of Christ's sitting at God's right hand, than to conclude that Christ's body in its own substance is present in all places. Wherefore they do great wrong to the apostle, which by their cavils labor to conclude this out of his words.
61. Neither can any such ubiquity be proved by any necessary consequence, out of that article of faith.
62. For although it were granted (which cannot be granted) that by the sitting at God's right hand the human nature is made truly by itself omnipotent, yet unless it be proved to be so made omnipotent, that it is also made infinite and immeasurable, it can by no means be convinced that Christ's body in its own substance is everywhere present.
63. For so is this the only cause, why God also in His own essence is everywhere; that if ye take immeasurableness from Him, He cannot be said to be everywhere in His own essence.
64. And if also ye fain an infinite body, and therefore everywhere, yet that it is wholly in all places at once, you shall never prove while the world stands, unless ye can show, that the same body is also a most simple essence; seeing God is therefore wholly everywhere, not according to his parts, but because He is the most simple essence.
65. Wherefore whatsoever the ubiquitaries do prate and babble, arguing either from the hypostatical union, or the right hand of God, or the words of the Supper, or the divers kinds of being, or from the saying, "all power is given unto me," and such like speeches-- they evermore in this disputation, infer one fallation [?] (to speak of none else at this time) which is called non causa pro causa, except by those arguments they could
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 38 prove the substance of Christ's body to be made immeasurable and infinite, and also most simple, such as is the essence of God.
66. Yet do we not for all this deny, but the body of Jesus Christ, though it remain in heaven yet it is truly present unto us, not only in His operation, but in substance also.
67. But how, or in what manner of presence? Surely a true presence, but so as He is really present in us, by His Spirit in us, and by our faith; and (if we may use similitudes) as the Head is truly and really present to all the members, yea to the feet.
68. But how are these present one to another? Not in nearness of place, (for so the head of a pygmy were more present to his feet than the head of a giant) but by virtue of one soul, and the junctures of sinews and ligaments.
69. Seeing then according to the Scriptures our bodies and Christ's body are truly knit together by the same Spirit, so that we are one and the same body under one and the same Head, which God hath given to the Church, namely Christ, no man can deny this true presence, without great blasphemy.
70. But for the sitting at the right hand, we believe that the apostle meant to signify by this phrase, how Christ according to His humanity, after many and most grievous labors rubbed through upon earth, and many troubles endured for our redemption's sake, now gloriously resteth in heaven; and so being dearly beloved of His Father liveth in exceeding happiness, and appeareth in God's sight in our behalf, and that His intercession and propitiation is most acceptable to His Father; and that He reigneth with His Father, and by Him is appointed to be the Judge which shall at length come to judge the quick and the dead, and is placed in the celestial throne.
71. For to sit (as Tertullian teacheth) is proper to one that resteth; and (as Augustine teacheth) to one that dwelleth, reigneth, and doth the office of a judge. Neither are any said to sit at the right hand, but such as are dearly beloved, and near friends.
72. Augustine indeed thus interpreteth this place; of the Creed to the Catechumeni: He ascended into heaven, believe it; He sitteth at God's right hand, believe it; to sit, understand to dwell; as we say of any man, in such a country He hath sat three years; so therefore believe ye, that Christ dwelleth on the right hand of God, there He is. Let not your heart ask ye this question, what doth He? Do not seek for that which it is not lawful to find; there He is, it sufficeth us; He is blessed, and of this blessedness which is called the Father's right hand, the name of this blessedness itself is called His Father's right hand. For if we take it carnally, then because He is at the right hand, the Father should be at the left hand; and is there any reason thou shouldest so set them, the Son at the right hand, and the Father at the left? There all is the right hand, seeing there is nothing but blessedness. Also, this sitting of His beloved, ye must not take it to be meant of the human parts, as if the Father sat on the left hand, and the Son sat at the right hand.
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 39 But by the right hand, understand that power which that man being entertained of God received, namely that He might afterwards come to judge, which before came to be judged. Also, who is He, that sitteth at God's right hand? The man Christ. For in that He is God, He was ever with the Father, and of the Father. And when He came forth unto us, He departed not from the Father, for to be God is to be wholly everywhere. Therefore the Son is wholly with the Father, whole in heaven, whole on earth, whole in the virgin's womb, whole in the cross, whole in hell, whole in paradise, whither He brought the thief. Not at divers time, or divers places do we say He is whole everywhere, as now whole in one place, and another time whole in another place, but He is whole always, and in all places. Also, but by this that the Son is said to sit at the Father's right hand, it is showed that the man whom Christ took upon Him, hath received the power of a judge. Also, the man which Christ took on Him, now reigneth sitting at the Father's right hand. Also, but in that He is God, and equal to the Father, and always imageth [?] He is ever present; but He shall come a Redeemer in that form wherein He ascended.
73. So far from it therefore is it, that by the sitting at God's right hand, the apostle meant to signify that Christ in the substance of His body is on earth and everywhere, that He rather seemeth to teach them quite contrary--seeing that in heaven only, and not on this earth mens' blessedness consisteth, and God is said to dwell in heaven, not on earth, and rather that He reigneth in heaven than on earth, and it is said and believed that Christ shall come not from earth, but from heaven to judge both the quick and the dead.
74. Add this, that as God's feet by a certain human affection or property are not said to be in heaven, but on earth, according to that saying, heaven is my seat, and earth my footstool (Acts 7:49), so also we may with good reason say that His right hand hath place in heaven rather than on earth.
75. We therefore conclude that as by the apostle's doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven, the ubiquity of Christ cannot be proved, but is rather confuted; so neither by the doctrine which is of His sitting at God's right hand, can the same be necessarily inferred.
76. Nay, if such an ubiquity be admitted, we do not only shake but even quite overthrow all these articles of faith--of His incarnation in the womb only of the virgin, of His true death, (that is the true separation of His soul and body), of His true resurrection of His flesh, of His true and visible ascension from the earth into heaven, of His true sitting at God's right hand in the heavenly places. Lastly, of His visible return from that place to judge both the quick and the dead.
77. For a body that is everywhere cannot be moved from place to place according to it's whole self, as true philosophy teacheth, and Christian theology confirmeth; which showeth, that God therefore is not
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 40 moved from place to place, because being immeasurable He filleth all things.
78. Neither can that body also which is everywhere be rightly said to sit at the right hand or the left of another, but you must needs confound the substance of Him that sitteth, with the substance of the right hand, at which, and with the substance of Him whose right hand He sitteth at. Seeing therefore even the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost filling heaven and earth, are everywhere, both all and each of them, because they are one and the same essence.
79. Finally, we think this doctrine of the invisible and unpalpable presence of Christ's flesh everywhere is neither true nor profitable.
80. Not true indeed, because we could never see the same showed either by any manifest testimonies of Holy Scriptures, or any necessary consequences drawn out of them. Nay, we have observed the same to be repugnant to the Scriptures, and to the catholic consent of the old church, rightly expounded by the rule of faith contained in the Apostles' Creed.
81. Yea, and we see it so contrary to the Scriptures, that without a manifest implying of a contradiction, ye cannot grant both those things which the Creed delivereth, and those things which the authors of this ubiquitary doctrine do deliver.
82. Neither is it profitable, because that which is not agreeable with God's Word, to propound, believe and observe it as agreeable and necessary unto salvation, is a sin--The Lord saying, "Add not...nor diminish" (Deut. 12:32); and the apostle, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:25); and, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
83. Finally, because if that opinion of the ubiquity of Christ's body should be believed to be true, it would be a hindrance that a man could not apprehend and eat with a mind lifted up Christ to the true flesh of Christ Jesus being in heaven, whereunto notwithstanding, both the apostle and the church calleth us, saying, Lift up your hearts; and, "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
84. They then do nothing less than eat Christ's flesh, which do not behold the same in heaven where indeed it is, but imagine Him to be really present everywhere in His own substance. Aesop's dog, leaving the true flesh, did foolishly catch at the vain shadow of the flesh, because it seemed a bigger piece. A Question out of 1 John 4:3. St. John describing antichrist, saith, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the (true human) flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist." And seeing that Christ, never laid aside that flesh which He once took, but carried it with Him up in to heaven, and shall return again in the clouds in the same, apparent unto all men, to judge the quick and the dead. The question is, of what spirit they are, and by what name to be called, who make no doubt with the old heretics, to forge [?] for our Lord Jesus Christ, I know not what kind of invisible flesh, uncircumscribed, unpalpable, whole, and in His whole
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 41 substance, forsoth [forsooth ?] really existing in all places, in heaven, in the stars, in the air, in the earth, under the earth, in hell, in all the several parts of the world, and the parcels of the parts, yea, and in the least parcels of the parcels, against Scripture and against the sound agreement of the whole catholic church. Of the Dispensation of Salvation by Christ. Out of the First Chapter of the Ephesians. Year 1580.
1. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we were elected unto salvation, not only once redeemed us by His own blood, having obtained remission of sins, and gotten the victory; but doth also daily dispense and communicate unto His, the grace of redemption and salvation (vv. 7-8).
2. For it belongeth to a perfect Redeemer, not only by paying the ransom to redeem, but also to make the redemption known to them that be redeemed, and to deliver them quite out of the hands of the tyrant into freedom; as it also belongeth to a good head to impart the life, sense, and motion which it hath, unto the members.
3. Now Christ useth to dispense this grace of salvation by the Word of truth, that is, by the gospel of our salvation, with which we join the sacraments as seals and instruments of salvation (v. 13).
4. For by the gospel He makes known unto us the mystery of His divine will concerning our salvation through Christ, and concerning the gathering together, as well those that are in heaven, as these that are on earth, and concerning the knitting of them to one Head Christ (vv. 9-10).
5. Neither doth He only make known unto us the mystery of salvation by the gospel, but also effectually calleth and draweth us to Himself, and to the communion of Himself and so to the participation of redemption and salvation (v. 13).
6. For by the preaching of the gospel, He useth to stir up faith in our hearts; whereby we believe in Him and are received into His communion (v. 13; Rom. 10).
7. For He giveth us His Holy spirit, by which He regenerateth us, and sealeth us with the express image of God, to the full possession of an eternal inheritance (v. 13).
8. By the same Spirit He stirreth up, worketh, and leadeth us, to the study of a holy life, and good works.
9. And if it so be, we fall into sin (such is our frailty) He lifteth us up by repentance given unto us, and maketh us more assured of forgiveness; and by that means, through the same Spirit as it were a pledge, He more and more daily confirmeth us in that assurance of salvation (v. 14).
10. And these benefits Christ bestoweth on us, never utterly forsaking us, till He hath brought us by His grace, and singular love towards us, from the first redemption, which is our redemption from the guilt and servitude of sin, and from the power of the devil, to
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 42 the other redemption, namely the full liberty which consisteth in the perfect assuring and full possession of the heavenly inheritance.
11. But our Lord Jesus as He is our Redeemer and the Head of the whole church (v. 22), according to both the natures, so also He communicateth eternal life and salvation, not only as He is God but also as He is man, according to that same--Believe my son, "thy sins be forgiven thee." And immediately after, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house" -- where each nature worketh that which is proper to it, with communion of the other.
12. For as the natures are so united within themselves in one person, that yet there is made no change nor confusion among themselves, or among their proprieties, so also the actions are so the actions of one and the same person, that yet they are truly distinguished betwixt themselves. And so distinguished, that those which proceed from the one nature, and are proper thereunto, they, although they be done with the communion of the other, yet it is not lawful to say that they be done by the other, or that Christ doth them according to the other nature.
13. Wherefore like as we allow the fathers, when they say that Christ's actions in redeeming and saving us were and are done by God and man, so also we greatly commend that famous saying of Leo the Bishop of Rome in his epistle to Flavianus, and we teach that it is with a stedfast faith to be holden--namely, "Each form worketh with communion of the other that which is proper to itself; as, the Word working that which is proper to the Word and the flesh performing that which is proper to the flesh."
14. For He suffered for us, died, and was buried, according to the flesh. But He gave the grace of deserving and redeeming to His suffering, by which He redeemed us, according to His deity; but all these He willed, according to both the natures.
15. Also He rose from the dead, and ascended in a visible and local ascension into heaven, exalted above all angels according to His humanity (vv. 20-21); yet He wrought the same resurrection, ascension, and exaltation, according to His divinity, but He willed it according to the will of both the natures.
16. Like as then we believe that Christ redeemed us according to both the natures, according to that God purchased His Church by His own blood, so also we doubt not but the same Christ sitteth at His Father's right hand, and resteth in the heavenly places, governing all things with His Father; and dispenseth and communicateth the grace of redemption and everlasting salvation to the whole church which is His body, and to every member, according to both His natures--the Word working that which is proper to the Word, and the flesh that which belongeth to the flesh.
17. For although He useth the ministry of the Word and sacraments by men to the imparting of salvation unto us, yet the same Christ, both as He is God and as He is man, is properly the very same which calleth us, giveth unto us faith and repentance, and He justifieth, regenerateth, quickeneth, and bringeth into
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 43 eternal life all that believe, by the working of the power of His might.
18. For this cause also our faith, whereby we take hold of salvation in Christ and eternal life, must not respect and rely upon either the one or the other nature of Christ severally, but on whole Christ Himself, as the Ephesians were said to have faith "in the Lord Jesus".
19. Whereon it followeth that who so do deny either the one or the other nature in Christ, or divide the one from the other, or confound them both together, so that they acknowledge Him not for true God and true man in all things (sin excepted) like unto us, and embrace Him not for such, and therefore for a true and perfect Redeemer, they can never be made partakers of redemption and eternal salvation.
20. For as he that believeth in Christ, such as He is, hath life eternal; so he that believeth not, cannot have it.
Of Those Things Which are Spoken of our Lord Jesus Christ, After the Union; and in What Sort They are Spoken. Out of the First Chapter of Ephesians. Positions. Anno 1582.
1. The apostle writeth that Christ was raised from the dead and therefore He truly di in another place, The Lord of glory was , yea, we often read, how the Son of man was delivered unto death. But in all these enunciations, the speech is ever of the same person, namely the Son of God incarnate. Therefore the person of Christ which is in these propositions the subject, or that whereof another thing is spoken, is used to be signified by three kinds of names: Namely, by those which betoken the divine nature only, and that sometime in respect of the essence, sometime in respect of the hypostasy or persons, as, The Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God; or which betoken in like sort the human nature only, as, Man, the son of Mary; or which betoken both natures together, as, Christ, Immanuel, God incarnate.
2. We add hereunto that Christ's very person is signified by those names also which are taken from the offices of a Mediator--as these: A Mediator; a Redeemer; a Savior; a High Priest; an Advocate, and such like. But these may be referred to the third kind, because by them are showed and made known both the natures in one person.
3. The concrete names which have denomination of the natures, as Man of the humanity, and God of the deity, when in speaking of Christ they be the subjects, or the first part of the enunciation or sentence, they have two significations--one formal (as the schools say) and the other material--of which, by the former is meant the very nature; by the other, the person, which hath such a nature, whereof it taketh denomination.
4. For as names in the abstract do signify only the nature and propriety, which is in a thing so all names in the concrete do betoken both the nature and quality, which is in the thing, and the hypostasis, wherein it is; as (for examples sake) the name of just betokeneth both justice wherewith one is made just, and him, which is just, both together.
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5. Therefore by these subject names which having their denominations from the natures do show the person of Christ--sometimes is declared the propriety of the natures, sometime the unity of the person; and therefore the subjects must be understood and expounded according to the diversities of the predicates that is of those things, which are spoken thereof.
6. In this proposition, the Son of God is eternal, the subject (namely the Son of God) must be expounded according to the propriety of the nature. But in this, the only begotten Son of God suffered, the subject (the only begotten Son of God) must be understood according to the unity of the person. For He suffered, which was not only man, but also God; yet the Deity remaining unpassible.
7. We deny not, but many times are found words in the abstract, which are the subjects, as, (the light) came into the world; as also some which are predicates, as Christ is (the light of the world, our righteousness, our peace), but these stand in stead of concretives, as the light came into the world, that is, He which lighteneth us. Wherefore for the manner of such like words, they are to be referred to some of the foresaid three kinds.
8. Furthermore there are three kinds of attributes which use to be spoken of the same person of Christ, God and man, by what name soever it be signified. For some are proper to the divine nature, and therefore cannot really be communicated to the other nature--as, to be impassible, eternal, immeasurable. Some are proper to the human nature, and therefore cannot altogether indeed by communicated to the other nature--as to be made, to be finite, and passible. And other some proper to the whole person consisting of both natures, and therefore common to both natures together, as to be a Mediator, a Redeemer, a Savior.
9. To this third kind pertain those actions which the Greek fathers called the actions of God and man, or actions divine and human, because in the works of our redemption, each form worketh not the property of the other, but of itself, yet with the communion of the other, the Word working that which belongeth to the Word, and the flesh performing that which belongeth to the flesh.
10. Of these three kinds of attributes, we find in ourselves an example not unlike. For in a man, some things are proper only to the soul--as to be immortal, to understand, to will; some things to the body only--as to be mortal, palpable, heavy; some things common to them both--as be such works to the performance whereof, each part worketh that which is proper to it, with communion of the other, as to write, to speak, to run, and to do whatsoever is done by the ministry of the body, yet not without the virtue and guidance of the soul.
11. Now of this which hath been said of the divers subjects and predicates, there followeth a diversity also of predication. Every predication therefore of Christ is either proper and simple, or else improper and figurative.
12. The proper and simple predication falleth two ways: One is, when those things which are proper
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 45 to one nature, they are predicated or said of the person of Christ, being expressed by a name either denominated of the same nature, or proper to the person, as, this our God or Christ is omnipotent, and everywhere present; also, this man, or Christ, suffered and died. The other is, when such things as are proper to the whole person, they are said also of the whole person signified by a name, that containeth both the natures, such as these are that belong to the office of a Mediator, and the honor of an Head, as, Christ, Immanuel, God incarnate, redeemed us, sanctified us, saved us, is a King, to be worshipped, which are said therefore to be proper to the person, because they can be severally applied to neither of the natures. Now all such be proper and simple propositions because in all which are of the same kind, the predicates be coupled with the subjects in all those things which are of the very same kind.
13. The improper and figurative predication is likewise twofold: One, when as these things which are proper to the whole person, either belonging to the office of a Mediator, or to the honor of an Head, the same are said of one of the natures signified either by an abstractive or a concretive name--as, the flesh quickeneth, the blood washeth from sin, God redeemed the Church, the Mediator of God and men, man, etc. The other, when that which is proper to one nature is said of the other nature signified by a name which is concretive, and which betokeneth the person-- as, God suffered and died; man when He was on earth, was also at the same time in heaven.
14. For in those improper propositions of the latter sort, the proprieties of diverse kinds are coupled as words concretive, and therefore God is unproperly [improperly] said to suffer, inasmuch as the name God in its own proper signification doth betoken the divine essence which cannot suffer. But in respect of the person being meant, which is also man, it is a true (though an improper) proposition, and therefore these things are said of the whole person by a synechdoche, whereas indeed they agree not to the same, but only in respect of one nature.
15. This latter form of an improper speech we call the community of proprieties, as the Greeks do, which Theodoret expounding calleth the community of names; and Damascene, the ? oope of retribution.
16. For with them ? ? was a concretive word signifying the propriety of some nature. And ? ? or ? ? was, when as the ? ? or proprieties of one nature, were mutually and reciprocally spoken of the concrete name of the other nature, which name did signify the person. So that it is mere folly, to think that the fathers when they spake of the communication of the Idiomes, that they meant to speak of any real powering or communication of the essential proprieties of one nature, into the other, seeing they write plainly, "the unity maketh the names common, but never maketh the things common."
17. For if our talk be of the natures themselves, which are in Christ, Theodoret with other fathers teacheth us that we must so speak, as we do not say, that those which are proper to the one nature are in very deed common to the other, but that we give to
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 46 either of them alone, that which belongeth to it. Even as that which belongeth to the soul, we give it not to the body, and contrariwise. But if we speak of the person, we must so frame our speech, that we may declare those things which are proper to each nature to be truly and indeed common to the whole person, even as also we give to the whole man really and in truth, as well those things which belong to the soul, as to the body. Now his very words after his bringing in of the similitude of the soul and the body and the whole man follow thus. So we must speak of Christ. And when we speak of the natures in Christ we must give to each of them those things which do befit each; and we must know what things are proper to the divinity and what to the humanity. But when as we speak of the person, we must make those things which are proper to the nature common, and must fit these very same to our Savior Christ; and we must call Him both God and man; both the Son of God and the Son of man; both the son of David and the Lord of David; both the seed of Abraham and the Creator of Abraham; and so of all the rest. The same doctrine he also confirmeth out of Amphilochius [?], bishop of Iconium, and out of other fathers, in many places in his dialogues.
18. Damascene also to expound the same matter, to wit, how the same things which belong to one nature should be communicated to the other, namely in person, writeth thus: "The Word doth appropriate unto itself those things which belong to man. For those things which pertain to His holy flesh be His; and He doth (by a manner of mutual predication) impart those things which are proper to Himself, unto the flesh, by reason of the being of the parts mutually one within the other, and their hypostatical or personal union."
19. Out of which place it evidently appeareth, first, that those things which are of the flesh are no less given to the Word than the things of the Word to the flesh; then, that they which belong to the Word, are given to the flesh after no other manner, then they which pertain to the flesh are given to the Word. Lastly, that this manner of giving is called the manner of mutual predication, not simply and in the abstractive names of the natures, but in the concretive noting the person.
20. Moreover what this manner of predication is, and why it is so called, the same Damascene expoundeth in the fourth chapter both by example, and by the cause in these words: "This manner of mutual predication is, when those things which are proper to one nature, are spoken of the other nature, by reason of the hypostatical identity or personal union of them both; and for that the one nature is in the other--for example we may say of Christ, this our God was seen upon the earth and conversed with men; and this man is uncreated, not subject to passion, not circumscribed in any place." And the examples added do manifestly show how one nature doth attribute those things which are proper unto itself to the other, and for what cause. For God, (in that, by this name is meant the divine essence) was not seen on earth; but only, in that the person is meant by it, which is both God and man.
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21. Therefore we mislike [?] not that received description of the communicating of proprieties. The communication of the proprieties, is a predication, wherein the propriety agreeable to one nature, is given to the person in a name concrete; because these two natures, the Word and the human nature taken, are one existence or person.
22. Thus therefore we judge that the communication of the properties may not amiss be defined. The communication of the proprieties is a predication, or a manner of speech, wherein the propriety (that is the concrete name signifying the propriety of one nature) is spoken really of Christ's person signified by the name of the other nature; and is spoken (only in word) of the other nature, in the concrete, by reason of the conjunction of the natures and the personal union thereof.
23. But we say it is all one to be predicated or said of the person signified by the concrete name of the other nature; and to be said of the concrete name of the other nature signifying the person; as also the propriety, and the concrete name signifying the propriety of the one nature, are in this matter alone.
24. For this question was propounded by the fathers against the heretics, not so much about the things themselves, as about the manners of speaking, which the Holy Scripture useth speaking of Jesus Christ, when sometime it sayeth, The Lord of glory was crucified; sometime, The Son of man when He was on earth, was also in heaven; and other such like, namely, how such phrases should be understood.
25. For none of any sound judgment ever doubted but as the natures, so also the essential proprieties of both the natures, remained distinct, whole, and unconfounded in the person of Jesus Christ after the union, so as (for example sake) neither the Deity was made passible and local, nor the humanity impassible, and uncircumscribed; as some heretics falsifying the Scriptures have blasphemed.
26. Now the very foundation of this whole exposition was the true and near uniting of the two natures within themselves, and a meeting of them into one and the same person unspeakably made without conversion, without confusion, without division, without separation.
27. For Damascene declaring this after he had taught, how those things which are of the flesh are given to the Word, and likewise how the things of the Word are communicated to the flesh, namely, according to this manner of predication; he adjoineth the cause thereof, saying, "by reason of the meeting together of the parties one with the other; and the hypostatical or personal union;" and in the fourth chapter, "This is the manner (saith he) of mutual predication, when as one nature doth give the proprieties of one nature to the other which it doth in respect of the personal identity, and the joining of the natures one with the other." Now this joining of the natures one with the other is the very union that is an inward, absolute and most perfect, uniting them together. As Damascene both elsewhere, and especially in his fourth book, and 19th chapter, expoundeth it saying, "But the divine
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 48 nature once going through the flesh, gave unto the flesh also, an unspeakable going to the divine nature, which we call the union."
29. We ourselves add, that this union is also the final cause of this form of speaking, because therefore this reciprocal predication is delivered in the Holy Scripture, that the true unity of the natures in one person of Jesus Christ might be showed; which is the cause, why these verbal predications can by no means be said to be vain or to no purpose, seeing they have great use, showing how the two natures are united into one person without confusion.
30. Moreover, this same communication of the proprieties (for example, in this proposition God was crucified,) we say to be both verbal, and real, in divers respects. For in that, by this concrete word, (God) is meant a person, which is not only God, but also man; it is a real predication. For because He was man, therefore He truly and indeed died. But as the Deity is meant by the formal signification, (as they speak) or as God simply is meant thereby, it is a verbal predication, and that a true one. For God is truly said to have died, by reason of the person together meant; and that, which is God indeed died not, nor could die, although He which is God did truly die.
31. These things thus declared, it is easy to judge of the divers enunciations, which be true and which false, and in what manner of predication each one is to be taken. Neither one nature nor the proprieties thereof can by any means, neither in the abstractive name nor in the concretive, be predicated or spoken of the other nature signified in the abstractive. For it is as false to say, The human nature, or the humanity, is God, as to say, The humanity is the Deity. And as false to say, The humanity is immeasurable and infinite, as to say, the humanity is very immeasurableness or infiniteness. Therefore in all the Scriptures is no such kind of speech to be found.
32. Neither can one nature or the proprieties thereof be spoken in the abstract, or the other nature signified either in an abstractive or concretive name. For both these propositions are false. God is the humanity, and, the Deity is the humanity.
33. Of either of the natures signified by what name soever, the things that are proper thereunto may truly be spoken, and that of them both in the concrete; but of the divine in the abstract also, by reason of the simplicity thereof. For this proposition is as true and proper, the Deity is omnipotent, as this God is omnipotent, yea, even omnipotency itself. And again, humanity and a man is mutable.
34. Of the person expressed by the proper name and that name, which noteth both the natures, or by a name signifying the office of a Mediator; as well the things which are proper to the one or to the other, or to both the natures together, may truly and properly be spoken: as, Christ is omnipotent, also, Christ is man, Christ died. Also, Christ is a Redeemer, a Mediator. Also, the Mediator, is God, is man, is immortal, died, redeemed us.
35. Of the person signified by a name of one nature, the things which are proper thereunto may truly and properly be spoken: as, This God or only
Girolamo Zanchi ● Confessions and Positions 49 begotten Son of God, is eternal and omnipotent. Also, This man, or, the Son of man, was born in the last days, died.
36. Those things which are proper to the whole person, cannot be spoken (but by a Synechdoche, a part taken for the whole) of one nature signified either by an abstractive or concretive name, as, The flesh quickeneth, God redeemed His Church.
37. Wherefore this saying of Leo, "Each form worketh that which belongeth to itself," we with Damas. say, to be all one, with this, (and that properly) "Christ worketh according to each forme."
38. So where John said, His blood washeth us from sin; and Christ saith, "My flesh is meat indeed;" also where it is said to quicken, and that, it is to be worshipped--those words are put for concretives, namely, the flesh of Christ, for Christ incarnate; and the blood of Christ, for Christ by His blood.
39. For He which said, he that "eateth my flesh...hath eternal life," the same said, "he that eateth me...he shall live by me." And he which wrote, His blood washeth us from sin, the same expounding himself saith, Christ shall wash us from our sins by His blood. And they which taught that Christ's flesh was to be worshipped, they also expressed the cause, namely, not because it was flesh, but because it was flesh of God, and therefore that Christians do worship not flesh properly, but God incarnate.
40. Of the person signified by the name of the one nature, the things that belong to the other nature may indeed truly and really be spoken, but yet improperly, and figuratively, by communication of the proprieties, as, The Son of man is both in heaven and on earth at once. Also, The only begotten, and Lord of glory was crucified.
41. Hereof followeth another--of the one nature signified in a concretive name, the things proper to the other may truly be spoken, by reason of the person together noted, yet not really, but only in respect of the name: As, God (taken in the formal signification) died; man is eternal.
42. Wherefore we say that those things are predicated or spoken, by communication of the proprieties which being proper to one of the natures, are made common also to the other in the concrete, by the mutual manner of predication--namely while they are really attributed to the person, whereof each nature is a part.
43. For seeing Christ most truly and really is both God and man, we doubt not to say, and with the whole church to teach, that He suffered, namely (for example sake) according to the one nature, and suffered not, namely according to the other.
44. And seeing the Scripture saith, both that God is immortal, and also that the same died and was crucified--we teach that in the former speech the name of God is taken essentially, in the latter hypostatically or personally, and therefore that both these are true in the speech concerning Christ; but that both of them are spoken of the same in a diverse manner of predication.
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45. Whatsoever things we read to have been really given to Christ in time after the union, the same may truly and really be spoken of the person, in respect of the humanity, and therefore also of the humanity itself; but it is to be understood, that they cannot be spoken in respect of the divinity, and being signified by a concrete name, but only by communication of the proprieties. An example of the first: The Spirit of wisdom shall rest upon him, etc (Isa. 11); an example of the other: He hath given unto Him (His Son, who is from heaven, whom the Father sent) His spirit above measure (John 3). For He (as He is the only begotten Son) cannot be said to have really received the Spirit, but only by communication of the proprieties.
46. But the things which we confess were given after this manner, were not the essential proprieties of God but only gifts of creation, and (as they call them) habitual graces which belong partly to the perfection of Christ's human nature--partly to the perfecting of the office of a Mediator; partly to the honor of the Head of the Church.
47. For the essential proprieties of God are united most really with the human nature in the same person, but they are not really communicated to it, in its own very essence.
48. For (to omit almost infinite of other reasons and testimonies of the apostles and ancient fathers) what things Christ received as man, in the essence of His human nature, He received the same, that He might as being Head derive them into His members--as Athanasius and Cyril are witnesses--seeing He therefore sanctified Himself, that we also might be sanctified--and the oil was poured upon Aaron's head, that it might run down on all his members even to the skirts of his clothing.
49. And who (except a mad man) would say that the essential proprieties of God are derived unto us. 50. The cause also why Christ as He is God, cannot be said to have received gifts of creation, is by Cyril assigned to be this: "Because as God He needed them not." Therefore, if also, as He is man, He received the essential proprieties of God, really communicated unto Him, He cannot then be said to have received the created gifts of the Holy Ghost. For to that end serveth a finite power in Him which is indued with an infinite power really communicated unto Him. FINIS