Maximus the Confessor:
Source Used: Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Vol. I – Vol. X and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I, Vol. I – Vol. XIV & Series II, Vol. I – Vol. XIV. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.)
From the same work, chapter 51, that when the Fathers say that there are two natural wills in Christ, they mean that there are two natural laws, not two inclinations [gnômai].
Let no-one censure the doctrine that forbids a duality of gnomic wills, when they find that nearly all the glorious teachers say that there are two wills. Nor let him transfer his reverent mind to the other position, and say with Severus that there is one will, lest he let one evil follow another, I mean confusion follow division.2 For the divine Fathers do not speak of quantity in relation to gnomic wills, but only in relation to natural wills, rightly calling the essential and natural laws and principles of what has been united wills. For they think that it is the natural appetency of the flesh endowed with a rational soul, and not the longing of the mind of a particular man moved by an opinion, that possesses the natural power of the desire for being, and is naturally moved and shaped by the Word towards the fulfilment of the economy. And this they
D wisely call the will, without which the human nature cannot be. For the natural will is ‘the power that longs for what is natural’3 and contains all the properties that are essentially
48A attached to the nature. In accordance with this to be disposed by nature to will is always rooted in the willing nature. For to be disposed by nature to will and to will are not the same thing, as it is not the same thing to be disposed by nature to speak and to speak. For the capacity for speaking is always naturally there, but one does not always speak, since what belongs to the essence is contained in the principle of the nature, while what belongs to the wish is shaped by the intention [gnômê] of the one who speaks. So being able to speak always belongs to the nature, but how you speak belongs to the hypostasis. So it is with being disposed by nature to will and willing. If then to be disposed by nature to will and to will are not the same (for the one, I said, belongs to the essence, while the other exists at the wish of the one who wills), then the Incarnate Word possesses as a human being the natural disposition to will, and this is moved and shaped by his divine will. ‘For the will of that one’, the great Gregory
B says, ‘is not opposed to God but is completely deified.’4 If it is deified, it is clearly deified by its coming together with the One who deifies. What deifies and what is deified are certainly two, and not one and the same by nature. What deifies and what is deified are then related, and if they are related, they are certainly brought together, the one to the other, naturally, and each is thought of together with the other.
Therefore, in his natural capacity, the Saviour is distinguished as a human being, willing in a fleshly way the shrinking in the face of death together with the rest of the passions, showing the economy to be pure of any fantasy, and redeeming the nature from the passions to which it has been condemned as a result of sin. And again he shows his eager desire, putting death to death in the flesh, in order that he might show as a human being that what is natural is saved in himself, and that he might demonstrate, as God, the Father’s great and ineffable purpose,5 fulfilled in the body. For it was not primarily in order to suffer, but in order to save, that he became a human being. Therefore he said, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not mine, but your will be done;6 showing, in the shrinking, the determination of the human will shaped and brought to be (in harmony with the divine will) in accordance with the interweaving of the natural logos with the mode of the economy. For the Incarnation is an effective demonstration of both nature and the economy, I mean of the natural logos of what has been united, confirming the mode of the hypostatic union, and ‘instituting afresh the natures’,7 without any change or confusion. But the will did not need to be rendered idle or made active in accordance with the same will: that would be absurd, since the Son’s will is by nature the same as the Father’s. The Saviour therefore possesses as a human being a natural will, which is shaped, but not opposed, by his divine will. For nothing that is natural can be opposed to God in any way, not even in inclination, for a personal division would appear, if it were natural, and the Creator would be to blame, for having made something that was at odds with itself by nature.
How did the Word Incarnate truly become a human being, if it lacked that which best characterizes a nature as rational? For what is deprived of the movement of longing that follows desire has no share in any power of life. And that which does not possess any power of life out of its nature is clearly not a soul of any kind, without which the flesh is not what it is. Therefore the economy would be a mere fantasy, if he merely had the shape of flesh. But if, as Severus said, he did not have, as man, a natural will, the Word Incarnate would not fulfil the hypostatic union with flesh, endowed by nature with a rational soul and intellect. For if he was truly, as man, lacking a natural will, he would not truly have become perfect man. And if he did not truly become perfect man, he did not become man at all. For what kind of existence does an imperfect nature have, since the principle of its existence no longer exists?
The purport therefore of Severus, and his followers, is by a C certain natural diminishment to expel the assumed nature in the ineffable union, and to cover themselves with the defilement of Mani’s fantasy,8 Apollinaris’ confusion,9 and Eutyches’ fusion.10 I remember, when I was staying on the island of Crete,11 that I heard from certain false bishops of the Severan party, who disputed with me, that ‘we do not say, in accordance with the Tome of Leo, that there are two energies in Christ, because it would follow that there were two wills, and that would necessarily introduce a duality of persons, nor again do we say one energy, which might be regarded as simple, but we say, in accordance with Severus, that one will, and every divine and human energy proceeds from one and 52A the same God the Word Incarnate.’ Against them one might angrily apply that part of the prophecy: O, O, flee from the north; in Zion you are saved, you who inhabit the daughter of Babylon.12 From the north: that is truly the understanding of Severus,13 a place become gloomy, and deprived of the continuance of the divine light. Daughter of Babylon: the confused teaching of false dogmas, wickedly brought forth from the most wicked habit picked up from him, which those inhabit who have turned away from the light of knowledge, and do not wish to be saved through conversion to Zion, I
mean the Church.
For the doctrine of Severus, when examined, is opposed both
to theology and to the economy.14
For if, according to him, the wills naturally follow the
energies, and persons are naturally introduced by the wills, as
B effect follows cause (but what kind of an argument is this!), then clearly according to him there is a will for every person, and with this certainly a suitable energy is introduced. For from the principle of preserving relationships intact, it follows that there is equal reciprocity between those that are related. Since therefore what is called simply has many meanings, if the wills that are introduced by reciprocity between the persons are natural, then, according to Severus, the blessed monad will also be a triad of natures, but if they are gnomic, they will certainly disagree with each other and there will be
C no coming together of wills, as in a triad of persons, and certainly, if there is one will of the triad beyond being, there will be a Godhead with three names and a single person.15 And again, if on Severus’ premiss will follows energy, by this the person will be introduced, and necessarily the energy will be destroyed, and the will that follows it will be destroyed, too, as well as the person that had been introduced. If then the will is destroyed together with the energy, and the person together with the will, then according to Severus Christ will be non- existent, since, through the will destroyed together with the energy, the person introduced with the will will have been destroyed too. And again, if wills necessarily follow energies, and persons are introduced together with the wills, and they say that every divine and human energy proceeds from the same God the Word Incarnate, then every will (clearly divine and human) will also proceed from one and the same Word Incarnate, following the energies and together with them introducing the same number of persons. And no reason will gainsay it. Therefore, according to Severus, Christ will be without being through the destruction of his natural energies, and again through the impugning of one [energy], deprived of will and hypostasis, and, with every advance of the divine and human energy, be many-willed and many-personed, or to speak more exactly, have an infinity of wills and persons. For to say ‘every energy’ is to signify an innumerable quantity.
Therefore there follows from the Severan premiss the collapse of theology, and there is introduced Arian polytheism,16 Sabellian atheism,17 and a pagan kind of Godhead that fights against itself. According to the premiss itself, the doctrine of the economy is clearly corrupted: the one Christ is without being, will or hypostasis, and again the same has an infinity of wills and persons. What could be more ungodly than this? Do you see where the rule of Severus leads those who are convinced by it? For such is every doctrine that does not have truth as its unconquerable foundation.
If, my dear friend, you say that Christ has one will, how do you say this and what kind of thing are you saying? If this will of Christ’s is natural, then you have alienated him by nature from both his Father and his Mother, for he is united to neither of them by nature. For Christ is neither of them by nature. And how, if you say this, are you going to escape the danger of polytheism? If, however, this will is gnomic, then it will be characteristic of his single hypostasis. For the gnomic is defined by the person, and, according to you, it will be shown to have another will from the Father and the Spirit, and to fight against them. If, furthermore, this will belongs to his sole Godhead, then the Godhead will be subject to passions and, contrary to nature, long for food and drink. If, finally, this will belongs to his sole human nature, then it will not be efficacious by nature. For how can it be, if it is human? And the manifestation of wonders will clearly be shown to be
something monstrous. Perhaps it is common by nature to 56A them both: but how can the will be common by nature to natures that are different? Perhaps it is a composite whole (to introduce a new myth and a new substance)? But what is a composite will? Again you have alienated him from the Father, characterizing by a composite will a sole composite hypostasis. Thus will the Word, when it comes, uproot every plant that the Father has not planted,18 since he is not
disposed to acquire a strange field.
But it appears that Severus destroys the natural will of
Christ’s humanity, not seeing that this movement of desire is constituted as the most proper and primary property of every rational nature. The Fathers seeing this, openly confessed the
B difference between two natural, but not gnomic, wills in Christ. They did not however say that there was any difference of gnomic wills in Christ, lest they proclaim him double- minded and double-willed, and fighting against himself, so to speak, in the discord of his thoughts, and therefore double- personed. For they knew that it was only this difference of gnomic wills that introduced into our lives sin and our separation from God. For evil consists in nothing else than this difference of our gnomic will from the divine will, which occurs by the introduction of an opposing quantity, thus making them numerically different, and shows the opposition of our gnomic
C will to God.
Nestorius and Severus, therefore, have one aim in their
ungodliness, even if the mode is different. For the one, afraid of confusion, flees from the hypostatic union and makes the essential difference a personal division. The other, afraid of division, denies the essential difference and turns the hypostatic union into a natural confusion. It is necessary to confess neither confusion in Christ, nor division, but the union of those that are essentially different, and the difference of those that are hypostatically united, in order that the principle of the essences and the mode of the union might be reverently proclaimed. But they break asunder both of these: Nestorius
D only confirms a union of gnomic qualities, Severus only confirms the difference of natural qualities after the union,19 and both of them have missed the truth of things. The one recklessly ascribes division to the mystery, the other confusion.
Dogmatic tome, sent to Marinus the Deacon in Cyprus: I do not know whether rather to be amazed at the modesty of your great reverence or astonished at the courage of your very great zeal, all-holy servant of God and all-wise initiate in and guide to his mysteries. For by the sacred weaving together of both you possess perfection in everything good. In accordance with this, then, you are completely devoted in everything to God through the fulfilment of his divine commandments. Through the exceeding severity of your poverty you are considered to be wholly different from those who, like me, by the material inclination of their souls crawl in the slime of impure passions, and at the same time you are preserved steadfast from within by reason, for nothing is stronger than voluntary poverty for the stability and preservation of what is good and fine. For the foundation of the divine structures in the soul has been established as unbreakable, and an agent of salvation for all those others who are devoted to the good. For it is not so much by words of teaching, as by active example, that those who wisely direct their mind and their life towards you are led to the depth of virtue through sublime lowliness. In accordance with this zeal, I say, you have the whole warmth of the Spirit,2 and possess fire in the earth of the heart,3 that fire which the Word, who by nature loves the good and loves humankind, and exhausts all our wretched habits and movements, came to cast on the earth.4 You burn up those who rave and run riot from deceit and madness in wicked deeds and fraudulent words,
72A convicting them of unsoundness and purpose-lessness, by the
radiance of the blessed lamp that burns within you inextinguishably according to your divine knowledge and virtue. You warm those who seek refuge with this frozen product,5 deprived of light, and far from the radiant beams of the divine words, driving away and dissolving the night, and exchanging their extreme pusillanimity for the greatest courage and power. And again you illuminate from the eternal mountains (Psa. 75:5) —I mean, from the immaterial mountains—with all knowledge that transcends the senses and the power of the words and dogmas of the Fathers, those who desire light and by the taste of wisdom are already formed through hope into the image of that which is the natural object of their longing, as you lead and introduce them reverently to
B that complete transformation through experience. For is not the work of your sacred priesthood thus represented?— as unbending zeal tempered by modesty before God, and the Word implanted in us that both sustains and inspires us, preparing us to accomplish whatever the One who is first by nature encourages, and wisely guiding us in our ascent to him and in the perfect recapitulation through holy deeds and good dogmas, and in fleeing and turning from those who make us fail in the sacred ascent.
C And what else violently breaks us off from this and, as it
were, blocks the way, I mean, of the path to the Word, but the fearful treason now produced by those who seek to pursue the royal6 way of the divine dogmas of the Fathers, but neither know nor wish to know any way of preventing the misfortune of being carried into the gulfs of confusion or the chasms of
73A division:7 something known by the leading and guiding of the grace of the all-holy Spirit to those who press on in prayer through a pure and orthodox faith to the perfect face-to-face (1 Cor. 13:12) knowledge of the great God and Saviour of all, Christ (Titus 2:13), and initiation into him. For it is treason to distort the reverent glory that is his and surrounds him, betraying him by the introduction of the confession and teaching of heterodoxy, so as to deprive him of the all-holy flesh that he took from us, or rather overthrow the whole economy. Above all, it is treason when the Word has lived in the flesh among us, and the heavier treason, the more perfectly the knowledge of his Godhead and the truth of his
B humanity has been revealed to all, and carried to the ends of the world (Rom. 10:18) by the mighty voice of the holy Fathers preaching it. For everywhere, and by all, under their guidance —for they were teachers, who were sound judges in divine matters—it has been confessed and believed in an orthodox manner that the onlybegotten Son, one of the holy and consubstantial Trinity,8 being perfect God by nature, has become a perfect human being in accordance with his will, assuming in truth flesh, consubstantial with us and endowed with a rational soul and mind, from the holy Mother of God9 and ever-Virgin, and united it properly and inseparably to himself in accordance with the hypostasis, being one with it right from the beginning. But the hypostasis was not composite, nor the nature simple. But remaining God and con
C substantial with the Father, when he became flesh (John 1: 14), he became double, so that double by nature, he had kinship by nature with both extremes, and preserved the natural difference of his own parts each from the other. His person being monadic, he had a perfect identity in each of his parts, and preserved the personal difference with the extremes, since he was one and sole. And by the complete lack of any natural or essential distortion at the extremes, each of them was perfect. He was the same at once God and man. Those who irreverently think that there is a natural diminishment in what has come together present him as imperfect and as suffering the lack of what is naturally his. For unless the Incarnate Word guards without loss the properties of both natures (without sin [Heb. 4:15], according to the teaching of the divine Fathers), out of which and in
D which10 he properly is, even after the union,11 then he exists as a defective God. His Godhead is then altogether imperfect. And his humanity is also defective, since it is altogether diminished in what is natural to it.
It is not then necessary, on the pretext of a union that harms neither of the elements, but only binds them hypostatically into one, to destroy their existence by the denial
76A of the natural will and the essential energy. For either, as making a whole out of parts, we melt down the two essential wills and the same number of natural energies and recast them by composition as one will and one energy, as in the myths, and there is manifest something completely strange and foreign to communion with either the Father or with us, for he does not have by nature a composite will or energy, nor do we. For there is no composition of those things in the underlying subject, because existence is not at all beheld in the things themselves and outside the underlying substance. For it is grotesque and utterly abominable to admit that what is above and what is below, that are bound in natural kinship with both natures, should be divided and cut in two by being torn asunder— these natures that are bound together in the inseparable hypostatic union. Or again we preserve
B unblemished the natural will of the divine nature of the Incarnate Word, and the energy that essentially goes with it, and remove and reject them from the nature of its humanity. And thus we damage the union that is beyond nature, which no longer has anything to bind it to the one hypostasis, and the flesh endowed with a rational soul and mind, that is of our nature and substance, is not at all preserved sound and whole in the Word. For what kind of a nature is that which has suffered loss of what belongs to it by nature?
C If then the Lord lacks these, or some of these, natural properties that belong to the flesh, then the flesh and humanity do not wholly exist. For how can those who say these things show that he is truly a human being by nature without these properties, or wholly human. Since he is no such thing, it is clear that the Word made flesh has not, become a human being, for he is deprived by nature of these, or some of these, properties. How then and by what reason can there be a nature that lacks such things? For what there is is something quite other than our nature and completely foreign to it, indeed, utterly unknown: it existed with him from the beginning, and descending from above it came down with him, which is clearly what they think happened.12 But why then did the descent to us take place? For we do not come close to him through his assumption of the holy flesh and hypostatic union
with it, if it is not taken from us. The whole thing is an unreal D delusion, a mere form deceiving the senses, and not the substance of flesh, nor the first-fruits of our race, unifying by grace the whole lump,13 and dissolving all the divisions introduced by the transgression of the old Adam, through
which nature has been condemned to death.
Why do they begrudge us a perfect salvation and a perfect
confession? Why do they direct against us syllogisms from which there is no escape, and assert that wills follow from energies, and that with this there follows contradiction, from which they introduce wills that conflict. Why should I omit to
77A refute these charges? From where, and how, do they get these arguments? Why do they want to learn and enquire about only one thing, as if this were the only thing that mattered, and bring in the new Ecthesis,14 imposing it involuntarily, and introducing force? Then, if they introduce the will after the action, since there was certainly no will before, where does it come from? And who is forced to have the will of the one who performed the action, so that what is done is done against his will, and acquiesced in contrary to his purpose? How again, if the Word made flesh does not himself will naturally as a human being and perform things in accordance with nature, how can he willingly undergo hunger and thirst, labour and weariness, sleep and all the rest? For the Word does not
B simply will and perform these things in accordance with the infinite nature beyond being that he has together with the Father and the Son, for as the divine teacher of Nyssa, the great Gregory, says, ‘with divine authority, he gives the nature time, when it wishes, to perform what belongs to itself.’15 For if it is only as God that he wills these things, and not as himself being a human being, then either the body has become divine by nature, or the Word has changed its nature and become flesh by loss of its own Godhead, or the flesh is not at all in itself endowed with a rational soul, but is in itself completely lifeless and irrational.
If, then, [his humanity] has a rational soul, then it possesses the natural will. For everything that is rational by nature, certainly also possesses a will by nature. If then, as man, he has a natural will, he certainly wills in reality those things
that, as God by nature, he has fashioned and introduced C naturally into the constitution of [God Incarnate]. For he did not come to debase the nature which he himself, as God and Word, had made, but he came that that nature might be thoroughly deified which, with the good pleasure of the Father and and the co-operation of the Spirit, he willed to unite to himself in one and the same hypostasis, with everything that naturally belongs to it, apart from sin. Therefore, as God by nature, he willed what is divine by nature and belongs to the 80A Father. For he was one who willed together with his own begetter. And again the same, as man, he willed those things that are naturally human. He kept the economy pure of every delusion, not at all resisting the will of the Father. For nothing that is natural, and certainly no nature itself, would ever resist the cause of nature, nor would the intention [gnômê], or anything that belongs to the intention, if it agreed with the logos of nature. For if anyone said that something natural had resisted God, this would be rather a charge against God than against nature, for introducing war naturally to the realm of being and raising up insurrection against himself and strife among all that exists. That nothing natural is opposed to God is clear from the fact that these things were originally fashioned by him, and there can be no complaint on our side
B about their natural constitution. Quite the contrary, they clearly suffer accusations because of their being perverted. For in accordance with this perversion, we have become inclined to every evil because of the primordially wicked serpent but, in accordance with our constitution, we exist naturally as moulded by God and as honoured creatures. Therefore, according to the divine Fathers, we make no diminution at all in the natural wills, or energies, just as we make no diminution in the natures themselves, in the case of one and the same God the Word Incarnate. We hold the orthodox faith that the same is perfect God and perfect man in every respect from the fact that he possesses — and wills and performs— perfectly and naturally both what is divine and what is human, and has properly both divine and human being and will and
C energy, lest we should maintain, contrary to the truth, that because of a lack in any of his natural properties there be a diminution of either of the natures, out of which and in which
he exists, and not rather their perfect existence.
For that he has by nature a human will, just as he has an essentially divine will, the Word himself shows clearly, when, in the course of the economy that took place for our sake, he humanly begged to be spared from death, saying, Father, if it be possible, let the cup pass from me (Matt. 26:39), in order to manifest the weakness of his own flesh. So his flesh was acknowledged by those who saw him not to be a phantom deceiving the senses, but he was in truth and properly a human being: to this his natural will bears witness in his plea to be spared from death that took place in accordance with the economy. And again, that the human will is wholly deified, in its agreement with the divine will itself, since it is eternally moved and shaped by it and in accordance with it, is clear when he shows that all that matters is a perfect verification of the will of the Father, in his saying as a human being, Not mine, but your will be done,16 by this giving himself as a type and example of setting aside our own will by the perfect fulfilment of the divine, even if because of this we find ourselves face to face with death. For unless he became a human being by nature, and possessed a natural human will, and submitted this in accordance with the economy and constrained it to union with the Father’s will, and said to the Father himself, Not my will be done, but yours, then clearly he said this as God by nature, and this would show that he did not possess a will, identical with and equal to that of the Father, but another one, different by nature. And when he submits, he is asking to become only the Father’s. But if he possessed another will different from the natural will of the Father, it is clear that he has an altered essence. ‘For if there is one essence, there is also one will’, according to the most wise Cyril.17 If there is a difference of the natural will, then necessarily there is a complete difference of nature. There are then two. For either as man he had a natural will, and, for our sake in the economy, he willed to entreat that he be spared from death, and again, because of his perfect agreement with the will of the Father, he turned against it; or alternatively as man he does not have a natural will, and as God by nature he endures the sufferings of the body in his own being, which is naturally reduced to death, and possesses a natural will different by essence from that of the Father. And he sought and entreated in prayer that that will might not be. But what kind of a God is this who is naturally afraid of the death of the flesh, and because of this begs the cup to be taken away, and possesses a natural will other than that of the Father? Let us therefore get rid of this absurdity from our souls, and embrace the reverent confession of the Fathers. ‘And when he says, C Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass,’ as the great Athanasius says in his treatise on the Incarnation and the Trinity,18 ‘nevertheless not my will be done, but yours. For the spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak,’19 we understand ‘that two wills are manifest here: the human, which belongs to the flesh, and the divine. For the human will, because of the weakness of the flesh, seeks to avoid the passion; the divine will is
And this the great theologian, Gregory, clearly teaches in his
second sermon on the Son, when he says, ‘For the willing of that one20 is not opposed [to God],21 but completely deified.’22 Thus he possesses a human will, according to this divine teacher, only it was not opposed to God.23 But this will is not
D at all deliberative,24 but properly natural, eternally formed and moved by its essential Godhead to the fulfilment of the economy. And it is wholly and thoroughly deified by its agreement and concord with the Father’s will, and can properly be said to have truly become divine in virtue of the union, but not by nature. For nothing at all changes its nature by being deified. When therefore he says ‘completely deified’, the teacher presents the union of Christ’s human will with the
84A divine will of the Father, and he completely excludes any contrariety from the mystery of Christ, as if there were two beings willing opposing actions. And when he says ‘For the willing of that one’, he points to the innate movement of Christ’s human will and its essential and natural difference from the divine will of the Father, and completely excludes confusion together with any phantom.
Understanding the meaning of the economy, this divine Father and together with him the holy teachers of the Catholic Church, fought against this confusion and the equally irreverent division, and loudly proclaimed the dogma of the difference and the union in respect of both of them [the wills], preserving the difference perfectly and in its effects in respect of the natural logos, and again saving the union, in the
B manner of the economy, firmly and hypostatically, so as to confirm the matters (and everything that naturally goes with them) that essentially exist in the one and sole Christ God in accordance with the inseparable union. For just as they all maintained the dogma that in one and the same there is one nature and another nature, the divine and the human, and therefore a double nature, so they loudly preached to all that there is also one will and another will, the divine and the human, and therefore two wills, and one energy and another energy, the divine and the human, and again a double energy, that is two of them. So also they clearly pronounced the signification of the natures in number. For it appears that the same as man, who is also God by nature, wills in accordance with the economy that the cup pass, and in this he typifies
C what is human, as the wise Cyril taught us, so that he might take away all shrinking from death from our nature, and steel and arouse it to a brave assault against it, I mean against death. And again it appears that as God, being also a human being in essence, he wills to fulfil the economy of the Father and work the salvation of us all. It made clear then that as man, being by nature God, he acts humanly, willingly accepting the experience of suffering for our sake. And it is again made clear that as God, who is human by nature, he acts divinely and naturally exhibits the evidence of his divinity. From which the same one is recognized as being at the same time God and man by the natures, out of which and in which he exists, possessing naturally the same number of wills and the same
D number of energies, for the confirmation of the perfect existence of those [natures with their natural properties] that he properly is.
And if anyone, wanting to refute what has just been said, takes for a pretext the theandric energy of Denys, the revealer of God, or the [energy] that the most wise Cyril shows in the middle of the treatise to share kinship with both, let him know that he will draw no strength from these against the reverent confession.
For by the word ‘theandric’ the teacher obviously refers 85A periphrastically to the double energy of the double nature. For he is clearly putting together in this word the adjectives ‘divine’ and ‘human’, but not simply, for which reason he does not designate this energy with a number.25 When he wants to designate monadically the union of the natural energies, he says ‘this energy’, which does not harm the natural difference between them, just as it is not by identity of essence that they form an inseparable union. But they say, ‘if he has one energy, the same is also theandric’. But what if the Word Incarnate possessed one natural nature, and no-one objects? How is the one natural energy to be divided into two? And by what reason does the one energy in itself define and sustain the different essences, since it makes each nature essentially indistinguishable from others of the same kind and again B makes it essentially different from others of another kind? And I forbear from saying that it is excluded from any natural kinship with either the Father or us, since it is neither completely [the Father’s] nor do we possess the natural and essential theandric energy. If it is said to be hypostatic, then this is a new idea: for who has ever spoken of possessing an hypostatic energy? Thus such an idea makes him foreign to the Father in his energy, if he has an hypostatic energy, and not a natural energy, other than that of the Father. For in his hypostatic characteristics, the Word is clearly different from him.
And ‘the energy shown to have kinship with both’, according to the celebrated Cyril,26 is not affirmed by the teacher to destroy the essential difference of the natural energies, out of which and in which the one and only Christ God exists, but to maintain their exact union. And see how with different words he imitates Denys, the revealer of God. For so that it does not seem that this one is naked God, or again a mere human being —neither God acting in his own nature without the body, nor a human being doing in his own nature whatever he thinks, but God enfleshed and for our sake perfectly Incarnate, the same acting ‘at once divinely and humanly’—he said that ‘it was not only by a word, and by commands appropriate to the divine, that the Saviour is found active in arousing the dead’ and healing every disease and ailment. But ‘he makes haste to associate with himself the holy flesh as a coworker, especially in this matter, [doing this as] God with his almighty command, giving life also by the touch of his holy flesh’, hypostatically united to himself, that he might show that it is this flesh, to which properly belongs touch, voice and the rest, that has the ability to give life through its essential energy. Then, as he showed that the natural energies of Christ the God, who is composed of both, are perfectly preserved, that of his Godhead through the almighty command, and that of his humanity through the touch, he proves them to be thoroughly united by their mutual coming together and interpenetration, showing that the energy is one through the union of the Word himself to his holy flesh, and not naturally or hypostatically. For the teacher did not say any such thing. But kinship exists through the parts, through them, as he said, in accordance with his almighty command and the touch of his hand.
It has been demonstrated, then from the sacred teaching itself of the wise man,27 that he declares the difference between the natural energies, as of the natures themselves to which they belong, to be protected even after the union, and also he has defined the union itself: the one in his speaking of
‘almighty command and touch’, the other in his speaking of
B ‘the one having kinship’. Through these, he has splendidly driven away every reduction and division from the mystery of Christ. Those who will not accept this, and think of one energy having kinship with both the Word and the flesh, are affirming a Eutychian or Apollinarian confusion of essences. It is necessary in everything to keep the logos undamaged and the mode of the economy inviolate, lest there be introduced contrary to the truth the wicked coupling, I mean division and
We are to accept the reverent meaning of dogma drawn from
the expressions of the holy Fathers—and any other
expressions we may find—that indicate unity as in no way
C contradictory of other statements of the holy Fathers that indicate duality. We know that the latter are mighty for the difference and against confusion, and the former are steadfast for the union and against division, but both, the former and the latter, we welcome exceeding gladly with soul and voice, as we confess the orthodox faith. And we wisely turn away those expressions that seem somehow contrary, the meanings of which are equally opposed to themselves and to one another and to the truth, and we boldly expel them from our home, that is from the Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. And lest any of them contrive to bypass the orthodox faith by
D thievishly altering the boundaries set down by the Fathers,28 we beseech that they be shot down with the weapons and dogmas of reverent faith and visited with disaster and
But it is necessary to know that in the case of natures and
natural energies we have found expressions in these Fathers that signify unity rather than duality, such expressions as ‘one Incarnate nature of God the Word’,29 ‘the theandric energy’,30 ‘shown to have kinship with both’.31 But in the case of natural wills, I do not know of any expressions that express unity, but
89Aonly ones that designate different names and dual number. How then and for what reason should it ever be necessary to ask whether there is one will or two wills in Christ the God, however thoroughly we examine the question, since encouraged by the teaching and legislation of the Fathers we confess and maintain two natural wills in the same person, just as the natures themselves with their natural energies, since we know the difference between them?
Since I have now spoken of these things at length to your divinely-honoured sanctity, I beseech pardon, and correction, if I have said anything inappropriate or thought something incorrectly, from your benevolent affection that flows from the compassion of the Father. And I commend myself to Christ God, who together with the Father and the Holy Spirit is
B glorified to the ages of ages. Amen