Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IX:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.: In reply to those who say “If Christ has two natures, either ye do service to the creature in worshipping created nature, or ye say that there is one nature to be worshipped, and another not to be worshipped.”
Chapter III.—In reply to those who say 2256 “If Christ has two natures, either ye do service to the creature in worshipping created nature, or ye say that there is one nature to be worshipped, and another not to be worshipped.”
Along with the Father and the Holy Spirit we worship the Son of God, Who was incorporeal before He took on humanity, and now in His own person is incarnate and has become man though still being also God. His flesh, then, in its own nature 2257 , if one were to make subtle mental distinctions between what is seen and what is thought, is not deserving of worship since it is created. But as it is united with God the Word, it is worshipped on account of Him and in Him. For just as the king deserves homage alike when un-robed and when robed, and just as the purple robe, considered simply as a purple robe, is trampled upon and tossed about, but after becoming the royal dress receives all honour and glory, and whoever dishonours it is generally condemned to death: and again, just as wood in itself 2258 is not of such a nature that it cannot be touched, but becomes so when fire is applied to it, and it becomes charcoal, and yet this is not because of its own nature, but because of the fire united to it, and the nature of the wood is not such as cannot be touched, but rather the charcoal or burning wood: so also the flesh, in its own nature, is not to be worshipped, but is worshipped in the incarnate God Word, not because of itself, but because of its union in subsistence with God the Word. And we do not say that p. 75b we worship mere flesh, but Gods flesh, that is, God incarnate.
Against the Apollinarians, &c. Cf. Greg. Naz., Ep. Ad Cled., 11.74b:2257
Athan., bk. i., Cont. Apoll. Epist. ad Adelph. Epiphan. Ancor. § 51.74b:2258
A simile much used by the Fathers: cf. supr., bk. iii., ch. 8.
Next: Why it was the Son of God, and not the Father or the Spirit, that became man: and what having became man He achieved.
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