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August 17, 2005

Ch. XVIII. Q. 110. Twofold Operations

BEING very God, even while on earth, Jesus Christ performed, in the Godhead and in the divine manner, the operations which pertain to God; and bring truly Man, He performed, in His Manhood and in the human manner, the actions which are proper to man. Accordingly, in Him there were and are two wills and two knowledges, the divine and the human, both exercised by the same Ego and from tho same centre, but mutually different in manner of determination and operation.1

2. Willing constitutes the initial element of self-determined action, and must pertain to the same natural order with the action in which it is involved. But divine and human modes of action differ, and are mutually incommensurate.2 Divine willing is eternal and does not come within the natural order of human action, which is temporal. And human willing, being temporal, cannot constitute the determinative element of divine and eternal action. Therefore, since the God-man operates both divinely and humanly, these factors concurring to produce one harmonious personal life, the operative factors of that life must have been determined by different modes of willing, by two wills.

3. These two wills, or modes of His willing, pertain none the less to one indivisible Self, the Word-incarnate; and the fact that both wills are exercised by this self-consistent Ego precludes any mutual opposition between them. Moreover, in the activity of a divine Person, the divine will is necessarily the regulative factor. This is so in Christ, not because the divine invades human consciousness and embarrasses the freedom of human volitions in Him—an impossibility—but because these volitions, conditioned though they be by human limitations and human modes of functioning, are the self-determinations of a divine Ego. God cannot contradict Himself in any mode of volitional functioning which He may condescend to make His own.3

4. Since His Incarnation our Lord has always possessed two knowledges, two modes of knowledge, the divine and the human.4 This does not mean that He has two psychological minds, both capable of emerging in human consciousness—whether by turns or in mutually confusing parallelism. The divine mind does not function psychologically at all, and its operations, by their very nature, must forever escape the attention and scrutiny of a really human mind. Consequently, the fact that the eternal Son cannot cease to be divine and therefore must always possess divine knowledge— the omniscience of God—does not involve a confusing invasion of omniscience into the human consciousness, which, because human, must function psychologically and under the limitations of human experience. So far as we can ascertain, the divine knowledge could affect His human mind only in the manner of grace—the grace of union. It was a human mind alone, one endowed with grace but subject to human limitations, which could be expressed in our Lord's conversation with His followers; and our assurance that He possessed divine omniscience is derived from considering the truth of His Godhead and the unique authority and infallibility with which He taught.5

5. The mind of Christ of which His followers gained experience was a divinely guided and inspired human mind—one which was subject to the laws of human growth and was uninformed concerning some things. Yet, as became one whose prophetic mission was so comprehensive, the greatness and perfection of His human understanding itself constituted a revelation. He appeared as a spiritual genius; as wholly unaffected by the blindness which sin engenders in men; as divinely inspired for the most exalted and vastly significant prophecy ever given to mankind; and as having for the object of His growing human self-consciousness the eternal Son of God. The teaching of such an one is rightly accepted as inerrant, permanently valid, and final in authority over human consciences.6

1 Incarnation, ch. viii. 1-4. Cf. Q. 106.4, above. W. Bright, Sermons of St. Leo, nn. 56, 156; A.P. Forbes, Nicene Creed, pp. 204-206; St. Thomas, III. xviii-xix. 1; H.P. Liddon, DIvinity of our Lord, pp. 265-267.

2 Incarnation, ch. vi. 2.

3 Incarnation, ch. vi. 1, 3, 7, 11.

4 K. Theory, chh. xi-xii.

5 Incarnation, ch. vi. 6-8. Cf. Q. 109.3, above.

6 Incarnation, ch. v. 6. Cf. Q. 109.4, above. D. Stone, Outlines of Christ. Dogma, pp. 81-83, 295-298; H.P. Liddon, pp. 461-480; C.J. Ellicott, Christus Comprobatur, pp. 89 et seq.; Ch. Qly. Review, Oct., 1891, art. i.

Posted by AKMA at August 17, 2005 01:41 PM