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    THE FIFTH SESSION, OCTOBER 22

    49. The object of this session was the establishment of the faith; and the object was accomplished. The first thing was the reading of a form of doctrine which, according to arrangement made in the second session, had been framed, and also the day before had been “unanimously approved.” As soon as it was read, however, there was an objection made against it:—ECE 172.5

    John bishop of Germanicia—“This formula is not good; it must be improved.”ECE 172.6

    Anatolius.—“Did it not yesterday give universal satisfaction?”ECE 172.7

    The bishops in acclamation.—“It is excellent, and contains the Catholic faith. Away with the Nestorians! The expression ’Theotokos’ [Mother of God] must be received into the creed.”ECE 172.8

    Leo’s legates.—“If the letter of Leo is not agreed to, we demand our papers, so that we may return home, and that a synod may be held in the West.”ECE 172.9

    50. The imperial commissioners then suggested that a commission composed of six bishops from the East, three from Asia, three from Illyria, three from Pontus, and three from Thrace, with the archbishop of Constantinople and the Roman legates, should meet in the presence of the commissioners, and decide upon a formula of the faith, and bring it before the council. The majority of the bishops, however, loudly demanded that the one just presented should be accepted and subscribed by all, and charged John of Germanicia with being a Nestorian:—ECE 172.10

    The commissioners.—“Dioscorus asserts that he condemned Flavianus for having maintained that there are two natures in Christ; in the new doctrinal formula, however, it stands, ‘Christ is of two natures.’”ECE 172.11

    Anatolius.—“Dioscorus has been deposed not on account of false doctrine, but because he excommunicated the pope, and did not obey the synod.”ECE 172.12

    The commissioners.—“The synod has already approved of Leo’s letter. As that has been done, then that which is contained in the letter must be confessed.”ECE 173.1

    51. The majority of the council, however, insisted upon adopting the formula already before them. The commissioners informed the emperor of the situation. Immediately the answer came:—ECE 173.2

    The emperor’s message.—“Either the proposed commission of bishops must be accepted, or the bishops must individually declare their faith through their metropolitans, so that all doubt may be dispelled, and all discord removed. If they will do neither of these things, a synod must be held in the West, since they refuse here to give a definite and stable declaration respecting the faith.”ECE 173.3

    The majority.—“We abide by the formula, or we go!”ECE 173.4

    Cecropius of Sebastopol.—“Whoever will not subscribe it can go [to a Western council].”ECE 173.5

    The Illyrians.—“Whoever opposes it is a Nestorian, these can go to Rome!”ECE 173.6

    The commissioners.—“Dioscorus has rejected the expression, ‘There are two natures in Christ, and on the contrary has accepted ‘of two natures;’ Leo on the other hand says, ‘In Christ there are two natures united:’ which will you follow, the most holy Leo, or Dioscorus?”ECE 173.7

    The whole council.—“We believe with Leo, not with Dioscorus; whoever opposes this is a Eutychian.”ECE 173.8

    The commissioners.—“Then you must also receive into the creed, the doctrine of Leo, which has been stated.”ECE 173.9

    52. The council now asked for the appointment of the commission which the commissioners had suggested. Among those who were made members of the commission were a number of bishops who had not only “vehemently supported” the doctrine of Eutyches, but had also actually taken a leading part with Dioscorus in the second Council of Ephesus. The commission met at once in the oratory of the church in which the council was held, and after consulting together not a great while, they returned to the council and presented the following preamble:—ECE 173.10

    “The holy and great Ecumenical Synod, ...at Chalcedon in Bithynia.... has defined as follows: Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when confirming the faith in his disciples, declared: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you,’ so that no one might be separated from his neighbor in the doctrines of religion, but that the preaching of the truth should be made known to all alike. As, however, the evil one does not cease by his cares to hinder the seed of religion, and is ever inventing something new in opposition to the truth, therefore has God, in His care for the human race, stirred up zeal in this pious and orthodox emperor, so that he has convoked the heads of the priesthood in order to remove all the plague of falsehood from the sheep of Christ, and to nourish them with the tender plants of truth. This we have also done in truth, since we have expelled, by our common judgment, the doctrines of error, and have renewed the right faith of the Fathers, have proclaimed the creed of the three hundred and eighteen to all, and have acknowledged the one hundred and fifty of Constantinople who accepted it, as our own. While we now receive the regulations of the earlier Ephesine Synod, under Celestine and Cyril, and its prescriptions concerning the faith, we decree that the confession of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers at Nicaea is a light to the right and unblemished faith, and that that is also valid which was decreed by the one hundred and fifty Fathers at Constantinople for the confirmation of the Catholic and apostolic faith.”ECE 173.11

    53. Here they inserted bodily the creed of the Council of Nice and that of Constantinople; and then the preamble continued as follows:—ECE 174.1

    “This wise and wholesome symbol of divine grace would indeed suffice for a complete knowledge and confirmation of religion, for it teaches everything with reference to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and declares the incarnation of the Lord to those who receive it in faith; as, however, those who would do away with the preaching of the truth devised vain expressions through their own heresies, and, on the one side, dared to destroy the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord and rejected the designation of God-bearer, and, on the other side, introduced a mixture and confusion [of the natures], and, contrary to reason, imagined only one nature of the flesh and of the Godhead, and rashly maintained that the divine nature of the Only-begotten was, by the mixture, become possible, therefore the holy, great, and Ecumenical Synod decrees that the faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers shall remain inviolate, and that the doctrine afterward promulgated by the one hundred and fifty Fathers at Constantinople, on account of the Pneumatomachi shall have equal validity, being put forth by them, not in order to add to the creed of Nicaea anything that was lacking, but in order to make known in writing their consciousness concerning the Holy Ghost against the deniers of His glory.ECE 174.2

    “On account of those, however, who endeavored to destroy the mystery of the incarnation, and who boldly insulted him who was born of the holy Mary, affirmed that he was a mere man, the holy synod has accepted as valid the synodal letter of St. Cyril to Nestorius and to the Orientals in opposition to Nestorianism, and has added to them the letter of the holy archbishop Leo of Rome, written to Flavian for the overthrow of the Eutychian errors, as agreeing with the doctrine of St. Peter and as a pillar against all heretics, for the confirmation of the orthodox dogmas. The synod opposes those who seek to rend the mystery of the incarnation into a duality of sons, and excludes from holy communion those who venture to declare the Godhead of the Only-begotten as capable of suffering, and opposes those who imagine a mingling and a confusion of the two natures of Christ, and drives away those who foolishly maintain that the servant-form of the Son, assumed from us, is from a heavenly substance, or any other [than ours], and anathematizes those who fable that before the union there were two natures of our Lord, but after the union only one.”ECE 174.3

    54. Having thus paved the way, they presented for the present occasion, for all people, and for all time, the following creed:—ECE 175.1

    “Following, accordingly, the holy Fathers, we confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we all with one voice declare Him to be at the same time perfect in Godhead, and perfect in manhood, very God, and at the same time very man, consisting of a reasonable soul and a body, being consubstantial with the Father as respects His Godhead, and at the same time consubstantial with ourselves as respects his manhood; resembling us in all things, independently of sin; begotten before the ages, of the Father, according to his Godhead, but born, in the last of the days, of Mary, the virgin and mother of God, for our sakes and for our salvation; being one and the same Jesus Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, made known in two natures without confusion, without conversion, without severance, without separation inasmuch as the difference of the natures is in no way annulled by their union, but the peculiar essence of each nature is rather preserved, and conspires in one person and in one subsistence, not as though he were parted or severed into two persons, but is one and the same Son, Only-begotten, Divine Word, Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets declared concerning him, and Christ himself has fully instructed us, and the symbol of the Fathers has conveyed to us. Since then, these matters have been defined by us with all accuracy and diligence, the holy and universal synod has determined that no one shall be at liberty to put forth another faith, whether in writing, or by framing, or devising, or teaching it to others. And that those who shall presume to frame, or publish, or teach another faith, or to communicate another symbol to those who are disposed to turn to the knowledge of the truth from heathenism, or Judaism, or any other sect—that they, if they be bishops or clerks, shall suffer deprivation, the bishops of their episcopal, the clerks of their clerical office; and if monks or laics, shall be anathematized.” 22[Page 175] Evagrius’s “Ecclesiastical History,” book ii, chap 4, par. 4.ECE 175.2

    55. When the reading of this report of the commission was finished, the council adjourned.ECE 175.3

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