19 The argument here takes the form of a reductio ad absurdum; assuming that S. Peter's reference is to the "visible man," and bearing in mind S. Basil's words that S. Peter refers to Him Who "emptied Himself," it is said "then it was the `visible man0' who `emptied himself.0' But the purpose of that `emptying0' was the `taking the form of a servant,0' which again is the coming into being as man: therefore the `visible man0' `emptied himself,0' to come into being as man, which is absurd." The wording of S. Basil's statement makes the argument in a certain degree plausible;-if he had said that S. Peter referred to the Son, not in regard to his actual essence, but in regard to the fact that He "emptied Himself" to become man, and as so having "emptied Himself" (which is no doubt what he intended his words to mean), then the reductio ad absurdum would not apply; nor would the later arguments, by which Eunomius proceeds to prove that He Who "emptied Himself" was no mere man, but the Word Who was in the beginning, have any force as against S. Basil's statement.
26 With S. Gregory's language here may be compared that of S. Athanasius (Or. adv. Arian. iii. 53), "It was not the Wisdom, quâ Wisdom, that `advanced0'; but the humanity in th advance, gradually ascending above the human nature and being made Divine (qeopoioumenon)."
38 It can hardly be supposed that it is intended by S. Gregory that we should understand that, during the years of His life on earth, our Lord's Humanity was not so united with His Divinity that "the visible man" was then both Lord and Christ. He probably refers more especially to the manifestation of His Messiahship afforded by the Resurrection and Ascension; but he also undoubtedly dwells on the exaltation of the Human Nature after the Passion in terms which would perhaps imply more than he intended to convey. His language on this point may be compared with the more guarded and careful statement of Hooker. (Eccl. Pol. V. lv. 8.) The point of his argument is that S. Peter's words apply to the Human Nature, not to the Divine.
41 This seems to be the force of autw&Eaxute\ auton might give a simpler construction, but the sense would not be changed. Oehler, who here restores some words which were omitted in the earlier editions, makes no mention of any variation of reading.
46 This statement would seem to imply that, at some time after the Incarnation, the Humanity of Christ was transformed to the Divine Nature, and made identical with It. From other passages in what has preceded, it would seem that this change in the mutual relation of the two Natures might, according to the words of S. Gregory, be conceived as taking place after the Passion. Thus it might be said that S. Gregory conceived the union of the two Natures to be, since the Passion (or, more strictly, since the "exaltation'), what the Monophysites conceived it to be from the moment of the Incarnation. But other phrases, again, seem to show that he conceived the two Natures still to remain distinct (see note 4 inf.). There is, however, ample justification in S. Gregory's language for the remark of Bp. Hefele, that S. Gregory "cannot entirely free himself from the notion of a transmutation of the Human Nature into the Divine." (Hefele, Hist. of the Councils, Eng. Trans. vol. iii. p. 4.)
49 Here S. Gregory seems to state accurately the differentiation of the two Natures, while he recognizes the possibility of the communicatio idiomatum: but it is not clear that he would acknowledge that the two Natures still remain distinct. Even this, however, seems to be implied in his citation of Phil. ii. 11, at a later point.
50 Here is truly stated the ground of the communicatio idiomatum: while the illustrations following seem to show that S. Gregory recognized this communicatio as existing at the time of our Lord's humiliation, and as continuing to exist after His "exaltation"; that he acknowledged, that is, the union of the two Natures before the "exaltation," and the distinction of the two Natures after that event.
57 Here may be observed at once a conformity to the phraseology of the Monophysites (bearing in mind that S. Gregory is not speaking, as they were, of the union of the two Natures in the Incarnation, but of the change wrought by the "exaltation"), and a suggestion that the Natures still remain distinct, as otherwise it would be idle to speak of the Human Nature as participating in the power of the Divine.
4 The sense of this passage is rather obscure. S. Gregory intends, it would seem, to point out that, although an acknowledgment that the suffering Christ was more than man may seem at first sight to support the Elmomian view of the passibility of the Godhead of the Son, this is not its necessary effect. Apparently either ou mhn must be taken as equivalent to ou mhn alla, or a clause such as that expressed in the translation must be supplied before toij men gar k.t.l.
19 Reading, as Gulonius seems to have done, and according to Oehler's suggestion (which he does not himself follow), uioqethqeisi or aqethsasi. In the latter reading the mss. seem to agree, but the sense is doubtful. It may be rendered. perhaps, "Who were begotten and exalted, and who rejected Him." The quotation from S. Paul is from Rom. viii. 32.
27 Reading oute, in favour of which apparently lies the weight of mss. The reading of the Paris edition gives an easier connection, but has apparently no ms. authority. The distinction S. Gregory draws is this:-"You may not say `God died,0' for human weakness does not attach to the Divine Nature; you may say `He who died is the Lord of glory,0' for the Human Nature is actually made partaker of the power and majesty of the Divine."