Vincent of Lerins On Christ, the Church, and Scripture

Vincent of Lerins is, like Boethius, a favorite of mine from the post-Nicene writers.

Because of this Unity of Person, it happens that what is proper to God is ascribed to the man, and what is proper to the flesh is ascribed to God indifferently and without distinction. Therefore, as it is written in Holy Scripture: ‘He that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven’ and ‘crucified the Lord of glory’ on earth. Furthermore, since the body of the Lord was made and created, it is said that the ‘Word’ of God Himself was ‘made’. His wisdom filled up, His knowledge created; therefore do the prophetic writings refer to His hands and feet as ‘pierced.’ – Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories

Blessed, I say, be the Church, which believes that there are in Christ two real and perfect substances, but only One Person, so that neither the distinction of the Natures divides the Unity of the Person nor does the Unity of the Person confuse the difference of the substances! Blessed, I say, be the Church, which confesses that Man was united to God, not after His birth, but even in the womb of His Mother, so that it thus makes clear that there always is and always was, only Christ. Blessed, I say, be the Church, which recognizes that God was made man, not by a conversion of nature, but in virtue of the Person not of a fictitious and transitory, but of a substantial and permanent, Person! — Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories

‘Keep that which is committed.’ What is ‘committed’? It is that which has been entrusted to you, not that which you have invented; what you have received, not what you have devised; not a matter of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public tradition; a matter brought to you, not created by you; a matter you are not the author of, but the keeper of; not the teacher, but the learner; not the leader, but the follower. This deposit, he says, guard. — Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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