Mother of God

Mother of God The Virgin Mary is sometimes so styled by Christians of all denominations. There is, however, a disicplination to the use of this expression because Romanists have given to Mary a place which the Scriptures do not warrant us in assigning her. "The Virgin Mary," says Pearson (On the Creed), "is frequently styled the Mother of Jesus in the language of the evangelists, and by Elisabeth, particularly, the mother of her Lord, as also by the general consent of the Church, because he that was born of her was God (Deipara); which, being a compound title, begun in the Greek Church, was resolved into its parts by the Latins, and so the Virgin was plainly named the Mother of God." Protestants admit that the Virgin Mary is the mother of God, but protest against the conclusion that she is on that account to be treated with peculiar honor, or to be worshipped; for this expression is used not to exalt her, but to assert unequivocally the divinity of her Son: he whom she brought forth was God, and therefore she is the bringer forth or mother of God. The term was first brought prominently forward at the Council of Ephesus, when it was deemed necessary by the Church to prevent giving Mary a station above that of her Son Jesus the Christ. In the Protestant world there is among the common people a hesitancy to the use of it, "because," as Hook has well put it, "by the subtlety of the Romish controversialists, it has been so used, or rather misused, as to make it seem to confer peculiar honor and privileges upon the Virgin Mary. The primitive Christians, like ourselves, were contented with speaking of the Virgin as 'the mother of my Lord;' and this phrase sufficed until, as we have seen, heretics arose who understood the word Lord in an inferior sense, and then it became necessary to assert that God and Lord, as applied to our blessed Saviour, are synonymous terms. And sound theologians will still occasionally use the term Mother of God, lest Nestorianism should be held unconsciously by persons who wish to be orthodox; and people forget the great truth expressed by Paul that 'God purchased the Church with his own blood; and that Christ is over all, God blessed forever."' See, however, the article MARIOLATRY SEE MARIOLATRY in this Cyclopcedia, volume 5.

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