of Nestorianism. Alcuin exactly renders the mind of the Church when he says, "As the Nestorian impiety divided Christ into two persons because of the two natures, so your unlearned temerity divided Him into two sons, one natural and one adoptive" (Contra Felicem, I, P. L. CI, Col. 136). With regard to the arguments adduced by Felix in support of his theory, it may be briefly remarked that (1) such scriptural texts as John, xiv, 28, had already been explained at the time of the Arian controversy, and such others as Rom., viii, 29, refer to our adoption, not to that of Jesus, Christ is nowhere in the Bible called the adopted Son of God; nay more, Holy Scripture attributes to "The Man Christ" all the predicates which belong to the Eternal Son (cf. John, i, 18; iii, 16; Rom., viii, 32). (2) The expression adoptare, adoptio, used by some Fathers, has for its object the sacred Humanity, not the person of Christ; the human nature, not Christ, is said to be adopted or assumed by the Word. The concrete expression of the Mozarabic Missal, Homo adoptatus, or of some Greek Fathers, υἱὸς θετός, either does not apply to Christ or is an instance of the not infrequent use in early days of the concrete for the abstract. (3) The dialectical arguments of Felix cease to have a meaning the moment it is clearly understood that, as St. Thomas says, "Filiation properly belongs to the person". Christ, Son of God, by His eternal generation, remains Son of God, even after the Word has assumed and substantially united to Himself the sacred Humanity; Incarnation detracts no more from the eternal sonship than it does from the eternal personality of the Word. (See Nestorianism.)
II.—Neo-Adoptionism of Abelard in the Twelfth Century. The Spanish heresy left few traces in the Middle Ages. It is doubtful whether the christological errors of Abelard can be traced to it. They rather seem to be the logical consequence of a wrong construction put upon the hypostatical union. Abelard began to question the truth of such expressions as "Christ is God"; "Christ is man". Back of what might seem a mere logomachy there is really, in Abelard's mind, a fundamental error. He understood the hypostatical union as a fusion of two natures, the divine and the human. And lest that fusion become a confusion, he made the sacred Humanity the external habit and adventitious instrument of the Word only, and thus denied the substantial reality of "The Man Christ"—"Christus ut homo non est aliquid sed dici potest alicuius modi." It is self-evident that in such a theory the Man Christ could not be called the true Son of God. Was He the adoptive Son of God? Personally, Abelard repudiated all kinship with the Adoptionists, just as they deprecated the very idea of their affiliation to the Nestorian heresy. But after Abelard's theory spread beyond France, into Italy, Germany and even the Orient, the disciples were less cautious than the master. Luitolph defended at Rome the following proposition—"Christ, as man, is the natural son of man and the adoptive Son of God"; and Folmar, in Germany, carried this erroneous tenet to its extreme consequences, denying to Christ as man the right to adoration. Abelard's neo-Adoptionism was condemned, at least in its fundamental principles, by Alexander III, in a rescript dated 1177: "We forbid under pain of anathema that anyone in the future dare assert that Christ as man is not a substantial reality (non esse aliquid) because as He is truly God, so He is verily man." The refutation of this new form of Adoptionism, as it rests altogether on the interpretation of the hypostatical union, will be found in the treatment of that word. (See Hypostatic Union.)
III.—Qualified Adoptionism of Later Theologians. The formulas "natural Son of God", "adopted Son of God" were again subjected to a close analysis by such theologians as Duns Scotus (1300); Durandus a S. Portiano (1320); Vasquez (1604); Suarez (1617). They all admitted the doctrine of Frankfort, and confessed that Jesus as man was the natural and not merely the adoptive Son of God. But besides that natural sonship resting upon the hypostatical union, they thought there was room for a second filiation, resting on grace, the grace of union (gratia unionis). They did not agree, however, in qualifying that second filiation. Some called it adoptive, because of its analogy with our supernatural adoption. Others, fearing lest the implication of the word adoption might make Jesus a stranger to, and alien from God, preferred to call it natural. None of these theories runs counter to a defined dogma; yet, since sonship is an attribute of the person, there is danger of multiplying the persons by multiplying the filiations in Christ. A second natural filiation is not intelligible. A second adoptive filiation does not sufficiently eschew the connotation of adoption as defined by the Council of Frankfort. "We call adoptive him who is stranger to the adopter." The common mistake of these novel theories, a mistake already made by the old Adoptionists and by Abelard, lies in the supposition that the grace of union in Christ, not being less fruitful than habitual grace in man, should have a similar effect, viz., filiation. Less fruitful it is not, and yet it cannot have the same effect in Him as in us, because to Him it was said: "Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee" (Hebr., i, 5); and to us, "You were afar off" (Eph., ii, 13).
Works of Alcuin, with dissertations by Frobenius and Enhuber, P.L., CI; Birkhæuser, History of the Church (New York, 1891), 316; Brueck (tr., Pruente), History of the Catholic Church (New York, 1884), I, 299; Hergenluther, Handbuch der allgemeinen Kirchengesichte (4th ed., Freiburg, 1904), 137; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte (Freiburg, 1886), III, 642; Quilliet and Portalié, in Dict. de théol catholique, s.v.; Schaff, Hist. of the Christian Church (New York, 1905), IV; St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III. Q. xxiii; Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum (Würzburg, 1895); Wilhelm and Scannell, Manual of Catholic Theology (London, New York, 1898); Hunter, Outlines of Dogmatic Theology (New York, 1894); also works of theologians named in article and current treatises De incarnatione by Stentrup, Pesch, Katschthaler, and Franzelin.
Adoptionists. See Adoptionism.
Adoration, in the strict sense, an act of religion offered to God in acknowledgment of His supreme perfection and dominion, and of the creature's dependence upon Him; in a looser sense, the reverence shown to any person or object possessing, inherently or by association, a sacred character or a high degree of moral excellence. The rational creature, looking up to God, whom reason and revelation show to be infinitely perfect, cannot in right and justice maintain an attitude of indifference. That perfection which is infinite in itself, and the source and fulfilment of all the good that we possess or shall possess, we must worship, acknowledging its immensity, and submitting to its supremacy. This worship called forth by God, and given exclusively to Him as God, is designated by the Greek name latreia (latinized, latria), for which the best translation that our language affords is the word Adoration. Adoration differs from other acts of worship, such as supplication, confession of sin, etc., inasmuch as it formally consists in self-abasement before the Infinite, and in devout recognition of His transcendent excellence. An admirable example of adoration is given in the Apocalypse. vii. 11, 12: "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the ancients, and about the living creatures; and they fell before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction and glory, and wisdom. and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God, forever and ever, Amen." The revealed pre-