The Nestorians and their Rituals/Volume 2/Chapter 22

CHAPTER XXII.

OF OBTAINING ETERNAL SALVATION ONLY BY THE NAME OF CHRIST.

"They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the Law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved."—Article XVIII.

§ 1. "I am persuaded that there is no salvation for man or woman, but through the Holy and adorable Jesus Christ our Lord; He Who delivered Himself up to be betrayed, and endured pain, and crucifixion, and death, and the grave for sin." From the Khâmees "on Repentance."

§ 2. "Christ the Son of the Righteous, the Saviour of the world, has in His pity given unto all a baptism for the remission of sins, and such as by repentance attain to the true faith are born of God, and all who do not attain unto this, are without the gift of life and eternal salvation." From the service in the Khudhra for the seventh Sunday in Lent.

§ 3. The following, quoted under Chap. XI., proves the Nestorians to believe that even before His coming, mankind was saved through Christ alone.—"Thou didst receive the inhabitants of Nineveh when they knocked at Thy door with fasting and prayer, with contrition and true penitence; and Thou didst turn away Thine anger from them, and didst not destroy them. Thou didst rescue their life from the jaws of death, and in pity and in mercy didst heal their rebellion; and hereby Thou didst prefigure to coming generations the restoration of the Gentiles, and their salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."

§ 4. "… And for all men who are living in sin and error, that Thou, O Lord, mayest graciously make them to know the truth, and to worship Thee, and that they may know that Thou only art the true and righteous Father, who desirest that all should be saved, and come to a knowledge of the truth; and that they may also know that Thou art the Lord from everlasting to everlasting, a Divine and uncreated Essence, the Creator of all things, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and that for us men and for our salvation, the Son of God, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, became very Man, who was perfected and justified by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that He is the Mediator between God and man, and the giver of everlasting life to all those who through Him come unto God the Father, to Whom be praises and blessings for ever and ever. Amen." From the Liturgy of Theodorus.

The following prayers for vengeance upon unbelievers clearly teach, that according to the Nestorian doctrine none such can be saved.

§ 5. "Wherefore, O Lord, dost Thou forget us, and not listen to the voice of Thy servants who call upon Thy name? Behold the rebellious Gentiles despise us, as is their wont, believing as they do that Thou wilt not judge them. Let Thy fire descend, and whet Thy sword, and take vengeance upon them, that we may cry out unto Thee as Jeremiah did when we behold the recompense of our enemies. O Thou Righteous One, whose vengeance is heavy, and whose judgment is severe and fearful; command that they be punished in this world, until the day of Thy appearance shall come, and Thou shalt order them to go into everlasting fire." From the Collects at the end of the Khudhra.

§ 6. "Rise up, O Lord, Thou mighty and everlasting One, save us and put to confusion those who hate us, and who have not known Thee; that the inhabitants of the world may know that Thou art powerful and to be feared, and that Thou doest wonders. Lift up Thy right hand and cast down the rebellious, raise up the humble, and bring low the proud, and give Thy help to those who worship Thee." From the Khudhra ut supra.

The above prayers, (and there are several others written in the same spirit,) are still used by the Chaldeans. The denunciations and prayers for vengeance found in the Psalms, and in other parts of Holy Scripture are their authority for thus praying against the enemies of the Church.