ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH (CHAP. XXXV to CHAP. LXIII)

CHAP. XXXV.--EXPLANATION OF WHAT IS MEANT BY THE BODY, WHICH IS TO BE RAISED AGAIN. NOT THE CORPOREALITY OF THE SOUL.

But He also teaches us, that "He is rather to be feared, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell," that is, the Lord alone; "not those which kill the body, but are not able to hurt the soul,"[5] that is to say, all bureau powers. Here, then, we have a recognition of the natural immortality of the soul, which cannot be killed by men; and of the mortality of the body, which may be killed: whence we learn that the resurrection of the dead is a resurrection of the flesh; for unless it were raised again, it would be impossible for the flesh to be "killed in hell." But as a question may be here captiously raised about the meaning of "the body" (or "the flesh "), I will at once state that I understand by the human body nothing else than that fabric of the flesh which, whatever be the kind of material of which it is constructed and modified, is seen and handled, and sometimes indeed killed, by men. In like manner, I should not admit that anything but cement and stones and bricks form the body of a wall. If any one imports into our argument some body of a subtle, secret nature, he must show, disclose, and prove to me that identical body is the very one which was slain by human violence, and then (I will grant) that it is of such a body that (our scripture) speaks. If, again, the body or corporeal nature of the soul[6] is cast in my teeth. it will only be an idle subterfuge! For since both substances are set before us (in this passage, which affirms) that "body and soul" are destroyed in bell, a distinction is obviously made between the two; and we are left to understand the body to be that which is tangible to us, that is, the flesh, which, as it will be destroyed in hell--since it did not "rather fear" being destroyed by God--so also will it be restored to life eternal, since it preferred to be killed by human hands. If, therefore, any one shall violently suppose that the destruction of the soul and the flesh in hell amounts to a final annihilation of the two substances, and not to their penal treatment (as if they were to be consumed, not punished), let him recollect that the fire of hell is eternal--expressly announced as an everlasting penalty; and let him then admit that it is from this circumstance that this never-ending "killing" is more formidable than a merely human murder, which is only temporal. He will then come to the conclusion that substances must be eternal, when their penal "killing" is an eternal one. Since, then, the body after the resurrection has to be killed by God in hell along with the soul, we surely have sufficient information in this fact respecting both the issues which await it, namely the resurrection of the flesh, and its eternal "killing." Else it would be most absurd if the flesh should be raised up and destined to "the killing in hell," in order to be put an end to, when it might suffer such an annihilation (more directly) if not raised again at all. A pretty paradox,[1] to be sure, that an essence must be refitted with life, in order that it may receive that annihilation which has already in fact accrued to it! But Christ, whilst confirming us in the selfsame hope, adds the example of "the sparrows"--how that "not one of them falls to the ground without the will of God."[2] He says this, that you may believe that the flesh which has been consigned to the ground, is able in like manner to rise again by the will of the same God. For although this is not allowed to the sparrows, yet "we are of more value than many sparrows,"[3] for the very reason that, when fallen, we rise again. He affirms, lastly, that "the very hairs of our head are all numbered,"[4] and ir the affirmation He of course includes the promise of their safety; for if they were to be lost, where would be the use of having taken such a numerical care of them? Surely the only use lies (in this truth): "That of all which the Father hath given to me, I should lose none,"[5]--not even a hair, as also not an eye nor a tooth. And yet whence shall come that "weeping and gnashing of teeth,"[6] if not from eyes and teeth?--even at that time when the body shall be slain in hell, and thrust out into that outer darkness which shall be the suitable torment of the eyes. He also who shall not be clothed at the marriage feast in the raiment of good works, will have to be " bound hand and foot,"--as being, of course, raised in his body. So, again, the very reclining at the feast in the kingdom of God, and sitting on Christ's thrones, and standing at last on His right hand and His left, and eating of the tree of life: what are all these but most certain proofs of a bodily appointment and destination?

CHAP. XXXVI.--CHRIST'S REFUTATION OF THE SADDUCEES, AND AFFIRMATION OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE.

Let us now see whether (the Lord) has not imparted greater strength to our doctrine in breaking down the subtle cavil of the Sadducees. Their great object, I take it, was to do away altogether with the resurrection, for the Sadducees in fact did not admit any salvation either for the soul or the flesh;[7] and therefore, taking the strongest case they could for impairing the credibility of the resurrection, they adapted an argument from it in support of the question which they started. Their specious inquiry concerned the flesh, whether or not it would be subject to marriage after the resurrection; and they assumed the case of a woman who had married seven brothers, so that it was a doubtful point to which of them she should be restored.[8] Now, let the purport both of the question and the answer be kept steadily in view, and the discussion is settled at once. For since the Sadducees indeed denied the resurrection, whilst the Lord affirmed it; since, too, (in affirming it,) He reproached them as being both ignorant of the Scriptures--those, of course which had declared the resurrection--as well as incredulous of the power of God, though, of course, effectual to raise the dead, and lastly, since He immediately added the words, "Now, that the dead are raised,"[9] (speaking) without misgiving, and affirming the very thing which was being denied, even the resurrection of the dead before Him who is "the God of the living,"--(it clearly follows) that He affirmed this verity in the precise sense in which they were denying it; that it was, in fact, the resurrection of the two natures of man. Nor does it follow, (as they would have it,) that because Christ denied that men would marry, He therefore proved that they would not rise again. On the contrary, He called them "the children of the resurrection,"[10] in a certain sense having by the resurrection to undergo a birth; and after that they marry no more, but in their risen life are "equal unto the angels,"[1] inasmuch as they are not to marry, because they are not to die, but are destined to pass into the angelic state by putting on the raiment of incorruption, although with a change in the substance which is restored to life. Besides, no question could be raised whether we are to marry or die again or not, without involving in doubt the restoration most especially of that substance which has a particular relation both to death and marriage--that is, the flesh. Thus, then, you have the Lord affirming against the Jewish heretics what is now encountering the denial of the Christian Sadducees--the resurrection of the entire man.

CHAP. XXXVII.--CHRIST'S ASSERTION ABOUT THE UNPROFITABLENESS OF THE FLESH EXPLAINED CONSISTENTLY WITH OUR DOCTRINE.

He says, it is true, that "the flesh profiteth nothing;"[1] but then, as in the former case, the meaning must be regulated by the subject which is spoken of. Now, because they thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, "It is the spirit that quickeneth;" and then added, "The flesh profiteth nothing,"--meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." In a like sense He had previously said: "He that heareth my words, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life."[2] Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appelation; because, too, the Word had become flesh,[3] we ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. Now, just before (the passage in hand), He had declared His flesh to be "the bread which cometh down from heaven,"[4] impressing on (His hearers) constantly under the figure of necessary food the memory of their forefathers, who had preferred the bread and flesh of Egypt to their divine calling.[5] Then, turning His subject to their reflections, because He perceived that they were going to be scattered from Him, He says: "The flesh profiteth nothing." Now what is there to destroy the resurrection of the flesh? As if there might not reasonably enough be something which, although it" profiteth nothing" itself, might yet be capable of being profited by something else. The spirit "profiteth," for it imparts life. The flesh profiteth nothing, for it is subject to death. Therefore He has rather put the two propositions in a way which favours our belief: for by showing what "profits," and what "does not profit," He has likewise thrown light on the object which receives as well as the subject which gives the "profit." Thus, in the present instance, we have the Spirit giving life to the flesh which has been subdued by death; for "the hour," says He, "is coming, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live."[6] Now, what is "the dead" but the flesh? and what is "the voice of God" but the Word? and what is the Word but the Spirit,[7] who shall justly raise the flesh which He had once Himself become, and that too from death, which He Himself suffered, and from the grave, which He Himself once entered? Then again, when He says, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,"[8]--none will after such words be able to interpret the dead "that are in the graves" as any other than the bodies of the flesh, because the graves themselves are nothing but the resting-place of corpses: for it is incontestable that even those who partake of "the old man," that is to say, sinful men--in other words, those who are dead through their ignorance of God (whom our heretics, forsooth, foolishly insist on understanding by the word "graves"[9])--are plainly here spoken of as having to come from their graves for judgment. But how are graves to come forth from graves?

CHAP. XXXVIII.--CHRIST, BY RAISING THE DEAD, ATTESTED IN A PRACTICAL WAY THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH.

After the Lord's words, what are we to think of the purport of His actions, when He raises dead persons from their biers and their graves? To what end did He do so? If it was only for the mere exhibition of His power, or to afford the temporary favour of restoration to life, it was really no great matter for Him to raise men to die over again. If, however, as was the truth, it was rather to put in secure keeping men's belief in a future resurrection, then it must follow from the particular form of His own examples, that the said resurrection will be a bodily one. I can never allow it to be said that the resurrection of the future, being destined for the soul only, did then receive these preliminary illustrations of a raising of the flesh, simply because it would have been impossible to have shown the resurrection of an invisible soul except by the resuscitation of a visible substance. They have but a poor knowledge of God, who suppose Him to be only capable of doing what comes within the compass of their own thoughts; and after all, they cannot but know full well what His capability has ever been, if they only make acquaintance with the writings of John. For unquestionably he, who has exhibited to our sight the martyrs' hitherto disembodied souls resting under the altar, was quite able to display them before our eyes rising without a body of flesh. I, however, for my part prefer (believing) that it is impossible for God to practise deception (weak as He only could be in respect of artifice), from any fear of seeming to have given preliminary proofs of a thing in a way which is inconsistent with His actual disposal of the thing; nay more, from a fear that, since He was not powerful enough to show us a sample of the resurrection without the flesh, He might with still greater infirmity be unable to display (by and by) the full accomplishment of the sample in the self-same substance of the flesh. No example, indeed, is greater than the thing of which it is a sample. Greater, however, it is, if souls with their body are to be raised as the evidence of their resurrection without the body, so as that the entire salvation of man in saul and body should become a guarantee for only the half, the soul; whereas the condition in all examples is, that which would be deemed the less--I mean the resurrection of the soul only--should be the foretaste, as it were, of the rising of the flesh also at its appointed time. And therefore, according to our estimate of the truth, those examples of dead persons who were raised by the Lord were indeed a proof of the resurrection both of the flesh and of the soul,--a proof, in fact, that this gift was to be denied to neither substance. Considered, however, as examples only, they expressed all the less significance--less, indeed, than Christ will express at last--for they were not raised up for glory and immortality, but only for another death.

CHAP. XXXIX.--ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE AFFORDED TO US IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

The Acts of the Apostles, too, attest[2] the resurrection. Now the apostles had nothing else to do, at least among the Jews, than to-explain[3] the Old Testament and confirm[4] the New, and above all, to preach God in Christ. Consequently they introduced nothing new concerning the resurrection, besides announcing it to the glory of Christ: in every other respect it had been already received in simple and intelligent faith, without any question as to what sort of resurrection it was to be, and without encountering any other opponents than the Sadducees. So much easier was it to deny the resurrection altogether, than to understand it in an alien sense. You find Paul confessing his faith before the chief priests, under the shelter of the chief captain,[5] among the Sadducees and the Pharisees: "Men and brethren," he says, "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am now called in question by you,"[6]--referring, of course, to the nation's hope; in order to avoid, in his present condition, as an apparent transgressor of the law, being thought to approach to the Sadducees in opinion on the most important article of the faith--even the resurrection. That belief, therefore, in the resurrection which he would not appear to impair, he really confirmed in the opinion of the Pharisees, since he rejected the views of the Sadducees, who denied it. In like manner, before Agrippa also, he says that he was advancing "none other things than those which the prophets had announced."[7] He was therefore maintaining just such a resurrection as the prophets had foretold. He mentions also what is written by "Moses ", touching the resurrection of the dead; (and in so doing) he must have known that it would be a rising in the body, since requisition will have to be made therein of the blood of man.[8] He declared it then to be of such a character as the Pharisees had admitted it, and such as the Lord had Himself maintained it, and such too as the Sadducees refused to believe it--such refusal leading them indeed to an absolute rejection of the whole verity. Nor had the Athenians previously understood Paul to announce any other resurrection.[9] They had, in fact, derided his announcement; but they would have indulged no such derision if they had heard from him nothing but the restoration of the soul, for they would have received that as the very common anticipation of their own native philosophy. But when the preaching of the resurrection, of which they had previously not heard, by its absolute novelty excited the heathen, and a not unnatural incredulity in so wonderful a matter began to harass the simple faith with many discussions, then the apostle took care in almost every one of his writings to strengthen men's belief of this Christian hope, pointing out that there was such a hope, and that it had not as yet been realized, and that it would be in the body,--a point which was the especial object of inquiry, and, what was besides a doubtful question, not in a body of a different kind from ours.

CHAP, XL.--SUNDRY PASSAGES OF ST. PAUL WHICH ATTEST OUR DOCTRINE RESCUED FROM THE PERVERSIONS OF HERESY.

Now it is no matter of surprise if arguments are captiously taken from the writings of (the apostle) himself, inasmuch as there "must needs be heresies;"[1] but these could not be, if the Scriptures were not capable of a false interpretation. Well, then, heresies finding that the apostle had mentioned two "men"--"the inner man," that is, the soul, and "the outward man," that is, the flesh--awarded salvation to the soul or inward man, and destruction to the flesh or outward man, because it is written (in the Epistle) to the Corinthians: "Though our outward man decayeth, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."[2] Now, neither the soul by itself alone is "man" (it was subsequently implanted in the clayey mould to which the name man had been already given), nor is the flesh without the soul " man ": for after the exile of the soul from it, it has the title of corpse. Thus the designation man is, in a certain sense, the bond between the two closely united substances, under which designation they cannot but be coherent natures. As for the inward man, indeed, the apostle prefers its being regarded as the mind and heart[3] rather than the soul;[4] in other words, not so much the substance itself as the savour of the substance. Thus when, writing to the Ephesians, he spoke of "Christ dwelling in their inner man," he meant, no doubt, that the Lord ought to be admitted into their senses.[5] He then added, "in your hearts by faith, rooted and grounded in love,"--making "faith" and "love" not substantial parts, but only conceptions of the soul. But when he used the phrase "in your hearts," seeing that these are substantial parts of the flesh, he at once assigned to the flesh the actual "inward man," which he placed in the heart. Consider now in what sense he alleged that "the outward man decayeth, while the inward man is renewed day by day." You certainly would not maintain that he could mean that corruption of the flesh which it undergoes from the moment of death, in its appointed state of perpetual decay; but the wear and tear which for the name of Christ it experiences during its course of life before and until death, in harassing cares and tribulations as well as in tortures and persecutions. Now the inward man will have, of course, to be renewed by the suggestion of the Spirit, advancing by faith and holiness day after day, here in this life, not there after the resurrection, were our renewal is not a gradual process from day to day, but a consummation once for all complete. You may learn this, too, from the following passage, where the apostle says: "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for as a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen," that is, our sufferings, "but at the things which are not seen," that is, our rewards: "for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."[6] For the afflictions and injuries wherewith the outward man is worn away, he affirms to be only worthy of being despised by us, as being light and temporary; preferring those eternal recompenses which are also invisible, and that "weight of glory" which will be a counterpoise for the labours in the endurance of which the flesh here suffers decay. So that the subject in this passage is not that corruption which they ascribe to the outward man in the utter destruction of the flesh, with the view of nullifying the resurrection. So also he says elsewhere: "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together; for I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."[7] Here again he shows us that our sufferings are less than their rewards. Now, since it is through the flesh that we suffer with Christ--for it is the property of the flesh to be worn by sufferings--to the same flesh belongs the recompense which is promised for suffering with Christ. Accordingly, when he is going to assign afflictions to the flesh as its especial liability--according to the statement he had already made--he says, "When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest;"[8] then, in order to make the soul a fellow-sufferer with the body, he adds, "We were troubled on every side; without were fightings," which of course warred down the flesh, "within were fears," which afflicted the soul.[9] Although, therefore, the outward man decays--not in the sense of missing the resurrection, but of enduring tribulation--it will be understood from this scripture that it is not exposed to its suffering without the inward man. Both therefore, will be glorified together, even as they have suffered together. Parallel with their participation in troubles, must necessarily run their association also in rewards.

CHAP. XLI.--THE DISSOLUTION OF OUR TABERNACLE CONSISTENT WITH THE RESURRECTION OF OUR BODIES.

It is still the same sentiment which he follows up in the passage in which he puts the recompense above the sufferings: "for we know;" he says, "that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens;"[1] in other words, owing to the fact that our flesh is undergoing dissolution through its sufferings, we shall be provided with a home in heaven. He remembered the award (which the Lord assigns) in the Gospel: "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."[2] Yet, when he thus contrasted the recompense of the reward, he did not deny the flesh's restoration; since the recompense is due to the same substance to which the dissolution is attributed,--that is, of course, the flesh. Because, however, he had called the flesh a horse, he wished elegantly to use the same term in his comparison of the ultimate reward; promising to the very house, which undergoes dissolution through suffering, a better house through the resurrection. Just as the Lore also promises us many mansions as of a house in His Father's home;[3] although this may possibly be understood of the domicile of this world, on the dissolution of whose fabric an eternal abode is promised in heaven, inasmuch as the following context, having a manifest reference to the flesh, seems to show that these preceding words have no such reference. For the apostle makes a distinction, when he goes on to say, "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked;"[4] which means, before we put off the garment of the flesh, we wish to be clothed with the celestial glory of immortality. Now the privilege of this favour awaits those who shall at the coming of the Lord be found in the flesh, and who shall, owing to the oppressions of the time of Antichrist, deserve by an instantaneous death,[5] which is accomplished by a sudden change, to become qualified to join the rising saints; as he writes to the Thessalonians: "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we too shall ourselves be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."[6]

CHAP. XLII.--DEATH CHANGES, WITHOUT DESTROYING, OUR MORTAL BODIES. REMAINS OF THE GIANTS.

It is the transformation these shall undergo which he explains to the Corinthians, when he writes: "We shall all indeed rise again (though we shall not all undergo the transformation) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump "--for none shall experience this change but those only who shall be found in the flesh. "And the dead," he says, "shall be raised, and we shall be changed." Now, after a careful consideration of this appointed order, you will be able to adjust what follows to the preceding sense. For when he adds, "This corruptible must put on incorrruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,"[7] this will assuredly be that house from heaven, with which we so earnestly desire to be clothed upon, whilst groaning in this our present body,--meaning, of course, over this flesh in which we shall be surprised at last; because he says that we are burdened whilst in this tabernacle, which we do not wish indeed to be stripped of, but rather to be in it clothed over, in such a way that mortality may be swallowed up of life, that is, by putting on over us whilst we are transformed that vestiture which is from heaven. For who is there that will not desire, while he is in the flesh, to put on immortality, and to continue his life by a happy escape from death, through the transformation which must be experienced instead of it, without encountering too that Hades which will exact the very last farthing?[8] Nothwithstanding, he who has already traversed Hades is destined also to obtain the change after the resurrection. For from this circumstance it is that we definitively declare that the flesh will by all means rise again, and, from the change that is to come over it, will assume the condition of angels. Now, if it were merely in the case of those who shall be found in the flesh that the change must be undergone, in order that mortality may be swallowed up of life--in other words, that the flesh (be covered) with the heavenly and eternal raiment--it would either follow that those who shall be found in death would not obtain life, deprived as they would then be of the material and so to say the aliment of life, that is, the flesh; or else, these also must needs undergo the change, that in them too mortality may be swallowed up of life, since it is appointed that they too should obtain life. But, you say, in the case of the dead, mortality is already swallowed up of life. No, not in all cases, certainly. For how many will most probably be found of men who had just died--so recently put into their graves, that nothing in them would seem to be decayed? For you do not of course deem a thing to be decayed unless it be cut off, abolished, and withdrawn from our perception, as having in every possible way ceased to be apparent. There are the carcases of the giants of old time; it will be obvious enough that they are not absolutely decayed, for their bony frames are still extant. We have already spoken of this elsewhere.[1] For instance,[2] even lately in this very city,[3] when they were sacrilegiously laying the foundations of the Odeum on a good many ancient graves, people were horror-stricken to discover, after some five hundred years, bones, which still retained their moisture, and hair which had not lost its perfume. It is certain not only that bones remain indurated, but also that teeth continue undecayed for ages--both of them the lasting germs of that body which is to sprout into life again in the resurrection. Lastly, even if everything that is mortal in all the dead shall then be found decayed--at any rate consumed by death, by time, and through age,--is there nothing which will be "swallowed up of life,"[4] nor by being covered over and arrayed in the vesture of immortality? Now, he who says that mortality is going to be swallowed up of life has already admitted that what is dead is not destroyed by those other before-mentioned devourers. And verily it will be extremely fit that all shall be consummated and brought about by the operations of God, and not by the laws of nature. Therefore, inasmuch as what is mortal has to be swallowed up of life, it must needs be brought out to view in order to be so swallowed up; (needful) also to be swallowed up, in order to undergo the ultimate transformation. If you were to say that a fire is to be lighted, you could not possibly allege that what is to kindle it is sometimes necessary and sometimes not. In like manner, when he inserts the words "If so be that being unclothed[5] we be not found naked."[6]--refering, of course, to those who shall not be found in the day of the Lord alive and in the flesh--he did not say that they whom he had just described as unclothed or stripped, were naked in any other sense than meaning that they should be understood to be reinvested with the very same substance they had been divested of. For although they shall be found naked when their flesh has been laid aside, or to some extent sundered or worn away (and this condition may well be called nakedness,) they shall afterwards recover it again, in order that, being reinvested with the flesh, they may be able also to have put over that the supervestment of immortality; for it will be impossible for the outside garment to fit except over one who is already dressed.

CHAP. XLIII.--NO DISPARAGEMENT OF OUR DOCTRINE IN ST. PAUL'S PHRASE, WHICH CALLS OUR RESIDENCE IN THE FLESH ABSENCE FROM THE LORD.

In the same way, when he says, "Therefore we are always confident, and fully aware, that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not be sight,''[7] it is manifest that in this statement there is no design of disparaging the flesh, as if it separated us from the Lord. For there is here pointedly addressed to us an exhortation to disregard this present life, since we are absent from the Lord as long as we are passing through it--walking by faith, not by sight; in other words, in hope, not in reality. Accordingly he adds: "We are indeed confident and deem it good rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord;''[8] in order, that is, that we may walk by sight rather than by faith, in realization rather than in hope. Observe how he here also ascribes to the excellence of martyrdom a contempt for the body. For no one, on becoming absent from the body, is at once a dweller in the presence of the Lord, except by the prerogative of martyrdom,[9] he gains a lodging in Paradise, not in the lower regions. Now, had the apostle been at a loss for words to describe the departure from the body? Or does he purposely use a novel phraseology? For, wanting to express our temporary absence from the body, he says that we are strangers, absent from it, because a man who goes abroad returns after a while to his home. Then he says even to all: "We therefore earnestly desire to be acceptable unto God, whether absent or present; for we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ Jesus."[1] If all of us, then all of us wholly; if wholly, then our inward man and outward too--that is, our bodies no less than our souls. "That every one," as he goes on to say, "may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."[2] Now I ask, how do you read this passage? Do you take it to be confusedly constructed, with a transposition[3] of ideas? Is the question about what things will have to be received by the body, or the things which have been already done in the body? Well, if the things which are to be borne by the body are meant, then undoubtedly a resurrection of the body is implied; and if the things which have been already done in the body are referred to, (the same conclusion follows): for of course the retribution will have to be paid by the body, since it was by the body that the actions were performed. Thus the apostle's whole argument from the beginning is unravelled in this concluding clause, wherein the resurrection of the flesh is set forth; and it ought to be understood in a sense which is strictly in accordance with this conclusion.

CHAP. XLIV.--SUNDRY OTHER PASSAGES OF ST. PAUL EXPLAINED IN A SENTENCE CONFIRMATORY OF OUR DOCTRINE.

Now, if you will examine the words which precede the passage where mention is made of the outward and the inward man, will you not discover the whole truth, both of the dignity and the hope of the flesh? For, when he speaks of the "light which God hath commanded to shine in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord in the person of Jesus Christ,"[4] and says that "we have this treasure in earthen vessels,"[5] meaning of course the flesh, which is meant--that the flesh shall be destroyed, because it is "an earthen vessel," deriving its origin from clay; or that it is to be glorified, as being the receptacle of a divine treasure? Now if that true light, which is in the person of Christ, contains in itself life, and that life with its light is committed to the flesh, is that destined to perish which has life entrusted to it? Then, of course, the treasure will perish also; for perishable things are entrusted to things which are themselves perishable, which is like putting new wine into old bottles. When also he adds, "Always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ"[6] what sort of substance is that which, after (being called) the temple of God, can now be also designated the tomb of Christ? But why do we bear about in the body the dying of the Lord? In order, as he says, "that His life also may be manifested."[7] Where? "In the body." In what body? "In our mortal body."[8] Therefore in the flesh, which is mortal indeed through sin, but living through grace--how great a grace you may see when the purpose is, "that the life of Christ may be manifested in it." Is it then in a thing which is a stranger to salvation, in a substance which is perpetually dissolved, that the life of Christ will be manifested, which is eternal, continuous, incorruptible, and already the life of God? Else to what epoch belongs that life of the Lord which is to be manifested in our body? It surely is the life which He lived up to His passion, which was not only openly shown among the Jews, but has now been displayed even to all nations. Therefore that life is meant which" has broken the adamantine gates of death and the brazen bars of the lower world,"[9]--a life which thenceforth has been and will be ours. Lastly, it is to be manifested in the body. When? After death. How? By rising in our body, as Christ also rose in His. But lest any one should here object, that the life of Jesus has even now to be manifested in our body by the discipline of holiness, and patience, and righteouness, and wisdom, in which the Lord's life abounded, the most provident wisdom of the apostle inserts this purpose: "For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that His life may be manifested in our mortal body."[10] In us, therefore, even when dead, does he say that this is to take place in us. And if so, how is this possible except in our body after its resurrection? Therefore he adds in the concluding sentence: "Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also with Him,"[11] risen as He is already from the dead. But perhaps "with Him" means "like Him:" well then, if it be like Him, it is not of course without the flesh.

CHAP. XLV.--THE OLD MAN AND THE NEW MAN OF ST. PAUL EXPLAINED.

But in their blindness they again impale themselves on the point of the old and the new man. When the apostle enjoins us "to put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and to be renewed in the spirit of our mind; and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,"[1] (they maintain) that by here also making a distinction between the two substances, and applying the old one to the flesh and the new one to the spirit, he ascribes to the old man--that is to say, the flesh--a permanent corruption. Now, if you follow the order of the substances, the soul cannot be the new man because it comes the later of the two; nor can the flesh be the old man because it is the former. For what fraction of time was it that intervened between the creative hand of God and His afflatus? I will venture to say, that even if the soul was a good deal prior to the flesh, by the very circumstance that the soul had to wait to be itself completed, it made the other[2] really the former. For everything which gives the finishing stroke and perfection to a work, although it is subsequent in its mere order, yet has the priority in its effect. Much more is that prior, without which preceding things could have no existence. If the flesh be the old man, when did it become so? From the beginning? But Adam was wholly a new man, and of that new man there could be no part an old man. And from that time, ever since the blessing which was pronounced upon man's generation,[3] the flesh and the soul have had a simultaneous birth, without any calcuable difference in time; so that the two have been even generated together in the womb, as we have shown in our Treatise an the Saul.[4] Contemporaneous in the womb, they are also temporally identical in their birth. The two are no doubt produced by human parents[5] of two substances, but not at two different periods; rather they are so entirely one, that neither is before the other in paint of time. It is more correct (to say), that we are either entirely the old man or entirely the new, for we cannot tell how we can possibly be anything else. But the apostle mentions a very clear mark of the old man. For "put off," says he, "concerning the former conversation, the old man; "[6] (he does) not say concerning the seniority of either substance. It is not indeed the flesh which he bids us to put off, but the works which he in another passage shows to be "works of the flesh."[7] He brings no accusation against men's bodies, of which he even writes as follows: "Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands (the thing which is good), that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for the edification of faith, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: but be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ hath forgiven you.''[8] Why, therefore, do not those who suppose the flesh to be the old man, hasten their own death, in order that by laying aside the old man they may satisfy the apostle's precepts? As for ourselves, we believe that the whole of faith is to be administered in the flesh, nay more, by the flesh, which has both a mouth for the utterance of all holy words, and a tongue to refrain from blasphemy, and a heart to avoid all irritation, and hands to labour and to give; while we also maintain that as well the old man as the new has relation to the difference of moral conduct, and not to any discrepancy of nature. And just as we acknowledge that that which according to its former conversation was "the old man" was also corrupt, and received its very name in accordance with "its deceitful lusts," so also (do we hold) that it is "the old man in reference to its former conversation,"[9] and not in respect of the flesh through any permanent dissolution. Moreover, it is still unimpaired in the flesh, and identical in that nature, even when it has become "the new man;" since it is of its sinful course of life, and not of its corporeal substance, that it has been divested.

CHAP. XLVI.--IT IS THE WORKS OF THE FLESH, NOT THE SUBSTANCE OF THE FLESH, WHICH ST. PAUL ALWAYS CONDEMNS.

You may notice that the apostle everywhere condemns the works of the flesh in such a way as to appear to condemn the flesh; but no one can suppose him to have any such view as this, since he goes on to suggest another sense, even though somewhat resembling it. For when he actually declares that "they who are in the flesh cannot please God," he immediately recalls the statement from an heretical sense to a sound one, by adding, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.''[1] Now, by denying them to be in the flesh who yet obviously were in the flesh, he showed that they were not living amidst the works of the flesh, and therefore that they who could not please God were not those who were in the flesh, but only those who were living after the flesh; whereas they pleased God, who, although existing in the flesh, were yet walking after the Spirit. And, again, he says that "the body is dead;" but it is "because of sin," even as "the Spirit is life because of righteousness."[2] When, however, he thus sets life in opposition to the death which is constituted in the flesh, he unquestionably promises the life of righteousness to the same state for which he determined the death of sin, But unmeaning is this opposition which he makes between the "life" and the "death," if the life is not there where that very thing is to which he opposes it--even the death which is to be extirpated of course from the body. Now, if life thus extirpates death from the body, it can accomplish this only by penetrating thither where that is which it is excluding. But why am I resorting to knotty arguments,[3] when the apostle treats the subject with perfect plainness? "For if," says he, "the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwelleth in you;"[4] so that even if a person were to assume that the soul is "the mortal body," he would (since he cannot possibly deny that the flesh is this also) be constrained to acknowledge a restoration even of the flesh, in consequence of its participation in the selfsame state. From the following words, moreover, you may learn that it is the works of the flesh which are condemned, and not the flesh itself: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."[5] Now (that I may answer each point separately), since salvation is promised to those who are living in the flesh, but walking after the Spirit, it is no longer the flesh which is an adversary to salvation, but the working of the flesh. When, however, this operativeness of the flesh is done away with, which is the cause of death, the flesh is shown to be safe, since it is freed from the cause of death. "For the law," says he, "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,"[6]--that, surely, which he previously mentioned as dwelling in our members.[7] Our members, therefore, will no longer be subject to the law of death, because they cease to serve that of sin, from both which they have been set free. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and through[8] sin condemned sin in the flesh "[9]--not the flesh in sin, for the house is not to be condemned with its inhabitant. He said, indeed, that "sin dwelleth in our body."[10] But the condemnation of sin is the acquittal of the flesh, just as its non-condemnation subjugates it to the law of sin and death. In like manner, he called "the carnal mind" first "death,"[11] and afterwards "enmity against God;"[12] but he never predicated this of the flesh itself. But to what then, you will say, must the carnal mind be ascribed, if it be not to the carnal substance itself? I will allow your objection, if you will prove to me that the flesh has any discernment of its own. If, however, it has no conception of anything without the soul, you must understand that the carnal mind must be referred to the soul, although ascribed sometimes to the flesh, on the ground that it is ministered to for the flesh and through the flesh. And therefore (the apostle) says that "sin dwelleth in the flesh," because the soul by which sin is provoked has its temporary lodging in the flesh, which is doomed indeed to death, not however on its own account, but on account of sin. For he says in another passage also "How is it that you conduct yourselves as if you were even now living in the world?"[13] where he is not writing to dead persons, but to those who ought to have ceased to live after the ways of the world.

CHAP.XLVII.--ST. PAUL, ALL THROUGH, PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE TO THE BODY.

For that must be living after the world, which, as the old man, he declares to be " crucified with Christ,"[1] not as a bodily structure, but as moral behaviour. Besides, if we do not understand it in this sense, it is not our bodily frame which has been transfixed (at all events), nor has our flesh endured the cross of Christ; but the sense is that which he has subjoined, "that the body of sin might be made void,''[2] by an amendment of life, not by a destruction of the substance, as he goes on to say, "that henceforth we should not serve sin; "[3] and that we should believe ourselves to be "dead with Christ," in such a manner as that "we shall also live with Him.''[4] On the same principle he says: "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed.''[5] To what? To the flesh? No, but "unto sin."[6] Accordingly as to the flesh they will be saved--" alive unto God in Christ Jesus,"[7] through the flesh of course, to which they will not be dead; since it is "unto sin," and not to the flesh, that they are dead. For he pursues the point still further: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it, and that ye should yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield ye yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead "--not simply alive, but as alive from the dead--" and your members as instruments of righteousness."[8] And again: "As ye have yielded your members servants of uncleanness, and of iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants of righteousness unto holiness; for whilst ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things of which ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."[9] Thus throughout this series of passages, whilst withdrawing our members from unrighteousness and sin, and applying them to righteousness and holiness, and transferring the same from the wages of death to the donative of eternal life, he undoubtedly promises to the flesh the recompense of salvation. Now it would not at all have been consistent that any rule of holiness and righteousness should be especially enjoined for the flesh, if the reward of such a discipline were not also within its reach; nor could even baptism be properly ordered for the flesh, if by its regeneration a course were not inaugurated tending to its restitution; the apostle himself suggesting this idea: "Know ye not, that so many of us as are baptized into Jesus Christ, are baptized into His death? We are therefore buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead, even so we also should walk in newness of life."[10] And that you may not suppose that this is said merely of that life which we have to walk in the newness of, through baptism, by faith, the apostle with superlative forethought adds: " For if we have been planted together in the likeness of Christ's death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."[11] By a figure we die in our baptism, but in a reality we rise again in the flesh, even as Christ did, "that, as sin has reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.''[12] But how so, unless equally in the flesh? For where the death is, there too must be the life after the death, because also the life was first there, where the death subsequently was. Now, if the dominion of death operates only in the dissolution of the flesh, in like manner death's contrary, life, ought to produce the contrary effect, even the restoration of the flesh; so that, just as death had swallowed it up in its strength, it also, after this mortal was swallowed up of immortality, may hear the challenge pronounced against it: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"[13] For in this way "grace shall there much more abound, where sin once abounded."[14] In this way also "shall strength be made perfect in weakness,"[15]--saving what is lost, reviving what is dead, healing what is stricken, curing what is faint, redeeming what is lost, freeing what is enslaved, recalling what has strayed, raising what is fallen; and this from earth to heaven, where, as the apostle teaches the Philippians, "we have our citizenship,[16] from whence also we look for our Saviour Jesus Christ, who shall change our body of humiliation, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body"[17]--of course after the resurrection, because Christ Himself was not glorified before He suffered. These must be "the bodies" which he "beseeches" the Romans to "present" as "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."[1] But how a living sacrifice, if these bodies are to perish? How a holy one, if they are profanely soiled? How acceptable to God, if they are condemned? Come, now, tell me how that passage (in the Epistle) to the Thessalonians--which, because of its clearness, I should suppose to have been written with a sunbeam--is understood by our heretics, who shun the light of Scripture: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." And as if this were not plain enough, it goes on to say: "And may your whole body, and soul, and spirit be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord."[2] Here you have the entire substance of man destined to salvation, and that at no other time than at the coming of the Lord, which is the key of the resurrection.[3]

CHAP. XLVIII.--SUNDRY PASSAGES IN THE GREAT CHAPTER OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD EXPLAINED IN DEFENCE OF OUR DOCTRINE.

But "flesh and blood," you say, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God."[4] We are quite aware that this too is written; but although our opponents place it in the front of the battle, we have intentionally reserved the objection until now, in order that we may in our last assault overthrow it, after we have removed out of the way all the questions which are auxiliary to it. However, they must contrive to recall to their mind even now our preceding arguments, in order that the occasion which originally suggested this passage may assist our judgment in arriving at its meaning. The apostle, as I take it, having set forth for the Corinthians the details of their church discipline, had summed up the substance of his own gospel, and of their belief in an exposition of the Lord's death and resurrection, for the purpose of deducing therefrom the rule of our hope, and the groundwork thereof. Accordingly he subjoins this statement: "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, because ye are yet in your sins, and they which have fallen asleep in Christ are perished."[5] Now, what is the point which he evidently labours hard to make us believe throughout this passage? The resurrection of the dead, you say, which was denied: he certainly wished it to be believed on the strength of the example which he adduced--the Lord's resurrection. Certainly, you say. Well now, is an example borrowed from different circumstances, or from like ones? From like ones, by all means, is your answer. How then did Christ rise again? In the flesh, or not? No doubt, since you are told that He "died according to the Scriptures,"[6] and "that He was buried according to the Scriptures,"[7] no otherwise than in the flesh, you will also allow that it was in the flesh that He was raised from the dead. For the very same body which fell in death, and which lay in the sepulchre, did also rise again; (and it was) not so much Christ in the flesh, as the flesh in Christ. If, therefore, we are to rise again after the example of Christ, who rose in the flesh, we shall certainly not rise according to that example, unless we also shall ourselves rise again in the flesh. "For," he says, "since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead."[8] (This he says) in order, on the one hand, to distinguish the two authors--Adam of death, Christ of resurrection; and, on the other hand, to make the resurrection operate on the same substance as the death, by comparing the authors themselves under the designation man. For if "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,"[9] their vivification in Christ must be in the flesh, since it is in the flesh that arises their death in Adam. "But every man in his own order," [10] because of course it will be also every man in his own body. For the order will be arranged severally, on account of the individual merits. Now, as the merits must be ascribed to the body, it must needs follow that the order also should be arranged in respect of the bodies, that it may be in relation to their merits. But inasmuch as "some are also baptized for the dead,"[11] we will see whether there be a good reason for this. Now it is certain that they adopted this (practice) with such a presumption as made them suppose that the vicarious baptism (in question) would be beneficial to the flesh of another in anticipation of the resurrection; for unless it were a bodily resurrection, there would be no pledge secured by this process of a corporeal baptism. "Why are they then baptized for the dead,''[1] he asks, unless the bodies rise again which are thus baptized? For it is not the soul which is sanctified by the baptismal bath:[2] its sanctification comes from the "answer."[3] "And why," he inquires, "stand we in jeopardy every hour?"[4]--meaning, of course, through the flesh. "I die daily,"[5] (says he); that is, undoubtedly, in the perils of the body, in which "he even fought with beasts at Ephesus,"[6]--even with those beasts which caused him such peril and trouble in Asia, to which he alludes in his second epistle to the same church of Corinth: "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed above measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life."[7] Now, if I mistake not, he enumerates all these particulars in order that in his unwillingness to have his conflicts in the flesh supposed to be useless, he may induce an unfaltering belief in the resurrection of the flesh. For useless must that conflict be deemed (which is sustained in a body) for which no resurrection is in prospect. "But some man will say, How are the dead to be raised? And with what body will they come?"[8] Now here he discusses the qualities of bodies, whether it be the very same, or different ones, which men are to resume. Since, however, such a question as this must be regarded as a subsequent one, it will in passing be enough for us that the resurrection is determined to be a bodily one even from this, that it is about the quality of bodies that the inquiry arises.

CHAP. XLIX.--THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED. WHAT DOES THE APOSTLE EXCLUDE FROM THE DEAD? CERTAINLY NOT THE SUBSTANCE OF THE FLESH.

We come now to the very gist[9] of the whole question: What are the substances, and of what nature are they, which the apostle has disinherited of the kingdom of God? The t preceding statements give us a clue to this t point also. He says: "The first man is of i the earth, earthy "--that is, made of dust, that is, Adam; " the second man is from heaven"[10]--that is, the Word of God, which is Christ, in no other way, however, man (although "from heaven "), than as being Himself flesh and soul, just as a human being is, just as Adam was. Indeed, in a previous passage He is called "the second Adam, "[11] deriving the identity of His name from His participation in the substance, because not even Adam was flesh of human seed, in which Christ is also like Him.[12] "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."[13] Such (does he mean), in substance; or first of all in training, and afterwards in the dignity and worth which that training aimed at acquiring? Not in substance, however, by any means will the earthy and the heavenly be separated, designated as they have been by the apostle once for all, as men. For even if Christ were the only true "heavenly," nay, super-celestial Being, He is still man, as composed of body and soul; and in no respect is He separated from the quality of "earthiness," owing to that condition of His which makes Him a partaker of both substances. In like manner, those also who after Him are heavenly, are understood to have this celestial quality predicated of them not from their present nature, but from their future glory; because in a preceding sentence, which originated this distinction respecting difference of dignity, there was shown to be "one glory in celestial bodies, and another in terrestrial ones,"[14]--"one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for even one star differeth from another star in glory, "[15] although not in substance. Then, after having thus premised the difference in that worth or dignity which is even now to be aimed at, and then at last to be enjoyed, the apostle adds an exhortation, that we should both here in our training follow the example of Christ, and there attain His eminence in glory: "As we have borne the image of the earthy, let us also bear the image of the heavenly."[16] We have indeed borne the image of the earthy, by our sharing in his trangression, by our participation in his death, by our banishment from Paradise. Now, although the image of Adam is here borne by s in the flesh, yet we are not exhorted to put off the flesh; but if not the flesh, it is the conversation, in order that we may then bear the image of the heavenly in ourselves,--no longer indeed the image of God, and no longer the image of a Being whose state is in heaven; but after the lineaments of Christ, by our walking here in holiness, righteousness, and truth. And so wholly intent on the inculcation of moral conduct is he throughout. this passage, that he tells us we ought to bear the image of Christ in this flesh of ours, and in this period of instruction and discipline. For when he says "let us bear" in the imperative mood, he suits his words to the present life, in which man exists in no other substance than as flesh and soul; or if it is another, even the heavenly, substance to which this faith (of ours) looks forward, yet the promise is made to that substance to which the injunction is given to labour earnestly to merit its reward. Since, therefore, he makes the image both of the earthy and the heavenly consist of moral conduct--the one to be abjured, and the other to be pursued--and then consistently adds, "For this I say" (on account, that is, of what I have already said, because the conjunction "for" connects what follows with the preceding words) "that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,"[1]--he means the flesh and blood to be understood in no other sense than the before-mentioned "image of the earthy;" and since this is reckoned to consist in "the old conversation,"[2] which old conversation receives not the kingdom of God, therefore flesh and blood, by not receiving the kingdom of God, are reduced to the life of the old conversation. Of course, as the apostle has never put the substance for the works of man, he cannot use such a construction here. Since, however he has declared of men which are yet alive in the flesh, that they "are not in the flesh,"[3] meaning that they are not living in the works of the flesh, you ought not to subvert its form nor its substance, but only the works done in the substance (of the flesh), alienating us from the kingdom of God. It is after displaying to the Galatians these pernicious works that he professes to warn them beforehand, even as he had "told them in time past, that they which do such things should not inherit the kingdom of God,"[4] even because they bore not the image of the heavenly, as they had borne the image of the earthy; and so, in consequence of their old conversation, they were to be regarded as nothing else than flesh and blood. But even if the apostle had abruptly thrown out the sentence that flesh and blood must be excluded from the kingdom of God, without any previous intimation, of his meaning, would it not have been equally our duty to interpret these two substances as the old man abandoned to mere flesh and blood--in other words, to eating and drinking, one feature of which would be to speak against the faith of the resurrection: "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."[5] Now, when the apostle parenthetically inserted this, he censured flesh and blood because of their enjoyment in eating and drinking.

CHAP. L.--IN WHAT SENSE FLESH AND BLOOD ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Putting aside, however, all interpretations of this sort, which criminate the works of the flesh and blood, it may be permitted me to claim for the resurrection these very substances, understood in none other than their natural sense. For it is not the resurrection that is directly denied to flesh and blood, but the kingdom of God, which is incidental to[6] the resurrection (for there is a resurrection of judgment[7] also); and there is even a confirmation of the general resurrection of the flesh, whenever a special one is excepted. Now, when it is clearly stated what the condition is to which the resurrection does not lead, it is understood what that is to which it does lead; and, therefore, whilst it is in consideration of men's merits that a difference is made in their resurrection by their conduct in the flesh, and not by the substance thereof, it is evident even from this, that flesh and blood are excluded from the kingdom of God in respect of their sin, not of their substance; and although in respect of their natural condition[8] they will rise again for the judgment, because they rise not for the kingdom. Again, I will say, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;"[9] and justly (does the apostle declare this of them, considered) alone and in themselves, in order to show that the Spirit is still needed (to qualify them) for the kingdom.[10] For it is "the Spirit that quickeneth" us for the kingdom of God; "the flesh profiteth nothing."[11] There is, however, something else which can be profitable thereunto, that is, the Spirit; and through the Spirit, the works also of the Spirit. Flesh and blood, therefore, must in every case rise again, equally, in their proper quality. But they to whom it is granted to enter the kingdom of God, will have to put on the power of an incorruptible and immortal life; for without this, or before they are able to obtain it, they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. With good reason, then, flesh and blood, as we have already said, by themselves fail to obtain the kingdom of God. But inasmuch as "this corruptible (that is, the flesh) must put on incorruption, and this mortal (that is, the blood) must put on immortality,''[1] by the change which is to follow the resurrection, it will, for the best of reasons, happen that flesh and blood, after that change and investiture,[2] will become able to inherit the kingdom of God--but not without the resurrection. Some will have it, that by the phrase "flesh and blood," because of its rite of circumcision, Judaism is meant, which is itself too alienated from the kingdom of God, as being accounted "the old or former conversation," and as being designated by this title in another passage of the apostle also, who, "when it pleased God to reveal to him His Son, to preach Him amongst the heathen, immediately conferred not with flesh and blood," as he writes to the Galatians,[3] (meaning by the phrase) the circumcision, that is to say, Judaism.

CHAP. LI.--THE SESSION OF JESUS IN HIS INCARNATE NATURE AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD A GUARANTEE OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR FLESH.

That, however, which we have reserved for a concluding argument, will now stand as a plea for all, and for the apostle himself, who in very deed would have to be charged with extreme indiscretion, if he had so abruptly, as some will have it, and as they say, blindfold, and so indiscriminately, and so unconditionally, excluded from the kingdom of God, and indeed from the court of heaven itself, all flesh and blood whatsoever; since Jesus is still sitting there at the right hand of the Father,[4] man, yet God--the last Adam,[5] yet the primary Word--flesh and blood, yet purer than ours--who "shall descend in like manner as He ascended into heaven"[6] the same both in substance and form, as the angels affirmed,[7] so as even to be recognised by those who pierced Him.[8] Designated, as He is, "the Mediator' between God and man," He keeps in His own self the deposit of the flesh which has been committed to Him by both parties--the pledge and security of its entire perfection. For as "He has given to us the earnest of the Spirit, "[10] so has He received from us the earnest of the flesh, and has carried it with Him into heaven as a pledge of that complete entirety which is one day to be restored to it. Be not disquieted, O flesh and blood, with any care; in Christ you have acquired both heaven and the kingdom of God. Otherwise, if they say that you are not in Christ, let them also say that Christ is not in heaven, since they have denied you heaven. Likewise "neither shall corruption," says he, "inherit incorruption.[11] This he says, not that you may take flesh and blood to be corruption, for they are themselves rather the subjects of corruption,--I mean through death, since death does not so much corrupt, as actually consume, our flesh and blood. But inasmuch as he had plainly said that the works of the flesh and blood could not obtain the kingdom of God, with the view of stating this with accumulated stress, he deprived corruption itself--that is, death, which profits so largely by the works of the flesh and blood--from all inheritance of incorruption. For a little afterwards, he has described what is, as it were, the death of death itself: "Death," says he, "is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin "--here is the corruption; "and the strength of sin is the law"[10]--that other law, no doubt, which he has described "in his members as warring against the law of his mind,"[13]--meaning, of course, the actual power of sinning against his will. Now he says in a previous passage (of our Epistle to the Corinthians), that "the last enemy to be destroyed is death."[14] In this way, then, it is that corruption shall not inherit incorruption; in other words, death shall not continue. When and how shall it cease? In that "moment, that twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, when the dead shall rise incorruptible."[15] But what are these, if not they who were corruptible before--that is, our bodies; in other words, our flesh and blood? And we undergo the change. But in what condition, if not in that wherein we shall be found? "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."[16] What mortal is this but the flesh? what corruptible but the blood. Moreover, that you may not suppose the apostle to have any other meaning, in his care to teach you, and that you may understand him seriously to apply his statement to the flesh, when he says "this corruptible" and "this mortal," he utters the words while touching the surface of his own body.[1] He certainly could not have pronounced these phrases except in reference to an object which was palpable and apparent. The expression indicates a bodily exhibition. Moreover, a corruptible body is one thing, and corruption is another; so a mortal body is one thing, and mortality is another. For that which suffers is one thing, and that which causes it to suffer is another. Consequently, those things which are subject to corruption and mortality, even the flesh and blood, must needs also be susceptible of incorruption and immortality.

CHAP. LII.--FROM ST. PAUL'S ANALOGY OF THE SEED WE LEARN THAT THE BODY WHICH DIED WILL RISE AGAIN, GARNISHED WITH THE APPLIANCES OF ETERNAL LIFE.

Let us now see in what body he asserts that the dead will come. And with a felicitous sally he proceeds at once to illustrate the point, as if an objector had plied him with some such question. "Thou fool," says he, "that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die."[2] From this example of the seed it is then evident that no other flesh is quickened than that which shall have undergone death, and therefore all the rest of the question will become clear enough. For nothing which is incompatible with the idea suggested by the example can possibly be understood; nor from the clause which follows, "That which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body which shall be,"[3] are you permitted to suppose that in the resurrection a different body is to arise from that which is sown in death. Otherwise you have run away from the example. For if wheat be sown and dissolved in the ground, barley does not spring up. Still it is not[4] the very same grain in kind; nor is its nature the same, or its quality and form. Then whence comes it, if it is not the very same? For even the decay is a proof of the thing itself, since it is the decay of the actual grain. Well, but does not the apostle himself suggest in what sense it is that "the body which shall be" is not the body which is sown, even when he says, "But bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain; but God giveth it a body as it pleaseth Him?''[5] Gives it of course to the grain which he says is sown bare. No doubt, you say. Then the grain is safe enough, to which God has to assign a body. But how safe, if it is nowhere in existence, if it does not rise again if it rises not again its actual self? If it rises not again, it is not safe; and if it is not even safe, it cannot receive a body from God. But there is every possible proof that it is safe. For what purpose, therefore, will God give it "a body, as it pleases Him," even when it already has its own "bare" body, unless it be that in its resurrection it may be no longer bare? That therefore will be additional matter which is placed over the bare body; nor is that at all destroyed on which the superimposed matter is put,--nay, it is increased. That, however, is safe which receives augmentation. The truth is, it is sown the barest grain, without a husk to cover it, without a spike even in germ, without the protection of a bearded top, without the glory of a stalk. It rises, however, out of the furrow enriched with a copious crop, built up in a compact fabric, constructed in a beautiful order, fortified by cultivation, and clothed around on every side. These are the circumstances which make it another body from God, to which it is changed not by abolition, but by amplification. And to every seed God has assigned its own body[6]--not, indeed, its own in the sense of its primitive body--in order that what it acquires from God extrinsically may also at last be accounted its own. Cleave firmly then to the example, and keep it well in view, as a mirror of what happens to the flesh: believe that the very same flesh which was once sown in death will bear fruit in resurrection-life--the same in essence, only more full and perfect; not another, although reappearing in another form. For it shall receive in itself the grace and ornament which God shall please to spread over it, according to its merits. Unquestionably it is in this sense that he says, "All flesh is not the same flesh;"[7] meaning not to deny a community of substance, but a parity of prerogative,--reducing the body to a difference of honour, not of nature. With this view he adds, in a figurative sense, certain examples of animals and heavenly bodies: "There is one flesh of man" (that is, servants of God, but really human), "another flesh of beasts" (that is, the heathen, of whom the prophet actually says, "Man is like the senseless cattle"[8]), "another flesh of birds" (that is, the martyrs which essay to mount up to heaven), "another of fishes" (that is, those whom the water of baptism has submerged).[9] In like manner does he take examples from the heavenly bodies: "There is one glory of the sun" (that is, of Christ), "and another glory of the moon" (that is, of the Church), "and another glory of the stars" (in other words, of the seed of Abraham). "For one star differeth from another star in glory: so there are bodies terrestrial as well as celestial" (Jews, that is, as well as Christians).[1] Now, if this language is not to be construed figuratively, it was absurd enough for him to make a contrast between the flesh of mules and kites, as well as the heavenly bodies and human bodies; for they admit of no comparison as to their condition, nor in respect of their attainment of a resurrection. Then at last, having conclusively shown by his examples that the difference was one of glory, not of substance, he adds: "So also is the resurrection of the dead."[2] How so? In no other way than as differing in glory only. For again, predicating the resurrection of the same substance and returning once more to (his comparison of) the grain, he says: "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."[3] Now, certainly nothing else is raised than that which is sown; and nothing else is sown than that which decays in the ground; and it is nothing else than the flesh which is decayed in the ground. For this was the substance which God's decree demolished, "Earth thou art, and to earth shalt thou return;"[4] because it was taken out of the earth. And it was from this circumstance that the apostle borrowed his phrase of the flesh being "sown," since it returns to the ground, and the ground is the grand depository for seeds which are meant to be deposited in it, and again sought out of it. And therefore he confirms the passage afresh, by putting on it the impress (of his own inspired authority), saying, "For so it is written;"[5] that you may not suppose that the "being sown" means anything else than "thou shalt return to the ground, out of which thou wast taken;" nor that the phrase "for so it is written" refers to any other thing that the flesh.

CHAP. LIII.--NOT THE SOUL, BUT THE NATURAL BODY WHICH DIED, IS THAT WHICH IS TO RISE AGAIN. THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS COMMENTED ON. CHRIST'S RESURRECTION, AS THE SECOND ADAM,GUARANTEES OUR OWN.

Some, however, contend that the soul is "the natural (or animate) body, "[6] with the view of withdrawing the flesh from all connection with the risen body. Now, since it is a clear and fixed point that the body which is to rise again is that which was sown in death, they must be challenged to an examination of the very fact itself. Else let them show that the soul was sown after death; in a word, that it underwent death,--that is, was demolished, dismembered, dissolved in the ground, nothing of which was ever decreed against it by God: let them display to our view its corruptibility and dishonour (as well as) its weakness, that it may also accrue to it to rise again in incorruption, and in glory, and in power? Now in the ease of Lazarus, (which we may take as) the palmary instance of a resurrection, the flesh lay prostrate in weakness, the flesh was almost putrid in the dishonour of its decay, the flesh stank in corruption, and yet it was as flesh that Lazarus rose again--with his soul, no doubt. But that soul was incorrupt; nobody had wrapped it in its linen swathes; nobody had deposited it in a grave; nobody had yet preceived it "stink;" nobody for four days had seen it "sown." Well, now, this entire condition, this whole end of Lazarus, the flesh indeed of all men is still experiencing, but the soul of no one. That substance, therefore, to which the apostle's whole description manifestly refers, of which he clearly speaks, must be both the natural (or animate) body when it is sown, and the spiritual body when it is raised again. For in order that you may understand it in this sense, he points to this same conclusion, when in like manner, on the authority of the same passage of Scripture, he displays to us "the first man Adam as made a living soul."[8] Now since Adam was the first man, since also the flesh was man prior to the soul? it undoubtedly follows that it was the flesh that became the living soul. Moreover, since it was a bodily substance that assumed this condition, it was of course the natural (or animate) body that became the living soul. By what designation would they have it called, except that which it became through the soul, except that which it was not previous to the soul, except that which it can never be after the soul, but through its resurrection? For after it has recovered the soul, it once more becomes the natural (or animate) body, in order that it may become a spiritual body. For it only resumes in the resurrection the condition which it once had. There is therefore by no means the same good reason why the soul should be called the natural (or animate) body, which the flesh has for bearing that designation. The flesh, in fact, was a body before it was an animate body. When the flesh was joined by the soul,[1] it then became the natural (or animate) body. Now, although the soul is a corporeal substance,[2] yet, as it is not an animated body, but rather an animating one, it cannot be called the animate (or natural) body, nor can it become that thing which it produces. It is indeed when the soul accrues to something else that it makes that thing animate; but unless it so accrues, how will it ever produce animation? As therefore the flesh was at first an animate (or natural) body on receiving the soul, so at last will it become a spiritual body when invested with the spirit. Now the apostle, by severally adducing this order in Adam and in Christ, fairly distinguishes between the two states, in the very essentials of their difference. And when he calls Christ "the last Adam,"[3] you may from this circumstance discover how strenuously he labours to establish throughout his teaching the resurrection of the flesh, not of the soul. Thus, then, the first man Adam was flesh, not soul, and only afterwards became a living soul; and the last Adam, Christ, was Adam only because He was man, and only man as being flesh, not as being soul. Accordingly the apostle goes on to say: "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual,"[4] as in the case of the two Adams. Now, do you not suppose that he is distinguishing between the natural body and the spiritual body in the same flesh, after having already drawn the distinction therein in the two Adams, that is, in the first man and in the last? For from which substance is it that Christ and Adam have a parity with each other? No doubt it is from their flesh, although it may be from their soul also. It is, however, in respect of the flesh that they are both man; for the flesh was man prior to the saul. It was actually from it that they were able to take rank, so as to be deemed--one the first, and the other the last man, or Adam. Besides, things which are different in character are only incapable of being arranged in the same order when their diversity is one of substance; for when it is a diversity either in respect of place, or of time, or of condition, they probably do admit of classification together. Here, however, they are called first and last, from the substance of their (common) flesh, just as afterwards again the first man (is said to be) of the earth, and the second of heaven;[3] but although He is "of heaven" in respect of the spirit, He is yet man according to the flesh. Now since it is the flesh, and not the soul, that makes an order (or classification together) in the two Adams compatible, so that the distinction is drawn between them of "the first man becoming a living soul, and the last a quickening spirit,"[6] so in like manner this distinction between them has already suggested the conclusion that the distinction is due to the flesh; so that it is of the flesh that these words speak: "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual."[7] And thus, too, the same flesh must be understood in a preceding passage: "That which is sown is the natural body, and that which rises again is the spiritual body; because that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: since the first Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam a quickening spirit."[8] It is all about man, and all about the flesh because about man.

What shall we say then? Has not the flesh even now (in this life) the spirit by faith? so that the question still remains to be asked, how it is that the animate (or natural) body can be said to be sown? Surely the flesh has received even here the spirit--but only its "earnest;"[9] whereas of the soul (it has received) not the earnest, but the full possession. Therefore it has the name of animate (or natural) body, expressly because of the higher substance of the soul (or animal,) in which it is sown, destined hereafter to become, through the full possession of the spirit which it shall obtain, the spiritual body, in which it is raised again. What wonder, then, if it is more commonly called after the substance with which it is fully furnished, than after that of which it has yet but a sprinkling?

CHAP. LIV.--DEATH SWALLOWED UP OF LIFE. MEANING OF THIS PHRASE IN RELATION TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.

Then, again, questions very often are suggested by occasional and isolated terms, just as much as they are by connected sentences. Thus, because of the apostle's expression, "that mortality may be swallowed up of life "[10]-- in reference to the flesh--they wrest the word swallowed up into the sense of the actual destruction of the flesh; as if we might not speak of ourselves as swallowing bile, or swallowing grief, meaning that we conceal and hide it, and keep it within ourselves. The truth is, when it is written, "This mortal must put on immortality,"[1] it is explained in what sense it is that "mortality is swallowed up of life "--even whilst, clothed with immortality, it is hidden and concealed, and contained within it, not as consumed, and destroyed, and lost. But death, you will say in reply to me, at this rate, must be safe, even when it has been swallowed up. Well, then, I ask you to distinguish words which are similar in form according to their proper meanings. Death is one thing, and morality is another. It is one thing for death to be swallowed up, and another thing for mortality to be swallowed up. Death is incapable of immortality, but not so mortality. Besides, as it is written that "this mortal must put on immortality,"[2] how is this possible when it is swallowed up of life? But how is it swallowed up of life, (in the sense of destroyed by it) when it is actually received, and restored, and included in it? For the rest, it is only just and right that death should be swallowed up in utter destruction, since it does itself devour with this same intent. Death, says the apostle, has devoured by exercising its strength, and therefore has been itself devoured in the struggle "swallowed up in victory."[3] "O death, where is thy sting? O death, where is thy victory?"[4] Therefore life, too, as the great antagonist of death, will in the struggle swallow up for salvation what death, in its struggle, had swallowed up for destruction.

CHAP. LV.--THE CHANGE OF A THING'S CONDITION IS NOT THE DESTRUCTION OF ITS SUBSTANCE. THE APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE TO OUR SUBJECT.

Now although, in proving that the flesh shall rise again we ipso facto prove that no other flesh will partake of that resurrection than that which is in question, yet insulated questions and their occasions do require even discussions of their own, even if they have been already sufficiently met. We will therefore give a fuller explanation of the force and the reason of a change which (is so great, that it) almost suggests the presumption that it is a different flesh which is to rise again; as if, indeed, so great a change amounted to utter cessation, and a complete destruction of the former self. A distinction, however, must be made between a change, however great, and everything which has the character of distruction. For undergoing change is one thing, but being destroyed is another thing. Now this distinction would no longer exist, if the flesh were to suffer such a change as amounts to destruction. Destroyed, however, it must be by the change, unless it shall itself persistently remain throughout the altered condition which shall be exhibited in the resurrection. For precisely as it perishes, if it does not rise again, so also does it equally perish even if it does rise again, on the supposition that it is lost[5] in the change. It will as much fail of a future existence, as if it did not rise again at all. And how absurd is it to rise again for the purpose of not having a being, when it had it in its power not to rise again, and so lose airs being--because it had already begun its non-existence! Now, things which are absolutely different, as mutation and destruction are, will not admit of mixture and confusion; in their operations, too, they differ. One destroys, the other changes. Therefore, as that which is destroyed is not changed, so that which is changed is not destroyed. To perish is altogether to cease to be what a thing once was, whereas to be changed is to exist in another condition. Now, if a thing exists in another condition, it can still be the same thing itself; for since it does not perish, it has its existence still. A change, indeed, it has experienced, but not a destruction. A thing may undergo a complete change, and yet remain still the same thing. In like manner, a man also may be quite himself in substance even in the present life, and for all that undergo various changes--in habit, in bodily bulk, in health, in condition, in dignity, and m age--in taste, business, means, houses, laws and customs--and still lose nothing of his human nature, nor so to be made another man as to cease to be the same; indeed, I ought hardly to say another man, but another thing. This form of change even the Holy Scriptures give us instances of. The hand of Moses is changed, and it becomes like a dead one, bloodless, colourless, and stiff with cold; but on the recovery of heat, and on the restoration of its natural colour, it is again the same flesh and blood? Afterwards the face of the same Moses is changed,[7] with a brightness which eye could not bear. But he was Moses still, even when he was not visible. So also Stephen had already put on the appearance of an angel,[8] although they were none other than his human knees[1] which bent beneath the stoning. The Lord, again, in the retirement of the mount, had changed His raiment for a robe of light; but He still retained features which Peter could recognise.[2] In that same scene Moses also and Elias gave proof that the same condition of bodily existence may continue even in glory--the one in the likeness of a flesh which he had not yet recovered, the other in the reality of one which 'he had not yet put off.[3] It was as full of this splendid example that Paul said: "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body."[4] But if you maintain that a transfiguration and a conversion amounts to the annihilation of any substance, then it follows that "Saul, when changed into another man,"[5] passed away from his own bodily substance; and that Satan himself, when "transformed into an angel of light,"[6] loses his own proper character. Such is not my opinion. So likewise changes, conversions and reformations will necessarily take place to bring about the resurrection, but the substance of the flesh will still be preserved safe.

CHAP. LVI.--THE PROCEDURE OF THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND ITS AWARDS, ONLY POSSIBLE ON THE IDENTITY OF THE RISEN BODY WITH OUR PRESENT FLESH.

For how absurd, and in truth how unjust, and in both respects how unworthy of God, for one substance to do the work, and another to reap the reward: that this flesh of ours should be torn by martyrdom, and another wear the crown; or, on the other hand, that this flesh of ours should wallow in uncleanness, and another receive the condemnation! Is it not better to renounce all faith at once in the hope of the resurrection,[7] than to trifle with the wisdom and justice of God?[8] Better that Marcion should rise again than Valentinus. For it cannot be believed that the mind, or the memory, or the conscience of existing man is abolished by putting on that change of raiment which immortality and incorruption supplies; for in that case all the gain and fruit of the resurrection, and the permanent effect[9] of God's judgment both on soul and body,[10] would certainly fall to the ground. If I remember not that it is I who have served Him, how shall I ascribe glory to God? How sing to Him "the new song,"[11]if I am ignorant that it is I who owe Him thanks? But why is exception taken only against the change of the flesh, and not of the soul also, which in all things is superior to the flesh? How happens it, that the self-same soul which in our present flesh has gone through all life's course, which has learnt the knowledge of God, and put on Christ, and sown the hope of salvation in this flesh, must reap its harvest in another flesh of which we know nothing? Verily that must be a most highly favoured flesh, which shall have the enjoyment of life at so gratuitous a rate! But if the soul is not to be changed also, then there is no resurrection of the soul; nor will it be believed to have itself risen, unless it has risen some different thing.

CHAP. LVII.--OUR BODIES, HOWEVER MUTILATED BEFORE OR AFTER DEATH, SHALL RECOVER THEIR PERFECT INTEGRITY IN THE RESURRECTION. ILLUSTRATION' OF THE ENFRANCHISED SLAVE.

We now come to the most usual cavil of unbelief. If, they say, it be actully the selfsame substance which is recalled to life with all its form, and lineaments, and quality, then why not with all its other characteristics? Then the blind, and the lame, and the palsied, and whoever else may have passed away with any conspicuous mark, will return again with the same. What now is the fact, although you in the greatness of your conceit[11] thus disdain to accept from God so vast a grace? Does it not happen that, when you now admit the salvation of only the soul, you ascribe it to men at the cost of half their nature? What is the good of believing in the resurrection, unless your faith embraces the whole of it? If the flesh is to be repaired after its dissolution, much more will it be restored after some violent injury. Greater cases prescribe rules for lesser ones. Is not the amputation or the crushing of a limb the death of that limb? Now, if the death of the whole person is rescinded by its resurrection, what must we say of the death of a part of him? If we are changed for glory, how much more for integrity![12] Any loss sustained by our bodies is an accident to them, but their entirety is their natural property. In this condition we are born. Even if we become injured in the womb, this is loss suffered by what is already a human being. Natural condition"[14] is prior to injury. As life is bestowed by God, so is it restored by Him. As we are when we receive it, so are we when we recover it. To nature, not to injury, are we restored; to our state by birth, not to our condition by accident, do we rise again. If God raises not men entire, He raises not the dead. For what dead man is entire, although he dies entire? Who is without hurt, that is without life? What body is uninjured, when it is dead, when it is cold, when it is ghastly, when it is stiff, when it is a corpse? When is a man more infirm, than when he is entirely infirm? When more palsied, than when quite motionless? Thus, for a dead man to be raised again, amounts to nothing short of his being restored to his entire condition,--lest he, forsooth, be still dead in that part in which he has not risen again. God is quite able to re-make what He once made. This power and this unstinted grace of His He has already sufficiently guaranteed in Christ; and has displayed Himself to us (in Him) not only as the restorer of the flesh, but as the repairer of its breaches. And so the apostle says: "The dead shall be raised incorruptible" (or unimpaired).[1] But how so, unless they become entire, who have wasted away either in the loss of their health, or in the long decrepitude of the grave? For when he propounds the two clauses, that "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, "[2] he does not repeat the same statement, but sets forth a distinction. For, by assigning immortality to the repeating of death, and incorruption to the repairing of the wasted body, he has fitted one to the raising and the other to the retrieval of the body. I suppose, moreover, that he promises to the Thessalonians the integrity of the whole substance of man.[3] So that for the great future there need be no fear of blemished or defective bodies. Integrity, whether the result of preservation or restoration, will be able to lose nothing more, after the time that it has given back to it whatever it had lost. Now, when you contend that the flesh will still have to undergo the same sufferings, if the same flesh be said to have to rise again, you rashly set up nature against her Lord, and impiously contrast her law against His grace; as if it were not permitted the Lord God both to change nature, and to preserve her, without subjection to a law. How is it, then, that we read, "With men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible;"[4] and again, "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise?" [5] Let me ask you, if you were to manumit your slave (seeing that the same flesh and soul will remain to him, which once were exposed to the whip, and the fetter, and the stripes), will it therefore be fit for him to undergo the same old sufferings? I trow not. He is instead thereof honoured with the grace of the white robe, and the favour of the gold ring, and the name and tribe as well as table of his patron. Give, then, the same prerogative to God, by virtue of such a change, of reforming our condition, not our nature, by taking away from it all sufferings, and surrounding it with safeguards of protection. Thus our flesh shall remain even after the resurrection--so far indeed susceptible of suffering, as it is the flesh, and the same flesh too; but at the same time impassible, inasmuch as it has been liberated by the Lord for the very end and purpose of being no longer capable of enduring suffering.

CHAP. LVIII.--FROM THIS PERFECTION OF OUR RESTORED BODIES WILL FLOW THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF UNDISTURBED JOY AND PEACE.

"Everlasting joy," says Isaiah, "shall be upon their heads."[6] Well, there is nothing eternal until after the resurrection. "And sorrow and sighing," continues he, "shall flee away."[7] The angel echoes the same to John: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;"[8] from the same eyes indeed which had formerly wept, and which might weep again, if the loving-kindness of God did not dry up every fountain of tears. And again: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death,"[9] and therefore no more corruption, it being chased away by incorruption, even as death is by immortality. If sorrow, and mourning, and sighing, and death itself, assail us from the afflictions both of soul and body, how shall they be removed, except by the cessation of their causes, that is to say, the afflictions of flesh and soul? where will you find adversities in the presence of God? where, incursions of an enemy in the bosom of Christ? where, attacks of the devil in the face of the Holy Spirit?--now that the devil himself and his angels are "cast into the lake of fire." [10] Where now is necessity, and what they call fortune or fate? What plague awaits the redeemed from death, after their eternal pardon? What wrath is there for the reconciled, after grace? What weakness, after their renewed strength? What risk and danger, after their salvation? That the raiment and shoes of the children of Israel remained unworn and fresh for the space of forty years; [1] that in their very persons the exact point[2] of convenience and propriety checked the rank growth of their nails and hair, so that any excess herein might not be attributed to indecency; that the fires of Babylon injured not either the mitres or the trousers of the three brethren, however foreign such dress might be to the Jews;[3] that Jonah was swallowed by the monster of the deep, in whose belly whole ships were devoured, and after three days was vomited out again safe and sound;[4] that Enoch and Elias, who even now, without experiencing a resurrrection (because they have not even encountered death), are learning to the full what it is for the flesh to be exempted from all humilation, and all loss, and all injury, and all disgrace--translated as they have been from this world, and from this very cause already candidates for everlasting life;[5] --to what faith do these notable facts bear witness, if not to that which ought to inspire in us the belief that they are proofs and documents of our own future integrity and perfect resurrection? For, to borrow the apostle's phrase, these were "figures of ourselves; "[6] and they are written that we may believe both that the Lord is more powerful than all natural laws about the body, and that He shows Himself the preserver of the flesh the more emphatically, in that He has preserved for it its very clothes and shoes.

CHAP. LIX.--OUR FLESH IN THE RESURRECTION CAPABLE, WITHOUT LOSING ITS ESSENTIAL IDENTITY, OF BEARING THE CHANGED CONDITIONS OF ETERNAL LIFE, OR OF DEATH ETERNAL.

But, you object, the world to come bears the character of a different dispensation, even an eternal one; and therefore, you maintain, that the non-eternal substance of this life is incapable of possessing a state of such different features. This would be true enough, if man were made for the future dispensation, and not the dispensation for man. The apostle, however, in his epistle says, "Whether it be the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours: "[7] and he here constitutes us heirs even of the future world. Isaiah gives you no help when he says, "All flesh is grass;"[8] and in another passage, "All flesh shall see the salvation of God."[9] It is the issues of men, not their substances, which he distinguishes. But who does not hold that the judgment of God consists in the twofold sentence, of salvation and of punishment? Therefore it is that "all flesh is grass," which is destined to the fire; and "all flesh shall see the salvation of God," which is ordained to eternal life. For myself, I am quite sure that it is in no other flesh than my own that I have committed adultery, nor in any other flesh am I striving after continence. If there be any one who bears about in his person two instruments of lasciviousness, he has it in his power, to be sure, to mow down[10] "the grass" of the unclean flesh, and to reserve for himself only that which shall see the salvation of God. But when the same prophet represents to us even nations sometimes estimated as "the small dust of the balance,"[11] and as "less than nothing, and vanity,"[12] and sometimes as about to hope and "trust in the name"[13] and arm of the Lord, are we at all misled respecting the Gentile nations by the diversity of statement? Are some of them to turn believers, and are others accounted dust, from any difference of nature? Nay, rather Christ has shone as the true light on the nations within the ocean's limits, and from the heaven which is over us all.[14] Why, it is even on this earth that the Valentinians have gone to school for their errors; and there will be no difference of condition, as respects their body and soul, between the nations which believe and those which do not believe. Precisely, then, as He has put a distinction of state, not of nature, amongst the same nations, so also has He discriminated their flesh, which is one and the same substance in those nations, not according to their material structure, but according to the recompense of their merit.

CHAP. LX.--ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR BODIES--SEX, VARIOUS LIMBS, ETC.--WILL BE RETAINED, WHATEVER CHANGE OF FUNCTIONS THESE MAY HAVE, OF WHICH POINT, HOWEVER, WE ARE NO JUDGES. ANALOGY OF THE REPAIRED SHIP.

But behold how presistently they still accumulate their cavils against the flesh, especially against its identity, deriving their arguments even from the functions of our limbs; on the one hand saying that these ought to continue permanently pursuing their labours and enjoyments, as appendages to the same corporeal frame; and on the other hand contending that, inasmuch as the functions of the limbs shall one day come to an end, the bodily frame itself must be destroyed, its permanence without its limbs being deemed to be as inconceivable, as that of the limbs themselves without their functions ! What, they ask, will then be the use of the cavity of our mouth, and its rows of teeth, and the passage of the throat, and the branch-way of the stomach, and the gulf of the belly, and the entangled tissue of the bowels, when there shall no longer be room for eating and drinking? What more will there be for these members to take in, masticate, swallow, secrete, digest, eject? Of what avail will be our very hands, and feet, and all our labouring limbs, when even all care about food shall cease? What purpose can be served by loins, conscious of seminal secretions, and all the other organs of generation, in the two sexes, and the laboratories of embryos, and the fountains of the breast, when concubinage, and pregnancy, and infant nurture shall cease? In short, what will be the use of the entire body, when the entire body shall become useless? In reply to all this, we have then already settled the principle that the dispensation of the future state ought not to be compared with that of the present world, and that in the interval between them a change will take place; and we now add the remark, that these functions of our bodily limbs will continue to supply the needs of this life up to the moment when life itself shall pass away from time to eternity, as the natural body gives place to the spiritual, until "this mortal puts on immorality, and this corruptible puts on incorruption:"[1] so that when life shall itself become freed from all wants, our limbs shall then be freed also from their services, and therefore will be no longer wanted. Still, although liberated from their offices, they will be yet preserved for judgment, "that every one may receive the things done in his body."[2] For the judgment-seat of God requires that man be kept entire. Entire, however, he cannot be without his limbs, of the substance of which, not the functions, he consists; unless, forsooth, you will be bold enough to maintain that a ship is perfect without her keel, or her bow, or her stern, and without the solidity of her entire t frame. And yet how often have we seen the same ship, after being shattered with the storm and broken by decay, with all her timbers repaired and restored, gallantly riding on the wave in all the beauty of a renewed fabric! Do we then disquiet ourselves with doubt about God's skill, and will, and rights? Besides, if a wealthy shipowner, who does not grudge money merely for his amusement or show, thoroughly repairs his ship, and then chooses that she should make no further voyages, will you contend that the old form and finish is still not necessary to the vessel, although she is no longer meant for actual service, when the mere safety of a ship requires such completeness irrespective of service? The sole question, therefore, which is enough for us to consider here, is whether the Lord, when He ordains salvation for man, intends it for his flesh; whether it is His will that the selfsame flesh shall be renewed. If so, it will be improper for you to rule, from the inutility of its limbs in the future state, that the flesh will be incapable of renovation. For a thing may be renewed, and yet be useless from having nothing to do; but it cannot be said to be useless if it has no existence. If, indeed, it has existence, it will be quite possible for it also not to be useless; it may possibly have something to do; for in the presence of God there will be no idleness.

CHAP. LXI.--THE DETAILS OF OUR BODILY SEX, AND OF THE FUNCTIONS OF OUR VARIOUS MEMBERS. APOLOGY FOR THE NECESSITY WHICH HERESY IMPOSES OF HUNTING UP ALL ITS UNBLUSHING CAVILS.

Now you have received your mouth, O man, for the purpose of devouring your food and imbibing your drink: why not, however, for the higher purpose of uttering speech, so as to distinguish yourself from all other animals? Why not rather for preaching the gospel of God, that so you may become even His priest and advocate before men? Adam indeed gave their several names to the animals, before he plucked the fruit of the tree; before he ate, he prophesied. Then, again, you received your teeth for the consumption of your meal: why not rather for wreathing your mouth with suitable defence on every opening thereof, small or wide? Why not, too, for moderating the impulses of your tongue, and guarding your articulate speech from failure and violence? Let me tell you, (if you do not know), that there are toothless persons in the world. Look at them, and ask whether even a cage of teeth be not an honour to the mouth. There are apertures in the lower regions of man and woman, by means of which they gratify no doubt their animal passions; but why are they not rather regarded as outlets for the cleanly discharge of natural fluids? Women, moreover, have within them receptacles where human seed may collect; but are they not designed for the secretion of those sanguineous issues, which their tardier and weaker sex is inadequate to disperse? For even details like these require to be mentioned, seeing that heretics single out what parts of our bodies may suit them, handle them without delicacy, and, as their whim suggests, pour torrents of scorn and contempt upon the natural functions of our members, for the purpose of upsetting the resurrection, and making us blush over their cavils; not reflecting that before the functions cease, the very causes of them will have passed away. There will be no more meat, because no more hunger; no more drink, because no more thirst; no more concubinage, because no more child-bearing; no more eating and drinking, because no more labour and toil. Death, too, will cease; so there will be no more need of the nutriment of food for the defence of life, nor will mothers' limbs any longer have to be laden for the replenishment of our race. But even in the present life there may be cessations of their office for our stomachs and our generative organs. For forty days Moses[1] and Elias[2] fasted, and lived upon God alone. For even so early was the principle consecrated: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."[3] See here faint outlines of our future strength! We even, as we may be able, excuse our mouths from food, and withdraw our sexes from union. How many voluntary eunuchs are there! How many virgins espoused to Christ! How many, both of men and women, whom nature has made sterile, with a structure which cannot procreate! Now, if even here on earth both the functions and the pleasures of our members may be suspended, with an intermission which, like the dispensation itself, can only be a temporary one, and yet man's safety is nevertheless unimpaired, how much more, when his salvation is secure, and especially in an eternal dispensation, shall we not cease to desire those things, for which, even here below, we are not unaccustomed to check our longings!

CHAP. LXII.--OUR DESTINED LIKENESS TO THE ANGELS IN THE GLORIOUS LIFE OF THE RESURRECTION.

To this discussion, however, our Lord's declaration puts an effectual end: "They shall be," says He, "equal unto the angels."[4] As by not marrying, because of not dying, so, of course, by not having to yield to any like necessity of our bodily state; even as the angels, too, sometimes. were "equal unto" men, by eating and drinking, and submitting their feet to the washing of the bath--having clothed themselves in human guise, without i the loss of their own intrinsic nature. If therefore angels, when they became as men, submitted in their own unaltered substance of spirit to be treated as if they were flesh, why shall not men in like manner, when they become "equal unto the angels," undergo in their unchanged substance of flesh the treatment of spiritual beings, no more exposed to the usual solicitations of the flesh in their angelic garb, than were the angels once to those of the spirit when encompassed in human form? We shall not therefore cease to continue in the flesh, because we cease to be importuned by the usual wants of the flesh; just as the angels ceased not therefore to remain in their spiritual substance, because of the suspension of their spiritual incidents. Lastly, Christ said not, "They shall be angels," in order not to repeal their existence as men; but He said, "They shall be equal unto the angels,[5] that He might preserve their humanity unimpaired. When He ascribed an angelic likeness to the flesh,[6] He took not from it its proper substance.

CHAP. LXIII.--CONCLUSION. THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH IN ITS ABSOLUTE IDENTITY AND PERFECTION. BELIEF OF THIS HAD BECOME WEAK. HOPES FOR ITS REFRESHING RESTORATION UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF THE PARACLETE.

And so the flesh shall rise again, wholly in every man, in its own identity, in its absolute integrity. Wherever it may be, it is in safe keeping in God's presence, through that most faithful "Mediator between God and man, (the man) Jesus Christ,"[7] who shall reconcile both God to man, and man to God; the spirit to the flesh, and the flesh to the spirit. Both natures has He already united in His own self; He has fitted them together as bride and bridegroom in the reciprocal bond of wedded life. Now, if any should insist on making the soul the bride, then the flesh will follow the soul as her dowry. The soul shall never be an outcast, to be had home by the bridegroom bare and naked. She has her dower, her outfit, her fortune in the flesh, which shall accompany her with the love and fidelity of a foster-sister. But suppose the flesh to be the bride, then in Christ Jesus she has in the contract of His blood received His Spirit as her spouse. Now, what you take to be her extinction, you may be sure is only her temporary retirement. It is not the soul only which withdraws from view. The flesh, too, has her departures for a while--in waters, in fires, in birds, in beasts; she may seem to be dissolved into these, but she is only poured into them, as into vessels. And should the vessels themselves afterwards fail to hold her, escaping from even these, and returning to her mother earth, she is absorbed once more, as it were, by its secret embraces, ultimately to stand forth to view, like Adam when summoned to hear from his Lord and Creator the words, "Behold, the man is become as one of us!"[1]--thoroughly "knowing" by that time "the evil" which she had escaped, "and the good" which she has acquired. Why, then, O soul, should you envy the flesh? There is none, after the Lord, whom you should love so dearly; none more like a brother to you, which is even born along with yourself in God. You ought rather to have been by your prayers obtaining resurrection for her: her sins, whatever they were, were owing to you. However, it is no wonder if you hate her; for you have repudiated her Creator.[2] You have accustomed yourself either to deny or change her existence even in Christ[3]--corrupting the very Word of God Himself, who became flesh, either by mutilating or misinterpreting the Scripture,[4] and introducing, above all, apocryphal mysteries and blasphemous fables.[5] But yet Almighty God, in His most gracious providence, by "pouring out of His Spirit in these last days, upon all flesh, upon His servants and on His handmaidens,"[6] has checked these impostures of unbelief and perverseness, reanimated men's faltering faith in the resurrection of the flesh, and cleared from all obscurity and equivocation the ancient Scriptures (of both God's Testaments[7]) by the clear light of their (sacred) words and meanings. Now, since it was "needful that there should be heresies, in order that they which are approved might be made manifest;"[8] since, however, these heresies would be unable to put on a bold front without some countenance from the Scriptures, it therefore is plain enough that the ancient Holy Writ has furnished them with sundry materials for their evil doctrine, which very materials indeed (so distorted) are refutable from the same Scriptures. It was fit and proper, therefore, that the Holy Ghost should no longer withhold the effusions of His gracious light upon these inspired writings, in order that they might be able to disseminate the seeds of truth with no admixture of heretical subtleties, and pluck out from it their tares. He has accordingly now dispersed all the perplexities of the past, and their self-chosen allegories and parables, by the open and perspicuous explanation of the entire mystery, through the new prophecy, which descends in copious streams from the Paraclete. If you will only draw water from His fountains, you will never thrist for other doctrine: no feverish craving after subtle questions will again consume you; but by drinking in evermore the resurrection of the flesh, you will be satisfied with the refreshing draughts.


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