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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter XVI.—The spiritual temple of God.

Moreover, I will also tell you concerning the temple, how the wretched [Jews], wandering in error, trusted not in God Himself, but in the temple, as being the house of God. For almost after the manner of the Gentiles they worshipped Him in the temple.16721672    That is, “they worshipped the temple instead of Him.” But learn how the Lord speaks, when abolishing it: “Who hath meted out heaven with a span, and the earth with his palm? Have not I?”16731673    Isa. xl. 12. “Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is My throne, and the earth My footstool: what kind of house will ye build to Me, or what is the place of My rest?”16741674    Isa. lxvi. 1. Ye perceive that their hope is vain. Moreover, He again says, “Behold, they who have cast down this temple, even they shall build it up again.”16751675    Comp. Isa. xlix. 17 (Sept.). It has so happened.16761676    Cod. Sin. omits this. For through their going to war, it was destroyed by their enemies; and now they, as the servants of their enemies, shall rebuild it. Again, it was revealed that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be given up. For the Scripture saith, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Lord will deliver up the sheep of His pasture, and their sheep-fold and tower, to destruction.”16771677    Comp. Isa. v., Jer. xxv.; but the words do not occur in Scripture. And it so happened as the Lord had spoken. Let us inquire, then, if there still is a temple of God. There is—where He himself declared He would make and finish it. For it is written, “And it shall come to pass, when the week is completed, the temple of God shall be built in glory in the name of the Lord.”16781678    Dan. ix. 24–27; Hag. ii. 10. I find, therefore, that a temple does exist. Learn, then, how it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak, as being indeed like a temple made with hands. For it was full of idolatry, and was a habitation of demons, through our doing such things as were opposed to [the will of] God. But it shall be built, observe ye, in the name of the Lord, in order that the temple of the Lord may be built in glory. How? Learn [as follows]. Having received the forgiveness of sins, and placed our trust in the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the beginning. Wherefore in our habitation God truly dwells in us. How? His word of faith; His calling16791679    Cod. Sin. reads, “the calling.” of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the commands of the doctrine; He himself prophesying in us; He himself dwelling in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple, that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance introduced us into the incorruptible temple.16801680    Cod. Sin. gives the clauses of this sentence separately, each occupying a line. He then, who wishes to be saved, looks not to man,16811681    That is, the man who is engaged in preaching the Gospel. but to Him who dwelleth in him, and speaketh in him, amazed at never having either heard him utter such words with his mouth, nor himself having ever desired to hear them.16821682    Such is the punctuation adopted by Hefele, Dressel, and Hilgenfeld. This is the spiritual temple built for the Lord.


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