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ANF05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
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20. That the Church which before had been barren should have more children from among the Gentiles than what the synagogue had had before.

In Isaiah: “Rejoice, thou barren, that barest not; and break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:  because many more are the children of the desolate one than of her who hath an husband. For the Lord hath said, Enlarge the place of thy tabernacle, and of thy curtains, and fasten them: spare not, make long thy measures, and strengthen thy stakes: stretch forth yet to thy right hand and to thy left hand; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and shall inhabit the deserted cities. Fear not; because thou shalt overcome: nor be afraid because thou art cursed; for thou shalt forget thy eternal confusion.”38923892    Isa. liv. 1–4. Thus also to Abraham, when his former son was born of a bond-woman, Sarah remained long barren; and late in old age bare her son Isaac, of promise, who was the type of Christ. Thus also Jacob received two wives: the elder Leah, with weak eyes, a type of the synagogue; the younger the beautiful Rachel, a type of the Church, who also remained long barren, and afterwards brought forth Joseph, who also was himself a type of Christ. And in the first of Kings it is said that Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah, with her sons; and Hannah, barren, from whom is born Samuel, not according to the order of generation, but according to the mercy and promise of God, when she had prayed in the temple; and Samuel being born, was a type of Christ. Also in the first book of Kings: “The barren hath borne seven and she that had many children has grown weak.”38933893    1 Sam. ii. 5. [Compare Treatise xi. p. 503, supra.] But the seven children are the seven churches. Whence also Paul wrote to seven churches; and the Apocalypse sets forth seven churches, that the number seven may be preserved; as the seven days in which God made the world; as the seven angels who stand and go in and out before the face of God, as Raphael the angel says in Tobit; and the sevenfold lamp in the tabernacle of witness; and the seven eyes of God, which keep watch over the world; and the stone with seven eyes, as Zechariah says; and the seven spirits; and the seven candlesticks in the Apocalypse; and the seven pillars upon which Wisdom hath builded her house in Solomon.


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