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NPNF1-03. On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises
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24. If what we have made mention of out of the Apostolic Epistles seem to you to fall short of an answer, hear yet others, if ye have ears. What saith the utterly mad Manichæan of the Flesh of Christ? That it was not true, but false. What saith the blessed Apostle to this? “Remember that Christ Jesus rose again from the dead of the seed of David, according to my Gospel.”18901890    2 Tim. ii. 8 And Christ Jesus Himself saith, “Handle and see, that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me to have.”18911891    Luke xxiv. 39 How is there truth in their doctrine, which asserts that in the Flesh of Christ there was falsehood? How was there in Christ no evil, in Whom was so great a lie? Because forsooth to men over-clean true flesh is an evil, and false flesh instead of true is not an evil: it is an evil, true flesh of one born of the seed of David, and it is no evil, false tongue of one saying, “Handle, and see, that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me to have.” Of the Church what saith the deceiver of men with deadly error? That on the side of souls it pertains unto Christ, on the side of bodies unto the devil? What to this saith the Teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth? “Know ye not,” saith he, “that your bodies are members of Christ?”18921892    1 Cor. vi. 15 Of the sex of male and female what saith the son of perdition? That either sex is not of God, but of the devil. What to this saith the Vessel of Election? “As,” saith he, “the woman from out the man, so also the man through the woman: but all things of God.”18931893    1 Cor. xi. 12 Of the flesh what saith the unclean spirit through the Manichæan? That it is an evil substance, and not the creation of God, but of an enemy. What to this saith the Holy Spirit through Paul? “For as the body is one,” saith he, “and hath many members, but all the members of the body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”18941894    1 Cor. xii. 12 And a little after; “God hath set,” saith he, “the members, each one of them in the body, as He willed.”18951895    1 Cor. xii. 18 Also a little after; “God,” saith he, “hath tempered the body, giving greater honor unto that to which it was wanting, that there should be no schisms in the body, but that the members have the self-same care one for another: and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be glorified, all the members rejoice with it.”18961896    1 Cor. xii. 24, 25, 26 How is the flesh evil, when the souls themselves are admonished to imitate the peace of its members? How is it the creation of the enemy, when the souls themselves, which rule the bodies, take pattern from the members of the body, not to have schisms of enmities among themselves, in order that, what God hath granted unto the body by nature, this themselves also may love to have by grace? With good cause, writing to the Romans, “I beseech you,” saith he, “brethren, by the mercy of God, that ye present your bodies a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God.”18971897    Rom. xii. 1 Without reason we contend that darkness is not light, nor light darkness, if we present a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God, of the bodies of the “nation of darkness.”


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