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The manner in which Cicero addresses himself to the task of refuting the Stoics, shows that he did not think he could effect anything against them in argument unless he had first demolished divination. And this he attempts to accomplish by denying that there is any Knowledge of future things, and maintains with all his might that there is no such knowledge either in God or man, and that there is no prediction of events. Thus he both denies the foreknowledge of God, and attempts by vain arguments, and by opposing to himself certain oracles very easy to be refuted, to overthrow all prophecy, even such as is clearer than the light (though even these oracles are not refuted by him).

For he thinks that, the knowledge of future things being once conceded, fate follows as so necessary a consequence that it cannot be denied.

Neither let us be afraid lest, after all, we do not do by will that which we do by will, because He, whose foreknowledge is infallible, foreknew that we would do it.

wicked wills are not from Him, being contrary to nature, which is from Him.

But all of them are most of all subject to the will of God, to whom all wills also are subject, since they have no power except what He has bestowed upon them.

Such are all created spirits, and especially the rational.

For one who is not prescient of all future things is not God.

if we will, it is; if we will not, it is not,—for we should not will if we were unwilling.

For we do not put the life of God or the foreknowledge of God under necessity if we should say that it is necessary that God should live forever, and foreknow all things; as neither is His power diminished when we say that He cannot die or fall into error,—for

He is called omnipotent on account of His doing what He wills, not on account of His suffering what He wills not;

Therefore God supreme and true, with His Word and Holy Spirit (which three are one), one God omnipotent,

who made man a rational animal consisting of soul and body,

being in common with stones, vegetable life in common with trees, sensuous life in common with brutes, intellectual life in common with angels alone;

There none are born, for none die.

For, as far as this life of mortals is concerned, which is spent and ended in a few days, what does it matter under whose government a dying man lives, if they who govern do not force him to impiety and iniquity?

what great thing is it, if, for the true liberty which has made us free from the dominion of sin, and death, and the devil,—not through the desire of human praise, but through the earnest desire

he who has an overweening delight in human glory will be also very prone to aspire earnestly after domination,

if His motives are hid, are they therefore unjust?

the durations of wars are determined by Him as He may see meet, according to His righteous will, and pleasure, and mercy, to afflict or to console the human race, so that they are sometimes of longer, sometimes of shorter duration.

every one should be a Christian for the sake of eternal life,

these institutions are either the work of men or of demons,—not of those whom they call good demons, but, to speak more plainly, of unclean, and, without controversy, malign spirits, who with wonderful slyness and secretness suggest to the thoughts of the impious, and sometimes openly present to their understandings, noxious opinions, by which the human mind grows more and more foolish, and becomes unable to adapt itself to and abide in the immutable and eternal truth, and seek to confirm these opinions by every kind of fallacious attestation in their power.

what the philosophers say is more than it is expedient for the people to pry into.

it ought to be more closely connected with the theology of philosophers.”

it is not according to nature, but contrary to Nature, that men should be effeminates.

the gods are feared by the superstitious man, but are reverenced as parents by the religious man, not feared as enemies; and that they are all so good that they will more readily spare those who are impious than hurt one who is innocent?

there is no greater or worse death than when Death never dies. But because the soul from its very nature, being created immortal, cannot be without some kind of life, its utmost death is alienation from the life of God in an eternity of punishment.

wisdom, the love of which purges from the filth of avarice, that is, of the love of money!

like demons, and eager for things which yield them sport,

We worship God,—not heaven and earth, of which two parts this world consists, nor the soul or souls diffused through all living things,—but God who made heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; who made every soul, whatever be the nature of its life, whether it have life without sensation and reason, or life with sensation, or life with both sensation and reason.

who hath granted also to human minds, which He hath created, the knowledge of the various arts for the help of life and nature;

those philosophers must yield who, having their mind enslaved to their body, supposed the principles of all things to be material; as Thales, who held that the first principle of all things was water; Anaximenes, that it was air; the Stoics, that it was fire; Epicurus, who affirmed that it consisted of atoms, that is to say, of minute corpuscules; and many others whom it is needless to enumerate, but who believed that bodies, simple or compound, animate or inanimate, but nevertheless bodies, were the cause and principle of all things.

that which does not need the support of nutriment, but only maintains, feels, understands, as the life of angels,—all

to Him to live, to understand, to be blessed, are to be.

Such also were the Stoics, who ascribed to the bodily senses that expertness in disputation which they so ardently love, called by them dialectic, asserting that from the senses the mind conceives the notions of those things which they explicate by definition.

he did not doubt that to philosophize is to love God, whose nature is incorporeal.

Plato could neither have seen Jeremiah, who was dead so long before, nor have read those same scriptures which had not yet been translated into the Greek language, of which he was a master, unless, indeed, we say that, as he was most earnest in the pursuit of knowledge, he also studied those writings through an interpreter,

There is, say they, a threefold division of all animals endowed with a rational Soul, namely, into Gods, men, and Demons.

they have immortality of body in common with the gods, but passions of the mind in common with men. On which account, say they, it is not wonderful that they are delighted with the obscenities of the theatre, and the fictions of the poets, since they are also subject to human passions, from which the gods are far removed, and to which they are altogether strangers.

Wherefore let not the mind truly religious, and submitted to the true God, suppose that demons are better than men, because they have better bodies.

as we are better than all these by the possession of reason and understanding, so we ought also to be better than the demons by living good and virtuous lives.

we too shall have immortality of body,—not an immortality tortured by eternal punishment, but that which is consequent on purity of soul.

they are provoked by injuries, propitiated by services and by gifts, rejoice in honors, are delighted with a variety of sacred rites, and are annoyed if any of them be neglected.

religious worship, which ought to be rendered from the Soul, is by no means due to that thing which is inferior to the soul.

only rational that they may be capable of misery, passive that they may be actually miserable, and eternal that it may be impossible for them to end their misery!

the word passion, which is derived from -, signified a commotion of the mind contrary to reason.

presenting to the gods the petitions of men, and conveying to men what the gods have granted;

which has no intercourse with a man fleeing for refuge to the divine nature, and yet has intercourse with a demon feigning divinity!

which has no intercourse with a man punishing the crimes of the magicians by just laws, and yet has intercourse with a demon teaching and practicing magical arts!

It is on this account that they have supposed the demons to be necessary as agents, through whom the gods may inform themselves with respect to human affairs, and through whom, when necessary, they may succor men; and it is on account of this office that the demons themselves have been held as deserving of worship.

cast down from the height of the higher heaven, they have been condemned to dwell in this element as the just reward of irretrievable transgression.

they tyrannize as over captives whom they have subdued,—the greatest part of whom they have persuaded of their divinity by wonderful and lying signs, consisting either of deeds or of predictions.

unclean spirits, associated through that wicked art with these same idols,

these demons cannot possibly be friends to the good gods who dwell in the holy and heavenly habitation, by whom we mean holy angels and rational creatures,

in this present time, while we are being healed that we may eventually be as they are, we are brought near to them by Faith, if by their assistance we believe that He who is their blessedness is also ours.

ordinary language ascribes to them also these mental emotions, because, though they have none of our weakness, their acts resemble the actions to which these emotions move us; and thus even God Himself is said in Scripture to be angry, and yet without any perturbation. For this word is used of the effect of His vengeance, not of the disturbing mental affection.

if any one supposes that, because they are not subject, like terrestrial animals, to the separation of soul and body by death, they therefore resemble the gods in their eternity, their body must not be considered a chariot of an eternal triumph, but rather the chain of an eternal punishment.

he considered it due to the Father’s mercy that men, having a mortal body, should not be forever confined in the misery of this life.

as the world is governed, not by fortuitous haphazard, but, as the Platonists themselves avow, by the providence of the supreme God, the misery of the demons would not be eternal unless their wickedness were great.

if, as is much more probable and credible, it must needs be that all men, so long as they are mortal, are also miserable, we must seek an intermediate who is not only man, but also God, that, by the interposition of His blessed mortality, He may bring men out of their mortal misery to a blessed immortality.

It is thus He has destroyed, by the humility of His death and the benignity of His blessedness, those proud immortals and hurtful wretches, and has prevented them from seducing to misery by their boast of immortality those men whose hearts He has cleansed by faith, and whom He has thus freed from their impure dominion.

the only God whom the poverty of human speech fails even passably to describe;

As for taste, they are pressed by no necessity of repairing bodily decay, so as to be reduced to ask food from men.

If, then, one is nearer to God the liker he is to Him, there is no other distance from God than unlikeness to Him. And the soul of man is unlike that incorporeal and unchangeable and eternal essence, in proportion as it craves things temporal and mutable.

The good angels, therefore, hold cheap all that Knowledge of material and transitory things which the Demons are so proud of possessing,—not

For it is one thing, by the aid of things temporal and changeable, to conjecture the changes that may occur in time, and to modify such things by one’s own Will and faculty,—and this is to a certain extent permitted to the demons,—it is another thing to foresee the changes of times in the eternal and immutable laws of God, which live in His wisdom, and to know the will of God, the most infallible and powerful of all causes, by participating in His spirit; and this is granted to the holy angels by a just discretion.

If the Platonists prefer to call these angels Gods rather than Demons, and to reckon them with those whom Plato, their founder and master, maintains were created by the supreme God, they are welcome to do so, for I will not spend strength in fighting about words.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul;” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

when one who has this intelligent self-love is commanded to love his neighbor as himself, what else is enjoined than that he shall do all in his power to commend to him the love of God?

If he does not worship God, he is wretched, because deprived of God; if he worships God, he cannot wish to be worshipped in God’s stead.

Now mercy is the true sacrifice, and therefore it is said, as I have just quoted, “with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

For these are the delusive appearances of that spirit who longs to entangle wretched souls in the deceptive worship of many and false Gods, and to turn them aside from the true worship of the true God, by whom alone they are cleansed and healed,

they are filled with pride and rashness, delight in sacrificial odors, are taken with flattery.

we cannot listen to those who maintain that the invisible God works no visible miracles; for even they believe that He made the world, which surely they will not deny to be visible.

all these frail and perishing things could not have so exquisite and elaborate a beauty, were they not fashioned by Him whose unseen and unchangeable beauty continually pervades all things.

that which they take pleasure in is not, as Porphyry says and some fancy, the smell of the victims, but divine honors.

a good god or genius cannot come to a man unless the evil genius has been first of all propitiated, implying that the evil deities had greater power than the good; for, until they have been appeased and give place, the good can give no assistance; and if the evil deities oppose, the good can give no help; whereas the evil can do injury without the good being able to prevent them.

the devil cannot conquer or subdue any but those who are in league with sin;

For men are separated from God only by sins, from which we are in this life cleansed not by our own virtue, but by the divine compassion;

Accordingly, when we speak of God, we do not affirm two or three principles, no more than we are at liberty to affirm two or three gods; although, speaking of each, of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost, we confess that each is God: and yet we do not say, as the Sabellian heretics say, that the Father is the same as the Son, and the Holy Spirit the same as the Father and the Son; but we say that the Father is the Father of the Son, and the Son the Son of the Father, and that the Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son is neither the Father nor the Son.

it is sin which is Evil, and not the Substance or Nature of flesh;

they shall be everlasting, and of a nature exemplified in the instance of Christ’s risen Body.

why do you maintain that, in order to blessedness, every body must be escaped from?

Why do we not credit the assertion of divinity, that the soul is not co-eternal with God, but is created, and once was not?

simultaneously with time the world was made,

if in the world’s creation Change and Motion were created,

What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!

God, who “spake and it was done,”—spake by the spiritual and eternal, not audible and transitory word.

Where Scripture speaks of the world’s creation, it is not plainly said whether or when the angels were created; but if mention of them is made, it is implicitly under the name of “heaven,” when it is said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth,” or perhaps rather under the name of “Light,” of which presently.

evil has no positive nature; but the loss of Good has received the name “evil.”

It is for this reason, then, that the nature of the Trinity is called simple, because it has not anything which it can lose, and because it is not one thing and its contents another, as a cup and the liquor, or a body and its color, or the air and the light or heat of it, or a mind and its wisdom.

The soul itself, too, though it be always wise (as it will be eternally when it is redeemed), will be so by participating in the unchangeable wisdom,

they have still the life of reason, though darkened with folly, and this they cannot lose even if they would.

we do not so narrow and restrict the application of the term “blessedness” as to apply it to God only, though doubtless He is so truly blessed that greater blessedness cannot be;

we must allow them a blessedness of some kind, though not that which is accompanied with foresight.

no new devil will ever arise among the good angels, as he knows that this present devil will never again return into the fellowship of the good?

the gospel promises to the saints and the faithful that they will be equal to the angels of God;

the devil has derived from some adverse Evil principle a nature proper to himself.

it is not to be supposed that he sinned from the beginning of his created existence, but from the beginning of his sin, when by his pride he had once commenced to sin.

though in the order of nature angels rank above men, yet, by the scale of justice, good men are of greater value than bad angels.

Vice, too, is so contrary to Nature, that it cannot but damage it. And therefore departure from God would be no vice, unless in a nature whose property it was to abide with God. So that even the wicked will is a strong proof of the goodness of the nature.

He makes a good use even of evil wills.

He does not pass from this to that by transition of thought, but beholds all things with absolute unchangeableness; so that of those things which emerge in time, the future, indeed, are not yet, and the present are now, and the past no longer are; but all of these are by Him comprehended in His stable and eternal presence.

that this is the world, and this the cause of its creation, not the production of good things, but the restraining of evil.

the universe is beautified even by sinners, though, considered by themselves, their deformity is a sad blemish.

On this principle, if it had chanced that not one, but two, yea, or ten, or a hundred had sinned similarly, and with a like degree of guilt, then this world would have one hundred suns.

And since I am if I am deceived, how am I deceived in believing that I am? for it is certain that I am if I am deceived.

when they know that they must die, they seek, as a great boon, that this mercy be shown them, that they may a little longer live in the same misery, and delay to end it by death.

how much human nature loves the knowledge of its existence, and how it shrinks from being deceived, will be sufficiently understood from this fact, that every man prefers to grieve in a sane mind, rather than to be glad in madness.

they cannot attain to that spiritual light with which our mind is somehow irradiated, so that we can form right judgments of all things. For our power to judge is proportioned to our acceptance of this light.

we are men, created in the image of our Creator, whose eternity is true, and whose Truth is eternal, whose Love is eternal and true, and who Himself is the eternal, true, and adorable Trinity, without confusion, without separation;

they know this Word Himself, and the Father, and their Holy Spirit, and that this Trinity is indivisible, and that the three persons of it are one Substance, and that there are not three Gods but one God;

six is a perfect Number,—not

the number six is the first which is made up of its own parts, i.e., of its sixth, third, and half, which are respectively one, two, and three, and which make a total of six.

three is the first whole number that is odd, four the first that is even, and of these two, seven is composed.

many such instances are found in the divine authorities, in which the number seven is, as I said, commonly used to express the whole, or the completeness of anything.

the other cast thence, and raging through the lower regions of the air;

others, being enamored rather of their own power, as if they could be their own good,

bartering the lofty dignity of eternity for the inflation of pride, the most assured verity for the slyness of vanity, uniting love for factious partisanship, they became proud, deceived, envious.

Now every fault injures the nature, and is consequently contrary to the nature.

To some He communicated a more ample, to others a more limited existence, and thus arranged the natures of beings in ranks.

For what is it which makes the will bad, when it is the will itself which makes the action bad?

it is not an inferior thing which has made the will Evil, but it is itself which has become so by wickedly and inordinately desiring an inferior thing.

Neither is luxury the fault of lovely and charming objects, but of the heart that inordinately loves sensual pleasures, to the neglect of temperance, which attaches us to objects more lovely in their spirituality, and more delectable by their incorruptibility.

Pride, too, is not the fault of him who delegates power, nor of power itself, but of the soul that is inordinately enamored of its own power,

to whom nothing new can occur, and in whom is no changeableness?”

it cannot be supposed that His goodness was ever idle; for if it were, there should be ascribed to Him an awakening to activity in time, from a past eternity of inactivity, as if He repented of an idleness that had no beginning, and proceeded, therefore, to make a beginning of work.

in God the former purpose is not altered and obliterated by the subsequent and different purpose, but by one and the same eternal and unchangeable will He effected regarding the things He created, both that formerly, so long as they were not, they should not be, and that subsequently, when they began to be, they should come into existence.

how independent He is of what He makes, and how it is of His own gratuitous goodness He creates, since from eternity He dwelt without creatures in no less perfect a blessedness.

God does not know all numbers.

the love of this present death makes us fear that death which delivers us from it,

we must at some time lose all this, and that they who do lose it are cast down from that eternity, truth, and felicity

neither class did He cause to be propagated from individuals, but called into being several at once.

if he remained in subjection to His Creator as his rightful Lord, and piously kept His commandments, he should pass into the company of the angels, and obtain, without the intervention of death, a blessed and endless immortality;

He did not even create the woman that was to be given him as his wife, as he created the man, but created her out of the man, that the whole human race might derive from one man.

men, who had been propagated from one individual for the very purpose of commending concord.

Wherefore I know not what kind of aid the angels, themselves created first, afforded to the Creator in making other things.  I cannot ascribe to them what perhaps they cannot do, neither ought I to deny them such faculty as they have. 

the various mental emotions of a pregnant woman do produce in the fruit of her womb similar qualities,—as

without Him it would not be thus, or thus, nor would have any being at all.

if He were, so to speak, to withdraw from created things His creative power, they would straightway relapse into the nothingness in which they were before they were created?

It is obvious, that in attributing the creation of the other animals to those inferior gods who were made by the Supreme, he meant it to be understood that the immortal part was taken from God Himself,

Porphyry maintains that if the soul is to be purified all entanglement with a body must be escaped from; and at the same time agrees with Plato and the Platonists in thinking that those who have not spent a temperate and honorable life return to mortal bodies as their punishment (to bodies of brutes in Plato’s opinion, to human bodies in Porphyry’s);

there is nothing so social by nature, so unsocial by its corruption, as this race.

For God had not made Man like the angels, in such a condition that, even though they had sinned, they could none the more die. He had so made them, that if they discharged the obligations of obedience, an angelic immortality and a blessed eternity might ensue, without the intervention of death; but if they disobeyed, death should be visited on them with just sentence—which,

it is therefore called immortal, because, in a sense, it does not cease to live and to feel;

nothing else could be born of them than that which they themselves had been.

if infants are delivered from this bondage of sin by the Redeemer’s grace, they can suffer only this death which separates soul and Body;

If, moreover, any one is solicitous about this point, how, if death be the very punishment of sin, they whose guilt is cancelled by grace do yet suffer death, this difficulty has already been handled and solved in our other work which we have written on the baptism of infants. There it was said that the parting of Soul and Body was left, though its connection with sin was removed, for this reason, that if the immortality of the body followed immediately upon the sacrament of regeneration, faith itself would be thereby enervated. For faith is then only faith when it waits in hope for what is not yet seen in substance.

the disembodied Spirits of the just are at rest; but those of the wicked suffer punishment till their bodies rise again,—those of the just to life everlasting, and of the others to Death eternal, which is called the second death.

he begins to die so soon as he begins to live.

though their members remained the same, they had shame now where they had none before. They experienced a new motion of their flesh, which had become disobedient to them, in strict retribution of their own disobedience to God.

Then began the flesh to lust against the Spirit, in which strife we are born, deriving from the first transgression a seed of death, and bearing in our members, and in our vitiated nature, the contest or even victory of the flesh.

we are subject to the death of the body, not by the law of nature, by which God ordained no death for man, but by His righteous infliction on account of sin;

I should be forced laboriously to demonstrate that it is not the body, but the corruptibility of the body, which is a burden to the soul.

Our first parents were indeed on Earth, in a well-wooded and fruitful spot, which has been named Paradise.

they are carried after Death to the stars, that each man may repose for a while in a star suitable for him, and may thence return to the labors and miseries of mortals when he has become oblivious of his former misery, and possessed with the desire of being embodied. Those, again, who have lived foolishly transmigrate into bodies fit for them, whether human or bestial.

Porphyry was ashamed in the light of these Christian times, so that he not only emancipated human souls from a destiny in the bodies of beasts but also contended for the liberation of the Souls of the wise from all bodily ties, so that, escaping from all flesh, they might, as bare and blessed souls, dwell with the Father time without end.

For, though they were not to die unless they should sin, yet they used food as men do now, their bodies not being as yet spiritual, but animal only.

They were, then, nourished by other fruit, which they took that their animal bodies might not suffer the discomfort of hunger or thirst; but they tasted the tree of life, that death might not steal upon them from any quarter, and that they might not, spent with age, decay.

  The bodies of the righteous, then, such as they shall be in the resurrection, shall need neither any fruit to preserve them from dying of disease or the wasting decay of old age, nor any other physical nourishment to allay the cravings of hunger or of thirst;

He said nothing of the second death, wishing it to be kept hidden, and reserving it for the New Testament dispensation, in which it is most plainly revealed.

Not that all who die in Adam shall be members of Christ,—for the great majority shall be punished in eternal death,—but

the same Spirit is, indeed, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son,

the Stoics, who place the supreme good of men in the soul, live after the spirit;

And this is the characteristic of the earthly city, that it worships God or gods who may aid it in reigning victoriously and peacefully on earth not through love of doing good, but through lust of rule.

there shall be no generation in that place to which regeneration shall have brought us.

as we cannot believe that man was made in the image of angels, or that the image of God is the same as that of angels, it is proper to refer this expression to the plurality of the Trinity.

For what else does circumcision signify than a nature renewed on the putting off of the old?

we must not think that God has a soul, for He is the Author of souls;

demons, if they really do such things as these on which this discussion turns, do not create real substances, but only change the appearance of things created by the true God so as to make them seem to be what they are not.

that heavenly home in which the duty of ruling men is no longer necessary, because the duty of caring for their everlasting happiness has also ceased;

He does not speak of the second resurrection, that is, the resurrection of the body, which shall be in the end, but of the first, which now is. It is for the sake of making this distinction that He says, “The hour is coming, and now is.” Now this resurrection regards not the body, but the Soul. For souls, too, have a death of their own in wickedness and sins, whereby they are the dead of whom the same lips say, “Suffer the dead to bury their dead,”—that is, let those who are dead in soul bury them that are dead in body.

all, without one exception, were dead in sins, whether original or voluntary sins, sins of ignorance, or sins committed against knowledge;

in this first resurrection none have a part save those who shall be eternally blessed; but in the second, of which He goes on to speak, all, as we shall learn, have a part, both the blessed and the wretched. The one is the resurrection of mercy, the other of judgment.

all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.”

their life has been evil because it has not been renewed in the first or spiritual resurrection which now is, or because they have not persevered to the end in their renewed life.

the binding of the devil is his being prevented from the exercise of his whole power to seduce men, either by violently forcing or fraudulently deceiving them into taking part with him.

he will in the end loose him, that the city of God may see how mighty an adversary it has conquered, to the great glory of its Redeemer, Helper, Deliverer.

this verse seems to compel us to believe that during that time, short as it is, no one will be added to the Christian community, but that the devil will make war with those who have previously become Christians, and that, though some of these may be conquered and desert to the devil, these do not belong to the predestinated number of the sons of God.

we are rather to believe that in these days there shall be no lack either of those who fall away from, or of those who attach themselves to the Church;

neither do they receive the inscription, the brand of crime, on their forehead by their profession, on their hand by their practice.

There are some who suppose that resurrection can be predicated only of the body, and therefore they contend that this first resurrection (of the Apocalypse) is a bodily resurrection. For, say they, “to rise again” can only be said of things that fall. Now, bodies fall in death. There cannot, therefore, be a resurrection of souls, but of bodies.

If, then, rising again belongs to things that fall, and souls fall, it must be owned that souls also rise again.

when the judgment is finished, this heaven and earth shall cease to be, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. For this world shall pass away by transmutation, not by absolute destruction.

Shall there be present as many angels as men, and shall each man hear his life recited by the angel assigned to him? In that case there will be not one book containing all the lives, but a separate book for every life. But our passage requires us to think of one only. “And another book was opened,” it says. We must therefore understand it of a certain divine power, by which it shall be brought about that every one shall recall to Memory all his own works, whether good or evil, and shall mentally survey them with a marvellous rapidity, so that this knowledge will either accuse or excuse conscience, and thus all and each shall be simultaneously judged.

For if it does not seem absurd to believe that the ancient saints who believed in Christ and His then future coming, were kept in places far removed indeed from the torments of the wicked, but yet in hell, until Christ’s blood and His descent into these places delivered them, certainly good Christians, redeemed by that precious price already paid, are quite unacquainted with hell while they wait for their restoration to the body, and the reception of their reward.

Some think that the Apostle Paul referred to the Roman empire, and that he was unwilling to use language more explicit, lest he should incur the calumnious charge of wishing ill to the empire which it was hoped would be eternal; so that in saying, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work,” he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds of Antichrist. And hence some suppose that he shall rise again and be Antichrist. Others, again, suppose that he is not even dead, but that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been killed, and that he now lives in concealment in the vigor of that same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished, and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to his kingdom.

Christ will not come to judge quick and dead unless Antichrist, His adversary, first come to seduce those who are dead in soul;

signs, and lying wonders, and with all seduction of unrighteousness in them that perish.”

that there shall be a bodily resurrection of the dead when Christ comes to judge quick and dead, we must believe if we would be Christians.

But since they were banished thence on account of their transgression, and human nature was condemned in them, with the exception of the one Mediator and those who have been baptized, and are as yet infants, “there is none clean from stain, not even the babe whose life has been but for a day upon the earth.”

our first parents did not pass years in paradise, but were driven from it so soon that none of their children were begotten there,

the spirit, whose presence animates and rules the body, can both suffer pain and cannot die.

if we attend to the matter a little more closely, we see that what is called bodily pain is rather to be referred to the soul. For it is the soul not the body, which is pained,

Now they who would refer both the fire and the worm to the spirit, and not to the body, affirm that the wicked, who are separated from the kindgdom of God, shall be burned, as it were, by the anguish of a spirit repenting too late and fruitlessly;

But they who make no doubt that in that future punishment both body and soul shall suffer, affirm that the body shall be burned with fire, while the soul shall be, as it were, gnawed by a worm of anguish. Though this view is more reasonable,—for it is absurd to suppose that either body or soul will escape pain in the future punishment,—yet, for my own part, I find it easier to understand both as referring to the body than to suppose that neither does;

many more are left under punishment than are delivered from it,

The Platonists, indeed, while they maintain that no sins are unpunished, suppose that all punishment is administered for remedial purposes, They who are of this opinion would have all punishments after death to be purgatorial; and as the elements of air, fire, and water are superior to earth, one or other of these may be the instrument of expiating and purging away the stain contracted by the contagion of earth.

some punishments are purgatorial,—not, indeed, to those whose life is none the better, but rather the worse for them, but to those who are constrained by them to amend their life. All other punishments, whether temporal or eternal, inflicted as they are on every one by divine providence,

the very life we mortals lead is itself all punishment, for it is all temptation,

But when we reach that age which can now comprehend the commandment, and submit to the dominion of law, we must declare war upon vices, and wage this war keenly, lest we be landed in damnable sins.

Whoever, therefore, desires to escape eternal punishment, let him not only be baptized, but also justified in Christ, and so let him in truth pass from the devil to Christ.

the eternal fire will be proportioned to the deserts of the wicked, so that to some it will be more, and to others less painful, whether this result be accomplished by a variation in the temperature of the fire itself, graduated according to every one’s merit, or whether it be that the heat remains the same, but that all do not feel it with equal intensity of torment.

he believed that even the devil himself and his angels, after suffering those more severe and prolonged pains which their sins deserved, should be delivered from their torments, and associated with the holy angels.

if the Church were certified who those are, who, though they are still abiding in this life, are yet predestinated to go with the devil into eternal fire, then for them she could no more pray than for him. But since she has this certainty regarding no man, she prays for all her enemies who yet live in this world; and yet she is not heard in behalf of all.

The Lord then did not utter the words, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Father will also forgive you your trespasses,” in order that we might contract from this petition such confidence as should enable us to sin securely from day to day, either putting ourselves above the fear of human laws, or craftily deceiving men concerning our conduct, but in order that we might thus learn not to suppose that we are without sins, even though we should be free from crimes;

They shall be equal to the angels in immortality and happiness, not in flesh, nor in resurrection, which the angels did not need, because they could not die.

we fell away from Him, and listened to the voice of the seducer, “Ye shall be as gods,” and so abandoned God, who would have made us as Gods, not by deserting Him, but by participating in Him.

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