Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
TATIAN: Chapter XIV. The Demons Shall Be Punished More Severely Than Men.
Chapter XIV.—The Demons Shall Be Punished More Severely Than Men.
And such are you also, O Greeks,—profuse in words, but with minds strangely warped; and you acknowledge the dominion of many rather than the rule of one, accustoming yourselves to follow demons as if they were mighty. For, as the inhuman robber is wont to overpower those like himself by daring; so the demons, going to great lengths in wickedness, have utterly deceived the souls among you which are left to themselves by ignorance and false appearances. These beings do not indeed die easily, for they do not partake of flesh; but while living they practice the ways of death, and die themselves as often as they teach their followers to sin. Therefore, what is now their chief distinction, that they do not die like men, they will retain when about to suffer punishment: they will not partake of everlasting life, so as to receive this instead of death in a blessed immortality. And as we, to whom it now easily happens to die, afterwards receive the immortal with enjoyment, or the painful with immortality, so the demons, who abuse the present life to purposes of wrong-doing, dying continually even while they live, will have hereafter the same immortality, like that which they had during the time they lived, but in its nature like that of men, who voluntarily performed what the demons prescribed to them during their lifetime. And do not fewer kinds of sin break out among men owing to the brevity of their lives, 465 while on the part of these demons transgression is more abundant owing to their boundless existence?
[The shortening of human life is a gracious limitation of tarnsgression and of the peril of probation. “Let not our years be multiplied to increase our guilt.”]
Next: Chapter XV. Necessity of a Union with the Holy Spirit.
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