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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part I: A Treatise on the Soul.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I
The Christian Has Sure and Simple Knowledge Concerning the Subject Before Us.
The Soul's Origin Defined Out of the Simple Words of Scripture.
In Opposition to Plato, the Soul Was Created and Originated at Birth.
Probable View of the Stoics, that the Soul Has a Corporeal Nature.
The Arguments of the Platonists for the Soul's Incorporeality, Opposed, Perhaps Frivolously.
The Soul's Corporeality Demonstrated Out of the Gospels.
Other Platonist Arguments Considered.
Particulars of the Alleged Communication to a Montanist Sister.
The Simple Nature of the Soul is Asserted with Plato. The Identity of Spirit and Soul.
Spirit--A Term Expressive of an Operation of the Soul, Not of Its Nature. To Be Carefully Distinguished from the Spirit of God.
Difference Between the Mind and the Soul, and the Relation Between Them.
The Soul's Supremacy.
The Soul Variously Divided by the Philosophers; This Division is Not a Material Dissection.
The Soul's Vitality and Intelligence. Its Character and Seat in Man.
The Soul's Parts.  Elements of the Rational Soul.
The Fidelity of the Senses, Impugned by Plato, Vindicated by Christ Himself.
Plato Suggested Certain Errors to the Gnostics. Functions of the Soul.
The Intellect Coeval with the Soul in the Human Being. An Example from Aristotle Converted into Evidence Favourable to These Views.
The Soul, as to Its Nature Uniform, But Its Faculties Variously Developed. Varieties Only Accidental.
As Free-Will Actuates an Individual So May His Character Change.
Recapitulation.  Definition of the Soul.
The Opinions of Sundry Heretics Which Originate Ultimately with Plato.
Plato's Inconsistency.  He Supposes the Soul Self-Existent, Yet Capable of Forgetting What Passed in a Previous State.
Tertullian Refutes, Physiologically, the Notion that the Soul is Introduced After Birth.
Scripture Alone Offers Clear Knowledge on the Questions We Have Been Controverting.
Soul and Body Conceived, Formed and Perfected in Element Simultaneously.
The Pythagorean Doctrine of Transmigration Sketched and Censured.
The Pythagorean Doctrine Refuted by Its Own First Principle, that Living Men are Formed from the Dead.
Further Refutation of the Pythagorean Theory. The State of Contemporary Civilisation.
Further Exposure of Transmigration, Its Inextricable Embarrassment.
Empedocles Increased the Absurdity of Pythagoras by Developing the Posthumous Change of Men into Various Animals.
The Judicial Retribution of These Migrations Refuted with Raillery.
These Vagaries Stimulated Some Profane Corruptions of Christianity. The Profanity of Simon Magus Condemned.
The Opinions of Carpocrates, Another Offset from the Pythagorean Dogmas, Stated and Confuted.
The Main Points of Our Author's Subject. On the Sexes of the Human Race.
On the Formation and State of the Embryo. Its Relation with the Subject of This Treatise.
On the Growth of the Soul. Its Maturity Coincident with the Maturity of the Flesh in Man.
The Evil Spirit Has Marred the Purity of the Soul from the Very Birth.
The Body of Man Only Ancillary to the Soul in the Commission of Evil.
Notwithstanding the Depravity of Man's Soul by Original Sin, There is Yet Left a Basis Whereon Divine Grace Can Work for Its Recovery by Spiritual Regeneration.
Sleep, the Mirror of Death, as Introductory to the Consideration of Death.
Sleep a Natural Function as Shown by Other Considerations, and by the Testimony of Scripture.
The Story of Hermotimus, and the Sleeplessness of the Emperor Nero. No Separation of the Soul from the Body Until Death.
Dreams, an Incidental Effect of the Soul's Activity. Ecstasy.
Diversity of Dreams and Visions. Epicurus Thought Lightly of Them, Though Generally Most Highly Valued. Instances of Dreams.
Dreams Variously Classified. Some are God-Sent, as the Dreams of Nebuchadnezzar; Others Simply Products of Nature.
Causes and Circumstances of Dreams. What Best Contributes to Efficient Dreaming.
No Soul Naturally Exempt from Dreams.
The Absurd Opinion of Epicurus and the Profane Conceits of the Heretic Menander on Death, Even Enoch and Elijah Reserved for Death.
Death Entirely Separates the Soul from the Body.
All Kinds of Death a Violence to Nature, Arising from Sin.--Sin an Intrusion Upon Nature as God Created It.
The Entire Soul Being Indivisible Remains to the Last Act of Vitality; Never Partially or Fractionally Withdrawn from the Body.
Whither Does the Soul Retire When It Quits the Body? Opinions of Philosophers All More or Less Absurd. The Hades of Plato.
The Christian Idea of the Position of Hades; The Blessedness of Paradise Immediately After Death. The Privilege of the Martyrs.
Refutation of the Homeric View of the Soul's Detention from Hades Owing to the Body's Being Unburied.  That Souls Prematurely Separated from the Body Had to Wait for Admission into Hades Also Refuted.
Magic and Sorcery Only Apparent in Their Effects. God Alone Can Raise the Dead.
Conclusion. Points Postponed. All Souls are Kept in Hades Until the Resurrection, Anticipating Their Ultimate Misery or Bliss.

Next: Chapter I

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