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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Divine Strictures on Various Heretics Descried in Various Passages of Prophetical Scripture. Those Who Assail the True Doctrine of the One Lord Jesus Christ, Both God and Man, Thus Condemned.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXIV.—Divine Strictures on Various Heretics Descried in Various Passages of Prophetical Scripture. Those Who Assail the True Doctrine of the One Lord Jesus Christ, Both God and Man, Thus Condemned.

For when Isaiah hurls denunciation against our very heretics, especially in his “Woe to them that call evil good, and put darkness for light,” 7269 he of course sets his mark upon those amongst you 7270 who preserve not in the words they employ the light of their true significance, (by taking care) that the soul should mean only that which is so called, and the flesh simply that which is confest to our view, and God none other than the One who is preached. 7271 Having thus Marcion in his prophetic view, he says, “I am God, and there is none else; there is no God beside me.” 7272 And when in another passage he says, in like manner, “Before me there was no God,” 7273 he strikes at those inexplicable genealogies of the Valentinian Æons. Again, there is an answer to Ebion in the Scripture: “Born, 7274 not of blood, nor p. 542 of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” In like manner, in the passage, “If even an angel of heaven preach unto you any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema,” 7275 he calls attention to the artful influence of Philumene, 7276 the virgin friend of Apelles. Surely he is antichrist who denies that Christ has come in the flesh. 7277 By declaring that His flesh is simply and absolutely true, and taken in the plain sense of its own nature, the Scripture aims a blow at all who make distinctions in it. 7278 In the same way, also, when it defines the very Christ to be but one, it shakes the fancies of those who exhibit a multiform Christ, who make Christ to be one being and Jesus another,—representing one as escaping out of the midst of the crowds, and the other as detained by them; one as appearing on a solitary mountain to three companions, clothed with glory in a cloud, the other as an ordinary man holding intercourse with all, 7279 one as magnanimous, but the other as timid; lastly, one as suffering death, the other as risen again, by means of which event they maintain a resurrection of their own also, only in another flesh.  Happily, however, He who suffered “will come again from heaven,” 7280 and by all shall He be seen, who rose again from the dead. They too who crucified Him shall see and acknowledge Him; that is to say, His very flesh, against which they spent their fury, and without which it would be impossible for Himself either to exist or to be seen; so that they must blush with shame who affirm that His flesh sits in heaven void of sensation, like a sheath only, Christ being withdrawn from it; as well as those who (maintain) that His flesh and soul are just the same thing, 7281 or else that His soul is all that exists, 7282 but that His flesh no longer lives.


Footnotes

541:7269

Isa. v. 20.

541:7270

Istos.

541:7271

Prædicatur.

541:7272

Isa. xlv. 5.

541:7273

Isa. xlvi. 9.

541:7274

John i. 13. Tertullian’s quotation is, as usual, in the singular, “natus.”

542:7275

Gal. i. 8.

542:7276

Comp. de Præscr. Hæret. c. xxx. p. 257, supra.

542:7277

1 John iv. 3.

542:7278

Disceptatores ejus.

542:7279

Ceteris passivum.

542:7280

Acts i. 11.

542:7281

Tantundem.

542:7282

Tantummodo.


Next: Conclusion. This Treatise Forms a Preface to the Other Work, “On the Resurrection of the Flesh,” Proving the Reality of the Flesh Which Was Truly Born, and Died, and Rose Again.

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