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Tertullian: Part II: A Sufficient Cause for the Resurrection of the Flesh Occurs in the Future Judgment of Man. It Will Take Cognisance of the Works of the Body No Less Than of the Soul.
Chapter XIV.—A Sufficient Cause for the Resurrection of the Flesh Occurs in the Future Judgment of Man. It Will Take Cognisance of the Works of the Body No Less Than of the Soul.
Such, then, being the outlines of the divine energies which God has displayed as much in the parables of nature as in His spoken word, let us now approach His very edicts and decrees, since this is the division which we mainly adopt in our subject-matter. We began with the dignity of the flesh, whether it were of such a nature that when once destroyed it was capable of being restored. Then we pursued an inquiry touching the power of God, whether it was sufficiently great to be habitually able to confer this restoration on a thing which had been destroyed. Now, if we have proved these two points, I should like you to inquire into the (question of) cause, whether it be one of sufficient weight to claim the resurrection of the flesh as necessary and as conformable in every way to reason; because there underlies this demurrer: the flesh may be quite capable of being restored, and the Deity be perfectly able to effect the restoration, but a cause for such recovery must needs pre-exist. Admit then a sufficient one, you who learn of a God who is both supremely good as well as just 7369 —supremely good from His own (character), just in consequence of ours. For if man had never sinned, he would simply and solely have known God in His superlative goodness, from the attribute of His nature. But now he experiences Him to be a just God also, from the necessity of a cause; still, however, retaining under this very circumstance His excellent goodness, at the same time that He is also just. For, by both succouring the good and punishing the evil, He displays His justice, and at the same time makes both processes contribute proofs of His goodness, whilst on the one hand He deals vengeance, and on the other dispenses reward. But with Marcion 7370 you will have the opportunity of more fully learning whether this be the whole character of God. Meanwhile, so perfect is our (God), that He is rightly Judge, because He is the Lord; rightly the Lord, because the Creator; rightly the Creator, because He is God. Whence it happens that that heretic, whose name I know not, holds that He properly is not a Judge, since He is not Lord; properly not Lord, since He is not the Creator. And so I am at a loss to know how He is God, who is neither the Creator, which God is; nor the Lord, which the Creator is. Inasmuch, then, as it is most suitable for the great Being who is God, and Lord, and Creator to summon man to a judgment on this very question, whether he has taken care or not to acknowledge and honour his Lord and Creator, this is just such a judgment as the resurrection shall achieve. The entire cause, then, or rather necessity of the resurrection, will be this, namely, that arrangement of the final judgment which shall be most suitable to God. Now, in effecting this arrangement, you must consider whether the divine censure superintends a judicial exp. 555 amination of the two natures of man—both his soul and his flesh. For that which is a suitable object to be judged, is also a competent one to be raised. Our position is, that the judgment of God must be believed first of all to be plenary, and then absolute, so as to be final, and therefore irrevocable; to be also righteous, not bearing less heavily on any particular part; to be moreover worthy of God, being complete and definite, in keeping with His great patience. Thus it follows that the fulness and perfection of the judgment consists simply in representing the interests of the entire human being. Now, since the entire man consists of the union of the two natures, he must therefore appear in both, as it is right that he should be judged in his entirety; nor, of course, did he pass through life except in his entire state. As therefore he lived, so also must he be judged, because he has to be judged concerning the way in which he lived. For life is the cause of judgment, and it must undergo investigation in as many natures as it possessed when it discharged its vital functions.
He refers to Marcion.554:7370
He here refers his reader to what he has written against Marcion, especially in his books i. and ii.
Next: As the Flesh is a Partaker with the Soul in All Human Conduct, So Will It Be in the Recompense of Eternity.
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