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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 10

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 10.—What is to Be Replied to Those Who Think that Resurrection Pertains Only to Bodies and Not to Souls.

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. 1370   There cannot, therefore, be a resurrection of souls, but of bodies.  But what do they say to the apostle who speaks of a resurrection of souls?  For certainly it was in the inner and not the outer man that those had risen again to whom he says, “If ye have risen with Christ, mind the things that are above.” 1371   The same sense he elsewhere conveyed in other words, saying, “That as Christ has risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life.” 1372   So, too, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 1373 ”  As to what they say about nothing being able to rise again but what falls, whence they conclude that resurrection pertains to bodies only, and not to souls, because bodies fall, why do they make nothing p. 432 of the words, “Ye that fear the Lord, wait for His mercy; and go not aside lest ye fall;” 1374 and “To his own Master he stands or falls;” 1375 and “He that thinketh he standeth, let him take heed lest he fall?” 1376   For I fancy this fall that we are to take heed against is a fall of the soul, not of the body.  If, then, rising again belongs to things that fall, and souls fall, it must be owned that souls also rise again.  To the words, “In them the second death hath no power,” are added the words, “but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years;” and this refers not to the bishops alone, and presbyters, who are now specially called priests in the Church; but as we call all believers Christians on account of the mystical chrism, so we call all priests because they are members of the one Priest.  Of them the Apostle Peter says, “A holy people, a royal priesthood.” 1377   Certainly he implied, though in a passing and incidental way, that Christ is God, saying priests of God and Christ, that is, of the Father and the Son, though it was in His servant-form and as Son of man that Christ was made a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  But this we have already explained more than once.



And, as Augustin remarks, are therefore called cadavera, from cadere, “to fall.”


Col. 3.1.


Rom. 6.4.


Eph. 5.14.


Ecclus. 2.7.


Rom. 14.4.


1 Cor. 10.12.


1 Pet. 2.9.

Next: Chapter 11

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