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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise Concerning Man’s Perfection...: Section 35

Early Church Fathers  Index     

(35.) The Church Will Be Without Spot and Wrinkle After the Resurrection.

Then shall the Church realize, fully and perfectly, the condition of “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” 1531 because then also will it in a real sense be glorious. For inasmuch as he added the epithet “glorious,” when he said, “That He might present the Church to Himself, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” he signified sufficiently when the Church will be without spot, or wrinkle, or anything of this kind,—then of course when it shall be glorious. Because it is not so much when the Church is involved in so many evils, or amidst such offences, and in so great a mixture of very evil men, and amidst the heavy reproaches of the ungodly, that we ought to say that it is glorious, because kings serve it,—a fact which only produces a more perilous and a sorer temptation;—but then shall it rather be glorious, when that event shall come to pass of which the apostle also speaks in the words, “When Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” 1532 For since the Lord Himself, in that form of a servant by which He united Himself as Mediator to the Church, was not glorified except by the glory of His resurrection (whence it is said, “The Spirit was not yet given, because Christ was not yet glorified” 1533 ), how shall His Church be described as glorious, before its resurrection? He cleanses it, therefore, now “by the laver of the water in the word,” 1534 washing away its past sins, and driving off from it the dominion of wicked angels; but then by bringing all its healthy powers to perfection, He makes it meet for that glorious state, where it shall shine without a spot or wrinkle. For “whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” 1535 It was under this mystery, as I suppose, that that was spoken, “Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be consummated,” or perfected. 1536 For He said this in the person of His body, which is His Church, putting days for distinct and appointed periods, which He also signified in “the third day” in His resurrection.


Footnotes

172:1531

Eph. v. 27.

172:1532

Col. iii. 4.

172:1533

John vii. 39.

172:1534

Eph. v. 26.

172:1535

Rom. viii. 30.

172:1536

Luke xiii. 32.


Next: Section 36

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