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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Soul and its Origin.: Chapter 29

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 29 [XIX.]—Does the Soul Take the Body’s Clothes Also Away with It?

If, indeed, the soul were body, and the form p. 367 were also a corporeal figure in which it sees itself in dreams, on the ground that it received its expression from the body in which it is enclosed: not a human being, if he lost a limb, would in dreams see himself bereft of the amputated member, although actually deprived of it. On the contrary, he would always appear to himself entire and unmutilated, from the circumstance that no part has been cut away from the soul itself. But since persons sometimes see themselves whole and sometimes mutilated in limb, when this happens to be their actual plight, what else does this fact show than that the soul, both in respect of other things seen by it in dreams and in reference to the body, bears about, hither and thither, not their reality, but only their resemblance? The soul’s joy, however, or sadness, its pleasure or pain, are severally real emotions, whether experienced in actual or in apparent bodies. Have you not yourself said (and with perfect truth): “Aliments and vestments are not wanted by the soul, but only by the body”? Why, then, did the rich man in hell crave for the drop of water? 2499 Why did holy Samuel appear after his death (as you have yourself noticed) clothed in his usual garments? 2500 Did the one wish to repair the ruins of the soul, as of the flesh, by the aliment of water? Did the other quit life with his clothes on him? Now in the former case there was a real suffering, which tormented the soul; but not a real body, such as required food. While the latter might have seemed to be clothed, not as being a veritable body, but a soul only, having the semblance of a body with a dress. For although the soul extends and contracts itself to suit the members of the body, it does not similarly adapt itself to the clothes, so as to fit its form to them.


Footnotes

367:2499

Luke xvi. 24.

367:2500

1 Sam. xxviii. 14.


Next: Chapter 30

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