Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
TATIAN: Chapter XV. Necessity of a Union with the Holy Spirit.
Chapter XV.—Necessity of a Union with the Holy Spirit.
But further, it becomes us now to seek for what we once had, but have lost, to unite the soul with the Holy Spirit, and to strive after union with God. The human soul consists of many parts, and is not simple; it is composite, so as to manifest itself through the body; for neither could it ever appear by itself without the body, nor does the flesh rise again without the soul. Man is not, as the croaking philosophers say, merely a rational animal, capable of understanding and knowledge; for, according to them, even irrational creatures appear possessed of understanding and knowledge. But man alone is the image and likeness of God; and I mean by man, not one who performs actions similar to those of animals, but one who has advanced far beyond mere humanity—to God Himself. This question we have discussed more minutely in the treatise concerning animals. But the principal point to be spoken of now is, what is intended by the image and likeness of God. That which cannot be compared is no other than abstract being; but that which is compared is no other than that which is like. The perfect God is without flesh; but man is flesh. The bond of the flesh is the soul; 466 that which encloses the soul is the flesh. Such is the nature of mans constitution; and, if it be like a temple, God is pleased to dwell in it by the spirit, His representative; but, if it be not such a habitation, man excels the wild beasts in articulate language only,—in other respects his manner of life is like theirs, as one who is not a likeness of God. But none of the demons possess flesh; their structure is spiritual, like that of fire or air. And only by those whom the Spirit of God dwells in and fortifies are the bodies of the demons easily seen, not at all by others,—I mean those who possess only soul; 467 for the inferior has not the ability to apprehend the superior. On this account the nature of the demons has no place for repentance; for they are the reflection of matter and of wickedness. But matter desired to exercise lordship over the soul; and according to their free-will these gave laws of death to men; but men, after the loss of immortality, have conquered death by submitting to death in faith; 468 and by repentance a call has been given to them, according to the word which says, “Since they were made a little lower than the angels.” 469 And, p. 72 for every one who has been conquered, it is possible again to conquer, if he rejects the condition which brings death. And what that is, may be easily seen by men who long for immortality.
[δεσμὸς δὲ τοῦ σαρκὸς ψυχὴ.]71:467
Comp. 1 Cor. 2:14, 15. [The ψυχικοὶ, of whom we are to hear so much in Tertullian. Comp. cap. xii., supra, p. 70.]71:468
[But Kaye would translate, “by dying to the world through faith.”]71:469
Ps. viii. 5.
Next: Chapter XVI. Vain Display of Power by the Demons.
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