All Coptic Links - Coptic Directory - Orthodox Church Directory The Agbeya - The Coptic Book of Prayers (English Agbiya + Arabic Agpeya) English Bible + Holy Bible in other languages - Arabic, French, Ethiopian Amharic Holy Bible, ArabicBible, Enjeel Saint Takla dot org - Main page - English Photo and Image Gallery: Jesus - Mary - Saints - St. Takla - Church - Priests - Bible - Activities - pictures and Icons.. Download and listen to Hymns - Carols - Midnight Praise (Tasbeha) - Midis - Videos - Liturgies - Masses - Sermons - Online Streaming   Coptic Church Website Logo of Saint Takla Haymanot the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Website - Alexandria - Egypt - موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت القبطي الأرثوذكسي FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Coptic and Christan Q&A - Faith, Creed, Site, Youth, Family, Holy Bible Contact Us - Address - Map - Online Support Send a free Christian and Coptic Greeting Cards to your friends موقع الكنيسة القبطية باللغة العربية - الموقع العربي StTaklaorg Site News and Updates Downloads.. Winamp Skins - Coptic fonts - Agbeya - Software - Freeware - Icons - Gallery - Mp3s Feedback - Submit URL - ideas - Suggestions.. Kids' Corner - Coloring - Songs - Games - Stories Free Coptic Books - Christian Arabic Books, Orthodox English Books  

Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: Of Bodily Patience.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—Of Bodily Patience.

Thus far, finally, of patience simple and uniform, and as it exists merely in the mind:  though in many forms likewise I labour after it in body, for the purpose of “winning the Lord;” 9150 inasmuch as it is a quality which has been exhibited by the Lord Himself in bodily virtue as well; if it is true that the ruling mind easily communicates the gifts 9151 of the Spirit with its bodily habitation. What, therefore, is the business of Patience in the body? In the first place, it is the affliction 9152 of the flesh—a victim 9153 able to appease the Lord by means of the sacrifice of humiliation—in making a libation to the Lord of sordid 9154 raiment, together with scantiness of food, content with simple diet and the pure drink of water 9155 in conjoining fasts to all this; in inuring herself to sackcloth and ashes.  This bodily patience adds a grace to our prayers for good, a strength to our prayers against evil; this opens the ears of Christ our God, 9156 dissipates severity, elicits clemency.  Thus that Babylonish king, 9157 after being exiled from human form in his seven years’ squalor and neglect, because he had offended the Lord; by the bodily immolation of patience not only recovered his kingdom, but—what is more to be desired by a man—made satisfaction to God. Further, if we set down in order the higher and happier grades of bodily patience, (we find that) it is she who is entrusted by holiness with the care of continence of the flesh: she keeps the widow, 9158 and sets on the virgin the seal 9159 and raises the self-made eunuch to the realms of heaven. 9160 That which springs from a virtue of the mind is perfected in the flesh; and, finally, by the patience of the flesh, does battle under persecution.  If flight press hard, the flesh wars with 9161 the inconvenience of flight; if imprisonment overp. 716 take 9162 us, the flesh (still was) in bonds, the flesh in the gyve, the flesh in solitude, 9163 and in that want of light, and in that patience of the world’s misusage. 9164 When, however, it is led forth unto the final proof of happiness, 9165 unto the occasion of the second baptism, 9166 unto the act of ascending the divine seat, no patience is more needed there than bodily patience. If the “spirit is willing, but the flesh,” without patience, “weak,” 9167 where, save in patience, is the safety of the spirit, and of the flesh itself?  But when the Lord says this about the flesh, pronouncing it “weak,” He shows what need there is of strengthening, it—that is by patience—to meet 9168 every preparation for subverting or punishing faith; that it may bear with all constancy stripes, fire, cross, beasts, sword; all which prophets and apostles, by enduring, conquered!



Phil. iii. 8.


“Invecta,” generally = "movables", household furniture.


Or, mortification, “adflictatio.”


i.e. fleshly mortification is a “victim,” etc.


Or, “mourning.” Comp. de Pæn. c. 9.


[The “water vs. wine” movement is not a discovery of our own times. “Drink a little wine,” said St. Paul medicinally; but (as a great and good divine once remarked) “we must not lay stress on the noun, but the adjective; let it be very little.”]


Christi dei.


Dan. iv. 33-37. Comp. de Pæn. c. 12. [I have removed an ambiguity by slightly touching the text here.]


1 Tim. 5:3, 9, 10, 1 Cor. 7:39, 40.


1 Cor. 7:34, 35.


Matt. xix. 12.


Ad. It seems to mean flesh has strength given it, by patience, to meet the hardships of the flight. Compare the πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκὸς, of St. Paul in Col. ii. 23. [Kaye compares this with the De Fuga, as proof of the author’s freedom from Montanism, when this was written.]


Præveniat: “prevent” us, before we have time to flee.




[Elucidation III.]


i.e. martyrdom.


Comp. Luke xii. 50.


Matt. xxvi. 41.


“Adversus,” like the “ad” above, note 21, p. 713.

Next: The Power of This Twofold Patience, the Spiritual and the Bodily. Exemplified in the Saints of Old.

Send this page to a friend

St. Takla Website - Main IndexAnte-Nicene Fathers, Vol III

Like & share

© Saint Takla Haymanout Website: Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria, Egypt / URL: / Contact us at