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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Doctrinal Treatises of St. Augustin: Chapter 3

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 3.—The One Death and Resurrection of The Body of Christ Harmonizes with Our Double Death and Resurrection of Body and Soul, to the Effect of Salvation. In What Way the Single Death of Christ is Bestowed Upon Our Double Death.

5. But for our present need we must discuss, so far as God gives us power, in what manner the single of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ answers to, and is, so to say, in harmony with our double to the effect of salvation. We certainly, as no Christian doubts, are dead both in soul and body: in soul, because of sin; in body, because of the punishment of sin, and through this also in body because of sin. And to both these parts of ourselves, that is, both to soul and to body, there was need both of a medicine and of resurrection, that what had been changed for the worse might be renewed for the better. Now the death of the soul is ungodliness, and the death of the body is corruptibility, through which comes also a departure of the soul from the body. For as the soul dies when God leaves it, so the body dies when the soul leaves it; whereby the former becomes foolish, the latter lifeless. For the soul is raised up again by repentance, and the renewing of life is begun in the body still mortal by faith, by which men believe on Him who justip. 72 fies the ungodly; 450 and it is increased and strengthened by good habits from day to day, as the inner man is renewed more and more. 451 But the body, being as it were the outward man, the longer this life lasts is so much the more corrupted, either by age or by disease, or by various afflictions, until it come to that last affliction which all call death. And its resurrection is delayed until the end; when also our justification itself shall be perfected ineffably. For then we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 452 But now, so long as the corruptible body presseth down the soul, 453 and human life upon earth is all temptation, 454 in His sight shall no man living be justified, 455 in comparison of the righteousness in which we shall be made equal with the angels, and of the glory which shall be revealed in us. But why mention more proofs respecting the difference between the death of the soul and the death of the body, when the Lord in one sentence of the Gospel has made either death easily distinguishable by any one from the other, where He says, “Let the dead bury their dead”? 456 For burial was the fitting disposal of a dead body. But by those who were to bury it He meant those who were dead in soul by the impiety of unbelief, such, namely, as are awakened when it is said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” 457 And there is a death which the apostle denounces, saying of the widow, “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” 458 Therefore the soul, which was before ungodly and is now godly, is said to have come alive again from the dead and to live, on account of the righteousness of faith. But the body is not only said to be about to die, on account of that departure of the soul which will be; but on account of the great infirmity of flesh and blood it is even said to be now dead, in a certain place in the Scriptures, namely, where the apostle says, that “the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.” 459 Now this life is wrought by faith, “since the just shall live by faith.” 460 But what follows? “But if the spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit which dwelleth in you.” 461

6. Therefore on this double death of ours our Saviour bestowed His own single death; and to cause both our resurrections, He appointed beforehand and set forth in mystery and type His own one resurrection. For He was not a sinner or ungodly, that, as though dead in spirit, He should need to be renewed in the inner man, and to be recalled as it were to the life of righteousness by repentance; but being clothed in mortal flesh, and in that alone dying, in that alone rising again, in that alone did He answer to both for us; since in it was wrought a mystery as regards the inner man, and a type as regards the outer. For it was in a mystery as regards our inner man, so as to signify the death of our soul, that those words were uttered, not only in the Psalm, but also on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” 462 To which words the apostle agrees, saying, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin;” since by the crucifixion of the inner man are understood the pains of repentance, and a certain wholesome agony of self-control, by which death the death of ungodliness is destroyed, and in which death God has left us. And so the body of sin is destroyed through such a cross, that now we should not yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. 463 Because, if even the inner man certainly is renewed day by day, 464 yet undoubtedly it is old before it is renewed. For that is done inwardly of which the same apostle speaks: “Put off the old man, and put on the new;” which he goes on to explain by saying, “Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth.” 465 But where is lying put away, unless inwardly, that he who speaketh the truth from his heart may inhabit the holy hill of God? 466 But the resurrection of the body of the Lord is shown to belong to the mystery of our own inner resurrection, where, after He had risen, He says to the woman, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father;” 467 with which mystery the apostle’s words agree, where he says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; set your thoughts 468 on things above.” 469 For not to touch Christ, unless when He had ascended to the Father, means not to have thoughts 470 of Christ after a fleshly manner. Again, the death of the flesh of our Lord contains a type of the death of our outer man, since it is by such suffering most of all that He exhorts p. 73 His servants that they should not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. 471 Wherefore the apostle says, “That I may fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh.” 472 And the resurrection of the body of the Lord is found to contain a type of the resurrection of our outward man, because He says to His disciples, “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” 473 And one of the disciples also, handling His scars, exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” 474 And whereas the entire integrity of that flesh was apparent, this was shown in that which He had said when exhorting His disciples: “There shall not a hair of your head perish.” 475 For how comes it that first is said, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father;” 476 and how comes it that before He ascends to the Father, He actually is touched by the disciples: unless because in the former the mystery of the inner man was intimated, in the latter a type was given of the outer man? Or can any one possibly be so without understanding, and so turned away from the truth, as to dare to say that He was touched by men before He ascended, but by women when He had ascended? It was on account of this type, which went before in the Lord, of our future resurrection in the body, that the apostle says, “Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s.” 477 For it was the resurrection of the body to which this place refers, on account of which he also says, “Who has changed our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” 478 The one death therefore of our Saviour brought salvation to our double death, and His one resurrection wrought for us two resurrections; since His body in both cases, that is, both in His death and in His resurrection, was ministered to us by a kind of healing suitableness, both as a mystery of the inner man, and as a type of the outer.



Rom. 4.5Rom. iv. 5


2 Cor. 4.162 Cor. iv. 16


1 John 3.11 John iii. 1


Wisdom 9.15Wisd. ix. 15


Job 7.1


Ps. 143.2Ps. cxliii. 2


Matt. 8.22


Eph. 5.14Eph. v. 14


1 Tim. 5.61 Tim. v. 6


Rom. 8.10Rom. viii. 10


Rom. 1.17Rom. i. 17


Rom. 8:10, 11Rom. 8:10, 11


Ps. 22:1, Matt. 27:46Ps. xxii. 1, and Matt. xxvii. 46


Rom. 6:6, 13Rom. 6:6, 13


2 Cor. 4.162 Cor. iv. 16


Eph. 4.22-25Eph. iv. 22-25


Ps. 15:1, 3Ps. 15:1, 3


John 20.17John xx. 17




Col. 3:1, 2Col. 3:1, 2




Matt. 10.28


Col. 1.24Col. i. 24


Luke 24.39Luke xxiv. 39


John 20.28John xx. 28


Luke 21.18Luke xxi. 18


John 20.17John xx. 17


1 Cor. 15.231 Cor. xv. 23


Phil. 3.21Phil. iii. 21

Next: Chapter 4

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