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Chapter LVI.—The Procedure of the Last Judgment, and Its Awards, Only Possible on the Identity of the Risen Body with Our Present Flesh.

For how absurd, and in truth how unjust, and in both respects how unworthy of God, for one substance to do the work, and another to reap the reward:  that this flesh of ours should be torn by martyrdom, and another wear the crown; or, on the other hand, that this flesh of ours should wallow in uncleanness, and another receive the condemnation! Is it not better to renounce all faith at once in the hope of the resurrection,77157715    With Marcion. than to trifle with the wisdom and justice of God?77167716    With Valentinus. Better that Marcion should rise again than Valentinus. For it cannot be believed that the mind, or the memory, or the conscience of existing man is abolished by putting on that change of raiment which immortality and incorruption supplies; for in that case all the gain and fruit of the resurrection, and the permanent effect77177717    Statu. of God’s judgment both on soul and body,77187718    Utrobique. would certainly fall to the ground. If I remember not that it is I who have served Him, how shall I ascribe glory to God? How sing to Him “the new song,”77197719    Rev. v. 9; xiv. 3. if I am ignorant that it is I who owe Him thanks? But why is exception taken only against the change of the flesh, and not of the soul also, which in all things is superior to the flesh? How happens it, that the self-same soul which in our present flesh has gone through all life’s course, which has learnt the knowledge of God, and put on Christ, and sown the hope of salvation in this flesh, must reap its harvest in another flesh of which we know nothing? Verily that must be a most highly favoured flesh, which shall have the enjoyment of life at so gratuitous a rate! But if the soul is not to be changed also, then there is no resurrection of the soul; nor will it be believed to have itself risen, unless it has risen some different thing.


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