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Chapter X.—Holy Scripture Magnifies the Flesh, as to Its Nature and Its Prospects.

You hold to the scriptures in which the flesh is disparaged; receive also those in which it is ennobled. You read whatever passage abases it; direct your eyes also to that which elevates it. “All flesh is grass.”73527352    Isa. xl. 7. Well, but Isaiah was not content to say only this; but he also declared, “All flesh shall see the salvation of God.”73537353    Isa. xl. 5. They notice God when He says in Genesis, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men, because they are flesh;”73547354    Gen. vi. 3, Sept. but then He is also heard saying by Joel, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”73557355    Joel iii. 1. Even the apostle ought not to be known for any one statement in which he is wont to reproach the flesh. For although he says that “in his flesh dwelleth no good thing;”73567356    Rom. viii. 18. although he affirms that “they who are in the flesh cannot please God,”73577357    Rom. viii. 8. because “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit;”73587358    Gal. v. 17. yet in these and similar assertions which he makes, it is not the substance of the flesh, but its actions, which are censured. Moreover, we shall elsewhere73597359    Below, in ch. xvi. take occasion to remark, that no reproaches can fairly be cast upon the flesh, without tending also to the castigation of the soul, which compels the flesh to do its bidding. However, let me meanwhile add that in the same passage Paul “carries about in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus;”73607360    Gal. vi. 17. he also forbids our body to be profaned, as being “the temple of God;”73617361    1 Cor. iii. 16. he makes our bodies “the members of Christ;”73627362    1 Cor. vi. 15. and he exhorts us to exalt and “glorify God in our body.”73637363    Ver. 20. If, therefore, the humiliations of the flesh thrust off its resurrection, why shall not its high prerogatives rather avail to bring it about?—since it better suits the character of God to restore to salvation what for a while He rejected, than to surrender to perdition what He once approved.


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