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Chapter LVII.

See, then, whether we ought to yield to one who, holding such opinions, calumniates the Christians, and thus abandon a doctrine which explains the difference existing among bodies as due to the different qualities, internal and external, which are implanted in them.  For we, too, know that there are “bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial;” and that “the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial another;” and that even the glory of the celestial bodies is not alike:  for “one is the glory of the sun, and another the glory of the stars;” and among the stars themselves, “one star differeth from another star in glory.”39393939    Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 41, etc.  And therefore, as those who expect the resurrection of the dead, we assert that the qualities which are in bodies undergo change:  since some bodies, which are sown in corruption, are raised in incorruption; and others, sown in dishonour, are raised in glory; and others, again, sown in weakness, are raised in power; and those which are sown natural bodies, are raised as spiritual.39403940    Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 44.  That the matter which underlies bodies is capable of receiving those qualities which the Creator pleases to bestow, is a point which all of us who accept the doctrine of providence firmly hold; so that, if God so willed, one quality is at the present time implanted in this portion of matter, and afterwards another of a different and better kind.  But since there are, from the beginning of the world, laws39413941    ὁδοί. established for the purpose of regulating the changes of bodies, and which will continue while the world lasts, I do not know whether, when a new and different 524order of things has succeeded39423942    καινῆς διαδεξαμένης ὁδοῦ καὶ ἀλλοίας, etc.  For διαδεξαμένης, Boherellus would read διαδεξομένης.  Cf. Origen, de Princip., iii. c. 5; ii. c. 3.  [See also Neander’s Church History, vol. 1. p. 328, and his remarks on “the general ἀποκατάστασις” of Origen.  S.] after the destruction of the world, and what our Scriptures call the end39433943    συντέλεια. (of the ages), it is not wonderful that at the present time a snake should be formed out of a dead man, growing, as the multitude affirm, out of the marrow of the back,39443944    Cf. Pliny, x. c. 66:  “Anguem ex medullâ hominis spinæ gigni accepimus a multis.”  Cf. also Ovid, Metamorphos., xv. fab. iv. and that a bee should spring from an ox, and a wasp from a horse, and a beetle from an ass, and, generally, worms from the most of bodies.  Celsus, indeed, thinks that this can be shown to be the consequence of none of these bodies being the work of God, and that qualities (I know not whence it was so arranged that one should spring out of another) are not the work of a divine intelligence, producing the changes which occur in the qualities of matter.


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