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8. But suffer it to be so, I beg you, as you are lovers of Christ, that the body is to be in incorruption and without these conditions when it rises from the dead: then let such things henceforward cease to be mentioned. Let us believe that in the resurrection even lawful intercourse will no longer exist between the sexes, since there would be danger that unlawful intercourse would creep in if such things remained present and unforgotten. What is the use of carefully and minutely going over and discussing “the belly and what is below it?” You tell us that we live amidst carnal delights: but I perceive that it is your belief that we are not to give up such things even in the resurrection. Let us not deny that this very flesh in which we now live is to rise again: but neither let us make men think that the imperfections of the flesh are wrapped up in it and will come again with it. The flesh, indeed, will rise, this very flesh and not another: it will not change its nature, but it will lose its frailties and imperfections. Otherwise, if its frailties remain, it cannot even be immortal. And thus, as I said, we avoid heresy, whether with you or without you. For the faith of the Church, of which we are the disciples, takes a middle path between two dangers: it does not deny the reality of the natural flesh and body when it rises from the dead, but neither does it assert, in contradiction to the Apostle’s words,28362836    1 Cor. xv. 50 that in the kingdom which is to come corruption will inherit incorruption. We therefore do not assert that the flesh or body will rise, as you put it, with some of its members lost or amputated, but that the body will be whole and complete, having laid aside nothing but its corruption and dishonour and frailty and also having amputated all the imperfections of mortality: nothing of its own nature will be lacking to that spiritual body which shall rise from the dead except this corruption.


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