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48As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.

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47. The first Adam was from the earth. The animal life comes first, because the earthy man is first. 119119     “La vie sensuelle, ou animale, c’est a dire, que nous auons par le moyen de l’ame, precede;” — “The sensual or animal life, that is to say, what we have by means of the soul, comes first.” The spiritual life will come afterwards, as Christ, the heavenly man, came after Adam. Now the Manichees perverted this passage, with the view of proving that Christ brought a body from heaven into the womb of the Virgin. They mistakingly imagined, however, that Paul speaks here of the substance of the body, while he is discoursing rather as to its condition, or quality. Hence, although the first man had an immortal soul, and that too, not taken from the earth, yet he, nevertheless, savoured of the earth, from which his body had sprung, and on which he had been appointed to live. Christ, on the other hand, brought us from heaven a life-giving Spirit, that he might regenerate us into a better life, and elevated above the earth. 120120     “Plus haute et excellente que la terre;” — “Higher and more excellent than the earth.” In fine, we have it from Adam — that we live in this world, as branches from the root: Christ, on the other hand, is the beginning and author of the heavenly life.

But some one will say in reply, Adam is said to be from the earth — Christ from heaven; the nature of the comparison 121121     “La nature de l’antithese et comparison;” — “The nature of the contrast and comparison.” requires this much, that Christ have his body from heaven, as the body of Adam was formed from the earth; or, at least, that the origin of man’s soul should be from the earth, but that Christ’s soul had come forth from heaven. I answer, that Paul had not contrasted the two departments of the subject with such refinement and minuteness, (for this was not necessary;) but when treating of the nature of Christ and Adam, he made a passing allusion to the creation of Adam, that he had been formed from the earth,, and at the same time, for the purpose of commending Christ’s excellence, he states, that he is the Son of God, who came down to us from heaven, and brings with him, therefore, a heavenly nature and influence. This is the simple meaning, while the refinement of the Manichees is a mere calumny.

We must, however, reply to another objection still. For Christ, so long as he lived in the world, lived a life similar to ours, and therefore earthly: hence it is not a proper contrast. The solution of this question will serve farther to refute the contrivance 122122     “La meschante imagination;The wicked fancy.” of the Manichees. For we know, that the body of Christ was liable to death, and that it was exempted from corruption, not by its essential property, (as they speak,) 123123     “Afin que Fuse du terme commun;” — “To use the common phrase.” but solely by the providence of God. Hence Christ was not merely earthy as to the essence of his body, but was also for a time in an earthly condition; for before Christ’s power could show itself in conferring the heavenly life, it was necessary that he should die in the weakness of the flesh, (2 Corinthians 13:4.) Now this heavenly life appeared first in the resurrection, that he might quicken us also.




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