« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
works of the law.” And so we understand the words, “ And the Word was made flesh,”1_that is, man, which some not accepting in its right sense, have supposed that Christ had not a human soul? For as the whole is used for the part in the words of Mary Magdalene in the Gospel, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him," by which she meant only the flesh of Christ, which she supposed had been taken from the tomb where it had been buried, so the part is used for the whole, flesh being named, while man is referred to, as in the quotations above cited.
Since, then, Scripture uses the word flesh in many ways, which there is not time to collect and investigate, if we are to ascertain what it is to live after the flesh (which is certainly evil, though the nature of flesh is not itself evil), we must carefully examine that passage of the epistle which the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, in which he says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these : adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like : of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”4 This whole passage of the apostolic epistle being considered, so far as it bears on the matter in hand, will be sufficient to answer the question, what it is to live after the flesh. For among the works of the flesh which he said were manifest, and which he cited for condemnation, we find not only those which concern the pleasure of the flesh, as fornications, uncleanness, lasciviousness, drunkenness, Tevellings, but also those which, though they be remote from fleshly pleasure, reveal the vices of the soul. For who does not see that idolatries, witchcrafts, hatreds, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings, are vices rather of the soul than of the flesh ? For it is quite possible for a man to
? abstain from fleshly pleasures for the sake of idolatry or some heretical error; and yet, even when he does so, he is proved by this apostolic authority to be living after the flesh; and in 1 John. i. 14.
2 The Apollinarians. 3 John xx. 13.
* Gal. v. 19-21.
abstaining from fleshly pleasure, he is proved to be practising damnable works of the flesh. Who that has enmity has it not in his soul ? or who would say to his enemy, or to the man he thinks his enemy, You have a bad flesh towards me, and not rather, You have a bad spirit towards me ? In fine, if any one heard of what I may call “ carnalities,” he would not fail to attribute them to the carnal part of man; so no one doubts that "animosities” belong to the soul of man. Why then does the doctor of the Gentiles in faith and verity call all these and similar things works of the flesh, unless because, by that mode of speech whereby the part is used for the whole, he means us to understand by the word flesh the man himself ? 3. That sin is caused not by the flesh, but by the soul, and that the corruption
contracted from sin is not sin, but sin's punishment. But if any one says that the flesh is the cause of all vices and ill conduct, inasmuch as the soul lives wickedly only because it is moved by the flesh, it is certain he has not carefully considered the whole nature of man. For “the corruptible body, indeed, weigheth down the soul."! Whence, too, the apostle, speaking of this corruptible body, of whiclı he had shortly before said, “though our outward man perish,” says, “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life." 3 We are then burdened with this corruptible body; but knowing that the cause of this burdensomeness is not the nature and substance of the body, but its corruption, we do not desire to be deprived of the body, but to be clothed with its immortality. For then, also, there will be a body, but it shall no longer be a burden, being no longer corruptible. At present, then, " the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon i Wisd, ix. 15. 2 2 Cor. iv, 16.
32 Cor. v. 1-4,
many things,” nevertheless they are in error who suppose that all the evils of the soul proceed from the body.
Virgil, indeed, seems to express the sentiments of Plato in the beautiful lines, where he says,
"A fiery strength inspires their lives,
And the dull ‘vesture of decay ;'") but though he goes on to mention the four most common mental emotions,—desire, fear, joy, sorrow,—with the intention of showing that the body is the origin of all sins and vices, saying,—
“ Hence wild desires and grovelling fears,
They look abroad, yet see no light, yet we believe quite otherwise. For the corruption of the body, which weighs down the soul, is not the cause but the punishment of the first sin; and it was not the corruptible flesh that made the soul sinful, but the sinful soul that made the flesh corruptible. And though from this corruption of the flesh there arise certain incitements to vice, and indeed vicious desires, yet we must not attribute to the flesh all the vices of a wicked life, in case we thereby clear the devil of all these, for he has no flesh. For though we cannot call
. the devil a fornicator or drunkard, or ascribe to him any sensual indulgence (though he is the secret instigator and prompter of those who sin in these ways), yet he is exceedingly proud and envious. And this viciousness has so possessed him, that on account of it he is reserved in chains of darkness to everlasting punishment. Now these vices, which have dominion over the devil, the apostle attributes to the flesh, which certainly the devil has not.
For he says “ hatred, variance, emulations, strife, envying” are the works of the flesh; and of all these evils pride is the origin and head, and it rules in the devil though he has no flesh. For who shows more hatred to the saints? who is more at
Æneid, vi. 730-32.
Ib. 733, 734. 3 On the punishment of the devil, see the De Agone Christi, 3-5, and De Nat. Boni, 33.
variance with them ? who more envious, bitter, and jealous ? And since he exhibits all these works, though he has no flesh, how are they works of the flesh, unless because they are the works of man, who is, as I said, spoken of under the name of flesh? For it is not by having flesh, which the devil has not, but by living according to himself,—that is, according to man,that man became like the devil. For the devil too, wished to live according to himself when he did not abide in the truth ; so that when he lied, this was not of God, but of himself, who is not only a liar, but the father of lies, he being the first who lied, and the originator of lying as of sin.
4. What it is to live according to man, and what to live according to God.
When, therefore, man lives according to man, not according to God, he is like the devil. Because not even an angel might live according to an angel, but only according to God, if he was to abide in the truth, and speak God's truth and not his own lie. And of man, too, the same apostle says in another place, “If the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie; 'my lie," he said, and “God's truth.” When, then, a man lives according to the truth, he lives not according to himself, but according to God; for He was God who said, "I am the truth.”? When, therefore, man lives according to himself,—that is, according to man, not according to God,-assuredly he lives according to a lie; not that man himself is a lie, for God is his author and creator, who is certainly not the author and creator of a lie, but because man was made upright, that he might not live according to himself, but according to Him that made him,-in other words, that he might do His will and not his own; and not to live as he was made to live, that is a lie. For he certainly desires to be blessed even by not living so that he may be blessed And what is a lie if this desire be not? Wherefore it is not without meaning said that all sin is a lie. For no sin is committed save by that desire or will by which we desire that it be well with us, and shrink from it being ill with us. That, therefore, is a lie which we do in order that it may be well with us, but which makes us more miserable 1 Rom. iii. 7.
2 John xiv. 6.
than we were. And why is this, but because the source of man's happiness lies only in God, whom he abandons when he sins, and not in himself, by living according to whom he sins?
In enunciating this proposition of ours, then, that because some live according to the flesh and others according to the spirit there have arisen two diverse and conflicting cities, we might equally well have said, “ because some live according to man, others according to God.” For Paul says very plainly to the Corinthians, “ For whereas there is among you envying and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk according to man ?”! So that to walk according to man and to be carnal are the same; for by flesh, that is, by a part of man, man is meant. For before he said that those same persons were animal whom afterwards he calls carnal, saying, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the animal man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him.” It is to men of this kind, then, that is, to animal men, he shortly after says, “ And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal.” 3 And this is to be interpreted by the same usage, a part being taken for the whole. For both the soul and the flesh, the component parts of man, can be used to signify the whole man; and so the animal man and the carnal man are not two different things, but one and the same thing, viz. man living according to man. In the same way it is nothing else than men that are meant either in the words, “ By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified;"4 or in the words, "Seventy-five souls went down into Egypt with Jacob.” 5 In the one passage, “ no flesh” signifies “no man;" and in the
31 Cor. iii. 1.
11 Cor. iii. 3.
? 1 Cor. ii. 11-14.