Five Books in Reply to Marcion. Book I. Part II.—Of the Resurrection of the Flesh.

Early Christian Writings

Title: The Five Books in Reply to Marcion. Book I. Part II.


Book I.—Of the Divine Unity, and the Resurrection of the Flesh.  

Part II.—Of the Resurrection of the Flesh.

From: Tertullian: Part Fourth. Appendix: (CCEL Part I. and Part II.)

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol IV. (Part.IV)

Τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἔθη κρατείτω. The Nicene Council

Original Source: CCEL ANF03 X


Translated by: Rev. S. Thelwall

By: Author Uncertain

Published: 197-220 A.D.

(PDF File Size: xx mb) xx pages

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Book I.—Of the Divine Unity, and the Resurrection of the Flesh.

Part II.—Of the Resurrection of the Flesh.

The whole man, then, believes; the whole is washed;
Abstains from sin, or truly suffers wounds
For Christ’s name’s sake: he rises a true man,

245 Death, truly vanquish, shall be mute. But not
Part of the man,—his soul,—her own part left
Behind, will win the palm which, labouring
And wrestling in the course, combinedly
And simultaneously with flesh, she earns.

250 Great crime it were for two in chains to bear
A weight, of whom the one were affluent
The other needy, and the wretched one
Be spurned, and guerdons to the happy one
Rendered. Not so the Just—fair Renderer

255 Of wages—deals, both good and just, whom we
Believe Almighty: to the thankless kind
Full is His will of pity. Nay, whate’er
He who hath greater mortal need doth need
That, by advancement, to his comrade he

260 May equalled be, that will the affluent
Bestow the rather unsolicited:
So are we bidden to believe, and not
Be willing to cast blame unlawfully
On the Lord in our teaching, as if He

265 Were one to raise the soul, as having met
With ruin, and to set her free from death
So that the granted faculty of life
Upon the ground of sole desert (because
She bravely acted), should abide with her;

270 While she who ever shared the common lot
Of toil, the flesh, should to the earth be left,
The prey of a perennial death. Has, then,
The soul pleased God by acts of fortitude?
By no means could she Him have pleased alone

275 Without the flesh. Hath she borne penal bonds?
The flesh sustained upon her limbs the bonds.
Contemned she death? But she hath left the flesh
Behind in death. Groaned she in pain?
The flesh is slain and vanquisht by the wound. Repose

280 Seeks she? The flesh, spilt by the sword in dust,
Is left behind to fishes, birds, decay,
And ashes; torn she is, unhappy one!
And broken; scattered, she melts away.
Hath she not earned to rise? for what could she

285 Have e’er committed, lifeless and alone?
What so life-grudging cause impedes, or else
Forbids, the flesh to take God’s gifts, and live
Ever, conjoined with her comrade soul,
And see what she hath been, when formerly

290 Converted into dust? After, renewed,
Bear she to God deserved meeds of praise,
Not ignorant of herself, frail, mortal, sick.
Contend ye as to what the living might 146
Of the great God can do; who, good alike

295 And potent, grudges life to none? Was this
Death’s captive? shall this perish vanquished
Which the Lord hath with wondrous wisdom made,
And art? This by His virtue wonderful
Himself upraises; this our Leader’s self
300 Recalls, and this with His own glory clothes
God’s art and wisdom, then, our body shaped
What can by these be made, how faileth it
To be by virtue reproduced? No cause
Can holy parent-love withstand; (lest else

305 Ill’s cause should mightier prove than Power Supreme;)
That man even now saved by God’s gift, may learn
(Mortal before, now robed in light immense
Inviolable, wholly quickened, soul
And body) God, in virtue infinite,

310 In parent-love perennial, through His King
Christ, through whom opened is light’s way; and now,
Standing in new light, filled now with each gift,
Glad with fair fruits of living Paradise,
May praise and laud Him to eternity,

315 Rich in the wealth of the celestial hall.

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