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, 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. 1 Cor. xv. 50 C9. I have Made Answer More at Length than I had Intended on this Single Article of the Resurrection, through Fear Lest by Brevity I Should Lay Myself Open to Fresh Aspersions. Consequently, I have Made Mention Again and Again not Only of the Body. As to which Cavils are Raised, but of the Flesh: and not Only of the Flesh; I have Added "This Flesh;" and Further I have Spoken not Only of "This Flesh" but of "This Natural Flesh;" I have not Even Stopped Here, but have Asserted that not Even the Completeness of the Several Members Would be Lacking. I have Only Demanded that it Should be Held as Part of the Faith That, According to the Words of the Apostle, it Should Rise Incorruptible Instead of Corruptible, Glorious in Stead of Dishonoured, Immortal Instead of Frail, Spiritual Instead of Natural; and that we Should Think of the Members of the Spiritual Body as Being Without Taint of Corruption or of Frailty. I have Set Forth My Faith in Reference to the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Lord Our Saviour, to his Passion and Resurrection, his Second Coming and the Judgment to Come. I have Also Set it Forth in the Matter of the Resurrection of Our Flesh, and have Left Nothing, I Think, in Ambiguity. Nothing in My Opinion Remains to be Said, So Far as the Faith is Concerned. C10. But in This, He Says, I Convict You, that You have Translated the Work of Origen, in which He Says that There is to be a Restitution of all Things, in which we must Believe that not Only Sinners but the Devil Himself and his Angels Will at Last be Relieved from their Punishment, if we are to Set Before Our Minds in a Consistent Manner what is Meant by the Restitution of all Things. And Origen, He Says, Teaches Further that Souls have Been Made Before their Bodies, and have Been Brought Down from Heaven and Inserted into their Bodies. I am not Now Acting on Origen's Behalf, nor Writing an Apology for Him. Whether He Stands Accepted Before God or Has Been Cast Away is not Mine to Judge: to his Own Lord He Stands or Falls. But I am Compelled to Make Mention of Him in a Few Words, Since Our Great Rhetorician, Though Seeming to be Arguing against Him is Really Striking at Me; and this He Does no Longer Indirectly, but Ends by Openly Attacking Me with his Sword Drawn and Turns his Whole Fury against Me. I Say Too Little in Saying that He Attacks Me; for Indeed, in Order to Vent his Rage against Me, He Does not Even Spare his Old Teacher: He Thinks that in the Books which I have Translated He Can Find Something which May Enable Him to Hurl his Calumnies against Me. In Addition to Other Things which He Finds to Blame in Me He Adds this Invidious Remark, that I have Chosen for Translation a Work which Neither He nor any of the Older Translators had Chosen. I Will Begin, Therefore, Since it is Here that I am Chiefly Attacked, by Stating How it came to Pass that I Attempted the Translation of this Work in Preference to any Other, and I Will do So in the Fewest and Truest Words. This Is, no Doubt, Superfluous for You, My Well-Beloved Son, Since You Know the Whole Affair as it Occurred; yet it is Desirable that those who are Ignorant of it Should Know the Truth: Besides, Both He and all his Followers Make this a Triumphant Accusation against Me, that I Promised in My Preface to Adopt one Method of Translation but Adopted a Different one in the Work Itself. Hence, I Will Make an Answer which Will Serve not Only for Them, but for Many Besides Whose Judgment is Perverted Either by their Own Malice or by the Accusations which Others Make against Me. Rom. xiv. 4
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, 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.
1 Cor. xv.50 c9. I have made answer more at length than I had intended on this single article of the resurrection, through fear lest by brevity I should lay myself open to fresh aspersions. Consequently, I have made mention again and again not only of the body. as to which cavils are raised, but of the flesh: and not only of the flesh; I have added "this flesh;" and further I have spoken not only of "this flesh" but of "this natural flesh;" I have not even stopped here, but have asserted that not even the completeness of the several members would be lacking. I have only demanded that it should be held as part of the faith that, according to the words of the Apostle, it should rise incorruptible instead of corruptible, glorious in stead of dishonoured, immortal instead of frail, spiritual instead of natural; and that we should think of the members of the spiritual body as being without taint of corruption or of frailty. I have set forth my faith in reference to the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Lord our Saviour, to his Passion and Resurrection, his second coming and the judgment to come. I have also set it forth in the matter of the resurrection of our flesh, and have left nothing, I think, in ambiguity. Nothing in my opinion remains to be said, so far as the faith is concerned. c10. But in this, he says, I convict you, that you have translated the work of Origen, in which he says that there is to be a restitution of all things, in which we must believe that not only sinners but the devil himself and his angels will at last be relieved from their punishment, if we are to set before our minds in a consistent manner what is meant by the restitution of all things. And Origen, he says, teaches further that souls have been made before their bodies, and have been brought down from heaven and inserted into their bodies. I am not now acting on Origen's behalf, nor writing an apology for him. Whether he stands accepted before God or has been cast away is not mine to judge: to his own lord he stands or falls. But I am compelled to make mention of him in a few words, since our great rhetorician, though seeming to be arguing against him is really striking at me; and this he does no longer indirectly, but ends by openly attacking me with his sword drawn and turns his whole fury against me. I say too little in saying that he attacks me; for indeed, in order to vent his rage against me, he does not even spare his old teacher: he thinks that in the books which I have translated he can find something which may enable him to hurl his calumnies against me. In addition to other things which he finds to blame in me he adds this invidious remark, that I have chosen for translation a work which neither he nor any of the older translators had chosen. I will begin, therefore, since it is here that I am chiefly attacked, by stating how it came to pass that I attempted the translation of this work in preference to any other, and I will do so in the fewest and truest words. This is, no doubt, superfluous for you, my well-beloved son, since you know the whole affair as it occurred; yet it is desirable that those who are ignorant of it should know the truth: besides, both he and all his followers make this a triumphant accusation against me, that I promised in my Preface to adopt one method of translation but adopted a different one in the work itself. Hence, I will make an answer which will serve not only for them, but for many besides whose judgment is perverted either by their own malice or by the accusations which others make against me.
Rom. xiv.4 That is, Origen. Rufinus insinuates that Jerome owed and cared more for Origen than he chose to avow.