Augustin: City of God 104


Chapter 22.—That the Bodies of the Saints Shall After the Resurrection Be Spiritual, and Yet Flesh Shall Not Be Changed into Spirit.

The bodies of the righteous, then, such as they shall be in the resurrection, shall need neither any fruit to preserve them from dying of disease or the wasting decay of old age, nor any other physical nourishment to allay the cravings of hunger or of thirst; for they shall be invested with so sure and every way inviolable an immortality, that they shall not eat save when they choose, nor be under the necessity of eating, while they enjoy the power of doing so. For so also was it with the angels who presented themselves to the eye and touch of men, not because they could do no otherwise, but because they were able and desirous to suit themselves to men by a kind of manhood ministry. For neither are we to suppose, when men receive them as guests, that the angels eat only in appearance, though to any who did not know them to be angels they might seem to eat from the same necessity as ourselves. So these words spoken in the Book of Tobit, “You saw me eat, but you saw it but in vision;”35 that is, you thought I took food as you do for the sake of refreshing my body. But if in the case of the angels another opinion seems more capable of defence, certainly our faith leaves no room to doubt regarding our Lord Himself, that even after His resurrection, and when now in spiritual but yet real flesh, He ate and drank with His disciples; for not the power, but the need, of eating and drinking is taken from these bodies. And so they will be spiritual, not because they shall cease to be bodies, but because they shall subsist by the quickening spirit.

Chapter 23.—What We are to Understand by the Animal and Spiritual Body; Or of Those Who Die in Adam, Andof Those Who are Made Alive in Christ.

For as those bodies of ours, that have a living soul, though not as yet a quickening spirit, are called soul-informed bodies, and yet are not souls but bodies, so also those bodies are called spiritual,—yet God forbid we should therefore suppose them to be spirits and not bodies,—which, being quickened by the Spirit, have the substance, but not the unwieldiness and corruption of flesh. Man will then be not earthly but heavenly,—not because the body will not be that very body which was made of earth, but because by its heavenly endowment it will be a fit inhabitant of heaven, and this not by losing its nature, but by changing its quality. The first man, of the earth earthy, was made a living soul, not a quickening spirit,—which rank was reserved for him as the reward of obedience. And therefore his body, which required meat and drink to satisfy hunger and thirst, and which had no absolute and indestructible immortality, but by means of the tree of life warded off the necessity of dying, and was thus maintained in the flower of youth,—this body, I say, was doubtless not spiritual, but animal; and yet it would not have died but that it provoked God’s threatened vengeance by offending. And though sustenance was not denied him even outside Paradise, yet, being forbidden the tree of life, he was delivered over to the wasting Of time, at least in respect of that life which, had he not sinned, he might have retained perpetually in Paradise, though only in an animal body, till such time as it became spiritual in acknowledgment of his obedience.

Wherefore, although we understand that this manifest death, which consists in the separation of soul and body, was also signified by God when He said, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,”36 it ought not on that account to seem absurd that they were not dismissed from the body on that very day on which they took the forbidden and death-bringing fruit. For certainly on that very day their nature was altered for the worse and vitiated, and by their most just banishment from the tree of life they were involved in the necessity even of bodily death, in which necessity we are born. And therefore the apostle does not say, “The body indeed is doomed to die on account of sin,” but he says, “The body indeed is dead because of sin.” Then he adds, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”37 Then accordingly shall the body become a quickening spirit which is now a living soul; and yet the apostle calls it “dead,” because already it lies under the necessity of dying. But in Paradise it was so made a living soul, though not a quickening spirit, that it could not properly be called dead, for, save through the commission of sin, it could not come under the power of death. Now, since God by the words, “Adam, where art thou?” pointed to the death of the soul, which results when He abandons it, and since in the words, “Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return,”38 He signified the death of the body, which results when the soul departs from it, we are led, therefore, to believe that He said nothing of the second death, wishing it to be kept hidden, and reserving it for the New Testament dispensation, in which it is most plainly revealed. And this He did in order that, first of all, it might be evident that this first death, which is common to all, was the result of that sin which in one man became common to all.39 But the second death is not common to all, those being excepted who were “called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.”40 Those the grace of God has, by a Mediator, delivered from the second death.

Thus the apostle states that the first man was made in an animal body. For, wishing to distinguish the animal body which now is from the spiritual, which is to be in the resurrection, he says, “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” Then, to prove this, he goes on, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” And to show what the animated body is, he says, “Thus it was written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”41 He wished thus to show what the animated body is, though Scripture did not say of the first man Adam, when his soul was created by the breath of God, “Man was made in an animated body,” but “Man was made a living soul.”42 By these words, therefore, “The first man was made a living soul,” the apostle wishes man’s animated body to be understood. But how he wishes the spiritual body to be understood he shows when he adds, “But the last Adam was made a quickening spirit,” plainly referring to Christ, who has so risen from the dead that He cannot die any more. He then goes on to say, “But that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” And here he much more clearly asserts that he referred to the animal body when he said that the first man was made a living soul, and to the spiritual when he said that the last man was made a quickening spirit. The animal body is the first, being such as the first Adam had, and which would not have died had he not sinned, being such also as we now have, its nature being changed and vitiated by sin to the extent of bringing us under the necessity of death, and being such as even Christ condescended first of all to assume, not indeed of necessity, but of choice; but afterwards comes the spiritual body, which already is worn by anticipation by Christ as our head, and will be worn by His members in the resurrection of the dead.

Then the apostle subjoins a notable difference between these two men, saying, “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy, and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”43 So he elsewhere says, “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ;”44 but in very deed this shall be accomplished when that which is animal in us by our birth shall have become spiritual in our resurrection. For, to use his words again,” We are saved by hope.”45 Now we bear the image of the earthly man by the propagation of sin and death, which pass on us by ordinary generation; but we bear the image of the heavenly by the grace of pardon and life eternal, which regeneration confers upon us through the Mediator of God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. And He is the heavenly Man of Paul’s passage, because He came from heaven to be clothed with a body Of earthly mortality, that He might clothe it with heavenly immortality. And he calls others heavenly, because by grace they become His members, that, together with them, He may become one Christ, as head and body. In the same epistle he puts this yet more clearly: “Since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,”46 —that is to say, in a spiritual body which shall be made a quickening spirit. Not that all who die in Adam shall be members of Christ,—for the great majority shall be punished in eternal death,—but he uses the word “all” in both Clauses, because, as no one dies in an animal body except in Adam, so no one is quickened a spiritual body save in Christ. We are not, then, by any means to suppose that we shall in the resurrection have such a body as the first man had before he sinned, nor that the words, “As is the earthy such are they also that are earthy,” are to be understood of that which was brought about by sin; for we are not to think that Adam had a spiritual body before he fell, and that, in punishment of his sin, it was changed into an animal body. If this be thought, small heed has been given to the words of so great a teacher, who says. “There is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body; as it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul.” Was it after sin he was made so? or was not this the primal condition of man from which the blessed apostle selects his testimony to show what the animal body is?

Chapter 24.—How We Must Understand that Breathing of God by Which “The First Man Was Made a Living Soul,”

And that Also by Which the Lord Conveyed His Spirit to His Disciples Whenhe Said,”Receive Ye the Holy Ghost.”

Some have hastily supposed from the words, “God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul,47 “ that a soul was not then first given to man, but that the soul already given was quickened by the Holy Ghost. They are encouraged in this supposition by the fact that the Lord Jesus after His resurrection breathed on His disciples, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit.”48 From this they suppose that the same thing was effected in either case, as if the evangelist had gone on to say, And they became living souls. But if he had made this addition, we should only understand that the Spirit is in some way the life of souls, and that without Him reasonable souls must be accounted dead, though their bodies seem to live before our eyes. But that this was not what happened when man was created, the very words of the narrative sufficiently show: “And God made man dust of the earth;” which some have thought to render more clearly by the words, “And God formed man of the clay of the earth.” For it had before been said that “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground,”49 in order that the reference to clay, formed of this moisture and dust, might be understood. For on this verse there immediately follows the announcement, “And God created man dust of the earth;” so those Greek manuscripts have it from which this passage has been translated into Latin. But whether one prefers to read “created” or “formed,” where the Greek reads e[plasen, is of little importance; yet “formed” is the better rendering. But those who preferred “created” thought they thus avoided the ambiguity arising from the fact, that in the Latin language the usage obtains that those are said to form a thing who frame some feigned and fictitious thing. This man, then, who was created of the dust of the earth, or of the moistened dust or clay,—this “dust of the earth” (that I may use the express words of Scripture) was made, as the apostle teaches, an animated body when he received a soul. This man, he says, “was made a living soul;” that is, this fashioned dust was made a living soul.

They say, Already he had a soul, else he would not be called a man; for man is not a body alone, nor a soul alone, but a being composed of both. This, indeed, is true, that the soul is not the whole man, but the better part of man; the body not the whole, but the inferior part of man; and that then, when both are joined, they receive the name of man, which, however, they do not severally lose even when we speak of them singly. For who is prohibited from saying, in colloquial usage, “That man is dead, and is now at rest or in torment,” though this can be spoken only of the soul; or “He is buried in such and such a place,” though this refers only to the body? Will they say that Scripture follows no such usage? On the contrary, it so thoroughly adopts it, that even while a man is alive, and body and soul are united, it calls each of them singly by the name “man,” speaking of the soul as the “inward man,” and of the body as the “outward man,”50 as if there were two men, though both together are indeed but one. I But we must understand in what sense man is said to be in the image of God, and is yet dust, and to return to the dust. The former is spoken of the rational soul, which God by His breathing, or, to speak more appropriately, by His inspiration, conveyed to man, that is, to his body; but the latter refers to his body, which God formed of the dust, and to which a soul was given, that it might become a living body, that is, that man might become a living soul.

Wherefore, when our Lord breathed on His disciples, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” He certainly wished it to be understood that the Holy Ghost was not only the Spirit of the Father, but of the only begotten Son Himself. For the same Spirit is, indeed, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, making with them the trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, not a creature, but the Creator. For neither was that material breath which proceeded from the mouth of His flesh the very substance and nature of the Holy Spirit, but rather the intimation, as I said, that the Holy Spirit was common to the Father and to the Son; for they have not each a separate Spirit, but both one and the same. Now this Spirit is always spoken of in sacred Scripture by the Greek word pneu`ma, as the Lord, too, named Him in the place cited when He gave Him to His disciples, and intimated the gift by the breathing of His lips; and there does not occur to me any place in the whole Scriptures where He is otherwise named. But in this passage where it is said, “And the Lord formed man dust of the earth, and breathed, or inspired, into his face the breath of life;” the Greek has not pneu(ma, the usual word for the Holy Spirit, but pnohv, a word more frequently used of the creature than of the Creator; and for this reason some Latin interpreters have preferred to render it by “breath” rather than “spirit.” For this word occurs also in the Greek in Isaiah chapter vii, verse 16 where God says, “I have made all breath,” meaning, doubtless, all souls. Accordingly, this word pnoh is sometimes rendered “breath,” sometimes “spirit,” sometimes “inspiration,” sometimes “aspiration,” sometimes “soul,” even when it is used of God). Pneu`ma, on the other hand, is uniformly rendered “spirit,” whether of man, of whom the apostle says, “For What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?”51 or of beast, as in the book of Solomon, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”52 or of that physical spirit which is called wind, for so the Psalmist calls it: “Fire and hail; snow and vapors; stormy wind;”53 or of the uncreated Creator Spirit, of whom the Lord said in the gospel, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” indicating the gift by the breathing of His mouth; and when He says, “Go ye and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,”54 words which very expressly and excellently commend the Trinity; and where it is said, “God is a Spirit;”55 and in very many other places of the sacred writings. In all these quotations from Scripture we do not find in the Greek the word pnohv used, but pneu`ma, and in the Latin, not flatus, but spiritus. Wherefore, referring again to that place where it is written, “He inspired,” or to speak more properly, “breathed into his face the breath of life,” even though the Greek had not used pnoh (as it has) but pneu`ma, it would not on that account necessarily follow that the Creator Spirit, who in the Trinity is distinctively called the Holy Ghost, was meant, since, as has been said, it is plain that pneu`ma is used not only of the Creator, but also of the creature.

105 But, say they, when the Scripture used the word “spirit,”56 it would not have added “of life” unless it meant us to understand the Holy Spirit; nor, when it said, “Man became a soul,” would it also have inserted the word “living” unless that life of the soul were signified which is imparted to it from above by the gift of God. For, seeing that the soul by itself has a proper life of its own, what need, they ask, was there of adding living, save only to show that the life which is given it by the Holy Spirit was meant? What is this but to fight strenuously for their own conjectures, while they carelessly neglect the teaching of Scripture? Without troubling themselves much, they might have found in a preceding page of this very book of Genesis the words, “Let the earth bring forth the living soul,”57 when all the terrestrial animals were created. Then at a slight interval, but still in the same book, was it impossible for them to notice this verse, “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died,” by which it was signified that all the animals which lived on the earth had perished in the deluge? If, then, we find that Scripture is accustomed to speak both of the “living soul” and the “spirit of life” even in reference to beasts; and if in this place, where it is said, “All things which have the spirit of life,” the word pnoh, not pneu`ma, is used; why may we not say, What need was there to add “living,” since the soul cannot exist without being alive? or, What need to add “of life” after the word spirit? But we understand that Scripture used these expressions in its ordinary style so long as it speaks of animals, that is, animated bodies, in which the soul serves as the residence of sensation; but when man is spoken of, we forget the ordinary and established usage of Scripture, whereby it signifies that man received a rational soul, which was not produced out of the waters and the earth like the other living creatures, but was created by the breath of God. Yet this creation was ordered that the human soul should live in an animal body, like those other animals of which the Scripture said, “Let the earth produce every living soul,” and regarding which it again says that in them is the breath of life, where the word pnoh and not pneu`ma is used in the Greek, and where certainly not the Holy Spirit, but their spirit, is signified under that name.

But, again, they object that breath is understood to have been emitted from the mouth of God; and if we believe that is the soul, we must consequently acknowledge it to be of the same substance, and equal to that wisdom, which says, “I come out of the mouth of the Most High.”58 Wisdom, indeed, does not say it was breathed out of the mouth of God, but proceeded out of it. But as we are able, when we breathe, to make a breath, not of our own human nature, but of the surrounding air, which we inhale and exhale as we draw our breath and breathe again, so almighty God was able to make breath, not of His own nature, nor of the creature beneath Him, but even of nothing; and this breath, when He communicated it to man’s body, He is most appropriately said to have breathed or inspired,—the Immaterial breathing it also immaterial, but the Immutable not also the immutable; for it was created, He uncreated. Yet that these persons who are forward to quote Scripture, and yet know not the usages of its language, may know that not only what is equal and consubstantial with God is said to proceed out of His mouth, let them hear or read what God says: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”59

There is no ground, then, for our objecting, when the apostle so expressly distinguishes the animal body from the spiritual—that is to say, the body in which we now are from that in which we are to be. He says, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”60 Of all which words of his we have previously spoken. The animal body, accordingly, in which the apostle says that the first man Adam was made, was not so made that it could not die at all, but so that it should not die unless he should have sinned. That body, indeed, which shall be made spiritual and immortal by the quickening Spirit shall not be able to die at all; as the soul has been created immortal, and therefore, although by sin it may be said to die, and does lose a certain life of its own, namely, the Spirit of God, by whom it was enabled to live wisely and blessedly, yet it does not cease living a kind of life, though a miserable, because it is immortal by creation. So, too, the rebellious angels, though by sinning they did in a sense die, because they forsook God, the Fountain of life, which while they drank they were able to live wisely and well, yet they could not so die as to utterly cease living and feeling, for they are immortals by creation. And so, after the final judgment, they shall be hurled into the second death, and not even there be deprived of life or of sensation, but shall suffer torment. But those men who have been embraced by God’s grace, and are become the fellow-citizens of the holy angels who have continued in bliss, shall never more either sin or die, being endued with spiritual bodies; yet, being clothed with immortality, such as the angels enjoy, of which they cannot be divested even by sinning, the nature of their flesh shall continue the same, but all carnal corruption and unwieldiness shall be removed.

There remains a question which must be discussed, and, by the help of the Lord God of truth, solved: If the motion of concupiscence in the unruly members of our first parents arose out of their sin, and only when the divine grace deserted them; and if it was on that occasion that their eyes were opened to see, or, more exactly, notice their nakedness, and that they covered their shame because the shameless motion of their members was not subject to their will,—how, then, would they have begotten children had they remained sinless as they were created? But as this book must be concluded, and so large a question cannot be summarily disposed of, we may relegate it to the following book, in which it will be more conveniently treated.

1 This book is referred to in another work of Augustin’s (contra Advers, Legis et Prophet. 1,18), which was written about the year 420).
2 On this question compare the 24th and 25th epistles of Jerome, de obitu Leoe, and de obitu Blesilloe filiae. Coquaeus).
3 (
Ps 49,12).
4 On which see further in de Peccat. Mer. i 67, et seq).
5 De Babitismo Parvulorum is the second half of the title of the book, de Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione.
6 (1Co 15,53,
7 (Rm 7,12-13).
8 Literally, unregenerate.
9 (Jn 3,5,
10  Mt 10,32.
11 (Mt 16,25,
12 (Ps 116,15).
13 Much of this paradoxical statement about death is taken from Seneca. See, among other places, his epistle on the premeditation of future dangers, the passage beginning, Quotidie morimur, quotide enim demitur aliqua pars vitae).
14 (Si 11,25,
15 (Ps 6,5).
16 (Gn 2,17.
17 (Ga 5,17,
18 (Gn 2,17,
19 (Gn 3,9,
20 (Gn 3,19).
21 Sg 9,15).
22 A translation of part of the Timaes, given in a little book of Cicero’s, De Universo).
23 Plato, in the Timaeus, represents the Demiurgus as constructing the kosmos or universe to be a complete representation of the idea of animal. He planted in its centre a soul, spreading outwards so as to pervade the whole body of the kosmos; and then he introduced into it those various species of animals which were contained in the idea of animal. Among these animals stand first the celestial, the gods embodied in the stars, and of these the oldest is the earth, set in the centre of all, close packed round the great axis which traverses the centre of the kosmos.—See the Timaeus and Grote’s Plato, 3,250 et seq).
24 On these numbers see Grote’s Plato, iii. 254).
25 Virgil, Aen, 6,750, 751).
26 Book 10,30.
27 A catena of passages, showing that this is the catholic Christian faith, will be found in Bull’s State of Man before the Fall (Works, vol. ii)..
28 (2Co 15,42).
29 (Pr 3,18).
30 (1Co 10,4,
31 (Ct 4,13).
32 (Ps 42,6).
33 (Ps 59,9).
34 Those who wish to pursue this subject will find a pretty full collection of opinions in the learned commentary on Genesis by the Jesuit Pererius. Philo was, of course, the leading culprit, but Ambrose and other Church fathers went nearly as far. Augustin condemns the Seleucians for this among other heresies, that they denied a visible Paradise.—De Haeres. 59
35  Tb 12,19.
36 (Gn 2,17.
37 (Rm 8,10-11
38 (Gn 3,19,
39 In uno commune factum est omnibus.
40 (Rm 8,28-29).
41 (1Co 15,42-45).
42 (Gn 2,7).
43 (1Co 15,47-49).
44 (Ga 3,27).
45 (Rm 8,24).
46 (1Co 15,21-22).
47 (Gn 2,7,
48 (Jn 20,22,
49 (Gn 2,6,
50 (2Co 4,16).
51 (1Co 2,11).
52 (Qo 3,21).
53 (Ps 148,8,
54 (Mt 28,19,
55 (Jn 4,24,
56 “Breath,” Eng. ver.
57 (Gn 1,24).
58 (Si 24,3).
59 (Ap 3,16,
60 (1Co 15,44-49).

Book XIV.1


Argument—Augustin again treats of the sin of the first man, and teaches that it is the cause of the carnal life and vicious affections of man. Especially he proves that the shame which accompanies lust is the just punishment of that disobedience, and inquires how man, if he had not sinned, would have been able without lust to propagate his kind.

Chapter I.—That the Disobedience of the First Man Would Have Plunged All Men into the Endless Misery of the Second Death, Had Not the Grace of God Rescued Many.

We have already stated in the preceding books that God, desiring not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was pleased to derive all men from one individual, and created man with such a nature that the members of the race should not have died, had not the two first (of whom the one was created out of nothing, and the other out of him) merited this by their disobedience; for by them so great a sin was committed, that by it the human nature was altered for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity, liable to sin and subject to death. And the kingdom of death so reigned over men, that the deserved penalty of sin would have hurled all headlong even into the second death, of which there is no end, had not the undeserved grace of God saved some therefrom. And thus it has come to pass, that though there are very many and great nations all over the earth, whose rites and customs, speech, arms, and dress, are distinguished by marked differences, yet there are no more than two kinds of human society, which we may justly call two cities, according to the language of our Scriptures. The one consists of those who wish to live after the flesh, the other of those who wish to live after the spirit; and when they severally achieve what they wish, they live in peace, each after their kind.

Chapter 2.—Of Carnal Life, Which is to Be Understood Not Only of Living in Bodily Indulgence, But Also of Living in the Vices of the Inner Man.

First, we must see what it is to live after the flesh, and what to live after the spirit. For any one who either does not recollect, or does not sufficiently weigh, the language of sacred Scripture, may, on first hearing what we have said, suppose that the Epicurean philosophers live after the flesh, because they place man’s highest good in bodily pleasure; and that those others do so who have been of opinion that in some form or other bodily good is man’s supreme good; and that the mass of men do so who, without dogmatizing or philosophizing on the subject, are so prone to lust that they cannot delight in any pleasure save such as they receive from bodily sensations: and he may suppose that the Stoics, who place the supreme good of men in the soul, live after the spirit; for what is man’s soul, if not spirit? But in the sense of the divine Scripture both are proved to live after the flesh. For by flesh it means not only the body of a terrestrial and mortal animal, as when it says, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, another of birds,”2 but it uses this word in many other significations; and among these various usages, a frequent one is to use flesh for man himself, the nature of man taking the part for the whole, as in the words, “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified;”3 for what does he mean here by “no flesh” but “no man?” And this, indeed, he shortly after says more plainly: “No man shall be justified by the law;”4 and in the Epistle to the Galatians, “Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law.” And so we understand the words, “And the Word was made flesh,”5 —that is, man, which some not accepting in its right sense, have supposed that Christ had not a human soul.6 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,”7 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.

106 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.”8 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, revellings, 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 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?

Augustin: City of God 104