Are you a Christian?
WORKS OF ARMINIUS - THE ANCIENT FATHERS
PREVIOUS SECTION - NEXT SECTION - HELP - FACEBOOK
THE ANCIENT FATHERS
CLEMENT 0F ALEXANDRIA.
The apostle gives two appellations to the man -- his person and his mind. (Strom. lib. 3, fol. 194.)
"BUT," says the apostle, "though our outward man be destroyed," that is, the flesh, by the force of persecutions, "yet the inward man is renewed day by day," that is, the mind, by the hope of the promises. (Against the Gnostics, cap. 15.)
Having, therefore, obtained the two men mentioned by the apostle -- the inward man, that is, the mind, and the outward man, that is, the flesh -- the heretics have in fact adjudged salvation to the mind, that is, to the inward man, but destruction to the flesh, that is, to the outward man; because it is recorded 2 Corinthians iv, 16, "for though our outward man perish," &c. (On the resurrection of the Body, cap. 40.)
From without, wars that overcome the body; inwardly, fear that afflicts the mind. So, "though our outward man perish," perishing will not be understood as losing our resurrection, but as sustaining vexation; and this, not without the inward man. Thus it will be the part of both of them to be glorified together, as well as to be fellow-sufferers.
For though the apostle calls the flesh "an earthen vessel," which he commands to be honourably treated; yet it is also called, by the same apostle, "the outward man," that is, the clay which was first impressed and engraved under the title of man, not of a cup, of a sword, or of any small vessel; for it was called "a vessel" on account of its capacity, which holds and contains the mind. But this flesh is called "man," from community of nature, which renders it not an instrument in operations, but a minister or assistant, (Ibid. cap. 16.)
"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." he says that his mind delights in those things which are delivered by the law; and thus it is the inward man. (On Rom. vii, 22.) "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." The flesh perishes or wastes away by afflictions, stripes, famine, thirst, cold and nakedness; but the mind is renewed by the hope of a future reward, because it is purified by incessant tribulations. For the mind is profited in afflictions, and does not perish; so that when additional temptations occur, it makes daily advances in worthiness; because this "perishing" is profitable also to the body for its immortality through the excellence of the mind. (On 2 Corinthians iv, 16.)
"I delight in the law of God after the inward man." Our inward man is that which was made after the image and likeness of God; the outward man is that which was formed and shaped from clay. As therefore there are two men, there is likewise a two-fold course of conduct -- one is that of the inward man, the other that of the outward man. And, indeed, most of the acts of the inward man extend to the outward man. As the chasteness of the inward man also passes to the chastity of the body. For he who is ignorant of the adultery of the heart, is likewise unacquainted with the adultery of the body, &c. It is, therefore, the circumcision of the inward man; for he who is circumcised has stripped off the enticements of his whole flesh, as his foreskin, that he may be in the Spirit, and not in the flesh; and that in the Spirit he may mortify the deeds of his body, &c., &c. When our inward man is in the flesh, he is in the foreskin. (Letter 77th, to Constantius.)
BASIL THE GREAT
"Let us make man according to our image." He means the inward man, when he says, "Let us make man," &c., &c. Listen to the apostle, who says, "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." How do I know the two men? One of them is apparent; the other is hidden in him who appears, it is the invisible, the inward man. We have then a man within us; and we are twofold; and what is said is very true, that we are inward. (Homily 10th, on the six days of Creation.)
"Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me." God made the inward man, and fashioned the outward man. For "the fashioning" belongs to clay; but "the making" appertains to that which is after his own image. Wherefore the thing which was fashioned is the flesh, but that which was made is the mind. (Ibid. Homily 11.)
Since there are, indeed, two men, as the apostle declares, the one outward and the other inward, we must also, in like manner, receive the age in both, according to him whom we behold, and according to him whom we understand in secret. (Discourse on the beginning of the Proverbs of Solomon.)
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA
"But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." If any one, therefore, says that our inward man dwells in the outward man, he repeats an important truth; yet he will not on this account seem to divide the unity of man. (On the incarnation, of the only begotten Son, cap. 12.)
The true death consists in the heart, and is hidden, when our inward man is dead. If therefore any one has passed over from death to the hidden life, he in reality lives forever, and dies no more, &c., &c. Sin acts secretly upon the inward man and the mind, and commences a conflict with the thoughts. (Homily 15.)
The members of the soul are many: such as the mind, the conscience, the will, the thoughts which accuse or else defend. But all these have been collected together into one reason; yet they are the members of the soul. But the soul is single, that is, the inward man. (Homily 7.)
"The inward man" and "the soul" are taken for the same thing, in his 27th Homily.
"But though our outward man perish," &c. How does it perish? While it is beaten with stripes, is driven away, and endures innumerable evils. "Yet the inward man is renewed day by day." How is it renewed? By faith, hope and alacrity, that it may have the courage to oppose itself to evils. For, the more the evils which the body endures, the greater is the hope which the inward man entertains, and the more bright and resplendent does it become, as gold which is examined or tested by much fire. (On 2 Corinthians iv, 16.)
Let us now see what is said by one who stands higher than many:
But who, except the greatest mad man, will say that in the body we are, or shall afterwards be, like God, That likeness, therefore, exists in the inward man, "which is renewed in the knowledge of God, after the image of him that created him." (Tom. 2, Epist. 6.)
By this grace, righteousness is written in the inward man, when renewed, which transgression had destroyed. (On the Spirit and the Letter, cap. 27.) As he called him the inward man when coming into this world, because the outward man is corporeal as this world is. (On the Demerits and Remission of Sin, lib.1, cap. 25; Tom. 7.)
As the eyes of the body derive no aid from the light, that they may depart from it with eyelids closed and turned in another direction, but in order to see, they are assisted by the light, (nor can this be done at all, unless the light lends its aid,) so God, who is the light of the inward man, assists the drowsiness of our mind, that we may perform something that is good, not according to our righteousness, but according to his own. (Ibid. lib. 2, cap. 5.)
If, in the mind itself, which is "the inward man," perfect newness were formed in baptism, the apostle would not declare, "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (Ibid. cap. 7.) As that tree of life was placed in the corporeal Paradise, so this wisdom is in the spiritual Paradise, the former of them affording vital vigour to the senses of the outward man, the latter to those of the inward man, without any change of time for the worse. (Ibid. cap. 21.)
Behold, then, of how many things are we ignorant -- not only such as are past, but also of those which are present, concerning our nature, and not only in reference to the body, but likewise I, reference to the inward man; yet we are not compared to the beasts. (Tom. 7. 0n the Soul and its Origin, lib. 4, cap. 8.)
Because the thing is either the foot itself, the body, or the man, who hobbles along with a lame foot; yet the man cannot avoid a lame foot, unless he have it healed. This can also be done in the inward man, but it must be by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. (On Perfection against Caelestius, fol. I, letter f.)
Thus also the mind is the thing of the inward man, robbery is an act, avarice is a vice, that is, a quality, according to which the mind is evil, even when it does nothing by which it can render any service to avarice or robbery.
Beside the inward and the outward man, I do not indeed perceive that the apostle makes another inward of the inward man, that is, the innermost of the whole man. (On the Mind and its Origins, lib. 4, cap. 4.)
He confesses in the same passage, that the mind is the inward man to the body, but he denies that the spirit is the inward man to the mind.
Some persons have also made this supposition, that now the inward man was made, but the body of the man afterwards, when the Scripture says, "And God formed man of the dust of the ground." (Tom. 3. On Genesis according to the letter, l. 3, c. 22.)
The apostle Paul wishes "the inward man" to be understood by the spirit of the mind, "the outward man" in the body and this mortal life. Yet it is sometimes read in his epistles, that he has not called both of these together "two men," but one entire man whom God made, that is, both that which is the inward man, and that which is the outward. But he does not make him after his own image, except with regard to that which is inward, not only what is incorporeal, but also what is rational, and which is not within beasts. (Tom. 6. Against Faustus the Manichee, lib. 24, cap. 1.)
The apostle says that "the old man" is nothing more than the old [course of] life, which is in sin, and in which men live according to the first Adam, concerning whom he declares, "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Therefore, the whole of that man, both in his outward and inward part; has become old on account of sin, and is sentenced to the punishment of mortality, &c.
And therefore, by such a cross, the body of sin is emptied, that we may "not now yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin;" because this inward man also, if he be really renewed day by day, is certainly old before he is renewed. For that is an inward act of which the apostle speaks thus: "Put off the old man, and put on the new man." (Tom. 3. On the Trinity, lib. 4, cap. 3.)
But now the death of the flesh of our Lord belongs to the example of the death of our outward man, &c. And the resurrection of the body of the Lord is found to appertain to the example of the resurrection of our outward man."
Come now, let us see where is that which bears some resemblance to the confines of the man, both the outward and the inward; for, whatever we have in the mind in common with the beasts, is correctly said still to belong to the outward man; For not only will the body be accounted as "the outward man," but likewise certain things united to its life, by which the joints of the body and all the senses flourish and grow, and with which it is furnished for entering upon outward things. When the images of these perceptions, infixed in the memory, are revisited by recollection, the matter is still a transaction which belongs to the outward man. And in all these things we are at no great distance from the cattle, except that in the shape of our bodies we are not bending downwards, but erect. (On the Trinity, lib. 12, cap. 1.)
While ascending, therefore, inwardly by certain degrees of consideration through the parts of the mind, another thing begins from this to occur to us, which is not common to us with the beasts; thence reason has its commencement, that the inward man may not be known. (Ibid. cap. 8.)
Both believers and unbelievers are well acquainted with the nature of man, whose outward part, that is, the body, they have learned the lights of the body; but they have learned the inward part, that is, the mind, within themselves. (Ibid. lib. 13, cap. 1.)
Besides, the Scriptures thus attest it to us in this that, when these two things also are joined together and the man lives, and when likewise they bestow on each of them the appellation of man, calling the mind "the inward man," but the body "the outward man," as though they were two men, while both of them together are only one man. (Tom. 5. On the City of God, lib. 13, cap. 24. See also lib. 11, cap. 27 & 3.)
As this outward and visible world nourishes and contains the outward man, so that invisible world contains the inward man. (Tom. 8. On the First Psalm.)
He who believes in Him, eats and is invisibly fattened, because he is also invisibly born again. The infant is within, the new man is within; where young and tender vines are planted, there are they filled and satiated. (On John, Tract 26.)
Moreover, "the outward man," that is, the body, "perishes." How is this? While it is beaten with stripes, while it is driven about. "But the inward man," that is, the spirit and the mind, "is renewed." By what means? When it hopes well, and freely acts, as though suffering and rejoicing on account of God. (On 2 Corinthians iv, 16.)
Let us spiritually advert to the spiritual expressions of the apostle, by which he testifies, that he has seen and handled the word of God, not with his bodily eyes and hands, but with the members of the inner man. (Against Eutychus, lib. 4.)
PROCOPIUS OF GAZA
The substance of man, if you consider his inward man, is this image of God; if you take his outward man into consideration, his substance will be the earth, or the dust of the ground. Yet one and the same is the man in the composition which is completed from both of them. (0n Genesis, cap. 1.)
LEO THE GREAT
When the outward man is slightly afflicted, let the inward man be refreshed; and withdrawing corporeal fullness from the flesh, let the mind be strengthened by spiritual delights. (Sermon 4, On Quadragesima Sunday.)
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. God speaks thus respecting the inward man. "But," you will say, "you are giving a dissertation upon reason. Shew us man after the image of God. Is reason the man?" Listen to the apostle: Though your outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. By what means? I own that man is two-fold, one who is seen, another who is hidden, and whom he that is seen does not perceive. We have, therefore, an inward man, and in some degree are two-fold. For I am that man who is inward; but I am not those things which are outward; but they are mine. Neither am I the hand, but I am the reason which is in the mind; but the hand is a part of the outward man. (On Genesis, i, 26.)
Thus, when the inward man, whom God denominates the heart, has wiped off the rusty filth which, on account of his depraved thirst, had grown up with his form; he will once more recover the likeness [of God] with his original and principal form, when he will become good. (On the Beatitudes.)