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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

His body is capable neither of merit nor of demerit


God

himself has formed with his own hands man's body; he has animated it with the breath of his own mouth, and has placed within it a soul made to his likeness. The flesh of the Christian is, in some manner, associated to all the functions of its soul, and is the instrument of all the graces of God. It is the body that is washed by baptism to purify the soul, it is the body that in order to feed the soul receives the Eucharist; it is the body that is immolated to God by mortifications, by fasts, by vigils, by virginity, and by martyrdom. Thus St. Paul reminds that our bodies are the members of Jesus Christ, and the temples of the Holy Spirit. Would God leave in the grave forever the work of his own hands, the master-piece of his might, the depository of his breath, the king of the other bodies, the canal of his graces, and the victim of his worship?

If God has condemned the body to death as a punishment for sin, Jesus Christ came to save all that was lost. Without this complete reparation, we would not know how far the goodness, the mercy, and the parental tenderness of our God, extend. The flesh of man, restored by incarnation to its former dignity, ought to come again to life, as well as that of Jesus Christ. Is not he who created the flesh mighty enough to bring it again to life? Nothing entirely perishes in nature: forms change, but all renews itself, and seems to grow young again; God has stamped immortality upon all his works. Night follows

the day, eclipsed stars appear anew; the spring makes us forget the winter; plants grow again, and resume their hues and perfumes; and several animals which seem to die receive a new life. Thus, by the lessons of nature, God has prepared the lessons of the revelation; and he has shown us the image of the resurrection, before showing us its reality.

God's justice demands the resurrection of our body. God ought to judge, to reward, or to punish the whole man. The body is the instrument of the soul for good or for evil; even the thoughts of the soul are reflected on man's face. The soul cannot experience pleasure or pain without the co-participation of the body, and the principal exercise of virtue consists in the repression of the desires of the flesh. Then it is just that the soul of the wicked be tormented, by being reunited to the same body which has been the instrument of her crimes; and that the soul of the saints be rewarded, by her eternal reunion to a body which has been the instrument of her merits.

All these reasons can be generalized thus:

Man's body has been the instrument of our soul to do good or evil. Then the justice of God requires that man's body come again to life, to share, with its soul, eternal reward, or eternal punishment.

We answer: Since man's body is but the instrument of our soul to do good or evil, his body is capable neither of merit nor of demerit. But, since man's body is capable neither of merit nor of demerit, it is capable neither of reward nor of punishment. Therefore the justice of God does not require that man's body come again to life, to share, with its soul, eternal reward or eternal punishment.

More, it is irrational that the same particles of matter be, at the same time, in many places. But the doctrine of the resurrection of the body supposes that the same particles of matter will be, at the same time, in many places. This we prove:

The cannibals live upon man's flesh; and they assimilate to their own bodies the particles of flesh which compose the bodies of the men they devour. Consequently, at the resurrection of the bodies, these particles of flesh will compose the bodies of the cannibals, and, at the same time, the bodies of the men they have devoured. Therefore, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body supposes, that the same particles of matter will be, at the same time, in many places.


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