Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On the Spirit and the Letter/Chapter 38

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Chapter 38 [XXIII.]—The Re-Formation Which is Now Being Effected, Compared with the Perfection of the Life to Come.

But what is this change, and how great, in comparison with the perfect eminence which is then to be realized? The apostle applies some sort of illustration, derived from well-known things, to these indescribable things, comparing the period of childhood with the age of manhood. “When I was a child,” says he, “I used to speak as a child, to understand as a child, to think as a child; but when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” [1] He then immediately explains why he said this in these words: “For now we see by means of a mirror, darkly but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”[2]


  1. 1 Cor. xiii. 11.
  2. 1 Cor. xiii. 12.