St. Augustine- On the New Heavens and New Earth

(from City of God, c. 426 A.D.)

And I saw,” he says, “a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heavens and the first earth have passed away; and there is no more sea.” This will take place in the order which he has by anticipation declared in the words, “I saw One sitting on the throne, from whose face heaven and earth fled.” For as soon as those who are not written in the book of life have been judged and cast into eternal fire,– the nature of which fire, or its position in the world or universe, I suppose is known to no man, unless perhaps the Divine Spirit reveal it to some one,–then shall the figure of this world pass away in a conflagration of universal fire, as once before the world was flooded with a deluge of universal water.

“And by this universal conflagration the qualities of the corruptible elements which suited our corruptible bodies shall utterly perish, and our substance shall receive such qualities as shall, by a wonderful transmutation, harmonize with our immortal bodies, so that, as the world itself is renewed to some better thing, it is fitly accommodated to men, themselves renewed in their flesh, to some better thing.”

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