Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
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Cyprian of Carthage
The first circumcision of the flesh is made void, and the second circumcision of the spirit is promised instead. In Jeremiah, “Thus says the Lord to the men of Judah, and to them who inhabit Jerusalem, ‘Renew newness among you, and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise the foreskin of your heart lest my anger go forth like fire, and burn you up, and there be none to extinguish it.’ ” - "To Quirinus: Testimonies Against the Jews 1.8"
Let us see, then, how Abraham is the father of many nations. We confess that he is the father of Jews, through descent according to the flesh. But if we hold to the descent according to the flesh, we are forced to say that the prophecy was false. For he is no longer father of us all according to the flesh. Yet the example of his faith makes us all children of Abraham. How and in what manner? With people it is unbelievable that one should rise from the dead. In the same way, it is also unbelievable that there should be offspring from aged persons as good as dead. Yet when Christ is preached as having been crucified on the tree, as having died and risen again, we believe it. By the likeness of our faith, therefore, we become the adopted children of Abraham. And consequently by our faith, like him, we receive the spiritual seal, being circumcised by the Holy Spirit through the font of baptism, not in the foreskin of the body, but in the heart, according to the words of Jeremiah: “For the ...
Circumcision of the heart is sufficient for the faithful. It is spiritual, as he said by Jeremiah; light a lamp and “sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord. Remove the foreskin of your hearts, - "O men of Judah.” Didascalia 24.[6.12]"
What we translate as “be circumcised to the Lord and remove the foreskin of your hearts,” Symmacus renders as “be purified to the Lord and remove the malice from your hearts,” understanding circumcision as purification and the foreskin as vice. But this was commanded to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, who followed the true faith and lived in the church, that they not sow among thorns, meaning that they should not spread the word of the gospel among those who would suffocate God’s planting, but that they should first sow on fallow ground and remove every thorn bush and briar patch, so that pure seeds may be received by pure soil. In other words, as it is said elsewhere, “Do not cast your pearls before swine, and do not give holy things to dogs.” For how is it possible for anyone to hear the word of God and to conceive and to bear fruit, whose soul is full of the hardness of the world? Hence, “be circumcised to the Lord and remove the foreskin of your hearts,” is commanded to none other ...
This was God’s forethought: He gave circumcision to Israel, as a sign by which they might be identified when the time should arrive that their above-mentioned reward should prevent them from entering Jerusalem. This situation, because it would come to be, was announced. Because we see it accomplished, we recognize it. Just as the physical circumcision, which was temporary, was made to be “a sign” in a rebellious people, so spiritual circumcision has been given for salvation to an obedient people.
The prophet Jeremiah says, “Renew yourselves, and do not sow among thorns. Be circumcised to God, and circumcise the foreskin of your heart,” and in another place he says, “Behold, days shall come, the Lord says, when I will draw up for the house of Judah and for the house of Jacob a new testament; not such as I once gave their fathers in the day that I led them out from the land of Egypt.” - "An Answer to the Jews 3"
Paul mentioned “certain false brethren as having crept in secretly,” who wished to turn the Galatians to another gospel. He shows that that adulteration of the gospel was not meant to transfer them to the faith of another god and christ, but rather to perpetuate the teaching of the law. He blames them for maintaining circumcision and observing times, and days, and months and years, according to those Jewish ceremonies that they ought to have known were now abolished, according to the new dispensation willed by the Creator, who foretold in ancient times this very thing by his prophets. Thus he says by Isaiah: “Old things have passed away. Behold, I will do a new thing.” And in another passage: “I will make a new covenant, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” In the same he said by Jeremiah: Make to yourselves a new covenant, “circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart.” It is this c...