RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT, BOOKS III-VII
Translated by the Rev. Thomas Smith, D.D.
CHAP. 1.--PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.
Meantime Peter, rising at the crowing of the cock, and wishing to rouse us, found us awake, the evening light still burning; and when, according to custom, he had saluted us, and we had all sat down, he thus began. "Nothing is more difficult, thy brethren, than to reason concerning the truth in the presence of a mixed multitude of people. For that which is may not be spoken to all as it is, on account of those who hear wickedly and treacherously; yet it is not proper to deceive, on account of those who desire to hear the truth sincerely. What, then, shall he do who has to address a mixed multitude? Shall he conceal what is true? How, then, shall he instruct those who are worthy? But if he set forth pure truth to those who do not desire to obtain salvation, he does injury to Him by whom he has been sent, and from whom he has received commandment not to throw the pearls of His words before swine and dogs, who, striving against them with arguments and sophisms, roll them in the rand of carnal understanding, and by their barkings and base answers break and weary the preachers of God's word. Wherefore I also, for the most part, by using a certain circumlocution, endeavour to avoid publishing the chief knowledge concerning the Supreme Divinity to unworthy ears." Then, beginning from the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he briefly and plainly expounded to us, so that all of us hearing him wondered that men have forsaken the truth, and have turned themselves to vanity.
CHAP. XII.--SECOND DAY'S DISCUSSION.
But when the day had dawned, some one came in and said: "There is a very great multitude waiting in the court, and in the midst of them stands Simon, endeavouring to preoccupy the ears of the people with most wicked persuasions." Then Peter, immediately going out, stood in the place where he had disputed the day before, and all the people turning to him with joy, gave heed to him. But when Simon perceived that the people rejoiced at the sight of Peter, and were moved to love him, he said in confusion: "I wonder at the folly of then, who call me a magician, and love Peter; whereas, having knowledge of me of old, they ought to love me rather. And therefore from this sign those who have sense may understand that Peter may rather seem to be the magician, since affection is not borne to me, to whom it is almost due from acquaintance, but is abundantly expended upon him, to whom it is not due by any familiarity."
CHAP. XIII.--SIMON A SEDUCER.
While Simon was talking on in this style, Peter, having saluted the people in his usual way. thus answered: "O Simon, his own conscience is sufficient for every one to confute him; but if you wonder at this, that those who are acquainted with yon not only do not love you but even hate you, learn the reason from me. Since you are a seducer yon profess to proclaim the truth; and on this account you had many friends who had a desire to learn the truth. But when they saw in you things contrary to what you professed, they being, as I said, lovers of truth, began not only not to love you, but even to hate you. But yet they did not immediately forsake you, because you still promised that you could show them what is true. As long, therefore, as no one was present who could show them, they bore with you; but since the hope of better instruction has dawned upon them, they despise you, and seek to know what they understand to be better. And you indeed, acting by nefarious arts, thought at first that you should escape detection. But you are detected. For you are driven into a corner, and, contrary to your expectation, you are made notorious, not only as being ignorant of the truth, but as being unwilling to hear it from those who know it. For if you had been willing to hear, that saying would have been exemplified in you, of Him who said that 'there is nothing hidden which shall not be known, nor covered which shall not be disclosed.'"
CHAP. XIV.--SIMON CLAIMS THE FULFILMENT OF PETER'S PROMISE.
While Peter spoke these words, and others to the same effect, Simon answered: "I will not have you detain me with long speeches, Peter; I claim from you what you promised yesterday. You then said that you could show that the law teaches concerning the immensity of the eternal light, and that there are only two heavens, and these created, and that the higher is the abode of that light, in which the ineffable Father dwells alone for ever; but that after the pattern of that heaven is made this visible heaven, which you asserted is to pass away. You said, therefore, that the Father of all is one, because there cannot be two infinites; else neither of them would be infinite, because in that in which the one subsists, he makes a limit of the subsistence of the other. Since then you not only promised this, but are able to show it from the law, leave off other matters and set about this." Then Peter said: "If I were asked to speak of these things only on your account, who come only for the purpose of contradicting, you should never hear a single discourse from me; but seeing it is necessary that the husbandman, wishing to sow good ground, should sow some seeds, either in stony places, or places that are to be trodden of men, or in places filled with brambles and briers (as our Master also set forth, indicating by these the diversities of the purposes of several souls), I shall not delay."
CHAP. XV.--SIMON'S ARROGANCE.
Then said Simon: "You seem to me to be angry; but if it be so, it is not necessary to enter into the conflict." Then Peter: "I see that you perceive that you are to be convicted, and you wish politely to escape from the contest; for what have you seen to have made me angry against you, a man desiring to deceive so great a multitude, and when you have nothing to say, pretending moderation, who also command, forsooth, by your authority that the controversy shall be conducted as you please, and not as order demands?" Then Simon: "I shall enforce myself to bear patiently your unskilfulness, that I may show that you indeed wish to seduce the people, but that I teach the truth. But now I refrain from a discussion concerning that boundless light. Answer me, therefore, what I ask of you. Since God, as you say, made all things, whence comes evil?" Then said Peter: "To put questions in this way is not the part of an opponent, but of a learner. If therefore you wish to learn, confess it; and I shall first teach you how you ought to learn, and when you have learned to listen, then straightway I shall begin to teach you. But if you do not wish to learn, as though you knew all things, I shall first set forth the faith which I preach, and do you also set forth what you think to be true; and when the profession of each of us has been disclosed, let our hearers judge whose discourse is supported by truth." To this Simon answered: "This is a good joke: behold a fellow who offers to teach me! Nevertheless I shall suffer you, and bear with your ignorance and your arrogance. I confess, then, I do wish to learn; let us see how you can teach me."
CHAP. XVI.--EXISTENCE OF EVIL.
Then Peter said: "If you truly wish to learn, I then first learn this, how unskilfully you have framed your question; for you say, Since. God has created all things, whence is evil? But before you asked this, three sorts of questions should have had the precedence: First, Whether there be evil? Secondly, What evil is? Thirdly, To whom it is, and whence?" To this Simon answered:" Oh thou most unskilful and unlearned, is there any man who does not confess that there is evil in this life? Whence I also, thinking that you had even the common sense of all men, asked, whence evil is; not as wishing to learn, since I know all things, least of all from you, who know nothing, but that I might show you to be ignorant of all things. And that you may not suppose that it is because I am angry that I speak somewhat sternly, know that I am moved with compassion for those who are present, whom you are attempting to deceive." Then Peter said: "The more wicked are you, if you can do such wrong, not being angry; but smoke must rise where there is fire. Nevertheless I shall tell you, lest I should seem to take you up with words, so as not to answer to those things which you have spoken disorderly. You say that all confess the existence of evil, which is verily false; for, first of all, the whole Hebrew nation deny its existence."
CHAP. XVII.--NOT ADMITTED BY ALL.
Then Simon, interrupting his discourse, said: "They do rightly who say that there is no evil." Then Peter answered: "We do not propose to speak of this now, but only to state the fact that the existence of evil is not universally admitted. But the second question that you should have asked is, What is evil?--a substance, an accident, or an act? And many other things of the same sort. And after that, towards what, or how it is, or to whom it is evil,--whether to God, or to angels, or to men, to the righteous or the wicked, to all or to some, to one's self or to no one? And then you should inquire, Whence it is?--whether from God, or from nothing; whether it has always been, or has had its beginning in time; whether it is useful or useless? and many other things which a proposition of this sort demands." To this Simon answered: "Pardon me; I was in error concerning the first question; but suppose that I now ask first, whether evil is or not?"
CHAP. XVIII.--MANNER OF CONDUCTING THE DISCUSSION.
Then Peter said: "In what way do you put the question; as wishing to learn, or to teach or for the sake of raising the question? If indeed as wishing to learn, I have something to teach you first, that coining by consequence and the right order of doctrine, yon may understand from yourself what evil is. But if you put the question as an instructor, I have no need to be taught by you, for I have a Master from whom I have learned all things. But if you ask merely for the sake of raising a question and disputing, let each of us first set forth his opinion, and so let the matter be debated. For it is not reasonable that you should ask as one wishing to learn, and contradict as one teaching, so that after my answer it should be in your discretion to say whether I have spoken well or ill. Wherefore you cannot stand in the place of a gainsayer and be judge of what we say. And therefore, as I said, if a discussion is to be held, let each of us state his sentiments; and while we are placed in conflict, these religious hearers will be just judges."
CHAP. XIX.--DESIRE OF INSTRUCTION.
Then Simon said: "Does it not seem to you to be absurd that an unskilled people should sit in judgment upon our sayings?" Then Peter: "It is not so; for what perhaps is less clear to one, can be investigated by many, for oftentimes even a popular rumour has the aspect of a prophecy. But in addition to all this, all these people stand here constrained by the love of i God, and by a desire to know the truth, and therefore all these are to he regarded as one, by reason of their affection being one and the same towards the truth; as, on the other hand, two are many and diverse, if they disagree with each other. But if you wish to receive an indication how all these people who stand before us are as one man, consider from their very silence and quietness how with all patience, as you see, they do honour to the truth of God, even before they learn it, for they have not yet learned the greater observance which they owe to it. Wherefore I hope, through the mercy of God, that He will accept the religious purpose of their mind towards Him, and will give the palm of victory to him who preaches the truth, that He may make manifest to them the herald of truth."
CHAP. XX.--COMMON PRINCIPLES.
Then Simon: "On what subject do yon wish the discussion to be held? Tell me, that I also may define what I think, and so the inquiry may begin." And Peter answered: "If indeed, you will do as I think right, I would have it done according to the precept of my Master, who first of all commanded the Hebrew nation, whom He knew to have knowledge of God, and that it is He who made the world, not that they should inquire about Him whom they knew, but that, knowing Him, they should investigate His will and His righteousness; because it is placed in men's power that, searching into these things, they may find, and do, and observe those things concerning which they are to be judged. Therefore He commanded us to inquire, not whence evil cometh, as you asked just now, but to seek the righteousness of the good God, and His kingdom; and all these things, says He, shall be added to you." Then Simon said: "Since these things are commanded to Hebrews, as having a right knowledge of God, and being of opinion that every one has it in his power to do these things concerning which he is to be judged,--but my opinion differs from theirs,--where do you wish me to begin?"
CHAP. XXI.--FREEDOM OF THE WILL.
Then said Peter: "I advise that the first inquiry be, whether it be in our power to know whence we are to be judged." But Simon said: "Not so; but concerning God, about whom all who are present are desirous to hear." Then Peter: "You admit, then, that something is in the power of the will: only confess this, if it is so, and let us inquire, as you say, concerning God." To this Simon answered: "By no means" Then Peter said: "If, then, nothing is in our power, it is useless for us to inquire anything concerning God, since it is not in the power of those who seek to find; hence I said well, that this should be the first inquiry, whether anything is in the power of the will." Then said Simon: "We cannot even understand this that you say, if there is anything in the power of the will." But Peter, seeing that he was turning to contention, and, through fear of being overcome, was confounding all things as being in general uncertain, answered: "How then do you know that it is not in the power of man to know anything, since this very thing at least you know?"
Then Simon said: "I know not whether I know even this; for every one, according as it is decreed to him by fate, either does, or understands, or suffers." Then Peter said: "See, my brethren, into what absurdities Simon has fallen, who before my coining was teaching that men have it in their power to be wise and to do what they will, hut now, driven into a corner by the force of my arguments, he denies that man has any power either of perceiving or of acting; and yet he presumes to profess himself to be a teacher! But tell me how then God judges according to truth every one for his doings, if men have it not in their own power to do anything? If this opinion he held, all things are torn up by the roots; vain will be the desire of following after goodness; yea, even in vain do the judges of the world administer laws and punish those who do amiss, for they had it not in their power not to sin; vain also will be the laws of nations which assign penalties to evil deeds. Miserable also will those be who laboriously keep righteousness; but blessed those who, living in pleasure, exercise tyranny, living in luxury and wickedness. According to this. therefore, there can be neither righteousness, nor goodness, nor any virtue, nor, as you would have it, any God. But, O Simon, I know why you have spoken thus: truly because you wished to avoid inquiry, lest you should be openly confuted; and therefore you say that it is not in the power of man to perceive or to discern anything. But if this had really been your opinion, you would not surely, before my coming, have professed yourself before the people to be a teacher. I say, therefore, that man is under his own control." Then said Simon: "What is the meaning of being under his own control? Tell us." To this Peter: "If nothing can he learned, why do you wish to hear?" And Simon said: "You have nothing to answer to this."
CHAP. XXIII.--ORIGIN OF EVIL.
Then said Peter: "I shall speak, not as under compulsion from you, but at the request of the hearers. The power of choice is the sense of the soul, possessing a quality by which it can be inclined towards what acts it wills." Then Simon, applauding Peter for what he had spoken, said: "Truly you have expounded it magnificently and incomparably, for it is my duty to bear testimony to your speaking well. Now if you will explain to me this which I now ask you, in all things else I shall submit to you. What I wish to learn, then, is this: if what God wishes to be, is; and what He does not wish to be, is not. Answer me this." Then Peter: "If you do not know that you are asking an absurd and incompetent question, I shall pardon you and explain; but if you are aware that yon are asking inconsequently, you do not well." Then Simon said: "I swear by the Supreme Divinity, whatsoever that may be, which judges and punishes those who sin, that I know not what I have said inconsequently, or what absurdity there is in my words, that is, in those that I have just uttered."
CHAP. XXIV.--GOD THE AUTHOR OF GOOD, NOT OF EVIL.
To this Peter answered: "Since, then, you confess that you are ignorant, now learn. Your question demanded our deliverance on two matters that are contrary to one another. For every motion is divided into two parts, so that a certain part is moved by necessity, and another by will; and those things which are moved by necessity are always in motion, those which are moved by will, not always. For example, the sun's motion is performed by necessity to complete its appointed circuit, and every state and service of heaven depends upon necessary motions. But man directs the voluntary motions of his own actions. And thus there are some things which have been created for this end, that in their services they should he subject to necessity, and should be unable to do aught else than what has been assigned to them; and when they have accomplished this service, the Creator of all things. who thins arranged them according to His will, preserves them. But there are other things, in which there is a power of will, and which have a free choice of doing what they will. These, as I have said, do not remain always in that order in which they were created: but according as their will leads them, and the judgment of their mind inclines them, they effect either good or evil; and therefore He hath proposed rewards to those who do well, and penalties to those who do evil.
CHAP.XXV.--"WHO HATH RESISTED HIS WILL?"
You say, therefore, if God wishes anything to he, it is; and if He do not wish it, it is not. But if I were to answer that what He wishes is, and what He wishes not is not, you would say that then He wishes the evil things to be which are done in the world, since everything that He wishes is, and everything that He wishes not is not. But if I had answered that it is not so that what God wishes is, and what He wishes not is not, then you would retort upon me that God must then be powerless, if He cannot do what He wills; and you would be all the more petulant, as thinking that you had got a victory, though had said nothing to the point. Therefore you are ignorant, O Simon, yea very ignorant, how the will of God acts in each individual case. For some things, as we have said, He has so willed to be, that they cannot be otherwise than as they are ordained by Him; and to these He has assigned neither rewards nor punishments; but those which He has willed to be so that they have it in their power to do what they will, He has assigned to them according to their actions and their wills, to earn either rewards or punishments. Since, therefore, as I have informed you, all things that are moved are divided into two parts, according to the distinction that I formerly stated, everything that God wills is, and everything that He wills not is not.
CHAP. XXVI--NO GOODNESS WITHOUT LIBERTY
To this Simon answered: "Was not He able to make us all such that we should be good, and that we should not have it in our power to be otherwise?" Peter answered: "This also is an absurd question. For if He had made us of an unchangeable nature and incapable of being moved away from good, we should not be really good, because we could not be aught else; and it would not be of our purpose that we were good; and what we did would not be ours, but of the necessity of our nature. But how can that be called good which is not done of purpose? And on this account the world required long periods, until the number of souls which were predestined to fill it should be completed, and then that visible heaven should be folded up like a scroll, and that which is higher should appear, and the souls of the blessed, being restored to their bodies, should be ushered into light; but the souls of the wicked, for their impure actions being surrounded with fiery spirit, should be plunged into the abyss of unquenchable fire, to endure punishments through eternity. Now that these things are so, the true Prophet. has testified to us; concerning whom, if you wish to know that He is a prophet, I shall instruct you by innumerable declarations. For of those things which were spoken by Him, even now everything that He said is being fulfilled; and those things which He spoke with respect to the future are believed to be about to be fulfilled, for faith is given to the future from those things which have already come to pass."
CHAP. XXVII.--THE VISIBLE HEAVEN: WHY MADE.
But Simon, perceiving that Peter was clearly assigning a reason from the head of prophecy, from which the whole question is settled, declined that the discourse should take this turn; and thus answered: "Give me an answer to the questions that I put, and tell me, if that visible heaven is. as you say, to be dissolved, why was it made at first?" Peter answered: "It was made for the sake of this present life of men, that there might be some sort of interposition and separation, lest any unworthy one might see the habitation of the celestials and the abode of God Himself, which are prepared in order to be seen by those only who are of pure heart. But now, that is in the time of the conflict, it has pleased Him that those things be invisible, which are destined as a reward to the conquerers." Then Simon said: "If the Creator is good, and the world is good, how shall He who is good ever destroy that which is good? But if He shall destroy that which is good, how shall He Himself be thought to be good? But if He shall dissolve and destroy it as evil, how shall He not appear to be evil, who has made that which is evil?"
CHAP. XXVIII.--WHY TO BE DISSOLVED.
To this Peter replied: "Since we have promised not to run away from your blasphemies, we endure them patiently, for you shall yourself render an account for the things that you speak. Listen now, therefore. If indeed that heaven which is visible and transient had been made for its own sake, there would have been some reason in what you say, that it ought not to be dissolved. But if it was made not for its own sake, but for the sake of something else, it must of necessity be dissolved, that that for which it seems to have been made may appear. As I might say, by way of illustration, however fairly and carefully the shell of the egg may seem to have been formed, it is yet necessary that it be broken and opened, that the chick may issue from it, and that may appear for which the form of the whole egg seems to have been moulded. So also, therefore, it is necessary that the condition of this world pass away, that that sublimer condition of the heavenly kingdom may shine forth."
CHAP. XXIX.--CORRUPTIBLE AND TEMPORARY THINGS MADE BY THE INCORRUPTIBLE AND ETERNAL.
Then Simon: "It does not seem to me that the heaven, which has been made by God, can be dissolved. For things made by the Eternal One are eternal, while things made by a corruptible one are temporary and decaying." Then Peter: "It is not so. Indeed corruptible and temporary things of all sorts are made by mortal creatures; but the Eternal does not always make things corruptible, nor always incorruptible; but according to the will of God the Creator, so will be the things which He creates. For the power of God is not subject to law, but His will is law to His creatures." Then Simon answered: "I call you back to the first question. You said now that God is visible to no one; but when that heaven shall be dissolved, and that superior condition of the heavenly kingdom shall shine forth, then those who are pure in heart shall see God; which statement is contrary to the law, for there it is written that God said, 'None shall see my face and live.'"
CHAP. XXX.--HOW THE PURE IN HEART SEE GOD.
Then Peter answered: "To those who do not read the law according to the tradition of Moses, my speech appears to be contrary to it; but I will show you how it is not contradictory. God is seen by the mind, not by the body; by the spirit, not by the flesh. Whence also angels, who are spirits, see God; and therefore men, as long as they are men, cannot see Him. But after the resurrection of the dead, when they shall have been made like the angels, they shall be able to see God. And thus my statement is not contrary to the law; neither is that which our Master said, 'Blessed are they of a pure heart, for they shall see God.' For He showed that a time shall come in which of men shall be made angels, who in the spirit of their mind shall see God." After these and many similar sayings, Simon began to assert with many oaths, saying: "Concerning one thing only render me a reason, whether the soul is immortal, and I shall submit to your will in all things. But let it be to-morrow, for to-day it is late." When therefore Peter began to speak, Simon went out, and with him a very few of his associates; and that for shame. But all the rest, turning to Peter, on bended knees prostrated themselves before him; and some of those who were afflicted with diverse sicknesses, or invaded by demons, were healed by the prayer of Peter, and departed rejoicing, as having obtained at once the doctrine of the true God, and also His mercy. When therefore the crowds had withdrawn, and only we his attendants remained with him, we sat down on couches placed on the ground, each one recognising his accustomed place, and having taken food, and given thanks to God, we went to sleep.
CHAP. XXXI.--DILIGENCE IN STUDY.
But on the following day, Peter, as usual, rising before dawn, found us already awake and ready to listen; and thus began: "I entreat you, my brethren and fellow-servants, that if any of you is not able to wake, he should not torment himself through respect to my presence, because sudden change is difficult; but if for a long time one gradually accustoms himself, that will not be distressing which comes of use. For we had not all the same training; although in course of time we shall be able to be moulded into one habit, for they say that custom holds the place of a second nature. But I call God to witness that I am not offended, if any one is not able to wake; but rather by this, if, when any one sleeps all through the night, he does not in the course of the day fulfil that which he omitted in the night. For it is necessary to give heed intently and unceasingly, to the study of doctrine, that our mind may be filled with the thought of God only: because in the mind which is filled with the thought of God, no place will be given to the wicked one."
CHAP. XXXII.--PETER'S PRIVATE INSTRUCTION.
When Peter spoke thus to us, every one of us eagerly assured him, that ere now we were awake, being satisfied with short sleep, but that we were afraid to arouse him, because it did not become the disciples to command the master; "and yet even this O Peter we had almost ventured to take upon ourselves, because our hearts, agitated with longing for your words, drove sleep wholly from our eves. But again our affection towards you opposed it, and did not suffer us violently to rouse you." Then Peter said: "Since therefore you assert that you are willingly awake through desire of hearing, I wish to repeat to you more carefully, and to explain in their order, the things that were spoken yesterday without arrangement. And this I propose to do throughout these daily disputations, that by night, when privacy of time and place is afforded, I shall unfold in correct order, and by a straight line of explanation, anything that in the controversy has not been stated with sufficient fulness." And then he began to point out to us how the yesterday's discussion ought to have been conducted, and how it could not be so conducted on account of the contentiousness or the unskilfulness of his opponent; and how therefore he only made use of assertion, and only overthrew what was said by his adversary, but did not expound his own doctrines either completely or distinctly. Then repeating the several matters to us, he discussed them in regular order and with full reason.
CHAP. XXXIII.--LEARNERS AND CAVILLERS.
But when the day began to be light, after prayer he went out to the crowds and stood in his accustomed place, for the discussion; and seeing Simon standing in the middle of the crowd, he saluted the people in his usual way, and said to them: "I confess that I am grieved with respect to some men, who come to us in this way that they may learn something, but when we begin to teach them, they profess that they themselves are masters, and while indeed they ask questions as ignorant persons, they contradict as knowing trees. But perhaps some one will say, that he who puts a question, puts it indeed in order that he may learn, but when that which he hears does not seem to him to be right, it is necessary that he should answer, and that seems to he contradiction which is not contradiction, but further inquiry.
CHAP. XXXIV.--AGAINST ORDER IS AGAINST REASON.
"Let such a one then hear this: The teaching of all doctrine has a certain order, and there are some things which must be delivered first, others in the second place, and others in the third, and so all in their order; and if these things be delivered in their order, they become plain; but if they be brought forward out of order, they will seem to be spoken against reason. And therefore order is to be observed above all things, if we seek for the purpose of finding what we seek. For he who enters rightly upon the road, will observe the second place in due order, and from the second will more easily find the third; and the further he proceeds, so much the more will the way of knowledge become open to him, even until he arrive at the city of truth, whither he is bound, and which he desires to reach. But he who is unskilful, and knows not the way of inquiry,as a traveller in a foreign country, ignorant and wandering, if he will not employ a native of the country as a guide,--undoubtedly when he has strayed from the way of truth, shall remain outside the gates of life, and so, involved in the darkness of black night, shall walk through the paths of perdition. Inasmuch therefore, as, if those things which are to be sought, be sought in an orderly manner, they can most easily be found, but the unskilful man is ignorant of the order of inquiry, it is right that the ignorant man should yield to the knowing one, and first learn' the order of inquiry, that so at length he may find the method of asking and answering.
CHAP. XXXV.--LEARNING BEFORE TEACHING.
To this Simon replied: "Then truth is not the property of all, but of those only who know the art of disputation, which is absurd; for it cannot be, since He is equally the God of all, that all should not be equally able to know His will." Then Peter: "All were made equal by Him, and to all He has given equally to be receptive of truth. But that none of those who are born, are born with education, but education is subsequent to birth, no one can doubt. Since, therefore, the birth of men holds equity in this respect, that all are equally capable of receiving discipline, the diference is not in nature, but in education. Who does not know that the things which any one learns, he was ignorant of before he learned them?" Then Simon said' "You say truly." Then Peter said "If then in those arts which are in common use, one first learns and then teaches, how much more ought those who profess to be the educators of souls, first to learn, and so to teach, that they may not expose themselves to ridicule, if they promise to afford knowledge to others, when they themselves are unskilful?" Then Simon: "This is true in respect of those arts which are in common use; but in the word of knowledge, as soon as any one has heard, he has learned."
CHAP.XXXVI.--SELF-EVIDENCE OF TIlE TRUTH,
Then said Peter: "If indeed one hear in an orderly and regular manner he is able to know what is true; but he who refuses to submit to the rule of a reformed life and a pure conversation, which truly is the proper result of knowledge of the truth, will not confess that he knows what he does know. For this is exactly what we see in the case of some who, abandoning the trades which they learned in their youth, betake themselves to other performances, and by way of excusing their own sloth, begin to find fault with the trade as unprofitable." Then Simon: "Ought all who hear to believe that whatever they hear is true?" Then Peter: "Whoever hears an orderly statement of the truth, cannot by any means gainsay it, but knows that what is spoken is true, provided he also willingly submit to the rules of life. But those who, when they hear, are unwilling to betake themselves to good works, are prevented by the desire of doing evil from acquiescing in those things which they judge to be right. Hence it is manifest that it is in the power of the hearers to choose which of the two they prefer. But if all who hear were to obey, it would be rather a necessity of nature, leading all in one way. For as no one can be persuaded to become shorter or taller, because the force of nature does not permit it; so also, if either all were converted to the truth by a word, or all were not converted, it would be the force of nature which compelled all in the one case, and none at all in the other, to be converted."
CHAP. XXXVII.--GOD RIGHTEOUS AS WELL AS GOOD.
Then said Simon: "Inform us, therefore, what he who desires to know the truth must first learn." Then Peter: "Before all things it must be inquired what it is possible for man to find out. For of necessity the judgment of God turns upon this, if a man was able to do good and did it not. And therefore men must inquire whether they have it in their power by seeking to find what is good, and to do it when they have found it; for this is that for which they are to be judged. But more than this there is no occasion for any one but a prophet to know: for what is the need for men to know how the world was made? This, indeed, would be necessary to be learned if we had to enter upon a similar construction. But now it is sufficient for us, in order to the worship of God, to know that He made the world; hut how He made it is no subject of inquiry for us, because, as I have said, it is not incumbent upon us to acquire the knowledge of that art, as though we were about to make something similar. But neither are we to be judged for this, why we have not learned how the world was made, but only for that, if we be without knowledge of its Creator. For we shall know that the Creator of the world is the righteous and good God, if we seek Him in the paths of righteousness. For if we only know regarding Him that He is good, such knowledge is not sufficient for salvation. For in the present life not only the worthy, but also the unworthy, enjoy His goodness and His benefits. But if we believe Him to be not only good, but also righteous, and if, according to what we believe concerning God, we observe righteousness in the whole course of our life, we shall enjoy His goodness for ever. In a word, to the Hebrews, whose opinion concerning God was that He is only good, our Master said that they should seek also His righteousness; that is, that they should know that He is good indeed in this present time, that all may live in His goodness, but that He shall be righteous at the day of judgment, to bestow eternal rewards upon the worthy, from which the unworthy shall be excluded.
CHAP. XXXVIII.--GOD'S JUSTICE SHOWN AT THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
Then Simon: "How can one and the same being be both good and righteous?" Peter answered: "Because without righteousness, goodness would be unrighteousness; for it is the part of a good God to bestow His sunshine and rain equally on the just and the unjust; but this would seem to be unjust, if He treated the good and the bad always with equal fortune, and were it not that He does it for the sake of the fruits, which all may equally enjoy who are born in this world. But as the rain given by God equally nourishes the corn and the tares, but at the time of harvest the crops are gathered into the barn, but the chaff or the tares are burnt in the fire, so in the day of judgment, when the righteous shall be introduced into the kingdom of heaven, and the unrighteous shall be cast out, then also the justice of God shall be shown. For if He remained for ever alike to the evil and the good, this would not only not be good, but even unrighteous and unjust; that the righteous and the unrighteous should be held by Him in one order of desert."
CHAP. XXXIX.--IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
Then said Simon: "The one point on which I should wish to be satisfied is, whether the soul is immortal; for I cannot take up the burden of righteousness unless I know first concerning the immortality of the soul; for indeed if it is not immortal, the profession of your preaching cannot stand." Then said Peter: "Let us first inquire whether God is just; for if this were ascertained, the perfect order of order of religion would straight-way be established." Then Simon: "With all your boasting of your knowledge of the order of discussion, you seem to me now to have answered contrary to order; for when I ask you to show whether the soul is immortal, you say that we must first inquire whether God is just." Then said Peter: "That is perfectly right and regular." Simon: "I should wish to learn how."
CHAP. XL.--PROVED BY THE SUCCESS OF THE WICKED IN THIS LIFE.
"Listen, then," said Peter: "Some men who are blasphemers against God, and who spend their whole life in injustice and pleasure die in their own bed and obtain honourable burial; while others who worship God, and maintain their life frugally with all honesty and sobriety, die in deserted places for their observance of righteousness, so that they are not even thought worthy of burial. Where, then, is the justice of God, if there be no immortal soul to suffer punishment in the future for impious deeds, or enjoy rewards for piety and rectitude?" Then Simon said: "It is this indeed that makes me incredulous, because many well-doers perish miserably, and again many evil-doers finish long lives in happiness."
CHAP. XLI.--CAVILS OF SIMON.
Then said Peter: "This very thing which draws you into incredulity, affords to us a certain conviction that there shall be a judgment. For since it is certain that God is just, it is a necessary consequence that there is another world, in which every one receiving according to his deserts, shall prove the justice of God. But if all men were now receiving according to their deserts, we should truly seem to be deceivers when we say that there is a judgment to come; and therefore this very fact, that in the present life a return is not made to every one according to his deeds, affords, to those who know that God is just, an indubitable proof that there shall be a judgment." Then said Simon: "Why, then, am I not persuaded of it?" Peter: "Because you have not heard the true Prophet saying, 'Seek first His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.'" Then said Simon: "Pardon me if I am unwilling to seek righteousness, before I know if the soul is immortal." Then Peter: "You also pardon me this one thing, because I cannot do otherwise than the Prophet of truth has instructed me." Then said Simon: "It is certain that you cannot assert that the soul is immortal, and therefore you cavil, knowing that if it be proved to be mortal, the whole profession of that religion which you are attempting to propagate will be plucked up by the roots. And therefore, indeed, I commend your prudence, while I do not approve your persuasiveness; for you persuade many to embrace your religion, and to submit to the restraint of pleasure, in hope of future good things; to whom it happens that they lose the enjoyment of things present, and are deceived with hopes of things future. For as soon as they die, their soul shall at the same time be extinguished."
CHAP. XLII.--"FULL OF ALL SUBTLETY AND ALL MISCHIEF."
But Peter, when he heard him speak thus, grinding his teeth, and rubbing his forehead with his hand, and sighing with profound grief, said: "Armed with the cunning of the old serpent, you stand forth to deceive souls; and therefore, as the serpent is more subtile than any other beast, you profess that you are a teacher from the beginning. And again, like the serpent you wished to introduce many gods; but now, being confuted in that, you assert that there is no God at all. For by occasion of I know not what unknown God, you denied that the Creator of the world is God, but asserted that He is either an evil being, or that He has many equals, or, as we have said, that He is not God at all. And when you had been overcome in this position, you now assert that the soul is mortal, so that men may not live righteously and uprightly in hope of things to come. For if there be no hope for the future, why should not mercy be given up, and men indulge in luxury and pleasures, from which it is manifest that all unrighteousness springs? And while you introduce so impious a doctrine into the miserable life of men, you call yourself pious, and me impious, because, under the hope of future good things, I will not suffer men to take up arms and fight against one another, plunder and subvert everything, and attempt whatsoever lust may dictate. And what will be the condition of that life which you would introduce, that men will attack and be attacked, be enraged and disturbed, and live always in fear.? For those who do evil to others must expect like evil to themselves. Do you see that you are a leader of disturbance and not of peace, of iniquity and not of equity? But I feigned anger, not because I could not prove that the soul is immortal, but because I pity the souls which you are endeavouring to deceive. I shall speak, therefore, but not as compelled by you; for I know how I should speak; and you will be the only one who wants not so much persuasion as admonition on this subject. But those who are really ignorant of this, I shall instruct as is suitable."
CHAP. XLIII.--SIMON'S SUBTERFUGES.
Then says Simon: "If you are angry, I shall neither ask you any questions, nor do I wish to hear you." Then Peter: "If you are now seeking a pretext for escaping, you have full liberty, and need not use any special pretext. For all have heard you speaking all amiss, and have perceived that you can prove nothing, but that you only asked questions for the sake of contradiction; which any one can do. For what difficulty is there in replying, after the clearest proofs have been adduced, 'You have said nothing to the purpose?' But that you may know that I am able to prove to you in a single sentence that the soul is immortal, I shall ask you with respect to a point which all know; answer me, and I shall prove to you in one sentence that it is immortal." Then Simon, who had thought that he had got, from the anger of Peter, a pretext for departing, stopped on account of the remarkable promise that was made to him, and said: "Ask me then, and I shall answer you what all know, that I may hear in a single sentence, as you have promised, how the soul is immortal."
CHAP. XLIV.--SIGHT OR HEARING?
Then Peter: "I shall speak so that it may be proved to you before all the rest. Answer me, therefore, which of the two can better persuade an incredulous man. seeing or hearing?" Then Simon said: "Seeing." Then Peter: "Why then do you wish to learn from me by words, what is proved to you by the thing itself and by sight?" Then Simon: "I know not what you mean." Then Peter: "If you do not know, go now to your house, and entering the inner bed-chamber you will see an image placed, containing the figure of a murdered boy clothed in purple; ask him, and he will inform you either by hearing or seeing. For what need is there to hear from him if the soul is immortal, when you see it standing before you? For if it were not in being, it assuredly' could not be seen. But if you know not what image I speak of, let us straightway go to your house, with ten other men, of those who are here present."
CHAP. XLV.--A HOME-THRUST.
But Simon hearing this, and being smitten by his conscience, changed colour and became bloodless; for he was afraid, if he denied it, that his house would be searched, or that Peter in his indignation would betray him more openly, and so all would learn what he was. Thus he answered: "I beseech thee, Peter, by that good God who is in thee, to overcome the wickedness that is in me. Receive me to repentance, and you shall have me as an. assistant in your preaching. For now I have learned in very deed that you are a prophet of the true God, and therefore you alone know the secret anti hidden things of men." Then said Peter: "You see, brethren, Simon seeking repentance; in a little while yon shall see him returning again to his infidelity. For, thinking that I am a prophet, forasmuch as I have disclosed his wickedness, which he supposed to be secret and hidden, he has promised that he will repent. But it is not lawful for me to lie, nor must I deceive, whether this infidel be saved or not saved. For I call heaven and earth to witness, that I spoke not by a prophetic spirit what I said, and what I intimated, as far as was possible, to the listening crowds; liter I learned from some who once were his associates in his works, but have now been converted to our faith, what things he did in secret. Therefore I spoke what I knew, not what I foreknew."
CHAP. XLVI.--SIMON'S RAGE.
But when Simon heard this, he assailed Peter with curses and reproaches, saying: "Oh most wicked and most deceitful of men, to whom fortune, not truth, hath given the victory. But I sought repentance not for defect of knowledge, but in order that you, thinking that by repentance I should become your disciple, might entrust to me all the secrets of your profession. and so at length, knowing them all, I might confute you. But as you cunningly understood for what reason I had pretended penitence, and acquiesed as if yon did not understand my stratagem, that you might first expose me in presence of the people as unskilful, then fore-seeing that being thus exposed to the people, I must of necessity be indignant, and confess that I was not truly penitent, you anticipated me, that you might say, that I should, after my penitence, again return to my infidelity, that you might seem to have conquered on all sides, both if I continued in the penitence which I hart professed, and if I did not continue; and so you should be believed to be wise, because you had foreseen these things, while I should seem to be deceived, because I did not foresee your trick. But you foreseeing mine, have used subtlety and circumvented me. But, as I said, your victory is the result of fortune, not of truth: yet I know why I did not foresee this; because I stood by you and spoke with you in my, goodness, and bore patiently with you. But now I shall show you the power of my divinity, so that you shall quickly fall down and worship me.
CHAP. XLVII.--SIMON'S VAUNT.
"I am the first power, who am always, and without beginning. But having entered the womb of Rachel, I was born of her as a man, that I might be visible to men. I have flown through the air; I have been mixed with fire, and been made one betty with it; I have marie statues to move; I have animated lifeless things; I have made stones bread; I have flown front mountain to mountain; I have moved from place to place, upheld by angels' hands, and have lighted on the earth. Not only bare I done these things; but even now I am able to do them, that by facts I may prove to all, that I am the Son of God, enduring to eternity, and that I can make those who believe on me endure in like manner for ever. But your words are all vain; nor can you perform any real works such as I have now mentioned, as he also who sent you is a magician, who yet could not deliver himself from the suffering of the cross."
CHAP. XLVIII.--ATTEMPTS TO CREATE A DISTURBANCE.
To this speech of Simon, Peter answered: "Do not meddle with the things that belong to others; for that you are a magician, you have confessed and made manifest by the very deeds that you have done; but our Master, who is the Son of God and of man, is manifestly good; and that he is truly the Son of God has been told, and shall be told to those to whom it is fitting. But if your will not confess that you are a magician, let us go, with all this multitude, to your house, and then it will be evident who is a magician." While Peter was speaking thus, Simon began to assail him with blasphemies and curses, that he might make a riot, and excite all so that he could not be refuted, and that Peter, withdrawing on account of his blasphemy, might seem to be overcome. But he stood fast, and began to charge him more vehemently.
CHAP. XLIX.--SIMON'S RETREAT.
Then the people in indignation cast Simon from the court, and drove him forth from the gate of the house; and only one person followed him when he was driven out. Then silence being obtained, Peter began to address the people in this manner: "You ought, brethren, to bear with wicked men patiently; knowing that although God could cat them off, yet He suffers them to remain even till the day appointed, in which judgment shall pass upon all. Why then should not wc bear with those whom, God suffers? Why should not we bear with fortitude the wrongs that they do to us, when He who is almighty does not take vengeance on them, that both His own goodness and the impiety of the wicked may be known? But if the wicked one had not found Simon to be his minister, he would doubtless have found another: for it is of necessity that in this life offences come, 'but woe to that man by whom they come;' and therefore Simon is rather to be mourned over, because he has become a choice vessel for the wicked one, which undoubtedly would not have happened had he not received power over him for ills former sins. For why should I further say that he once believed in our Jesus, and was persuaded that Souls are immortal? Although in this he is deluded by demons, yet he has persuaded himself that he has the soul of a murdered boy ministering to him in whatever he pleases to employ it in; in which truly, as I have said, he is deluded by demons, and therefore I spoke to him according to his own ideas: for he has learned from the Jews, that judgment and vengeance are to be brought forth against those who set themselves against the true faith, and do not repent. But here are men to whom, as being perfect in crimes, the wicked one appears, that he may deceive them, so that they may never be turned to repentance.
CHAP. L.--PETER'S BENEDICTION.
"You therefore who are turned to the Lord by repentance, bend to Him your knees." When he had said this, all the multitude bent their knees to God; and Peter, looking towards heaven, prayed for them with tears that God, for His goodness, would deign to receive those betaking themselves to Him. And after he had prayed and had instructed them to meet early the next day, he dismissed the multitude. Then according to custom, having taken food, we went to sleep.
CHAP. LI.--PETER'S ACCESSIBILITY.
Peter, therefore, rising at the usual hour of the night. found us waking; and when, saluting us, in his usual manner, he had taken his seat, first of all Niceta, said: "If you will permit me, my lord Peter, I have something to ask of you." Then Peter said: "I permit not only you, but all, and not only now, but always, that every one confess what moves him, and the part in his mind that is pained, in order that he may obtain healing. For things which are covered with silence, and are not made known to us, arc cured with difficulty, like maladies of long standing; and therefore, since the medicine of seasonable and necessary discourse cannot easily be applied t those who keep silence, every one ought to declare in what respect his mind is feeble through ignorance. But to him who keeps silence, it belongs to God alone to give a remedy. We indeed also can do it, but by the lapse of a long time. For it is necessary than the discourse of doctrine, proceeding in order from the beginning, and meeting each single question, should disclose all things, and resolve and reach to all things, even to that which every one required in his mind; but that, as I have said, can only be done in the course of a long time. Now, then, ask what you please."
CHAP. LII.--FALSE SIGNS AND MIRACLES.
Then Niceta said: "I give you abundant thanks, O most clement Peter; but this is what I desire to learn. how Simon, who is the enemy of God, is able to do such and so great things? For indeed he told no lie in his declaration of what he has done." To this the blessed Peter thus answered: "God, who is one and true, has resolved to prepare good and faithful friends for His first begotten; but knowing that none can be good, unless they have in their power that perception by which they may become good, that they may be of their own intent what they choose to be,--and otherwise they could not be truly good, if they were kept in goodness not by purpose, but by necessity,--has given to every one the power of his own will, that he may be what he wishes to be. And again, foreseeing that that power of will would make some choose good things and others evil, and so that the human race would necessarily be divided into two classes, He has permitted each class to choose both a place and a king, whom they would. For the good King; rejoices in the good, and the wicked one in the evil. And although I have expounded those things more fully to you, O Clement, in that treatise in which I discoursed on predestination and the end, yet it is fitting that I should now make clear to Niceta also, as he asks me, what is the reason than Simon, whose thoughts are against God, is able to do so great marvels.
CHAP. LIII.--SELF-LOVE THE FOUNDATION OF GOODNESS.
"First of all, then, he is evil, in the judgment of God, who will not inquire what is advantageous to himself. For how can any one love another, if he does not love himself? Or to whom will that man not be an enemy, who cannot be a friend to himself? In order, therefore, that there might be a distinction between those who choose good and those who choose evil, God has concealed that which is profitable to men, i.e., the possession of the kingdom of heaven, and has laid it up and hidden it as a secret treasure, so that no one can easily attain it by his own power or knowledge. Yet He has brought the report of it, under various names and opinions, through successive generations, to the hearing of all: so that whosoever should be lovers of good, hearing it, might inquire and discover what is profitable and salutary to them; but that they should ask it, not from themselves, but from Him who has hidden it, and should pray that access and the way of knowledge might be given to them: which way is opened to those only who love it above all the good things of this world; and on no other condition can any one even understand it, however wise he may seem; but that those who neglect to inquire what is profitable and salutary to themselves, as self-haters and self-enemies, should be deprived of its good things, as lovers of evil things.
CHAP. LIV.--GOD TO BE SUPREMELY LOVED.
"It behoves, therefore, the good to love that way above all things, that is, above riches, glory, rest, parents, relatives, friends, and everything in the world. But he who perfectly loves this possession of the kingdom of heaven, will undoubtedly cast away all practice of evil habit, negligence, sloth, malice, anger, and such like. For if you prefer any of these to it, as loving the vices of your own lust more than God, you shall not attain to the possession of the heavenly kingdom; for truly it is foolish to love anything more than God. For whether they be parents, they die; or relatives, they do not continue; or friends, they change. But God alone is eternal, and abideth unchangeable. He, therefore, who will not seek after that which is profitable to himself, is evil, to such an extent that his wickedness exceeds the very prince of impiety. For he abuses the goodness of God to the purpose of his own wickedness, and pleases himself; but the other neglects the good things of his own salvation, that by his own destruction he may please the evil one.
CHAP. LV.--TEN COMMANDMENTS CORRESPONDING TO THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
"On account of those, therefore, who by neglect of their own salvation please the evil one, and those who by study of their own profit seek to please the good One, ten things have been prescribed as a test to this present age, according to the number of the ten plagues which were brought upon Egypt. For when Moses, according to the commandment of God, demanded of Pharaoh that he should let the people go, and in token of his heavenly commission showed signs, his rod being thrown upon the ground was turned into a serpent. And when Pharaoh could not by these means be brought to consent, as having freedom of will, again the magicians seemed to do similar signs, by permission of God, that the purpose of the king might be proved from the freedom of his will, whether he would rather believe the signs wrought by Moses, who was sent by God, or those which the magicians rather seemed to work than actually wrought. For truly he ought to have understood from their very name that they were not workers of truth, because they were not called messengers of God, but magicians, as the tradition also intimates. Moreover, they seemed to maintain the contest up to a certain point, and afterwards they confessed of themselves, and yielded to their superior. Therefore the last plague is inflicted, the destruction of the first-born, and then Moses is commanded to consecrate the people by the sprinkling of blood; and so, gifts being presented, with much entreaty he is asked to depart with the people.
CHAP. LVI.--SIMON RESISTED PETER, AS THE MAGICIANS MOSES.
"In a similar transaction I see that I am even now engaged. For as then, when Moses exhorted the king to believe God, the magicians opposed him by a pretended exhibition of similar signs, and so kept back the unbelievers from salvation; so also now, when I have come forth to teach all nations to believe in the true God, Simon the magician resists me, acting in opposition to me, as they also did in opposition to Moses; in order that whosoever they be from among the nations that do not use sound judgment, they may be made manifest; but that those may be saved who rightly distinguish signs from signs." While Peter thus spoke, Niceta answered: "I beseech you that you would permit me to state whatever occurs to my mind." Then Peter, being delighted with the eagerness of his disciples, said: "Speak what you will."
CHAP. LVII.--MIRACLES OF THE MAGICIANS.
Then said Niceta: "In what respect did the Egyptians sin in not believing Moses, since the magicians wrought like signs, even although they were done rather in appearance than in truth? For if I had been there then, should I not have thought, from the fact that the magicians did like things to those which Moses did, either that Moses was a magician, or that the magicians wrought their signs by divine commission? For I should not have thought it likely that the same things could be effected by magicians, even in appearance, which he who was sent by God performed. And now, in what respect do they sin who believe Simon, since they see him do so great marvels? Or is it not marvellous to fly through the air, to be so mixed with fire as to become one body with it, to make statues walk, brazen dogs bark, and other such like things, which assuredly are sufficiently wonderful to those who know not how to distinguish? Yea, he has also been seen to make bread of stones. But if he sins who believes those who do signs, how shall it appear that he also does not sin who has believed our Lord for His signs and works of power?"
CHAP. LVIII.--TRUTH VEILED WITH LOVE.
Then said Peter: "I take it well that you bring the truth to the rule, and do not suffer hindrances of faith to lurk in your soul. For thus you can easily obtain the remedy. Do you remember that I said, that the worst of all things is when any one neglects to learn what is for his good?" Niceta answered: "I remember." Then Peter: "And again, that God has veiled His truth, that He may disclose it to those who faithfully follow Him?" "Neither," said Niceta, "have I forgotten this." Then said Peter: "What think you then? That God has buried His truth deep in the earth, and has heaped mountains upon it, that it may be found by those only who are able to dig down into the depths? It is not so; but as He has surrounded the mountains and the earth with the expanse of heaven, so hath He veiled the truth with the curtain of His own love, that he alone may be able to reach it, who has first knocked at the gate of divine love.
CHAP. LIX.--GOOD AND EVIL IN PAIRS.
"For, as I was beginning to say, God has appointed for this world certain pairs; and he who comes first of the pairs is of evil, he who comes second, of good. And in this is given to every man an occasion of right judgment, whether he is simple or prudent. For if he is simple, and believes him who comes first, though moved thereto by signs and prodigies, he must of necessity, for the same reason, believe him who comes second; for he will be persuaded by signs and prodigies, as he was before. When he believes this second one, he will learn from him that he ought not to believe the first, who comes of evil; and so the error of the former is corrected by the emendation of the latter. But if he will not receive the second, because he has believed the first, he will deservedly be condemned as unjust; for unjust it is, that when he believed the first on account of his signs, he will not believe the second, though he bring the same, or even greater signs. But if he has not believed the first, it follows that he may be moved to believe the second. For his mind has not become so completely inactive but that it may be roused by the redoubling of marvels. But if he is prudent, he can make distinction of the signs. And if indeed he has believed in the first, he will be moved to the second by the increase in the miracles, and by comparison he will apprehend which are better; although clear tests of miracles are recognised by all learned men, as we have shown in the regular order of our discussion. But if any one, as being whole and not needing a physician, is not moved to the first, he will be drawn to the second by the very continuance of the thing, and will make a distinction of signs and marvels after this fashion;--he who is of the evil one, the signs that he works do good to no one; but those which the good man worketh are profitable to men.
CHAP. LX.--USELESSNESS OF PRETENDED MIRACLES.
"For tell me, I pray you, what is the use of showing statues walking, dogs of brass or stone barking, mountains dancing, of flying through the air, and such like things, which you say that Simon did? But those signs which are of the good One, are directed to the advantage of men. as are those which were done by our Lord, who gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, raised up the feeble and the lame, drove away sicknesses and demons, raised the dead, and did other like things, as yon see also that I do. Those signs, therefore, which make for the benefit of men, and confer some good upon them, the wicked one cannot do, excepting only at the end of the world. For then it shall be permitted him to mix hip with his signs some good ones, as the expelling of demons or the healing of diseases; by this means going beyond his bounds, and being divided against himself, and fighting against himself, he shall be destroyed. And therefore the Lord has foretold, that in the last t rues there shall be such temptation, that, if it be possible, the very elect shall be deceived; that is to say, that by the marks of signs being confused, even those must be disturbed who seem to be expert in discovering spirits and distinguishing miracles.
CHAP. LXI.--TEN PAIRS.
"The ten pairs of which we have spoken have therefore been assigned to this world from the beginning of time. Cain and Abel were one pair. The second was the giants and Noah; the third, Pharaoh and Abraham; the fourth, the Philistines and Isaac; the fifth, Esau and Jacob; the sixth, the magicians and Moses the lawgiver; the seventh, the tempter and the Son of man; the eighth, Simon and I, Peter; the ninth, all nations, and he who shall be sent to sow the word among the nations; the tenth, Antichrist and Christ. Concerning these pairs we shall give you fuller information at another time." When Peter spoke thus, Aquila said: "Truly there is need of constant teaching, that one may learn what is true about everything."
CHAP. LXII.--THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
But Peter said: "Who is he that is earnest toward instruction, and that studiously inquires into every particular, except him who loves his own soul to salvation, and renounces all the affairs of this world, that he may have leisure to attend to the word of God only? Such is he whom alone the true Prophet deems wise, even he who sells all that he has and buys the one true pearl, who understands what is the difference between temporal things and eternal, small and great, men and God. For he understands what is the eternal hope in presence of the true and good God. But who is he that loves God, save him who knows His wisdom? And how can any one obtain knowledge of God's wisdom, unless he be constant in hearing His word? Whence it comes, that he conceives a love for Him, and venerates Him with worthy honour, pouring out hymns and prayers to Him, and most pleasantly resting in these, accounteth it his greatest damage if at any time he speak or do aught else even for a moment of time; because, in reality, the soul which is filled with the love of God can neither look upon anything except what pertains to God, nor, by reason of love of Him, can be satisfied with meditating upon those things which it knows to be pleasing to Him. But those who have not conceived affection for Him, nor bear His love lighted up in their mind, are as it were placed in darkness and cannot see light; and therefore, even before they begin to learn anything of God, they immediately faint as though worn out by labour; and filled with weariness, they are straightway hurried by their own peculiar habits to those words with which they are pleased. For it is wearisome and annoying to such persons to hear anything about God; and that for the reason I have stated, because their mind has received no sweetness of divine love."
CHAP. LXIII.--A DESERTER FROM SIMON'S CAMP.
While Peter was thus speaking, the day dawned; and, behold, one of the disciples of Simon came, crying out: "I beseech thee, O Peter, receive me, a wretch, who have been deceived by Simon the magician, to whom I gave heed as to a heavenly God, by reason of those miracles which I saw him perform. But when I heard your discourses, I began to think him a man, and indeed a wicked man; nevertheless, when he went out from this I alone followed him, for I had not yet clearly perceived his impieties. But when he saw me following him, he called me blessed, and led me to his house; and about the middle of the night he said to me, 'I shall make you better than all men, if you will remain with me even till the end.' When I had promised him this, he demanded of me an oath of perseverance; and having got this, he placed upon my shoulders some of his polluted and accursed secret things, that I might carry them, and ordered me to follow him. But when we came to the sea, he went aboard a boat which happened to be there, and took from my neck what he had ordered me to carry. And as he came out a little after, bringing nothing with him, he must have thrown it into the sea. Then he asked me to go with him, saying that he was going to Rome, and that there he would please the people so much, that he should be reckoned a god, and publicly gifted with divine honours. 'Then,' said he, 'if you wish to return hither, I shall send you back, loaded with all riches, and upheld by various services.' When I heard this, and saw nothing in him in accordance with this profession, but perceived that he was a magician and a deceiver, I answered: 'Pardon me, I pray you; for I have a pain in my feet, and therefore I ant not able to leave Caesarea. Besides, I have a wife and little children, whom I cannot leave by any means.' When he heard this, he charged me with sloth, and set out towards Dora, saying, 'You will be sorry, when you hear what glory I shall get in the city of Rome.' And after this he set out for Rome, as he said; but I hastily returned hither, entreating you to receive me to penitence, because I have been deceived by him."
CHAP. LXIV.--DECLARATION OF SIMON'S WICKEDNESS.
When he who had returned from Simon had thus spoken, Peter ordered him to sit down in the court. And he himself going forth, and seeing immense crowds, far more than on the previous days, stood in his usual place; and pointing out him who had come, began to discourse as follows: "This man whom I point out to you, brethren, has just come to me, telling me of the wicked practices of Simon, and how he has thrown the implements of his wickedness into the sea, not induced to do so by repentance, but being afraid lest, being detected, he should be subjected to the public laws. And he asked this man, as he tells me, to remain with him, promising him immense gifts; and when he could not persuade him to do so, he left him, reproaching him for sluggishness, and set out for Rome." When Peter had intimated this to the crowd, the man himself who had returned from Simon stood up, and began to state to the people everything relating to Simon's crimes. And when they were shocked by the things which they heard that Simon had done by his magical acts, Peter said:(1)
CHAP. LXV.--PETER RESOLVES TO FOLLOW SIMON.
"Be not, my brethren, distressed by those things that have been done, but give heed to the future: for what is passed is ended; but the things which threaten are dangerous to those who shall fall in with them. For offences shall never be wanting in this world,(2) so long as the enemy is permitted to act according to his will; in order that the prudent and those who understood his wiles may be conquerors in the contests which he raises against them; but that those who neglect to learn the things that pertain to the salvation of their souls, may be taken by him with merited deceptions. Since, therefore, as you have heard, Simon has gone forth to preoccupy the ears of the Gentiles who are called to salvation, it is necessary that I also follow upon his track, so that whatever disputations he raises may be corrected by us. But inasmuch as it is right that greater anxiety should be felt concerning you who are already received within the walls of life,--for if that which has been actually acquired perish, a positive loss is sustained; while with respect to that which has not yet been acquired, if it can be got, there is so much gain; but if not, the only loss is that there is no gain;--in order, therefore, that you may be more and more confirmed in the truth, and the nations who are called to salvation may in no way be prevented by the wickedness of Simon, I have thought good to ordain Zacchaeus as pastor over you,(3) and to remain with you myself for three months; and so to go to the Gentiles, lest through our delaying longer, and the crimes of Simon stalking in every direction, they should become incurable."
CHAP. LXVI.--ZACCHAEUS MADE BISHOP OF CAESAREA; PRESBYTERS AND DEACONS ORDAINED.
At this announcement all the people wept, hearing that he was going to leave them; and Peter, sympathizing with them, himself also shed tears; and looking up to heaven, he said: "To Thee, O God, who hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are in them, we pour out the prayer of supplication, that Thou wouldest comfort those who have recourse to Thee in their tribulation. For by reason of the affection that they have towards Thee, they do love me who have declared to them Thy truth. Wherefore guard them with the right hand of Thy compassion; for neither Zacchaeus nor any other man can be a sufficient guardian to them." When he had said this, and more to the same effect, he laid his hands upon Zacchaeus, and prayed that he might blamelessly discharge the duty of his bishopric. Then he ordained twelve presbyters and four deacons, and said: "I have ordained you this Zacchaeus as a bishop, knowing that he has the fear of God, and is expert in the Scriptures. You ought therefore to honour him as holding the place of Christ, obeying him for your salvation, and knowing that whatever honour and whatever injury is done to him, redounds to Christ, and from Christ to God. Hear him therefore with all attention, and receive from him the doctrine of the faith; and from the presbyters the monitions of life; and from the deacons the order of discipline. Have a religious care of widows; vigorously assist orphans; take pity on the poor; teach the young modesty;- -and in a word, sustain one another as circumstances shall demand; worship God, who created heaven and earth; believe in Christ; love one another; be compassionate to all; and fulfil charity not only in word, but in act and deed."
CHAP. LXVII.--INVITATION TO BAPTISM.
When he had given them these and such like precepts, he made proclamation to the people, saying: "Since I have resolved to stay three months with you, if any one desires it, let him be baptized; that, stripped of his former evils, he may for the future, in consequence of his own conduct, become heir of heavenly blessings, as a reward for his good actions. Whosoever will, then, let him come to Zacchaeus and give his name to him, and let him hear from him the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Let him attend to frequent fastings, and approve himself in all things, that at the end of these three months he may be baptized on the day of the festival. But every one of you shall be baptized in ever flowing waters, the name of the Trine Beatitude being invoked over him; he being first anointed with oil sanctified by prayer, that so at length, being consecrated by these things, he may attain a perception of holy things."(1)
CHAP. LXVIII.--TWELVE SENT BEFORE HIM.
And when he had spoken at length on the subject of baptism, he dismissed the crowd, and betook himself to his usual place of abode; and there, while the twelve stood around him (viz. Zacchaeus and Sophonias, Joseph and Michaeus, Eleazar and Phineas, Lazarus and Eliseus, I Clement and Nicodemus, Niceta and Aquila), he addressed us to the following effect: "Let us, my brethren, consider what is right; for it is our duty to bring some help to the nations, which are called to salvation. You have yourselves heard that Simon has set out, wishing to anticipate our journey. Him we should have followed step by step, that wheresoever he tries to subvert any, we might immediately confute him. But since it appears to me to be unjust to forsake those who have been already converted to God, and to bestow our care upon those who are still afar off, I think it right that I should remain three months with those in this city who have been turned to the faith, and should strengthen them; and yet that we should not neglect those who are still far off, lest haply, if they be long infected with the power of pernicious doctrine, it be more difficult to recover them. Therefore I wish (only, however, if you also think it right), that for Zacchaeus, whom we have now ordained bishop, Benjamin the son of Saba be substituted; and for Clement (whom I have resolved to have always by me, because, coming from the Gentiles, he has a great desire to hear the word of God) there be substituted Ananias the son of Safra; and for Niceta and Aquila, who have been but lately converted to the faith of Christ, Rubelus the brother of Zacchaeus, and Zacharias the builder. I wish, therefore, to complete the number of twelve by substituting these four for the other four, that Simon may feel that I in them am always with him."(2)
CHAP. LXIX.--ARRANGEMENTS APPROVED BY ALL THE BRETHREN.
Having therefore separated me, Clement, and Niceta and Aquila, he said to those twelve: "I wish you the day after to-morrow to proceed to the Gentiles, and to follow in the footsteps of Simon, that you may inform me of all his proceedings. You will also inquire diligently the sentiments of every one, and announce to them that I shall come to them without delay; and, in short, in all places instruct the Gentiles to expect my coming." When he had spoken these things, and others to the same effect, he said: "You also, my brethren, if you have anything to say to these things, say on, lest haply it be not right which seems good to me alone." Then all, with one voice applauding him, said: "We ask you rather to arrange everything according to your own judgment, and to order what seems good to yourself; for this we think to be the perfect work of piety, if we fulfil what yOU command."
CHAP. LXX.--DEPARTURE OF THE TWELVE.
Therefore, on the day appointed, when they had ranged themselves before Peter, they said: "Do not think, 0 Peter, that it is a small grief to us that we are to be deprived of the privilege of hearing you for three months; but since it is good for us to do what you order, we shall most readily obey. We shall always retain in our hearts the remembrance of your face; and so we set out actively, as you have commanded us." Then he, having poured out a prayer to the Lord for them, dismissed them. And when those twelve who had been sent forward had gone, Peter entered, according to custom, and stood in the place of disputation. And a multitude of people had come together, even a larger number than usual; and all with tears gazed upon him, by reason of what they had heard from him the day before, that he was about to go forth on account of Simon. Then, seeing them weeping, he himself also was similarly affected, although he endeavoured to conceal and to restrain his tears. But the trembling of his voice, and the interruption of his discourse, betrayed that he was distressed by similar emotion.
CHAP. LXXI.--PETER PREPARES THE CAESAREANS FOR HIS DEPARTURE.
However, rubbing his forehead with his hand, he said: "Be of good courage, my brethren, and comfort your sorrowful hearts by means of counsel, referring all things to God, whose will alone is to be fulfilled and to be preferred in all things. For let us suppose for a moment, that by reason of the affection that we have towards you, we should act against His will, and remain with you, is He not able, by sending death upon me, to appoint to me a longer separation from you? And therefore it is better for us to carry out this shorter separation with His will, as those to whom it is prescribed to obey God in all things. Hence you also ought to obey Him with like submission, inasmuch as you love me from no other reason than on account of your love of Him. As friends of God, therefore, acquiesce in His will; but also judge yourselves what is right. Would it not have seemed wicked, if, when Simon was deceiving you, I had been detained by the brethren in Jerusalem, and had not come to you, and that although you had Zacchaeus among you, a good and eloquent man? So now also consider that it would be wicked, if, when Simon has gone forth to assail the Gentiles, who are wholly without a defender, I should be detained by you, and should not follow him. Wherefore let us see to it, that we do not, by an unreasonable affection, accomplish the will of the wicked one.
CHAP. LXXII.--MORE THAN TEN THOUSAND BAPTIZED.
"Meantime I shall remain with you three months, as I promised. Be ye constant in hearing the word; and at the end of that time, if any are able and willing to follow us, they may do so, if duty will admit of it. And when I say if duty will admit I mean that no one by his departure must sadden any one who ought not to be saddened, as by leaving parents who ought not to be left, or a faithful wife, or any other person to whom he is bound to afford comfort for God's sake." Meantime, disputing and teaching day by day, he filled up the tithe appointed with the labour of teaching; and when the festival day arrived, upwards of ten thousand were baptized.
CHAP. LXXIII.--TIDINGS OF SIMON.
But in those days a letter was received from the brethren who had gone before, in which were detailed the crimes of Simon, how going from city to city he was deceiving multitudes, and everywhere maligning Peter, so that, when he should come, no one might afford him a hearing. For he asserted that Peter was a magician, a godless man, injurious, cunning, ignorant, and professing impossible things. "For," says he, "he asserts that the dead shall rise again, which is impossible. But if any one attempts to confute him, he is cut off by secret snares by him, through means of his attendants. Wherefore, I also," says he, "when I had vanquished him and triumphed over him, fled for fear of his snares, lest he should destroy me by incantations, or compass my death by plots." They intimated also that he mainly stayed at Tripolis.(1)
CHAP. LXXIV.--FAREWELL TO CAESAREA.
Peter therefore ordered the letter to be read to the people; and after the reading of it, he addressed them and gave them full instructions about everything, but especially that they should obey Zacchaeus, whom he had ordained bishop over them. Also he commended the presbyters and the deacons to the people, and not less the people to them. And then, announcing that he should spend the winter at Tripolis, he said: "I commend you to the grace of God, being about to depart to-morrow, with God's will. But during the whole three months which he spent at Caesarea, for the sake of instruction, whatever he discoursed of in the presence of the people in the day-time, he explained more fully and perfectly in the night, in private to us, as more faithful and completely approved by him. And at the same time he commanded me, because he understood that I carefully stored in my memory what I heard, to commit to writing whatever seemed worthy of record, and to send it to you, my lord James, as also I did, in obedience to his command.
CHAP. LXXV.--CONTENTS OF CLEMENT'S DESPATCHES TO JAMES.
The first book,(1) therefore, of those that I formerly sent to you, contains an account of the true Prophet, and of the peculiarity of the understanding of the law, according to what the tradition of Moses teacheth. The second contains an account of the beginning, and whether there be one beginning or many, and that the law of the Hebrews knows what immensity is. The third, concerning God, and those things that have been ordained by Him. The fourth, that though there are many that are called gods, there is but one true God, according to the testimonies of the Scriptures. The fifth, that there are two heavens, one of which is that visible firmament which shall pass away, but the other is eternal and invisible. The sixth, concerning good and evil; and that all things are subjected to good by the Father; and why, and how, and whence evil is, and that it co-operates with good, but not with a good purpose; and what are the signs of good, and what those of evil; and what is the difference between duality and conjunction. The seventh, what are the things which the twelve apostles treated of in the presence of the people in the temple. The eighth, concerning the words of the Lord which seem to be contradictory, but are not; and what is the explanation of them. The ninth, that the law which has been given by God is righteous and perfect, and that it alone can make pure. The tenth, concerning the carnal birth of men, and concerning the generation which is by baptism; and what is the succession of carnal seed in man; and what is the account of his soul, and how the freedom of the will is in it, which, seeing it is not unbegotten, but made, could not be immoveable from good. Concerning these several subjects, therefore, whatever Peter discoursed at Caesarea, according to his command, as I have said, I have sent you written in ten volumes.(2) But on the next day, as had been determined, we set out from Caesarea with some faithful men, who had resolved to accompany Peter.
CHAP. I.--HALT AT DORA.
HAVING set out from Caesarea on the way to Tripolis, we made our first stoppage at a small town called Dora, because it was not far distant; and almost all those who had believed through the preaching of Peter could scarcely bear to be separated from him, but walked along with us, again and again gazing upon him, again and again embracing him, again and again conversing with him, until we came to the inn. On the following day we came to Ptolemais, where we stayed ten days; and when a considerable number had received the word of God, we signified to some of them who seemed particularly attentive, and wished to detain us longer for the sake of instruction, that they might, if so disposed, follow us to Tripolis. We acted in the same way at Tyre, and Sidon, and Berytus, and announced to those who desired to hear further discourses, that we were to spend the winter at Tripolis.(1) Therefore, as all those who were anxious followed Peter from each city, we were a great multitude of elect ones when we entered into Tripolis. On our arrival, the brethren who had been sent before met us before the gates of the city; and taking us under their charge, conducted us to the various lodgings which they bad prepared. Then there arose a commotion in the city, and a great assemblage of persons desirous to see Peter.(1)
CHAP. II.--RECEPTION IN THE HOUSE OF MARO.
And when we had come to the house of Maro, in which preparation had been made for Peter, he turned to the crowd, and told them that he would address them the day after to-morrow. Therefore the brethren who had been sent before assigned lodgings to all who had come with us. Then, when Peter had entered into the house of Maro, and was asked to partake of food, he answered that he would by no means do so, until he had ascertained whether all those that had accompanied him were provided with lodgings. Then he learned from the brethren who had been sent before, that the citizens had received them not only hospitably, but with all kindness, by reason of their love towards Peter; so much so, that several were disappointed because there were no guests for them; for that all had made such preparations, that even if many more had come, there would still have been a deficiency of guests for the hosts, not of hosts for the guests.
CHAP. III.--SIMON'S FLIGHT.
Thereupon Peter was greatly delighted, and praised the brethren, and blessed them, and requested them to remain with him. Then, when he had bathed in the sea, and had taken food, he went to sleep in the evening; and rising, as usual, at cock-crow, while the evening light was still burning, he found us all awake. Now there were in all sixteen of us, viz. Peter and I, Clement, Niceta and Aquila, and those twelve who had preceded us.(2) Saluting us, then, as was his wont, Peter said: "Since we are not taken up with others to-day, let us be taken up with ourselves. I shall tell you what took place at Caesarea after your departure, and you shall tell us of the doings of Simon here." And while the conversation was going on on these subjects, at daybreak some of the members of the family came in and told Peter that Simon, when he heard of Peter's arrival, departed in the night, on the way to Syria. They also stated that the crowds thought that the day which he had said was to intervene was a very long time for their affection, and that they were standing in impatience before the gate, conversing among themselves about those things which they wished to hear, and that they hoped that they should by all means see him before the time appointed; and that as the day became lighter the multitudes were increasing, and that they were trusting confidently, whatever they might be presuming upon, that they should hear a discourse from him. "Now then "said they "instruct us to tell them what seems good to you; for it is absurd that so great a multitude should have come together, and should depart with sadness, through no answer being returned to them. For they will not consider that it is they that have not waited for ;the appointed day but rather they will think that you are slighting them."
CHAP. IV.--THE HARVEST PLENTEOUS,
Then Peter, filled with admiration, said :(3) "You see, brethren, how every word of the Lord spoken prophetically is fulfilled. For I remember that He said, 'The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the labourers are few; ask therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send out labourers into His harvest.'(4) Behold, therefore, the things which are foretold in a mystery are fulfilled. But whereas He said also, 'Many shall come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and shall recline in the bosom of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob;'(5) this also is, as yon see, in like manner fulfilled. Wherefore I entreat you, my fellow-servants and helpers, that you would learn diligently the order of preaching, and the ways of absolutions, that ye may be able to save the souls of men, which by the secret power of God acknowledge whom they ought to love, even before they are taught. For you see that these men, like good servants, long for him whom they expect to announce to them the coming of their Lord, that they may be able to fulfil His will when they have learned it. The desire, therefore, of hearing the word of God, and inquiring into His will, they have from God; anti this is the beginning of the gift of God, which is given to the Gentiles, that by this they may be able to receive the doctrine of truth.
CHAP. V.--MOSES AND CHRIST.
"For so also it was given to the people of the Hebrews from the beginning, that they should love Moses, and believe his word; whence also it is written: 'The people believed God, and Moses His servant.(6) What, therefore, was of peculiar gift from God toward the nation of the Hebrews, we see now to be given also to those who are called from among the Gentiles to the faith. But the method of works is put into the power and will of every one, and this is their own; but to have an affection towards a teacher of truth. this is a gift of the heavenly Father. But salvation is in this, that you do His will of whom you have conceived a love and affection through the gift of God; lest that saying of His be addressed to you which He spoke, 'Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not what I say?'(1) It is therefore the peculiar gift bestowed by God upon the Hebrews, that they believe Moses; and the peculiar gift bestowed upon the Gentiles is that they love Jesus. For this also the Master intimated, when He said, 'I will confess' to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast concealed these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes.(2) By which it is certainly declared, that the people of the Hebrews, who were instructed out of the law, did not know Him; but the people of the Gentiles have acknowledged Jesus, and venerate Him; on which account also they shall be saved, not only acknowledging Him, but also doing His will. But he who is of the Gentiles, and who has it of God to believe Moses, ought also to have it of his own purpose to love Jesus also. And again, the Hebrew, who has it of God to believe Moses, ought to have it also of his own purpose to believe in Jesus; so that each of them, having in himself something of the divine gift, and something of his own exertion, may be perfect by both. For concerning such an one our Lord spoke, as of a rich man, 'Who brings forth from his treasures things new and old.'(3)
CHAP. VI.--A CONGREGATION.
"But enough has been said of these things for time presses, and the religious devotion of the people invites us to address them." And when he had thus spoken, he asked where there was a suitable place for discussion. And Maro said: "I have a very spacious hall(4) which can hold more than five hundred men, and there is also a garden within the house; or if it please you to be in some public place, all would prefer it, for there is nobody who does not desire at least to see your face." Then Peter said: "Show me the hall, or the garden." And when he had seen the hall, he went in to see the garden also; and suddenly the whole multitude, as if some one had called them, rushed into the house, and thence broke through into the garden, where Peter was already standing, selecting a fit place for discussion.
CHAP. VII.--THE SICK HEALED.
But when he saw that the crowds had, like the waters of a great river, poured over the narrow passage, he mounted upon a pillar which happened to stand near the wall of the garden, and first saluted the people in a religious manner. But some of those who were present, and who had been for a long time distressed by demons, threw themselves on the ground, while the unclean spirits entreated that they might be allowed but for one day to remain in the bodies that they had taken possession of. But Peter rebuked them, and commanded them to depart; and they went out without delay. After these, others who had been afflicted with long-standing sicknesses asked Peter that they might receive healing; and he promised that he would entreat the Lord for them as soon as his discourse of instruction was completed. But as soon as he promised, they were freed from their sicknesses;(5) and he ordered them to sit down apart, with those who had been freed from the demons, as after the fatigue of labour. Meantime, while this was going on, a vast multitude assembled, attracted not only by the desire of hearing Peter, but also by the report of the cures which had been accomplished. But Peter, beckoning with his hand to the people to he still, and settling the crowds in tranquillity, began to address them as follows:- -
CHAP. VIII.--PROVIDENCE VINDICATED
"It seems to me necessary, at the outset of a discourse concerning the true worship of God, first of all to instruct those who have not as yet acquired any knowledge of the subject, that throughout the divine providence must be maintained to be without blame, by which the world is ruled and governed. Moreover, the reason of the present undertaking, and the occasion offered by those whom the power of God has healed, suggest this subject for a beginning, viz. to show that for good reason very many persons are possessed of demons, that so the justice of God may appear. For ignorance will be found to be the mother of almost all evils. But now let us come to the reason.
CHAP. IX.--STATE OF INNOCENCE A STATE OF ENJOYMENT.
"When God had made man after His own image and likeness, He grafted into His work a certain breathing and odour of His divinity, that so men, being made partakers of His Only-begotten, might through Him be also friends of God and sons of adoption. Whence also He Himself, as the true Prophet, knowing with what actions the Father is pleased, instructed them in what way they might obtain that privilege. At that time, therefore, there was among men only one worship of God--a pure mind anti an uncorrupted spirit. Anti for this reason every creature kept an inviolable covenant with the human race. For by reason of their reverence of the Creator, no sickness, or bodily disorder, or corruption of food, had power over them; whence it came to pass, that a life of a thousand years did not fall into the frailty of old age.
CHAP. X.--SIN THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING.
"But when men, leading a life void of distress, began to think that the continuance of good things was granted them not by the divine bounty, but by the chance of things, and to accept as a debt of nature, not as a gift of God's goodness, their enjoyment without any exertion of the delights of the divine complaisance,--men, being led by these things into contrary and impious thoughts, came at last, at the instigation of idleness, to think that the life of gods was theirs by nature, without any labours or merits on their part. Hence they go from bad to worse, to believe that neither is the world governed by the providence of God, nor is there any place for virtues, since they knew that they themselves possessed the fulness of ease and delights, without the assignment of any works previously, and without any labours were treated as the friends of God.
CHAP. XI.--SUFFERING SALUTARY.
"By the most righteous judgment of God, therefore, labours and afflictions are assigned as a remedy to men languishing in the vanity of such thoughts. And when labour and tribulations came upon them, they were excluded from the place of delights and amenity. Also the earth began to produce nothing to them without labour; and then men's thoughts being turned in them, they were warned to seek the aid of their Creator, and by prayers and vows to ask for the divine protection. And thus it came to pass, that the worship of God, which they had neglected by reason of their prosperity, they recovered through their adversity; and their thoughts towards God, which indulgence had perverted, affliction corrected. So therefore the divine providence, seeing that this was more profitable to man, removed from them the ways of benignity and abundance, as being hurtful, and introduced the way of vexation and tribulation.
CHAP. XII.--TRANSLATION OF ENOCH.
"But that He might show that these things were done on account of the ungrateful, He translated to immortality a certain one of the first race of men, because He saw that he was not unmindful of His grace, and because he hoped to call on the name of God; while the rest, who were so ungrateful that they could not be amended and corrected even by labours and tribulations, were condemned to a terrible death. Yet amongst them also He found a certain one, who was righteous with his house, whom He preserved, having enjoined him to build an ark, in which he and those who were commanded to go with him might escape, when all things should be destroyed by a deluge: in order that, the wicked being cut off by the overflow of waters, the world might receive a purification; and he who had been preserved for the continuance of the race, being purified by water, might anew repair the world.
CHAP. XIII.--ORIGIN OF IDOLATRY.
"But when all these things were done, men turned again to impiety; and on this account a law was given by God to instruct them in the manner of living. But in process of time, the worship of God and righteousness were corrupted by the unbelieving and the wicked, as we shall show more fully by and by. Moreover, perverse and erratic religions were introduced, to which the greater part of men gave themselves up, by occasion of holidays and solemnities, instituting drinkings and banquets, following pipes, and flutes, and harps, and diverse kinds of musical instruments, and indulging themselves in all kinds of drunkenness and luxury. Hence every kind of error took rise; hence they invented groves and altars, fillets and victims, and after drunkenness they were agitated as if with mad emotions. By this means power was given to the demons to enter into minds of this sort, so that they seemed to lead insane dances and to rave like Bacchanalians; hence were invented the gnashing of teeth, and bellowing from the depth of their bowels; hence a terrible countenance and a fierce aspect in men, so that he whom drunkenness had subverted and a demon had instigated, was believed by the deceived and the erring to be filled with the Deity.
CHAP.XIV.--GOD BOTH GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS.
"Hence, since so many false and erratic religions have been introduced into the world, we have been sent, as good merchants, bringing unto you the worship of the true God, handed down from the fathers, and preserved; as the seeds of which we scatter these words amongst you, and place it in your choice to choose what seems to you to be right. For if you receive those things which we bring you, you shall not only be able yourselves to escape the incursions of the demon, but also to drive them away from others; and at the same time you shall obtain the rewards of eternal good things. But those who shall refuse to receive those things which are spoken by us, shall be subject in the present life to diverse demons and disorders of sicknesses, and their souls after their departure from the body shall be tormented for ever. For God is not only good, but also just; for if He were always good, and never just to render to every one according to his deeds, goodness would be found to be injustice. For it were injustice if the impious and the pious were treated by Him alike.
CHAP. XV.--HOW DEMONS GET POWER OVER MEN.
"Therefore demons, as we have just said, when once they have been able, by means of opportunities afforded them, to convey themselves through base anti evil actions into the bodies of men, if they remain in them a long time through their own negligence, because they do not seek after what is profitable to their souls, they necessarily compel them for the future to fulfil the desires of the demons who dwell in them. But what is worst of all, at the end of the world, when that demon shall be consigned to eternal fire, of necessity the soul also which obeyed him, shall with him be tortured in eternal fires, together with its body which it hath polluted.
CHAP. XVI.--WHY THEY WISH TO POSSESS MEN.
"Now that the demons are desirous of occupying the bodies of men, this is the reason. They are spirits baring their purpose turned to wickedness. Therefore by immoderate eating and drinking, and lust, they urge men on to sin, but only those who entertain the purpose of sinning, who, while they seem simply desirous of satisfying the necessary cravings of nature, give opportunity to the demons to enter into them, because through excess they do not maintain moderation. For as long as the measure of nature is kept, and legitimate moderation is preserved, the mercy of God does not give them liberty to enter into men. But when either the mind falls into impiety, or the body is filled with immoderate meat or drink, then, as if invited by the will and purpose of those who thus neglect themselves, they receive power as against those who have broken the law imposed by God.
CHAP. XVII.--THE GOSPEL GIVES POWER OVER DEMONS.
"You see, then, how important is the acknowledgment of God, and the observance of the divine religion, which not only protects those who believe from the assaults of the demon, but also gives them command over those who rule over others. And therefore it is necessary for you, who are of the Gentiles, to betake yourselves to God, and to keep yourselves from all uncleanness, that the demons may be expelled, and God may dwell in you And at the same time, by prayers, commit yourselves to God, and call for His aid against the impudence of the demons; for 'whatever things ye ask, believing, ye shall receive.' But even the demons themselves, in proportion as they see faith grow in a man, in that proportion they depart from him, residing only in that part in which something of infidelity still remains; but from those who believe with full faith, they depart without any delay. For when a soul has come to the faith of God, it obtains the virtue of heavenly water, by which it extinguishes the demon like a spark of fire.
CHAP. XVII.--THIS POWER IN PROPORTION TO FAITH.
"There is therefore a measure of faith, which, if it be perfect, drives the demon perfectly from the soul; but if it has any defect, something on the part of the demon still remains in the portion of infidelity; and it is the greatest difficulty for the soul to understand when or how, whether fully or less fully, the demon has been expelled from it. For if he remains in any quarter, when he gets an opportunity, he suggests thoughts to men's hearts; and they, not knowing whence they come, believe the suggestions of the demons, as if they were the perceptions of their own souls. Thus they suggest to some to follow pleasure by occasion of bodily necessity; they excuse the passionateness of others by excess of gall; they colour over the madness of others by the vehemence of melancholy; and even extenuate the folly of some as the result of abundance of phlegm. But even if this were so, still none of these could be hurtful to the body, except from the excess of meats and drinks; because, when these are taken in excessive quantities, their abundance, which the natural warmth is not sufficient to digest, curdles into a sort of poison, and it, flowing through the bowels and all the veins like a common sewer, renders the motions of the body unhealthy and base. Wherefore moderation is to be attained in all things, that neither may place be given to demons, nor the soul, being possessed by them, be delivered along with them to be tormented in eternal fires.
CHAP. XIX.--DEMONS INCITE TO IDOLATRY.
"There is also another error of the demons, which they suggest to the senses of men, that they should think that those things which they suffer, they suffer from such as are called gods, in order that thereby, offering sacrifices and gifts, as if to propitiate them, they may strengthen the worship of false religion, and avoid us who are interested in their salvation, that they may be freed from error; but this they do, as I have said, not knowing that these thing are suggested to them by demons, for fear they should be saved. It is therefore in the power of every one, since man has been made possessed of free-will, whether he shall hear us to life, or the demons to destruction. Also to some, the demons, appearing visibly under various figures, sometimes throw out threats, sometimes promise relief from sufferings, that they may instil into those whom they deceive the opinion of their being gods, and that it may not be known that they are demons. But they are not concealed from us, who know the mysteries of the creation, and for what reason it is permitted to the demons to do those things in the present world; how it is allowed them to transform themselves into what figures they please, and to suggest evil thoughts, and to convey themselves, by means of meats and of drink consecrated to them, into the minds or bodies of those who partake of it, and to concoct vain dreams to further the worship of some idol.
CHAP. XX.--FOLLY OF IDOLATRY.
"And yet who can be found so senseless as to be persuaded to worship an idol, whether it be made of gold or of any other metal? To whom is it not manifest that the metal is just that which the artificer pleased? How then can the divinity be thought to be in that which would not be at all unless the artificer had pleased? Or how can they hope that future things should be declared to them by that in which there is no perception of present things? For although they should divine something, they should not straightway be held to be gods; for divination is one thing, divinity is another. For the Pythons also seem to divine, yet they are not gods; and, in short, they are driven out of men by Christians. And how can that be God which is put to flight by a man? But perhaps you will say, What as to their effecting cures, and their showing how one can be cured? On this principle, physicians ought also to be worshipped as gods, for they cure many; and in proportion as any one is more skilful, the more he will cure.
CHAP. XXI.--HEATHEN ORACLES.
"Whence it is evident that they since they are demoniac spirits, know some things both more quickly and more perfectly than men; for they are not retarded in their learning by the heaviness of a body. And therefore they, as being spirits, know without delay and without difficulty what physicians attain after a long time and by much labour. It is not wonderful, therefore, if they know somewhat more than men do; but this is to be observed, that what they know they do not employ for the salvation of souls, but for the deception of them, that by means of it they may indoctrinate them in the worship of false religion. But God, that the error of so great deception might not be concealed, and that He Himself might not seem to be a cause of error in permitting them so great licence to deceive men by divinations, and cures, and dreams, has of His mercy furnished men with a remedy, and has made the distinction of falsehood and truth patent to those who desire to know. This, therefore, is that distinction: what is spoken by the true God, whether by prophets or by diverse visions, is always true; but what is foretold by demons is not always true. It is therefore an evident sign that those things are not spoken by the true God, in which at any time there is falsehood; for in truth there is never falsehood. But in the case of those who speak falsehoods, there may occasionally be a slight mixture of truth, to give as it were seasoning to the falsehoods.
CHAP. XXII.--WHY THEY SOMETIMES COME TRUE.
"But if any one say, What is the use of this, that they should be permitted even sometimes to speak truth, and thereby so much error be introduced amongst men? let him take this for answer: If they had never been allowed to speak any truth, then they would not foretell anything at all; while if they did not foretell, they would not be known to be demons. But if demons were not known to be in this world, the cause of our struggle and contest would be concealed from us, and we should suffer openly what was done in secret, that is, if the power were granted to them of only acting against us, and not of speaking. But now, since they sometimes speak truth, and sometimes falsehood, we ought to acknowledge, as I have said, that their responses are of demons, and not of God, with whom there is never falsehood.
CHAP. XXIII--EVIL NOT IN SUBSTANCE.
"But if any one, proceeding more curiously, inquire: What then was the use of God's making these evil things, which should have so great a tendency to subvert the minds of men? To one proposing such a question, we answer that we must first of all inquire whether there is any evil in substance. And although it would be sufficient to say to him that it is not suitable that the creature judge the Creator, but that to judge the work of another belongs to him who is either of equal skill or equal power; yet, to come directly to the point, we say absolutely that there is no evil in substance. But if this be so, then the Creator of substance is vainly blamed.
CHAP. XXIV.--WHY GOD PERMITS EVIL.
"But you will meet me by saying, Even if it has come to this through freedom of will, was the Creator ignorant that those whom He created would fall away into evil? He ought therefore not to have created those who, He foresaw, would deviate from the path of righteousness. Now we tell those who ask such questions, that the purpose of assertions of the sort made by us is to show why the wickedness of those who as yet were not, did not prevail over the goodness of the Creator. For if, wishing to fill up the number and measure of His creation, He had been afraid of the wickedness of those who were to be, and like one who could find no other way of remedy and cure, except only this, that He should refrain from His purpose of creating, lest the wickedness of those who were to be should be ascribed to Him; what else would this show but unworthy suffering and unseemly feebleness on the part of the Creator, who should so fear the actings of those who as yet were not, that He refrained from His purposed creation?
CHAP. XXV.--EVIL BEINGS TURNED TO GOOD ACCOUNT.
"But, setting aside these things, let us consider this earnestly, that God the Creator of the universe, foreseeing the future differences of His creation, foresaw and provided diverse ranks and different offices to each of His creatures, according to the peculiar movements which were produced from freedom of will; so that while all men are of one substance in respect of the method of creation, there should yet be diversity in ranks and offices, according to the peculiar movements of minds, to be produced from liberty of will. Therefore He foresaw that there would be faults in His creatures; and the method of His justice demanded that punishment should follow faults, for the sake of amendment. It behoved, therefore, that there should be ministers of punishment, and yet that freedom of will should draw them into that order. Moreover, those also must have enemies to conquer, who had undertaken the contests for the heavenly rewards. Thus, therefore, neither are those things destitute of utility which are thought to be evil, since the conquered unwillingly acquire eternal rewards for those by whom they are conquered. But let this suffice on these points, for in process of time even more secret things shall be disclosed.
CHAP. XXVI.--EVIL ANGELS SEDUCERS.
"Now therefore, since you do not yet understand how great darkness of ignorance surrounds you, meantime I wish to explain to you whence the worship of idols began in this world. And by idols, I mean those lifeless images which you worship, whether made of wood, or earthenware, or stone, or brass, or any other metals: of these the beginning was in this wise. Certain angels, having left the course of their proper order, began to favour the vices of men, and in some measure to lend unworthy aid to their lust, in order that by these means they might indulge their own pleasures the more; and then, that they might not seem to be inclined of their own accord to unworthy services, taught men that demons could, by certain arts--that is, by magical invocations--be made to obey men; and so, as from a furnace and workshop of wickedness, they filled the whole world with the smoke of impiety, the light of piety being withdrawn.
CHAP. XXVII.--HAM THE FIRST MAGICIAN.
"For these and some other causes, a flood was brought upon the world, as we have said already, anti shall say again; and all who were upon the earth were destroyed, except the family of Noah, who survived, with his three sons and their wives. One of these, by name Ham, unhappily discovered the magical act, and handed down the instruction of it to one of his sons, who was called Mesraim, from whom the race of the Egyptians and Babylonians and Persians are descended. Him the nations who then existed called Zoroaster, admiring him as the first author of the magic art; trader whose name also many books on this subject exist. He therefore, being much and frequently intent upon the stars, and wishing to be esteemed a god among them, began to draw forth, as it were, certain sparks from the stars, and to show them to men, in order that the rude and ignorant might be astonished, as with a miracle; and desiring to increase this estimation of him, he attempted these things again and again, until he was set on fire, and consumed by the demon himself, whom he accosted with too great importunity.
CHAP. XXVIII.--TOWER OF BABEL.
"But the foolish men who were then, whereas they ought to have abandoned the opinion which they bad conceived of him, inasmuch as they had seen it confuted by his mortal punishment, extolled him the more. For raising a sepulchre to his honour, they went so far as to adore him as a friend of God, and one who had been removed to heaven in a chariot of lightning, and to worship him as if he were a living star. Hence also his name was called Zoroaster after his death--that is, living star--by those who, after one generation, had been taught to speak the Greek language. In fine, by this example, even now many worship those who have been struck with lightning, honouring them with sepulchres, and worshipping them as friends of God. But this man was born in the fourteenth generation, and died in the fifteenth, in which the tower was built, and the languages of men were divided into many.
CHAP. XXIX.--FIRE-WORSHIP OF THE PERSIANS.
"First among whom is named a certain king Nimrod, the magic art having been handed down to him as by a flash, whom the Greeks, also called Ninus, and from whom the city of Nineveh took its name. Thus, therefore, diverse and erratic superstitions took their beginning from the magic art. For, because it was difficult to draw away the human race from the love of God, and attach them to deaf and lifeless images, the magicians made use of higher efforts, that men might be turned to erratic worship, by signs among the stars, and motions brought down as it were from heaven, and by the will of God. And those who had been first deceived, collecting the ashes of Zoroaster,--who, as we have said, was burnt up by the indignation of the demon, to whom he had been too troublesome,--brought them to the Persians, that they might be preserved by them with perpetual watching, as divine fire fallen from heaven, and might be worshipped as a heavenly God.
"By a like example, other men in other places built temples, set up statues, instituted mysteries and ceremonies and sacrifices, to those whom they had admired, either for some arts or for virtue, or at least had held in very great affection; and rejoiced, by means of all things belonging to gods, to hand down their fame to posterity; and that especially, because, as we have already said, they scented to be supported by some phantasies of magic art, so that by invocation of demons something seemed to be done and moved by them towards the deception of men. To these they add also certain solemnities, and drunken banquets, in which men might with all freedom indulge; and demons, conveyed into them in the chariot of repletion, might be mixed with their very bowels, and holding a place there, might bind the acts and thoughts of men to their own will. Such errors, then, having been introduced from the beginning, and having been aided by lust and drunkenness, in which carnal men chiefly delight, the religion of God, which consisted in continence and sobriety, began to become rare amongst men, and to be well-nigh abolished.
CHAP. XXXI.--IDOLATRY LED TO ALL IMMORALITY.
"For whereas at first, men worshipping a righteous and all-seeing God, neither dared sin nor do injury to their neighbours, being persuaded that God sees the actions and movements of every one; when religious worship was directed to lifeless images, concerning which they were certain that they were incapable of hearing, or sight, or motion, they began to sin licentiously, and to go forward to every crime, because they had no fear of suffering anything at the hands of those whom they worshipped as gods. Hence the madness of wars burst out; hence plunderings, rapines, captivities, and liberty reduced to slavery; each one, as he could, satisfied his lust and his covetousness, although no power can satisfy covetousness. For as fire, the more fuel it gets, is the more extensively kindled and strengthened, so also the madness of covetousness is made greater and more vehement by means of those things which it acquires.
"Wherefore begin now with better understanding to resist yourselves in those things which you do not rightly desire; if so be that you can in any way repair and restore in yourselves that purity of religion and innocence of life which at first were bestowed upon man by God, that thereby also the hope of immortal blessings may be restored to you. And give thanks to the bountiful Father of all, by Him whom He has constituted King of peace, and the treasury of unspeakable honours, that even at the present time your sins may be washed away with the water of the fountain, or river, or even sea: the threefold name of blessedness being called over you, that by it not only evil spirits may be driven out, if any dwell in you, but also that, when you have forsaken your sins, and have with entire faith and entire purity of mind believed in God, you may drive out wicked spirits and demons from others also, and may be able to set others free from sufferings and sicknesses. For the demons themselves know and acknowledge those who have given themselves up to God, and sometimes they are driven out by the mere presence of such, as you saw a little while ago, how, when we had only addressed to you the word of salutation, straightway the demons, on account of their respect for our religion, began to cry out, and could not bear our presence even for a little.
CHAP. XXXIII.--THE WEAKEST CHRISTIAN MORE POWERFUL THAN THE STRONGEST DEMON.
"Is it, then, that we are of another and a superior nature, and that therefore the demons are afraid of us? Nay, we are of one and the same nature with you, but we differ in religion. But if you will also be like us, we do not grudge it, but rather we exhort you, and wish you to be assured, that when the same faith and religion and innocence of life shall be in you that is in us, you will have equal and the same power and virtue against demons, through God rewarding your faith. For as he who has soldiers under him, although he may be inferior, and they superior to him in strength, yet 'says to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to another, Do this, and he doeth it;' and this he is able to do, not by his own power, but by the fear of Caesar; so every faithful one commands the demons, although they seem to he much stronger than men, and that not by means of his own power, but by means of the power of God, who has put them in subjection. For even that which we have just spoken of, that Caesar is held in awe by all soldiers, and in every camp, and in his whole kingdom, though he is but one man, and perhaps feeble in respect of bodily strength, this is not effected but by the power of God, who inspires all with fear, that they may be subject to one.
CHAP. XXXIV.--TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.
"This we would have you know assuredly, that a demon has no power against a man, unless one voluntarily submit himself to his desires. Whence even that one who is the prince of wickedness, approached Him who, as we have said, is appointed of God King of peace, tempting Him, and began to promise Him all the glory of the world; because he knew that when he had offered this to others, for the sake of deceiving them, they had worshipped him. Therefore, impious as he was, and unmindful of himself, which indeed is the special peculiarity of wickedness, he presumed that he should be worshipped by Him by whom he knew that he was to be destroyed. Therefore our Lord, confirming the worship of one God, answered him: 'It is written, Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.' And he, terrified by this answer, and fearing lest the true religion of the one and true God should be restored, hastened straightway to send forth into this world false prophets, and false apostles, and false teachers, who should speak indeed in the name of Christ, but should accomplish the will of the demon.
CHAP. XXXV.--FALSE APOSTLES.
"Wherefore observe the greatest caution, that you believe no teacher, unless he bring from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord's brother, or of whosoever may come after him. For no one, unless he has gone up thither, and there has been approved as a fit and faithful teacher for preaching the word of Christ,--unless, I say, he brings a testimonial thence, is by any means to be received. But let neither prophet nor apostle be looked for by you at this time, besides us. For there is one true Prophet, whose words we twelve apostles preach; for He is the accepted year of God, having us apostles as His twelve months. But for what reason the world itself was made, or what diversities have occurred in it, and why our Lord, coming for its restoration, has chosen and sent us twelve apostles, shall be explained more at length at another time. Meantime He has commanded us to go forth to preach, and to invite you to the supper of the heavenly King, which the Father hath prepared for the marriage of His Son, and that we should give you wedding garments, that is, the grace of baptism; which whosoever obtains, as a spotless robe with which he is to enter to the supper of the King, ought to beware that it be not in any part of it stained with sin, and so he be rejected as unworthy and reprobate.
CHAP. XXXVI.--THE GARMENTS UNSPOTTED.
"But the ways in which this garment may be spotted are these: If any one withdraw from God the Father and Creator of all, receiving another teacher besides Christ, who alone is the faithful and true Prophet, and who has sent us twelve apostles to preach the word; if any one think otherwise than worthily of the substance of the Godhead, which excels all things;-- these are the things which even fatally pollute the garment of baptism. But the things which pollute it in actions are these: murders, adulteries, hatreds, avarice, evil ambition. And the things which pollute at once the soul and the body are these: to partake of the table of demons, that is, to taste things sacrificed, or blood, or a carcase which is strangled, (1) and if there be aught else which has been offered to demons. Be this therefore the first step to you of three; which step brings forth thirty commands, and the second sixty, and the third a hundred, (2) as we shall expound more fully to you at another time."
CHAP. XXXVII. -- THE CONGREGATION DISMISSED.
When he had thus spoken, and had charged them to come to the same place in good time on the following day, he dismissed the crowds; and when they were unwilling to depart, Peter said to them: "Do me this favour on account of the fatigue of yesterday's journey; and now go away. and meet in good time to-morrow." And so they departed with joy. But Peter, commanding me to withdraw a little for the purpose of prayer, (3) afterwards ordered the couches to be spread in the part of the garden which was covered with shade; and every one, according to custom, recognising the place of his own rank, we took food. Then, as there was still some portion of the day left, he conversed with us concerning the Lord's miracles; and when evening was come, he entered his bed-chamber and went to sleep.
CHAP. I. -- PETER'S SALUTATION.
BUT on the following day, (1) Peter rising a little earlier than usual, found us asleep; and when he saw it, he gave orders that silence should be kept for him, as though he himself wished to sleep longer, that we might not be disturbed in our rest. But when we rose refreshed with sleep, we found him, having finished his prayer, waiting for us in his bed-chamber. And as it was already dawn, he addressed us shortly, saluting us according to his custom, and forthwith proceeded to the usual place for the purpose of teaching; and when he saw that many had assembled there, having invoked peace upon them according to the first religious form, he began to speak as follows: --
CHAP. II. -- SUFFERING THE EFFECT OF SIN.
"God, the Creator of all, at the beginning made man after His own image, and gave him dominion over the earth and sea, and over the air; as the true Prophet has told us, and as the very reason of things instructs us: for man alone is rational, and it is fitting that reason should rule over the irrational. At first, therefore, while he was still righteous, he was superior to all disorders and all frailty; but when he sinned, as we taught you yesterday, and became the servant of sin, he became at the same time liable to frailty. This therefore is written, that men may know that, as by impiety they have been made liable to suffer, so by piety they may be made free from suffering; and not only free from suffering, but by even a little faith in God be able to cure the sufferings of others. For thus the true Prophet promised us, saying, 'Verily I say to you, that if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence, and it shall remove.' (2) Of this saving you have yourselves also had proofs; for you saw yesterday how at our presence the demons removed and were put to flight, with those sufferings which they had brought upon men.
CHAP. III. -- FAITH AND UNBELIEF.
"Whereas therefore some men suffer, and others cure those who suffer, it is necessary, to know the cause at once of the suffering and the cure; and this is proved to be nought else than unbelief on the part of the sufferers, and faith on the part of those who cure them. For unbelief, while it does not believe that there is to be a judgment by God, affords licence to sin, and sin makes men liable to sufferings; but faith, believing that there is to be a judgment of God, restrains men from sin; and those who do not sin are not only free from demons and sufferings, but can also put to flight the demons and sufferings of others.
CHAP. IV.--IGNORANCE THE MOTHER OF EVILS.
"From (1) all these things, therefore, it is concluded that all evil springs from ignorance; and ignorance herself, the mother of all evils, is sprung from carelessness and sloth, and is nourished, and increased, and rooted in the senses of men by negligence; and if any one teach that she is to be put to flight, she is with difficulty and indignantly torn away, as from an ancient and hereditary abode. And therefore we must labour for a little, that we may search out the presumptions of ignorance, and cut them off by means of knowledge, especially in those who are preoccupied with some erroneous opinions, by means of which ignorance is the more firmly rooted in them, as under the appearance of a certain kind of knowledge; for nothing is worse than for one to believe that he knows what he is ignorant of, and to maintain that to be true which is false. This is as if a drunk man should think himself to be sober, and should act indeed in all respects as a drunk man, and yet think himself to be sober, and should wish to be called so by others. Thus, therefore, are those also who do not know what is true, yet hold some appearance of knowledge, and do many evil things as if they were good, and hasten destruction as if it were to salvation.
CHAP. V. -- ADVANTAGES OF KNOWLEDGE.
"Wherefore we must, above all things, hasten to the knowledge of the truth, that, as with a light kindled thereat, we may be able to dispel the darkness of errors: for ignorance, as we have said, is a great evil; but because it has no substance, it is easily dispelled by those who are: in earnest. For ignorance is nothing else than not knowing what is good for us; once know this, and ignorance perishes. Therefore the knowledge of truth ought to be eagerly sought after; and no one can confer it except the true Prophet. For this is the gate of life to those who will enter, and the road of good works to those going to the city of salvation.
CHAP. VI. -- FREE-WILL.
"Whether any one, truly hearing the word of of the true Prophet; is willing or unwilling to receive it, and to embrace His burden, that is, the precepts of life, he has either in his power, for we are free in will. (2) For if it were so, that those who hear had it not in their power to do otherwise than they had heard, there were some power of nature in virtue of which it were not free to him to pass over to another opinion. Or if, again, no one of the hearers could at all receive it, this also were a power of nature which should compel the doing of some one thing, and should leave no place for the other course. But now, since it is free for the mind to turn its judgment to which side it pleases, and to choose the way which it approves, it is clearly manifest that there is in men a liberty of choice.
CHAP. VII. -- RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE.
"Therefore, before any one hears what is good for him, it is certain that he is ignorant; and being ignorant, he wishes and desires to do what is not good for him; wherefore he is not judged for that. But when once he has heard the causes of his error, and has received the method of truth, then, if he remain in those errors with which he had been long ago preoccupied, he shall rightly be called into judgment, to suffer punishment, because he has spent in the sport of errors that portion of life which was given him to be spent in living well. But he who, hearing those things, willingly receives them, and is thankful that the teaching of good things has been brought to him, inquires more eagerly, and does not cease to learn, until he ascertains whether there be truly another world, in which rewards are prepared for the good. And when he is assured of this, he gives thanks to God because He has shown him the light of truth; and for the future directs his actions in all good works, for which he is assured that there is a reward prepared in the world to come; while he constantly wonders and is astonished at the errors of other men, and that no one sees the truth which is placed before his eyes. Yet he himself, rejoicing in the riches of wisdom which he hath found, desires insatiably to enjoy them, and is delighted with the practice of good works; hastening to attain, with a clean heart and a pure conscience, the world to come, when he shall be able even to see God, the king of all.
CHAP. VIII. -- DESIRES OF THE FLESH TO BE SUBDUED.
"But the sole cause of our wanting and being deprived of all these things is ignorance. For while men do not know how much good there is in knowledge, they do not suffer the evil of ignorance to be removed from them; for they know not how great a difference is involved in the change of one of these things for the other. Wherefore I counsel every learner willingly to lend his ear to the word of God, and to hear with love of the truth what we say, that his mind, receiving the best seed, may bring forth joyful fruits by good deeds. For if, while I teach the things which pertain to salvation, any one refuses to receive them, and strives to resist them with a mind occupied by evil opinions, he shall have the cause of his perishing, not from us, but from himself. For it is his duty to examine with just judgment the things which we say, and to understand that we speak the words of truth, that, knowing how things are, and directing his life in good actions, he may be found a partaker of the kingdom of heaven, subjecting to himself the desires of the flesh, and becoming lord of them, that so at length he himself also may become the pleasant possession of the Ruler of all.
CHAP. IX. -- THE TWO KINGDOMS.
"For he who persists in evil, and is the servant of evil, cannot be made a portion of good so long as he persists in evil, because from the beginning, as we have said, God instituted two kingdoms, and has given to each man the power of becoming a portion of that kingdom to which he shall yield himself to obey. And since it is decreed by God that no one man can be a servant of both kingdoms, therefore endeavour with all earnestness to betake yourselves to the covenant and laws of the good King. Wherefore also the true Prophet, when He was present with us, and saw some rich men negligent with respect to the worship of God, thus unfolded the truth of this matter: 'No one,' said He, 'can serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and mammon; '(1) calling riches, in the language of His country, mammon.
CHAP. X. -- JESUS THE TRUE PROPHET.
"He therefore is the true Prophet, who appeared to us, as you have heard, in Judaea, who, standing in public places, by a simple command made the blind see, the deaf hear, cast out demons, restored health to the sick, and life to the dead; and since nothing was impossible to Him, He even perceived the thoughts of men, which is possible for none but God only. He proclaimed the kingdom of God; and we believed Him as a true Prophet in all that He spoke, deriving the confirmation of our faith not only from His words, but also from His works; and also because the sayings of the law, which many generations before had set forth His coming, were fulfilled in Him; and the figures of the doings of Moses, and of the patriarch Jacob before him, bore in all respects a type of Him. It is evident also that the time of His advent, that is, the very time at which He came, was foretold by them; and, above all, it was contained in the sacred writings, that He was to be waited for by the Gentiles. And all these things were equally fulfilled in Him.
CHAP. XI. -- THE EXPECTATION OF THE GENTILES
"But that which a prophet of the Jews foretold, that He was to be waited for by the Gen- tiles, (2) confirms above measure the faith of truth in Him. For if he had said that He was to be waited for by the Jews, he would not have seemed to prophesy anything extraordinary, that He whose coming had been promised for the salvation of the world should be the object of hope to the people of the same tribe with Himself, and to His own nation: for that this would take place, would seem rather to be a matter of natural inference than one requiring the grandeur of a prophetic utterance. But now, whereas the prophets say that all that hope which is set forth concerning the salvation of the world, and the newness of the kingdom which is to be established by Christ, and all things which are declared concerning Him are to be transferred to the Gentiles; the grandeur of the prophetic office is confirmed, not according to the sequence of things, but by an incredible fulfilment of the prophecy. For the Jews from the beginning had understood by a most certain tradition that this man should at some time come, by whom all things should be restored; and daily meditating and looking out for His coming, when they saw Him amongst them, and accomplishing the signs and miracles, as had been written of Him, being blinded with envy, they could not recognise Him when present, in the hope of whom they rejoiced while He was absent; yet the few of us who were chosen by Him understood it.
CHAP. XII. -- CALL OF THE GENTILES.
"But this happened by the providence of God, that the knowledge of this good One should be handed over to the Gentiles, and those who had never heard of Him, nor had learned from the prophets, should acknowledge Him, while those who had acknowledged Him in their daily meditations should not know Him. For, behold, by you who are now present, and desire to hear the doctrine of His faith, and to know what, and how, and of what sort is His coming, the prophetic truth is fulfilled. For this is what the prophets foretold, that He is to he sought for by you, who never heard of Him. (3) And, therefore, seeing that the prophetic sayings are fulfilled even in yourselves, you rightly believe in Him alone, you rightly wait for Him, you rightly inquire concerning Him, that you not only may wait for Him, but also believing, you may obtain the inheritance of His kingdom; according to what Himself said, that every one is made the servant of him to whom he yields subjection. (1)
CHAP. XIII. -- INVITATION OF THE GENTILES.
"Wherefore awake, and take to yourselves our Lord and God, even that Lord who is Lord both of heaven and earth, and conform yourselves to His image and likeness, as the true Prophet Himself teaches, saying, 'Be ye merciful, as also your heavenly Father is merciful, who makes His sun to rise upon the good and the evil, and rains upon the just and the unjust.' (2) Imitate Him, therefore, and fear Him, as the commandment is given to men, 'Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.' (3) For it is profitable to you to serve this Lord alone, that through Him knowing the one God, ye may be freed from the many whom ye vainly feared. For he who fears not God the Creator of all, but fears those whom he himself with his own hands hath made, what does he do but make himself subject to a vain and senseless fear, and render himself more vile and abject than those very things, the fear of which he has conceived in his mind? But rather, by the goodness of Him who inviteth you, return to your former nobleness, and by good deeds show that you bear the image of your Creator, that by contemplation of His likeness ye may be believed to be even His sons.
CHAP. XIV. -- IDOLS UNPROFITABLE.
"Begin, (4) therefore, to cast out of your minds the vain ideas of idols, and your useless and empty fears, that at the same time you may also escape tim condition of unrighteous bondage. For those have become your lords, who could not even have been profitable servants to you. For how should lifeless images seem fit even to serve you, when they can neither hear, nor see, nor feel anything? Yea, even the material of which they are made, whether it be gold or silver, or even brass or wood, though it might have profiled yon for necessary uses, you have rendered wholly inefficient and useless by fashioning gods out of it. We therefore declare to you the true worship of God, and at the same time warn and exhort the worshippers, that by good deeds they, imitate Him whom they worship, and hasten to return to His image and likeness, as we said before.
CHAP. XV. -- FOLLY OF IDOLATRY.
"But I should like if those who worship idols would tell me if they wish to become like to those whom they worship? Does any one of you wish to see in such sort as they see? or to hear after the manner of their hearing? or to have such understanding as they have? Far be this from any of my hearers! For this were rather to be thought a curse and a reproach to a man, who bears in himself the image of God, although he has lost the likeness. What sort of gods, then, are they to be reckoned, the imitation of whom would be execrable to their worshippers, and to have whose likeness would be a reproach? What then? Melt your useless images, and make useful vessels. Melt the unserviceable and inactive metal, and make implements fit for the use of men. But, says one, human laws do not allow us. (5) He says well; for it is human laws, and not their own power, that prevents it. What kind of gods, then, are those which are defended by human laws, and not by their own energies? And so also they are preserved from thieves by watch- dogs and the protection of bolts, at least if they be of silver, or gold, or even of brass; for those that are of stone and earthenware are protected by their own worthlessness, for no one will steal a stone or a crockery god. Hence those seem to be the more miserable whose more precious metal exposes them to the greater danger. Since, then, they can be stolen, since they must be guarded by men, since they can be melted, and weighed out, and forged with hammers, ought men possessed of understanding to hold them as gods?
CHAP XVI. -- GOD ALONE A FIT OBJECT OF WORSHIP.
"Oh! into what wretched plight the understanding of men has fallen! For if it is reckoned the greatest folly to fear the dead, what shall we judge of those who fear something that is worse than the dead are? For those images are not even to be reckoned among the number of the dead, because they were never alive. Even the sepulchres of the dead are preferable to them, since, although they are now dead, yet they once had life; but those whom yon worship never possessed even such base life as is in all, the life of frogs and owls. But why say more about them, since it is enough to say to him who adores them: Do you not see that he whom you adore sees not, hear that he whom you adore hears not, and understand that he understands not? -- for he is the work of man's hand, and necessarily is void of understanding. You therefore worship a god without sense, whereas every one who has sense believes that not even those things are to be worshipped which have been made by God and have sense, (6) such as the sun, moon, and stars, and all things that are in heaven and upon earth. For they think it reasonable, that not those things which have been made for the service of the world, but the Creator of those things themselves, and of the whole world, should be worshipped. For even these things rejoice when He is adored and worshipped, and do not take it well that the honour of the Creator should be bestowed on the creature. For the worship of God alone is acceptable to them, who alone is uncreated, and all things also are His creatures. For as it belongs to him who alone is uncreated to be God, so everything that has been created is not truly God
CHAP. XVII.-- SUGGESTIONS OF THE OLD SERPENT.
"Above all, therefore, you ought to understand the deception of the old serpent (1) and his cunning suggestions, who deceives you as it were by prudence, and as by a sort of reason creeps through your senses; and beginning at the head, he glides through your inner marrow, accounting the deceiving of you a great gain. Therefore he insinuates into your minds opinions of gods of whatsoever kinds, only that he may withdraw yon from the faith of one God knowing that your sin is his comfort. For he, for his wickedness, was condemned from the beginning to eat dust, for that he caused to be again resolved into dust him who had been taken from the dust, even till the time when your souls shall be restored, being brought through the fire; as we shall instruct you more fully at another time. From him, therefore, proceed all the errors and doubts, by which you are driven from the faith and belief of one God.
CHAP. XVIII. -- HIS FIRST SUGGESTION.
"And first of all he suggests to men's thoughts not to hear the words of truth, by which they might put to flight the ignorance of those things which are evils. And this he does, as by the presentation of another knowledge, making a show of that opinion which very many hold, to think that they shall not be held guilty if they have been in ignorance, and that they shall not be called to account for what they have not heard; and thereby he persuades them to turn aside from hearing the word. But I tell you, in opposition to this, that ignorance is in itself a most deadly poison, which is sufficient to ruin the soul without any aid from without. And therefore there is no one who is ignorant who shall escape through his ignorance, bill it is certain that he shall perish. For the power of sin naturally destroys the sinner. But since the judgment shall be according to reason, the cause and origin of ignorance shall be inquired into, as well as of every sin. For he who is unwilling to know how he may attain to life, and prefers to be in ignorance lest he thereby be made guilty, from this very fact is judged as if he knew and had knowledge. For he knew what it was that he was unwilling to hear; and the cunning obtained by the artifice of the serpent will avail him nothing for an excuse, for he will have to do with Him to whom the heart is open. But that you may know that ignorance of itself brings destruction, I assure you that when the soul departs from the body, if it leave it in ignorance of Him by whom it was created, and from whom in this world it obtained all things that were necessary for its uses, it is driven forth from the light of His kingdom as ungrateful and unfaithful.
CHAP. XlX. -- HIS SECOND SUGGESTION.
"Again, the wicked serpent suggests another opinion to men, which many of you are in the habit of bringing forward, -- that there is, as we say, one God, who is Lord of all; but these also, they say, are gods. For as there is one Caesar, and he has under him many judges, -- for example, prefects, consuls, tribunes, and other officers, -- in like manner we think, that while there is one God greater than all, yet still that these gods are ordained in this world, after the likeness of those officers of whom we have spoken, subject indeed to that greater God, yet ruling us and the things that are in this world. In answer to this, I shall show you how, in those very things which you propose for deception, you are confuted by the reasons of truth. You say that God occupies the place of Caesar, and those who are called gods represent His judges and officers. Hold then, as you have adduced it, by the example of Caesar; and know that, as one of Caesar's judges or administrators, as prefects, proconsuls, generals, or tribunes, may lawfully take the name of Caesar,--or else both he who should take it and those who should confer it should be destroyed together, -- so also m this case yon ought to observe, that if any one give the name of God to any but Himself, and he accept it, they shall partake one and the same destruction, by a much more terrible fate than the servants of Caesar. For he who offends against Caesar shall undergo temporal destruction; but he who offends against Him who is the sole and true God, shall suffer eternal punishment, and that deservedly, as having injured by a wrongful condition the name which is unique. (2)
CHAP. XX. -- EGYPTIAN IDOLATRY,
"Although this word GOD is pot the name of God, but meantime that word is employed by men as His name; and therefore, as I have said, when it is used reproachfully, the reproach is referred to the injury of the true name. In short, the ancient Egyptians, who thought that they had discovered the theory of the heavenly revolutions and the nature of the stars, nevertheless, through the demon's blocking up their senses, subjected the incommunicable name to all kinds of indignity. For some taught that their ox, which is called Apis, ought to be worshipped; others taught that the he-goat, others that cats, the ibis, a fish also, a serpent, onions, drains, crepitus ventris, ought to be regarded as deities, and innumerable other things, which I am ashamed even to mention."
CHAP. XXI. -- EGYPTIAN IDOLATRY MORE REASONABLE THAN OTHERS.
When Peter was speaking thus, all we who heard him laughed. Then said Peter: "You laugh at the absurdities of others, because through long custom you do not see your own. For indeed it is not without reason that you laugh at the folly of the Egyptians, who worship dumb animals, while they themselves are rational. But I will tell you how they also laugh at you; for they say, We worship living animals, though mortal; but you worship and adore things which never were alive at all. They add this also, that they are figures and allegories of certain powers by whose help the race of men is governed. Taking refuge in this for shame, they fabricate these and similar excuses, and so endeavour to screen their error. But this is not the time to answer the Egyptians, and leaving the care of those who are present to heal the disease of the absent. For it is a certain indication that you are held to be free from sickness of this sort, since you do not grieve over it as your own, but laugh at it as that of others.
CHAP. XXII. -- SECOND SUGGESTION CONTINUED.
"But let us come back to you, whose opinion it is that God should be regarded as Caesar, and the gods as the ministers and deputies of Caesar. Follow me attentively, and I shall presently show you the lurking-places of the serpent, which lie in the crooked windings of this argument. It ought to be regarded by all as certain and beyond doubt, that no creature can be on a level with God, because He was made by none, but Himself made all things; nor indeed can any one be found so irrational, as to suppose that the thing made can be compared with the maker. If therefore the human mind, not only by reason, but even by a sort of natural instinct, rightly holds this opinion, that that is called God to which nothing can be compared or equalled, but which exceeds all and excels all; how can it be supposed that that name which is believed to be above all, is rightly given to those whom you think to be employed for the service and com- fort of human life? But we shall add this also. This world was undoubtedly made, and is corruptible, as we shall show more fully by and by; meantime it is admitted both that it has been made and that it is corruptible. If therefore the world cannot be called God, and rightly so, because it is corruptible, how shall parts of the world take the name of God? For inasmuch as the whole world cannot be God, much more its parts cannot. Therefore, if we come back to the example of Caesar, you will see how far you are in error. It is not lawful for any one, though a man of the same nature with him, to be com- pared with Caesar: do you think, then, that any one ought to be compared with God, who excels all in this respect, that He was made by none, but Himself made all things? But, indeed, you dare not give the name of Caesar to any other, because he immediately punishes one who offends against him; you dare give that of God to others, because He delays the punishment of offenders against Him, in order to their repentance.
CHAP. XXIII. -- THIRD SUGGESTION.
"Through the mouths of others also that serpent is wont to speak in this wise: We adore visible images in honour of the invisible God. (1) Now this is most certainly false. For if you really wished to worship the image of God, you would do good to man, and so worship the true image of God in him. For the image of God is in every man, though His likeness is not in all, but where the soul is benign anti the mind pure. If, therefore, you wish truly to honour the image of God, we declare to you what is true, that you should do good to and pay honour and reverence to man, who is made in the image of God; that you minister food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, hospitality to the stranger, and necessary things to the prisoner; and that is what will be regarded as truly bestowed upon God. And so far do these things go to the honour of God's image, that he who does not these things is regarded as casting reproach upon the divine image. What, then, is that honour of God which consists in running from one stone or wooden figure to another, in venerating empty and lifeless figures as deities, and despising men in whom the image of God is of a truth? Yea, rather be assured, that whoever commits murder or adultery, or anything that causes suffering or injury to men, in all these the image of God is violated. For to injure men is a great impiety towards God. Whenever, therefore, you do to another what you would not have another do to you, you defile the image of God with undeserved distresses. Understand, therefore, that that is the suggestion of the serpent lurking within you, which persuades you that you may seem to be pious when you worship insensible things, and may not seem impious when you injure sensible and rational beings.
CHAP. XXIV.--FOURTH SUGGESTION.
"But to these things the serpent answers us with another mouth, and says: If God did not wish these things to he, then they should not be. I am not telling you how it is that many contrary things are permitted to be in this world for the probation of every one's mind. But this is what is suitable to be said in the meantime: If, according to you, everything that was to be worshipped ought not to have been, there would have been almost nothing in this world. For what is there that you have left without worshipping it? The sun, the moon, the stars, the water, the earth, mountains, trees, stones, men; there is no one of these that ye have not worshipped. According to your saying, therefore, none of these ought to have been made by God, that you might not have anything that you could worship! Yea, He ought not even to have made men themselves to be the worshippers! But this is the very thing which that serpent which lurks within you desires: for he spares none of you; he would have no one of you escape from destruction. But it shall not be so. For I tell you, that not that which is worshipped is in fault, but he who worships. For with God is righteous judgment; and He judges in one way the sufferer, and in another way the doer, of wrong.
CHAP. XXV.--FIFTH SUGGESTION.
"But you say: Then those who adore what ought not to be adored, should be immediately destroyed by God, to prevent others doing the like. But are you wiser than God, that you should offer Him counsel?(1) He knows what to do. For with all who are placed in ignorance He exercises patience, because He is merciful and gracious; and He foresees that many of the ungodly become godly, and that even some of those who worship impure statues and polluted images have been converted to God, and forsaking their sins and doing good works, attain to salvation. But it is said: We ought never to have come even to the thought of doing these things. You do not know what freedom of will is, and you forget that he is good who is so by his own intention; but, he who is retained in goodness by necessity cannot be called good, because it is not of himself that he is so. Because, therefore, there is in every one liberty to choose good or evil, he either acquires rewards, or brings destruction on himself. Nay it is said, God brings to our minds whatsoever we think. What mean ye, O then? Ye blaspheme. For if He brings all our thoughts into our minds, then it is He that suggests to us thoughts of adultery, and covetousness, and blasphemy, and every kind of effeminacy. Cease, I entreat of you, these blasphemies, and understand what is the honour worthy of God. And say not, as some of you are wont to say, that God needs not honour from men. Indeed, He truly is in need of none; but you ought to know that tile honour which you bestow upon God is profitable to yourselves. For what is so execrable, as for a man not to render thanks to his Creator?
CHAP. XXVI.--SIXTH SUGGESTION.
"But it is said: We do better, who give thanks both to Himself, and to all with Him. In this you do not understand that there is the ruin of your salvation. For it is as if a sick man should call in for his cure at once a physician and poisoners; since these could indeed injure him, but not cure him; and the true physician would refuse to mix his remedies with their poisons, lest either the man's destruction should be ascribed to the good, or his recovery, to the injurious. But you say: Is God then indignant or envious, if, when He benefits us, our thanks be rendered to others? Even if He be not indignant, at all events He does not wish to be the author of error, that by means of His work credit should be given to a vain idol. And what is so impious, so ungrateful, as to obtain a benefit from God, and to render thanks to blocks of wood and stone? Wherefore arise, and understand your salvation. For God is in need of no one, nor does He require anything, nor is He hurt by anything; but we are either helped or hurt, in that we are grateful or ungrateful. For what does God gain from our praises, or what does He lose by our blasphemies? Only this we must remember, that God brings into proximity and friendship with Himself the soul that renders thanks to Him. But the wicked demon possesses the ungrateful soul.
CHAP. XXVII.CREATURES TAKE VENGEANCE ON SINNERS.
"But this also I would have you know, that upon such souls God does not take vengeance directly, but His whole creation rises up and inflicts punishments upon the impious; and although in the present world the goodness of God bestows the light of the world and the services of the earth alike upon the pious and the impious, yet not without grief does the sun afford his light, and the other elements perform their service, to the impious. And, in short, sometimes even in opposition to the goodness of the Creator, the elements are wearied out by the crimes of the wicked; and thence it is that either the fruit of the earth is blighted, or the composition of the air is vitiated, or the heat of the sun is increased beyond measure, or there is an excessive amount of rain or of cold. Thence pestilence, and famine, and death in various forms stalk forth, for the creature hastens to take vengeance on the wicked; yet the goodness of God restrains it, and bridles its indignation against the wicked, and compels it to be obedient to His mercy, rather than to be inflamed by the sins and the crimes of men. For the patience of God waiteth for the conversion of men, as long as they are ill this body.
CHAP. XXVIII.--ETERNITY OF PUNISHMENTS.
"But if any persist in impiety till the end of life, then as soon as the soul, which is immortal, departs, it shall pay the penalty of its persistence in impiety. For even the souls of the impious are immortal, though perhaps they themselves would wish them to end with their bodies. But it is not so; for they endure without end the torments of eternal fire, and to their destruction they have not the quality of mortality. But perhaps you will say to me, You terrify us, O Peter. And how shall we speak to you the things which are in reality? Can we declare to you the truth by keeping silence? We cannot state the things which are, otherwise than as they are. But if we were silent, we should make ourselves the cause of the ignorance that is ruinous to you, and should satisfy the serpent that lurks within you, and blocks up your senses, who cunningly suggests these things to you, that he may make you always the enemies of God. But we are sent for this end, that we may betray his disguises to you; and melting your enmities, may reconcile you to God, that you may be converted to Him, and may please Him by good works. For man is at enmity with God, and is in an unreasonable and impious state of mind and wicked disposition towards Him, especially when he thinks that he knows something, and is in ignorance. But when you lay aside these, and begin to he pleased and displeased with the same things which please and displease God, and to will what God willeth then ye shall truly be called His friends.
CHAP. XXIX.--GOD'S CARE OF HUMAN THINGS.
"But perhaps some of you will say, God has no care of human things; and if we cannot even attain to the knowledge of Him, how shall we attain to His friendship? That God does concern Himself with the affairs of men, His government of the world bears witness: for the sun daily waits upon it, the showers minister to it; the fountains, rivers, winds, and all elements, attend upon it; and the more these things become known to men, the more do they indicate God's care over men. For unless by the power of the. Most High, the more powerful would never minister to the inferior; and by this God is shown to have not only a care over men, but some great affection, since He has deputed such noble elements to their service. But that men may also attain to the friendship of God, is proved to us by the example of those to whose prayers He has been so favourable, that He has withheld the heaven from rain when they wished, and has again opened it when they prayed.(1) And many other things He has bestowed upon those who does His will, which could not be bestowed but upon His friends. But you will say, What harm is done to God if these things also are worshipped by us? If any one of you should pay to another the honour that is due to his father, from whom he has received innumerable benefits, and should reverence a stranger and foreigner as his father, should you not think that he was undutiful towards his father, and most deserving to be disinherited?
CHAP. XXX.--RELIGION OF FATHERS TO BE ABANDONED.
"Others say, It is wicked if we do not worship those idols which have come down to us from our fathers, and prove false to the religion bequeathed to us by our ancestors. On this principle, if any one's father was a robber or a base fellow, he ought not to change the manner of life handed down to him by his fathers, nor to be recalled from his father's errors to a better way; and it is reckoned impious if one do not sin with his parents, or does not persist in impiety with them. Others say, We ought not to be troublesome to God, and to be always burdening Him with complaints of our miseries, or with the exigencies of our petitions. How foolish and witless an answer! Do you think it is troublesome to God if you thank Him for His benefits, while you do not think it troublesome to Him if, for His gifts, you render thanks to stocks and stones? And how comes it, that when rain is withheld in a long drought, we all turn our eyes to heaven, and entreat the gift of rain from God Almighty, and all of us with oar little ones pour out prayers on God and entreat His compassion? But truly ungrateful souls, when they obtain the blessing, quickly forget: for as soon as they have gathered in their harvest or their vintage, straightway they offer the first-fruits to deaf and dumb images, and pay vows in temples or groves for those things which God has bestowed upon them, and then offer sacrifices to demons; and having received a favour, deny the bestower of the favour.(1)
CHAP. XXXI.--PAGANISM, ITS ENORMITIES.
"But some say, These things are instituted for the sake of joy, and for refreshing our minds; and they have been devised for this end, that the human mind may be relaxed for a little from cares and sorrows. See now what a charge you yourselves bring upon the things which you practise. If these things have been invented for the purpose of lightening sorrow and affording enjoyment, how is it that the invocations of demons are performed in groves and woods? What is the meaning of the insane whirlings, and the slashing of limbs, and the cutting off of members? How is it that mad rage is produced in them? How is insanity produced? How is it that women are driven violently, raging with dishevelled hair? Whence the shrieking and gnashing of teeth? Whence the bellowing of the heart and the bowels, and all those things which, whether they are pretended or are contrived by the ministration of demons, are exhibited to the terror of the foolish and ignorant? Are these things done for the sake of lightening the mind, or rather for the sake of oppressing it? Do ye not yet perceive nor understand, that these are the counsels of the serpent lurking within you, which draws yon away from the apprehension of truth by irrational suggestions of errors, that he may hold you as slaves and servants of lust and concupiscence and every disgraceful thing?
CHAP. XXXII.--TRUE RELIGION CALLS TO SOBRIETY AND MODESTY.
"But I protest to you with the clear voice of preaching, that, on the contrary, the religion of God calls you to sobriety and modesty; orders you to refrain from effeminacy and madness, and by patience and gentleness to prevent the inroads of anger; to be content with your own possessions, and with the virtue of frugality; not even when driven by poverty to plunder the goods of others, bat in all things to observe justice; to withdraw yourselves wholly from the idol sacrifices: for by these things you invite demons to you, and of your own accord give them the power of entering into you; and so you admit that which is the cause either of madness or of unlawful love.
CHAP. XXXIII.--ORIGIN OF IMPIETY.
"Hence is the origin of all impiety; hence murders, adulteries, thefts; and a nursery is formed of all evils anti wickednesses, while you indulge in profane libations and odours, and give to wicked spirits an opportunity of ruling and obtaining some sort of authority over you. For when they invade your senses, what do they else than work the things which belong to lust and injustice and cruelty, and compel you to be obedient to all things that are pleasing to them? God, indeed, permits you to suffer this at their hands by a certain righteous judgment, that from the very disgrace of your doings and your feelings you may understand how unworthy it is to be subject to demons and not to God. Hence also, by the friendship of demons, men are brought to disgraceful and base deeds; hence, men proceed even to the destruction of life, either through the fire of lust, or through the madness of anger through excess of grief, so that, as is well(2) known, some have even laid violent hands upon themselves. And this, as we have said, by a just sentence of God they are not prevented from doing, that they may both understand to whom they have yielded themselves in subjection, and know whom they have forsaken.
CHAP. XXXIV.--WHO ARE WORSHIPPERS OF GOD?
"But some one will say, These passions sometimes befall even those who worship God. It is not true. For we say, that he is a worshipper of God, who does the will of God, and observes the precepts of His law. For in God's estimation he is not a Jew who is called a Jew among men (nor is he a Gentile that is called a Gentile), but he who, believing in God, fulfils His law and does His will, though he be not circumcised.(3) He is the true worshipper of God, who not only is himself free from passions, but also sets others free from them; though they be so heavy that they are like mountains, he removes them by means of the faith with which he believes in God. Yea, by faith be truly removes mountains with their trees, if it be necessary. But be who seems to worship Cool, but is neither fortified by a full faith, nor by obedience to the commandments, but is a sinner, has given a place in himself, by reason of his sins, to passions, which are appointed of God for the punishment of those who sin, that they may exact from them the deserts of their sins by means of punishments inflicted, and may bring them purified to the general judgment of all, provided always that their faith do not fail them in their chastisement. For the chastisement of unbelievers in the present life is a judgment, by which they begin to be separated from future blessings; but the chastisement of those who worship God, while it is inflicted upon them for sins into which they have fallen, exacts from them the due of what they have done, that, preventing the judgment, they may pay the debt of their sin in the present life, and be freed, at least in half, from the eternal punishments which are there prepared.
CHAP. XXXV.--JUDGMENT TO COME.
"But he does not receive these things as true who does not believe that there is to be a judgment of God, and therefore, being bound by the pleasures of the present life, is shut out from eternal good things; and therefore we do not neglect to proclaim to you what we know to be necessary for your salvation, and to show you what is the true worship of God, that, believing in God, you may be able, by means of good works, to be heirs with us of the world to come. But if you are not yet convinced that what we say is true, meantime, in the first instance, you ought not to take it amiss and to be hostile to us because we announce to you the things which we consider to be good, and because we do not grudge to bestow also upon you that which we believe brings salvation to ourselves, labouring, as I have said, with all eagerness, that we may have you as fellow-heirs of the blessings which we believe are to befall ourselves. But whether those things which we declare to you are certainly true, you shall not be able to know otherwise than by rendering obedience to the things which are commanded, that you may be taught by the issue of things, and the most certain end of blessedness.
CHAP. XXXVI.--CONCLUSION OF DISCOURSE.
"And, therefore, although the serpent lurking within you occupies your senses with a thou sand arts of corruption, and throws in your way a thousand obstacles, by which he may turn you away from the hearing of saving instruction, all the more ought you to resist him, anti despising his suggestions, to come together the more frequently to hear the word and receive instruction from us, because nobody can learn anything who is not taught."(1)
And when he had done speaking, he ordered those to be brought to him who were oppressed by sickness or demons, and laid his hands upon them with prayer; and so he dismissed the crowds, charging them to resort to the hearing of the word during the days that he was to remain there. Therefore, when the crowds had departed, Peter washed his body in the waters which ran through the garden, with as many of the others as chose to do so; and then ordered the couches to be spread on the ground under a very shady tree, and directed us to recline according to the order established at Caesarea. And thus, having taken food and given thanks to God after the manner of the Hebrews, as there was yet some portion of the day remaining, he ordered us to question him on any matters that we pleased. And although we were with him twenty in all, he explained to every one whatever he pleased to ask of him; the particulars of which I set down in books and sent to you some time ago. And when evening came we entered with him into the lodging, and went to sleep, each one in his own place.
CHAP. I.--BOOK VI. DILIGENCE IN STUDY.
BUT as soon as day began to advance the dawn upon the retiring darkness, Peter having gone into the garden to pray, and returning thence and coming to us, by way of excuse for awaking and coming to us a little later than usual, said this:(1) "Now that the spring-time has lengthened the day, of course the night is shorter; if, therefore, one desires to occupy some portion of the night in study, he must not keep the same hours(2) for waking at all seasons, but should spend the same length of time in sleeping, whether the night be longer or shorter, and be exceedingly careful that he do not cut off from the period which he is wont to have for study, and so add to his sleep and lessen his time of keeping awake. And this also is to be observed, lest haply if sleep be interrupted while the food is still undigested, the undigested mass lead the mind, and by the exhalation of crude spirits render the inner sense confused and disturbed. It is right, therefore, that that part also be cherished with sufficient rest, so that, those things being sufficiently accomplished which are due to it, the body may be able in other things to render due service to the mind."
CHAP. II.--MUCH TO BE DONE IN A LITTLE TIME.
When he had said this, as very many had already assembled in the accustomed place of the garden to hear him, Peter went forth; and having saluted the crowds in his usual manner, began to speak as follows:(1) "Since, indeed, as land neglected by the cultivator necessarily produces thorns and thistles, so your sense, by long neglect, has produced a plentiful crop of noxious opinions of things and dogmas of false science; there is need now of much care in cultivating the field of your mind, that the word of truth, which is the true and diligent husbandman of the heart, may cultivate it with continual instructions. It is therefore your part render obedience to it, and to lop off superfluous occupations and anxieties, lest a noxious growth choke the good seed of the word. For it may be that a short and earnest diligence may repair a long time's neglect; for the time of every one's life is uncertain, and therefore we must hasten to salvation, lest haply sudden death seize upon him who delays.
CHAP. III.--RIGHTEOUS ANGER.
"And all the more eagerly must we strive on this account, that while there is time, the collected vices of evil custom may be cut off. And this you shall not be able to do otherwise, than by being angry with yourselves on account of your profitless and base doings. For this is righteous and necessary anger, by which every one is indignant with himself, and accuses himself for those things in which he has erred and done amiss; and by this indignation a certain fire is kindled in us, which, applied as it were to a barren field, consumes and burns up the roots of vile pleasure, and renders the soil of the heart more fertile for the good seed of the word of God. And I think that you have sufficiently worthy causes of anger, from which that most righteous fire may be kindled, if you consider into what errors the evil of ignorance has drawn you, and how it has caused you to fall and rush headlong into sin, from what good things it has withdrawn you, and into what evils it has driven you, and, what is of more importance than all the rest, how it has made you liable to eternal punishments in the world to come. Is not the fire of most righteous indignation kindled within you for all these things, now that the light of truth has shone upon you; and does not the flame of that anger which is pleasing to God rise within you, that every sprout may be burnt up and destroyed from the root, if haply any shoot of evil concupiscence has budded within you?
CHAP. IV.--NOT PEACE, BUT A SWORD.
Hence, also, He who hath sent us, when He had come,(2) and had seen that all the world had fallen into wickedness, did not forthwith give peace to him who is in error, lest He should confirm him in evil; but set the knowledge of truth in opposition to the ruins of ignorance of it, that, if haply men would repent and look upon the light of truth, they might rightly grieve that they hall been deceived and drawn away into the precipices of error, and might kindle the fire of salutary anger against the ignorance that had deceived, them. On this account, therefore, He said, 'I have come to send fire on the earth; and how I wish that it were kindled!'(3) There is therefore a certain fight, which is to be fought by us in this life; for the word of truth and knowledge necessarily separates men from error and ignorance, as we have often seen putrified and dead flesh in the body separated by the cutting knife from its connection with the living members. Such is the effect produced by knowledge of the truth. For it is necessary that, for the sake of salvation, the son, for example, who has received the word of truth, be separated from his unbelieving parents; or again, that the father. be separated from his son, or the daughter from her mother. And in this manner the battle of knowledge and ignorance, of truth and error, arises between believing and unbelieving kinsmen and relations. And therefore He who has sent us said again 'I am not come to send peace on earth, but a sword.'(4)
CHAP. V.--HOW THE FIGHT BEGINS.
"But if any one say, How does it seem right for men to be separated from their parents? I will tell you how. Because, if they remained with them in error, they would do no good to them, and they would themselves perish with them. It is therefore right, and very right, that he who will be saved be separated from him who will not. But observe this also, that this separation does not come from those who understand aright; for they wish to be with their relatives, and to do them good, and to teach them better things. But it is the vice peculiar to ignorance, that it will not bear to have near it the light of truth, which confutes it; and therefore that separation originates with them. For those who receive the knowledge of the truth, because it is full of goodness, desire, if it be possible, to share it with all, as given by the good God; yea, even with those who hate and persecute them: for they know that ignorance is the cause of their sin. Wherefore, in short, the Master Himself, when He was being led to the cross by those who knew Him not, prayed the Father for His murderers, and said, 'Father, forgive their sin, for they know not what they do!'(1) The disciples also, in imitation of the Master, even when themselves were suffering, in like manner prayed for their murderers.(2) But if we are taught to pray even for our murderers and persecutors, how ought we not to bear the persecutions of parents and relations, and to pray for their conversion?
CHAP. VI.--GOD TO BE LOVED MORE THAN PARENTS.
"Then let us consider carefully, in the next place, what reason we have for loving our parents. For this cause, it is said, we love them, because they seem to be the authors of our life. But our parents are not authors of our life, but means of it. For they do not bestow life, but afford the means of our entering into this life; while the one and sole author of life is God. If, therefore we would love the Author of our life, let us know that it is He that is to be loved. But then it is said, We cannot know Him; but them we know, and hold in affection. Be it so: you cannot know what God is, but you can very easily know what God is not. For how can any man fail to know that wood, or stone, or brass, or other such matter, is not God? But if you will not give your mind to consider the things which you might easily apprehend, it is certain that you are hindered in the knowledge of God, not by impossibility, but by indolence; for if you had wished it, even from these useless images you might have been set on the way of understanding.
CHAP. VII.--THE EARTH MADE FOR MEN.
"For it is certain that these images are made with iron tools; but iron is wrought by fire, which fire is extinguished by water. But water is moved by spirit; and spirit has its beginning from God. For thus saith the prophet Moses: 'In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. But the earth was invisible, and unarranged; and darkness was over the deep: and the Spirit of God was upon the waters.'(3) Which Spirit. like the Creator's hand, by command of God separated light from darkness; and after that invisible heaven produced this visible one, that He might make the higher places a habitation for angels, and the lower for men. For your sake, therefore, by command of God, the water which was upon the face of the earth withdrew, that the earth might produce fruits for you; and into the earth also He inserted veins of moisture, that fountains and rivers might flow forth from it for you. For your sake it was commanded to bring forth living creatures, and all things which could serve for your use and pleasure. Is it not for you that the winds blow, that the earth, conceiving by them, may bring forth fruits? Is it not for you that the showers fall, and the seasons change? Is it not for you that the sun rises and sets, and the moon undergoes her changes? For you the sea offers its service, that all things may be subject to you, ungrateful as you are. For all these things shall there not be a righteous punishment of vengeance, because beyond all else you are ignorant of the bestower of all these things, whom you ought to acknowledge and reverence above all?
CHAP. VIII--NECESSITY OF BAPTISM.
"But now I lead you to understanding by the same paths. For you see that all things are produced from waters. But water was made at first by the Only-begotten; and the Almighty God is the head of the Only-begotten, by whom we come to the Father in such order as we have stated above.But when you have come to the Father you will learn that this is His will, that you be born anew by means of waters, which were first created.(4) For he who is regenerated by water, having filled up the measure of good works, is made heir of Him by whom he has been regenerated in incorruption. Wherefore, with prepared minds, approach as sons to a father, that your sins may be washed away, and it may be proved before God that ignorance was their sole cause. For if, after the learning of these things, you remain in unbelief, the cause of your destruction will be imputed to yourselves, and not to ignorance. And do you suppose that yon can have hope towards God, even if you cultivate all piety and all righteousness, but do not receive baptism. Yea rather, he will be worthy or greater punishment, who does good works not well; for merit accrues to men from good works, but only if they be done as God commands. Now God has ordered every one who worships Him to be sealed by baptism; hut if you refuse, and obey your own will rather than God's, you are doubtless contrary and hostile to His will.
CHAP. IX.--USE OF BAPTISM.
"But you will perhaps say, What does the, baptism of water contribute towards the worship of God? In the first place, because that which hath pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because, when yon are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so at length you shall be able to attain salvation; hut otherwise it is impossible. For thus hath the true prophet testified to its with an oath: 'Verily I say to you, That unless a man is born again of water, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.(1) Therefore make haste; for there is in these waters a certain power of mercy which was borne upon them at the beginning, and acknowledges those who are baptized under the name of the threefold sacrament, and rescues them from future punishments, presenting as a gift to God the souls that are consecrated by baptism. Betake yourselves therefore to these waters, for they alone can quench the violence of the future fire; and he who delays to approach to them, it is evident that the idol of unbelief remains in him, and by it be is prevented from hastening to the waters which confer salvation. For whether you be righteous or unrighteous, baptism is necessary for you in every respect: for the righteous, that perfection may be accomplished in him, and he may be born again to God; for the unrighteous, that pardon may he vouchsafed him of the sins which he has committed in ignorance. Therefore all should hasten to he horn again to God without delay, because the end of every one's life is uncertain.
CHAP. X.--NECESSITY OF GOOD WORKS.
"But when you have been regenerated by water, show by good works the likeness in you of that Father who hath begotten you. Now you know God, honour Him as a father; and His honour is, that yon live according to His will. And His will is, that you so live as to know nothing of murder or adultery, to flee from hatred and covetousness, to put away anger, pride, and boasting, to abhor envy, and to count all such things entirely unsuitable to you. There is truly a certain peculiar observance of our religion, which is not so much imposed upon men, as it is sought out by every worshipper of God by reason of its purity. By reason of chastity, I say, of which there are many kinds, but first, that every one be careful that he 'come not near a menstruous woman;' for this the law of God regards as detestable. But though the law had given no admonition concerning these things, should we willingly, like beetles, roll ourselves in filth? For we ought to have something more than the animals, as reasonable men, and capable of heavenly senses, whose chief study it ought to be to guard the conscience from every defilement of the heart.
CHAP. XI.--INWARD AND OUTWARD CLEANSING.
"Moreover, it is good, and tends to purity, also to wash the body with water. I call it good, not as if it were that prime good of the purifying of the mind, but because this of the washing of the body is the sequel of that good. For so also our Master rebuked some of the Pharisees and scribes, who seemed to be better than others, and separated from the people, calling them hypocrites, because they purified only those things which were seen of men, but left defiled and sordid their hearts, which God alone sees. To some therefore of them--not to all--He said, 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye cleanse the outside of the cup and platter, but the inside is full of pollution. O blind Pharisees, first make clean what is within, and what is without shall be clean also.'(2) For truly, if the mind be purified by the light of knowledge, when once it is clean and clear, then it necessarily takes care of that which is without a man, that is, his flesh, that it also may he purified. But when that which is without, the cleansing of the flesh, is neglected, it is certain that there is no care taken of the purity of the mind and the cleanness of the heart. Thus therefore it comes to pass, that he who is clean inwardly is without doubt cleansed outwardly also, but not always that he who is clean outwardly is also cleansed inwardly--to wit, when he does these things that he may please men.
CHAP. XII.--IMPORTANCE OF CHASTITY.
"But this kind of chastity is also to be observed, that sexual intercourse must not take place heedlessly and for the sake of mere pleasure, but for the sake of begetting children.(3) And since this observance is found even amongst some of the lower animals, it were a shame if it be not observed by men, reasonable, and worshipping God. But there is this further reason why chastity should be observed by those who hold the trite worship of God, in those forms of it of which we have spoken, anti others of like sort, that it is observed strictly even amongst those who are still held by the devil in error, for even amongst them there is in some degree the observance of chastity. What then? Will you not observe, now that you are reformed, what you observed when you were in error?
CHAP. XIII.--SUPERIORITY OF CHRISTIAN MORALITY.
"But perhaps some one of you will say, Must we then observe all things which we did while we worshipped idols? Not all. But whatever things were done well, these you ought to observe even now; because, if anything is rightly done by those who are in error, it is certain that that is derived from the truth; whereas, if anything is not rightly done in the true religion, that is, without doubt, borrowed from error. For good is good, though it be done by those who are in error; and evil is evil, though it be done by those who follow the truth. Or shall we be so foolish, that if we sue a worshipper of idols to be sober, we shall refuse to be sober, lest we should seem to do the same things which he does who worships idols? It is not so. But let this be our study, that if those who err do not commit murder, we should not even be angry; if they do not commit adultery, we should not even covet another's wife; if they love their neighbours, we should love even our enemies; if they lend to those who have the means of paying, we should give to those from whom we do not hope to receive anything. And in all things, we who hope for the inheritance of the eternal world ought to excel those who know only the present world; knowing that if their works, when compared with our works, be found like and equal in the day of judgment, there will be confusion to us, because we are found equal in our works to those who are condemned on account of ignorance, and had no hope of the world to come.
CHAP. XIV.--KNOWLEDGE ENHANCES RESPONSIBILITY.
"And truly confusion is our worthy portion, if we have done no more than those who are inferior to us in knowledge. But if it be confusion to us, to be found equal to them in works, what shall become of us if the examination that is to take place find us inferior and worse than them? Hear, therefore, how our true Prophet has taught us concerning these things; for, with respect to those who neglect to hear the words of wisdom, He speaks thus: 'The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here, and they hear Him not." But with respect to those who refused to repent of their evil deeds, He spoke thus: 'The men of Nineve shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.'(2) You see, therefore, how He condemned those who were instructed out of the law, by adducing the example of those who came from Gentile ignorance, and showing that the former were not even equal to those who seemed to live in error. From all these things, then, the statement that He propounded is proved, that chastity, which is observed to a certain extent even by those who live in error, should be held much more purely and strictly, in all its forms, as we showed above, by us who follow the truth; and the rather because with us eternal rewards are assigned to its observance."
CHAP. XV.--BISHOPS, PRESBYTERS, DEACONS, AND WIDOWS ORDAINED AT TRIPOLIS.
When he had said these things, and others to the same effect, he dismissed the crowds; and having, according to his custom, supped with his friends, he went to sleep. And while in this manner he was teaching the word of God for three whole months, and converting multitudes to the faith, at the last he ordered me to fast; and after the fast he conferred on me the baptism of ever-flowing water, in the fountains which adjoin the sea.(3) And when, for the grace of regeneration divinely conferred upon me, we had joyfully kept holiday with our brethren, Peter ordered those who had been appointed to go before him, to proceed to Antioch, and there to wait three months more. And they having gone, he himself led down to the fountains, which, I have said, are near the sea, those who had fully received the faith of the Lord, and baptized them; and celebrating(4) the Eucharist with them, he appointed, as bishop over them, Maro, who had entertained him in his house, and who was now perfect in all things; and with him he ordained twelve presbyters and deacons at the same time. He also instituted the order of widows, and arranged all the services of the Church; and charged them all to obey Maro their bishop in all things that he should command them. And thus all things being suitably arranged, when the three months were fulfilled, we bade farewell to those who were at Tripolis, and set out for Antioch.
CHAP. I.--JOURNEY FROM TRIPOLIS.
AT length leaving Tripolis,(1) a city of Phoenicia, we made our first halt at Ortosias, not far from Tripolis; and there we remained the next day also, because almost all those that hart believed in the Lord, unable to part from Peter, followed him thus far. Thence we came to Antharadus. But because there were many in our company, Peter said to Niceta and Aquila: "As there are immense crowds of brethren with as, and we bring upon ourselves no title envy as we enter into every city, it seems to me that we must take means, without doing so unpleasing a thing as to prevent their following us, to secure that the wicked one shall not stir up envy against us on account of any display! I wish, therefore, that you, Niceta and Aquila, would go before us with them, so that you may lead the multitude divided into two sections, that we may enter every city of the Gentiles travelling apart, rather than in one assemblage.
CHAP. I.--DISCIPLES DIVIDED INTO TWO BANDS.
"But I know that you think it sad to be separated from me for the space of at least two days. Believe me, that in whatever degree you love me, my diction towards you is tenfold greater. But if, by reason of our mutual affection, we will not do the things that are right and honourable, such love will appear to be unreasonable. And therefore, without bating a tittle of oar love, let us attend to those things which seem useful and necessary; especially since not a day can pass in which you may not be present at my discussions. For I purpose to pass through the most noted cities of the provinces one by one, as you also know, and to reside three months in each for the sake of teaching. Now, therefore, go before me to Laodicea, which is the nearest city, and I shall follow yon after two or three days, so far as I purpose. But you shall wait for me at the inn nearest to the gate of the city; and thence again, when we have spent a few days there, you shall go before me to more distant cities. And this I wish you to do at every city, for the sake of avoiding envy as much as in us lies, and also that the brethren who are with us, finding lodgings prepared in the several cities by your foresight, may not seem to be vagabonds."
CHAP. III.--ORDER OF MARCH.
When Peter thus spoke, they of course acquiesced, saying: "It does not greatly sadden us to do this, because we are ordered by you, who have been chosen by the foresight of Christ to I do and to counsel well in all things; but also because, while it is a heavy loss not to see our lord Peter for one, or it may be two days, yet it is not intolerable. And we think of our twelve brethren who go before us, and who are deprived of the advantage of hearing and seeing you for a whole month out of the three that you stay in every city. Therefore we shall not delay doing as you order, because you order all things aright." And thus saying, they went forward, having received instructions that they should speak to the brethren who journeyed with them outside the city, and request them not to enter the cities in a crowd and with tumult, but apart, and divided
CHAP. IV.--CLEMENT'S JOY AT REMAINING WITH PETER.
But when they were gone, I Clement rejoiced greatly because he had kept me with himself, and I said to him: "I give thanks to God that yon have not sent me forward with the others, for I should have died through sadness." Then said Peter: "And what will happen if necessity shall demand that yon be sent anywhere for the purpose of teaching? Would you die if you were separated from me for a good purpose? Would you not put a restraint upon yourself, to bear patiently what necessity has laid upon you? Or do you not know that friends are always together, and are joined in memory, though they be separated bodily; as, on the other hand, some. persons are near to one another in body, but are separate in mind?"
CHAP. V.--CLEMENT'S AFFECTION FOR PETER.
Then I answered: "Think not, my lord, that I suffer these things unreasonably; but there is a certain cause and reason of this affection of mine towards you. For I have you alone as the object of all my affections, instead of father and mother, and brethren; bat above all this, is the fact that you alone are the cause of my salvation and knowledge of the truth. And also this I do not count of least moment, that my youthful age is subject to the snares of lusts; and I am afraid to he without you, by whose sole presence all effeminacy, however irrational it be, is put to shame; although I trust, by the mercy of God, that even my mind, from what it has conceived through your instruction, shall be unable to receive aught else into its thoughts. Besides, I remember your saying at Caesarea, 'If any one wishes to accompany me, without violating dutifulness, let him accompany me.' And by this you meant that he should not make any one sad, to whom he ought according to God's appointment to cleave; for example, that he should not leave a faithful wife, or parents, or the like. Now from these I am entirely free, and so I am fit for following you; and I wish you would grant me that I might perform to you the service of a servant."
CHAP.VI.--PETER'S SIMPLICITY OF LIFE.
Then Peter, laughing. said: "And do you not think, Clement, that very necessity must make you my servant? For who else can spread my sheets, and arrange my beautiful coverlets? Who will be at hand to keep my rings, and prepare my robes, which I must be constantly changing? Who shall superintend my cooks, and provide various and choice meats to be prepared by most recondite and various art; and all those things which are procured at enormous expense, and arc brought together for men of delicate up- bringing, yea rather, for their appetite, as for some enormous beast? But perhaps, although you live with me, you do not know my manner of life. I live on bread alone, with olives, and seldom even with pot-herbs; and my dress is what you see, a tunic with a pallium: and having these, I require nothing more. This is sufficient for me, because my mind does not regard things present, but things eternal, and therefore no present and visible thing delights me. Whence I embrace and admire indeed your good mind towards me; and I commend you the more, because, though you have been accustomed to so great abundance, you have been able so soon to abandon it, and to accommodate yourself to this life of ours, which makes use of necessary things alone. For we--that is, I and my brother Andrew--have grown up from our childhood not only orphans, but also extremely poor, and through necessity have become used to labour, whence now also we easily bear tile fatigues of our journeyings. But rather, if you would consent and allow it, I, who am a working man, could more easily discharge the duty of a servant to you."
CHAP. VII.--PETER'S HUMILITY.
But I trembled when I heard this, and my tears immediately gushed forth, because so great a man, who is worth more than the whole world, had addressed such a proposal to me. Then he, when he saw me weeping, inquired the reason; and I answered him: "How have I so sinned against you, that you should distress me with such a proposal?" Then Peter: "If it is evil that I said I should serve you, you were first in fault in saying the same thing to me." Then said I: "The cases are not alike: for it becomes me to do this to you; but it is grievous that you, who are sent as the herald of the Most High God to save the souls of men, should say it to me." Then said Peter: "I should agree with you, were it not that our Lord, who came for the salvation of the whole world, and who was nobler than any creature, submitted to be a servant, that He might persuade us not to be ashamed to perform the ministry of servants to our brethren." Then said I: "It were foolishness in me to suppose that I can prevail with you; nevertheless i give thanks to the providence of God, because I have merited to have you instead of parents."
CHAP. VIII.--CLEMENT'S FAMILY HISTORY.
Then said Peter: "Is there then no one of your family surviving?" I answered: "There are indeed many powerful men, coming of the stock of Caesar; for Caesar himself gave a wife to my father, as being his relative, and educated along with him, and of a suitably noble family. By her my father had twin sons, born before me, not very like one another, as my father told me; for I never knew them. But indeed I have not a distinct recollection even of my mother; but I cherish the remembrance of her face, as if I had seen it in a dream. My mother's name was Matthidia, my father's Faustinianus: my brothers', Faustinus and Faustus.(1) Now, when I was barely five years old, my mother saw a vision--so I learned from my father- -by which she was warned that, unless she speedily for the city with her twin sons, and was absent for ten years, she and her children should perish by a miserable fate.
CHAP. IX.--DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS MOTHER AND BROTHERS.
"Then my father, who tenderly loved his sons, put them on board a ship with their mother, and sent them to Athens to be educated, with slaves and maid-servants, and a sufficient supply of money; retaining me only to be a comfort to him, and thankful for this, that the vision had not commanded me also to go with my mother. And at the end of a year my father sent men to Athens with money for them, desiring also to know how they did; but those who were sent never returned. Again, in the third year, my sorrowful father sent other men with money, who returned in the fourth year, and related that they had seen neither my mother nor my brothers, that they had never reached Athens, and that no trace had been found of any one of those who had been with them.
CHAP. X.--DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS FATHER.
"My father hearing this, and confounded with excessive sorrow, not knowing whither to go or where to seek, went down with me to the harbour, and began to ask of the sailors whether any of them had seen or heard of the bodies of a mother and two little children being cast ashore anywhere, four years ago; when one told one story and another another, but nothing definite was disclosed to us searching in this boundless sea. Yet my father, by reason of the great affection which he bore to his wife and children, was fed with vain hopes, until he thought of placing me under guardians and leaving me at Rome, as I was now twelve years old, and himself going in quest of them. Therefore he went down to the harbour weeping, and going on board a ship, took his departure; and from that time till now I have never received any letters from him, nor do I know whether he is alive or dead. But I rather suspect that he also has perished, either through a broken heart or by shipwreck; for twenty years have now elapsed since then, and no tidings of him have ever reached me."
CHAP. XI.--DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF SUFFERING ON HEATHENS AND CHRISTIANS.
Peter, hearing this, shed tears of sympathy, and said to his friends who were present: "If any man who is a worshipper of God had endured what this man's father has endured, immediately men would assign his religion as the cause of his calamities; but when these things happen to miserable Gentiles, they charge their misfortunes upon fate. I call them miserable, because they are both vexed with errors here, and are deprived of future hope; whereas, when the worshippers of God suffer these things, their patient endurance of them contributes to their cleansing from sin."
CHAP. XII.--EXCURSION TO ARADUS.
After this, one of those present began to ask Peter, that early next day we should go to a neighbouring island called Aradus, which was not more than six furlongs off, to see a certain wonderful work that was in it, viz. vine-wood(1) columns of immense size. To this Peter assented, as he was very complaisant; but he charged us that, when we left the ship, we should not rush all together to see it: "for," said he, "I do not wish you to be noticed by the crowd." When therefore, next day, we reached the island by ship in the course of an hour forthwith we hastened to the place where the wonderful columns were. They were placed in a certain temple, in which there were very magnificent works of
Phidias, on which every one of us gazed earnestly.
CHAP. XIII.--THE BEGGAR WOMAN.
But when Peter had admired only the columns, being no wise ravished with the grace of the painting, he went out, and saw before the gates a poor woman asking alms of those who went in; and looking earnestly at her, he said: "Tell me, O woman, what member of your body is wanting, that you subject yourself to the indignity of asking alms, and do not rather gain your bread by labouring with your hands which God has given you." But she, sighing, said: "Would that I had hands which could be moved; but now only the appearance of hands has been preserved, for they are lifeless, and have been rendered feeble and without feeling by my knawing of them." Then Peter said: "What has been the cause of your inflicting so great an injury upon yourself?" "Want of courage," said she, "and nought else; for if I had had any bravery in me, I could either have thrown myself from a precipice, or cast myself into the depths of the sea, and so ended my griefs."
CHAP. XIV.--THE WOMAN'S GRIEF.
Then Peter said: "Do you think, O woman, that those who destroy themselves are set free from torments, and not rather that the souls of those who lay violent hands upon themselves are subjected to greater punishments?" Then said she: "I wish I were sure that souls live in the infernal regions, for I would gladly embrace the suffering of the penalty of suicide, only that I might see my darling children, if it were but for an hour." Then Peter: "What thing is it so great, that effects you with so heavy sadness? I should like to know. For if you informed me of the cause, I might be able both to show you clearly, O woman, that souls do live in the infernal regions; and instead of the precipice or the deep sea, I might give yon some remedy, that you may be able to end your life without torment."
CHAP. XV.--THE WOMAN'S STORY.
Then the woman, hearing this welcome promise, began to say: "It is neither easy of belief, nor do I think it necessary to tell, what is my extraction, or what is my country. It is enough only to explain the cause of my grief, why I have rendered my hands powerless by gnawing them. Being born of noble parents, and having become the wife of a suitably powerful man, I had two twin sons, and after them one other. But my husband's brother was vehemently enflamed with unlawful love towards me; and as I valued chastity above all things, and would neither consent to so great wickedness, nor wished to disclose to my husband the baseness of his brother, I considered whether in any way I could escape unpolluted, and yet not set brother against brother, and so bring the whole race of a noble family into disgrace. I made up my mind, therefore, to leave my country with my two twins, until the incestuous love should subside, which the sight of me was fostering and inflaming; and I thought that our other son should remain to comfort his father to some extent.
CHAP. XVI.--THE WOMAN'S STORY CONTINUED.
"Now in order to carry out this plan, I pretended that I had had a dream, in which some deity stood by me in a vision, and told me that I should immediately depart from the city with my twins, and should be absent until he should command me to return; and that, if I did not do so, I should perish with all my children. And so it was done. For as soon as I told the dream to my husband, he was terrified; and sending with me my twin sons, and also slaves and maid-servants, and giving me plenty of money, he ordered me to sail to Athens, where I might educate my sons, and that I should stay there until he who commanded me to depart should give me leave to return. While I was sailing along with my sons, I was shipwrecked in the night by the violence of the winds, and, wretch that I am, was driven to this place; and when all had perished, a powerful wave caught me, and cast me upon a rock. And while I sat there with this only hope, that haply I might be able to find my sons, I did not throw myself into the deep, although then my soul, disturbed and drunk with grief, had both the courage and the power to do it.
CHAP. XVII.--THE WOMAN'S STORY CONTINUED.
"But when the day dawned, and I with shouting and howling was looking around, if I could even see the corpses of my unhappy sons anywhere washed ashore, some of those who saw me were moved with compassion, and searched, first over the sea, and then also along the shores, if they could find either of my children. But when neither of them was anywhere found, the women of the place, taking pity on me, began to comfort me, every one telling her own griefs, that I might take consolation from the likeness of their calamities to my own. But this saddened me all the more; for my disposition was not such that I could regard the misfortunes of others as comforts to me. And when many desired to receive me hospitably, a certain poor I woman who dwells here constrained me to enter into her hut, saying that she had had a husband who was a sailor, and that he had died at sea while a young man, and that, although many afterwards asked her in marriage, she preferred widowhood through love of her husband. 'Therefore,' said she. 'we shall share whatever we can gain by the labour of our hands.'
CHAP. XVIII.--THE WOMAN'S STORY CONTINUED.
"And, not to detain you with a long and profitless story, I willingly dwelt with her on account of the faithful affection which she retained for her husband. But not long after, my hands (unhappy woman that I was!), long torn with gnawing, became powerless, and she who had taken me in fell into palsy, and now lies at home in her bed; also the affection of those women who had formerly pitied me grew cold. We are both helpless. I, as you see, sit begging; and when I get anything, one meal serves two wretches. Behold, now you have heard enough of my affairs; why do you delay the fulfilment of your promise, to give me a remedy, by which both of us may end our miserable life without torment?"
CHAP. XIX.--PETER'S REFLECTIONS ON THE STORY.
While she was speaking, Peter, being distracted with much thought, stood like one thunder-struck; and I Clement coming up, said: "I have been seeking you everywhere, and now what are we to do?" But he commanded me to go before him to the ship, and there to wait for him; and because he must not be gainsayed, I did as he commanded me. But he, as he afterwards told me the whole, being struck with a sort of suspicion, asked of the woman her family, and her country, and the names of her sons; "and straightway," he said, "if you tell me these things, I shall give you the remedy." But she, like one suffering violence, because she would not confess these things, and yet was desirous of the remedy, reigned one thing after another, saying that she was an Ephesian, and her husband a Sicilian, and giving false names to her sons. Then Peter, supposing that she had answered truly, said: "Alas! O woman, I thought that some great joy should spring up to us to- day; for I suspected that you were a certain woman, concerning whom I lately learned certain like things." But she adjured him, saying: "I entreat you to tell me what they are, that I may know if amongst women there be one more unfortunate than myself."
CHAP. XX. -- PETER'S STATEMENT TO THE WOMAN.
Then Peter, incapable of deception, and moved with compassion, began to say: "There is a certain young man among those who follow me for the sake of religion and sect, a Roman citizen, who told me that he had a father and two twin brothers, of whom not one is left to him. (4) My mother,' he said, 'as I learned from my father, saw a vision, that she should depart from the Roman city for a time with her twin sons, else they should perish by a dreadful death; and when she had departed, she was never more seen.' And afterwards his father set out to search for his wife and sons, and was also lost."
CHAP. XXI. -- A DISCOVERY.
When Peter had thus spoken, the woman, struck with astonishment, fainted. Then Peter began to hold her up, and to comfort her, and to ask what was the matter, or what she suffered. But she at length, with difficulty recovering her breath, and nerving herself up to the greatness of the joy which she hoped for, and at the same time wiping her face, said: "Is he here, the youth of whom you speak?" But Peter, when he understood the matter, said: "Tell me first, or else you shall not see him." Then she said: "I am the mother of the youth." Then says Peter: "What is his name?" And she answered: "Clement." Then said Peter: "It is himself; and he it was that spoke with me a little while ago, and whom I ordered to go before me to the ship." Then she fell down at Peter's feet and began to entreat him that he would hasten to the ship. Then Peter said: "Yes if you will promise me that you will do as I say." Then she said: "I will do anything; only show me my only son, for I think that in him I shall see my twins also." Then Peter said: "When you have seen him, dissemble for a little time, until we leave the island." "I will do so," she said.
CHAP. XXII. -- A HAPPY MEETING.
Then Peter, holding her hand, led her to the ship. And when I saw him giving his hand to the woman, I began to laugh; yet, approaching to do him honour, I tried to substitute my hand for his, and to support the woman. But as soon as I touched her hand, she uttered a loud scream, and rushed into my embrace, and began to devour me with a mother's kisses. But I, being ignorant of the whole matter, pushed her off as a mad woman; and at the same time, though with reverence, I was somewhat angry with Peter.
CHAP. XXIII. -- A MIRACLE.
But he said: "Cease: what mean you, O Clement, my son? Do not push away your mother." But I as soon as I heard these words, immediately bathed in tears, fell upon my mother, who had fallen down, and began to kiss her, For as soon as I heard, by degrees I recalled her countenance to my memory; and the longer I gazed, the more familiar it grew to me. Mean time a great multitude assembled, hearing that the woman who used to sit and beg was recognised by her son, who was a good man. (1) And when we wished to sail hastily away from the island, my mother said to me: "My darling son, it is right that I should bid farewell to the woman who took me in; for she is poor, and paralytic, and bedridden." When Peter and all who were present heard this, they admired the goodness and prudence of the woman; and immediately Peter ordered some to go and to bring the woman in her bed as she lay. And when she had been brought, and placed in the midst of the crowd, Peter said, in the presence of all: "If I am a preacher of truth, for confirming the faith of all those who stand by, that they may know and believe that there is one God, who made heaven and earth, in the name of Jesus Christ, His Son, let this woman rise." And as soon as he had said this, she arose whole, and fell down at Peter's feet; and greeting her friend and acquaintance with kisses asked of her was the meaning of it all. But she shortly related to her the whole proceeding of the Recognition, (2) so that the crowds standing around wondered.
CHAP. XXIV -- DEPARTURE FROM ARADUS.
Then Peter, so far as he could, and as time permitted, addressed the crowds on the faith of God, and the ordinances of religion; and then added, that if any one wished to know more accurately about these things, he should come to Antioch, "where," said he, "we have resolved to stay three months, and to teach fully the things which pertain to salvation. For if," said he, "men leave their country and their parents for commercial or military purposes, and do not fear to undertake long voyages, why should it be thought burdensome or difficult to leave home for three months for the sake of eternal life?" When he had said these things, and more to the same purpose, I presented a thousand drachmas to the woman who had entertained my mother, and who bad recovered her health by means of Peter, and in the presence of all committed her to the charge of a certain good man, the chief person in that town, who promised that he would gladly do what we demanded of him. I also distributed a little money among some others, and among those women who were said formerly to have comforted my mother in her miseries, to whom I also expressed my thanks. And after this we sailed, along with my mother, to Antaradus.
CHAP. XXV. -- JOURNEYINGS.
And when we had come to our lodging, (1) my mother began to ask of me what had become of my father; and I told her that he had gone to seek her, and never returned. But she, hearing this, only sighed; for her great joy on my account lightened her other sorrows. And the next clay she journeyed with us, sitting with Peter's wife; and we came to Balaneae, where we stayed three days, and then went on to Pathos, and afterwards to Gabala; and so we arrived at Laodicea, where Niceta and Aquila met us before the gates, and kissing us, conducted us to a lodging. But Peter, seeing that it was a large and splendid city, said that it was worthy that we should stay in it ten days, or even longer. Then Niceta and Aquila asked of me who was this unknown woman; and I answered: "It is my mother, whom God has given back to me by means of my lord Peter."
CHAP. XXVI. -- RECAPITULATION.
And when I had said this, Peter began to relate the whole matter to them in order, (2) and said. "When we had come to Aradus, (3) and I had ordered you to go on before us, the same day after you had gone, Clement was led in the course of conversation to tell me of his extraction and his family, and how he had been deprived of his parents, and had had twin brothers older than himself, and that, as his father told him, his mother once saw a vision, by which she was ordered to depart from the city of Rome with her twin sons, else she and they should suddenly perish. And when she had told his father the dream, he, loving his sons with tender affection, and afraid of any evil befalling them, put his wife and sons on board a ship with all necessaries, and sent them to Athens to be educated. Afterwards he sent once and again persons to inquire after them, but nowhere found even a trace of them. At last the father himself went on the search, and until now he is nowhere to be found. When Clement had given me this narrative, there came one to us, asking us to go to the neighbouring island of Aradus, to see vine-wood columns of wonderful size. I consented; and when we came to the place, all the rest went into the interior of the temple; but I--for what reason I know not--had no mind to go farther.
CHAP. XXVII. -- RECAPITULATION CONTINUED.
"But while I was waiting outside for them, I began to notice this woman, and to wonder in what part of her body she was disabled, that she did not seek her living by the labour of her hands, but submitted to the shame of beggary. I therefore asked of her the reason of it. She confessed that she was sprung of a noble race, and was married to a no less noble husband, 'whose brother,' said she, 'being inflamed by unlawful love towards me, desired to defile his brother's bed. This I abhorring, and yet not daring to tell my husband of so great wickedness, lest I should stir up war between the brothers. and bring disgrace upon the family, judged it better to depart from my country with my two twin sons, leaving the younger boy to be a comfort to his father. And that this might be done with an honourable appearance, I thought good to feign a dream, and to tell my husband that there stood by me in a vision a certain deity, who told me to set out from the city immediately with my two twins, and remain until he should instruct me to return.' She told me that her husband, when he heard this, believed her, and sent her to Athens, with the twin children to be educated there; but that they were driven by a terrible tempest upon that island, where, when the ship had gone to pieces, she was lifted by a wave upon a rock, and delayed killing herself only for this, 'until,' said she, 'I could embrace at least the dead limbs of my unfortunate sons, and commit them to burial. But when the day dawned, and crowds had assembled, they took pity upon me, and threw a garment over me. But I, miserable, entreated them with many tears, to search if they could find anywhere the booties of my unfortunate sons. And I, tearing all my body with my teeth, with wailing and howlings cried out constantly, Unhappy woman that I am, where is my Faustus? where my Faustinus?'"
CHAP. XXVIII. -- MORE RECOGNITIONS.
And when Peter said this, (4) Niceta and Aquila suddenly started up, and being astonished, began to be greatly agitated, saying: "O Lord, Thou Ruler and God of all, are these things true, or are we in a dream?" Then Peter said: "Unless we be mad, these things are true." But they, after a short pause, and wiping their faces, said: "We are Faustinus and Faustus: and even at the first, when you began this narrative, we immediately fell into a suspicion that the matters that you spoke of might perhaps relate to us; yet again considering that many like things happen in men's lives, we kept silence, although our hearts were struck by some hope. Therefore we waited for the end of your story, that, if it were entirely manifest that it related to us, we might then confess it." And when they had thus spoken, they went in weeping to our mother. And when they found her asleep, and wished to embrace her, Peter prevented them, saying: "Permit me first to prepare your mother's mind, lest haply by the great and sudden joy she lose her reason, and her understanding he disturbed, especially as she is now stupefied with sleep."
CHAP. XXIX. -- "NOTHING COMMON OR UNCLEAN."
Therefore, when our mother had risen from her sleep, Peter began to address her, saying: "I wish you to know, O woman an observance of our religion. We worship one God, who made the world, and we keep His law, in which He commands us first of all to worship Him, and to reverence His name, to honour our parents, and to preserve chastity and uprightness. But this also we observe, not to have a common table with Gentiles, unless when they believe, and on the reception of the truth are baptized, and consecrated by a certain threefold invocation of the blessed name; and then we eat with them. (1) Otherwise, even if it were a father or a mother, or wife:, or sons, or brothers, we cannot have a common table with them. Since, therefore, we do this for the special cause of religion, let it not seem hard to you that your son cannot eat with you, until you have the same judgment of the faith that he has."
CHAP. XXX. -- "WHO CAN FORBID WATER?"
Then she, when she heard this, said: "And what hinders me to be baptized to-day? For even before I saw you I was wholly alienated from those whom they call gods because they were not able to do anything for me, although I frequently, and almost daily, sacrificed to them. And as to chastity, what shall I say, when neither in former times did pleasures deceive me, nor afterwards did poverty compel me to sin? But I think you know well enough how great was my love of chastity, when I pretended that dream that I might escape the snares of unhallowed love, and that I might go abroad with my two twins. and when I left this my son Clement alone to be a comfort to his father. For if two were scarcely enough for me, how much more it would have saddened their father, if he had had none at all? For he was wretched through his great affection towards our sons, so that even the authority of the dream could scarce prevail upon him to give up to me Faustinus and Faustus, the brothers of this Clement, and that himself should be content with Clement alone. "
CHAP. XXXI. -- TOO MUCH JOY.
While she was yet speaking, my brothers could contain themselves no longer, but rushed into their mother's embrace with many tears, and kissed her. But she said: "What 'is the meaning of this " Then said Peter: "Be not disturbed, O woman; be firm. These are your sons Faustinus and Faustus, whom you supposed to have perished in the deep; but how they are alive, and how they escaped in that horrible night, and how the one of them is called Niceta and the other Aquila, they will be able to explain to you themselves, and we also shall hear it along with you." When Peter had said this, our mother fainted, being overcome with excess of joy; and after some time, being restored and come to herself, she said; "I beseech you, darling sons, tell me what has befallen you since that dismal and cruel night."
CHAP. XXXII.. -- "HE BRINGETH THEM UNTO THEIR DESIRED HAVEN."
Then Niceta began to say: "On that night, O mother, when the ship was broken up, and we were being tossed upon the sea, supported on a fragment of the wreck, certain men, whose business it was to rob by sea, found us, and placed us in their boat, and overcoming the power of the waves by rowing, by various stretches brought us to Caesarea Stratonis. There they starved us, and heat us, and terrified us, that we might not disclose the truth; and having changed our names, they sold us to a certain widow, a very honourable women, named Justa. She, having bought us, treated us as sons, so that she carefully educated us in Greek literature and liberal arts. And when we grew up, we also attended to philosophic studies, that we night be able to confute the Gentiles, by supporting the doctrines of the divine religion by philosophic disputations.
CHAP. XXXIII. -- ANOTHER WRECK PREVENTED..
"But we adhered, for friendship's sake and boyish companionship, to one Simon, a magician, who was educated along with us, so that we were almost deceived by him. For there is mention made in our religion of a certain Prophet, whose coming was hoped for by all who observe that religion, through whom immortal and happy life is promised to be given to those who believe in Him. Now we thought that this Simon was he. But these things shall be explained to you, O mother, at a more convenient season. Meanwhile, when we were almost deceived by Simon, a certain colleague of my lord Peter, Zacchaeus by name, warned us that we should not be duped by the magician, but presented us to Peter on his arrival, that by him we might be taught the things which were sound and perfect. And this we hope will happen to you also, even as God has vouchsafed it to us, that we may be able to eat and have a common table with you. Thus therefore it was, O mother, that you believed that we were drowned in the sea, while we were stolen by pirates."
CHAP. XXXIV. -- BAPTISM MUST BE PRECEDED BY FASTING.
When Niceta had spoken thus, our mother fell down at Peter's feet, entreating and beseeching him that both herself and her hostess might be baptized without delay; "that," said she, "I may not even for a single clay suffer the loss of the company and society of my sons." In like manner, we her sons also entreated Peter. But he said: "What! Do you think that I alone am unpitiful, and that I do not wish you to enjoy your mother's society at meals? But she must fast at least one day first, and so be baptized; and this because I have heard from her a certain declaration, by which her faith has been made manifest to me, and which has given evidence of her belief; otherwise she must have been instructed and taught many days before she could have been baptized."
CHAP. XXXV.--DESIRING THE SALVATION OF OTHERS.
Then said I: "I pray you, my lord Peter, tell us what is that declaration which you say afforded you evidence of her faith?" Then Peter: "It is her asking that her hostess, whose kindnesses she wishes to requite, may be baptized along with her. Now she would not ask that this grace be bestowed upon her whom she loves, unless she believed that there is some great boon in baptism. Whence, also, I find fault with very many, who, when they are themselves baptized and believe, yet do nothing worthy of faith with those whom they love, such as wives, or children, or friends, whom they do not exhort to that which they themselves have attained, as they would do if indeed they believed that eternal life is thereby bestowed. In short, if they see them to be sick, or to be subject to any danger bodily, they grieve and mourn, because they are sure that in this destruction threatens them. So, then, if they were sure of this, that the punishment of eternal fire awaits those who do not worship God, when would they cease warning and exhorting? Or, if they refused, how would they not mourn and bewail them, being sure that eternal torments awaited them? Now, therefore, we shall send for that woman at once, and see if she loves the faith of our religion; and as we find, so shall we act. But since your mother has judged so faithfully concerning baptism, let her fast only one day before baptism."
CHAP. XXXVI. -- THE SONS' PLEADING.
But she declared with an oath, in presence of my lord Peter's wife, that from the time she recognised her son, she had been unable to take any food from excess of joy, excepting only that yesterday she drank a cup of water. Peter's wife also bore witness, saying that it was even so. Then Aquila said: "What, then, hinders her being baptized?" Then Peter, smiling, said: "But this is not the fast of baptism, for it was not done in order to baptism." Then Niceta said: "But perhaps God, wishing that our mother, on our recognition, should not be separated even for one day from participation of our table, pre-ordained this fasting. For as in her ignorance she preserved her chastity, that it might profit her in order to the grace of baptism; so she fasted before she knew the reason of fasting, that it might profit her in order to baptism, and that immediately, from the beginning of our acquaintance, she might enjoy communion of the table with us."
CHAP. XXXVII. -- PETER INEXORABLE.
Then said Peter: (1) "Let not the wicked one prevail against us, taking occasion from a mother's love; but let you, and me with you, fast this day along with her, and to-morrow she shall be baptized: for it is not right that the precepts of truth be relaxed and weakened in favour of any person or friendship. Let us not shrink, then, from suffering along with her, for it is a sin to transgress any commandment. But let us teach our bodily senses, which are without us, to be in subjection to our inner senses; and not compel our inner senses, which savour the things that be of God, to follow the outer senses, which savour the things that be of the flesh. For to this end also the Lord commanded, saying: 'Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' And to this He added: 'If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members perish, rather than thy whole body be cast into hell-fire.' (1) He does not say, has offended thee, that you should then east away the cause of sin after you have sinned; but if it offend you, that is, that before you sin you should cut off the cause of the sin that provokes and irritates you. But let none of you think, brethren, that the Lord commended the cutting off of the members. His meaning is, that the purpose should be cut off, not the members, and the causes which allure to sin, in order that our thought, borne up on the chariot of sight, may push towards the love of God, supported by the bodily senses; (2) and not give loose reins to the eyes of the flesh as to wanton horses, eager to turn their running outside the way of the commandments, but may subject the bodily sight to the judgment of the mind, and not suffer those eyes of ours, which God intended to be viewers and witnesses of His work, to become panders of evil desire. And therefore let the bodily senses as well as the internal thought be subject to the law of God, and let them serve His will, whose work they acknowledge themselves to be."
CHAP. XXXVIII. -- REWARD OF CHASTITY.
Therefore, as the order and reason of the mystery demanded, on the following day she was baptized in the sea, (3) and returning to the lodging, was initiated in all the mysteries of religion in their order. And we her sons, Niceta and Aquila, and I Clement, were present. And after this we dined with her, and glorified God with her, thankfully acknowledging the zeal and teaching of Peter, who showed us, by the example of our mother, that the good of chastity is not lost with God; (4) "as, on the other hand," said he, "unchastity does not escape punishment, though it may not be punished immediately, but slowly. But so well pleasing," said he, "is chastity to God, that it confers some grace in the present life even upon those who are in error; for future blessedness is laid up for those only who preserve chastity and righteousness by the grace of baptism. In short, that which has befallen your mother is an example of this, for all this welfare has been restored to her in reward of her chastity, for the guarding and preserving of which continence alone is not sufficient; but when any one perceives that snares and deceptions are being prepared, he must straightway flee as from the violence of fire or the attack of a mad dog, and not trust that he can easily frustrate snares of this kind by philosophizing or by humouring them; but, as I have said, he must flee and withdraw to a distance, as your mother also did through her true and entire love of chastity. And on this account she has been preserved to you, and you to her; and in addition, she has been endowed with the knowledge of eternal life" When he had said this, and much more to the same effect, the evening having come, we went to sleep.