دراسات أبائية

     
   
 

Patrology
علم الباترولوجي
"كتابات الآباء "

THE STROMATA, OR MISCELLANIES: BOOK IV (Chap. I to Chap. XIII)

 

BOOK IV.

CHAP. I.--ORDER OF CONTENTS.

It will follow, I think, that I should treat of martyrdom, and of who the perfect man is. With these points shall be included what follows in accordance with the demands of the points to be spoken about, and how both bond and free must equally philosophize, whether male or female in sex. And in the sequel, after finishing what is to be said on faith and inquiry, we shall set forth the department of symbols; so that, on cursorily concluding the discourse on ethics, we shall exhibit the advantage which has accrued to the Greeks from the barbarian philosophy. After which sketch, the brief explanation of the Scriptures both against the Greeks and against the Jews will be presented, and whatever points we were unable to embrace in the previous Miscellanies (through having respect necessarily to the multitude of matters), in accordance with the commencement of the poem, purposing to finish them in one commentary. In addition to these points, afterwards on completing the sketch, as far as we can in accordance with what we propose, we must give an account of the physical doctrines of the Greeks and of the barbarians, respecting elementary principles, as far as their opinions have reached us, and argue against the principal views excogitated by the philosophers.
It will naturally fall after these, after a cursory view of theology, to discuss the opinions handed down respecting prophecy; so that, having demonstrated that the Scriptures which we believe are valid from their omnipotent authority, we shall be able to go over them consecutively, and to show thence to all the heresies one God and Omnipotent Lord to be truly preached by the law and the prophets, and besides by the blessed Gospel. Many contradictions against the heterodox await us while we attempt, in writing, to do away with the force of the allegations made by them, and to persuade them against their will, proving by the Scriptures themselves.
On completing, then, the whole of what we propose in the commentaries, on which, if the Spirit will, we ministering to the urgent need, (for it is exceedingly necessary, before coming to the truth, to embrace what ought to be said by way of preface), shall address ourselves to the true gnostic science of nature, receiving initiation into the minor mysteries before the greater; so that nothing may be in the way of the truly divine declaration of sacred things, the subjects requiring preliminary detail and statement being cleared away, and sketched beforehand. The science of nature, then, or rather observation, as contained in the gnostic tradition according to the rule of the truth, depends on the discussion concerning cosmogony, ascending thence to the department of theology. Whence, then, we shall begin our account of what is handed down, with the creation as related by the prophets, introducing also the tenets of the heterodox, and endeavouring as far as we can to confute them. But it shall be written if God will, and as He inspires; and now we must proceed to what we proposed, and complete the discourse on ethics.

CHAP. II.--THE MEANING OF THE NAME STROMATA OR MISCELLANIES.

Let these notes of ours, as we have often said for the sake of those that consult them carelessly and unskilfully, be of varied character--and as the name itself indicates, patched together--passing constantly from one thing to another, and in the series of discussions hinting at one thing and demonstrating another. "For those who seek for gold," says Heraclitus, "dig much earth and find little gold." But those who are of the truly golden race, in mining for what is allied to them, will find the much in little. For the word will find one to understand it. The Miscellanies of notes contribute, then, to the recollection and expression of truth in the case of him who is able to investigate with reason.
And you must prosecute, in addition to these, other labours and researches; since, in the case of people who are setting out on a road with which they are unacquainted, it is sufficient merely to point out the direction. After this they must walk and find out the rest for themselves. As, they say, when a certain slave once asked at the oracle what he should do to please his master, the Pythian priestess replied, "You will find if you seek." It is truly a difficult matter, then, as turns out, to find out latent good; since
"Before virtue is placed exertion,
And long and steep is the way to it,
And rough at first; but when the summit is reached,
Then is it easy, though difficult [before]."
"For narrow," in truth, "and strait is the way" of the Lord. And it is to the "violent that the kingdom of God belongs."'
Whence, "Seek, and ye shall find," holding on by the truly royal road, and not deviating. As we might expect, then, the generative power of the seeds of the doctrines comprehended in this treatise is great in small space, as the "universal herbage of the field,"(2) as Scripture saith. Thus the Miscellanies of notes have their proper title, wonderfully like that ancient oblation culled from all sorts of things of which Sophocles writes:--
"For there was a sheep's fleece, and there was a vine,
And a libation, and grapes well stored;
And there was mixed with it fruit of all kinds,
And the fat of the olive, and the most curious Wax-formed work of the yellow bee."
Just so our Stromata, according to the husbandman of the comic poet Timocles, produce "figs, olives, dried figs, honey, as from an all-fruitful field;" on account of which exuberance he adds:--
"Thou speakest of a harvest-wreath not of husbandry."
For the Athenians were wont to cry:--
"The harvest-wreath bears figs and fat loaves,
And honey in a cup, and olive oil to anoint you."
We must then often, as in winnowing sieves, shake and toss up this the great mixture of seeds, in order to separate the wheat.

CHAP. III.--THE TRUE EXCELLENCE OF MAN.

The most of men have a disposition unstable and heedless, like the nature of storms. "Want of faith has done many good things, and faith evil things." And Epicharmus says, "Don't forget to exercise incredulity; for it is the sinews of the soul." Now, to disbelieve truth brings death, as to believe, life; and again, to believe the lie and to disbelieve the truth hutries to destruction. The same is the case with self-restraint and licentiousness. To restrain one's self from doing good is the work of vice; but to keep from wrong is the beginning of salvation. So the Sabbath, by abstinence from evils, seems to indicate self-restraint. And what, I ask, is it in which man differs from beasts, and the angels of God, on the other hand, are wiser than he? "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels."(3) For some do not interpret this Scripture of the Lord, although He also bore flesh, but of the perfect man and the gnostic, inferior in comparison with the angels in time, and by reason of the vesture [of the body]. I call then wisdom nothing but science, since life differs not from life. For to live is common to the mortal nature, that is to man, with that to which has been vouchsafed immortality; as also the faculty of contemplation and of self-restraint, one of the two being more excellent. On this ground Pythagoras seems to me to have said that God alone is wise, since also the apostle writes in the Epistle to the Romans, "For the obedience of the faith among all nations, being made known to the only wise God through Jesus Christ;"(4) and that he himself was a philosopher, on account of his friendship with God. Accordingly it is said, "God talked with Moses as a friend with a friend." s That, then, which is true being clear to God, forthwith generates truth. And the gnostic loves the truth. "Go," it is said, "to the ant, thou sluggard, and be the disciple of the bee;" thus speaks Solomon.(6) For if there is one function belonging to the peculiar nature of each creature, alike of the ox, and horse, and dog, what shall we say is the peculiar function of man ? He is like, it appears to me, the Centaur, a Thessalian figment, compounded of a rational and irrational part, of soul and body. Well, the body tills the ground, and hastes to it; but the soul is raised to God: trained in the true philosophy, it speeds to its kindred above, turning away from the lusts of the body, and besides these, from toil and fear, although we have shown that patience and fear belong to the good man. For if "by the law is the knowledge of sin,"(7) as those allege who disparage the law, and "till the law sin was in the world;"(8) yet "without the law sin was dead,"(9) we oppose them. For when you take away the cause of fear, sin, you have taken away fear; and much more, punishment, when you have taken away that which gives rise to lust. "For the law is not made for the just man,"[1] says the Scripture. Well, then, says Heraclitus, "They would not have known the name of Justice if these things had not been." And Socrates says, "that the law was not made for the sake of the good." But the cavillers did not know even this, as the apostle says, "that he who loveth his brother worketh not evil;" for this, "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal; and if there be any other commandment, it is comprehended in the word, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself."[2] So also is it said, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."[3] And "if he that loveth his neighbour worketh no evil," and if "every commandment is comprehended in this, the loving our neighbour," the commandments, by menacing with fear, work love, not hatred. Wherefore the law is productive of the emotion of fear. "So that the law is holy," and in truth "spiritual,"[4] according to the apostle. We must, then, as is fit, in investigating the nature of the body and the essence of the soul, apprehend the end of each, and not regard death as an evil. "For when ye were the servants of sin," says the apostle, "ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things in which ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."[5] The assertion, then, may be hazarded, that it has been shown that death is the fellowship of the soul in a state of sin with the body; and life the separation from sin. And many are the stakes and ditches of lust which impede us, and the pits of wrath and anger which must be overleaped, and all the machinations we must avoid of those who plot against us,--who would no longer see the knowledge of God "through a glass."

"The half of virtue the far-seeing Zeus takes
From man, when he reduces him to a state of slavery."

As slaves the Scripture views those "under sin" and "sold to sin," the lovers of pleasure and of the body; and beasts rather than men, "those who have become like to cattle, horses, neighing after their neighbours' wives."[6] The licentious is "the lustful ass," the covetous is the "savage wolf," and the deceiver is "a serpent." The severance, therefore, of the soul from the body, made a life-long study, produces in the philosopher gnostic alacrity, so that he is easily able to bear natural death, which is the dissolution of the chains which bind the soul to the body. "For the world is crucified to me, and I to the world," the [apostle] says; "and now I live, though in the flesh, as having my conversation in heaven."[7]

CHAP. IV.--THE PRAISES OF MARTYRDOM.

Whence, as is reasonable, the gnostic, when Galled, obeys easily, and gives up his body to him who asks; and, previously divesting himself of the affections of this carcase, not insulting the tempter, but rather, in my opinion, training him and convincing him,--

"From what honour and what extent of wealth fallen,"

as says Empedocles, here for the future he walks with mortals. He, in truth, bears witness to himself that he is faithful and loyal towards God; and to the tempter, that he in vain envied him who is faithful through love; and to the Lord, of the inspired persuasion in reference to His doctrine, from which he will not depart through fear of death; further, he confirms also the truth of preaching by his deed, showing that God to whom he hastes is powerful. You will wonder at his love, which he conspicuously shows with thankfulness, in being united to what is allied to him, and besides by his precious blood, shaming the unbelievers. He then avoids denying Christ through fear by reason of the command; nor does he sell his faith in the hope of the gifts prepared, but in love to the Lord he will most gladly depart from this life; perhaps giving thanks both to him who afforded the cause of his departure hence, and to him who laid the plot against him, for receiving an honourable reason which he himself furnished not, for showing what he is, to him by his patience, and to the Lord in love, by which even before his birth he was manifested to the Lord, who knew the martyr's choice. With good courage, then, he goes to the Lord, his friend, for whom he voluntarily gave his body, and, as his judges hoped, his soul, hearing from our Saviour the words of poetry, "Dear brother," by reason of the similarity of his life. We call martyrdom perfection, not because the man comes to the end of his life as others, but because he has exhibited the perfect work of love. And the ancients laud the death of those among the Greeks who died in war, not that they advised people to die a violent death, but because he who ends his life in war is released without the dread of dying, severed from the body without experiencing previous suffering or being enfeebled in his soul, as the people that suffer in diseases. For they depart in a state of effeminacy and desiring to live; and therefore they do not yield up the soul pure, but bearing with it their lusts like weights of lead; all but those who have been conspicuous in virtue. Some die in battle with their lusts, these being in no respect different from what they would have been if they had wasted away by disease.
If the confession to God is martyrdom, each soul which has lived purely in the knowledge of God, which has obeyed the commandments, is a witness both by life and word, in whatever way it may be released from the body,--shedding faith as blood along its whole life till its departure. For instance, the Lord says in the Gospel, "Whosoever shall leave father, or mother, or brethren," and so forth, "for the sake of the Gospel and my name,"[1] he is blessed; not indicating simple martyrdom, but the gnostic martyrdom, as of the man who has conducted himself according to the rule of the Gospel, in love to the Lord (for the knowledge of the Name and the understanding of the Gospel point out the gnosis, but not the bare appellation), so as to leave his worldly kindred, and wealth, and every possession, in order to lead a life free from passion. "Mother" figuratively means Country and sustenance; "fathers" are the laws of civil polity: which must be contemned thankfully by the high-souled just man; for the sake of being the friend of God, and of obtaining the right hand in the holy place, as the Apostles have done.
Then Heraclitus says, "Gods and men honour those slain in battle;" and Plato in the fifth book of the Republic writes, "Of those who die in military service, whoever dies after winning renown, shall we not say that he is chief of the golden race? Most assuredly." But the golden race is with the gods, who are in heaven, in the fixed sphere, who chiefly hold command in the providence exercised towards men. Now some of the heretics who have misunderstood the Lord, have at once an impious and cowardly love of life; saying that the true martyrdom is the knowledge of the only true God (which we also admit), and that the man is a self-murderer and a suicide who makes confession by death; and adducing other similar sophisms of cowardice. To these we shall reply at the proper time; for they differ with us in regard to first principles. Now we, too, say that those who have rushed on death (for there are some, not belonging to us, but sharing the name merely, who are in haste to give themselves up, the poor wretches dying through hatred to the Creator[2])--these, we say, banish themselves without being martyrs, even though they are punished publicly. For they do not preserve the characteristic mark of believing martyrdom, inasmuch as they have not known the only true God, but give themselves up to a vain death, as the Gymnosophists of the Indians to useless fire.
But since these falsely named[3] calumniate the body, let them learn that the harmonious mechanism of the body contributes to the understanding which leads to goodness of nature. Wherefore in the third book of the Republic, Plato, whom they appeal to loudly as an authority that disparages generation, says, "that for the sake of harmony of soul, care must be taken for the body," by which, he who announces the proclamation of the truth, finds it possible to live, and to live well. For it is by the path of life and health that we learn gnosis. But is he who cannot advance to the height without being occupied with necessary things, and through them doing what tends to knowledge, not to choose to live well? In living, then, living well is secured. And he who in the body has devoted himself to a good life, is being sent on to the state of immortality.

CHAP. V.--ON CONTEMPT FOR PAIN, POVERTY, AND OTHER EXTERNAL THINGS.

Fit objects for admiration are the Stoics, who say that the soul is not affected by the body, either to vice by disease, or to virtue by health; but both these things, they say, are indifferent. And indeed Job, through exceeding continence, and excellence of faith, when from rich he became poor, from being held in honour dishonoured, from being comely unsightly, and sick from being healthy, is depicted as a good example, putting the Tempter to shame, blessing his Creator; bearing what came second, as the first, and most clearly teaching that it is possible for the gnostic to make an excellent use of all circumstances, And that ancient achievements are proposed as images for our correction, the apostle shows, when he says, "So that my bonds in Christ are become manifest in all the palace, and to all the rest; and several of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear,"[4]--since martyrs' testimonies are examples 'of conversion gloriously sanctified. "For what things the Scripture speaks were written for our instruction, that we, through patience and the consolation of the Scriptures, might have the hope of consolation."[5] When pain is present, the soul appears to decline from it, and to deem release from present pain a precious thing. At that moment it slackens from studies, when the other virtues also are neglected. And yet we do not say that it is virtue itself which suffers, for virtue is not affected by disease. But he who is partaker of both, of virtue and the disease, is afflicted by the pressure of the latter; and if he who has not yet attained the habit of self-command be not a high-souled man, he is distraught; and the inability to endure it is found equivalent to fleeing from it.
The same holds good also in the case of poverty. For it compels the soul to desist from necessary things, I mean contemplation and from pure sinlessness, forcing him, who has not wholly dedicated himself to God in love, to occupy himself about provisions; as, again, health and abundance of necessaries keep the soul free and unimpeded, and capable of making a good use of what is at hand. "For," says the apostle, "such shall have trouble in the flesh. But I spare you. For I would have you without anxiety, in order to decorum and assiduity for the Lord, without distraction."[1]
These things, then, are to be abstained from, not for their own sakes, but for the sake of the body; and care for the body is exercised for the sake of the Soul, to which it has reference. For on this account it is necessary for the man who lives as a gnostic to know what is suitable. Since the fact that pleasure is not a good thing is admitted from the fact that certain pleasures are evil, by this reason good appears evil, and evil good. And then, if we choose some pleasures and shun others, it is not every pleasure that is a good thing.
Similarly, also, the same rule holds with pains, some of which we endure, and others we shun. But choice and avoidance are exercised according to knowledge; so that it is not pleasure that is the good thing, but knowledge by which we shall choose a pleasure at a certain time, and of a certain kind. Now the martyr chooses the pleasure that exists in prospect through the present pain. If pain is conceived as existing in thirst, and pleasure in drinking, the pain that has preceded becomes the efficient cause of pleasure. But evil cannot be the efficient cause of good. Neither, then, is the one thing nor the other evil. Simonides accordingly (as also Aristotle) writes, "that to be in good health is the best thing, and the second best thing is to be handsome, and the third best thing is to be rich without cheating."
And Theognis of Megara says:--

"You must, to escape poverty, throw
Yourself, O Cyrnus down from
The steep rocks into the deep sea."

On the other hand, Antiphanes, the comic poet, says, "Plutus (Wealth), when it has taken hold of those who see better than others, makes them blind." Now by the poets he is proclaimed as blind from his birth:--

"And brought him forth blind who saw not the sun."

Says the Chalcidian Euphorion:--

"Riches, then, and extravagant luxuries,
Were for men the worst training for manliness."

Wrote Euripides in Alexander:--

"And it is said,
Penury has attained wisdom through misfortune;
But much wealth will capture not
Sparta alone, but every city."

"It is not then the only coin that mortals have, that which is white silver or golden, but virtue too," as Sophocles says.

CHAP. VI.--SOME POINTS IN THE BEATITUDES.

Our holy Saviour applied poverty and riches, and the like, both to spiritual things and objects of sense. For when He said, "Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake,"[2] He clearly taught us in every circumstance to seek for the martyr who, if poor for righteousness' sake, witnesses that the righteousness which he loves is a good thing; and if he "hunger and thirst for righteousness' sake," testifies that righteousness is the best thing. Likewise he, that weeps and mourns for righteousness' sake, testifies to the best law that it is beautiful. As, then, "those that are persecuted," so also "those that hunger and thirst" for righteousness' sake, are called "blessed" by Him who approves of the true desire, which not even famine can put a stop to. And if "they hunger after righteousness itself," they are blessed. "And blessed are the poor," whether "in spirit" or in circumstances--that is, if for righteousness' sake. It is not the poor simply, but those that have wished to become poor for righteousness' sake, that He pronounces blessed--those who have despised the honours of this world in order to attain "the good;" likewise also those who, through chastity, have become comely in person and character, and those who are of noble birth, and honourable, having through righteousness attained to adoption, and therefore "have received power to become the sons of God,"[3] and "to tread on serpents and scorpions," and to rule over demons and "the host of the adversary."[4] And, in fine, the Lord's disciplines draws the soul away gladly from the body, even if it wrench itself away in its removal. "For he that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life shall find it,"[4] if we only join that which is mortal of us with the immortality of God. It is the will of God[that we should attain] the knowledge of God, which is the communication of immortality. He therefore, who, in accordance with the word of repentance, knows his life to be sinful will lose it--losing it from sin, from which it is wrenched; but losing it, will find it, according to the obedience which lives again to faith, but dies to sin. This, then, is what it is "to find one's life," "to know one's self."
The conversion, however, which leads to divine things, the Stoics say, is affected by a change, the soul being changed to wisdom. And Plato: "On the soul taking a turn to what is better, and a change from a kind of nocturnal day." Now the philosophers also allow the good man an exit from life in accordance with reason, in the case of one depriving him of active exertion, so that the hope of action is no longer left him. And the judge who compels us to deny Him whom we love, I regard as showing who is and who is not the friend of God. In that case there is not left ground for even examining what one prefers--the menaces of man or the love of God. And abstinence from vicious acts is found, somehow, [to result in] the diminution and extinction of vicious propensities, their energy being destroyed by inaction. And this is the import of "Sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and come, follow Me"[1]--that is, follow what is said by the Lord. Some say that by what "thou hast" He designated the things in the soul, of a nature not akin to it, though how these are bestowed on the poor they are not able to say. For God dispenses to all according to desert, His distribution being righteous. Despising, therefore, the possessions which God apportions to thee in thy magnificence, comply with what is spoken by me; haste to the ascent of the Spirit, being not only justified by abstinence from what is evil, but in addition also perfected, by Christlike beneficence.[2] In this instance He convicted the man, who boasted that he had fulfilled the injunctions of the law, of not loving his neighbour; and it is by beneficence that the love which, according to the gnostic ascending scale, is Lord of the Sabbath, proclaims itself.[3] We must then, according to my view, have recourse to the word of salvation neither from fear of punishment nor promise of a gift, but on account of the good itself. Such, as do so, stand on the right hand of the sanctuary; but those who think that by the gift of what is perishable they shall receive in exchange what belongs to immortality are in the parable of the two brothers called "hirelings." And is there not some light thrown here on the expression "in the likeness and image," in the fact that some live according to the likeness of Christ, while those who stand on the left hand live according to their image? There are then two things proceeding from the truth, one root lying beneath both,--the choice being, however, not equal, or rather the difference that is in the choice not being equal. To choose by way of imitation differs, as appears to me, from the choice of him who chooses according to knowledge, as that which is set on fire differs from that which is illuminated. Israel, then, is the light of the likeness which is according to the Scripture. But the image is another thing. What means the parable of Lazarus, by showing the image of the rich and poor? And what the saying, "No man can serve two masters, God and Mammon?"--the Lord so terming the love of money. For instance, the covetous, who were invited, responded not to the invitation to the supper, not because of their possessing property, but of their inordinate affection to what they possessed. "The foxes," then, have holes. He called those evil and earthly men who are occupied about the wealth which is mined and dug from the ground, foxes. Thus also, in reference to Herod: "Go, tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and perform cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."[4] For He applied the name "fowls of the air" to those who were distinct from the other birds--those really pure, those that have the power of flying to the knowledge of the heavenly Word. For not riches only, but also honour, and marriage, and poverty, have ten thousand cares for him who is unfit for them.[5] And those cares He indicated in the parable of the fourfold seed, when He said that "the seed of the word which fell unto the thorns" and hedges was choked by them, and could not bring forth fruit. It is therefore necessary to learn how to make use of every occurrence, so as by a good life, according to knowledge, to be trained for the state of eternal life. For it said, "I saw the wicked exalted and towering as the cedars of Lebanon; and I passed," says the Scripture, "and, lo, he was not; and I sought him, and his place was not found. Keep innocence, and look on uprightness: for there is a remnant to the man of peace."[6] Such will he be who believes unfeignedly with his whole heart, and is tranquil in his whole soul. "For the different people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from the Lord."[7] "They bless with their mouth, but they curse in their heart."[1] "They loved Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their heart was not right with Him, and they were not faithful to His covenant." Wherefore "let the false lips become speechless, and let the Lord destroy the boastful tongue: those who say, We shall magnify our tongue, and our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? For the affliction of the poor and the groaning of the needy now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety; I will speak out in his case."[2] For it is to the humble that Christ belongs, who do not exalt themselves against His flock. "Lay not up for yourselves, therefore, treasures on the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break through and steal,"[3] says the Lord, in reproach perchance of the covetous, and perchance also of those who are simply anxious and full of cares, and those too who indulge their bodies. For amours, and diseases, and evil thoughts "break through" the mind and the whole man. But our true "treasure" is where what is allied to our mind is, since it bestows the communicative power of righteousness, showing that we must assign to the habit of our old conversation what we have acquired by it, and have recourse to God, beseeching mercy. He is, in truth, "the bag that waxeth not old," the provisions of eternal life, "the treasure that faileth not in heaven."[4] "For I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,"[5] saith the Lord. And they say those things to those who wish to be poor for righteousness' sake. For they have heard in the commandment that "the broad and wide way leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in by it."[6] It is not of anything else that the assertion is made, but of profligacy, and love of women, and love of glory, and ambition, and similar passions. For so He says, "Fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; and whose shall those things be which thou hast prepared?"[7] And the commandment is expressed in these very words, "Take heed, therefore, of covetousness. For a man's life does not consist in the abundance of those things which he possesses. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"[8] "Wherefore I say, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for your body, what ye shall put on. For your life is more than meat, and your body than raiment."[9] And again, "For your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." "But seek first the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness," for these are the great things, and the things which are small and appertain to this life "shall be added to you."[10] Does He not plainly then exhort us to follow the gnostic life, and enjoin us to seek the truth in word and deed? Therefore Christ, who trains the soul, reckons one rich, not by his gifts, but by his choice. It is said, therefore, that Zaccheus, or, according to some, Matthew, the chief of the publicans, on hearing that the Lord had deigned to come to him, said, "Lord, and if I have taken anything by false accusation, I restore him fourfold;" on which the Saviour said, "The Son of man, on coming to-day, has found that which was lost."[11] Again, on seeing the rich cast into the treasury according to their wealth, and the widow two mites, He said "that the widow had cast in more than they all," for "they had contributed of their abundance, but she of her destitution." And because He brought all things to bear on the discipline of the soul, He said, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."[12] And the meek are those who have quelled the battle of unbelief in the soul, the battle of wrath, and lust, and the other forms that are subject to them. And He praises those meek by choice, not by necessity. For there are with the Lord both rewards and" many mansions," corresponding to men's lives. "Whosoever shall receive," says He, "a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward; and whosoever shall receive a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward; and whoso shall receive one of the least of these my disciples, shall not lose his reward."[13] And again, the differences of virtue according to merit, and the noble rewards, He indicated by the hours unequal in number; and in addition, by the equal reward given to each of the labourers--that is, salvation, which is meant by the penny--He indicated the equality of justice; and the difference of those called He intimated, by those who worked for unequal portions of time. They shall work, therefore, in accordance with the appropriate mansions of which they have been deemed worthy as rewards, being fellow-workers in the ineffable administration and service.[14] "Those, then," says Plato, "who seem called to a holy life, are those who, freed and released from those earthly localities as from prisons, have reached the pure dwelling-place on high." In clearer terms again he expresses the same thing: "Those who by philosophy have been sufficiently purged from those things, live without bodies entirely for all time. Although they are enveloped in certain shapes; in the case of some, of air, and others, of fire." He adds further: "And they reach abodes fairer than those, which it is not easy, nor is there sufficient time now to describe." Whence with reason, "blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted;"[1] for they who have repented of their former evil life shall attain to "the calling" (<greek>klhsin</greek>), for this is the meaning of being comforted (<greek>paraklhqhnai</greek>). And there are two styles of penitents.[2] That which is more common is fear on account of what is done; but the other which is more special, the shame which the spirit feels in itself arising from conscience. Whether then, here or elsewhere (for no place is devoid of the beneficence of God), He again says, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." And mercy is not, as some of the philosophers have imagined, pain on account of others' calamities, but rather something good, as the prophets say. For it is said, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice."[3] And He[4] means by the merciful, not only those who do acts of mercy, but those who wish to do them, though they be not able; who do as far as purpose is concerned. For sometimes we wish by the gift of money or by personal effort to do mercy, as to assist one in want, or help one who is sick, or stand by one who is in any emergency; and are not able either from poverty, or disease, or old age (for this also is natural disease), to carry out our purpose, in reference to the things to which we are impelled, being unable to conduct them to the end we wished. Those, who have entertained the wish whose purpose is equal, share in the same honour with those who have the ability, although others have the advantage in point of resources.[5] And since there are two paths of reaching the perfection of salvation, works and knowledge, He called the "pure in heart blessed, for they shall see God."[6] And if we really look to the truth of the matter, knowledge is the purification of the leading faculty of the soul, and is a good activity. Some things accordingly are good in themselves, and others by participation in what is good, as we say good actions are good. But without things intermediate which hold the place of material, neither good nor bad actions are constituted, such I mean as life, and health, and other necessary things or circumstantials. Pure then as respects corporeal lusts, and pure in respect of holy thoughts, he means those are, who attain to the knowledge of God, when the chief faculty of the soul has nothing spurious to stand in the way of its power. When, therefore, he who partakes gnostically of this holy quality devotes himself to contemplation, communing in purity with the divine, he enters more nearly into the state of impassible identity, so as no longer to have science and possess knowledge, but to be science and knowledge.
"Blessed, then, are the peacemakers,"[7] who have subdued and tamed the law which wars against the disposition of the mind, the menaces of anger, and the baits of lust, and the other passions which war against the reason; who, having lived in the knowledge both of good works and true reason, shall be reinstated in adoption, Which is dearer. It follows that the perfect peacemaking is that which keeps unchanged in all circumstances what is peaceful; calls Providence holy and good; and has its being in the knowledge of divine and human affairs, by which it deems the opposites that are in the world to be the fairest harmony of creation. They also are peacemakers, who teach those who war against the stratagems of sin to have recourse to faith and peace. And it is the sum of all virtue, in my opinion, when the Lord teaches us that for love to God we must gnostically despise death. "Blessed are they," says He, "who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for they shall be called the sons of God;"[8] or, as some of those who transpose the Gospels[9] say, "Blessed are they who are persecuted by righteousness, for they shall be perfect." And, "Blessed are they who are persecuted for my sake; for they shall have a place where they shall not be persecuted." And, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, when they shall separate you, when they shall cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake;"[10] if we do not detest our persecutors, and undergo punishments at their hands, not hating them under the idea that we have been put to trial more tardily than we looked for; but knowing this also, that every instance of trial is an occasion for testifying.

CHAP. VII.--THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE MARTYR.

Then he who has lied and shown himself unfaithful, and revolted to the devil's army, in what evil do we think him to be? He belies, therefore, the Lord, or rather he is cheated of his own hope who believes not God; and he believes not who does not what He has commanded.
And what? Does not he, who denies the Lord, deny himself? For does he not rob his Master of His authority, who deprives himself of his relation to Him? He, then, who denies the Saviour, denies life; for "the light was life."[1] He does not term those men of little faith, but faithless and hypocrites,[2] who have the name inscribed on them, but deny that they are really believers. But the faithful is called both servant and friend. So that if one loves himself, he loves the Lord, and confesses to salvation that he may save his soul. Though you die for your neighbour out of love, and regard the Saviour as our neighbour (for God who saves is said to be nigh in respect to what is saved); you do so, choosing death on account of life, and suffering for your own sake rather than his. And is it not for this that he is called brother? he who, suffering out of love to God, suffered for his own salvation; while he, on the other hand, who dies for his own salvation, endures for love to the Lord. For he being life, in what he suffered wished to suffer that we might live by his suffering.
"Why call ye me Lord, Lord," He says, "and do not the things which I say?"[3] For "the people that loveth with their lips, but have their heart far away from the Lord,"[4] is another people, and trust in another, and have willingly sold themselves to another; but those who perform the commandments of the Lord, in every action "testify," by doing what He wishes, and consistently naming the Lord's name; and "testifying" by deed to Him in whom they trust, that they are those "who have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts." "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." s "He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."[6]
But to those miserable men, witness to the Lord by blood seems a most violent death, not knowing that such a gate of death is the beginning of the true life; and they will understand neither the honours after death, which belong to those who have lived holily, nor the punishments of those who have lived unrighteously and impurely? I do not say only from our Scriptures (for almost all the commandments indicate them); but they will not even hear their own discourses. For the Pythagorean Theano writes, "Life were indeed a feast to the wicked, who, having done evil, then die; were not the soul immortal, death would be a godsend." And Plato in the Phaedo, "For if death were release from everything," and so forth. We are not then to think according to the Telephus of Aeschylus, "that a single path leads to Hades." The ways are many, and the sins that lead thither. Such deeply erring ones as the unfaithful are, Aristophanes properly makes the subjects of comedy. "Come," he says, "ye men of obscure life, ye that are like the race of leaves, feeble, wax figures, shadowy tribes, evanescent, fleeting, ephemeral." And Epicharmus, "This nature of men is inflated skins." And the Saviour has said to us, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."[8] "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God," explains the apostle: "for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed, can be. And they that are in the flesh cannot please God." And in further explanation continues, that no one may, like Marcion[9] regard the creature as evil. "But if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." And again: "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. If we suffer with Him, that we also may be glorified together as joint-heirs of Christ. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to the purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. And whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified."[10]
You see that martyrdom for love's sake is taught. And should you wish to be a martyr for the recompense of advantages, you shall hear again. "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."[11] "But if we also suffer for righteousness' sake," says Peter, "blessed are we. Be not afraid of their fear, neither be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to him that asks a reason of the hope that is in you, but with meekness and fear, having a good conscience; so that in reference to that for which you are spoken against, they may be ashamed who calumniate your good conversation in Christ. For it is better to suffer for well-doing. if the will of God, than for evil-doing." But if one should captiously say, And how is it possible for feeble flesh to resist the energies and spirits of the Powers?[1] well, let him know this, that, confiding in the Almighty and the Lord, we war against the principalities of darkness, and against death. "Whilst thou art yet speaking," He says, "Lo, here am I." See the invincible Helper who shields us. "Think it not strange, therefore, concerning the burning sent for your trial, as though some strange thing happened to you; But, as you are partaken in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice; that at the revelation of His glory ye may rejoice exultant. If ye be reproached in the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth on you."[2] As it is written, "Because for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us."[3]

"What you wish to ascertain from my mind,
You shall not ascertain, not were you to apply
Horrid saws from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet,
Not were you to load me with chains,"

says a woman acting manfully in the tragedy. And Antigone, contemning the proclamation of Creon, says boldly:--

"It was not Zeus who uttered this proclamation."

But it is God that makes proclamation to us, and He must be believed. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Wherefore the Scripture saith, "Whosoever believeth on Him shah not be put to shame."[4] Accordingly Simonides justly writes, "It is said that virtue dwells among all but inaccessible rocks, but that she speedily traverses a pure place. Nor is she visible to the eyes of all mortals. He who is not penetrated by heart-vexing sweat will not scale the summit of manliness." And Pindar says:--

"But the anxious thoughts of youths, revolving with toils,
Will find glory: and in time their deeds
Will in resplendent ether splendid shine."

AEschylus, too, having grasped this thought, says:--

"To him who toils is due,
As product of his toil, glory from the gods."

"For great Fates attain great destinies," according to Heraclitus:--

"And what slave is there, who is careless of death?"

"For God hath not given us the spirit of bondage again to fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind. Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me his prisoner," he writes to Timothy.[5] Such shall he be "who cleaves to that which is good," according to the apostle,[6] "who hates evil, having love unfeigned; for he that loveth another fulfilleth the law."[7] If, then, this God, to whom we bear witness, be as He is, the God of hope, we acknowledge our hope, speeding on to hope, "saturated with goodness, filled with all knowledge."[8]
The Indian sages say to Alexander of Macedon: "You transport men's bodies from place to place. But you shall not force our souls to do what we do not wish. Fire is to men the greatest torture, this we despise." Hence Heraclitus preferred one thing, glory, to all else; and professes "that he allows the crowd to stuff themselves to satiety like cattle."

"For on account of the body are many toils,
For it we have invented a roofed house,
And discovered how to dig up silver, and sow the land,
And all the rest which we know by names."

To the multitude, then, this vain labour is desirable. But to us the apostle says, "Now we know this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."[9] Does not the apostle then plainly add the following, to show the contempt for faith in the case of the multitude? "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. Up to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are beaten, and are feeble, and labour, working with our hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat; we are become as it were the offscourings of the world."[10] Such also are the words of Plato in the Republic:[11] "The just man, though stretched on the rack, though his eyes are dug out, will be happy." The Gnostic will never then have the chief end placed in life, but in being always happy and blessed, and a kingly friend of God. Although visited with ignominy and exile, and confiscation, and above all, death, he will never be wrenched from his freedom, and signal love to God. "The charity which bears all things, endures all things,"[12] is assured that Divine Providence orders all things well. "I exhort you," therefore it is said, "Be followers of me." The first step to salvation[13] is the instruction accompanied with fear, in consequence of which we abstain from what is wrong; and the second is hope, by reason of which we desire the best things; but love, as is fitting, perfects, by training now according to knowledge. For the Greeks, I know not how, attributing events to unreasoning necessity, own that they yield to them unwillingly. Accordingly Euripides says:--

"What I declare, receive from me, madam:
No mortal exists who has not toil;
He buries children, and begets others,
And he himself dies, And thus mortals are afflicted."

Then he adds: --

"We must bear those things which are inevitable according to nature, and go through them:
Not one of the things which are necessary is formidable for mortals."

And for those who are aiming at perfection there is proposed the rational gnosis, the foundation of which is "the sacred Triad." "Faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love."[1] Truly, "all things are lawful, but all things are not expedient," says the apostle: "all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."[2] And, "Let no one seek his own advantage, but also that of his neighbour,"[3] so as to be able at once to do and to teach, building and building up. For that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof," is admitted; but the conscience of the weak is supported. "Conscience, I say, not his own, but that of the other; for why is my liberty judged of by another conscience? For if I by grace am partaker, why am I evil spoken of l for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."[4] "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the demolition of fortifications, demolishing thoughts, and every high thing which exalteth itself against the knowledge of Christ."[5] Equipped with these weapons, the Gnostic says: O Lord, give opportunity, and receive demonstration; let this dread event pass; I contemn dangers for the love I bear to Thee.

"Because alone of human things
Virtue receives not a recompense from without,
But has itself as the reward of its toils."

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness, meekness, long-suffering. And above all these, love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God reign in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful,"[6] ye who, while still in the body, like the just men of old, enjoy impassibility and tranquillity of soul.

CHAP. VIII.--WOMEN AS WELL AS MEN, SLAVES AS WELL AS FREEMEN, CANDIDATES FOR THE MARTYR'S CROWN.

Since, then, not only the Aesopians, and Macedonians, and the Lacedaemonians endured when subjected to torture, as Eratosthenes says in his work, On Things Good and Evil; but also Zeno of Elea, when subjected to compulsion to divulge a secret, held out against the tortures, and confessed nothing; who, when expiring, bit out his tongue and spat it at the tyrant, whom some term Nearchus, and some Demulus. Theodotus the Pythagorean acted also similarly, and Paulus the friend of Lacydes, as Timotheus of Pergamus says in his work on The Fortitude of Philosophers, and Achaicus in The Ethics. Posthumus also, the Roman, when captured by Peucetion, did not divulge a single secret; but putting his hand on the fire, held it to it as if to a piece of brass, without moving a muscle of his face. I omit the case of Anaxarchus, who exclaimed, "Pound away at the sack which holds Anaxarchus, for it is not Anaxarchus you are pounding," when by the tyrant's orders he was being pounded with iron pestles. Neither, then, the hope of happiness nor the love of God takes what befalls ill, but remains free, although thrown among the wildest beasts or into the all-devouring fire; though racked with a tyrant's tortures. Depending as it does on the divine favour, it ascends aloft unenslaved, surrendering the body to those who can touch it alone. A barbarous nation, not cumbered with philosophy, select, it is said, annually an ambassador to the hero Zamolxis. Zamolxis was one of the disciples of Pythagoras. The one, then, who is judged of the most sterling worth is put to death, to the distress of those who have practised philosophy, but have not been selected, at being reckoned unworthy of a happy service.
So the Church is full of those, as well chaste women as men, who all their life have contemplated the death which rouses up to Christ? For the individual whose life is framed as ours is, may philosophize without Learning, whether barbarian, whether Greek, whether slave--whether an old man, or a boy, or a woman.[8] For self-control is common to all human beings who have made choice of it. And we admit that the same nature exists in every race, and the same virtue. As far as respects human nature, the woman does not possess one nature, and the man exhibit another, but the same: so also with virtue. If, consequently, a self-restraint and righteousness, and whatever qualities are regarded as following them, is the virtue of the male, it belongs to the male alone to be virtuous, and to the woman to be licentious and unjust. But it is offensive even to say this. Accordingly woman is to practise self-restraint and righteousness, and every other virtue, as well as man, both bond and free; since it is a fit consequence that the same nature possesses one and the same virtue.[1] We do not say that woman's nature is the same as man's, as she is woman. For undoubtedly it stands to reason that some difference should exist between each of them, in virtue of which one is male and the other female. Pregnancy and parturition, accordingly, we say belong to woman, as she is woman, and not as she is a human being. But if there were no difference between man and woman, both would do and suffer the same things. As then there is sameness, as far as respects the soul, she will attain to the same virtue; but as there is difference as respects the peculiar construction of the body, she is destined for child-bearing and housekeeping. "For I would have you know," says the apostle, "that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man: for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. I For neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord."[2] For as we say that the man ought to be conti-nent, and superior to pleasures; so also we reckon that the woman should be continent and practised in fighting against pleasures. "But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh," counsels the apostolic command; "for the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. These, then, are contrary" (not as good to evil, but as fighting advantageously), he adds therefore, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are, fornication uncleanness, profligacy, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, strifes, jealousies, wrath, contentions, dissensions, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I tell you before, as I have also said before, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, temperance, goodness, faith, meekness."[3] He calls sinners, as I think, "flesh," and the righteous "spirit." Further, manliness is to be assumed in order to produce confidence and forbearance, so as "to him that strikes on the one cheek, to give to him the other; and to him that takes away the cloak, to yield to him the coat also," strongly, restraining anger. For we do not train our women like Amazons to manliness in war; since we wish the men even to be peaceable. I hear that the Sarmatian women practise war no less than the men; and the women of the Sacae besides, who shoot backwards, feigning flight as well as the men. I am aware, too, that the women near Iberia practise manly work and toil, not refraining from their tasks even though near their delivery; but even in the very struggle of her pains, the woman, on being delivered, taking up the infant, carries it home. Further, the females no less than the males manage the house, and hunt, and keep the flocks:--

"Cressa the hound ran keenly in the stag's track."

Women are therefore to philosophize equally with men, though the males are preferable at everything, unless they have become effeminate[4] To the whole human race, then, discipline and virtue are a necessity, if they would pursue after happiness. And how recklessly Euripides writes sometimes this and sometimes that! On one occasion, "For every wife is inferior to her husband, though the most excellent one marry her that is of fair fame." And on another:--

"For the chaste is her husband's slave,
While she that is unchaste in her folly despises her consort.
For nothing is better and more excellent,
Than when as husband and wife ye keep house,
Harmonious in your sentiments."

The ruling power is therefore the head. And if "the Lord is head of the man, and the man is head of the woman," the man, "being the image and glory of God, is lord of the woman."[5] Wherefore also in the Epistle to the Ephesians it is written, "Subjecting ),ourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Husbands, love your wives, as also Christ loved the Church. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies: he that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh."[6] And in that to the Colossians it is said, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as is fit in the Lord.[7] Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, be obedient in all things to those who are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but with singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as serving the Lord and not men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer shall receive the Wrong, which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons. Masters, render to your servants justice and equity; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond, free: but Christ is all, and in all."[1] And the earthly Church is the image of the heavenly, as we pray also "that the will of God may be done upon the earth as in heaven."[2] "Putting on, therefore, bowels of mercy, gentleness, humbleness, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if one have a quarrel against any man; as also Christ hath forgiven us, so also let us. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which ye are called in one body; and be thankful."[3] For there is no obstacle to adducing frequently the same Scripture in order to put Marcion[4] to the blush, if perchance he be persuaded and converted; by learning that the faithful ought to be grateful to God the Creator, who hath called us, and who preached the Gospel in the body. From these considerations the unity of the faith is clear, and it is shown who is the perfect man; so that though some are reluctant, and offer as much resistance as they can, though menaced with punishments at the hand of husband or master, both the domestic and the wife will philosophize. Moreover, the free, though threatened with death at a tyrant's hands, and brought before the tribunals, and all his substances imperilled, will by no means abandon piety; nor will the wife who dwells with a wicked husband, or the son if he has a bad father, or the domestic if he has a bad master, ever fail in holding nobly to virtue. But as it is noble for a man to die for virtue, and for liberty, and for himself, so also is it for a woman. For this is not peculiar to the nature of males, but to the nature of the good. Accordingly, both the old man, the young, and the servant will live faithfully, and if need be die; which will be to be made alive by death. So we know that both children, and women, and servants have often, against their fathers', and masters', and husbands' will, reached the highest degree of excellence. Wherefore those who are determined to live piously ought none the less to exhibit alacrity, when some seem to exercise compulsion on them; but much more, I think, does it become them to show eagerness, and to strive with uncommon vigour, lest, being overcome, they abandon the best and most indispensable counsels. For it does not, I think, admit of comparison, whether it be better to be a follower of the Almighty than to choose the darkness of demons. For the things which are done by us on account of others we are to do always, endeavouring to have respect to those for whose sake it is proper that they be done, regarding the gratification rendered in their case, as what is to be our rule; but the things which are done for our own sake rather than that of others, are to be done with equal earnestness, whether they are like to please certain people or not. If some indifferent things have obtained such honour as to appear worthy of adoption, though against the will of some; much more is virtue to be regarded by us as worth contending for, looking the while to nothing but what can be rightly done, whether it seem good to others or not. Well then, Epicurus, writing to Menoeceus, says, "Let not him who is young delay philosophizing, and let not the old man grow weary of philosophizing; for no one is either not of age or past age for attending to the health of his soul. And he who says that the time for philosophizing is not come or is past, is like the man who says that the time for happiness is not come or has gone. So that young s as well as old ought to philosophize: the one, in order that, while growing old, he may grow young in good things out of favour accruing from what is past; and the other, that he may be at once young and old, from want of fear for the future."

CHAP. IX.--CHRIST'S SAYINGS RESPECTING MARTYRDOM.

On martyrdom the Lord hath spoken explicitly, and what is written in different places we bring together. "But I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess in Me before men, the Son of man also shall confess before the angels of God; but whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I deny before the angels."[6] "Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me or of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man also be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with His angels. Whosoever therefore shall confess in Me before men, him will I also confess before my Father in heaven.[1] "And when they bring you before synagogues, and rulers, and powers, think not: beforehand how ye shall make your defence, or what ye shall say. For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye must say."[2] In explanation of this passage, Heracleon, the most distinguished of the school of Valentinians, says expressly, "that there is a confession by faith and conduct, and one with the voice. The confession that is made with the voice, and before the authorities, is what the most reckon the only confession. Not soundly: and hypocrites also can confess with this confession. But neither will this utterance be found to be spoken universally; for all the saved have confessed with the confession made by the voice, and departed.[3] Of whom are Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Levi, and many others. And confession by the lip is not universal, but partial. But that which He specifies now is universal, that which is by deeds and actions corresponding to faith in Him. This confession is followed by that which is partial, that before the authorities, if necessary, and reason dictate. For he will confess rightly with his voice who has first confessed by his disposition.[3] And he has well used, with regard to those who confess, the expression 'in Me,' and applied to those who deny the expression 'Me.' For those, though they confess Him with the voice, yet deny Him, not confessing Him in their conduct. But those alone confess 'in Him,' who live in the confession and conduct according to Him, in which He also confesses, who is contained in them and held by them. Wherefore 'He never can deny Himself.' And those deny Him who are not in Him. For He said not, 'Whosoever shall deny' in Me, but 'Me.' For no one who is in Him will ever deny Him. And the expression 'before men ' applies both to the saved and the heathen similarly by conduct before the one, and by voice before the other. Wherefore they never can deny Him. But those deny Him who are not in Him." So far Heracleon. And in other things he seems to be of the same sentiments with us in this section; but he has not adverted to this, that if some have not by conduct and in their life "confessed Christ before men," they are manifested to have believed with the heart; by confessing Him with the mouth at the tribunals, and not denying Him when tortured to the death. And the disposition being confessed, and especially not being changed by death at any time, cuts away all passions which were engendered by corporeal desire. For there is, so to speak, at the close of life a sudden repentance in action, and a true confession toward Christ, in the testimony of the voice. But if the Spirit of the Father testifies in us, how can we be any more hypocrites, who are said to bear testimony with the voice alone? But it will be given to some, if expedient, to make a defence, that by their witness and confession all may be benefited--those in the Church being confirmed, and those of the heathen who have devoted themselves to the search after salvation wondering and being led to the faith; and the rest seized with amazement. So that confession is by all means necessary.[4] For it is in our power. But to make a defence for our faith is not universally necessary. For that does not depend on us. "But he that endureth to the end shall be saved." For who of those who are wise would not choose to reign in God, and even to serve? So some "confess that they know God," according to the apostle; "but in works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate."[5] And these, though they confess nothing but this, will have done at the end one good work. Their witness, then, appears to be the cleansing away of sins with glory. For instance, the Shepherd[6] says: "You will escape the energy of the wild beast, if your heart become pure and blameless." Also the Lord Himself says: "Satan hath desired to sift you; but I have prayed."[7] Alone, therefore, the Lord, for the purification of the men who plotted against Him and disbelieved Him, "drank the cup;" in imitation of whom the apostles, that they might be in reality Gnostics, and perfect, suffered for the Churches which they founded. So, then, also the Gnostics who tread in the footsteps of the apostles ought to be sinless, and, out of love to the Lord, to love also their brother; so that, if occasion call, enduring without stumbling, afflictions for the Church, "they may drink the cup." Those who witness in their life by deed, and at the tribunal by word, whether entertaining hope or surmising fear, are better than those who confess salvation by their mouth alone. But if one ascend also to love, he is a really blessed and true martyr, having confessed perfectly both to the commandments and to God, by the Lord; whom having loved, he acknowledged a brother, giving himself up wholly for God, resigning pleasantly and lovingly the man when asked, like a deposit.[8]

CHAP. X.--THOSE WHO OFFERED THEMSELVES FOR MARTYRDOM REPROVED.

When, again, He says, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to the other,"[1] He does not advise flight, as if persecution were an evil thing; nor does He enjoin them by flight to avoid death, as if in dread of it, but wishes us neither to be the authors nor abettors of any evil to any one, either to ourselves or the persecutor and murderer. For He, in a way, bids us take care of ourselves. But he who disobeys is rash and foolhardy. If he who kills a man of God sins against God, he also who presents himself before the judgment-seat becomes guilty of his death. And such is also the case with him who does not avoid persecution, but out of daring presents himself for capture. Such a one, as far as in him lies, becomes an accomplice in the crime of the persecutor. And if he also uses provocation, he is wholly guilty, challenging the wild beast. And similarly, if he afford any cause for conflict or punishment, or retribution or enmity, he gives occasion for persecution. Wherefore, then, we are enjoined not to cling to anything that belongs to this life; but "to him that takes our cloak to give our coat," not only that we may continue destitute of inordinate affection, but that we may not by retaliating make our persecutors savage against ourselves, and stir them up to blaspheme the name.[2]

CHAP.XI.--THE OBJECTION, WHY DO YOU SUFFER IF GOD CARES FOR YOU, ANSWERED.

But, say they, if God cares for you, why are you persecuted and put to death? Has He delivered you to this? No, we do not suppose that the Lord wishes us to be involved in calamities, but that He foretold prophetically what would happen--that we should be persecuted for His name's sake, slaughtered, and impaled. So that it was not that He wished us to be persecuted, but He intimated beforehand what we shall suffer by the prediction of what would take place, training us to endurance, to which He promised the inheritance, although we are punished not alone, but along with many. But those, it is said, being malefactors, are righteously punished. Accordingly, they unwillingly bear testimony to our righteousness, we being unjustly punished for righteousness' sake. But the injustice of the judge does not affect the providence of God. For the judge must be master of his own opinion--not pulled by strings, like inanimate machines, set in motion only by external causes. Accordingly he is judged in respect to his judgment, as we also, in accordance with our choice of things desirable, and our endurance. Although we do not wrong, yet the judge looks on us as doing wrong, for he neither knows nor wishes to know about us, but is influenced by unwarranted prejudice; wherefore also he is judged.[3] Accordingly they persecute us, not from the supposition that we are wrong-doers. but imagining that by the very fact of our being Christians we sin against life in so conducting ourselves, and exhorting others to adopt the like life.
But why are you not helped when persecuted? say they. What wrong is done us, as far as we are concerned, in being released by death to go to the Lord, and so undergoing a change of life, as if a change from one time of life to another? Did we think rightly, we should feel obliged to those who have afforded the means for speedy departure, if it is for love that we bear witness; and if not, we should appear to the multitude to be base men. Had they also known the truth, all would have bounded on to the way, and there would have been no choice. But our faith, being the light of the world, reproves unbelief. "Should Anytus and Melitus kill me, they will not hurt me in the least; for I do not think it right for the better to be hurt by the worse," [says Socrates]. So that each one of us may with confidence say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: what shall man do to me?"[4] "For the souls of the righteous are in the hand of the Lord, and no plague shall touch them."[5]

CHAP. XII.--BASILIDES' IDEA OF MARTYRDOM REFUTED.

Basilides, in the twenty-third book of the Exegetics, respecting those that are punished by martyrdom, expresses himself in the following language: "For I say this, Whosoever fall under the afflictions mentioned, in consequence of unconsciously transgressing in other matters, are brought to this good end by the kindness of Him who brings them, but accused on other grounds; so that they may not suffer as condemned for what are owned to be iniquities, nor reproached as the adulterer or the murderer, but because they are Christians; which will console them, so that they do not appear to suffer. And if one who has not sinned at all incur suffering--a rare case--yet even he will not suffer aught through the machinations of power, but will suffer as the child which seems not to have sinned would suffer." Then further on he adds: "As, then, the child which has not sinned before, or committed actual sin in itself, but has that which committed sin, when subjected to suffering, gets good, reaping the advantage of many difficulties; so also, although a perfect man may not have sinned in act, while he endures afflictions, he suffers similarly with the child. Having within him the sinful principle, but not embracing the opportunity of committing sin, he does not sin; so that he is not to be reckoned as not having sinned. For as he who wishes to commit adultery is an adulterer, although he does not succeed in committing adultery; and he that wishes to commit murder is a murderer, although he is unable to kill; so also, if I see the man without sin, whom I specify, suffering, though he have done nothing bad, I should call him bad, on account of his wishing to sin. For I will affirm anything rather than call Providence evil." Then, in continuation, he says expressly concerning the Lord, as concerning man: "If then, passing from all these observations, you were to proceed to put me to shame by saying, perchance impersonating certain parties, This man has then sinned; for this man has suffered;--if you permit, I will say, He has not sinned; but was like a child suffering. If you were to insist more urgently, I would say, That the man you name is man, but that God is righteous: ' For no one is pure,' as one said, ' from pollution.' "[1] But the hypothesis of Basilides[2] says that the soul, having sinned before in another life, endures punishment in this--the elect soul with honour by martyrdom, the other purged by appropriate punishment. How can this be true, when the confessing and suffering punishment or not depends on ourselves? For in the case of the man who shall deny, Providence, as held by Basilides, is done away with. I will ask him, then, in the case of a confessor who has been arrested, whether he will confess and be punished in virtue of Providence or not? For in the case of denying he will not be punished. But if, for the sake of escaping and evading the necessity of punishing such an one, he shall say that the destruction of those who shall deny is of Providence, he will be a martyr against his will. And how any more is it the case, that there is laid up in heaven the very glorious recompense to him who has witnessed, for his witnessing? If Providence did not permit the sinner to get the length of sinning, it is unjust in both cases; both in not rescuing the man who is dragged to punishment for righteousness' sake, and in having rescued him who wished to do wrong, he having done it as far as volition was concerned, but [Providence] having prevented the deed, and unjustly favoured the sinner. And how impious, in deifying the devil, and in daring to call the Lord a sinful man! For the devil tempting us, knowing what we are, but not knowing if we will hold out, but wishing to dislodge us from the faith, attempts also to bring us into subjection to himself. Which is all that is allowed to him, partly from the necessity of saving us, who have taken occasion from the commandment, from ourselves; partly for the confusion of him who has tempted and failed; for the confirmation of the members of the Church, and the conscience of those who admire the constancy [displayed]. But if martyrdom be retribution by way of punishment, then also faith and doctrine, on account of which martyrdom comes, are co-operators in punishment--than which, what other absurdity could be greater? But with reference to these dogmas, whether the soul is changed to another body, also of the devil, at the proper time mention will be made. But at present, to what has been already said, let us add the following: Where any more is faith in the retribution of sins committed before martyrdom takes place? And where is love to God, which is persecuted and endures for the truth? And where is the praise of him who has confessed, or the censure of him who has denied? And for what use is right conduct, the mortification of the lusts, and the hating of no creature? But if, as Basilides himself says, we suppose one part of the declared will of God to be the loving of all things because all things bear a relation to the Whole, and another "not to lust after anything," and a third "not to hate anything," by the will of God these also will be punishments, which it were impious to think. For neither did the Lord suffer by the will of the Father, nor are those who are persecuted by the will of God; since either of two things is the case: either persecution in consequence of the will of God is a good thing, or those who decree and afflict are guiltless. But nothing is without the will of the Lord of the universe. It remains to say that such things happen without the prevention of God; for this alone saves both the providence and the goodness of God. We must not therefore think that He actively produces afflictions (far be it that we should think this!); but we must be persuaded that He does not prevent those that cause them, but overrules for good the crimes of His enemies: "I will therefore," He says, "destroy the wall, and it shall be for treading under foot."[3] Providence being a disciplinary art;[4] in the case of others for each individual's sins, and in the case of the Lord and His apostles for ours. To this point says the divine apostle: "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication: that each one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, as the Gentiles who know not the Lord: that none of you should overreach or take advantage of his brother in any matter; because the Lord is the avenger in respect of all such, as we also told you before, and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but to holiness. Wherefore he that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given His Holy Spirit to you."[1] Wherefore the Lord was not prohibited from this sanctification of ours. if, then, one of them were to say, in reply, that the martyr is punished for sins committed before this embodying, and that he will again reap the fruit of his conduct in this life, for that such are the arrangements of the [divine administration], we shall ask him if the retribution takes place by Providence. For if it be not of the divine administration, the economy of expiations is gone, and their hypothesis falls to the ground; but if expiations are by Providence, punishments are by Providence too. But Providence, although it begins, so to speak, to move with the Ruler, yet is implanted in substances along with their origin by the God of the universe. Such being the case, they must confess either that punish-merit is not just, and those who condemn and persecute the martyrs do right, or that persecutions even are wrought by the will of God. Labour and fear are not, then, as they say, incident to affairs as rust to iron, but come upon the soul through its own will. And on these points there is much to say, which will be reserved for future consideration, taking them up in due course.

CHAP. XIII.--VALENTINIAN'S VAGARIES ABOUT THE ABOLITION OF DEATH REFUTED.

Valentinian, in a homily, writes in these words: "Ye are originally immortal, and children of eternal life, and ye would have death distributed to you, that ye may spend and lavish it, and that death may die in you and by you; for when we dissolve the world, and are not yourselves dissolved, ye have dominion over creation and all corruption." For he also, similarly with Basilides, supposes a class saved by nature, and that this different race has come hither to us from above for the abolition of death, and that the origin of death is the work of the Creator of the world. Wherefore also he so expounds that Scripture, "No man shall see the face of God, and live," as if He were the cause of death. Respecting this God, he makes those allusions when writing in these expressions: "As much as the image is inferior to the living face, so much is the world inferior to the living AEon. What is, then, the cause of the image? The majesty of the face, which exhibits the figure to the painter, to be honoured by his name; for the form is not found exactly to the life, but the name supplies what is wanting in the effigy. The invisibility of God co-operates also in order to the faith of that which has been fashioned." For the Creator, called God and Father, he designated as "Painter," and "Wisdom," whose image that which is formed is, to the glory of the invisible One; since the things which proceed from a pair are complements, and those which proceed from one are images. But since what is seen is no part of Him, the soul comes from what is intermediate, which is different; and this is the inspiration of the different spirit, and generally what is breathed into the soul, which is the image of the spirit. And in general, what is said of the Creator, who was made according to the image, they say was foretold by a sensible image in the book of Genesis respecting the origin of man; and the likeness they transfer to themselves, teaching that the addition of the different spirit was made; unknown to the Creator. When, then, we treat of the unity of the God who is proclaimed in the law, the prophets, and the Gospel, we shall also discuss this; for the topic is supreme.[2] But we must advance to that which is urgent. If for the purpose of doing away with death the peculiar race has come, it is not Christ who has abolished death, unless He also is said to be of the same essence with them. And if He abolished it to this end, that it might not touch the peculiar race, it is not these, the rivals of the Creator, who breathe into the image of their intermediate spirit the life from above--in accordance with the principle of their dogma--that abolish death. But should they say that this takes place by His mother,[3] or should they say that they, along with Christ, war against death, let them own their secret dogma that they have the hardihood to assail the divine power of the Creator, by setting to rights His creation, as if they were superior, endeavouring to save the vital image which He was not able to rescue from corruption. Then the Lord would be superior to God the Creator; for the son would never contend with the father, especially among the gods. But the point that the Creator of all things, the omnipotent Lord, is the Father of the Son, we have deferred till the discussion of these points, in which we have undertaken to dispute against the heresies, showing that He alone is the God proclaimed by Him.
But the apostle, writing to us with reference to the endurance of afflictions, says, "And this is of God, that it is given to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. If there is therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any communion of spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye may be of the same mind, having the same love, unanimous, thinking one thing. And if he is offered on the sacrifice and service of faith, joying and rejoicing"[1] with the Philippians, to whom the apostle speaks, calling them "fellow-partakers of joy,"[2] how does he say that they are of one soul, and having a soul? Likewise, also, writing respecting Timothy and himself, he says, "For I have no one like-souled, who will nobly care for your state. For all seek their own, not the-things which are Jesus Christ's."[3]
Let not the above-mentioned people, then, call us, by way of reproach, "natural men" (<greek>yukikoi</greek>), nor the Phrygians[4] either; for these now call those who do not apply themselves to the new prophecy "natural men" (<greek>yukikoi</greek>), with whom we shall discuss in our remarks on "Prophecy."[5] The perfect man ought therefore to practise love, and thence to haste to the divine friendship, fulfilling the commandments from love. And loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, or impiety, or adultery, or theft; but the thief, the impious, the adulterer, not as far as he sins, and in respect of the actions by which he stains the name of man, but as he is a man, and the work of God. Assuredly sin is an activity, not an existence: and therefore it is not a work of God. Now sinners are called enemies of God--enemies, that is, of the commands which they do not obey, as those who obey become friends, the one named so from their fellowship, the others from their estrangement, which is the result of free choice; for there is neither enmity nor sin without the enemy and the sinner. And the command "to covet nothing," not as if the things to be desired did not belong to us, does not teach us not to entertain desire, as those suppose who teach that the Creator is different from the first God, not as if creation was loathsome and bad (for such opinions are impious). But we say that the things of the world are not our own, not as if they were monstrous, not as if they did not belong to God, the Lord of the universe, but because we do not continue among them for ever; being, in respect of possession, not ours, and passing from one to another in succession; but belonging to us, for whom they were made in respect of use, so long as it is necessary to continue with them. In accordance, therefore, with natural appetite, things disallowed are to be used rightly, avoiding all excess and inordinate affection.

 

 
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