دراسات أبائية


علم الباترولوجي
"كتابات الآباء "




How great also is benignity! "Love your enemies," it is said, "bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you,"[6] and the like; to which it is added, "that ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven," in allusion to resemblance to God. Again, it is said, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him."[7] The adversary is not the body, as some would have it, but the devil, and those assimilated to him, who walks along with us in the person of men, who emulate his deeds in this earthly life. It is inevitable, then, that those who confess themselves to belong to Christ, but find themselves in the midst of the devil's works, suffer the most hostile treatment. For it is written, "Lost he deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officers of Satan's kingdom." "For I am persuaded that neither death," through the assault of persecutors, "nor life" in this world, "nor angels," the apostate ones, " nor powers" (and Satan's power is the life which he chose, for such are the powers and principalities of darkness belonging to him), "nor things present," amid which we exist during the time of life, as the hope entertained by the soldier, and the merchant's gain, "nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature," in consequence of the energy proper to a man,--opposes the faith of him who acts according to free choice. "Creature" is synonymous with activity, being our work, and such activity "shall not be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."[8] You have got a compendious account of the gnostic martyr.


"We know that we all have knowledge"--common knowledge in common things, and the knowledge that there is one God. For he was writing to believers; whence he adds, "But knowledge (gnosis) is not in all," being communicated to few. And there are those who say that the knowledge about things sacrificed to idols is not promulgated among all, "lest our liberty prove a stumbling-block to the weak. For by thy knowledge he that is weak is destroyed. "[1] Should they say, "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, ought that to be bought?" adding, by way of interrogation, "asking no questions,"[2] as if equivalent to "asking questions," they give a ridiculous interpretation. For the apostle says, "All other things buy out of the shambles, asking no questions," with the exception of the things mentioned in the Catholic epistle of all the apostles,[3] "with the consent of the Holy Ghost," which is written in the Acts of the Apostles, and conveyed to the faithful by the hands of Paul himself. For they intimated "that they must of necessity abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which keeping themselves, they should do well." It is a different matter, then, which is expressed by the apostle: "Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as the rest of the apostles, as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas? But we have not used this power," he says, "but bear all things, lest we should occasion hindrance to the Gospel of Christ;" namely, by bearing about burdens, when it was necessary to be untrammelled for all things; or to become an example to those who wish to exercise temperance, not encouraging each other to eat greedily of what is set before us, and not to consort inconsiderately with woman. And especially is it incumbent on those entrusted with such a dispensation to exhibit to disciples a pure example. "For though I be free from all men, I have made myself servant to all," it is said, "that I might gain all. And every one that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things."[4] "But the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."[5] For conscience' sake, then, we are to abstain from what we ought to abstain. "Conscience, I say, not his own," for it is endued with knowledge, "but that of the other," lest he be trained badly, and by imitating in ignorance what he knows not, he become a despiser instead of a strong-minded man. "For why is my liberty judged of by another conscience? For if I by grace am a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God "[6]--what you are commanded to do by the rule of faith.


"With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Wherefore the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed; that is, the word of faith which we preach: for if thou confess the word with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."[7] There is clearly described the perfect righteousness, fulfilled both in practice and contemplation. Wherefore we are "to bless those who persecute us. Bless, and curse not."[8] " For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of a good conscience, that in holiness and sincerity we know God" by this inconsiderable instance exhibiting the work of love, that "not in fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world."[9] So far the apostle respecting knowledge; and in the second Epistle to the Corinthians he calls the common "teaching of faith" the savour of knowledge. "For unto this day the same veil remains on many in the reading of the Old Testament,"[10] not being uncovered by turning to the Lord. Wherefore also to those capable of perceiving he showed resurrection, that of the life still in the flesh, creeping on its belly. Whence also he applied the name "brood of vipers" to the voluptuous, who serve the belly and the pudenda, and cut off one another's heads for the sake of worldly pleasures. "Little children, let us not love in word, or in tongue," says John, teaching them to be perfect, "but in deed and in truth; hereby shall we know that we are of the truth."[11] And if "God be love," piety also is love: "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."[12] "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."[13] And again, to him who desires to become a Gnostic, it is written, "But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in faith, in purity."[14] For perfection in faith differs, I think, from ordinary faith. And the divine apostle furnishes the rule for the Gnostic in these words, writing as follows: "For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to lack. I can do all things through Him who strengtheneth me."[15] And also when discussing with others in order to put them, to shame, he does not shrink from saying, "But call to mind the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazing-stock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took with joy the spoiling of your goods, knowing that you have a better and enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after doing the will of God, ye may obtain the promise. For yet a little while, and He that cometh will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: and if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."[1] He then brings forward a swarm of divine examples. For was it not "by faith," he says, this endurance, that they acted nobly who "had trial of mockeries and scourgings, and, moreover, of bonds and imprisonments? They were stoned, they were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts, in mountains, in dens, and caves of the earth. And all having received a good report, through faith, received not the promise of God" (what is expressed by a parasiopesis is left to be understood, viz., "alone "). He adds accordingly, "God having provided some better thing for us (for He was good), that they should not without us be made perfect. Wherefore also, having encompassing us such a cloud," holy and transparent, "of witnesses, laying aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."[2] Since, then, he specifies one salvation in Christ of the righteous,[3] and of us he has expressed the former unambiguously, and saying nothing less respecting Moses, adds, "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect to the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible."[4] The divine Wisdom says of the martyrs, "They seemed in the eyes of the foolish to die, and their departure was reckoned a calamity, and their migration from us an affliction. But they are in peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope was full of immortality."[5] He then adds, teaching martyrdom to be a glorious purification, "And being chastened a little, they shall be benefited much; because God proved them," that is, suffered them to be tried, to put them to the proof, and to put to shame the author of their trial, "and found them worthy of Himself," plainly to be called sons. "As gold in the furnace He proved them, and as a whole burned-offering of sacrifice He accepted them. And in the time of their visitation they will shine forth, even as sparks run along the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and rule over the peoples, and the Lord shall reign over them forever."[6]


Moreover, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle[7] Clement also, drawing a picture of the Gnostic, says:[8] "For who that has sojourned among you has not proved your perfect and firm faith? and has not admired your sound and gentle piety? and has not celebrated the munificent style of your hospitality? and has not felicitated your complete and sure knowledge? For ye did all things impartially, and walked in the ordinances of God;" and so forth.
Then more clearly: "Let us fix our eyes on those who have yielded perfect service to His magnificent glory. Let us take Enoch, who, being by his obedience found righteous, was translated; and Noah, who, having believed, was saved; and Abraham, who for his faith and hospitality was called the friend of God, and was the father of Isaac." "For hospitality and piety, Lot was saved from Sodom." "For faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved." "From patience and faith they walked about in goat-skins, and sheep-skins, and folds of camels' hair, proclaiming the kingdom of Christ. We name His prophets Elias, and Eliseus, and Ezekiel, and John."
"For Abraham, who for his free faith was called ' the friend of God,' was not elated by glory, but modestly said, 'I am dust and ashes.'[9] And of Job it is thus written: ' Job was just and blameless, true and pious, abstaining from all evil.'"[10] He it was who overcame the tempter by patience, and at once testified and was testified to by God; who keeps hold of humility, and says, "No one is pure from defilement, not even if his life were but for one day."[11] "Moses, 'the servant who was faithful in all his house,' said to Him who uttered the oracles from the bush,' Who am I, that Thou sendest me? I am slow of speech, and of a stammering tongue,' to minister the voice of God in human speech. And again: ' I am smoke from a pot.'" "For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."[1]
"David too, of whom the Lord, testifying, says, 'I found a man after my own heart, David the son of Jesse. With my holy oil I anointed him.'[2] But he also says to God, 'Pity me, O God, according to Thy mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgression, and my sin is ever before me.' "[3] Then, alluding to sin which is not subject to the law, in the exercise of the moderation of true knowledge, he adds, "Against Thee only have I sinned, and done evil in Thy sight."[4] For the Scripture somewhere says, "The Spirit of the Lord is a lamp, searching the recesses of the belly."[5] And the more of a Gnostic a man becomes by doing right, the nearer is the illuminating Spirit to him. "Thus the Lord draws near to the righteous, and none of the thoughts and reasonings of which we are the authors escape Him--I mean the Lord Jesus," the scrutinizer by His omnipotent will of our heart, "whose blood was consecrated[6] for us. Let us therefore respect those who are over us, and reverence the elders; let us honour the young, and let us teach the discipline of God." For blessed is he who shah do and teach the Lord's commands worthily; and he is of a magnanimous mind, and of a mind contemplative of truth. "Let us direct our wives to what is good; let them exhibit," says he, "the lovable disposition of chastity; let them show the guileless will of their meekness; let them manifest the gentleness of their tongue by silence; let them give their love not according to their inclinations, but equal love in sanctity to all i that fear God. Let our children share in the discipline that is in Christ; let them learn what humility avails before God; what is the power of holy love before God, how lovely and great is the fear of the Lord, saving all that walk in it holily; with a pure heart: for He is the Searcher of the thoughts and sentiments, whose breath is in us, and when He wills He will take it away."
"Now all those things are confirmed by the faith that is in Christ. 'Come, ye children,' says the Lord, ' hearken to me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man that desireth life, that loveth to see good days?'[7] Then He subjoins the gnostic mystery of the numbers seven and eight. 'Stop thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it.'[8] For in these words He alludes to knowledge (gnosis), with abstinence from evil and the doing of what is good, teaching that it is to be perfected by word and deed. ' The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are to their prayer. But the face of God is against those thai do evil, to root out their memory from the earth. The righteous cried, and the Lord heard, and delivered him out of all his distresses.'[9] ' Many are the stripes of sinners; but those who hope in the Lord, mercy shall compass about.'"[10] "A multitude of mercy," he nobly says, "surrounds him that trusts in the Lord."
For it is written in the Epistle to the Corinthians, "Through Jesus Christ our foolish and darkened mind springs up to the light. By Him the Sovereign Lord wished us to taste the knowledge that is immortal." And, showing more expressly the peculiar nature of knowledge, he added: "These things, then, being clear to us, looking into the depths of divine knowledge, we ought to do all things in order which the Sovereign Lord commanded us to perform at the appointed seasons. Let the wise man, then, show his wisdom not in words only, but in good deeds. Let the humble not testify to himself, but allow testimony to be borne to him by another. Let not him who is pure in the flesh boast, knowing that it is another who furnishes him with continence. Ye see, brethren, that the more we are subjected to peril, the more knowledge are we counted worthy of."


"The decorous tendency of our philanthropy, therefore," according to Clement, "seeks the common good;" whether by suffering martyrdom, or by teaching by deed and word,--the latter being twofold, unwritten and written. This is love, to love God and our neighbour. "This conducts to the height which is unutterable.[11] ' Love covers a multitude of sins.[12] Love beareth all things, suffereth all things.'[13] Love joins us to God, does all things in concord. In love, all the chosen of God were perfected. Apart from love, nothing is well pleasing to God." "Of its perfection there is no unfolding," it is said. "Who is fit to be found in it, except those whom. God counts worthy ?" To the point the Apostle Paul speaks, "If I give my body, and have not love, I am sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal."[14] If it is not from a disposition determined by gnostic love that I shall testify, he means; but if through fear and expected reward, moving my lips in order to testify to the Lord that I shall confess the Lord, I am a common man, sounding the Lord's name, not knowing Him. "For there is the people that loveth with the lips; and there is another which gives the body to be burned." "And if I give all my goods in alms," he says, not according to the principle of loving communication, but on account of recompense, either from him who has received the benefit, or the Lord who has promised; "and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains," and cast away obscuring passions, and be not faithful to the Lord from love, "I am nothing," as in comparison of him who testifies as a Gnostic, and the crowd, and being reckoned nothing better.
"Now all the generations from Adam to this day are gone. But they who have been perfected in love, through the grace of God, hold the place of the godly, who shall be manifested at the visitation of the kingdom of Christ." Love permits not to sin; but if it fall into any such case, by reason of the interference of the: adversary, in imitation of David, it will sing: "I will confess unto the Lord, and it will please Him above a young bullock that has horns and hoofs. Let the poor see it, and be glad." For he says, "Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise, and pay to the Lord thy vows; and call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."[1] "For the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit."[2]
"God," then, being good, "is love," it is said.[3] Whose "love worketh no ill to his neighhour,"[4] neither injuring nor revenging ever, but, in a word, doing good to all according to the image of God. "Love is," then, "the fulfilling of the law; "[4] like as Christ, that is the presence of the Lord who loves us; and our loving teaching of, and discipline according to Christ. By love, then, the commands not to commit adultery, and not to covet one's neighbour's wife, are fulfilled,[these sins being] formerly prohibited by fear.
The same work, then, presents a difference, according as it is done by fear, or accomplished by love, and is wrought by faith or by knowledge. Rightly, therefore, their rewards are different. To the Gnostic "are prepared what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man;" but to him who has exercised simple faith He testifies a hundredfold in return for what he has left,--a promise which has turned out to fall within human comprehension. Come to this point, I recollect one who called himself a Gnostic. For, expounding the words, "But i say unto you, he that looketh on a woman to lust after, hath committed adultery,"[5] he thought that it was not bare desire that was condemned; but if through the desire the act that results from it proceeding beyond the desire is accomplished in it. For dream employs phantasy and the body. Accordingly, the historians relate the following decision, of Bocchoris the just.[6] A youth, falling in love with a courtezan, persuades the girl, for a stipulated reward, to come to him next day. But his desire being unexpectedly satiated, by laying hold of the girl in a dream, by anticipation, when the object of his love came according to stipulation, he prohibited her from coming in. But she, on learning what had taken place, demanded the reward, saying that in this way she had sated the lover's desire. They came accordingly to the judge. He, ordering the youth to hold out the purse containing the reward in the sun, bade the courtezan take hold of the shadow; facetiously bidding him pay the image of a reward for the image of an embrace.
Accordingly one dreams, the soul assenting to the vision. But he dreams waking, who looks so as to lust; not only, as that Gnostic said, if along with the sight of the woman he imagine in his mind intercourse, for this is already the act of lust, as lust; but if one looks on beauty of person (the Word says), and the flesh seem to him in the way of lust to be fair, looking on cam ally and sinfully, he is judged because he admired. For, on the other hand, he who in chaste love looks on beauty, thinks not that the flesh is beautiful, but the spirit, admiring, as I judge, the body as an image, by whose beauty he transports himself to the Artist, and to the true beauty; exhibiting the sacred symbol, the bright impress of righteousness to the angels that wait on the ascension;[7] I mean the unction of acceptance, the quality of disposition which resides in the soul that is gladdened by the communication of the Holy Spirit. This glory, which Shone forth on the face of Moses, the people could not look on. Wherefore he took a veil for the glory, to those who looked cam ally. For those, who demand toll, detain those who bring in any worldly things, who are burdened with their own passions. But him that is free of all things which are subject to duty, and is full of knowledge, and of the righteousness of works, they pass on with their good wishes, blessing the man with his work. "And his life shall not fall away"--the leaf of the living tree that is nourished "by the water-courses."[8] Now the righteous is likened to fruit-bearing trees, and not only to such as are of the nature[1] of tall-growing ones. And in the sacrificial oblations, according to the law, there were those who looked for blemishes in the sacrifices. They who are skilled in such matters distinguish propension[2] (<greek>orexis</greek>) from lust (<greek>epiqumia</greek>); and assign the latter, as being irrational, to pleasures and licentiousness; and propension, as being a rational movement, they assign to the necessities of nature.


In this perfection it is possible for man and woman equally to share. It is not only Moses, then, that heard from God, "I have spoken to thee once, and twice, saying, I have seen this people, and lo, it is stiff-necked. Suffer me to exterminate them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make thee into a great and wonderful nation much greater than this;" who answers not regarding himself, but the common salvation: "By no means, O Lord; forgive this people their sin, or blot me out of the book of the living."[3] How great was his perfection, in wishing to die together with the people, rather than be saved alone !
But Judith too, who became perfect among women, in the siege of the city, at the entreaty of the elders went forth into the strangers' camp, despising all danger for her country's sake, giving herself into the enemy's hand in faith in God; and straightway she obtained the reward of her faith,--though a woman, prevailing over the enemy of her faith, and gaining possession of the head of Holofernes. And again, Esther perfect by faith, who rescued Israel from the power of the king and the satrap's cruelty: a woman alone, afflicted with fastings,[4] held back ten thousand armed[5] hands, annulling by her faith the tyrant's decree; him indeed she appeased, Haman she restrained, and Israel she preserved scathless by her perfect prayer to God. I pass over in silence Susanna and the sister of Moses, since the latter was the prophet's associate in commanding the host, being superior to all the women among the Hebrews who were in repute for their wisdom; and the former in her surpassing modesty, going even to death condemned by licentious admirers, remained the unwavering martyr of chastity.
Dion, too, the philosopher, tells that a certain woman Lysidica, through excess of modesty, bathed in her clothes; and that Philotera, when she was to enter the bath, gradually drew back her tunic as the water covered the naked parts; and then rising by degrees, put it on. And did not Lesena of Attica manfully bear the torture ? She being privy to the conspiracy of Harmodius and Aristogeiton against Hipparchus, uttered not a word, though severely tortured. And they say that the Argolic women, under the guidance of Telesilla the poetess, turned to flight the doughty Spartans by merely showing themselves; and that she produced in them fearlessness of death. Similarly speaks he who composed the Danais respecting the daughters of Danaus:--

"And then the daughters of Danaus swiftly armed themselves,
Before the fair-flowing river, majestic Nile[4],"

and so forth.
And the rest of the poets sing of Atalanta's swiftness in the chase, of Anticlea's love for children, of Alcestis's love for her husband, of the courage of Makaeria and of the Hyacinthides. What shall I say ? Did not Theano the Pythagorean make such progress in philosophy, that to him who looked intently at her, and said, "Your arm is beautiful," she answered "Yes, but it is not public." Characterized by the same propriety, there is also reported the following reply.[6] When asked when a woman after being with her husband attends the Thesmophoria, said, "From her own husband at once, from a stranger never." Themisto too, of Lampsacus, the daughter of Zoilus, the wife of Leontes of Lampsacus, studied the Epicurean philosophy, as Myia the daughter of Theano the Pythagorean, and Arignote, who wrote the history of Dionysius.
And the daughters of Diodorus, who was called Kronus, all became dialecticians, as Philo the dialectician says in the Mrenexenus, whose names are mentioned as follows--Menexene, Argia, Theognis, Artemesia, Pantaclea. I also recollect a female Cynic,--she was called Hipparchia, a Maronite, the wife of Crates,--in whose case the so-called dog-wedding was celebrated in the Pcecile. Arete of Cyrene, too, the daughter of Aristippus, educated her son Aristippus, who was surnamed Mother-taught. Lastheneia of Arcis, and Axiothea of Phlius, studied philosophy with Plato. Besides, Aspasia of Miletus, of whom the writers of comedy write much, was trained by Socrates in philosophy, by Pericles in rhetoric. I omit, on account of the length of the discourse, the rest; enumerating neither the poetesses Corinna, Telesilla, Myia, and Sappho; nor the painters, as Irene the daughter of Cratinus, and Anaxandra the daughter of Nealces, according to the account of Didymus in the Symposiaci. The daughter of Cleobulus, the sage and monarch of the Lindii, was not ashamed to wash the feet of her father's guests. Also the wife of Abraham, the blessed Sarah, in her own person prepared the cakes baked in the ashes for the angels; and princely maidens among the Hebrews fed sheep. Whence also the Nausicaa of Homer went to the washing-tubs.
The wise woman, then, win first choose to persuade her husband to be her associate in what is conducive to happiness. And should that be found impracticable, let her by herself earnestly aim at virtue, gaining her husband's consent in everything, so as never to do anything against his will, with exception of what is reckoned as contributing to virtue and salvation. But if one keeps from such a mode of life either wife or maid-servant, whose heart is set on it; what such a person in that case plainly does is nothing else than determine to drive her away from righteousness and sobriety, and to choose to make his own house wicked and licentious.
It is not then possible that man or woman can be conversant with anything whatever, without the advantage of education, and application, and training; and virtue, we have said, depends not on others, but on ourselves above all. Other things one can repress, by waging war against them; but with what depends on one's self, this is entirely out of the question, even with the most strenuous persistence. For the gift is one conferred by God, and not in the power of any other. Whence licentiousness should be regarded as the evil of no other one than of him who is guilty of licentiousness; and temperance, on the other hand, as the good of him who is able to practise it.


The woman who, with propriety, loves her husband, Euripides describes, while admonishing,--

"That when her husband says aught,
She ought to regard him as speaking well if she say nothing;
And if she will say anything, to do her endeavour to gratify her husband."

And again he subjoins the like :--

"And that the wife should sweetly look sad with her husband,
Should aught evil befall him,
And have in common a share of sorrow and joy."

Then, describing her as gentle and kind even in misfortunes, he adds:--

"And I, when you are ill, will, sharing your sickness bear it;
And I will bear my share in your misfortunes."


"Nothing is bitter to me,
For with friends one ought to be happy,
For what else is friendship but this?"

The marriage, then, that is consummated according to the word, is sanctified, if the union be under subjection to God, and be conducted "with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and the body washed with pure water, and holding the confession of hope; for He is faithful that promised." And the happiness of marriage ought never to be estimated either by wealth or beauty, but by virtue.

"Beauty," says the tragedy,--

"Helps no wife with her husband;
But virtue has helped many; for every good wife
Who is attached to her husband knows how to pracise

Then, as giving admonitions, he says :--

"First, then, this is incumbent on her who is endowed with mind,
That even if her husband be ugly, he must appear good-looking;
For it is for the mind, not the eye, to judge."

And so forth.
For with perfect propriety Scripture has said that woman is given by God as "an help" to man. It is evident, then, in my opinion, that she will charge herself with remedying, by good sense and persuasion, each of the annoyances that originate with her husband in domestic economy. And if he do not yield, then she will endeavour, as far as possible for human nature, to lead a sinless life; whether it be necessary to die, in accordance with reason, or to live; considering that God is her helper and associate in such a course of conduct, her true defender and Saviour both for the present and for the future; making Him the leader and guide of all her actions, reckoning sobriety and righteousness her work, and making the favour of God her end. Gracefully, therefore, the apostle says in the Epistle to Titus, "that the eider women should be of godly behaviour, should not be slanderers, not enslaved to much wine; that they should counsel the young women to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children, discreet, chaste, housekeepers, good, subject to their own husbands; that the word of God be not blasphemed."[1] But rather, he says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently, lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel surrendered his birth-right; and lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."[2] And then, as putting the finishing stroke to the question about marriage, he adds: "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."[3] And one aim and one end, as far as regards perfection, being demonstrated to belong to the man and the woman, Peter in his Epistle says, "Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than that of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls."[1] Wherefore also Paul rejoices for Christ's sake that he was "in labours, more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft."[2]


Here I find perfection apprehended variously in relation to Him who excels in every virtue. Accordingly one is perfected as pious, and as patient, and as continent, and as a worker, and as a martyr, and as a Gnostic. But I know no one of men perfect in all things at once, while still human, though according to the mere letter of the law, except Him alone who for us clothed Himself with humanity. Who then is perfect? He who professes abstinence from what is bad. Well, this is the way to the Gospel and to well-doing. But gnostic perfection in the case of the legal man is the acceptance of the Gospel, that he that is after the law may be perfect. For so he, who was after the law, Moses, foretold that it was necessary to hear in order that we might, according to the apostle, receive Christ, the fulness of the law.[3] But now in the Gospel the Gnostic attains proficiency not only by making use of the law as a step, but by understanding and comprehending it, as the Lord who gave the Covenants delivered it to the apostles. And if he conduct himself rightly (as assuredly it is impossible to attain knowledge (gnosis) by bad conduct); and if, further, having made an eminently right confession, he become a martyr out of love, obtaining considerable renown as among men; not even thus will he be called perfect in the flesh beforehand; since it is the close of life which claims this appellation, when the gnostic martyr has first shown the perfect work, and rightly exhibited it, and having thankfully shed his blood, has yielded up the ghost: blessed then will he be, and truly proclaimed perfect, "that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us," as the apostle says. Only let us preserve free-will and love: "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."[4] For those who strive after perfection, according to the same apostle, must "give no offence in anything, but in everything approve themselves not to men, but to God." And, as a consequence, also they ought to yield to men; for it is reasonable, on account of abusive calumnies: Here is the specification: "in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, in pureness, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Ghost, in love unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God,"[5] that we may be the temples of God, purified "from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit." "And I," He says, "will receive you; and I will be to you for a Father, and ye shall be to Me for sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."[6] "Let us then," he says, "perfect holiness in the fear of God." For though fear beget pain, "I rejoice," he says, "not that ye were made sorry, but that ye showed susceptibility to repentance. For ye sorrowed after a godly sort, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For this same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what earnestness it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what compunction; yea, what fear; yea, what desire; yea, what zeal; yea, revenge! In all things ye have showed yourselves clear in the matter."[7] Such are the preparatory exercises of gnostic discipline. And since the omnipotent God Himself "gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; "[8] we are then to strive to reach manhood as befits the Gnostic, and to be as perfect as we can while still abiding in the flesh, making it our study with perfect concord here to concur with the will of God, to the restoration of what is the truly perfect nobleness and relationship, to the fulness of Christ, that which perfectly depends on our perfection.
And now we perceive where, and how, and when the divine apostle mentions the perfect man, and how he shows the differences of the perfect. And again, on the other hand: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given for our profit. For to one is given the word of wisdom by the Spirit; to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith through the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing through the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another diversities of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: and all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, distributing to each one according as He wills."' Such being the case, the prophets are perfect in prophecy, the righteous in righteousness, and the martyrs in confession, and others in preaching, not that they are not sharers in the common virtues, but are proficient in those to which they are appointed. For what man in his senses would say that a prophet was not righteous? For what? did not righteous men like Abraham prophesy?

"For to one God has given warlike deeds,
To another the accomplishment of the dance,
To another the lyre and song,"[2]

says Homer. "But each has his own proper gift of God "[3]--one in one way, another in another. But the apostles were perfected in all. You will find, then, if you choose, in their acts and writings, knowledge, life, preaching, righteousness, purity, prophecy. We must know, then, that if Paul is' young in respect to time[4]--having flourished immediately after the Lord's ascension--yet his writings depend on the Old Testament, breathing and speaking of them. For faith in Christ and the knowledge of the Gospel are the explanation and fulfilment of the law; and therefore it was said to the Hebrews, "If ye believe not, neither shall you understand;"[5] that is, unless you believe what is prophesied in the law, and oracularly delivered by the law, you will not understand the Old Testament, which He by His coming expounded.


The man of understanding and perspicacity is, then, a Gnostic. And his business is not abstinence from what is evil (for this is a step to the highest perfection), or the doing of good out of fear. For it is written, "Whither shall I flee, and where shall I hide myself from Thy presence ? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I go away to the uttermost parts of the sea, there is Thy right hand; if I go down into the depths, there is Thy Spirit."[6] Nor any more is he to do so from hope of promised recompense. For it is said, "Behold the Lord, and His reward is before His face, to give to every one according to his works; what eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, and hath not entered into the heart of man what God hath prepared for them that love Him."[7] But only the doing of good out of love, and for the sake of its own excellence, is to be the Gnostic's choice. Now, in the person of God it is said to the Lord, "Ask of Me, and I will give the heathen for Thine inheritance;"[8] teaching Him to ask a truly regal request--that is, the salvation of men without price, that we may inherit and possess the Lord. For, on the contrary, to desire knowledge about God for any practical purpose, that this may be done, or that may not be done, is not proper to the Gnostic; but the knowledge itself suffices as the reason for contemplation. For I will dare aver that it is not because he wishes to be saved that he, who devotes himself to knowledge for the sake of the divine science itself, chooses knowledge. For the exertion of the intellect by exercise is prolonged to a perpetual exertion. And the perpetual exertion of the intellect is the essence of an intelligent being, which results from an uninterrupted process of admixture, and remains eternal contemplation, a living substance. Could we, then, suppose any one proposing to the Gnostic whether he would choose the knowledge of God or everlasting salvation; and if these, which are entirely identical, were separable, he would without the least hesitation choose the knowledge of God, deeming that property of faith, which from love ascends to knowledge, desirable, for its own sake. This, then, is the perfect man's first form of doing good, when it is done not for any advantage in what pertains to him, but because he judges it right to do good; and the energy being vigorously exerted in all things, in the very act becomes good; not, good in some things, and not good in others; but consisting in the habit of doing good, neither for glory, nor, as the philosophers say, for reputation, nor from reward either from men or God; but so as to pass life after the image and likeness of the Lord.
And if, in doing good, he be met with anything adverse, he will let the recompense pass without resentment as if it were good, he being just and good "to the just and the unjust." To such the Lord says, "Be ye, as your Father is perfect."
To him the flesh is dead; but he himself lives alone, having consecrated the sepulchre into a holy temple to the Lord, having turned towards God the old sinful soul.
Such an one is no longer continent, but has reached a state of passionlessness, waiting to put on the divine image. "If thou doest alms," it is said, "let no one know it; and if thou fastest, anoint thyself, that God alone may know,"[1] and not a single human being. Not even he himself who shows mercy ought to know that he does show mercy; for in this way he will be sometimes merciful, sometimes not. And when he shall do good by habit, he will imitate the nature of good, and his disposition will be his nature and his practice. There is no necessity for removing those who are raised on high, but there is necessity for those who are walking to reach the requisite goal, by passing over the whole of the narrow way. For this is to be drawn by the Father, to become worthy to receive the power of grace from God, so as to run without hindrance. And if some hate the elect, such an one knows their ignorance, and pities their minds for its folly.
As is right, then, knowledge itself loves and teaches the ignorant, and instructs the whole creation to honour God Almighty. And if such an one teaches to love God, he will not hold virtue as a thing to be lost in any case, either awake or in a dream, or in any vision; since the habit never goes out of itself by falling from being a habit. Whether, then, knowledge be said to be habit or disposition; on account of diverse sentiments never obtaining access, the guiding faculty, remaining unaltered, admits no alteration of appearances by framing in dreams visionary conceptions out of its movements by day. Wherefore also the Lord enjoins "to watch," so that our soul may never be perturbed with passion, even in dreams; but also to keep the life of the night pure and stainless, as if spent in the day. For assimilation to God, as far as we can, is preserving the mind in its relation to the same things. And this is the relation of mind as mind.
But the variety of disposition arises from inordinate affection to material things. And for this reason, as they appear to me, to have called night Euphrone; since then the soul, released from the perceptions of sense, turns in on itself, and has a truer hold of intelligence (<greek>Fronhsis</greek>).[2] Wherefore the mysteries are for the most part celebrated by night, indicating the withdrawal of the soul from the body, which takes place by night. "Let us not then sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as an helmet the hope of salvation."[3] And as to what, again, they say of sleep, the very same things are to be understood of death. For each exhibits the departure of the soul, the one more, the other less; as we may also get this in Heraclitus: "Man touches night in himself, when dead and his light quenched; and alive, when he sleeps he touches the dead; and awake, when he shuts his eyes, he touches the sleeper."[4] "For blessed are those that have seen the Lord,"[5] according to the apostle; "for it is high time to awake out of sleep. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light."[6] By day and light he designates figuratively the Son, and by the armour of light metaphorically the promises.
So it is said that we ought to go washed to sacrifices and prayers, clean and bright; and that this external adornment and purification are practised for a sign. Now purity is to think holy thoughts. Further, there is the image of baptism, which also was handed down to the poets from Moses as follows:--
"And she having drawn water, and wearing on her body clean clothes."[7]

It is Penelope that is going to prayer:--

"And Telemachus,
Having washed his hands in the hoary sea, prayed to Athene."[8]

It was a custom of the Jews to wash frequently after being in bed. It was then well said,--
"Be pure, not by washing of water, but in the mind."

For sanctity, as I conceive it, is perfect pureness of mind, and deeds, and thoughts, and words too, and in its last degree sinlessness in dreams.
And sufficient purification to a man, I reckon, is thorough and sure repentance. If, condemning ourselves for our former actions, we go forward, after these things taking thought,[9] and divesting our mind both of the things which please us through the senses, and of our former transgressions.
If, then, we are to give the etymology of <greek>episthmh</greek>, knowledge, its signification is to be derived from <greek>stasiu</greek>, placing; for our soul, which was formerly borne, now in one way, now in another, it settles in objects. Similarly faith is to be explained etymologically, as the settling (<greek>stasiu</greek>) of our soul respecting that which is.
But we desire to learn about the man who is always and in all things righteous; who, neither dreading the penalty proceeding from the law, nor fearing to entertain hatred of evil in the case of those who live with him and who prosecute the injured, nor dreading danger at the hands of those who do wrong, remains righteous. For he who, on account of these considerations, abstains from anything wrong, is not voluntarily kind, but is good from fear. Even Epicurus says, that the man who in his estimation was wise, "would not do wrong to any one for the sake of gain; for he could not persuade himself that he would escape detection." So that, if he knew he would not be detected, he would, according to him, do evil. And such are the doctrines of darkness. If, too, one shall abstain from doing wrong from hope of the recompense given by God on account of righteous deeds, he is not on this supposition spontaneously good. For as fear makes that man just, so reward makes this one; or rather, makes him appear to be just. But with the hope after death--a good hope to the good, to the bad the reverse--not only they who follow after Barbarian wisdom, but also the Pythagoreans, are acquainted. For the latter also proposed hope as an end to those who philosophize. Whereas Socrates[1] also, in the Phaedo, says "that good souls depart hence with a good hope;" and again, denouncing the wicked, he sets against this the assertion, "For they live with an evil hope." With him Heraclitus manifestly agrees in his dissertations concerning men: "There awaits man after death what they neither hope nor think." Divinely, therefore, Paul writes expressly, "Tribulation worketh, patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed."[2] For the patience is on account of the hope in the future. Now hope is synonymous with the recompense and restitution of hope; which maketh not ashamed, not being any more vilified.
But he who obeys the mere call, as he is called, neither for fear, nor for enjoyments, is on his way to knowledge (<greek>gnwsiu</greek>). For he does not consider whether any extrinsic lucrative gain or enjoyment follows to him; but drawn by the love of Him who is the true object of love, and led to what is requisite, practises piety. So that not even were we to suppose him to receive from God leave to do things forbidden with impunity; not even if he were to get the promise that he would receive as a reward the good things of the blessed; but besides, not even if he could persuade himself that God would be hoodwinked with reference to what he does (which is impossible), would he ever wish to do aught contrary to right reason, having once made choice of what is truly good and worthy of choice on its own account, and therefore to be loved. For it is not in the food of the belly, that we have heard good to be situated. But he has heard that "meat will not commend us,"[3] nor marriage, nor abstinence from marriage in ignorance; but virtuous gnostic conduct. For the dog, which is an irrational animal, may be said to be continent, dreading as it does the uplifted stick, and therefore keeping away from the meat. But let the predicted promise be taken away, and the threatened dread cancelled, and the impending danger removed, and the disposition of such people will be revealed.


For it is not suitable to the nature of the thing itself, that they should apprehend in the truly gnostic manner the truth, that all things which were created for our use are good; as, for example, marriage and procreation, when used in moderation; and that it is better than good to i become free of passion, and virtuous by assimilation to the divine. But in the case of external things, agreeable or disagreeable, from some they abstain, from others not. But in those things from which they abstain from disgust, they plainly find fault with the creature and the Creator; and though in appearance they walk faithfully, the opinion they maintain is impious. That command, "Thou shall not lust," needs neither the necessity arising from fear, which compels to keep from things that are pleasant; nor the reward, which by promise persuades to restrain the impulses of passion.
And those who obey God through the promise, caught by the bait of pleasure, choose obedience not for the sake of the commandment, but for the sake of the promise. Nor will turning away from objects of sense, as a matter of necessary consequence, produce attachment to intellectual objects. On the contrary, the attachment to intellectual objects naturally becomes to the Gnostic an influence which draws away from the objects of sense; inasmuch as he, in virtue of the selection of what is good, has chosen what is good according to knowledge (<greek>gnwstikwu</greek>), admiring generation, and by sanctifying the Creator sanctifying assimilation to the divine. But I shall free myself from lust, let him say, O Lord, for the sake of alliance with Thee. For the economy of creation is good, and all things are well administered: nothing happens without a cause. I must be in what is Thine, O Omnipotent One. And if I am there, I am near Thee. And I would be free of fear that I may be able to draw near to Thee, and to be satisfied with little, practising Thy just choice between things good and things like.
Right mystically and sacredly the apostle, teaching us the choice which is truly gracious, not in the way of rejection of other things as bad, but so as to do things better than what is good, has spoken, saying, "So he that giveth his virgin in marriage doeth well; and he that giveth her not doeth better; as far as respects seemliness and undistracted attendance on the Lord."[1]
Now we know that things which are difficult are not essential; but that things which are essential have been graciously made easy of attainment by God. Wherefore Democritus well says, that "nature and instruction" are like each other. And we have briefly assigned the cause. For instruction harmonizes man, and by harmonizing makes him natural; and it is no matter whether one was made such as he is by nature, or transformed by time and education. The Lord has furnished both; that which is by creation, and that which is by creating again and renewal through the covenant. And that is preferable which is advantageous to what is superior; but what is superior to everything is mind. So, then, what is really good is seen to be most pleasant, and of itself produces the fruit which is desired--tranquillity of soul. "And he who hears Me," it is said, "shall rest in peace, confident, and shall be calm without fear of any evil."[2] "Rely with all thy heart and thy mind on God."[3]
On this wise it is possible for the Gnostic already to have become God. "I said, Ye are gods, and[4] sons of the highest." And Empedocles says that the souls of the wise become gods, writing as follows:--
"At last prophets, minstrels, and physicians,
And the foremost among mortal men, approach;
Whence spring gods supreme in honours."

Man, then, genetically considered, is formed in accordance with the idea of the connate spirit. For he is not created formless and shapeless in the workshop of nature, where mystically the production of man is accomplished, both art and essence being common. But the individual man is stamped according to the impression produced in the soul by the objects of his choice. Thus we say that Adam was perfect, as far as respects his formation; for none of the distinctive characteristics of the idea and form of man were wanting to him; but in the act of coming into being he received perfection. And he was justified by obedience; this was reaching manhood, as far as depended on him. And the cause lay in his choosing, and especially in his choosing what was forbidden. God was not the cause.
For production is twofold--of things procreated, and of things that grow. And manliness in man, who is subject to perturbation, as they say, makes him who partakes of it essentially fearless and invincible; and anger is the mind's satellite in patience, and endurance, and the like; and self-constraint and salutary sense are set over desire. But God is impassible, free of anger, destitute of desire. And He is not free of fear, in the sense of avoiding what is terrible; or temperate, in the sense of having command of desires. For neither can the nature of God fall in with anything terrible, nor does God flee fear; just as He will not feel desire, so as to rule over desires. Accordingly that Pythagorean saying was mystically uttered respecting us, "that man ought to become one;" for the high priest himself is one, God being one in the immutable state of the perpetual flow[5] or good things. Now the Saviour has taken away wrath in and with lust, wrath being lust of vengeance. For universally liability to feeling belongs to every kind of desire; and man, when deified purely into a passionless state, becomes a unit. As, then, those, who at sea are held by an anchor, pull at the anchor, but do not drag it to them, but drag themselves to the anchor; so those who, according to the gnostic life, draw God towards them, imperceptibly bring themselves to God: for he who reverences God, reverences himself. In the contemplative life, then, one in worshipping God attends to himself, and through his own spotless purification beholds the holy God holily; for self-control, being present, surveying and contemplating itself uninterruptedly, is as far as possible assimilated to God.


Now that is in our power, of which equally with its opposite we are masters,--as, say to philosophize or not, to believe or disbelieve. In consequence, then, of our being equally masters of each of the opposites, what depends on us is found possible. Now the commandments may be done or not done by us, who, as is reasonable, are liable to praise and blame. And those, again, who are punished on account of sins committed by them, are punished for them alone; for what is done is past, and what is done can never be undone. The sins committed before faith are accordingly forgiven by the Lord, not that they may be undone, but as if they had not been done. "But not all," says Basilides,[6] "but only sins involuntary and in ignorance, are forgiven;" as would be the case were it a man, and not God, that conferred such a boon. To such an one Scripture says, "Thou thoughtest that I would be like thee."[7] But if we are punished for voluntary sins, we are punished not that the sins which are done may be undone, but because they were done. But punishment does not avail to him who has sinned, to undo his sin, but that he may sin no more, and that no one else fall into the like. Therefore the good God corrects for these three causes: First, that he who is corrected may become better than his former self; then that those who are capable of being saved by examples may be driven back, being admonished; and thirdly, that he who is injured may not be readily despised, and be apt to receive injury. And there are two methods of correction--the instructive and the punitive, which we have called the disciplinary. It ought to be known, then, that those who fall into sin after baptism[1] are those who are subjected to discipline; for the deeds done before are remitted, and those done after are purged. It is in reference to the unbelieving that it is said, "that they are reckoned as the chaff which the wind drives from the face of the earth, and the drop which falls from a vessel."[2]


"Happy he who possesses the culture of knowledge, and is not moved to the injury of the citizens or to wrong actions, but contemplates the undecaying order of immortal nature, how and in what way and manner it subsists. To such the practice of base deeds attaches not," Rightly, then, Plato says, "that the man who devotes himself to the contemplation of ideas will live as a god among men; now the mind is the place of ideas, and God is mind." He says that be who contemplates the unseen God lives as a god among men. And in the Sophist, Socrates calls the stranger of Elea, who was a dialectician, "god:" "Such are the gods who, like stranger guests, frequent cities. For when the soul, rising above the sphere of generation, is by itself apart, and dwells amidst ideas," like the Coryphaeus in Theaetetus, now become as an angel, it will be with Christ, being rapt in contemplation, ever keeping in view the will of God; in reality "Alone wise, while these flit like shadows."[3] For the dead bury their dead." Whence Jeremiah says: "I will fill it with the earth-born dead whom mine anger has smitten."[4]
God, then, being not a subject for demonstration, cannot be the object of science. But the Son is wisdom, and knowledge, and truth, and all else that has affinity thereto. He is also susceptible of demonstration and of description. And all the powers of the Spirit, becoming collectively one thing, terminate in the same point--that is, in the Son. But He is incapable of being declared, in respect of the idea of each one of His powers. And the Son is neither simply one thing as one thing, nor many things as parts, but one thing as all things; whence also He is all things. For He is the circle of all powers rolled and united into one unity. Wherefore the Word is called the Alpha and the Omega, of whom alone the end becomes beginning, and ends again at the original beginning without any break. Wherefore also to believe in Him, and by Him, is to become a unit, being indissolubly united in Him; and to disbelieve is to be separated, disjoined, divided.
"Wherefore thus saith the Lord, Every alien son is uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh" (that is, unclean in body and soul): "there shall not enter one of the strangers into the midst of the house of Israel, but the Lerites."[5] He calls those that would not believe, but would disbelieve, strangers. Only those who live purely being true priests of God. Wherefore, of all the circumcised tribes, those anointed to be high priests, and kings, and prophets, were reckoned more holy. Whence He commands them not to touch dead bodies, or approach the dead; not that the body was polluted, but that sin and disobedience were incarnate, and embodied, and dead, and therefore abominable. It was only, then, when a father and mother, a son and daughter died, that the priest was allowed to enter, because these were related only by flesh and seed, to whom the priest was indebted for the immediate cause of his entrance into life. And they purify themselves seven days, the period in which Creation was consummated. For on the seventh day the rest is celebrated; and on the eighth he brings a propitiation, as is written in Ezekiel, according to which propitiation the promise is to be received.[6] And the perfect propitiation, I take it, is that propitious faith in the Gospel which is by the law and the prophets, and the purity which shows itself in universal obedience, with the abandonment of the things of the world; in order to that grateful surrender of the tabernacle, which results from the enjoyment of the soul. Whether, then, the time be that which through the seven periods enumerated returns to the chiefest rest,[7] or the seven heavens, which some reckon one above the other; or whether also the fixed sphere which borders on the intellectual world be called the eighth, the expression denotes that the Gnostic ought to rise out of the sphere of creation and of sin. After these seven days, sacrifices are offered for sins. For there is still fear of change, and it touches the seventh circle. The righteous Job says: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there;"[1] not naked of possessions, for that were a trivial and common thing; but, as a just man, he departs naked of evil and sin, and of the unsightly shape which follows those who have led bad lives. For this was what was said, "Unless ye be converted, and become as children,"[2] pure in flesh, holy in soul by abstinence from evil deeds; showing that He would have us to be such as also He generated us from our mother--the water.[3] For the intent of one generation succeeding another is to immortalize by progress. "But the lamp of the wicked shall be put out."[4] That purity in body and soul which the Gnostic partakes of, the all-wise Moses indicated, by employing repetition in describing the incorruptibility of body and of soul in the person of Rebecca, thus: "Now the virgin was fair, and man had not known her."[5] And Rebecca, interpreted, means "glory of God;" and the glory of God is immortality.[6] This is in reality righteousness, not to desire other things, but to be entirely the consecrated temple of the Lord. Righteousness is peace of life and a well-conditioned state, to which the Lord dismissed her when He said, "Depart into peace."[7] For Salem is, by interpretation, peace; of which our Saviour is enrolled King, as Moses says, Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who gave bread and wine, furnishing consecrated food for a type of the Eucharist. And Melchizedek is interpreted "righteous king;" and the name is a synonym for righteousness and peace. Basilides however, supposes that Righteousness and her daughter Peace dwell stationed in the eighth sphere.
But we must pass from physics to ethics, which are clearer; for the discourse concerning these will follow after the treatise in hand. The Saviour Himself, then, plainly initiates us into the mysteries, according to the words of the tragedy:[8]--
"Seeing those who see, he also gives the orgies."

And if you ask,
"These orgies, what is their nature ?"

You will hear again:--
"It is forbidden to mortals uninitiated in the Bacchic rites to know."

And if any one will inquire curiously what they are, let him hear:--
"It is not lawful for thee to hear, but they are worth knowing;
The rites of the God detest him who practises impiety."

Now God, who is without beginning, is the perfect beginning of the universe, and the producer of the beginning. As, then, He is being, He is the first principle of the department of action, as He is good, of morals; as He is mind, on the other hand, He is the first principle of reasoning and of judgment. Whence also He alone is Teacher, who is the only Son of the Most High Father, the Instructor of men.


Those, then, who run down created existence and vilify the body are wrong; not considering that the frame of man was formed erect for the contemplation of heaven, and that the organization of the senses tends to knowledge; and that the members and parts are arranged for good, not for pleasure. Whence this abode becomes receptive of the soul which is most precious to God; and is dignified with the Holy Spirit through the sanctification of soul and body, perfected with the perfection of the Saviour. And the succession of the three virtues is found in the Gnostic, who morally, physically, and logically occupies himself with God. For wisdom is the knowledge of things divine and human; and righteousness is the concord of the parts of the soul; and holiness is the service of God. But if one were to say that he disparaged the flesh, and generation on account of it, by quoting Isaiah, who says, "All flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass: the grass is withered, and the flower has fallen; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever; "[9] let him hear the Spirit interpreting the matter in question by Jeremiah, "And I scattered them like dry sticks, that are made to fly by the wind into the desert. This is the lot and portion of your disobedience, saith the Lord. As thou hast forgotten Me, and hast trusted in lies, so will I discover thy hinder parts to thy face; and thy disgrace shall be seen, thy adultery, and thy neighing," and so on.[10] For "the flower of grass," and "walking after the flesh," and "being carnal," according to the apostle, are those who are in their sins. The soul of man is confessedly the better part of man, and the body the inferior. But neither is the soul good by nature, nor, on the other hand, is the body bad by nature. Nor is that which is not good straightway bad. For there are things which occupy a middle place, and among them are things to be preferred, and things to be rejected. The constitution of man, then, which has its place among things of sense, was necessarily composed of things diverse, but not opposite--body and soul.
Always therefore the good actions, as better, attach to the better and ruling spirit; and voluptuous and sinful actions are attributed to the worse, the sinful one.
Now the soul of the wise man and Gnostic, as sojourning in the body, conducts itself towards it gravely and respectfully, not with inordinate affections, as about to leave the tabernacle if the time of departure summon. "I am a stranger in the earth, and a sojourner with you," it is said.[1] And hence Basilides says, that he apprehends that the election are strangers to the world, being supramundane by nature. But this is not the case. For all things are of one God. And no one is a stranger to the world by nature, their essence being one, and God one. But the elect man dwells as a sojourner, knowing all things to be possessed and disposed of; and he makes use of the things which the Pythagoreans make out to be the threefold good things. The body, too, as one sent on a distant pilgrimage, uses inns and dwellings by the way, having care of the things of the world, of the places where he halts; but leaving his dwelling-place and property without excessive emotion; readily following him that leads him away from life; by no means and on no occasion turning back; giving thanks for his sojourn, and blessing [God] for his departure, embracing the mansion that is in heaven· "For we know, that, if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we as the apostle says; "walk by faith, not by sight,"[2] "and we are willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with God." The rather is in comparison. And comparison obtains in the case of things that fall under resemblance; as the more valiant man is more valiant among the valiant, and most valiant among cowards. Whence he adds, "Wherefore we strive, whether present or absent, to be accepted with Him,"[3] that is, God, whose work and creation are all things, both the world and things supramundane. I admire Epicharmus, who clearly says:--
"Endowed with pious mind, you will not, in dying,
Suffer aught evil. The spirit will dwell in heaven above;"

and the minstrel[4] who sings:--

"The souls of the wicked flit about below the skies on earth,
In murderous pains beneath inevitable yokes of evils;
But those of the pious dwell in the heavens,
Hymning in songs the Great, the Blessed One."

The soul is not then sent down from heaven to what is worse. For God works all things up to what is better. But the soul which has chosen the best life--the life that is from God and righteousness--exchanges earth for heaven. With reason therefore, Job, who had attained to knowledge, said, "Now I know that thou canst do all things; and nothing is impossible to Thee. For who tells me of what I know not, great and wonderful things with which I was unacquainted ? And I felt myself vile, considering myself to be earth and ashes."[5] For he who, being in a state of ignorance, is sinful, "is earth and ashes; "while he who is in a state of knowledge, being assimilated as far as possible to God, is already spiritual, and so elect. And that Scripture calls the senseless and disobedient "earth," will be made clear by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, in reference to Joachim and his brethren "Earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord; Write this man, as man excommunicated."[6] And another prophet says again, "Hear, O heaven; and give ear, O earth,"[7] calling understanding "ear," and the soul of the Gnostic, that of the man who has applied himself to the contemplation of heaven and divine things, and in this way has become an Israelite, "heaven." For again he calls him who has made ignorance and hardness of heart his choice, "earth."And the expression" give ear" he derives from the "organs of hearing, the ears," attributing carnal things to those who cleave to the things of sense. Such are they of whom Micah the prophet says, "Hear the word of the Lord, ye peoples who dwell with pangs."[8] And Abraham said, "By no means. The Lord is He who judgeth the earth; "[9] "since he that believeth not, is," according to the utterance of the Saviour, "condemned already."[10] And there is written in the Kings[11] the judgment and sentence of the Lord, which stands thus: "The Lord hears the righteous, but the wicked He saveth not, because they do not desire to know God." For the Almighty will not accomplish what is absurd. What do the heresies say to this utterance, seeing Scripture proclaims the Almighty God to be good, and not the author of evil and wrong, if indeed ignorance arises from one not knowing? But God does nothing absurd. "For this God," it is said, "is our God, and there is none to save besides Him."[12] "For there is no unrighteousness with God,"[1] according to the apostle. And clearly yet the prophet teaches the will of God, and the gnostic proficiency, in these words: "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, and walk in all His ways, and love Him, and serve Him alone?"[2] He asks of thee, who hast the power of choosing salvation. What is it, then, that the Pythagoreans mean when they bid us "pray with the voice"? As seems to me, not that they thought the Divinity could not hear those who speak silently, but because they wished prayers tO be right, which no one would be ashamed to make in the knowledge of many. We shall, however, treat of prayer in due course by and by. But we ought to have works that cry aloud, as becoming "those who walk in the day."[3] "Let thy works shine,"[4] and behold a man and his works before his face. "For behold God and His works."[5] For the gnostic must, as far as is possible, imitate God. And the poets call the elect in their pages godlike and gods, and equal to the gods, and equal in sagacity to Zeus, and having counsels like the gods, and resembling the gods,--nibbling, as seems to me, at the expression, "in the image and likeness."[6]
Euripides accordingly says, "Golden wings are round my back, and I am shod with the winged sandals of the Sirens; and I shall go aloft into the wide ether, to hold convene with Zeus."
But I shall pray the Spirit of Christ to wing me to my Jerusalem. For the Stoics say that heaven is properly a city, but places here on earth are not cities; for they are called so, but are not. For a city is an important thing, and the people a decorous body, and a multitude of men regulated by law as the church by the word--a city on earth impregnable--free from tyranny; a product of the divine will on earth as in heaven. Images of this city the poets create with their pen. For the Hyperboreans, and the Arimaspian cities, and the Elysian plains, are commonwealths of just men. And we know Plato's city placed as a pattern in heaven.[7]


I. (The Lord's Discipline, book iv. cap. vi. p. 413.)

<greek>h</greek> <greek>kuriakh</greek> <greek>askhsiu</greek>. Casaubon explains this as Dominica exercitatia (the religion which the
Lord taught), and quotes the apostolic canons (li. and lii.), which, using this word (<greek>askhsiu</greek>), ordain certain fasts on account of pious exercise. Baronius, more suo, grasps at this word <greek>askhsiu</greek>, as a peg to hang the system of monkery upon. Casaubon answers: "If so, then all the early Christians were monks and nuns; as this word is always used by the Fathers for the Christian discipline, or Christianity itself." Such are the original ascetics, nothing more. The Christian Fathers transferred the word from heathen use to that of the Church, to signify the training to which all the faithful should subject themselves, in obedience to St. Paul (I Cor. ix. 24-27). See Isaaci Casauboni, De Annalibus Baronianis Exercitationes, p. 171.

II. (Theano, cap. xix. p. 431.)

The translator has not been happy in this rendering, but I retain it as in the Edinburgh Edition, which leaves one in doubt whether this second saying was Theano's; for, possibly, the translator meant to leave it so. But the Migne note is very good: "Jamblichus mentions two Theanos, one the wife of Brontinus, or Brotinus, and the other of Pythagoras. Both alike were devoted to the Pythagorean philosophy; and it is not certain, therefore, to which of them these dicta belong." Theodoret quotes both, but decides not this doubt. Hoffman says, "There were many of the name;" and he mentions five different ones. Suidas makes mention of Theano of Crotona as the wife of Pythagoras, "the first woman who philosophized and wrote poetry;" and Hoffman doubts not this lady is the one quoted by Clement. She seems to have presided over the school of her husband after his death. Of the beauty and morality of the second dictum, I have spoken already (p. 348, Elucidation XI.); and I think it worth whole volumes of casuistry on a subject which (natura duce, sub lege Logi) the Gospel modestly leaves to natural decency and enlightened conscience. (See Clement's fine remarks, on p. 455.)

III. (St. Paul, note 4, p. 434.)

Better rendered, "Paul is more recent (or later) in respect of time." This seems a strangely apologetic way to speak of this glorious apostle; though the reference may be to his own words (I Cor. xv. 8), "as of one born out of due time." And it suggests to me, that, among the Alexandrian Christians, there were many Jewish converts who said, "I am of Apollos," and with whom the name of the great apostle of the Gentiles was still unsavoury. This goes to confirm the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews, so far as it accounts for (what is testified by Eusebius, vi. 14) his omission of his own name from his treatise, lest it should prejudice his argument with his Hebrew kinsmen. Apollos may have sent it to Alexandria.

IV. (Socrates, cap. xxii. p. 436.)

Who can read the Phaedo, and think of Plato and Socrates, without hope that the mystery of redemption applies to them in some effectual way, under St. Paul's maxims (Rom. ii. 26, 27)? It would torture me in reading such sayings as are quoted here, were I not able reverently to indulge such hope, and then to desist from speculation. Cannot we be silent where Scripture is silent, and leave all to Him who loved the Gentiles, and died for them on the cross? I suspect the itch of our times, on this and like subjects, to be presumption (2 Cor. x. 5) "against the obedience of Christ." As if our own concern for the heathen were greater than His who died for the unjust, praying for His murderers! Why not leave the ransomed world to the world's Redeemer? The cross bore the inscription in Greek, and Latin also; for the Jews scorned it in Hebrew: and who can doubt that those outstretched arms embraced all mankind?

V. (Basilides answered, cap. xxiv. p. 437.)

Note the pith and point of this chapter, and the beauty of Clement's dictum, "So it would be, were it a man and not God that justifies! As it is written, Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." (Compare Matt. xx. 14.) But let us not overlook his exposition of the ends and purposes of chastisement. The great principle which he lays down destroys the whole Trent theology about penance, and annihilates the logical base of its figment about "Purgatory." "Punishment does not avail to him who has sinned, to undo his sin." The precious blood of Christ "speaketh better things."

VI. (Sin after Baptism, cap. xxiv. p. 438.)

Not to broach any opinion of my own, it is enough to remark, that this reference to primitive discipline shows that a defined penitential system in the early Church was aimed at by the Montanists, and inspired their deadly animosity, not merely as a theory, but as a system. Although differing on many points with Dr. Bunsen (he is both Baron and Doctor, and I give him the more honourable title of the two), I feel it due to my contract with the reader of this series to refer him to what he says of the baptismal vow, etc. (Hippol., iii. p. 187), as furnishing a valuable commentary on the text, and on the whole plan of Alexandrian teaching and discipline.

VII. (Jubilee, cap. xxv. p. 438.)

Here the reader may feel that an Elucidation is requisite to any intelligent idea of what Clement means to say. "We wish he would explain his explanation" of Ezekiel. Let me give a brief rendering of the annotations in Migne, as all that can here be furnished. (I) The tabernacle is the body, as St. Paul uses the word (2 Cor. v. 1-4), and St. Peter (2 Ep. i. 13, 14). (2) The seven periods are the Sabbatical weeks of years leading up to the year of Jubilee. (3) The <greek>aplanhu</greek> <greek>kwra</greek> refers to the old system of astronomy, and its division of the heavens into an octave of spheres, of which the seven inner spheres are those of the seven planets; the fist stars being in the eighth, which "borders on the intellectual world,"--the abode of spirits, according to Clement.
The Miltonic student will recall the perplexity with which, perhaps, in early years, he first read:--
"They pass the planets seven, and pass the fist,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
The trepidation talked, and that first moved.
Paradise Lost, book iii. 481.

The Copernican system was, even in Milton's time, not generally accepted; but, for one who had personally conversed with Galileo, this seems incorrigibly bad. The true system would have given greater dignity, and in fact a better topography, to his great poem.

VIII. (Rebecca, p. 439.)

Le Nourry, as well as Barbeyrac (see Kaye, pp. 109 and 473), regards Clement as ignorant of the Hebrew language. Kaye, though he shows that some of the attempts to demonstrate this are fanciful, inclines to the same opinion; remarking that he borrows his interpretations from Philo. On the passage here under consideration, he observes, that, "having said repeatedly[1] that Rebekah in Hebrew is equivalent to <greek>upomonh</greek> in Greek, he now makes it equivalent to <greek>Qeou</greek> <greek>doxa</greek>. He elsewhere refers our Saviour's exclamation, Eli, Eli, etc., to the Greek word <greek>hliou</greek>, and the name Jesus to <greek>iasqai</greek>."

IX. (Plato's City, cap. xxvi. p. 441.)

This is worth quoting from the Republic (book ix. p. 423, Jowett): "In heaven there is laid up a pattern of such a city; and he who desires may behold this, and, beholding, govern himself accordingly; He will act according to the laws of that city, and of no other." Sublime old Gentile! Did not the apostle of the Gentiles think of Socrates, when he wrote Heb. xii. 28, and xiii. 14? On this noble passage, of which Clement has evidently thought very seriously, Schleiermacher's remarks seem to me cold and unsatisfactory. (See his Introductions, translated by Dobson; ed. Cambridge, 1836.)


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