دراسات أبائية


علم الباترولوجي
"كتابات الآباء "





THE sixth and also the seventh Miscellany of gnostic notes, in accordance with the true philosophy, having delineated as well as possible the ethical argument conveyed in them, and having exhibited what the Gnostic is in his life, proceed to show the philosophers that he is by no means impious, as they suppose, but that he alone is truly pious, by a compendious exhibition of the Gnostic's form of religion, as far as it is possible, without danger, to commit it to writing in a book of reference. For the Lord enjoined "to labour for the meat which endureth to eternity."[2] And the prophet says," Blessed is he that soweth into all waters, whose ox and ass tread,"[3] [that is,] the people, from the Law and from the Gentiles, gathered into one faith.
"Now the weak eateth herbs," according to the noble apostle.[4] The Instructor, divided by us into three books, has already exhibited the training and nurture up from the state of childhood, that is, the course of life which from elementary instruction grows by faith; and in the case of those enrolled in the number of men, prepares beforehand the soul, endued with virtue, for the reception of gnostic knowledge. The Greeks, then, clearly learning, from what shall be said by us in these pages, that in profanely persecuting the Godloving man, they themselves act impiously; then, as the notes advance, in accordance with the style of the Miscellanies, we must solve the difficulties raised both by Greeks and Barbarians with respect to the coming of the Lord.
In a meadow the flowers blooming variously, and in a park the plantations of fruittrees, are not separated according to their species from those of other kinds. If some, culling varieties, have Composed learned collections, Meadows, and Helicons, and Honeycombs, and Robes; then, with the things which come to recollection by haphazard, and are expurgated neither in order nor expression, but purposely scattered, the form of the Miscellanies is promiscuously variegated like a meadow. And such being the case, my notes shall serve as kindling sparks; and in the case of him, who is fit for knowledge, if he chance to fall in with them, research made with exertion will turn out to his benefit and advantage. For it is fight that labour should precede not only food but also, much more knowledge, in the case of those that are advancing to the eternal and blessed salvation by the "strait and narrow way," which is truly the Lord's.
Our knowledge, and our spiritual garden, is the Saviour Himself; into whom we are planted, being transferred and transplanted, from our old life, into the good land. And transplanting contributes to fruitfulness. The Lord, then, into whom we have been transplanted, is the Light i and the true Knowledge.
Now knowledge is otherwise spoken of in a twofold sense: that, commonly so called, which appears in all men (similarly also comprehension and apprehension), universally, in the knowledge of individual objects; in which not only the rational powers, but equally the irrational, share, which I would never term knowledge, inasmuch as the apprehension of things through the senses comes naturally. But that which par excellence is termed knowledge, bears the impress of judgment and reason, in the exercise of which there will be rational cognitions alone, applying purely to objects of thought, and resulting from the bare energy of the soul. "He is a good man," says David,[5] "who pities" (those ruined through error), "and lends" (from the communication of the word of truth) not at haphazard, for "he will dispense his words in judgment:" with profound calculation, "he hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor."


Before handling the point proposed, we must, by way of preface, add to the close of the fifth book what is wanting. For since we have shown that the symbolical style was ancient, and was employed not only by our prophets, but also by the majority of the ancient Greeks, and by not a few of the rest of the Gentile Barbarians, it was requisite to proceed to the mysteries of the initiated. I postpone the elucidation of these till we advance to the confutation of what is said by the Greeks on first principles; for we shall show that the mysteries belong to the same branch of speculation. And having proved that the declaration of Hellenic thought is illuminated all round by the truth, bestowed on us in the Scriptures, taking it according to the sense, we have proved, not to say what is invidious, that the theft of the truth passed to them.
Come, and let us adduce the Greeks as witnesses against themselves to the theft. For, inasmuch as they pilfer from one another, they establish the fact that they are thieves; and although against their will, they are detected, clandestinely appropriating to those of their own race the truth which belongs to us. For if they do not keep their hands from each other, they will hardly do it from our authors. I shall say nothing of philosophic dogmas, since the very persons who are the authors of the divisions into sects, confess in writing, so as not to be convicted of ingratitude, that they have received from Socrates the most important of their dogmas. But after availing myself of a few testimonies of men most talked of, and of repute among the Greeks, and exposing their plagiarizing style, and selecting them from various periods, I shall turn to what follows.
Orpheus, then, having composed the line:--
"Since nothing else is more shameless and wretched than woman,"

Homer plainly says:--
"Since nothing else is more dreadful and shameless than a woman."[1]

And Musaeus having written:--
"Since art is greatly superior to strength,"

Homer says:--
"By art rather than strength is the woodcutter greatly superior."[2]

Again, Musaeus having composed the lines:--
"And as the fruitful field produceth leaves,
And on the ash trees some fade, others grow,
So whirls the race of man its leaf," [3]

Homer transcribes:--
"Some of the leaves the wind strews on the ground.
The budding wood bears some; in time of spring,
They come. So springs one race of men, and one departs."[4]

Again, Homer having said:--
"It is unholy to exult over dead men,"[5]

Archilochus and Cratinus write, the former:--
"It is not noble at dead men to sneer;"

and Cratinus in the Lacones:--
"For men 'tis dreadful to exult
Much o'er the stalwart dead."

Again, Archilochus, transferring that Homeric line:--
"I erred, nor say I nay:-- instead of many"[6]

writes thus:--
"I erred, and this mischief hath somehow seized another."

As certainly also that line:--
"Evenhanded[7] war the slayer slays."[8]

He also, altering, has given forth thus:--
"I will do it.
For Mars to men in truth is evenhanded."[7]

Also, translating the following:--
"The issues of victory among men depend on the gods,"[9]

he openly encourages youth, in the following iambic:--
"Victory's issues on the gods depend."

Again, Homer having said:--
"With feet unwashed sleeping on the ground," [10]

Euripides writes in Erechteus:--
"Upon the plain spread with no couch they sleep Nor m the streams of water lave their feet."

Archilochus having likewise said:--
"But one with this and one with that His heart delights?"

in correspondence with the Homeric line:--
"For one in these deeds, one in those delights,"[11]

Euripides says in OEneus:--
"But one in these ways, one in those, has more delight."

And I have heard Aeschylus saying:--
"He who is happy ought to stay at home;
There should he also stay, who speeds not well."

And Euripides, too, shouting the like on the stage:--
"Happy the man who, prosperous, stays at home."

Menander, too, on comedy, saying:--
"He ought at home to stay, and free remain, Or be no longer rightly happy."

Again, Theognis having said:--
"The exile has no comrade dear and true,"

Euripides has written:--
"Far from the poor flies every friend."

And Epicharmus, saying:--
"Daughter, woe worth the day
Thee who art old I marry to a youth; "[1]

and adding:--
"For the young husband takes some other girl, And for another husband longs the wife,"

Euripides[2] writes:--
"'Tis bad to yoke an old wife to a youth;
For he desires to share another's bed,
And she, by him deserted, mischief plots."

Euripides having, besides, said in the Medea:--
"For no good do a bad man's gifts,"

Sophocles in Ajax Flagellifer utters this iambic:--
"For foes' gifts are no gifts, nor any boon."[3]

Solon having written:--
"For surfeit insolence begets,
When store of wealth attends."

Theognis writes in the same way:--
"For surfeit insolence begets,
When store of wealth attends the bad."

Whence also Thucydides, in the Histories, says:-- "Many men, to whom in a great degree, and in a short time, unlookedfor prosperity comes, are wont to turn to insolence." And Philistus[4] likewise imitates the same sentiment, expressing himself thus:-- "And the many things which turn out prosperously to men, in accordance with reason, have an incredibly dangerous s tendency to misfortune. For those who meet with unlooked success beyond their expectations, are for the most part wont to turn to insolence." Again, Euripides having written:--
"For children sprung of parents who have led
A hard and toilsome life, superior are;"

Critias writes: "For I begin with a man's origin: how far the best and strongest in body will he be, if his father exercises himself, and eats in a hardy way, anti subjects his body to toilsome labour; and if the mother of the future child be strong in body, and give herself exercise."

Again, Homer having said of the Hephaestusmade shield:--
"Upon it earth and heaven and sea he made,
And Ocean's rivers' mighty strength portrayed,"

Pherecydes of Syros says:-- "Zas makes a cloak large and beautiful, and works on it earth and Ogenus, and the palace of Ogenus."

And Homer having said:--
"Shame, which greatly hurts a man or he!ps,"[6]

Euripides writes in Erechtheus:--
"Of shame I find it hard to judge;
'Tis needed.' 'Tis at times a great mischief."

Take, by way of parallel, such plagiarisms as the following, from those who flourished together, and were rivals of each other. From the Orestes of Euripides:--
"Dear charm of sleep, aid in disease."

From the Eriphyle of Sophocies:--
"Hie thee to sleep, healer of that disease."

And from the Antigone of Sophocles:--
"Bastardy is opprobrious in name; but the nature is equal;"[2]

And from the Aleuades of Sophocles:--
"Each good thing has its nature equal."

Again, in the Otimenus[3] of Euripides:--
"For him who toils, God helps;"

And in the Minos of Sophocles;
"To those who act not, fortune is no ally;"

And from the Alexander of Euripides:--
"But time will show; and learning, by that test, I shall know whether thou art good or bad;"

And from the Hipponos of Sophocles:--
"Besides, conceal thou nought; since Time,
That sees all, hears all, all things will unfold."

But let us similarly run over the following; for Eumelus having composed the line,
"Of Memory and Olympian Zeus the daughters nine,"

Solon thus begins the elegy:--
"Of Memory and Olympian Zeus the children bright."

Again, Euripides, paraphrasing the Homeric line:--
"What, whence art thou? Thy city and thy parents, where?"[1]

employs the following iambics in Aegeus:--
"What country shall we say that thou hast left
To roam in exile, what thy land--the bound
Of thine own native soil? Who thee begat?
And of what father dost thou call thyself the son?"

And what? Theognis[2] having said:--
"Wine largely drunk is bad; but if one use
It with discretion, 'tis not bad, but good,"--

does not Panyasis write?
"Above the gods' best gift to men ranks wine,
In measure drunk; but in excess the worst."

Hesiod, too, saying:--
"But for the fire to thee I'll give a plague,[3]
For all men to delight themselves withal,"--

Euripides writes:--
"And for the fire
Another fire greater and unconquerable,
Sprung up in the shape of women"[4]

And in addition, Homer, saying:--
"There is no satiating the greedy paunch,
Baneful, which many plagues has caused to men."[3]

Euripides says :--
"Dire need and baneful paunch me overcome;
From which all evils come."

Besides, Callias the comic poet having written:--
"With madmen, all men must be mad, they say,"--

Menander, in the Poloumenoi, expresses himself similarly, saying:--
"The presence of wisdom is not always suitable:
One sometimes must with others play[6] the fool."

And Antimachus of Teos having said:--
"From gifts, to mortals many ills arise,"--

Augias composed the line:--
"For gifts men's mind and acts deceive."

And Hesiod having said:--
"Than a good wife, no man a better thing
Ere gained; than a bad wife, a worse,"--

Simonides said:--
"A better prize than a good wife no man
Ere gained, than a bad one nought worse."

Again, Epicharmas having said :--
"As destined Ion to live, and yet not long,
Think of thyself."--

Euripides writes:--
"Why? seeing the wealth we have uncertain is,
Why don't we live as free from care, as pleasant
As we may?"

Similarly also, the comic poet Diphilus having said:--
"The life of men is prone to change,"--

Posidippus says:--
"No man of mortal mould his life has passed
From suffering free. Nor to the end again
Has continued prosperous."

Similarly[7] speaks to thee Plato, writing of man as a creature subject to change. Again, Euripides having said:--
"Oh life to mortal men of trouble full,
How slippery in everything art thou I
Now grow'st thou, and thou now decay'st away.
And there is set no limit, no, not one,
For mortals of their course to make an end,
Except when Death's remorseless final end
Comes, sent from Zeus,"--

Diphilus writes:--
"There is no life which has not its own ills,
Pains, cares, thefts, and anxieties, disease;
And Death, as a physician, coming, gives
Rest to their victims in his quiet sleep."[5]

Furthermore, Euripides having said:--
"Many are fortune's shapes,
And many things contrary to expectation the gods perform,"--

The tragic poet Theodectes similarly writes:--
"The instability of mortals' fates."

And Bacchylides having said :--
"To few[9] alone of mortals is it given
To reach hoary age, being prosperous all the while,
And not meet with calamities,"--

Moschion, the comic poet, writes:--
"But he of all men is most blest,
Who leads throughout an equal life."

And you will find that, Theognis having said:--
"For no advantage to a mall grown old
A young wife is, who will not, as a ship
The helm, obey,"--

Aristophanes, the comic poet, writes:--
"An old man to a young wife suits but ill."

For Anacreon, having written:--
"Luxurious love I sing,
With flowery garlands graced,
He is of gods the king,
He mortal men subdues?--

Euripides writes :--
"For love not only men attacks,
And women; but disturbs
The souls of gods above, and to the sea

But not to protract the discourse further, in our anxiety to show the propensity of the Greeks to plagiarism in expressions and dogmas, allow us to adduce the express testimony of Hippias, the sophist of Elea, who discourses on the point in hand, and speaks thus: "Of these things some perchance are said by Orpheus, some briefly by Musaeus; some in one place, others in other places; some by Hesiod, some by Homer, some by the rest of the poets; and some in prose compositions, some by Greeks, some by Barbarians. And I from all these, placing together the things of most importance and of kindred character, will make the present discourse new and varied."
And in order that we may see that philosophy and history, and even rhetoric, are not free of a like reproach, it is right to adduce a few instances from them. For Alcmaeon of Crotona having said, "It is easier to guard against a man who is an enemy than a friend," Sophocles wrote in the Antigone :--
"For what sore more grievous than a bad friend?"

And Xenophon said: "No man can injure enemies in any way other than by appearing to be a friend."

And Euripides having said in Telephus:--
"Shall we Greeks be slaves to Barbarians? "--

Thrasymachus, in the oration for the Larissaeans, says: "Shall we be slaves to Archelaus--Greeks to a Barbarian?"

And Orpheus having said:--
"Water is the change for soul, and death for water;
From water is earth, and what comes from earth is again water,
And from that, soul, which changes the whole ether;"

and Heraclitus, putting together the expressions from these lines, writes thus:--
"It is death for souls to become water, and death for water to become earth; and from earth comes water, and from water soul."

And Athamas the Pythagorean having said, "Thus was produced the beginning of the universe; and there are four roots--fire, water, air, earth: for from these is the origination of what is produced,"--Empedocles of Agrigentum wrote :--
"The four roots of all things first do thou hear--
Fire, water, earth, and ether's boundless height:
For of these all that was, is, shall be, comes."

And Plato having said,"Wherefore also the gods, knowing men, release sooner from life those they value most,"

Menander wrote:--
"Whom the gods love, dies young."

And Euripides having written in the OEnomaus:--
"We judge of things obscure from what we see;"

and in the Phoenix:--
"By signs the obscure is fairly grasped?--

Hyperides says, "But we must investigate things unseen by learning from signs and probabilities." And Isocrates having said, "We must conjecture the future by the past," Andocides does not shrink from saying, "For we must make use of what has happened previously as signs in reference to what is to be." Besides, Theognis having said :--
"The evil of counterfeit silver and gold is not intolerable,
O Cyrnus, and to a wise man is not difficult of detection; But if the mind of a friend is hidden in his breast,
If he is false,[1] and has a treacherous heart within,
This is the basest thing for mortals, caused by God,
And of all things the hardest to detect,"--

Euripides writes :--
"Oh Zeus, why hast thou given to men clear tests
Of spurious gold, while on the body grows
No mark sufficing to discover clear
The wicked man?"

Hyperides himself also says, "There is no feature of the mind impressed on the countenance Of men."

Again, Stasinus having composed the line:--
"Fool, who, having slain the father, leaves the children,"--

Xenophon[2] says, "For I seem to myself to have acted in like manner, as if one who killed the father should spare his children." And Sophocles having written in the Antigone:--
"Mother and father being in Hades now,
No brother ever can to me spring forth?"--

Herodotus says, "Mother and father being no more, I shall not have another brother." In addition to these, Theopompus having written:--
"Twice children are old men in very truth;"

And before him Sophocles in Peleus:--
"Peleus, the son of Aeacus, I, sole housekeeper,
Guide, old as he is now, and train again,
For the aged man is once again a child,"--

Antipho the orator says, "For the nursing of the old is like the nursing of children." Also the philosopher Plato says, "The old man then, as seems, will be twice a child." Further, Thucydides having said, "We alone bore the brunt at Marathon,"--Demosthenes said, "By those who bore the brunt at Marathon." Nor will I omit the following. Cratinus having said "The preparation perchance you know,"

Andocides the orator says, "The preparation, gentlemen of the jury, and the eagerness of our enemies, almost all of you know." Similarly also Nicias, in the speech on the deposit, against Ly-sias, says, "The preparation and the eagerness of the adversaries, ye see, O gentlemen of the jury." After him Aeschines says, "You see the preparation, O men of Athens, and the line of battle." Again, Demosthenes having said, "What zeal and what canvassing, O men of Athens, have been employed in this contest, I think almost all of you are aware;" and Philinus similarly, "What zeal, what forming of the line of battle, gentlemen of the jury, have taken place in this contest, I think not one of you is ignorant." Isocrates, again, having said, "As if she were related to his wealth, not him," Lysias says in the Orphics, "And he was plainly related not to the persons, but to the money." Since Homer also having written:--
"O friend, if in this war, by taking flight,
We should from age and death exemption win,
I would not fight among the first myself,
Nor would I send thee to the glorious fray;
But now--for myriad fates of death attend
In any case, which man may not escape
Or shun--come on. To some one we shall bring
Renown, or some one shall to us,"

Theopompus writes, "For if, by avoiding the present danger, we were to pass the rest of our time in security, to show love of life would not be wonderful. But now, so many fatalities are incident to life, that death in battle seems preferable." And what? Child the sophist having uttered the apophthegm, "Become surety, and mischief is at hand," did not Epicharmus utter the same sentiment in other terms, when he said, "Suretyship is the daughter of mischief, and loss that of suretyship?"[4] Further, Hippocrates the physician having written, "You must look to time, and locality, and age, and disease," Euripides says in Hexameters :[5]--
"Those who the healing art would practise well,
Must study people's modes of life, and note
The soil, and the diseases so consider."

Homer again, having written:--
"I say no mortal man can doom escape,"--

Archinus says, "All men are bound to die either sooner or later;" and Demosthenes, "To all men death is the end of life, though one should keep himself shut up in a coop."

And Herodotus, again, having said, in his discourse about Glaucus the Spartan, that the Pythian said, "In the case of the Deity, to say and to do are equivalent," Aristophanes said :--
"For to think and to do are equivalent."

And before him, Parmenides of Elea said:--
"For thinking and being are the same."

And Plato having said, "And we shall show, not absurdly perhaps, that the beginning of love is sight; and hope diminishes the passion, memory nourishes it, and intercourse preserves it;" does not Philemon the comic poet write :--
"First all see, then admire;
Then gaze, then come to hope;
And thus arises love?"

Further, Demosthenes having said, "For to all of us death is a debt," and so forth, Phanocles writes in Loves, or The Beautiful:--
"But from the Fates' unbroken thread escape
Is none for those that feed on earth."

You will also find that Plato having said, "For the first sprout of each plant, having got a fair start, according to the virtue of its own nature, is most powerful in inducing the appropriate end;" the historian writes, "Further, it is not natural for one of the wild plants to become cultivated, after they have passed the earlier period of growth;" and the following of Empedocles:--
"For I already have been boy and girl,
And bush, and bird, and mute fish in the sea,"--

Euripides transcribes in Chrysippus:--
"But nothing dies
Of things that are; but being dissolved,
One from the other,
Shows another form."

And Plato having said, in the Republic, that women were common, Euripides writes in the Protesilaus:--
"For common, then, is woman's bed."

Further, Euripides having written :--
"For to the temperate enough sufficient is "--

Epicurus expressly says, "Sufficiency is the greatest riches of all."

Again, Aristophanes having written :--
"Life thou securely shalt enjoy, being just
And free from turmoil, and from fear live well,"--

Epicurus says, "The greatest fruit of righteousness is tranquillity."

Let these species, then, of Greek plagiarism of sentiments, being such, stand as sufficient for a clear specimen to him who is capable of perceiving.
And not only have they been detected pirating and paraphrasing thoughts and expressions, as will be shown; but they will also be convicted of the possession of what is entirely stolen. For stealing entirely what is the production of others they have published it as their own; as Eugamon of Cyrene did the entire book on the Thesprotians from Musaeus, and Pisander of Camirus the Heraclea of Pisinus of Lindus, and Panyasis of Halicarnassus, the capture of OEchalia from Cleophilus of Samos.
You will also find that Homer, the great poet, took from Orpheus, from the Disappearance of Dionysus, those words and what follows verbatim:--
"As a man trains a luxuriant shoot of olive."[1]

And in the Theogony, it is said by Orpheus of Kronos:--
"He lay, his thick neck bent aside; and him
All-conquering Sleep had seized."

These Homer transferrred to the Cyclops.[2] And Hesiod writes of Melampous:--
"Gladly to hear, what the immortals have assigned
To men, the brave from cowards clearly marks;"

and so forth, taking it word for word from the poet Musaeus.

And Aristophanes the comic poet has, in the first of the Thesmophoriazusoe, transferred the words from the Empiprameni of Cratinus. And Plato the comic poet, and Aristophanes in Doedalus, steal from one another. Cocalus, composed by Araros,[3] the son of Aristophanes, was by the comic poet Philemon altered, and made into the comedy called Hypobolimoens.
Eumelus and Acusilaus the historiographers changed the contents of Hesiod into prose, and published them as their own. Gorgias of Leontium and Eudemus of Naxus, the historians, stole from Melesagoras. And, besides, there is Bion of Proconnesus, who epitomized and transcribed the writings of the ancient Cadmus, and Archilochus, and Aristotle, and Leandrus, and Hellanicus, and Hecataeus, and Androtion, and Philochorus. Dieuchidas of Megara transferred the beginning of his treatise from the Deucalion of Hellanicus. I pass over in silence Heraclitus of Ephesus, who took a very great deal from Orpheus.
From Pythagoras Plato derived the immortality of the soul; and he from the Egyptians. And many of the Platonists composed books, in which they show that the Stoics, as we said in the beginning, and Aristotle, took the most and principal of their dogmas from Plato. Epicurus also pilfered his leading dogmas from Democritus. Let these things then be so. For life would fail me, were I to undertake to go over the subject in detail, to expose the selfish plagiarism of the Greeks, and how they claim the discovery of the best of their doctrines, which they have received from us.


And now they are convicted not only of borrowing doctrines from the Barbarians, but also of relating as prodigies of Hellenic mythology the marvels found in our records, wrought through divine power from above, by those who led holy lives, while devoting attention to us. And we shall ask at them whether those things which they relate are true or false. But they will not say that they are false; for they will not with their will condemn themselves of the very great silliness of composing falsehoods, but of necessity admit them to be true. And how will the prodigies enacted by Moses and the other prophets any longer appear to them incredible? For the Almighty God, in His care for all men, turns some to salvation by commands, some by threats, some by miraculous signs, some by gentle promises.
Well, the Greeks, when once a drought had wasted Greece for a protracted period, and a dearth of the fruits of the earth ensued, it is said, those that survived of them, having, because of the famine, come as suppliants to Delphi, asked the Pythian priestess how they should be released from the calamity. She announced that the only help in their distress was, that they should avail themselves of the prayers of Aeacus. Prevailed on by them, Aeacus, ascending the Hellenic hill, and stretching out pure[4] hands to heaven, and invoking the commons God, besought him to pity wasted Greece. And as he prayed, thunder sounded, out of the usual course of things, and the whole surrounding atmosphere was covered with clouds. And impetuous and continued rains, bursting down, filled the whole region. The result was a copious and rich fertility wrought by the husbandry of the prayers of Aeacus.
"And Samuel called on the LORD," it is said, "and the LORD gave forth His voice, and rain in the day of harvest."[6] Do you see that "He who sendeth His rain on the just and on the unjust"[1] by the subject powers is the one God? And the whole of our Scripture is full of instances of God, in reference to the prayers of the just, hearing and performing each one of their petitions.
Again, the Greeks relate, that in the case of a failure once of the Etesian winds, Aristaeus once sacrificed in Ceus to Isthmian Zeus. For there was great devastation, everything being burnt up with the heat in consequence of the winds which had been wont to refresh the productions of the earth, not blowing, and he easily called them back.
And at Delphi, on the expedition of Xerxes against Greece, the Pythian priestess having made answer:--

"O Delphians, pray the winds, and it will be better,"--

they having erected an altar and performed sacrifice to the winds, had them as their helpers. For, blowing violently around Cape Sepias, they shivered the whole preparations of the Persian expedition. Empedocles of Agrigentum was called "Checker of Winds." Accordingly it is said, that when, on a time, a wind blew from the mountain of Agrigentum, heavy and pestiferous for the inhabitants, and the cause also of barrenness to their wives, he made the wind to cease. Wherefore he himself writes in the lines:--

"Thou shalt the might of the unwearied winds make still,
Which rushing to the earth spoil mortals' crops,
And at thy will bring back the avenging blasts."

And they say that he was followed by some that used divinations, and some that had been long vexed by sore diseases.[2] They plainly, then, believed in the performance of cures, and signs and wonders, from our Scriptures. For if certain powers move the winds and dispense showers, let them hear the psalmist: "How amiable are; thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!"[3] This is the Lord of powers, and principalities, and authorities, of whom Moses speaks; so that we may be with Him. "And ye shall circumcise your hard heart, and shall not harden your neck any more. For He is Lord of lords and God of gods, the great God and strong,"[4] unit so forth. And Isaiah says, "Lift your eyes to the height, and see who hath produced all these things."[5]
And some say that plagues, and hail-storms, and tempests, and the like, are wont to take place, not alone in consequence of material disturbance, but also through anger of demons and bad angels. For instance, they say that the Magi at Cleone, watching the phenomena of the skies, when the clouds are about to discharge hail, avert the threatening of wrath by incantations and sacrifices. And if at any time there is the want of an animal, they are satisfied with bleeding their own finger for a sacrifice. The prophetess Diotima, by the Athenians offering sacrifice previous to the pestilence, effected a delay of the plague for ten years. The sacrifices, too, of Epimenides of Crete, put off the Persian war for an equal period. And it is considered to be all the same whether we call these spirits gods or angels. And those skilled in the matter of consecrating statues, in many of the temples have erected tombs of the dead, calling the souls of these Daemons, and teaching them to be wor-shipped by men; as having, in consequence of the purity of their life, by the divine foreknowledge, received the power of wandering about the space around the earth in order to minister to men. For they knew that some souls were by nature kept in the body. But of these, as the work proceeds, in the treatise on the angels, we shall discourse.
Democritus, who predicted many things from observation of celestial phenomena, was called "Wisdom" (<greek>Sofia</greek>). On his meeting a cordial reception from his brother Damasus, he predicted that there would be much rain, judging from certain stars. Some, accordingly, convinced by him, gathered their crops; for being in summer-time, they were stir on the threshing-floor. But others lost all, unexpected and heavy showers having burst down.
How then shall the Greeks any longer disbelieve the divine appearance on Mount Sinai, when the fire burned, consuming none of the things that grew on the mount; and the sound of trampets issued forth, breathed without instruments? For that which is called the descent on the mount of God is the advent of divine power, pervading the whole world, and proclaiming "the light that is inaccessible."[6]
For such is the allegory, according to the Scripture. But the fire was seen, as Aristobulus[7] says, while the whole multitude, amounting to not less than a million, besides those under age, were congregated around the mountain, the circuit of the mount not being less than five days' journey. Over the whole place of the vision the burning fire was seen by them all encamped as it were around; so that the descent was not local. For God is everywhere.
Now the compilers of narratives say that in the island of Britain s there is a cave situated under a mountain, and a chasm on its summit; and that, accordingly, when the wind falls into the cave, and rushes into the bosom of the cleft, a sound is heard like cymbals clashing musically. And often in the woods, when the leaves are moved by a sudden gust of wind, a sound is emitted like the song of birds.
Those also who composed the Persics relate that in the uplands, in the country of the Magi, three mountains are situated on an extended plain, and that those who travel through the locality, on coming to the first mountain, hear a confused sound as of several myriads shouting, as if in battle array; and on reaching the middle one, they hear a clamour louder and more distinct; and at the end hear people singing a paean, as if victorious. And the cause, in my opinion, of the whole sound, is the smoothness and cavernous character of the localities; and the air, entering in, being sent back and going to the same point, sounds with considerable force. Let these things be so. But it is possible for God Almighty,[1] even without a medium, to produce a voice and vision through the ear, showing that His greatness has a natural order beyond what is customary, in order to the conversion of the hitherto unbelieving soul, and the reception of the commandment given. But there being a cloud and a lofty mountain, how is it not possible to hear a different sound, the wind moving by the active cause? Wherefore also the prophet says, "Ye heard the voice of words, and saw no similitude."[2] You see how the Lord's voice, the Word, without shape, the power of the Word, the luminous word of the Lord, the truth from heaven, from above, coming to the assembly of the Church, wrought by the luminous immediate ministry.


We shall find another testimony in confirmation, in the fact that the best of the philosophers, having appropriated their most excellent dogmas from us, boast, as it were, of certain of the tenets which pertain to each sect being culled from other Barbarians, chiefly from the Egyptians--both other tenets, and that especially of the transmigration of the soul. For the Egyptians pursue a philosophy of their own. This is principally shown by their sacred ceremonial. For first advances the Singer, bearing some one of the symbols of music. For they say that he must learn two of the books of Hermes, the one of which contains the hymns of the gods, the second the regulations for the king's life. And after the Singer advances the Astrologer,[3] with a horologe in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He must have the astrological books of Hermes, which are four in number, always in his mouth. Of these, one is about the order of the fixed stars that are visible, and another about the conjunctions and luminous appearances of the sun and moon; and the rest respecting their risings. Next in order advances the sacred Scribe, with wings on his head, and in his hand a book and rule, in which were writing ink and the reed, with which they write. And he must be acquainted with what are called hieroglyphics, and know about cosmography and geography, the position of the sun and moon, and about the five planets; also the description of Egypt, and the chart of the Nile; and the description of the equipment of the priests and of the places consecrated to them, and about the measures and the things in use in the sacred rites. Then the Stole-keeper follows those previously mentioned, with the cubit of justice and the cup for libations. He is acquainted with all points called Paedeutic(relating to training) and Moschophatic(sacrificial). There are also ten books which relate to the honour paid by them to their gods, and containing the Egyptian worship; as that relating to sacrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, festivals, and the like. And behind all walks the Prophet, with the water-vase carried openly in his arms; who is followed by those who carry the issue of loaves. He, as being the governor of the temple, learns the ten books called "Hieratic;" and they contain all about the laws, and the gods, and the whole of the training of the priests. For the Prophet is, among the Egyptians, also over the distribution of the revenues. There are then forty-two books of Hermes indispensably necessary; of which the six-and-thirty containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians are learned by the forementioned personages; and the other six, which are medical, by the Pastophoroi(image-bearers),--treating of the structure of the body, and of diseases, and instruments, and medicines, and about the eyes, and the last about women.[4] Such are the customs of the Egyptians, to speak briefly.
The philosophy of the Indians, too, has been celebrated. Alexander of Macedon, having taken ten of the Indian Gymnosophists, that seemed the best and most sententious, proposed to them problems, threatening to put to death him that did not answer to the purpose; ordering one, who was the eldest of them, to decide.
The first, then, being asked whether he thought that the living were more in number than the dead, said, The living; for that the dead were not. The second, on being asked Whether the sea or the land maintained larger beasts, said, The land; for the sea was part of it. And the third being asked which was the most cunning of animals? The one, which has not hitherto been known, man. And the fourth being interrogated, For what reason they had made Sabba, who was their prince, revolt, answered, Because they wished him to live well rather than die ill. And the fifth being asked, Whether he thought that day or night was first, said, One day. For puzzling questions must have puzzling answers. And the sixth being posed with the query, How shall one be loved most? By being most powerful; in order that he may not be timid. And the seventh being asked, How any one of men could become God? said, If he do what it is impossible for man to do. And the eighth being asked, Which is the stronger, life or death? said, Life, which bears such ills. And the ninth being interrogated, Up to what point it is good for a man to live? said, Till he does not think that to die is better than to live. And on Alexander ordering the tenth to say something, for he was judge, he said, "One spake worse than another." And on Alexander saying, Shall you not, then, die first, having given such a judgment? he said, And how, O king, wilt thou prove true, after saying that thou wouldest kill first the first man that answered very badly?
And that the Greeks are called pilferers of all manner of writing, is, as I think, sufficiently demonstrated by abundant proofs.[1]


And that the men of highest repute among the Greeks knew God, not by positive knowledge, but by indirect expression,[2] Peter says in the Preaching: "Know then that there is one God, who made the beginning of all things, and holds the power of the end; and is the Invisible, who sees all things; incapable of being contained, who contains all things; needing nothing, whom all things need, and by whom they are; incomprehensible, everlasting, unmade, who made all things by the 'Word of His power,' that is, according to the gnostic scripture, His Son."[3]
Then he adds: "Worship this God not as the Greeks,"--signifying plainly, that the excellent among the Greeks worshipped the same God as we, but that they had not learned by perfect knowledge that which was delivered by the Son. "Do not then worship," he did not say, the God whom the Greeks worship, but "as the Greeks,"-- changing the manner of the worship of God, not announcing another God. What, then, the expression "not as the Greeks" means, Peter himself shall explain, as he adds: "Since they are carried away by ignorance, and know not God" (as we do, according to the perfect knowledge); "hut giving shape to the things[4] of which He gave them the power for use--stocks and stones, brass and iron, gold and silver--matter;--and setting up the things which are slaves for use and possession, worship them.[5] And what God hath given to them for food--the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea, and the creeping things of the earth, and the wild beasts with the four-footed cattle of the field, weasels and mice, cats and dogs and apes, and their own proper food--they sacrifice as sacrifices to mortals; and offering dead things to the dead, as to gods, are unthankful to God, denying His existence by these things." And that it is said, that we and the Greeks know the same God, though not in the same way, he will infer thus: "Neither worship as the Jews; for they, thinking that they only know God, do not know Him, adoring as they do angels and archangels, the month and the moon. And if the moon be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the first;[6] nor do they hold the new moon, nor the feast of unleavened bread, nor the feast, nor the great day."[7] Then he gives the finishing stroke to the question: "So that do ye also, learning holily and righteously what we deliver to you; keep them, worshipping God in a new way, by Christ." For we find in the Scriptures, as the Lord says: "Behold, I make with you a new covenant, not as I made with your fathers in Mount Horeb."[8] He made a new covenant with us; for what belonged to the Greeks and Jews is old. But we, who worship Him in a new way, in the third form, are Christians. For clearly, as I think, he showed that the one and only God was known by the Greeks in a Gentile way, by the Jews Judaically, and in a new and spiritual way by us.
And further, that the same God that furnished both the Covenants was the giver of Greek philosophy to the Greeks, by which the Almighty is glorified among the Greeks, he shows. And it is clear from this. Accordingly, then, from the Hellenic training, and also from that of the law are gathered into the one race of the saved people those who accept faith: not that the three peoples are separated by time, so that one might suppose three natures, but trained in different Covenants of the one Lord, by the word of the one Lord. For that, as God wished to save the Jews by giving to them prophets, so also by raising up prophets of their own in their own tongue, as they were able to receive God's beneficence, He distinguished the most excellent of the Greeks from the common herd, in addition to "Peter's Preaching," the Apostle Paul will show, saying: "Take also the Hellenic books, read the Sibyl, how it is shown that God is one, and how the future is indicated. And taking Hystaspes, read, and you will find much more luminously and distinctly the Son of God described, and how many kings shall draw up their forces against Christ, hating Him and those that bear His name, and His faithful ones, and His patience, and His coming." Then in one word he asks us, "Whose is the world, and all that is in the world ? Are they not God's ? "[1] Wherefore Peter says, that the Lord said to the apostles: "If any one of Israel then, wishes to repent, and by my name to believe in God, his sins shall be forgiven him, after twelve years. Go forth into the world, that no one may say, We have not heard."


But as the proclamation [of the Gospel] has come now at the fit time, so also at the fit time were the Law and the Prophets given to the Barbarians, and Philosophy to the Greeks, to fit their ears for the Gospel. "Therefore," says the Lord who delivered Israel, "in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee. And I have given thee for a Covenant to the nations; that thou mightest inhabit the earth, and receive the inheritance of the wilderness; saying to those that are in bonds, Come forth; and to those that are in darkness, Show yourselves." For if the "prisoners" are the Jews, of whom the Lord said, "Come forth, ye that will, from your bonds," --meaning the voluntary bound, and who have taken on them "the burdens grievous to be borne"[3] by human injunction--it is plain that "those in darkness" are they who have the ruling faculty of the soul buried in idolatry.
For to those who were righteous according to the law, faith was wanting. Wherefore also the Lord, in healing them, said, "Thy faith hath saved thee."[4] But to those that were righteous according to philosophy, not only faith in the Lord, but also the abandonment of idolatry, were necessary. Straightway, on the revelation of the truth, they also repented of their previous conduct.
Wherefore the Lord preached the Gospel to those in Hades. Accordingly the Scripture says, "Hades says to Destruction, We have not seen His form, but we have heard His voice."[5] It is not plainly the place, which, the words above say, heard the voice, but those who have been put in Hades, and have abandoned themselves to destruction, as persons who have thrown themselves voluntarily from a ship into the sea. They, then, are those that hear the divine power and voice. For who in his senses can suppose the souls of the righteous and those of sinners in the same condemnation, charging Providence with injustice?
But how? Do not [the Scriptures] show that. the Lord preached[6] the Gospel to those that perished in the flood, or rather had been chained, and to those kept "in ward and guard"?[7] And it has been shown also,[8] in the second book of the Stromata, that the apostles, following the Lord, preached the Gospel to those in Hades. For it was requisite, in my opinion, that as here, so also there, the best of the disciples should be imitators of the Master; so that He should bring to repentance those belonging to the Hebrews, and they the Gentiles; that is, those who had lived in righteousness according to the Law and Philosophy, who had ended life not perfectly, but sinfully. For it was suitable to the divine administration, that those possessed of greater worth in righteousness, and whose life had been pre-eminent, on repenting of their transgressions, though found in another place, yet being confessedly of the number of the people of God Almighty, should be saved, each one according to his individual knowledge.
And, as I think, the Saviour also exerts His might because it is His work to save; which accordingly He also did by drawing to salvation those who became willing, by the preaching [of the Gospel], to believe on Him, wherever they were. If, then, the Lord descended to Hades for no other end but to preach the Gospel, as He did descend; it was either to preach the Gospel to all or to the Hebrews only. If, accordingly, to all, then all who believe shall be saved, although they may be of the Gentiles, on making their profession there; since God's punishments are saving and disciplinary, leading to conversion, and choosing rather the repentance thorn the death of a sinner;[1] and especially since souls, although darkened by passions, when released from their bodies, are able to perceive more clearly, because of their being no longer obstructed by the paltry flesh.
If, then, He preached only to the Jews, who wanted the knowledge and faith of the Saviour, it is plain that, since God is no respecter of persons, the apostles also, as here, so there preached the Gospel to those of the heathen who were ready for conversion. And it is well said by the Shepherd, "They went down with them therefore into the water, and again ascended. But these descended alive, and again ascended alive. But those who had fallen asleep, descended dead, but ascended alive."[2] Further the Gospel[3] says, "that many bodies of those that slept arose," --plainly as having been translated to a better state.[4] There took place, then, a universal movement and translation through the economy of the Saviour.[5]
One righteous man, then, differs not, as righteous, from another righteous man, whether he be of the Law or a Greek. For God is not only Lord of the Jews, but of all men, and more nearly the Father of those who know Him. For if to live well and according to the law is to live, also to live rationally according to the law is to live; and those who lived rightly before the Law were classed under faith,[6] and judged to be righteous,--it is evident that those, too, who were outside of the Law, having lived rightly, in consequence of the peculiar' nature of the voice,[7] though they are in Hades and in ward,[8] on hearing the voice of the Lord, whether that of His own person or that acting through His apostles, with all speed turned and believed. For we remember that the Lord is "the power of God,"[9] and power can never be weak.
So I think it is demonstrated that the God being good, and the Lord powerful, they save with a righteousness and equality which extend to all that turn to Him, whether here or elsewhere. For it is not here alone that the active power of God is beforehand, but it is everywhere and is always at work. Accordingly, in the Preaching of Peter, the Lord says to the disciples after the resurrection, "I have chosen you twelve disciples, judging you worthy of me," whom the Lord wished to be apostles, having judged them faithful, sending them into the world to the men on the earth, that they may know that there is one God, showing clearly what would take place by the faith of Christ; that they who heard and believed should be saved; and that those who believed not, after having heard, should bear witness, not having the excuse to allege, We have not heard.
What then? Did not the same dispensation obtain in Hades, so that even there, all the souls, on hearing the proclamation, might either exhibit repentance, or confess that their punishment was just, because they believed not? And it were the exercise of no ordinary arbitrariness, for those who had departed before the advent of the Lord (not having the Gospel preached to them, and having afforded no ground from themselves, in consequence of believing or not) to obtain either salvation or punishment. For it is not right that these should be condemned without trial, and that those alone who lived after the advent should have the advantage of the divine righteousness. But to all rational souls it was said from above, "Whatever one of you has done in ignorance, without clearly knowing God, if, on becoming conscious, he repent, all his sins will be forgiven him."[10] "For, behold," it is said, "I have set before your face death and life, that ye may choose life."[11] '' God says that He set, not that He made both, in order to the comparison of choice. And in another Scripture He says, "If ye hear Me, and be willing, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye hear Me not, and are not willing, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken these things."[12]
Again, David expressly (or rather the Lord in the person of the saint, and the same from the foundation of the world is each one who at different periods is saved, and shall be saved by faith) says, "My heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced, and my flesh shall still rest in hope. For Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, nor wilt Thou give Thine holy one to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the paths of life, Thou wilt make me full of joy in Thy presence."[13] As, then, the people was precious to the Lord, so also is the entire holy people; he also who is converted from the Gentiles, who was prophesied under the name of proselyte, along with the Jew. For rightly the Scripture says, that "the ox and the bear shall come together."[14] For the Jew is designated by the ox, from the animal under the yoke being reckoned clean, according to the law; for the ox both parts the hoof and chews the cud. And the Gentile is designated by the bear, which is an unclean and wild beast. And this animal brings forth a shapeless lump of flesh, which it shapes into the likeness of a beast solely by its tongue. For he who is convened from among the Gentiles is formed from a beastlike life to gentleness by the word; and, when once tamed, is made clean, just as the ox. For example, the prophet says, "The sirens, and the daughters of the sparrows, and all the beasts of the field, shall bless me."[1] Of the number of unclean animals, the wild beasts of the field are known to be, that is, of the world; since those who are wild in respect of faith, and polluted in life, and not purified by the righteousness which is according to the law, are called wild beasts. But changed from wild beasts by the faith of the Lord, they become men of God, advancing from the wish to change to the fact. For some the Lord exhorts, and to those who have already made the attempt he stretches forth His hand, and draws them up. "For the Lord dreads not the face of any one, nor will He regard greatness; for He hath made small and great, and cares alike for all."[2] And David says, "For the heathen are fixed in the destruction they have caused; their foot is taken in the snare which they hid." s "But the LORD was a refuge to the poor, a help in season also in affliction."[4] Those, then, that were in affliction had the Gospel seasonably proclaimed. And therefore it said, "Declare among the heathen his pursuits,"[5] that they may not be judged unjustly.
If, then, He preached the Gospel to those in the flesh that they might not be condemned unjustly, how is it conceivable that He did not for the same cause preach the Gospel to those who had departed this life before His advent? "For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness: His countenance beholdeth uprightness."[6] "But he that loveth wickedness hateth his own soul."[7]
If, then, in the deluge all sinful flesh perished, punishment having been inflicted on them for correction, we must first believe that the will of God, which is disciplinary and beneficent,[8] saves those who turn to Him. Then, too, the more subtle substance, the soul, could never receive any injury from the grosser element of water, its subtle and simple nature rendering it impalpable, called as it is incorporeal. But whatever is gross, made so in consequence of sin, this is cast away along with the carnal spirit which lusts against the soul.[9]
Now also Valentinus, the Coryphaeus of those who herald community, in his book on The Intercourse of Friends, writes in these words: "Many of the things that are written, though in common hooks, are found written in the church of God. For those sayings which proceed from the heart are vain. For the law written in the heart is the People[10] of the Beloved --loved and loving Him." For whether it be the Jewish writings or those of the philosophers that he calls "the Common Books," he makes the truth common. And Isidore," at once son and disciple to Basilides, in the first hook of the Expositions of the Prophet Parchor, writes also in these words: "The Attics say that certain things were intimated to Socrates, in consequence of a daemon attending on him. And Aristotle says that all men are provided with daemons, that attend on them during the time they are in the body,-having taken this piece of prophetic instruction and transferred it to his own books, without acknowledging whence he had abstracted this statement." And again, in the second book of his work, he thus writes: "And let no one think that what we say is peculiar to the elect, was said before by any philosophers. For it is not a discovery of theirs. For having appropriated it from our prophets, they attributed it to him who is wise according to them." Again, in the same: "For to me it appears that those who profess to philosophize, do so that they may learn what is the winged oak,'" and the variegated robe on it, all of which Pherecydes has employed as theological allegories, having taken them from the prophecy of Chum."


As we have long ago pointed out, what we propose as our subject is not the discipline which obtains in each sect, but that which is really philosophy, strictly systematic Wisdom, which furnishes acquaintance with the things which pertain to life. And we define Wisdom to be certain knowledge, being a sure and irrefragable apprehension of things divine and human, comprehending the present, past, and future, which the Lord hath taught us, both by His advent and by the prophets. And it is irrefragable by reason, inasmuch as it has been communicated. And so it is wholly true according to [God's] intention, as being known through means of the Son. And in one aspect it is eternal, and in another it becomes useful in time. Partly it is one and the same, partly many and indifferent--partly without any movement of passion, partly with passionate desire--partly perfect, partly incomplete.
This wisdom, then--rectitude of soul and of reason, and purity of life--is the object of the desire of philosophy, which is kindly and lovingly disposed towards wisdom, and does everything to attain it.
Now those are called philosophers, among us, who love Wisdom, the Creator and Teacher of all things, that is, the knowledge of the Son of God; and among the Greeks, those who undertake arguments on virtue. Philosophy, then, consists of such dogmas found in each sect (I mean those of philosophy) as cannot be impugned, with a corresponding life, collected into one selection; and these, stolen from the Barbarian God-given grace, have been adorned by Greek speech. For some they have borrowed, and others they have misunderstood. And in the case of others, what they have spoken, in consequence of being moved, they have not yet perfectly worked out; and others by human conjecture and reasoning, in which also they stumble. And they think that they have hit the truth perfectly; but as we understand them, only partially. They know, then, nothing more than this world. And it is just like geometry, which treats of measures and magnitudes and forms, by delineation on plane-surfaces; and just as painting appears to take in the whole field of view in the scenes represented. But it gives a false description of the view, according to the rules of the art, employing the signs that result from the incidents of the lines of vision. By this means, the higher and lower points in the view, and those between, are preserved; and some objects seem to appear in the foreground, and others in the background, and others to appear in some other way, on the smooth and level surface. So also the philosophers copy the truth, after the manner of painting. And always in the case of each one of them, their self-love is the cause of all their mistakes. Wherefore one ought not, in the desire for the glory that terminates in men, to be animated by self-love; but loving God, to become really holy with wisdom. If, then, one treats what is particular as universal, and regards that, which serves, as the Lord, he misses the truth, not understanding what was spoken by David by way of confession: "I have eaten earth [ashes] like bread."[1] Now, self-love and self-conceit are, in his view, earth and error. But if so, science and knowledge are derived from instruction. And if there is instruction, you must seek for the master. Cleanthes claims Zeno, and Metrodorus Epicurus, and Theophrastus Aristotle, and Plato Socrates. But if I Come to Pythagoras, and Pherecydes, and Thales, and the first wise men, I come to a stand in my search for their teacher. Should you say the Egyptians, the Indians, the Babylonians, and the Magi themselves, I will not stop from asking their teacher. And I lead you up to the first generation of men; and from that point I begin to investigate Who is their teacher. No one of men; for they had not yet learned. Nor yet any of the angels: for in the way that angels, in virtue of being angels, speak, men do not hear; nor, as we have ears, have they a tongue to correspond; nor would any one attribute to the angels organs of speech, lips I mean, and the parts contiguous, throat, and windpipe, and chest, breath and air to vibrate, And God is far from calling aloud in the unapproachable sanctity, separated as He is from even the archangels.
And we also have already heard that angels learned the truth, and their rulers over them;[1] for they had a beginning. It remains, then, for us, ascending to seek their teacher. And since the unoriginated Being is one, the Omnipotent God; one, too, is the First-begotten, "by whom all things were made, and without whom not one thing ever was made."[3] "For one, in truth, is God, who formed the beginning of all things;" pointing out "the first-begotten Son," Peter writes, accurately comprehending the statement, "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth."[4] And He is called Wisdom by all the prophets. This is He who is the Teacher of all created beings, the Fellow-counsellor of God, who foreknew all things; and He from above, from the first foundation of the world, "in many ways and many times,"[5] trains and perfects; whence it is rightly said, "Call no man your teacher on earth."[6]
You see whence the true philosophy has its handles; though the Law be the image and shadow of the truth: for the Law is the shadow of the truth. But the self-love of the Greeks proclaims certain men as their teachers. As, then, the whole family runs back to God the Creator;[7] so also all the teaching of good things, which justifies, does to the Lord, and leads and contributes to this.
But if from any creature they received in any way whatever the seeds of the Truth, they did not nourish them; but committing them to a barren and reinless soil, they choked them with weeds, as the Pharisees revolted from the Law, by introducing human teachings,--the cause of these being not the Teacher, but those who choose to disobey. But those of them who believed the Lord's advent and the plain teaching of the Scriptures, attain to the knowledge of the law; as also those addicted to philosophy, by the teaching of the Lord, are introduced into the knowledge of the true philosophy: "For the oracles of the Lord are pure oracles, melted in the fire, tried in the earth,[1] purified seven times."[2] Just as silver often purified, so is the just man brought to the test, becoming the Lord's coin and receiving the royal image. Or, since Solomon also calls the "tongue of the righteous man gold that has been subjected to fire,"[3] intimating that the doctrine which has been proved, and is wise, is to be praised and received, whenever it is amply tried by the earth: that is, when the gnostic soul is in manifold ways sanctified, through withdrawal from earthy fires. And the body in which it dwells is purified, being appropriated to the pureness of a holy temple. But the first purification which takes place in the body, the soul being first, is abstinence from evil things, which some consider perfection, and is, in truth, the perfection of the common believer--Jew and Greek. But in the case of the Gnostic, after that which is reckoned perfection in others, his righteousness advances to activity in well-doing. And in whomsoever the increased force[4] of righteousness advances to the doing of good, in his case perfection abides in the fixed habit of well-doing after the likeness of God. For those who are the seed of Abraham, and besides servants of God, are "the called;" and the sons of Jacob are the elect--they who have tripped up the energy of wickedness.
If; then, we assert that Christ Himself is Wisdom, and that it was His working which showed itself in the prophets, by which the gnostic tradition may be learned, as He Himself taught the apostles during His presence; then it follows that the grinds, which is the knowledge and apprehension of things present, future, and past, which is sure and reliable, as being imparted and revealed by the Son of God, is wisdom.
And if, too, the end of the wise man is contemplation, that of those who are still philosophers aims at it, but never attains it, unless by the process of learning it receives the prophetic utterance which has been made known, by which it grasps both the present, the future, and the past--how they are, were, and shall be.
And the gnosis itself is that which has descended by transmission to a few, having been imparted unwritten by the apostles. Hence, then, knowledge or wisdom ought to be exercised up to the eternal and unchangeable habit of contemplation.


For Paul too, in the Epistles, plainly does not disparage philosophy; but deems it unworthy of the man who has attained to the elevation of the Gnostic, any more to go back to the Hellenic "philosophy," figuratively calling it '' the rudiments of this world,"[5] as being most rudimentary, and a preparatory training for the truth. Wherefore also, writing to the Hebrews, who were declining again from faith to the law, he says," Have ye not need again of one to teach you which are the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat?"[6] So also to the Colossians, who were Greek converts, "Beware lest any man spoil you by philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ,"[7]--enticing them again to return to philosophy, the elementary doctrine.
And should one say that it was through human understanding that philosophy was discovered by the Greeks, still I find the Scriptures saying that understanding is sent by God. The psalmist, accordingly, considers understanding as the greatest free gift, and beseeches, saying," I am Thy servant; give me understanding."s And does not David, while asking the abundant experience of knowledge, write, "Teach me gentleness, and discipline, and knowledge: for I have believed in Thy commandments?"[9] He confessed the covenants to be of the highest authority, and that they were given to the more excellent. Accordingly the psalm again says of God, "He hath not done thus to any nation; and He hath not shown His judgments to them."[10] The expression "He hath not done so" shows that He hath done, but not "thus." The "thus," then, is put comparatively, with reference to pre-eminence, which obtains in our case. The prophet might have said simply, "He hath not done," without the "thus."
Further, Peter in the Acts says, "Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted by Him."[11]
The absence of respect of persons in God is not then in time, but from eternity. Nor had His beneficence a beginning; nor any more is it limited to places or persons. For His beneficence is not confined to parts. "Open ye the gates of righteousness," it is said; "entering into them, I will confess to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD. The righteous shall enter by it."[1] Explaining the prophet's saying, Barnabas adds, "There being many gates open, that which is in righteousness is the gate which is in Christ, by which all who enter are blessed." Bordering on the same meaning is also the following prophetic utterance: "The LORD is on many waters;"[2] not the different covenants alone, but the modes of teaching, those among the Greek and those among the Barbarians, conducing to righteousness. And already clearly David, bearing testimony to the truth, sings, "Let sinners be turned into Hades, and all the nations that forget God."[3] They forget, plainly, Him whom they formerly remembered, and dismiss Him whom they knew previous to forgetting Him. There was then a dim knowledge of God also among the nations. So much for those points.
Now the Gnostic must be erudite. And since the Greeks say that Protagoras having led the way, the opposing of one argument by another was invented, it is fitting that something be said with reference to arguments of this sort. For Scripture says, "He that says much, shall also hear in his turn."[4] And who shall understand a parable of the Lord, but the wise, the intelligent, and he that loves his Lord? Let such a man be faithful; let him be capable of uttering his knowledge; let him be wise in the discrimination of words; let him be dexterous in action; let him be pure. "The greater he seems to be, the more humble should he be," says Clement in the Epistle to the Corinthians,--"such an one as is capable of complying with the precept, 'And some pluck from the fire, and on others have compassion, making a difference,'"[5]
The pruning-hook is made, certainly, principally for pruning; but with it we separate twigs that have got intertwined, cut the thorns which grow along with the vines, which it is not very easy to reach. And all these things have a reference to pruning. Again, man is made principally for the knowledge of God; but he also measures land, practises agriculture, and philosophizes; of which pursuits, one conduces to life, another to living well, a third to the study of the things which are capable of demonstration. Further, let those who say that philosophy took its rise from the devil know this, that the Scripture says that "the devil is transformed into an angel of light."[6] When about to do what? Plainly, when about to prophesy. But if he prophesies as an angel of light, he will speak what is true. And if he prophesies what is angelical, and of the light, then he prophesies what is beneficial when he is transformed according to the likeness of the operation, though he be different with respect to the matter of apostasy. For how could he deceive any one, without drawing the lover of knowledge into fellowship, and so drawing him afterwards into falsehood? Especially he will be found to know the truth, if not so as to comprehend it, yet so as not to be unacquainted with it.
Philosophy is not then false, though the thief and the liar speak truth, through a transformation of operation. Nor is sentence of condemnation to be pronounced ignorantly against what is said, on account of him who says it (which also is to be kept in view, in the case of those who are now alleged to prophesy); but what is said must be looked at, to see if it keep by the truth.
And in general terms, we shall not err in alleging that all things necessary and profitable for life came to us from God, and that philosophy more especially was given to the Greeks, as a covenant peculiar to them--being, as it is, a stepping-stone to the philosophy which is according to Christ--although those who applied themselves to the philosophy of the Greeks shut their ears voluntarily to the truth, despising the voice of Barbarians, or also dreading the danger suspended over the believer, by the laws of the state.
And as in the Barbarian philosophy, so also in the Hellenic, "tares were sown" by the proper husbandman of the tares; whence also heresies grew up among us along with the productive wheat; and those who in the Hellenic philosophy preach the impiety and voluptuousness of Epicurus, and whatever other tenets are disseminated contrary to right reason, exist among the Greeks as spurious fruits of the divinely bestowed husbandry. This voluptuous and selfish philosophy the apostle calls "the wisdom of this world;" in consequence of its teaching the things of this world and about it alone, and its consequent subjection, as far as respects ascendancy, to those who rule here. Wherefore also this fragmentary philosophy is very elementary, while truly perfect science deals with intellectual objects, which are beyond the sphere of the world, and with the objects still more spiritual than those which "eye saw not, and ear heard not, nor did it enter into the heart of men," till the Teacher told the account of them to us; unveiling the holy of holies; and in ascending order, things still holier than these, to those who are truly and not spuriously heirs of the Lord's adoption. For we now dare aver (for here is the faith that is characterized by knowledge[1]) that such an one knows all things, and comprehends all things in the exercise of sure apprehension, respecting matters difficult for us, and really pertaining to the true gnosis[2] such as were James, Peter, John, Paul, and the rest of the apostles. For prophecy is full of knowledge (gnosis), inasmuch as it was given by the Lord, and again explained by the Lord to the apostles. And is not knowledge (gnosis) an attribute of the rational soul, which trains itself for this, that by knowledge it may become entitled to immortality? For both are powers of the soul both knowledge and impulse. And impulse is found to be a movement after an assent. For he who has an impulse towards an action, first receives the knowledge of the action, and secondly the impulse. Let us further devote our attention to this. For since learning is older than action; (for naturally, he who does what he wishes to do learns it first; and knowledge comes from learning, and impulse follows knowledge; after which comes action;) knowledge turns out the beginning and author of all rational action. So that rightly the peculiar nature of the rational soul is characterized by this alone; for in reality impulse, like knowledge, is excited by existing objects. And knowledge (gnosis) is essentially a contemplation of existences on the part of the soul, either of a certain thing or of certain things, and when perfected, of all together. Although some say that the wise man is persuaded that there are some things incomprehensible, in such wise as to have respecting them a kind of comprehension, inasmuch as he comprehends that things incomprehensible are incomprehensible; which is common, and pertains to those who are capable of perceiving little. For such a man affirms that there are some things incomprehensible.
But that Gnostic of whom I speak, himself comprehends what seems to be incomprehensible to others; believing that nothing is incomprehensible to the Son of God, whence nothing incapable of being taught. For He who suffered out of His love for us, would have suppressed no element of knowledge requisite for our instruction. Accordingly this faith becomes sure demonstration; since truth follows what has been delivered by God. But if one desires extensive knowledge, "he knows things ancient, and conjectures things future; he understands knotty sayings, and the solutions of enigmas. The disciple of wisdom foreknows signs and omens, and the issues of seasons and of times."[3]


The Gnostic is such, that he is subject only to the affections that exist for the maintenance of the body, such as hunger, thirst, and the like. But in the case of the Saviour, it were ludicrous [to suppose] that the body, as a body, demanded the necessary aids in order to its duration. For He ate, not for the sake of the body, which was kept together by a holy energy, but in order that it might not enter into the minds of those who were with Him to entertain a different opinion of Him; in like manner as certainly some afterwards supposed that He appeared in a phantasmal shape (<greek>dokhsei</greek>). But He was entirely impassible (<greek>apaqhg</greek>); inaccessible to any movement of feeling--either pleasure or pain. While the apostles, having most gnostically mastered, through the Lord's teaching, angel and fear, and lust, were not liable even to such of the movements of feeling, as seem good, courage, zeal, joy, desire, through a steady condition of mind, not changing a whit; but ever continuing unvarying in a state of training after the resurrection of the Lord.
And should it be granted that the affections specified above, when produced rationally, are good, yet they are nevertheless inadmissible in the case of the perfect man, who is incapable of exercising courage: for neither does he meet what inspires fear, as he regards none of the things that occur in life as to be dreaded; nor can aught dislodge him from this--the love he has towards God. Nor does he need cheerfulness of mind; for he does not fall into pain, being persuaded that all things happen well. Nor is he angry; for there is nothing to move him to anger, seeing he ever loves God, and is entirely turned towards Him alone, and therefore hates none of God's creatures. No more does he envy; for nothing is wanting to him, that is requisite to assimilation, in order that he may be excellent and good. Nor does he consequently love any one with this common affection, but loves the Creator in the creatures. Nor, consequently, does he fall into any desire and eagerness; nor does he want, as far as respects his soul, aught appertaining to others, now that he associates through love with the Beloved One, to whom he is allied by free choice, and by the habit which results from training, approaches closer to Him, and is blessed through the abundance of good things. So that on these accounts he is compelled to become like his Teacher in impassibility. For the Word of God is intellectual, according as the image of mind is seen 'in man alone. Thus also the good man is godlike in form and semblance as respects his soul. And, on the other hand, God is like man. For the distinctive form of each one is the mind by which we are characterized. Consequently, also, those who sin against man are unholy and impious. For it were ridiculous to say that the gnostic and perfect man must not eradicate anger and courage, inasmuch as without these he will not struggle against circumstances, or abide what is terrible. But if we take from him desire; he will be quite overwhelmed by troubles, and therefore depart from this life very basely. Unless possessed of it, as some suppose, he will not conceive a desire for what is like the excellent and the good. If, then, all alliance with what is good is accompanied with desire, how, it is said, does he remain impassible who desires what is excellent?
But these people know not, as appears, the divinity of love. For love is not desire on the part of him who loves; but is a relation of affection, restoring the Gnostic to the unity of the faith,--independent of time and place. But he who by love is already in the midst of that in which he is destined to be, and has anticipated hope by knowledge, does not desire anything, having, as far as possible, the very thing desired. Accordingly, as to be expected, he continues in the exercise of gnostic love, in the one unvarying state.
Nor will he, therefore, eagerly desire to be assimilated to what is beautiful, possessing, as he does, beauty by love. What more need of courage and of desire to him, who has obtained the affinity to the impassible God which arises from love, and by love has enrolled himself among the friends of God?
We must therefore rescue the gnostic and perfect man from all passion of the soul. For knowledge (gnosis) produces practice, and practice habit or disposition; and such a state as this produces impassibility, not moderation of passion. And the complete eradication of desire reaps as its fruit impassibility. But the Gnostic does not share either in those affections that are commonly celebrated as good, that is, the good things of the affections which are allied to the passions: such, I mean, as gladness, which is allied to pleasure; and dejection, for this is conjoined with pain; and caution, for it is subject to fear. Nor yet does he share in high spirit, for it takes its place alongside of wrath; although some say that these are no longer evil, but already good. For it is impossible that he who has been once made perfect by love, and feasts eternally and insatiably on the boundless joy of contemplation, should delight in small and grovelling things. For what rational cause remains any more to the man who has gained "the light inaccessible,"[2] for revering to the good things of the world? Although not yet true as to time and place, yet by that gnostic love through which the inheritance and perfect restitution follow, the giver of the reward makes good by deeds what the Gnostic, by gnostic choice, had grasped by anticipation through love.
For by going away to the Lord, for the love he bears Him, though his tabernacle be visible on earth, he does not withdraw himself from life. For that is not permitted to him. But he has withdrawn his soul from the passions. For that is granted to him. And on the other hand he lives, having put to death his lusts, and no longer makes use of the body, but allows it the use of necessaries, that he may not give cause for dissolution.
How, then, has he any more need of fortitude, who is not in the midst of dangers, being not present, but already wholly with the object of love? And what necessity for self-restraint to him who has not need of it? For to have such desires, as require self-restraint in order to their control, is characteristic of one who is not yet pure, but subject to passion. Now, fortitude is assumed by reason of fear and cowardice. For it were no longer seemly that the friend of God, whom "God hath fore-ordained before the foundation of the world"[3] to be enrolled in the highest "adoption," should fall into pleasures or fears, and be occupied in the repression of the passions. For I venture to assert, that as he is predestinated through what he shall do, and what he shall obtain, so also has he predestinated himself by reason of what he knew and whom he loved; not having the future indistinct, as the multitude live, conjecturing it, but having grasped by gnostic faith what is hidden from others. And through love, the future is for him already present. For he has believed, through prophecy and the advent, on God who lies not. And what he believes he possesses, and keeps hold of the promise. And He who hath promised is truth. And through the trustworthiness of Him who has promised, he has firmly laid hold of the end of the promise by knowledge. And he, who knows the sure comprehension of the future which there is in the circumstances, in which he is placed, by love goes to meet the future. So he, that is persuaded that he will obtain the things that are really good, will not pray to obtain what is here, but that he may always cling to the faith which hits the mark and succeeds. And besides, he will pray that as many as possible may become like him, to the glory of God, which is perfected through knowledge. For he who is made like the Saviour is also devoted to saving; performing unerringly the commandments as far as the human nature may admit of the image. And this is to worship God by deeds and knowledge of the true righteousness. The Lord will not wait for the voice of this man in prayer. "Ask," He says, "and I will do it; think, and I will give."[1]
For, in fine, it is impossible that the immutable should assume firmness and consistency in the mutable. But the ruling faculty being in perpetual change, and therefore unstable, the force of habit is not maintained. For how can he who is perpetually changed by external occurrences mad accidents, ever possess habit and disposition, and in a word, grasp of scientific knowledge (<greek>episthmh</greek>)? Further, also, the philosophers regard the virtues as habits, dispositions, and sciences. And as knowledge (gnosis) is not born with men, but is acquired,[2] and the acquiring of it in its elements demands application, and training, and progress; and then from incessant practice it passes into a habit; so, when perfected in the mystic habit, it abides, being infallible through love. For not only has he apprehended the first Cause, and the Cause produced by it, and is sure about them, possessing firmly firm and irrefragable and immoveable reasons; but also respecting what is good and what is evil, and respecting all production, and to speak comprehensively, respecting all about Which the Lord has spoken, he has learned, from the truth itself, the most exact truth from the foundation of the world to the end. Not preferring to the truth itself what appears plausible, or, according to Hellenic reasoning, necessary; but what has been spoken by the Lord he accepts as clear and evident, though concealed from others; and he has already received the knowledge of all things. And the oracles we possess give their utterances respecting what exists, as it is; and respecting what is future, as it shall be; and respecting what is past, as it was.
In scientific matters, as being alone possessed of scientific knowledge, he will hold the pre-eminence, and will discourse on the discussion respecting the good, ever intent on intellectual objects, tracing out his procedure in human affairs from the archetypes above; as navigators direct the ship according to the star; prepared to hold himself in readiness for every suitable action; accustomed to despise all difficulties and dangers when it is necessary to undergo them; never doing anything precipitate or incongruous either to himself or the common weal; fore-seeing; and inflexible by pleasures both of waking hours and of dreams. For, accustomed to spare living and frugality, he is moderate, active, mad grave; requiring few necessaries for life; occupying himself with nothing superfluous. But desiring not even these things as chief, but by reason of fellowship in life, as necessary for his sojourn in life, as far as necessary.


For to him knowledge (gnosis) is the principal thing. Consequently, therefore, he applies to the subjects that are a training for knowledge, taking from each branch of study its contribution to the truth. Prosecuting, then, the proportion of harmonies in music; and in arithmetic noting the increasing and decreasing of numbers, and their relations to one another, and how the most of things fall under some proportion of numbers; studying geometry, which is abstract essence, he perceives a continuous distance, and an immutable essence which is different from these bodies. And by astronomy, again, raised from the earth in his mind, he is elevated along with heaven, and will revolve with its revolution; studying ever divine things, and their harmony with each other; from which Abraham starting, ascended to the knowledge of Him who created them. Further, the Gnostic will avail himself of dialectics, fixing on the distinction of genera into species, and will master[3] the distinction of existences, till he come to what are primary and simple.
But the multitude are frightened at the Hellenic philosophy, as children are at masks, being afraid lest it lead them astray. But if the faith (for I cannot call it knowledge) which they possess be such as to be dissolved by plausible speech, let it be by all means dissolved,[4] and let them confess that they will not retain the truth. For truth is immoveable; but false opinion dissolves. We choose, for instance, one purple by comparison with another purple. So that, if one confesses that he has not a heart that has been made right, he has not the table of the money-changers or the test of words.[5] And how can he be any longer a money-changer, who is not able to prove and distinguish spurious coin, even offhand?
Now David cried, "The righteous shall not be shaken for ever;"[6] neither, consequently, by deceptive speech nor by erring pleasure. Whence he shall never be shaken from his own heritage. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; "[1] consequently neither of unfounded calumny, nor of the false opinion around him. No more will he dread cunning words, who is capable of distinguishing them, or of answering rightly to questions asked. Such a bulwark are dialectics, that truth cannot be trampled under foot by the Sophists. "For it behoves those who praise in the holy name of the Lord," according to the prophet, "to rejoice in heart, seeking, the Lord. Seek then Him, and be strong. Seek His face continually in every way."[2] "For, having spoken at sundry times and in divers manners,"[3] it is not in one way only that He is known.
It is, then, not by availing himself of these as virtues that our Gnostic will be deeply learned. But by using them as helps in distinguishing what is common and what is peculiar, he will admit the truth. For the cause of all error and false opinion, is inability to distinguish in what respect things are common, and in what respects they differ. For unless, in things that are distinct, one closely watch speech, he will inadvertently confound what is common and what is peculiar And where this takes place, he must of necessity fall into pathless tracts and error.
The distinction of names and things also in the Scriptures themselves produces great light in men's souls. For it is necessary to understand expressions which signify several things, and several expressions when they signify one thing. The result of which is accurate answering. But it is necessary to avoid the great futility which occupies itself in irrelevant matters; since the Gnostic avails himself of branches of learning as auxiliary preparatory exercises, in order to the accurate communication of the truth, as far as attainable and with as little distraction as possible, and for defence against reasonings that plot for the extinction of the truth. He will not then be deficient in what contributes to proficiency in the curriculum of studies and the Hellenic philosophy; but not principally, but necessarily, secondarily, and on account of circumstances. For what those labouring in heresies use wickedly, the Gnostic will use tightly.
Therefore the truth that appears in the Hellenic philosophy, being partial, the real truth, like the sun glancing on the colours both white and black, shows what like each of them is. So also it exposes all sophistical plausibility. Rightly, then, was it proclaimed also by the Greeks:--

"Truth the queen is the beginning of great virtue."[4]


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