THE FIRST BOOK OF EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA ON THE DIVINE MANIFESTATION.
1. THOSE who say on the constitution of the whole of this great and beautiful world, and on the diversified subsistence and manifold structure of the heavens and the earth, that it has neither beginning nor governour; and that there is no Lord, and no Providential care (existing) ; but that it has arisen of itself, casually, undesignedly, and by blind (lit. foolish) accident, however this may have, happened, are altogether impious and godless1: on which account they are excluded from the divine assemblies, and with propriety shut out from our holy temples. Because, neither can they themselves possess a house without contrivance and care; nor can a ship be well constructed with its appurtenances, without a shipwright; nor a garment be woven, without the art of weaving; nor a city |2 be built, when the science of the architect is wanting. And, as they themselves confess these things, I know not by what estrangement of the intellect it is, that they do not consider the courses of the sun (as being) according to their manner; the changes of the moon, according to their appointments ; the (several) orders of the stars, as in their due course; and the revolutions of the curvatures of the heavens, and the recurrence and changes of times and seasons2. And again with these, that (they do not consider) the weight of the mountains (as regulated) by the balance3; the equalization of days and nights; the unimpeded production of the animals; the traditionary and unchanging succession of life of long duration ; the herbs of every sort of flower which spring out of the earth ; the provisions for all the animals, as suitable for each; their several senses; the members of the body ; their properties of excellence, and as located in their (several) situations, so that (men) see with their eyes, and feel with their hands : which they also say, is obvious to the blind. So that with atheistical affirmations, and injurious wickedness of mind, |3 (they assert) that there is no work either of wisdom, of the WORD OF GOD, or of Providence (evinced in all this); but they imagine on the contrary, that (all) is of blind fortune, and happens just as it may be, without object or end. These same therefore are, as being atheistical, driven far away from the Divine hearing (of the Word), and entirely from the society of those who fear God.
2. The company too of the Polytheists, on the other hand, set in order against the preceding, seems to me to be in extreme error ;—that they err, as children in intellect, who change the worship of the Maker of the world, the Governour of all, the God who is over all, for (that) of the things which are of Him; and (hence) honour the sun, the moon, and the rest of the parts of the universe, the primary elements, the earth, water, air, and fire, with the name due to Him, who is their Maker and Creator; and call those Gods4 which never existed; nor had existed, nor had been (so) named, had not the Maker5 of the universe, THE WORD OF GOD, willed that they should exist. Nor do they appear to me better than those who leave the chief Architect, to admire the excellency of workmanship (visible) in the houses of kings; the wrought cielings7 and the walls; their many coloured and flowered pictures; their roofs variegated with gold and sculpture of precious stones; and attribute to these the praise and wisdom due to their Artificer ; which they ought to ascribe, not to the things seen, but to Him alone who is their chief Architect; to confess Him to be the cause of their wonder, and of these many works |4 of wisdom. For He alone is wise who supplied the cause, that these many things should thus be. These differ, therefore, in no respect from mere infants. Nor do those whose admiration is expended on the lyre with its seven strings,—the (mere) instrument of music,—but not on him who is the inventor of its structure, nor on him who knows its use, nor yet on his wisdom. Nor (again) do those who leave him who is eminent in war, to adorn his spear and shield with the crowns of victory. Nor do those who honour the streets, squares, buildings, temples, gymnasia—things inanimate—with the admiration due to the great king, who caused the erection of such chief city of his kingdom : when it was right they should admire, neither the pillars nor the stones, but the great maker and lawgiver6 of these instances of wisdom.
3. In7 conformity with these (considerations) also, we make this same (Being) the (efficient) cause of all which we see with the eyes of the body; not the sun, the moon, nor any other of the things in the heavens. It is becoming too, that we should confess them all to be the works of wisdom: but not, that we should honour or worship them by means of any similitude of Him, who is their Maker and Creator. From the contemplation of these too, we both praise and worship, with the whole affection of the soul, Him who again is known, not by means of the bodily eyes, but only by the mind which is pure and enlightened ; |5 Him (I say) who is the King of all, THE WORD OF GOD. For no one ever graced the (mere) body of any wise and intelligent man, (or) his eyes8, head, hands, feet, or the rest of his flesh, much less his external clothing, with the title of wisdom; nor yet has termed the vessels in the houses, nor the service-vessels, of the philosophers, wise; while every thinking person has expressed his wonder at that concealed, and unseen, mind which is in man.
4. Thus, and more particularly,—before these visible ornaments which are (but) the bodies of this whole universe, and which have been fabricated from one (species of) matter,—let us express our wonder at that unseen and invisible WORD, that Maker and Adorner of the exemplars9 of all things, who is the ONLY (begotten) WORD OF GOD : whom, the Maker of all, He who is beyond all, and above all being, generated of Himself as a ray of light from His own Godhead, and constituted Him both the Leader and Governour of this whole (world). |6
5. For it was impossible that this perishable being of bodies, and this Nature of reasonable creatures (such) as it now is, could be brought near to God the Governour of all, on account of its exceedingly great imperfection. For He is an Essence beyond and above all, which can neither be described, comprehended, nor approached; and (which) dwells in the glorious light, to which nothing can be compared,—as the Divine words declare10. For this had no existence, and out of nothing did He send it forth. And (hence) it was greatly different, and very far removed, from the nature of (His) Essence. Well therefore did He, the fulness of all good, the God of all, first appoint a Mediator11, the Divine Power, His ONLY (begotten), who should be sufficient for all12; who could accurately, abundantly, and as present, hold converse with His Father4, receive of His inward and secret (nature), and be meekly lowered to the form and manner of those who were (so) far removed from His princely state. In no |7 other way could it be either glorious or right, that He, who is beyond and above all, should be mixed up with matter that is perishable, and with a body. On this account, the DIVINE WORD entered by a (sort) of commixture into this whole, and bound together the bands (as it were) of all things, by means of the Divine power which is incorporeal: leading on and carrying forward, and governing (the whole) by every species of wisdom, as it seemed good to Him.
6. The proof then, of this conclusion is obvious. For, if those which we usually term the primary elements of all,—the earth, water, air, and fire, were themselves the constituent portions of the universe, and are constituted of a mixed nature, which we even see with our eyes is the case,—and, if the essence of all were one, and that comprehending the whole, and were (as) the Mother and Nurse (of all these things), as those who are subtle in these matters love to term it; and were without figure and visibility, and wholly destitute of soul and of reason;— Whence, one may ask, was it, that this world was made to consist of that of which it now does? Whence also the distinction of the (several) elements ? And whence the |8 concordant course of those things which were adverse to agreement ? And, Who commanded this heavy element of earth, to ride over that of humid matter ?
7. And, Who is He that has caused water, the nature of which is to run downwards, to take an opposite course, and to ascend to the clouds ?
8. And, Who is He that has so constrained the power of fire, that it shall insinuate itself into wood ? and has made it to mix itself up with things which are in their natures opposed to it ?
9. And, Who has attempered this cold air with the power of heat; has released these from their (natural) contentions with one another, and has reconciled them (as it were) to love ?
10. Who is He that has distinguished the race subject to mortality with the character of extension, and drawn it out to the length of the life which is immortal?
11. Who is He that has so formed the Male, fashioned the Female, and associated them both as one compound, and (thus) discovered one source of generation for all animal life ?
12. Who is He that changes this fluent generating seed from its fluid, perishing, and senseless state, and makes it (that) of the generation of animal life ?
13. Who is He that performs even to this time all these things, and innumerable others beyond them, and which exceed all wonder and astonishment ?
14. Who is He that daily and hourly, secretly and by a power that is invisible, effects the generation and changes of these things ?
15. But, the efficient Cause of all things is justly said to be that worker of miracles, THE WORD OF GOD. For THE WORD OF GOD who is Almighty, has in truth |9 extended himself into every thing: above into the heights, and beneath into the depths, has He drawn out His incorporeal soul. He also holds, as it were in His hands, the breadth and length of all in (its) extent. This whole has He brought, and bound up together; and has (thus) set up for himself this (immense) vessel filled with every sort of compound. He too, by every species of wisdom, and by means of the power which is rational, has made well to combine and to harmonize, according to their several measures, this essence of bodies destitute of reason, form, and visibility ; governing by words unutterable, and directing for the advantage of all13, the Sun, the Moon, and those (other) luminaries that are in the heavens.
16. This selfsame WORD OF GOD too brought himself down also upon the earth, and (there) set up all the various kinds of animals, and every beautiful form of plant.
17. This selfsame WORD OF GOD also immerged even into the depths of the sea14, and determined those swimming natures: and here again he made the myriads of forms which are innumerable, with every various kind of living creature.
18. The selfsame also completes, by the effectuating art of nature, those (beings) which are inwardly |10 conceived in the womb, and forms (them) into animals. The same too makes to ascend to the heights as light, this humid, heavy, and naturally descending, matter (of sea-water15), and thus, completing the course of his government, changes it to sweetness, and brings it (again) in due measure, and at determined seasons, upon the earth: and, like the excellent husbandman who waters his land well, and attempers the wet with the dry, he changes (things) into every sort of form: at one time, into beautiful flowers; at another, into the forms peculiar to each species; at another, into delightful scents; at another, into different and diversified sorts of fruits; at another, into every kind of taste which gives pleasure.
19. But why need I take upon myself to discuss the powers of THE WORD OF GOD ? or, venture upon a thing, the doing of which is impossible, and, it is clear, greatly surpasses all mortal mind ?
20. Others indeed name this same (Being) Universal nature; others, the Universal soul; others, Fate; and others say, that He is the God who is beyond all. But, I know not how they confound together the things, which are so greatly and widely different; and (thus) cast down to the earth, and mix up, that Governour of all, that Power of (eternal) existence which is above all, with bodies, (and) |11 with perishable matter ; affirm, that He is the medium both of irrational and rational animals, and is comprehended both in those that are mortal, and immortal. But these things they (do).
21. The Divine doctrine, however, declares that He who is above all that is good, the same is the (efficient) Cause of all, and is beyond all comprehension ; and that on this account He cannot be described, enounced, or named : and, not only that He is elevated above all verbal description, but also above all mental apprehension ; that He is neither contained in place, nor existing in body, neither in the heavens, nor in the aether, nor in any one portion of this whole. But that He is at once within, and independent of all, reserved in the unseen depth of (His own) knowledge. The Divine declarations teach us to recognize Him alone as the God of truth, who is far removed from all essence of body, and a stranger to all service of government. It has, therefore, been delivered to us, that all is of Him, but not that it is by (or through) Him16.
22. But He, as a king within the concealment and privacy in which He is incomprehensible, sits in the elevation of His own splendour, governing and ordering (all) solely by the power of His own will. For, by His will exists whatsoever does exist ; and, had He not (so) willed, neither had it (so) existed. He wills, however, every good thing, because He is also good in His own essential being. |12
23. He therefore, by whom are all things, THE WORD OF GOD, proceeded forth from above, from His good Father, as a river ever flowing from an unlimited fountain, and distilling as rain, in words unutterable, to those who were perishing, completely furnished for the common salvation of all. And, as in the case with ourselves, that secret and invisible mind which is within us, no man ever knew, either how, or why, it exists in its own essential character, but (which) sits as a king within the secrecy of its chambers, and considers of the things to be done ; so the only word then proceeding from it, begotten as it were of a Father in the privacy of retirement, and being the primary angel (messenger) to all, of the mind of its Father, openly publishes those things which its father considered in secret; and, passing on into the hearing of all, brings to full effect the will (so made known). These (hearers) then receive the benefit of the word, while the secret and invisible mind, this father of (such) word, no one had ever seen with the eyes. So also,—that is, (in a manner) surpassing all examples and comparisons, that completing WORD OF GOD, the King of all,—was, as being the only (begotten) Son of His Father, established, not by any mere emanating virtue; nor constituted in his nature by the enunciation of names and words ; nor designated by any sound produced by the percussion of the air: but THE WORD is living, and is the minister of God who is |13 over all, and in His essence, He is "the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God." He proceeds moreover from the Godhead and rule of His Father ; and is the17 good offspring of the good Father, and the common Saviour of all. He also waters all, pouring out from his own fulness upon all, life, and reason, and wisdom, and light, and every good thing. He waters too, not only the things that are before Him and near Him, but those also that are removed far away on the earth, and in the sea ; and if there be any other creature, in any thing that exists. He too keeps in order, by His justice and the power of His rule, every border, place, law, and possession: to each and every thing does He distribute and give that which is suitable : apportioning (this) to some who are in the sphere above the world ; to others, who reside in the heavens; to others, whose habitation is the aether; to others, that are in the air; and to others, on the earth. Then passing on from these, He again well distinguishes, in other quarters, the lives of all; carrying forward with due discrimination, their customs and various observances. He also provides the food for the animals, not only for those that are rational, but also for those that are not so: (and this) for the advantage of those that are.
24. To some he gives the comforts of a mortal and temporary life; to others, that they may partake of immortality : and of every thing, as THE WORD OF GOD, is He the Doer. And, being near to every thing, and |14 pervading all with a power which is rational, and, looking up to His Father, He governs the things that are below according to His intimations, and after Him accordingly as the Saviour of all. And thus, mediating and bringing near to the (eternal) Being this essence of things, He constitutes the bond which cannot be severed. THE WORD OF GOD (I say), which is in the midst, which binds together those which are diverse, and suffers them not to fall off (and) away, He is the Providential care which is watchful over all, He is the Director of all: He is "the Power of God, and the wisdom of God": He is the only (begotten) Son of God; the God which is begotten of God, THE WORD. For, "In the beginning was THE WORD, and THE WORD was with God, and THE WORD was God. Every thing was by Him, and without Him was not any thing:"— the glorious words of the divine men (so) teaching.
25. This is the common Saviour of all, on whose account this universal essence is productive, and rejoices that it ever drinks from his dewdrops; is always youthful in its stature, and ever presents the appearance of beauty. He therefore holds its reins, and, at the intimations of His Father, rightly guides the mighty ship of this universe, |15 (and) with His own helm He governs it. This (Being) excellent of art, did He who is God above all, as a good Father beget as good Fruit, the ONLY (begotten) SON, and give (him) to this world (as) a most excellent gift; did cast as a Soul into a body destitute of soul, and into the nature of irrational bodies, His own rational WOHD : and (so), by virtue of the DIVINE WORD, did He both enlighten and enliven this (otherwise) shapeless, unsightly and colourless, being —by Him, (I say) whom we ought, both to know and to worship, as being ever near to the matter and elements, of (all) bodies. Thus, that which was immaterial, bodiless, and unconscious (lit. unwise), became, as from others, endued with consciousness (lit. became wise). But He is THE LIFE, and He is THE LIGHT; the intelligent offspring of THE LIGHT which cannot be described. He too, is ONE in His Essence, even as He is |16 from ONE Father. He possesses however many powers (virtues) within His own person. For, we should not suppose that, because the (constituent) parts of the world are many, they therefore constitute many powers1 (Demons): nor, because the operations are many, we ought therefore, to set up for ourselves many Gods.
26. Those therefore who follow many Gods, commit, as children in soul, a grievous mistake when they make into Gods the (constituent) parts of the Universe, and (virtually) divide the one world into many18. As if one should take from the person of a man the eyes only, and then affirm that these were the man ; and again, that the ears were another; and so again, the head (another); or, should gradually sever the neck, the breast, the shoulders, the feet, the hands, or the rest of the members; or, that he should (so) divide the faculty of sense by |17 process of reasoning, and then affirm on this one man, that these (portions) really were many men: he would deserve nothing better of the wise, than the ridicule due to folly. Such as this man would be, would he likewise be who fabricated for himself many Gods out of the (constituent) parts of the one Universe, and would sever into many sections those Bodies of all, whose nature is fleeting and dispersive, and which are fabricated out of one primary material; and then again, would by an effort of reason make these his Gods?.
27. Much worse than this would he be, who would also imagine that this entirely made world,—constituted as it is wholly and altogether of many parts,—is God: not considering that the Divine nature could never subsist of parts or be complex, or could stand in need of some other to compound it: nor again, that if it consisted of parts, could it be Divine. For, How can it consist of things different and dissimilar, faulty and excellent ? Because that which is compounded, must also be dissoluble; and that which consists of many parts, is of necessity dissimilar19: while that which is equal in all and unchanging in all, is simple and incomplex. That too which is complex, is compounded of things dissimilar. And that which is dissimilar has in itself something faulty, opposed to that which is excellent. For if the whole were excellent, it would (then) be equal and similar. And, if it were so in the whole, it would in the whole be consistent with itself: and thus would it be in essence simple, |18 and without parts. But this nature (of things) does not shew itself to be such, since this world is viewed as wholly subject to sense: for it is constituted of many parts, and is (therefore) compounded; it is too, in many of its parts, changing. And where it is thus, there is also the capability of a nature of an opposite description. And hence this world associates beings, at once both mortal and immortal, rational and irrational; in matter too, both cold and hot; wet and dry. From all which, God is (necessarily) free. For, if the nature of God be simple, it is also without parts, and is uncompounded; (placed) beyond, and far removed from, every ordinance of this visible world. On this account the Preacher of Truth thus openly says: "The Word of God proclaimed, He who is before all, is alone the Saviour of all rational beings.'' But God who is beyond all, is the head (source) of the generation of THE WORD. He alone is the Cause of all; and, of His ONLY (begotten) WORD, He is truly styled THE FATHER. Above Him therefore, no other Cause can be assigned. He therefore is God alone20; and from Him proceeded forth, by (virtue of) His own secret will which is unutterable, the ONLY (begotten), the Saviour of all, the one WORD of God, who (is) through all.
28. This sensible world is therefore, not unlike the lyre of many strings, consisting of many dissimilar portions:|19—of acute and grave, lax and intense; and of others between these, all well combined together by the art of the Musician. Such then is also this (universe), collected (as it is) into one compound, consisting of many parts, and many compositions; of cold at once, and warm its opposite; and of matter, wet and dry. It is moreover a mighty vessel, and is the work of the God of all.
29. But the DIVINE WORD has not been constituted of parts, nor has it been compounded of any opposing (nature), nor does it consist of (either) part or compound; but both wisely and well does He in every thing resemble His Father; and to the King of all does He give back the praise, which to Him is both suitable and due. (And) as in one body there are many parts, members, viscera, and bowels, collected together, and one invisible soul (only) is diffused through all; and one is the mind which (consists) of neither body nor parts; so also (we say) of this one world, which is constituted of many parts. So also the WORD OF GOD, manifold in power and Almighty, is one extended into all things, and is invisibly diffused throughout them: and of all, in which He (thus) subsists, He is the (efficient) Cause.
30. Do you not see with your eyes, that one heaven surrounds the whole world ? and that many orders of stars revolve in this ? And again, (that) there is one sun, not many ? and that this eclipses the splendour of them all by its superior light ? So likewise is there one Father, the WORD of whom also is one, who must be the good |20 offspring of the good Father. If therefore any one complain, that there are not many Sons; so should he also complain, that many suns, moons, and worlds, are not established, and at many other things, after the manner of madmen, who endeavour to subvert those of nature which are right and good. But, as in things visible, one sun gives light to the whole sensible world; so also in things intellectual, the one WORD OF GOD, filled with all power, secretly and (in a manner) imperceptible to us, gives light to all. For Why should many suns be required, when one is sufficient to effect every thing? And again, What need can there be of many Sons of God, when the ONE, the only (begotten), is sufficient to effect the will of His Father ? For, if there were many, then would they be either similar, or dissimilar21. And if they were similar, then would their multiplicity be in vain ; because one Effectuator, and this Almighty, would be sufficient for the performance and due ordering of all. But the WORD OF GOD, and the WISDOM OF GOD, which is ONE in its essence, brings along with it the light, and the life, and (indeed) all the fulness of goodness. The multitude (then) of those who were (thus) vainly, and not well joined together in a power that were similar, could have no advantage. But, if it were necessary they should be dissimilar, How then could that which were dissimilar, or incomplete and defective in its nature, be on the |21 other hand an Effectuator, and that sufficient for all? But nothing which is horn of God is incomplete. The only (begotten) of God is therefore complete (the Efficient). Nor are there many WORDS OF GOD. On the contrary, THE GOD who is OF GOD is sufficient for all, and is Almighty; is the one Image of the light of His Essence, as the divine words declare; who, for the convenience of governing and healing all existing beings, was necessarily appointed ; who is also in His essence one, but in His powers manifold. And Him alone do we declare to he sufficient for the adorning of all things.
31. Because too, there is in man (but) one Soul and one reasoning faculty, and this at the same time capable of comprehending many things; whether (for example), it cultivate the earth, or fit up a ship, or guide it, or build (a house), still it is one and the same : or, whether it learn and do many things, still there is but one mind and cogitative faculty in man. It is moreover capable at once of many sorts of knowledge: the same man will be the geometrician, or will be skilled in the courses of the stars, or be perfect in the precepts of the grammarians and rhetoricians; or, he will become a leader in the science of healing, or in its manual operations. Nor has any one ever yet imagined, that there are many souls in (any) one body : neither has it been made matter of wonder, that there exists many essences in man, because of his |22 capability of many sorts of knowledge. For, should a man find a shapeless piece of clay, and afterwards so model it with his hands, as to impress upon it the forms of certain animals; on one figure, the head; on another, the hands, the feet, or the eyes (of a man) ; and again, that he otherwise imitate by the art of the modeller, the cheeks, ears, mouth, nostrils, breast, and shoulders, Would it be right also to suppose that, because many forms and members had been (so) wrought in this one body, many were therefore their makers? We ought rather to bestow the full meed of praise on the one artificer of the whole, who had by one train of thought, and the exertion of one executive power, (so) disposed the whole :—
32. So also, of this universal world which is one, consisting nevertheless of many parts, it cannot be right to erect the many powers (visible within it) into makers; nor again to call these many Gods: but rather, to bless the ONE who abounds in every species of wisdom, and every sort of compounding (power): Him (I say) who is in truth "THE POWER or GOD, and THE WISDOM OF GOD ;" who, by means of one (almighty) power and virtue, pervades, and remains in, the universal whole ; who also gives establishment and life to all: and who, for the whole and singular of |23 these bodies and elements, in their several situations, produced at once from himself, the several and various means of subsistence.
33. So also the light of the Sun is one; yet, by its one incidence, it at once illuminates the air, affords light to the eyes, warmth to the touch, ripens the (produce of) the earth, gives growth to the plant, and fixes the several periods of time. It also precedes the stars (in its course), makes the circuit of the heavens, rises upon the world, and clearly establishes the power of God with respect to all things22. All these things it completes in a momentary period of nature. Thus too, the nature of fire (is such) as to purify gold, to melt lead, to dissolve wax, to dry (wet) clay, and to consume dense (bodies): by means of one burning power, it effects all these things.
34. So likewise THE WORD OF GOD, the King of all, He who is extended throughout all, is in and pervades all, that is both in the heavens and the earth; He is the governour of the things which are invisible and visible, and He directs by powers unspeakable", the Sun, the Heavens, |24 and the whole Universe. He is present to all things in His effectuating power; and He remains throughout all. He also makes to distil as rain, from His own resources, the never-failing light to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. He has established, and perpetually holds fast, the heavens (as) an image of his own greatness. He also fills from the treasury that is with Him, those hosts of Angels and Powers of intelligent and rational spirits, at once with life, light, wisdom, and all the abundance of every species of beauty and of goodness. And by one and the same effectuating art, He never fails to supply substance to the material elements, and to Bodies (their) commixture and concurrence; (their) forms, appearances, and characters. He otherwise varies also and time after time, (His) innumerable operations, (whether) in the animals, the plants, or in the beings rational or irrational: at once He provides every thing for all, by (His) one power; and clearly shews, (that this) is not a mere Lyre (as it were) of seven or many strings, but is the one universe of manifold composition, the workmanship of the ONE WORD, the Maker of the world23.
35. Such therefore, is the common Saviour of all, THE WORD or the GOD of all, of whom one discoursing on God24 thus mysteriously speaks: "He25 was in the world, and the world was (made) by Him; and the world knew Him not" For, from ancient times (and) hitherto, it knew Him not, until He manifested Himself, in the latter times, to those who were holden in the darkness of vice. But He, the Maker of the whole world, He, who is the common Saviour of all, has been directly made known to us, as thus existing; and as affording to this whole, all this assistance. But, as to this whole world which is |25 governed by one Ruler, (and) which consists of the heavens, the earth, and of the things therein, it is now necessary we should shew in a few words, what the nature of the being is which He has assigned to it.
36. This (universe) then, partakes of two natures; of the essence which is more excellent and is allied to THE DIVINE WORD; which, being intellectual and rational, is perceived by the mind, and apprehended by the reason: and to this is possible all that is superior to (material) Bodies. (It partakes) also of that which was necessarily brought forth for the use of this; which is matter,—is the offspring of Bodies, and is understood by the sense of reason, both to exist and to be perishable : and which, as I think, has been well said never to have had any (independent) being26. But this, which is visible to the bodily sense, designates the one Universe. This same (too), the whole of which is visible, as well as that which is invisible, may thus be well said to constitute one family of rational beings; just as in the things that are visible, the nature of bodies is one; while of tin's, some are in the heavens and the aether27,—those among these being distinct, and different;—some in the air and on the earth ; and of which, the things visible are the animals and plants. So also, in the essence which is intelligent and invisible, the common kind of them all is one. One also is the nature of the generation of the rational and intelligent faculties, while many and various are the distinctions existing in this28.
37. This same therefore, which has been fabricated out of matter, and (material) bodies ; this, which we usually |26 name the sensible world, which consists of the heavens the earth and of the things therein, may be likened to an imperial city in which there are many citizens, the houses of some of which have been distinguished (as) apartments of the state. Of these, the inner ones are neither entered into, nor trodden, by the many. Some again are for stations without, (set apart) for the keepers of the middle portions. Others again, are far distant from the court, and are left for the inhabitants (generally) and their various assemblies29. Many are (thus) the stations in the heavens, and many are those inferior to these in the sether, and in the air above the earth. The habitable |27 part of the earth, (assigned) to those who walk upon it, is this broad space known to us all. Those (places) however which are beyond the heavens, are (exalted) above all mental apprehension, as are those also which are distinguished as inner apartments of the divine house of rule. But those (beings) who surround the King of all, and exult at the side of THE DIVINE WORD, are both enlightened and upholden by means of the rays which are drawn forth from Him, as from unfailing fountains of light; and are established in the fulness of light. (Thus) too all the enlightened, with the incorporeal assemblies of light, hold that rank of station which is beyond the heavens, and honour with the highest praises, (and) which are worthy of God, the God who is King of all. 30 In the midst moreover, has He cast (spread) forth the vast heavens, the curtains (as it were) of the azure threshold, which exclude those who are without from the mansion of rule; while the keepers of the intermediate part perform (their) rounds in this, as being without the gate, with those who in the heavens are |28 invested with light and holding lamps, as the sun and the moon, honouring Him who is beyond all, the King of all. And, at his intimation and word, these supply light by means of lamps which cannot be extinguished, to those whose lot it is to be in the place of darkness, and without the heavens. Thus are brought near to Him the powers of the air, which are invisible to bodily eyes, as also the animals and other earthly things (which are visible): so is man also the chief of them all, whose race was no stranger to that intelligent and rational Essence which is invisible, and who was created on the earth to render praise to the Godhead and rule of Him who is the Cause of all things. Like as on earth therefore, there is spread over the whole world but one, and that the same human nature ; and, as many nations have arisen out of this, and the manner of life of every race, its fashions, modes, and governments, are different, not only of the barbarians and wild, but also of the peaceable, fashionable, and wise ; and, (as) there are among these both slaves and freemen, poor and rich ; those also who differ in colour, as the Scythians, and those whose lot it is to dwell without, in the west; the Hindoos also, at the rising of the sun, and the Ethiopians at its setting; Greeks, too, and others whose destiny it is to reside among princes; and, among all these again, some bear rule over portions of the nations, and others are wholly subject: with the great king of all moreover, some are considered as in the place of friends, some are elevated to the greatest honours, others are more especially ennobled for their virtuous deeds : some, again, fill the rank of slaves; and others, bearing spears and shields, surround the sovereign : others again, are military officers in the cities, while others fill the situation of rule in these: others too, have met the fate of the |29 vulgar; and others are considered as in the place of enemies and haters: still, the whole of these are men, and one is the common species of them all. Over them all too, is there one king, one only power, vested with his own authority which is all-supreme. And to this same, according to the law and edict of the state,—to him alone, the Father and Lawgiver,—is (the title of) great king ascribed: while He (the WORD) descending from above, and running (as it were) throughout the whole of the governours and governed, subjects to the one yoke of rule every race (placed) under his hand ; elevating some to the highest honour, and to others rendering that which is their due31.
38. As it is with these things, (so) one is the generating, intelligent, and rational Essence which is over all. And well might it be said, that one is the kind (genus) even of these, and that they all are nothing more than brethren (derived) from one, as made of Him who is the Father of THE WORD OF GOD32. There are then, multitudes of nations, and of kinds (of these); and there is a portion the more virtuous, and the contrary. The differences too of these, as to mind (opinion) are innumerable, as are the fashions, modes of life, constitutions, and the contrary; but not as to their natures, for the nature of them all is one, and the kind is one. It is of the variety of their wills, that they have found out many and different fashions and modes of life. Hence, are the companies of angels, of spirits, and of incorporeal and invisible powers; some of which are resplendent and glorious, as enlightened by the splendour of THE DIVINE WORD ; others are dark, blacker than any Ethiopian, and |30 destitute of all rational light. This kind is quite deserving of the middle place, as capable at once of both the excellent and the base. But the King is one, that ONLY power which is God above all, both of those who are in the heavens, and above the heavens. And He it is who holds by the law and edict of sovereign rule, the things that are in the air, on the earth, and under the earth, and which are of all, and in all. This law and edict is moreover one, (viz.) He who lives in all, THE WORD OF GOD, the minister, (lit. agent) : not as that dying (utterance) which is sent forth from the mouth of mortals into the air33; but is,—as it has now been made known to us (by the Gospel)—of things (in their nature) possible, the Governour of all in all wisdom and power. He (I say) who, as THE WOED OF GOD, distributes fully and in justice to all, the things which are most suitable to them ; and gives to each, and to every one of them, the stations which are suitable: to those which are near, (those) of happiness; but those of the contrary, to them who have fallen from virtue, as they may have (severally) deserved. He at once gives to all— like those who are on the earth,—to reside in different localities; to some, to exult at the side of the heavenly sovereignty; to others, to keep watch without; toothers, to dwell beyond (these), and at a distance : while all with one mouth, and according to the doctrine and instruction of each, celebrate the praise of the King and God of all: —(all I say) who bear this law in their hearts and in the mind of their nature, that they should confess that ONE, who is the likeness of the image of sovereign rule, who is the only (begotten) WORD,—Him " who is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature34,"—as the divine words mysteriously teach.
39. And to the honouring of Him are all, whether the rulers or the ruled in every house and city, at once devoted: not, with inanimate colours variously set forth in pictures (or images,), but within, on the hearts of their |31 intellectual faculties as upon intelligent tablets, is the worship of His Godhead inscribed. Thus do all those, who are subject to His power, tender their worship, irrespective of those vicious Demons, and wicked Spirits, and "Rulers of this world," who consider themselves as in the situation of enemies and haters; those who have assimilated themselves to the image of fraudulent rule35, and put forth various books in the place of others36; that is, innumerable false scriptures (ascribed) to that fearful name, and to that expressed name, which governs the Law. But far superior to the Law is the name (which) they have surreptitiously assumed to themselves. Thus do they succeed in casting down to the earth among bodies, elements, and the portions of the world, the (whole) race of mortal men. Hence have men feared and served the creatures, more than the Creator of these37.
40. And again, they named (as gods) for themselves, these very powers, contenders and rebels against God, which in their perverseness so became gods; these (I say) which never existed (as such). And well may those be considered as enemies and haters, from whom the law of truth has commanded us to flee, and to take refuge in Him alone who is the WORD, the Saviour of all;—Him, who has cast forth the seed which is of Himself, in order that it may produce, not only in the heavenly places, but also on the earth; and has assigned both to those that are in the heavens, and to those that are in the elements of |32 the earth, one and the same portion of kind. So that the rational mind which is in man, (and) is of that incorporeal intelligent essence, and of the kind of the DIVINE WORD which pervades all that has hitherto been generated, is nourished on earth by its meditations on Him, and previously trained for its transition (conversion) to virtue. Hence too, is it previously instructed and taught, to provide for its passing to the children of its own kind. Wholly therefore is this alone, of those that are on the earth, through its participation with THE DIVINE WORD, worthy of the name of rational. He has then, necessarily assigned a place on earth (to) the mind and rational soul; so that a small image of the great City of God, mentioned in the example a little while ago (given), has been set up on earth : nor is there in the whole empire of God, nor even a place on the earth, exempt from this lot. And it was right, that praise should be ascribed in every part of the universe to THE WORD, the common Father of all, by those who had been generated of Himself. Hence, even the element of earth is not exempt from being entrusted with this rational portion. Not only by those who are beyond the world, and in the heavens, and the rational (beings) that are in the air; but also by those that dwell on the earth, is that just praise sent up to the Maker and Father of all: which indeed the Divine Word teaches, when it thus commands every man to sing the praise which is due to God38: " Praise ye God from the heavens; praise ye him in the heights. Praise him all ye his angels; praise him all ye his hosts. Praise him sun and moon; praise him all ye stars and light. Praise him ye heavens of heavens." After the things which are upon the earth, he (the Sacred Writer) reasons thus: "Praise ye God from the earth (all)" other things. He then also (reasons upon) this rational family of man,—this (I say) which divides itself from every thing else into various companies and orders of rank,—in this manner:—" Praise him, ye Icings of the earth, and all |33 people: ye great, and all ye judges of the earth: young men and maidens: old men with children. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for great is his name alone; and his praise is in the earth, and in the "heavens."39
41. With these (words) therefore, he leads over against and along with the companies that are in the heavens, those also that are on the earth, to the praise of the King of all. For to Him alone in truth, and to no other God,—(to) Him who is beyond all the heavens above,— do the companies that are above the curvatures of the heavens ascribe honour and praise. To Him (as) their Father do the hosts of angels and spirits, the offspring of the light which is intelligent, render the praises which are unutterable. To Him also the sun, the moon, and the stars which are in the circuits of distant worlds, and run their lengthened courses in the spaces of aether, and form a crown (as it were) to Him;—the invisible powers also, which wing their way in the free expanse of air,—proclaim the meed of praise and blessing which is (both) due and becoming.
42. How then, after (the detail of) these things could it be becoming, that the element of earth alone should be wanting in the provision which (prevails) in all ? Or, that this nature which is generative of all these fruits, |34 should stand alone, in withholding its meed of praise ? Or, that the life which is (passed) on the earth, bearing every sort of fruit, should be barren as to (that of) the intelligent creature? Would it not rather appear that this would seem good to Him,—who is the fulness of all wisdom, the Maker of all,—that He should for His own sake, sow this locality of earth with beings intelligent and rational ? and should, for the use of these, provide the rest of the creatures, as also that which is generative of fruits and flowers ? And that He should here also join the praise of men, to that which is rendered by the companies of all (else), to His own Father ? And this was so done in former times:—this, that man, who had been made in the image of God40, honoured with hymns and songs THE WORD, his Father, together with the divine and rational assemblies, and with the several orders of angels. His mind had not then erred in the setting up of inanimate images under the phantasms of demoniacal deception, nor under the stories of error common to polytheism : for these things recently, and after a time, became known through the vain babblings of the poets. Those primitive chiefs of our race, who hitherto had not learned the arts of modelling, hewing, and carving, and had made no use of this extreme metal-working art of evil deeds, called upon the Maker of the whole universe and their Lord, in the simplicity of their souls, and in the mind of their (unsophisticated) nature: and Him alone did they confess, in their instruction which was mental41, to be the Lord and God of all. And as these did, so did the chief of our nature (Adam), as also did the Hebrew race, which was in ancient times beloved of God, and received, |35 as a son from his father, the good inheritance of the observances of the fear of God. But these honoured nothing with purity of life, and with the observances of the fear of God, except the one God, the King who is above all, and His WORD who is the Saviour of all. On this account, they were considered worthy of the revelation of the Word of God, of prophecy, and of the doctrines of righteousness.
43. Thus therefore, THE WORD OF GOD, the Maker of all things, fills, with His seed of intelligent and rational being, all parts and places that are above the world, that are in the heavens, and on this element of earth. That seed then, which falls upon the earth, constituting the intelligent and rational plant, is itself the knowledge which belongs to man, (and) which is now contained in the multifarious stem and herbage (as it were) of an earthly and perishable body: many stars of the life which is mortal surrounding it. If then, an enlightened cultivation meet it, so that it be cleansed from the obstinacy of matter, and recognize the Sower, THE WORD, who is above the heavens, and henceforth render praise to Him, meditating as a child on His primitive teaching, and in due time rendering the corn-ears of its superiority, the complete fruit of its rational nature; it shall as in the time of harvest lay down, by the death of the life which is mortal, those luxuriances of the stem that are without, together with the earthly and corruptible clothing of the body, which it shall have now well employed for the growth and perfection of the fruit. And happily shall it put off this in due time. The same too, as he becomes more excellent, and collects the powers of his superiority into the treasury of things that are good, is preserved (as) the perfect, that with the perfect he may be led on. To Him also, who is the Sower and the Cultivator of all, he renders the perfect fruit of that praise which is due to God. And, because he has in this- life recognized Him alone as his Father, King, and Lord, and has, together with his relative and sister beings (already mentioned), confessed Him alone to be God, his Maker and Creator; He will,—that he also may (as) in the place of the society which is more excellent, exalt and honour Him with the |36 honour that is becoming and just,—not name any other thing God, which it is not right should be called God, but Him alone to whom all things give (a similar) testimony ; Him, whom all creation, visible and invisible,—even as He alone is the efficient Cause of all,—names its God, and whom it worships.
44. These things then being such, let us now again approach our subject afresh, as already laid down. These heavens then, and places in the heavens which are viewed by the bodily senses; this earth also, and air, as well as this whole constitution (of things) which is of them, (and) which may be likened to a great city, differ in no respect in their nature from those inanimate elements which are in its portions, the earth, the waters, the air, and fire. But it is not necessary, that the denizens of this great city should be considered as of the same material; nor is it, that we should affirm the seed of the rational soul, and of the perishable body, to be one and the same. For the mind, the reason, the rational soul, and the whole of the nature which is intelligent, may accurately and well be affirmed to be the seed of THE WORD OF GOD, the Creator of all. Nor were these any part of the earth, or of the air; nor, of any essence cold or hot; but, of those superior faculties, by which they were made worthy to partake in things most excellent. Because things prior in order, are the causes of those which succeed them. And the first things were those generated of THE WORD : after these, those that are irrational. After the primary essences therefore, were those latter ones, which followed (these as) causes. But these primitive ones,—the origin of production,—exist (only) in intelligent souls; on whose account it was, that the seed of passive bodies was also prepared. For it was necessary, that a sufficient house or residence should be prepared for these. Hence the primary heavens appeared to be a place suitable to the people of this city, who were both above it and in it; and the curvatures42 within the heavens, for those |37 inhabitants who should be distinguished accordingly. But thou (reasonable soul), wouldest never designate as denizens of the city on earth, either the sensitive being of the fierce animals, or any kind of reptile refusing instruction ; or indeed, any of all those that partake in the nature and name of irrational. For these are thy slaves, which have been subjected by the law of nature; and they necessarily render the service which is due to rational beings, as to their lords. For the agricultural ox places his neck willingly in the yoke, for the purposes of agriculture for man ; the carrying ass too, confesses his own nature; the horse also, on which his lord rides, exults43; and the hunting dog fondles on him who feeds him.
45. The flocks too, and herds, (and) again, all sorts of possession (in animals), are given to men; even the fierce beasts are (at his ready) service. These same too, we kill and reduce to subjection. We also take, by means of reason, the bird that flies in the heights. We also bring up those (beings) which are beneath in the depths of the sea, and (otherwise) within it. And nature plainly teaches, that all these things have been established for the sake of man. Man is therefore the progeny of the DIVINE WORD ; not for the sake of any other thing, but |38 for that (only) of his Father, THE WORD ; in order that he might see, and by his knowledge distinguish, all the wisdom of his Father, which (consists) in the workmanship visible throughout all creation; and that he should assimilate himself to this same, while hitherto youthful, and should in every thing emulate his Father, as to law, reason, knowledge, and wisdom; should live as taught, (that he is) the image of excellence; and should learn that, together with the companies that are in heaven, he should, as a prophet and priest, send up from the earth those praises which are due to the King of all, and to God who is the Cause of all.
46. In representations not unlike these therefore, does THE WORD, the instructor of all nature,—wondering at the various excellency of the nature that is in man,—cry out, and say in the divine praises, " What44 is man that Thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that Thou visitest him ? Thou hast made him a little less than the Angels: with honour and glory hast Thou clothed him, and hast given him dominion over the work of thy hands, and hast placed all beneath his feet: all flocks and herds; even the wild beasts of the desert, and the birds that are in the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, which dwell in the paths of the sea."
47. It is this rational species alone, beloved of God, of those that are on earth, respecting which another prophet speaking of God, teaches, thus plainly (but) mysteriously, that in his essence he is in the image of God: " And God said, Let us make man in our Image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fishes that are in the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." And to the word He also added the deed : " So God made man," and said that He made him in the image of God. And again more particularly, He established (the fact) that the image was in the likeness of God, from |39 the Divine inbreathing, when He said, " And he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul45." He also teaches, that He gave to him the more excellent authority and rule, in these words when saying, Let them have dominion over all that is on the earth, over the beasts, the fowls, the creeping things, (and) the animals. And, to all these words does that nature give (its) testimony, which has put every thing under his hand, and has subjected all (things) to this rational creature. But, if the Divine words can obtain no hearing with thee, still, I cannot think that thy mind is so entirely darkened, that thou canst not think within thyself, How it is, that bodies and bodily substances,—or, whatever other divine thing it is which moves the body,—should consist of this possible excellence,—this, I say,—that (such body) should know how to avail itself of a discriminating reason, as to what its own essence is ?—this, that it should deliver instruction by memory ?—this, that it should extend itself to the contemplation of all things ? But, be thyself and ask, whether the nature of the body can understand the constitution of the world; the operations of the primary elements; the beginning, the end, the middle portion, enumeration, and succession of the seasons; the changes of times; the revolutions of the year; the appointed order of the stars; and (I know not) how many other things, which men have by the experiments of geometry, computation, and enumeration, pointed out. For these (results) are incorporeal, and the contemplation of them is (purely) rational: that any one should make them adjuncts of the bones, the flesh, or the blood, would be folly infinitely great. And, well might they be asked, who thus think of these things, since these five senses comprehend all the faculties of the body, Which of them is it that can teach man the contemplation of any doctrine? Is it the sight of the eyes? But this distinguishes between colours and forms only. If you say, The hearing; you (only) name the recipient of sounds acute and grave, but not of any rational perception. And again, in like manner, the taste is the sense discriminative of sweetness, or of food, as it might |40 be. The smell too, is the trier of scents, but not of doctrines. And again, this sense which is extended over the whole body, will touch (and discriminate) things cold and hot, hard and soft; but not virtue, nor (yet) that wisdom which is much more excellent. And, How is it with the irrational animals ? Have they not eyes, ears, and nostrils ? the sense of taste, and of touch ? But nothing of these can be brought near to the efficiency of reason : because the doctrines, which philosophy alone can apprehend, are not of the body, nor of the sense that is irrational: they belong solely to that superiority which attends the rational soul; which is superior to the nature of the body, and which takes up its abode in mankind alone. If however, any one wish impudently to persist by way of reasoning, and affirm, That we possess nothing beyond these irrational animals; that like these we are born, and are subject to corruption ; because the one provision of us all, is of the earth: the passive nature of the body is the same; the sense is in nothing superior; the labour again, and rest is, in the same manner, one; as is the blood of us all, the corruption of the body, and (its) dissolution into the primitive elements. Hitherto however, you do not say, that any one of these can, like the rational animal, be brought near to the contemplation of things incorporeal; can bear about it any rational instruction, or lay up learning in its memory; can consider discourses about virtue and vice; and, as to philosophy, that it ever even entered its mind. But all these things I might omit, because all men do not possess them. I (only) ask your reason these things: Was there a city ever (yet) constructed by beings destitute of reason ? Or, is there in these the mind of the Artificer, of the Builder, of the Weaver, or, of the Agriculturist? Or, has a ship ever been fitted up by them ? Or, has the astonishing art of governing (such vessel) so much as even entered their minds ? When, |41 behold ! the things which are bodily (only) are with them, far more excellent than with us: because, of all animals, man is the most defective, and, as the Poets sing, "The human race is infirm46," Nor can we say how much he is inferior, in magnitude of body, to the Elephant; or, to be thought of, as to strength and abundance, with the Camel species. And, to many other animals must he cede the victory, both as to power, and swiftness of foot. What can they scent better than the tracing dogs, which are taught to course by the smell ? or, be said to see better than any Antelope; which, because they see (well) are, in the Greek, named "the Seers?" And, is it necessary we should hence say, how much weaker the body of man naturally is, than that of the Bear, the Lion, the Panther, and of many other animals? or, how quickly or easily he is deceived and overcome by those that attack him ? Nevertheless, this diminutive (creature) will, whenever he pleases, subdue any of those already mentioned; not by bodily or corporeal |42 strength, for (in this respect) he is greatly the inferior, and is insufficient to fill the stomach of even one Bear. But there is a certain nature within him, more excellent than the body, the power of the mind, and of the intelligent soul. And it is by the superiority of wisdom that he effects these astonishing things. By means of these (things) hast thou, as a dear child, been honoured of God. Why (so) despisest thou thy greatness as to think, that this thy whole is (mere) flesh ? and likenest this body, with the divine and rational knowledge which is within thee, to these irrational beings, the whole of which is perishable ? Will then, neither the irrational nature of the animals, nor this common name irrational, nor (yet) the openly apparent useful servitude, under which these have never sought excuse from the bearing of burdens or of labour, suffice to persuade thee, (that all is thus) because God has given to thee the dominion and sovereignty over them all47 ?
48. Man alone therefore, of those that are on the earth,—he who is in the image of God, carries on and introduces (his matters) wherever he pleases : at one time, he trains the animals that are suited to the chace; at another, he pastures the flocks that are adapted to this : at another, he avails himself of the tame animals for (his) service; reducing (their) fierce nature to peaceable subjection: at another, having so reduced them, he brings them into peaceable proximity with himself: at another, having brought them together by the multifarious means of reason, be confines them to the house. And not (this) alone, but he will also take into his hands the injurious reptiles, and play with them : and of those that breathe out death, and reject instruction, will he make his sport.
49. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, is not to be persuaded to take up his residence in the caves that are in the deserts, or in the heights. He accordingly builds cities with walls, and adorns (these) with streets, palaces, mansions, and other edifices.
50. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, considers not of (his) provision after the unchangeable manner and |43 usages of the irrational animals. For these, destitute (as they are) of knowledge, avail themselves of the aid of nature alone, and receive their provision from the stem, unprepared by agriculture, and uncleansed from the weed. He however, by his knowledge cleanses (this) ; thus too does he pulverize, fully season, and make it well to pass the fire. Of the wheat also he will, whenever he pleases, make bread. He is moreover, careful so to provide, that a healthy provision of food may be secured. And every profitable commodity, either of the vine, the olive, or of the fruit tree of every flavour, does he appropriate; and these does he alone apply to the sanative uses of the body.
51. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, has, by means of rule and reason, discovered that mode of life which is regular and orderly :—has become a leader of armies; has engaged in the public conflicts, and in the subsidiary arts: and these very many (things), pertaining to doctrine, has he, by his rational superiority, put forth.
52. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, preserving (in himself) the model of excellence, has determined the measure, the weights, the extents, and several sorts, of justice. He too, distinguishes,—governing (all) by reason,—the things which should, and should not, be done : and (hence) he knows, how to give to every one, as it shall be right. The fishes however, the birds, and the animals, will devour one another: because no law (prevails) among them. But to men has (God) given justice, which is their supreme excellence, as says one of the poets48, (and) according to my opinion, extremely well. |44
53. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, evincing within himself the image of THE WORD OF GOD, erects on high a house of judgment; and, acting after the manner of God's just Judge49, duly determines (the award) of life and of death; apportioning life to some, and assigning death to others.
54. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, will confide his life to the small section of a tree50. He has also discovered the science of ship-building. He too will guide the ship on the back of the sea; will commit his person to the depths of the humid element, and beat back the death that stands at his side. He (alone) looks up to the heavens, and to that Governour of all, who binds together all distances, as to the safety of those who navigate (the seas).
55. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, has discovered the doctrines of astronomy : has, while moving below in the body, and clothed with the weight of mortality, ascended up in his mind on high ; and, making the circuit of the sun, the moon, and the stars, foretells1 what shall come to pass, as he also does the eclipses of the moon, the vicissitudes of the seasons, and the changes of times. |45
56. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, is viewed (as) the assistant of nature; has discovered the means of healing; and has, by his understanding, applied (to this) the powers of roots, and of drugs, with their combination and mixture by weight and due proportion. He too has become skilful in the healing of infirm bodies, and the helps of the life of man.
57. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, not having arrived at the manner of life of the graminivorous (animals), has well applied (himself) to (the requirements of his own) nature. In the winter season he accordingly casts the seed into the earth ; and, applying the sweat of his labour to agriculture, is repaid in the autumn with the fruits consequent upon his toil.
58. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, collects together, by (his) rational knowledge, the doctrines relating to all (things); the science and composition of music, as well as (that of) investigation by discussion. He also proceeds on to the manner of life, and to the fame attendant on philosophy ; and (thus) he hastens forward the love of that superiority, which is vested within him : availing himself, not of the bodily sense, but of the faculty of knowledge, and of the stimulating power of reason.
59. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, bears about him, by means of his memory, the histories of things done in former times ; converses with those who are (now) no more, as with those who are at hand : examines the opinions of the wise who have existed at any period ; and from these, rather than from those who are his contemporaries, does he receive profit. And (thus) by the faculty of reason,—cognate with that of thought,—does he exist with those who have long ceased to be.
60. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, duly regulates the voice of the chant, by the divisions |46 of the chord. He also has divided the primary letters (of the alphabet) by the grammatical art, and has discovered the powers and province of reason. He too, has determined the combination of verbs and of nouns, as well as the precepts of rhetoric and grammar. All these moreover, does he bring together, preserve in his memory, and bring forward, as stores filled with every sort of treasure. In one mind too, does he comprehend both the events and histories of former times; and these will he bring forth whenever he pleases, as a river from an unfailing source, and inundate (therewith) the hearing of all present.
61. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, is, in his works, like unto God who is over all. Any thing which he pleases will he form into animals; even this inanimate matter will he change into the form, figure, and fashion, of every sort of creature. By means of this instructive nature, (and) the reasoning faculty, will he set about emulating (even) the Maker of all things ; and man will make man, at one time in stone; at another, in wood; at another, in flowers of (many) colours; as well as in the forms that are impervious to change: and (indeed) every sort of animal and of plant, will he, by the same means, imitate: shewing forth fully, by his works, the power (vested within him) of the image of God.
62. This (being) alone, of those that are on the earth, will imitate on the earth whereon he walks, the celestial sphere, and will engrave on the matter of brass the likeness of the very heavens, and on this will he impress a copy of the stars, both wandering and fixed. He will also appoint, by the modeller's art, the limits both of times and of seasons; and will surround the exterior (of his sphere) with the images of (various) animals. By the abundance of (his) knowledge moreover, and the means of (many) observations, will he imitate the heavenly sphere; and,—like God,—will allow the heavens whose revolutions |47 are above the earth, and with the universal whole,— and whose revolving is an unceasing miracle,—to revolve with the things that are on the earth, (in) the similitude which is of earthly material. The angel of the seasons too, will shout (as it were) with a loud voice, and all, at once and in a moment, are in motion; the doors, too, at the coming in of the seasons51, throw themselves open (as it were) of their own accord, and the inanimate images of the birds, placed round about it (the sphere), speak out in chirpings52. The moon also which is on the earth, runs its course with that in the heavens; and the (mere) brass of itself, changes its fashions, after the manner of the moon ; shewing itself now dichotomized, now on the wane, and now in its full light. Thus the images of the seasons follow the analogy of those in nature, and the human-made world contends with (that of) the workmanship of THE WORD OF GOD !
63. Man alone, of those that are on the earth, can, by means of words not to be uttered, of prayers acceptable to God, and by virtue of the fear of God, (evinced) both in word and life, drive far away the invisible nature of concealed demons53. But further, when he had even departed |48 from the right way, he could effect all this by a power, such as would, by songs and incantations, subject the kind of these which flies in the air; and, again, would seize, by means of force, and the appetencies restrictive54 of nature, those unembodied powers which fly over any part of the earth, just as they would the flying sparrows. He would lead on, or bind, (these), whenever he chose: and, sitting upon the images of fabricated gods, would shew by these his doings, that his own power was far superior to that of the fabricated deity of such.
64. Man alone shews of what kind the superiority of (his) intellectual and incorporeal being is, and establishes (the fact) that (this) his power is impervious either to subjugation or deterioration by calamity. For, he will prepare his body for the fire, the sword, the fierce beasts, (and) the depths of the sea; and he will approach every species of torment. He knows too, this his nature, that it is perishable and fleeting, transient and dissoluble. But that which resides within, is unyielding ; and, that this is different from that which perishes, he proved who cried |49 out, "Bruise, bruise the form55; but me thou wilt not bruise." And again another, proclaiming with freedom of speech : " Burn or roast the body, and be satisfied with me when thou hast drunk my blackened blood ; but, before the stars descend to the earth, and the earth ascends to the heavens, I will present to thee no one conciliating perturbed expression." One of the friends of God moreover, when suffering evils, put forth these words : " What shall separate me from the love of God ? (shall) tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, |50 or nakedness, or cold, or the sword 56 ?" I myself too have seen, in these times, some whose eyes were digged out; others, who were deprived of their legs by the cautery ; and others who were crucified; their whole bodies hastening to dissolution, and their mortal nature subject to rebuke ; while the conscious mind residing within them, attached to God, was immoveable, impervious to subjection, and unyielding to these hardships3; clearly proving to those of sound minds, that their faculty of excellence was a thing altogether different from that which was perishable.
65. This alone, of the animals that are on the earth, partaking of the divine inbreathing57, is worthy of the favour57 of the Deity. He too, will hold converse with the Angels of God, and will apprehend the foreknowledge of things to come to pass ; at one time, by means of dreams ; at another, when so invested by the power of God with the Spirit, that he will even enounce the prophecy of things future; and, by the manifestation of deeds such as these, he will confirm (the fact of) his fellowship with Deity.
66. This (animal) alone recognizes in every thing, something greater and more excellent than any that is visible ;—Him who is invisible to the eyes, and imperceptible to the touch, as well as to every faculty of bodily sense; but is visible to the mind and understanding alone. Him does he, by His (special) teaching, and the learning of which his nature is capable, confess; and Him does he call God: to Him also does he render praise ; and shews, by means of this (his) knowledge, his relationship with the Deity.
67. This (being) alone has arisen (to be) the spectator of the great works of THE WORD OF GOD, and is |51 fitted to worship his Father—Him (I say) who is higher than the heavens,—with the praises which are proper for the Deity; and to be assimilated to the company of the Angels in heaven. Because to him alone, of the animals that are on the earth, has this superiority been assigned. By means of this he recognizes, from the mind of his nature, Him who is the cause of every good; and is enjoined to render, as the return due to a Father, the praises of thanksgiving and blessing which are becoming.
68. The testimonies to all these things, does that word of the doctrine and erudition which is divine, confirm : (viz.) that of this undying nature, and equal of the citizens that are in heaven, is this (being) alone of those that are on the earth; this intelligent and rational essence (I say) which is in man: and, that he is the dear child of THE DIVINE WORD, the common Saviour of all; and that in his nature, he agrees both as to image and form with (this) his Father.
69. For if this rational animal,—this, who has become partaker in all this superiority; this, which alone of those that are on the earth, is in the image of God; this Brother of the divine hosts, and of the Angels, which are in heaven,—had been duly led by his nature, and had from ancient time adhered to the divine law; he would indeed have been freed from this earthly and corruptible (mode of) life4, and would have continued in his conversation on earth, as in a state of migration. Had he first (of all) studied divine things (only), he would indeed have effected his departure hence to those things which belonged to him; and would have been registered (as) among those that were perfect, apart from this his state of defect, and of infantine constitution. Thus therefore has man, of necessity, put on a corruptible and dissoluble body, (and this) through the mercy of his Father, that calamity may not be his permanent lot, and that he may not be tied interminably to corruption. Soon therefore, shall this corruptible be |52 dissolved, and shall receive a participation with those who are incorruptible. For, just as that which is conceived in the womb, puts on the clothing of its locality ; and the infant to be born, when the period of its destined months has arrived, casts this off, and accordingly comes forth into the light, inhales the purer air, and henceforward is considered as of the nature of man ; so also is this perfectible species, (as) believed to be among men, (and as) opposed to the (still) superior one,—a mere infant, and as yet a foetus (only) conceived on earth,— clothed in this corruptible skin; which, by the mercy of the great gift of God, it is necessary it should cast off, in order that it should not be for ever harassed with these defective things, but should, in due time, go forth into the light, and pass on to the life, which is impervious to corruption. On this account, well have the companies of the wise, the attached to God, pressed (as) they have been by a participation in these corruptible bodies, desired their change for the better, and followed after their equals, the children of their city which is above, even as he was (circumstanced) who said in the divine word, "Wretched58 man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death ?" And again, "Even59 if we live in the body, still we labour not in the flesh." He adduces his reason too, and says, "For our labour (of culture) is in heaven60; and we61 draw near to the city of the living God which is in heaven, and to the assembly of myriads of angels, and to the church of the firstborn who are written in heaven.''—These are the words of a notable man, and of (all) those who love God.
70. If however, many are so foolish as to be attached to the lusts that are here, that they are to the present time but infants in intellect; What has this to do with right reason? For, that which is conceived in the womb, exults in this its usual locality, fears its departure from it, and lest it should be extracted from internal |53 darkness, and weeps when it comes forth to the light. Still even these, did but those things which happen to their natural birth duly take place with them, would come forth from darkness to light, well and elegantly born. Thus would they, at the due time and season, be brought forth, (each) receive the natural air and breath, and bear about him the healthy vigour of man. Thus would (each) be delighted with the provisions of the breast, and of infancy; then be placed under the hands of a nurse, and be delivered over to instructors, teachers, and doctors, until he came forth a man complete. Thus too would he pass a virtuous and honourable life, great in wealth, in the abundance of possessions, in power, rule, and the other stages (of distinction), in the increase of (all) those things which result from a happy birth ; of those which multiply by means of instruction, and of those other innumerable things, which conduce to the experience of a happy life.
71. But, if any unnatural contortion should happen to that which is conceived in the womb, so that it affect such an one at his coming forth in birth; What need can there be for my saying, that the infant was distorted within (the womb) ? and refused to come forth to the light ? and that it must suffer,—by the iron instruments prepared for parturition, which shall violently and painfully be placed upon it,—the revulsion which is also unnatural ? Nor would it be worthy even of the one birth,—even of the life of man,—or of the things belonging to this : but, on the contrary, that it should go forth from darkness to darkness, and not only be deprived of the life of man, but also of the name.
72. As are these things, so is he who passes the life which is human on earth, differing in nothing from the irrational and ignorant infant, or, from that |54 which is yet, but a foetus in the womb. Nor can he be compared with those bodies which are without, the Angels and Divine spirits. He is even (as) an ignorant child; and, because of the excess of his childishness, he exults in the clothing of the body which is about him; loves the womb his (place of concealment), and knows not the locality which surrounds him, where murder, darkness, and (all) the other species of mishap, feed, as it were, in the pastures of wickedness. One of the ancients says,—when shewing that the air, which is on the earth, is humid and unclear,—that "it consists of many compounds, (resulting) from the innumerable vapours which (arise) from the earth62." One would think too that (man were such), although as an infant good. Nevertheless, if he pass the present life as it is becoming to his nature, and evince accordingly the conduct which is suitable to its law, " that he think not beyond the measure of his stature," nor spurn the nature which has borne him as a mother; nor again, remain ignorant of his Father, but recognize his Father who is in heaven, the common Saviour of all, and render to him the service of thanksgiving, because he has made him to partake in the things which are good;—be brought up in the instruction of righteousness, and previously study in his conversation which is on the earth, the life of heaven; well shall such an one, when he shall depart this mortal life, and shall put off the body, have the Angels of God for his obstetricators;—when he is to be born to the life to come, then shall both the good Powers receive him as the nurse, and the Divine assemblies teach him; that WORD OF GOD too, that teacher of the conversation which is in heaven, shall lead him on, as a dear child, to the completion of every thing that is good, and shall instruct him in the doctrine of the kingdom of heaven. And, when He shall have made him complete and wise, He shall give him up to His Father, the King of all: and shall clothe him, both in body and soul which are (now) incorruptible, with a vesture of light exceeding description. |55 So that henceforth, he shall be even for the common advantage of all. Such is the last state of such an one.— But he who exults against the course of his nature, participates in the perversion which is not good, and despises the earth, the mother that bore him; and again, impiously recognizes not THE WORD OF GOD, the common Saviour of all, but subscribes to a multitude of fathers who have no existence, instead of that one who is ; and calls those gods which never had any being, instead of that one who alone is true ; and again, wholly plunges in pursuit of the things of this moist, humid and corruptible being, into the filthy and lawless lusts ; and this not as the infant, involuntarily; but willingly, and of his free counsel, chooses to himself these vices, and so acts ; his latter state shall clearly be but the counterpart of that pointed out by the example (above given). For no happy countenance, or smiling of good Angels, shall greet him ; nor, when he goes forth into light, shall the Divine Powers receive him as fosterfathers. On the contrary, endeavouring in his extreme state to escape egress, and to hide himself within, in the concealment of the body and members:—when the dissolution of the body draws near, and he would assume the perversion which is out of nature;—(then) shall those who are appointed to this, forcibly attach themselves to him, and drag him forth. Then too, after his departure hence,—his miserable soul being reduced to sighing and lamentation,—shall he not have the light and life which is good, for his receptacle; but, on the contrary, darkness and the place of corruption. The judgment of God moreover, shall consign him (thus) impure and unclean, as filthy and abominable to the purification63 and punishment which is by fire: because he would not be instructed by THE WORD (or Reason), nor |56 adhere to the Divine law, when it was in his power to do so.
73. He therefore, who, in the example (above) was, as an infant conceived in the womb, in every thing so defective, and in every respect so destitute of power, that hitherto he could make no use either of the thoughts of his soul, or the senses of his body ;—that mind, indeed, which is hitherto but (as) an infant in man;—may well be said, by way as it were, of experimental comparison with those incorporeal and Divine rational (beings) that are in heaven, to be altogether a child. Even, if (such) were the wisest of men, or even more perfect than those that are on the earth ; still he would, when compared in himself, with his (future) perfect state, be nothing better than an infant. For, what his state of excellence shall be when he arrives at manhood, it will be easy thus to shew :— For if, when hitherto (as) an infant, and confined within this unyielding wall of earthly and corruptible being, he bears about him such a faculty of excellence, that he knows, not only the things that are on earth, and fabricates them by art, but also anticipates the life which is in heaven, |57 and becomes like to God himself; makes too, whenever he pleases, likenesses of the things in the heavens, and of those on the earth ;—can do all these things, just as those which have already been recounted64:—these (I say), when immersed (as he is) in all this refuse of the body and blood; What then, ought we to suppose he will do, when he shall have proceeded to the perfect measure of man's estate, and shall have been liberated from these injurious bonds of corruption ?—these humid and wasting properties of the body ? and is made a partaker of the life which is incorruptible, and of a body which is impervious to death ? For, if this seed alone of the reasoning faculty be thus all-able and powerful on earth, when as yet it is incapable of rendering the full return (of fruit), but has even been cast forth into the moist locality of the refuse of a corruptible body; it shall henceforth be able (fully) to know, of what sort the return of perfect fruit of this seed shall be as (sown) in the soul, when it shall have been made to partake of an adequate culture; shall have been removed hence, and have been planted in a superior locality, in land good and fertile ; where that heavenly WORD, that Sower of all things, and Planter of every good thing, shall receive (back) his own seed, and shall, in the pastures of incorporeal and unembodied souls, as in the Paradise of them who love God, Himself water his own plant, shall nourish it to perfection, and make it arrive at the increase of goods innumerable.
74. You will perceive therefore, the greatness of the complete state of man's superiority, from his changes and increments here, if you will consider, that the infant just born is in no respect superior to the worm ; that it cannot, after the manner of the irrational animal, even make use of the bodily senses. Nevertheless this defective, lame, infirm, and thoughtless being, will, when grown in his stature, arrive at all this change and variation in the course of time, — will receive all this superiority, power, and beauty both of body and soul,—so, that should those who begat him see him, they could not distinguish whether this |58 were he, who was sown (by them) in the womb, and conceived in darkness:—whether this were he, who came forth out of (this) darkness, to be brought up with milk and the swaddling bands; this,—who is now the man, who in wisdom and knowledge contemplates the whole world;—this, who subjugates every thing that is on the earth. And should any one by comparison, as it were, of the Divine faculty and of the Angels, and of the child just now born, place the complete man in the midst; he would not find a perfect equality as to the child, with respect to the perfect man; and of the perfect man, with respect to the superior power; but, the inferiority of the person of the child to the man, to be much greater, than is the inferiority of the man to the faculty of the Angels. For, the human infant lately born, cannot be compared in its being even with those irrational animals, which may just now be brought forth. But he, who has come out the perfect man, and is contemplated as the friend of God, will henceforward become a partaker in the divine Spirit, and will hold converse with the Angels: will arrive at a love and attachment to the conversation which is in heaven, and will previously prepare himself by purity of life, and the fear of God,—not (placed) at any great distance of limit,—for an equality with the Angels, and will be made a partaker both of (their) life, and superiority : which the Divine Word also shewed, when it said, "What65 is man that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the Angels: with honour and glory hast thou crowned him." is man that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the Angels: with honour and glory hast thou crowned him."
75. If then the child, when brought up to the (full) stature of his nature, and supplied with the provision and instruction proper for it, receives all this change and variety;—and no one can disbelieve (this) his change, on account of the openness of the experiment;— Why need we wonder, if even this perfectible mind which is in man, such as it is when still in |59 childhood, with respect to its more complete and perfect growth, should, when it comes forth to the full growth of its stature, be in dignity as the Angels ? We do see however, that the nature of man undergoes dissolution by death. But, What of this ? Is it not that we are the more convinced by it, that the soul is immortal ? For if, when immersed in a corruptible and mortal body, it evince all this force of superiority, which we have already shewn; How shall it not, when it shall have separated itself from its participation in corruption, and shall have laid down mortality as a bandage, then act in its own power, in a manner less impeded than it now does ? Do you not perceive, that so long as it entertains an attachment to the body66, it thence acts basely? But, if it refuse participation (with the body), it (then) subsists within itself. And hence, is its essence clearly known to be incorporeal. For, How can that which is opposed to the body, be of (its) nature ? The thoughts too of the soul are healthy, so long as the bodily passions are infirm, but the same will be dark and obscure when the body labours under the lusts. Hence, so long as the soul is infatuated, its whole attachment will be to the body; and, when attached to the body, it will be shorn of its excellence. When however, it becomes strong in opposition to the body, and flies from tha lustful passions, it (then) becomes wise; and, when it has become wise, it turns away its face from a participation in mortality, and forthwith gives up itself to the knowledge which is pure, and, in a small degree, withdraws itself from the stimulating nature of the body. When moreover, it is powerful with respect to the riches which are its own, it (then) happily becomes more abundantly enlightened, directed, and stirred up. Then too, will it partake in knowledge, wisdom, and every sort of excellence, when it has ceased to countenance the motions of the bodily passions. And, so long as it counts upon (this) |60 excellence, it deigns not to draw near with the eyes of the body ; nor will it act by any other of its senses. When moreover, it (thus) vigorously shuts itself up, carries itself within, and withdraws to a distance from the things which affect the senses, and are visible; and (when) near only to the body, still turns with the eye of the soul to another quarter, and is itself united with itself; then again, will it avail itself of the mind that is enlightened, and of the recollection which is pure; and will put forth, and nourish for itself, the reason which is imperturbed: and (thus) will every reasoning power exert itself without contrbul. But, should any of the things which are hurtful suddenly happen to the body, so that a mote should injure the sight of the eyes67; immediately would the sight of the soul be disturbed : and, should remissness be given to the body, and the soul partake in the drunkenness, gluttony, lusts, and the rest of its pleasures; (thus) reduced in itself to vice—the corruptible body too domineering over it like a wild and fierce beast, and itself remaining below (as it were) in the depths,—will be filled with error, folly, and every sort of infatuation. What necessity then is there, that we should fear death, which is (only) the determination of the freedom of the soul from the body68? And, for What (purpose) is the laying down of that which is faulty ? Is it not for receiving the aid of that, which is more excellent? and, that we should confess the lives of those who loved God, then to be in truth, holy and happy, when nothing of an adverse nature shall controul them ? If then, while this rational nature continues in this locality,—and resides in this vessel (as it were) on the earth, clothed with a dense and earthly body, not unlike some earthen69 vessel, |61 (and) wholly compressed within this its vesture,—it be such that it will mount on high in thought, will mortify the members of the body together with their lusts, by means of patience, and the restraint of the desires ; will be hastened, and hastening on, to the life of those that are incorporeal; will separate and deliver itself at all times, by the precepts of wisdom from an admixture with that which is vile; and will ever delight itself beforehand (with the thoughts) that it shall soon submit to death:—if indeed (such) be, at any time, released from the bonds and agitation of wing (common to) the cares and anxieties that are here, and thus fly away in his departure, and change the place on earth, and meet with that which he loved:— how he will then be circumstanced, ask not. For, when he shall receive his body, and shall have changed his nature from corruption to incorruption ; his shall be a conversation which is equal to that of the Angels in heaven: in the semblance of light, and of the sun-beam, shall he be; and of the form, in which even the Angels of God live; and, as reason with probability holds, he shall partake at once in their superiority and immortality70.
76. For, just as the form (assigned) to the seed which falls upon the earth, is given for many: the WORD, which is called the seed, now secretly exerting itself within the same seed, but silently after the manner of a spark confined within some dense body;—and (as) this same seed, when it shall fall to the earth, and its dense clothing which encircles |62 it from without shall dissolve through corruption;—then will it shew itself to be lively (vigorous), put in motion the power that is vested within it, and take of the material which is beneath it: then too will it begin to act, and assume its lively (energetic) nature: its old dense clothing, which is without, will it also cast off, and put on the new, which is greatly its superior ;—
77. So also is the nature of the rational faculty, which is in man, (circumstanced), that it is now bound up in a corruptible body, and of its own power acts but feebly. But, should it be freed from the corruption which surrounds it, and receive (as a possession) the locality which is in heaven, and henceforth be sown and planted (as it were) in the society which (is far) beyond it, and be fitted for the clothing of heaven and of the Angels;—of what sort it shall be, when it shall partake of the life that is pure, and shall be freed from a participation in mortality, it is neither becoming in me, nor necessary for me, to say: for this will be obvious to all who can see, from the example (given). For the whole of the wheat (seed) is not subject to corruption : it is only the part that is without which perishes, when it falls to the earth: while that concealed WORD and living power which is within it, lives and remains; and the excellence which is of this is such, that it will give forth vigorous corn-ears. Of plants too, the same is the WORD (invigorating cause), and so it is with every sort of seed. And, Shall man alone be wholly and in every thing subject to corruption, when released by death71? And, Shall the clothing which is without, at once and together with that WORD which resides within him, cede to corruption? And, as to the knowledge which is incorporeal,—that which partakes in all these powers; that, which on account of its superiority, is likened to God himself;—Shall it not be (considered) even as one of those seeds which fall to the earth? or: rather greatly (their) superior ? for it is not the beard, nor yet the blade, but those mature and fat corn-ears of his superiority, which he shall give forth. Then, when he shall be taken away |63 from the corruption which is of the earth, and shall have been delivered as from bonds, and shall not imprudently have bartered the conversation which is in heaven, for that on the earth ; and, when he shall be at the side of God; (then) shall he in truth render as the Angels do, the fruits which are acceptable to God: those (I say), the seed and power of which he possessed from ancient times in a mortal body, and contained as it were in an oven72.
78. All these things having been said for the purpose of shewing, that the essence which is in man is intelligent and rational; let us now proceed in our discourse to those consequent upon them. Had man then, brought up as he is in the conversation that is on earth, (but) known his own greatness, and continued careful of the teaching which is of God; there could have no impediment happened to him, that when taken hence, he should not delight himself in a conversation like that of the Angels, and take part in the life which is in the kingdom of his Father who is in heaven. But, because it is not one man, nor two, nor is the multitude small;—on the contrary, it is the whole rational family on earth which has received the potwer to govern self—(and) because his nature, which has received the seed of the kingdom from the DIVINE WORD the King, is free; (nevertheless) he has not well availed himself of his power; but has, by means of the subsidiary arts, laboured in all vain glory, |64 after those other things, which impel men to the bodily desires, and are advantageous to life; has become skilful in agriculture, in the building of ships, in merchandise, and in the purchasing of possessions: nor (this) only, but he has also become great from every quarter, in the abundant increase of the wealth which puts forth no zeal against any kind of lust. All these things however, which conduce to the salvation of the soul, and to that life of righteousness which is well-pleasing to God ; all these, (I say,) has he annihilated in his mind from their very roots; has disregarded his own excellency, and that of the race of his brethren who are in heaven, and has honoured, through the freedom of his will, those abominable bodily lusts, more than (this) his own greatness: of the righteousness of his Father who is in heaven, and of His praise, he has also been unmindful. These irrational itchings and delusions of childhood has he chosen : these which the fools of childhood usually do, who fly from the instruction and careful training of those who would enlarge their minds; extravagantly to honour the things which are sweet for the present, but which corrupt at once both the body and soul; and to hunt out for themselves the error and foolish knowledge of that voluptuousness, which is too vain to be conceived. All mankind being then, thus (circumstanced), the Increment of wickedness, that envious (being), the hater of every good, and deceiver as to every thing lovely, in conjunction with the wicked Demons, became their waylayer: this same, in his wicked zeal, prepared the nets, and snares, and riches,—the abundant means of every sort (of sin,)—against the salvation of all; and so drove them down from above into the depths of evil, that none on earth could see, but transgressed the law of their nature: and (thus), the germ of wickedness, instead of the seed of excellence, sprung up within them; and he that was more peaceful, more wise, and more rational, than all that were on the earth, so fell into the last stage of brutality and irrationality, that one of those beloved of God |65 wept over this overthrow of their fall, and cried out saying; "Man understood not his own honour; but was given up to be as the brute73, and became assimilated to it."
79. On these accounts therefore, a mighty Saviour, greater than any son of man, was evidently needful to them. And such is He who anxiously undertook to provide for all, THE WORD OF GOD: He who has, like a good and loving Father, shewn by deeds His providential care over the rational souls that are on the earth; and who hastened, in the mission of Himself, to the call, and for the healing, of those who were thus fallen and perishing.
The End of the First Discussion (Book) of (Eusebius) of Caesarea.
[Selected footnotes. Notes concerned only with points of the Syriac have been omitted]
1. 2 "Cujus sententiae," says Lactantius, de falsa religione, Lib. i. cap. ii., "auctor est Democritus, confirmator Epicurus, sed et antea Protagoras, qui Deos in dubium vocavit; et postea Diagoras, qui exclusit," &c. These are the Atheists, a1qeoi, of the ancients, on whom some excellent remarks from Plato's xth Book of Laws will be found quoted, Pref. Evang. Lib. xii. cap. 1. p. 621. Edit. 1628. — But more on this subject when we come to our second Book. It does not appear that this exclusion took place, except at the celebration of the Lord's supper.
2. 1 This argument is also used by Athenagoras. Legat. pro Christ. p. 60. seq. and by Theodoret in the place just cited.
3. 2 Alluding to Isai. xl. 12. Theodoret's comment on the place is, [Greek] : "nihil enim otiosum, nihil redundans, in lucem productum est." The Mohammedans—who borrowed most of their early notions from the Christians, (see my Persian Controversies, p. 124. seq.),—tell us, moreover, that the mountains are placed as studs on the earth, for the purpose of giving it stability, and of restraining one part from moving off to another. See M. de Sacy's Notes on the Pandnamah of Attar, p, 35. sen. Some beautiful remarks on this subject generally, will be found in Theophilus of Antioch, addressed to Autolycus, near the beginning. Among our own writers, Paley, Tucker on the Light of Nature, and the authors of the Bridgewater Treatises, will be read with interest.
4. 5 Not unlike this, our Author in his "Oratio de laudibus Constantini," cap. vii. p. 512. D. Edit. 1695: and particularly cap. xi. p. 524. A. seq. which is identical with it.
5. 6 It is common with our Author to consider Christ as the Maker of the World, and Father of the intelligent creature man.
6. 1 Syr. [Syriac] which is an error, for [Syriac]. And here I may inform the reader, that where I have supposed an error to exist in the Syriac text, I have generally proposed its emendation in brackets thus .
7. 2 See Orat. de laudd. Constant, ib. p. 524. C. D. from which our text slightly differs.
8. 3 Imitated apparently by Theodoret,—Graec. affect. curat. Edit. Gaisford, p. 183, &c.:—who, it may be remarked, is a very constant imitator of our Author.
9. 4 The Greek text (I.e.) of the Orat. de laudd. Constant, (p. 525. A.) has no term corresponding to this. Syr. [Syriac].
10. 1 Alluding to 1 Tim. vi. 16.
11. 2 Our Author argues in his tract against Marcellus, pp. 8, 9, that even before the incarnation, Christ was a Mediator between God and the angels, and this he grounds on Gal. iii. 19,—"ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator." His words are: "[Greek] ." He has misunderstood the Scripture here.
12. 3 This sentence is not found in the Greek, Orat. de laudd. Constant, ib. p. 525. B. See the note of Valesius on this place. It is, however, in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iv. cap. vi. p. 155.
13. 6 Alluding to Job xxxvii. 7. See my Translation and Notes.
14. 9 Alluding to Job xxxviii. 10.
15. 1 It is evident, from what follows here, that the sea-water is meant: for, in no other case, can we suppose the water spoken of to be changed into sweetness. Syr. [Syriac] This argument is also beautifully and powerfully urged by Theodoret. Serm. de Provid. i. Tom. iv. p. 330. C.
16. 10 By this is meant, that all is OF the Father as the great source of Divinity; but is BY the Son as the Creator, Upholder, and Governour of all things.
17. 5 So Didymus on the Holy Spirit, as preserved in the works of Jerome: " Bonus Dominus uoster Jesus Christus ex bono Patre generatus est."
18. 2 This place may be adduced to shew how literal our Syrian translator has endeavoured to be, and how very greatly he has distorted the order of his Syriac, in order to suit it to that of his Greek original. The Syriac stands thus: [Syriac]. Than which nothing can be more preposterous. The Greek is this : [Greek] Which is not a bad specimen of Eusebius's want of simplicity. — This argument is also given in the Demonst. Evang. Lib. iv. cap. v. p. 150. D. seq.
19. 5 Anaxagoras imagined that the origin of all things consisted of similar parts. (Plutarch, p. 876. Vol. ii. Edit. 1620.). His theory is manifestly taken from the Bible. He says, [Greek] All things were (confused) together: but MIND divided and adorned them: i. e. the " Spirit" of the Bible. Zeno too, according to Aristotle, argued thus, (cited at § 30. infra.)
20. 3 It may perhaps be supposed that our author shews his Arian propensity here. But the same might be said of Justin Martyr, and, indeed, of the Fathers generally, if this were allowed. See Whitby on Eph. iv. 6. and the note on Book ii. sect. 3. below.
21. 1 There is much reasoning of this sort in Aristotle's Tract on Xenophanes, Zeno, and Gorgias; and which cannot but be read with interest here, particularly the part on Zeno. See also Diog. Laert. Life of Plato near the end. This same argument is also urged by Lac-tantius, Lib. i. cap. iii. A little lower down, cap. v., he shews how some of the greatest poets and philosophers taught, that ONE supreme God formed and governed all things. Among the poets, Orpheus, Virgil, Ovid, &c.: among the philosophers, Thales, Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, Antisthenes, &c. See also Prep. Evan. Lib. ix. capp. ix.—xiii. Ib. Lib. in. capp. ix. xii. xiii. &c.
22. 7 Alluding to Ps. xix. 4—6.
23. 2 Our Greek (Orat. de laudd. Constant.) leaves us here, and does not join us again till we come to Book 11. Sect. 3.
24. 3 Syr. [Syriac], a paraphrase for Theologian: a title very applicable to St John, who spoke much of the Lo&goj tou~ Qeou~.
25. 4 John i. 10. with the Peschito.
26. 6 Alluding to the reasoning of Plato, see Book ii. § 33. seq.
27. 7 See the Note to sect. 41. below.
28. 8 So also Aristotle, Lib. de Juventute et Senectute, cap. ii. "Necesse autem est, ut anima vegetatrix in haben-tibus, actu simplex unaque sit, potentia multiplex ac plures."
29. 2 Our Author knew how to accommodate his reasoning to the class of readers whom he was addressing, who were the classical scholars of his day.—Homer's councils of the Gods gave the first outline perhaps of the sketch given here: so Ovid—
Mac iter est superis ad magni tecta Tonantis,
Regalemque domum ; Dextra laevaque Deorum
Atria nobilium valvis celebrantur apertis.
Plebs habitant diversa locis: a fronte potentes
Coelicolae, clarique suos posuere Penates.
Hic locus est; quem, si verbis audacia detur,
Haud timeam magni dixisse Palatia coeli.
Metam. i. 1. 170. seq.
The Stoics in like manner affirm, that the world is a sort of city, consisting both of Gods and men: the Gods being the rulers, men the subjects, &c. [Greek]. From the epitome of Arius Didymus. Prep. Evang. Lib. xv. cap. xv. so also Philo, ib. Lib. xiii. cap. xviii. Ed. Viger. p. 704. making the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, &c. a sort of ministry to the whole. A passage similar to this is also to be found in the Oration of our Author, "de laudibus Constantini," cap. i. near the beginning. The most complete discussion on this subject is, perhaps, cap. vi. of Aristotle's Liber de mundo. See also Plato's heavenly earth. Prep. Evang. Lib. xi. cap. xxxvii.
30. 3 This passage has been introduced into the Oratio de laudd. Constant. cap. i. p. 409. C. D. And, as it is extraordinary, and not very clear, I give both the Syriac and Greek of it: [Syriac, Greek] Matt, xxvii. 51. &c. The place is apparently an imitation of Job xxvi. 9. Sec my Translation and Notes, and the Greek of the LXX.
31. 2 Much to the same effect though not so full, Clemens Alexand. Strom. Lib. vii. p. 704. who compares the all-pervading power of Christ to that of a magnet acting upon a series of iron rings, and affecting at once both the least and the greatest.
32. 3 The Syriac is ambiguous here [Syriac] , which may mean, either as given in the text, or, as being made by its Father, who is the Word of God: ascribing the creation of all, as is frequently the case in this work, to Christ. I think the former, however, more likely to be the true meaning.
33. 1 To the same effect, our Author in his work against Marcellus, Lib. i. cap. i. p. 4. C. seq.
34. 2 Col. i. 15.
35. 3 Syr. lit. who have assimilated to themselves the Image of fraudulent rule. [Syriac], which is only a peculiar way of making the comparison: the Person meant is Satan, as opposed to Christ.
36. 4 The Syriac is peculiar here, and stands thus: [Syriac]: a practice common to many of the early heretics.
37. 6 Alluding to Rom. i. 25.
38. 1 Cited from the cxlviiith Psalm, with a few variations from the text of the Peschito.
39. 1 Syr. [Syriac], lit. In the Stadia : i. e. places appointed for racing. The aether has been usually supposed to constitute that portion of the upper regions which approximates to that of the fixed stars : by some it has been thought to consist of fire, by others of a very subtile fluid. Aristotle's opinion may perhaps, be taken here as the most authoritative. He says, then, (Lib. de Mundo, cap. ii.), [Greek] "Coeli porro siderumque substantiam appellamus setherem: non quidem ideo quod ignita flagret ipsa, ut aliqui censuerunt, plurimum utique aberrantes circa potentiam illam maxime ab ignea natura abhorrentem : origine vero hujus vocabuli inde ducta, quod semper aether currat motu circumductili : cum sit illud elementum a quatuor illis diversum : tum divinum, tum interitus expers."
40. 1 Gen. i. 27, 1 Cor. xi. 7. The argument shewing that revealed religion is much more ancient than the vanities of idolatry is admirably prosecuted in the Prep. Evang. Lib. x. cap. iv. Clemens Alexand. Strom. Lib. I. p. 302. A. seq.
41. 3 Syr. [Syriac], lit, in the doctrine of their mind: which, as it is intended to be opposed to image worship, seems to me to imply doctrine mentally received and applied.
42. 1 This expression will be understood, when it is considered that the ancients supposed the heavens to consist of sphere upon sphere, encircling each other, like the coats of an onion.
43. 3 " Shares with his lord the pleasure and the rifle."—POPE. This argument is similarly urged by Plutarch, (De Fortuna,) p. 98. Edit. 1620.) [Greek, Latin]
44. 1 Ps. viii. 5. varying in some respects from the text of the Peschito.
45. 3 Gen. ii. 7.
46. 2 Syr. [Syriac]. Similar, though not identical, sentiments will be found in extracts given by Clemens Alexand. Strom. Lib. v. p. 492. Edit. 1029; by Theodoret, Gr. Affect, curat. Serm, i. p. 477. Edit. 1642. Ib. Edit. Gaisford, p. 193. The nearest is, perhaps, to be found in a Fragment of Menander preserved by Plutarch, (De consolat. ad Apoll. p. 103. Edit. 1620.)
..... "a0sqene/staton ga_r o2n ( zw~|on )
......"cum sit infirmissimum (animal)
Another not unlike it is (ib. p. 104) cited from Homer:
" Ou_de\n a0kidno&teron gai~a tre/fei a0nqrwpo&io ."
" Nil homine in terris infirmius aetheris aura vescitur."
47. 1 Matter, in some respects similar to this, will be found in the Orat. de laudd. Constant. Cap. v. p. 509. B. seq. and Prep. Evang. Lib. xi. cap. xxviii. p. 556. seq.
48. 3 There is a passage in Plutarch very nearly allied to this, who probably has in view the same poet (Pindar), it is as follows: [Greek] "Medicinam enim animae, quse Justitia cognominatur, omnium esse artium maximam, praeter sexcentos alios etiam Pindarus testatur, principem et dominum omnium deum appellans Aristotechnam, id est, artificum praestantissimum : quippe justitise administratorem, quae jus habet determinandi quando, quomodo, et quatenus quilibet malorum sit puniendus." It is not improbable, I think, that our author had this place in his eye when he wrote the above paragraph. Clemens Alexand. also cites the place in Pindar, Strom. Lib. v. p. 598. B. but in a different sense. Plutarch, de his qui sero, &c. ib. p. 550. A.
49. 1 That is, considering Christ as appointed the final Judge of all, man here acts like him.
50. 2 i. e. the section of a tree formed into a boat, as was much the case in former times. See the Prep. Evang. Lib. i. cap. x. p. 35. A.
51. 2 Syr. [Syriac]. lit. hours, a literal translation, in all probability, of the Greek w[rai, signifying seasons.
52. 3 One would think from this, that the ancient Astrolabes were furnished with an apparatus for the purpose of exhibiting animated nature, while they presented the places and groups of the stars; not unlike, perhaps, our modern Orreries, supposing them accompanied by a sort of cuckoo-clock. Lactantius thus describes the sphere of Archimedes, Lib. n. cap. v. p. 115. Ed. 1698. "An Archimedes siculus concave sere similitudinem mundi ac figuram potuit machinari, in quo ita solem, ac lunam composuit, ut inaequales motus et coelestibus similes, conversionibus singulis quasi diebus efficerent: et non modo accessus solis, ct recessus, vel incrementa, diminutionesque lunae, vel etiam stellarum, vel inerrantium vel vagarum, dispares cursus, orbis ille dum vertitur exhiberet," &c. According to the Greeks the sphere was invented by Anaximander: Diog. Laert. in the life of this philosopher.
53. 4 So Porphyry, Prep. Evang. Lib. iv. cap. xxii. [Greek] "Qui...nec oculis, nec alio quovis humano sensu attingi omnino possunt." Eusebius, perhaps, first alludes here to the practice of Exorcism, as had recourse to in the primitive Church: see Suiceri Thesaurus, sub voce, Ecorkismo&j --There was moreover, a very general belief that a sort of magic virtue consisted in the pronunciation of certain words. Origen (contra Cels. Lib. v. pp. 261—2) tells us that any name, or word, having effect in incantations, if changed or translated into any other language, immediately lost its whole magical efficacy. His instances are, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the names Israel, Adonai, Sabaoth, &c. Nor does he restrict these usages to the professors of the true religion. See also ib. p. 374, and Spencer's very curious note on pp. 17. C. 41: notes, p. 16—19, where we have every thing we can require on this subject.
54. 1 This is perhaps, an instance of hypallage, as occasionally met with in the Scriptures (see the note to §. 57 above.) So Rom. vii. 24. [Greek] Syr. [Syriac]. Here, the [Syriac], by the desires of the bonds (the lusts) of nature. Our author probably means, (by hypallage) the mortifications to which persons of this sort usually submitted, just as it is the case with the devotees of Hindustan at this day; all of whom generally hold, that they have power over demoniacal agents. A belief however, in these things as expressed here, must be classed among those, which more enlightened times have very properly rejected. Our author might, however, have intended this as a sort of argumentum ad hominem, it being religiously held by the heathen of his times, as may be seen Prep. Evang. Lib. iv. C. xxii. seq. Where (p. 173. D.) he tells us that in this ease he used not the testimony of Christians, but of the heathen Philosophers themselves, [Greek]. See ib. cap. xxiii. on the means used for expelling and opposing these Demons, from Porphyry. See also Sect. 12. Book ii. below.
55. 2 According to Celsus (Origen contra Cels. Lib. vii. p. 367,) Anaxarchus was thrown into a mortar, and, when beaten there, uttered these remarkable words. The tyrant who reduced him to this, was Aristocreon of Cyprus (ib. p. 368.). Epictetus is here also celebrated for a similar act of fortitude. This account, moreover, of Anaxarchus will be found at length in Diogenes Laertius, under his life.
56. 1 Rom. viii. 35. differing considerably from the text of the Peschito and Philoxenian Versions.
57. 3 See §. 47, above.
58. 1 Rom. vii. 24, as in the Peschito.
59. 2 2 Cor. x. 3, differing considerably from the Peschito.
60. 3 Phil. iii. 20, as before.
61. 4 Heb. xii. 22, cited from memory, apparently.
62. 1 Several passages similar to this, though not identical with it, are to be found in Plutarch, and other writers.
63. 2 The views of some of the Fathers on this subject were extremely dark and perplexed, out of which evidently grew the Purgatory of the Roman Catholics. How far our author partook of this, I have not been able to ascertain. Origen tells us in his 24th Hom, on Luke, that, as John baptized with water, so shall Christ baptize in a river of fire all who shall pass to Paradise; but here, the baptism by water must first have taken place. In this case all must submit to this second purifying baptism. Again, near the end of his 8th book of ex planations of the Epist. to the Romans, he says, that he who spurns the purifications of the Word of God, and of the Gospel-teaching, will reserve himself to the sad and penal purifications of the fire of hell: in conformity with the Scripture, "I will purify thee with fire even to purification." (Is. i. 25. Sept.) He goes on to tell us, that, how long this purifying by fire with sinners shall continue, He only, to whom the Father hath delivered all judgment, can know: evidently inclining to the notion that it is not eternal. This is however, according to him, one of those things which the Apostle considered as a mystery, and to be held as such by the faithful, secretly within themselves: and, for this he cites "Mysterium Regis (ut ait Scriptura) celare bonum est." (Prov. xxv. 2?). But, who does not see that all this is a miserable perversion of Scripture ? See Spencer's Notes on Origen contra Cels. pp. 47—50: it. p. 77. The Bishop of Lincoln's Eccl. Hist, illustrated from Tertullian, p. 342. seq. Camb. 1826. Out of this also grew the Mohammedan purgatory, styled [Arabic]. Elaraf. They have also a Bason (pond), styled [Arabic] out of which all the faithful are to drink before they enter Paradise. Our author however, does speak also of earthly plagues sent as purifiers. See Book ii. §. 80, below: and so does Origen contra Cels. Lib. iv. p. 173, where Plato is cited as using similar phraseology.
64. 1 See §. 62, seq. above.
65. 1 Ps. viii. 5, 6, differing slightly from the Peschito.
66. 2 Similar reasoning will be found in the Phaedo of Plato, Edit. Lond. p. 170; and in Plutarch de consolat. ad Apollonium. (p. 107. seq. Edit. 1620) beginning with, [Greek]
67. 1 Alluding to Matt. vii. 3, 4, 5 : and meaning apparently that, should light be impeded by any means from passing through the natural inlets to the soul, so far must the soul remain unenlightened, and in intellectual darkness.
68. 2 Plato's [Greek] Phaedo. Edit. Lond. p. 183. And so a Poet cited by Plutarch, (de consolat. ad. Apoll. 108. E.) [Greek]
69. 3 Alluding to 2 Cor. iv. 7.
70. 4 Much to the same effect Plato, Phaedo. Edit. Lond. p. 178. seq. So also Clemens Alexand. (Strom. Lib. v. p. 740.)... [Greek] ... "Quinetiam precatur cum Angelis, ut qui jam sit etiam aequalis Angelis, neque est unquam extra sanctam custodiam, et licet oret solus, habet chorum Angelorum una assistentem."
71. 1 It was one of the errors of Tatian, that he believed the soul partook of the matter of the body: Orat. contra Graecos, p. 169. B. seq. Edit.
72. 2 Syr. [Syriac]. Ovens in the East are not unlike large stone jars, as may be seen in Mr. Taylor's Fragments to his Edition of Calmet's Dictionary, No. cix. Plate 38. fig. 5. Edit. 1838. The allusion, made to the spark of fire, in the last section, is perhaps intended to be kept up here, with the notion of a silent process going on, as in baking any thing in an oven.
73. 2 Ps. xlix. 21. according to the Peschito, except that we have [Syriac] instead of [Syriac]: but differing slightly from the Septuagint, as it also does from the sense of the Hebrew.
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