The Clementine Homilies - V - IX

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Book V has been translated by Rev. Thomas Smith, D.D.; Books VI to IX by Peter Peterson, M.A.

Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional introductionary material and notes provided for the American edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.


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Homily V.


Chapter I.--Appion Does Not Appear.

The next day, therefore, in Tyre, as we had agreed, I came to the quiet place, and there I found the rest, with some others also. Then I saluted them. But as I did not see Appion, I asked the reason of his not being present; and some one said that he had been unwell ever since last evening. Then, when I said that it was reasonable that we should immediately set out to visit him, almost all begged me first to discourse to them, and that then we could go to see him. Therefore, as all were of one opinion, I proceeded to say: [1045] --

Footnotes

[1045] [The historical setting of Homily V. is peculiar to this narrative; most of the views appear in a different connection in the Recognitions (mainly book x.).--R.]


Chapter II.--Clement's Previous Knowledge of Appion.

"Yesterday, when I left this, O friends, I confess that, through much anxiety about the discussion that was to take place with Appion, I was not able to get any sleep. And while I was unable to sleep, I remembered a trick that I played upon him in Rome. It was this. From my boyhood I Clement was a lover of truth, and a seeker of the things that are profitable for the soul, and spending my time in raising and refuting theories; but being unable to find anything perfect, through distress of mind I fell sick. And while I was confined to bed Appion came to Rome, and being my father's friend, he lodged with me; and hearing that I was in bed, he came to me, as being not unacquainted with medicine, and inquired the cause of my being in bed. But I, being aware that the man exceedingly hated the Jews, as also that he had written many books against them, and that he had formed a friendship with this Simon, not through desire of learning, but because he knew that he was a Samaritan and a hater of the Jews, and that he had come forth in opposition to the Jews, therefore he had formed an alliance with him, that he might learn something from him against the Jews; [1046] --

Footnotes

[1046] [See Homily IV. 6, footnote.--R.]

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Chapter III.--Clement's Trick.

"I knowing this before concerning Appion, as soon as he asked me the cause of my sickness, answered feignedly, that I was suffering and distressed in my mind after the manner of young men. And to this he said, `My son, speak freely as to a father: what is your soul's ailment?' And when I again groaned feignedly, as being ashamed to speak of love, by means of silence and down-looking I conveyed the impression of what I wished to intimate. But he, being persuaded that I was in love with a woman, said: `There is nothing in life which does not admit of help. For indeed I myself, when I was young, being in love with a most accomplished woman, not only thought it impossible to obtain her, but did not even hope ever to address her. And yet, having fallen in with a certain Egyptian who was exceedingly well versed in magic, and having become his friend, I disclosed to him my love, and not only did he assist me in all that I wished, but, honouring me more bountifully, he hesitated not to teach me an incantation by means of which I obtained her; and as soon as I had obtained her, by means of his secret instruction, being persuaded by the liberality of my teacher, I was cured of love.

Chapter IV.--Appion's Undertaking.

"`Whence, if you also suffer any such thing after the manner of men, use freedom with me with all security; for within seven days I shall put you fully in possession of her.' When I heard this, looking at the object I had in view, I said: `Pardon me that I do not altogether believe in the existence of magic; for I have already tried many who have made many promises, and have deceived me. However, your undertaking influences me, and leads me to hope. But when I think of the matter, I am afraid that the demons are sometimes not subject to the magicians with respect to the things that are commanded them.'

Chapter V.--Theory of Magic.

"Then Appion said: `Admit that I know more of these things than you do. However, that you may not think that there is nothing in what you have heard from me in reference to what you have said, I will tell you how the demons are under necessity to obey the magicians in the matters about which they are commanded. For as it is impossible for a soldier to contradict his general, and impossible for the generals themselves to disobey the king--for if any one oppose those set over him, he is altogether deserving of punishment--so it is impossible for the demons not to serve the angels who are their generals; and when they are adjured by them, they yield trembling, well knowing that if they disobey they shall be fully punished. But the angels also themselves, being adjured by the magicians in the name of their ruler, obey, lest, being found guilty of disobedience, they be destroyed. For unless all things that are living and rational foresaw vengeance from the ruler, confusion would ensue, all revolting against one another.'

Chapter VI.--Scruples.

"Then said I: `Are those things correct, then, which are spoken by poets and philosophers, that in Hades the souls of the wicked are judged and punished for their attempts; such as those of Ixion, and Tantalus, and Tityus, and Sisyphus, and the daughters of Danaus, and as many others as have been impious here? And how, if these things are not so, is it possible that magic can subsist?' Then he having told me that these things are so in Hades, I asked him: `Why are not we ourselves afraid of magic, being persuaded of the punishment in Hades for adultery? For I do not admit that it is a righteous thing to compel to adultery a woman who is unwilling; but if any one will engage to persuade her, I am ready for that, besides confessing my thanks.'

Chapter VII.--A Distinction with a Difference.

"Then Appion said: `Do you not think it is the same thing, whether you obtain her by magic, or by deceiving her with words?' Then said I: `Not altogether the same; for these differ widely from one another. For he who constrains an unwilling woman by the force of magic, subjects himself to the most terrible punishment, as having plotted against a chaste woman; but he who persuades her with words, and puts the choice in her own power and will, does not force her. And I am of opinion, that he who has persuaded a woman will not suffer so great punishment as he who has forced her. Therefore, if you can persuade her, I shall be thankful to you when I have obtained her; but otherwise, I had rather die than force her against her will.'

Chapter VIII.--Flattery or Magic.

"Then Appion, being really puzzled, said: `What am I to say to you? For at one time, as one perturbed with love, you pray to obtain her; and anon, as if you loved her not, you make more account of your fear than your desire: and you think that if you can persuade her you shall be blameless, as without sin; but obtaining her by the power of magic, you will incur punishment. But do you not know that it is the end of every action that is judged, the fact that it has been committed, and that no account is made of the means by which it has been effected? And if you commit adultery, being enabled by magic, shall you be judged as having done wickedly; and if by persuasion, shall you be absolved from sin in respect of the adultery?' Then I said: `On account of my love, there is a necessity for me to choose one or other of the means that are available to procure the object of my love; and I shall choose, as far as possible, to cajole her rather than to use magic. But neither is it easy to persuade her by flattery, for the woman is very much of a philosopher.'

Chapter IX.--A Love-Letter.

"Then Appion said: `I am all the more hopeful to be able to persuade her, as you wish, provided only we be able to converse with her.' `That,' said I, `is impossible.' Then Appion asked if it were possible to send a letter to her. Then I said: `That indeed may be done.' Then Appion said: `This very night I shall write a paper on encomiums of adultery, which you shall get from me and despatch to her; and I hope that she shall be persuaded, and consent.' Appion accordingly wrote the paper, and gave it to me; and I thought of it this very night, and I remembered that fortunately I have it by me, along with other papers which I carry about with me." Having thus spoken, I showed the paper to those who were present, and read it to them as they wished to hear it; and having read it, I said: "This, O men, is the instruction of the Greeks, affording a bountiful licence to sin without fear. [1047]The paper was as follows:--

Footnotes

[1047] [The introduction of the letters is an ingenious literary device. Much of the mythological matter is given in Recognitions, x.--R.]

Chapter X.--The Lover to the Beloved One.

"`Anonymously, on account of the laws of foolish men. At the bidding of Love, the first-born of all, salutation: I know that you are devoted to philosophy, and for the sake of virtue you affect the life of the noble. But who are nobler than the gods among all, and philosophers among men? For these alone know what works are good or evil by nature, and what, not being so, are accounted so by the imposition of laws. Now, then, some have supposed that the action which is called adultery is evil, although it is in every respect good. For it is by the appointment of Eros for the increase of life. And Eros is the eldest of all the gods. For without Eros there can be no mingling or generation either of elements, or gods, or men, or irrational animals, or aught else. For we are all instruments of Eros. He, by means of us, is the fabricator of all that is begotten, the mind inhabiting our souls. Hence it is not when we ourselves wish it, but when we are ordered by him, that we desire to do his will. But if, while we desire according to his will, we attempt to restrain the desire for the sake of what is called chastity, what do we do but the greatest impiety, when we oppose the oldest of all gods and men?

Chapter XI.--"All Uncleanness with Greediness."

"`But let all doors be opened to him, and let all baneful and arbitrary laws be set aside, which have been ordained by fanatical men, who, under the power of senselessness, and not willing to understand what is reasonable, and, moreover, suspecting those who are called adulterers, are with good reason mocked with arbitrary laws by Zeus himself, through Minos and Rhadamanthus. For there is no restraining of Eros dwelling in our souls; for the passion of lovers is not voluntary. Therefore Zeus himself, the giver of these laws, approached myriads of women; and, according to some wise men, he sometimes had intercourse with human beings, as a benefactor for the production of children. But in the case of those to whom he knew that his being unknown would be a favour, [1048] he changed his form, in order that he might neither grieve them, nor seem to act in opposition to the laws given by himself. It becomes you, therefore, who are debaters of philosophy, for the sake of a good life, to imitate those who are acknowledged to be the nobler, who have had sexual intercourse ten thousand times.

Footnotes

[1048] We have adopted the punctuation of Wieseler.

Chapter XII.--Jupiter's Amours.

"`And not to spend the time to no purpose in giving more examples, I shall begin with mentioning some embraces of Zeus himself, the father of gods and men. [1049]For it is impossible to mention all, on account of their multitude. Hear, therefore, the amours of this great Jupiter, which he concealed by changing his form, on account of the fanaticism of senseless men. For, in the first place, wishing to show to wise men that adultery is no sin, when he was going to marry, being, according to the multitude, knowingly an adulterer, in his first marriage, but not being so in reality, by means, as I said, of a seeming sin be accomplished a sinless marriage. [1050]For he married his own sister Hera, assuming the likeness of a cuckoo's wing; and of her were born Hebe and Ilithyia. For he gave birth to Metis without copulation with any one, as did also Hera to Vulcan.

Footnotes

[1049] [Comp. Recognitions, x. 20-23, for a parallel to chaps. 12-15.--R.] [1050] I have no doubt that this is the general meaning; but the text is hopelessly corrupt.

Chapter XIII.--Jupiter's Amours Continued.

"`Then he committed incest with his sister, who was born of Kronos and Thalasse, after the dismemberment of Kronos, and of whom were born Eros and Cypris, whom they call also Dodone. Then, in the likeness of a satyr, he had intercourse with Antiope the daughter of Nycteus, of whom were born Amphion and Zethus. And he embraced Alcmene, the wife of Amphitryon, in the form of her husband Amphitryon, of whom was born Hercules. And, changed into an eagle, he approached ∆gina, the daughter of Asclepius, of whom ∆acus was born. And in the form of a bear he lay with Amalthea the daughter of Phocus; and in a golden shower he fell upon Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, of whom sprang Perseus. He became wild as a lion to Callisto the daughter of Lycaon and begat Arcus the second. And with Europa the daughter of Phoenix he had intercourse by means of a bull, of whom sprang Minos, and Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon; and with Eurymedusa the daughter of Achelous, changing himself into an ant, of whom was born Myrmidon. With a nymph of Hersæus, in the form of a vulture, from whom sprang the wise men of old in Sicily. He came to Juno the earth-born in Rhodes, and of her were born Pargæus, Kronius, Kytis. And he deflowered Ossia, taking the likeness of her husband Phoenix, of whom Anchinous was born to him. Of Nemesis the daughter of Thestius, who is also thought to be Leda, he begot Helena, in the form of a swan or goose; and again, in the form of a star, he produced Castor and Polydeuces. With Lamia he was transformed into a hoopoo.

Chapter XIV.--Jupiter's Undisguised Amours.

"`In the likeness of a shepherd he made Mnemosyne mother of the Muses. Setting himself on fire, he married Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, of whom he begat Dionysus. In the likeness of a dragon he deflowered his daughter Persephone, thought to be the wife of his brother Pluto. He had intercourse with many other women without undergoing any change in his form; for the husbands had no ill-will to him as if it were a sin, but knew well that in associating with their wives he bountifully produced children for them, bestowing upon them the Hermeses, the Apollos, the Dionysi, the Endymions, and others whom we have spoken of, most excellent in beauty through his fatherhood.

Chapter XV.--Unnatural Lusts.

"`And not to spend the time in an endless exposition, you will find numerous unions with Jupiter of all the gods. But senseless men call these doings of the gods adulteries; even of those gods who did not refrain from the abuse of males as disgraceful, but who practised even this as seemly. For instance, Jupiter himself was in love with Ganymede: Poseidon with Pelops; Apollo with Cinyras, Zacyinthus, Hyacinthus, Phorbas, Hylas, Admetus, Cyparissus, Amyclas, Troilus, Branchus the Tymnæan, Parus the Potnian, Orpheus; Dionysus with Laonis, Ampelus, Hymenæus, Hermaphrodites, Achilles; Asclepius with Hippolytus, and Hephæstus with Peleus; Pan with Daphnis; Hermes with Perseus, Chrysas, Theseus, Odrysus; Hercules with Abderus, Dryops, Jocastus, Philoctetes, Hylas, Polyphemus, Hæmon, Chonus, Eurystheus.

Chapter XVI.--Praise of Unchastity.

"`Thus have I in part set before you the amours of all the more noted gods, beloved, that you may know that fanaticism respecting this thing is confined to senseless men. Therefore they are mortal, and spend their lives sadly, because through their zeal they proclaim those things to be evil which the gods esteem as excellent. Therefore for the future you will be blessed, imitating the gods, and not men. For men, seeing you preserving that which is thought to be chastity, on account of what they themselves feel, praise you indeed, but do not help you. But the gods, seeing you like unto themselves, will both praise and help.

Chapter XVII.--The Constellations.

"`For reckon to me how many mistresses they have rewarded, some of whom they have placed among the stars; and of some they have blessed both the children and the associates. Thus Zeus made Callisto a constellation, called the Little Bear, which some also call the Dog's Tail. Poseidon also placed the dolphin in the sky for the sake of Amphitrite; and he gave a place among the stars to Orion the son of Euryale, the daughter of Minos, for the sake of his mother Euryale. And Dionysus made a constellation of the crown of Ariadne, and Zeus invested the eagle which assisted him in the rape of Ganymede, and Ganymede himself with the honour of the Water-pourer. Also he honoured the bull for the sake of Europa; and also having bestowed Castor, and Polydeuces, and Helena upon Leda, he made them stars. Also Perseus for the sake of Danae; and Arcus for the sake of Callisto. The virgin who also is Dice, for the sake of Themis; and Heracles for the sake of Alcmene. But I do not enlarge further; for it were long to tell particularly how many others the gods have blessed for the sake of their many mistresses. in their intercourse with human beings, which senseless men repudiate as evil deeds, not knowing that pleasure is the great advantage among men.

Chapter XVIII.--The Philosophers Advocates of Adultery.

"`But why? Do not the celebrated philosophers extol pleasure, and have they not had intercourse with what women they would? Of these the first was that teacher of Greece, of whom Phoebus himself said, "Of all men, Socrates is the wisest." Does not he teach that in a well-regulated state women should be common? [1051] and did he not conceal the fair Alcibiades under his philosopher's gown? And the Socratic Antisthenes writes of the necessity of not abandoning what is called adultery. And even his disciple Diogenes, did not he freely associate with Lais, for the hire of carrying her on his shoulders in public? Does not Epicurus extol pleasure? Did not Aristippus anoint himself with perfumes, and devote himself wholly to Aphrodite? Does not Zeno, intimating indifference, say that the deity pervades all things, that it may be known to the intelligent, that with whomsoever a man has intercourse, it is as with himself; and that it is superfluous to forbid what are called adulteries, or intercourse with mother, or daughter, or sister, or children. And Chrysippus, in his erotic epistles, makes mention of the statue in Argos, representing Hera and Zeus in an obscene position.

Footnotes

[1051] This from a marginal reading.

Chapter XIX.--Close of the Love-Letter.

"`I know that to those uninitiated in the truth these things seem dreadful and most base; but not so to the gods and the philosophers of the Greeks, nor to those initiated in the mysteries of Dionysus and Demeter. But above all these, not to waste time in speaking of the lives of all the gods, and all the philosophers, let the two chief be your marks--Zeus the greatest of the gods, and Socrates of philosophic men. And the other things which I have mentioned in this letter, understand and attend to, that you may not grieve your lover; since, if you act contrarily to gods and heroes, you will be judged wicked, and will subject yourself to fitting punishment. But if you offer yourself to every lover, then, as an imitator of the gods, you shall receive benefits from them. For the rest, dearest one, remember what mysteries I have disclosed to you, and inform me by letter of your choice. Fare thee well.'

Chapter XX.--The Use Made of It.

"I therefore, having received this billet from Appion, as though I were really going to send it to a beloved one, pretended as if she had written in answer to it; and the next day, when Appion came, I gave him the reply, as if from her, as follows:--

Chapter XXI.--Answer to Appion's Letter.

"`I wonder how, when you commend me for wisdom, you write to me as to a fool. For, wishing to persuade me to your passion, you make use of examples from the mythologies of the gods, that Eros is the eldest of all, as you say, and above all gods and men, not being afraid to blaspheme, that you might corrupt my soul and insult my body. For Eros is not the leader of the gods,--he, I mean, who has to do with lusts. For if he lusts willingly, he is himself his own suffering and punishment; and he who should suffer willingly could not be a god. But if against his will he lust for copulation, and, pervading our souls as through the members of our bodies, is borne into intermeddling with our minds, then he that impels him to love is greater than he. And again, he who impels him, being himself impelled by another desire, another greater than he is found impelling him. And thus we come to an endless succession of lovers, [1052] which is impossible. Thus, neither is there an impeller nor an impelled; but it is the lustful passion of the lover himself, which is increased by hope and diminished by despair.

Footnotes

[1052] I suspect it should rather be impellers, reading pheronton for eronton.

Chapter XXII.--Lying Fables.

"`But those who will not subdue base lusts belie the gods, that, by representing the gods as first doing the things which they do, they may be set free from blame. For if those who are called gods committed adulteries for the sake of begetting children, and not through lasciviousness, why did they also debauch males? But it is said they complimented their mistresses by making them stars. Therefore before this were there no stars, until such time as, by reason of wantonness, the heaven was adorned with stars by adulterers? And how is it that the children of those who have been made stars are punished in Hades,--Atlas loaded, Tantalus tortured with thirst, Sisyphus pushing a stone, Tityus thrust through the bowels, Ixion continually rolled round a wheel? How is it that these divine lovers made stars of the women whom they defiled, but gave no such grace to these?

Chapter XXIII.--The Gods No Gods.

"`They were not gods, then, but representations of tyrants. For a certain tomb is shown among the Caucasian mountains, not in heaven, but in earth, as that of Kronos, a barbarous man and a devourer of children. Further, the tomb of the lascivious Zeus, so famed in story, who in like manner devoured his own daughter Metis, is to be seen in Crete, and those of Pluto and Poseidon in the Acherusian lake; and that of Helius in Astra, and of Selene in Carræ, of Hermes in Hermopolis, of Ares in Thrace, of Aphrodite in Cyprus, of Dionysus in Thebes, and of the rest in other places. At all events, the tombs are shown of those that I have named; for they were men, and in respect of these things, wicked men and magicians. [1053]For else they should not have become despots--I mean Zeus, renowned in story, and Dionysus--but that by changing their forms they prevailed over whom they pleased, for whatever purpose they designed.

Footnotes

[1053] [Compare the different use of these details in Recognitions, x. 24; also in Homily VI. 21.--R.]

Chapter XXIV.--If a Principle Be Good, Carry It Out

"`But if we must emulate their lives, let us imitate not only their adulteries, but also their banquets. For Kronos devoured his own children, and Zeus in like manner his own daughter. And what must I say? Pelops served as a supper for all the gods. Wherefore let us also, before unhallowed marriages, perpetrate a supper like that of the gods; for thus the supper would be worthy of the marriages. But this you would never consent to; no more will I to adultery. Besides this, you threaten me with the anger of Eros as of a powerful god. Eros is not a god, as I conceive him, but a desire occurring from the temperament of the living creature in order to the perpetuation of life, according to the foresight of Him who worketh all things, that the whole race may not fail, but by reason of pleasure another may be produced out of the substance of one who shall die, springing forth by lawful marriage, that he may know to sustain his own father in old age. And this those born from adultery cannot do, not having the nature of affection towards those who have begotten them.

Chapter XXV.--Better to Marry Than to Burn.

"`Since, therefore, the erotic desire occurs for the sake of continuation and legitimate increasing, as I have said, it behoves parents providing for the chastity of their children to anticipate the desire, by imbuing them with instruction by means of chaste books, and to accustom them beforehand by excellent discourses; for custom is a second nature. And in addition to this, frequently to remind them of the punishments appointed by the laws, that, using fear as a bridle, they may not run on in wicked pleasures. And it behoves them also, before the springing of the desire, to satisfy the natural passion of puberty by marriage, first persuading them not to look upon the beauty of another woman.

Chapter XXVI.--Close of the Answer.

"`For our mind, whenever it is impressed delightfully with the image of a beloved one, always seeing the form as in a mirror, is tormented by the recollection; and if it do not obtain its desire, it contrives ways of obtaining it; but if it do obtain it, it is rather increased, like fire having a supply of wood, and especially when there is no fear impressed upon the soul of the lover before the rise of passion. For as water extinguishes fire, so fear is the extinguisher of unreasonable desire. Whence I, having learned from a certain Jew both to understand and to do the things that are pleasing to God, am not to be entrapped into adultery by your lying fables. But may God help you in your wish and efforts to be chaste, and afford a remedy to your soul burning with love.'

Chapter XXVII.--A Reason for Hatred.

"When Appion heard the pretended answer, he said: `Is it without reason that I hate the Jews? Here now some Jew has fallen in with her, and has converted her to his religion, and persuaded her to chastity, and it is henceforth impossible that she ever have intercourse with another man; for these fellows, setting God before them as the universal inspector of actions, are extremely persistent in chastity, as being unable to be concealed from Him.'

Chapter XXVIII.--The Hoax Confessed.

"When I heard this, I said to Appion: `Now I shall confess the truth to you. I was not enamoured of the woman, or of any one else, my soul being exceedingly spent upon other desires, and upon the investigation of true doctrines. And till now, although I have examined many doctrines of philosophers, I have inclined to none of them, excepting only that of the Jews,--a certain merchant of theirs having sojourned here in Rome, selling linen clothes, and a fortunate meeting having set simply before me the doctrine of the unity of God.'

Chapter XXIX.--Appion's Resentment.

"Then Appion, having heard from me the truth, with his unreasonable hatred of the Jews, and neither knowing nor wishing to know what their faith is, being senselessly angry, forthwith quitted Rome in silence. And as this is my first meeting with him since then, I naturally expect his anger in consequence. However, I shall ask him in your presence what he has to say concerning those who are called gods, whose lives, fabled to be filled with all passions, are constantly celebrated to the people, in order to their imitation; while, besides their human passions as I have said, their graves are also shown in different places."

Chapter XXX.--A Discussion Promised.

The others having heard these things from me, and desiring to learn what would ensue, accompanied me to visit Appion. And we found him bathed, and sitting at a table furnished. Wherefore we inquired but little into the matter concerning the gods. But he, understanding, I suppose, our wish, promised that next day he would have something to say about the gods, and appointed to us the same place where he would converse with us. And we, as soon as he had promised, thanked him, and departed, each one to his home. .

Homily VI.


Chapter I.--Clement Meets Appion.

And on the third day, when I came with my friends to the appointed place in Tyre, I found Appion sitting between Anubion and Athenodorus, and waiting for us, along with many other learned men. But in no wise dismayed, I greeted them, and sat down opposite Appion. And in a little he began to speak:-- "I wish to start from the following point, and to come with all speed at once to the question. Before you, my son Clement, joined us, my friend Anubion here, and Athenodorus, who yesterday were among those who heard you discourse, were reporting to me what you said of the numerous false accusations I brought against the gods when I was visiting you in Rome, at the time you were shamming love, how I charged them with pæderasty, lasciviousness, and numerous incests of all kinds. But, my son, you ought to have known that I was not in earnest when I wrote such things about the gods, but was concealing the truth, from my love to you. That truth, however, if it so please you, you may hear from me now.

Chapter II.--The Myths are Not to Be Taken Literally.

"The wisest of the ancients, men who had by hard labour learned all truth, kept the path of knowledge hid from those who were unworthy and had no taste for lessons in divine things. [1054]For it is not really true that from Ouranos and his mother Ge were born twelve children, as the myth counts them: six sons, Okeanos, Koios, Krios, Hyperion, Japetos, Kronos; and six daughters, Thea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Demeter, Tethys, and Rhea. [1055]Nor that Kronos, with the knife of adamant, mutilated his father Ouranos, as you say, and threw the part into the sea; nor that Aphrodite sprang from the drops of blood which flowed from it; nor that Kronos associated with Rhea, and devoured his first-begotten son Pluto, because a certain saying of Prometheus led him to fear that a child born from him would wax stronger than himself, and spoil him of his kingdom; nor that he devoured in the same way Poseidon, his second child; nor that, when Zeus was born next, his mother Rhea concealed him, and when Kronos asked for him that he might devour him, gave him a stone instead; nor that this, when it was devoured, pressed those who had been previously devoured, and forced them out, so that Pluto, who was devoured first, came out first, and after him Poseidon, and then Zeus; [1056] nor that Zeus, as the story goes, preserved by the wit of his mother, ascended into heaven, and spoiled his father of the kingdom; nor that he punished his father's brothers; nor that he came down to lust after mortal women; nor that he associated with his sisters, and daughters, and sisters-in-law, and was guilty of shameful pæderasty; nor that he devoured his daughter Metis, in order that from her he might make Athene be born out of his own brain (and from his thigh might bear Dionysos, who is said to have been rent in pieces by the Titans) [1057] ; nor that he held a feast at the marriage of Peleus and Thetis; [1058] nor that he excluded Eris (discord) from the marriage; nor that Eris on her part, thus dishonoured, contrived an occasion of quarrelling and discord among the feasters; nor that she took a golden apple from the gardens of the Hesperides, and wrote on it `For the fair.' And then they fable how Hera, and Athena, and Aphrodite, found the apple, and quarrelling about it, came to Zeus; and he did not decide it for them, but sent them by Hermes to the shepherd Paris, to be judged of their beauty. But there was no such judging of the goddesses; nor did Paris give the apple to Aphrodite; nor did Aphrodite, being thus honoured, honour him in return, by giving him Helen to wife. For the honour bestowed by the goddess could never have furnished a pretext for a universal war, and that to the ruin of him who was honoured, himself nearly related to the race of Aphrodite. But, my son, as I said, such stories have a peculiar and philosophical meaning, which can be allegorically set forth in such a way that you yourself would listen with wonder." And I said, "I beseech you not to torment me with delay." And he said, "Do not be afraid; for I shall lose no time, but commence at once.

Footnotes

[1054] [Compare in general, with chaps. 2-22, the mythological statements in Recognitions, x. 17-41.--R.] [1055] [Compare Recognitions, x. 17, 31.--R.] [1056] The passage seems to be corrupt. [1057] The common story about Dionysus is, that he was the unborn son, not of Metis, but of Semele. Wieseler supposes that some words have fallen out, or that the latter part of the sentence is a careless interpolation. [1058] [Compare, on "the supper of the gods," chap. 15, and Recognitions, x. 41.--R.]

Chapter III.--Appion Proceeds to Interpret the Myths.

"There was once a time when nothing existed but chaos and a confused mixture of orderless elements, which were as yet simply heaped together. [1059]This nature testifies, and great men have been of opinion that it was so. Of these great men I shall bring forward to you him who excelled them all in wisdom, Homer, where he says, with a reference to the original confused mass, `But may you all become water and earth;' [1060] implying that from these all things had their origin, and that all things return to their first state, which is chaos, when the watery and earthy substances are separated. And Hesiod in the Theogony says, `Assuredly chaos was the very first to come into being.' [1061]Now, by `come into being,' he evidently means that chaos came into being, as having a beginning, and did not always exist, without beginning. And Orpheus likens chaos to an egg, in which was the confused mixture of the primordial elements. This chaos, which Orpheus calls an egg, is taken for granted by Hesiod, having a beginning, produced from infinite matter, and originated in the following way.

Footnotes

[1059] [With this discourse and its cosmogony compare the discourse of Clement and his brothers in Recognitions, x. 17-19, 30-34.--R.] [1060] Iliad, vii. 99. [1061] L. 116.

Chapter IV.--Origin of Chaos.

"This matter, of four kinds, and endowed with life, was an entire infinite abyss, so to speak, in eternal stream, borne about without order, and forming every now and then countless but ineffectual combinations (which therefore it dissolved again from want of order); ripe indeed, but not able to be bound so as to generate a living creature. And once it chanced that this infinite sea, which was thus by its own nature driven about with a natural motion, flowed in an orderly manner from the same to the same (back on itself), like a whirlpool, mixing the substances in such a way that from each [1062] there flowed down the middle of the universe (as in the funnel of a mould) precisely that which was most useful and suitable for the generation of a living creature. This was carried down by the all-carrying whirlpool, drew to itself the surrounding spirit, and having been so conceived that it was very fertile, formed a separate substance. For just as a bubble is usually formed in water, so everything round about contributed to the conception of this ball-like globe. Then there came forth to the light, after it had been conceived in itself, and was borne upwards by the divine spirit which surrounded it, [1063] perhaps the greatest thing ever born; a piece of workmanship, so to speak, having life in it which had been conceived from that entire infinite abyss, in shape like an egg, and as swift as a bird.

Footnotes

[1062] This is the emendation of Davisius. The Greek has ex akoustou; the Latin, "mirum in modum." Wieseler suggests exakontiston. [1063] This is Wieseler's emendation for "received."

Chapter V.--Kronos and Rhea Explained.

"Now you must think of Kronos as time (chronos), and Rhea as the flowing (rheon) of the watery substance. [1064]For the whole body of matter was borne about for some Time, before it brought forth, like an egg, the sphere-like, all-embracing heaven (ouranos), which at first was full of productive marrow, so that it was able to produce out of itself elements and colours of all sorts, while from the one substance and the one colour it produced all kinds of forms. For as a peacock's egg seems to have only one colour, while potentially it has in it all the colours of the animal that is to be, so this living egg, conceived out of infinite matter, when set in motion by the underlying and ever-flowing matter, produces many different forms. For within the circumference a certain living creature, which is both male and female, is formed by the skill of the indwelling divine spirit. This Orpheus calls Phanes, because when it appeared (phaneis) the universe shone forth from it, with the lustre of that most glorious of the elements, fire, perfected in moisture. Nor is this incredible, since in glowworms nature gives us to see a moist light.

Footnotes

[1064] [Comp. Recognitions, x. 17, 31, 32.--R.]

Chapter VI.--Phanes and Pluto.

"This egg, then, which was the first substance, growing somewhat hot, was broken by the living creature within, and then there took shape and came forth something; [1065] such as Orpheus also speaks of, where he says, `when the capacious egg was broken,' [1066] etc. And so by the mighty power of that which appeared (phaneis) and came forth, the globe attained coherency, and maintained order, while it itself took its seat, as it were, on the summit of heaven, there in ineffable mystery diffusing light through endless ages. But the productive matter left inside the globe, separated the substances of all things. For first its lower part, just like the dregs, sank downwards of its own weight; and this they called Pluto from its gravity, and weight, and great quantity (polu) of underlying matter, styling it the king of Hades and the dead. [1067]

Footnotes

[1065] Wieseler corrects to "some such being," etc.; and below, "of him who appeared," etc.; and "he took his seat." [1066] The first word of this quotation gives no sense, and has been omitted in the translation. Lobeck suggests "at its prime;" Hermann, "Heracapeian;" Duentzer, "ancient;" and Wieseler, "white." [1067] [Comp. Recognitions, x. 32.--R.]

Chapter VII.--Poseidon, Zeus, and Metis.

"When, then, they say that this primordial substance, although most filthy and rough, was devoured by Kronos, that is, time, this is to be understood in a physical sense, as meaning that it sank downwards. And the water which flowed together after this first sediment, and floated on the surface of the first substance, they called Poseidon. And then what remained, the purest and noblest of all, for it was translucent fire, they called Zeus, from its glowing (zeousa) nature. Now since fire ascends, this was not swallowed, and made to descend by time or Kronos; but, as I said, the fiery substance, since it has life in it, and naturally ascends, flew right up into the air, which from its purity is very intelligent. By his own proper heat, then, Zeus--that is, the glowing substance--draws up what is left in the underlying moisture, to wit, that very strong [1068] and divine spirit which they called Metis.

Footnotes

[1068] The Paris ms. has "very fine."

Chapter VIII.--Pallas and Hera.

"And this, when it had reached the summit of the æther, was devoured by it (moisture being mixed with heat, so to say); and causing in it that ceaseless palpitation, it begat intelligence, which they call Pallas from this palpitating (pallesthai). [1069]And this is artistic wisdom, by which the ætherial artificer wrought out the whole world. And from all-pervading Zeus, that is, from this very hot æther, air (aer) extends all the way to our earth; and this they call Hera. Wherefore, because it has come below the æther, which is the purest substance (just as a woman, as regards purity, is inferior), when the two were compared to see which was the better, she was rightly regarded as the sister of Zeus, in respect of her origin from the same substance, but as his spouse, as being inferior like a wife.

Footnotes

[1069] [With chaps. 8-10 compare Recognitions, x. 32, 34.--R.]

Chapter IX.--Artemis.

"And Hera we understand to be a happy tempering of the atmosphere, and therefore she is very fruitful; but Athena, as they call Pallas, was reckoned a virgin, because on account of the intense heat she could produce nothing. And in a similar fashion Artemis is explained: for her they take as the lowest depth of air, and so they called her a virgin, because she could not bear anything on account of the extreme cold. And that troubled and drunken composition which arises from the upper and lower vapours they called Dionysus, as troubling the intellect. And the water under the earth, which is in nature indeed one, but which flows through all the paths of earth, and is divided into many parts, they called Osiris, as being cut in pieces. And they understand Adonis as favourable seasons, Aphrodite as coition and generation, Demeter as the earth, the Girl (Proserpine) as seeds; and Dionysus some understand as the vine.

Chapter X.--All Such Stories are Allegorical.

"And I must ask you to think of all such stories as embodying some such allegory. Look on Apollo as the wandering Sun (peri-polŰn), a son of Zeus, who was also called Mithras, as completing the period of a year. And these said transformations of the all-pervading Zeus must be regarded as the numerous changes of the seasons, while his numberless wives you must understand to be years, or generations. For the power which proceeds from the æther and passes through the air unites with all the years and generations in turn, and continually varies them, and so produces or destroys the crops. And ripe fruits are called his children, the barrenness of some seasons being referred to unlawful unions."

Chapter XI.--Clement Has Heard All This Before.

While Appion was allegorizing in this way, I became plunged in thought, and seemed not to be following what he was saying. So he interrupted his discourse, and said to me, "If you do not follow what I am saying, why should I speak at all?" And I answered, "Do not suppose that I do not understand what you say. I understand it thoroughly; and that the more that this is not the first time I have heard it. And that you may know that I am not ignorant of these things, I shall epitomize what you have said, and supply in their order, as I have heard them from others, the allegorical interpretations of those stories you have omitted." And Appion said: "Do so."

Chapter XII.--Epitome of Appion's Explanation.

And I answered: [1070]"I shall not at present speak particularly of that living egg, which was conceived by a happy combination out of infinite matter, and from which, when it was broken, the masculo-feminine Phanes leaped forth, as some say. I say little about all that, up to the point when this broken globe attained coherency, there being left in it some of its marrow-like matter; and I shall briefly run over the description of what took place in it by the agency of this matter, with all that followed. For from Kronos and Rhea were born, as you say--that is, by time and matter--first Pluto, who represents the sediment which settled down; and then Poseidon, the liquid substance in the middle, [1071] which floated over the heavier body below; and the third child--that is, Zeus--is the æther, and is highest of all. It was not devoured; but as it is a fiery power, and naturally ascends, it flew up as with a bound to the very highest æther.

Footnotes

[1070] [Comp. Recognitions, x. 17-19, 29-36, 41, for statements similar to those in chaps. 12-19.--R.] [1071] This is Wiesler's conjecture.

Chapter XIII.--Kronos and Aphrodite.

"And the bonds of Kronos are the binding together of heaven and earth, as I have heard others allegorizing; and his mutilation is the separation and parting of the elements; for they all were severed and separated, according to their respective natures, that each kind might be arranged by itself. And time no longer begets anything; but the things which have been begotten of it, by a law of nature, produce their successors. And the Aphrodite who emerged from the sea is the fruitful substance which arises out of moisture, with which the warm spirit mixing, causes that sexual desire, and perfects the beauty of the world.

Chapter XIV.--Peleus and Thetis, Prometheus, Achilles, and Polyxena.

"And the marriage banquet, at which Zeus held the feast on the occasion of the marriage of the Nereid Thetis and the beautiful Peleus, has in it this allegory, [1072] --that you may know, Appion, that you are not the only one from whom I have heard this sort of thing. The banquet, then, is the world, and the twelve are these heavenly props of the Fates, [1073] called the Zodiac. Prometheus is foresight (prometheia), by which all things arose; Peleus is clay (pelos), namely, that which was collected [1074] from the earth and mixed with Nereis, or water, to produce man; and from the mixing of the two, i.e., water and earth, the first offspring was not begotten, but fashioned complete, and called Achilles, because he never put his lips (cheile) to the breast. [1075]Still in the bloom of life, he is slain by an arrow while desiring to have Polyxena, that is, something other than the truth, and foreign (xene) to it, death stealing on him through a wound in his foot.

Footnotes

[1072] [Comp. chap. 2, and Recognitions, 40, 41.--R.] [1073] The Latin takes "moira" in the sense of "district," and translates, "these props of the districts of the sky." [1074] This is Wieseler's conjecture for reading of the mss., "contrived." [1075] This is Schwegler's restoration of the passage. Davisius proposes, "He is in the bloom of life, at which time if any one desires," etc.

Chapter XV.--The Judgment of Paris.

"Then Hera, and Athena, and Aphrodite, and Eris, and the apple, and Hermes, and the judgment, and the shepherd, have some such hidden meaning as the following:--Hera is dignity; Athena, manliness; Aphrodite, pleasure; Hermes, language, which interprets (hermeneutikos) thought; the shepherd Paris, unreasoned and brutish passion. Now if, in the prime of life, reason, that shepherd of the soul, is brutish, does not regard its own advantage, will have nothing to do with manliness and temperance, chooses only pleasure, and gives the prize to lust alone, bargaining that it is to receive in return from lust what may delight it,--he who thus judges incorrectly will choose pleasure to his own destruction and that of his friends. And Eris is jealous spite; and the golden apples of the Hesperides are perhaps riches, by which occasionally even temperate persons like Hera are seduced, and manly ones like Athena are made jealous, so that they do things which do not become them, and the soul's beauty like Aphrodite is destroyed under the guise of refinement. To speak briefly, in all men riches provoke evil discord.

Chapter XVI.--Hercules.

"And Hercules, who slew the serpent which led and guarded riches, is the true philosophical reason which, free from all wickedness, wanders all over the world, visiting the souls of men, and chastising all it meets,--namely, men like fierce lions, or timid stags, or savage boars, or multiform hydras; and so with all the other fabled labours of Hercules, they all have a hidden reference to moral valour. But these instances must suffice, for all our time would be insufficient if we were to go over each one.

Chapter XVII.--They are Blameworthy Who Invented Such Stories.

"Now, [1076] since these things can be clearly, profitably, and without prejudice to piety, set forth in an open and straightforward manner, I wonder you call those men sensible and wise who concealed them under crooked riddles, and overlaid them with filthy stories, and thus, as if impelled by an evil spirit, deceived almost all men. For either these things are not riddles, but real crimes of the gods, in which case they should not have been exposed to contempt, nor should these their needs have been set before men at all as models; or things falsely attributed to the gods were set forth in an allegory, and then, Appion, they whom you call wise erred, in that, by concealing under unworthy stories things in themselves worthy, they led men to sin, and that not without dishonouring those whom they believed to be gods.

Footnotes

[1076] [Compare with the arguments here, Recognitions, x. 35-38.--R.]

Chapter XVIII.--The Same.

"Wherefore do not suppose that they were wise men, but rather evil spirits, who could cover honourable actions with wicked stories, in order that they who wish to imitate their betters may emulate these deeds of so-called gods, which yesterday in my discourse I spoke so freely of,--namely, their parricides, their murders of their children, their incests of all kinds, their shameless adulteries and countless impurities. The most impious of them are those who wish these stories to be believed, in order that they may not be ashamed when they do the like. If they had been disposed to act reverently, they ought, as I said a little ago, even if the gods really did the things which are sung of them, to have veiled their indecencies under more seemly stories, and not, on the contrary, as you say they did, when the deeds of the gods were honourable, clothed them in wicked and indecent forms, which, even when interpreted, can only be understood by much labour; and when they were understood by some, they indeed got for their much toil the privilege of not being deceived, which they might have had without the toil, while they who were deceived were utterly ruined. (Those, however, who trace the allegories to a more honourable source I do not object to; as, for instance, those who explain one allegory by saying that it was wisdom which sprang from the head of Zeus.) On the whole, it seems to me more probable that wicked men, robbing the gods of their honour, ventured to promulgate these insulting stories.

Chapter XIX.--None of These Allegories are Consistent.

"Nor do we find the poetical allegory about any of the gods consistent with itself. To go no further than the fashioning of the universe, the poets now say that nature was the first cause of the whole creation, now that it was mind. For, say they, the first moving and mixture of the elements came from nature, but it was the foresight of mind which arranged them in order. Even when they assert that it was nature which fashioned the universe, being unable absolutely to demonstrate this on account of the traces of design in the work, they in weave the foresight of mind in such a way that they are able to entrap even the wisest. But we say to them: If the world arose from self-moved nature, how did it ever take proportion and shape, which cannot come but from a superintending wisdom, and can be comprehended only by knowledge, which alone can trace such things? If, on the other hand, it is by wisdom that all things subsist and maintain order, how can it be that those things arose from self-moved chance?

Chapter XX.--These Gods Were Really Wicked Magicians.

"Then those who chose to make dishonourable allegories of divine things--as, for instance, that Metis was devoured by Zeus--have fallen into a dilemma, because they did not see that they who in these stories about the gods indirectly taught physics, denied the very existence of the gods, revolving all kinds of gods into mere allegorical representations of the various substances of the universe. And so it is more likely that the gods these persons celebrate were some sort of wicked magicians, who were in reality wicked men, but by magic assumed different shapes, committed adulteries, and took away life, and thus to the men of old who did not understand magic seemed to be gods by the things they did; and the bodies and tombs of these men are to be seen in many towns.

Chapter XXI.--Their Graves are Still to Be Seen.

"For instance, as I have mentioned already, in the Caucasian mountains there is shown the tomb of a certain Kronos, a man, and a fierce monarch who slew his children. And the son of this man, called Zeus, became worse than his father; and having by the power of magic been declared ruler of the universe, he committed many adulteries, and inflicted punishment on his father and uncles, and so died; and the Cretans show his tomb. And in Mesopotamia there lie buried a certain Helios at Atir, and a certain Selene at Carrhæ. A certain Hermes, a man, lies buried in Egypt; Ares in Thrace; Aphrodite in Cyprus; ∆sculapius in Epidaurus; and the tombs of many other such persons are to be seen. [1077]

Footnotes

[1077] [Comp. v. 23, and Recognitions, x. 24.--R.]

Chapter XXII.--Their Contemporaries, Therefore, Did Not Look on Them as Gods.

"Thus, to right-thinking men, it is clear that they were admitted to be mortals. And their contemporaries, knowing that they were mortal, when they died paid them no more heed; and it was length of time which clothed them with the glory of gods. Nor need you wonder that they who lived in the times of ∆sculapius and Hercules were deceived, or the contemporaries of Dionysus or any other of the men of that time, when even Hector in Ilium, and Achilles in the island of Leuce, are worshipped by the inhabitants of those places; and the Opuntines worship Patroclus, and the Rhodians Alexander of Macedon. [1078]

Footnotes

[1078] [Comp. Recognitions, x. 25, where these facts are also used.--R.]

Chapter XXIII.--The Egyptians Pay Divine Honours to a Man.

"Moreover, among the Egyptians even to the present day, a man is worshipped as a god before his death. And this truly is a small impiety, that the Egyptians give divine honours to a man in his lifetime; but what is of all things most absurd is, that they worship birds and creeping things, and all kinds of beasts. For the mass of men neither think nor do anything with discretion. But look, I pray you, at what is most disgraceful of all: he who is with them the father of gods and men is said by them to have had intercourse with Leda; and many of them set up in public a painting of this, writing above it the name Zeus. To punish this insult, I could wish that they would paint their own present king in such base embraces as they have dared to do with Zeus, and set it up in public, that from the anger of a temporary monarch, and him a mortal, they might learn to render honour where it is due. This I say to you, not as myself already knowing the true God; but I am happy to say that even if I do not know who is God, I think I at least know clearly what God is.

Chapter XXIV.--What is Not God.

"And first, then, the four original elements cannot be God, because they have a cause. Nor can that mixing be God, nor that compounding, nor that generating, nor that globe which surrounds the visible universe; nor the dregs which flow together in Hades, nor the water which floats over them; nor the fiery substance, nor the air which extends from it to our earth. For the four elements, if they lay outside one another, could not have been mixed together so as to generate animal life without some great artificer. If they have always been united, even in this case they are fitted together by an artistic mind to what is requisite for the limbs and parts of animals, that they may be able to preserve their respective proportions, may have a clearly defined shape, and that all the inward parts may attain the fitting coherency. In the same way also the positions suitable for each are determined, and that very beautifully, by the artificer mind. To be brief, in all other things which a living creature must have, this great being of the world is in no respect wanting.

Chapter XXV.--The Universe is the Product of Mind.

"Thus we are shut up to the supposition that there is an unbegotten artificer, who brought the elements together, if they were separate; or, if they were together, artistically blended them so as to generate life, and perfected from all one work. For it cannot be that a work which is completely wise can be made without a mind which is greater than it. Nor will it do to say that love is the artificer of all things, or desire, or power, or any such thing. All these are liable to change, and transient in their very nature. Nor can that be God which is moved by another, much less what is altered by time and nature, and can be annihilated." [1079]

Footnotes

[1079] [The conclusion of the discussion is noteworthy, not only from the fairness of the argument, but from the skill with which the position of Clement, as a heathen inquirer, is maintained.--R.]

Chapter XXVI.--Peter Arrives from Cæsarea.

While I was saying these things to Appion, Peter drew near from Cæsarea, and in Tyre the people were flocking together, hurrying to meet him and unite in an expression of gratification at his visit. And Appion withdrew, accompanied by Anubion and Athenodorus only; but the rest of us hurried to meet Peter, and I was the first to greet him at the gate, and I led him towards the inn. When we arrived, we dismissed the people; and when he deigned to ask what had taken place, I concealed nothing, but told him of Simon's slanders, and the monstrous shapes he had taken, and all the diseases he had sent after the sacrificial feast, and that some of the sick persons were still there in Tyre, while others had gone on with Simon to Sidon just as I arrived, hoping to be cured by him, but that I had heard that none of them had been cured by him. I also told Peter of the controversy I had with Appion; and he, from his love to me, and desiring to encourage me, praised and blessed me. Then, having supped, he betook himself to the rest the fatigues of his journey rendered so necessary. .

Homily VII.


Chapter I.--Peter Addresses the People.

And on the fourth day of our stay in Tyre, [1080] Peter went out about daybreak, and there met him not a few of the dwellers round about, with very many of the inhabitants of Tyre itself, who cried out, and said, "God through you have mercy upon us, God through you heal us!" And Peter stood on a high stone, that all might see him; and having greeted them in a godly manner, thus began:--

Footnotes

[1080] [The historical details of this Homily also have no parallel in the Recognitions.--R.]

Chapter II.--Reason of Simon's Power.

"God, who created the heavens and the whole universe, does not want occasion for the salvation of those who would be saved. Wherefore let no one, in seeming evils, rashly charge Him with unkindness to man. For men do not know the issue of those things which happen to them, nay, suspect that the result will be evil; but God knows that they will turn out well. So is it in the case of Simon. He is a power of the left hand of God, and has authority to do harm to those who know not God, so that he has been able to involve you in diseases; but by these very diseases, which have been permitted to come upon you by the good providence of God, you, seeking and finding him who is able to cure, have been compelled to submit to the will of God on the occasion of the cure of the body, and to think of believing, in order that in this way you may have your souls as well as your bodies in a healthy state.

Chapter III.--The Remedy.

"Now I have been told, that after he had sacrificed an ox he feasted you in the middle of the forum, and that you, being carried away with much wine, made friends with not only the evil demons, but their prince also, and that in this way the most of you were seized by these sicknesses, unwittingly drawing upon yourselves with your own hands the sword of destruction. For the demons would never have had power over you, had not you first supped with their prince. For thus from the beginning was a law laid by God, the Creator of all things, on each of the two princes, him of the right hand and him of the left, that neither should have power over any one whom they might wish to benefit or to hurt, unless first he had sat down at the same table with them. As, then, when you partook of meat offered to idols, you became servants to the prince of evil, in like manner, if you cease from these things, and flee for refuge to God through the good Prince of His right hand, honouring Him without sacrifices, by doing whatsoever He wills, know of a truth that not only will your bodies be healed, but your souls also will become healthy. For He only, destroying with His left hand, can quicken with His right; He only can both smite and raise the fallen.

Chapter IV.--The Golden Rule.

"Wherefore, as then ye were deceived by the forerunner Simon, and so became dead in your souls to God, and were smitten in your bodies; so now, if you repent, as I said, and submit to those things which are well-pleasing to God, you may get new strength to your bodies, and recover your soul's health. And the things which are well-pleasing to God are these: to pray to Him, to ask from Him, recognising that He is the giver of all things, and gives with discriminating law; to abstain from the table of devils, not to taste dead flesh, not to touch blood; to be washed from all pollution; and the rest in one word,--as the God-fearing Jews have heard, do you also hear, and be of one mind in many bodies; let each man be minded to do to his neighbour those good things he wishes for himself. And you may all find out what is good, by holding some such conversation as the following with yourselves: You would not like to be murdered; do not murder another man: you would not like your wife to be seduced by another; do not you commit adultery: you would not like any of your things to be stolen from you; steal nothing from another. And so understanding by yourselves what is reasonable, and doing it, you will become dear to God, and will obtain healing; otherwise in the life which now is your bodies will be tormented, and in that which is to come your souls will be punished." [1081]

Footnotes

[1081] [With this discourse respecting Simon, compare Recognitions, ii. 6-18. But the statements respecting Simon's power and the design of it are much stronger than here.--R.]

Chapter V.--Peter Departs for Sidon.

After Peter had spent a few days in teaching them in this way, and in healing them, they were baptized. And after that, [1082] all sat down together in the market-places in sackcloth and ashes, grieving because of his other wondrous works, and repenting their former sins. And when they of Sidon heard it, they did likewise, and sent to beseech Peter, since they could not come themselves for their diseases. And Peter did not spend many days in Tyre; but when he had instructed all its inhabitants, and freed them from all manners of diseases and had founded a church, and set over it as bishop one of the elders who were with him, he departed for Sidon. But when Simon heard that Peter was coming, he straightway fled to Beyrout with Appion and his friends.

Footnotes

[1082] We have adopted Wieseler's emendation. The text may be translated thus: "And after that, among his other wondrous deeds, all the rest (who had not been baptized) sat down," etc.

Chapter VI.--Peter in Sidon.

And as Peter entered Sidon, they brought many in couches, and laid them before him. And he said to them: "Think not, I pray you, that I can do anything to heal you, who am a mortal man, myself subject to many evils. But I shall not refuse to show you the way in which you must be saved. For I have learned from the Prophet of truth the conditions fore-ordained of God before the foundation of the world; that is to say, the evil deeds which if men do He has ordained that they shall be injured by the prince of evil, and in like manner the good deeds for which He has decreed that they who have believed in Him as their Physician shall have their bodies made whole, and their souls established in safety.

Chapter VII.--The Two Paths.

"Knowing, then, these good and evil deeds, I make known unto you as it were two paths, [1083] and I shall show you by which travellers are lost and by which they are saved, being guided of God. The path of the lost, then, is broad and very smooth--it ruins them without troubling them; but the path of the saved is narrow, rugged, and in the end it saves, not without much toil, those who have journeyed through it. And these two paths are presided over by unbelief and faith; and these journey through the path of unbelief, those who have preferred pleasure, on account of which they have forgotten the day of judgment, doing that which is not pleasing to God, and not caring to save their souls by the word, and have not anxiously sought their own good. Truly they know not that the counsels of God are not like men's counsels; for, in the first place, He knows the thoughts of all men, and all must give an account not only of their actions, but also of their thoughts. And their sin is much less who strive to understand well and fall, than that of those who do not at all strive after good things. Because it has pleased God that he who errs in his knowledge of good, as men count errors, should be saved after being slightly punished. But they who have taken no care at all to know the better way, even though they may have done countless other good deeds, if they have not stood in the service He has Himself appointed, come under the charge of indifference, and are severely punished, and utterly destroyed.

Footnotes

[1083] [Compare with this Chapter the recently discovered "Teaching" and Apostolic Constitutions, book vii. chap. 1, in vol. vii. pp. 377, 465.--R.]

Chapter VIII.--The Service of God's Appointment.

"And this is the service He has appointed: To worship Him only, and trust only in the Prophet of truth, and to be baptized for the remission of sins, and thus by this pure baptism to be born again unto God by saving water; to abstain from the table of devils, that is, from food offered to idols, from dead carcases, from animals which have been suffocated or caught by wild beasts, and from blood; [1084] not to live any longer impurely; to wash after intercourse; that the women on their part should keep the law of purification; that all should be sober-minded, given to good works, refraining from wrongdoing, looking for eternal life from the all-powerful God, and asking with prayer and continual supplication that they may win it." Such was Peter's counsel to the men of Sidon also. And in few days many repented and believed, and were healed. And Peter having founded a church, and set over it as bishop one of the elders who were with him, left Sidon.

Footnotes

[1084] [Comp. Recognitions, iv. 36. The language recalls Acts xv. 20 and 1 Cor. x. 21.--R.]

Chapter IX.--Simon Attacks Peter.

No sooner had he reached Beyrout than an earthquake took place; and the multitude, running to Peter, said, "Help us, for we are afraid we shall all utterly perish." Then Simon ventured, along with Appion and Anubion and Athenodorus, and the rest of his companions, to cry out to the people against Peter in public: "Flee, friends, from this man! he is a magician; trust us, he it was who caused this earthquake: he sent us these diseases to terrify us, as if he were God Himself." And many such false charges did Simon and his friends bring against Peter, as one who could do things above human power. But as soon as the people gave him a moment's quiet, Peter with surprising boldness gave a little laugh, and said, "Friends, I admit that I can do, God willing, what these men say; and more than that, I am ready, if you do not believe what I say, to overturn your city from top to bottom."

Chapter X.--Simon is Driven Away.

And the people were afraid, and promised to do whatever he should command. "Let none of you, then," said Peter, "either hold conversation with these sorcerers, or have any thing to do with them." And as soon as the people heard this concise command, they took up sticks, and pursued them till they had driven them wholly out of the town. And they who were sick and possessed with devils came and cast themselves at Peter's feet. And he seeing all this, and anxious to free them from their terror, said to them:--

Chapter XI.--The Way of Salvation.

"Were I able to cause earthquakes, and do all that I wish, I assure you I would not destroy Simon and his friends (for not to destroy men am I sent), but would make him my friend, that he might no longer, by his slanders against my preaching the truth, hinder the salvation of many. But if you believe me, he himself is a magician; he is a slanderer; he is a minister of evil to them who know not the truth. Therefore he has power to bring diseases on sinners, having the sinners themselves to help him in his power over them. But I am a servant of God the Creator of all things, and a disciple of His Prophet who is at His right hand. Wherefore I, being His apostle, preach the truth: to serve a good man I drive away diseases, for I am His second messenger, since first the disease comes, but after that the healing. By that evil-working magician, then, you were stricken with disease because you revolted from God. By me, if you believe on Him ye shall be cured: and so having had experience that He is able, you may turn to good works, and have your souls saved."

Chapter XII.--Peter Goes to Byblus and Tripolis.

As he said these things, all fell on their knees before his feet. And he, lifting up his hands to heaven, prayed to God, and healed them all by his simple prayer alone. And he remained not many days in Beyrout; but after he had accustomed many to the service of the one God, and had baptized them, and had set over them a bishop from the elders who were with him, he went to Byblus. And when he came there, and learned that Simon had not waited for them for a day, but had gone straightway to Tripolis, he remained there only a few days; and after that he had healed not a few, and exercised them in the Scriptures, he followed in Simon's track to Tripolis, preferring to pursue him rather than flee from him. .

Homily VIII.


Chapter I.--Peter's Arrival at Tripolis.

Now, as Peter was entering Tripolis, [1085] the people from Tyre and Sidon, Berytus and Byblus, who were eager [1086] to get instruction, and many from the neighbourhood, entered along with him; and not least were there gatherings of the multitudes from the city itself wishing to see him. Therefore there met with us in the suburbs the brethren who had been sent forth by him to ascertain as well other particulars respecting the city, as the proceedings of Simon, and to come and explain them. They received him, and conducted him to the house of Maroones. [1087]

Footnotes

[1085] [For the general parallelism of Homilies VIII.-XI. with Recognitions, iv.-vi., see the footnote on Recognitions, iv. 1. Homilies VIII., IX., contain matter included in the single discourse of Recognitions, book iv.--R.] [1086] Lit.: More willing to learn than the others. [1087] ["Maro" in Recognitions, iv. The resemblance between that book and this Homily is quite marked.--R.]

Chapter II.--Peter's Thoughtfulness.

But he, when he was at the very gate of his lodging, turned round, and promised to the multitudes that after the next day he would converse with them on the subject of religion. And when he had gone in, the forerunners assigned lodgings to those who had come with him. And the hosts and the entertainers did not fall short of the desire of those who sought hospitality. But Peter, knowing nothing of this, being asked by us to partake of food, said that he would not himself partake until those who had come with him were settled. And on our assuring him that this was already done, all having received them eagerly by reason of their affection towards him, so that those were grieved beyond measure who had no guests to entertain,--Peter hearing this, and being pleased with their eager philanthropy, blessed them and went out, and having bathed in the sea, partook of food with the forerunners; and then, the evening having come, he slept.

Chapter III.--A Conversation Interrupted.

But awaking about the second cock-crowing, he found us astir. We were in all sixteen, viz., Peter himself, and I Clement, Nicetas and Aquila, and the twelve who had preceded us. [1088]Having therefore saluted us, he said, "To-day, not being occupied with those without, we are free to be occupied with one another. Wherefore I shall tell you the things that happened after your departure from Tyre; and do you minutely relate to me what have been the doings of Simon here." While, therefore, we were answering one another by narratives on either side, one of our friends entered, and announced to Peter that Simon, learning of his arrival, had set off for Syria, and that the multitudes, thinking this one night to be like a year's time, and not able to wait for the appointment which he had made, were standing before the doors conversing with one another in knots and circles about the accusation brought by Simon, and how that, having raised their expectations, and promised that he would charge Peter when he came with many evils, he had fled by night when he knew of his arrival. "However," said he, "they are eager to hear you; and I know not whence some rumour has reached them to the effect that you are going to address them to-day. In order, therefore, that they may not when they are very tired be dismissed without reason, you yourself know what it is proper for you to do."

Footnotes

[1088] [Comp. Recognitions, iv. 3.--R.]

Chapter IV.--Many Called.

Then Peter, wondering at the eagerness of the multitudes, answered, [1089] "You see, brethren, how the words of our Lord are manifestly fulfilled. For I remember His saying, `Many shall come from the east and from the west, the north and the south, and shall recline on the bosoms of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.' [1090]`But many,' said He also, `are called, but few chosen.' [1091]The coming, therefore, of these called ones is fulfilled. But inasmuch as it is not of themselves, but of God who has called them and caused them to come, on this account alone they have no reward, since it is not of themselves but of Him who has wrought in them. But if, after being called, they do things that are excellent, for this is of themselves, then for this they shall have a reward.

Footnotes

[1089] [With chaps. 4-11 compare the closely resembling passage, Recognitions, iv. 4-11.--R.] [1090] Matt. viii. 11; Luke xiii. 29. [1091] Matt. xx. 16.

Chapter V.--Faith the Gift of God.

"For even the Hebrews who believe Moses, and do not observe the things spoken by him, are not saved, unless they observe the things that were spoken to them. For their believing Moses was not of their own will, but of God, who said to Moses, `Behold, I come to thee in a pillar of cloud, that the people may hear me speaking to thee, and may believe thee for ever.' [1092]Since, therefore, both to the Hebrews and to those who are called from the Gentiles, believing in the teachers of truth is of God, while excellent actions are left to every one to do by his own judgment, the reward is righteously bestowed upon those who do well. For there would have been no need of Moses, or of the coming of Jesus, if of themselves they would have understood what is reasonable. Neither is there salvation in believing in teachers and calling them lords.

Footnotes

[1092] Ex. xix. 9.

Chapter VI.--Concealment and Revelation.

"For on this account Jesus is concealed from the Jews, who have taken Moses as their teacher, and Moses is hidden from those who have believed Jesus. For, there being one teaching by both, God accepts him who has believed either of these. But believing a teacher is for the sake of doing the things spoken by God. And that this is so our Lord Himself says, `I thank thee, Father of heaven and earth, because Thou hast concealed these things from the wise and elder, and hast revealed them to sucking babes.' [1093]Thus God Himself has concealed a teacher from some, as foreknowing what they ought to do, and has revealed him to others, who are ignorant what they ought to do.

Footnotes

[1093] Matt. xi. 25. [Luke x. 21.--R.]

Chapter VII.--Moses and Christ

"Neither, therefore, are the Hebrews condemned on account of their ignorance of Jesus, by reason of Him who has concealed Him, if, doing the things commanded by Moses, they do not hate Him whom they do not know. Neither are those from among the Gentiles condemned, who know not Moses on account of Him who hath concealed him, provided that these also, doing the things spoken by Jesus, do not hate Him whom they do not know. And some will not be profited by calling the teachers lords, but not doing the works of servants. For on this account our Jesus Himself said to one who often called Him Lord, but did none of the things which He prescribed, `Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?' [1094]For it is not saying that will profit any one, but doing. By all means, therefore, is there need of good works. Moreover, if any one has been thought worthy to recognise both as preaching one doctrine, that man has been counted rich in God, understanding both the old things as new in time, and the new things as old."

Footnotes

[1094] Luke vi. 46.

Chapter VIII.--A Large Congregation.

While Peter was thus speaking, the multitudes, as if they had been called by some one, entered into the place where Peter was. Then he, seeing a great multitude, like the smooth current of a river gently flowing towards him, said to Maroones, "Have you any place here that is better able to contain the crowd?" Then Maroones conducted him to a garden-plot in the open air, and the multitudes followed. But Peter, standing upon a base of a statue which was not very high, as soon as he had saluted the multitude in pious fashion, knowing that many of the crowd that stood by were tormented with demons and many sufferings of long standing, and hearing them shrieking with lamentation, and falling down before him in supplication, rebuked them, and commanded them to hold their peace; and promising healing to them after the discourse, [1095] began to speak on this wise:--

Footnotes

[1095] [In Recognitions, iv. 7, the healing is represented as occurring at once.--R.]

Chapter IX.--"Vindicate the Ways of God to Men."

"While beginning to discourse on the worship of God to those who are altogether ignorant of everything, and whose minds have been corrupted by the accusations of our adversary Simon, I have thought it necessary first of all to speak of the blamelessness of the God who hath made all things, starting from the occasion seasonably afforded by Him according to His providence, that it may be known how with good reason many are held by many demons, and subjected to strange sufferings, that in this the justice of God may appear; and that those who through ignorance blame Him, now may learn by good speaking and well-doing what sentiments they ought to hold, and recall themselves from their previous accusation, assigning ignorance as the cause of their evil presumption, in order that they may be pardoned.

Chapter X.--The Original Law.

"But thus the matter stands. The only good God having made all things well, and having handed them over to man, who was made after His image, he who had been made breathing of the divinity of Him who made him, being a true prophet and knowing all things, for the honour of the Father who had given all things to him, and for the salvation of the sons born of him, as a genuine father preserving his affection towards the children born of him, and wishing them, for their advantage, to love God and be loved of Him, showed them the way which leads to His friendship, teaching them by what deeds of men the one God and Lord of all is pleased; and having exhibited to them the things that are pleasing to Him, appointed a perpetual law to all, which neither can be abrogated by enemies, nor is vitiated by any impious one, nor is concealed in any place, but which can be read by all. To them, therefore, by obedience to the law, all things were in abundance,--the fairest of fruits, fulness of years, freedom from grief and from disease, bestowed upon them without fear, with all salubrity of the air.

Chapter XI.--Cause of the Fall of Man.

"But they, because they had at first no experience of evils, being insensible to the gift of good things, were turned to ingratitude by abundance of food and luxuries, so that they even thought that there is no Providence, since they had not by previous labour got good things as the reward of righteousness, inasmuch as no one of them had fallen into any suffering or disease, or any other necessity; so that, as is usual for men afflicted on account of wicked transgression, they should look about for the God who is able to heal them. [1096]But immediately after their despite, which proceeded from fearlessness and secure luxury, a certain just punishment met them, as following from a certain arranged harmony, removing from them good things as having hurt them, and introducing evil things instead, as advantageous.

Footnotes

[1096] The general meaning seems to be as given; but the text is undoubtedly corrupt, and scarcely intelligible.

Chapter XII.--Metamorphoses of the Angels.

"For of the spirits who inhabit the heaven, [1097] the angels who dwell in the lowest region, being grieved at the ingratitude of men to God, asked that they might come into the life of men, that, really becoming men, by more intercourse they might convict those who had acted ungratefully towards Him, and might subject every one to adequate punishment. When, therefore, their petition was granted, they metamorphosed themselves into every nature; for, being of a more godlike substance, they are able easily to assume any form. So they became precious stones, and goodly pearl, and the most beauteous purple, and choice gold, and all matter that is held in most esteem. And they fell into the hands of some, and into the bosoms of others, and suffered themselves to be stolen by them. They also changed themselves into beasts and reptiles, and fishes and birds, and into whatsoever they pleased. These things also the poets among yourselves, by reason of fearlessness, sing, as they befell, attributing to one the many and diverse doings of all.

Footnotes

[1097] [Chaps. 12-16 have no parallel in the corresponding discourse in the Recognitions. The doctrine here is peculiar. But compare Recognitions, iv. 26.--R.]

Chapter XIII.--The Fall of the Angels.

"But when, having assumed these forms, they convicted as covetous those who stole them, and changed themselves into the nature of men, in order that, living holily, and showing the possibility of so living, they might subject the ungrateful to punishment, yet having become in all respects men, they also partook of human lust, and being brought under its subjection they fell into cohabitation with women; [1098] and being involved with them, and sunk in defilement and altogether emptied of their first power, were unable to turn back to the first purity of their proper nature, their members turned away from their fiery substance: [1099]for the fire itself, being extinguished by the weight of lust, and changed into flesh, they trode the impious path downward. For they themselves, being fettered with the bonds of flesh, were constrained and strongly bound; wherefore they have no more been able to ascend into the heavens.

Footnotes

[1098] [Comp. Recognitions, i. 30. The details here are not only fuller, but apparently represent a more developed speculation.--R.] [1099] The text is somewhat obscure; but the following sentence shows this to be the meaning of it.

Chapter XIV.--Their Discoveries.

"For after the intercourse, being asked to show what they were before, and being no longer able to do so, on account of their being unable to do aught else after their defilement, yet wishing to please their mistresses, instead of themselves, they showed the bowels [1100] of the earth; I mean, the choice metals, [1101] gold, brass, silver, iron, and the like, with all the most precious stones. And along with these charmed stones, they delivered the arts of the things pertaining to each, and imparted the discovery of magic, and taught astronomy, and the powers of roots, and whatever was impossible to be found out by the human mind; also the melting of gold and silver, and the like, and the various dyeing of garments. And all things, in short, which are for the adornment and delight of women, are the discoveries of these demons bound in flesh.

Footnotes

[1100] Literally, "the marrow." [1101] Literally, "the flowers of metals."

Chapter XV.--The Giants.

"But from their unhallowed intercourse spurious men sprang, much greater in stature than ordinary men, whom they afterwards called giants; not those dragon-footed giants who waged war against God, as those blasphemous myths of the Greeks do sing, but wild in manners, and greater than men in size, inasmuch as they were sprung of angels; yet less than angels, as they were born of women. Therefore God, knowing that they were barbarized to brutality, and that the world was not sufficient to satisfy them (for it was created according to the proportion of men and human use), that they might not through want of food turn, contrary to nature, to the eating of animals, and yet seem to be blameless, as having ventured upon this through necessity, the Almighty God rained manna upon them, suited to their various tastes; and they enjoyed all that they would. But they, on account of their bastard nature, not being pleased with purity of food, longed only after the taste of blood. Wherefore they first tasted flesh.

Chapter XVI.--Cannibalism.

"And the men who were with them there for the first time were eager to do the like. Thus, although we are born neither good nor bad, we become one or the other; and having formed habits, we are with difficulty drawn from them. But when irrational animals fell short, these bastard men tasted also human flesh. For it was not a long step to the consumption of flesh like their own, having first tasted it in other forms.

Chapter XVII.--The Flood.

"But by the shedding of much blood, the pure air being defiled with impure vapour, and sickening those who breathed it, rendered them liable to diseases, so that thenceforth men died prematurely. But the earth being by these means greatly defiled, these first teemed with poison-darting and deadly creatures. All things, therefore, going from bad to worse, on account of these brutal demons, God wished to cast them away like an evil leaven, lest each generation from a wicked seed, being like to that before it, and equally impious, should empty the world to come of saved men. And for this purpose, having warned a certain righteous man, [1102] with his three sons, together with their wives and their children, to save themselves in an ark, He sent a deluge of water, that all being destroyed, the purified world might be handed over to him who was saved in the ark, in order to a second beginning of life. And thus it came to pass.

Footnotes

[1102] [Comp. Recognitions, v. 12.--R.]

Chapter XVIII.--The Law to the Survivors.

"Since, therefore, the souls of the deceased giants were greater than human souls, inasmuch as they also excelled their bodies, they, as being a new race, were called also by a new name. And to those who survived in the world a law was prescribed of God through an angel, how they should live. For being bastards in race, of the fire of angels and the blood of women, and therefore liable to desire a certain race of their own, they were anticipated by a certain righteous law. For a certain angel was sent to them by God, declaring to them His will, and saying:--

Chapter XIX.--The Law to the Giants or Demons.

"`These things seem good to the all-seeing God, that you lord it over no man; that you trouble no one, unless any one of his own accord subject himself to you, worshipping you, and sacrificing and pouring libations, and partaking of your table, or accomplishing aught else that they ought not, or shedding blood, or tasting dead flesh, or filling themselves with that which is torn of beasts, or that which is cut, or that which is strangled, or aught else that is unclean. But those who betake themselves to my law, you not only shall not touch, but shall also do honour to, and shall flee from, their presence. For whatsoever shall please them, being just, respecting you, that you shall be constrained to suffer. But if any of those who worship me go astray, either committing adultery, or practising magic, or living impurely, or doing any other of the things which are not well-pleasing to me, then they will have to suffer something at your hands or those of others, according to my order. But upon them, when they repent, I, judging of their repentance, whether it be worthy of pardon or not, shall give sentence. These things, therefore, ye ought to remember and to do, well knowing that not even your thoughts shall be able to be concealed from Him.'

Chapter XX.--Willing Captives.

"Having charged them to this effect, the angel departed. But you are still ignorant of this law, that every one who worships demons, or sacrifices to them, or partakes with them of their table, shall become subject to them and receive all punishment from them, as being under wicked lords. And you who, on account of ignorance of this law, have been corrupted beside their altars, [1103] and have been satiated with food offered to them, have come under their power, and do not know how you have been in every way injured in respect of your bodies. But you ought to know that the demons have no power over any one, unless first he be their table-companion; since not even their chief can do anything contrary to the law imposed upon them by God, wherefore he has no power over any one who does not worship him; but neither can any one receive from them any of the things that he wishes, nor in anything be hurt by them, as you may learn from the following statement.

Footnotes

[1103] tois auton bomois prosphtharentes kai auton ekplerothentes.

Chapter XXI.--Temptation of Christ.

"For once the king of the present time came to our King of righteousness, using no violence, for this was not in his power, but inducing and persuading, because the being persuaded lies in the power of every one. [1104]Approaching Him, therefore, as being king of things present, he said to the King of things future, `All the kingdoms of the present world are subject to me; also the gold and the silver and all the luxury of this world are under my power. Wherefore fall down and worship me, and I will give you all these things.' And this he said, knowing that after He worshipped him he would have power also over Him, and thus would rob Him of the future glory and kingdom. But He, knowing all things, not only did not worship him, but would not receive aught of the things that were offered by him. For He pledged Himself with those that are His, to the effect that it is not lawful henceforth even to touch the things that are given over to him. Therefore He answered and said, `Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.' [1105]

Footnotes

[1104] [The conclusion of this Homily resembles Recognitions, iv. 34-37, but much of the matter of that book is contained in Homily IX.; see footnotes.--R.] [1105] Matt. iv.; Luke iv.

Chapter XXII.--The Marriage Supper.

"However, the king of the impious, striving to bring over to his own counsel the King of the pious, and not being able, ceased his efforts, undertaking to persecute Him for the remainder of His life. But you, being ignorant of the fore-ordained law, are under his power through evil deeds. Wherefore you are polluted in body and soul, and in the present life you are tyrannized over by sufferings and demons, but in that which is to come you shall have your souls to be punished. And this not you alone suffer through ignorance, but also some of our nation, who by evil deeds having been brought under the power of the prince of wickedness, like persons invited to a supper by a father celebrating the marriage of his son, have not obeyed. [1106]But instead of those who through preoccupation disobeyed, the Father celebrating the marriage of his Son, has ordered us, through the Prophet of the truth, to come into the partings of the ways, that is, to you, and to invest you with the clean wedding-garment, which is baptism, which is for the remission of the sins done by you, and to bring the good to the supper of God by repentance, although at the first they were left out of the banquet.

Footnotes

[1106] Matt. xxii.

Chapter XXIII.--The Assembly Dismissed.

"If, therefore, ye wish to be the vesture of the Divine Spirit, hasten first to put off your base presumption, which is an unclean spirit and a foul garment. And this you cannot otherwise put off, than by being first baptized in good works. And thus being pure in body and in soul, you shall enjoy the future eternal kingdom. Therefore neither believe in idols, nor partake with them of the impure table, nor commit murder, nor adultery, nor hate those whom it is not right to hate, nor steal, nor set upon any evil deeds; since, being deprived of the hope of future blessings in the present life, you shall be subjected to evil demons and terrible sufferings, and in the world to come you shall be punished with eternal fire. Now, then, what has been said is enough for to-day. For the rest, those of you who are afflicted with ailments remain for healing; and of the others, you who please go in peace."

Chapter XXIV.--The Sick Healed.

When he had thus spoken, all of them remained, some in order to be healed, and others to see those who obtained cures. But Peter, only laying his hands upon them, and praying, healed them; [1107] so that those who were straightway cured were exceeding glad, and those who looked on exceedingly wondered, and blessed God, and believed with a firm hope, and with those who had been healed departed to their own homes, having received a charge to meet early on the following day. And when they had gone, Peter remained there with his associates, and partook of food, and refreshed himself with sleep.

Footnotes

[1107] [Comp. Recognitions, iv. 7.--R.] .

Homily IX.


Chapter I.--Peter's Discourse Resumed.

Therefore on the next day, Peter going out with his companions, and coming to the former place, and taking his stand, proceeded to say: [1108]"God having cut off by water all the impious men of old, having found one alone amongst them all that was pious, caused him to be saved in an ark, with his three sons and their wives. Whence may be perceived that it is His nature not to care for a multitude of wicked, nor to be indifferent to the salvation of one pious. Therefore the greatest impiety of all is forsaking the sole Lord of all, and worshipping many, who are no gods, as if they were gods.

Footnotes

[1108] [Much of the matter in this Homily is to be found in Recognitions, iv.--R.]

Chapter II.--Monarchy and Polyarchy.

"If, therefore, while I expound and show you that this is the greatest sin, which is able to destroy you all, it occur to your mind that you are not destroyed, being great multitudes, you are deceived. For you have the example of the old world deluged. And yet their sin was much less than that which is chargeable against you. For they were wicked with respect to their equals, murdering or committing adultery. But you are wicked against the God of all, worshipping lifeless images instead of Him or along with Him, and attributing His divine name to every kind of senseless matter. In the first place, therefore, you are unfortunate in not knowing the difference between monarchy and polyarchy--that monarchy, on the one hand, is productive of concord, but polyarchy is effective of wars. For unity does not fight with itself, but multitude has occasion of undertaking battle one against another.

Chapter III.--Family of Noe.

"Therefore straightway after the flood, [1109] Noe continued to live three hundred and fifty years with the multitude of his descendants in concord, being a king according to the image of the one God. But after his death many of his descendants were ambitious of the kingdom, and being eager to reign, each one considered how it might be effected; and one attempted it by war, another by deceit, another by persuasion, and one in one way and another in another; one of whom was of the family of Ham, whose descendant was Mestren, from whom the tribes of the Egyptians and Babylonians and Persians were multiplied.

Footnotes

[1109] [With this and the succeeding Chapters compare Recognitions, i. 30, 31, but more particularly iv. 27-31, which furnish a close parallel.--R.]

Chapter IV.--Zoroaster.

"Of this family there was born in due time a certain one, who took up with magical practices, by name Nebrod, who chose, giant-like, to devise things in opposition to God. Him the Greeks have called Zoroaster. He, after the deluge, being ambitious of sovereignty, and being a great magician, by magical arts compelled the world-guiding star of the wicked one who now rules, to the bestowal of the sovereignty as a gift from him. But he, [1110] being a prince, and having authority over him who compelled him, [1111] wrathfully poured out the fire of the kingdom, that he might both bring to allegiance, and might punish him who at first constrained him.

Footnotes

[1110] That is, I suppose, the wicked one. [1111] I suppose Nimrod, or Zoroaster.

Chapter V.--Hero-Worship.

"Therefore the magician Nebrod, being destroyed by this lightning falling on earth from heaven, for this circumstance had his name changed to Zoroaster, on account of the living (zosan) stream of the star (asteros) being poured upon him. But the unintelligent amongst the men who then were, thinking that through the love of God his soul had been sent for by lightning, buried the remains of his body, and honoured his burial-place with a temple among the Persians, where the descent of the fire occurred, and worshipped him as a god. By this example also, others there bury those who die by lightning as beloved of God, and honour them with temples, and erect statues of the dead in their own forms. Thence, in like manner, the rulers in different places were emulous of like honour, and very many of them honoured the tombs of those who were beloved of them, though not dying by lightning, with temples and statues, and lighted up altars, and ordered them to be adored as gods. And long after, by the lapse of time, they were thought by posterity to be really gods.

Chapter VI.--Fire-Worship.

"Thus, in this fashion, there ensued many partitions of the one original kingdom. The Persians, first taking coals from the lightning which fell from heaven, preserved them by ordinary fuel, and honouring the heavenly fire as a god, were honoured by the fire itself with the first kingdom, as its first worshippers. After them the Babylonians, stealing coals from the fire that was there, and conveying it safely to their own home, and worshipping it, they themselves also reigned in order. And the Egyptians, acting in like manner, and calling the fire in their own dialect PhthaŽ, which is translated Hephaistus or Osiris, he who first reigned amongst them is called by its name. Those also who reigned in different places, acting in this fashion, and making an image, and kindling altars in honour of fire, most of them were excluded from the kingdom.

Chapter VII.--Sacrificial Orgies.

"But they did not cease to worship images, [1112] by reason of the evil intelligence of the magicians, who found excuses for them, which had power to constrain them to the foolish worship. For, establishing this things by magical ceremonies, they assigned them feasts from sacrifices, libations, flutes, and shoutings, by means of which senseless men, being deceived, and their kingdom being taken from them, yet did not desist from the worship that they had taken up with. To such an extent did they prefer error, on account of its pleasantness, before truth. They also howl after their sacrificial surfeit, their soul from the depth, as it were by dreams, forewarning them of the punishment that is to befall such deeds of theirs.

Footnotes

[1112] [Comp. Recognitions, iv. 13.--R.]

Chapter VIII.--The Best Merchandise.

"Many forms of worship, [1113] then, having passed away in the world, we come, bringing to you, as good merchantmen, the worship that has been handed down to us from our fathers, and preserved; showing you, as it were, the seeds of plants, and placing them under your judgment and in your power. Choose that which seems good unto you. If, therefore, ye choose our wares, not only shall ye be able to escape demons, and the sufferings which are inflicted by demons, but yourselves also putting them to flight, and having them reduced to make supplication to you, shall for ever enjoy future blessings.

Footnotes

[1113] [Compare with Chapters 8-18 the parallel passage in Recognitions, iv. 14-22. The resemblances are quite close.--R.]

Chapter IX.--How Demons Get Power Over Men.

"Since, on the other hand, you are oppressed by strange sufferings inflicted by demons, on your removal from the body you shall have your souls also punished for ever; not indeed by God's inflicting vengeance, but because such is the judgment of evil deeds. For the demons, having power by means of the food given to them, are admitted into your bodies by your own hands; and lying hid there for a long time, they become blended with your souls. And through the carelessness of those who think not, or even wish not, to help themselves, upon the dissolution of their bodies, their souls being united to the demon, are of necessity borne by it into whatever places it pleases. And what is most terrible of all, when at the end of all things the demon is first consigned to the purifying fire, the soul which is mixed with it is under the necessity of being horribly punished, and the demon of being pleased. For the soul, being made of light, and not capable of bearing the heterogeneous flame of fire, is tortured; but the demon, being in the substance of his own kind, is greatly pleased, becoming the strong chain of the soul that he has swallowed up.

Chapter X.--How They are to Be Expelled.

"But the reason why the demons delight in entering into men's bodies is this. Being spirits, and having desires after meats and drinks, and sexual pleasures, but not being able to partake of these by reason of their being spirits, and wanting organs fitted for their enjoyment, they enter into the bodies of men, in order that, getting organs to minister to them, they may obtain the things that they wish, whether it be meat, by means of men's teeth, or sexual pleasure, by means of men's members. Hence, in order to the putting of demons to flight, the most useful help is abstinence, and fasting, and suffering of affliction. For if they enter into men's bodies for the sake of sharing pleasures, it is manifest that they are put to flight by suffering. But inasmuch as some, [1114] being of a more malignant kind, remain by the body that is undergoing punishment, though they are punished with it, therefore it is needful to have recourse to God by prayers and petitions, refraining from every occasion of impurity, that the hand of God may touch him for his cure, as being pure and faithful.

Footnotes

[1114] The gender is here changed, but the sense shows that the reference is still to the demons. I suppose the author forgot that in the preceding sentences he had written daimones (masc.) and not daimonia (neut.).

Chapter XI.--Unbelief the Demon's Stronghold.

"But it is necessary in our prayers to acknowledge that we have had recourse to God, and to bear witness, not to the apathy, but to the slowness of the demon. For all things are done to the believer, nothing to the unbeliever. Therefore the demons themselves, knowing the amount of faith of those of whom they take possession, measure their stay proportionately. Wherefore they stay permanently with the unbelieving, tarry for a while with the weak in faith; but with those who thoroughly believe, and who do good, they cannot remain even for a moment. For the soul being turned by faith, as it were, into the nature of water, quenches the demon as a spark of fire. The labour, therefore, of every one is to be solicitous about the putting to flight of his own demon. For, being mixed up with men's souls, they suggest to every one's mind desires after what things they please, in order that he may neglect his salvation.

Chapter XII.--Theory of Disease.

"Whence many, not knowing how they are influenced, consent to the evil thoughts suggested by the demons, as if they were the reasoning of their own souls. Wherefore they become less active to come to those who are able to save them, and do not know that they themselves are held captive by the deceiving demons. Therefore the demons who lurk in their souls induce them to think that it is not a demon that is distressing them, but a bodily disease, such as some acrid matter, or bile, or phlegm, or excess of blood, or inflammation of a membrane, or something else. But even if this were so, the case would not be altered of its being a kind of demon. For the universal and earthly soul, which enters on account of all kinds of food, being taken to excess by over-much food, is itself united to the spirit, as being cognate, which is the soul of man; and the material part of the food being united to the body, is left as a dreadful poison to it. Wherefore in all respects moderation is excellent.

Chapter XIII.--Deceits of the Demons.

"But some of the maleficent demons deceive in another way. For at first they do not even show their existence, in order that care may not be taken against them; but in due time, by means of anger, love, or some other affection, they suddenly injure the body, by sword, or halter, or precipice, or something else, and at last bring to punishment the deceived souls of those who have been mixed up with them, as we said, withdrawing into the purifying fire. But others, who are deceived in another way, do not approach us, being seduced by the instigations of maleficent demons, as if they suffered these things at the hands of the gods themselves, on account of their neglect of them, and were able to reconcile them by sacrifices, and that it is not needful to come to us, but rather to flee from and hate us. And at the same time [1115] they hate and flee from those who have greater compassion for them, and who follow after them in order to do good to them.

Footnotes

[1115] Some read houtos, thus.

Chapter XIV.--More Tricks.

"Therefore shunning and hating us they are deceived, not knowing how it happens that they devise things opposed to their health. For neither can we compel them against their will to incline towards health, since now we have no such power over them, nor are they able of themselves to understand the evil instigation of the demon; for they know not whence these evil instigations are suggested to them. And these are they whom the demons affright, appearing in such forms as they please. And sometimes they prescribe remedies for those who are diseased, and thus they receive divine honours from those who have previously been deceived. And they conceal from many that they are demons, but not from us, who know their mystery, and why they do these things, changing themselves in dreams against those over whom they have power; and why they terrify some, and give oracular responses to others, and demand sacrifices from them, and command them to eat with them, that they may swallow up their souls.

Chapter XV.--Test of Idols.

"For as dire serpents draw sparrows to them by their breath, so also these draw to their own will those who partake of their table, being mixed up with their understanding by means of food and drink, changing themselves in dreams according to the forms of the images, that they may increase error. For the image is neither a living creature, nor has it a divine spirit, but the demon that appeared abused the form. [1116]How many, in like manner, have been seen by others in dreams; and when they have met one another when awake, and compared them with what they saw in their dream, they have not accorded: so that the dream is not a manifestation, but is either the production of a demon or of the soul, giving forms to present fears and desire. For the soul, being struck with fear, conceives forms in dreams. But if you think that images, as being alive, can accomplish such things, place them on a beam accurately balanced, and place an equipoise in the other scale, then ask them to become either heavier or lighter: and if this be done, then they are alive. But it does not so happen. But if it were so, this would not prove them to be gods. For this might be accomplished by the finger of the demon. Even maggots move, yet they are not called gods.

Footnotes

[1116] The meaning is: "the idols or images of the heathen deities are not living, but the demons adopt the forms of these images when they appear to men in dreams."

Chapter XVI.--Powers of the Demons.

"But that the soul of each man embodies the forms of demons after his own preconceptions, and that those who are called gods do not appear, is manifest from the fact that they do not appear to the Jews. But some one will say, How then do they give oracular responses, forecasting future things? This also is false. But suppose it were true, this does not prove them to be gods; for it does not follow, if anything prophesies, that it is a god. For pythons prophesy, yet they are cast out by us as demons, and put to flight. But some one will say, They work cures for some persons. It is false. But suppose it were true, this is no proof of Godhead; for physicians also heal many, yet are not gods. But, says one, physicians do not completely heal those of whom they take charge, but these heal oracularly. But the demons know the remedies that are suited to each disease. Wherefore, being skilful physicians, and able to cure those diseases which can be cured by men, and also being prophets, and knowing when each disease is healed of itself, they so arrange their remedies that they may gain the credit of producing the cure.

Chapter XVII.--Reasons Why Their Deceits are Not Detected.

"For why do they oracularly foretell cures after a long time? And why, if they are almighty, do they not effect cures without administering any medicine? And for what reason do they prescribe remedies to some of those who pray to them, while to some, and it may be more suitable cases, they give no response? Thus, whenever a cure is going to take place spontaneously, they promise, in order that they may get the credit of the cure; and others, having been sick, and having prayed, and having recovered spontaneously, attributed the cure to those whom they had invoked, and make offerings to them. Those, however, who, after praying, have failed, are not able to offer their sacrifices. But if the relatives of the dead, or any of their children, inquired into the losses, you would find the failures to be more than the successes. But no one who has been taken in by them is willing to exhibit an accusation against them, through shame or fear; but, on the other hand, they conceal the crimes which they believe them to be guilty of.

Chapter XVIII.--Props of the System.

"And how many also falsify the responses given and the cures effected by them, and confirm them with an oath! And how many give themselves up to them for hire, undertaking falsely to suffer certain things, and thus proclaiming their suffering, and being restored by remedial means, they say that they oracularly promised them healing, in order that they may assign as the cause the senseless worship! And how many of these things were formerly done by magical art, in the way of interpreting dreams, and divining! Yet in course of time these things have disappeared. And how many are there now, who, wishing to obtain such things, make use of charms! However, though a thing be prophetical or healing, it is not divine.

Chapter XIX.--Privileges of the Baptized.

"For God is almighty. For He is good and righteous, now long-suffering to all, that those who will, repenting of the evils which they have done, and living well, may receive a worthy reward in the day in which all things are judged. Wherefore now begin to obey God by reason of good knowledge, [1117] and to oppose your evil lusts and thoughts, that you may be able to recover the original saving worship which was committed to humanity. For thus shall blessings straightway spring up to you, which, when you receive, you will thenceforth quit the trial of evils. But give thanks to the Giver; being kings for ever of unspeakable good things, with the King of peace. But in the present life, washing in a flowing river, or fountain, or even in the sea, with the thrice-blessed invocation, you shall not only be able to drive away the spirits which lurk in you; but yourselves no longer sinning, and undoubtingly believing God, you shall drive out evil spirits and dire demons, with terrible diseases, from others. And sometimes they shall flee when you but look on them. For they know those who have given themselves up to God. Wherefore, honouring them, they flee affrighted, as you saw yesterday, how, when after the address I delayed praying for those who were suffering these maladies, through respect towards the worship they cried out, not being able to endure it for a short hour.

Footnotes

[1117] [With chaps. 19-21 compare Recognitions, iv. 32, 35, which closely resemble them.--R.]

Chapter XX.--"Not Almost, But Altogether Such as I Am."

"Do not then suppose that we do not fear demons on this account, that we are of a different nature from you. For we are of the same nature, but not of the same worship. Wherefore, being not only much but altogether superior to you, we do not grudge you becoming such as we are; but, on the other hand, counsel you, knowing that all these demons beyond measure honour and fear those who are reconciled to God."

Chapter XXI.--The Demons Subject to the Believer.

"For, in like manner as the soldiers who are put under one of Cæsar's captains know to honour him who has received authority on account of him who gave it, so that the commanders say to this one, Come, and he comes, and to another, Go, and he goes; so also he who has given himself to God, being faithful, is heard when he only speaks to demons and diseases; and the demons give place, though they be much stronger than they who command them. For with unspeakable power God subjects the mind of every one to whom He pleases. For as many captains, with whole camps and cities, fear Cæsar, who is but a man, every one's heart being eager to honour the image of all [1118] for the will of God, all things being enslaved by fear, do not know the cause; so also all disease-producing spirits, being awed in some natural way, honour and flee from him who has had recourse to God, and who carries right faith as His image in his heart.

Footnotes

[1118] I prefer here the common text to any of the proposed emendations, and suppose that the author represents Cæsar, though but one man, as the image or personification of the whole empire.

Chapter XXII.--"Rather Rejoice."

"But still, though all demons, with all diseases, flee before you, you are not to rejoice in this only, but in that, through grace, your names, as of the ever-living, are written in heaven. Thus also the Divine Holy Spirit rejoices because man hath overcome death; for the putting of the demons to flight makes for the safety of another. But this we say, not as denying that we ought to help others, but that we ought not to be inflated by this and neglect ourselves. It happens, also, that the demons flee before some wicked men by reason of the honoured name, and both he who expels the demon and he who witnesses it are deceived: he who expels him, as if he were honoured on account of righteousness, not knowing the wickedness of the demon. For he has at once honoured the name, and by his flight has brought the wicked man into a thought of his righteousness, and so deceived him away from repentance. But the looker-on, associating with the expeller as a pious man, hastens to a like manner of life, and is ruined. Sometimes also they pretend to flee before adjurations not made in the name of God, that they may deceive men, and destroy them whom they will.

Chapter XXIII.--The Sick Healed.

"This then we would have you know, that unless any one of his own accord give himself over as a slave to demons, as I said before, the demon has no power against him. Choosing, therefore, to worship one God, and refraining from the table of demons, and undertaking chastity with philanthropy and righteousness, and being baptized with the thrice-blessed invocation for the remission of sins, and devoting yourselves as much as you can to the perfection of purity, you can escape everlasting punishment, and be constituted heirs of eternal blessings." Having thus spoken, he ordered those to approach who were distressed with diseases; [1119] and thus many approached, having come together through the experience of those who had been healed yesterday. And he having laid his hands upon them and prayed, and immediately healed them, and having charged them and the others to come earlier, he bathed and partook of food, and went to sleep.

Footnotes

[1119] [Comp. Recognitions, iv. 7.--R.]
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